If, like me, you grew up in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s it’s likely that Ron Gilbert is responsible for many of your formative gaming experiences. While at LucasArts he was responsible for a red-hot run of bona fide adventure game classics, including Maniac Mansion, Zak McKraken and the beloved Monkey Island series.
In January, he returns to the fray with The Cave, a delightful Sega-published 2D romp that, in true Maniac Mansion tradition, sees you picking three characters from a wildly diverse line-up of seven oddballs and descending into the titular caverns for all manner of puzzle-centric adventure.
From the brief section we’ve played, it’s clear that Gilbert has lost none of his flair for fiendish puzzle design, barmy dialogue and madcap storytelling. It’s shaping up to be a charming, challenging and wonderfully eccentric title that will both delight his core fans while being accessible enough to win plenty of new ones.
As gaming résumés go, few can compare to that of Warren Spector. After starting his career on the fabled Wing Commander series back in 1990, he went on to work on massive franchises such as Ultima and System Shock, before re-inventing the stealth genre with Deus Ex and Thief. In short, he’s a true giant of game development.
And this week sees him return to the fray, with Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two – an ambitious sequel to his epic 2010 platforming adventure, packing in full co-op play and PlayStation Move support. The Junction Point founder was kind enough to lend PlayStation.Blog a few minutes of his valuable time to discuss the game – read on to find out what he had to say.
Next February sees the release of the third main entry in EA’s critically lauded sci-fi survival horror series, Dead Space. While the first two games followed very similar templates, the latest installment really mixes things up by introducing full co-op play to the main campaign.
The optional drop-in, drop-out multiplayer lets a second player join in the story as new character Sergeant John Carver. While the game is fully playable as a solo experience, if you play with friend you’ll have an expanded story and get to experience a number of extra sequences and set-pieces.
We sat down with the game’s producer Steve Papoutsis to find out how – and why – developer Visceral Games has implemented this new system and what fans of the series can expect from reluctant hero Isaac Clarke’s latest adventure.
Next week sees the keenly anticipated release of Need for Speed Most Wanted, the latest release from Criterion Games – the legendary UK racing specialist behind the Burnout series and Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, the phenomenal 2010 entry in EA’s long-running street racing franchise.
That the PlayStation 3 version is very, very good should come as no surprise, but somewhat more unexpected is the amount of care the studio has lavished on replicating the experience on PlayStation Vita. Producer Matt Webster and his team have squeezed almost the entire experience onto the handheld, and even found room for a little bit of extra content exclusive to the system.
In terms of things that constitute A BIG DEAL, the arrival of a new Insomniac game is right up there. The California-based studio boasts one of the sturdiest resumes in gaming, with past works including Spyro, Ratchet & Clank and Resistance, and its latest effort – spectacular third-person shooter Fuse – looks every bit as distinctive.
The set-up is simple – you play as one member of a four-strong squad of special agents, each armed with a high-concept weapon powered by a mysterious alien substance called Fuse.
There’s beefy Dalton who wields a weapon that allows him to generate a force field. Naya’s assault rifle generates a mini-vortex which sucks in enemies. Izzy wields a shatter gun that freezes foes on the spot, allowing colleagues to step in and vaporize them. Finally, Jacob sports a crossbow that fires molten projectiles capable of turning the opposition into a pile of ash.
The PS Vita version of 2007′s PlayStation 3 dice ‘em up Ninja Gaiden Sigma was satisfying evidence of just how comfortable a full, lightning-fast console action game can feel on a handheld. Duly, Team Ninja’s announcement last month that a sequel – Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus – is currently in development came as very welcome news.
PlayStation.Blog sat down for a quick chat with Team Ninja boss Yosuke Hayashi to find out what it has in store with its new Vita game, as well as mysterious new project Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and recent release Dead or Alive 5.
Good news for anyone who’s been enjoying Namco Bandai’s enormous JRPG Tales of Graces F since its launch back in August: its immediate successor, Tales of Xillia, is on its way exclusively to PlayStation 3 in 2013.
We’ve struggled our way through an hour or so of the original Japanese version, which launched overseas back in 2011, and the 13th entry in the long-running series brings with it a number of significant new innovations for the much-loved franchise. Duly, we took the time to check in with producer Hideo Baba while in Tokyo last month to find out exactly what fans should expect.
In last week’s behind the scenes Puppeteer interview, we talked to creator Gavin Moore about the origins of the title and got some lovely insight into what makes a great kids game really sing. In the second part of the interview, Gavin touched on the game’s size, its roots in classic platformers of yesteryear and what the development team’s vibrant cultural mix brings to the project.
Read on for more on Sony Japan Studio’s tantalizing platformer, and look for a new update on development — penned by Gavin himself — next week.
Fred Dutton, PlayStation.Blog Europe Manager: So, is Puppeteer a Japanese game or a Western game?
Gavin Moore, Puppeteer Creator: It’s really interesting actually. I’ve seen people have arguments in the office about this – “It’s Western,” “No, it’s Japanese” and so on.