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Air Conflicts: Secret Wars

Air Conflicts: Secret Wars

Review In recent years aerial combat games have been in free fall. The genre stalled after the seminal Il-2 Sturmovick and has struggled to pull out of a seemingly irrecoverable nosedive. But, contrary to their dubious quality, the continuing popularity of the Ace Combat and Hawx series proves interest remains sky high for the genre. …
Andrew Bailey, 21 Jul 2011
Ion iCade

Ion Audio iCade arcade-style iPad cabinet

Geek Treat of the Week Let's get the negative out of the way right from the start: the iCade is a bit on the crap side. But then that's kind of how it should be. Ion iCade Ion's iCade: beep, beep, beep.... schboom As if you couldn't guess from the pics, the iCade is an iPad stand that mimics the arcade game cabinets of yesteryear. Like them, it's …
Tony Smith, 18 Jul 2011
Captain America: Super Soldier

Captain America: Super Soldier

Review Games based around movies have a reputation (most would say justly deserved) of seldom living up to their silver screen counterparts, while those timed to debut simultaneously with their movie counterparts have an even worse success to failure ratio. It might not come as a massive shock to anyone out there then, that Captain …
Mike Plant, 15 Jul 2011
Marathon

Marathon for iPad

iGamer To hear PC gamers talk about how first-person shooters don't work on consoles because the machines don't have mice, you'd think that's how it always was. Not a bit of it. A lot of us playing in the early to mid-1990s on the first FPS games made do with just two handfuls of keys. Marathon Marathon: back from the early 1990s in …
Tony Smith, 13 Jul 2011
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Review Last year's War for Cybertron salvaged Transformers from gaming's scrapyard. While still not fully realising the potential of the IP, High Moon Studios' game combined reverential treatment of the fiction with solid controls and decent gameplay to mark a high point for the franchise. Transformers: Dark of the Moon Step on it, or …
Andrew Bailey, 5 Jul 2011
Shadows of the Damned

Shadows of the Damned

Review The old saying goes that if you go to hell, you'll be far too busy shaking hands with friends to care. Well, not in Shadows of the Damned's hell, you won't. Your finger's never off the trigger long enough to shake with fear, let alone shake hands with anyone. Shadows of the Damned Lighten up, mate Developed under the banner …
Andrew Bailey, 29 Jun 2011
Fear 3

FEAR 3

Review If you've not followed developments in the FEAR franchise of late then you might be left somewhat puzzled by FEAR 3's initial goings-on – the game plunging the player into a set-up which is never particularly embellished or explained. Waking in a prison, series protagonist 'Point Man' must not only put up with his rather mundane …
Mike Plant, 28 Jun 2011
Dungeon Siege III

Dungeon Siege III

Review Recently, I battled through Dragon Age 2, Two Worlds II and spent some serious time immersed in Witcher 2. Now here comes Dragon Siege III. All these sequels - summer must have come early, I thought. Dungeon Siege III Learn the mechanics As back-stories go this is run-of-the-mill stuff with more than a few of the customary …
Lucy Orr, 24 Jun 2011
Child of Eden

Child of Eden

Review "Save Eden. Save Lumi." The precluding order of an introduction which summarises Child of Eden’s essentially superfluous plot. I could tell you that the general gist is that we’re hundreds of years into the future, Lumi – the fist human born in space – is long dead, and the internet has evolved into something approaching The …
Mike Plant, 22 Jun 2011
Alice: The Madness Returns

Alice: The Madness Returns

Review I have been waiting 11 years to be reunited with American McGee’s Alice and strangely enough, Alice: Madness Returns parallels this as we join our unbalanced heroine 11 years after her defeat of the Queen of Hearts and discharge from Rutledge Asylum. Alice: The Madness Returns Who are you calling a pussy? Alice Liddell has …
Lucy Orr, 21 Jun 2011
Infamous 2

