Games


Jan. 07, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.

‘Alien: Isolation’ game pits Ripley’s daughter against Xenomorph

An image from the video game "Alien: Isolation." (Sega)
Fans of Ridley Scott’s 1979 iconic horror film “Alien” will be able to relive the suspense in “Alien: Isolation,” a new video game to be released this year, in time for the film’s 35th anniversary. The game, from Sega and British studio Creative Assembly, was officially announced Tuesday morning and will be available in late 2014 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC. “Alien: Isolation” lets gamers play as Ellen Ripley’s daughter Amanda. When she left Earth, Ripley promised Amanda she would be home in time for her 11th birthday, but then the events of the movies ensued, and Amanda never saw her mother again. Some 15 years later, Amanda is an employee of Weyland-Yutani, the mega-corporation that operated Ripley’s ship Nostromo. Amanda finds out that the flight recorder from Nostromo has been recovered at Sevastopol, […]
Dec. 27, 2013 | 7:00 a.m.

‘That Dragon, Cancer,’ ‘Silent Enemy’: Game designers to watch in 2014

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The Times asked its reporters and critics to highlight figures in entertainment and the arts who will be making news in 2014. Todd Martens focused on a few video game designers who could have gamers talking in the new year. Ryan and Amy Green The setting is a hospital. A father is exasperated, a child is crying and it’s your job to find out why. But any victories will be small, as “That Dragon, Cancer” explores the ups, the downs, the everyday terror, the sudden miracles and the dreaded inevitability of caring for a loved one with terminal brain cancer. So … wanna play? Ryan Green, his writer-wife, Amy, and a small team near Fort Collins, Colo., are in the early to middevelopment stages of “That Dragon, Cancer,” a narrative-driven game they hope to complete and release by the end […]
Dec. 23, 2013 | 5:20 p.m.

‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Hobbit,’ ‘Hunger Games,’ Batfleck: 2013 in review

The year was a gift for fans of genre entertainment.  Click through the images for a detailed look at some of the most memorable moments of 2013. (Photos, clockwise from top left, by BBC; Warner Bros.; Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times; Lionsgate)
2013 was a superb year for fans of genre entertainment. Major comic book heroes celebrated milestone anniversaries, as did “Doctor Who.” “The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones” continued to demonstrate that fantastic tales, both grim and transporting, can make for compelling, compulsory viewing. Dragons, female warriors and Tom Hiddleston stormed the multiplex in blockbuster fashion, while next-generation gaming consoles arrived, just in time for Christmas. There was plenty of big news about 2015 projects as well — namely, that J.J. Abrams will direct the first live-action “Star Wars” film since 2005, and that Ben Affleck will take over the role of Batman from Gotham City’s previous Caped Crusader, Christian Bale. Following are the Hero Complex picks for some of the most memorable moments in film, TV, comic books and games, in no particular order. Feel free to share your […]
Dec. 19, 2013 | 2:19 p.m.

‘Doki-Doki Universe’: Video games make a play for emotions in 2013

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“Doki-Doki Universe” begins with heartbreak. A robot is left alone on an asteroid, dumped there by his human family. The robot has only a sentimental, hug-happy balloon as a companion for the next 32 years. Then things get abstract. The game, released this month across numerous Sony platforms by the Bay Area’s HumaNature Studios, has one main objective — to make players feel as much as to challenge them. Like many of the most intriguing of 2013 games, the bright, colored-crayon-like world of “Doki-Doki Universe” wows not by being a technological showcase. Instead, in a year that brought us fancy next-gen game consoles from Sony and Microsoft, “Doki-Doki” impresses by illustrating how a still-growing medium can provide a moving, affecting experience via simplicity. (Check out our picks for the top 10 games of 2013 in the gallery above.) “Specifically,” said […]
Dec. 19, 2013 | 1:59 p.m.

‘Last of Us,’ ‘Super Mario 3D World’: 2013′s 10 best video games

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In this time when news is disseminated ever more quickly, The Times asked its critics to list the best of entertainment and culture in 2013 in tweet form. Here are Todd Martens’ selections for the best video games of the year, presented in 140 characters or less. “Gone Home.” (PC, Mac) The family is away, but their secrets are hidden throughout the home. A reminder that everyday drama makes the best fiction. “Papers, Please.” (PC, Mac) Overworked, stressed-out, underpaid, disrespected. The grind? Familiar. The Eastern Bloc immigration setting? Gripping. “Super Mario 3D World.” (Wii U) Mario, only weirder. Here, sport a cat suit to claw, meow and pounce through a crazy, colorful world. Cats! “The Stanley Parable.” (PC, Mac) An ordinary cubicle life is thrown upside down. Imagine if our lives were narrated and directed by Spike Jonze. “Fire Emblem: Awakening.” (3DS) Dragons, swordsmen, wizards. […]
Dec. 19, 2013 | 11:16 a.m.

