Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Rockstar Games has today revealed the first artwork for the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V, as well as                   announcing the date at which the first trailer will be available. Below follows the first official image of the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto V, featuring the official logo and the date at which we can expect to see the first trailer from the game: 2nd November 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011


Deus Ex: Human Revolution is already one of my first true candidates for Game of the Year. It manages to do the unthinkable not just once, but multiple times: It didn’t suck. Here are 5 ways that Deus Ex lived up beyond my way too lofty expectations.
1. Truly multiple ways to play the game
I’m the kind of gamer that loves to deviate from the intended path. And when games start to put artificial barriers in front of me to funnel me down one path, it only serves to remind me of how limiting games are. This has always been the main reason why I love the Deus Ex series, because it’s been the one game that is relentless about giving you choices.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution constantly surprised me by allowing me to do things that were clearly not the intended path I was supposed to go down. There are parts of the game that have high level security locks that attempt to keep you on path, but if you chose, you can upgrade your hacking skills and explore all sorts of interesting places, and acquire advanced weapons. You can take on random side quests, which allow you to explore at a leisure pace, without a constant reminder to get back on track. Since been a long time since I last explored a game world and felt liberated in doing so.

2. A storyline that doesn’t need to be spoon fed to you
Too many games today feel like they’ve been written in a high school creative writing class. Dialogue that falls flat with such obvious lines like “I am going to take over the world, and you can’t stop me! HAR HAR HAR!” A storyline that mixes ninjas, zombies, and pirates, then thrown into a storyline concocted out of page 3 of the latest edition of Mad Libs… you know what I’m talking about.
Deus Ex has one of the most complex and juicy stories to digest in gaming, let alone any other medium I have ever seen. If you chose, you could read through all the random material scattered throughout the game, or just talk with people to hear with what they have to say. Everything adds color to a futuristic world that feels so fleshed out
you can only hope that a sequel is made just so you can explore it again (spoiler: your dreams just might come true).
3. True consequences for your actions
Few game designers give you the freedom to make dumb decisions and have you live with them. Bethesda has really nailed this, as both their Elder Scrolls and Fallout series allow you to kill important people, which can result in a hard life for you later in the game, and even make certain quests expendable. Deus Ex follows this same formula, and really makes it rewarding to know that your decisions can alter the way people interact with you. Save certain people, and they will help you later. Kill certain people, and you might have just limited your access to underground illegal weaponry. Not knowing whether I should save or kill someone adds real tension to the game, and always made me wonder how things would eventually play out. Few games have made me stop and think about my actions this way.

4. Making stealth fun
I never liked stealth games. The thought of deliberately tip toeing through a game is about as fun as sneaking into work 2 hours late each morning. Because of this, I never really enjoyed such games as Metal Gear Solid, or Hitman. But Deus Ex knows how to make stealth fun. The trick was that while the game rewards stealthy action, if you ever just feel like going on a killing rampage, you can, and you can quickly adjust back and forth with how you play. I was never stuck in a constant stealth mode which slows down the pace of a game to a turtle’s crawl. In addition, when you break stealth, you aren’t punished in a way that results in instant death from a massive swarm of enemies. The game provides enough room for you to run and hide, or to whip out some firepower to put enemies down. All stealth games need to take lessons here on how Deus Ex: Human Revolution has done it right.

5. Living up to the legacy
Let’s be real here. No one expected this game to live up to the legacy. The earlier Deus Ex games are often heralded as some of the best designed games of all time, and even if you play them today, they still compete with the best. There were so many ways this new version could have ended up falling far short of the original. The game series has been dormant for so long, that we all questioned whether the new devs had the chops to revive the series. Add in the crazy transition from Eidos to Square Enix, and then the constant delays of release, and you got some good reason to believe the the final product was gonna be questionable. I was almost going to resign myself to just going back and playing the original. Again. Man, I love when I’m proven wrong.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Arkham City Nightwing DLC Announced

From November 1st the “Nightwing Bundle Pack” for Batman: Arkham City will be available for 560 Microsoft points/equivalent.
But what does this pack do? It allows you to use Nightwing as a fully playable character across all challenge maps available. The pack also includes two new maps; Wayne Manor and Main Hall.
Nightwing has a host of new gadgets and special attacks and an “Animated Series Nightwing character skin”.
For those who do not know Nightwing, he is not as you may assume, from the Batman comics. In fact, he’s from the Superman series. Considered to be the Batman of the Superman world, the latest person to play Nightwing is in fact Clark Kents (Superman) son, Chris.
A similar pack will be released for Robin for the same price on November 22nd.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

7 Things You Didn't Know About Wii U

You've likely seen the big headlines by now and decided whether or not you're impressed by Nintendo's latest vision for the future of gaming. But how much do you really know about Wii U?

