Tag Archives: FPS

Crysis Console FI

Our top 5 game remakes

The recent release of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition got us thinking, what are the best computer game remakes of all time? Remakes of classic games are all the rage right now, so what are your favourites? While I haven’t played the new Halo yet (I’m in two minds given it’s the first Halo game that Bungie haven’t made and have trouble trusting Microsoft’s abilities to build its own version of Bungie), here are my top five:

 

1. Tomb Raider Anniversary (Xbox 360 & PS3)

Putting this at the top of the list was a no brainer for me. The original Tomb Raider was a revolution when it was released on the Sega Saturn and then the PlayStation a few months later (Sega paid a fortune for a few months exclusivity on it). It was leaps and bounds ahead of any other game before it and raised the bar considerably on level design and puzzles. I never had the opportunity to complete the game the first time around because my brother always hogged it, so having the opportunity to play it again all the way through in the new Legend engine was one of the best console experiences of my life. While the levels had that familiar feel of a remake (they’d have to be right?) most of the puzzles and the combat had been completely rewritten, so even if you played the original to death, this would still deliver a new enough experience for you. Incredible. Oh and don’t assume this is anything like the new Tomb Raider games who share the same engine (Legend onwards) as they’re pitiful. This however is fantastic.

 

2. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (Gamecube)

While nowhere near as ambitious as the Tomb Raider remake, this upgrade of Metal Gear Solid for the Gamecube was a lot of fun. While the core gameplay was exactly the same, the graphics and cutscenes were improved considerably. That might not seem like much, but given that half the Metal Gear games ARE cutscenes, by my maths revamping those made for half a new game. Throwing in doses of Matrix inspired bullet-time for good measure, the cutscenes were not just enjoyable to watch but helped to add that epic feel that was otherwise lacking in a game that was otherwise very similar to the PlayStation original.

 

3. Far Cry Instincts (Xbox)

Far Cry Instincts was a brave move by Ubisoft. Not content with simply porting their PC classic to consoles intact (which I’m sure would have worked fine with a bit of tweaking to the engine), they decided to create an entirely new game. Only the premise remained the same. In the process Ubisoft created a game that was widely regarded as even better than the PC original. Not a bad effort.

 

4. Nights: Journey of Dreams (Wii)

This is a more controversial choice I know, as it’s more of a sequel than a remake, but given the expectation for this game, and its closeness to the original, I’m going to include it. For those who never owned a Sega Saturn (that’s most of you), Nights was one of its real standout titles. The objective of Nights is to fly the main character, who incidentally is called Nights, around beautiful dream worlds. The fun comes from guiding Nights through hoops to build up high scores and beating your best times. The game also mixes things up with lots of gameplay twists. This hits the list because it’s a fun game that, with the exception of the first Night’s title, is still totally unique.

 

5. Crysis (console versions)

This is last on my list, not because it’s a bad game (it would be a crime to even suggest such a thing), but because it’s not so much a remake as a re-optimisation to be released on consoles. I missed Crysis the first time around as I didn’t have a PC that could do it justice, so having it finally available on consoles is a wonderful thing. It’s a little odd to have this available after the sequel came out too, but there you go. Still a fantastic game, and only £15 as a download.

So this is my top 5. What do you think? What did I miss? And how about we follow this up with a post on the top 5 remakes that should be made?

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 fi

What next for the Call of Duty franchise?

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 has been upon us for a few weeks now. Not only has it reaffirmed the franchise’s position as the top selling shooter of all time, but it has also brought to an end a trilogy that started in 2007, when the first Modern Warfare took us away from the WWII era to err, more modern warfare. The first Modern Warfare introduced many new revolutionary features to the well-trodden shooter genre – such as sprinting, insanely epic set pieces, a compelling story, well implemented levelling up system, to name but a few. This is on top of taking the scale and intensity of its award-winning shooting formula to the next level. Oh and modern weaponry. Lots of modern weaponry.

So what’s next? As some reviews of MW3 have pointed out (although not as many as should have in my opinion), the Call of Duty formula has started to feel a little stale. Apart from building on the epic factor each time, there is little to differentiate each game in the trilogy. Each one is a well calculated improvement, but not a gutsy leap. Here’s a few more gutsy developments I’d like to see:

Stop releasing a new game every year – Let Treyarch develop a new IP instead of just plugging the gap between the more innovative, Infinity Ward-developed games (i.e. the Modern Warfare series).

