Tag Archives: SquareEnix

Deus Ex Mankind Divided: That’s me sorted for a few weeks, then

To celebrate my copy of Deus Ex Mankind Divided (which I pre-ordered ages ago) arriving today,  I thought I’d post the launch trailer to SquareEnix’s latest games in the series.

20160824_182655I really enjoyed DX: Human Revolution once the boss battles had been patched to be more aligned with how you wanted to play so I’m really looking forward to spending some quality time with Mankind Divided and my PS4.

I’ve also posted a picture of my copy, ready for me to play (I also note you can see my socks in the image. Hopefully, they match!)

Here’s the blurb from SquareEnix on what’s the game’s about:

“In 2029, after the Aug incident that resulted in the deaths of millions, mankind stands divided. The oppression of the mechanically augmented has created a climate of fear and resentment, resulting in an escalation of crime and acts of terror. Amid all the chaos, Adam Jensen goes after the Illuminati, the men and women responsible for tearing the world apart. Armed with a new arsenal of state-of-the-art weapons and augmentations, he must choose the right approach, along with who to trust, in order to unravel a vast worldwide conspiracy.”

 

Here’s the trailer:

 

Anyone else picking this game up?

 

Deus Ex Mankind Divided new game play demo

I told myself I wasn’t going to watch anymore game play footage of Deus Ex Mankind Divided until the game’s out later this year,  but, really, I’m only kidding myself: I held off for about six hours then watched it this weekend.

This latest footage shows the city hub area set in Prague, starting in Adam Jensen’s apartment after a terrorist attack that has screwed his augmentations up. Jensen needs to get to Vaclav Koller, an underground augmentation specialist, so that he can have a look at them and help him get back into shape.

It looks the like the game is using the same or a similar engine to Deus Ex Human Revolution so I was a little underwhelmed graphically but it’s not out for two months so plenty of time to go until it’s released.

Deus Ex Mankind Divided is out on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 3 on August 23.

Watch some havoc from the first hour of Just Cause 3

I have to admit that although I’m probably not going to buy Just Cause 3, it looks like you could have an insane amount of fun just, well, creating a mess and trying to destroy everything in the game world, set in an island paradise called Medici.

If you are going to buy Just Cause 3, you might not want to watch this video which shows the first hour of game play from the game, thanks to SquareEnix and Avalanche Studios. That said, just because the video shows a certain way of playing Just Cause 3, it doesn’t mean you’ll play it that way.

Let me know what you think. Are you going to buy it? It’s out on December 1, I believe.

My most anticipated games for E3 2015

Ten years ago this month, I went to my very first E3 gaming convention.

It was 2005, and I’d managed to convince my bosses at the metropolitan newspaper that I worked at in Christchurch, New Zealand, that  video games were a big thing and if the company was serious about keeping up with trends it needed to send me to E3, the huge three-day gaming show in Los Angeles.

It worked and after a few months of planning I jetted off to what would end up being a memorable experience, perhaps not so much for the games – I can’t actually remember much from that show – but for the memories:

  • Catching a taxi from the hotel I was staying at – The Standard in Hollywood (which was really quite average actually but one afternoon I saw actor Forrest  Whittaker milling about the lobby)  – with Alex Garden, the founder of Relic Entertainment. I didn’t realise it was him until he handed me his business card.
  • The incredibly sore feet after three days of running from hall to hall after realising that I should have left more time between appointments.
  • Seeing the game Stubbs the Zombie in action at a hotel near the LA Convention centre.
  • Chatting to Peter Molyneux and being swept away by his enthusiasm for the industry (it was to be the first of three interviews I did with him over the years).
  • Walking what seems like miles with James Burnett from Gameplanet in 2010 after we just decided to walk from Hollywood to somewhere. I can’t remember where we were going but a shop assistant was flabbergasted that we were contemplating walking rather than taking a taxi.

I ended up going to E3 two more times: In 2009, once again as correspondent for Fairfax NZ and The Press,  and in 2010 as part of the team for NZ gaming website Gameplanet, and each time I have fond memories of what happened and what I did probably more than the games.

