It’s possible. Game Informer’s got the scoop on the newest no-neck cover-based execution-loving third-person shooter from Epic Games, and while we don’t know much about it, we do know that it’s a brand new Gears of War game. It’s the particulars that get a little bit iffy.
So far, the big rumor that’s swirling around the tubes is that the fourth Gears of War game is a prequel. And not only that, but the first game in a prequel trilogy, developed by People Can Fly, the team that created Bulletstorm. The cover image from Game Informer’s July issue would seem to indicate that this new game could possibly show how Marcus Fenix ended up in the prison cell when the first game started.
As much as I’ve adored the Gears of War franchise, count me among the people in the world that is just not that excited by the term “prequel” any longer. The problem with most prequels is that we’ve seen the end of the story already, so they just don’t hold the narrative steam of new content. And even though Epic and Co. insist that they can go a million different directions with the story, I’d rather see a new setting/universe, but with the same mechanics that make Gears of War unique. Why keep spinning out endless threads for a story that we’ve already explored to death? I guess we’ll find out more next week at E3.
So what do you guys think of the idea of a new Gears of War game? Do you dislike the idea of it being a prequel? Are prequels old news now? Go!
Update: Game Informer has updated the link, showing that the cover image is actually of both Cole and Baird in chains, not Marcus Fenix. So it looks like this will still be a prequel, but starring the two fan favorites. Does this change your feelings?
Poor, poor EA. You know, I do kind of feel bad for them at this point. Between all the stuff with Mass Effect, trying to launch an much-maligned digital store and Battlefield 3, they really have been getting the short end of the stick recently. Not that they don’t deserve it, but still, it must suck to be the new punching bag.
As another addition to EA’s recent list of slip-ups, a rumored fact sheet for Battlefield 3 Premium has appeared, listing everything that should be coming with the service. As I speculated on The GamerSushi Show, it is a “season pass” of sorts, getting you access to all the DLC and a few goodies for a flat $50 fee. Here’s a quick and dirty read-out of what you get:
All Battlefield 3 DLC (up-coming and previously released) with two week early access
Unique in-game knife, dog-tags, soliders camos and gun camos
Stat reset option
Server queue priority
Exclusive events, double-EXP events and videos
5+ unique assigments
Additional bonus content
In addition to all that you also get some new platoon decal options and the ability to save Battle Reports. Battlefield 3 Premium is shaping up to be pretty decent, considering that all told you get a $10 discount on the DLC. What do you guys think? Are EA and DICE going back on their Call of Duty ELITE trash-talk by offering up a similar service? Will you be picking this up?
Two years ago, Final Fantasy XIII caused quite a stir among long time fans of the series. As the long-awaited current generation entry into the legendary franchise, expectations were high — and disappointment was even higher. While the game managed to have some quality gameplay mechanics that changed the formula for the better, the story and some of the design decisions seemed like an enormous step backward for the series. In many ways, fans have considered Final Fantasy XIII-2 to be a “do-over” or an apology for the lackluster Final Fantasy XIII. But does it go far enough to resolve fans’ woes? Continue reading Review: Final Fantasy XIII-2
This unusual first-person horror game has been making waves recently, so it kind of behooves me to post it here for all of you to see. The game is called Among the Sleep by an indie studio that goes by the name Krillbite and in it you play a two-year old child who encounters monsters after everyone else has gone to sleep. Krillbite recently put up a short gameplay video, so check it out!
I’m not a big fan of horror games per se, but the concept might be enough for me to check it out when it releases. What do you guys think of Among the Sleep? Is it on your radar now?
Is it really already time for another E3? No matter how hard I try to avoid it, the calendar confirms that another round of the Electronic Entertainment Expo is upon us, this time hitting us with all of its buzz June 5-7. For our hobby, this is the equivalent of a holy week, one of those high festivals that requires our time, celebration and perhaps even woe. Although that last one is probably more apt if you’re waiting on a Half-Life 3 announcement.
