Let’s finish it – the Gears of War 3 campaign trailer

The campaign trailer for Epic’s upcoming blitzkrieg, Gears of War 3, is out showing off a bit more of what players can expect from the single-player storyline aiming to finish the trilogy.

The last time we left Cole and Fenix, they had managed to drown the Locust with the sea and stop the early extinction of mankind. Now it looks like Fenix’s father is still alive and you can bet that he’ll be doing everything he can to rescue him.

That means it’s going to be an action packed thrill ride to who knows where, one filled with colossal creatures, ruins, and more glowy Lambent. Will you be ready when it emerges on shelves on September 20th? I know I’ll be.

Review: Bulletstorm (X360)

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Bulletstorm has a story, but you won’t be paying much attention to it or its testosterone-washed dialogue as you kick, slide, and shoot the naughty bits of your enemies – all in a drive to score points that can be used to upgrade your arsenal of destruction. It’s a wonderland of smashing, bashing, and lashing that doesn’t quite make it so much an FPS as a carnival sideshow gallery of kicking bags for adults.
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Gears of War 3 teases with more info

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Translated bits of an expose on GOW3 by a Russian mag had cropped up on Epic’s forums before disappearing, but not before quite a few sites had gotten their mitts on the info.

You can catch the highlights on pretty much any site out there from Kotaku to VG24/7 so if you want spoilers galore, head on over to the article. GOW guru, Cliff Bleszinski, has Tweeted that a lot of it is “false info” so take what you read with a big grain of emulsified salt.

One of the things mentioned, and which might be just as false, is the idea that GOW3 might have its difficulty lowered because a whopping “60%” never bothered to finish the single player. But, believing for a moment that this might be a piece of info that is true, isn’t that what difficulty levels are for?

Even then, I think that it was simply people opting to jump online to play multi or co-op. How many friends do you know have picked up Modern Warfare 2 for the multiplayer and not so much for the single? If the four-player co-op that Epic has planned for GOW3 can work out, I’d suspect that more people might want to forgo going at it alone to play with friends instead.

GOW3 is slated to come out next year in April and there’s a good thread over on the official forums that’s tracking whatever info the fans can glean about the game including a link to an interview that Bleszinski had given Techland that lays out quite a bit on where they’re headed.

And yes, it will have female Gears this time around. Not the kind that wade out into battle expecting a halter top to stop bullets. Looking at Anya in the pic above, more like the Ripley from Aliens. Or Vasquez.

Trailer for Gears of War 3

Cliff Bleszinski of Epic Games dropped the trailer for Gears of War 3 during his appearance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

I’m having trouble embedding this one, so this link is going to have to do for now.

Note the tentacled Locust creature as well as the presence of a female Gear soldier, something that’s been missing from the first two installments. Before this, the only females I can remember were Anya, the communications / intel officer and the Locust Queen. I guess you can sort of throw Dom’s wife in there, but … I’m not sure she counts. The game, according to the trailer, should be coming out around this time next year.

EA, Epic Games announce ‘Bulletstorm’

When a game is called Bulletstorm, I immediately think of haphazard and colorful death ballets like the Devil May Cry series or Bayonetta.

But in reading EA’s announcement of the title today, that doesn’t appear to be what we’re getting. Instead, it looks like we should expect an Unreal-engine fueled first-person shooter that plans to introduce the “skillshot” system. If you can’t tell by the name, it’s a gameplay element that focuses on creating chaos with one shot. I’m not sure if that means causing structures to crumble or being the catalyst for gigantic explosions.

For the story, here’s what EA had to say:

Bulletstorm tells the story of a futuristic confederation protected by an elite band of mercenaries: Dead Echo. When Dead Echo members Grayson Hunt and Ishi Sato learn they’ve been working for the wrong side, they’re betrayed by their commander and exiled to the far reaches of the galaxy. In Bulletstorm, Grayson and Ishi find themselves surrounded by hordes of mutants and flesh eating gangs in an abandoned paradise. They have two objectives: get off the planet alive, and exact revenge on the man who sent them there.

We’ll see in 2011. The game is slated to come out for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

Review: Shadow Complex (Xbox Live Arcade)

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If you took Nathan Drake from Uncharted and threw him into a more earthbound version of Metroid, you essentially get Chair’s Shadow Complex, a joyful reminder that fun action doesn’t always have to come in three dimensions. It’s a game that makes you wonder why you spent $60 on another game that’s either collecting dust or sitting under a choice beverage.

As an unsuspecting but extremely well-trained hiker who stumbles onto a terror group housing mechs and other world-bending weaponry, you’ll find yourself crawling, swimming and running through a large base, slowly piecing together the story while trying to stay alive. If you remember Metroid from the NES days, you’ll be right at home with the game’s constant demand for exploration. You’ll use a map that helps paint a path to your next objective, but you’re also free to search every 2D nook and cranny of the base — elevator shafts, ventilation shafts, large and small rooms filled with an assortment of bad guys, and of course, machines that fire missiles at you.

Perhaps my favorite part of the game is how you fight back. Jason (that’s the name of the aw-shucks, who-me protagonist of the game) scrambles around the base finding any weapon he can. First, it’s a pistol and his considerable melee skills (with the B button serving as all-purpose pain-bringer). Eventually, he stumbles onto pieces of the ultimate battle armor with features that include: boots that make you run like the Flash and enable you to charge through breakable objects, a Batman-like grappling claw, and thrusters.

You also have weapons that serve certain purposes, like breaking open the right doors. There are no keys in this game, only the right kind of firepower, which could be applicable to real life in some countries. The game tells you what the right kind of weapon for the job is via a color-coded system that hinges on the use of Jason’s flashlight. You can turn the light on, shine it around, and eventually find a passage, panel or door that turns purple, red, yellow or green.

Enter the weapons, another part of the game I enjoyed. You’ve got your typical firearms, but you’ve also got grenades, missiles and foam charges. Yes, foam — as in you fire a projectile, it hits, and expansive foam emerges. It’s extremely useful and creative. Most of the time, you use it to gum up machinery so it breaks. However, you can also use this foam of the gods as an adhesive for the otherwise bouncy grenades you launch. Very handy against irritable, railgun-bearing machines of death.

There’s also an whimsical, puzzle-like quality to the game as you figure out how each tool and weapon works, how one passage leads to another part of the base, how access is gained with the right combination of weaponry and skill. The visuals aren’t bad either, giving the impression of a much larger world but managing to keep you focused going left to right. The only time the 2D plane is really broken is when Jason fires at enemies in the background.

I didn’t find too much to pick at in this game, other than Jason almost seems a little too good at what he does. He’s got Jack Bauer-like accuracy with any gun he has, and he also wins all of his melee battles. In other words, the game seems a bit on the easy side for the most part, the battles with choppers and mechs notwithstanding. While there’s a map and plenty of enemies to play with, some might find the game’s penchant for backtracking annoying. The game also sometimes magically replaces doors, panels, fallen objects or enemies in some rooms just for the hell of it — I call it the magic maintenance crew, who was extremely popular in 2D gaming days of yore.

Overall, Shadow Complex is the most enjoyable Xbox Live Arcade experience I’ve had to date. It’s simple, smart and slightly addicting – all the qualities an arcade game should have. Plus, it’s the most fun you’ll have with foam that won’t get you in trouble with the law.