New release slate highlighted by first M-rated franchise entry and First Strike add-on content for Sony’s console; Beyond Good & Evil HD, Rift, Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War II: Retribution also out.
The splendid shooter Killzone 3 and the foul-mouthed Bulletstorm led all releases last week, but this week’s focus shifts to hand-to-hand fighting, Call of Duty multiplayer, and a revival of Beyond Good & Evil.
Leading the pack this week is EA Sports’ Fight Night Champion for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Champion is the first Fight Night game to be rated M for Mature. The game is being billed as one that is “gritty” and “dark,” with animations and player damage that “truly conveys the brutality of the sport of boxing.”
EA is promising a refined physics-based animation system and a new “Full Spectrum Punch Control” scheme. The title will focus on a single-player mode intended to re-create the dramatic and emotional aspects of the sport.
PlayStation 3 gamers looking to add to their copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops can pick up the $15 First Strike downloadable content this week via the PlayStation Network. As for the content, the map pack includes four new multiplayer environments ranging in locale from the Berlin Wall in Germany to a North American hockey rink. The add-on also bundles one environment for the game’s zombie mode dubbed Ascension.
While Beyond Good & Evil 2 is still far off, fans of the series can pick up an updated version of the well-received original this week on Xbox Live. Beyond Good & Evil HD will feature 1080p graphics, including enhanced character models and upgraded textures, and Ubisoft has also remastered the game’s musical score.
Also out this week is Trion Worlds’ massively multiplayer online game Rift for PC. As its title might suggest, the game’s premise is that of “rifts” in space time that are playing havoc with the land of Telara and threatening to tear the fabric of the universe. The world will be highly malleable, as these rifts can be triggered by players or the development team, and they can also occur spontaneously. Their arrival will apparently alter the landscape, as well as open up new areas for exploration.
Those who would rather add to an existing game than pick up a new one can grab Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Retribution for the PC. Retribution follows on from the events that transpired in Dawn of War II’s first expansion, Chaos Rising. Set 10 years later, the game sees the Imperium reeling after an apparent betrayal by Gabriel Angelos’ Space Marines. Gamers will be able to assume command of their chosen faction to experience the events of the game as they play out.
Gamers looking for something a little lighter this week can pick up Rango The Video Game. It will be released the Tuesday before the Johnny Depp-voiced animated Western releases in theaters on Friday, March 4. Like its film inspiration, the action adventure game will follow the travails of its titular out-of-his-element lizard. The game will be set in the Wild West town of Dirt, and gamers will find themselves meeting quirky characters, as well as engaging in shoot-outs and other old-timey activities.
For further details on the week’s games, visit GameSpot’s New Releases page. The full list of downloadable games on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, and Wii Shop Channel will be revealed later this week. Release dates are based on retailer listings and are subject to change.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28
Fate of the World–PC–Red Redemption
Martial Empires: The Catastrophe of Babylon–PC–gamigo
TUESDAY, MARCH 1
Chuck E. Cheese’s Sports Games–Wii–UFO Interactive
Fight Night Champion–PS3, X360–EA Sports
Rango: The Video Game–PS3, X360, Wii, DS–Paramount Digital Entertainment
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Retribution–PC–THQ
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2
Beyond Good & Evil HD–X360–Ubisoft
Call of Duty: Black Ops: First Strike–PS3–Activision
Perfect World International: Genesis–PC–Perfect World Entertainment
In 2003, ESPN debuted Playmakers, a gridiron soap opera about a fictitious professional football team that dealt with many of the dirty off-the-field issues commonly seen in the world of sports. Critics and viewers alike gravitated to the show, making it the third-most popular program on ESPN. Not everyone was happy with the success. The NFL disliked the show due to its portrayal of professional players as drug addicts, wife beaters, and closeted homosexuals. With the renewal of the Sunday Night Football contract on the horizon, ESPN caved to pressure from the overbearing league and cancelled the show.
Sports game developers are all too familiar with this kind of league pressure. Many leagues review the content that goes into each game, which might keep, for example, EA Tiburon from adding random events like substance abuse suspensions or off-field controversies to Madden’s popular franchise mode. With no league body to appease, the Fight Night development team at EA is free from these types of shackles and plans to make use of its liberties in the new Champion mode. As the first mature-rated title in EA Sports history, Fight Night Champion’s story mode examines the seedy underbelly of boxing. To make sure the story meets the team’s high standards, EA hired Academy Award winning writer Will Rokos (Monster’s Ball). Here are short bios of the characters players encounter as the drama unfolds.
The central figure of the story mode, Andre is a talented boxing prodigy who many project to be the next Sugar Ray Leonard. Blessed with superior athletic abilities and demonstrating a maturity beyond his years, players will guide Bishop through the trials and tribulations he must overcome to realize his goal of being the best boxer in the world.
The Don King of the story, McQueen is a cutthroat boxing promoter who will do anything to keep his empire at the top of the sport. McQueen has his eyes set on signing Andre, and he doesn’t plan on taking no for an answer.
Gus is a foul-mouthed, crotchety trainer who mentored Andre Bishop Sr. during his boxing career. After the elder Bishop died in a car accident, Carisi took it upon himself to raise the orphaned boys. An old-school aficionado who fiercely guards the integrity of the sweet science, Carisi laments how promoters like D.L. McQueen have transformed the sport.
The daughter of the most notorious boxing promoter on the planet, Megan is a lifelong boxing fan who wants to get into managing on her own merits.
Raymond is also a formidable boxer, but he doesn’t have the hype surrounding his career like his older brother Andre. Ray makes up for his lack of buzz with a boisterous, narcissistic personality not unlike a diva wide receiver in the NFL.
