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6:00 PM on 05.21.2012

Preview: Ghost Recon Commander shoots you in the Facebook

Woah, a Facebook game! I don't think I've played one of these for a while. In fact, the last Facebook game I played was over a year ago, coincidentally another one linked to Ubisoft -- something about castles that my girlfrie...

Ryan Perez

4:30 PM on 05.11.2012

Preview: Kinect rules with Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor

It's somewhat difficult to deny at this point that the whole motion controls movement has been a bit of a bust. Developers never quite figured out how to properly implement them into already established genres. The traditiona...

Ryan Perez

9:00 AM on 05.10.2012

Preview: Steam and spirituality in Civ V: Gods & Kings

Few games actually require no introduction, and this is certainly one of them. This long-winded, turn-based strategy series has persistently delved deep into the core of human history, and what it takes for a nation to start,...

Ryan Perez

4:00 PM on 05.04.2012

About the 'art' debate: Please shut the f**k up

The greatest comment I've ever read from a community member anywhere was, "Son of a s**t-eating Christ, not another 'games as art' argument. Excuse me while I alleviate my pain by shooting out my left ball." Nope, I'm not mak...

Ryan Perez



Preview: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed photo
Preview: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
by Ryan Perez

Few developers have a large enough catalog of praised franchises that they can make entire games featuring a variety of their own iconic characters. Nintendo is obviously the leading company that has made a habit of doing this regularly, and Sony has just recently announced trying their hands at a mascot-riddled fighting game.

Since too many people claim that Sega remains a distant memory -- still holding them to the standards of its former glory -- it's easy for us to forget that this company, born of the 80s, has established a long record of familiar names and faces. A lot of those faces, to my own nostalgic surprise, make their way onto the tracks of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.

The great difference with this game is that racers are no longer restricted to the asphalt of the road, but will also take to the skies in planes and to the seas in boats. And here I thought people would never take inspiration from old goodies like Diddy Kong Racing.

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Preview: Fun with guns in Max Payne 3 single/multiplayer photo
Preview: Fun with guns in Max Payne 3 single/multiplayer
by Ryan Perez

I'm going to slip on my flamboyant fanboy hat for a second here and say that I adore the Max Payne series. Ever since the third installment was announced about 63 f*ckin' years ago, every morning has felt like a lie to me; those subsequent years were spent in complete darkness, subject to a world where Max Payne 3 was out there, somewhere, and I didn't have a clue what it was or when to expect it.

Then, just like that, boom ... we're given a taste of what's to come. You can bet your firstborn child that I've since jumped at every occasion to see me some Max Payne 3. My first moment was at NVIDIA's Editor's Day event during GDC 2012, where the game was shown making sweet, sweet love to the newly released GeForce GTX 680. The second was a multiplayer session, where yours truly got his filthy hands all over MP3's mutual gameplay. Let me tell you, there aren't enough after-sex cigarettes in the world.

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Preview: Darksiders II is inspired by the best there is photo
Preview: Darksiders II is inspired by the best there is
by Ryan Perez

Though I never brought myself to complete the first Darksiders, I did enjoy it for the length that I played. It was nothing phenomenal in its own right, but it was still a fun experience, due to retaining enough good inspiration from other venerated titles. The sequel, Darksiders II, is not much different, in the sense that it borrows directly from other franchises that have set several standards within DSII's respective genres.

If you dig progressing through unwelcoming dungeons, slashing furiously at imaginative beasts, and collecting mounds of loot in the process, then Darksiders II might be for you. Imagine The Legend of Zelda and God of War, minus the fairies and tits.

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4:00 PM on 03.24.2012

Correction: 1C's Men of War and King's Bounty not F2P

A recent preview I wrote (published earlier this week) regarding 1C Company titles contained misinformation on two of the three games featured, Men of War: Condemned Heroes and King's Bounty: Warriors of the North. In this pi...

