Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I managed to play a couple of demos over the weekend.

InFamous was mildly impressive. A nice open sandbox that allowed me to run, jump and climb where I liked; didn't constrain me as to how to take down enemies; controls were a little tricky and weren't helped when the instruction screen misses out on telling you which button you use to shoot with!

The demo gave you a fat load of powers and switched your karma halfway through, reminds me of The Suffering in a way and that's not a bad thing. It was kind of fun, some grumbles over a couple of the more powerful enemies that had a tracking ground attack that could slip under vehicles and catch you unaware and the goals themselves could have been clearer. For example first mission riding a train the rail is disconnected and you have to power up the connection box - and that is where exactly? 'It's under the track' states your helpful remote companion, get close enough and you can press triangle to alter your viewpoint to highlight it, don't get close and you're peering around like a blind man. Likewise tasked to take down the enemy on the water tower - and which one would that be? Getting there I stray into an area that prompts me to destroy the tar barrel - and once again that is located um?

But no it was fun and I enjoyed it and like many games once I'm into it a lot of the problems now will become familiarised enough not to show up.

Another demo was Red Faction: Guerilla; I have the first two for the PS2 and enjoyed them even if they did get a bit samey. This time around they've shucked the FPS breadcrumb corridors and gone all third-person sand box. The mission I was on (or the demo) had a time limit which irked and didn't really give enough time to mess around.

Okay it didn't set my world afire, the graphics were bland and red, there was little sense of impact in hitting things which you'd expect from a game touting it's destruction physics, and it got annoying trying to work out which of the grey things I could bash and which of the grey things would explode if I tried to bash them.

Enemies constantly spawned up on ATVs so much so that when I stayed put for a bit I ended up with an ATV car-park and the disembarking enemy animations were pretty basic the old I cannot shoot you because I'm in the middle of a disembarking animation.

I don't know it was just boring, I even got bored beating up the buildings just didn't seem any purpose to it and also got annoying picking up the 'shards' that they left behind that seemed intent on falling halfway under something explosive or some more rubble that you couldn't really hit.

No not impressed.

I've also seen the video footage for Batman: Arkham Asylum which could prove to be interesting provided it can keep to a minimum the repetition of swing up to point, swing down, beat baddie repeat.

Anyway the interesting thing is the different sets available. With inFamous Amazon are offering a Beta key for Drake's Fortune 2 which as I didn't like the first one is of no interest. Game are offering an in-game weapon extra, but only as part of the collectors set. Amazon too are offering an extra in-game weapon but for Red Faction - yawn.

However it's the Arkham Asylum collector's set that's the biggie. Sure you get the game, some fluff, behind the scenes video and an extra map, but you also get a 14" batarang plus stand. You get a batarang! Moreover the vanilla game is £37.96 and the collector's at £59.99 means you get all this for a miserly £22.


[Update - Seems everyone's offering different promotions for Arkham Asylum decisions decisions]