Infamous 2

Review When it comes to superhero videogame sequels, it pays to be honest about your expectations. With the most compelling elements exhausted in the original – namely the collection and mastering of superpowers – all you can realistically hope from a sequel is one of two clichés. Will it go for the cheap shot and rob you of your …
Andrew Bailey, 18 Jun 2011
Duke Nukem Forever

Duke Nukem Forever

Review In a game bursting with 1980s macho-movie quotes and in-jokes, one line resonates far beyond Duke Nukem Forever’s puerile script. Besieged by an alien invasion, the President of the United States ignores calls to beg the eponymous meathead to save the planet, lamenting, “Duke, you’re a relic from a different era.” Duke Nukem …
Andrew Bailey, 14 Jun 2011
Red Faction: Armageddon

Red Faction: Armageddon

Review Red Faction: Guerrilla released in 2009 was a sandbox full of C-4. Volition and its clever Geo-Mod technology gave me the world and the tools to destroy it. Yet with Red Faction: Armageddon, Volition has clasped the reins of this chaotic monster and decided, mistakenly perhaps, that it needs some steering. Red Faction: …
Lucy Orr, 10 Jun 2011
Hunted: The Demon's Forge

Hunted: The Demon's Forge

Review Let's get one thing straight, Hunted: The Demon's Forge is not an RPG. Hunted: The Demon's Forge Hanging in the green room before a shoot Sure, you fight through enough besieged villages, possessed forests and dank and gloomy dungeons to fill Middle Earth twice over. Your standard enemies, the Wargar, bear an uncanny …
Andrew Bailey, 9 Jun 2011
Dirt 3

Dirt 3

Review The fact that rally is a niche market, even among petrolheads, perhaps goes someway to explaining why Codemaster’s Dirt franchise strives to rein in the time challenge aspects of the sport – instead favouring racing, albeit in a way which retains the drifting and suicidal cornering of the motorsport. Codemasters: good decision …
Mike Plant, 27 May 2011
Outland

Outland

Review A quick check of the map confirms the hero’s next objective – a mere two levels above him. What the map doesn’t reveal are the obstacles standing between him and that adventure-progressing goal. Outland How Inca-pacitiating Skilfully evading not one, but two spike traps with graceful fleetness of foot, the hero finds himself …
Mike Plant, 25 May 2011
L.A. Noire

LA Noire

Review If you were expecting Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption dressed in police uniform, then I'm sorry to disappoint you. LA Noire is far removed from its Rockstar stablemates. Sure, it bears all the hallmarks of gaming's master craftsman: the peerless synergy of narrative, art direction and game design, the unabashed depiction …
Andrew Bailey, 20 May 2011
Creative Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Sigma

Creative Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Sigma gaming headset

Review Having just played Darkspore, and somewhat underwhelmed by the music and ambient sounds, I am definitely not above lowering games' scores slightly based on sound quality. At times it appears that audio is the developers’ last thought and, likewise, I’ll admit that choosing the latest graphics card or mouse takes precedence over …
Lucy Orr, 20 May 2011
iControlPad

iControlPad Bluetooth controller for mobile devices

iGamer Ever tried a bout of Quake III on your Android tablet or a few laps of Super Mario Kart on your iPhone? Chances are, you spent the first few seconds smiling with nostalgia and the rest of the time hurling expletives at the poor controls. Even simple platformers, such as Super Mario World, although translating well onto …
Andrew Bailey, 18 May 2011
Brink

Brink

Review “Save the Ark, or escape it?” The choice initially offered to players upon loading up Brink, Splash Damage’s latest first-person shooter. What’s the Ark you ask? A last bastion of humanity, following worldwide flooding caused by the rising of the oceans – darned global warming! Brink Hit and miss After a period of peace the …
Mike Plant, 17 May 2011
Darkspore

Darkspore

Review Yes I am old and I remember when Maxis was all about SimCity. Proving it was the God of simulation the developer then managed to get everyone addicted to the The Sims. At the time, I was too busy having a life (read: taking drugs), to get really stuck in, I hear it on good authority that The Sims 2 was absolutely amazing and had …
Lucy Orr, 13 May 2011
Operation Flashpoint: Red River

