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Leipzig Games Convention

Nein! Leipzig GC axed, to be replaced by gamescom in Cologne

Jan 29 // Samit Sarkar
New gaming fair in Leipzig: GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE presents future market Market leaders initiate the industry's own platform as a combination offline/online event Leipzig, 29 January 2009 - From 31 July to 2 August 2009, Leipziger Messe presents a new games fair. Headlined GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE, it is the first independent platform in Europe for what is currently the most dynamic market in the gaming industry: browser, client and mobile games. The new gaming trade show is supported by market leaders in the online industry such as BIGPOINT and GAMEFORGE. Carsten van Husen, CEO at GAMEFORGE 4D, emphasises the need for the industry to have its own platform: "The size achieved and the dynamics for growth in the market for online games really cry out for a strong fair – in Europe too. Given our domestic industry's leading world role for this segment, Germany is predestined to serve as the location." GAMEFORGE is the biggest independent provider of online games worldwide. More than 65 million gamers are registered for GAMEFORGE games which are on offer in 50 languages. Nils-Holger Henning, CCO at BIGPOINT: "We are very pleased with the recognition shown to the games industry with two big and important fairs in Germany. We very much welcome the fact that with the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE, Leipzig is now offering a trade show for online and casual gaming. This confirms that as an entertainment branch worth taking seriously, online gaming has an important role to play within the overall game industry. In the area of online and casual gaming, there is a big need for interchange, as shown by the internationally established trade fairs. The topics are precisely aligned to our needs, and in both the consumer and business area we can appeal to a public that is specifically interested in online gaming. Exchange within the industry, contacts with small, dedicated developers and the technical subject-matter dealt with at the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE will contribute to strengthening and driving forward the online and mobile gaming industry." BIGP OINT is one of the 200 biggest websites and the biggest game portal for browser-based online gaming worldwide. The Hamburg company is growing daily with more than 150 thousand registrations in 30 languages. Wolfgang Marzin, CEO, Leipziger Messe, sums up the excellent starting-point for the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE. "Worldwide, Leipzig means games", he says, referring to the high profile enjoyed by the "Games Convention" brand. "The GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE provides an independent platform of its own for the most dynamic growth market in the gaming industry." The rapid spread of browser, client and mobile games was the basis for rapid development of the industry's new trade fair. "On the Asian market, a third of the population already regularly plays online games. In Germany too, the final barriers are being broken down with the rapid spread of fast broadband connections and mobile wireless connection standards." The figures for German and world market development underline Marzin's assessment. "Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2008 – 2012" (Source: PWC, 2008), for example, predicts global growth rates of up to just under 20 per cent for online and wireless games (whilst sales for PC games are set to drop by an average of 1.2 per cent). The German market is driven by the spread of faster internet connections. The number of households with broadband is set to double in the coming years. Whilst broadband coverage was still at 44.5 per cent of all households in 2007, experts expect an increase to 82.9 per cent for 2012 (Source: PWC, 2008). For the European market, the Verband der deutschen Internetwirtschaft eco (Association of the German Internet Industry) concludes that sales turnover for mobile phone games will also double by 2012 across Europe, on the basis of a figure of 2.4 billion euros for 2008 (Source: eco, 2009). In Germany, every fifth mobile connection user also plays games on his or her mobile, in other words, about 11 million users in 2008 (Source: comScore, 2008). Innovative trade show concept for professionals and general public The GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE will be organised in two separate areas, namely for the trade and professional public on the one hand, and for gamers on the other. The Business Center is at the hub of the fair with a trade show exhibition and professionally organised matchmaking. There will also be an integrated dialogue conference. Individual forums at the conference will be shown online for registered participants (for a conference fee). New: test out trade show innovations online! Access for millions of visitors everywhere in the world In the public exhibition halls, exhibitors present themselves alongside many events and show matches. For this part of the fair, Leipziger Messe has joined forces with the industry to develop a completely new concept. "We will be combining the real fair, that is, the offline event, with an online event" explained CEO Wolfgang Marzin. "This means that millions of gamers are linked in on the internet and can take part in the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE in Leipzig live. The GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE will host tens of thousands of visitors in Leipzig, and several million in the whole world." For this to happen, the new event will be accessible on the internet throughout its entire duration. Several exhibitors are creating links to the new games being introduced at the Leipzig show. As long as the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE is still taking place in Leipzig, access is free of charge. Championships and role-play event In partnership with exhibitors, Leipziger Messe is organising various special events for gamers. Several communities and leagues are being invited to meet up at the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE in Leipzig. Championships will be held in the run-up to the fair so that their winners can travel to Leipzig and the finals can be played live at the fair against online gamers. For the finalists, their stay in Leipzig is combined with an exclusive luxury prize package. There are also plans for a role-play event. Korea supports GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE For the premiere of the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE, Leipziger Messe is preparing a partnership with South Korea. The Korean involvement