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Category Archives: Games

Making an Unreal Tournament Map!

Yes, before you say it, what about that TF 2 map I was making? Well, that is taking a back seat for now. Thing is not that I don’t want to finish that level, I do but while making it I am also learning how to use Source.  For those of you that have been around my blog for awhile know that Unreal Tech is kind of second nature for me and recently since I picked up UE4 and made a few visual scenes pretty quickly it made more sense for me to jump back into the mod scene that helped me land a job as pro level designer in the first place!

So the map I am making is kind of a third iteration of a remake. Back in the day I made map for UT2k4 called Iron Maiden (yes the heavy metal influences run strong, up the irons! \m/). That map made some headlines and even won an Ownage award from Cliffy B when he was running that site of the best of the best community maps.

Later on I did a remake DM-Iron Maiden 2 with a new visual style for UT3 as a part of the Community Bonus Pack. That map IIRC was nominated in the Make Something Unreal Contest but was not a winner. Regardless being nominated in a sea of 1000’s of submitted levels was an honor in its own right.

Anyways, here we are with a new Unreal Tournament game that is being built from the ground up with tons of community input. I figured why not jump in and have some fun on the side. You know I always have to keep busy with some sort of side project and what better project to start than DM-Iron Maiden 3!

Overall, it has some of the same vibes as IM and IM2 but with a few new layout changes. Currently the map is very grey box but I am trying to get the fun nailed down and get the community’s vibe to see what works and what does not with this new design.

So, if you have the time you can download and install the new UT game it is free and give my map a spin and leave any comments or feedback you have on the forums!

Here is a link to where the discussion is currently taking place: https://forums.unrealtournament.com/showthread.php?16532-DM-Iron-Maiden-3

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TF2 Map Update: Starting to take shape

The map is starting to take shape. Still very grey box but you get a feel for the space. Getting close to a first playable revision very soon! Probably next week!

 

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TF 2 Map Update

Quick update!

Expanding on the player base area and working on some ideas for the “no mans land” middle area. I guess I should mention I am thinking of making this into a king of the hill map.

I have few ideas in the works to move the spawn area, once I get that in and the middle area a little more defined I will share it in the next update.

 

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Starting a TF2 Map

As you all know I am pretty well versed with Unreal Tech given the various levels and visuals scenes I have made over the years along side with the fact that I use Unreal Tech every day at work.

However, I have always wanted to try my hand at making a TF 2 level. Though to be honest I was making a TF2 map ages ago (http://mozidesign.com/2009/07/27/team-fortress-2-map-in-the-works/) but I never got around to finishing it for some reason or another.

Anyways, I have started venturing into TF2 level design and along the way I will be updating the blog with updated and screens of how the map is coming along.  So for the first post here are the beginnings of a base area, not much to look at I know but got to start somewhere. :)

Stay tuned for future updates!

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Batman: Arkham Origins Review

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As you may have read, my initial impressions of Batman: Arkham Origins were pretty high. Now that I have finished the game, well not completely finished but done with the main quest and boat load of side quests, my opinion has changed.

I am not saying that Batman: Akrham Origins is a bad game by any means but over time it seems to loose its sense of greatness. The game just seems to harken back towards ideas and designs from Arkham Asylum and Arkham City as it progresses.

Given that a new studio and a new team are at the helm as a developer I don’t blame them for playing it safe with tried and true mechanics established from the first two games for their take on the franchise. However, as a gamer I really wanted more from the third installment of the Arkham series of games.

It has been a while but I will try to cover all my thoughts in the format that I have done in the past by covering the good, the bad, and the ugly side of Batman Arkham:Origins. As always I will keep it spoiler free.

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The Good

Like I said earlier I can’t fault new devs for sticking with what works in terms of a Batman game. If you liked Arkham Asylum and Akrham City then you will probably enjoy Arkham Origins. It is pretty much more of the same, you can sneak around, perform takedowns, use crazy gadgets to solve puzzles, and kick some serious ass with the amazing melee combat system. The game does a pretty solid job of once again putting you into the shoes of the cape crusader.