Operation Flashpoint 2: Red River

Review Hightailing it across the vast, open countryside in the middle of the night. Fighting a desperate rearguard action against an indomitable force. Squinting through the claustrophobic green murk of nightvision for enemies hidden among trees and rocky outcrops. Operation Flashpoint: Red River Gun runners Fearing the lethality of …
Andrew Bailey, 11 May 2011
Socom 4

SOCOM 4

Review If the murder-sim genre has taught us anything, it’s that gamers require little pretext to kill. It helps, of course, when justification is provided through exposition, or by that simplest casus belli of all, an enemy pulling the trigger first. But occasionally, along comes a game like SOCOM 4 to prove all we really need to know …
Andrew Bailey, 5 May 2011
Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat

Review Like Frankenstein’s Monster, Mortal Kombat has ever been the lumbering chimera, an amalgamation of individual parts thrown together, somehow brought to life much to the despondency of nature’s will. Mortal Kombat Two girls, one mug Take the series’ visuals, for example: ever shifting from one trend to another, as the …
Mike Plant, 29 Apr 2011
Portal 2

Portal 2

Review “The best solution to a problem,” says GLaDOS, “is usually the easiest one.” She's right, of course. But then she always is. Portal players know all too well how inadvisable it is to disagree with Aperture Science's sociopathic AI caretaker, but it's surprising how often her maxim proves true during the sequel to Valve's much- …
Andrew Bailey, 22 Apr 2011
Dynasty Warriors 7

Dynasty Warriors 7

Review Parkouring across the backs of galloping horses; fighting while cascading down a majestic waterfall; evading a ball-and-chain attack before using the weapon’s momentum to swing to safety. What do these things have in common? Simply that they’re all shown in Dynasty Warrior 7’s rather epic FMV intro and they’re all acts you’ll …
Mike Plant, 20 Apr 2011
Llamasoft Minotron 2112

Minotron: 2112 on iOS 4

iGamer A psychedelic 8-bit arena shooter featuring amorous ungulates and minotaurs in rainbow-coloured jumpers. The more you try to explain a Jeff Minter game, the more ridiculous it sounds. Llamasoft Minotron 2112 No need to dust down your Amiga or Atari thanks to the Minotaur Project For over 20 years, his company Llamasoft has …
Andrew Bailey, 20 Apr 2011
Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Android smartphone

Review The evolution of smartphones has introduced a divide between gaming capability and gaming playability. Powerful processors and operating systems allow increasingly complex gaming. But complex games demand complex controls. Finger swishing and prodding might suffice when flinging belligerent avians around the screen, but virtual …
Andrew Bailey, 19 Apr 2011
Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed

Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed

Review Just how can a new racing game carve out a niche in a saturated genre? How can you improve on the intensity of Race Driver Grid, the visuals of F1 2010, or the driving physics of Gran Turismo 5 and Forza 3? Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed Pretty straight forward Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed seeks to answer those …
Andrew Bailey, 15 Apr 2011
Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars

Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars

Review If you've got a winning, hugely popular formula, you don't dick around with it, right? Star Wars creator George Lucas may have forgotten what made the first three movies so good - character, as well as effects and story - when he started work on the prequels, but the latest addition to the Lego Star Wars franchise, this time …
Total War: Shogun 2

Total War: Shogun 2

Review Apart from porn and the Total War series, why would anyone own a PC? Shogun 2 coming out, best get down to Akihabara’s Yodobashi Camera and spend some hard earned cash on a graphics card update – couldn't resist the ATI PowerColor 6950 2GB – time to watch my frame rate soar. Total War: Shogun 2 Marshing on Real time strategy …
Lucy Orr, 1 Apr 2011
Crysis 2

Crysis 2

Review Where Crysis shifted the paradigm of photorealism for a lucky monster-rig owning few – while power slamming the nail into the coffin of my creaking 9800 Pro – Crysis 2 is a far more forgiving beast. Crysis 2 Rocket salad The near-identical performance of the PC and console versions might not please PC gamers, but the shift to …
Andrew Bailey, 30 Mar 2011
Yakuza 4

