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					your guide to gaming                                          Supplement to CHIP January 2012

Welcome to the

Your DoomsDaY survival GuiDe

 game     reviews:
          Saints Row: The Third
 of the   WWE 12
                                  games with
          Halo: Combat Evolved    50+ hours of Content
          Anniversary             the Best gaming notebooks
          Metal Gear Solid HD     Devs out of Business

6    in the news                          30 the game developers'                 22
We take a look at what's making news      obituary
in the Indian and international games     We remember the studios that shut
industry.                                 shop this gen, and their games.

8  game of the year                       32 top netbooks for
2011                                      post-apocalyptic gaming
A look back at the year gone by and the   Six of the most powerful gaming
best games it brought.                    notebooks in the market right now.

22 disappointments of                     36 game through the
2011                                      apocalypse
After looking at the best, here's a       Games that'll last you months, with     30
round-up of the letdowns of 2011.         tons of content right out of the box.

24 armed and ready for                    38the most addictive
battle                                    mobile games
We check out Razer's exclusive line-up    On the bus or during office breaks,
of Battlefield 3 PC peripherals.          these games will keep you hooked.

26 darksiders 2: fear the                 40 saints row: the third
reaper                                    review
It's Death's turn to wreak havoc on the   The Saints are back for more crazy,
armies of Heaven and Hell.                over-the-top open world action.



 8   game of the year 2011
We round up the ten best games of the year gone by.
Find out which game is CHIP Insider's GOTY.
 26    fear the reaper
 After War, players will step into the
 shoes of the second Horseman of the
 Apocalypse - Death, in Darksiders 2.

44 metal gear solid hd                       46
                                                                        MaNagiNg EdiTOr
collection review                                                      Hatim Kantawalla
Two classic pS2 titles and the recent                                     dEpuTy EdiTOr
pSp release from this epic franchise,                                     Jamshed Avari
remastered in hd for pS3 and Xbox 360.                                      COpy EdiTOr
                                                                           Sameer Desai
46    wwe 12 review                                          ChaNNEl EdiTOr (gaMiNg), TECh2
yuke's and ThQ finally go back to the                                       Avinash Bali
drawing board to reboot the WWE                                           CONTribuTOrS
                                                               Roydon Cerejo, Rishi Alwani,
franchise. does WWE 12 bring enough
                                                                   Murali Venukumar
new to the table?.                           48
                                                                     SENiOr arT dirECTOr
                                                                        Ashwin R Boricha
48halo: combat evolved
                                                                         SENiOr dESigNEr
anniversary review                                                     Hemali Limbachiya
Microsoft gives the fans what they've
                                                                    prOjECT COOrdiNaTOrS
been asking for - an Xbox 360 hd                            Rajesh D'Souza, Gautami Chalke
remaster of the halo game that started                                     illuSTraTOrS
it all, complete with 3d and Kinect                         Sachin Pandit, Chaitanya Surpur
support.                                                               COlOr COrrECTiON
                                                                           Sanjay Shelar
                                                                            hEad OFFiCE
                                                        intelligent Computing Chip, infomedia 18 limited,
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of the year
Page 8
       The beginning
               of the end

                            t’s 2012, and if the Mayans are to be believed,
                            this is the year the world comes to an end.
                            Here at CHIP Insider, we don’t put too much
                            stock into doomsday predictions; many have
                            come and gone. It is an interesting concept
                      though - the apocalypse, and it’s a premise many
                      developers have crafted great games around,
                      from RPGs like the award-winning Fallout 3 to
                      racing games like the aptly titled Motorstorm:
                      Apocalypse. So in this issue, we’ve decided to take
                      this theme and run with it.
                          From a hardware round-up of the top gaming
                      notebooks, to a feature on games that provide
                      months worth of content out of the box, to
                      developers who bit the dust this gen, to a preview
   “The apocalypse    of an action-adventure game that I’m personally
                      really looking forward to (Darksiders 2), this
is a premise many     month’s issue of Insider has a distinct apocalyptic

   developers have
                      slant to it.
                          Last month, we looked ahead to all that

      crafted great
                      this year holds in store, but this time, we look
                      back at the year gone by in our Game of the

    games around”
                      Year 2011 mega feature. Besides highlighting
                      the best games of 2011, we’ve also brought
                      you a round-up of the games and events that
                      disappointed us last year. And as always, we have
                      a healthy dose of game reviews for you, including
                      HD remakes of two classics.
                          While the world probably won’t come to an end
                      this year, it will mark the end of an era and the
                      start of another for all three console giants. Sony
                      is set to release its new handheld – the Vita, next
                      month, while Nintendo will unleash the follow-up
                      to the Wii – the Wii U, later this year. There are
                      also rumors of Microsoft getting ready to reveal
                      the new Xbox at E3 this June. And if that happens,
                      Sony’s announcement of the PS4 is sure to follow.
                      Far from the bleak prospect of an apocalypse, this
                      is shaping up to be an exciting year, at least for
                          Have a great 2012!

                      SAMEER DESAI
                      In The news
 6 news

   sameer desai
   avinash bali

                                                                          south Park

                                                                                                   Don 2: The Game
                                                                          T                        coming to Ps3,
                                                                                here's a South

                                                                                                   Android and iOs
                                                                                Park RPG in

   The best of sony
                                                                                the pipelines
                                                                          developed by
                                                                          Obsidian (Fallout:       Hyderabad-based
   Playstation on show                                                    New Vegas) that          Gameshastra at the helm

                                                                          will put players in

   across ten Indian cities                                               the boots of an
                                                                          unknown kid who
                                                                          must familiarize
                                                                                                      t’s common knowledge that games
                                                                                                      based on films tend to suck, and
                                                                                                      after playing Ra.One: The Game,
   Check out Uncharted 3, Gran Turismo 5,                                 himself with the         clearly, that goes double for games
   Street Cricket, and more.                                              world of South Park.     based on Bollywood films. Not one to

                                                                          Of course, he/she/       be deterred by the criticism, Shahrukh
         ony is bringing back                Playstation    Experience    you will also have       Khan is continuing with his foray
         Playstation Experience,         visited Bengaluru, Pune, Delhi   to protect it from       into interactive entertainment, this
         but this time, the event        and Chandigarh last month,       certain threats          time with a game based on his latest
   is targetted towards non-             and is now headed to the         along the way.           blockbuster, Don 2. The third-person
   gamers and newcomers,                 following cities:                   Since South Park      action-adventure game is currently
   so don’t expect to preview                                             has parodied tons        under development at Hyderabad-based
   unreleased games or even see          Ahmadabad                        of popular games         Gameshastra for Playstation 3, iOS and
   a big line-up of titles to try out.   Himalaya, Jan 7 & 8              over the past few        Android platforms.
   Games on show will include                                             years, we’d like to          Don 2: The Game puts players in
   Uncharted 3, Gran Turismo 5           Hyderabad                        see how this one         SRK’s shoes through six chapters
   for PS3; Ra.One: The Game and         GVK, Jan 14 & 15                 turns out, especially    that take place around the world.
   Street Cricket Champions for                                           since the script         Travel from Kuala Lumpur to Berlin as
   PSP; Chandragupta: Warrior            Kolkata                          and dialogue are         Asian and German druglords attempt
   Prince for PS2; plus a meaty          South City, Jan 21 & 22          being written by the     to assassinate you, surrender to the
   collection of Move titles.                                             series’ creators, Trey   Interpol and plan your escape as part
   Most importantly, Playstation         Kochi                            Parker and Matt          of your devious scheme, lead the
   Experience is free for all, so        Oberon Mall, Jan 28 & 29         Stone. The game          authorities on high-speed car chases,
   simply walk in and ‘experience’                                        will be published        and escape on foot as Jabbar and his
   all that Playstation has to offer,    Jaipur                           by THQ and is            henchamen hunt you down across
   although we would have liked a        MGF, Feb 4 & 5                   expected to hit          Berlin’s rooftops.
   more beefy line-up to better                                           the Xbox 360, PS3            While the film is already in theaters,
   showcase Playstation’s great          Mumbai                           and PC sometime          no release date has been set for the
   games catalog.                        Inorbit, Malad; Feb 25 & 26      later this year.         game just yet.

january 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                         news        7

                                                                                            TOP 10
APB now free on steam
                                                                Dirt                        BesTsellers
                                                                showdown                                           DeCember 2011

                                                                unveiled                    Batman:
                                                                                            Arkham City
                                                                                            PS3, XboX 360, PC
                                                                                            RATInG 4.5/5

                                                                                                           Assassin's Creed:
                                                                                                           PS3, Xbox 360, PC
                                                                                                           RATInG 3.5/5

      ll Points Bulletin was an MMO (massively
      multiplayer online game) designed by some of the                                      L.A. Noire
                                                                                            PS3, Xbox 360, PC
      minds that worked on Crackdown. On paper, it was
the perfect game, taking the whole concept of cops and                                      RATInG 4/5
robbers to the next level. In reality, of course, things were
a jumbled mess and the game tanked hard.

   Now, nearly a year later and under new management,
the game has come back from the dead in an all new                      acing is                           Uncharted 3: Drake's
polished avatar, and best of all, it’s free! You can choose             Codemasters'                       Deception
to enter the fictional city of San Paro as either an Enforcer           bread and butter,                  PS3
or a Criminal, after which you can proceed to wreak havoc       and along with F1,                         RATInG 4/5
or uphold the law.                                              Dirt is their biggest
                                                                franchise, so it's no
                                                                surprise that they're       Call of Duty: Modern
                                                                                            Warfare 3
naughty Dog announces
                                                                now turning it into an
                                                                annual affair. What is      PS3, Xbox 360, PC

Ps3-exclusive The Last of Us
                                                                surprising, however, is     RATInG 4/5
                                                                that Codemasters have
                                                                ditched the rally form
                                                                of gameplay in favor of                    WWE 12
                                                                something way more                         PS3, Xbox 360, Wii
                                                                arcady and destructive.                    RATInG 4/5
                                                                   According to
                                                                Codemasters, Dirt
                                                                Showdown will be
                                                                built on three pillars of   Football
                                                                gameplay - Hoonigan,        Manager 2012
                                                                Demolition Derby and        PC
                                                                Race. While the last two
                                                                modes are fairly self-
                                                                explanatory, Hoonigan
                                                                                                           Saint's Row: The Third

                                                                is a brand new mode,
        t the Spike Video Game Awards, Naughty Dog              where players will                         PS3, Xbox 360, PC
        announced The Last Of Us, a game that, much like        have to pull off tricks                    RATInG 4/5
        the Will Smith movie I Am Legend, takes place in        and stunts after being
a post-apocalyptic world where a plague has wiped out           unleashed in a “Joyride
civilization, mutating survivors into zombie-like creatures.    compound”. Dirt
    You play as one of two characters - Ellie, a spunky         fans need not stress        FIFA 12
teenager; or Joel, a hardened survivor, as they try and         though as this is just a    PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii, PSP
survive every day by scavenging ammunition and supplies.        temporary detour from       RATInG 4/5
According to Naughty Dog, the game will blend survival          the series. Codemasters
horror with their bombastic brand of action to create a         is still on the ball for
“genre defining experience”. Even though this scenario has      Dirt 4, which should
been done a million times by now, it’ll be interesting to       see the series return                      Battlefield 3
see Naughty Dog’s take on the matter.                           to familiar territory.                     PS3, Xbox 360, PC
                                                                                                           RATInG 4.5/5