Aside from what is known about the game, the one thing that stands out to me is definitely the attention to detail within the many interior spaces of the game. True, most of the game takes place outdoors in the snowy town of Gotham City, which also looks amazing, but for some missions and sidquests Batman finds himself in tighter interior spaces.

Each interior area of the game is very unique with great details and some pretty awesome lighting covering a wide spectrum of colors. Along with great lighting, the interior spaces had great flow and with detail work done by artists and level designers each space felt quite real as if it belonged in Gotham. Perhaps my favorite location in terms of detail, lighting, and believability was the Batcave.

Given the narrative of the game, Batman is still learning to be Batman. The Batcave has all the right details to showcase this. The only main thing Batman has at his disposal in terms of vehicles is the batwing, which looks like a first prototype compared to future designs of the batwing.

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Batman has the batcomputer which is easy to find, but if you take the time to explore the Batcave you can see some subtle story telling. There is an area for training with dummies Batman would use for training (the player can use these in game). Off to the side is a work bench where new gadgets are made ( and in game players can get new toys for Batman to use). Nearby is a makeshift ER room, with X-rays and a gurney, one could believe that this is where Alfred would patch up Batman every night after he dished out some serious beatdowns.

Further out from the Batcave the player can find the service elevator which leads up to Wayne manor. All of this is great but the icing on the cake in terms of visual story telling is seeing the iconic Batmobile under construction! If am not mistaken it same one that is seen in Arkham Asylum.

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The Bad

A flaw of this game is that it is more of the same gameplay we saw in Akrahm City. You go around the city fighting various low lifes and iconic Batman villains. The plot is decent but predictable, the basic premise is that Black Mask has put a price on Batman’s head, the first assassin to kill him before the night is over wins the cash. There a few plot twists along the way but nothing to cause your jaw to drop to floor.

On the topic of gameplay, nothing seems different aside from the crime scene investigations which are kind of cool in the way they are presented. Aside from that, Batman has pretty much all of the same tools and gadgets used in the same ways we have seen before. For example you still use the decoder tool to bypass locks or the explosive gel to create new paths. I would have really liked to see more from the new devs to create a new gadget or two for Batman and add gameplay mechanics around those new devices.

Combat is the same too, either you can jump into a pit of bad guys and beat the crap out of them or find sneaky vantage points above or below enemies to perform signature takedown moves.

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The one thing that bugged me the most was that after every combat encounter a score was calculated on screen and converted into XP points. This felt too arcade like and at times can break the immersion. I am not aware of a way to turn it off. I understand the reasoning for the points and XP is to help me level up to new Batman gear and combat moves, but I would have rather had that be behind the scenes rather than on screen for each combat. If anything it should be a player option, arcade mode with points and numbers or pure immersion Batman mode.

In summary there is not a lot of innovation from the gameplay front. But if you dig the combat of the past two games it feels very familiar and easy to get back into the swing of things with the controls and combat of Arkham Origins.

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The Ugly

 You may recall a while back I wrote a blog post on boss fight designs and what sets a part the most iconic boss fights from the worst boss fights. In that post I also mentioned that making boss fights is hard and in most cases some places have a dedicated boss fight designer as creating boss fights and creating a great boss fight is not an easy task. (blog post can be found here) Well sadly, in my opinion Batman: Akrham Origins has some pretty bad boss fights. It is perhaps the worst part of the game when you encounter an iconic villain to fight.

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Batman: Akrham Asylum had some pretty cool and memorable fights. Sadly, Arkham Origins fails to hit any of those notes. At times some of those amazing boss fight beats are copied but not executed in the same way. Pretty much a boss fight in Arkham Origins boils down to the following rules. Dodge around a ton, wait for a window to punch the boss a bit, dodge again, follow the quick time events watch and animation play out and then repeat until the boss is defeated.