is backed by kotra (Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency), the Korean government foreign trade and investment promotion agency. In-Sung Park, Business Development Manager at kotra, says: "We are pleased that Korea has been invited to be the first national partner for the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE. We will soon have confirmation from the Ministry of Culture. Korea is a forerunner in the market for online and mobile games. Furthermore, Korea is the biggest market for online games and occupies a leading position worldwide for mobile games. We have considerable know-how in the development and marketing of games and we can contribute this to international partnerships. The GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE conference is a particularly well-suited forum for setting up new business contacts and opening up new markets across continents. We are happy to support L eipziger Messe in the organisation of business matchmakings." In Korea, online gaming has been the number one national sport for some years. 80 per cent of all households are linked to the internet. Every third Korean is registered as a regular online gamer, making a total of more than 18 million women, men and children (by comparison: Germany currently counts 4.15 million online gamers). For 2009, Korea expects the online gaming market to reach sales worth 1.7 billion USD (Pearl Research, "Online Games Market in Korea", 2008). Classic GC - Games Convention dropped for 2009 CEO Marzin: "Leipzig is still open to the whole industry" In announcing the new gaming fair, the Leipzig CEO Wolfgang Marzin emphasised: "This is a completely new and fully independent product for a market that is adjusting to new business models, setting off along new sales routes and appealing to new target groups. Browser, client and mobile games are on course to becoming a big success story and in that way, the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE is like the GC - Games Convention when it first began. We are delighted that as trade fair organisers, we can again accompany this development too." Having achieved rapid and internationally recognised success since its launch in 2002, the GC - Games Convention, the European fair for interactive entertainment, infotainment and hardware remained unaffected by the new fair. In 2008, the GC - Games Convention was the biggest gaming show in the world. But, said Wolfgang Marzin, in view of the new situation in terms of competition on the German trade fair market, Leipziger Messe would be dropping the GC - Games Convention from the 2009 calendar. It had been scheduled for 20 to 23 August 2009. At the same time, Marzin emphasised that Leipziger Messe was still open to the entire gaming industry: "If the industry is again in search of a platform for console and PC games and hardware with the know-how of the GC - Games Convention, we will immediately be available." gamescom enjoys more support from industry: online games in demand in Cologne In addition to detailed presentations by publishers of console and PC games, exhibitors also show their online game portfolios Leipzig, 29 January 2009 - At gamescom – Europe’s new event and entertainment highlight – the international games industry will exhibit its entire repertoire of interactive entertainment software and hardware in Cologne from 19 – 23 August. In addition to member companies of the German Trade Association of Interactive Entertainment Software (Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware (BIU)), who plan to exhibit their diverse game portfolios for both casual and core gamers in Cologne, many other exhibitors from all sectors of the games industry are preparing for the event. In gamescom’s Business and Consumer areas, there is a marked increase in leading companies from online and browser games - one of the industry’s growth markets. The presence of this business segment at gamescom is quite important for several companies, including Ubisoft. General Manager Ralf Wirsing had this to say: “In Cologne we will have the opportunity to both present our range of products to an international market and to familiarise ourselves with the new products of the other national and international market participants. If you look at the numbers of registered gamers in the online and browser markets, the growing importance of this segment is unmistakable.” Thomas Friedmann, Executive Director of Funatics, is looking forward to the presentation of online and browser games at gamescom for another reason: “Online games are constantly changing the conventional market. Given the intensity of gamer usage, the growth figures alone are just one interesting aspect. So we’re quite excited about the market, which will have an attractive environment to exhibit its newest developments in Cologne.” From the “Global Player” league, Electronic Arts Executive Director Dr. Olaf Coenen explains: “gamescom will set a new tone, internationally. There’s no doubt about that. We’re looking forward to the starting signal and can’t wait to meet our partners and customers from Germany and around the globe at Koelnmesse.” For Bernd Grannemann, Head of Sales & Commercial Marketing at Tivola, the combination of trade fair concept, location, and internationality is the heart of gamescom’s success: “As an internationally successful publisher of computer and console games for children and young adults, we’re hugely excited about the start of gamescom. The casual-to-core exhibition concept at Koelnmesse affords us the opportunity to present our products in the appropriate topic settings.” International stimuli will be coming from France among other countries. In cooperation with Koelnmesse, Ubifrance will organise the joint stand for the French games industry. Regional networks like gamearea FrankfurtRheinMain will also focus on Cologne. In addition to commerce and presentations by developers and software publishers, the hardware sector will complete the trade fair offerings at Cologne. Christoph Thomas, Executive Director of Hama, concludes: “As an expert in accessories, Hama always positions itself in the direct vicinity of the market leaders in device manufacturing and, in this case, games as well. This August, all the “big players”, gamers, and specialist visitors on both the national and international markets for computer games and interactive entertainment will convene in Cologne. gamescom represents ideal conditions for Hama to engage in successful business.”
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The world finally has a winner in the battle for European videogame convention supremacy. The organizers of the annual Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany, conceded defeat today to the new kid on the block: gamescom in Colog...

