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Gears of War HD is fine, but why wasn't active reload its legacy?

Aug 03 // Steven Hansen
[embed]297093:59771:0[/embed] Fergusson calls Ultimate Edition "the first at its best." The team didn't want to update the gameplay to reflect every change brought about by the second and third sequel. It's a "balance between modernization and breaking Gears 1." You still can't move while downed, for instance, but you can spot enemies. Still, the ten-year-old game could use some cleaning up. Fergusson has talked about the slapdash putting together of the original. He noted that, "When you look at Gilligan's Island today, it's a terrible show that should never be watched." That it isn't really funny, "but Mary Ann was hot." This comparison doesn't make a ton of sense because Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is a tech overhaul. It's a shot for shot, line for line remake, like that Psycho with Vince Vaughn. An HD, visually remastered Gilligan's Island would still be Gilligan's Island. I played some Gears Ultimate last week in San Francisco. For shock value, they had Xbox 360s set up to play one round of multiplayer in the original. It is gritty and monotone. Characters feel appropriately like tanks and I struggle to discern between human and alien bug ground monster. This problem didn't go away completely when we switched over to Xbox One, but we can chalk that up to me being not particularly great. I think my team only lost one round, though the win piles were not me carrying folks. Here's a more important question: why is the gruff marine third-person cover shooter the thing that feels most copied from Gears and not active reload? Active reload is still so fucking good. It engages the player when they'd otherwise be waiting for an animation to finish, it has practical advantages, more button presses (in repeatable timing instances) makes for more rhythmic and fluid play. Why didn't everyone do this? The rest of it is still fun, too. The insult of walking patiently up behind a sniper and casually chainsawing them dead. The hulking movement and exploding heads. That one level with a killer train in between halves. And there are new additions like TDM, differing "competitive" and "social" matchmaking, 4K displays if you buy it on PC, additional content if you never played the original PC release. Playing Gears Ultimate will net you the previous Gears games when Xbox One sorts out its backwards compatibility, too, and you of course get early access to Gears 4 down the line.
Hands-on preview photo
Hands-on with the rebuilt Gears of War
Gears of War was not alone in ushering in an era of grimdark, of repetitive third-person cover-based shooting, but it ground our faces deepest into the dirt and grit. At one point an officer yells at prison-broke Marcus Fenix...

Three hundred dollars photo
Three hundred dollars

$300 Bloodborne Hunter statue stands in a pool of blood (borne)


Three hundred dollars
Jul 31
// Steven Hansen
What with Dark Souls 3 coming out early 2016 and us entering the end of the year, I've forgotten that Bloodborne just came out a few months ago. Its expansion, information on which is promised for this year, could help bolste...
Pretty good photo
Pretty good

Wreck up not-LA with the Grand Theft Auto V Iron Man mod


Pretty good
Jul 31
// Steven Hansen
Chest burst, hand missiles, floating/flight, rocket punches, bullets dinking off the suit -- this isn't just a cool costume mod. Seems suitably over-powered, but also like a better Iron Man game than most of the licensed tie-ins I've ever seen. Also him getting hit by the car made me laugh out loud. [Viia Eurogamer]
Spider versed photo
Spider versed

You're a spider in Spider and real-life weather changes the game


PlayStation 4, Vita, PC, and more
Jul 31
// Steven Hansen
I was going to get into my usual spiel about earning a subtitle, but Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon is actually a sequel to 2009's Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor. So 2009's Spider gets a posthumous talking to for colon...

Risen 3 photo
Risen 3

Risen 3 rises on PS4 in the least-asked-for port yet


Risen 3: Titan Lords Enhanced Edition
Jul 31
// Steven Hansen
Risen 3: Titan Lords was panned by critics on release after the just above average, piratical Risen 2: Dark Waters, but what else does Deep Silver have to release this year with Dead Island 2 losing its developer? It's this ...
Shield recall photo
Shield recall

Nvidia Shield recalled over fire hazard


That thing'll kill ya!
Jul 31
// Steven Hansen
Have you had more money than sense over the last year (July 2014-July 2015) and bought an Nvidia Shield gaming tablet? Well, it could literally kill you. Nvidia is urging users to check which battery their Shield uses to see ...
Sneaky Windows 10 photo
Sneaky Windows 10

What's this paying for premium Solitaire malarkey, Windows 10?