That rule or process does not feel fun in any way. And more often than not each boss fight will take about a few tries to get past because if you fail the dodge test or quick time events you take a ton of damage from the boss leading towards failure and eventually restarting the fights over and over till you finally memorize the patterns and timing.

Thinking back the past two Batman games had similar approaches to bosses but something that I can’t put my finger on is different and lacking. Not sure it was the overall presentation or execution, or maybe back then this felt cool and doing it for a third time against Batman villains now feels mundane. I don’t know I could be wrong, regardless the boss fights are quite bad this time around.

Along with the boss fights, near the end of the game, the combats seem to be dragged out. Yeah I know I said no spoilers but this a minor one. Basically the game kind of turns into room-combat-room very linear. Enter a space, beat up 20 people, walk to the next space beat up 20 more people… so lame and not fun in my opinion you kind expect more from Batman but I guess this was the signal from the devs that end of the game is near so tons of combat in your face.

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Final Thoughts

In summary the visuals are great, the gameplay is familiar but not innovative, and boss fights are terrible. My first impressions were a 9/10, this was my knee jerk Batman fanboy rating. Now after playing a total of 22 hours of gameplay and only 35% completion (seriously there must a ton of fluff content besides the main quest and interesting side quests.)

Based on my review I would give this game 7.5/10. The game is not bad, but it is not great either. If you got the time, and are fan of the Batman games give it a try is least I can say. Also there is a MP part to the game. I have not tried it and can’t really say much about it until I fire it up.

As always I can be reached on twitter [at]mozidesigner, hopefully you have enjoyed my review of Batman: Akrham Origins.

Cheers and y’all enjoy your Thanksgiving break!

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Batman: Arkham Origins – First Impressions

A while back Batman: Arkham Asylum raised the bar on what a super hero game should be, and the sequel Arkham City out did the previous title in quality and scope. Now we have Arkham Origins a prequel game before the events of the other two games. Aside from being a prequel, the game also has a new home with a different dev studio, WB Montreal instead of Rocksteady.  With new people at the helm, skepticism of quality and meeting the mark set by another company can be quite high. So does Arkham Origins meet the mark or does it fall short?

Since I installed the game yesterday I have played it for three hours and I have to say the game has won me over once again. Yes, there are new people making the game and new voices in the cast as well.  Batman is no longer Kevin Conroy  and Mark Hamill is no longer the Joker both being long time fan favorites since the 90’s cartoon show. I know that Troy Baker is now the Joker but I have not come across him yet, however Roger Craig Smith is doing a pretty solid job at voicing Batman.

The gameplay of Arham Origins is very solid and similar to that of the previous games. The hand to hand combat is still one of the best I have ever seen in any video game. Glad to see that new dev team stick to the roots of what made the Batman games successful rather than toss everything out and reinventing the wheel.

Visually this game is far more impressive! The lighting of the levels is quite amazing with various color tones ranging from cool blues to harsh reds and everything else in between. Not only is the lighting better but the interior section levels have a lot more detail, so take your time and walk around to explore the spaces when there is no combat!

My only issue thus far is the second big boss fight. I won’t say who it is or what happens but I will say that I found it a tad bit frustrating compared to the rest of the combat flow of the game. A lot of die and try gameplay at that boss fight which was starting to piss me off until after my 6th or 7th try I finally got past it. Hopefully, future boss fights are not as hard or frustrating but that moment was kind of a downer and killed the fun. I could be wrong about this second boss fight and it could be more of user error on my part of not reacting fast enough with slower gamer reflexes while playing the game at 3AM.

I could keep talking but I will save the rest of my comments for a final summary once I beat the game. So for now I would rank this game based on first impressions 9/10!

DM-Smog Released

Here it is! I finished up the UT 3 map I was working on, you can now download it and play it!   I had few friends test out the map and overall their feedback was helpful to make a few tweaks.  Hopefully, y’all will enjoy it.  As always you can ping me on twitter @mozidesigner for any constructive comments or questions about the map. Please note this is a one on one map, so play it with a bot or a friend. More players may become too chaotic for the size of the level.

