Tag Archives: Batman

avengers-cast fi

Film and computer game tie-ins: Avengers expansion

With the glut of the latest summer blockbusters already starting to hit cinemas, it got us thinking about some of our favourite film tie-in games. There have been lots of great games based on existing film, giving gamers an already richly populated world that they can truly immerse themselves in when they start playing. With so many to choose from, we thought we’d share some of our favourites.

 

  • Batman: Arkham Asylum. While not based on the current series of films, it still shares the same dark visuals that have made the modern films so popular, and is a world away from the bright comic-book TV series of the sixties. With a great story and fast-paced action, the game has been understandably very popular with critics. It also looks fantastic, especially when you play it with 3D glasses, like the NVIDIA 3D Vision 2.
  • Equally good, and quite a bit older, is Indiana Jones and The Fate of Atlantis. A standard point-and-click adventure (whatever happened to them?), it allowed gamers to take on the role of Indy in another adventure. Many people remember the game quite fondly, so much so that it has been reissued, allowing a new generation of gamers to play it on modern PCs. If you’re looking for a different kind of game, and want a break from 1st person action games, give this one a try.
  • Aliens vs Predator – Based on at least three different films, the original game (released all the way back in 1999) allowed you to play as the titular characters, as well as a marine from the Aliens film. Still looking remarkably good, despite its age, the game is absolutely terrifying when played as a marine, managing to bring across all the fear of the films. Each race has its own abilities, and nothing beats climbing up a wall and along the ceiling to jump onto an unsuspecting marine below.
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – No round up of film tie-ins would be complete without a reference to Star Wars. There have been countless games based on the old and new films. The Force Unleashed is set between the last of the new films and the first of the old ones, letting you play Darth Vadar’s apprentice. Combat is fast paced and fun, allowing you to execute some impressive combos with your lightsabre. A lot of thought also went in to the game world itself, meaning that the plot matches anything in the films, with beautiful locations created specifically for the game.

With the Avengers film out last week, and exciting films like Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises being launched over the coming months, there’s plenty of scope for some great new film tie-ins. With its non-stop action, The Avengers film would make a great choice. What do you think? Which film (old or new) would you like to see made into a game? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or in the comments below.

DC Universe Online

Five of the Biggest Free-to-play MMO Titles

There have been a number of big name titles taking the Free-to-play route  to market.  Perhaps this is a result of the games available on Facebook or the low cost games available on mobile platforms such as iOS and Android, or it may even be a combination of a number of factors, including these.  Either way, price is increasingly becoming less of an initial barrier, as at the very least you can sample a number of high budget titles for the most welcoming price of FREE.

Now, I will say right up front, that the big FREE sign is an entry cost.  Once inside, you may have to spend a few pounds to experience all that the chosen title has to offer, but at the very least you’ll have a little more to go on in deciding whether this is a game you should be spending your hard-earned on.

With a number of publishers deciding that free can pay, there have been some recognisable names made available for your consumption.  So here we go, in no particular order, five of the biggest free-to-play MMOs currently available.

DC Universe online

I’d say that this is the most talked about MMO at the moment, given that the transition to free-to-play has brought in a reported one million new players, this was achieved in the relatively short time span of one month.  Clearly the lure of being able to assume the role and powers of your favourite DC Superheros is a huge appeal and now that the barrier to entry has been removed, fans are flocking to the DC Universe in their droves.

Sony Online Entertainment have changed the model from a month subscription, to a plan which generates income through micro-transactions and an optional subscription package.  Remember, I said free entry, if you want a drink and a dance, you’re going to have to pay for that pleasure.  In fairness, there is still plenty to do before you may feel inclined to share your bank details and therein lies the unsolved equation for Sony.  Will there be enough mirco-transactions, as they call it, to make it worth their while to give the freedom to be Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman.  We shall see in the coming weeks and months.

 

EverQuest II

While Sony Online Entertainment, may have dipped it’s toe in the water, it would seem that the water doesn’t feel too bad as the rest of the foot is going in.  EverQuest II, set in an alternate future to the original EverQuest, already had a free to play option but this drew many complaints about the community being divided.  This issue was addressed by executive producer Dave Georgeson  who said this week that “in early December we’re going to change things to be ‘Free to play’. Your way.”

Well, this “free to play. Your way” Burger King style phrase is worth taking a little look at as, I don’t know about you but my way is totally awesome and pretty difficult to recreate.  A few key points are worth noting, firstly that free members are limited to two characters and Adept-tier spells.  There is also a Silver and Gold membership which does come with a subscription of $5 per month and $15 per month respectively.  And the last point to highlight is that both Silver and Free users are limited to four races and eight classes, with accompanying restrictions on equipment grades they have access to.  To sum up, not entirely awesome but again, enough to sink your teeth into before deciding whether to sink the big money into this title.

 

World of Warcraft

There can be no doubt that the king of MMORPGs is World of Warcraft.  This is the title that has set the standard for MMOs and captured the imagination and adulation of thousands of online gamers.  While the original Warcraft series dates back to 1994 with Warcraft: Ocrs & Humans, it is arguably the move to Azeroth that occurred 10 years later in 2004 that ostensibly secured the future of the title perhaps for another decade.

