My latest game review is a bit of a departure from my normal stuff. Every review I have done in the past revolved some type of car racing game like Forza, F1, etc. However a rep from Namco Bandai games reached out to me about a new motocross game they developed called “MUD”.
Nostalgic thoughts of Excitebike made me jump at the chance to play a motocross racing game. Keep in mind I am being literal when I say that as Excitebike was the last motocross racing game I ever played! So did MUD capture my childhood memories? Was it an enjoyable experience that I can recommend to strangers I see on the street because I was so over come with joy?
In short: not quite. I did have fun with the game but not in the way I think the developer intended. See what I mean by watching my review below.
DISCLAMER: I played this game on Xbox 360. It is also available for Playstation 3 and PS Vita (as digital download). Please note that I DID NOT play online mutliplayer as during the time of my review there were internet issues which prevented me from connecting to Xbox Live. This review strictly deals with single player modes.
According to the G4 TV news ticker the Forza Motorsport 4 demo will be hitting Xbox live on October 3rd, about a week before the game is slated to release. There is nothing on the Forza website to officially confirm this but we would not be surprised if this report turned out to be true. Stay tuned to MotorworldHype tomorrow for an interview with Dan Greenawalt, new screen shots, and new info on Forza Motorsport 4
UPDATE: We have confirmed that the Forza Motorsport 4 demo will in fact be released on Xbox Live on October 3rd. We have more info on the demo coming up in our exclusive interview with Forza Motorsport 4 Executive Producer Dan Greenawalt. Stay tuned!
A while back we showed you the upcoming Forza 4 edition Playseat at E3. TodayPlayseat announced on their Facebook page that the new Forza 4 edition seat will come with this new adjustable footplate which is fully compatible with the also upcoming Fanatec CSR Forza 4 wheel and pedal set. It will also be sold alone as an accessory for all of their Revolution style seats so no worries if you will not have the Forza seat you are still covered! In other news stay tuned for a bunch of new Forza 4 content including interviews and our review of the game coming soon.
In the fourth and final Development Diary for Codemasters F1 2011 we get some insight on the highly anticipated Mercedes Benz SLS AMG Safety Car and how some of the other new functions such as KERS and DRS will change the gameplay. We also learn how tire dynamics will change and have an even bigger impact on race strategy than they did in F1 2011. With all the competition and strategically based realism changes that are going into F1 2011 it is starting to look like being good at F1 2010 won’t mean much! By the way, we think that’s a good thing! Stay tuned for our full review of F1 2011 coming soon!
The new Co-Op Championship Mode is arguably the biggest change in Codemasters’ F1 2011 from 2010. In Co-Op mode you and your friend can race on the same team as you battle for the constructors’ championship. However, you and your buddy are still in contention for the drivers championship as well. As it goes who ever is getting the faster lap times and winning races will become the team’s #1 driver and get all the upgrades first!
In the third development diary for F1 2011 Stephen Hood and Paul Jeal of Codemasters will tell you all about what you can expect from this new gameplay mode.
F1 2011 by Codemasters will hit stores at the end of this month and earlier this morning we got to join in on a conference call with Chief Game Designer Stephen Hood for a few last minute questions courtesy of Forty Seven communications. Here is a quick break-down of what we talked about:
The first thing we asked about was the addition of the Safety Car. we wanted to know what were the hurdles, if any that the team had to jump over to get the car in the game. According to Stephen there were a few roads that needed to be crossed as far as licensing with Formula One and with Mercedes Benz. In fact the team was already certain on including the Saftey Car weeks before it was announced, but they had to wait for the green light from both Formula 1 and Mercedes before they could make the announcement at Gamescom last month. Besides that they also wanted to be positive that they could implement the Safety Car in such a way that it would genuinely add to the game play experience instead of adding it in just to say that it was in.