8 GOTY 2011

 of thE yEAr
 While some of our eagerly anticipated
 games disappointed this year, there were
 many more that surprised and impressed
 us, so all in all, 2011 was an exciting year. In
 fact, we had quite a torrid time arriving at
 our top 10 of 2011. But we did it eventually,
 so read on to find out which game won our
 Game of the Year 2011 title.
 by avinash bali
10 GOTY 2011


   Uncharted 3: drake's
                                           e weren't too happy with Uncharted
                                           3’s control scheme or the incessant
                                           spamming of grenades, but there’s no
     action-adventure          doubt about the fact that no one does cinematic
                               action better than Naughty Dog. From an entire
                               level that takes place aboard a ship on a turbulent
     rs 2,699
                               sea to an intense mid-air fight aboard a plane
     PUbliSher:                that’s about to crash, this game fully immersed
                               players into the deadly yet thoroughly entertaining
                               life of treasure hunter Nathan Drake.
      RATING 4/5                   After the single player campaign, you could
                               head into the online side of things to indulge
                               in versus multiplayer or a bunch of standalone
                               co-operative missions inspired by Uncharted 2:
                               Among Thieves. We hear there’s a patch out now
    Trivia                     that fixes the controls so if you held back on your
    in an attempt to           purchase, now would be as good a time as any to
    simulate realistic         dive into this game.
    fires in the game’s
    Chateau level,              Similar Games
    Naughty Dog
    oxygen” to facilitate
    procedural and
    dynamic spreading
    of the blaze through
    the building.               Gears of War 3    Uncharted 2      Tomb raider

jaNUary 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                    GOTY 2011 11


deUs ex: hUman
                               fter nearly a decade of waiting, Deus Ex
                               fans were rewarded this year with Human
Genre:                         Revolution, the much awaited follow-up
First-person shooter/   to Deus Ex (people don’t like acknowledging the
rPG                     existence of Invisible War). The game played out
Price:                  from a first-person perspective, but shifted to
rs 2,499 (Xbox 360,     third person as players took cover behind objects.
PS3), rs 999 (Pc)          Yes, the game had a cover system, but it was
PubliSher:              so well implemented that it didn't detract from
Square enix/eidos       the experience. The game was a bit heavy handed
                        on stealth as opposed to all out combat, but if you
 RATING 4/5             persisted, you could blast your way through every
                        level. Minor restrictions aside, Deus Ex: Human
                        Revolution was a tightly woven single player
                        experience that could keep you immersed in Eidos
                        Montreal’s futuristic cyberpunk world for hours
                        on end.

                                                                               Similar Games

                                                                               Mass effect 2    Splinter cell:     e.Y.e.: Divine
                                                                                                Double Agent       cybermancy

                                                                         intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  jAnuArY 2012
12 GOTY 2011


   Gears of War 3
                                     he third and final leg of Marcus Fenix’s
                                     journey may have been a tad predictable (as
                                     is with most sequels), but it was an explosive
                               end to the Gears of War trilogy. While gameplay
     Third-person shooter
                               largely stayed the same as previous iterations,
     Price:                    Epic bumped up the production values, beefed
     rs 2,499
                               up the visuals, and dialled the set-pieces to 11.
     PubLisher:                It was without a doubt, a violent, bloody and an
     Microsoft                 unapologetic conclusion to one of the Xbox 360’s
                               most beloved first-party titles.
      RATING 4/5                  Once you got done with the game’s campaign,
                               you could head into the revamped and more
                               streamlined multiplayer offerings. If competitive
                               play wasn’t your thing, you could team up with a
                               few friends to indulge in the game’s Horde mode
                               or brand new Beast mode, which was kind of like
                               the Horde mode, only you play as Locust instead
                               of the COG. As you can probably tell Gears 3 offers
                               ample bang for your buck and is one of the finer
                               action games on the Xbox 360 today.

     similar Games

                                    The Locusts were initially named the
                                    Geist, but had to be changed because of
                                    Nintendo’s Gamecube game of the same
                                    name. Wyrm was also another name the
        army of    Warhammer:       dev team considered.
          Two      space Marine

jaNuary 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                            GOTY 2011 13


The WiTcher 2:
AssAssins of Kings
                         o one thought a European studio could
                         pull off an immersive action RPG with
Genre:                   the same style and flair as a Bioware. CD
rPG              Projekt proved us all wrong with The Witcher, a
                 brutal and immersive experience that strapped
1,499            players into the boots of a Witcher - mercenaries
                 that specialize in killing monsters.
                    The game, while enjoyable, was a bit rough
cD Projekt red
                 around the edges, which CDP remedied with the
                 sequel. They reached out to a wider audience with
 RATING 4.5/5    a standard third-person camera. Combat was
                 also streamlined to provide gamers with a more
                 immersive experience, and if you had the right
                 hardware, the game was an utter treat for the
                 eyes. They recently released a gigantic patch that
                 balanced out a lot of the game’s issues and added
                 a ton of new content absolutely free.

                                                                       similar Games

                                                                         Gothic iii     Two Worlds ii     The Witcher

                                                                 intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  january 2012
14 GOTY 2011


   inFamous 2
                                  nfamous was a rather enjoyable game that
                                  allowed players to step into the boots of a
                                  supercharged courier as he dished out justice
     action-adventure          by the kilowatts.
                                  Infamous 2 expanded upon its predecessor in
                               every way, with a brand new setting along with
     rs 2,499
                               new and improved gameplay mechanics making
     PubliSher:                it one of the most fun open-world games this
                               year. The game is also highly replayable in nature
                               as it allows you to choose either a good or a bad
      RATING 4.5/5             path, and depending on your choice, you’ll get
                               corresponding super powers. Be a good guy and
                               you’ll unlock more focused powers that won’t
                               harm civilians, but become a total jerk and you’ll
                               gain wild powers that kill with reckless abandon.
                                  The game’s also enjoying a rather long life span
                               thanks to the user generated content courtesy of
     Trivia                    the game’s map editor. Just like LittleBigPlanet 2,
     When infamous 2           this allows players to enjoy maps made by other
     was first revealed,       more imaginative gamers.
     protagonist Cole
     McGrath sported a
     completely changed         Similar Games
     look, style of attire,
     and voice. Following
     an outcry from fans,
     developer Sucker
     Punch reverted to
     the old, edgy Cole we
     knew and loved.             assassin's       Crackdown         Prototype
                                  Creed ii

january 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                      GOTY 2011 15


DeaD Space 2
                                ew games tread the fine line between action
                                and horror, and Dead Space 2 definitely tops
                                that list. Moving out of the claustrophobic
                        confines of the USG Ishimura, Dead Space 2
                        dragged players to a brand new setting, one that
PricE:                  allowed developer Visceral to incorporate some
rs 2,499 (Xbox 360,
                        new gameplay elements, new weapons, newer
PS3), rs 699 (Pc)
                        enemies and breath-taking set pieces. Isaac
PubliSHEr:              Clarke, the game’s protagonist, also got a sense of
                        closure from the game’s plot, which culminated in
                        a rather satisfying way.
 RATING 5/5                 The game even introduced a new multiplayer
                        mode into the mix that really wasn’t all that bad;
                        it’s just that we had seen it all before in Left4Dead
                        2. Above average multiplayer aside, Dead Space 2
                        is a phenomenal, and not to mention, terrifying
                        single player experience that’s guaranteed to give
                        you a few sleepless nights. Play it at night with
                        the lights out if you dare.
During production,
developers bought        Similar Games
a butchered goat,
which was used
for reference and
filming to provide
flashes of imagery
for isaac's nightmare
sequences.                  Doom 3          Dead Space         resident
                                                                Evil 4

                                                                           intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  january 2012
16 GOTY 2011


   Batman: arkham City
                                      ven though the PC port of this game
                                      was a complete mess, Batman definitely
     Genre:                           brought his ‘A’ game this year. Expanding
     action-adventure          upon gameplay aspects that made millions fall in
                               love with Arkham Asylum a couple of years ago,
     rs. 2,599 (Xbox 360,      Batman: Arkham City was a treat for everyone,
     PS3), rs 999 (PC)         from serious Batman fans to action gamers in
                               love with open game worlds. Arkham City was
     Warner bros               designed from the ground up to reflect the danger,
                               dirt and corruption populating every street and it
                               did so with much visual aplomb. It also offered
      RATING 4.5/5
                               players a plethora of diverse side activates to
                               indulge in while they made their way to the game’s
                               antagonist, Dr Hugo Strange.
                                  Besides the Dark Knight, gamers also got
                               a chance to traverse the length and breadth
                               of the game world as Catwoman. She may be
                               significantly weaker than Batman, but she brought
                               her own set of feline acrobatic moves to the table
                               that made her segments an utter blast.

     This is Mark Hamill’s      Similar Games
     final performance
     as the Joker after
     a twenty-year run
     spanning games,
     amusement park
     rides, Tv shows and
     movies.                      Prototype       Crackdown        inFamous 2

January 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                        GOTY 2011 17


Battlefield 3
                           f you’re a fan of modern day military shooters,
                           Battlefield 3 is your best bet this year. The single
                           player campaign may have been a tad dull and
                       predictable, but DICE more than made up for that
First-person shooter
                       with highly addictive multiplayer we’re playing till
Price:                 date. Unlike other online shooters that penalize
rs 2,999 (Xbox 360,
                       players for lacking razor sharp reflexes, Battlefield
PS3), rs 999 (Pc)
                       3 allows newcomers to ease into the game by
PubliSher:             offering them support roles as well. If running
                       around the battlefield dishing out ammunition
                       or health doesn’t seem like an exciting prospect,
 RATING 4.5/5          grab a chopper and rain down hell fire on ground
                       targets or command a jet and become a force to
                       be reckoned with.
                           Battlefield 3 also gets our unanimous approval
                       for being the most technical sound shooter out
                       there. DICE’s Frostbite 2 engine brings fire fights to
                       life in a very gorgeous way with some phenomenal
                       lighting effects and texture work while the game’s
                       sound, simply put, is the best in the business.

