December 13, 2005

Dark Sector – a new ps3 game

Posted in General, news & rumors, previews, Shoot 'em Up at 10:24 pm by playstation3

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The Canadian Digital Extremes is actually (apparently) working on a new, exciting title:

* Dark Sector *

Being developed for next-gen consoles (and pc as well), it’s going to be a third-person shoot-em-up. We can hope for a worldwide release in Q3 2007, but the game has already become extremely popular among gaming forums and various medias as one of the *must have* titles for the new gaming devices, including our lovely PS3.

“Our focus at D3Publisher continues to be acquiring good, mass-market appeal licensed properties, and the acquisition of IP from selected developers designed for next generation machines,” said Yoji Takenaka, exec. vice president and COO for D3PA. “The opportunity to work with the world renowned design team that James Schmalz has assembled at Digital Extremes is just too good to pass up. They have an outstanding reputation for gorgeous graphics, polished gameplay and high quality production values. We are very proud to be working with them on Dark Sector.”
And then…

“We are very fortunate based on our previous successes to be in a position of being selective with our business partners,” commented James Schmalz, Digital Extremes founder. “D3Publisher impressed us with their commitment to publishing high quality next-generation games that exceed gamers’ expectations, which we certainly expect to do with Dark Sector. We consider this game to be the culmination of the experience we have garnered over the years in creating cutting-edge entertainment and we are pleased to be working with them to bring Dark Sector to gamers around the world.”

As I explained before, Dark Sector is a third-person shooter where players assume the role of the super-hero Hayden Tenno, a weird guy able to morph himself into many combat forms. A fictional Soviet-bloc country in the near future is the scenario, and the game features both single and multi-player action, where players challenge other players on unforgettable duels, with their powerful biological weapons.
I never liked third person shooters (maybe as I’m really week at playing them :) but If a game excites me I play it regardless of its genre. So, I’ll wait for Dark Sector as everyone else.

Some info about Digital Extremes? Here it is:

Digital Extremes ranks as one of the world’s top independent development studios in the interactive entertainment industry. The Canadian based developer is best known for its co-creation of Epic Games’ Unreal, the multi-million unit selling franchise which includes the award-winning PC series Unreal and Unreal Tournament as well as Xbox hit Unreal Championship. Digital Extremes is currently in production on its next-generation title, Dark Sector using its proprietary next-gen technology, the Sector Engine.

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December 9, 2005

Unreal 2007 for PS3

Posted in General, news & rumors, previews, Shoot 'em Up at 9:55 am by playstation3

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Building a better battle

“We’ve been working on the side of things for about a year,” the game’s lead designer, Steve Polge, told us as we first laid eyes on it. “We started off refining the basics, the movement and the weapons,” he recounted. “We went back to the roots; played older UT games, other FPSs, so that it just feels really good.” However, Polge wsa quick to add: “We’re stilli n the early part of development.” Judging by the level we saw, you wouldn’t have thought it.

In a classic segue into “the really cool stuff,” Polge quickly talked about the weapons being familiar, but enhanced, then got down to one of the major elements that could make UT2007 the PS3’s online killer app: its vehicles. ‘We’re really innovating most with the vehicles,” explained Polge. “We think it’s something that will really translate well to teh console. It’s actually one case where console controller is actually better suited for gameplay.” (No, Epic Games doesn’t have a PS3 boomerang controller – no one does – we controlled the dev kit with a stock dual shock 2).

Big guns are good. Big vehicles with bigger guns are better. There will be 18 in all, up from the six that debuted in UT2004. Executive Producer Jeff Morris landed an Axxon Cicada in front of us, giving us our first look at the detail achievable by pairing UE 3 with great artists. With its vertical wings, belly turrent, and nose art, it looked like the offspring of an aircraft from WWII and WWXXII. It was also difficult to look at it and not think that it would look perfectly at home in a big-budget Hollywood movie without needing to be pre-rendered.

Next up, we got to see the returning, but improved, Scorpion. This all-terrain vehicle nove becomes a self-destructing projectile if the player uses its newly added boost to rush enemies and then ejects before impact. It’s also great for showing off how the game’s ground vechicles have evolved from “floating boxes” to heavy feeling, realistically handling terrors of the terrain.

In fact, the vehicles have evolved to the point that entire battles can be played out using them. It’s something that Morris had no problem with. “Where is the ‘Twisted Metal Championship”‘, he wondered aloud. “There’s no real leader of the vehicular combat genre on consoles. In fact, the genre has really evaporated over the years,” he observed. “We see a real oppurtunity to bring that type of gameplay back in Unreal Tournament 2007.”

The men (and women) behind the machines

We can’t disagree with that, but this is a FPS, right? You’re not just a car — you’re a man, woman, alien – a being packing some major firepower. Fear not, the foot soldier has not been forgotten.

