The good guys have had their day - now it's evil's turn. But as the dark shadow to the popular massively multiplayer online superhero RPG City of Heroes, NC Soft's City of Villains feels very familiar but only slightly sinister.
Like its less evil twin, City of Villains drops players into Paragon City, a metropolis ravaged by crime. Street gangs, giant snakes, and mutated corpses roam the streets, looking for their next victims. The good guys are here too - spandex-clad Longbow operatives
Snow: sportiest of all precipitation. In snow the rich and the brave don skin-tight ski suits and race at life-retarding speeds down the side of a frozen mountain.
It's Torino's mission to convey some of that excitement to our plump desktop-bound bodies, without endangering limbs or wallets.
The problem is, Torino lacks the consistent vigour required of a decent sports game. Winter sports are nothing if not vigorous, and Torino fails to convey the knee-exploding viscera of a number of
If someone were to make a Games Developers' Hall of Fame, I would have one and only one nomination: Tim Schafer.
This man is responsible for so many great games. His ridiculously high calibre of writing, and passion for creating lucid and flawless adventures, has brought us wonders like Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango, and a contribution to the Monkey Island series. A proud statue indeed.
While many attempt to reinvent the adventure game for the short attention spans of the modern era,
By all rights, Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure should be terrible. The latest in a long line of mostly dismal "urban" games, it's packed full of brand logos, but still aims for a guerilla image. It's been delayed for years. And if that weren't enough, it's the brainchild of a fashion designer.
So it's a shocker that Getting Up not only does its "street" atmosphere up right, but actually puts together a competent beat-'em-up/graffiti experience. Playing like an inner-city Prince
A moment ago, we dropped a drunk for not cooperating. He folded his arms and refused to be handcuffed. It took a Tazer to the forehead to get him to oblige. Boy, the Stetchkovs picked the wrong SWAT team to mess with. Seriously, if we have no remorse zapping helpless junkies in the face, then the real bad guys have no chance whatsoever.
SWAT 4's plot-free carnage-romp through the underbelly of Boston is swept aside in this fine expansion pack of eight missions; but you'll need the original
Sifting through games reviews must be a depressing activity if you work for NYC & Company, New York's official tourism marketing organisation. Max Payne, 50 Cent: Bulletproof, True Crime: New York City, The Warriors... recent years have seen a sewer-pipe tsunami of games celebrating the Big Apple's seedier (pippier?) side.
Why aren't develepers more interested in the NYC that is America's safest large city, its financial capital and one of its most popular tourist destinations? We think the
While playing Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, youll likely keep asking yourself the same question: Just who the hell would build all this stuff, and why?
But never mind that all the games structures are wildly impractical or that half the buildings in Babylon are filled with giant saw blades and retracting ledges. What matters is that it's fun. And after the dark, brooding Warrior Within, "fun" is something this series sorely needed.
Picking up where the last game left off, Two Thrones
How can a game based on endless miles of sand not turn out brown and dull? Somehow, the first EverQuest II expansion, Desert of Flames, mixes Ali Baba with ancient Egypt and shows how it's done. From desert oases (yeah, the plural of oasis ... look it up) to colorful djinn palaces to majestic pillars of stone abandoned in the wastelands, DoF demonstrates what a little imagination can do for a potentially bleak role-playing environment.
The desert is still predictably barren and inhospitable,
The Battlefield 2: Special Forces expansion takes EAs online multiplayer combat series into a new dimension: the vertical one. Grappling hooks allow soldiers to take rooftops and assault from above, or merely scout from the high ground. When you need to get down, you'll fly into the action on your zip line. In addition to upgraded weapons for nearly every class, the new flashbang grenades and teargas canisters come in handy when assaulting enemy strongholds or flushing out pesky squads.
Battlefield 2 is simple: a frantic race to capture check points without losing the ones you already have. You and your team have a full arsenal of military might to help you; tanks, fighter jets and helicopters (with really big guns). The rub? So will the other side.
The teamwork that BF2 inspires is its own greatest reward and it achieves this with more than a virtual pat on the back. You'll get electronic carrots; points for doing what a good team should, like capturing flags and healing