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Controller Freak

Chad Sapieha leads you deep into the world of games, covering gaming trends

Entry archive:

New 'Max Payne' a bullet-time bender in balmy Brazil

Chad Sapieha

It’s clear from the outset of Max Payne 3 that our cleverly christened protagonist is not in a happy place.

It’s been 10 years since he avenged the death of his wife and daughter, and he can still think of nothing else. Drowning in lethal mix of booze and despair, Max – now a bit craggier, a little greyer and slightly broader around the waist – leaves his old life behind to start anew as a bodyguard in São Paulo, Brazil, where he takes a job protecting a family of local celebrities. But the new setting does little good. Chasing pills with whisky, he seems on a mission of self destruction set to rival Nicolas Cage’s character in Leaving Las Vegas.

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'Starhawk' is action-packed, but sadly charm-free

Chad Sapieha

Starhawk, the PlayStation 3-exclusive successor to 2007’s multiplayer-focused Warhawk, has several tasty ingredients that should have guaranteed a fragging good time.

It’s a fast-paced sci-fi adventure set in the far reaches of space, where frontiersmen toil to earn a living by harvesting valuable “rift energy” while fighting off the humanoid mutants who try to protect it. This is the backdrop against which a conflict between two brothers plays out. One is (mostly) human, the other is a mutant, and they seem destined to face off in some sort of bloody, Wild West showdown.

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12 games that were made for the new iPad

Chad Sapieha

Thanks to its fancy 2048-by-1536 resolution retina display and powerful quad-core graphics processor, Apple’s third-generation iPad has created a perceptibly tiered iOS tablet platform, especially when it comes to games. Interactive entertainment just looks better on Apple’s latest whiz-bang slate than it does in an iPad 1 or 2.

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Draw Something gets players to sketch their own ads

Chad Sapieha

It was the best thing my wife had ever drawn. The subject was an elderly man with horn-rimmed glasses, a distinctive goatee, and a bolero tie, his visage emblazoned in white and black on a red bucket. It was KFC’s Colonel Sanders, of course, and it was as fine a piece of art as I'd ever seen rendered by another player in OMGPOP's smash hit guess-a-sketch game Draw Something.

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'The Elder Scrolls' gets the massively multiplayer treatment

Chad Sapieha

Bethesda Softworks’ sister studio ZeniMax Online Studios announced Thursday The Elder Scrolls Online, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game that’s been in development for several years.

Its existence was made official through the unveiling of GameInformer’s June cover, which features an image likely to become an iconic symbol for the game: A ring of dragons biting each other’s tails.

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Wired GeekDad calls for 'new priesthood' of player-critics

Chad Sapieha

Andy Robertson, a colleague and long-distance friend of mine on the other side of the Atlantic, recently delivered a TEDx talk in which he argues that people need to begin working harder to connect the games they play with the human experience. You can check it out in the side bar. It’s only 11 minutes long and well worth a watch.

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Nintendo dips a toe in digital distribution for new games

Chad Sapieha

Nintendo’s digital distribution strategy is improving. The Japanese game giant recently revealed that most upcoming first-party titles for both the 3DS and the soon-to-launch Wii U (successor to the outgoing Wii) will be available for purchase both at retail and in digital format.

What does this mean? Starting soon you’ll be able to choose whether you want to head to the store and purchase a box containing a physical copy of, say, New Super Mario Bros. 2 (which is set to release for 3DS this summer), or just tap a few buttons and have it sent straight to your console via the Nintendo eShop. Consumers who like the idea of downloading games but prefer not to make purchases online will be able to buy download codes from shops like EB Games and Best Buy.

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Google 'Zerg rush' right now

Chad Sapieha

Before reading any further, open a new browser window, type “Zerg rush” into its Google search bar, and hit enter. Trust me.

Done? Okay. If you’re familiar with StarCraft, a ridiculously popular series of real-time strategy games that have spawned professional leagues and televised tournaments, you’re probably giddy with delight. If not, you may be a little confused. Let me explain.

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'Machinarium' maker swaps robots for plants in 'Botanicula'

Chad Sapieha

Amanita Design’s Botanicula is an extravagance of imagination.

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, it's a follow-up to the Czech studio’s artsy point-and-click adventure Machinarium, which found critical and commercial success across the globe thanks to its beautiful graphics, challenging puzzles, and a compelling story told through images rather than words.

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Superbrothers, Deus Ex win big at Canadian Videogame Awards

Chad Sapieha

Indie hit Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP and dystopian action/adventure Deus Ex: Human Revolution were the belles of the ball at the third annual Canadian Videogame Awards, held Saturday Night on the West coast in conjunction with Fan Expo Vancouver.

The ceremony, designed to recognize excellence in Canada’s booming video game industry, doled out awards in 15 categories.

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Authors

Chad Sapieha

Chad Sapieha has been covering the video game industry in print and broadcast since 1997. He began writing about games for The Globe and Mail in 2004.

Follow Chad on Twitter @chadsapieha