So, with E3 right around the corner, we thought we would ask you guys what your E3 predictions are. Honestly, I have no idea what to expect from this year. Now that Nintendo’s unabashedly broken the next generation ice with the showing of Wii U, this is a year where people are anticipating similar reveals from both Sony and Microsoft. Despite the numerous claims to the contrary, I tend to fall in that camp as well. But then you never truly know.
In terms of specific announcements from other notable developers, I expect a Dragon Age 3 tease of some sort from Bioware, since their other big franchise has laid down to rest for the moment. I also expect something new out of Valve, since they have no releases lined up after CS: GO and Dota 2 this year. I’m also banking on another entry to the Metal Gear Solid series.
So what about you guys? What do you expect or hope to see from E3 this year? Tell us your E3 predictions. Go!
Box sets. Staples in the music industry for years and more recently in the movie industry, yet they are foreign to video games. This needs to change. One of the traditions of the holiday season is the release of a legendary band’s box set, usually including all their music that has already been released with the addition of goodies like live recordings and songs released solely in other countries. Now that the Harry Potter movies are done, the first thing Warner Bros did was release a giant box set of all the movies. People eat this stuff up.
Aside from the recent trend of HD collections, video games don’t receive the same treatment. This honestly is a crime. Video game companies should be more respectful of their own past, in addition to being aware of the desires of their most ardent supporters. There are a great many franchises out there that are getting long in the tooth. For some of them, their best days are likely behind them. What better way to still make money off an IP and keep it fresh in people’s minds than to do an ultimate box set, just like they do in the aforementioned mediums.
My personal choice for an ultimate box set would be the (surprise) Final Fantasy series. Imagine a collection of every single Final Fantasy game, containing every version of each game, from all the different platforms it was ever released on, complete with art books, soundtracks, developer’s commentary that played when you enter a new area, perhaps. You can leave out all the spin-offs, but if they were to do this for the core games, I would pay upwards of a few hundred dollars for that.
What say you? What franchises out there would you like to receive such a treatment? And what would you like to have included in the box set? Speak now or forever hold your peace.
One of the biggest problems that critics had with the Uncharted series is that wisecracking every-man protagonist, Nathan Drake, becomes a mass murderer on a war-crimes scale over the course of a game. Naturally, it’s a video game, so you can expect to be shooting dudes, but this aspect of the Uncharted games always rubbed people the wrong way.
For Naughty Dog’s next title, The Last of Us, they’re seeking to address this concern by making the combat tense and building up a good contextual reason for killing other people. In a post-apocalyptic world, the survivors you’ll run across aren’t afraid to use violence to achieve their goals, so you’ll well justified in defending yourself. Combat is also changed to be a grueling affair; instead of jumping from one firefight with dozens of guys to the next, The Last of Us aims to make encounters with just a few other survivors as tough an challenging as fighting through a whole level was in Uncharted.
Even Naughty Dog acknowledged the disconnect between the character-building cutscenes in Uncharted and the action sequences so it will be interesting to see if they can pull this off when The Last of Us finally hits. What do you guys think? Were you bothered by this particular problem in Uncharted? Do you think Naughty Dog will actually address it?
I forget when something qualifies as “over the hill”, but I think at this point the podcast is probably there. As benefits our advanced age, this week’s show is full of ramblings; without Nick on the cast to rein us in with a game we tend to go off on any tangent we feel like. Like episode 48, the result is a shorter podcast but I think that we have some pretty good discussions.
What do we discuss, you ask? We talk about a large variety of things all the way from EA removing official Battlefield 3 servers to Diablo III’s launch day woes and even how BioWare is floundering with the relationship they have with their fans. There’s also a couple of Day Z stories, some ranting about how we’re all too old to enjoy longer games, and whether or not games can (or should) qualify as art.
So! You know the drill, friends. Listen. Rate. Be fruitful and multiply. See you next time on our big five-oh shindig!
