scrypt359

Joined 02/05/2013

It's all happening...

43 Posts

http://blog.bioware.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/paxlogo.jpg
Tickets are going fast. Four-day passes are gone, but individual days are still available. Get in line, virtually, on their site, but be prepared to wait. It's a process...

http://prime.paxsite.com/


Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. This is pretty much how I thought the world would end up by 2007. I mean, it's what we were lead to believe, anyway. Since it didn't, it's nice to know that the good kids over at Ubisoft Montreal have given us a portal into such a world. A totally radical world. Totally.

http://fc3blooddragon.uk.ubi.com/index.php

$14.99, and doesn't require the purchase of the original Far Cry 3. May 1st release, on all the usual suspects.


Arrowhead Game Studios, the guys that brought us Magicka, are giving us an altogether different experience and a chance to replay our favorite '80s cinematic action sequences in The Showdown Effect, published by Paradox Interactive. Up to 8 players involved in Solo and team games can join in a mix of 4 different game modes, each customizable to host preferred rule sets (e.g. swords only). Fight with ranged or melee weapons, and even throw in a little kung-fu action, if you like. Rewards are unlocked with points earned based on performance in a match. Unlockables are mostly cosmetic, comprised of skins for weapons and character attire, with the exception of the weapon types, which are pretty standard pistol/shotgun/rpg fare. Simple, and effective. There is also leveled character progression, but no details on what that affords just yet.

The charm of this game comes from the individual character personalities - action heroes from different genres - expressing themselves in exclaimed, cliched one-liners while dusting opponents in all manner of breakneck repertoire. In Showdown Mode, environments are affected at the end of the 5 minute round to reflect the "showdown", a sudden-death phase of kill or be killed, leaving only one standing as the world falls in ruin behind you. For awesome, indeed. The beta includes two levels - a fish market in Neo Tokyo, and a medieval castle - cut from the two main environments, which appear to be the larger Neo Tokyo and Medieval landscapes. Interactive to a degree: glass shatters as you dive through windows, elevators can take you between floors, and weapon pickups are scattered all around, for improvisation. The games description references that "four levels across two different environments" will be available in the full game, so if you are in the beta, and you like what you see, expect twice as much of exactly that. Announced game modes so far include free-for-all (Showdown mode) and team elimination. Dev diary videos seem to indicate testing with a capture-the-flag type game mode, which I would love to see.

When it comes down to what makes or breaks a platformer, its usually the control mechanics. Movement here is fluid and precise; a real sense of tangible footing, and the timing in your responses is trustworthy, barring latency. Maneuverability within The Showdown Effect quickly becomes a natural reflex, freeing you up to focus on turning foes into headless, limbless victims, like extras in a Tarantino film, in the all glory of a John McTiernan film. Targeting these poor souls is a matter of precision as well. The reticle has to be on target, not behind or in front, otherwise it's a no-hit. Takes a little getting used to, but ultimately satisfying. This would also seem to deny any support for gamepads.

One cool little feature is integrated Twitch.tv streaming, to premiere to your hordes of adoring fans just how you get it done. No third party software required.

Really, the only frustration that I've come across in the ten hours I've logged is latency issues, which are unavoidable. Granted, this is still beta, but even at this stage of the process, I don't regret the money I dropped to join in. You can participate by pre-ordering on the Steam page or at the official website:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/204080/
http://theshowdowneffect.com

Prices are $9.99 for the standard edition, $19.99 for deluxe edition, both come with cool extras. According to developers, there is no option yet to upgrade from standard to deluxe, but it sounds like they are trying to work something out. The Showdown Effect is due out March 2013.


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