Online Multiplayer Events
With games such as Madden and Modern Warfare there are sometimes online tournaments and other events such as double XP weekends. We asked if there were plans to do anything similar with F1 2011. The short answer is “maybe”. Stephen definitely has interest in organizing things like that for the players and the Codemasters team is already putting their heads together on possible online mutliplayer events but it is likely that we probably won’t see anything like this until F1 2012. Provided that Formula One gives the ok, there might even be events where players can race against the “ghost” of the real drivers based on their result from an event. For example trying to beat the total race time of Sebastien Vettel after his victory at a given track.
Forza Motorsport 4 and F1 2012
Time was running short at this point so we asked a double whammy of two quick questions. First, we asked Stephen what his thoughts were on Forza Motorsport 4 (coming out next month) and if he saw that game as competition for F1 2011. After some good natured ribbing Stephen admitted that he does not see Forza as direct competition for F1 2011 because each game is offering its own unique experience. As Stephen explains it, F1 2011 is for F1 fans and anyone who wants to try their hand at racing an F1 car while Forza is more about the car ownership and modification experience and lifestyle. We would have to concur on that.
Finally we asked if development has already begun on F1 2012. At this point there has not been any hard coding or design work done but F1 2012 is already in the conceptual phase and the team is already talking about what they want to add to the next installment but it is way to early to get any confirmed details.
And there we have it! Our last minute prod to the Chief Game Designer on what we can expect for F1 2011 and future games. If you haven’t done so already we would suggest you hit up Best Buy, Gamestop, or Amazon to pre-order your copy of F1 2012 before the first batch gets sold out! If you still need more convincing then stay tuned for our review!
The guys at Codemasters Birmingham have just released the first official gameplay trailer for F1 2011! Despite the video showing “work in progress” shots you can still immediately see the increase in detail of the environments, cars, and people over F1 2010 just like we mentioned in our first report on the new F1 game. We can’t wait to get our hands on this game again. We are hearing that there may be a possible U.S. promotional tour for the F1 2011 next month and we are already bugging the Codemasters team for an invite. You will be sure that if we get in we will bring you as much new info as possible on F1 2011 but in the meantime scroll down and enjoy the new trailer and new screen shots!
In our new segment “Talkin’ Cars” we got to know the car guy inside Forza Motorsport 4 producer John Wendl. What does the guy behind one of the best racing games in the world like to drive? What was his first car? What does he drive when he is playing Forza? All of that gets answered here! Check it out.
E3 2011 is underway in Los Angeles and I have made it my personal mission to get as much info on all the games and accessories relevant to gear heads as possible. So, of course I paid a visit once again to the Codemasters crew to get the scoop on F1 2011. Unfortunately, due to FIA stipulations I could not get any video of the game in action but I do have a lovely collection of screenshots that you can view below (just click to enlarge). I also have tons of info on F1 2011 and what you can expect. Let me just say, any notion that F1 2011 is just going to be F1 2010 but with the new cars and liveries should be nixed right now. The Codemasters Burmingham team made a whole host of upgrades and changes to improve the F1 experience and add even more authenticity to the new title. What changes did they make? I am glad that I pretended that you asked that..
New Looks The first thing you are going to notice is that there is a lot more visual details put into F1 2011 vs F1 2010. The racing environments are much more detailed with nuances like more realistic foliage around the tracks, current and accurate representation of each teams garage, faces of the mechanics and crew look more realistic, and they have even added the “Parc Ferme” celebrations after qualifying sessions and races. F1 2011 continues to use Codemasters’ patented EGO engine so expect more top notch and dynamic weather effects in addition to all of the other environmental detail.
Improved handling The Codemasters crew has taken all the feedback from F1 2010 players and made improvements to the car dynamics and handling to make driving the cars more true to life. If you see Vettel go over the curbs at turn 3 in Valencia then you will be able to go over the curbs there as well in the game without having to worry about your car unexpectedly spinning out. To further aid in making the handling more realistic Codemasters obtained data from Pirelli to make the tire dynamics as close to the real thing as possible. All the tires that the drivers are currently using will be available in F1 2011.