At this point in development, the Onslaught mode is the major focus of the UT2007 team. The battlefields feature many elements well known to players of UTs past. capture nodes, turrents, and the like… but there are, of course, some new twists.

“We’re tyring to give the level designers a lot more freedom to experiment with doing all new types of Onslaught levels,” expalined Polge. ‘We have special objectives now that can be mixed into the mode. We have low-key objectives like blow up this bridge, but they can also be very elaborate.”

Morris is especially excited about this new aspect. “Even though you’re still palying Onslaught, you know that if you complete this one special objective, for example, you’re going to start out the next match in a really cool vehicle.” He loves his vehicles.

How does all this cause and effect gameplay fit into the whole picture? “The other big thing we’re adding in Ut2007 is a campaign called Warfare,” explained Polge. “The outcome of one battle will realistically affect the next one. It gives a more story-driven aspect to the game, offline or online.”

The design team is also very big on giving the player the freedom to change their role on the battlefield at any point. Polge explains: “We’re not going to have classes. What we’re tyring to do, though, is encourage people to take on roles.” His example: “You can go and grab a sniper rifle and be a sniper for a while, but if you decide you’re tired of doing that, you can play as an engineer by picking up some deployables, which are something els we’re adding to UT 2007.”

“Mines, energy barriers – we have a lot of ideas,” he teased.

Blurring the off/online

“Even though it’s an online-oriented title, a staggering number of people play UT2004 offline,? Morris revealed to our amazement. “We always take the single player very seriously,? he continued. “One of the ways we’re doing that in UT2007 is by giving the characters lots of personality.? According to Morris, offline bots will interact with the player and each other much more realistically now. The game is set to incorporate Epic’s voice recognition technology for communicating with bots as well. “My goal is to be able to use natural words to banter with the bots,? Morris explained. “I want to say ‘Go take this point!’ to the bot and have him say ‘Nah, I don’t’ want to,’? taking it a step farther, Morris adds: “Then I’ll say ‘You WILL take that point!’ and then he goes ahead and does it. And that’s just that one guy’s personality.?

UT2007 is also set to include a deeper create-a-character feature than the previous games, enabling you to customize nearly every aspect of your character’s physique and battle gear.

Oh, the eye candy

Gameplay explained, the entire team want to regale us with details about the technology and art that makes UT2007 look so damn amazing. And hey, we were just as eager to listen. As the game’s executive producer explained to us in words and on the screen, the real time level we were in originally “looked too clean. Too sci-fi.? So the team decided to base it more in reality and give a grungier look to everything. “The cool thing is, every little grungy bit we added caught the light and gave the game an even more amazing look,? Morris explained as he pointed out the remarkably crisp floor and wall textures on the 720p display, light glinting off the floor’s diamond plate as the camera moved.

Yes, the game is targeted to run at 1280×720, a.k.a. 720p resolution if you have a high-definition display. We asked Epic Games vice president Mark Rein, who was also present at the demo, about the target frame rate. “It’s simply too early to say, but we’re aiming for it to be as high as possible,? he responded. For the record, the 720p, totally un-optimized build running on hardware less powerful than the final PS3 spec was clipping along at 49fps.

We asked Rein about the now famous E3 demo of UE3. How difficult was it, really, to get it up and running? “The only trick we did to make sure that the lighting looked right and shadows looked right when we were doing our E3 demo was to change the mode in the game engine from Direct X to Open GL,? he confirmed, adding: “There’s no difference in what you see running of this test bed PC [a high-end system with a $500+ NVIDIA 7800GTX videocard] and the PS3, which is really amazing.?

“People are going to be totally blown away when the get a PS3 and play it,? Rein continued. “PC gamers are used to having the absolute cutting edge graphics – console players are just going to say ‘Wow!’? As for how PS3 will ultimately run the game? “When you see the [final] game running on PS3, it’s going to be smoother [than on the PC]. You’re not going to have the operating system in the way and all the other things that can make a PC game look ‘poppy,’? he said. Driving home the point, he added: “People ask me what the next generation is going to offer other than better graphics, and I say ‘Stop! Go back and look at the graphics!’ Don’t downplay that. People spend $600 on a video card to get this kind of performance on their PC, and this is a potentially sub- $500 console!?

November 25, 2005

New Embrace Of Time Screenshots

Posted in General, previews, RPG at 1:25 pm by playstation3

Here are some new Embrace of time screenshots. Well, not gameplay screenshots and not exactly new ones, but interesting for those that still didn’t enjoy them.

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This character is quite goth. Quite dark. Quite bad. The latin name of this chapter means “Eye of resurrection”… mmm… and “The embrace of time”… well, cute names :)

November 15, 2005

Condemned: Criminal Origins Trailer PS3

Posted in General, news & rumors, previews at 12:18 pm by playstation3

 

Finally, something new about Playstation 3 games!

