Hacksville: Population 70m+

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last three weeks you’ll have noticed that the PS3 has been without it’s online component, the PSN.

Someone hacked into the network and stole users personal data so Sony shut down the entire online aspect of it’s service to investigate.

It took a week or so for them to fill gamers in because they were waiting for the investigation to be completed by a third party. Once they had the confirmation they let us know the following day.

Online is a big part of the gaming experience for a lot of people.

This is apparently standard procedure (see here for more details) but it was the announcement that the hackers could also have got hold of users credit card details that ruffled feathers.

It usually takes something controversial for gaming to appear in the mainstream news, let alone make the headlines, so the theft of over 70m users credit card details was just what the media ordered.

The truth of the matter is that, at present, Sony has nothing to prove that credit card details were taken and no-one has reported any unauthorised activity on their cards.

Killzone 3 was a recent flagship online game for Sony, will people return to it or play fresher titles?

From a personal perspective I immediately cancelled my card and ordered a new one. Any concerns from my end were then finished.

Sony vowed to increase security and apologised for the breach. They have also offered some compensation in the form of some free games and a month of Playstation Plus for free.

As time rolled on and a few days turned into a week, which turned into two weeks… gamers seemed to be getting overly irate.

What impact will the outage have on the sales of a game heavily based around multiplayer, like Brink?

Now I accept that Sony has to shoulder some blame for this but someone breached the security they had in place and attacked them. I’m presuming this was a data theft issue because any group, such as anonymous, that attempted this to inconvenience Sony will have lost any support from PS3 gamers.

In terms of getting back online I would much rather the PSN was down an extra week or two now with better security than have it back up and running now, only to see it taken down again a few weeks later with problems.

Sony’s initial response was by the book according to people in the know, so waiting until the investigation was complete before commenting was ok with me. But the handling of it over the last few weeks has been ridiculous. The phrase ‘a few more days’ has been wheeled out at every opportunity, when realistically they must have known they were looking at weeks rather than days.

Were some gamers really desperate enough to play Call Of Duty that they would trade in their PS3?

There have been plenty of claims of people trading in their PS3 for an XBox 360 so they can play online, which I find hard to believe. Buying a 360 as well? Can see that as an option for people with the cash to do so. But trading in your PS3? What about the exclusives coming up such as Infamous 2, Resistance 3, Uncharted 3 or the just announced Starhawk?

The time the PSN has been down has been a blessing in disguise for me as I’ve knocked out a huge chunk of my single player backlog before the arrival of L.A Noire.

Over the last three weeks I’ve made my way through Bulletstorm, SOCOM 4, the first episode of Back To The Future: The Game, Stacking, Crysis 2, Portal 2 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Not to mention throwing countless hours into Mass Effect 2.

The outage meant I cleared a big chunk of my game backlog.

I rediscovered my love of single player gaming. With the PSN showing signs of life this week it might be time to rediscover my love of online gaming.

What did you guys so in the downtime? Play much? Turn to other pursuits? What did you think of Sony’s handling of the situation – from the actual security itself to the response and release of information?

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I’d already been planning another Most Wanted article over the last month or so but eventually it became apparent that I might as well hold off until after the VGA’s (Video Game Awards) as a lot of big titles are announced there.

It’s a long list and I’ve provided footage where possible. Grab yourself a tea/coffee/beer (delete as appropriate) and get comfortable. ūüôā

To see the videos below in HD just click the little YouTube button on the bottom right of the video.

So here we go, GregHorrorShow’s¬†Most Wanted for 2011 – in no order whatsoever… oh alright! the first two are my *most* most wanted…



Having been fortunate enough to take part in the multiplayer beta and having had a single player hands on at the Eurogamer¬†Expo, I simply cannot wait for Killzone¬†3. Continuing the story of the second game you now find yourself on Helghan and wanting to get the hell off the planet. The already great multiplayer has been tweaked superbly and although everything I’ve played has been Alpha Code (i.e unfinished) it looks stunning.