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9/11 Space Invaders creator says the American reaction was "immature"


Aug 25
// Colette Bennett
By now you may have heard word of the game Space Invaders 9/11 shown at last week's Leipzig Games Conference, or perhaps you read our Destructoid Discusses! on the subject. It's definitely the type of thing that's difficult t...
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Confirmed: Leipzig GC is better than E3, exhibitors and visitors want to return


Aug 25
// Nick Chester
While many in the industry bitched and moaned about this year's industry-only event E3 in event in Los Angeles, it seems that just about everyone loved the Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany. "The Games Convention...
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'Best of Show' titles of Leipzig Games Convention announced


Aug 25
// Brad Nicholson
Games Convention at Leipzig has come and gone, but the impressions of the best games lasts at least a year. Leipziger Messe has recently released their “Best of GC” list and there are a few surprises to be had. Th...

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Kororinpa 2 will have you playing with balls again in 2009


Aug 20
// Conrad Zimmerman
[video]100548:200[/video] When I saw video of the first Kororinpa game, I instantly knew it was going to be a must-have for my Wii. It's still one of my favorite games for the console, in part because it actually feels like a...
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Mirror's Edge gameplay footage, now in glorious color!


Aug 20
// Conrad Zimmerman
[video]100486:199[/video] While the footage we've seen thus far of Mirror's Edge has been pretty impressive, a lot of it felt washed out by bright sunlight effects and sterile environment. With the exception of the bright red...
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New Prince of Persia trailer, complete with German commentary


Aug 20
// Colette Bennett
I have a horrible, guilt-ridden confession to make: I have never played a Prince of Persia title. Considering the type of story it is, I have even less excuse for not having played it, as I definitely enjoy the setting and th...
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SHOCKING NEWS: LocoRoco2 trailer is gleefully happy


Aug 20
// Colette Bennett
I know, you're shocked. Trust me, I am too. The last thing I expected from the Leipzig Games Convention this year was to find that LocoRoco 2 is a happy game about happy blobs having happy adventures. Why are you trying to ma...
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Sony's newest PSP model, PSP 3000 announced


Aug 20
// Dale North
You may have already seen our blurb about the PSP 3000 announcement at Games Convention 2008, but here's the skinny direct from Sony.The new PSP 3000 has an updated LCD screen "with a wider color gamut and anti-reflectio...
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Sony goes nuts at GC 2008: PSP 3000, 160GB PS3, downloadable music and more


