Review – Fable II

For a change of pace over the holidays I went through Fable II, a light-hearted fantasy role-playing game developed by Lionhead Studios and its industry leading founder, Peter Molyneaux. Between the first and second Fable, Lionhead was purchased by Microsoft, meaning that Peter was now in the market of making Xbox 360 exclusives. I was especially curious to see if Peter and his team were going to take special advantage of the console like Epic Games has done with Gears of War. Sadly this wasn’t the case.

Before I get into that, let’s give the good stuff its due. In Fable II you play a hero born from a powerful bloodline, one that allows you to wield magic.… Read the rest

Review – Resistance 2

Resistance 2 from Insomniac Games is the highly anticipated sequel to the fairly enjoyable Resistance: Fall of Man. Insomniac is one of Sony’s prize jewels, an exclusive PS3 developer who makes big hits on a tight time schedule. This time around however, (for the very first time in fact) I wasn’t pleased with their output. This game has its moments and is sure to be enjoyed by many, but I’ve played too many shooters to accept a second-rate product from a first-rate company, especially in the saturated season we fortunately find ourselves in.

Resistance 2 continues the story of Nathan Hale and an alien invasion that takes place on an alternate earth in our World War II era.… Read the rest

Review – Dead Space

In April of 2007 a man by the name of John Riccitiello began work as the new Chief Operating Officer of Electronic Arts, one of the two largest video game conglomerates on earth. EA had fallen victim to its own massiveness in the years prior. In order to grow it had purchased and then cannibalized smaller, more imaginative game developers, absorbed the talent into their own offices, and centrally ran all operations.

As a result, the people and projects they assimilated became infected with the shortcomings of the company entire: there was too much bureaucracy and too many levels of hierarchy.… Read the rest

Review – Turok

The first Turok: Dinosaur Hunter came out eleven years ago and grew into a franchise of four games. While the original was well received the sequels received increasingly more critical reviews and the series eventually died. Disney bought the rights, created Vancouver-based Propaganda Games to develop a new title, and basically wound up repeating the lackluster performance of the last go around.

Overall Turok is mired in sub-par design in almost every aspect of the game. It uses the ubiquitous Unreal Technology to run the game and the developers weren’t able to make it shine as nicely as other third party developers.… Read the rest

Review – Dark Sector

Ontario’s own Digital Extremes began development of the long delayed and often re-imagined Dark Sector in 2004, and it was released earlier this year by D3 Publisher for the X-Box 360 and the PS3. I remember the early period because the teaser trailer was one of the first to come out for this generation’s hardware. Dark Sector started out in space but by 2006 it was made over into a bleak secret agent story.

Four years is way, way too long a development cycle for a video game. A game takes that long only when there are serious problems afoot, and it’s been my experience that when the game is finally released those problems are still there.… Read the rest

Video game plots must evolve

The importance of video games to human development cannot be overstated. I believe there have been three major inventions that have radically shifted the creative horizons of the human species and the reality we continue to shape for ourselves. The first would be movable type and the advent of the printed word, the second would be motion pictures, and the latest revolutionary intellectual force would be interactivity. Video games and the internet that many of them run on have irreversibly transformed the human race and set our consciousness on an exciting new course of development.

I marvel at the advancements this medium has made in my lifetime.… Read the rest

Review – Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Ahh yes, Metal Gear Solid! We come to it at last! If the blithering of pungent otaku hermits is to be believed this legendary video game franchise will act like a combination of Viagra and powdered rhinoceros horn on the superfluous appendage of the fanboy elite. Crafted over the course of years by the very kensai of console gaming; Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid 4 — Guns of the Patriots is said to be the conclusion and crowning achievement of this twenty year old epic. The game’s protagonist; Solid Snake, nears the end of his life and with his last remaining days he will battle all adversaries, both old and new, for the freedom of the entire planet!… Read the rest