                                                                                   Similar Games

                                                                                   call of Duty:     battlefield:      Medal of
                                                                                     Modern             bad             honor
                                                                                    Warfare 2        company 2

                                                                             intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  jAnuAry 2012
18 GOTY 2011


   Portal 2
                                        ortal 2 may have played out from a first
                                        person perspective, but that doesn’t make
     Genre:                             it a shooter. It was a puzzle game at
                                heart, just like its predecessor, only it added in
     Price:                     more mind-bending puzzles and new gameplay
     rs 2,499 (Xbox 360,        elements into the mix. The best part about Portal
     PS3), rs 999 (Pc)
                                2’s puzzles was that they never felt too tough or
     PubliSher:                 too cheap. If you couldn’t figure a way out, it was
     Valve                      probably because you weren’t thinking out of the
                                box. Rest assured, when the answer finally hit
      RATING 5/5                you, the sense of satisfaction was palpable.
                                   The game even added standalone co-operative
                                missions into the mix and they were the best
                                implementation of co-op play we’ve seen in a
                                game till date. They weren’t just copy-paste
                                variants of single player missions; these were
                                brand new ones designed from the ground up to
                                facilitate and encourage co-operative play.

     Similar Games

                                     Portal 2 initially included a sticky gel,
                                     which allowed players to walk on any
                                     painted surface. however, the feature
                                     gave most game testers motion
       Mirror’s        Portal        sickness and had to be removed.

january 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                    GOTY 2011 19


The elder ScrollS V:
                                 any long time gamers tend to get jaded
                                 from playing a bunch of sequels back to
                                 back or due to the fact that single player
Genre:                games today get over in about five hours.
rPG                       Skyrim remedies that problem by providing
Price:                hours of awesome content. Ever since we entered
rs 3,499 (Xbox 360,   Bethesda’s beautifully crafted world, we’ve been
PS3), rs 2,999 (Pc)   completely hooked, voluntarily throwing our social
PubliSher:            lives out the window. We’ve spent countless hours
bethesda              crafting armor, mining, cutting lumber, pledging
                      our undying loyalty to a multitude of guilds,
 RATING 5/5           clearing dungeons in search of lost treasures,
                      slaying dragons, becoming werewolves, getting
                      married, and so much more we cannot express in
                      a few words. With so much content and accessible
                      gameplay at hand, it’s no wonder that Skyrim is
                      quite easily our Game of the Year for 2011.

                                                                               Similar Games

                                                                               call of Duty:     battlefield:      Medal of
                                                                                 Modern             bad             honor
                                                                                Warfare 2        company 2
                                                                         intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  january 2012
20 GOTY 2011

   The BesT of The ResT
    Best Use of Balls: fIfa 12
    RATING 4/5

   Most years, this would be a no brainer, but EA Sports’
   footie juggernaut had some stiff competition from NBA
   2K12 and the refreshingly entertaining Top Spin 4. Even
   arch rival PES 2012 made a good account of itself, showing
   flashes of its past greatness. But FIFA 12 made some great
   improvements to an already solid base, and while there are
   still a few kinks, it was easily, once again, the best sports
   game of the year.

                                                                    Best Game No oNe BoUGht: test
                                                                   DrIve UNlImIteD 2
                                                                   RATING 4/5

                                                                   Set across two massive, scenic islands of Hawaii, TDU2
                                                                   blends racing and exploration brilliantly, and with the
                                                                   inclusion of off-road driving, you’ll never run out of places
                                                                   to drive. A great set of licensed cars and the beautiful
                                                                   landscapes ensure that even just driving around aimlessly
                                                                   is a joy. TDU 2 is regularly on sale on Steam for as little as
                                                                   $5. Buy it!

    Best Game No oNe PlayeD:                                       Best serIes reBoot: fIGht NIGht
   yakUza 4                                                        ChamPIoN
    RATING 4.5/5                                                   RATING 4.5/5

   Videogamers are the quintessential bullies, at least virtu-     While the Fight Night series had been waning, it didn’t
   ally. And what better way to skin our collective knuckles       exactly need a reboot. But it got one anyway and we’re glad
   than with 2011’s edition of Sega’s magnificent JRPG             because Fight Night Champion took it into a more cinematic
   brawler. Play Yakuza 4 for its brutal fisticuffs, contem-       and action-oriented direction thanks to a brilliantly crafted
   porary adventuring, Nihon bombast, and cutscenes that           story mode, while still retaining the pure boxing elements
   would make Hideo Kojima proud.                                  from the previous games.

jaNUary 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                     GOTY 2011 21

Here are some of the games of 2011 that we really loved, but didn’t make the top 10.
by sameer desai

                                                                   Game with the most Free DLC:
                                                                  LittLeBiGPLanet 2
                                                                  RATING 5/5
                                                                  DLC has been a big deal this generation, but no developer
                                                                  has handled DLC as well as Media Molecule with
                                                                  LittleBigPlanet 2. The same tools that were used to build
                                                                  the levels in the LBP2 campaign were offered to players so
                                                                  they could build their own levels and share them with the
                                                                  world. The result – the LBP community is brimming with
                                                                  millions of levels just waiting to be downloaded and played
                                                                  for free.

 Best Cure For roaD raGe: Dirt 3
RATING 4.5/5

Picking this one wasn’t easy. Test Drive Unlimited 2 was
one of our favorite games of 2011, and Turn 10 once
again delivered a great sim in Forza Motorsport 4. Then
there were other contenders like Shift 2 Unleashed,
Motorstorm Apocalypse and Nail’d, but when it came down
to unadulterated racing fun, Dirt 3 came out on top for
its great gameplay, numerous event types and stunning

 the Game that maDe Your eYes                                     Best Fist-to-FaCe aCtion:
BLeeD: naiL'D                                                     mortaL KomBat
RATING 4/5                                                        RATING 4.5/5

Nail’d probably slipped under many peoples’ radar, and you        Marvel vs Capcom 3 would be many peoples’ pick in this
can’t blame them. It received no hype whatsoever, and it          category, and they wouldn’t be wrong. It was a great game,
didn’t release in India either. But if you like games like Pure   with an unbeatable roster. However, after disappointing its
or Burnout, this is an absolutely must buy. This insanely         legions of fans for years, Mortal Kombat finally made its
over-the-top off road racer features some mental jumps            return to form last year, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
and drops and a gameplay pace that won’t give you time to         Great controls, an exhaustive roster, and some serious gore
even blink.                                                       made MK the comeback of the year.

                                                                          intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  januarY 2012
22    Feature

     Disappointments of 2011
     2011 was a great year for gaming. There were some stellar titles that completely rocked our socks off, but there were
     also a few games we were looking forward to that ended up disappointing. This list looks back at some of the games and
     events that marred 2011.
     by avinash bali

                                                  Assassin's Creed: Revelations
                                                  Ubisoft nailed the formula with
                                                  Assassin’s Creed II, while Brotherhood
                                                  felt more like an standalone
                                                  expansion pack, dishing out more
                                                  of the same. But with Revelations,
                                                  they’ve actually taken two steps back,
                                                  axing some of the more enjoyable
                                                  distractions in favor of some really
      Need for Speed: The Run                     mundane ones. Tower defence,
      After last year’s Hot Pursuit, we           Ubisoft? Really?
      thought the Need for Speed series
      was on its way up again, but Black
      Box made sure that never happened
      with this year’s The Run. Shoddy
      controls, quick-time events, a                                                       F.E.A.R. 3
      painfully short campaign and an                                                      F.E.A.R. was one of the most stylish
      extremely stripped down multiplayer                                                  and cathartic shooters ever. F.E.A.R.
      component made The Run one                                                           2, however, was a disappointment,
      forgettable and disappointing ride.                                                  and the latest entrant in the series
                                                                                           was no different. F.E.A.R. 3 turned out
                                                                                           to be nothing but a generic shooter
                                                                                           with a few scares and slow motion
                                                                                           thrown into the mix. Mother would
                                                  Dragon Age II                            definitely not approve.
                                                  Dragon Age: Origins was extremely
                                                  well received, so expectations from
                                                  the sequel were sky high. Sadly,
                                                  Bioware seemed to rush the sequel,
                                                  and in doing so, they compromised
                                                  on quality. Oversimplified controls,
                                                  a poor narrative, outdated visuals
      Duke Nukem                                  and repetitive dungeons made this a
      Forever                                     sequel the Maker would definitely not
      After laying dormant for more than          be pleased with.
      a decade under the now defunct
      3D Realms, Duke was unleashed                                                        Call of Juarez: The Cartel
      upon the world earlier in the year                                                   We’ve never had too many
      by Gearbox Software and we really                                                    expectations from a Call of Juarez
      wish they hadn’t. The game was                                                       game, but Bound in Blood was a
      a complete disaster, with archaic                                                    polished and enjoyable FPS with solid
      gameplay, jokes that fell flat on their                                              visuals and an engaging plot. The
      faces, coma-inducing boss fights, and                                                Cartel threw all those characteristics
      outdated visuals that looked like they                                               out the window for literally no story,
      had stepped out from the nineties. A                                                 clichéd one-dimensional characters
      colossal disappointment indeed.                                                      and terribly generic gameplay.

january 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                   Feature 23

Brink                                                                                 id Screwing up Rage’s Launch
Brink could have been a really good                                                   id games have known to be a tad
multiplayer game with an insane level                                                 problematic at launch, but Rage took
of customization, but somewhere                                                       the cake. The game was plagued by
down the line, developer Splash                                                       horrific stuttering and texture issues.
Damage dropped the ball, which is                                                     Many ATI and AMD users couldn’t
why we got a clunky shooter that                                                      even get it to start, and those that did
tried to tread the line between single                                                were getting frequent crashes. After
and multiplayer with rather lackluster                                                a patch, the game became unplayable
results.                                                                              for many more, making Rage’s PC
                                                                                      launch a huge disappointment.

                                         Homefront had tremendous potential
                                         thanks to an interesting premise, but
                                         it failed to capitalize on its setting.
                                         Instead, it was content with aping Call
                                         of Duty, funneling players through
                                         predictable scenarios you’ve played
                                         a million times by now. Worse, the
                                         much touted multiplayer features
                                         ended up being a damp squib.

PC Version of Batman:
Arkham City
If you thought Rage was bad,             R.I.P. Red Faction
Arkham City would reduce you to          The Red Faction series may not have
tears with its horrid PC port that,      sold half as much as Call of Duty, but
by the way, released a month late.       Red Faction: Guerilla was a highly
Terrible framerates, broken DirectX      cathartic game, where you could level
11 implementation, sound stuttering,     every single inch of the game world to
and game breaking bugs made the PC       the ground. Its sequel, unfortunately,
version completely unplayable.           went with a survival horror approach
                                         that didn’t work too well. Poor
                                         sales and a diminishing love for the
                                         franchise made THQ axe it for good.

                                                                                      Bulletstorm’s Commercial
                                                                                      Bulletstorm was a throwback to the
                                                                                      old school FPS games, where you shot
                                                                                      first and didn’t really bother asking
                                                                                      any questions. It was crude, vulgar
                                                                                      and juvenile, but it was also a very
                                                                                      enjoyable and a satisfying experience
                                                                                      that unfortunately performed poorly
                                                                                      at retail. It’s safe to assume we won’t
                                                                                      be getting a sequel anytime soon.