Current rules and innovations All the cars in the game will be as representative of the real cars as possible. Most of all KERS, and the new DRS (Drag Resistance System) will be included. However just like in real life players will only be able to use those features per FIA rules. No fantasy KERS boost for the entire race or using the DRS on the first lap!
Multi-player much improved The first major multi-player improvement for F1 2011 is the ability to do 2-player split screen mode. With most people owning decent sized HDTVs these days, going split screen is much more feasible now than it may have been before. Now you do not need to hop online for a quick race against your buddy. My favorite new Multi-player feature is Co-Op career mode. This is the icing on the cake of realism for F1 2011. In F1 2010′s career mode you went through the entire season as a driver competing against your teammate for the attention of your engineers. However in F1 2010 that teammate was the computer’s AI. In the new Co-Op mode your teammate can be a friend online and you go through the season together! In fact you can play it out exactly the way the FIA does. Join up with your buddy on Friday for practice, come back the next day for Saturday qualifying, and race on Sunday! You can share data and set up info as well, although you will probably be less likely to share your data once you get to the tail end of the season and realize that only one of you can be champion.
F1 2011 on the go A while back I gave you wind of the announcement that F1 2011 will be coming to the new PlaystationVita (formerly Sony NGP) handheld as well as the Nintendo 3DS. I spoke with the Codemasters team on that today and they informed me that the handheld versions are being worked on by another team and will be much more accessible versions of what you would expect on consoles or the PC. As suspected the 3DS version WILL be in 3D! While there is not an official release ETA for the PlaystationVita I was told that players can expect the 3DS version to be available in November 2011 which is a month after the console and PC version is released.
F1 2011™ is the sequel to the BAFTA winning FORMULA ONE™ videogame from Codemasters®, the developer and publisher of award-winning racing games. Developed under Codemasters’ exclusive worldwide agreement with Formula One World Championship Limited, F1 2011 will come complete with all the official drivers, teams and circuits featuring in the 2011 FIA FORMULA ONE World Championship™.
With a new focus on multiplayer gaming, including co-op Championships and split-screen mode, F1 2011 will invite players to ‘Be The Driver, Live the Life, Go Compete’ with a range of innovations, improvements and enhancements on and off the track. Set to be the most enthralling season yet, the 2011 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP features two new circuits in India and Germany, new drivers, rules, tyres as Sebastian Vettel seeks to defend his title.
Developed using Codemasters’ EGO Game Technology Platform F1 2011 will deliver an unrivalled FORMULA ONE experience that puts players into the heart of the world’s most exciting sport, powered by cutting edge graphics, advanced physics systems and integrated network play.
Go Compete! F1 2011 builds extensively on the multiplayer options from F1 2010. Split-screen racing is included for the first time in a high-definition FORMULA ONE title. Competitive online racing is extended with 16 players going head-to-head in GRAND PRIX™ with up to 8 AI drivers added to simulate the full grid of 24 drivers. An innovative new co-op Championship enables two players to lead their favourite FORMULA ONE team to Driver and Constructor glory across the course of a FORMULA ONE season. These enhancements are complimented by additional quick fire modes including Time Attack.
New Circuits for 2011. Two stunning new additions to the race calendar extend the number of circuits to feature in F1 2011 to 19. Players will be able to debut ahead of the drivers on the Buddh International Circuit, the home of the first FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF INDIA and players will be able to test themselves on the iconic Nürburging circuit for the first time in High Definition, as this legendary track returns for the 2011 season.
Be the driver, live the life. From the paddock to the track,F1 2011 takes players closer to the experience of being a FORMULA ONE driver than ever before. A new Parc Ferme area, an expanded and revamped Paddock, new Pit Lane, celebration and reaction cinematics and an enhanced media interaction system fully immerse players in the glamour, pressure and excitement of being a FORMULA ONE driver. Players progress from rookie to FIA FORMULA ONE DRIVERS’ WORLD CHAMPION in an extensive career mode where gamers fight to become priority driver and shape the development of the car by performing well in races and earning performance upgrades.
