Sunday, 11 March 2012

Street Fighter X Tekken (Digital Foundy - Face Off)

It's hard to imagine characters from two completely different fighting games working well together in a single title, but Capcom's solution is obvious but effective: by tethering Namco's characters to the classic Street Fighter gameplay, the developers have avoided the potential problems of shoehorning two distinct play styles together in one title, and the fresh roster creates a title that feels tangible different from the company's other fighting games.

For this latest release, the MT Framework engine used to power Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has been jettisoned in favour of an enhanced version of the technology behind the Street Fighter 4 games. The result is a game which shares much in common with those titles, from the rendering resolution to the implementation of anti-aliasing. The cross platform conversion work is extremely close, and in terms of the graphical look of the game there are a number of visual tweaks which positively enhance the core artwork without compromising the blistering smooth 60FPS action.

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Syndicate (Digital Foundry - Face Off)

The idea of the classic real-time strategy franchise rebooted as a first person shooter may well upset die-hard purists, but the fact is that Riddick/Darkness developer Starbreeze has handed in an entertaining action game featuring solid gunplay and challenging AI. However, single- and multiplayer modes are distinctly fractured from each other, and there's a distinct sense that some of the best ideas are rarely explored to the fullest extent of their potential.

From a technological perspective, the visual representation of the sleek, highly stylised sci-fi setting is handled beautifully, and the engine powering the game appears to be well optimised in terms of performance across both console platforms. Starbreeze's proprietary engine has traditionally favoured the 360's architecture, taking advantage of the increased memory bandwidth and higher pixel fill-rate to deliver superior resolutions along with higher quality artwork. However, Syndicate is by far the developer's closest multiplatform release to date.

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