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IncGamers’ Pick Of E3

So it’s over. Another year and another crazy show from LA. I’ll be honest, it’s been a little underwhelming, there’s not been too much to get excited about, but there have been a few gems despite the lack of anything major.Let’s start with THQ and Homefront. We saw this last year and the concept was great. This year, for the first time since it was announced, we’ve finally had the chance to see it proper, and it’s not disappointing. With the huge amount of effort and secrecy that’s been shrouding the game, it was good to see that the game hadn’t lost its visual beauty or the intense feeling it had when it was first shown last year. Interestingly, the whole North Korea invading the USA still works, and is a refreshing change to the US Police Force of the world, and you get a sense there’s a real sense of urgency to defend your own land. Despite that, there’s no real change to the way the FPS format works, but I think that’s a good thing. Players will be able to jump in and get on with the game. This is certainly something to watch over the coming months.EA’s counter to that, Crysis 2 and Medal of Honor are, as you’d expect, impressive, but it was really all about Bulletstorm and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit for me. Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit is no simulation game, it’s an arcade driving game which is rooted in the original NFS titles, where glamour, exotic cars and locations are the focus. With over 100 licensed cars, including the new Porsche hybrid (918 Spyder) and the Aston Martin One-77, it really does take a side step from the reality of Shift. But what’s great is that the cops pursuing you are also in some pretty shit-hot cars, and the sense of speed you get is great. And with Criterion at the helm, you know it’s going to be even better on launch with some pretty exceptional post-release support.But Bulletstorm is the game that really caught my attention, and it’s not because of the lovely, blond producer, Tanya Jessen or our interview with here (coming soon). Bulletstorm is a mix of Gears and MadWorld, and a little bit of any game with a grappling hook. Made by Epic and utilising the Unreal 3 Engine, you might be inclined to think this was just another iteration of Gears, but you’d be totally wrong. In a nutshell, the game follows the story of a couple of exiled space pirates, and was described as a “pulp sci-fi” adventure, with emphasis on combo kills using the environment. It encourages you to take advantage of your surroundings to dispose of your enemies; so use more of the environment to maximise on your “XP”. So, grappe an enemy to spike, shoot an explosive barrel, watch the enemy launch onto the spike and shoot him on the way down. Awesome. Now consider multiplayer… Exactly. We’ve not been told much about multiplayer other than it’s going to “redefine” the way multiplayer works. We’ll have to see, but in all honesty it doesn’t need to. I have a feeling it’s going to be awesome.Bethesda also has it’s shooters, but Fallout New Vegas wasn’t the star of the show for me. There were two stars, Brink and Rage. Brink we’ve seen a lot of, but not had the chance to play. Well, that’s all changed, and despite the story still being a little ambiguous in the game (it makes perfect sense, but doesn’t seem to translate into the game…yet), the gameplay is absolutely fluid and the game does look awesome. We’ll have more from Brink in the coming weeks, but let’s be clear, Splash Damage’s first attempt at a new IP is brilliant.Rage I was apprehensive about seeing. To me it was just another Borderlands come Fallout game, with some pretty artwork and interesting gameplay. But I was wrong. What’s great about id’s re-entry into the development world is that it knows what the FPS gamer wants. It was, after all, the developer that created the FPS genre, and you can tell id has looked hard at what makes the genre work. That’s not to say that it’s revolutionised the genre, but what it has done is tweak and refine the experience, and most importantly, kept this an FPS and not a hybrid game. For example, you collect shit in the world, you keep it all. You don’t have a limited inventory. If you kill things, you don’t get XP, you just kill them, so you’re not looking at progression trees. There are drops from enemies and loot, but it’s by no means a grind, and there aren’t huge dialogue trees. In fact, there’s no dialogue, so all you have is gun porn, all the way through. We like Rage.And another game of a similar ilk which we adore is Black’s Bodycount, published by Codemasters. Not only is the game fast paced, but it also offers a different take on shooting, and has some great mechanics such as the cover and lean system, the bullet spray (the more shots you take, the wider the the spray of bullets) and accuracy of weapons. This game is fun, colourful and extremely fast paced, and being able to shoot anything in your way is great. I’ll have more on this later in the week, but suffice to say this is definitely a game to keep your eyes on.{PAGE TITLE=IncGamers’ Pick Of E3 – Page 2}Ubisoft has it’s own shooters to offer, but we’re not going to talk too much about Ghost Recon, we’re expecting to get some more time with it. You can see our interview soon though, so if you’re waiting for your fill then it’s coming. The same applies to Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, which also looks awesome – as you’d expect. But it’s Driver that we’re most interested in. The game has had some rough iterations over the years, but with a refocus and a revamp, Driver San Francisco, much like NFS Hot Pursuit, is going back to it’s roots, with emphasis on driving and the “Hollywood car chase” feel the game lacked for so long. You can expect to see some pretty impressive stunts and some great cinematic moments, and NO WALKING! Thank goodness…I want to come to the games which really turned me on now. I’ve mentioned Bulletstorm and Homefront, games I knew nothing about that have tickled my fancy. Now I want to talk about games I did know about but have really left an impression having played them. These games are Mafia 2, Civ 5 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution.Mafia 2 is exactly what you’d expect it to be; a well polished, very well constructed and entertaining game. Not only does this game feel great to play, look great to play, but it’s also very subtly woven with historic references, which adds a depth to the narrative and authenticity.And then there’s Civ 5, again from 2K. Now this has evolved and is more beautiful than it’s ever been before. Major changes include the one-unit-per-tile, so you can’t stack and rack your attacks, which means you can expect to get more tactical with your moves, forcing you to really think about the units you produce, the way you move them and how they interact with the world. You can also expect to see more ways to achieve victories and a more robust AI which allegedly learns how you play and adapts accordingly. Anyone who’s a fan of Civ will love the changes, although those of you who are used to stacking your units on one square might find adjusting to a more tactical way of playing may be frustrating.Finally, the game which stood out for me is Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The first game, as you may recall, was awesome. The second, not so much. But now you can cast your fears aside, this game really is the game you want it to be. The Montreal studio has been hard at work and it shows. Not only is the game beautiful to look at, it’s also a game which allows you to play any way you want to. If you’re a stealth player, then you can sneak around the world silently killing enemy threats. If you’re a melee player, then this is catered for you. Amazingly this game also has RPG elements, but they’re more than just elements. There is progression for whatever you want to progress, whether it’s technology, weapons or anything else. In addition to this, the environment, the bit we saw anyway, was heaving with NPCs, all of which you can interact with. There’s not much more I can say about this at the present time. We’ve got a very comprehensive interview to come from this and all the games we’ve seen from the show floor, so make sure you stay tuned. In the meantime check out all of our E3 coverage, and don’t forget there are some APB games to give away.

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