                                                                      intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  january 2012
24 Hardware feature

   Razer and EA continue their partnership for licensed high performance gaming peripherals with the exclusive Battlefield 3
   line of PC and console products. We tested some of the customized PC gaming gear, and here's our verdict.
   by sameer desai

         RAzER BLAckwiDOw
            Full mechanical keys, 5-level key backlighting,
         on-the-fly macros & profiles

             Noisy keys, BF3 artwork could be better

                                                               RAzER iMpERATOR
                                                                Good precision, adjustable side buttons

                                                                Too light, unimpressive BF3 artwork

        RAzER scARAB
           Awesome BF3 protective case, sturdy
        rubber base.

            Not foldable.

january 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
 Welcome to the
26   fear the reaper: darksiders 2

30   the game developers' obituary

32   top netbooks for post-apocalyptic gaming

36   game through the apocalypse

38   the most addictive mobile games

                 FEAR ThE
january 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement   Hemali Limbachiya
                                                                                                                COVER FEATURE 27

In 2010, Vigil Games surprised us all with Darksiders, a mix of brutal hack and slash combat, slick
platforming and addictive puzzle-solving. After playing as War in the first game, this year, we
step into the boots of the second Horseman of the Apocalypse in Darksiders 2. Death awaits.
by avinash bali

                                                       and punish those responsible for framing your
                                                       brother. Don’t worry though; you won’t be trudg-
                                                       ing through rehashed levels from the first game.
                                                       Since you’ll be playing as Death this time around,
                                                       developer Vigil Games gets a lot more creative
                                                       (and by that we do mean sinister) liberty when
                                                       it comes to overall character and level design. A
                                                       striking and vibrant art style is something this
                                                       series has always boasted of thanks to its cre-
                                                       ative director Joe Madureira, who also happens
                                                       to be a well known comic book writer and artist.

                                                       Darksiders offered players a pretty robust com-
                                                       bat system and it looks like Darksiders 2 is tak-
                                                       ing things to the next level with more fluid and
                                                       intuitive fighting. It’s still largely a hack and
                                                       slash game with light and heavy attacks that
                                                       can be mixed up to pull off crazy combos, but it
                                                       now also follows an RPG-esque combat principle,
                                                       where you’ll be visually notified (via numbers)
                                                       of the damage you inflict upon enemies. Unlike

                                                       War, Death cannot block, so you’ll have to make

              arksiders was - pardon the pun - a
              dark horse in the action genre. It
              was a breath of fresh air from all
              the sequels being churned out since,
              let’s face it, few studios are will-
ing to risk it with new IPs nowadays. The game
imagined the end of days for us mortals as play-
ers were strapped into the boots of one of the
four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – War, who
was wrongfully framed for bringing about the
   The game played out from a third-person
perspective and was a hack-and-slash game
at heart, but it borrowed various gameplay ele-
ments rather graciously from other, more popular
games across genres. At first, many were cynical
and some even went as far as calling it a Zelda or
God of War clone, but once it got down to brass
tacks, there was no doubt about the fact that
Darksiders pulled off this diversity with great
flair and style not seen in many new IPs today.

Darksiders 2 takes place during the timeline of
the first game, only now, you’ll see and experi-
ence things from War’s brother, Death’s perspec-
tive. Your primary goal, of course, is to track down

                                                                            intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  january 2012

 "Unlike War,
 who was
 built like a
 tank, Death
 is a tad
 more agile
 and athletic."

                               do with dodging incoming attacks. Of course,         PlATFORMinG
                               offense is the best form of defence, so feel free    Besides combat, platforming was a very impor-
                               to dish out your own brand of pain with brutal       tant pillar of gameplay in Darksiders as it pro-
                               melee combos as well as deadly magical spells.       vided players with some sort of respite from the
                               Upon slaying an enemy/boss, you can now loot         relentless action. Unlike War, who was built like a
                               their bodies and be rewarded with a plethora         tank, Death seems a tad more agile and athletic,
                               of items like gold, fragments of armor, and lots     and will be capable of wall running a la the Prince
                               more.                                                of Persia for a few seconds. He even has a Ghost
                                                                                    Hook attached to his arm - a grappling hook of
                               MORE RPG FUn FOR EVERyOnE                            sorts, with which he can cross large distances
                               Darksiders 2 is taking the RPG elements a bit        with great ease. Think of the game’s platforming
                               further by meticulously designing four distinct      as a cross between Castlevania and Uncharted.
                               hubs (or cities) where you’ll be able to under-      Now, how can you go wrong with that?
                               take side quests from various NPCs (non play-
                               able characters) as well as sell all the loot you    lAsT wORds
                               don’t need. Besides that, you have a larger game     Darksiders 2 looks set to expand upon everything
                               world, multitudes of dungeons to explore and         we loved about the first game. There's more
                               plunder, combat arenas to conquer as well as a       refined combat and platforming, a twisted yet
                               rather lengthy single player campaign to boot.       beautiful art style, and RPG elements to signifi-
                               Rest assured, we’ll be spending a lot of time with   cantly increase the length of the game. It’s easily
                               Darksiders 2.                                        one of our most anticipated games of 2012.

january 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                COVER FEATURE 29

          THE STOry SO Far

   n Darksiders, you are War, one of the four Horsemen of the        You instead have been framed by the Charred Council to bring-
   Apocalypse sent to Earth during its final hour. Your mission   ing about the premature Apocalypse, but you will not go down
   is very clear - do not interfere as the war rages on between   without a fight. You strike a bargain with them as they allow you
the armies of Heaven and Hell; strictly serve as a mediator       one final chance to clear your name. The caveat? Imprisoned into
striving to bring about peace between the warring factions.       your very being is one of their watchdogs who can kill you swiftly
You realize a bit too late that you have been wrongfully sum-     should you chose to stray from your mission. But you are War, and
moned as none of your brothers ride with you.                     no man or monster can stop you from achieving your goal.

                                                                          intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  january 2012

   these Devs DiDn't survive long
   enough to see the ApocAlypse
   EdEn GamEs
   Famous for: Test Drive Unlimited 1 & 2
   Eden kicked off this generation with the fantastic Test
   Drive Unlimited. The open-world MMO-styled racer was a
   great early indicator of what the HD consoles were capable
   of. Their next game was the bitterly disappointing Alone in
   the Dark, but they returned to form in style with Test Drive
   Unlimited 2. However, the studio's relationship with parent
   company Atari has soured since and last we heard, Eden
   employees were on an indefinite strike.
                                                                    test drive unlimited 2

   EnsEmblE studios
   Famous for: Age of Empires series, Halo Wars
   Microsoft’s decision to shut down Ensemble Studios
   was nothing short of bewildering. Renowned as one
   of the leading developers of real-time strategy games,
   Ensemble has given us several great games as part of the
   Age of Empires series. The studio even helmed the Halo
   franchise’s only foray away from the FPS genre (Halo Wars),
   and with a degree of success.

                                                                        age of Empires iii

   bizarrE CrEations
   Famous for: PGR series, Blur, Geometry Wars
   Bizarre had a great run as an indie studio, first with
   Project Gotham Racing 3 and 4, and then the fun-but-
   rough-around-the-edges arcade shooter The Club. Things,
   however, started going downhill once the studio was
   acquired by Activision. Blur, which was a great combat
   racing game, was delayed several times, which killed much
   of its hype, resulting in poor sales. Activision shut down the
   studio soon after.

   tEam bondi
   Famous for: L.A. Noire
   Team Bondi’s is a rare case where a studio was forced to
   shut down despite its first and only release selling millions
   of copies. L.A. Noire was a great game, but it was behind
   the scenes events that led to the dev's closure. Accusations
   of harsh working conditions and unpaid wages from
   ex-employees made Team Bondi the black sheep of the
   industry, with publisher Rockstar Games publicly cutting
   ties with the studio.
                                                                                l.a. noire

january 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                         COVER FEATURE 31

This console generation hasn’t been too kind to the development fraternity, with many developers forced to shut shop. We
remember some of these studios and the great games (and the bad ones) they made.
by sameer desai

                                                             Blackrock StudioS
                                                             Famous for: Pure, Split Second
                                                             Blackrock established itself as a AAA racing game
                                                             developer this gen with two great arcade racers – Pure and
                                                             Split Second. Both new IPs were extremely well received
                                                             and stood out in an industry that otherwise thrives on safe
                                                             sequels. Sadly, parent company Disney Interactive didn’t
                                                             greenlight sequels to either game and shut down the studio
                                                             in last year to focus on casual games with a freemium
                                                             focus. For shame!
Split Second

                                                             Famous for: Bionic Commando series, Ghost Recon
                                                             Advance Warfighter series
                                                             GRIN’s demise was a stark reminder of the often hostile
                                                             relations between indie devs and publishers. The studio
                                                             received praise for Bionic Commando: Rearmed and the
                                                             2008 reboot of Bionic Commando, but things took a turn
                                                             for the worse when they were commissioned for a Final
                                                             Fantasy spin-off, codenamed Fortress. Square-Enix
                                                             cancelled the project and GRIN cited unpaid dues from the
Bionic commando                                              Japanese publisher as the reason for its eventual closure.

                                                             Pandemic StudioS
                                                             Famous for: Full Spectrum Warrior series, Mercenaries
                                                             series, The Saboteur
                                                             Before being acquired by EA, Pandemic was best known
                                                             for its Full Spectrum Warrior and Mercenaries games. This
                                                             gen, they released Mercenaries 2: World in Flames and The
                                                             Saboteur under the EA banner. Both open-world games
                                                             were a ton of fun and brought something new to the table,
                                                             but lackluster sales forced EA to shut down the studio in
the Saboteur

                                                             Free radical
                                                             Famous for: TimeSplitters series, Haze
                                                             Best known for the TimeSplitters series on the PS2, Free
                                                             Radical had a tough time of it this gen. Their PS3 exclusive
                                                             FPS Haze was the subject of a lot of hype, but after several
                                                             delays, it was released to extremely harsh reviews and poor
                                                             sales, forcing the indie studio to wind-up operations. It was,
                                                             however, resurrected as Crytek UK, the team responsible
                                                             for the multiplayer component of Crysis 2.


                                                                     intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  january 2012

   Top NoTebooks for posT-
   by roydon cerejo

             hile a good gaming rig will always trump the            in mind, however, that you won’t be able to max out every
             highest of high-end gaming notebooks, there are         single game on a notebook no matter how powerful it
             many who would prefer the latter simply because         may be. We understand that not everyone has a pile of
   they’re easier to setup and carry around. If you hate dealing     money lying around, so below, we’ve thrown in a mix of
   with messy cabling, don’t have enough desktop space, or           both mainstream multimedia notebooks that can handle
   are worried about the lack of working plug points when            their fair share of games as well has high-end notebooks
   the world ends, a notebook is your only real choice. Bear         engineered for gaming.

