May also marked a big event on EA’s press calendar - its annual Spring showcase kicked off with demonstrations of many of their planned 2010 releases. As well as Medal of Honor
, I had the chance to have a look at Dead Space 2
, and Need For Speed World
(along with an interview with producer Jean-Charles Gaudechon
). The big news from the event was Bulletstorm
, Epic and People Can Fly’s outrageous-looking FPS. I predicted that it would be something of a rock-and-roll fun time.
A couple of SPOnG opinion pieces focused on the actions of EA this month too - one asked
whether FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010
was worth a purchase so close to the release of FIFA 11
, and another that put the spotlight
on the company’s recent move to an ‘Online Pass’ to compensate for money lost in second-hand game sales.
Although May was dominated by two of the world’s biggest publishers, on store shelves another rivalry was brewing in the already-pointless ‘console war.’ Rockstar’s free-roaming Western, Red Dead Redemption
, was rocking the UK Video Game Chart in its first week on sale, but it turned out that the Xbox 360 version had accounted for 65% of the numbers, with the PS3 version only getting 35% (Xbox 360 Beats PS3 in Red Dead Redemption Race
, 24th May). Which is nice, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Whichever version you had, you were in for a fantastic time. Tim reviewed Red Dead Redemption
and gave it a whopping 98%, calling it an absolute “must-have” title. Even in the face of the game’s many bugs, RDR offered an “utterly compelling and fully realised game world [that’s] a joy to play in.” The most notorious glitch, of course, being one of invisibility (Red Dead Redemption Experiencing Invisibility Glitch
, 20th May).
From invisible bugs to invisible enemies, as the Virtual Air Guitar Company announces a PlayStation Network title that counters the controller-free gameplay of Microsoft’s Kinect. Kung-Fu Live
uses the PlayStation Eye camera to capture your movement and attack on-screen enemies (PS3’d Natal Spoilers Kick-In as Format Skirmishing Starts
, 26th May). Rumours also circulated that the PS3’s XMB was to get an update and that the PSP2 would be formally announced at a 2010 trade event (Rumours of PS3, PSP Updates Ahead of E3
, 18th May). As we all know, neither of these happened.
What did happen was a bunch of events. Besides Red Dead Redemption
, we reviewed Blur
, Alpha Protocol
, Alan Wake
and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
. There was time to profile Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi
and interview LittleBigPlanet PSP designer
Andy Knowles, Modnation Racers director
William Ho and UFC Undisputed 2010 producer
Neven Dravinski. Finally, previews of both Blacklight: Tango Down
and Crackdown 2
were quite popular with SPOnG readers.
While we were enjoying Crackdown 2
I had the opportunity to chat to James Cope
, the producer at Ruffian Games. He let slip that he felt the ending of the original Crackdown
was a bit of a poor idea (Ruffian: End of Crackdown was Mistake
, 26th May). “We shot ourselves in the foot [then]… we set up a scenario where the Agency no longer made any sense. Revisiting it made us realise that was a mistake.”
Lessons were ultimately learned, Crackdown 2
got made and it became another ‘Marmite’ game, with opinions on the game ranging from either utter adoration or complete irritation. That’s the Agency for ya.