This summer, in an effort to ensure that there was plenty fresh meat, Blizzard introduced a new program called World of Warcraft Starter Edition.  This allowed new players, to play at their leisure without fear of their trial period expiring.  What this means, is that you can battle as much as you like and you’ll gain experience up to level 20, at which point you can still continue to cast your spells and swing you swords but you’ll no longer gain experience for your victories unless you upgrade to the full version of the game.

There are a few limitations, but if you’ve be curiously sniffing around this MMO leviathan for a while, this will be a great taster.

 

Star Trek Online

While this one may still be a way off, January 17th 2012 if we’re going to put a date to it (as we should), it’ll still be a welcome a ddition to the growing free-to-play catalogue.  It would be an understate to say the Trekkie community is massive, so no doubt there will be many that are very pleased with the news of this impending release.  There has been a slight delay in getting this MMORPG out to the baying hordes, but this title has been in the works since May if this year so if they need a little more time to get this right, I say give it to them rather than being handed a poorly conceived rush job.

The free to play for this is a little different from what Cryptic, the game developer, has set out previously.  The game’s economy will be “revisited” with high-end equipment will be more difficult to acquire and the low-end equipment will be extremely easy to acquire.  And the familiar Dilithium will be the only item in the game can be auctioned off for Cryptic points.  This may perhaps be one of the most “free” free-to-play title around.  But we’ll have to wait and see what actually emerges in January.

 

Team Fortress 2

This first person shooter was developed by Valve Corporation and is a sequel to the original mod Team Fortress based on the Quake engine.  One of the key advantages to Team Fortress is that Valve is the creator of Steam, the game platform that distributes games directly to a growing community of more than 35 million users.  In fact, there are a number of Valve games available on Steam that could arguably warrant a mention, Counter-Strike being principle among them, but it is Team Fortress 2 that has the free to play option.

It is Team Fortress 2 that has one of the most “free” free to play offers, with the free version giving access to the same maps, classes and game types as players who purchased Team Fortress 2 before it was free to play.  Though who purchased the game before is was made free, will be rewarded with a special in-game hat.

Batman ZX Spectrum

The History of The Dark Knight

With the release of the latest Batman game ‘Batman Arkham City’ I thought it’d be a good time to take a trip down memory lane, looking at some of the caped crusaders most prominent gaming outings over the past 25 years.

Arkham City (2011) – Xbox 360PlayStation 3, and Windows PC

Builds upon the intense, atmospheric foundation of Batman: Arkham Asylum, sending players soaring into Arkham City, the new maximum security “home” for all of Gotham City’s thugs, gangsters and insane criminal masterminds. Players are able to take control of Catwoman in certain scenarios.

Arkham Asylum (2009) - Xbox 360PlayStation 3, and Windows PC

Batman: Arkham Asylum exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure that takes them to the depths of Arkham Asylum – Gotham’s psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Gamers will move in the shadows, instigate fear amongst their enemies and confront The Joker and Gotham City’s most notorious villains who have taken over the asylum. Other villains include The Riddler and Harlequin.

Batman Begins (2005) - PS2XboxNintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance 

Though it didn’t receive the praise that both ‘Arkham’ and ‘Asylum’ were showered with, this release still packed a punch and marked the dawn of a new Batman in the form of Christian Bale. Based on Christopher Nolan’s film, the Batman Begins video game explores the origins of the Batman legend and the Dark Knight’s emergence as a force for good in Gotham. Gamers will play as both Bruce Wayne and his alter-ego, Batman, hunting enemies, using strength, intellect and an array of high tech gadgets to fight the sinister forces that threaten the city, including classic villains Ra’s Al Ghul and the Scarecrow.

Batman Returns (1993) -  NESSuper NESMega Drive/Sega GenesisSega CDSega Game Gear, and Atari Lynx

A blast from the past, Batman Returns is still one of the most popular movies in the Batman franchise to date. This 2D Beat’ em Up game takes the player through seven scenes featured in the film. Various members of the Red Triangle Circus Gang attack Batman throughout the game. Batman has a number of weapons and moves at his disposal, including the ‘batarang’. Each of the levels ends with a boss character, which requires a little more effort and strategy to defeat. The fifth level consists of driving the Batmobile in a chase scene where Batman must chase bikers and a heavily-armed van from the gang using the Batmobile machine gun.

Batman (1986) - ZX SpectrumMSX and Amstrad PCW

Batman’s first outing as a computer game character. The object of the original game is to rescue Robin by collecting the seven parts of the Batcraft hovercraft that are scattered around the Batcave. The gameplay takes place in a 3D isometric universe. Notably the game implemented an early example of a system that allows players to restart from an intermediate point in the game on the loss of a life rather than returning all the way to the start (in this case the point at which Batman collects an item known as the “Batstone”).

It been great seeing Batman in all of his different incarnations and throughout the evolution of the various platforms.  What version stands out most in your mind?  Is Arkham City going to be the best yet?