Archive for February 4th, 2013

Why aren’t more developers living up to L.A. Noire?

, | Games

One of the clearest indications of L.A. Noire’s ability to express human performances better than almost any other game is the above gag reel, released by Depth Analysis, the folks responsible for its facial motion capture technology. L.A. Noire and Depth Analysis set the bar nearly two years ago, so why am I still looking at a creepy Michael Rooker mask in Black Ops II and vacant plastic faces in Dead Space 3 and an Unreal Dante in Devil May Cry? Those are the equivalent of silent films in a dawning age of talkies. If you want human expression in your game without resorting to some sort of exaggerated cartoon style, it’s no longer enough to hire good voice actors and put Andy Serkis in green tights. L.A. Noire is as good as you need to get.

February 4, 2013: wallet threat level space guns

, | Features


This week it’s time to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights in space. Not only will you bear arms in Dead Space 3, you’ll build them, customize them, and take them apart to build new ones. Although this might sound like a gimmick, I can attest that it’s one heck of an effective gimmick. As far as horror games go, Dead Space 3 is about as effective as Resident Evil 5. That’s not a compliment. But as far as shooters with weapon progression and meaningful two-player co-op go, it’s also about as effective as Resident Evil 5. That is a compliment. A big one. I can understand that folks are irked at EA’s usual microtransactional meddling in the Dead Space economy. Yeah, it’s pretty crass. But it’s also easy to entirely ignore.

Fire Emblem is one of my least favorite SRPGs for how a story I couldn’t care less about is baked into a tactics system I couldn’t care less about. Does a lance trump a sword or an axe? Or vice versa? Even though I get to make my own character, Fire Emblem: Awakening on the Nintendo 3DS feels like any other Fire Emblem game. Make of that what you will.

A new Sly Cooper game — Thieves in Time, from the folks who made Secret Agent Clank — is out simultaneously for the PS3 and the Vita.