In an enormous 7000-word interview, published as part of Nintendo's essential Iwata Asks series, the Nintendo president has had a good old natter with his star employee Shigeru Miyamoto about all things Wii U.
It's a treasure trove of insight and trivia, and we've pulled out the seven most fascinating facts that you probably weren't aware of.
1. The original idea for Wii U was simply to have "a small monitor" to check the console's status.
Miyamoto: We started from the notion of, "It would be nice if there was a small monitor of sorts other than the TV, where we could always see the status of the Wii console".
The Wii console did have the blue illumination lamp to notify new messages, but the amount of information a lamp could get across was limited...
Iwata: It was only able to say whether there was new information or not, so it had limits on what it could do.
2. Nintendo decided on a tablet controller before anyone cared about tablets. (AKA: "We're not just copying Apple.")
Iwata: It's been just about three years since we started having meetings about [Wii U]. There was a lot of back and forth before reaching where we are now.
Miyamoto: Right, we did. We started from scratch many times.
Iwata: When we were first talking about this, tablet devices weren't very common. It's a classic controller with a screen.
But because people outside the company do not have an insight into our development process, when people see this for the first time in 2011 when this is revealed, they might think, "Oh, Nintendo is going to add a tablet to their console". I think that's how people may see it.
3. The way Wii U works was actually inspired by... Karaoke.
Miyamoto: In Japan, karaoke is very popular. It comes with a remote control, and on the larger screen (TV) it displays the information of the song that's currently playing, and the person who's up next is selecting the song on the screen of the remote. I think the same function exists with the new controller.
Iwata: It's very similar with how in karaoke, the information of the song that's playing now is being displayed on the bigger screen, while someone's choosing what to sing next in the palm of his or her hands.
Searching and selecting the next picture or video, reading text and then looking
for detailed information is easier to do
 on a handheld device, and sharing that with a group of people is better suited on a big screen. So including that structure, it's critical that this environment is available to everyone from the very beginning.

4. The potential for Mario in HD makes Miyamoto's heart pound.
Miyamoto: Um... I can't really talk about [Mario and Zelda Wii U] a whole lot yet, but Nintendo is finally entering a level of HD graphics, where we're now using shaders and such. In that way, it's more... How should I put it, I think people can expect to play more immersive game experiences than before.
And with Mario... Let's see. It's actually a little heart pounding for me when I test the landings after Mario makes a jump, because the graphics are finer than ever before.
I haven't really figured out the direction for this yet, in terms of whether it should be combined with the new controller, or using it as a sub-screen like in Ocarina of Time 3D, or whether it should be playable just with the new controller. With a Mario game, there are both possibilities.
5. If your eyesight's rubbish, Wii U makes watching TV easier.
Miyamoto: What I noticed as we were making it was that when I was watching something like the website on a larger screen, I couldn't see it very well with my eyesight!
Iwata: You end up getting closer to the screen anyways because you can't see! TVs in recent years usually have a programming guide display on the screen, but with my eyesight even that's pretty hard to see.
Miyamoto: I call it the magnifying glass feature: you're able to see it in any size you like on the screen of the new controller in your hands so you can easily read what it says, while everyone's enjoying the bigger picture on the big screen.
6. Wii U marks the end of clumsy text entry on Nintendo consoles.
Iwata: There were things [with the original Wii] that weren't suited to do [on a console]. Like when trying to enter text on Wii, even though we placed a lot of effort into it, I do not think we ever reached a point where we could proudly say that it was a stress-free experience. But this time, I feel that will change greatly.
Miyamoto: Yeah. It's more convenient to have things like a software keyboard at your fingertips.
7. Wii U could feature Kinect-like facial recognition.
Iwata: It certainly seems possible from an engineering standpoint that the camera will recognise you if you position the new controller to look at you. It would be much more accessible if all you have to do is to hold it, press a button and stand on the Wii Balance Board.
Miyamoto: I think so. I hope it turns out that way.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fallout: New Vegas -- Honest Hearts Review