Wow. It was kind of on the cards as Naughty Dog had already done water and snow but setting the third instalment of Nathan Drake’s treasure hunting adventures in the desert is a great idea. The high production values of the single player in Uncharted 2 will hopefully be met (and exceeded) and with the continued support and investment in the second game’s multiplayer (over a year after the game came out) I expect it to excel there as well. My only concern is will the hype kill it? I hope not.



One of the more interesting takes on the FPS genre, Homefront takes place in an alternate reality 2024 where North and South Korea have unified to invade first China and then several other countries, including the USA. You play as a resistance member desperately trying to get rid of the opposing forces. The twist with this game is that you will be playing as a prisoner in your own country and the developers have promised some familiar places with some unfamiliar appearances. Very promising.



Rage for me is a bit of a mystery. The game looks gorgeous but the majority of footage I’ve seen hasn’t quite sold me. Taking place in a Borderlands-esque post apocalyptic wasteland the game feature vehicular combat as well as first person action. This just about makes the Most Wanted list as one to watch.



Not a great deal is known about this one, other than it’s been outed several times by people working on it. No release date currently might imply a likely 2012 release but it could squeeze into the end of 2011 so it makes the list. I loved ‘Hitman: Blood Money’ so to see Agent 47 carrying out well planned assassinations in HD would be a pleasure. Hopefully with more powerful hardware behind it we’ll see an improvement in the enemy AI as well as the graphics.



I really enjoyed Deus Ex back on the PS2 – it was a brilliantly crafted universe and Square Enix¬†are taking us back to it, albeit to a time before the original game. What isn’t there to like about augmented cyborgs? Seriously though I’m hoping this can be as engrossing and thought provoking as the previous Deus Ex games.



Well I called it earlier in the year (although I expected the first two games) so it’s no surprise to see Mass Effect 2 on this list now that it’s been officially confirmed as hitting early in 2011. Essentially a space set sci-fi adventure in which your choices shape the story. To this day it remains the only XBox 360 exclusive that I don’t think has a counterpart on the PS3, so it’s a welcome addition to the line up. Bioware have also announced that the third game will also be coming to PS3 so that’s another one to look forward to!



Having actually played this and enjoyed it my concerns about the gameplay have all but disappeared. Now I’m more worried about whether it’s good enough to get more than a few hours of game time in what promises to be a packed year for shooters. Teamwork is the name of the game here as both sides battle to secure various objectives.



Simply stunning. Now THAT is a trailer! L.A Noire is shaping up to be something special. The facial animation is so good apparently you’ll be looking for facial ‘tells’ to work out if the person you’re interviewing is telling the truth. You play as a 1940’s police detective trying to crack cases. Can’t wait for this ūüėé



I wasn’t really that fussed about SOCOM¬†after playing the appalling SOCOM¬†Confrontation but getting some hands on time at the Eurogamer Expo with the new game changed my mind completely. Similarly to Zipper’s other game M.A.G, this isn’t the best game graphically but it was definitely a fun experience. There is a rumoured 4 player co-op mode which would be great if true.



Isaac Clarke returns in the sequel to one of my favourite PS3 games ever. Full of atmosphere and with plenty of shocks Dead Space came out of leftfield to surprise everyone. It was often what they didn’t show you in the first game that freaked you out and I’m hoping the story is as strong as the first game, which still sparks animated conversations about what actually¬†went down on the Ishimura.



Another one I was fortunate enough to play at Eurogamer, Motorstorm¬†Apocalypse played really well and seemed to build on what other driving games like Split/Second have done with destructible¬†environments. Tower blocks and huge buildings collapse around you creating different routes around the track. Motorstorm games are always fun and look great, I’m expecting more of the same.



