gears-of-war-3-a Gears Of War 3 - Microsoft

The Power Up gaming blog is feeling festive this week with Gears of War 3, The Gunstringer and F1 2011 among the gifts on offer.

Microsoft 2011 Christmas Showcase
It may be July, but it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – well, for the people at Microsoft at least. Last week, we took a sneak peek at what Santa Gates and his elves have in store for us this festive season and, we have to admit, it’s all looking pretty exciting for gamers. Having taken over (and decked out in tinsel and trimmings) London’s Saatchi Gallery, the tech giant introduced us to some pretty stunning titles.

Now, we’ve waxed geekical about the likes of Forza Motorsport 4 and Batman: Arkham City in this blog before, so let’s talk about some other titles on the Microsoft roster this year. You may have heard of a little trilogy-ending title called Gears Of War 3. Well, we got the chance to play the five-person multiplayer co-op Horde 2.0 mode and, boy, is it intense. Relying on teamwork and some serious fragging alongside the tactical purchase of alien-bashing defences, it’s a clever evolutionary step in online co-op play that will no doubt help to elevate the game to even bigger sales figures than before. 

null Gears Of War 3 - Microsoft

Next up was The Gunstringer, a clever arcade shooter for Kinect that sees you taking control of a cowboy marionette (left hand pulls the strings, right fires the gun) on a rampage through a cartoonish Wild West that’s part Rango, part Grim Fandango.

It’s a fine example of the pick-up-and-play capabilities of the 360 motion-control system and a whole lot more appealing than Kinect Star Wars, a game which at first glance seems underdeveloped and visually unappealing (of course, that opinion may change as more is revealed).

The Christmas theme meant the emphasis was on multiplayers and the party appeal of Kinect and Xbox’s upcoming games, but what surprised us was the diverse audience they’re trying to capture. There’s your kiddie-pleasers with the hugely enjoyable likes of Kinect: Disneyland Adventures, a game which has faithfully recreated Uncle Walt’s Magic Kingdom in LA. Then there’s the sports and fitness titles, such as Kinect: Sports Season 2, Dance Central 2 and Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012, all of which are brilliantly responsive and accurate. And finally you’ve got the slightly unexpected adult titles such as Rise Of Nightmares, a bloody, violent tale that evokes unsavoury comparisons to Hostel-style horror porn with its heady brew of outrageous weaponry and blood-spattered setting. In aiming to provide something for absolutely everyone and making the most of its next-gen technology, it’s clearly going to be a very merry Christmas for Microsoft. Personally, I’m hoping for an Assassin’s Creed: Revelations-shaped gift in my stocking (hint! hint!).

First Look At F1 2011
Codemasters’ sequel to the fastest-selling Formula One game ever finally hits the shelves on September 23, two days before the Singapore Grand Prix. In the likely event that the current drivers’ standings haven’t changed much in appearance by then, you’ll be getting the chance to rewrite history in fine style with F1 2011 on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. The brand-sparkling-new trailer has just hit been released and, judging by the gorgeous graphics, we’ll be repeating the season over and over again, regardless of who wins…


Insomnia Wins Prizes
Described as ‘Glastonbury For Gamers’, insomnia43, the UK’s largest multiplayer gaming festival, is getting really big this year as it aims to welcome over 3,000 multiplayer gamers to battle it out for a prize pot in excess of £30,000 (€34,100). Taking place at the Telford International Centre in the UK Midlands from August 26-29, i43 will see gamers compete across a range of titles – Halo Reach, Team Fortress 2, Heroes Of Newerth, that sort of thing – for professional prestige and piles of money.

The event is amping up the rock ’n’ roll atmosphere this year with round-the-clock events, a main stage featuring ‘world-class entertainment’, parties, celeb appearances, on-site camping, portaloos and burger stalls (the latter two are still TBC). For further info on how to enter or simply spectate, click here.

BioShock Infinite Gameplay
When first we heard that the latest BioShock title was moving from its traditionally stunning dystopian seabed setting to a city in the sky, we weren’t too impressed. After all, how can you possibly outdo excellence of the art deco-themed hell-hole that was Rapture? Well, judging by the new gameplay trailer below, Irrational Games have only gone and done just that with Columbia, the Bespin-meets-Steampunk-style cloud metropolis that will host the adventures of our disgraced Pinkerton hero and his super-powered damsel-in-distress. It’s innovations-a-go-go here as a host of new abilites, cool weaponry, a nifty form of transportation and utterly gorgeous design promise to pull us back into the BioShock universe big time later this year…



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