During my time in the Mojave with Fallout: New Vegas there was one thing I'd hoped to learn more about: the Burned Man. If you don't remember hearing his story, the Burned Man was one of Caesar's (the founder and leader of Caesar's Legion) best men until he failed him in battle. As a punishment, Caesar sentenced him to a gruesome death: covered in pitch, lit on fire and tossed off the cliffs of the Grand Canyon. Rumors around the desert indicated that he somehow survived this brutal treatment, but nothing ever came of it. 

Luckily for me Honest Hearts -- the second piece of downloadable content available for Fallout: New Vegas -- sheds more light on the legend. This adventure is more typical "Fallout" than the last bit of content, Dead Money. You travel to Zion National Park in Utah with the Happy Trails Trading Group and deal with what's going on there. It's a familiar formula of exploration, choice, murder and a decent (but not entirely gripping) storyline. 

Some quick notes before you hit the road: you need to travel light. This means no companions (you'll have to tell them to go away yourself, they don't automatically leave you like they do in Dead Money) and 75 lbs of stuff on your back. There are ways to raise the poundage up to 100, but you'll need specific perks or skills to do so. If you're like me and prefer to have some backup, you'll be happy to know that you receive temporary companions during your stay at Zion.

The national park is a beautiful place filled with red cliffs, radiation-free water, plenty of plants to pick and stunning hand-painted murals on the bedrock. Although my feelings would differ if this happened in real life, I was pleasantly surprised when I got caught in a rainstorm. The addition of weather patterns is a really nice touch and at night the sky is bursting with stars. These details make Zion a really fun place to wander around in. Fast travel is also back (it wasn't possible in Dead Money) and that made me very happy.

There are two downsides to Honest Hearts -- the first is that the animals (a.k.a. target practice) aren't particularly interesting. The Cazador is still the most dangerous and annoying bug of all time (especially in its "Giant" variety here), while the geckos remain hilariously goofy. Basically, everything that can hurt you in the park is something you've seen before, and that's a little disappointing.

The storyline also lost steam after a couple of fetch quests and I eventually stopped caring about what was going on. Still, regardless of whether or not you give a damn, the ending forces you to make a moral choice that will decide the fate of the park and its inhabitants. There's no real black and white "good" or "bad" here, which I appreciate.

The icing on this cake is that downloading Honest Hearts boosts the level cap by five again, so you'll be able to kick even more ass in the wasteland. There's also some interesting loot to take back with you, including a Yao Guai gauntlet. Who doesn't want to run around with a mutated bear fist on their arm? That's what I thought.
When considering the $10 or 800 Microsoft point purchase, ask yourself these questions: Do I like Fallout, but need a new place to explore? Do I want a higher level cap? Do I want to know more about the Burned Man? If the answer to any of these is “yes”, then do yourself a favor and download Honest Hearts. It doesn’t change much of the Fallout formula, which is a good thing. The narrative could be stronger and there’s a lack of variety in terms of creatures occupying the park, but these are minor complaints about an otherwise enjoyable time.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A look at Rare's canned Kameo 2

Images of Microsoft and Rare's canned Kameo sequel have appeared online, and it looks like they were planning a more realistic art direction for the 360 fantasy game.

CVG revealed in 2009 that the Kameo sequel was just one casualty of a Microsoft project cull at Rare, to make way for more Natal development.Images of Microsoft and Rare's canned Kameo sequel have appeared online, and it looks like they were planning a more realistic art direction for the 360 fantasy game.

CVG revealed back in 2009 that the Kameo sequel was just one casualty of a Microsoft project cull at Rare, to make way for more Natal development.

Now, Sergey Rakhmanov, who worked at Rare for 7 years as a Senior Graphic Engineer and is currently looking for a job, has posted some images of his past projects - released and canned - over on his blog.

