Need for Hellgate London
Need For Speed ProStreet
Taking an new direction once again for the long running racing series, Need For Speed ProStreet is all about customising not just your ride but your races as well. At the EA press event we got to see the Xbox 360 and Wii versions of the game (its also due out on the PC and PS3) and it looks like the new direction will work.
There's no more open world in ProStreet; instead the game will have fixed races across a number of locations around the world (some real like Tokyo and others that are fictional) that you compete in. There's another big difference in this game; you can completely total your ride if you slip up. In addition to driving through the game's single player events you can also create your own custom events set up and even set up a ghost racer online that others can compete against.
We played with the drift and drag race portions of ProStreet where we got to see the game's impressive smoke effects. The game's drag racing portion makes you perform a pre-race burnout that not only generates a ton of smoke but also affects how tightly your wheels grip against the road when you race. Then you switch gears quickly as you drive down the quarter mile track. The drift portion also generates a lot of smoke that can even obsure your vision at times as you generate points for a good clean drift. Visually the Xbox 360 version is looking great with some impressive looking car model and, as we said, some great particle effects for the smoke. The Wii version was also shown and as with other Wii racing games the Wiimote drives cars by holding it sideways and moving it as you would a steering wheel. Visuals are about as good as you might expect for the Wii but there will be no online multiplayer for that console (the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 will have online multiplayer).
So will the switch from open world to fixed but customizable racing events help or hurt the Need for Speed franchise. We should learn for ourselves when the game is released later this fall.
Flagship Studios's long awaited action-RPG is less than two months away from release. The first person oriented game has been previewed to death (and we should be able to go into more detail when we get our hands on the promised beta version) but Flagship's head Bill Roper still managed to surprise us with a couple of cool upcoming features. One was footage of a massive boss battle with a character that is 30 stories tall and looks like Godzilla with massive stone piledrivers for legs. You have to defeat the boss by leading it to fixed turrets that shrink the monster down to (almost) your size but then he fires fireballs and generates small minion creatures at you as well.
Roper also showed us a mini-game in Hellgate London that basically turns the first person action-RPG into a third person top down action-RTS title for one mission. You control AI teammates from up above to take out hords of enemies in a unique perspective that should please fans of tactical strategy games. There's no word on how many of these mini-games will be in the final version.
Hellgate London is set for release on Halloween (and Flagship will hold what promises to be a massive launch party on Halloween night in San Fransisco that will be co-sponsored by Vibe magazine) but of course people can sign onto the $9.95 monthly service to get more content that they will not be able to access while playing the game just out of the box. We hope to get more hands-on time with the beta version very shortly.