It's time to level up as we look at new ways to push your thumbs to the limit with the latest gaming news. This week we look at Red Faction: Armageddon, Batman: Arkham City and we've got good news for you Red Bull X-Fighters fans.
Armageddon Out Of Here…
If you’re one of those people who were appalled when George Lucas re-edited Star Wars history so that Han Solo didn’t shoot first, then prepare to redress the balance with Red Faction: Armageddon and blast as many Greedo-looking creatures as you like without need for any lame ‘he tried to kill me first’ justification.
The fourth entry in the Mars-based series, which finds you face-to-face with a bunch of Rodian-a-like bad guys and assorted nasty creatures, is a fantastic return to smashing-and-crashing form after the sandbox shenanigans of Red Faction: Guerrilla a few years back.
A great point to enter the series as it doesn’t require prior knowledge of the previous episodes, this adventure finds you looking over the shoulder of Darius Mason, a roguish mercenary who finds himself at the centre of a plot to eradicate all humans from the Red Planet.
While the plot and cut-scenes are entertaining enough – there’s a nice line in cheeky dialogue – it’s the gameplay that makes this such an enticing purchase.
The linear third-person shooter benefits from fully destructible environments and lots of lovely weapons (in short, everything goes boom if you point a gun at it) and the possibilities for creative mayhem are endless as you embark on a mission (which should take you around eight hours to complete) that sees you picking up numerous explosive-chucking devices and jumping into some cool vehicles.
The wide selection of robust weaponry – the magnet gun in particular offers a multitude of ways to crush your enemy – and some handy nanotech gadgets that allow you to rebuild cover and heal yourself at the touch of a button ensures this is a relentless and easily accessible game.
What’s more, there’s plenty of replay potential with a host of cheats to unlock and a brace of alternative play modes. Simply put, it’s a fantastic way to appease your inner destructive child while also giving you a chance to exorcise the memory of George Lucas’s unwanted tampering.
Feverish fanboy anticipation for the forthcoming release of Batman: Arkham City [http://community.batmanarkhamcity.com/] has exponentially increased with the news that Catwoman will not only feature in the story but will also be a playable character for around 10 per cent of the game. Judging by the new trailer in which Selina Kyle kicks ass to the tune of Lykke Li’s awesome Get Some, we can expect some incredible action from the felonious feline - miaowww!
The annual digital geekfest that is E3 outdid itself this year with more revelations, announcements and presentations than you can shake a wireless controller at. Top of the list was an announcement from Microsoft that Halo 4 is nearing completion and will be released in the near future. Other games that got us all in a tizzy with some seriously sexy demos included the likes of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Hitman Absolution, Bioshock Infinite, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.
Hardware wise, there were some very exciting developments with Nintendo proving they’ve been hard at work on the new Wii U, a controller that allows you to play games on your TV screen and continue them directly on the unit’s 6.2-inch touch screen – imagine an iPad that’s directly compatible with your console. Meanwhile, Sony announced the PlayStation Vita, the very sweet-looking next-gen portable device that’s set to take over from their PSP.
News from the Homefront
Now that the PlayStation Store’s back online, PS3 users are gloating about the freebies they’ve been given in the wake of the hacking scandal (FYI, now you’ve got no excuse for not owning Little Big Planet), but Xbox 360 owners can now get a little snobbish themselves with the news that Gold Marketplace members can exclusively check out a multiplayer demo with two brand-new maps from the cracking first-person resistance-movement shooter Homefront – fly helicopters, drive tanks, call in airstrikes and bask in the knowledge that PS3 owners can’t do the same.
X Hits The Spot
Konami showed it has the X Factor at E3 when the Japanese gaming giant launched the new Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour title on Xbox Live Arcade and Xbox 360. The FMX simulator gives players the chance to follow in the tracks of the Red Bull X-Fighters, such as Nate Adams, Robbie Maddison, Eigo Sato, Mat Rebeaud, Dany Torres and Levi Sherwood and features some very cool ragdoll physics that see your rider clinging on for dear life while trying to pull off some seriously sick moves.
- Visit the official Red Faction: Armageddon website
- Red Bull takes on the Red Planet
- More from E3 2011 here
- Follow Glen Ferris on Twitter