The artwork shows the above bombshell Kameo 2 design, plus work on an unnamed fantasy game and a fitness title for Kinect, all of which have presumably been canned. There's even a video of Kameo in action here

Speaking to Edge last year Rare creative director George Andreas admitted that discussing Kameo is still "painful" for the developer, and that after moving a title about a fairy away from the family-friendly Nintendo audience towards the shooter-loving Xbox crowd, there was only one thing to do: Lie and say Kameo was an elf.

We're OK with fairies, Rare. And we want more. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Gears of War 3 Beta Dates and Details

Beta unlockables carry over into retail version

Epic Games today announced the Gears of War 3 multiplayer beta will begin on Apr. 25 and conclude three weeks later on May 15. Those who purchased the Bulletstorm: Epic Edition get into the beta one week earlier starting on Apr. 18. 

Over the course of the beta, three new competitive multiplayer modes and four maps will become available. Epic is also allowing players to unlock content in the beta that can be carried over into the full retail game when it launches on Sep. 20, 2011. 

Below is the list of challenges and items: 

Beta Tester Medal: Complete one match in the beta to unlock the Beta Tester medal, which will carry over to your gamer profile in the final game. The Beta Tester title will be featured in the "Gears 3" multiplayer lobby as well. 

Thrashball Cole: Complete 50 matches in any game type to unlock the Thrashball Cole character variant in the beta. Once unlocked, complete 10 matches as Thrashball Cole during the beta and the character will carry over to your gamer profile in the final game. 

Gold-Plated Retro Lancer: Show your ultimate "Gears of War" fandom by unlocking the Gold-Plated Retro Lancer. Complete 90 matches in any game type to unlock it for the beta, and score 100 kills with it once unlocked to carry the exclusive weapon skin over to your gamer profile in the final game. 

Flaming Hammerburst: Complete one match by Sunday, April 24 and unlock this weapon variant. 

Flaming Lancer: Complete one match during the week of April 25 and unlock this weapon variant. 

Flaming Sawed-Off Shotgun: Complete one match during the week of May 2 to unlock this weapon variant. 

Flaming Gnasher Shotgun: Complete one match during the week of May 9 to unlock this weapon variant.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pirates Are Not Thieves, They Are Fans

There's a long-standing — and incorrect, I think — view amongst publishers that a game pirated is a game stolenIt's not (who says they'd ever have bought a copy anyway?), and in a great piece over on GameSetWatch, Irish designer Tadhg Kelly (formerly of Lionhead) argues an even better reason why this isn't the case. Instead, he says, we shouldn't think of pirates as thieves. We should think of them as fans, and change the video game business accordingly.
Talking about publisher's stance on piracy, he says "They're seeing their business as a content business, where the content is the thing that has value. This is not the case."
"The games industry, like all the arts, is about finding and interacting with fans, so that value comes from a relationship."
"What it means is that your game, and you as a developer, needs to be built with the idea of forming a connection with players, and to do so with as many players as possible. The relationship that you establish with those players is the true source of revenue and success."
It's perhaps a little "pie in the sky" for big publishers as they exist today, but as Kelly's full article explains, there's something fundamentally broken with that, too, something that actually in some ways encourages piracy. It's an interesting read, if only because it seeks to tackle "piracy" not from a direct, reactionary standpoint but in terms of changing the entire business of video games.