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Well, not much, but not bad. We found a pretty cool Condemned: Criminal Origins trailer, released yesterday. The game is being developed by SEGA, and it looks like something freaky; it looks like a psychological thriller.

The trailer show us how the game begins, and something about the story. Enjoy… :)

You can download Condemned: Criminal Origins trailer at PS3Updates, clicking [here].

November 12, 2005

Latest Playstation 3 News

Posted in General, news & rumors, previews at 3:09 pm by playstation3

News! News! Good news! Good PS3 news! Good Playstation 3 News of the day!

Ok, now every search engine on the globe will know I’ve got Playstation 3 News to share :)

Well… Truth is that most of them are boring, unconfirmed, unofficial and missing many particulars… but let’s make a good list!

  • Grand Theft Auto is confirmed EXCLUSIVE to the Playstation 3. It will ONLY run on our PS3. Yahoo!!!
  • Total U.S. console software sales for October were kinda $365 millions, 24% less than October 2004. Well, it could be interesting :)
  • SDKs for cell processor are going to be released. There is already something online. Sony, IBM and Toshiba (the three “bigs” working in cooperation) released a development kit. Take a look at the main site.
  • I’m going to develop a portal about next generation(S) consoles, in italian. Breaking news, aren’t them? :)
  • PS3 is still winning the “mindshare war”. 32% of gamers will buy a ps3 vs. 27% going for the XBox. Those statistics are so boring, I don’t know if I’ll mention them again.
  • Ex Sony Computer Ent. America employees formed a new, independent company. Game development, naturally. They call themselves “Machine Union” :)

It’s enough for today :) I’m going to build on my psp the accessories my partners gave me yesterday: 4gb memory block and TV Out :)…. the best, while waiting for Playstation 3! See You tomorrow folks!

October 27, 2005

Virtua Fighter 5 PS3

Posted in General, news & rumors, previews at 11:53 am by playstation3

IGN published a very interesting article about the incoming Virtua Fighter 5 for Playstation 3.

“Following its unveiling at the August Amusement Machine Show, Sega went quiet on Virtua Fighter 5, putting games like House of the Dead 4 and Psy-Phi on test while leaving the Lindbergh arcade board’s killer app locked away in its corporate offices. The details are slowly starting to come out, though, with this week’s Famitsu shedding new light on the game’s characters and gameplay.

The magazine shares first details on one of the two new characters to be featured in VF5. The masked wrestler character from the Amusement Machine Show trailer is called El Blaze and he uses the Lucha Libre fighting style (also performed in Dead or Alive 4… by a similarly masked character). El Blaze uses acrobatic movements and throws to fight his opponents. Story-wise, there appears to be a connection between El Blaze and Wolf.

Gameplay details are still being kept under wraps, but the Famitsu story does reveal that we can expect a few new gameplay systems. One new system is hinted at by some of El Blaze’s moves, which allow the wrestler to leap over and beyond downed opponents.

Don’t worry about your favorite fighting game being tinkered with by inexperienced designers — VF5 is being developed by veteran AM2 staffers. Serving as “game director” is Daichi Katagiri, who’s been with the series since the start. The title’s “overall director” is Makoto Osaki, who’s worked on the development of Daytona USA and various other racing titles out of Sega.

The creators reveal that Virtua Fighter 5 will not feature Online fights. While it’s technically possible, they feel that doing so would create something other than Virtua Fighter. Instead of allowing for direct fights, they hope to build upon the network functionality featured in VF4, allowing for greater player communication and building up a strong community.

Specifics on a few of VF5’s new gameplay systems will be revealed soon, so VF fans, stay tuned to IGN.?

Now, as a videogames developer, I smile when those men talk about “technically possible” online Fighting games. They are making fun of us :)

It’s hard, very hard. The average gamer has not access to the right infrastructures for such a detailed game.

MAYBE it’s possible to play very complex Fighting games in local area networks. But VF5 is a kind of game requiring a precision order of few milliseconds.

Wanna try something while waiting? :) Take a look at Street Fighter Online. It’s not Playstation 3, but quite exciting :) 

October 25, 2005

Motor Storm PS3

Posted in General, news & rumors, previews at 10:26 am by playstation3

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Motor Storm looks like a nice PS3 racing game. Well, at least nice (ok, kickass) graphics and possibility to perform deadly car crashes :)

This off-road racing game, from Evolution Studios, will put your virtual car under tons of smelly mud, petrol, dust. A lot of loud, engines’ music, abnormous trucks, metal and deserts, rally tunings… immediately, without qualifications, restrictions, vehicle classes, or whatever. Select your offroad monster and start running. Avoid total destruction. Survive to the end of a crazy, dirty race.

Ah :) we’ll love this one!

Enjoy those screenshots and be happy.

Your Playstation 3 is giving out good games :)

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