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Hands-on: Gears of War 3 multiplayer photo
Hands-on: Gears of War 3 multiplayer
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Gears of War 3? Kind of a big deal. It is the most anticipated game of 2011, after all. Yesterday we learned that the Epic shooter will be out worldwide on September 20, and we now know that the beta will be released sometime in April.

Both executive producer Rod Fergusson and design director Cliff Bleszinski were on hand at an event in San Francisco yesterday, showing off Gears of War 3, and they feel that this is the best, most polished Gears game yet. They feel they've created a thrilling campaign that fans, and people who've never even given the other Gears games a shot, will really enjoy.

The two also discussed how this is the best multiplayer Epic has done yet.

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Hands-on: Turtle Beach Ear Force PX5 headset photo
Hands-on: Turtle Beach Ear Force PX5 headset
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Turtle Beach's next headset -- the Ear Force PX5 -- stands in sharp contrast to their past headsets. The most striking element is that it actually feels like a good headset now. Previous Turtle Beach headsets were clunky and felt a little too plastic-y. The new model is a lot lighter, feels great, is easy on the eyes, and is a kind of headset I wouldn't mind wearing in a public setting -- as opposed to the old models.

Visual improvements aren't the only change, of course. Turtle Beach reworked the insides of the headset and the wireless transmitter by taking what people really liked and disliked about the X41 headsets, and improved upon it all.

The big addition -- and possibly a game-changer in the headset market -- is the ability to create custom presets to give you a crazy advantage in the competitive online arena.

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Hands-on: The first mission of Deus Ex: Human Revolution photo
Hands-on: The first mission of Deus Ex: Human Revolution
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

When we left off, Deus Ex: Human Revolution main protagonist Adam Jensen got his ass royally handed to him while trying to protect Dr. Megan Reed, who had discovered the key to human augmentation. Six months later, Adam is back on the scene with his newly augmented body.

Adam is pulled back into duty by the president of Sarif Industries, David Sarif, as another situation has arisen that threatens his employer. What I previewed last time was just a small taste of what is promising to be a truly immersive experience.

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Impressions: MLB 11 The Show (3D, HR Derby with PS Move) photo
Impressions: MLB 11 The Show (3D, HR Derby with PS Move)
by Samit Sarkar

When I first checked out MLB 11 The Show a few weeks ago, I spent a portion of the hands-on demo playing the game in 3D. I also tried the Home Run Derby mode, which debuted last year and now supports PlayStation Move.

Sony San Diego patched in 3D support for MLB 10, but the studio enhanced the implementation this year, and even as a person who doesn’t particularly care for 3D one way or another, I have to admit that it looks fantastic. I don’t usually enjoy 3D in videogames when it consists of objects flying out of the screen toward your face, which is why I like the more subtle style of 3D that MLB 11 employs.

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Preview: MLB 11 The Show photo
Preview: MLB 11 The Show
by Samit Sarkar

Sony’s competitor in the baseball space, 2K Sports’ Major League Baseball 2K franchise, has included analog-stick controls for years. But the folks at Sony San Diego, the studio behind the MLB The Show series, vowed not to implement analog controls until they felt they could do it right.

They’re finally bringing analog controls into The Show with MLB 11 The Show, and the pitching setup, at least, is very different from the system in MLB 2K. That franchise’s developer, Visual Concepts, is glad to see The Show catching up with the times, but a designer on MLB 2K11 recently told me he finds the premise of MLB 11’s analog pitching to be “boring.”

I’ve had a couple of hands-on sessions with MLB 11 in recent weeks, and while I liked a lot of what I saw, I’m not yet sure that The Show’s analog controls are right for me.

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Hands-on: MotorStorm: Apocalypse photo
Hands-on: MotorStorm: Apocalypse
by Max Scoville

When I first saw MotorStorm: Pacific Rift a couple years ago, I rolled my eyes. At a glance, it looked like one of those super-fast racing-inspired games for loud children. While I wasn’t terribly wrong with that assessment, it quickly became one of my favorite racing games.

Last week, I got to play MotorStorm: Apocalypse. I’d seen the trailer a while back, and I was pretty impressed with the idea of racing monster trucks through a post-apocalyptic wasteland. But did it explode my brain off with its awesomeness?

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Preview: Top Spin 4 (Player Creator, Career, more) photo
Preview: Top Spin 4 (Player Creator, Career, more)
by Samit Sarkar

When I last sat in on a Top Spin 4 demo, I didn’t notice a whole lot that differentiated the game from its predecessor. I recently had the chance to take a deeper look at it in a longer session, and now I’m ready to eat my words.

2K Czech has completely revamped the Career mode and Player Creator with an eye on making the game more accessible without sacrificing depth. From what I’ve seen, they’ve succeeded.

