Monthly Archives: June 2009

Shiny New Coat of Forza 3 Screens to “Wax Off” To

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Turn 10 Studios and Microsoft have released a spankin’ new batch of Forza Motorsport 3 screens that practically beg to be your new desktop wallpaper.  While you’re at it, be sure to check out our hands-on E3 impressions for more info on FM3, coming to Xbox 360 this October.

E3 2009 Hands-On: Mass Effect 2

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One of the games I wanted to get my hands on the most at this years E3 was Mass Effect 2. I was fortunate enough to sit down with EA rep and get some hands on action. I was really trying to keep my eyes open for texture delays between sequences and happily I couldn’t find any. There are some really nice changes to the combat system. You can now assign individual way points for your teammates and they don’t seem to get in the way as they could in the first one. You can also queue up an ability in the talent wheel and just hit a button during combat to use that ability. Likewise for Shepard. You can also equip yourself with a heavy weapon now. Of course you can only carry one at a time and it sounds like you choose which one when you exit the Normandy. The new hit system is nice and something I wanted to test during the demo. There are actual head shots now. At one point I shot out a androids legs out from under him and he fell to the ground and started crawling towards me.

I asked about DLC for the sequel and it sounds like we can certainly expect to see more than just one available download. Although the exhibitor I spoke with also hinted at another mission that will be released for Mass Effect, a prequel to Mass Effect 2.

With any sequel it’s a difficult balancing act between giving the player something new and exciting without losing the things that made the game so great to begin with. From what I saw and played they really nailed that balance. So until its release in Q1 2010, keep an eye out for that prequel mission.

E3 2009 Hands-On: Dragon Age: Origins

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After watching the 20 minute showing of Dragon Age at the EA both at E3 I was left wanting more.  The video ended with an epic battle with a dragon and showed off some the moral choices that are encountered through out the game.  Some of the interesting points from the presentation were that your party is ever evolving.  If you make decision that others like they will fight harder for you.  Vice versa if you really upset a party member they may even fight you to the death over their beliefs.  All in all it looked like it was shaping up to be another masterpiece for Bioware… then I got to play the game hands on.

As I entered the world of Dragon Age: Origins I was given a taste of the elven race’s starting point.  I had to pick between a warrior, a rogue and finally a mage.  All of these classes later expanded into 6 distinct specializations.  I picked a warrior and put all my points into 2 hand weapons and began my adventures in the world of Ferelden.  The leveling screen and skills look similar to Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect and is easy to navigate.  The combat on the console version (which I played) was mapped with A being your primary attack and X, Y, and B being special attacks/buffs/debuffs.  There was also other set of X, Y, and B that held another 3 skills.  As I wandered the wooden lands of the elven world we ran across a group of humans coming from a tomb.  I spared their lives and was told I was the only person that day that had.

As we moved along towards the tomb I was given my first taste of combat.  Since the game did not start me off with a 2 hand weapon I was forced to only use my primary attack against a pack of wolves.  My character sliced and diced while my ally let loose a barrage of arrows into our enemies.  After looting the bodies and finding herbs I was informed that crafting will be available in the game.  I was also told that using the same armor sets will give bonuses to character.  After finding a 2 hand weapon in the tomb I was able to use my special attacks.  The blow back animations were amazing to see and felt effective against the spiders.

After a cutscene I ended back in my camp.  I was joined by a mage and was able to see the spell casting effects in the game.  All in all Dragon Age: Origins is shaping up to be one massive and entertaining game.  The game will be released on October 20th, 2009 for PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3, so get ready!

E3 Hands-On Impressions: Forza Motorsport 3

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Racing fans rejoice – your favorite racer for the Xbox 360 is returning this fall and this time with a whole slough of new features that fans have been craving! Turn 10 is back with a whole new engine and a variety of graphical and gameplay improvements to update the series in style.  Follow the link to read our full hands-on impressions.

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