0:00 – 3:00 Intro
3:01 – 8:35 Diablo 3 launch day woes
8:36 – 10:30 EA removes official BF3 servers
10:31 – 13:44 The new new EA
13:45 – 18:13 Diablo 3
18:14 – 27:03 The future of Dragon Age
27:04 – 33:07 Padding games and getting old
33:08 – 36:51 Minecraft xbl
36:52 – 39:36 Walking Dead episode 1
39:37 – 49:29 Day Z stories
49:30 – 57:00 Should games be art?
57:01 – 59:04 Outro
It was only a matter of times once things started going south at 38 Studios earlier this month, but it appears that the employees at both that studio and Big Huge Games have been laid off.
Ever since 38 Studios bailed on paying employee salaries to pay back their debt to the state of Rhode Island, the company had been looking for outside funding but apparently they failed to find it in time. Without another loan from the state, 38 Studios shut its doors today with this unceremonious email:
The Company is experiencing an economic downturn. To avoid further losses and possibility of retrenchment, the Company has decided that a companywide lay off is absolutely necessary.
These layoffs are non-voluntary and non-disciplinary.
This is your official notice of lay off, effective today, Thursday, May 24th, 2012
The trouble apparently stemmed from the fact that Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the studio’s first published game, did not sell nearly as many copies as hoped. Reckoning sold 1.2 million copies but needed to move 3 million to be considered a success. That’s a rather high target, especially for an unproven IP with very little marketing from EA’s part.
What do you guys think of 38’s mass layoff? What’s you opinion on the situation in general?
An unintended side-effect of the long-standing legal battle between former Infinity Ward head honchos Jason West and Vincent Zampella and Activision is the reveal of the specifics behind Bungie’s contract with the publisher. Brought to light as part of the court-case, the 27 page agreement between the Bellevue, Washington studio and Activision details the plans for the studios’ new shooter, code-named Destiny.
There’s plenty of legalese in the document but the basic gist of it is that Bungie has signed on for a four game deal, the first of which is set to drop in 2013 for the Xbox 360. Subsequent games will be released on the next generation systems (aggravatingly, the agreement calls the 360 successor the “Xbox 720”) including the PS3 follow up and PCs. The games will be spaced to come out every other year with additional content packs called “Comet” filling in the gaps. Destiny is not strictly a “sci-fi” game but rather a “sci-fantasy” shooter. What that means exactly isn’t clear, so we’ll have to wait for a more specific reveal on that. The contract also stipulates that Bungie is working to revive their classic Marathon franchise.
Bungie’s official response, entitled “Well, that just happened” all but confirms this as fact, promising that the official reveal is coming soon and we’ll be seeing them starside in 2013.
What do you guys think about this? Is it unfair to Bungie to have their secret work revealed without much fanfare? Is this a low blow by West and Zampella’s lawyers to expose another developer? What do you think of the working conditions Bungie is under in the contract? Thoughts on what “sci-fantasy” means?
This might be the coolest thing I have seen in a long time, but that might also just be the fanboy in me talking. Radiohead is my favorite band and OK Computer is my favorite album of all time. I also happen to have a fondness for 8-bit NES music. Apparently, someone out there named Quinton Sung saw into my soul and with a flash of inspiration, he recorded OK Computer and Kid A in glorious 8-bit. It’s pretty awesome to listen to, especially “Let Down”, which sounds like a Final Fantasy theme. Take a listen to OK Computer below and hit the link at the bottom to listen to Kid A. What say you? What other albums would you like to hear get the 8-bit treatment? GO!
Diablo III will probably go down as having one of the most successful launches of the year sales wise. Even if Blizzard’s server farm probably melted during the initial 24-hour rush, there’s no denying that a lot of people wanted to play the new hack-and-slash RPG. What’s curious about this is that Diablo III hit the streets with no launch day reviews.
