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NASCAR THE GAME 2011

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NASCAR THE GAME 2011

Career Mode

Players progress through the grandeur of the NASCAR racing championships – The adrenaline-pumping NASCAR Sprint Cup series. Career mode provides the opportunity to compete at all the real-world NASCAR tracks alongside 42 other NASCAR legends – battling for points, victories, cups, and other race rewards. Drivers perfect their pit-stops, and master their

racing reflexes in order to make ‘The Chase’, the final 10 races towards stardom and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship.

Ferocious Damage and Wrecks

Using the Eutechnyx Damage and Wreck System cars are catapulted into the air, barrel-rolling over one another. Metal twists and tears like cloth, whilst sparks and fragments scatter across the track. Debris that litters the track is actual parts off the car.

The damage system allows all areas of the car to realistically display damage build up, in direct relation to impacts and action throughout the race. Damaged panels react to inertia and vibrate realistically in relation to the car’s velocity..

Pit Stops

Pit stops and NASCAR go hand in hand. Throughout career mode, single player events and online multiplayer*, pit stop strategy and efficiency is a fun and immersive part of the race.

The pit stop sequences in the game mimic that of the real thing. Players witness their crew working efficiently to change all four tyres, refuel and dial out handling deficiencies in the car, all in under 14 seconds. All pit stop animations are fully motion captured from a real NASCAR Sprint Cup team.

Spotter

Spotter feedback informs the player of the drivers in the race that will work with him, to bump draft, block, or slingshot, all in real-time. Invaluable advice from the spotter also alerts the player to any hazards up ahead, opponents closing the gap or attempting to pass, as well as how to react.

The player’s Spotter advises with VO on the areas of the car concerning the team, as well as make real-time, calculated suggestions on the pit strategy.

VO advice is based upon the car’s current fuel levels, tire wear, and the player’s position in the race, in association with the number of laps left. Even the player’s position in the overall standings is taken into account – giving dynamic, informative and invaluable advice to the player.

Online Play

NASCAR The Game 2011 supports online racing, with up to 16 player races and offers players additional modes of gameplay and the chance to increase their online skill rating.

Players can join or create private multiplayer lobbies with ease, utilizing a choice of pre-defined race styles and additional race settings to create the race they want. Pit stops, tire wear, fuel consumption and caution flags can all feature in an online race if the player wishes.

Players have the freedom to race with any of their cars online, any custom paint schemes and any tuning setups. Online play and split-screen also allows players to race as any of their favourite NASCAR drivers.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction

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Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction is the sixth installment in the Splinter Cell video game series. The game was developed by Ubisoft Montreal, developers of Splinter Cell, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory and the sixth generation versions of Splinter Cell: Double Agent. Key members of the Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas team, such as creative director Maxime Béland, also worked on the game. Gameloft will also be creating a mobile version of the game for the iPhone OS.

Gameplay

Splinter Cell: Conviction introduces a number of new gameplay features to the series, one of which is the “Mark and Execute” feature, which allows the player to mark specific targets, such as enemies or objects, and shoot them when they burst through a door or window. The player can choose to prioritize these targets, so that, for example, he could distract one guard by shooting out a light in his vicinity and then take out another guard. Another new feature is the “Last Known Position”, which occurs when the player breaks the line of sight of an alerted guard. This creates a visual silhouette of where the guard thinks Sam is, allowing the player to strategically flank his enemies. Main target subjects can use the player’s abilities against them. The player can be taken hostage by the subject. If this happens in co-op mode, the hostage’s partner can neutralize the subject by shooting them.

Other new features include the ability to interrogate characters in real-time and use objects in the surrounding environment against them. A crowd mechanic was initially introduced, which would have allowed Sam to disappear from his pursuers, but this element seems to have been dropped out of Conviction during development. The environment is also used to project mission objectives and key plot points onto walls in order to keep the player immersed in the gameplay during the narrative.

Multiplayer

Multiplayer mode in Splinter Cell: Conviction involves split screen, system link (Xbox 360) and online cooperative mode, plus a Deniable Ops mode. Deniable Ops mode involves 4 multiplayer modes that pit the players against AI in game modes such as Hunter, Infiltration, Last Stand, and Face-Off.

