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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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Buffy gives us a broken heart

Imagine taking part in an episode of season three and chatting at will to all the characters, then staking your claim to the role of Slayer...

When Electronic Arts nabbed the Buffy license, I must confess to having been somewhat miffed. After all, when I initially heard about a Simpsons videogame from EA, I had envisaged a beautifully realised interactive version of Springfield, like a lost episode of the most recent series, with all of my favourite characters properly voiced by the original actors and a serious plot - like the episode when Homer accidentally commits 'gatorcide and has to flee Florida (America's wang) and make end's meet as a waiter - intertwined with irreverent and completely insane dialogue and sub-plots. And while what we got, Simpsons Road Rage, wasn't a bad game per se, it still felt like a quick-fingered lift of my wallet while I scrimmaged on a bus to boredom. Fortunately, for whatever reason, the same couldn't be farther from the truth with Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Once it was declared Xbox-exclusive, it became rather obvious that things were happening with the project, and the constant slippage (current estimate: 2nd August) betrayed the possibility that people were actually working to complete a game this time, and not working to fulfil a quota. And then it all started coming together. This is meant to be a lost episode of the third series, and it will have all my favourite characters - Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Cordelia, Spike and Angel - allegedly voiced by their small-screen counterparts. Furthermore, with the help of Chris Golden and Tom Sniegoski (of Buffy novels and comic books fame), the plot and dialogue should be as snappy and authentic as any fan could hope for. "In keeping with the context of the show we firmly conformed to the 'happenings' of [the third] series of episodes," a spokesperson for the developer told Computer & VideoGames on Friday, before going on to cite the game's pick-up-and-play accessibility along with its surprising authenticity as its main selling points. Apart from the fact that it actually bothers to live up to our expectations - at least in promise - it also seems as though elements of combat will balance the story-driven experience admirably. Buffy can pull off lightning fast kicks, punches and throws of the kind witnessed on the show, but as far as weapons go, "there are stakes, crossbows, holy water, hellfire, shovels, sledgehammers, a water gun, the reaper blade and others," and not content with that, a degree of improvisation. Not sure what to do? "How about you grab them and throw them at that shard of wood protruding from the wall? Or why not throw them onto that flaming oil barrel?" We're not so naïve as to assume that the final product will automatically turn out to be exactly what we want, but if the above isn't much to go by, the developer's enthusiasm for the game and its subject matter, not to mention all the various affiliations with the show - right down to the involvement of Joss Whedon - certainly are. The 2nd of August, you say? That's about 51 and a half days… Related Feature - Buffy The Vampire Slayer screenshots

Source - C&VG

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