Author Archives: Brian Mishler

Mass Effect 2 review

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Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: BioWare
Rating: M
Players: 1

With any artistic medium, it’s very difficult to create a follow up of something that was already great. You don’t want the game to feel like a duplicate of the first one, yet you want all the things there that made it so great. It’s a balance that BioWare nailed with Mass Effect 2. Read More »

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 upon us

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Ah yes, the Mecca of gaming, E3, is upon us next week. This year marking the shows return to its trade show roots. I feel the announcement last October came as many people were about to turn their backs on E3, especially after the ’08 show. But with the ’09 show upon us the mood could not be any more different from how we felt last year. Read More »

3D Realms is no more

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Rumors first surfaced yesterday from multiple sources saying that developer 3D Realms had closed its doors. Seems to be the case.  Today a final post on 3D Realms’ website says “Thanks for being fans and all your support.” and has a photo of the team. Beyond that no official statement has really been made but rumors speculate that funding problems triggered the closure. As we all know 3D Realms were working on the aptly titled Duke Nukem Forever which was been in development since ’97. Sadly, I very much doubt we’ll ever see anything beyond a few screen shots and concept art from Duke Nukem Forever. Sorry to see you guys go.

Konami cancels Six Days in Fallujah

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Konami recently announced that it is canceling production of Six Days in Fallujah, a shooter based on the ’04 Iraq conflict. The title attracted a lot of attention and scrutiny since the battle the game is based on is still fairly fresh.  Presumably this is why the game was canned.  Konami’s vice president of marketing, Anthony Crouts only stated; “We are no longer doing the title at this time”  Even though the publisher, Atomic Games were using a number of marines involved in the conflict to help develop the game, the consensus seems to be that they’re exploiting the conflict. Hopefully this is just merely shelved for now and new life will be breathed into it in the future.

Dead Space Review

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Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Electronic Arts
Rating: M
Players: 1

Much of Dead Space’s attention seems to be derived from the games gore content. Rest assured though, the game is not one of pure shock value and no substance. Some people have criticized Dead Space for being too reminiscent of Resident Evil. Yes, you do battle reanimated corpses in the game but that does not inherently make it like Resident Evil. It’s like saying any movie that takes place in space is a rip off of Star Wars. Dead Space does a fantastic job of earning its M rating and offers an original storyline. Read More »

Halo Wars Review

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Platform(s): Xbox 360
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Ensemble Studios
Rating: T
Players: 1-6


To be honest even after the months of coverage and hype, Halo Wars wasn’t really on my radar, even being an avid Halo fan. Surprisingly though I found myself playing the demo several times. I’m so conditioned to crappy ports over years, (Starcraft, Supreme Commander, ect) that I hardly care when a real time strategy comes to a console system. I must say that Halo Wars gives me faith in RTS’. Not to say that Halo Wars is flawless. It does have its shortcomings and I think the more hardcore RTS gamers will probably stick to their computer for strategy games.

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