I. Max Payne 3
Max Payne 3 is an upcoming video game and the third title in the Max Payne franchise set to be published by Rockstar Games for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. This is the first game in the series not to be developed by Finnish game developer Remedy Entertainment and not being written by series creator Sam Lake. The lead writer of Max Payne 3 is Dan Houser, who was also the writer of most games in the Grand Theft Auto series, and of Red Dead Redemption.
Max Payne 3 is a third-person shooter in which the player assumes the role of its titular character, Max Payne. It will feature the usual over-the-shoulder zoom aiming and cover mechanics. However, these will just serve as garnish to the game’s classic run-and-gun shooting. It will also include bullet-time in action sequences, which the franchise is notable for. In bullet time it will be possible to see every bullet make a hole in your foes. A “Last Man Standing” mechanic, which gives Max a reprieve from death for a small period if he has one painkiller on him. If the player is able to kill the enemy that delivered the wounding shot with bullets he’ll recover enough energy to soldier on.
Max will also be able to stay grounded after a dive, which enables him to shoot 360 degrees around. Rockstar has blended physics and animation, so that when Max dives around, he does so appropriately according to his surroundings. Through advanced utilization of the Euphoria physics engine, shooting and killing enemies in Max Payne 3 will look noticeably more realistic than in any preceding Rockstar games as well. New to the series are cinematic action movements and interactive cut-scenes which will transition seamlessly into continuing game-play. Moreover there will be no loading screens across game-play and cut-scenes which will help immerse the player further.
The game’s online multiplayer features maps and modes that dynamically change within a match, as well as reward, ranking and clan systems. Max Payne 3 will let players form private crews with friends, or join public crews. Players can be a member of up to five at the same time, and completing tasks as a crew will gain XP points for the player. Among the crew features promised are persistent Feuds, that see the player scrapping with opposing gangs who’ve killed someone on the team. Social Club integration connect play across multiple titles, starting with Max Payne 3 and Grand Theft Auto V. By playing both games multiplayer “crews” that the player set up in one will be carried over to the other. All in all it’s shaping up to be the best of the series. Pick up your copy May 15th!
II. Diablo 3
The PC hit is back! Diablo III is an upcoming dark fantasy/horror-themed action role-playing game in development by Blizzard Entertainment, making it the third installment in the Diablo franchise. The game, which features elements of the hack and slash and dungeon crawl genres, was first announced on June 28, 2008, at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational and is set to be released in North America and Europe on May 15, 2012. The game takes place in Sanctuary, the dark fantasy world of the Diablo series. This world was saved twenty years prior by a handful of unnamed heroes in Diablo II, having survived the onslaught brought by the armies of the Burning Hells, Tyrael rewarded the heroes by sending them to safety. It is up to a new generation of heroes to face the forces of evil threatening the world of Sanctuary.
Players will have the opportunity to explore familiar settings such as Tristram. The only confirmed NPCs are Deckard Cain, who has appeared in both of the previous games, and his niece, Leah, a new character who accompanies the hero in quests from time to time. The plot will revolve around two surviving Lesser Evils, Azmodan and Belial, and an artifact known as the Black Soulstone. Diablo’s world map is composed primarily of two main continents with several small islands in the Northwest region. The world of Sanctuary has been dramatically changed by the destruction of the Worldstone in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.
The proprietary engine will incorporate Blizzard’s custom in-house physics, a change from the original usage of Havok’s physics engine, and feature destructible environments with an in-game damage effect. The developers are aiming to make the game run on a wide range of systems, and have said that DirectX 10 will not be required. Diablo III will use a custom 3D game engine in order to present an overhead view to the player, in a somewhat similar way to the isometric view used in previous games in the series. Enemies will utilize the 3D environment as well, in ways such as crawling up the side of a wall from the depths into the combat area. As in Diablo II, multiplayer games will be possible using Blizzard’s Battle.net service, with many of the new features developed for StarCraft II also available in Diablo III. Players will be able to drop in and out of sessions of co-operative play with others.
An enhanced quest system, a random level generator, and a random encounter generator are slated for use in order to ensure the game provides different experiences when replayed. Overall, the game will include both static and randomly generated levels. Additionally, there will be class-specific quests to go along with the main storyline quests. Blizzard originally planned to have in-game cutscenes, but they felt these would divert from the gameplay and ultimately decided against them. Three new armor pieces will be available: shoulder plates, arm-guards and leggings.
For those that like high to play at high difficulty, Diablo III will give players the choice to make hardcore characters, similar to Diablo II. Players will be required to first level up a regular character to level 10 before they will have the option to create new Hardcore characters. Hardcore characters cannot be resurrected; instead they become permanently unplayable if they are killed. They also do not have access to the real-world money auction house. Hardcore mode is intended for experienced players who enjoy the additional thrill of having only a single virtual life. Hardcore characters are separately ranked, their names are highlighted with a different (red) color and they can only form teams with other hardcore characters. After dying, the ghost of a hardcore character can still chat, the name still shows up in rankings, but the character cannot return to the game. The wait is nearly over as gamers can pick their copy up next week on May 15th.
III. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Tom Clancy is returning to the gaming scene in Future Soldier. It’s being published by Ubisoft and due for release in May 22. Excluding expansions, it is the fourth installment in the Ghost Recon series and will be feature a futuristic setting. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier takes place in the near future. A dirty bomb has taken out a Ghost team, and you are tasked with tracking down the source of the dirty bomb using advanced technology. During the campaign, the Ghosts will visit places such as Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia and Norway.
The game is a third-person cover-based shooter, except when aiming using sights at which point the game switches to a first-person camera in order to facilitate more precise aiming. Cover can be partially destroyed, forcing the players to constantly seek other hiding spots. While in cover, players can be suppressed. When under fire by an enemy machine gun, the field of vision will decrease and the camera will shake, making it harder to return fire.
A new feature in the series is the “optical camouflage”, a form of active camouflage which allows the Ghosts to become harder to see. According to the game designer Rafael Morado, the optical camo technology is still a prototype and there are disadvantages. The camo will only stay active as long as the player maintains a low profile. When the player moves too quickly or fires their weapon, the camo will deactivate. It should also be noted that the optical camo will not function as an invisibility cloak. Enemies will be able to see the Ghosts when they are close enough.
Unlike previous Ghost Recon games, the player will not micromanage their squad. Instead, the player can mark targets. During firefights, the player can mark one high priority target, on which squad-members should focus fire. Outside of firefights, up to four targets can be marked for a synchronized shot. The Ghosts will automatically choose a target and move into position to take this target out. When the player gives the command or when the player shoots their own target, all other Ghosts will simultaneously shoot their targets. Players will also be able to control drones. Some drones have already been confirmed, such as the Drone Crawler (a small remote controlled quadrotor which can land and drive around) and the War Hound (a heavy walking robot, similar to BigDog, which can be used as portable cover).
The game will have various multiplayer modes, including cooperative and competitive game types. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier features a fully cooperative campaign, as well as a new wave based mode, called Guerilla. Also featured is competitive multiplayer. The two game types featured in the beta were called Conflict and Saboteur. Your mission starts May 22, stay frosty gamers.