Update the engine – This is no doubt in the plan already, but the Modern Warfare engine which has powered all the CoD games the first Modern Warfare (including World at War and Black Ops) is looking outdated now, especially when compared to the fantastic Battlefield 3 engine.

Reset the formula – make bigger changes to the control mechanics. The feel of the game doesn’t have to change completely, but even the Halo franchise has managed to make noticeable changes to the feel with each iteration without losing the core gameplay mechanic (whether this stays true without Bungie in control remains to be seen).

Future Warfare! – The move to modern warfare was a very deliberate one by the franchise, as was the decision to launch it as a trilogy. No doubt Infinity Ward are thinking about the next theatre or era for the franchise. It may be predictable, but a Call of Duty set in the future would be really exciting. It would also be a great opportunity to reset the formula a bit – imagine shields, jet packs, lasers. It may sound a lot like Halo, but I’m sure Infinity Ward could make a very different product to that.

These are just a few of my ideas for taking the franchise forward, but my fear is that the next Call of Duty will do none of these things. This is because small iterations are the very essence of the Call of Duty formula. It has become, and remains, a cash cow for Activision, so I fear small iterations will remain the order of the day so that it remains so. It’s the sensible choice from a short-term profit generation perspective, but people want innovation in the long-term. After all that’s what made the franchise a success in the first place.

Doom Behind You

Dabs Technical Glossary: The Gaming Edition

It’s easy to enjoy the gaming experience without understanding all the terms and definitions used.  But once you do understand the most common terms, it opens you up to an even greater appreciation of some the games that you have enjoyed.  And you’ll be better equipped to speak to others about the games you enjoy playing.  We’ve put together a short guide, on some of the most common terms, which I think will at the very least be helpful for a few.  Let’s get straight into it:

The Mirror Edge protagontist in a model view
The Mirror Edge protagonist in a model view

Models:  Models are the digital shapes of everything you see on screen in a game.  Depending on the game and it’s level of detail, models can be very complex and highly detailed, but they don’t usually include any colour schemes or detailing.  When a model is finalised, the textures are added to it as well as colour.  Textures are designed to give colour to everything you see within the game afterwards.

HUD:  HUD stands for Heads Up Display.  The Heads Up Display is anything that you can see on the screen while you are playing the game.  For example this could be information that is in the game such as health, the weapon of choice, ammunition, and a map.  Because there is so many different genres of games and so many innovations in each genre, every HUD is unique.  Good HUDs that are created by developers can really make all the difference to the accessibility and overall quality of the game.

Gameplay
: Gameplay is a general term that refers to anything you can do in a game. Gameplay features can include shooting, jumping, buying and selling in-game items, and interacting with Non-Player Controlled (NPC) characters.  A game with a high number of available gameplay features gives the majority of gamers a unique experience.  When executed well, this is can make for a more interactive and fun game to play.



Doom's First Person Shooter perspective (FPS)
Doom's First Person Shooter perspective (FPS)

FPS (First Person Shooter)First Person Shooters are an extremely popular genre of videogames.  In this genre, you see through the eyes of your character, typically with a weapon in hand.  In a number of FPS games, your character has no dialogue at all.  This is done so that any reaction your character may have is imagined by you.  This tactic is most often used to immerse the player further into the story, allowing you project as much of your own creation onto the character as your imagination allows.   A few of the most popular FPS titles include Call of Duty, Halo and Doom.


RPG (Role-Playing Game)
: In Role-Playing Games, you control one or more characters, and every attribute about them.  This means that while you play the game, your character(s) may get stronger, faster, gain intelligence, or improve in a number of other skills.  Most RPG’s are based in fantasy worlds and can take cues from popular mythology.  This genre specialises in creating very large and interactive environments for the player to explore and to utilise a very wide range of items and weapons.  Games of this genre typically take a long time to complete and have good replay value.

That a briefly look at some of the terms you may come across, this I would say is level one.  Of course there is so much more we can go through and I expect this will make up a future blog post.

Please let me know what you think and if there are any other areas or terms you would like covered.  If this is the first level, what term do you suggest should make up level 2 of this gaming terms guide?