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
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!
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?
In this day and age it only takes one good idea to get your indie title or mod noticed by the gaming community at large. It needs to be something that the big studios aren’t doing but everyone clamors for. The team behind the Arma 2 mod Day Z managed to find their zeitgeist by transforming Arma 2’s 225 km squared landscape into an open-world zombie survival sandbox. When the world is covered by zombies and you’re struggling to survive, the gloves come off and that’s exactly what this mod encapsulates.
Players live an average of four hours, just to give you an idea of how tough it is to survive out there. You start off with meager supplies and you need to keep yourself fed, watered and breathing all while contending not only with hordes of roaming undead but also other players. It’s safe to assume in Day Z that everyone is out for themselves and the game features a humanity meter to chart your interactions with other survivors. Malevolent players can earn a “Bandit” ranking that changes their outward appearance and makes them a target for frontier justice. There are a ton of player guides to help you out, but the true genius of Day Z is the moment to moment gameplay and what emerges out of that.
A video chronicling some of what happens in Day Z by YouTube user SideStrafe.
Day Z requires both Arma 2 and its expansion Operation Arrowhead, and the Combined Operations package has cracked the top five sales on Steam, surpassing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Here’s a handy installation guide for Day Z to get you started on your journey, including some tips for living longer than a few minutes.
Since Day Z has taken off in such a huge way, we decided to get in touch with the developers behind the mod and ask them a few questions. Dean “Rocket” Hall was kind enough to provide us with some answers about how the mod came about, what sort of reaction they’ve seen from Bohemia Interactive, and what’s next for Day Z.
One of the newest features of GamerSushi would be the Power Rankings page, wherein we pit the games of 2012 against each other every few weeks or so, in order to see who is leading the chase for that coveted top 10 spot. We’re pretty excited about updating this regularly, and we think it’ll be fun for you guys to get involved. Heck, your comments might even sway our rankings for the next go around.
Anyway, we’ve just given the page its first update, and there is already some moving and shaking going on.
Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer was a surprising success, something we’ve been going on about ever since the demo for the game dropped way back in the grey blanket of February. A horde mode experience at heart, Mass Effect 3’s co-op mode drew on the backstory set up by the single-player games and gave players the opportunity to take control of the various alien races we’ve been interacting with as Shepard ever since Mass Effect one.
It’s this sort of legacy that gives the co-op in Mass Effect 3 its longevity, at least according to Rowan Kaiser over at Joystiq. He says that, because we’ve spent so much time with Urdnot Wrex and his krogan brethren, seeing and using a krogan in multiplayer taps into the narrative investment we have in those characters.
The multiplayer mode is an extension of Commander Shepard’s mission in the main game: uniting the various alien species of the Galaxy to take the fight to the Reapers, Cerberus and the heretic geth, throwing it in together as one force. While the multiplayer mode itself is very light on story, there’s such a link between the visuals and everything that we’ve learned about the universe of the game that we create all these threads in our mind that gives the co-op such gravitas.
The article goes a bit more in depth about how the mechanics work into the equation but the part about the aesthetics creating a bigger impression of the mode is definitely true for me. Mass Effect is so well designed from a fictional standpoint that every little thing has meaning for me whether it’s a krogan Vanguard charging into a mess of Cannibals or doing a biotic combo in conjunction with another player. What do you guys think of the article? Are you hooked on ME3’s multi and is the universe a big part of that?
Twisted Metal, one of the most iconic franchises of the PS1 era has returned with great fanfare. But after giddiness subsided, everyone had the same question: can a car combat game succeed in today’s world at a full $60 retail price? David Jaffe, creator and Internet instigator, clearly thinks so, as the addition of online multiplayer just might allow Twisted Metal to enter the current generation with guns blazing.
With Skyrim recently continuing the trend of giving Bethesda the Game of the Year award it makes sense to assume that The Elder Scrolls franchise really has what it takes to produce some truly amazing games. The single player RPG world has captivated players since Arena, taking you into a deeply immersive world of Tamriel. While The Elder Scrolls series is one that has been a smash hit as a single player game, the question always came up about how it would fare as an MMO, leaving some fans drooling over the prospects of exploring the lands with a party of their best friends. Well today it’s official, Game Informer has released an article teasing readers about the June cover article which features a first look at The Elder Scrolls Online.
The game is being produced by Zenimax Online Studios with MMO veterans such as Matt Firor, whose previous work included Dark Age of Camelot. The game is set a millennium before the events of Skyrim, and players will deal with the Daedric prince Molag Bal trying to bring Tamriel into his realm in Oblivion. Matt Frior told GameInformer:
“It will be extremely rewarding finally to unveil what we have been developing the last several years, the entire team is committed to creating the best MMO ever made – and one that is worthy of The Elder Scrolls franchise.”
Tomorrow morning there will be a trailer from Zenimax and Bethesda Softworks, with screenshots coming later in the evening. All of the information going onward can be tracked at Game Informer’s own Elder Scrolls Online hub, which will be giving out exclusive content multiple times a week.
