The Gathering 2011 – Day Two – Part One

If you haven’t already checked out our feature on Day one of The Gathering, you really should as there’s some fantastic stuff about Mass Effect 3, Max Payne 3 and Modern Warfare 3 which I’m sure you’ll enjoy. Moving onto day two, there is even more to talk about as we take a look at some of the most anticipated games of 2012 as well as some of the games you can look forward to in the next few months.

As I didn’t get much time with each game, don’t think of this article as previews for these games but just a simple outline of what I liked and disliked (if anything!) about each of the titles on show. Also, to avoid favouritism, I’ll be doing it in alphabetical order. First up, Batman: Arkham City!

Batman: Arkham City

By now most of the reviews are already out and so many awesome trailers that I’m sure you guys would have made up your mind already whether to buy it or not, but if you are deciding not to buy it let me try and change your mind! This game is simply amazing and even if you didn’t play Arkham Asylum you won’t feel like you have no idea what’s going on as the game starts a brand new chapter for The Dark Knight. In the demo that was shown, we saw Batman’s skills of being able to fly from one side of Arkham City to the other without ever touching the ground, and also Catwoman’s ability to do the same. This is a big step up from Arkham Asylum and really allows players to feel like they are Batman even more than they did before.

The fighting has also had a slight upgrade with counters being easier to recognise and also the ability to counter or stun up to three targets at once by triple pressing the appropriate button. Combos flow better and Batman has brought a ton of new moves with him such as head stops and crazy flips. Catwoman’s moves were equally impressive with her making use of her whip to stun enemies and finishing moves such as knocking one guy out of the way and then breaking two goon’s necks with a leg each – Crazy! Basically, this is a must buy game for release day and I would be surprised to find a gamer who wouldn’t enjoy a trip to Arkham City. You can pick up Arkham City when it’s released on 21st October.

Battlefield 3

The next game on the list was Battlefield 3. As with Batman, I’m sure every man and his dog has decided if they are going to buy this, and the on-going battle between this and Modern Warfare 3 is getting a little stale now, but for those who have somehow missed out seeing anything to do with this game here’s what you need to know about the multiplayer at least. You can play as four different roles, Assault, Support, Engineer and Recon. When fully ranked up each of these roles has a huge range of weapons that they can choose from that can be customised to fit any person’s playing style. On most maps you will find a large variety of vehicles from your jeeps to jets that are a main component of the multiplayer unlike a lot of the first person shooters available these days.

The defining difference however from the likes of Call of Duty is the squad-based system that is built into Battlefield 3. This allows you to work together with your friends to achieve a goal on the battlefield, be it simply taking out your opposition or trying to capture a point in the map. This is what makes Battlefield 3 great and with the new Battlelog feature that will record everything you do in the game such as kills, deaths, what vehicles you have driven and much more, Battlefield 3 is looking to be one of the highlights of 2011 for sure. Battlefield 3 is due for release 28th October.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution
The Missing Link DLC

Although Deus Ex: Human Revolution has been out for a little while now the new DLC, The Missing Link, has just hit the marketplace and Eidos Montreal were at The Gathering to show it off. Deus Ex’s DLC may stand out as a bit odd with the rest of the titles being full games but there’s more than meets the eye with this piece of DLC. The Missing Link is a standalone story that clears up a part of the main story that was left out in the original game so you won’t be able to bring in your Adam Jensen but you will be given a nice chuck of Praxis points to spend to get you equipped to deal with your enemies. One major change that fans will be pleased about is the team over at Eidos Montreal have actually improved the graphics for The Missing Link but sadly no plans are there to bring this to the main game.

While traversing the level you will encounter the same soldiers you will be used to finding in the main story but there are a few new enemies that will have you on your toes. One that was shown off is a Typhoon Turret which has lasers spinning round it which trigger the attack and use your quick reflexes to navigate round. The DLC also features a brand new boss fight and taking on board all the feedback from fans, Eidos Montreal have made it so you can take out the boss in a variety of ways, not just running in and having to use straight up combat. This is great news for fans of the stealth approach! It will last you around six to eight hours depending how much you explore and will feature all new emails, eBooks and other interesting lore to keep fans happy. The Missing Link is out now!