While it can be argued that Blizzard, along with Valve, could get away with not needing day-one reviews, the case can still be made that the rush to review is damaging to both the industry and the consumer. It’s something we’ve talked about before here on GamerSushi, but VG247’s Patrick Garrat takes another look at this concept from the perspective of Diablo’s launch.
As games are becoming increasingly reliant on an Internet connection, pre-release review events are done in a controlled environment so things like latency, server issues and all sorts of errors don’t crop up. Games like this are reviewed in a vacuum and that harms the consumer’s impression. Launch-day reviews can be damaging in this case. Remember Gears of War 2, and all of its great scores, none of which mentioned the horrible net-code that plagued users for weeks? Remember any of the Battlefield games that launched with no connectivity, effectively killing the only reason people bought the game? This is stuff that doesn’t get addressed in a pre-release review session.
The big presence behind all of this is Metacritic, where a studio’s future is made or broken. There’s been a couple cases for breaking away from using Metacritic as a measure of success, but Diablo III is the first step towards actual change. If Blizzard was willing to distance themselves from this model, maybe other publishers will follow suit.
So what do you guys think? Does Diablo III’s successful launch mean that we can eventually move away from Metacritic or is this a case of Blizzard being Blizzard? Do you think that day-one reviews are a detriment to a game’s success? What do you think about the article in general? Go!
It’s Episode 48 of the GamerSushi show! Despite the fact that there’s no game this week will still find a way to fill up almost an hour with our ramblings. Nick is busy with “jobs” so the Beard is not present; I guess you’ll have to make do with us moderately hairy folk.
We talked about a large variety of topics this week and just let the conversation take us where ever it wanted to go. It’s a bit less structured than a normal episode, but I think it still works pretty well.
That’s up for you guys to decide though. Listen to it, rate it, love it. Just one more episode until the big drunkcast! Maybe I’ll live tweet that one too. What do you say?
We gamers are fools for nostalgia. There has to be some established connection between the parts of our brains that remember video games and the parts of our brains that process adolescent emotion, because it’s staggering how big of suckers we are for the games we played in our early years. There are some titles where just seeing a screenshot or hearing a few bars of music can instantly transport me back to the first time I played a game – that sense of wonder, that yearning for discovery.
Sadly, we can’t really get those first times back, short of some memory-erasing Men in Black contraption that makes everything old new again. But man, what if we could? Lately, I’ve been listening to the Final Fantasy 7 soundtrack and thinking back to the summer I first played it. How my brother and I spent hours trading the controller back and forth, playing it through the day and late into the night, and how sucked in we were by the entire saga. I know it’s cliche, but sometimes I long to experience it all over again for the first time.
I feel the same with a few other titles such as Suikoden III or Knights of the Old Republic. And even though I’ve played all these games multiple times and loved each playthrough, there’s nothing quite so magical as that inaugural one, the one that creates and cements all those wonderful memories.
What about you guys? What games do you wish you could play again for the first time? Is there anything you would do differently in your playthrough? Go!
It seems that Bioware is in hardcore recovery mode these days. As much as I am still in love with this studio, it’s hard to deny that they haven’t made some missteps as of late — and have taken their share of lumps as a result. From the puzzling changes of Dragon Age 2 to the controversial end of Mass Effect 3, this once untouchable RPG producer is now back against the ropes in terms of their relationship with fans.
So it looks like the next step for them is to stop and take stock of Dragon Age and what it means to fans of the franchise. Bioware is going to take a few months to ask a number of questions about where they would like to see the series go — what places they’d like to see in Ferelden and beyond, what races they want to know more about and what kinds of things they’ve been dying to explore.
While this just appears as normal community management from Bioware’s perspective, it also seems like a bit of damage control after the reactions that the company has gotten over its last couple of titles. Although Dragon Age: Origins saw much critical acclaim, Dragon Age 2 is generally regarded as a step backwards in terms of the franchise’s scope, setting and themes. I know I’m just speculating here, but it really looks to me like Bioware is floundering a bit in terms of the direction it wants to take Dragon Age in the future. Obviously, what they’re doing here isn’t amounting to gameplay or story promises — but I do prefer artists to have a much more clear vision than they’re putting on display here.