Holiday gift guide: ‘The Hobbit,’ ‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Sherlock’ and more

Stressing out about a last-minute gift idea for the Trekkie, Time Lord or Jedi Padawan in your life? Look no further — Hero Complex’s annual holiday gift guide has you covered. This year’s guide, introduced on Thanksgiving, includes a wide range of geek-friendly selections from the worlds of science-fiction, fantasy, horror and comics. Is your TV-loving pal a “Game of Thrones” fan? Perhaps a plush direwolf or a 3-D puzzle map of Westeros will satisfy the wannabe-Stark in your life. Are you shopping for someone as strong and fair as Lady Sif? Check out the “Thor”-inspired lightning bolt and hammer earrings. Is there a pint-sized Whovian in your household? The Dalek Mr. Potato Head might make for the perfect stocking stuffer. Other selections in the Hero Complex holiday gift guide include items from “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” “Marvel’s […]
Dec. 16, 2013 | 12:07 p.m.

‘Lego The Hobbit’ video game trailer shows Tauriel, Legolas, more

The first trailer for the upcoming “Lego The Hobbit” video game is out, revealing a comedic take on Middle-earth and its small-statured denizens. The game, which was announced in November, will be based on the first two films in Peter Jackson’s planned “Hobbit” trilogy — “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and the recently released “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Like TT Games‘ previous Middle-earth-themed installation “Lego The Lord of the Rings,” gameplay in “The Hobbit” will focus on solving puzzles, finding treasure and battling dark forces, including orcs, trolls and goblins. PHOTOS: 60 images from ‘Desolation of Smaug’ Gamers will be able to play as Bilbo (portrayed in the films by Martin Freeman), Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) and all 13 dwarfs in the company. The trailer also features scenes with the cave-dwelling Gollum, hungry trolls, mischievous goblins and […]
Dec. 09, 2013 | 10:52 a.m.

‘Game of Thrones’ video game: Telltale, HBO partner for episodic game

Telltale Games will in 2014 release the first chapter in a "Game of Thrones"-inspired video game. (Telltale / HBO)
Telltale Games will in 2014 release an episodic video game inspired by HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” the hit series based on George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. Confirmed for release on PC/Mac and mobile devices, the game is the first unveiled as part of a what was described in a release as a multi-year, multi-title partnership between Telltale and HBO Global Licensing. Plot and characters were not yet revealed, but Telltale principals Dan Connors and Kevin Bruner said the game will take its lead from the television series rather than Martin’s books. “The book is a great resource to understand the decisions that they made on the show and how rich the world is,” said Connors in unveiling the game on Spike TV’s “VGX” program on Saturday. “VGX” is a retooled version of the station’s video game awards […]
Nov. 28, 2013 | 12:19 p.m.

Holiday gift guide 2013: ‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Hobbit,’ ‘Thrones’ and more

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You don’t have to take your broom to Diagon Alley, cross the Bifrost, traverse the Misty Mountains or steal a vortex manipulator to find the perfect gift for the Trekkie, Whovian or Westerosi-wannabe in your life. We’ve done the looking for you in our annual Hero Complex Holiday Gift Guide. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or another gamer, a comics enthusiast or film buff, we’ve got you covered. Click through the gallery above for a peek at our selections. Items are listed below, sorted by cost. Happy shopping, and happy holidays! Under $25 Millenium Falcon guitar pick, $2.49: Here’s a song for you: The Millenium Falcon, it’s a smugglers’ ship. It can make the Kessel Run in “less than 12 parsecs.” Han Solo and Lando Calrissian use it, but neither has it as pick to strum and make rebel music. […]
Nov. 27, 2013 | 2:03 p.m.

Review: Nintendo reinvigorates classics in new ‘Mario,’ ‘Zelda’ games

Mario and pals have new cat-like abilities in "Super Mario 3D World." (Nintendo)
This month saw the release of two high-end home video game consoles from Sony and Microsoft. But competitor and long-standing game powerhouse Nintendo has a surprisingly effective countermove: cats. Yes, cats. The Italian caricatures of Mario and Luigi, who may be the closest thing the video game medium has to a Mickey and Minnie when it comes to brand awareness, have returned in the Wii U exclusive “Super Mario 3D World,” now with the ability to morph into feline form. It’s one tweak among many, and it turns out that putting paws on the plumbers more than livens up a trusty formula. Mario and Luigi now chase rabbits, climb trees and attack enemies with claws out, a number of seemingly small design changes that when taken as a whole results in one of the more inventive Mario adventures. Like the […]
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