Looking back on my trips to E3, part of me misses the noise, the buzz, the flash, but mostly I don’t. It’s a lot of hard work, especially if it’s just you, and frankly, a lot of the games on show are in a state that is quite different from the finished product. Besides, I’m too old to attend major gaming shows now.

This year, I don’t have a lot of anticipation for many games at E3 and I don’t know how really relevant it is any more, given that leaks are common place and one of this year’s major games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is already out.

Maybe I’m cynical, but I think that the gaming industry is in some sort of stagnation at the moment where re-masters are all the rage and the easy option for publishers.

That said, there are probably three games that I’m particularly keen to learn more about (and one that I hope will be announced). Here they are, in precise, particular order in terms of most anticipated.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Eidos)

What: Mankind Divided is the sequel (of sorts) to 2011’s DX Human Revolution, an action/stealth/RPG game set in a cyberpunk universe where human cybernetic implants and augmentations are all the rage. Set two years after Human Revolution, Mankind  Divided sees the return of gruff-voiced hero Adam Jensen.

Why: You’ve seen the latest trailer, right? Man, that captured my attention right away. How could you not be impressed by it? Deus  Ex Human Revolution is still one of my most loved games in the DX  series: I just love that cyberpunk setting, despite the game’s bosses being complete arseholes to defeat before they patched the game (it was later revealed that the boss battles were outsourced to another studio), and I loved that you could play it all guns blazing or creeping in the shadows, remaining unseen. I liked it so much I bought it on PC when it was on sale during a Steam sale. I have high hopes for this game.

Likelihood: It’s already been confirmed. We just need to see it in action

Mass Effect 4 (Bioware)

What: This game hasn’t been confirmed or officially announced (I don’t think) so this one is pure conjecture on my part, but [hopefully] Mass Effect 4 will be the sequel to one of the best series in the last  gaming generation, pitting the male/female Commander Shepard against a domination hungry race called the Reapers.

Why: I loved my time with Mass Effect 1 through to 3 [although, I must confess I didn’t actually have the stamina to finish ME1] and ME3 had some genuine contemplative moments where the fate of characters you’d interacted with for three games depended on your decisions. The ending [s] of Mass Effect 3 had gamers up in arms because it didn’t gel with decisions that they’d made but I didn’t have a problem with it. Rumours circulating the web indicate that ME4 will move away from the Shepard story arc, which will be welcome, but I really  hope ME4 tells us what happened to the Reapers.

Likelihood: Possibly but nothing has been confirmed. It would be nice, though.

[And one totally out of left field] A new Hitman game

What: The Hitman games are the ultimate for fans wanting to pretend they are an elite assassin. Featuring the bald-headed Agent 47, the Hitman games are well known  for giving gamers the ability to complete missions in a number of ways, using the environment to take out a target.

Why: I love Agent 47. He’s one of my most favourite game characters and while Hitman Absolution had flaws, I still played it  through to the end There are rumours that developer IO Interactive are planning a new Hitman game sometime this year [or announce one] so my anticipation levels are high for this one.

Likelihood: Nothing has been confirmed that it will be shown – yet – but IO Interactive have hinted that it’s working on a new game. I have high hopes.

While I was writing this I thought to myself “Oh, there will probably be more games as I watch the press conferences that I’m interested in” (I’m mildly interested in Fallout 4, but I didn’t like the previous games) but these are one that I’m really, really excited about and two that I hope happen.

Tell me what you’re most anticipated about from E3 this year.

Deus Ex Mankind Divided? SquareEnix, take my money now

The hype has well and truly started: The next game in the Deus Ex series has been announced by SquareEnix.

It’s name is Mankind Divided. And it’s bringing back Adam Jensen, the likeable augmented main character from Deus Ex Human Revolution. I couldn’t be more pleased.

It’s been confirmed for PC, PS4 and Xbox One (not last-gen support which is no surprise) but no release date has been given. It apparently takes place two years after Human Revolution in a society where augmented citizens are starting to push back against their non-augmented oppressors. Apparently, Jensen is part of an Interpol-like organisation that is tasked with tracking down augmented terrorists.

