First things first. Tina's back, from where ever, and Laura and Geoff are back from IGN Live held in Anaheim, California. There they saw some cars (shout out to Big C from Street Fury who wasn't there) and fans actually got to play the Xbox 360 - Finally! Geoff noted that it was like a family fun time event with parents bringing their kids down to play the games.
Next up is a new game on an old movie. The Warriors was a movie released in 1979 about one gang, The Warriors, being terroized by every other gang in New York. It wasn't received too well by the mainstream, but it became a cult classic. Now Rockstar, the team behind the popular Grant Theft Auto series, breaths new life into The Warriors. The game is a simple brawler, ie. you get to beat up other people. There is a Co-op mode where your friend can jump in at any time and the action will suddenly shift to a split screen. Geoff enjoyed the voice-overs and the tutorial at the beginning that didn't really look like a tutorial. Then it's time to see what callers had to say about this new violent game.
Alex Hoogasian from Glendale, Califorina wanted to know what the panel thought of the game. He felt it was just a knock off of GTA without the carjacking. Plus, the cut-scenes were horrible as well as the text used during gameplay. Please note that Alex has never seen the original film. Geoff liked the movie cut-scenes and mentioned that the game is a 75% prequel to the movie. Laua mentions it also reveals some answers to questions left unresolved in the film.
Next, Ted Williams from Minneapolis Minnesota feels that the game is taking away from the original film. Much like Taxi Driver and Jaws this one will take away the original message of the film. Laura asks if Ted thinks the game will bring the game back from the dead or if the movie was still rockin' all these years later. Ted thinks it really wasn't dead. Laura disagrees and lookie it just so happens to be time for a commercial as she gets the last word.
Next up Geoff interviews the man responsible for taking away many people's free time, Sid Meier. Since 1991 with the release of Civilization, Meier has created a living out of our desire to micromanage. With the fourth incarnation of the series do out, Meier joins us live via stellite from Baltimore, Maryland.
Geoff first asks if the kids are going to like this slower paced game since most of them are playing the FPSs and fast car games. Sid assures us that people take breaks from what ever games they play and that they need to sit down and play something else ever so often. He even takes breaks ever once and awhile. Next, Geoff wants to know if there is a possible non-PC future in these type of games. Meier mentions that there is a resurgence in these games and that games like Advanced Wars on the PSP is going to allow gamers the opertunity to see more in the future.
When asked about the social message in his games, Sid says that it is not their intent to program their own personal politics in the game, and that it is up to the palyer to do what they want. Any hint of the game maker's beliefs would corrupt the game. With the player as the star, the game can then take on any personality that they wish to take. If they want to conquer, they can play it that way, and the next time they may chose a more peaceful path. With the added elements of slavery and human sacrifice it doesn't dwell on history but it adds to the realism. Yes, evil things happened in history, but it did happen none the less. But this time they did remove some of the terroristic aspects and added a more religious theme to a certain path. This was added because players were weary of the heavy militaristic background of the story, and needed something else. This improvement allows you to peacefully convince people to join you. The game also has a multiplayer mode.
Geoff also mentions that Meier's Pirates! was his first for the Xbox, so will there be any other console games for him in the future? Sid is excited about the evolving technology and doesn't rule that out. Doom 3 wouldn't had been so popular if it wasn't for the first Doom on the PC, so who knows what the future might bring.
IGN Editorial Director, Tal Blevins, joins the panel by phone to help decide which First Person Shooter (FPS) people should buy. Three awsome games, F.E.A.R, Quake 4 and Serious Sam II have release dates near to each other, so if you have to pick just one, Tal narrows it down for you.
F.E.A.R has an amazing atmosphere that takes you into the realm of just plain scary. As we all know little girls are freaky, and this game has one. Tal says that it's nice to have a new title to play, it does get a bit repetative at times (Geoff agrees). You fight clones, ok, repetition all over that one. The multiplayer is nice and adds the slow-motion and reflex abilities as pick-ups. This changes the strategy since one player can choose to slow down the action when he choses. Also, the game takes about 12 hours to finish, hard core gamers may want more.
Quake 4 returns to it's roots to bring an excellent single player story, but Tal says the multiplayer is a bit lacking. When asked how it was in relation to the previously released Doom game, Tal says he prefers his massive death match modes in Doom. But he agrees that overall, Quake 4 may be a better game with gameplay and outdoor environments. (That and Doom's flashlight problem - Editor)
And finally Serious Sam II takes gamers to the fun side of blowing up everything you can. While the other two games has breaks in the action where you are stalking or simply waiting, Serious Sam II brings to you a massive amount of enemies to destroy at every turn. It's non-stop killing action. While the graphics may pale in comparision to the other two, it makes up for it's serious action.
In the end Tal goes all political using "if you like this...., then you will like this game." But under the intense pressure from the G4tv peer pressure posse, Tal gives in and recommends F.E.A.R.
Game of the Future
Finally, Laura brings out her "Game of the Future." Today it's The Chronicals of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a new game based on the movie, which was based on a series of books. The game allows you to play as any four of the children and all four are usually on screen at the same time. Plus, it's way easy to switch between the four main characters. Larua really loved the ability to do team ups which allowed you to perform different abilities. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe comes out November 14, 2005 for the PS2. (The movie releases in December).
As we draw to a close, Geoff gives show props to all the callers, Sid, Tal and Lionel Richie....umm, ok.
Infected and Stubbs the Zombie just in time for Halloween.