      Hp DV6-6165TX
      If there’s one thing you can be assured of with HP’s DV lineup, it’s superior
      build quality. The DV6 may be marketed as a multimedia notebook, but
      the specifications say otherwise. A Core i7 and an AMD Radeon HD 6770M
      with 2 GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory should easily tame even the most
      demanding games. Sound is taken care of by Beats audio and the cooling
      is handled by HP’s CoolSense technology that adjusts the cooling based on
      the load. A very good package for the price.
      price: rs 58,500

                                                                    DeLL aLienware m14X
                                                                    Alienware has been synonymous with gaming from its
                                                                    inception and Dell’s new M14x finds a sweet spot between
                                                                    raw performance and portability. Aside from good gaming
                                                                    performance and fancy, customizable lighting, the one
                                                                    thing that has made these notebooks stand out is their
                                                                    keyboards. The keys offer nice feedback, which makes
                                                                    them extremely comfortable to type on. Also, the higher
                                                                    resolution 14-inch screen makes images and video pop.
                                                                    This notebook does demand a premium, but in return, you
                                                                    get huge bragging rights.
                                                                    price: rs 1,19,000

      acer aspire TimeLineX 5830TG
      Who said you can’t enjoy gaming on a budget? Acer’s TimeLineX 5830TG
      packs in a decent powerhouse in a really slim form factor, and at a killer price.
      While the build quality takes a bit of a backseat, it makes a tidy little gaming
      machine for those on the move. Armed with an Nvidia GT 540M, you should be
      able to play older games like Dirt 2 and Far Cry 2 on reasonably high
      settings. The 5830TG is a great value-for-money notebook,
      delivering great features and performance.
      price: rs 41,000

january 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                           COVER FEATURE 33

-ApocAlypTic GAmiNG
                                             asus G74sX
                                             Looking for an absolute bonkers gaming notebook? It doesn’t get crazier
                                             than the G74SX, where Asus has managed to cram in everything but the
                                             kitchen sink! Sporting a massive 17.3-inch full HD screen, the notebook
                                             is designed for Nvidia’s 3D Vision and comes with the transmitter fitted
                                             into the bezel. Other features include a whopping 16 GB of RAM, 1.5 TB
                                             of hard drive space (750 GB x2) and a Blu-ray combo drive. The graphical
                                                         prowess comes from the mighty Nvidia GTX 560M with 3 GB
                                                                of dedicated GDDR5 memory. Accessories include 3D
                                                                 glasses, a gaming mouse, a headset and a backpack.
                                                                Price: rs 1,18,000

  Msi Ge620
  One look at the MSI GE620 and it’s easy to dismiss it as a entry level notebook,
  but looks can be deceiving. The GE620 is a no-frills gaming notebook hailing
  from MSI’s ‘G’ series line-up. It does away with fancy lighting, and in turn, the
  hefty price tag of its elder siblings. For this price, you get a full-sized
  keyboard, great sounding speakers, USB 3.0 ports and a
  decent mid-range graphics card from Nvidia. The GPU also
  supports Optimus, which results in really good battery life.
  Price: rs 50,000

                                                               sony Vaio c series (VPccB35Fn)
                                                               Sony’s new Vaio C series may come in some rather ‘trippy’
                                                               colors, but underneath all that jazz is a pretty serious
                                                               notebook. What really makes this notebook stand out
                                                               is the funky styling and the wonderful backlit keys that
                                                               automatically kick-in once the light dims; a rare find
                                                               in notebooks these days. It also features switchable
                                                               graphics, which lets you utilize the onboard GPU for
                                                               everyday tasks, and the AMD Radeon HD 6630M for
                                                               gaming and other 3D intensive applications.
                                                               Price: 54,000

                                                                       intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  january 2012

                         HP DV6-            Dell      Acer                        Asus G74sX Msi Ge620 sony VAio c
                         6165TX             AlienwAre TiMelineX                                        series
                                            M14X      5830TG
     Operating           Windows 7          Windows 7         Windows 7           Windows 7           Windows 7           Windows 7 Home
     System              Home Premium       Home Premium      Home Premium        Ultimate            Home Premium        Premium
     Processor           Intel Core         Intel Core        Intel Core          Intel Core          Intel Core          Intel Core i5-2430M
                         i7-2670QM          i7-2630QM         i5-2410M            i7-2630QM           i5-2410M
     Clock Speed         2.2GHz             2.0GHz            2.3GHz              2.0GHz              2.3GHz              2.4GHz
     Turbo Frequency     3.1GHz             2.9GHz            2.9GHz              2.9GHz              2.9GHz              3GHz
     RAM                 4GB DDR3           4GB DDR3          3GB DDR3            16GB DDR3           4GB DDR3            4GB DDR3
     Expandable up to    16GB               8GB               8GB                 16GB                8GB                 8GB
     HDD                 750GB              500GB             640GB               750GB x2 (1.5TB)    640GB               500GB
     Speed               5400rpm            7200rpm           5400rpm             7200rpm             7200rpm             7200rpm
     Optical Drive       DVD SuperMulti     DVD SuperMulti    DVD SuperMulti      Blu-ray/DVD         DVD SuperMulti      DVD SuperMulti
                         Drive              Drive             Drive               Combo               Drive               Drive
     Display Size        15.6-inch          14-inch           15.6-inch           17.3-inch           15.6-inch           15.5-inch
     Resolution          1366x768           1600x900          1366x768            1920x1080           1366x768            1920x1080
     Screen Type         TFT (LED           TFT (LED          TFT (LED backlit) TFT (LED backlit)     TFT (LED            TFT (LED backlit)
                         backlit)           backlit)                                                  backlit)
     Graphics card       AMD Radeon         Nvidia GT 555M    Nvidia GT 540M      Nvidia GTX 560M     Nvidia GT 540M      AMD Radeon HD
                         HD 6770M                                                                                         6630M
     Dedicated           2GB DDR5           1.5GB DDR3        1GB DDR3            3GB DDR5            1GB DDR3            1GB DDR3
     Webcam              0.3MP              1.3MP             1.3MP               2MP                 0.3MP               1.3MP
     Keyboard            103 keys           82 keys           103 keys            103 keys            103 keys            103 keys
     Backlit             Yes                Yes               No                  Yes                 No                  Yes
     Special features    HP Cool Sense      Customizable      Slim form factor    3D Vision kit,      Speakers            Translucent body
                                            backlight                             backpack, mouse     with THX            panels, ambient light
                                            colours, rubber                       headset included,   enhancements,       sensor, switchable
                                            coated chassis                        rubber coated       good battery        graphics
                                                                                  chassis             life

     Battery Type        Lithium-ion        Lithium-ion       Lithium-ion         Lithium-ion         Lithium-ion         Lithium-ion
     No. of Cells        6-cell             8-cell            6-cell              8-cell              6-cell              6-cell
     Battery Capacity    NA                 4250mAh           6000mAh             5200mAh             4400mAh             4400mAh
     Speakers            Stereo with        Stereo            Stereo              Stereo (with        Stero with THX      Stereo
                         Beats Audio                                              sub-woofer)
     USB                 4 (2x USB 2.0,     3 (USB 2.0)       4 (3x USB 2.0, 1x   4 (3x USB 2.0, 1x   3 (1x USB 2.0, 2x   4 (3x USB 2.0, 1x USB
                         2x USB 3.0)                          USB 3.0)            USB 3.0)            USB 3.0)            3.0)
     VGA                 Yes                Yes               Yes                 Yes                 Yes                 Yes
     HDMI                Yes                Yes               Yes                 Yes                 Yes                 Yes
     LAN                 Yes                Yes               Yes                 Yes                 Yes                 Yes
     Microphone/         Yes                Yes               Yes                 Yes                 Yes                 Yes
     SD card reader      Yes                Yes               Yes                 Yes                 Yes                 Yes
     Express Card slot   No                 No                No                  No                  No                  No
     Wi-Fi 'n'           Yes                Yes               Yes                 Yes                 Yes                 Yes
     Bluetooth           Yes                Yes               Yes                 Yes                 Yes                 Yes
     Weight              2.5Kg              4.08Kg            2.5Kg               4.28 kgs            2.4Kg               2.85Kg
     Dimensions          376 x 247 x 35.8   377.9 x 308.5 x   378 x 25.4 - 31.3   420 x 325 x         383 x 249.5 x       375.1 x 31.3-39.6 x
                         mm                 48.7 mm           x 249 mm            20.9-62 mm          37.6 - 32.3 mm      250.9 mm
     Price               Rs 58,500          Rs 1,19,000       Rs 41,000           Rs 1,18,000         Rs 50,000           Rs 54,000

january 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement

   Game ThrouGh The apocalypse

   ThE EldER SCROllS V:                          JUST CAUSE 2                                  GRAnd ThEFT AUTO iV:
   SkyRim                                        Xbox 360, PS3, PC                             COmplETE EdiTiOn
   PS3, Xbox 360, PC                                                                           Xbox 360, PS3, PC
   Skyrim boasts of so much content, it lit-     Just Cause 2 is an open-world action          GTA IV was a huge game, but Rockstar
   erally borders on MMO territory, only it’s    game that throws logic out the window         decided to take things to the next level
   offline and there’s no monthly fee. You       in favor of good old fashioned over-          by announcing Episodes from Liberty
   could blaze through the plot in a few         the-top fun. How else can you explain a       City, which includes two single-player
   hours, sure, but why would you when           grappling hook that allows you to latch       expansions - The Lost and Damned and
   you could spend hours exploring the           onto a plane, hijack it, and then jump        Ballad of Gay Tony. These were then
   beautifully crafted game world by taking      out to surf on it! Besides the balls to the   bundled with the main game to form
   up a profession like smithing, mining or      wall action, the game throws in a ton         the GTA IV Complete Edition. While both
   alchemy, getting married, joining one of      of side quests that allow you to enlist       expansions are largely similar to GTA
   many guilds, cleaning out its many dun-       yourself with various factions to liber-      IV, they both add a bunch of gameplay,
   geons or just hitting the open roads in       ate the fictional world of Panau.             visual, and multiplayer tweaks, making
   search of fame and fortune.                                                                 this pack a must-buy for any GTA fan.