According to co-op game director Patrick Redding, the stealth in Splinter Cell: Conviction is designed around the new core elements like “Mark and Execute” and “Last Known Position” that have been shown since E3 2009. These things are designed for players to fool and defeat A.I. opponents but not human opponents.

Single Player

Taking place three years after the events of Splinter Cell: Double Agent, former Navy SEAL Victor Coste is held in a Black Arrow facility interrogation room as he is interviewed by an unidentified group of men, recalling events in the past tense.

After having disappeared, Sam Fisher is remotely located by former Third Echelon colleague Anna Grimsdottir in a marketplace situated Valetta, Malta. He is warned that a group of hitmen have located him. Sam dispatches them and interrogates the leader, learning that drug runner Andriy Kobin was responsible for the death of his daughter, Sarah. Sam learns that Kobin is present in his mansion, a re-purposed museum. Upon infiltrating the mansion, Sam interrogates Kobin and learns that the situation was “bigger than his daughter,” prior to being captured by Third Echelon agents.

Sam is relocated to Price Airfield in Washington D.C., where Grimsdottir reveals that she is working with President Caldwell as a mole for Third Echelon, and that she needs his help with investigating a PMC named Black Arrow. A reluctant Sam refuses to help her, but relents after being told that Sarah is alive, and that she would prove it to him during the course of the investigation. Grimsdottir facilitates Sam’s escape from the airfield by providing him weapons and access to her car. After this point, Sam calls in his former squadmate, Victor Coste, for assistance in the investigation, in part of Victor having rescued him during the events of Operation Desert Storm. Sam meets with Victor at a county fair in the Washington Monument, receives some equipment, and learns that White Box Technologies, a research-and-division company specializing in EMPs, hired Black Arrow for corporate security, which is considered to be out of character as Black Arrow does not provide it.

Sam heads to White Box Technologies and witnesses multiple scientists having been murdered by Third Echelon director Tom Reed and Black Arrow operatives. Fisher saves one of the scientists and learns that Lucius Galliard hired Black Arrow to provide security, and that Robertson has been collecting and disposing of experimental data with EMP countermeasures. Sam reaches Robertson’s office and downloads the data for Grimsdottir’s analysts to study. He later triggers an EMP to prevent Black Arrow’s tracing of the download in order to maintain Grimsdottir’s cover.

Sam is later directed to the Lincoln Memorial under orders from both President Caldwell and Grimsdottir, infiltrating the area to record a conversation between Reed and Galliard. Sam later interrogates Galliard, only for the latter to get assassinated by a gunman. Sam pursues the gunman, only for the gunman to get killed by a car bomb. Sam is later drawn into a confrontation with Third Echelon agents until he is extracted by Secret Service.

Sam infiltrates the Third Echelon headquarters to recover equipment and retrieve information from Reed’s office. Instead of finding Reed, Sam re-encounters Kobin and interrogates him again. Sam learns that Reed was working with Megiddo to smuggle EMP technology into the United States, and use that technology to facilitate Caldwell’s assassination and have the Vice President take over the position since he was “in Megiddo’s pocket.” As a result of facilitating the assassination, Reed would then be promoted within the higher ranks of the government and be considered a hero. Kobin later reveals that he never knew anything about Sarah and only provided a false body to stage her death, urging him to ask Grimsdottir as she knew the whole story. Sam confronts Grimsdottir with the information he learned, and is urged to view a last audio recording of Lambert. Sam learns that Lambert staged Sarah’s death as a car accident out of necessity, having learned that a mole within Third Echelon would use her as leverage against Sam. Lambert later concludes that he wasn’t able to locate the mole, and that his efforts may have been vain.

Grimsdottir later tells an enraged Sam to stop one of three EMP attacks at Michigan Avenue, stating that Sarah’s designated apartment is within Michigan Avenue’s blast radius, while Victor recovers Sarah and later helps Sam with halting the attack. Grimsdottir would accompany Reed to the White House in order to halt the assassination. Sam is extracted by Victor and has a brief reunion with Sarah before the two EMP attacks commence. Shortly after a crashlanding, Sam infiltrates the White House while confronting Black Arrow and Third Echelon operatives in the process. Sam regroups with Grimsdottir and is held captive to get closer to Reed.