Aug 20
// Dale North
We're not at Leipzig's Games Convention this year, but that isn't stopping the new from pouring out of the event. IGN UK is liveblogging the event, so we'll just nab a bit from them. They won't mind.Here's the highlights:Sing...
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New TNA iMPACT! trailer and screens help you 'embrace the pain'


Aug 20
// Nick Chester
[video]100430:196[/video]I think my head just exploded. This new trailer for TNA iMPACT! put together for Leipzig Games Convention is packed with action. Thumping dance music, lots of explosions, a really excited guy with a d...
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New Mad World trailer is black, white, and red all over


Aug 20
// Nick Chester
If Platinum Games' Wii exclusive Mad World isn't good, there's going to be riots in the streets. The kind of riots where people pull street signs out of the ground to stab and bludgeon one another. Because if this new tr...
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Kore, a six-year-old unreleased Xbox game, revived for the Wii (Update)


Aug 15
// Nick Chester
While many of you might not remember this, The Kore Gang was a title originally announced for release on the original Xbox some six years ago. The title was never released, eventually fading into obscurity as Microsoft moved ...
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BioWare's Dragon Age: Origins sweeping in, burning up PAX, Leipzig, and Gen Con


Aug 13
// Nick Chester
Shown behindclosed doors at E3 2008, BioWare's upcoming role-playing title Dragon Age: Origins is coming out of the closet for some upcoming public gaming conventions. The first will be this Gen Con Indy, which our own Brad N...