   BORdERlAndS: GAmE OF ThE                      FAllOUT 3: GAmE OF ThE                        dRAGOn AGE: ORiGinS
   yEAR EdiTiOn                                  yEAR EdiTiOn                                  PS3, Xbox 360, PC
   Xbox 360, PS3, PC                             Xbox 360, PS3, PC
   Set in a bleak, distant future, Borderlands   The apocalypse is not a very pleasant         After the action-oriented Mass Effect,
   was the world’s first RPS (role-playing       experience, unless, that is, you’re expe-     Dragon Age was Bioware’s return to the
   shooter), a term coined by developers         riencing it from Bethesda’s perspective.      hardcore RPG, retaining D&D elements
   Gearbox themselves. The game was a            Like any of their previous games, Fallout     that old school players loved. Even just
   shooter at heart, but packed in content       3 is literally teeming with content, be       tackling the game’s epic main quest
   equivalent to an RPG, making it acces-        it through its plot or a plethora of side     along with a few side quests takes
   sible to fans of both genres. The Game        quests. Once again, the GOTY Edition is       well over 60 hours, and it’s worth every
   of the Year Edition is obviously the one      the version to grab as it includes all five   minute. Aside from that, there are vari-
   to go for as it includes the base game in     packs of DLC released till date. Another      ous different ‘Origins’ to play through,
   addition to four packs of downloadable        incentive for PC gamers comes in the          each of which has a different back story
   content.                                      form of tons of user-made content             and opening sequence. It’s role-playing
                                                 that’s available free of cost.                games at their very best.

january 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement                                                              Hemali Limbachiya
                                                                                                                  COVER FEATURE 37

a video game store might be hard to find in a post-apocalyptic world. So it would help to stock up on games that provide
tons of content right out of the box to ensure that you stay entertained for a long time. Here are a few suggestions.
by avinash bali and sameer desai

GRAn TURismO 5                              liTTlEBiGPlAnET 2                               RED DEAD REDEmPTiOn:
PS3                                         PS3                                             GAmE OF ThE YEAR EDiTiOn
                                                                                            Xbox 360, PS3
Gran Turismo 5 offers perhaps more          By itself, LittleBigPlanet 2 is a cute little   With Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar
content on one disc than any other          side-scrolling platformer that can be           dragged us down to the Wild West, a
game in this feature. For starters, the     enjoyed by upto four players. However,          genre not visited too often in games.
1,000 cars in the game will take scores     developer Media Molecule has also               And we loved it. The game offered
of hours to unlock. To put them through     included a powerful set of creation tools       everything we've come to expect from
their paces, there’s the Training School    - the same they used to make the game,          Rockstar - a stellar plot, well written
mode, the insanely long A-Spec career       so players can design their own levels          characters, tons of side activities, and
mode, as well as a B-Spec management        or even mini games within LBP2. They            of course, solid gameplay. The GOTY
mode. Add to that the seasonal events       can then share these levels with the            edition packs in a ton of map packs as
that Polyphony adds and the massive         world and play levels created by others         well as a very interesting ‘undead’ take
free Spec 2 update, and you’ll be playing   for free, making LBP2 a virtually never-        on the game. It’s a pity the game never
GT5 for hundreds of hours.                  ending game.                                    made it to PC.

TEsT DRiVE UnlimiTED 2                      PRO EVOlUTiOn sOCCER                            inFAmOUs 2
PS3, Xbox 360, PC                           2012                                            PS3
                                            PS3, Xbox 360, PC, PSP
Two massive Hawaiian islands; the abil-     FIFA may have the licenses and the bet-         Like most open-world action games,
ity to drive anywhere - on and off-road;    ter online features, but offline, Pro Evo-      infamous 2 offers a fairly long single-
options to buy real estate across both      lution Soccer 2012 takes the cake. The          player campaign, and along with the
islands; a great selection of everyday      legendary Master League mode is addic-          plethora of side missions, you’ll clock
sedans, sports cars, exotics and SUVs;      tive as ever, and after sinking in 50-plus      well over 25 hours. Unlike most open-
and a mini-map populated with mis-          hours, you’ll enjoy your 20th season just       world game’s however, it doesn’t end
sions and exploration bonuses spanning      as much as you did the first. That aside,       there. Sucker Punch has thrown in cre-
every inch of the game world. Test Drive    there’s also the Become a Legend mode           ation tools to let you build your own mis-
Unlimited 2 is that and so much more.       as well as training challenges and vari-        sions complete with AI to give the game
Whether you’re racing or just driving       ous leagues and tournaments. It's got           limitless replay value. What’s more, you
around taking in the sights, you can lose   more than enough content to last you            can also play missions created by other
yourself in it.                             till the next iteration and beyond.             players from around the world.

                                                                             intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  january 2012

   The MosT AddicTive
   Mobile GAMes
   by shayne rana and padmini harchandrai

   Just because the world was annihilated by nature’s devastating fury (destroying all cell phone services in the process),
   doesn’t mean your iPhone or Android device is totally useless.

   Angry Birds
   Angry Birds is the comfort food of mobile gaming. Just
   look at what happens when someone buys their first
   touchscreen mobile device. Usually their first question is,
   "What should I buy?" and the standard reply will usually
   be, "Angry Birds". The furious featherheads have come
   a long way from the first five levels of slingshot-ing
   that initially hooked us in. They have updates based on
   festivals, a movie tie-in, merchandise and even a recipe
   book. The addictiveness comes from the increasing
   difficulty, consistent novelty, and finally, it's just dog gone
   fun to hear those pigs squeal when you smash their
   heads in. Angry Birds is available for $0.99 (approx Rs 49)
   on iTunes and it's free on Android.

                                                                                Cut the rope
                                                                                Take a very hungry little monster, make
                                                                                him cute, dangle candy in front of him, and
                                                                                voila, you have Cut the Rope. The game
                                                                                is primarily strategy-based, starring 'Om
                                                                                Nom', the adorable little creature that we
                                                                                hoped to have as a pet when we were little.
                                                                                He's hungry, and you want to feed him. The
                                                                                only problem is that the candy is being held
                                                                                back by ropes and there are obstacles like
                                                                                bubbles and spiders. You must cut ropes in
                                                                                just the right way so the candy lands sqaure
                                                                                in Om Nom's mouth. He then gives you that
                                                                                look of immense satisfaction; the kind that
                                                                                validates the frustration of getting the rope
                                                                                wrong. Cut the Rope is available for iOS and
                                                                                Android for $0.99 (approx Rs 49).

jAnuAry 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement                                                Hemali Limbachiya
                                                                                                             COVER FEATURE 39

Fruit NiNja
Did you hate it when your mom made you eat fruit as a kid? Alternatively,
have you ever been booed off a stage with fruit flung at you? Here's a game
that will help you gain some pseudo-revenge. As the name suggests, you're
a ninja. Fruit is being flung at you and your job is to slice and dice it with your
ninja sword. You get extra points for fruit combos and you need to be careful
of bombs. As you progress, you will please the fruit sensei, who will keep
delivering fruit facts to you. Fruit Ninja is available for iOS for $0.99 (approx Rs
49) and Android for Rs 62.03.

                                                  DooDle jump
                                                  Doodle Jump revolves around a character called The Doodler. The point
                                                  of the game is to make The Doodler jump levels without falling by tilting
                                                  your phone. Since the game is supported across various devices, including
                                                  those that don't have tilt support, there is also an option to tap The
                                                  Doodler in the direction that you want it to go in. The Doodler can have
                                                  power ups like jet packs and propeller hats that help it go faster for a
                                                  short distance and obstacles like monsters and aliens that the Doodler
                                                  needs to avoid. You can choose various themes for the Doodler to jump
                                                  around in and his enemies look different, but the purpose of the game
                                                  remains the same - JUMP! Doodle Jump is available across multiple
                                                  platforms for $0.99 (approx Rs 49).

temple ruN
Ever got caught up in an Indiana Jones fantasy?
Not that this game is a direct play on the franchise,
but it does bear similarities in ways that are cool.
Your protagonist is a runner that is running on
temple grounds, collecting coins, going over gaps in
the ground and under tree branches to eventually
complete a set of objectives. The objectives include
running 5,000 meters, collecting 1 million points,
running 500 meters without collecting any coins,
and many more. The speed is heart pumping and
you will not be satisfied until all the objectives are
completed. Just be careful of the creatures that
chase you when you trip on a branch; they can be
nightmare-inducing. Temple Run is only available
for iOS, and so far, it’s free.Optimus, which results
in really good battery life.
Price: Rs 50,000

                                                                         intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  jaNuary 2012

                                An over-the-top and highly entertaining action game that's a bit rough
                                around the edges.
                                by avinash bali

                                      here are games that try and draw players in      crap out of your character. It’s the same mission
RATING 4/5                            with compelling storylines, and then there’s     structure you experienced in the second game
                                      Saints Row: The Third; a simple game that        and while some missions stand out in particular,
                                wears its over-the-top attitude proudly on its         most tend to become clichéd open-world fetch
                                sleeve. It unleashes players onto an open world        quests. It’s a bit ironic if you think about it since
                                setting, hands them a rocket launcher, and dials       Saint’s Row 2 mocked GTA IV’s repetitive mission
                                the crazy to 11. But as enjoyable as the game is, it   structure but now its predecessor has descended
                                does have its share of issues that prevent it from     into the same monotony that plagued Rockstar’s
                                being a must-buy.                                      open-world game. The saving grace however is
                                   After the events of Saints Row 2, the Saints        the zany take on each mission that distinguishes
                                have become a household name, commercialising          SRTT from the more serious games out there.
                                completely on their name with a clothing brand,           Like older games, the whole city is yours for
                                bobble heads, energy drinks and more. While they       the taking from the get go but unlike previous
                                enjoy the view from the top, there are many who        games from this series, you’re no longer funnelled
                                conspire to bring them down and one of these           through side activities to unlock story based mis-
                                organisations called the Syndicate succeeds            sions. This is kind of a doubled edged sword as
                                in doing so. Now the Saints must rebuild their         now I don’t feel the need to go out of my way to
                                empire, kick tons of ass on the way and have fun       perform them. Money is also never a problem in
                                while doing so.                                        this game and you’ll earn more than enough while
                                   The game starts off with a bang pummelling          completing story based missions.
                                players with some impressive set-pieces after             On the plus side, most of these activities are
                                which things slow down a notch and the game
                                settles down to its normal pace. This means you’ll
                                have to approach various people for missions, take
                                over territories, buy businesses and customize the

 january 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement                                                      Hemali Limbachiya
                                                                                                                                              REVIEW 41

                                                       dudes and make it to the end. It doesn’t sound like
                                                       much on paper but it’s a pretty intense diversion.
                                                       What I find baffling is that Volition axed certain
                                                       activities like Septic Tank and Crowd Control from
                                                       this game instead retaining a boring one like
                                                       Escort. It was due to these omissions I felt SRTT
                                                       lacked the content its predecessor had to offer.
                                                           SRTT is high on crude humour so if that’s not
immense fun in their own way so even if they’re        your thing, stay far away from this game. There
not forced down your throat, you really don’t mind     are all sorts of juvenile jokes and jabs at other pop
engaging in them because they’re so damn cathar-       cultural references from Star Wars to Tron to other
tic. I mean who doesn’t like driving a tank around a   video games. Most of the game’s humour may not
block with an unlimited supply of rockets to cause     make you laugh out loud but it will make sure you
as much damage as humanly possible? Special            have a goofy smile plastered across your face at
mention goes out to a particular side quest called     most times. Sometimes though,
Professor Genki's Super Ethical Reality Climax         it does feel a bit stale and over-
(yes, that’s the real name), a weird hybrid of the
Running Man and Japanese reality TV where play-
                                                       used. For example, the first time
                                                       I came across Zimos, a T-Pain
                                                                                                        gamE Info
ers must navigate a bunch of obstacles, kill some      inspired pimp who constantly
                                                                                               Saint’s row: the third
                                                                                               Price                  rs 2,599 (PS3, Xbox 360),
                                                                                                                      Pc (rs 699)
                                                                                               PubliSher              thQ
                                                                                               develoPer              volition inc
                                                                                               diStributor            e-Xpress interactive
                                                                                               Phone                  022 29661017