Thursday, February 10, 2011


We have all heard the term before.  But to each gamer it can hold a very different meaning. For some gamers, an exclusive title can be cause for celebration.   But if you spend enough time on videogame forums, it becomes clear that most gamers would rather use the idea of exclusivity as a weapon, and as a means to brag about their superior gaming device. But when all is said and done, exclusivity is nothing more consumer loyalty, and this is exactly why so many gamers are so defensive about their precious exclusives.Crysis for example, was originally a PC exclusive title which hinged on its outrageous system requirements and stunning visuals to garner the envy of all PS3 and 360 owners alike.  Now, EA has decided to widen its audience by bringing Crysis 2 to the console owners of the world – and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  But like Square Enix’s decision to bring Final Fantasy XIII to the 360, many view the exclusivity loss as something to look down on.  Like Square Enix, EA’s decision to go multiplatform is just a way to increase profits, allowing the company to create more of the titles that gamers know and love. With the support of two major console brands, the Crysis franchise has a chance to flourish.  So I ask, why all the fuss?
PC and 360 owners are probably feeling stuck on the same boat right about now. Much like the PC’s once exclusive shooter, the 360 is also losing a title with Mass Effect 2. But if you really stop and think about, what does this really mean? The titles are going to be essentially the same regardless of which console they first appeared on and then later brought over to.  Exclusivity isn’t something that gamers should use to validate spending money on the only console they were able to afford.  Cause a lot of times, these arguments seemed to be fueled by just that. If you were place one of every console and portable gaming device in every gamers home right now, do you think that exclusivity would even matter anymore? But as upsetting as it is for a gamer to be deprived of great gaming experience, the true purpose of exclusivity is to harden the industry and to push developers to create better quality titles.  In a world without exclusives, there would be no rhyme or reason to improve.
Take Halo for example.  Halo is Microsoft’s cornerstone FPS. It was so successful, that it made Sony take notice and develop its own FPS sensation with Killzone. And what about the Uncharted franchise? When I look at Naughty Dog’s action title, my mind drifts to the Gears of War franchise.  Not because of the titles’ similar play styles, but rather the reason why Uncharted plays the way it does.  What would Uncharted be like if Gears of War wasn’t around to push Sony to create its own flagship action series?
There is no changing the game at this point.  Gamers will always resort to their exclusives as the primary reason as to why their consoles are ‘better’. And yes, if you’ve got a console that is rocking plenty of exclusive content, you may be subject to that feeling of superiority. But in looking passed childish bragging rights, and the ‘look what I have’ mentality, you will see that exclusives help us consumers in the long run, and raise the standards by keeping our favorite developers on their toes. Personally, I am a bit envious Playstation 3 owners this year; Sony’s console has a lot of incredible titles coming its way.  But rather than dwell on it, I should be appreciate the fact that I will one day have such great titles to look forward to – all spawned out of the need to push the industry forward and to outdo the competition. So I ask you, fellow gamer: How do you believe exclusives have hurt/helped the gaming industry?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Should the next Call of Duty take place in the future?

Look upon the title of this article and put some much needed thought into it. Almost every usable war has been imitated by the Call of Duty franchise. Now realize that it is speculated by “industry sources” the next Call of Duty game (which is being made by Sledgehammer Games, Raven Software and Infinity Ward) will take place in the future while in Space. This is a big step
for a franchise which has based itself solely on realism. But what is realism in this sense? What can’t occur in real life based on physics, what can’t occur for now because the technology doesn’t exist, or whatever our minds can fathom?

If a Call of Duty game will take place in the future, will we be expected to see “robot” armor and sci-fi guns (like Vanquish)? Perhaps the 3 developers can cook up an imaginary war that happens only a FEW years in the future. That way we won’t expect all the tech and futuristic ideas associated with “the future”. In fact, it would be very interesting to see a made up battle with the assumptions of war we have now. Instead of more sci-fi looking guns there could be upgrades to our modern weapons, such as larger magazines, automatic reload tool, incendiary bullets, electrical grenades, or just more stylish sights.

So with that said, Call of Duty doesn’t seem like Call of Duty if it was full of futuristic armor, made up future guns, and Space involvement. Slightly in the future seems reasonable for a Call of Duty’s story at best. So if the “industries sources” rumors are true, how much of this new Call of Duty game will be Call of Duty? To establish that we’ll have to look back on what realism truly is.

Let’s say this new Call of Duty game has an interactive bubble shield to protect your health. Is this against the law of nature or possible but lacking in technology as of now? Maybe they’ll be some weird new invention that has no possible way of ever coming into existence within the game or real life. Now question if a Call of Duty game should even be thought about like this. In the end, Activision has pretty much taped out every available war for a video game. So looking towards the future is an acceptable procedure but don’t overdo it to lose the Call of Duty feel. This could be an easy event because people think future wars consist of technology based science fiction over combat. (However, MAG pulled off the future war but still modern affair nicely).

