Before the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon games were popular there was Police Quest, a point and click cop adventure from Sierra Entertainment. In 1999 the series changed to a first person tactical shooter with SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battle. The next in the series, SWAT 4, was released in 2005 to critical acclaim. Developer Irrational Games created an amazing experience and moved on to create the Bioshock series.
SWAT 4 follows a fictional Los Angeles SWAT team through several tactical situations. You play as the team leader, giving commands, taking down suspects, and securing evidence. It was powered by Unreal Engine 2.5, one of the most powerful for its time, and still looks strong today.
XBLIG Monthly Roundup is a feature of five of the best Indie games from the past month of releases on the marketplace. There’s a lot to sift through on the XBLIG marketplace, so let us tell you what we found during our daily rounds. These are some of the best games that XBLIG has to offer for the month of June, 2011:
These days it seems all I hear are constant complaints about pricing for Xbox Live Arcade games. It’s always too expensive. We’ve all done it — looked at a game and said “I like it, but not for 1200 MSP!” Maybe it’s the recession we’re in, maybe it’s because we just don’t have extra points to spend, and maybe we’re just stingy. Still, maybe we’re right. But here’s the thing: maybe developers and publishers are right sometimes too. So where’s the middle? Where is that happy hunting ground where companies can make a profit and players can get the escapes they want at the price they’re willing to pay?
The 80’s were a decade that truly fits the oft-repeated opening line from A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” On the one hand you had crimped hair, the Chevy Chevette, and leg warmers. On the other there were great bands like U2, Poison and Aerosmith. There were also a handful of truly classic movies. The Back to the Future trilogy was brought to life mostly here, with the third film being released in 1990. It’s a series that plays to so many childhood fantasies, but adaptations to other media have been, well, less than stellar. That is until Telltale Games got hold of the rights.
Back to the Future: The Game isn’t actually a game, it’s five games. In true Telltale format this point-and-click adventure game is split into episodes, much like the Sam & Max games that later were combined into one release for Xbox Live Arcade. In the game you once again live vicariously through Marty as he travels back to 1931 to rescue the jailed Doc Brown. But the changes made in 1931 skew the timeline causing Marty to travel from 1876 through 1986 — and beyond.
Franchise-based games are either hit or miss, very rarely are they in between. Maybe it’s due to high expectations, maybe it’s the developer, maybe it’s the technology used. Whatever it is players often judge franchise games harder. Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force was a game that was a hit for every reason. It had the actual cast of Voyager providing voice work. It was powered by the Quake III Arena engine, the most powerful at the time. It was developed by a team with a history, both before and after Elite Force, of making amazing games. Most of all it was true to the source material while being true as a game. It’s an amazing title, and one that could easily be given a new life on Xbox Live Arcade.
Co-written by Kaitlyn Chantry
Now that our trip to video game heaven has come and gone, it’s time to give you the run-down on the very best XBLA titles from E3 2011. We spent five hectic days getting our eyes and hands on every XBLA game possible and we’ve picked out fifteen games that stood out from the crowd.