                                                                                               looks awesome in dX11, over-the-top gameplay,
                                                                                               insane customization options, a ton of fun

                                                                                               lots of glitches, fetch quests can get repetitive,
                                                                                               some juvenile humor overstays its welcome

                                                                                              TEST rIG
                                                                                              Motherboard: Intel DP67BG Extreme Desktop series;
                                                                                              Processor: Intel Core i7 - 2600K @3.40 GHZ; Graphic card:
                                                                                              nVIDIa GeForce GTX 590; ram: Corsair Vengeance 4GB
                                                                                              DD3 @ 1600 MHZ X2; Power Supply: Cooler Master Silent
                                                                                              Pro Gold 1200W

                                                                              intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  january 2012

                                                                                      level design to character/vehicle models looks top
                                                                                      notch. The PC version also handles real well as the
                                                                                      game controls flawlessly with mouse/keyboard.
                                                                                          Unfortunately the game’s plagued by a bunch of
                                                                                      glitches and bugs. Some are amusing and harm-
                                                                                      less like having your car disappear under a bridge
                                                                                      or watching characters clip through the ground or
                                                                                      get stuck in one place while others are more seri-
                                                                                      ous and frustrating especially when they occur
                                                                                      during missions. At times, an event won’t trigger
                                                                                      forcing you to restart the mission all over again
                                                                                      while at times, certain vehicles you’re supposed
                                                                                      to hijack or destroy will be completely invisible.
                                                                                      Even though none of these bugs or glitches were
                                                                                      particularly game breaking ones, they did hamper
                                                                                      my experience with this game and I personally felt
                               speaks in auto-tune, I was amused but after hear-      it was sloppy on Volition’s part to release a game
                               ing him go on and on for five consecutive mission,     with these many issues, especially after they put
                               I wanted to strangle him with my bare hands.           in so much effort in the PC version.
                                   Once you’re done with the campaign, you could          Issues aside, I had a blast with this game. The
                               dive back in to play it with another player in co-op   humour like I said earlier may be hit and miss
                               since competitive play has completely been axed        for some, especially if you’re not too fond of the
                               from this game. Instead you have a Hord.. I mean       whole gangster culture. Even then, I would recom-
                               ‘Whored’ mode where players face off waves             mend this game from a gameplay perspective as
                               of enemies in a bid to survive. The Horde mode         it offers something a lot of games don’t seem to
                               retains the game’s quirky sense of humour so in        bring to the table today, mindless fun.
                               one wave you’ll be beating up an ‘X’ amount of
                               gimps with a giant purple dildo while in the other
                               you may be forced to slice through dudes dressed
                               as giant hot dogs. As weird as that sounds, it is
                               a boat load of fun and a good diversion from the
                               clichéd way of playing this mode.
                                   Visually the game is impressive provided you
                               have a beefy rig to boot. In DX 11, the game looks
                               positively gorgeous and Volition have done a bril-
                               liant job in porting this game to the PC. Stillwater
                               itself is very well detailed and everything from

january 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
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                      Surprisingly Solid
                      by rishi alwani

                      etal Gear Solid HD Collection is what happens when Metal
                      Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake
                      Eater and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker are given a much
            needed high-definition update and trophy support. Everything else
            is pretty much intact. From the awesome intro sequence to MGS2
            to the mesmeric title track of Snake Eater, it's all there, and more!
               Konami have been generous enough to sanction this release
            with the Substance and Subsistence versions of MGS2 and MGS3
            respectively. This mean that you not only get the excellent base
            games in all their glory, but you have access to extra content
            that these two PS2-era releases had. Think of the Substance and
            Subsistence editions as extended
            versions, replete with a chockfull         RATING 4.5/5
            of extras. For example, MGS2: Sub-
            stance features the quirky “Snake Tales” that let you don the role
            of Solid Snake in a series of short missions across the Big Shell
            refinery. There's even over 500 missions strewn across the main
            areas of the game as well as computer generated “VR missions”,
            giving the game a lot more substance. MGS3: Subsistence packs in
            the original Metal Gear games on the same disc. These are the very
            games that started it all on the obscure MSX console and then later,
            NES, making it a must-have for the collectors. However, the extras
            found in the original PS2 release such as Secret Theatre and the
            Snake Vs Monkey mini-game are missing.
                 Coming to the games themselves, MGS2 follows the exploits of
                 Solid Snake as he seeks to infiltrate a tanker that carries a new
                   version of the Metal Gear walking tank that he destroyed in
                     the first game (which is missing from this compilation). As
                      we all know, this was the premise for one of the biggest
                       trolls on the gaming community - an hour and a half into
                        the game, you find yourself in the shoes of Raiden, a
                        newbie agent on his first mission to eliminate a terrorist
                        threat on an environmental facility. It was a move that's
                        applaudable simply because it takes more than the usual
                         number of gonads to force diehard fans to play through
                          a game as someone who is, at best, a pansy.
                                Sons of Liberty clearly benefits from the HD
                              update. It's a lot cleaner in most places thanks to
                               the magic pixie dust of current gen graphical tech-
                                niques. However, it manages to show its age with
                                slightly blocky character models. If there's one
                                 solitary reason for a first-timer into the franchise
                                 to give up on MGS2, it's because of the control

                                                                       Hemali Limbachiya
                                                                                                                          REVIEW 45

        gamE Info

 Metal Gear Solid
 Hd collection
 PubliSHer          Konami
 develoPer          Kojima Productions
 PlAtforM           Xbox 360, PS3

 Wealth of extras, smooth, crisp looking updates
 to classic games, great value for money.

 Quality of Hd upscaling could have been better.

scheme. The fixed camera doesn't help
either. It's awkward and takes a bit to get
used to.
   Thankfully, MGS3 is a lot more forgiving in that respect.        said, the plot and gameplay is good enough to make you forget
There's a fully movable camera that prevents you from getting       all about its graphical inadequacies, more so since the controls
into sticky situations. The plot has super agent Naked Snake        are more at home on the Dualshock 3 than they would ever be
against a host of enemies in order to rescue a nuclear scien-       on the PSP, on which it was originally launched.
tist. As clichéd as it sounds, the plot is anything but, strewn         To sum it up, the gameplay has stood the test of time. Com-
with double and triple crosses as well as a conspiracy or nine      bine that with the almost ludicrous amount of content in terms
thousand thrown in simply because Kojima and friends can.           of extras, and you have one of better value for money proposi-
   From all three games, Snake Eater looks the best. Everything     tions since 2007's The Orange Box. Sticklers might grouse the
from the lush jungle environments to the character models are       lack of the original Metal Gear Solid and Portable Ops, but that
brilliantly rendered, so much so that it can easily pass off as a   can be easily remedied with a quick trip to PSN, where they're
current generation title. That's not to say the rest pale in com-   both available for purchase. Fans will find this a welcome addi-
parison. Peace Walker brings in an element of strategy, having      tion to their collections and first-timers can revel in a series
you recruit soldiers for your growing army as you wage war in       that is, if you can excuse the pun, as solid as they come.
South America in search of your mentor. It's also got fantastic
graphic novel cut-scenes that are a welcome break from the
extravagant movie-like exposition of the other two games. The
controls are great too, allowing you to play the game as you
would MGS4, giving it a degree of accessibility.
   Graphically, however, it's a bit of a downer. While the facial
models are high resolution, the rest of the character's features
such as their clothes seem borderline SD in comparison. This
extends to some of the environments, which appear to be in
contention with MGS2 for the blockiest MGS ever award. That

   a four star suplex.
   by murali venukumar

          ro wrestling isn’t just about men      comes to engaging the audience through        tling terms) is the new and improved
          and women in garish spandex            its length.                                   Universe mode. The game generates a
          pretending to smack the liv-               So can WWE 12 live up to those lofty      non-stop stream of fight cards for every
   ing daylights out of each other. Hand         ideals? Yes and no. Marketed as a sort        WWE brand that closely mimic WWE’s
   in multi-colored glove with the faux          of reboot for the series, it certainly does   television programming, complete with
   gratuitous violence are stage managed         make the right first impressions. The         dynamic storylines, cutscenes, and
   theatrics that require a sense of timing,     presentation is noticeably slicker, and the   the ability to simulate or play matches
   overstated gravitas and blind bravado         main menu gives you a heap of options         yourself. This year brings more story
   that would stand up to the harshest of        to pick from. While the exhibition mode       and cutscene variety as well as greater
   Broadway scrutiny. It’s far too easy to       allows you to mix and match wrestlers         customization. You can resurrect WCW
   overlook the intelligence and where-          with the obscenely large number of            brands, for instance, and relive the
   withal required in putting together a         match types that the game comes with,         golden age of wrestling all over again.
   good wrestling match, especially when it      you’ll be well advised to opt for the more    Combine this with the ability to down-
                                                 structured WWE Universe or Road to            load user-created rings, wrestlers and
                                                 Wrestlemania modes to start off with.         even storylines, and you’ve got an amaz-
                                                     Road to Wrestlemania gives you three      ing play set on your hands.
                                                 mini-stories to play through, starring            Supporting the Exhibition, Road to
                                                 Sheamus, Triple H, and a CAW (voiced by       Wrestlemania and Universe modes are a
                                                 Austin Aries, no less). The CAW storyline,    robust set of creation tools that let you
                                                 in particular, will interest anyone who       knock out not just wrestlers, but rings,
                                                 grew up with wrestling in the 80s and         entrances, finishers, Titantron videos,
                                                 90s. All three stories are good fun and       storylines and cutscenes. The level of
                                                 will take you multiple sittings to play       customisability here is a class apart.
                                                 through. The now series’ standard hor-        There’s also a multiplayer mode that’s
                                                 rific recording booth voice acting returns,   just about adequate in terms of features,
                                                 but the over the top tales themselves         but you’d much rather play local multi-
                                                 are more than competent and the situ-         player than deal with the fits of lag that
                                                 ations and match types you’re put in are      plague the netcode.
                                                 always engaging.                                  Now that we’ve established the fea-
                                                     Playing smark to Road to Wrestle-         ture set, lets look at how the game plays.
                                                 mania’s kayfabe, (yes, those are wres-        This year’s game jettisons the right ana-

january 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement                                                        Hemali Limbachiya
                                                                                                                                      REVIEW 47