Enjoy!

Download link: http://www.mozidesign.com/Levels/DM-Smog.zip

 

 

The Design of a Boss Fight

The other day I was reading an article in PC Gamer about the thirteen worst game design crimes. http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/01/22/game-design-sins/ A great article to read, and it got me thinking about two of the topics related to boss fights. Boss fights are not easy to design, in fact I would say it one of the hardest things to get right for any game designer. To preface things I am not expert on boss battle designs. I have done a few back when I was at Vicarious Visions but my ideas for this post stem off what I have learned from other more talented combat designers and from my own observations from games that had memorable boss fights. Some of this may come off as common sense but sometimes common sense is overlooked.

Boss fights have been around in games for years, it is the end goal of a level or the entire game, it is the bad guy, the head honcho who needs to be taken out to complete the journey of being the hero. Sounds simple enough, but from a design perspective a lot goes into making it work to feel heroic and to make it memorable to the player in a good way.

In my opinion boss fights should have a few things to make them work. A great reveal of introducing the boss, showing the threat the boss has, finding the weak spot, and finally rewarding the player with an epic ending. One game out there that stands out from the crowd for great boss fights is God of War. The very first boss fight with the hydra is classic example of doing it right.

First off we get a great reveal, and the threat is clear, the hydra will eat you alive if you don’t fight back. During the fight we are given a hint at the weak spot as the camera pans up to the large hook allowing the player to impale the smaller hydra heads. Though not an epic ending, killing off the smaller heads rewards the player for their actions by providing health and other resources needed to successfully complete the boss fight. While attacking the larger hydra head the player is introduced to the weak spot during combat as the ships mast gives way as the player smashes the hydra’s head into it. The epic ending to this battle showcases the player impaling the larger hydra head onto the ship’s mast.

That’s how to do it right. So where can one fail? I mentioned a while back when talking about Deus Ex: Human Revolution is that the boss fights were pretty bad. In fact most everyone unanimously thinks they were bad. As mentioned in the PC Gamer article the design sin of bullet sponge bosses is just not fun. In fact they never were. Let’s take a look at the DX:HR boss fight.

The reveal for this boss is pretty lame, he is just standing there in room. We see the threat of the minigun but before we can understand the threat, that gun is blasting. If you are not fast enough to hide behind that one small piece of half height cover quickly, you die before the fight even begins. We have no idea what the weak spot is, or what the gimmick is to bring this guy down. Just keep firing and wait till he dies. And the ending, well after pumping enough bullets to fuel a small militia I am sure the player is just happy that is over and can move on from this annoyance. Looking back at this boss fight it has some of the elements to make a boss fight, the reveal, the threat, etc. but they were all executed upon poorly.

Another concept for creating great and memorable boss fights is the idea of telegraphing. Telegraphing in game design is the idea of showing the player what is about to happen so that they can do what they need to do avoid an attack or find that window of opportunity to strike back at the boss. Again, I could go back to God of War, as that is one of the highest standards for great boss fights. Though to break things up lets look at another good boss fight example to show case the concept of telegraphing. I am sure there are many examples out there of well telegraphed boss fights but one that comes to mind form a recent game is Bane, from Batman: Arkham Asylum.

If you pay attention you can see two (technically three) distinct moves Bane does during this fight. One his charge attack, and the second throwing large chunks of concrete. I say three because it is not showcased in this video, but Bane has a third move where he tries to grab you if you get too close to him during the fight. All three of these attacks have an animation and sound cue to alert you, the player, of which attack is coming up next. Before the charge we hear Bane roar, and his pipes light up, when you see that, get out of the way! During the fight we see Bane walk up to wall and tear out a piece of it before throwing it. Again another cue to dodge that attack. Simple stuff that makes the boss fight better and more entertaining for the player, but it can be overlooked to make the boss fight a lot harder when you don’t know what will happen next.