The legend of soltar
Jul 29
// Steven Hansen
Clearly it has been too long since I cleared my last Solitaire table. The game done changed. Windows 8 didn't come bundled with Windows-staple Solitaire, but if you sought it out from the app store, you were presented with a ...
The Coalition photo
The Coalition

Gears of War 4 dev canceling its original game for Gears a 'no-brainer'


Job security, I guess
Jul 29
// Steven Hansen
After Microsoft acquired the Gears of War rights, Black Tusk studio was doomed. It was rebranded as The Coalition, a less discrete and more boring name, and will be to Gears of War what 343 is to Halo. Black Tusk had been wo...
Yager photo
Yager

Fired Dead Island 2 team files for insolvency


After being dropped as developer
Jul 29
// Steven Hansen
Yager (Spec Ops: The Line) was recently fired from developing Dead Island 2 by publisher Deep Silver as the companies' "respective visions of the project fell out of alignment." Last week, July 22, Yager Productions filed for...
The Following photo
The Following

The Following is the 'massive, story-based' Dying Light expansion


With dirt buggies and bows
Jul 29
// Steven Hansen
Zombie free-running game Dying Light teased vehicles as a part of its DLC plan earlier this month. Indeed, Techland has confirmed that all-terrain dirt buggies are a big part of the, "feature-heavy, story-based expansion pack...
Biohazard Umbrella C photo
Biohazard Umbrella C

Capcom trademarks Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps


Hopefully not another light gun game
Jul 29
// Steven Hansen
Hold on a sec: Wouldn't a Resident Evil game called Umbrella Corpse be the most exciting thing to happen to the series since Resident Evil 4? You can have that one for free, Capcom. (Kidding, pay me.) Capcom has trademarked "...
August PlayStation Plus photo
August PlayStation Plus

Lara Croft leads a light August in PlayStation Plus freebies


Also God of War
Jul 29
// Steven Hansen
Look, PlayStation Plus' July free downloads gave us -- well, you, I don't have PS+ -- Rocket League. You aren't going to touch Rocket League. August is a bit slight, though. Maybe it will finally convince people on a wide sca...
Zelda U photo
Zelda U

Legend of Zelda Wii U not listed for 2016 on Nintendo financials


Could be nothing, could be late
Jul 29
// Steven Hansen
In March of this year, Legend of Zelda Wii U producer Eiji Aonuma noted that Nintendo is "no longer making a 2015 release [its] number one priority." Given that this last E3 scooted by with only 3DS spinoffs for the series (a...
First screens photo
First screens

Four years later, Disaster Report 4 lives


First screens
Jul 29
// Steven Hansen
Following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011, Disaster Report 4 was delayed and then cancelled. A natural disaster survival series set in Japan was on obvious sore subject at the time, though it m...
Don't get cocky photo
Don't get cocky

The spinaroonie is the least earned, most deserved Rocket League goal


Great shot kid, one in a million
Jul 28
// Steven Hansen
Rocket League is really, really good and Skeleton War is the Booker T of jet car soccer.
OK photo
OK

Play the Red Ash prototype in your browser, though it is not fun


Mega Man Legends spiritual successor
Jul 28
// Steven Hansen
Keiji Inafune and Comcept are really trying to sell Red Ash: The Indelible Legend, Inafune's follow up to Mighty No. 9 and spiritual successor to Mega Man Legends. Its Kickstarter campaign ends in five days and it is hardly m...
Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

Fallout 4 has 12 companions, you can romance all the human ones


No dog sex
Jul 24
// Steven Hansen
Bethesda has revealed more Fallout 4 information at QuakeCon today. There are 12 companions in the game (including Dogmeat, the dog) and Bethesda says they can all be romanced regardless of gender. "The human ones," Bethesda'...
amiibo madness, again photo
amiibo madness, again

Palutena PSA: Exclusive amiibo up on Amazon in 15 minutes!


amiibo madness, again
Jul 24
// Steven Hansen
Hello my amiibo amici. As we reported earlier this week, Amazon's exclusive Palutena amiibo will be available three hours from now (2PM Pacific). In three hours 15 minutes, when the doll is officially listed for sale, yo...
Phantom Pain boots photo
Phantom Pain boots

How practical are these real-life Metal Gear Solid sneaking boots?


Form versus function
Jul 24
// Steven Hansen
I feel like I have vague memory of when Pumas were a trendy shoe around the era of Sidekicks, maybe? Followed soccer's 90s-era rise in US prominence (because of Puma's cleats)? Anyways, these Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom P...

How the hell did Galak-Z hide a Gundam for three years?