Destructoid interview: A pleasant lunch-time chat with the makers of Postal

Oct 14 // David Houghton
Destructoid: How's Postal 3 coming along right now? Vince: It's set to come out in the fourth quarter 2008. Everything we've released so far has been prototype footage and we just let it out because so many people asked "Can I see it?". You know, in the old days you never really wanted to show anything this early, but now I take the approach that we've still got eighteen months, so I'm not going to worry about it. Destructoid: Development schedules are so long these days, but people have got so used to having access to things through the internet. Vince: In the old days if you sent something out early you could die by it, but thankfully now that's changed. But what's really important to us is that it's the premier of Postal on consoles, so we're very concerned with the overall quality. The good news for us is that we're not under any financial pressure to have to release it for Christmas next year. Oh course I hope to, but I'll only do that if it's really optimized. It's got to come out strong. But we're really excited. It's got all the things Postal is known for, the crazy weapons, a lot of humour, the mature adult attitude, but also this time we've done something very different. This time you're going to be able to play the game three different ways, which is going to make the game very big and add a lot of replay value, which is what I'm a big fan of. I'm an old-timer in this industry and I go back to the old design philosophy of replay being important. A lot people today believe that games should be more like movies. Destructoid: Or people design games more for the multiplayer. Vince: Actually another thing about Postal 3 is that it will ship with multiplayer. And we're not just talking ten maps, we're already over twenty. So when you consider the game, I don't want to say it'll be 50/50, but it'll have very strong single player and very strong multiplayer. We're fortunate in that there are a lot of Postal mods out there. This Postal community is just... Postal's a cult. Destructoid: If you can capture the fan imagination and build a community like that you'll just run and run. Vince: People will ask me a lot, "Did you plan this?" and the truth of the matter's no. We just designed a game that we thought would be fun to play and that was funny. Half of what occured afterwards, we had no idea. It was never our intention. The same thing goes with a lot of the negative attention. I was like, "What is everyone so upset about?". But I think because we were a small independent developer we came in for a lot of scrutiny because we couldn't defend ourselves as effectively. Not because I'm not willing to, but because nobody wanted to give me a chance. Destructoid: No-one wants to listen to the little guy. Vince: And we were easier to pick on. Destructoid: If you'd been bigger or more established...Vince: Take2 has gotten away with murder. But the reason they're suffering now with Manhunt 2, or even prior to that with GTA and the  Hot Coffee thing is that they f*cked up. Hot Coffee came out and they didn't know how to handle it. It was like a polititian getting caught with his... It was like Bill Clinton saying "I never had sex with that woman". Some guy from Rockstar comes out and says "We don't know anything about Hot Coffee". And everyone's like "You are so full of sh*t dude". It was one of two things. One, you're stupid or two, you're lying. And neither's good. And so really what's happened now with the whole Manhunt 2 thing I think is that if they hadn't got themselves into so much trouble with Hot Coffee, they might have had more co-operation. And the same thing in America with the ESRB. I don't really blame the ESRB for taking the position they did, because they got f*cked by Take2. Mike: Well on top of getting f*cked by Take2, the ESRB fuck themselves. It's a good ratings system overall but it's just not implemented well. Destructoid: It's a similar problem in the UK. It's just not respected or enforced properly. Mike: It's not just that it's not respected by the public either. They just don't respect themselves, I don't believe, because it's kind of obvious they don't play through all of the games. They seem to just give you a rating based on what they know about the game, what you tell them about the game, and what they've seen. They don't have a team of people playing through every minute of the game. I mean it's fairly impractical, but a true ratings board should have it. Destructoid: The movie boards watch the whole movie... Mike: Yeah, they don't just watch the first ten minutes of a movie. You have a hundred people watching it right through and coming to a consensus. Vince: What I'd really like to see, and I don't think it's