We recently had the opportunity to attend an event in London that was hosted by THQ where we got to play some of their upcoming games, some of which we were expecting and a couple of them that we weren't.
Red Faction Guerrilla - Multiplayer
There are two major modes in RF: Guerrilla, wrecking crew and another that has no name but contains the normal multiplayer modes e.g. Deathmatch (Anarchy), Team Deathmatch (Team Anarchy) and Capture the Flag. These don't need explaining I hope.
Wrecking Crew is a mode where the object is to cause as much damage using the weapon/s provided in the time limit given. There are various options in this mode allowing you to alter how it is played, for example you can set it up so you have 1 minute and infinite ammo or 3 minutes but every shot with a weapon costs some time. Sadly this mode could have been done on a larger scale and possibly included vehicles, even if it was on one map, it would have been great to smash through a building in a giant mech to try and get the last few thousand points in a last ditch effort to beat a friends score, however I'm sure this could be added at a later date through some downloadable content if enough people wanted it. The only downside I found in this mode apart from the vehicles is the lack of a statistics screen at the end to see how well you did in various categories rather than just a point total.
There were a few graphical errors that I came across whilst running around like a madman avoiding rockets but nothing that could spoil the experience totally. Red Faction has always been about the Destruction and whilst the player doesn't seem to have as many options to create havoc in the multiplayer compared to the single player demo, it is still more than adequate.
Release Date June 6th on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC
Darksiders: Wrath of War
You are War, one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse who was accused of playing a part in Earths destruction. After being stripped of your powers you are given a chance to redeem yourself and find out who set you up. You will have to seek out various angels and demons to help you in your quest for the truth, however some of these will not be as forthcoming as you would like. The difference in this post apocalypse compared to others I could mention is that the human race has gone, it can't be saved.
The Watcher voiced by none other than Mark Hamill is assigned to make sure you do the job properly and can be called at any time to remind you of your objectives by a simple press of a button.
The game looks on the surface to be a simple hack and slash affair in the same vein as the God of War series but beneath the surface elements of both the Devil May Cry, Prince of Persia and The Legend of Zelda series of games seep through. Defeated Enemies as well as Inanimate objects that you can break drop one of three types of souls.
Yellow Souls are Wrath which is used to power certain abilities and special moves; one of the later abilities is to turn into a being of Pure Chaos for ultimate destruction although this doesn't last long.
Green Souls are Health pick ups, no explanation needed I hope.
Blue Souls are the currency used in the game which can be taken to a merchant demon called Volgrim who sells extra items, abilities and other things that can be very useful to your progression and can be mapped to the d-pad for easy access. Some items have multiple functions or abilities, for instance in one of the levels I played I was given a horn that opens certain doors but when used in combat pushes enemies away, which can be very useful when you're swamped.
Combat isn't everything and Vigil Games have promised puzzles and dungeons like in the Zelda series, so we expect the dungeons to contain a big bad boss at the end. I got to fight a boss character called Tiamat, think Dragon and your pretty much spot on looks wise, and just like Zelda the bosses have weak spots and patterns that can be used to defeat them.
There are also flying and riding sections although I didn't get to see my Horse Run. The flying sections need balancing but are still enjoyable they just seem difficult at the moment.
If this game could be summed up in one word from what I have played its Epic.
Look out for this one Winter 2009 on the PS3 and Xbox 360.
MX Vs ATV: Reflex
This is the fourth instalment of the Mx Series and even though the build I played was only about 65% complete I was quite surprised, normally MX games don't interest me in the slightest but when I saw this one in action I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.
Using the new Revolutionary control method being touted as Rhythm Racing, so called as it focuses on the way the body moves, one side of the pad activates the rider the other side the vehicle. Whilst it sounds pretty complicated it is surprising easy to use, the left stick controls the vehicle and the right one the rider so now it is possible to use real weight distribution for landing all of the tricky stunts and jumps. The landings are crucial now as the game includes a real Physics System.
To offset the difficulty of the landings you have the new Wreck Recovery which allows you to continue racing if you muck up a landing, simply tapping the button stops you crashing or having to respawn in, no longer will you lose out trying to catch up after a dodgy landing or mistimed stunt.
