In my review of Mercenaries, I wondered if it wasn't time to drop the plots entirely from open-concept action games. Let the player run around with a gun, going nuts. I'll be the first to admit that it was a terrible idea. In my defense, though, it was meant as an ironic comment about the poor quality of videogame stories, not an honest call for their removal. Realtime Worlds seems to have run with the concept, though, and the result, while entertaining for a little while, is for the most part an awkward, incomplete mess.
Game Description:Crackdown pushes the action-driving hybrid genre into the next generation with the first ever truly 3D playground. Gamers will enforce justice by any means necessary in Pacific City, a crime-ridden urban center built to encourage the exploration of the full width, depth and height of the city. Coupled with highly innovative co-op gameplay—a genre first—and an interactive world where nearly anything can be used as a weapon, gamers will be able to create a volatile cocktail of judicial oppression as they clean up the streets.
Receiving huge hype and easily ranked as one of the highest-profile titles of 2006, the Gears of War assault machine was successful in generating buzz, selling millions of copies and taking the lead in Microsoft's holiday charge. It certainly became the new reason to own a 360 according to most sources, but was it all that it could have been? I think it depends on perspective.
Game Description: Gears of War thrusts gamers into a deep and harrowing story of humankind's epic battle for survival against the Locust Horde, a nightmarish race of creatures that surface from the bowels of the planet. players live and breathe the role of Marcus Fenix. A disgraced former war hero, Marcus seeks Personal redemption as he leads his fire team against an onslaught of merciless warrior fiends. Gamers immerse themselves in an experience so intensely emotional and gut-wrenching that playing will be like controlling a blockbuster action movie. Control Marcus Fenix and his fire team as they pit advanced human technology against the overwhelming and horrific Locust Horde.
Game Description: Have you ever been cloned? Ever wonder what it would be like to be a chicken? A monkey? A frog? Well, wonder no more when you play Cloning Clyde, the zany side-scrolling platformer game on Xbox Live Arcade, new from NinjaBee. Cloning Clyde is a 3D side-scrolling adventure, featuring (of course!) multiplayer gameplay. Play split screen on a single console, or mutate online with your friends across the world via Xbox Live® Arcade. Can you free yourselves from the myriad sinister traps and mutations that await you? Get Cloning today and find out!
I admit it. When I first heard about micro transactions and receiving downloaded content at Microsoft's E3 media briefing two years ago, I scoffed. In my defense, their initial approach to the presentation was ridiculous—the famous example given was of a non-gamer girl designing her own clothing and selling it to gamers via the wonderful interface provided by the Xbox 360… maybe it's just me, but that wasn't exactly the first thing to come to mind when trying to imagine a new way of capturing consumer dollars.
Author's note: Before writing this review, I was undecided between a piece that connected to the current state of the industry or dashing out a fun quickie. I couldn't decide, so here's both. Smarties, start at part 1. People who want to get to the point, skip to part 2.
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