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Are Video Games Becoming Too Real?

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Fans of American football will doubtless have gone out to purchase the latest in the Madden video game franchise: Madden NFL 15.

The game was received positively by fans and critics everywhere, but stood out for one memorable glitch that will forever be one of its most redeeming features and its downfall.

In a hilarious faux pas at EA Sports, when players fired up the game and played in the Tennessee Titans Solo Challenge within the Madden Ultimate Team, there was one player who was not looking so titanic.

Cleveland Browns’ rookie linebacker Christian Kirksey would inexplicably appear as a very miniature version of himself in comparison to his fellow players. Despite being 6”2 and weighing 235lb in real life, the star appeared around ¼ of the size of his team mates, causing hilarity amongst players up and down the country.

Rather than be embarrassed by the gaffe, developers at EA Sports released a statement on their official blog telling fans: “This weekend only, Madden Ultimate Team players can experience the Tiny Titan for themselves. All you need to do is log into Madden 15 and look for the direct link to the Ultimate Teams Weekly Challenges. #TinyTitan will be waiting.”

While the amusing glitch did nothing for the game’s realism in terms of graphics, the rest of the game was exquisitely presented and also provided an immersive experience for players in more ways than one. Defensive play was one huge improvement for players, as the pundits suggested, defense really does win championships. It seems that game developers followed the Seattle Seahawks’ famous mantra when making the most recent installment in the series.

Moreover, players were given the chance to analyze many more aspects of the game, for example, how many yards a certain play has yielded, or statistics which will help players decide which tactics will catch opposing quarterbacks off guard.

With so many facets of the game making it true to life, is it time to ask: are video games becoming too real? Indeed, there is a certain naive nostalgic charm to knowing games are completely different from reality, and game makers at Madden could be falling into the dangerous trap of making game play mundane if it lacks the excitement factor.

While there is nothing wrong with improved graphics, much of the fun of modern day video games is the fantasy element, so it’s important that games makers acknowledge this. One great example would be the recently released Destiny: the online-only game which features crystal clear graphics but takes users on journeys through the galaxy.

Realism may have its place in sporting games, but there is a fine line to be drawn between making a game true to life and making it mundane.

If Madden carries on making oompa loompa characters though, it’s safe to say it won’t become boring any time soon…

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November Update for Xbox One

Via Xbox -

Larry Hryb, Xbox Live’s Major Nelson and Richard Irving offer a preview of the upcoming November Update for Xbox One. Changes include custom backgrounds, Locations, Bio and Showcase sections for your Gamer Profile, sharing Game DVR clips on Twitter and much more.

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DRAGON AGE: INQUISITION Gameplay Features – The Inquisitor & Followers

Via Dragon Age -

What kind of hero will you be? As leader of the Inquisition, your decisions not only shape your journey, but that of your followers as well. Join us for a closer look at the Inquisitor and a trio of the Inquisition’s followers. Each character has a reason for joining the Inquisition, and each bring their unique talents to the fight. Learn more about them in our latest video.

Dragon Age: Inquisition releases on November 18, 2014.

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Alien: Isolation Review (Xbox 360/ Xbox One/ PS4/ PS3/ PC)

The Alien game series has been plagued with various games that have tried and regain the magic of the film. So far these releases have not captured what fans of the film truly love about the series. With the new release of Alien: Isolation, they try to go directly to the film’s plot core by having players take control of film protagonist, Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda. Amanda is on the search of the disappearance of her mother, after crews have lost contact with Ripley 15 years prior. But will Alien: Isolation reignite the flame to keep the Alien series alive? Let’s Get into the Review and Find out.

Story:

The story of Alien: Isolation takes place 15 years after the AlienIsolationAmandaRipleyevent of the first film. Years later, her daughter, Amanda has been orbiting around the same area where Ripley disappeared. Amanda gains a lead that may lead to finding out the truth about her mother. Amanda and two of her crew mates take that chance and venture to an abandon colony ship. Amanda gets separated from her crew and this begins the journey she must take alone, to find the truth of her mother’s disappearance.

The story of Alien: Isolation is pretty good compared to previous Alien games. It is nice to see that Sega, attempted to have players have an intimate connection with Ripley by having you play as her daughter. But one thing that bother me about Amanda’s character was that from the beginning, she is not well developed really. As a character who has been mentioned only by name in the novels, I felt this being the first time Amanda is debuting, there should have been some more background or more storyline for her.

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But as the game progresses, we do see signs of Amanda’s real character and how she is very alike with her mother as being a person who is fearless and daring.

Gameplay:

Alien: Isolation is a bit different compared to previous games, because it is not about running and gunning Aliens and various other enemies. Alien: Isolation does a very good job at making things truly intense for Amanda, from being completely alone and becoming excited seeing the first living human or reaching a save point, made for a great experience. There is no checkpoints at all in this game, so if you save and don’t save for a long time and die, you will unfortunately have to start from the very last save state. It is truly about survival  and using your instincts to survive this nightmare.

You do get guns and melee weapons to fend off from danger, but there is very little to find. This make for a much more intense combat and feeling as if your last bullet is the very last bullet.

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You have the ability to hide ( you will mainly be doing this) or attempt to shoot, or run away from Aliens, but most of the time you will meet a very fast and quick death. Amanda can not out run an Alien and if she is spotted and runs away, she will be killed. This can make for a frustrating experience because you will find yourself easily found and will be killed if you can’t escape. You must rely on being stealthy to make a quiet but quick getaway.

One thing that is great about this game is that all enemies are not predictable, for example, you may see one enemy in an area and die and try to go the same way, and no one will be there, just to find out you will meet your previous enemy lurking in a new area. I found this to be refreshing because it made the experience different each time and to never rely on things being the same in Isolation.

For some who want to just go out and kill Aliens, this game may not be for you, Isolation takes many inspirations from other games similar to it, like Outlast and Slender, who provide scares on the fact that anything can be out there and you can’t protect yourself from it.

Presentation:

Design:

Alien: Isolation looks great! From the space stations to the abandoned colony, everything looks very realistic which makes the experience that much better. Even the reveal of the very first Alien is epic! As you get to really see how big they are compared to you, everyone should be deafly scared, if they ever run into one.

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Sound:

The soundtrack of Alien: Isolation is very very good, it is very theatrical, especially hearing the scary orchestra music beginning to play as you are out wait an enemy.

Controls:

The controls were one thing I really didn’t care for in this game. I did feel like there was a lot going on on just one controller. There is a crafting system in this game that you have to use different buttons to create items. I found myself looking down most of the time, as I continued to hit wrong buttons. But once you do get use to it, it is playable but can still be frustrating during an intense situation.

Final Thoughts:

Aliens: Isolation is a great survival horror in general of the genre. It is very true to the name, making every weapon and save point scare, you have to depend on your own wit, to survive. There are some issues with the game and it is generally not a game, everyone will enjoy playing. But if you are looking for a great scare with big production value, for sure give Alien: Isolation a look.

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