Upon entering the Oval Office, Sam and Grimsdottir kill the Third Echelon escorts, with Sam interrogating Reed while the United States Army extracts Caldwell. It is revealed that Caldwell was going to shut down Third Echelon and leave “America vulnerable to future attacks” and that Reed was the mole Lambert was looking for. Depending on the player’s choice, Sam or Grimsdottir execute Reed.

Black Arrow’s interview with Victor has concluded, with Victor stating that Sam would be with Sarah and that Sam loved him like a brother. Shortly after Victor finishes his sentence, an explosion places the building on alert, implying that Sam is assaulting the base.

Need for Speed: Shift

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Need for Speed: Shift is the 13th installment of the long-running racing video game franchise Need for Speed; published by Electronic Arts. It was announced in December 2008 as part of a three-game announcement that includes Need for Speed: Nitro and Need for Speed: World Online. Shift was developed by Slightly Mad Studios in conjunction with EA Black Box and published for Electronic Arts. In the new franchising model for the series adopted by EA, Shift takes its place focusing on simulation racing rather than the arcade racing of previous titles in the series.

Gameplay

Cars

There are 60+ cars which are divided into 4 tiers. Tier 1 refers to family cars, tier 2 refers to higher performance cars, tier 3 refers to supercars like the Lamborghini Gallardo, and tier 4 refers to fast supercars like the Lexus LF-A and Bugatti Veyron.

Car customization

The car customization options include cosmetics as well as performance mods and is more in depth than previous games, affecting aspects such as; alignment, aerodynamics, tires, brakes, differential, and gears. Nitrous will also be an option for tuning, but different from previous Need for Speed games as it will be simulated more realistically. There are body kits and weight reduction, which affect the aerodyniamics. There are visual customization options like rims, vinyls and paints.

Tracks

There are 19 tracks in total including real world circuits such as Brands Hatch, Nurburgring Nordschleife, Road America, Spa, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Silverstone, Willow Springs, Donington Park National and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Development

According to an interview from Shift’s producer, Geever, the game has been in development for two years. He also mentioned that the game features a new “Driver experience”. G-force will play an important role in the game, as it will affect both the player and the AI. The in-car view will also return, making its first appearance in a Need for Speed game since Porsche Unleashed. The in-car view will be highly detailed, and it will be possible to see the driver changing gears and moving his head to get a better view of the mirror. The crashes will affect the players visuals. While crashing, there will be a temporary blur on screen. The sound aspect will have detailed car crash sound, as well as a sharp gasp of breath from the driver before a collision.

Soundtrack

The soundtrack of Shift remains similar to that of EA’s prior driving sim, Need for Speed: ProStreet, featuring a scored soundtrack rather than a general track list as is seen in previous titles such as Need for Speed: Most Wanted, and Need for Speed: Carbon.

Patches/Add-Ons

EA promised that patches would be released with new features in addition to bug fixes. The Patch 1.01 added LAN (Local Area Network) play and Mouse Support, providing full menu navigation to the game, to the PC version. Patch 1.02 added 5 cars (Toyota Supra Mk IV, 1971 Dodge Challenger R/T, 1969 Dodge Charger R/T, 1967 Corvette and 1967 Shelby GT-500) and a new online “Team Racing” game mode, where a Blue team of racers runs against a Red Team. In addition, the 1.02 patch fixed several performance issues (especially with ATI cards), improved gameplay, and increased the maximum number of players online from 8 to 12.

On February 16 EA Need For Speed released Ferrari DLC pack that contains 10 Ferraris, also extends the SHIFT’s career mode with 46 new Ferrari specific challenges designed for the Ferrari cars to participate in including hot laps, eliminators, endurance races and a world tour. Completing the perfect Ferrari package are an additional 125 gamerpoints as a reward for undertaking various exciting challenges. Available on Xbox 360 for 800 Microsoft Points the Ferraris available include Superamerica, Scuderia Spider 16M, California, 599 GTB Fiorano, F430 Spider, 430 Scuderia, F430 GTC, F430 Challenge, F50 GT & Ferrari FXX.

An Exotic Racing Pack was also released which features cars like the McLaren MP4-12C, the BMW M1, the Gumpert Apollo and the Acura NSX.