Yes, this is a cinematic trailer but, my God, it looks so damn good (much stabbing, many bloods) and has me hyped for the next game in the series. Hopefully, developer Eidos Montreal have learnt its lesson from Human Revolution and won’t outsource the boss battles like it did originally in Human Revolution, which had to be fixed with the Director’s Cut release.

Fingers crossed, Michael McCann is doing Mankind Divided’s soundtrack, too: His work on Human Revolution is next to brilliant. Update: I just watched the credits at the end of the trailer and McCann is doing the soundtrack on Mankind Divided. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

Are you excited? I know I am.

All aboard the Hype Train! Toot! Toot!

 

 

 

Murdered Soul Suspect: A flawed, but likeable, detective game

Murdered Soul Suspect (SquareEnix, multiplatform. Reviewed on PlayStation 4)


Find the killer: Murdered detective Ronan O'Connor must find out who killed him.

Find the killer: Murdered detective Ronan O’Connor must find out who killed him.

One of the more interesting aspects to SquareEnix’s detective game where you play the ghost of a murdered police trying to solve his own murder is that sometimes you get to possess cats.

Set in the town of Salem – well-known in American lore for being the home of witches and witchcraft – Murdered Soul Suspect opens with detective-with-a-shady-past Ronan O’Connor being thrown out of a house window then brutally murdered by a masked serial killer nicknamed the Bell Killer by Salem’s local police department. O’Connor’s ghost wears the five glowing bullet holes in his torso like a badge of honour and before he can join his murdered wife Julia in heaven, he must uncover who the Bell Killer is.

As O’Connor explores the town of Salem, he uncovers a tale steeped in witchcraft and with the help of the daughter of a missing clairvoyant tries to find out why the Bell Killer is  doing what he’s doing (murdering people).

For a game based on witches and rituals, Murdered Soul Suspect wasn’t as scary as I was expecting and it doesn’t feature a lot of combat, either.

Actually, it isn’t scary at all as the only real threat to O’Connor’s ghostly form are demons that appear from time to time – usually when he has to exit a building he’s just explored or a building he’s about to investigate. The demons – tormented souls trapped on earth – are more of a nuisance than anything, although they can’t be taken head on: O’Connor must approach them stealthily, from behind, often hiding in conveniently placed spirits dotted around environments.

Sneaking up behind a demon without being caught activates a quick time event (on PlayStation you pull the R2 button then have to match the on-screen stick and button combination). If you mess it up – or they spot you before you’ve managed to get it – they’ll chase him until eventually sucking the will from him, and you return to the last check point.  The demons aren’t hard to kill: Just annoying.

Most of Murdered Soul Suspect’s game play involves examining crime scenes and piecing together clues about happened in a particular environment. At certain points, O’Connor will have to determine what order specific events happened, based on the clues he’s uncovered.  Each clue he solves, obviously, leads him closer to the identity of the Bell Killer.

Being a ghost has great advantages, mostly in that O’Connor can pass through most walls in his search for clues, except those that have been consecrated: He can’t pass through those.

But back to the cats. At certain points, controlling a cat is a lot of fun, especially in in the first 1/4 of the game where you guide a possessed cat through the grounds of Salem’s church to reach the attic where Ronan first meets Joy, the daughter of the missing clairvoyant. There are other times you can possess a cat, but often it’s just to be able to climb up scaffolding so you can reveal a collectible.

I played the PS4 version but to be honest I didn’t blow me away graphically. Murdered Soul Suspect looks nice but isn’t the sort of game you’d invite friends around to show off what your PS4 can do.

Sadly, Murdered Soul Suspect turns out to be a pretty average detective game that’s not particular difficult or taxing, but it’s saved by its genuinely intriguing story and the sterling effort done by Jason Brooks and Cassidy Lehrman, who voice  O’Connor and Joy.

Dynamic duo: Ronan and Joy join forces to solve the Bell Killer case.

Dynamic duo: Ronan and Joy join forces to solve the Bell Killer case.

The performances by Brooks and Lehrman lift Murdered Soul Suspect from the “meh”to the interesting, and while it won’t go down as one of gaming’s classics, it’s the type of game that I’ll remember playing, and not want to forget.

[Thanks to SquareEnix Australia for providing a copy of the game for review]

 

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