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Demo Impressions: Wanted, Wheelman, Watchmen and Riddick

It was a good week for demos this week, or at least, there were several new ones to take a peek at. Oddly enough, a full 50% of the demos I spent time with featured Vin Diesel's electronic likeness. His star may have faded in Hollywood, but find it interesting that he's still trying to make a mark in the Uncanny Valley.

The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena Screenshot

The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena. I was a big fan of the first Riddick game on Xbox. It was sophisticated, the graphics were cutting edge, and the game itself was much better than the source material that inspired it. As great as it was back then, based on this demo, it seems as though the industry has passed Riddick by.

To start with, the segment of gameplay featured in this demo was a horrible choice. It seems to be taken directly from the middle of some longer series of tasks, and doesn't show the stealth element that the first game was known for. Level design was in the "interstellar drab" style of metallic hallways and doors that look like walls, and there's an odd section where the player is asked to take control of a "drone" and leave the body of the main character. It might work just fine in the main game, but in a demo, everything here felt like it missed the mark. The graphics (another high point for the first title) weren't at all impressive, either… with clunky mechanics and unimpressive visuals, what was this demo supposed to show us?

What do you think: Flower

Please post your thoughts and impressions on Flower here and we will discuss your comments in an upcoming episode of our podcast. Thanks!

Flower

Tomb Raider: Underworld Review

Lara Croft's big adventure

Tomb Raider: Underworld Screenshot

HIGH Reaching the top of a particularly troublesome climb.

LOW Dying repeatedly because of the awful camera.

WTF Lara's outfit choices for an arctic expedition: wetsuit or skimpy wetsuit. Apparently no one has ever heard of exposure to the elements. Neither outfit has shoes...

James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace Review

A measure of quality

James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace Screenshot

HIGH Getting to have a 16-player deathmatch on a faithfully updated version of "Facility" from GoldenEye.

LOW There are stealth sequences. In a first person shooter.

WTF Why is the Golden Gun a rapid-fire grenade launcher?

The Horror Geek presents: Dante's Inferno wants you to go to Hell

I've been paying close attention to Electronic Arts' new IP, Dante's Inferno, since it was rumored a few months ago. A video game based on a classic piece of literature is intriguing enough (although I'm hoping Pride & Prejudice & Zombies never makes the jump to game-dom, even if it features Nazi zombies…), but one that's not only based on literature but set in Hell and looks like a God of War clone sets my geek-o-meter buzzing well into the red-zone.

Here's the first trailer for the game. Obviously, someone on the development team played and loved God of War—but is that a bad thing? If you're going to imitate something, you probably should imitate something really good—and it's hard to get much cooler than God of War when it comes to action games featuring giant set-pieces. The only real negative I see here is the giant multi-headed hellhound things looked cheesy to me. Maybe they'll fix them—or maybe I’ll like them more when I see them in the actual game. Too early to tell.

No word on a release date yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Art vs... Art?

This has been an eventful week for downloads on the PlayStation 3. Flower and Noby Noby Boy are now both available through the Store, and although I think it's correct to put them both in the same general category, my reactions to both couldn't be more different.

Flower

Flower is fantastic. I don't necessarily think it's the second coming as some seem to report it, but it is most definitely the kind of thing that makes a player step back and re-examine their entire conception of video games.

The Horror Geek presents: Another Resident Evil 5 trailer

Capcom was nice enough to send me a note mentioning that a new Resident Evil 5 trailer was available on the press section of their site recently, so I went and grabbed it. Unfortunately, 12 drunken monkeys are probably better at figuring out most computer crap than I am. So, I had to head over to YouTube to find a version I could actually get to post on the site. Anyway, here’s  the coolest trailer to date for the game. Enjoy.

I’m getting out of here now, before I blow up the entire internet…

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