E3: Tony Hawk Ride & Singularity

Tony Hawk Ride
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Robomodo
Release Date: October 2009
Platforms: PS3, 360, WII

Tony Hawk Ride is the newest Tony Hawk game featuring a brand new skateboard-shaped controller. This game can only be played with this new skateboard controller, so expect to shell out a good USD$100+ if you’re interested in playing this game. The first thing you notice is that the graphics are okay. They’re more of a rough cartoon style, but really are nothing spectacular for being on the next generation consoles. The second thing you notice is the response of the board. For being just a board that you stand on and tilt from side to side, up or down, it translates quite well in-game, and there are sensors on the sides of the board, so if you grab one of them, you will do a grab in-game as well. You can play in one of a few different modes, including a speed-trial, trick level or challenge mode. Unfortunately, as with a lot of these games, the advertisements in this game are obvious and plentiful, but, they don’t necessarily hinder your gameplay any. This will have both local and online multiplayer as well, with support for up to four players. I find that this game will continue to only be popular among people who are either current skateboards, or people who want to be skateboarders in the future, but for me, this game does not interest me in any way at all.

Singularity
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Raven Software
Release Date: 2009
Platforms: PS3, 360, PC

Using time as a gameplay mechanic is a very touchy thing, and can either be really cool, or really not, but after seeing a running demo of Singularity, it looks like they did a great job of it. You play as a soldier who finds themselves on an island which is in the middle of a time warp, and parts of the island keep shifting from 1950 to 2010, and vice-versa. You get control of a device called the Time Manipulate Device, or TMD. This device is used not only for puzzles, but also for combat. When I see this device, I kind of think of the gravity gun from Half-Life, as you’re able to grab objects with it, but one of the interesting things is, you can actually grab items from different time periods, which are littered throughout the island, using this device, in order to help you solve a puzzle in the area. In battle, the TMD can be used against enemies to kill them or against environments to age them and make them come down on your enemies. To limit the use of the TMD, there is a slight cooldown timer, which is longer if you use it on humans instead of to solve a puzzle. The single player will be around 8-10 hours long, and there will also be a multiplayer component as well, with yet unannounced details. This game looks beautiful as well, and the time mechanic is slightly different from what’s been seen before, so I’m curious to see more details from this game before it’s released later this year.

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