I haven’t really played any of the previous Ghost Recon games as they seemed a little tactics heavy. However having seen the trailer and footage of this game I think it might be the title to turn me onto the series. Set a few years into the future you have a chance to use the latest warfare tech on the planet, hopefully it’ll be as cool as it sounds.



Batman: Arkham Asylum was expected to fail by pretty much everyone but turned out to be so good I nominated it for 4 awards in my end of year blog. That it didn’t win one shows you the quality of the products that came to the market last year. Fluid combat and a real sense of power made this a must play and the sequel promises more of the same but with even more classic Batman enemies and the chance to take the fight to the streets of Gotham.



Another of my favourite games last year told the story of Cole, a reluctant superhero, that gave you the option of playing as a good guy or a bad guy. Much fun both ways – it’s the only game this generation I’ve finished twice – and the sequel looks like even more of a blast with new power abilities and more insight into the story of the first game. I’ll be looking forward to lightning up some baddies come 2011. ūüôā



The Resistance series has been a continued improvement from the original PS3 launch title to the bigger and better sequel and now finally what looks to be a triple A title. Taking a much darker tone Resistance 3 sees the Chimera in control and your resistance being just that. Bands of human survivors bunching together to take on enemies as they make their way across the country. Sounds great. Bleak, but great.




The Twisted Metal series has come a long way since the PSOne¬†days. Making its current¬†generation debut next year it’ll see all manner of vehicles and crazy drivers causing¬†chaos¬†on the roads. Sweet Tooth (above) returns as do several other fan favourites. Hopefully this will live up to the legacy of the previous titles, which were great. The original was a top multiplayer title so with the boom in online gaming I think this will be an interesting proposition for gamers when it’s released.


So there you have it. And that’s not even including other great titles like LittleBigPlanet2, Dirt 3 and the Mortal Kombat reboot.

Quite a list and I’m sure I’ve missed some stuff off – feel free to highlight anything¬†that’s missing that you are looking forward to in the comments below.

Will any of you be picking some of these titles up? Are any of them a must buy for you?

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Eurogamer Expo 2010

So it’s that time of year again, when the post E3 games roadshow hits London and we get to play some of the stuff that’s coming up in the remainder of the year and into 2011.

3D played a big part in Sony’s presence and I’ll discuss my thoughts on that aspect of things after we’ve been through the games.

So in no particular order, here we go:



I’ve quite liked the look of this one for a while as it reminds me of an updated version of the old classic Chase H.Q. Multiplayer for 8 people was on display here with you taking on the role of cop or racer (I was racer) and attempting to either finish the race (racer) or take out the racers (cop). You have weapons at your disposal in the form of road spikes or road blocks, among other things, that can help slow down the opposition and this game was fun. Not sure if it’s a purchase for me but I enjoyed giving it a spin.



Thankfully my most anticipated game of the show lived up to it’s billing as I had the chance to play through two level sections of Killzone 3. The levels, which were shown at E3 back in June, were in 3D (more on that at the end of the article) which meant I wasn’t seeing the game running at it’s best but it was a blast gameplay-wise. With a slightly quicker control scheme and improved melee combat Killzone 3 looks set to improve on the brilliant 2nd installment.




This is a slightly more tongue in cheek, combo based FPS. The level we played saw us taking on several different kinds of enemies and having the option to dispatch them in various ways using the tools at our disposal. As well as your general weapons you also have an electrified leash that be used to throw enemies towards you (in slow motion) and the sole of your boot. Yep that’s right a good old fashioned kick sends enemies into the air (again in slow motion) so you can finish them off however you like. This one could be an interesting prospect.



More of the same from the Visceral guys and to be honest I’m happy with that. They have tweaked a few bits here and there in terms of movement in the air but the shooting felt as tight as ever and the sense of claustrophobia was back. Obviously judging from the trailer there will be more open sections of gameplay but making my way through narrow corridors with things jumping out felt as freaky as ever and graphically Dead Space 2 looked great.