Ryan Perez



Review: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 photo
Review: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
by Ryan Perez

For some of us, upgrading our PCs with the best hardware and enjoying the most jaw-dropping games in all their glory is a not-so-distant memory. Even though I've consistently owned beefy rigs my whole life, I've spent less and less time utilizing their full power, due to a slowly dwindling and fluctuating PC market. For several years, my PC gaming life was akin to the Brooks Hatlen character from The Shawshank Redemption -- every day, continuing to feed the pigeons in the park, hoping for his old raven buddy to return.

Lately, the PC gods have arisen from their slumber and decided to bless us with some stellar (and demanding) PC-focused games. Now high-end graphics technology is starting to look more and more worth its market value. Over the past week, I've had the opportunity to pilot NVIDIA's upcoming beast of a doomsday machine, the GTX 680, and make obedient subjects of the powerful games that once laughed at my PC's inadequacies.

NVIDIA set out to make not only a more powerful graphics card, but a more efficient one that doesn't require a lot of extra tech (such as a whole extra card) to get the best experience possible.

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Preview: Three 1C Company games worthy of a gander photo
Preview: Three 1C Company games worthy of a gander
by Ryan Perez

[UPDATE: It has been brought to our attention that factual errors have been made with regards to this preview, and that only one of 1C's titles, Royal Quest, will be free to play, whereas the other two mentioned titles will be retail. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused readers, and for any trouble this may have caused 1C Company. For more information on the titles mentioned, please visit 1C Company's website.]

Unless you're a fan of the Red Orchestra series, I'd be willing to bet that most of you have never heard of 1C. In fact, most people haven't even had many opportunities to play games from its country of origin ... with the exception of Tetris. Yes, 1C is based out of Russia, that mystical land where most of us Americans assume bears run rampant and nobody ever smiles.

One amazing fact about Russia is that people there actually play video games -- even the ones that involve them foaming at the mouth. I had the chance to check out a few of these so-called "Russian games," one of which will be completely free to play.

So if you feel like trying something different, and, heck, aren't against the idea of potentially gaining a bit of culture in the process, then see what games are coming out of that country where you don't play videogame, videogame plays you.

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GDC: Conquering worlds for free in PlanetSide 2 photo
GDC: Conquering worlds for free in PlanetSide 2
by Ryan Perez

First-person shooters lend themselves incredibly well to vast, open environments, so it's almost criminal that we don't have more games taking that to the level the original PlanetSide did. A normal session of gameplay involved me driving my stealth four-wheeler to the nearest battle, and then sneaking up on unsuspecting snipers as they assassinated my fellow Vanu soldiers from the hills. No points, no timers, and no barriers were involved ... only hundreds of players, fighting for control over a particular base.

When PlanetSide 2 was announced, I first thought to myself, "Thank Christ Sony Online Entertainment is actually doing something." Then I fist-pumped in excitement when I heard it was a sequel to a game I enjoyed a great deal in high school, and was of a genre that I wished would have taken off, but didn't: the MMOFPS.

Then today, at a hands-off preview of PlanetSide 2, they told me the game is going to be free to play. So, after having now seen this sweet-looking game in action, and knowing that my finances (or lack thereof) are no longer a factor, I'm pretty sure this game is 100% confirmed to be a part of my future.

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Preview: Fighting an evil U.N. in End of Nations photo
Preview: Fighting an evil U.N. in End of Nations
by Ryan Perez

I've never had much of a knack for strategy or warfare. I'm not relentlessly evil enough to be a dictator, and I'm not selfless and stalwart enough to be some sort of freedom fighter. So when the big WWIII hits, I'm probably going to be one of those dudes who buries himself in some hidey hole and fights the war in his own disconnected, demented way...like Tim Robbins in the War of the Worlds remake.

Thankfully, the upcoming free-to-play MMORTS End of Nations gives players the chance to fight alongside friends for a good cause, as well as f*ck them over in the process. Its deviation from the usual RTS style might be a bit off-putting to some traditionalists, but the changes are indeed interesting enough to merit a tryout.

Besides, it's not like you have anything to lose. This game doesn't cost you a dime.

