I have often expressed my disinterest in Smartphone and tablet games that try and replicate traditional buttons virtually. Very few have worked and even less have had any kind of lasting appeal for me. Simple finger swipes and taps are what work best and with the App Store crammed with awkward on-screen controllers, it’s always nice when a game comes along that promises something different. Uppercut Games are doing just that with their upcoming shooter, Epoch, which will be available from November 10th.

Epoch has been developed on the ever popular Unreal Engine and if one mechanic is synonymous with that engine it’s a cover system and Epoch is all about taking cover and taking out enemies when it’s tactical to do so. The post-apocalyptic setting may not be the most original and the Gears style combat is often mimicked but from what I’ve seen of Epoch, the fun comes from the aerobatic manoeuvres of the robot you control as it works its way through various arenas battling the hordes of approaching enemies (check out the pre-launch trailer here). I do like a good horde mode in any game so one that is boasting the ability to do this on the go with simple and intuitive controls has got me interested. The story? the press release states Epoch definitely has one but “Uncovering the mystery is part of the fun, so the best way to find out more is to play the game.” Uppercut Games aren’t discussing whether Epoch is to have in-app purchases or multiplayer but the fact they’re not giving an outright ‘no’ would suggest that both will be coming at some point.


Gears of War 3 Beast mode detailed

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Gears of War 3 had a pretty good showing during Monday’s press conference from Microsoft where Cliff Bleszinski announced of a new mode called Beast. He then promptly walked off and gave no further details until yesterday when he spoke with Now Gamer: “Beast mode is our class based monster mode, where you get to play as all the different Locust creatures you’ve been fighting through 2 and now the third game. So all the way from the suicide bomber Ticker, to the shield Boomer, all the way through to the Berserker, who has very bad eyesight but has a Hulk smash and the ability to smash through all of the Coalition’s fortifications, which is very empowering.” A class system would be a nice addition to the Gears mechanics but does anyone want to play as a Ticker? A Berserker however, would be very cool. Cliff continued: “It’s really amazing when you spawn and you see one friend as a giant Berserker, one as a Ticker, and another as a Ceripede which is an electric centipede that shocks and eats people. It’s up to five players and it’s got a little bit of that Horde lineage on it but it really feels unique because it’s so class based. The Kantus resurrects people, for example. Everybody has a role – some people like to be gunners, some people like to be defensive.”

Beast mode looks to be like Horde but from the Locust’s perspective with differing classes that sound as if they’re automatically assigned. Those who spawn as a lower strength Locust will have to gain experience in order to unlock the other characters on offer. With Horde being one of the best features of Gears 2, Beast could take the torch of awesomeness and burn down anyone in COG armour. Can’t wait!

Firefights in Halo 3:ODST

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This video from Giant Bomb was looking good until Sgt Johnson – a familiar face in the Halo story line and who is commentating throughout – had to finish off with “preorder Halo 3: ODST now and get me in the game!”. OK, yes I understand after all, every trailer is really an advert but it sounded rather forced and clashed with the rest of the video. Nevermind…but the content itself looks good and the trailer you see before you shows H3ODST‘s Firefight, a new mode similar to Gears of War 2‘s Horde. The graphics still concern me a little bit as the engine begins to show its age but it looks a hell of a lot of fun!