      RATING 4/5                             ring effectiveness and to render them
                                             more prone to submissions. It’s a decent                  GAmE INfo
                                             improvement and brings some welcome              Fighting
                                             depth to the game, some of which had
                                                                                              WWE 12
                                             only just been lost with the simplified
                                                                                              PricE              rs 2,699 (PS3, Xbox 360),
                                             grapple button. One wishes Yuke’s would                             rs 1,999 (Wii)
                                             just carry forward innovations and not           PubliShEr          thQ
                                             keep switching them out so often.                DEvEloPEr          Yuke’s
                                                 Yuke’s has clearly been working on           DiStributor        E-Xpress interactive
                                             the general flow of the action as well.          PhonE              022 29661017
                                             The in-ring action is much closer to the         E-Mail   
                                             ebbs and flows of a well booked wres-            For
                                             tling match now, although the no-selling         the actual wrestling is still fun, good visual
                                             of certain moves is wholly inexcusable.          presentation, user generated content
                                             The intelligent grapple mechanics aids           againSt
                                             in this, although artificially, ensuring that    bad audio presentation, lots of good ideas
                                             the player doesn’t start raining bombs on        dumped from past games
                                             the opponent from the opening bell. You
                                             now work your way up to the big moves,
                                             complete with stored finishers that can
                                             be reversed and second wind comebacks
                                             that give you multiple opportunities to
                                             trip up your adversary.
log stick-centric control scheme of old          Counters have been assigned to the
in favor of a new and more streamlined       R2 button, although the window to tap
system. You can’t choose between per-        it when the on screen prompt pops up
forming light and strong grapples any-       is frighteningly short. This does make
more. Instead, you have a single ‘smart’     sense as not every move can or should
grapple button at your disposal that lets    be reversed, and some of the frustration
you perform moves according to your          does dissipate once you realize that there
opponent’s health and position in and        are plenty of sliders to tweak reversals
out of the ring.                             as well as opponent AI. Cueing the rever-
   While this works as stated, you can’t     sal prompt with logical (and predictable)
help but miss the freedom that being         counter-points in the animations would
able to choose your own grapple. To          have been better.
make up for its loss, Yuke’s has thrown          Move animations also seem to tran-          none of which should even be an issue
in a fancy new limb targeting system         sition into each other much better than         in 2011 when games like NBA 2K12 are
that lets you wear down specific parts       ever, although the walking and running          around.
of a wrestler’s body to restrict their in-   still looks a tad robotic. For veterans of         The new PG slant in WWE program-
                                             the series, it’ll be apparent soon enough       ming ensures that there’s a subtle shift
                                             that this is just another retooling of the      away from weapons as well as blood
                                             same engine that the series has been            (which is off by default). Weapon inter-
                                             using for an eternity now. Granted, this        actions also seem neutered, and the
                                             is the best its ever been, but you’ve got       quick-event hotspots around the ring
                                             to wonder just long they’ll need to iter-       have been removed as well. There are
                                             ate before finally coming up with the           also backstage sequences and fights
                                             right formula.                                  that aren’t nearly as visually interesting
                                                 The in-game production is quite good        as they’ve been in previous games.
                                             as long as you can look past the low-              All said, WWE 12 is definitely a step in
                                             poly crowds. While the wrestlers look           the right direction for the series. There’s
                                             great, as do the rings and arenas, the          lots of fun to be had despite its flaws,
                                             same can’t be said about the sound.             even more so with friends around. If
                                             Along with sub-par voice acting is the          you’ve been staying away because every
                                             now archaic commentary system. Calls            game was starting to look and feel the
                                             are either too late or completely wrong,        same, there’s enough new here to war-
                                             and there are awkward gaps and pauses,          rant a fresh look-see.

                                                                              intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  january 2012

       remastered Chief.
                                                                              RATING 4/5                         RATING 3/5
       by rishi alwani

             ou know the last gen of consoles was awesome              of the Halo ringworld years ago. Ditto
             when you see a spate of remakes hogging shelf             with the story, which has you donning the
             space, time and most importantly reviews like this.       cybernetically-enhanced boots of super soldier
      The Halo series is legendary for reasons more than one. At       Master Chief, taking on the Covenant on a newly
      the time, it's debut effort, Halo: Combat Evolved, propelled     discovered planet.
      Microsoft's original Xbox from a non-starter to a must-have         Throw in some recent additions to the franchise, such
      console. A lot has changed since then. We've seen five other     as skulls that modify the game by giving you infinite ammo
      games, a very awesome set of animated shorts that was            or letting enemies burst into confetti; and terminals that fill
      Halo Legends, and a spate of novels that have fleshed out        in the game's back story, and you have all you need for the
      the universe in ways that other video games could not. Oh,       old-timers to come racing back. And if you haven't played
      and Halo creators Bungie no longer developing games for          any of the games in the franchise, CEA is an ideal starting
      Microsoft exclusively.                                           point. The HD upgrade is substantial, giving the game a lot
         Halo: CEA proclaims high-def graphics, 3D support,            of color, texture and, dare I say, life that the original lacked.
      Kinect functionality and new multiplayer maps - enough           You can see how big a jump it is by switching to classic
      new, shiny features to tick all the boxes of the modern day      mode, which lets you play the game as it was on the Xbox 1,
      gamer. But as the old axiom goes, the more things change,        blocky graphics, low-res textures et al.
      the more they stay the same. And this time, it holds true           But the problem with things staying the same is that it
      in a purely good way. The AI is still best in class, the weap-   applies to the game's faults as well. Remember how the
      ons give the same familiar kick and the lack of power-ups        game used to pause between missions? The first game had
      made popular from Halo 3 and Reach make this game more           this issue where you'd see a “loading...” sign on the bottom
      skill-dependent than most others. There's something to be        left corner of the screen and movement would screech to
      said about the controls that induce almost instant reac-         a halt as a chunk of a level would load. I don't know if it's
      tions, even if the last time you've played the game was in       intentional on the part of the developer or just something
      the early 2000s. Everything is as you left the wide expanses     they overlooked, but it's something that shouldn't be there

                                                                                                      GAmE INfo
                                                                                             first-person shooter

                                                                                             halo: Combat evolved
                                                                                             priCe              rs 1,999 (Xbox 360)
                                                                                             publisher          Microsoft
                                                                                             Developer          343 industries
                                                                                             Distributor        redington
                                                                                             phone              nA
                                                                                             e-MAil             nA

                                                                                             Classic unadulterated gameplay, looks great
                                                                                             remastered, still rocks the best Ai around.

                                                                                             Glitchy in a few places, Kinect and 3D are fluff.

january 2012  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement                                           Hemali Limbachiya
                                                              REVIEW 49

in a modern day remastering. Driving vehicles, especially the
Warthog, is still painful and in some cases impossible.
    Some of the pain has been brought on by the devs themselves,
because triggering events at certain points does become a buggy
affair. For example, an escort mission ended awry with a certain
character getting shot. However, the very next cutscene had the
same character piloting the ship on which you made your escape.
The 3D mode is more or less fluff, with little-to-no tangible bene-
fit over normal viewing. Kinect support is hit or miss too. You can
use the motion sensor to lob grenades, scan the environment or
switch to classic mode with your voice. It works, but just barely.
    As mentioned earlier, the gameplay still holds its own. This
extends to the multiplayer as well. It isn't a full blown offering,
rather a set of maps and an update to the popular Halo: Reach
multiplayer, and it runs on the same engine rather than the new
one created for CEA's campaign. Classic maps like Hang 'Em High,
Battle Creek and Damnation are present and are pretty sweet.
    Overall, Halo CEA is a worthwhile purchase for the die-hard
Halo fan who wants to see what a classic would look with some
modern day eye-candy. Considering the original Halo wasn't too
widely available, newbies would find this an accessible entry
point into the franchise as well. It's an accessible re-issue that in
spite of its shortcomings, is well worth a look in.

               intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  january 2012
  Why I’m sick of sequels
                                                              ver the past few months, I’ve been playing
                                                              sequel after sequel, and truth be told, I’m bored.
                                                              It’s not that I didn’t like the games I was playing;
                                                              it’s just that I knew exactly what to expect even
                                                              before I got the game in hand. To some, that
                                              may feel like going to a restaurant, ordering the same dish
                                              you do every time and relishing it, but after a while, you’ll
                                              crave a different dish. That’s how humans roll.
                                                  I had touched upon this very same topic a while back,
                                              debating whether this trend of cashing in on sequels was
                                              hampering the industry, and now I can emphatically state
                                              that it is. It seems, however, that I’m in the minority, as sales
                                              figures state otherwise. Modern Warfare 3, something I was
                                              personally a bit disappointed with, has gone on to become
                                              the bestselling video game in history, upping its predecessor
                                              Black Ops that had smashed all sorts of entertainment

   “Every company                             records. Even Uncharted 3, something I had huge hopes for,
                                              could not live up to the standards set up by its predecessor.

can't be a Rockstar                           Once again, it seemed I was in the minority as most of our
                                              readers were clearly in love with the game.

  Games, but that                                 And then there are games like Need for Speed: The Run
                                              that are, not surprisingly, a huge step down from previous

doesn’t mean they                             iterations. Even though developer Black Box had nearly three
                                              years to work on this game, while studios like Criterion and

      shouldn’t try.”                         Slight Mad churned out other, better NFS games, it seemed
                                              they failed hard, forgetting what made us love the series
                                              in the first place. The same goes with Assassin’s Creed:
  Revelations that’s a far cry from both Assassin’s Creed II and Brotherhood. Now I remember reading
  somewhere that Brotherhood and Revelations aren’t actual sequels and this makes me wonder that
  if the spin-offs have become stale, what could Ubisoft possibly do to get me interested in Assassin’s
  Creed III. Even if the game makes the jump to modern day, gameplay mechanics will still stay the
  same, so what would their hook be?
      What worries me the most is that this trend shows absolutely no sign of slowing down. As I went
  through some of the games releasing in 2012, I realised that there are not more than a handful of
  original IPs releasing next year. And out of those few, I doubt stuff like Inversion or Asura’s Wrath will
  make a huge dent at sales. This obviously doesn’t mean I’m not looking forward to Max Payne 3 or
  Grand Theft Auto V, the main reason being Rockstar doesn’t assault us with yearly iterations of these
  games. Even if Max Payne 3 had not been delayed multiple times and released when it was supposed
  to in 2010, there was still a seven year gap between sequels. The same goes with GTA V that will
  release nearly four years after its predecessor.
      I know every company cannot be a Rockstar Games, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try.
  Churn out sequels, fine, but don’t release them so often that players get sick of the very same formula
  they loved. At least try to innovate a bit by expanding upon the predecessor in noticeable or even
  subtle ways. Franchises like Call of Duty and Need for Speed have already descended down that
  slippery slope and its only a matter of time before both gamers and developers get burnt out with the
  same sh*t on a different day.

RNI Registration No. MAHENG/2003/12687

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