Dragon’s Dogma

Maybe one game that has remained hidden on most people’s radar, Dragon’s Dogma is a new action role playing game developed by Capcom. I got to play a demo that featured two different levels with two very different bosses. The first was inside a cave and I played as a warrior type class wielding a sword and a shield. The game was obviously an early build but despite this still looked great and lightning effects were very nice as my healing computer teammate showered my character with heals. The other two teammates were a mage and a ranger so they each brought something different to the party. After navigating my way through the dark caves and fighting through waves of goblins and other beasts I finally arrived into a large room with a hydra like creature that was ten times the size of me. Perfectly timed blocks and slashes of the sword took the beast down to a certain extent but the real damage came from me climbing on his back. From here I moved around the creature’s back looking for weak points and repeatedly stabbing him in the head and tail until he fell to the ground.

This kind of gameplay was also in the other demo where I took on the role of the ranger this time and was tasked with taking down a huge gryphon that was circling the skies. Luring the giant bird to me with a few well-placed shots from my bow, I finally got close enough to grab his leg and climb on top of his back. From here there was only one thought on my mind: take out its wings. After this the gryphon slammed to the ground and took a beating from the rest of my party. Not only is Dragon’s Dogma very fun to play, it’s also rather refreshing to have some more freedom with the way you attack your enemies by adding the ability to climb all over them. Role playing fans will want to keep an eye on this one and can expect it to release sometime in Q2 next year.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier

It’s been a little while but finally a new Ghost Recon game is almost upon us! At The Gathering 2011, Ubisoft brought along some multiplayer goodness for attendees to try out as well showing us the Gunsmith feature that makes use of the Xbox 360’s Kinect. For those who have no idea what the Gunsmith feature is, it’s basically an interface that allows you to customise your weapons and test them out in a firing range simply by using the Kinect’s voice and motion controls. There are roughly fifty-two different weapons in the game with forty-nine attachments so the combinations are almost endless. With just using your voice you can read what you see on the screen and break a weapon into all the different pieces such as stock, gas system and side rail and make adjustments to them without ever touching your controller. These can all be done with simple swipes of your hand too and you can also test each gun out in the firing range by using one hand to aim and another to fire by making a fist.

The multiplayer on the other hand is mainly objective based and requires you to work as a team to complete your goal. You are given the option of using a Rifleman, Scout or Engineer. The Rifleman has more armour, carries heavy weapons and can resupply ammo to his teammates. The Scout is there to take out targets from a distance of silently in close range and also has a camera sensor. Lastly, the Engineer wields a shotgun for massive damage up front and carries with his a UAV which gives them a range of abilities such as being able to sense when enemies are nearby. The game controlled very well and going in and out of cover was fairly simple so combat flowed really well. The different abilities meant there was also a constant mix up of what could happen and kept the multiplayer games feeling fresh and enjoyable. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier is due out March next year.

…More in Part 2

So that wraps up part 1 of our second day at The Gathering 2011. Tune in tomorrow for part 2 where I look at Halo, Hitman, Resident Evil and Tomb Raider. See you then!

Tim Leigh

Tim likes games. Tim likes games A LOT. It’s highly likely he’s played on most of the platforms that support games over his long years playing video games and is a sucker for new technology. He can often be found on his Xbox 360 playing the latest RPG or playing a wide range of multiplayer games with his buddies. While doing this however, he’ll often have a casual game of Peggle running on his PC and making sure his planes are doing the rounds in Pocket Planes on the iPad. When he’s actually not found playing games he’ll either be at the cinema watching the latest film releases or at the gym attempting to get fit - attempting being the important word there

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