Review: Rage (Xbox 360)

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id Software isn’t known for strong, single player storytelling. They usually leave that to others such as Raven Software. Anyone that has played their games knows that they’re more about eye candy and blistered trigger fingers replacing favorite fictional moments with tales of narrowly avoiding your best friend’s missile punch.

But Rage is different. At the very least, it’s very different for id.
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Rage is a big game

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So big that it’s going to require a little disc swapping on the Xbox 360 to see it all. The PS3 version comes on one blu-ray, but both versions allow installation of content on the consoles given that you have enough space to pack all of it down.

The PS3 version, for example, is an 8GB installation that will have players doing something else for the several minutes it will take to complete. And as an aside for the PC “Master Race”, installations are just par for the course other than in waiting for a service like Steam to unlock the game for its official debut on October 4th.

According to id’s own Tim Willits in an interview with Eurogamer, however, Xbox 360 players won’t have to install everything. They can get away with installing one of the discs (such as multiplayer which is on its own) and then uninstalling it to install another if they’re pressed on space though that sounds like more of a chore than in simply getting up and switching the disc.

We’ve come far since the days of installing multiple floppies and CDs on PCs even though the dreaded disc swap is still with us. Developers have also been getting a lot better in organizing the data to make sure that its as one-way as possible.

RPGs have been doing that with titles such as Lost Odyssey and FF13, though some players are still irritated at having to physically change the media regardless of whatever technical advances are made. For me, I see these as small breaks to do something else before diving back into the action – such as loading up on snacks before the next action packed run.

Review: Hunted – The Demon’s Forge

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Throw the words “old school” into an RPG conversation and you might get a number of different answers depending on who is in the room with you. Visions of spreadsheets filled with statistics, inventory menus filled with +2 weapons, or a hack ‘n slash slog through deviously crafted dungeons rife with hidden horrors and HP draining traps are only a few that you might get.

And that’s what Hunted delivers – deep, mysterious ruins, hidden treasures, weapons, and plenty of monster fodder to wade through. Remembering my own time with Stonekeep on the PC, it was as if inXile had shaken loose the good bits from the games its founder, Brian Fargo, had made in the late 80s and distilled them through the Unreal Engine’s alchemy. What came out the other end, though, is slightly sweet with flawed grit.
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Review: WET

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WETshould be enjoyed with cold beer and leftover pizza at 3 a.m, in between the infomercials and badly dubbed kung-fu movies. It’s that kind of game.

Bethesda’s latest action shooter isn’t the first to use a gun-toting or blade-wielding blood vixen, but it might be the first to realize how much silly fun it could be. While gamers are busy ogling the outrageous magical flash and exaggerated sexiness of an upcoming game like Bayonetta, the people at Artificial Mind and Movement hearken back to a simpler time, when bullets, blood and bad guys being killed in vicious fashion were more than enough. That was the “grindhouse” style of doing things, usually with an extreme hero leading the way.
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Zenimax Media Absorbs iD. Megatexture Mods Imminent?

Zenimax Media has apparently caught every other publisher by surprise in acquiring iD Software, placing the legendary developer underneath the same roof as Bethesda according to this press release. It was only four years earlier that Activision had made a quiet bid to acquire the developer or its IPs only to be turned down.

For those of you that have no idea who Zenimax is, you aren’t the first, but they have an impressive roster of who’s who in Hollywood on their Board such as Jerry Bruckheimer and they’ve been Bethesda’s home for nearly more than a decade. They just seem to let their developers do most of the talking.

So does this mean that the next Elder Scrolls will have Hell-borne wickedness oozing out of every megatextured portal? Probably not. Does it mean that John Carmack’s programming wizardry might find its way into projects elsewhere within the Zenimax empire? That’s more likely.
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Fallout 3′s Broken Steel Spread

Aside from the news that Obsidian and Bethesda have teamed up to create a new Fallout adventure, New Vegas, screenshots that drop off a few hints as to what fans can expect from the latest DLC for Fallout 3, Broken Steel, have also made it into the wild.

Along with the pics, more info concerning what players will have to look forward to have also been leaked:

  • Level cap moved from 20 to 30 with new perks added in
  • New weapons, including something called a “tri-laser” and the ominous Tesla Cannon
  • Battle across the DC Wasteland against the forces of the Enclave
  • New monsters including the Ghoul Reapers and a new Super Mutant

It sounds like there will be plenty to keep players busy over the four to five hours of estimated playthrough for the DLC and with new toys, quests, and perks, it could be a lot of fun.

The Pitt might have given me pause, but Broken Steel sounds like it could sweep the problems I had with it far behind me.

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More pics after the jump!
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