Now Editor-in-chief of Arcade Sushi, Luke Brown is an experienced video game journalist who has contributed to Official Xbox Magazine and Games Radar. An avid comic fan and action figure junkie, he also founded The Quarter Bin, and co-hosts one of the top-rated video game podcasts on iTunes, the Continuecast.
Luke Brown Biography
Rocksteady Studios' Batman: Arkham Knight has been a long time coming. Since Batman: Arkham Asylum's release, Rocksteady has been tinkering with the formula that made that first game so successful, and the culmination of those efforts can be seen in Batman: Arkham Knight. The combat so many competitors have aped is as sharp as ever, the breadth and scope of Gotham City is staggering, and the presentation is absolutely eye-popping. The inclusion of the Batmobile, divisive as it may be, for the fist time shows that Rocksteady is willing to take big chances even with its final word on the franchise. Despite its over-reliance on a few new tricks, Batman: Arkham Knight is a stellar game that cements Rocksteady Studios as one of the premiere action game developers of the modern era.
I'll tell you what; you haven't lived until you've harpooned a War Boy from his car, and flung him across the wastelands at hundreds of miles per hour. You just haven't. It's science. I would know, as I spent the better part of my time with Avalanche Studios' Mad Max testing out that very experiment. It's all in the initial plunge; the one that sticks right in the War Boy's chest. You nail that shot, and you can feel the life force exiting the body almost as fast as it flings past Max's car.
Thanks to the success of Skylanders and Disney Infinity, and also a little ol' thing called amiibo, the NFC figure craze can officially move into the sustainable trend category. These collectible figure-based games are no longer just a hot trend, they are a legitimate force to be reckoned with at retail. Adding more fuel to the fire this fall will be Lego Dimensions, the first NFC game to actually require your to build your adventures before you can play them.
Since launching in 2005, the Lego [Insert Video Game License Here] series has stayed true to its roots, while offering incremental improvements with every iteration. The earliest games relied heavily on sight gags, while later additions were able to incorporate full voice over tracks to great effect. While we've seen Lego Marvel Super Heroes in action before, Lego Marvel's Avengers is the first superhero license to be based on a film. We've gotten a handful of Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings games, as well as other comic-based titles, but even the previous Marvel Lego game was an original tale. With this retelling of The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, Lego will let us relive the movies as they happened, including voice tracks taken straight from the cinematic cuts of the two blockbusters. That means, yes, Scarlett Johansson will voice Black Widow and Samuel L. Jackson will be Nick Fury, but you shouldn't count on hearing them say anything you haven't already heard from the dozens of times you've watched the films themselves. That doesn't mean there won't be some new tricks up TT Games' sleeve. In fact, in our short time with the demo, there were some nice new touches already in place.
Rhys and Fiona just can't stay out of trouble, though that's probably par for the course for a couple of wannabe Vault Hunters. In the last Tales from the Borderlands episode, the not-so-dynamic duo found themselves at odds with Vasquez and August after recovering the coveted orb in the depths of an Atlas bunker. The fates of all our characters were in Rhys' hands, and with everything on the line, we were asked to choose between Fiona or Handsome Jack to pull the collective of butts out of the fire. In true Borderlands fashion, everything goes exactly as planned. Except not really at all.
It's a new year, and that means it's also time for a new iteration of the Disney Infinity series. Over the past two years, Disney Interactive has been fine-tuning its NFC figure gaming franchise, improving on the previous version in small but welcome ways. There have been some larger changes to the overall as well, but none more visible than the addition of new characters and figures to the ever-expanding roster of Disney properties. With Disney Infinity 3.0, not only are we going to be getting a load of new toys and Play Sets based on the beloved Star Wars license, we're also getting new Toy Box modes that offer more ways to play with the characters you've already collected.
During EA's 2014 E3 press conference, the improbable resurrection of the Mirror's Edge franchise was the highlight of the event for me. The long wait for more information was made possible only by the idea that a new entry in the series was actually coming, it was just a matter of when. This year, it finally happened. The brilliant, blinding white city skyline returned, and so had the hero who would save it all. Mirror's Edge: Catalyst isn't a sequel. This entry offers a re-imagining of the game and its hero, Faith; one which pays tribute to what came before while presenting nearly every aspect in a new light. From the seemingly more distant futuristic setting and the focus on corporations ruling the world, to the improved melee combat and wide-open world, Mirror's Edge: Catalyst is setting itself up to be everything fans wanted from a sequel while still being completely accessible to everyone that missed out on the first entry.
Hasbro's Transformers brand has been one of the most consistently popular properties for fans of all ages since it debuted in 1984. There have been many incarnations of the robots in disguise over the last thirty years, but the Generation 1 version has always been the dominant fan favorite. Though we've seen the characters from that iteration of the cartoon and action figure series in game before, we've never seen them brought to life quite like this.
I’m sitting in a wheelchair in a dimly lit hospital. In a room across the hall, two mysterious strangers argue about whether or not I’m going to be a liability. My hands are bandaged. My legs, not quite all there. The female stands up for me, promising not to leave me behind. The male begrudgingly agrees, and sets off down the hall to find us an exit. As the woman grabs the handles of my wheelchair, I take in my surroundings, even going so far as to notice my amputated leg lying still on the operating table beside me. There’s blood everywhere, and I’m not convinced it’s all mine. Papers litter the halls, while broken glass and upturned gurneys make quiet traversal a challenge. The hospital has seen better days, but it’s clear those days are long gone. Besides the three of us, there doesn’t appear to be anyone else left alive. It’s not the living people you should be worried about though, it’s the undead, and they are everywhere.
As my squad and I stood around the command center, Commander Palmer was just beginning her transmission. Her video communique rose from nowhere to rest in the middle of the war table, with all five of us squaddies hanging on her every word. We were about to enter a Warzone, which was being contested by another team of Spartans, with Forerunner and Covenant enemies also vying for a piece of the pie. Palmer guided us through what was expected of us on the mission, giving details on key points on the map, including where enemies might be hiding out and which spots could help us control the battleground. The key difference between this briefing and countless others we'd seen in Halo game before being that this was no cut scene; Palmer was right here in the room with us. Well, at least a virtual version.