Motorstorm is a brand that usually delivers a top notch product whether that is PS3 (Motorstorm/Motorstorm:Pacific Rift) or even PSP (Motorstorm: Arctic Edge) and Apocalypse is no different. Right from the off things are as chaotic as ever, with buildings collapsing and the public taking the streets in panic. Meanwhile you’ll be trying to boost your way to victory in what promises to be a fun ride. Multiplayer should be a blast and this is a game that has gone from being on the radar to becoming a purchase for me.



There were a few games that going into Eurogamer had to impress me to have any chance of me picking them up. Medal Of Honor was one of them. We played the multiplayer, team deathmatch with (I think) 8 players a side. Graphics-wise this looked great, especially for multiplayer. It played well enough – essentially it’s Battlefield: Bad Company 2 but with the control scheme of Modern Warfare 2. The problem was it was a small map and turned into a bit of a frag/rocket fest which isn’t something I enjoy. Better than I thought it would be but not different enough to Battlefield to prompt me to switch. Will certainly rent this at least and give the singleplayer a go though.



Having only played the previous SOCOM (which was online only) a handful of times I don’t have much experience with this series. However this turned out to be one of my favourite experiences at the show. Firstly let me say this demo wasn’t without its problems – crashing on the loading screen, giving the wrong button prompt and freezing up seemed to be issues but on the presumption that those types of things will be fixed by next year’s release let’s focus on the gameplay. The shooting felt a little loose but the controls in general were well executed and played to a fairly tried and tested method for the most part. With rumoured 4 player online co-op this could be a brilliant game to play through with friends. I’ll be keeping an eye on this one for sure.




From the most pleasant surprise to the biggest disappointment on show at Eurogamer. Crysis 2 was another title I wasn’t sold on prior to the show and the demo I ‘played’ here has done nothing to change that view. The problems were insurmountable on the XBox 360 build of the game. Of the four screens where I was playing, three of them ended up dying while I was there. At least SOCOM’s problems were in the loading etc. Crysis 2 would load up and just be a black screen. You could hear your gun firing and the game would be going on but you couldn’t see anything. The guy playing in front of me had the floor disappear for a good 30 seconds or so and overall this just felt broken. Surely it would’ve been better to not show the game (or do it just for PC) than subject people to this? Everyone who played it left before the demo finished (or it died on them). Hopefully all these problems can be addressed – otherwise I won’t be picking this one up.



Gran Turismo looks wonderful. The trailers look great and the game matches up in that respect. It was a short play – you weren’t even given a full lap (perhaps because it was in 3D?) but it was fairly difficult to control and pretty much played as expected. For me this game will live or die on how much fun it is collecting cars or playing online. The PSP version has shown it can be a nice experience without being too harsh on the driving front and I hope the PS3 version follows suit.



One of the few games I needed to be convinced on that delivered – Brink is a futuristic first person shooter that allows you multiple objectives to earn xp as opposed to just blow this up/shoot everyone etc. It took me a few minutes to adjust to the game in terms of shooting because it seemed to take an age to down an opponent (perhaps to inspire people to go after the objectives rather than the enemy directly) but on the whole this was good fun. It was nice to play something not set in the modern day and the character customisation looks deep enough to keep everyone entertained. Definitely one to watch out for.



This was my only experience with Sony’s new Move hardware and it was the only game with that support I was interested in trying. One of the problems with doing this stuff at an expo is that you often can’t calibrate the games how you’d like. So I was stuck with a gun that aimed much higher than it should. The game itself was fine – just blast everything away and I can really see titles like Time Crisis (confirmed) and House Of The Dead (rumoured) being a huge hit with Move. If the gun controller had been set up for me I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed it more but as it was it was a fun little game.



I’m not a big supporter of 3D in games (see this article) just because I feel it doesn’t bring enough to the table. It was Sony that highlighted 3D at this event with the following flagship titles available to play: Killzone 3, Motorstorm Apocalypse and Gran Turismo 5.