Along the lines of simple stuff to make any boss fight fun is feedback loops. When the player does something to the boss they want to know it worked, rather than to be left in the dark. Off the top of my head I can’t think of any examples of poor feedback loops, though I am sure I will think of one later. But let’s forget about that and focus on what makes for great feedback. I guess if any of these were left out one could easily make a pretty bad boss fight in no time.

The simplest example of a feedback loop is the health bar. A large bar on the screen that shows how much health boss has at any given stage during the fight. The lower the bar gets, the closer you are to winning. Most games have this, however some don’t , mainly old school games. For example Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and 2. Great games but a bit of a mystery on the boss fights. Now before you say, I am wrong about the feedback loop here, there is a feedback loop which I will discuss later, but the point here is that there is no health bar to explain how much damage I need to do to win.

Regardless of the lack of a health bar on the boss fights, to me personally, this one of the most memorable series of boss fights I have experienced ever since I started playing games way back in the day. Plus the music is great, for final boss fight. Anyways, as you can see no health bar. How much damage do I need to do, how long is this fight. I have no idea (over time you learn how many hits it takes, eight for metal sonic and ten for the giant bot if I recall correctly) I have seen this in a few other games as well where there is no health bar but subsequent forms of player feedback fill in the gap of the standard health bar.

Before I go on with feedback loops this fight with the giant bot is an amazing example of telegraphed boss attacks and adhering to the initial concepts of what makes a great boss fight with the reveal, threats, etc. Pay attention and you will see what I am talking about.

Sonic fails on the health bar, but we are given feedback via audio and visual mechanics. When Sonic hits the boss there is flash and an audio cue of a hit. Those two combined tell the player you are doing it right, keep at it! The flash and audio cue are classic example of a great feedback loop during a boss fight. As seen here with Tidal Wave from Transfomers on the PS2 (Great game by the way). Again another great boss fight to hit the high notes with the reveal, and threat it poses to the player.

The fight against Tidal Wave has both the audio and visual feedback along with the health bar, all three working together to show the player their progress in this boss fight. In modern games the flash is replaced with blood or other visual effects but the concept is the same, you attack the boss, you get some feedback that your attack worked even if a health bar is non existent.

Finally, the last design concept to make a great boss fight is the idea of Introduction, Practice, and Master (IPM). IPM can be applied to any game design concept as it follows three simple steps. Introduce an idea, allow players to practice what you introduced, then expect the player to master what they have learned. Looking back at the examples I posted, the God of War hydra fight introduces the quick time events to pull off amazing attacks. Later on the the game player gets more chances to practice this mechanic and near the end they are masters at it and quickly follow the quick time events presented on screen to defeat the final boss of the game.

If we look at the Bane fight, we see the charge and wall throwing introduced as attacks requiring the player to dodge them. During the fight the player practices their dodge against these attacks. Near the end the frequency of attacks is amped up but the player has mastered the dodge to avoid the higher frequency of attacks dished out by Bane. However, the best example of IPM applied to boss fights is the game Shadow of the Colossus. Here is the first colossi battle. Once again this boss fight hits all right notes of having a great reveal, understanding the threat, solid feedback loops, telegraphed attacks, and an epic player win at the end.

This first fight teaches the player how to bring down the boss with introductions to climbing, finding the weak spot, and how to attack the weak spot to bring the boss down. The rest of the game is all about practicing the same routines in a different ways up until the end where the player must use all of what they have learned to successfully take down the final boss, IPM at its finest.

To summarize, a great boss fight should have an amazing reveal to player in game. Players should see and understand the threat the boss poses to them. Boss attacks should be telegraphed, allowing players enough time react before the attack hits. All boss fights need to have a solid feedback loop with audio, visual and even user interface elements like the health bar to tell the player that they are on the right track during the fight. Finally boss fights should employ the concepts of introducing, practicing, and mastering a mechanic to defeat the boss.