All the cars, all the stars. Fully licensed, F1 2011 features all the drivers set to contest the 2011 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, including Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button. All 2011 teams are represented including Ferrari, Red Rull Racing, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and Lotus Renault GP in their iconic black and gold livery.
KERS, DRS and more! F1 2011 includes all the new rule changes set to make this year’s season the most exciting yet. F1 2011 debuts DRS (Drag Reduction System) – the new system which enables drivers to adjust the rear wing on the car to give a boost of up to 10km. KERS also returns, giving players an extra 80BHP for up to 6.67 seconds, enabling drivers to blast past rivals. Combined, these systems encourage close wheel-to-wheel racing with new options for both defence and attack. This season’s new Pirelli tyres are faithfully simulated in the game, and if players push their car too hard they may experience a range of authentic new damage failures.
Full Day / Night Racing. The 2011 FORMULA 1 ETHIAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX comes alive with a full day/ night transition which recreates the special atmosphere at this unique track. Every one of the existing circuits from the 2010 roster has been given a complete visual overhaul. New atmospheric effects, including dynamic clouds, compliment a weather system which features an advanced rain model that affects on-track grip. Powered by the EGO Game Technology Platforms, F1 2011 pushes forward the graphical standard of what can be achieved in a racing game.
The world’s greatest cars, the most exciting racing.Building on the heritage of producing award-winning racing games for over a decade, Codemasters is uniquely placed to realise the spectacle and exhilaration of racing 200MPH+ FORMULA ONE cars for all fans. F1 2011 can be tuned for players from a wide range of skill levels, from the casual gamer to the hardcore simulation enthusiast and those in between, with a range of differing skill levels. A huge range of vehicle variables can be tuned to suit each player’s unique driving style, or drivers can entrust their Race Engineer to set their car up and head straight onto the track. F1 2011 will support a comprehensive range of racing wheels for the ultimate racing experience.
Unprecedented authenticity. Codemasters has used its unprecedented access to the world of FORMULA ONE to connect the development team directly with FORMULA ONE teams and tyre manufacturers. Extensive consultancy has taken place with a range of FORMULA ONE professionals, including race engineers, mechanics and drivers. This has been combined with real world data including CAD and on-board telemetry to deliver a race experience complete with authentic handling, accurate circuits and precisely modelled racing cars.
EGO powered FORMULA ONE. F1 2011is being developed on the EGO Game Technology platform, evolved from the award winning EGO engine. Enabling Codemasters development talent to share tools and technology across Studios and Central Technology teams, the EGO Game Technology Platform empowers Codemasters game designers torealise their creative visions across multiple platforms featuring cutting edge graphics, powerful AI, advanced physics systems and integrated network play.
It has been announced that a Transformers themed MMORPG (Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game) called “Transformers Universe” is coming to PC’s soon and the game will make its official debut at BotCon this weekend and again at the E3 Expo this week. While I don’t know too much about the game yet I do know that you will be able to choose sides (Autobot or Decepticon) and create your own bot to do battle online with. I have been invited to a special launch event for the game so I will try to get more information about it for you and report back!.
JAGEX GAMES STUDIO ANNOUNCES DETAILS OF TRANSFORMERS MMO AT BOTCON 2011
OFFICIAL TRANSFORMERS FAN CONVENTION ATTENDEES WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DESIGN THEIR OWN TRANSFORMERS CHARACTER, MEET THE DEVELOPMENT TEAM, AND PRE-REGISTER FOR BETA
FANS’ WAIT FOR THE NAME AND EARLY DETAILS OF THE UPCOMING MMO IS OVER
CAMBRIDGE, UK – JUNE 1, 2011 – Jagex Games Studio, one of the largest independent games developers and publishers in the world,today announced the much anticipated name; TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE for the upcoming MMO based on the iconic TRANSFORMERS brand from Hasbro, Inc. as well as plans to attend TRANSFORMERS BotCon 2011, the official TRANSFORMERS fan convention, to unveil their vision for the browser based MMO for the Western World markets.
