Posts Tagged ‘horror’

The demo for Resident Evil: Revelations just launched today in North American and European Nintendo E-Shops and I have had a couple of hours to play around with it.  Let me tell you that this might be the new reason to own a Nintendo 3DS.  Resident Evil: Revelations is far and away the prettiest handheld game I have ever seen and it handles just like its console counterparts (which is good or bad depending on what you thought of RE 4 and 5).

The demo puts you in control of Jill Valentine on a mysterious cruise ship (which I believe is where the majority of the game takes place) and Jill’s immediate objective is to regroup with her partner Parker.  Based off of the extremely limited exposure to Parker I think he will be a solid addition to the RE cast and I am excited to see how he is intertwined into the narrative.  Navigating the small part of the cruise ship in the demo definitely gives you a feel for how the game is going to make you play, which is smart or die.  Ammo is very scarce and enemies take a beating before going down so choosing your battles will be the name of the game.  This is true fan service because that is how original Resident Evil games operated, which is why Revelations feels really nostalgic and fresh simultaneously.  This game also has great atmosphere (especially with the 3D cranked up).  There is one room where the floor is covered in fog and the 3D makes it pop and you are just waiting for something to jump out at you (I’ll never tell…).  But it is that kind of atmosphere that makes the game already super eerie which I can’t get enough of (even though it scares the crap out of me).

The controls for the game are pretty solid and are highly reminiscent of past Resident Evil titles (i.e. 4, 5, Mercenaries 3D).  The over the shoulder perspective is back for navigating and the first person view from last year’s Mercenaries 3D has returned for aiming.  The ability to sprint or move faster wasn’t present in the demo, but quick turning is still there (also some dodge mechanic that I am still figuring out).  I hope they add an ability to maneuver faster because during combat I was easily attacked because I was simply moving too slow.  I don’t know if that is being done deliberately to make the game feel more claustrophobic like previous RE titles, but like I said I hope that issue is addressed in the final build.  Lastly I don’t have a Circle Pad Pro so I am unable to comment on whether or not that makes the game control better, but the demo does offer the option for those of you who imported one (comment and let us all know how it works).

The inventory system for Revelations is pretty intuitive with weapons, secondary weapons and items being mapped to the d-pad for quick swapping and use.  You can also use green herbs by simply pressing the A face button which is pretty handy when you are getting dominated (happened to me on my first play through).  One of my favorite additions is an item you pick up midway through the demo and that is the Supply Scanner.  This little device operates pretty similarly to the scanner from Metroid Prime in which it lets you scan the room for items and scan enemies either dead (defeated) or alive (trying to kill you).  The Supply Scanner turns up hidden items in the room that Jill was previously unable to pick up and comes up clutch especially near the end of the demo (mad hand grenades, yo).

When the demo concluded I was left really satisfied.  It isn’t terribly long, but it gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect when the game launches on February 7th in North America.  This isn’t some half ass effort from Capcom and it is something that Resident Evil fans should rejoice about.  This game will appeal to longtime fans as well as new ones and will surely move some 3DS units come early February.  Stay tuned for more about Resident Evil Revelations and as always you can follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook for more content.


How Dead Space saved Survival Horror

Posted: October 31, 2011 by Tim Utley in Editorials
Tags: , , ,

I apologize for the late posting, but here is my Halloween treat to you, enjoy.

For a while games that were being dubbed as “Survival Horror” titles were not really fitting the bill.  Cornerstone franchises of the genre such as Resident Evil were producing quality titles, but I felt as if they were gravitating away from their horror roots and planting them elsewhere.  It felt like big action set pieces were being shoe horned in and delivering scares became less important to the experience.  As I felt the genre slipping away a game by the name of Dead Space entered the forum and it emanated with such great promise of giving survival horror fans just what we needed; a terrifying adventure to partake in.

Visceral’s new IP came on the scene with the intent of righting the wrongs of the survival horror genre and when push came to shove it delivered.  Dead Space’s main concern was to scare the crap out of you and the first 15 minutes of that game were indicative of the rollercoaster ride that awaited players with the fortitude to stick it out.  Everything about Dead Space was terrifying as hell.  From the horribly disfigured Necromorphs you dismembered right down to the trepidatious landscape of the USG Ishimura; Dead Space kept your attention and demanded your concentration.  Dead Space delivered such an intense experience that nothing on the market could rival at the time and still doesn’t to this day.  I mentioned earlier how I thought big action set pieces were ruining survival horror games; I thought that up until Dead Space showed me that they could be integrated tastefully and still exhibit horrifying elements.

Dead Space’s Isaac Clark was the game’s main protagonist and without any spoken dialogue remained a mystery in and of itself.  His rugged exterior gave the player confidence to pursue and explore the horrors that awaited you around every corner of the ship.  When I felt anxious about what lurked in the shadows I took solace in knowing that Mr. Clark was more than capable of dispatching my enemies to the afterlife (or after-after life, they were dead as far as I was concerned).  Isaac’s creative arsenal of repurposed mining tools really added another layer of depth to the game, because it fell in line with what the Ishimura was, which was a mining vessel or a planet cracker to be specific.  Every aspect of Dead Space kept my blood pumping until its gripping conclusion.

