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Hands-On Preview: Batman: Arkham Asylum is Now Available

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286w ago - This has genuine potential to be the best Batman game ever produced.

I had fairly high hopes for this game... Now, having actually played the thing for a bit, I'm feeling more and more confident that those expectations will be met.

A recent hands-on with some preview code allowed me a chance to test out two of the game's challenge modes - one based on combat, the other focused on what the developer calls Invisible Predator gameplay - and the good news is that both demos felt extremely Batmanesque, for want of a better word.

These two challenge modes are part of a set of 16 mini-game-like levels that the player will unlock during Arkham Asylum's main campaign. While neither offered much in the way of the game's plot, they worked as a perfect example of many of the techniques you'll end up using throughout the central adventure.

The Invisible Predator level found Bats working to defeat six armed guards in as quick a time as possible, using a variety of clever tricks and toys. Since gunfire will kill you relatively quickly, the player's first priority is to get to grips with the art of moving around stealthily.

While on foot, Batman can choose to walk, sprint or sneak - the latter being achieved by holding down the right trigger. Sneaking behind a guard allows you to...
 

Video: Infamous: Karma System Hands-on for PlayStation 3

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287w ago - Infamous is the first PlayStation 3 outing from Sucker Punch, the guys behind the much-loved Sly Cooper games.

In this title, you'll pick up the pieces of Cole's life in a nearly destroyed world. See, Cole was an ordinary messenger who saw Empire City collapse when a package he was delivering exploded in his hands and leveled a large section of town.

When Cole came out of his coma, he found Empire City completely quarantined off from the rest of the world, riots in the street, mutated gangs in control, and his body infused with electrical super-powers. Now able to shoot electrical blasts from his hands, survive falls from the top of buildings, and knock cars into the air with telekinetic blasts, it's up to Cole to protect his friends and survive this brave new world.




The interesting thing about all of this is the fact that Cole doesn't have to use his powers for the good of all mankind -- he can be as selfish as you want him to be. See, Infamous employs a seven-level Karma System that monitors your actions and lets you know how good or bad Cole is being.

See, this will all be broken down in a little crescent-shaped meter next to your power level. If...
 

Hands On: X-Men Origins: Wolverine for PlayStation 3

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293w ago - Welcome to X-Men Origins: Wolverine. One could talk about the various nuances of its gameplay, but overwhelmingly only one aspect of the game truly stands out: it's violent. Really, really violent.

The insatiable rage of Wolverine reminds us quite a bit of another angry video game protagonist: God of War's Kratos. But the similarities between these two games don't end there.

The combat is very reminiscent of Sony's game; many of the moves and combos in the game look quite similar. One particular move - a spin attack - has a very obvious counterpart in Sony's game.

Wolverine has access to a number of brutal grabs and finishing moves. Just like the Spartan warrior, he'll rip enemies in half, tear off their limbs, and skewer them on various sharp objects in the environment. God of War is a great model to follow, but Wolverine manages to feel even more visceral.

Take, for example, the representation of Wolverine's health. His character model reflects all the damage he's taken. If he gets shot, you'll see a bullet in his body. If he gets cut, you'll see a giant gash. After a furious firefight, you can see clear into his body, with exposed organs and bone. It's rather gruesome, but it really emphasizes Wolverine's incredible ability to regenerate. You'll see his body heal in...
 

Video: inFamous for PlayStation 3 Goes Hands-On with IGN

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300w ago - Today Nate Fox from Sucker Punch Productions shared a PS Blog follow-up from the hints yesterday as well as the fan footage from earlier today.

To quote: Hey there, Internet people, Nate Fox here from Sucker Punch Productions. For those of you who may not recognize the name, we're the guys who made the Sly Cooper games. I have the pleasure of being Game Director on our new title inFamous.

inFamous is an open world, superhero adventure where you (the player) get to experience first hand what it's like to suddenly acquire superpowers.




We've been working hard to get the game ready to finally show off and now that day has arrived! Well, actually it arrived early this week when a couple guys from IGN showed up for inFamous' first hands-on demo.

It was fun to watch the journalist as he climbed to the top of a building, spotted a thug...
 

Hands-On: Windows Media Player 12's Surprising New Features

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307w ago - Though many previously bundled applets now will ship separately to Windows 7, Windows Media Player remains part of the core OS. Windows 7 will ship with Windows Media Player 12, which includes some surprising new features.

The UI itself is brighter and lighter than WMP11. Some buttons and toolbar items have been moved around, but the experience should be pretty familiar to users of version 11. What does represent a big change is the removal of the Now Playing button, which in WMP11 switches to a view showing the current playlist.

This is because WMP12 completely separates library management from what's currently playing, with two distinct player modes; Now Playing view, and Library view. Library view contains all the library manipulation features that should be familiar from WMP11. Now Playing view contains the current playlist, visualizations, and videos.

There's also a new taskbar miniviewer that works with the new Windows 7 taskbar, and WMP12 includes support for Jump Lists.

Aside from the split between Library and Now Playing, the basic operation of WMP12 is the same as in version 11. There are plenty of small refinements, like automatic previewing (hovering on any song plays a 15-second preview of the song), and the Library view now shows all media types in the tree simultaneously...
 
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