Friday, September 9, 2011

Deus Ex, Dead Island, Space Marine previews

Here be the previews

Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Available on: OnLive, PS3, Xbox 360, PC

Deus Ex has been one of the coolest action-RPGs I've played in a while. Here's the skinny on Deus Ex: You are the head of security for this biological tech company. Suddenly, the compound is attacked and you fend off a grip of mercenaries before getting blown to kingdom come. That's where the game really starts getting interesting. From there, you use a combination of stealth and/or brute force to figure out what really happened that fateful night of the attack. You can interact with most characters in the game and can save anywhere.

What I enjoyed most about the game thus far is, without a doubt, the how twisted the plot is. Early on, I got the feeling I was getting played like a Nintendo Gameboy.

The graphics look good, not great, and the role-playing elements really add depth to the game. Throughout the levels, you will find computers and door terminals that can be hacked, keycards with passwords and data on them and NPC - nonplayable characters - who can help you acquire data, weapons that couldn't normally be accessed without interaction.

Another cool feature? There are multiple ways to complete tasks. You can do it your way, or find a backdoor and avoid direct confrontation.

This game is one you can easily sink 30, 40 hours into. Plus, you can save anywhere - you have 20 slots, but can't save during some parts of the mission.

Keep your eye on this one.

Warhammer: 40,000: Space Marine
Available on: PS3, Xbox 360, PC

Space Marine, published by THQ, on the surface reminds me of a Gears of War, Red Faction mash-up. It's visceral - blood flows like the Jordan River - and you'll get tired of hearing the constant "Space Marine" screams from Shreks orks. You'll get tired of the dialogue ("Green skins incoming") and will likely grow weary of how worthless the security forces really are. However, with the negative talk out of the way, let's focus on what makes this game hella fun.

Space Marine puts players in the role of Titus, this bad fomo who rocks hella huge body armor, bfgs and is too cool to wear a helmet - and can literally wipe the floor with his chainsaw sword. What makes him one bad Ultra Marine is how suave he is executing enemies. He can grab a demon or an ork, shank 'em and get insane power up off his kills.

Gameplay is solid. You pretty much play solo through the single player campaign. You have NPCs - other Ultra Marines rolling with you, but they are as reliable as a Yugo on Katy Freeway. They let you lead, which is cool, but they don't rush into the action. They let you draw fire, then they respond. When they do engage, it's good - they can't die, so they can take insane amounts of fire. While they soak up laser shots, you are free to move undetected and snipe with ease.

The graphics look good. I wasn't thrilled with seeing Shreks of all sizes running toward me, especially these small suicide orks that seek you out and blow themselves up in your presence. It's not open sandbox like Deus Ex or Dead Island, but it's still a good linear experience.

Overall, it's a joy to fight off hordes of orks and show them why you rock.

Dead Island
Available on: PS3, Xbox 360, PC

Ok, Ok, I know you're gonna say it. Zombies in paradise, FTW. Not this time. From the controversial Dead Island trailer showing an infected girl falling out of the window, to the game's logo - a hanging body (the box art changed, but a message sent to me on the game's letterhead still has the hanging body lol), this game has caught major heat. And yet, this game is one that has redefined the zombie genre. Yes, it's just that good.

The game starts off with players choosing one of four characters to play: An ex-pro athlete, a washed-up rapper, an ex-police officer and an assassin. From there, you wake in your darkened hotel room and find out your hotel - as well as the tropical paradise, has been overrun by zombies. It's an intense ride after that.

The graphics look ok - the scenery is lush and inviting. The NPCs look dated, though the game has been in development since 2006 so I'll give it a pass. The sounds are eery - your skin will crawl when you hear zombie groans.

What really sets this game apart from Left 4 Dead and Resident Evil is the open-world aspect. Sure, some parts of the world can't be explored, but most of it can be. That is what makes this game a must-own for any zombie video game fan.

Look for the full review next week.

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