It seldom seems to matter these days whether or not the games industry's technology is building worlds too complex for its games.
Designs are drowned by details, ideas are pushed aside by economics, and the price of construction routinely undermines creativity. Except in the case of Tycoon games, however, where the building of worlds is the design.
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3, for example, has continued to demonstrate how both attention to intricate detail and a runaway sense of scale can combine
So Lara fell off the wagon and we all laughed. Of course, we could see it coming a mile off.
Once famous for getting on to the front cover of The Face, Lara had become a tired, burnt-out hag. A couple of years ago, desperate Eidos PRs couldn't even get her into games mags, never mind lifestyle publications. For Lara to regain her star status something radical had to be done.
Three words: Angel of Darkness. This execrable game was the best thing that could have happened to Tomb Raider. Before
Freedom can be a dirty word in modern games, not least because of its devilish alter ego: monotony.
It's a cruel irony that while streaming technology progresses to the point where virtual worlds can wholly justify that description, the demands of supporting elements such as textures and models increase to complicate their creation.
But a distracting world isn't necessarily the chief requisite of a game that touts freedom to roam as its prime commodity; the mode by which you roam can provide
Sequelitis is endemic in Japanese RPGs, but the Tales of... series stands alone in its naming conventions - no numerals for this baby. Keeping a handle on Phantasia, Destiny, Eternia, Symphonia, Rebirth and Legendia only gets harder as Namco releases the latest PS2 game, Tales of the Abyss.
Abyss' story quickly reveals its epic scope: a noble son, Luke, finds he is the holder of a rare power - the seventh Fonim (a sort of element) - just as war breaks out with a kingdom which had kidnapped him
Due for release in the next few months, Atari's Tycoon City New York casts you as an ambitious business type looking to fill your pockets with cash and the streets of Manhattan with assets. But to anyone who's not familiar, it can look a wee bit complex.
To clear the fog of confusion, we sat down for a detailed interrogation with Jon Law, lead designer and top info-giver, and got him to explain just how Tycoon City New York works.
For anyone who's never played a Tycoon game, what's the
On a crowded shelf of shooters, TimeShift boasts one unique weapon: the ability to manipulate time. You play Michael Swift, a test pilot who willingly dons a Quantum Suit for the government to become the world's first time-traveler. While the experiment works, letting you journey from 2007 to 1911 and back, you return to an alternate present-day ruled by a fascist dictator, Krone. Worse still, your knowledge of timeshifting immediately makes you a wanted man. You'll need to take full advantage
It slipped, honest. Yeah, our patient only had a bit of broken glass in his arm, and we didn't really need to use the scalpel at all. But his chest was right there and we were sure we'd be able to sew him up again and... Well, it all gets a bit hazy from there, but the nurses went mental. Get past the urge to slash patients up, though, and Trauma Center is one of the most original, inventive and addictive uses for the DS stylus we've seen so far. This is thanks to the ingenious way it's used to
If you're sick to the core of watching grizzled old men in body-hugging wetsuits limp-wrist their way around oil rigs and military bases, you'll be glad to know that Fatal Shadows performs the hitherto unimaginable task of making stealth actually sexy.Firstly, there's a noticeable drop in the number of men involved this time around. Former Tenchu protagonist Rikimaru has been axed in favour of series mainstay Ayame and newcomer, Rin. They're both women, they're both incredibly 'well-rounded'
With the advent of a full-scale handheld war brewing nicely on the horizon, the already lucrative portable sector should tempt in more gaming/multi-media-on-the-go customers than ever before. And while some third-party publishers are content to treat the handheld market as somewhere to dump lazy ports, the industry's publishing super-heavyweight, Electronic Arts, has taken a much more committed approach. By assembling several development teams, collectively called Team Fusion, and giving them
Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery or the lowest form of light-fingered skulduggery? Well, we're not entirely sure but, after Konami's announcement, last week, of , which reeks of a GTA rip-off, and today's release of Activision's GTA-in-a-war-zone, , we thought it was a particularly relevant point to ponder.Of course, publishers can hardly be blamed for wanting to muscle in on Rockstar's highly lucrative turf. But, in the long run, is tailgating the GTA juggernaut ultimately a