going to happen, at least in America, is that we need to simplify it. It's so f*cking... You can walk into a store, pick up a box, and spend a half hour figuring out the bullsh*t. To me it's like Under Eighteen or Over Eighteen. That's it. That's all you need. And guess what? If on the box it's a racing game or a Tony Hawk game, I think I can work out what kind of game it is. It's like, "Aw gee, it's a racing game, there's a guy on the box in a race car. Hmmm, I wonder, is that an action adventure?" No dude! It's a f*cking racing game! Mike: Let's put a race car on our next box. [Laughter] Vince: Just simplify it, please. Rather than making it easier, they complicate it. And then they come up with these descriptors, so you could have a game like Postal 2, which is M-rated, and then you have all these words like "Blood", "Violence", "Adult content", "Adult language", "Drugs". And Postal 2 was responsible for a new one, "Extreme violence". [Laughter] I mean you know, why not just make it eighteen-rated and we all live happily ever after? Destructoid: Just treat human beings with the respect of allowing them to make a decision and judge what's in front of them. In the UK now we've got descriptors on posters for every movie that virtually describe the whole plot in terms of the content descriptions. Harry Potter's a 12-rated movie, but you'll have "Mild to strong fantasy violence and minor peril". How do you define "minor peril"? Warning: Harry has a bad day and wakes up feeling a bit sh*t? Vince: "Harry Potter jerks off and discovers manhood".Mike: "Hermione gives him blue balls. He doesn't know what to do." [Laughter]Destructoid: Right down to kids' movies everything that's not a happy scene from start to finish is described in detail. It's ridiculous. Vince: We're not that bad but we're getting there. And here in Germany... Destructoid: Half the games here will not be released here. Mike: I heard at the EA booth, when the Crysis video comes up there's a big thing on the screen that says "Not allowed to show this trailer at GC". [Laughter]Vince: The industry, while we are maturing, we are actually regressing. Destructoid: We're becoming too aplogetic. Vince: The whole thing that Postal is about is that it's politically incorrect purposefully. Personally I happen to be a very big animal fan, but that doesn't mean I don't like throwing a hammer up a cow's ass in a videogame. Destructoid: Some things are just funny. Vince: That's exactly what I mean. I'm not advocating, "Okay everybody living out there in the countryside, PICK UP YOUR HAMMERS! Start throwing them up your cows' asses!" I mean come on! We're supposed to tell people "Don't do this"?Destructoid: I'm the most pacifistic person in the world, but I grew up on Warner Bros. cartoons, so I appreciate over-exaggerated comedy violence. Vince: Oh dude! Destructoid: You just accept that it's violence in a completely different context. Vince: You know when I was a kid I watched a lot of The Three Stooges, Abbot and Costello, all the Loony Tunes, Warner Bros., all of that crazy stuff. Now I didn't go out and immediately start beating animals. Every now and then a stray cat got lit up, but that was just the neighborhood. [Laughter]Mike: Wrong cat, wrong time. Vince: You never wanted to be a four-legged animal walking around Brooklyn on the fourth of July. Mike: Nothing like a little M80. Destructoid: Did you hear that Manhunt 2's actually just been passed with an M in the US? Vince: I read that this morning. They've modded it though. I don't know what they've done, but it's stripped. Mike: Maybe they just lightened the color a bit so it doesn't look so gritty. [Laughter]Vince: I don't know what they did, but you've got to understand that the ESRB in the United States is pretty much owned by the top ten publishers, Take2 included, and you can't bite the hand that feeds you. So they need to work with them. So I never had any doubt that it would get passed, it just had to go through this process. There's so much money involved. You know, it's a Take2 title, it's Manhunt, I mean it's not going to do GTA numbers, but... Destructoid: It'll going to do bigger numbers than it would have done now. Vince: Oh yeah, it'll do better now, and the thing is, those retailers want to make money. Those distributors, they want to make money. This issue you know, it's the M & M factor. Money and morality. Well I've found in my lifetime that money always wins. Just go ask your local priest. [Laughter] It's all bullsh*t, it's all crap.
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I like the guys from Running With Scissors. Far from being the baby-eating, kitten-punching corrupters of children that certain quarters would paint them as, I've always found them to be thoroughly funny and intelligent peopl...