In my opinion Motorstorm had the best use of 3D but even that had it’s problems. The gameplay itself was fine but the cut scene intros had cars that looked like they were cardboard cut outs! It may be the same in 2D but knowing the pedigree of the previous Motorstorm games I’d presume not.

Gran Turismo 5 added a bit of depth to the car but the effect wasn’t that noticable. Perhaps I picked the wrong track for it as there wasn’t much surrounding it.

Killzone 3 was a weird one, a couple of times the 3D did look really good but generally it just added a bit of depth to everything.

And that seems to be the issue – with 3D cinema things fly out of the screen at you. With these games that doesn’t happen, bullets, dirt or whatever comes at you but ends where the screen ends.

I expect in 4/5 years we’ll see some really great implentation of 3D in games but until then I’ll be steering well clear.


Overall then a great show with a chance to play some brilliant upcoming games. I would’ve liked to have seen Infamous 2, Rage and Homefront but I think other that those titles everything else was covered. Roll on next year!

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Fragged Out: Is the FPS genre reaching saturation point?


Having watched some of the recent trailers for upcoming first person shooters Medal Of Honor and Call Of Duty: Black Ops I was struck by the realisation that I may be suffering from some kind of FPS burnout.

Despite both titles looking decent I’m finding it hard to get excited about them.

I already have Battlefield Bad Company 2, Killzone 2 and MAG to keep me entertained and if I fancy something completely different there’s always Borderlands.

Just a brief look at upcoming first person shooters in the next 6-9 months throws up the following list:

– Medal Of Honor

– Call Of Duty: Black Ops

– Killzone 3

– Brink

– Bulletstorm

– Bodycount

– Duke Nukem Forever

– Crysis 2

– Homefront

– Rage

From that list only Killzone 3 is a given as I’ll be trading up from the second game.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Homefront’s tale of an occupied US makes for something different.

I also think Homefront looks interesting and everyone who has seen/played Rage is tipping it for Game Of The Year so that’s one I’m keen to check out.

Apart from that the others will more than likely be titles I’ll try at some stage but I’m not greatly excited by the majority of them, especially in terms of multiplayer.

So is this feeling of disinterest a sign of a lack of innovation in the genre? I’m not sure if that’s case – Bulletstorm certainly looks like shaking things up, although at its core it’s essentially the same as any other shooter.

                                                                                   Call Of Duty: Black Ops Рgood enough to see a switch from the games we are playing now?

Am I the only one out there that’s feeling this? Perhaps it’s a personal preference in that I feel Battlefield Bad Company 2 has pretty much nailed multiplayer for FPS.

I’m watching footage of Medal Of Honor and Call Of Duty: Black Ops and just thinking am I actually going to play this over Battlefield or Killzone? The answer currently is ‘no’ and as time has gone on other titles like Crysis 2 and Brink have lost their appeal.

I was relatively impressed with both of them early on but the more information I’ve seen on them the more generic they seem.

                                                                            Brink brings the new S.M.A.R.T movement system but is that enough?

The main culprits though are the current period warfare titles – Medal of Honor in particular. All of these titles seem to be merging into one from a multiplayer perspective but I’m still looking forward to the single player campaigns.

We’ll see I guess. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong and the multiplayer sections of these games will be unique and different. I certainly hope so because as it stands I’ll be sticking with what I have.

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So here we are with the second part of what’s upcoming this year. You can find Part One HERE if you want to check it out.

As you can tell it’s a big year for gaming with plenty of great release coming. I’m sure there will be more to add as we hit the E3 expo in June as well.


Release: Late 2010

We don’t know much about Agent, other than it’s from the makers of GTA, is a PS3 exclusive (for now) and that it is a spy thriller set during the Cold War. Sounds like a win to me and the Rockstar guys usually come up trumps.