On a side note, as much I loved the game, boss fights should not be like Far Cry 3 (the second reason why I decided to write this based on the PC Gamer article) and kill off the most badass mofos in the game with a scripted cut scene, so lame. To add insult to injury this happens three times in the game (I guess that was there attempt at IPM if it was… well I should stop while I am ahead). Each major boss is watered down to an interactive cut scene with out any hint of using boss fight standards set by other games in the FPS genre. As much as I hated them, the DX: HR boss fights were a little better due to the fact that I actually had a fight and not a cut scene.

So, next time you play game and find that the boss fight was amazing and memorable it probably followed some of these ideas I talked about. If the boss fight sucked, look back and try to find out why it sucked, and how could have been better. As always feel free to ping me on twitter (@mozidesigner) with any constructive remarks or feedback about this post.

Borderlands 2 has been released!

It’s September 18th! Borderlands 2 is here! Hopefully, everyone out there is enjoying the game. I had a blast working on this along with the rest of the team at Gearbox.

No spoilers but my share of work in the game can be found in the two main story missions of Sanctuary, a mission involving a pipeline, and various side quests. In addition I helped out with some of the level design work on Sanctuary with two other talented designers.

I will be online on Steam and Xbox game hoping with friends so if you see me online shoot me an invite and I will do my best to join your game.

Also if you missed it here is our launch trailer. Have fun, collect loot, and wreck havoc on Pandora once again. As always you can reach me on twitter if you have any comments or questions. Cheers!

 

E3 2012 Recap

E3 this year was a blast, despite some travel issues which I won’t bore you with.  Overall, both Borderlands 2 and Aliens: Colonial Marines had a great showing at E3 with the fans coming back for more, you guys rock!

I got to check out quite a few games and even got some hands on time with a few of the games I really wanted to see.  Some of the games I saw included: Gears of War-Judgment, Crysis 3, Dishonored, Sim City, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, Need for Speed- Most Wanted, and Rocksmith.

Gears of War-Judgment

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Lets start with Gears of War: Judgment. Honestly,  after Gears 3 I figured the franchise was over, but looks like we got some more chainsaw battles and shotguns to face in the near future. As I Gears fan, I am not complaining, bring it on!

At E3 the fine folks at Epic and People Can Fly brought along their new MP game mode Overrun , which basically a class based take on the classic Gears MP we all know and love. Overrun takes the best of horde mode 2.0, beast mode, and touch of Unreal Tournament’s assault mode for an all out battle royal between the COG and Locust over various in game objectives.

For the E3 demo there was one objective to destroy a generator but damn, it was quite fun to play the role of the COG defenders as well as the Locust attackers. Can’t wait to play more Overrun once Judgment comes out.

Crysis 3

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Moving on to Crysis 3, what can I say expect that it looks like we have another game that is hell bent on making your current PC specs beg for mercy at the sheer amount of visual awesome sauce being thrown at it to render the amazing visuals that Crysis 3 offers. Sure the game is going to be out on Xbox and PS3 but a Crysis game in my opinion has always been a solid PC game. And this time around Crysis 3 comes out to give your PC an ass kicking it will never forget!

In the demo I saw the dev team show cased a mission where you, as the player need to infiltrate and destroy a dam. From what I saw the visuals were just amazing and the moment when dam explodes was freaking awesome! Can’t wait to play some more Crysis soon!

Dishonored

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One game I really wanted to see and play was Dishonored, and at E3 I got to do both. Dishonored is one of those games where anything goes. Meaning there is more than one way to solve a problem kind of like Thief, Deus Ex, or Bioshock. You can go all stealth or go ape shit and kill everyone in your path, the choice is yours.

The presentation of game showcased both styles of gameplay for the same mission which was very cool to see how various powers, weapons, and traversal paths can change how a mission is played out. When it came to the hands on moment, I was little confused of how to get around with some the powers such as teleporting but overall the game is a lot of fun and I can’t wait to get it and really dig into the mechanics of the game to experience various gameplay styles much like I did with Deus Ex and Bioshock.

