“We find ourselves in a bewildering world. We want to make sense of what we see around us and to ask: What is the nature of the universe? What is our place in it and where did it and we come from? Why is it the way it is? When will we get to the cowboy level?”
– Professor Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time
Time travel and videogames are a perfect fit.
Yesterday morning we got another chance to see Modern Warfare 2 as part of Infinity Ward’s epic European tour. It was a more laid back affair than last month's multiplayer event in Los Angeles and felt less like we were being treated to something completely 'new' but we did get a chance to catch up with Robert Bowling (Infinity Ward's adopted spokesman and Creative Strategist) see some more single-player and have a go on Special Ops.
We absolutely know that you've been waiting with eager anticipation for a feature to come along that catalogues examples of new games that share an identical name with an old game. It doesn't happen very often, so it's genuinely exciting when it does. Anyway, we've written that feature, and this is it. Direct all messages of thanks and amazement to the comments thread. K? Cheers.
Afrika | PS3 | 2009
The new Afrika: Is
They actually got paid for that crap, you know
Earlier this week, publisher Capcom announced that Super Street Fighter IV, an expanded, stand-alone follow-up to this year’s fighting megahit, will arrive in stores sometime in 2010. Aside from tweaking the gameplay (like every Street Fighter expansion before it), the new game will introduce around eight “new” characters, some of which - like Korean fighter Juri – will be genuinely new.
One reason we like games is that the stakes are high. The good guys are really good, the bad guys are really bad, and the princesses are really doe-eyed. But sometimes, games manage to work in villains that operate in shades of gray… and other times, they accidentally make a villain out of the most sympathetic guy in the story.
In the context of a game, Achievements and Trophies are harmless. They're just carrot-dangling tactics that we're happy to indulge for our greedy pursuit of intangible virtual rewards. We wouldn't think twice about nail-bombing a kitten orphanage if it meant five more gamer points.
But, let's say, purely for the purposes of this here article, that we take Achievements and Trophies out of their virtual world settings and reconsider them
See, we always knew that bald guy known only as Kane was a decent fellow. He was just misunderstood, only wanting a better world for the entire human race. Granted, he may be responsible for the deaths of thousands and his insane quest for personal deification and radioactive tiberium crystals is the reason the world has turned into a bleak, green, irradiated wasteland. But forgive and forget?
We’ve all had our fun spotting recurring elements in games. So many kidnapped princesses! So many spiky-haired antiheroes! But why the constant repetitions? Are developers that lazy? Or could games, in their transition from high-score one-upmanship to narrative medium, have tapped into the basics of mythic tropes?
So what would happen if amoral Balkan sociopath Niko Bellic was in everyone's favourite cute and cuddly cartoon racer? Would Mario and chums accept him into the line-up with grace and humility? Would Niko keep the lid on all his murderous rage when Yoshi was firing red shells up his tailpipe? Of course, not. This is what would happen if the worlds of Liberty City and the Mushroom Kingdom clashed...
And that got us thinking. What