Posts by Ben Silverman

  • Space is the place in Civilization: Beyond Earth

    Ben Silverman at Plugged In1 day ago

    The long-running Civilization series puts you in the shoes (or boots, or sandals) of a famous historical leader and tasks you with guiding a culture to world domination.

    But according to the newly announced Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth, there's a lot more out there than just measly old Earth. Developed by legendary developer Sid Meier and his team at Firaxis Games, this spacefaring take on Civ is due out in fall 2014.

    “The Civ team was excited about the opportunity to continue the story of Civilization into the future, because it allows the team to break free of historical context,” said Civilization overlord Sid Meier. “We’ve always let our fans create the history of mankind, and Civilization: Beyond Earth will now let them create the future.”

    If this sounds familiar, it’s because you wisely played 1999’s Alpha Centauri, a fantastic, Sid Meier-produced Civilization spin-off set in the stars. Civilization: Beyond Earth isn’t related, however.

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  • New Batmobile, new villain headline Batman: Arkham Knight

    Ben Silverman at Plugged In19 days ago

    The Batman is back. And this time, he’s got wheels.

    Of course, Batman: Arkham Knight, the third and final game in Rocksteady Studios’ best-in-class superhero trilogy (the last installment, Arkham Origins, was not developed by Rocksteady), is about a lot more than riding around in the Batmobile. It’s about the Caped Crusader saving Gotham from The Scarecrow, who has turned the city into an evacuated ghost town after threatening to infect its citizens with fear gas. It’s about criminals and vengeance and justice and people dressing up in ridiculous outfits to do ridiculous things.

    But mostly, it’s about the Batmobile, because in Arkham Knight, the Batmobile is a thing of beauty and terror.

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  • Review: Visually stunning ‘Infamous: Second Son’ plays it safe

    Ben Silverman at Plugged In25 days ago

    Grungy graffiti artist Delsin Rowe isn’t your typical superhero. He bums around in a junky pair of jeans and a knit cap, sports gadgetry no more advanced than a cell phone, and seems more content tagging walls than saving lives.

    Infamous: Second Son, however, is as gaudy as its star is gauche.  Releasing this week, the long-awaited PS4 exclusive is a visual smorgasbord that turns Seattle into an action-packed sandbox and shows off the power of Sony’s new system.

    Though it's the third Infamous game, Second Son is a standalone effort; you won't need to have played the prior two games to pick up the scent of the story. Superhuman ‘conduits’ live among us, gifted with all sorts of crazy abilities that naturally scare the pants off the powers-that-be. The government-run Department of Unified Protection has been created to capture conduits (unpleasantly referred to as ‘bio-terrorists’), though they often do their job a bit too enthusiastically, setting up a showdown between Delsin and the organization’s grumpy leader.

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  • Review: Thrilling ‘Titanfall’ gives multiplayer gaming a heavy metal makeover

    Ben Silverman at Plugged In1 mth ago

    There’s a lot riding on the sturdy legs of Titanfall, the man-vs-mech online shooter hitting stores this week.

    Published by EA and developed by former Call of Duty vets at Respawn Entertainment, it’s the biggest release thus far for the Xbox One, and while it’s not technically an exclusive -- it’s also coming to the Xbox 360 and PC -- it won’t be appearing at all on the rival PlayStation 4 or Wii U. Without a Halo or Gears of War game out yet for their fledgling next-gen system and with sales lagging behind Sony’s flagship console, Microsoft is searching for a system-seller.

    Well, they’ve found it. Like any self-respecting giant robot, Titanfall saves the day, reinvigorating the stale first-person shooter genre with a potent combination of finely-tuned gameplay and riotous wish fulfillment.

    Titanfall drops players into the futuristic Frontier, a collection of deep space planets that serves as the battleground for two warring political factions. To make their point, each side employs Titans, giant mechs pulled straight out of an anime fantasy. And you get to control them.

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