Creating a new installment in the Deus Ex series is ambitious by definition. To meet the lofty expectations of fans (who've been perpetually on guard since 2003's disappointing Deus Ex: Invisible War), the games need to deliver freely explorable, believable worlds; unique characters who react to (and remember) your actions; multiple paths through their environments and multiple solutions to every problem; and smart, cleverly written storytelling rife with philosophical ruminations on the relationship between humans and technology.
To attempt all of this on a console or PC is tricky. To attempt it on iOS seems impossible, but — surprisingly enough — Deus Ex: The Fall does a competent job replicating the gameplay of 2011's Deus Ex: Human Revolution, albeit as a somewhat stripped-down companion story.
A battle-scarred wasteland, mutants, and an evil shadow government; cry as we might for originality in all forms of entertainment, postapocalyptic themes are more pervasive in nerd culture than black, plastic-frame glasses. Following in this great tradition comes id Software’s Rage (ported to Mac by Aspyr Media), a gorgeously rendered game that plucks liberally from the vine of similar titles--and goes nowhere with it.
Originally released in 2010 for consoles and PC, 2K Games’s BioShock 2 has finally made its way to the Mac, thanks to the porting efforts of Feral Interactive. Was this sequel to one of the most celebrated first-person shooters of all time worth the wait? If you’re keen on being immersed in a dark, often terrifying, and fully realized world with a deep storyline that demands your investment, then the answer is most assuredly yes.
It was a week for updates, that's for sure. (Even the product above got updated, though this happened years ago over several iterations. Ahem.) This week saw people pushing out new versions of software everywhere we turned. We don't know what's in the pipelines, but we like it when our apps get great new tools and slick new features. It's pretty hot stuff, we don't mind telling you. And here's some of the other hot magic happening this week.
Doom was released by id Software in 1993, and it cleverly combined hugely innovative gameplay features with a storyline crammed with controversial satanic imagery… so its success was assured. Playing the part of a lone soldier up against the hordes of Hell, the player had to navigate his way through the maze-like levels, blasting the enemies with a range of destructive weapons. Multiplayer mode and the ability to design your own level mods gave the game longevity. It laid the foundations on which gaming’s most popular genre would be built.
If you want to gain a deeper understanding of what it takes to make a bleeding-edge iOS game, you can take a multi-year course on software development, or you can devout a few well-spent moments of your time to chat with John Carmack. Some of you out there may not be familiar with his name, but you’ll most certainly be aware of his work. As the lead designer on groundbreaking games such as Doom, Commander Keen and Quake, Carmack and id Software have helped to define the modern video game. Yesterday, Carmack’s latest creation--Rage--was made available in the iTunes App Store for all iOS devices. Despite his busy schedule, Carmack took the time to speak with us about the game.
This morning, Valve announced a new add-on for its immersive, co-op zombie killing game, Left 4 Dead. "The Sacrifice" is due for release on October 5 and will continue to chronicle the struggle between the remaining Left 4 Dead survivors as they make their way to the South. "The Sacrifice" will also introduce a new style of finale gameplay called "Sacrificial Gameplay", where the players can device who will give their life so that other may live.