Visitors to BotCon will be the first to see the graphical style and direction for the game and be able to see firsthand how the Jagex development team is working with Hasbro to create the look and feel of it through live concept art and animation demonstrations at the Jagex booth.
The Jagex booth will offer fans a chance to meet and engage with members of the development team, and watch exclusive video footage of how a TRANSFORMERS character is developed in-game.
Those visiting the booth will also have the unique opportunity to design their own TRANSFORMERS character from in-game assets and take away a printed copy of their AUTOBOT or DECEPTICON creation. The ability to design and customise your own TRANSFORMERS character will be a key feature in the game and fans will be getting a first taste of what they can look forward to from this new MMO.
Jagex will also be welcoming the TRANSFORMERS community to contribute their thoughts and opinions about AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS in the video area of the booth, where the first battle for supremacy will begin. Who will come out on top?
Mark Gerhard, CEO at Jagex Games Studio, commented: “BotCon is the world’s premier destination for TRANSFORMERS enthusiasts and, with so many loyal fans gathered together in one place, it’s the natural event to unveil the very first details of TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE. It will be great to meet the TRANSFORMERS fans in person and we are especially excited about offering them the chance to design their own TRANSFORMERS character, which will be a key feature of the game when it launches next year.”
Mark Blecher, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Gaming and Media at Hasbro, commented: “The unveiling of some of the first details of TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE from Jagex at BotCon, where Hasbro celebrates all elements of our hugely popular TRANSFORMERS brand, is an extremely exciting prospect for both Hasbro and the dedicated fanbase attending. We are delighted to welcome Jagex to the show and are sure that what the fans will able to see, participate in and take away from their experience at the Jagex booth will make them as excited about the upcoming MMO as we at Hasbro are.”
TRANSFORMERS BotCon runs from the 3rd – 5th June at the Pasadena Convention Centre, California. The Jagex booth can be found in the Main Conference Hall.
The TRANSFORMERS brand has delivered “MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE” action to legions of fans around the world for more than 25 years. As one of the hottest global entertainment properties, TRANSFORMERS captures excitement through action figure play, movies, television, digital gaming, comics, and more.
Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) is a branded play company providing children and families around the world with a wide-range of immersive entertainment offerings based on the Company’s world class brand portfolio. From toys and games, to television programming, motion pictures, video games and a comprehensive licensing program, Hasbro strives to delight its customers through the strategic leveraging of well-known and beloved brands such as TRANSFORMERS, LITTLEST PET SHOP, NERF, PLAYSKOOL, MY LITTLE PONY, G.I. JOE, MAGIC: THE GATHERING and MONOPOLY. The Hub, Hasbro’s multi-platform joint venture with Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) launched on October 10, 2010. The online home of The Hub is www.hubworld.com. The Hub logo and name are trademarks of Hub Television Networks, LLC. All rights reserved.
Jagex Games Studio is a multi-award winning games developer based in Cambridge, England. Jagex specialises in the development of high quality browser-based games and is the largest independent games developer and publisher in the UK.
Jagex has a long-standing reputation for creating the world’s best online games and for developing hugely popular, high quality, accessible, free-to-play games and for providing an unbeatable community experience for millions of players around the world. Jagex has developed and self-published over 40 online titles, including the world’s most popular free multiplayer online game, RuneScape.com
In addition to RuneScape, Jagex self-publishes games on its games portal Jagex.com, and has released a series of successful iPhone games including BounceDown, StarCannon, and Miner Disturbance. Jagex also acts as a third-party publisher for likeminded developers, publishing titles such as the Herotopia, the online virtual world for children, the real-time strategy game War of Legends, and the iPhone title Undercroft.