How many followers think Call of Duty could work in Space?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Weatherford,United States

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

11 year old boy racks up $1,000 on Mom's credit card playing Xbox Live

         A desperate mother has condemned Microsoft after her 11-year-old son racked up a $1,000 debt on her debit card - through his Xbox. Brendan Jordan racked up a bill of $1,082.52 on his Xbox without realising all the purchases were being charged to his mum Dawn Matthews' card. The schoolboy made the payments to buy accessories and new games on his console after it saved the details of a previously registered card.

Single mum-of-two Dawn, 37, from Strood, Kent, has now complained to Microsoft but claims the computer giant is ignoring her.
She said: 'When I put my card details in 18 months ago I thought it was just for his membership to play online with his friends.

She entered her debit card details into the family Xbox to pay for Brendan's subscription to his favourite game.
However, Brendan repeatedly clicked on additions and extensions - racking up a £1082.52 debt to her account over six months.
Microsoft say they offer parental control accounts so parents like Dawn can monitor what their children are spending.

 Dawn wants her experience to be a lesson to other parents and blames Microsoft for making it 'too easy' for her son to spend the money.

Comment Below What You Think :)


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Call of Duty: Black Ops First Strike.

It's been a long, cold three months since the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops. Despite having 14 multiplayer maps and three zombie modes, players across the globe are no doubt hungering for more content to spend hundreds of hours exploring. Earlier this week, Activision released its first set of maps, available exclusively for a limited time on the Xbox 360. For 1200 Microsoft Points ($15), Black Ops players will receive four new levels (Stadium, Discovery, Kowloon and Berlin Wall) plus a new zombie arena (Ascension). I've had some time to run around the levels and get my ass kicked, but in all honesty, I get my DLC for free. You have to pay money – and quite a bit of it too. So the real question is, should you buy First Strike? 
Here are my thoughts:

Berlin Wall
A more traditional, larger map that is split into two areas by walls and a "no man's land." The catch here is that the area between the two sides, except for a couple narrow corridors, are guarded by computer-controlled turrets. Step into those areas for long and you're going to have a few dozen holes put into you. The solution, Run Like Hell

 Small and intense, Stadium is one of the most exciting maps from First Strike. Built around an abandoned hockey rink, the map definitely forces you into closer fire fights, though there are still plenty of areas to set up shop and take out opponents from safety. Snipers might have trouble adjusting, but you'll still find yourself plenty of opportunities no matter what type of style you prefer. 

Pits, pits and more pits. If you enjoy falling off of ledges, sign right up for a match in Discovery. Set in an Antarctic base, this map is notable for its ice bridges – which you can destroy with explosives or even repeated gunfire. No doubt many of you will be eager to test out your C4 skills here. 

Remember Modern Warfare 2's Favela map, set in a shanty town in Brazil? This is a lot like that, but it's at night, more vertical and more chaotic. Oh, and it has zip lines for some reason, keeping the trend of map interaction alive and well. 

Ascension [Zombie Mode]
Space Monkeys and Black Holes. That tells you all you need to know about this zombie mode, which certainly is distinct from its counterparts. The core concept is the same – last as long as you can, earning points for rebuilding obstacles and killing the undead. 


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sony Hunting Down PS3 Hackers Like Animals

Sony is vigilantly defending the PS3 against future hacker and jailbreak attacks.   The company is taking even further legal action against developers who have so far managed to steer clear of legal tie-ups.  Behind the minds of George Hotz and Fail Overflow there are hundreds of other hackers, firmware developers, and program creators that are now clearly marked by Sony in it's lawsuit.  It is rumored that Sony is planning to subpoena various internet sites like xxx-Scene, YouTube, Twitter, PayPal, and Slashdot in order to find the real identities of those that are still releasing and creating programs that undermine the security of the PlayStation 3.

These include names that you may or may not have heard of , depending on which side of the fence you sit.  Kmeaw, who developed one of the first working firmwares compatibile for 3.55 has been included in the subpoena.  As well as Graf Chokolo who is at the moment working on returning Linux functionalities to the PS3.  Numerous others were highlighted, or should I say targeted by Sony in it's further legal actions.