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Leipzig GC 2007: The French team preserving gaming history for the future


Sep 04
// David Houghton
"Dave, you've got to get over to Hall 5. There are some guys over there who've got every console ever on free play.""Every console ever?""And a couple of arcade cabinets. And the consoles are all set ...
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Leipzig GC 2007: Quake Wars


Sep 04
// David Houghton
Time was short at Activision on the day I popped over for a look at the new Quake II-themed Enemy Territory game, so I unfortunately didn't get as long as I'd hoped for with what was one of my most looked-forward-to games of ...
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Leipzig GC 2007: The mysterious mystery of THEY


Sep 03
// David Houghton
A game called THEY was teasing me for the entirety of the GC. It was one of the first games I made an appointment to see having recieved a press release weeks earlier about it, the last one I got to see over the course of the...
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Leipzig GC 2007: Far Cry 2


Sep 02
// David Houghton
Around a week into my Leipzig coverage, and looking at my writing schedule I've still got a bunch more FPS to detail. It's a sign of the times my friends, and one I'm not entirely happy about. Somehow, this whole genre bandwa...

PAX/Leipzig 2007 Combo Breaker! CTZ and David double team Haze

Aug 31 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Hamza CTZ Aziz Haze is bananas -- at least, that's what Rob Yescombe was saying about the game before people could get their hands on this PS3 title at PAX. Up until this past weekend, I had no idea what Haze really was. Sure, we've posted about the game quite a few times, but I just never paid much attention to. It's safe to say now though, after having some hands-on time with this game, it's going to be a most own for me next year.  Haze is like your standard FPS game with a twist. YOU CAN DO DRUGS! Or rather, take a substance called Nectar that will aid yourself and your fellow solders. The ten minute long demo starts you off as a Mantel Global Industries soldier sent in to take care of a situation only you and your special forces can handle. The MGI are so caring and considerate, they've equipped your suit with tons of tricks. For starters, you don't hear the screams and pains of anyone you kill. Furthermore, you won't even see their blood! Here's the best part though! The bodies of your enemies that you've killed will disappear as if you were playing a videogame! As scary as an idea like this sounds for a real life adaptation, let me tell you about the best part of being a Mantel Global Industries soldiers: Drugs are A-O.K, so long as it's called something nice like Nectar. Alright, enough of being a little sarcastic bastard. The Nectar concept is actually a really unique game play element that helps raise the bar on the FPS genre. You can inject some Nectar into yourself which will give you more stamina, precision aiming and turn your enemies into bright beams of energy to help you see your enemies more clearly. In the first level of the demo we played, the Jungle Level, seeing your enemies in this way helped out a lot. You have to be careful though -- take too much Nectar and you'll start to overdose and confuse your allies as your enemies. Speaking of allies, Haze is going to be an online four player co-op game.The demo we got to play was set up into three parts. You first start off as a Mantel soldier being dropped into the jungle. One thing I noticed was that the level was very detailed and lush. I didn't have time to sight see though because the Rebels came in and started shooting me and my team almost immediately. After taking out the small group and traveling into the jungle for a bit, an in-game cut scene takes place with a couple of planes doing a bomb run on a group of targets. After this is over, your team goes further into the jungle and takes on more enemy Rebels. As soon as this group was cleared, the next part of the demo loaded up. The next level had you still playing as the Mantel soldier and dropped you off next to some vehicles in a canyon. The vehicles are very reminiscent of the Warthog from Halo: One person drives, one person mans the chain gun and the other two take up the side seats. I quickly regretted taking a side seat and wished I drove instead because whoever was driving in this demo sucked ... balls. After flipping the vehicle a few times, we made our way through the canyon avoiding Rebels, giant explosions and falling rocks. Nectar can still be used while driving but no consequences have been implemented yet for OD'ing while riding shotgun. I believe there is a consequence for OD'ing if you're the driver, but I couldn't tell if it there really was one because my teammate's driving skills was horrible.  After that little bit was over, the final stage of the demo is loaded and you're on the Rebel side. The first thing you'll notice is that you're a lot faster and can jump higher now that you aren't wearing the suit. Of course, you're more susceptible to damages and can be killed faster. Which brings me to an awesome feature of the game while playing as a rebel: Playing dead. An option will appear while you're getting shot at and if you time it right, you can fall to the ground and pretend you were killed. So when the Mantel soldier focuses on a new target, you can spring back up to life and surprise the bastards. This feature will also work in the multiplayer as well. Another thing the Rebels can do is take the Nectar packs off of the dead soldiers and either strap it to a grenade or soak their knife into the Nectar. Then, you can throw the grenade or knife into a soldier and cause them to overdose and go crazy on other Mantel solders. You can also shoot the packs on the Mantel solders to create the same effect. After messing around as a rebel for a few minutes, the demo finally ends.So far, I really like what I've played. The graphics are great, the controls are responsive and the concept is awesome. My only problem with the game though is the A.I. There virtually wasn't any brains on my enemies. I would find myself just staring at Mantel soldiers on the last level standing around or continuously running into walls. It's still way to early to judge this game harshly but I do know that Haze has chance for success on the PS3 (And maybe Xbox 360 ...) that can truly compete with the Halo franchise.   David HoughtonI'm rather jealous of our dear Hamza at the moment. You see, as a massive fan of Timesplitters 2 -- and Free Radical in general -- I was seriously looking forward to Haze at Leipzig this year, and while I did have a great time having the game demoed for me by FR's David Doak, I tragically didn't get to play it. Not only that, but having read Hamza's report, it seems he got to play exactly the sections I only got to see. Peeved. Very peeved. Watching Haze being played and hearing it explained is one of those hideously frustrating "Just gimme the goddamn pad!" experiences, and I'm not going to be happy until Mr. Aziz and myself are on a equal footing. But why am I so hyped up? For a start, the use of the Nectar mechanic in Haze is fantastic. It's a great example of one additional element being explored to its fullest in order to really add a whole new angle to a game, and the amount of offensive and tactical variety it seems to add has really got me interested. It's not just going to be great for letting you take down Mantel troops when playing as a rebel, or mess with your friends in multiplayer though. It was explained to me how the use and eventual loss of Nectar throughout the single player campaign is going to be used for some seriously dramatic effect, as the protagonist starts to doubt the world he's living in, and eventually has the true horror of what he's doing shown to him. Aside from boosting combat abilities, Nectar sanitizes the violence of the game, and I find the use of that as a narrative tool as exciting as anything that it can do as an in-fight augmentation. It's also going to add an interesting psychological element to multiplayer too. It'll be great charging into the fray with pumped-up Mantel troops on your side, but will you really be able to trust your buddies? One Nectar injection too far and your wing-man could suddenly become your enemy and need taking out by one of your own team. It's a fun mechanic and one that's hopefully going to add a great deal of tension to team deathmatches. Speaking of multiplayer, what I saw seemed to be a great blend of tactics and on-the-fly anarchy. One of the things that pleased me most about the Haze demo in general was the sheer slickness and nippy tempo of the whole thing. Slow or clunky movement can kill an FPS for me, particularly in deathmatch, and I was really happy to see that Haze seemed to move along at a fair old whack, much like my beloved old TS2. As I begrudgingly said in my intro paragraph, I haven't played Haze yet, so I unfortunately can't write as much as I'd like to be able to right now. What I will say though, is that having seen what I've seen and heard what I've heard, I can absolutely believe that Hamza had as much fun as he said he did (Swine!), and that having had my suspicions confirmed, I'm going to be trying to get my hands on Haze as soon as humanly possible.
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During PAX and Leipzig, Free Radical were showing off their the highly anticpated game, Haze. Whereas I (along with several community members) got a chance with some 4 player co-op hands-on with the game at PAX, David had to ...

