By Kevin Kelly
As a video game journalist, it isn't often that you get to sit down with the head of a studio and co-op through a video game with just the two of you. Often, the events we attend feature a big group of writers, all jockeying for sound bites and hands-on time with games, so imagine our surprise when we stepped into a small meeting room and were presented with two gaming setups, and were introduced to Ted Price, the president and CEO of Insomniac Games. He was there to show off "Fuse," the newest game from his company.
Just in case you didn't know, Insomniac has been a powerhouse development studio for Sony, creating games that turned into franchises like "Spyro the Dragon," "Ratchet & Clank," and "Resistance: Fall of Man." But "Fuse," which was originally introduced as "Overstrike" back in 2010, marks the first time the studio has developed a title for multiple consoles, and it will be out for both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this May. It's a third-person shooter, grounded more in the "realistic" universe of the Resistance games. That is, it's not cartoonish, although it is frequently over-the-top. Which is what you will love about it.
By Kevin Kelly
Warner Bros and Turbine announced on the first day of GDC that a new multiplayer online battle arena game (MOBA) based on DC Comics properties was on the way, and invited us to spend some time with the game. While it is still in development, what we saw so far was very impressive, especially for diehard DC fans.
Granted, I'm not the world's foremost MOBA player, having only dabbled in "League of Legends" and "Guardians of Middle-Earth." While I found the gameplay in both of those titles intriguing, nothing sucks me in like a DC Comics property. Especially if it includes Captain Marvel, which this game does. Of course, he goes by the moniker Shazam these days, but he still commands the lightning and the thunder, and he's a powerhouse enforcer in "Infinite Crisis".
The more I learn about "Killer Is Dead", the more I think Suda 51 is making his "Mission Impossible 2". In other words, I'm not yet convinced it will present anything new that I haven't seen in his other games, not that's automatically a bad thing. Like John Woo's 2000 film, "Killer Is Dead" feels like a greatest hits collection of themes, characterizations, and visual stylings of Suda 51's previous works. It calls to mind the assassins of "No More Heroes" and "Killer 7" and the love story of "Shadows of the Damned". More than anything, it feel like the darker sibling of "Lollipop Chainsaw", both in tone and gameplay. This is something I can go for, though I hope the emphasis on thoughtful swordplay implies that "Killer Is Dead" is an improvement over the unremarkable combat of "Lollipop Chainsaw".
By Miguel Concepcion
The element of player choice was one of the features that made Telltale Games' "The Walking Dead" one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2012. It was an even more meaningful achievement when this choice-driven game essentially reached the same conclusion for all players. The game succeeds in the choices during the journey and less on the anticipation of the outcome of the choices. One of the more significant choices was during the game's second episode where you had to decide on the fates of Doug and Carley. It was the starting point of the GDC 2013 talk, 'Saving Doug: Empathy, Character, and Choice in The Walking Dead', hosted by "The Walking Dead" creative director, Jake Rodkin and director/writer, Sean Vanaman. Here were the nine major takeaways from the panel:
By Kevin Kelly
When I was in college at the University of Texas at Austin, "Myst" consumed most of my waking hours for a few weeks, driving me crazy with its puzzles and mysteries. I skipped classes, stayed up late, took copious notes, ignored my friends and barely ate while I struggled to complete this wonderfully maddening game. So, when it was announced that Robyn Miller, representing one half of the brothers Rand and Robyn who created the game, was going to speak at GDC, I knew I would be there. Much has been said about "Myst" in the 20 years since it was introduced in 1993 (!), but the chance to hear about it directly from one of the Millers was too good to pass up.
Two decades have passed since the game came out, and Robyn took us back to the start, rolling back the clock back to 1988, four years after the introduction of the original Macintosh. Robyn was living in Washington State at the time, and Rand was in Dallas, and he called Robyn with an idea for an "interactive storybook," and with it came an introduction to HyperCard. He started drawing a manhole cover, eventually with a vine growing out of it, and this became "The Manhole," and the first game from Cyan, the company that the brothers founded. What followed was a series of point and click adventures that were aimed at young audiences.
By Joseph Leray
Keita Takahashi is the man behind “Katamari Damacy” and, more recently, “Noby Noby Boy.” After that, he went on to design playgrounds in England, and eventually came to work on TinySpeck’s new defunct MMO, “Glitch.”