Category Archives: gaming lives

Darksiders II Preview – The Game That Isn’t Getting Enough Attention

The first Darksiders didn’t get the attention it deserved from the general gaming public, which is a shame because its a fucking good game. Sadly Darksiders II seems to be going the same way. You’ll just have to take my word for it when I say that this is worth keeping an eye on.

Following up from what was one of my favourite games of last year, Darksiders II puts you in control of another of the Horseman of the Apocalypse, this time… Death. To bring anybody up to speed who hadn’t played the first game, you played as War, one of the Four Horseman who was summoned to earth to stop a battle that had broken out between the angels and the demons. The game’s mythology treats the Horsemen as enforcers of a treaty between Heaven and Hell who were to be summoned when the seventh seal was broken. Somebody is playing games though, and War is somehow summoned to Earth during a battle between Heaven and Hell, without the aid of his brothers and without the seventh seal ever being broken. War is basically fitted up for starting the fight and sentenced to death, but is given one last chance to find the one responsible for summoning him and restore the balance.

Darksiders II further builds on that story and the mythology of the first game by telling parts of the same story from a completely different perspective. It takes place in parallel to the story of the first game, as Death is trying to find out what has happened to his brother War and why he was wrongly accused of instigating the apocalypse. Death plays very differently to how War did in the first title; War was very much the warrior while Death is kind of the rogue of the group; he’s much faster, more agile and will dodge incoming enemies attacks rather than blocking them. Death also has far greater customisability, allowing you to focus how you want to upgrade your skills and traits so that you can play the game your way and increase your skills with, say, heavy weapons if you want to.  While it’s not full-on hardcore RPG type stuff, it does add that extra little layer of depth that I’m sure most will love. This new customisability extends itself further and you’ll be able to purchase new armour from vendors in towns, or equip pieces you may find on your travels, so while War in the first game was very much War all the way through, Darksiders developers say that its possible for you to have a completely different Death from any of your friends after just an hour of play.

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The Time Me and Ben Snuck Back In The Room For A Go On Ridge Racer Unbounded

When we was in Germany for gamescom we managed to wangle a look at Ridge Racer Unbounded now I’ll be honest I probably felt the same as you initially when I heard that there was a new on on the way and “meh” pretty much summed it up. Then I saw this trailer and was sold. Now I’ve actually played the bloody thing I’ll be disc twitching till its out. I hate saying things like this but it could be the game Burnout Paradise fans have been looking for.

Some games have been around since what seems like the dawn of time, they have legions of fans and rarely change because… well they don’t need to. They have been around since the dawn of time and have legions of fans because they are widely considered to be ‘good games’. Eventually though, they are outdone by their competitors and they need to pull something drastic out of the bag and go for the reboot, they need that ‘Batman Begins’ moment if you will. Ridge Racer is the latest member of that club and, while the developers aren’t marketing it as a reboot, they quite easily could do.

A fresh tank of gas is just what the Ridge Racer series needs and that’s exactly what the guys and girls of Bugbear Entertainment and Namco have given it. Don’t start fanboy screaming just yet though, as everything you love about the Ridge Racer series still remains: the cars still have that Ridge Racer look to them and the sense of speed is still there, as is the ability to pull off those ridiculously long drifts around the game’s sweeping corners. The drifting, as you’d expect, helps to build your boost bar which can be spent on that extra bit of speed or, if you can save yourself, you’re able to blow your load on set sections of the tracks and do things like smash through thick concrete walls, creating shortcuts and altering the layout of the track for the next lap and the racers behind you. It’s not just these set piece sections that are destructible though; it’s possible to turn a fair bit of the track to rubble all in the name of building up your boost – as a loose rule if it has yellow and black stripy bits on it you’re going to wind up in tiny pieces scattered across the road, but anything else seems to be fair game for a good smashing.

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The Resistance 3 Interview with Jon Pacquette I Did.

-For some dumb ass reason at every press presentation I’ve ever been to they guy from the studio will ask “has anybody got any questions?” and nobody ever does! What the fuck – fucking pretend “journalists” granted I wouldn’t go as far as to call my self a journalist but if some guy has just asked me if I want to know more the answer is “yeah I do” and if all else fails rather than sit there in awkwardness I’ll just chat shit about games. So here is the time such an instance occurred after being shown Resistance 3.

Continue reading

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GamingLives Podcast Episode 2

It’s the tough second album for the gaminglives podcast – think we did pretty well.

As usual a massive thanks to the thousands that downloaded it and the first episode – dunno why I’m saying thanks here about 2 of you probably picked it up from my blog – big thanks anyway.

lol – to think me and Adam said we’d be happy with 500 listeners by the 6 month episode too – how wrong we’re we?

❤ Lee

Subscribe to the GamingLives Podcast here

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The Time I Spoke To Sean From Hello Games

I love talking to indies, everybody in the games industry is pretty cool as a rule but anybody who is an indie just has the special aura around them.

No expensive flights or hotels for these guys, they loaded up a transit van with all their own stuff and drove!

Hello Games I salute you.