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Leipzig GC 2007: Hands-on with Crysis


Aug 30
// David Houghton
You might have read Fronz's report of his play test of Crysis back in January. While he found the game to be trouser-troubling beautiful and solidly playable -- despite bugs -- he ultimately wasn't blown away by the overall e...
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Leipzig GC 2007: Hands-on with Rayman Raving Rabbids 2


Aug 30
// David Houghton
I like Rabbids. They do a lot of important work. In this world of mopey, emo, RPG heroes, violent, grizzled, downtrodden anti-heroes, earnest corporate mascots, and cute and cuddly cartoon critters, the Rabbids want nothing m...
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Leipzig GC 2007: Warhound


Aug 30
// David Houghton
Remember when I said in my Dead Island preview that Techland could have another sleeper on their hands if things work out? Warhound is that game. Most of the journalists I talked to at Leipzig who went to Techland's booth wen...
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Leipzig GC 2007: Hands-on with Spore


Aug 29
// David Houghton
Sometimes things just turn out of the best. Earlier this week I had a ninety-minute appointment over in Electronic Arts' press area, where they had a whole load of their upcoming games available for play-test or presentation....
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Leipzig GC 2007: The rumors are true! Heavens be praised! New Dreamcast games!


Aug 27
// David Houghton
When I first met up with Lukas "3r0t1c n3rd" Cerin -- a sterling chap in case you don't know him, and a thoroughly dedicated member of the Dtoid army -- on Wednesday night, he told me of a story he'd heard that ther...
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Why is The Witcher so stupid looking? (Possibly NSFW video)


Aug 27
// Jim Sterling
Okay, so seriously ... what the [intercourse] is this [fecal matter]? That's a cleaner example of the kind of thought that's been going through my head consistently during every minute of my watching this video. Apparently, t...
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Leipzig GC 2007: Test driving the Wii Balance Board


Aug 26
// David Houghton
I stepped up to the Wii Fit Balance Board feeling rather ambivalent about the whole thing. On the one hand, while I'm a big fan of what Nintendo is doing in taking games beyond being playthings and into the new realm of mains...
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Leipzig GC 2007: Hands-on with the Super Mario Galaxy demo's secret levels


Aug 26
// David Houghton
I did not enjoy Nintendo's press "booth tour." Not one little bit. I never suspected for a second that they'd use the occasion to unveil anything radically new, but surely they could have done better than to spend t...
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Leipzig GC 2007: A New Beginning


Aug 25
// David Houghton
I've been ranting about the need for a resurgence in point and click adventures for a good while now. The genre's been forsaken as unfashionable for far too long, and in this Wii and DS-dominated climate, there's absolutely n...
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Leipzig GC 2007: Dead Island


Aug 24
// David Houghton
I've noticed over the years that I have three main reactions to new videogames I like. Firstly, I have the "serious" reaction, whereby I take on an expression of thoughtful reverence in the face of a something groun...

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