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Thursday, January 31, 2013

MetalGearRising Revengeance, Dead Space 3, Crysis 3: Demos and First Impressions

As I go through the economic depression of my life, it was only a matter of time before the financial crisis started chocking my gaming life. I haven't bought a new game in 2 months now, and even the last one was a 3 year old game(Fable 3, read the review here). In-fact the last game that I bought which was released in the same year was Borderlands-2 (that's way back in September, check out the review here). This however does not mean that I have not kept up with the gaming world/news around me. I downloaded and played the recently released demos for 3 of the most anticipated games ready to hit the market in the coming months, and as I don't work for any big video gaming review house, this is my first hands-on for the games itself. Below are my first impressions.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

The Hideo Kojima brainchild is not one for short names. The most recent episode into the Metal Gear franchise was announced way back in 2009, then shelved and then re-started in 2011. The game is now ready to hit the markets in Feburary, and for a change focuses on Raiden (the semi protagonist of MGS 2) instead of Solid Snake himself. Raiden is a cyborg, and has one hell of a sword, that is supposed to cut through absolutely anything. This makes the game more hack and slash rather than the stealth oriented game-play of its predecessors. But will that work?

The demo has you playing a tutorial level, followed by what I believe is an initial mission in the main storyline, ending in a mini boss fight with an A.I. controlled Dog robot. The long conversational cut scenes (which are the trademark of MGS and Hideo Kojima) are there in the tutorial too, giving you enough background into what you are about to do and why.

As mentioned before; the game-play is more hack and slash, there is a sword attack and a melee attack, you can also equip different secondary weapons (ranging from grenades to rocket launchers) for use, the combat is combo based and revolves around hitting and moving in one complete flow. The highlight of the combat however is the sword mode. Hit the LT and time slows down, the left analog controls the camera and the right analog the actual sword, allowing you to swing the sword in any trajectory you deem fit.
The idea is novel and new, but it does take a bit of getting used to. The left analog stick is for motion in normal mode, and many a times I was actually moving when I hit the sword mode, and hence the camera angle got screwed cause I was still holding the stick in a particular direction. Get the swing right however, and you are awarded with visceral slashing scenes, and if you cut them in proper ways, health regeneration.I was happier using the sword mode for the killing blow rather than using it as my staple, but I believe mastering this art and using it as often as possible is the key of enjoying this game.

Dead Space 3:

The dead space franchise is a little closer to my heart than most. I loved the first game, and I have kept a tab on everything dead space ever since (Even the novel, and the animated feature films). Recently, I also received a special code from Origin (or EA) to try out Dead-Space 3 demo exclusively. Of course the demo was released to the public soon after (1 week later), but still the fact that I was sent a special key, makes me feel that I accomplished something as a gamer.

This demo is the most impressive of the three that I am talking about here today. It offers the single and co-op mode for the same mission, and surprisingly the same mission plays out much differently when played solo as compared to playing with someone else (I played the co-op online and changed 3 partners). First and foremost, the chill is still there, from the emptiness of the Ishimura to the devastation of the 'Sprawl' to the frigid planet Tau Volantis, the team at Visceral have kept the thriller horror aspect of the game alive. Even the presence of another player does little to alay the creeping noises that you hear from time time (was it the wind, or a necromorph just crawled). So while Dead Space might have added human enemies and even cover and shoot mechanics, the core of the game at-least in the demo, still lies in classical Dead Space.
There is also a Workbench mode provided in the demo, where you can try out crafting your weapons using some stuff already provided, and then try out the weapon in a controlled necromorph wave. The mode quite frankly can be a little over-whelming, and initially I had no idea what I was doing, adding stuff hap-hazardly until I could add no more. The gun that I came up with wasn't really impressive, but I am sure someone out there, with more brains than I has already come up with something unique.

Crysis 3:

Crytek are the second company in the world that actually create a new engine for their game every time (the first is iD software) and do a good job of it. And boy does the Cry Engine 3 look gorgeous. The marshes, the weeds, the smog, the broken buildings, I played for about 2 hours straight and landed up in the most awkward of corners, but never did the textures look like textures, they were all rendered as what they were supposed to be (mud, wall or wreckage).

The demo differs in the way that it only offers 2 multiplayer modes to the player (no single player, not even a tutorial); never explaining you the nuances of the game, leaving you to learn on the fly (it helps that it's control scheme follows other shooters though). The 2 modes are Crash-site (a spin off on Capture the Flag) and Hunter (where 1 team of 'Hunters' need to kill off the other team of 'C.E.L.L. operatives' in a given time). I believe that modern day multiplayer is not my thing, there is too much camouflage and too many ways to kill, but I gave it a try anyways. As was expected I sucked big time, still I leveled up-to 4 before I gave in for the night.
It was the only demo, in which I actually faced glitches. Twice I was frozen (and had to quit the session) and once the world around me just collapsed into blue and purple geometric figures (had to quit the session again), but I would put these down to Open-Beta and multiplayer glitches, which should be ironed out, once the game comes out in March this year.

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