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#open world

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Review

He is the snake to my mongoose. Or the mongoose to my snake. Either way, it’s bad. I don’t know animals.

I could write a perfectly standard review of Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. I could go point by point and explain how this is a third person action game with heavy emphasis on stealth and melee combat in the vein of Batman: Arkham Asylum/City. I could talk about the great graphics and the satisfying fighting mechanics, and how some of the stiff animation and problems with context-sensitive button prompts are the reason why it doesn’t get five stars. I could do all of that and you would have a good idea of what Shadow of Mordor is, but you wouldn’t understand what makes it new and special. So I have a different idea.

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Watch Dogs - Open World Gameplay Demostration

Jonathan Morin (Creative Director) guides us through some of the gameplay interactions to be had in the city of Chicago.

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Sleeping Dogs Preview

This dog has learned tricks from all over the industry!

It felt like the big message of E3 2012 was that 2013 will be one of the greatest years in gaming history. But what about the rest of this year? There are plenty of new and interesting games on the way, even if it feels like the games we’re really waiting for won’t drop for a long time. That leaves plenty of opportunity for some dark horse entries to find an audience and success. Enter Sleeping Dogs, the new open world action game from United Front Games and Square Enix.

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LEGO City: Undercover Preview

We built this city with LEGO bricks!

Lego City was announced at last year’s E3.  Initially the concept was a curiosity; gamers and journalists alike were unsure of exactly what we would expect from the title once it was formally revealed.  Nintendo’s press conference on Tuesday gave us all some clarity and presented an open world, story driven game that will be the Lego brand’s most ambitious video game title yet.

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LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes - "Open World" Trailer

A big playground for those interested in the LEGO Batman universe.

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Saints Row: The Third Review

It's so absurd that it's hard to be offended by these Saints.

It only takes about 15 minutes to get an idea of what exactly Saints Row: The Third is about.  Actually, let me rephrase that.  It only takes about 15 minutes to understand that Saints Row: The Third is as illogical as it can possibly be without the dialogue being performed completely in pig latin.  The ends don’t justify the means here.  The means unapologetically justify themselves and you should just be glad that you get the pleasure to tag along.  In just 15 minutes you’ll commit mass murder dressed as a bobblehead, ride a bank vault being yanked into the air via helicopter, and jump out of a jet with your guns blazing.  There is no real justification for any of this, except that it’s fun to be absurd.

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Driver: San Francisco Review

Crazy Taxi and Need For Speed's illegitimate, violent son.

Whether due to hardware limitations or a reputation for simpler fare, the Wii hasn't seen much of the sandbox/open world genre. Considering the drop in horsepower and the inability to implement the “switch to any car, any time” gameplay, I'm surprised Ubisoft bothered making this Wii version at all. Still, effort was clearly spent in building this version from the ground up -- it uses the pointer controls for shooting (which is very handy), and it's got DS connectivity (remember this feature, Nintendo?). It does a decent job creating a large San Francisco-looking city to drive around in, free of load times. However, too many bad ideas and cut corners make it all seem pretty average.

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