About Us | Game Reviews | Feature Articles | Podcast | Best Work | Forums | Shop | Review Game

Xbox 360

My first experience as a playtester

Playtest Lab

Back when I was a little kid in the late 1980s, I had this idealized vision of how awesome it must be to play video games for a living. I knew that there were people out there who played games for the purpose of quality testing and so on, and for whatever reason, my little kid brain thought it must be the greatest job in the world. I probably saw it as at least on par to working at a candy factory. It all comes down to that fact that I had no understanding of the law of diminishing returns and therefore believed that being able to do a thing that I like all day every day must be nothing short of bliss.

Heidi Klum unleashes her inner Tom Cruise from Risky Business

Guitar Hero: World Tour - 1
Rock Band 2 - 0

Saints Row 2

Game Description: A worthy successor to Saints Row, the first open-world title on next-generation consoles, Saints Row 2 features all new customization options, including player's: gender, age, voice, crib and gang. In addition, the sandbox just got larger with a totally transformed and expanded city of Stilwater, offering all new locations to explore with new vehicles, including motorcycles, boats, helicopters and planes. Saints Row 2 will be playable online in 2-player co-op through the entire singleplayer campaign or in the all new open-world competitive multiplayer mode never before seen in the genre.

Saints Row 2 Review

New Playa, Same Game

Read review of Saints Row  2

HIGH Jumping out of a plane to discover that there's a minigame associated with the landing.

LOW Finishing a stressful mission only to have my 360 lock up before I had a chance to save.

WTF Not being able to adjust the bust and hip size of female characters.

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames Review

Playground of Tedium

Read review of Mercenaries 2: World in Flames 

HIGH Blowing up people and vehicles from inside the safety of a helicopter never gets old, does it?

LOW Actually, it does. And surprisingly quickly, at that.

WTF For some reason EA refused to include any licensed characters as a fun secondary skin. Sure, they don't have access to Lucasfilm characters the way the first game did, but aren't they making a James Bond game right now? Meanwhile, the Sean Connery skin is just lying around in a mainframe somewhere, gathering dust.

The Horror Geek presents: Left 4 Dead intro movie

Generally speaking, I'm not a big fan of game previews or watching pre-release footage online. I guess, as a reviewer, I've always felt it was better to come into a game cold and experience it fresh on my first playthrough. Even when I'd attend E3 in years past, I was hesitant to spend too much time playing pre-release builds of games because I didn't want anything to spoil my experience with the full version.

That being said, I've broken my rule (albeit slightly) with Valve's Left 4 Dead. I don't think I've been this excited for a zombie game since Resident Evil 2—so when the intro movie appeared online on Halloween, I fought the urge to watch it. I made it through the weekend before finally caving. So, here it is—a few days late, but still very cool—the opening cinematic for Left 4 Dead.

Start practicing your headshots—the game hits retailers on November 18th.

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames

Game Description: Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is an explosive open-world action game set in a massive, highly reactive, war-torn world. When a power-hungry tyrant messes with Venezuela's oil supply he sparks an invasion that turns the country into a war zone. But for you, international crisis is all upside: You are a mercenary, and you profit from chaos. You are not a soldier. You don't have to play by anyone's rules. You have your own code: you will fulfill the terms of the contract, no matter what. If you see it, you can buy it, steal it, or blow the living crap out of it. Play your own way, or play with the help of a friend in the new co-op multiplayer mode.

Fallout 3: Absolute hell on productivity

The last few days have been absolute hell on my productivity. Fallout 3 was just released, and pretty much everything else going on has been put on indefinite hold while I make my way through the irradiated wastelands.

To be brutally honest, the game didn't make a strong first impression with me once I actually had the disc. I wasn't the biggest fan of Bethesda's Oblivion, and the first day or so spent in post-apocalyptic D.C. is guaranteed to seem like nothing so much as Oblivion with guns.

The Horror Geek presents: Dead Space sequel, movie, and tie-ins in the works

 Dead Space Screenshot 

Although the game's only been out a little over a week, EA's Dead Space is already generating a lot of "potential franchise" buzz. Variety's Ben Fritz posted some tantalizing morsels in his blog, The Cut Scene, earlier this week.

Speaking to EA Games label President Frank Gibeau and Dead Space executive producer Glenn Schoefield, here are the highlights:

Schoefield confirmed that EA is "talking to movie studios right now" about the prospects of the game becoming a feature film. It should be noted that there's an animated film, Dead Space: Downfall, already slated for release.

The producer added that EA and a publishing partner are "talking about Dead Space novels as well as a line of toys".

Finally, he also mentioned that a Dead Space sequel was already in the works. Judging by the early fan response to the game, this is good news.

To read more of the blog (including news about sequels to Army of Two and Battlefield: Bad Company), head on over here.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 1

Welcome to the premiere episode of the GameCritics.com Podcast!
This week's topics include:

  • Reviews of Saints Row 2 and Art Style: Cubello
  • Why game criticism matters to us
  • Can games make us cry?

Download: Right click here and select "Save Target As..."
Subscribe: iTunes | Zune | RSS

 

Please send questions for a future mailbag segment to podcast (at) gamecritics (dot) com.

Code of Conduct

Comments are subject to approval/deletion based on the following criteria:
1) Treat all users with respect.
2) Post with an open-mind.
3) Do not insult and/or harass users.
4) Do not incite flame wars.
5) Do not troll and/or feed the trolls.
6) No excessive whining and/or complaining.

Please report any offensive posts here.

For more video game discussion with the our online community, become a member of our forum.

Our Game Review Philosophy and Ratings Explanations.

About Us | Privacy Policy | Review Game | Contact Us | Twitter | Facebook |  RSS
Copyright 1999–2010 GameCritics.com. All rights reserved.