What do you guys think? Does it look like Bioware is struggling here to reconnect with its fans? Or are they just doing their due diligence to make Dragon Age 3 as good as it can possibly be? Go!
For awhile, we’ve been talking about ways to start getting more video content up here at GamerSushi. A lot of you have followed us over from SFF, so you know that video production is something that we really dig. So here’s a new thing we’ve been working on: Trailer Trash. Continue reading GamerSushi Presents: Trailer Trash
In a situation where many publishers would have left their customers twisting in the wind, Blizzard has once again proven why they’re one of the most respected studios in the business.
Bad news struck potential Australian Diablo III players yesterday when GAME announced that they were going into administration and wouldn’t be handling any copies of the long awaited hack-and-slash RPG because of payment issues with their shipping companies. This left a lot of angry people with pre-orders than were good for nothing.
For a while it seemed that nothing would be done about the pre-orders that were now lost, but Blizzard stepped in and announced that they would be honoring all Diablo III pre-orders from GAME dated before May 15. Yes, eager to help their fans stare at a menu screen along with everyone else, Blizzard posted on their forums that if people affected by GAME’s closure bought Diablo III off Battle.Net before May 21 and sent Blizzard their pre-order receipt before June 20 they will be refunded the whole amount for the game.
Pretty decent of Blizzard to step up and offer a solution instead of just letting all those unsold copies of Diablo III sit around. At the end of the day they’ve got their money and people have their Diablo, so it’s a fair trade, I have to say.
What do you guys think about this turn of events? Pretty impressed with Blizzard? Anyone on here affected by the GAME situation? Go!
Naughty Dog’s first post-Uncharted game, The Last of Us, is still on approach for the end of this year, promising to bring Naughty Dog’s signature cinematic style to a post-apocalyptic father/daughter tale. Even though the Earth is supposedly covered with whatever sort of zombie has been cooked up for this game, the real danger in these situations is other people, as is aptly demonstrated by the Truck Ambush trailer which shows the hard choices a man has to make after the world has gone to hell.
Admittedly I wasn’t a huge fan of Uncharted 3, but The Last of Us is still on my radar because I know Naughty Dog has it in them to deliver a really tight story-driven experience. It will be interesting to play a family man as opposed to the wise-cracking Nathan Drake and I’m sure there will be a lot of tense moments to go with it. What are you thoughts on the trailer? Do you want more?
Mass Effect is a series that took all of us by storm, drawing us in with its unique, deep sci-fi world and the hook of making your own Commander Shepard with your own story. The first game had a few issues but BioWare kicked Mass Effect 2 into overdrive, giving us a competent shooter/RPG hybrid that garnered numerous Game of the Year awards.
The third game in the series has raised the stakes, bringing the series big bad the Reapers into the galaxy, plunging every race into a war for survival. You’re tasked with bringing together all of the different races under one banner and taking the fight to Earth. Does Mass Effect 3 manage to tie everything together? Continue reading Review: Mass Effect 3
The long-awaited day is here, Sushi-ans! After 12 long years, the wait for Blizzard’s epic hack-n-slash dungeon crawler is here, and Diablo fans all over the world can slay the minions of hell together. Diablo 3 is upon us, which means that some of us are sitting at work itching to play.
My plans is to get home tonight, purchase Diablo 3 and start all the pre-loading business as soon as possible. And who knows, maybe I’ll have a chance to hop in for some co-op with my brothers before bed. In terms of characters, I fully intend to roll a Monk. After my time with the beta, that class seems to be what I prefer over the others, and gave me the most satisfying skills/gameplay combination.
What about you guys? Who out there plans to pick up Diablo 3? What character are you going to roll? Go!