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Preview: Getting in deep with the Triads in Sleeping Dogs photo
Preview: Getting in deep with the Triads in Sleeping Dogs
by Ryan Perez

I'm so glad this game has shaped into what it is now, because when I first heard that Sleeping Dogs was originally titled True Crime: Hong Kong, I thought to myself, "Damn it, hopefully this will be a short demo." Once I saw the game in action, though, and was informed that it was always meant to be a completely original IP (with or without the True Crime handle), I shed all reservations and instantly grew optimistic.

I like it when games feature a real subject matter. I especially enjoy it when they portray that subject well -- not perfect, just with dignity. Sleeping Dogs is about the Triads, and undercover Hong Kong detective Wei Shen's mission to infiltrate the notorious Sun On Yee organization. His journey is brutal, grim and unforgiving. Basically everything you'd expect in the world of Chinese organized crime.

By the end of the demo, I was thoroughly happy that I bothered to check out Sleeping Dogs, and not just because I got a bullet-shaped USB drive out of the deal.

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Surviving the haste and chaos of Resident Evil: ORC photo
Surviving the haste and chaos of Resident Evil: ORC
by Ryan Perez

The name Resident Evil conjures up a lot of fond memories for most of us gamers. For me, it was my very first experience with the original PlayStation -- as it was for many other people. This slowly paced and macabre series spearheaded a genre that exposed the medium as something that could actually invoke a specific emotion from players: pure f*ckin' dread. So when the different, however much-praised Resident Evil 4 was release in all its action-packed glory, fans of the series split into two categories: The first loved the change, and thought it breathed new life into a franchise they were slowly growing distant with. The second enjoyed the game for the same reasons, but also felt the original identity of this beloved franchise (and genre) had been lost in the crowd of mainstream appeal.

So now we're facing the release of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, a game that makes no excuses for what it is -- quick and chaotic to the very end. I had the chance to sit down and play it amidst numerous other outlets and publications, and although my reaction to the game was exactly how I'd predicted, everyone else's was not.

It seems that more and more people are beginning to miss those good ol' days when ammo didn't come by the bucket-load and one zombie was actually considered a legitimate threat.

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Preview: Street Fighter X Tekken through a noob's eyes photo
Preview: Street Fighter X Tekken through a noob's eyes
by Ryan Perez

A friend once told me he thought fighting games had cool characters. After he wiped the blood from his head, he quickly apologized to me and said, "Perhaps I should rethink that statement." Then miraculously, out of a nearby TV jumped Roger from Tekken, Voldo from SoulCalibur, and Rufus from Street Fighter. Though I wasn't surprised in the least, my friend stood perplexed as he watched Roger jump around adorably, Voldo slither on the floor and hiss in a homoerotic fashion, and Rufus consistently break wind while yelling PG-rated obscenities because, you know, he's American and we're all fat and obnoxious these days.

Just in case anyone couldn't tell by my facetious little anecdote, I'm not the biggest fan of the genre. From an outside perspective, most of it looks silly and doesn't seem to change much. So when the opportunity to preview Street Fighter X Tekken came up, I thought, "F*ck it, I'll step outside my comfort zone." The result was a loud, bass-laden event, filled with sweaty geeks, free drinks, and lines of kiosks featuring a game I knew little to nothing about.

I had a mission with three objectives: one, find out why people liked Street Fighter X Tekken, two, figure out what I liked about it, and three, GTFO.

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Preview: Play with yourself in Blades of Time photo
Preview: Play with yourself in Blades of Time
by Ryan Perez

Geeks seem to love screwing with natural order. Whether it's by creating biological weapons that breed a form of undead human, or by using ugly '80s cars to go back in time and narrowly escape sex with a younger version of their mothers, the more eccentric minds of society adore finding ways to throw a middle finger towards whomever or whatever is pulling the strings.

Unsurprisingly, some videogames have taken the concept of messing with time and turned it into a nifty little collection of interesting gameplay mechanics. Blades of Time is no exception, as you are given the ability to rewind the action a few seconds ... but with a slight distinction from what we're used to.

In Blades of Time, setting the clock back actually lends itself to gameplay, rather than merely being an easy fix for those "oops I f*cked up and died" moments. The result makes for some pretty fun moments.

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