Full post up on GamingLives here

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Forza 4 is better with Kinect

In less than the same amount of time it has taken Sony to knock out just one Gran Turisimo title, Microsoft and Turn Ten Studios have managed to turn out three Forza Motorsports. These aren’t just cheap bolt-on sequels either, they were full almost ground up style games. I know it sounds like I might be trying to start a fanboy war – honestly, I’m not – I’m just trying to get across the feat of development that the guys at Turn Ten studios have pulled off. Historically, the Forza franchise has very much been a core racer for core gamers, but with the last instalment some new features were added that made the game much more accessible, but without compromising on the building blocks of its predecessors.

Now though, it’s been taken one step further and Microsoft have made it better, better with Kinect. Yeah, I know, I refused to believe it at first too.  The racing game geek in me jumped at the chance to be one of the first to hop on Microsoft’s hydraulic platform with an industrial strength racing wheel and three large monitors marking where the windscreen and side windows would be. As I turned around a banked corner, the steering wheel would tighten and the hydraulic platform would lift up on one side to simulate the car banking. I won’t lie, it was pretty awesome and even though I had set one of the top five times of the day, I wasn’t particularly good at it.  It was the closest thing I’ve ever experienced to actually driving, the only difference being I wasn’t thinking “ohhh shit these tyres are expensive” as I booted around the corner at the best part of one hundred miles an hour.

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GamingLives Podcast – Episode One

This is the big one, the one we’ve all been waiting for…

Well I say “we’ve” it was probably about 6 people… if that. Anyway between Adam, Ben, Mark, Lorna and I we finally got it sussed and while Adam my have learnt a few important lessons about background noise, the difference between open and closed headphones and the all round general shitness of Audacity – the four of us managed to pull off a bang tidy podcast.

Also on a bit of a side note (if any such people happen to read this) a big thanks to the GamingLives writers who have shown their support and an even bigger thank you to the wider GamingLives community who follow us on facebook, twitter and drop by the site everyday. I fucking love all 1468 of you.

❤ Lee

Subscribe to the GamingLives Podcast here

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Saints Row: The Third Hands-On Preview

It’s no secret that I already love Saints Row: The Third – I was sold on it at E3, and now I’ve had the chance to play it at GamesCom I’m really sold. During my hour with the game I got to play out the story mission where the Saints rob a bank, and also spent a good forty-five minutes dicking about in free roam. The mission I got to play out was one that I had watched back at E3, where it starts off in an elevator with Johnny Gat putting on what is quite possibly one of the best disguises ever. The Third Street Saints are about to rob the bank disguised as themselves. So on go the giant bobblehead masks, and out come the machine guns.

When you reach the bank lobby, which must be about forty floors up, the shit hits the fan, and the next thing you know is the old biddies behind the counter have pulled out AK-47’s on you and a firefight ensues. As this firefight plays out, and during all of the other smaller gunfights in this mission, the Saints are constantly bantering with each other and referring to things which are going on around them – even taking the piss out of the enemies that are attacking them. Once at the vault, Johnny Gat realizes there is no way that you’re getting it open and it’s time for Plan B. A plan that is even more stupid than Plan A, but a plan so stupid it just might work. What you need to do next is make your way upstairs above the vault and plant explosive charges, blowing the roof off so a chopper can come in and airlift out your crew and the bank vault full of cash.

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Starhawk Preview

The spiritual successor to one of the PSN’s first big hits, Warhawk, is almost with us. It’s not a direct sequel and isn’t set in the same universe, it only shares part of its name, but Starhawk does retain those same core gameplay values which made Warhawk such a great game to play. That’s not enough though; Starhawk builds on those with a number of improvements, firstly with its brand new universe known as the “new frontier” and yeah, you guessed it has that sci-fi western feel to it. Out in the corners of the galaxy, humans have set up various small colonies and the people who live in them are, for the most part, miners.

Rift energy is the new power source of choice but, of course, just like global warming there is a down side, and excessive exposure to rift energy will build up inside a person’s body and cause them to mutate by literally pushing their skeleton out through to the surface of their skin. Obviously nobody wants to kick around with the creepy mutant kid and the infected are quickly banished from your little space town to live life as outcasts. This obviously happens to your brother at the start of the game, and after being outcast he rises to power as the big bad and must be stopped, whatever the cost.

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The Time We Went To Germany And Samuel Got Robbed

It’s these two thirty in the morning starts that sometimes make me wish I was a casual gamer. At least that was how I felt this morning when some dubstep bollocks was blasting out of my alarm clock. Well, I think it was du step; I’m not entirely sure what dubstep is if I’m honest. Loads of boring driving and a short flight, blah blah blah skip to the end and I’m now sat in our hotel room in Cologne. I’m feeling differently about it now; I’m glad to be a ‘core gamer, I’m looking forward to all the things we’ll be seeing in the next few days and whatever trouble Ben and I can get ourselves into this time around in our great Gamescom adventure.

I’ve felt like we were forgetting something all the way over here, but it only just dawned on me what it was or, should I say, “who”. Sadly, Lorna’s not joining us on our adventures this time, so this whole thing could go tits up pretty quick without her keeping us all in check. In her place is the Cornish wonder known as Samuel; this whole expo thing is a bit new to him, and Ben and I have been winding him up by telling him he needs a tie for the Sony press conference and stuff like that. We laugh about it when he’s not looking, but we were that green once. He’s currently fannying about with his new camera while dressed like he’s going clay pigeon shooting; bless him, I’m sure he’ll do fine. Ben and I have decided we are playing Top Gear rules this trip anyway, which means if anybody falls behind they get left behind; that and we might try set fire to a caravan if possible.

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