The highlight of the game for me is the new real terrain deformation, the wheel tracks that are made stay for the entire event and don't fade, this is everywhere in the game including in the arenas and has its uses as well as the funny side of it. The hilarity starts when you realise that it is possible to write words in the dirt that don't disappear, it only gets displaced, so the only limit is your imagination and how ever close to or beyond the gutter level it is. The tracks also have their uses, while racing it is possible to follow them around the track for a small speed boost allowing you to catch up to the competition or stay in the lead on the later laps, there is no on screen indication of this but you can hear the engine whine a bit louder.
The maps are approximately 1 square mile each, which is more than adequate for the races and free roam mode, and all the environments are natural and immersive. Fans will be pleased to know that there are no loading screens, just a practice arena where you can hone your skills before the map loads in and that the game still contains all the licensed parts, riders, bikes and clothing that the series is famed for.
Whilst there is still a lot of work to be done here there is more than enough time to get the few issues that were present fixed, one of the major ones was that the reverse hadn't been programmed into the pad.
Reflex will appear on the PS3, Xbox 360, PSP and DS sometime in winter 2009.
Marvel Super Hero Squad
Marvel super hero squad is a video game tie in to the action figures marketed by Hasbro. The figures are cartoonish and all the characters have big cheesy grins that appeal to younger children, which is exactly the audience this game is aimed at.
You must assemble a super hero squad using Wolverine, Hulk, Thor, Ironman, Silver Surfer and Falcon to locate and defeat Dr Doom and the Lethal Legion, Mwahahahahaha, right enough of the evil Laughing.
There are two game modes Adventure mode and Battle mode. Adventure mode is the basic story mode and you play a new character in each chapter. The game is designed to be played co-op at anytime with drop in drop out gameplay similar to the Lego series of games, the two characters work together to beat up the enemies, if the correct buttons are pressed Custom Takedowns kill the enemies in one hit. Completing Adventure mode unlocks extra characters in Battle mode, and there are two bonus campaigns using Spiderman and Dr Doom. Battle is the multiplayer mode where up to four players pick one of the characters, either heroes or villains.
The Game still has a lot of work that needs to be done but it was an alpha build so this is to be expected. The platform sections are very much hit and miss, using the Wiimote to jump across gaps seemed very finicky and it took me repeated attempts to jump across the smallest gap as well as falling off the edges.
Marvel Super Hero Squad is scheduled for winter 2009 on the Wii
Drawn to Life
Drawn to Life is a sequel to the DS game that was released back in 2007 where you create your own character and use it to progress through a platform style game. Everything has a template so you can choose to either use one of the templates or to draw your own items e.g. flowers that decorate the landscape.
As you progress through the game you will come across coins that are used to purchase new tools for drawing, extra templates and weapons.
There are 3 different types of drawing that you must do to progress through the game these are
Bouncy - Creates a bouncy platform to reach higher platforms or out of the way areas e.g. a trampoline
Physical - Creates an object that behaves like a physical object e.g. a rock that rolls down a hill to crush enemies.
Sticky - Creates an object that stays where it is drawn e.g. a tightrope across a gap
The most important factor regarding this game is control, you feel as though this is your game which you helped create and are in control of it. Thought I think that people will want to spend more time creating the perfect character using the tools provided than playing the game. The control system is perfectly suited to the Wiimote.
Drawn to Life is scheduled for winter 2009 on the Wii.
All Star Cheer Squad 2
The Sequel to the smash hit all star cheer squad is here at last so grab your pom-poms and here we go.
All Star Cheer Squad for those that do not know is a rhythm based game similar to the dancing stage games, but with this you use your arms as well as your feet. The sequel ups everything, more customization, over 39 songs that can be mixed together, improved control system that can utilise 2 Wiimotes, the Wii balance board and improved animations on the characters.
You can design your cheerleader's outfits and routine, more of which can be unlocked throughout the game and you can copy these to the Wiimote and trade to your friend's console, challenges can also be sent online to your friends.
This is obviously aimed at young girls but with both the balance board and dual wii-mote it will also appeal to fans of Wii Fit
All Star Cheer Squad should be dancing this way sometime during winter 2009 on the Wii.