Sim City

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Sim City, a game I practically grew up on, I could do a whole blog post of how during middle school I would skip lunch and go to the computer lab to play Sim City 2000 every single day!

Seeing the classic city building game once again brought back some good memories of building huge cities and then for shits and giggles burning the them to the ground with all the possible disasters available.

This new iteration of Sim City looks amazing and during the presentation the multilayer aspects were showcased. Basically, you can play the game with friends and combine your cities to share resources, infrastructures,  and work together to create what are known as “great works” such as huge sports arena or an international airport.  This is one game that I will sink hundreds of hours into once it comes out!

Transformers- Fall of Cybertron

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Now this is the game I was super excited for at E3, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. Long time blog readers will know that I am a Transformers nerd, and really have a great amount respect and love for the G1 series and have grudge against the Micheal Bay films, even though I had to work movie Transformer games.

Anyways, my inner fanboy felt as if it had died and gone to Cybertron during my hands on experience with Fall of Cybertron. I got to play as Vortex who is a Decepticon, as Vortex I could be robot (of course), a helicopter, and a jet! Triple changing was so freaking awesome during gameplay as I worked with the other Decepticons to bring down  a bridge along an Autobot supply route.

Overall, the visuals are amazing and the gameplay is really solid! Grimlock from the Autobots was also playable but I did not have time to go back to play the game again, plus the line for the demos were really long. Honestly, aside from Borderlands 2 and ACM, which I hope win game of the year from various media outlets, I would put Fall of Cybertron as a game of the year contender for 2012, seriously it is that awesome!

Need for Speed- Most Wanted

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Need for Speed: Most Wanted, this perhaps the one game I really did not like at E3. No offense to any of the devs but it I kind of felt bored playing it. Maybe I need to spend more time with it when it comes out, but overall the game is basically Need for Speed mixed with Burn Out: Paradise. You have the awesome cars and cop chases of NFS  combined with the open world and take downs of Burn Out: Paradise.

I don’t know but a part of me does not like open world racing, that’s kind of why I gave up Burn Out:Paradise. Additionally, the one thing I hated most about Burnout:Paradise MP is back in all of its annoying glory, takedown griefing.  Seriously, this pissed me off at E3 during the MP hands on demo. I am trying to get my sense of direction for the next objective and before I know it I get slammed into the nearest lamp post. Or all of the players are at the meetup spot for the next race and everyone is taking each other down at the starting line before the event even starts, seriously WTF! I know it is a mechanic of the game and you can do it, but seriously it is freaking annoying that I just lost all interest in gameplay as kept getting taken down while trying to wait for a race to start. The single player seems fun but again the whole open world racing has me hesitant to play this game. Honestly, I prefer classic racing games with a set track that has defined start and end point.

Rocksmith

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Last game of my E3 recap is Rocksmith. Once again long time readers know that I worked on Guitar Hero, the lame plastic guitar game that makes you think you are playing guitar but only hitting five plastic buttons.

Rocksmith was different, I was holding a real six string! The game is really cool as real learning tool to practice and learn a real guitar instead of working towards being a pro of mashing five buttons. However, as drummer who has been hitting things for over twelve years my finger coordination was shit on a six string.

Nonetheless, the game was very easy to follow and fun. Though, I had more fun playing bass as it has less strings and follows rhythm( which I already have a sense for) instead of melody. Once I have the time to learn a new instrument I think I will pick up Rocksmith to learn how to play bass!

So there you have it, that’s my recap of E3. There were so many other games I really wanted to check out but due to time and avoidance of long lines I will have to check out those games once they are released. In addition to checking out the games I had the chance to meet up with various industry friends during the show as well as make some new friends from various game companies.

I also met Herman Li from Dragon Force! Totally by chance he walked into the same restaurant I was at for dinner with the rest of Gearbox crew. (sorry for shitty quality, camera phone) https://twitter.com/#!/mozidesigner/media/slideshow?url=http%3A%2F%2Fyfrog.com%2Fodpr9bihj