August 19, 2011

X’11 – Hands On With Dead Island

Filed under: Features,News Feed — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — Brad Johnson @ 8:14 pm

dead island
In the latest installment of our 254-part series “Games Sugar Played at X’11” we have Dead Island, much-anticipated co-op zombie masher.

This particular demo was timed, so I quickly set about grabbing my weapon—a wooden paddle—and getting down to business. The business of zombie-murder, that is—and as several franchises can attest, business is good.

The beach I stepped out onto seemed safe enough, until a zombie came up at my flank and grabbed a hold of me. A prompt informed me that I should pull the left trigger, setting the zombie up for a pull of the right trigger that socked him directly in the face, staggering him away.

This was actually one of the more satisfying moments in the demo, so intuitive that I didn’t actually need to see the second prompt to know what the game wanted me to do.

Now the zombie was down, but he wasn’t out—he was climbing back to his feet. I swung the paddle and he crunched nicely, but to my surprise, he endured.


July 19, 2011

Review – Call of Juarez: The Cartel

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Brad Johnson @ 9:00 am

Call of Juarez The Cartel
Out today is Ubisoft’s latest entry in the Call of Juarez series, The Cartel. Following an inter-agency task force designed to bring down a rising drug cartel responsible for a recent terrorist attack (that’s right; it’s street crime plus terrorism), the game offers three playable characters; a DEA agent, FBI agent, and LAPD officer—all of whom are preposterously corrupt and ultimately grossly incompetent.

As the story progresses, the three (supposed) law enforcement agents concoct a series of deeply stupid and massively illegal (never mind immoral) strategies for bringing down the Cartel (and achieving a handful of additional goals), most of which fail miserably—which is not surprising, on account of their flawed and nonsensical nature.

Meanwhile, a complex story of cops and gangsters with multiple agendas and conflicting (and frequently changing) agendas is weaved. Now, for clarity: this is not a story that is complex in the engaging, labyrinthine way, but rather the messy and highly confusing way. It’s never entirely clear who’s doing what, and for what reason; the only absolute is that everybody is doing something you don’t know about, and it’s going to bite you in the ass.


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