Jul 24 // Steven Hansen
Let's recap for a second if you haven't been following along. Galak-Z is broken into five seasons each with five episodes. The fifth season will be added in for free post launch. This is one diversion from the typical roguelike set up, in that when you die, you don't start all the way at the beginning of the game, but rather at the beginning of whichever "season" you're on. "One of [Kazdal's] pet peeves with roguelikes" is that playing very beginning segments over and over can get boring, so this blends that death-based need to replay with earned progression. More typically, levels are randomly generated, and you get different fractions of story and dialogue every time. This way you won't hear the same repeated bits death after death, but slowly glean more information until you finally get through the season. The space shooting half we already knew about is not just a twin-stick shooter, either. The ship maps thrusters (and a boost) to the triggers. There's also a backwards thruster so you can shoot and flee, a dodge thruster, and a a barrel roll (square) that juts the ship "toward" you like it's coming out of the screen (and over incoming bullets on the 2D plane). You have your standard weapon and an Itano Circus missile salvo (limited, but you can buy more if you find the shop during levels). [embed]296589:59676:0[/embed] Ok, so the not-Gundam? You can morph the ship into the robot at any time with a smooth, Transformers-like animation and change up the playstyle completely. It has a beam sword, which can be charged for a stronger, wider attack, and a shield that has parry capabilities. Perhaps most fun, though, is the extending claw arm that can grab dangerous space junk and throw it at enemies, or grab enemies themselves, bringing them in close so you can start wailing on them with punches. Keeping the mech locked up this long is impressive. The feature was locked off in the many public shows Galak-Z has been demoed at and no one slipped up about it. Kazdal tells me there were plans for a third, stealth-focused character, initially, but that it made for too many mental hoops in dealing with all the other things that could be happening at any given moment. Galak-Z is smooth, feels great to play, and the mech is a welcomed addition, adding one more layer to the game. There are warring factions you can sometimes pit against each other, environmental hazards to be aware of (and sometimes use to your advantage -- thanks alien trapdoor spider who saved my ass!), and instant shifts between ranged and close-quarters combat. It's tough, gorgeous, encourages exploration (beyond mission goals, there are blueprints for new gear and other upgrades to find), and a ton of fun.
HANDS ON: Galak-Z  photo
Spelunky by way of Macross...and Gundam
We've covered the "Spelunky by way of Macross" space shooting roguelike for a couple of years now and the follow-up from Skulls of the Shogun developer 17-bit is almost here, coming to PS4 August 4 and PC a few months down th...

FEF(os) photo
FEF(os)

Fire Emblem Fates gets Awakening characters as DLC


FEF(os)
Jul 23
// Steven Hansen
Fire Emblem Fates, which is not coming to the United States until 2016, has been out in Japan for a while and is being supported with DLC. Today marks the start of a month's worth of free maps, one of which includes character...
Pac-Min photo
Pac-Min

Wow, I CANNOT believe Namco's Pac-Man redesign


Pac-Min
Jul 23
// Steven Hansen
I've been seeing this (above) and similar images all over the 'net and I am stunned that Namco would choose to redesign an iconic character like Pac-Man so dramatically. I mean, the arms and legs in all those earlier 3D Pac-M...
Luigi's Mansion photo
Luigi's Mansion

I'm going to play the hell out of Luigi's Mansion arcade


Publicly debuting in Japan
Jul 23
// Steven Hansen
I love Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. It is filthy with ghosts and adorable little touches (physics fun, Luigi's whistling to the score). It even has some great multiplayer (and inspired the second best Nintendo Land minigame)....
3DS port photo
3DS port

Well, Dragon Quest VIII almost looks as good as it did 11 years ago


3DS port
Jul 23
// Steven Hansen
I'm always down for photo modes. Still, adding a photo quests feature that tasks you with snapping pictures for rewards, in a port of a game that looked a little bit better in 2004? (For reference, it is now 2015) Well, ok. ...
Madden tricks photo
Madden tricks

Madden 16 screenshots lie about Marshawn Lynch dick-grabbing mechanic


I'm just here so I don't get fined
Jul 23
// Steven Hansen
Madden 16 used the above photo for Marshawn Lynch in its running backs player rating reveal. He is, naturally, number one at 96 overall. He cannot, however, grab his dick in defiance, as he is wont to do in real life. Seriously, watch this.
Arkham easter egg photo
Arkham easter egg

Batman: Arkham Knight has a Halloween-themed Easter egg


'Spoilers,' I guess
Jul 23
// Steven Hansen
I came home to my pal Kenny playing Batman: Arkham Knight. Unfortunately for him (and me), he spent most of this time doing the Cloudburst, stealth-tank fight, and swearing. I'm actually second-hand mad at the game all over ...
Red PS4 photo
Red PS4

Blood red Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain PS4 up for pre-order


Exclusively through GAME in Britain
Jul 23
// Steven Hansen
That Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain special edition with the robot hand and the limited run blood red PlayStation 4 are up for pre-order through GAME, bundled any which way you want it. Unless you want it for North Amer...
In Japan photo
In Japan

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a 25GB download


Also, bloody Quiet tits
Jul 23
// Steven Hansen
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain popped up on the Japanese PlayStation Store and weighs in at 25.1GB on PS4. On PS3, it is a svelte 11.7GB. There numbers can vary by region (the addition of localization files, like those recently scrounged out of ICO) and platform (it's coming to PC, Xbox One, and Xbox 360), but here's a decent ballpark. Also, new poster below.
Daybreak CEO photo
Daybreak CEO

Sony Online Entertainment founder steps down


Currently Daybreak
Jul 23
// Steven Hansen
John Smedley co-founded EverQuest developer Verant Interactive, which morphed into Sony Online Entertainment following EverQuest's huge success. He even hung on after Sony sold SOE earlier this year, turning it into Daybreak ...
Dick slip photo
Dick slip

Miiverse moderation can't catch ALL the dicks


NSFW dick slip
Jul 23
// Steven Hansen
Sometimes they just slip through the cracks.

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