D.B. Cooper: not his real name. Not even his real fake name, which was Dan Cooper up until the point that the news media mangled it. Cooper's claim to fame - and it is not inconsiderable - is that in 1971 he boarded a commercial jet bound for Seattle, told the cabin crew he had a bomb in his briefcase, and successfully extorted $200,000 from the airline. That's over a million in today's money. Landing at Seattle he collected the cash and four parachutes he had asked for, let the passengers go, and asked the pilots to spin the engines up again and point the plane back the way it came. Half an hour later, he jumped out and has never being heard from since.
Just Cause 2 is an exhilarating and chaotic sandbox action game: you play a secret agent whose main skills are the ability to grapple two objects together with a magical wristbow and spawn an infinity of parachutes. The game's set on the island of Panau, a place of disasters and pinwheeling hilarity where a single, seemingly insignificant mistake can have ludicrous and explosive consequences. The whole thing's glorious and exhausting and ultimately perhaps a little bit hollow. Over the last few weeks, I've been told that the recent fan-made multiplayer mod - standard Just Cause 2 is resolutely single-player - is even more extreme in all these aspects. I had to see it for myself.
The bombastic E3 show floor was packed with open-world games.
Microsoft's stunning U-turn on its controversial Xbox One policies has delighted gamers and retailers - but are developers and publishers just as happy?
I had a friend who had synaesthesia. Sounds would form a iridescent fog over her vision, with different sounds creating different colours, and multiple sounds layering over one another; blue could be shot through with silver, or pockets of red would flare in a brown malaise. Most of the time, she said it was actually quite pleasant, as though she was seeing an extra layer to sound that was unique to her. Most of the time, it made her feel special.
Sometimes, when there was too much sound, or too many that conflicted, it would overwhelm. It would make it difficult to see, and difficult to think, with this violent storm of colour covering everything. It was only at those times that she ever claimed to 'suffer' from synaesthesia.
Proteus, a procedural exploration game by Ed Key, doesn't let you see what you hear. It lets you hear what you see.
Yesterday we asked whether you had any questions for Just Cause 2 game director Magnus Nedfors. It turns out you did, so we asked them, and with the game out today it seems logical to present you the answers. Nedfors talks about fans nearly making him cry, downloadable content, patches and just about everything else you lot could think up to quiz him about. Don't forget Eurogamer's Just Cause 2 review while you're at it.
Whether or not Just Cause 2 protagonist Rico Rodriguez succeeds in tearing down the political machine of Pandak "Baby" Panay, who rules the fictional island nation of Panau with a clunking fist and silly name, he will at least succeed in one regard. The most conspicuous CIA agent since the agency's short-lived and ill-fated spell under the control of Ronald McDonald and the Hamburglar, Rico will have built an anecdote machine to rival any other.
You never forget the moment you fall in love. Whether it's when your heart turns over inside you while she completes that Back to the Future quote you just started, or as your eyes meet across the arena at the local Demolition Derby, it's a memory that will stick with you until the very end.
Building an openworld game around the concept of chaos is a super-smart idea. Chaos is the reason a lot of people play these sorts of things in the first place, but at best, games often make you hunt for your precious moments of anarchy within rigid mission templates, or, at worst, you're actually punished for going bonkers with a rocket launcher. It's a bit like turning up at Disneyland and being told that the rides are all brilliant, but they're being kept underwater at the bottom of a poisoned lake, and if you want to try them out you'll have to fight an orang-utan first.
"Just Cause 2 is bigger and better than Just Cause 1 in pretty much every way possible," says lead designer Peter Johansson, beginning our E3 demo of the game. No offence, Peter, but they all say that. Besides, Just Cause 1 was pretty big anyway - though as Kristan pointed out in his review, it wasn't the best game it could have been.
If people like your game's basic mechanics, you might be onto a winner; if people like your game's bugs, you can't fail. Avalanche Studios should know: its first title, Just Cause, had some of the most likable glitches of all time, from an error which reduced the game's protagonist to a pair of invulnerable disembodied trousers, to supply drops which, when called in, would land directly on top of you.