So this begs the question what path might have the survival horror genre gone down had Dead Space never existed?  Would the genre have gradually homogenized itself into an entirely different entity (this thriller action blend if you will)?  Dead Space stopped that proverbial bleeding with a fantastic horror game of a bandage.  Fans of survival horror regained their genre, because like it or not people survival horror games are not for everyone and the niche genre should cater to specific people.  If you enjoy a variety of genres like me then you can appreciate the separation of certain elements, because when you play a game like Dead Space you expect something different and unique.   A dichotomy needs to exist between genres, not to say that certain elements can’t be shared or borrowed, but genres need to stand on their own two feet and offer an oppositional experience to that of others.  So I give thanks to Visceral Games for resuscitating the survival horror genre and re-establishing what it means to deliver proper scares.

Another Sunday is here and with that comes another set of Amazon Video Game deals for the week.  In addition to select weekly items being on sale, Amazon is also running a Halloween Video Game sale (I’ll throw a link up below).  So without further adieu here is this week’s Amazon Video Game DOTW.

  • Rift – $8.99 (PC)
  • Fear 3 – $27.99 (Xbox 360)
  • Fear 3 – $27.99 (PS3)
  • Wii Play (Used without Remote) – $2.99 (Amazon Warehouse Deals)
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – $14.99 (Xbox 360)
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – $14.99 (PS3)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – $29.99 (Xbox 360)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – $29.99 (PS3)
  • Kinect Sensor w/Child of Eden code – $119.99
  • Kinect Sensor w/ Kinect Adventures – $119.99

Amazon’s Haunting Halloween Deals (Deals end October 29th)

Notable Titles

  • Catherine – $44.99 (Xbox 360 and PS3)
  • Dead Island – $39.99 (Xbox 360 and PS3)
  • Aliens Infestation – $22.49 (Nintendo DS)
  • Rise of Nightmares – $34.99 (Xbox 360)

Also Battlefield 3 has a $20 Promotional Credit (must pre-order it) with both the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions

Stay tuned for more deals and as always follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook for more content.

Dead Island First Impressions

Posted: September 8, 2011 by Tim Utley in Reviews
Tags: , , ,

I just got done with my first session of Dead Island and it has been very satisfying thus far.  By now most of you have either read a review or even picked up your own copy of the game, but this isn’t for you; this is for those who might be on the fence about picking Dead Island up.  I will hopefully clarify some things in the next couple of paragraphs.

Dead Island might just be another zombie game to most, but this adventure blends game mechanics from many other popular titles such as Fallout 3, Dead Rising 2, Left 4 Dead and even Borderlands.  This game above anything else is very Fallout-esque because of the mission structure and looting mechanics.  I wasn’t the biggest fan of Fallout 3, but that isn’t relevant at the moment.  Dead Rising 2’s contribution comes in the form of weapon creation (which is also kind of Fallout at heart, but zombie game, weapon creation, just go with it).  Left 4 Dead qualities are pretty obvious, but Dead Island boasts 4-player co-op in a open sandbox environment (ala Borderlands) and allows players to jump in and out of friends games and even complete stranger’s games.  Lastly in terms of inspiration the island of Bonoi (the setting for Dead Island) has a very Farcry feel to it, which I totally dig.  But enough with the comparisons, lets talk about why Dead Island is a great game (yes I didn’t make you wait another paragraph to tell you that).

Dead Island stands apart from any other zombie game because right from the start it gets under your skin (in a good way) and makes your feel the desperation that has overrun the island.  The characters display emotions that in most other zombie games are non-existent (ergo Chuck Green’s stone face in DR2).  That desperation and with each character being inundated with fear makes you want to play and help the NPCs out that much more.  One image I can’t get out of my head happens early on in the game and it is a man sitting in a shallow pool filled with blood and the bodies of his family and all he can say is that he didn’t know what else to do.  That my readers is some deep shit that rarely gets captured in any type of game especially horror.  The human element really flushes out the story and moves it along steadily.  I haven’t played a terrible amount yet, but I plan on seeing this one through to the end and hopefully having a few friends jump in and experience it along the way.

My only caveat that I will disclose and have discovered so far is that texture-loading times can be brutal at certain moments, but if you are patient they render within a few seconds.  Other than that if you are looking for a good game to play alone or with friends before the Fall Onslaught of games begins Dead Island is a great experience that I know will only continue to get better.  As always you can get more of me on Twitter @GamersAbstract and on Facebook.  Stay tuned for more.

I played Dead Island on Xbox 360 for approximately 2 hours and the game was purchased by me for $60.