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Jurassic Park is like Heavy Rain, but with dinosaurs photo
Jurassic Park is like Heavy Rain, but with dinosaurs
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Hold on to your butts! It's a Jurassic Park: The Game preview! Okay, that's the first and only Jurassic Park quote you'll have to deal with. Yes, I got to go hands-on with the first of five episodes of Jurassic Park and I was pleasantly surprised with the direction Telltale is taking the game.

Even more surprising, Jurassic Park: The Game is the first Telltale title where players can be killed -- and in pretty violent ways, too.

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Impressions: Your first look at Dead Island photo
Impressions: Your first look at Dead Island
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Hey, remember Dead Island?! No? That's okay, since the last time we saw some real info on this project was back in 2009. Developer Techland and publisher Deep Silver have been quietly working on their zombie title for the past few years now and Destructoid was among the select few who got an early look at the updated game.

Imagine Borderlands set on the Just Cause 2 island with the Left 4 Dead style of zombies, featuring a quest system similar to Fallout 3 and the weapons system of Dead Rising 2. Blend all of that together, and you get Dead Island; or, as Deep Silver likes to refer to it, a "first-person zombie slasher action RPG."

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Preview: MLB 2K11 (Franchise, My Player, more) photo
Preview: MLB 2K11 (Franchise, My Player, more)
by Samit Sarkar

In my first preview of 2K Sports’ Major League Baseball 2K11, I wrote that developer Visual Concepts is working on fixing “underlying issues” to refine what was a solid foundation in MLB 2K10. I saw the game again last week, and Sean Bailey, a designer at Visual Concepts, spent much of the demo going through the numerous tweaks and improvements that the studio has made to the game.

He had to race to cover it all, since there’s a lot to discuss. The impression I came away with was that the changes to the MLB 2K framework have had palpable effects in nearly every aspect of the game.

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10:20 AM on 02.15.2011

MLB 2K11 devs flattered but not impressed by MLB 11 adopting analog controls

For a few years now, 2K Sports' MLB 2K games have featured analog-stick controls for pitching, hitting, and fielding. But Sony's MLB The Show franchise has stuck with simple button presses until this year; MLB 11 The Show wil...

Samit Sarkar

4:40 PM on 02.11.2011

SOCOM 4 multiplayer aims to keep old & new fans satisfied

Zipper Interactive is modernizing the tactical shooter with SOCOM 4. Designer Ben Jones summed up the accessibility-oriented changes -- which include regenerating health and a cover system -- as "the evolution of the SOCOM fr...

Samit Sarkar

5:20 PM on 02.10.2011

Zipper talks SOCOM 4: Lessons learned from MAG

Between the development of the 2006 PSP title SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 2 and the upcoming SOCOM 4, Zipper Interactive released one game: MAG, which launched just over one year ago to critical acclaim. That ambitious shooter set ...

Samit Sarkar

2:20 PM on 02.10.2011

Zipper calls SOCOM 4 'the real first SOCOM on the PS3'

Last week, I had some hands-on time with Zipper Interactive's SOCOM 4, the studio's first SOCOM game in four and a half years (the last entry in the franchise that the developer worked on was the 2006 PSP game SOCOM: Fireteam...

Samit Sarkar



Preview: SOCOM 4 in 3D with the Move Sharp Shooter photo
Preview: SOCOM 4 in 3D with the Move Sharp Shooter
by Samit Sarkar

The tactical shooter is a sub-genre that has existed for many years as a more “hardcore” alternative to mainstream first- and third-person shooters. Often marked by squad-based, stealthy combat, and a more deliberate pace than the Halos and Call of Dutys of the world, the tactical shooter offers an ostensibly closer approximation of the nature of real-life military operations.

Zipper Interactive is the home of the SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs franchise, one of the longest-running tactical shooter series on the market. The developer is returning to SOCOM after a four-and-a-half-year hiatus -- during which it put out the 256-player first-person shooter MAG -- with the upcoming SOCOM 4. It’s the first SOCOM game on the PlayStation 3 since 2008’s SOCOM: Confrontation, developed by Slant Six Games. With SOCOM 4, Zipper is looking to restore the good name of its marquee franchise.

I spent about thirty minutes with SOCOM 4 last week in New York City; the game was running in 3D, and I played with the PlayStation Move Sharp Shooter, a $40 submachine-gun-shaped plastic housing for a Move wand and Navigation Controller. Zipper’s Ben Jones, a designer on the game, explained that the studio is looking to modernize the tactical shooter in order to bring it to a wider audience. That doesn’t mean this is a dumbed-down SOCOM game, though.

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6:01 PM on 02.09.2011

Madden Bowl XVII: A hot ticket in frozen Dallas

Before last Thursday, the last time I saw Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald in person was at the unveiling of the Madden NFL 10 cover, which took place in April 2009 in New York City’s Times Square. &ldqu...

Samit Sarkar