There were howls from purists when EA won the filmic Lord of the Rings game licence, and echoes of those howls when it united those with the literary game rights previously held by Vivendi. And for a moment, looking at the new ideas in Battle for Middle-Earth II, you can see why.
Gollum, it transpires, has been introduced as a hidden, neutral unit. Find him and kill him, and you can take the ring. With the ring you can summon a special attack in the form of Sauron or Galadriel. At first sight,
Jack of all trades and (Jedi) master of none? Thats the danger facing Empire at War. Trying to tie together different modes of play is a dangerous task, and one weve seen result in both glorious success (Deus Ex) and heroic failure (Boiling Point).
Happily, Empire at Wars aims arent ludicrously ambitious. Real-time strategy is the order of the day, and the rather exciting idea is to blend tactical ground battles with space-based warfare, then overlay with a topping of planetary strategy.
The 30-second pitch for Stubbs the Zombie is supposed to be: 'It's the zombie game where you're the zombie!' That leaves two problems, however.
The first is what to do with the remaining 26 seconds, and the next is that, for many gamers, the real 30-second pitch is: 'It's that game which Alex Seropian, who founded Bungie and then left, is making with the Halo engine!'
Even that leaves you with a few spare seconds, which is still for the best, because there's more to Stubbs than meets the
Stunts, the 1990 customisable racer by Distinctive Software (later to become EA Canada), has already had one spiritual successor. By striking a similar balance of arcade simplicity and cutting-edge looks, TrackMania captured that genre's online community of racers and designers.
Crashday, by German studios Moon Byte and Replay, is gunning for a slice of that audience, and now that its PS2 and Xbox versions have seemingly crashed out of development, it's especially important that it gets
Alan Wake is a successful American writer, and if hed read any Stephen King novels hed know he was already off to a bad start…
All is well, until his wife disappears. Devastated and suffering from writers block, Alan decides to move to a picturesque but spooky small town on his own. Once in Bright Falls, he meets his wifes apparent doppelganger and starts to have nightmares. At least it gets him writing again. But somehow Alans nightmares start to become true during his increasingly
There are thousands of people reading this who have never played Flashpoint. There are probably thousands who have never even heard of Flashpoint. Armed Assault is their chance to correct that, without having to make allowances for the passage of time.
Lets deal with the obvious stuff first, though: Flashpoint is a brilliant game to remake. Its nothing less than the best soldier sim, ever.
And the advantage it has over all the others? It encourages massive, continual improvisation. It forces
We're used to gradual evolutions in gaming, be they in technical, graphical, even artistic fields. And you might have expected the same as gaming explores other new horizons, such as politics, current affairs, satire.
But with Bad Day LA, American McGee has taken a tradition that had long since become dormant (in mainstream games at least), and has pushed it from a standing start to a racing finish.
Taking on fistfuls of current taboos - terrorist attacks, immigration, obesity, tsunamis - it
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
Black & White wasn't quite the well-defined experience suggested by its title. The wealth of ideas competing for attention throughout the grand endeavour made for a fractious, often confusing game. With the sequel, Lionhead hopes to cure such ills.
The player's role as deity remains focused on ensuring that their chosen tribe, be that Greek, Roman, Viking or otherwise, achieves dominance of the game's 10 lands.
Inevitably, there remain two contrasting means by which to win: the way of peace
SWAT 4's plotless carnage-romp through the underbelly of Boston is swept aside in this fine expansion pack of eight missions, tracking down the Eastern European crime family known only as The Stetchkov Syndicate.
There's still a four-man team to lead into battle in a tactical FPS, but this time the management system has been enhanced with stackable orders.
Put simply, you can order your men to do something straight away, or hold on until you give the go signal. It's a simple tweak that opens