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2:45 PM on 05.30.2012

NBA 2K13 announced with All-Star Weekend pre-order DLC

2K Sports has announced that NBA 2K13 is due out for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Wii, and PSP on October 2, 2012, in North America, and October 5 worldwide. A Wii U version is also in development; it will be released during ...

Samit Sarkar

12:00 PM on 05.18.2012

Origin to distribute crowd-funded games free for 90 days

EA is looking to expand its support of small studios, this time through its Origin digital distribution service, by capitalizing on the indie development wave du jour: Kickstarter. The publishing giant announced today a new i...

Samit Sarkar

10:30 AM on 05.18.2012

NHL 13 announced, will deliver new AI and skating physics

[Update: You can now watch the debut trailer, which focuses on True Performance Skating.]EA Sports has officially announced NHL 13, this year's iteration of its critically acclaimed hockey series. After releasing two teaser ...

Samit Sarkar



Preview: Making FIFA 13 'predictably unpredictable' photo
Preview: Making FIFA 13 'predictably unpredictable'
by Samit Sarkar

The draw of “reality” television is its ostensibly greater degree of unpredictability over scripted shows, the coveted “you can’t make this stuff up” factor. Many simulation videogames better replicate the infinite variability of life than reality TV does, and one way in which a few recent sports games have gotten there is by implementing real-time physics engines. EA Sports’ venerated FIFA series did that with FIFA 12 last year, delivering often impressive but occasionally laughable results. There was more work to be done; modeling collisions is only one aspect of simulating soccer.

The holy grail in sports games is calculating everything on the fly, taking into account the unending variety of variables in every case. “The philosophy of the team,” explained David Rutter, executive producer for the FIFA franchise, “has been to take all of the inputs that would occur in this real world that we live in, and use them to drive the outcomes of the game that you are playing.” It’s an asymptotic venture, and the talented developers at EA Canada are getting closer every year.

[Editor’s note: I use the terms “soccer” and “football” interchangeably in this article. --Samit]

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Preview: Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (Vita) photo
Preview: Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (Vita)
by Samit Sarkar

The well-received Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is making its way to the PlayStation Vita this summer, sans Peace Walker; the original PSP game can be purchased on the PlayStation Store, although not through the Vita, weirdly. However, it will include touch controls specific to Sony's new handheld. Konami brand manager Kevin Vlaming walked me through the experience, and I recorded the demo for you all to watch above.

For those who own MGS 2 or MGS 3 on PS3, the Vita HD Collection also lets you "transfar" content from save games. And it includes all the other content that was present on the console HD Collection -- the Substance and Subsistence stuff, as well as the first two Metal Gear MSX games.

The MGS HD Collection launches for the Vita in Japan on June 28. There's no American release date yet, but it's set for release here this summer.

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1:30 PM on 04.26.2012

Lions' Calvin Johnson voted onto Madden NFL 13 cover

EA Sports put the Madden cover to a vote once again this year, and as of last week, the fans had whittled down a bracket of 64 NFL players to just two: Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam "Ace Boogie" Newton (the No. 1 seed) an...

Samit Sarkar

12:00 PM on 04.13.2012

A 4-week-old Bastion looked ugly but played beautifully

Videogame development is an iterative process, and games undergo countless changes along the way. In many cases, the final product bears little resemblance to earlier versions, as developers refine their vision and excise fea...

Samit Sarkar



Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 photo
Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13
by Samit Sarkar

If baseball is a game of inches, golf is a game of degrees. The loft of a driver; the slope of a fairway; whether a ball lies above or below your feet; an open or closed club face -- even a few degrees’ variation in any of these respects can significantly alter a shot’s path.

Golf is also an expensive game to play. The necessary equipment alone will set you back at least a few hundred dollars, which is to say nothing of concomitant costs such as caddies and carts.

EA Sports’ Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 represents both those aspects of golf very, very well.

[Editor’s note: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 supports Kinect and PlayStation Move, but since I do not own either, I was unable to try out that functionality and will not discuss it in this review. --Samit]

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11:30 AM on 04.02.2012

Tim Schafer demoes Double Fine Kinect prototype 'Specs'

“This thing that I’m going to show you is a really weird thing,” said Tim Schafer, the founder of beloved studio Double Fine Productions, during a recent presentation at New York University. He had come to s...

Samit Sarkar





7:30 PM on 03.29.2012

EA Sports opens up NHL 13 cover to 60-player fan vote

EA Sports' Madden cover fan vote has been a massive marketing success, and this year, the publisher is trying to engage hockey fans in the same way by letting them choose the NHL 13 cover athlete. The voting is open right no...

Samit Sarkar

6:30 PM on 03.21.2012

Round of 32 begins for Madden NFL 13 cover vote

After a preliminary play-in round with two Madden NFL 13 cover choices from each NFL team, the results are in: the bracket you see above contains the people's top 32 picks for sports gaming's most storied cover. You can cast ...

Samit Sarkar

6:30 PM on 03.20.2012

Win a Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 Xbox 360 at Best Buy

EA Sports' Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 is the latest game to get the limited-edition Xbox 360 treatment, with a console featuring cover athletes Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler against the backdrop of a grayscale golf course. ...

Samit Sarkar



Review: MLB 12 The Show photo
Review: MLB 12 The Show
by Samit Sarkar

Sony San Diego has consistently produced well-regarded MLB The Show titles that easily outclassed other simulation baseball games. The studio has for years been fighting the stagnation that typically results from a lack of strong competition, and has predominantly met with success.

Sports games must satisfy players with a wide range of tastes and skill levels, and The Show has traditionally been among the most accommodating. The team developed both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions of MLB 12 The Show, perhaps spreading itself too thinly in building a Show title that is its usual self. That’s part of the problem.

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1:30 PM on 03.06.2012

Bringing XCOM: Enemy Unknown to a modern console audience

X-COM: UFO Defense is almost 20 years old, and gaming has changed immeasurably since its release on the PC in 1994. With XCOM: Enemy Unknown, its re-imagining of that strategy title, Firaxis Games has the unenviable task of b...

Samit Sarkar

10:30 AM on 03.06.2012

Dive into the first XCOM: Enemy Unknown developer diary

2K Games has released the first in a series of "Deep Dive" developer diaries for Firaxis Games' XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the remake of the 1994 strategy game X-COM: UFO Defense. In the video, which runs for nearly six minutes, a...

Samit Sarkar



Preview: Saving men and mankind in XCOM: Enemy Unknown photo
Preview: Saving men and mankind in XCOM: Enemy Unknown
by Samit Sarkar

Most strategy games give players command of massive armies, relegating individual soldiers to the status of faceless grunt. Even when players are micromanaging small units, the components of those groups are usually identical and interchangeable. That’s not the case in Firaxis Games’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the upcoming re-imagining of MicroProse’s 1994 PC classic, X-COM: UFO Defense (named UFO: Enemy Unknown in Europe and Australia).

The top-level story in XCOM is a universal one: in the present day, aliens with higher intelligence and superior technology invade Earth and begin abducting humans. XCOM is the secret military organization that mankind puts together to stand up for itself, and it’s made up of people from around the world. When you lead XCOM operatives into combat against your mysterious enemy, you get to know those soldiers. And then you get to watch as aliens slaughter them.

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