The reigning heavyweight champion of the world, Frost is an intimidating force who beats his foes into submission and revels in injuring opponents with his devastating blows. His dominance is so complete that experts see him holding the title for years to come.
Go to Source (Game Informer)
The Fight Night Champion demo is now available on Xbox live and the PlayStation Network, but if you don’t have a gold account or a PS3 and you want to see gameplay footage of Fight Night Champion, then worry no more as we present two epic fights in boxing history.
First one up to box is Pacquiao vs Cotto. Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao is a well know Filipino professional boxer and politician. Pacquiao is the first boxer in history to win the championships in four different weight classes, but can the Pac-Man win against Miguel Cotto, a Puerto Rican professional boxer, who defeated Kelson Pinto for the WBO junior welterweight championship?
Find out by watching the fight below.
The big debate over who would win in a fight between Mike Tyson and Muhanned Ali still reigns on into Fight Night Champion. Find out who takes the title this year by watching the fight down below.
Go to Source (G4TV.com)
Sure, once the bell rings, Fight Night: Champion comes down to punching dudes and punching dudes alone. But don’t underestimate the power of promotion, er, “human drama” woven through the punches. Enter the new single-player Champion mode: Spin the tale of aspiring pugilist Andre Bishop.
Defending the belt is a dangerous proposition. You can keep doing what got you there, but your movements and punch combos become predictable over time and opponents will inevitably expose your weaknesses. To avoid losing their standing atop the boxing world, champions must constantly reinvent themselves, adopting new tactics and shoring up weaknesses while at the same time preserving their unique talents that landed them atop the rankings.
The development team at EA Canada is facing a similar dilemma with Fight Night Champion. How do you improve a game that won universal acclaim? The development team went to the tape to find some hidden flaws, and the telemetry data showed players threw a considerably higher amount of left-handed punches than they did right-handed. It’s not hard to understand why – moving the right analog stick to throw a right uppercut or right hook forces your thumb to contort in unnatural ways. To bring the stats back in line with true boxing, the team decided to reinvent the Total Punch Control.
|A Turn For The Dramatic
Boxing is no stranger to drama – critically applauded films like Rocky and Raging Bull
have captured the brutality of the sport both in and out of the ring to
great effect. EA hopes to conjure some of its own storytelling mojo in
the new Champion mode. We only got a brief glimpse of the mode, but it
opens with a bang as the main character Andre gets clocked in the head
and falls to the mat. As he pulls himself together and sluggishly raises
off the ground, a voice yells at from his corner – “That’s what
champions do, they get back up” and reminds him that’s what his father
did. After he comes to his senses and his eyesight adjusts, you realize
this isn’t any old boxing match. The protagonist is going head to head
with a tattooed skinhead in a state penitentiary as inmates watch and
cheer beside the ring. Don’t expect this to be a happy go lucky tale, as
the dev team says Fight Night Champion is the first M-rated game in EA
Sports history. We hope to find out more about this imprisoned protagonist and his
gritty quest for redemption in the near future.
The new punching system still uses the right analog stick, but instead of swinging the stick with different gestures to create different punches, you now just need to flick the stick in a specific direction. Different angles determine different punches, and the new system has allowed EA to cram two times as many punch types into the stick. One punch that won’t be making an appearance is the haymaker. EA felt the over-the-top punch robbed the fights of realism, and are replacing it with a heavy punch modifier than can be used on any type of punch. Big punches take more stamina and leave you more exposed to counters, but you can work them more seamlessly into the middle of combos and even land a blow that stuns your opponent or a one-punch knockout. With all of these new punches being added to Fight Night, EA Canada went back to the mo-cap studio to recreate more signature punches from star fighters like Manny Pacquiao and Mike Tyson.
Throwing winning combos is only one aspect of becoming a winning boxer. To improve its defense, EA is implementing a new reflexive blocking system that changes the way you play defense and counterattack. Instead of holding down the block button and swinging the analog stick to the appropriate blocking location, you now can either tap the trigger to block a punch right before impact or hold down the button to rely on the boxer’s reflex ratings. This also freed up the directional control to let players to punch from the guard position for the first time in the series.
Perhaps the most dramatic change EA is making to Fight Night is the increased importance of stamina. In past games you could indiscriminately and continually throw a flurry of punches. The new stamina system drains and refills more quickly, encouraging fighters to be smarter about when to unleash a long combo. If you go for an eight-punch combo when your stamina is low and your opponent is rested, it will provide an opening for a counter-attack. The savvy boxers will develop a rhythm of throwing a few punches, jumping back to catch their breath, and knowing when to go for broke.
To better emulate the tendencies of real-world boxers and give the Legacy mode a boost, EA went to the drawing board and completely revamped the ratings system. Now each distinct punch has its own rating on a scale of 1 to 20, and created players can upgrade ratings for stamina, movement, reflexes, chin, and heart as well. Super high ratings for specific punches allow you to land those extremely rare one-punch knockouts if the opportunity presents itself. To improve your boxer, you must use your winnings to train between bouts. You can stay at your home gym, but it won’t impart big stat bonuses like other locations. Players can drop some extra coin to train in exotic locales like Germany, London, Japan, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Big Bear, California. Each location grants a different stat boost. For instance, the high elevation at Big Bear gives your boxer more stamina when he comes down the mountain to fight, and training in the legendary gyms of Philly gives your fighter a boost to his chin rating.
Taken together, the list of improvements and tweaks to Fight Night Champion is impressive. We can’t wait to go a few rounds as we move closer to the 2011 release window to see if the changes result in a more impressive boxer in the ring.
Go to Source (Game Informer)
Powered by Max Banner Ads