Day 2 of rAge 2011 saw a an atmosphere of excitement and curiosity pervading the air as a massive number of the gaming faithful turning out to enjoy the wide variety of entertainment on offer. We spent some time with a whole array of hot playable games across genres and platforms. Here are some of the highlights:
Batman: Arkham City – the first thing that strikes you when playing is how the guys at Rocksteady Studios have managed to improve on an already excellent game – they haven’t sought to purposelessly reinvent any aspects, but have rather fine-tuned, polished and added only what would contribute to a better experience. Playing The Bat is better than ever, and the player gets a very real and personal sense of Batman’s supreme skill and competence. Combat exhibits the complete intent and deadliness of a master martial artist, and the controls are incredibly precise. While not invincible, Batman (if guided properly) makes short work of his foes. The sultry Catwoman is also a playable character, and is a counterpoint to Batman’s direct forcefulness – she’s much more lithe and agile, her attacks are quick and vicious. There is a new level of freedom when it come to exploration, as Arkham City is larger and more open than the Asylum. The whole game just oozes quality.
Ghost Recon: Future soldier is shaping up to be a contender for the best cover shooter. A number of features have been added to provide a phenomenal sense of realism. Operational awareness has taken on a whole new level of detail, with scout drones providing battlefield intel and destructible cover making you think twice about where you hide. The new Gunsmith feature is something special – using the Kinect interface, it allows you to customise every weapon in minute detail be it gas management, trigger sensitivity or cam pattern. There are literally millions of possible combinations, the vast majority of which will have in-game implications.
Kinect Star Wars – while die-hard fans might bemoan the arrival of the Star Wars franchise to the Kinect platform, this game is a heck of a lot of fun. While not aimed at the hardcore gamer there is much to enjoy – being able to swinging a lightsaber, Force-pushing an opponent or lift an obstacle with a gesture is hugely entertaining. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want to engage in a lightsaber duel without the distraction of a controller?