Release: Winter 2010

Apparently it’s NOT Fallout 4 but the story continues elements from Fallout 3 and Fallout 2. Set in a desolate Vegas – not hit during the nuclear war but certainly affected by it – little is known of the story or characters at this stage. I’m still making my way through the DLC for the third game, is it too soon for a new Fallout game? Should be excellent regardless.



Release: TBC 2010

A prequel to the superb original title, Deus Ex 3 looks to update the control/camera system and generally tweak the game into the 21st Century. Cyborg style upgrades will be available as you RPG (RolePlayingGame rather than RocketPropelledGrenade, though the latter may be an option) your way to the truth. It’s been a while since the last game so let’s hope this one lives up to the hype.



Release: September 2010

Things seem to have got messy during development of this game over the last few years but it appears to be back on track now. It may not be a PS3 exclusive anymore but I still love the look of this and am excited to see which direction they take it in. I’d love to play as a gumshoe in a Philip Marlowe style story ūüėé



Release: May 2010

Set after Metal Gear 3 and Metal Gear Portable Ops, Peace Walker takes you on a trip to Costa Rica to fight off an unknown military force who are trying to stage a coup. Having played the demo this is up there graphically for a PSP title and I can’t wait to take Snake back into the battlefield.



Release: TBC 2010

I really enjoyed the complete destruction of the first Red Faction: Guerrilla game, which was a departure for the series as it moved from a FPS to a 3rd person viewpoint. The follow up was literally announced a week or two ago so not even a picture so far – but definitely one to watch out for.



Release: TBC 2010

The creators say it’s a ‘different’ experience to usual Resident Evil games and we’ve seen nothing on the game so far. Portable could be a disaster but on the other hand if they find a great balance between new style and old style, it could be a fantastic game. Resi Evil 5 wasn’t amazing but was decent enough so hopefully they can pull this off.




Release: Winter 2010

I was initially sceptical of the footage shown for this game as I thought maybe the use of sand was just a gimmick but a positive response from the gaming press that have actually played it have put this in the ‘keep an eye on category.’ Apparently using sand to trap your enemies has never been so much fun ūüôā


INFAMOUS 2 (Rumoured)

Release: Winter 2010 (Unconfirmed)

The story of Cole McGrath took a lot of people by surprise – especially those expecting Activision’s ‘Prototype’ to be the better game (great game but pipped by Infamous). Lots of rumours flying around that a follow up may be released this year, just 18 months after the original game. Hopefully they will continue to build on the excellent first game.



Release: Winter 2010

Medal Of Honor used to be a standard annual entry on the games calendar but disappeared in recent years. The WW2 formula looked increasingly tired as the versions were released. Now EA are bringing their FPS back and bang up to date – set in Afganistan this could be a great title.



Release: Winter 2010

Another FPS but one with a difference or two. Firstly the ability to create your own avatar and secondly the ability to hold a button while moving towards an object that means the game will intuitively vault, jump or slide under whatever you’re looking at. Could be a great innovation or a hinderence, depending on how it’s implemented. Should be fun either way.



Release: Summer 2010

Hopefully this game will live it to the expectation for it – several hands on previews I’ve read have really talked the game up, in terms of gameplay and graphics. Title says it all, obviously the game is full of mob-based shenanigans.



Release: Winter 2010 (Unconfirmed)

One of the jewels in Sony’s crown has always been the beautiful ‘Team Ico’ games – the PS2 had Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus and now the PS3 gets The Last Guardian – a seemingly moving tale of a small boy and the mythical creature he discovers (?). Hard to tell exactly how this one will pan out but it will be stunning.



Release: Autumn 2010

One of the shocks of 2009 – a hero game that was actually really good ūüėģ It was about time and with Rocksteady having the lunatics taking over not just the asylum but most of Gotham in the sequel, Batman is sure to have his hands full later this year.


So there we go – I’m sure I’m missed a few as there are just so many coming up and obviously more will be announced at GDC in March and E3 in June.

Gonna be a fantastic year to be a gamer.

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