Feeds

Bioshock Infinite, Devil May Cry, SimCity

The latest videogame releases reviewed... and more

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Game Theory The first few months of the year are, as ever, a time for the public and publishers alike to draw breath after the Christmas frenzy. Only a handful of full-price games launch, giving gamers time to catch a breath and ponder what they’ll spend their money on in the year to come. That said, this period is already clocking up casualties and controversies. And no more so than at the now defunct THQ.

THQ was ever one of those publishers that you couldn't help but wonder how it survived so long – it being ever present since way back in 1989. Its latter day franchises included the likes of Metro 2033, Homefront, Saint's Row, Red Faction and Darksiders, all full of potential perhaps, but none which could be said to have stood out as the flagship example of its genre.

South Park: The Stick of Truth

OMG, they killed the publisher

Perhaps THQ's next wave of titles might have finally broken through that quality barrier, with the promising South Park: The Stick of Truth, Metro: Last Light, Homefront 2 and Turtle Rock's latest - it developed Left 4 Dead - among the games under development.

Sadly, however, it's now too late for the publishing house. We’ll still get to see all of the above titles, each franchise being auctioned off by the company during its death throes to appease the circling creditors.

So it is that Crytek is now the proud owner of Homefront, The Stick of Truth is in the hands of Ubisoft, Metro: Last Light will be published by Deep Silver, and 2K Games takes on Turtle Rock. Indeed only Darksiders developer Vigil Games was left without a suitor, Crytek stealing in at the eleventh hour to take mercy on “key” team members for its newly established Austin, Texas division.

Surely THQ's woes must send out a worrying signal to its former rivals, a message if any were needed that to survive you must produce quality titles and memorable brands – not simply look to mimic the wares of other publishers. Don't agree? Then take a look at Darksiders, Homefront and Saint's Row versus Zelda, Battlefield 3 and Grand Theft Auto and draw your own conclusions…

Walking on air: BioShock Infinite

Quite the opposite of generic is BioShock Infinite, a game long in the development, but one that looks well worth the wait. I had chance to go hands-on with the latest build, starting at the start – not as common an occurrence as you might think in preview events – and was left to my own devices in the floating city of Columbia for a full hour.

Bioshock Infinite

A district of Columbia

Taking advantage of all the best aspects of DirectX 11, the game looked nothing short of stunning. Dynamically shifting water, reflective surfaces, draw distances you'd need binoculars to truly appreciate, and more lens flare than a modern day Star Trek movie.

More importantly, there looks to be just as much optional background story there to be discovered as was true of its predecessors. Not to mention a whole menagerie of miscellany to witness within Columbia’s beautiful environments, as NPCs go about their business, or else interact with player character Booker DeWitt.

Indeed, during my all too short time with the game, I regrettably had to run past all manner of bizarre sideshows, from a floating ticker tape parade to a pro-slavery rally, in my haste to cover as much ground as possible. And yes, you read that right - the abolition of slavery is far from a forgone conclusion onboard Columbia as Irrational Games’ creative director, Ken Levine, sets his keen sights on exploring the notion of American exceptionalism. Infinite is clearly full of lofty ambition in more ways than one.

Bioshock Infinite

Boy in the hood

Interestingly, and despite such leanings toward the intellectual, Infinite is also one of the most violent games I’ve played in recent times. Take the first weapon you’re handed, a motorised blade, perfect for slicing and dicing opponents who scream and fall apart in entirely gruesome ways. Think Kill Bill or Django Unchained and you won’t be too far off.

The whole then is something of a contradiction in terms, a thoughtful and thought provoking narrative, that same considered and tactical combat, but then soaked in a bucket of violence. It’s a dream to play through, but I suspect misgivings and controversy are sure to follow when its 26 March 2013 launch date rolls around.

Application security programs and practises

Next page: SimCity limits

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.