Yakuza 4

Review Yakuza 4 manages to pack so many disparate gaming elements into the one package that it’s hard to know where to start. Part soap opera, part noire, undoubtedly a kung-fu fighter, but with fleeting resource management and a reasonable-sized city to explore, this is the JRPG, at its most offbeat. Yakuza 4 Too cool for an umbrella …
Mike Plant, 25 Mar 2011
Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo 3DS

Review “You have to see it for yourself.” As the 3DS' unofficial marketing catchphrase, that's as good as it gets: an enticement at the most personal level. As the opening gambit to a product review, it's far less auspicious. But that's the reality of Nintendo's new wunderkind. Seeing is the only way of believing. Nintendo 3DS …
Andrew Bailey, 25 Mar 2011
iStunt 2

iStunt 2 on the iPhone 4

iGamer That's it, hands, you deserve a break. You've worked tirelessly these past few weeks and proved your mettle. Dead Space and Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard were enjoyable iOS games, but playing them back-to-back was far too much like hard work. These fingers are done playing digit-Twister for a while. Time for a holiday. Time to …
Andrew Bailey, 23 Mar 2011
Motorstorm Apocalypse

Motorstorm Apocalypse

Review Motorstorm Apocalypse's unabashed and riotous disregard for realism is the antithesis of most modern racing games – and it makes perfect sense. Who cares about traction control, sports intake manifolds and torque splits when you're taking a high-octane tour through the picture-postcard backdrops of the apocalypse? Motorstorm …
Andrew Bailey, 22 Mar 2011
Homefront

Homefront

Review THQ has made it abundantly clear that it intends to step it up as a publisher, marquee titles – the likes of De Blob 2, Red Faction: Armageddon and indeed Homefront are all part of that plan – as the publishing house looks to take on Activision and EA, specialists in the art of the cross-platform blockbuster. Homefront Cop a …
Mike Plant, 18 Mar 2011
Rift

Rift

Review Carpal tunnel syndrome has almost set in since the release of WoW Cataclysm – bash, level, bash, ow, ow – so perhaps change is as good as a rest. Well, one look at Rift and I am left with nightmarish flashbacks of DC Universe another MMO that is ultimately flawed with a levelling cap, a boring character build system and no …
Lucy Orr, 16 Mar 2011
Dragon Age II

Dragon Age II

Review Dragon Age 2, sequel to 2009’s Dragon Age: Origins, plunges us once more into the realm of swords and sorcery – even adapting its history based on your Origins' saved game (if you have one). However, in terms of style and gameplay, there is perhaps more here that fans of Mass Effect will find familiar than series veterans. …
Mike Plant, 11 Mar 2011
Fight Night Champion

Fight Night Champion

Review Team sport titles get repackaged each year with marginal improvements, justified through noticeable kit and squad differences. However, as fast-paced as boxing may be, the sport itself moves very slowly. So even though Fight Night Champion arrives almost two years since the series' last release, apart from David Haye's climb to …
Caleb Cox, 10 Mar 2011
Mario Sports Mix

Mario Sports Mix

Review It's not hard to see why Nintendo added the third word to Mario Sports Mix. A mix it is, not only of four individual sports, but two games too: Wii Sports and Mario Kart Wii. Unfortunately, the whole is less than the sum of its parts. The North American-centric games on offer here are Basketball, Ice Hockey, Volleyball and …
Tony Smith, 3 Mar 2011
Killzone 3

Killzone 3

Review Killzone 3's Infiltrators are a class apart. Camouflaging themselves, they mimic their opponents' identity to move unmolested through hostile territory. Then, when the pivotal moment presents itself, they break cover and wreak havoc on an unsuspecting enemy. Killzone 3 Smoke on the war ground, fire in his eyes Infiltrators …
Andrew Bailey, 25 Feb 2011