As a major fan of The Elder Scrolls series, I meet this news with an open mind, but a cautious approach. I have always wanted a way to play around the world of Skyrim or Cyrodiil with friends, but the full-blown status of an MMO is something I have debated before. This could spell great success for the series, but a different production studio and a new feel to a game that has made all of its success as a single player RPG could spell trouble. I’ll wait to see more information before I give final judgment, but this news has to have many gamers foaming at the mouth. So what do you guys think? Is it good that The Elder Scrolls is going online? What’s your opinion on the game being produced by Zenimax? Lets hear it!
The long-rumored Sony version of Nintendo’s Super Smash Brothers was announced on GTTV last night and the PlayStation blog put up a short trailer explaining the game. Called All-Stars Battle Royale, the game will feature Sony characters (including some third-party characters as revealed last night) duking it out on a variety of themed stages. Check out the game in action below!
The game is a little too similar to Super Smash Bros for my taste, but for some people this will be right up their alley. The characters confirmed so far are Kratos, Parappa the Rapper, Sweet Tooth, Fat Princess, Colonel Radec from Killzone and Sly Cooper. More will be revealed at E3, so stay tuned for that. Personally, I’m curious to see if Solid Snake will be coming back after his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and what the third party characters are. What do you guys think of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale?
We may have seen it leaked last week but Crytek and EA officially announced it today: Crysis 3 is coming in 2013 to all of your favorite consoles and the PC. Taking place some 20 years after the previous game, Crysis 3 takes players back to New York City which has been sealed off with a Nanodome, placed by the Cell Corporation (one of the bad guys from Crysis 2). The Nanodome divides New York City into seven different districts, each of which poses its own challenge for players.
Not much has been confirmed about Crysis 3 yet except that Prophet is back, he’s packing a bow, and we’ll be going up against human and Ceph enemies once again. You can pre-order the game right now on Origin and get the Hunter Edition which will net you a multiplayer XP bonus (jumping you up to level five), early access to the bow and some other goodies. EA is already calling Crysis 3 the “first blockbuster shooter” of next year.
What do you guys think about this? Is it coming too soon after Crysis 2? What changes do you hope to see? Personally I liked Crysis 2’s single-player quite a bit, but the multiplayer didn’t quite grab me like it did in the first game. Hopefully the design changes back from being a straight-up Call of Duty knockoff to something resembling its original form, but with a short turn-around between games, I don’t think that’s likely. Since the main character now uses a bow, expect me to be calling him “Prophet Hood” every chance I get.
It’s been kind of a Mass Effect-dominated week here at GamerSushi, and originally I wasn’t even going to post the trailer for the Resurgence multiplayer DLC, but the awesome playable characters being added changed my mind. You can now play as the geth and the batarians, and the krogan become even more awesome with the addition of the Vanguard class to their ranks. Personally I’m excited about the geth Engineer as that was my favorite class in ME3, but if I unlocked the krogan Vanguard instead, I wouldn’t complain. The DLC also adds new weapons and arenas, so check out the trailer below to geth the full scoop (pun intended).
Even if the GS crew hasn’t been able to assemble in a ME3 multi game in a while, I still kind of enjoy joining up in public games. Most people are around the level cap and the powers are kind of unbalanced in the players favor anyways. Mass Effect 3’s Resurgence DLC hits for free on April 10. What do you guys think about it? Which of the new classes would you want to play as?
At this point, Star Wars: Battlefront 3 is the Highlander of video games. Or the Dracula, if you think the franchise is a soul-sucking waste of pixelated space. Rumored to have been canceled in 2008, the specter of Battlefront 3 continues to haunt the Internet, with concept art and dark tales springing up from the most random of places.
Personally, I was a rabid fan of Battlefront 2, so every time one of these stories surfaces, I feel a mix of both pain and excitement. Excitement at the idea that maybe the game isn’t dead, just in hiding like Yoda, waiting to be released by some secretive developer. I feel pain because I know the world isn’t always that perfect and likes to crush my dreams.
So, it’s with a mix of those feelings that I post some supposedly uncovered footage of Battlefront 3 alpha gameplay, shot off-screen from an early PC build in 2008. Man, this brings back memories of some epic space battles, and heroic moments that involved mowing opponents down with a lightsaber.
The coolest part of the footage was leaving a base on the surface of a planet and flying all the way to a spaceship in orbit. Seriously, if anyone out there is a part of making this game a reality I will kiss you on the mouth. Any other Sushi-ans as big of a fan of this franchise as I was?
Journey was a sublime experience for me, one that was helped along by the presence of a silent other; a compatriot that I could travel with but not share a single form of spoken or written communication with. Aside from musical chirps, player interaction in Journey is severely limited but this didn’t stop my partners from helping me find hidden items or guiding me through the world. Without the incentive to hinder or harm me, were they actively trying to help?
This is what Jenova Chen, designer at thatgamecompany, thinks. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, he posed the thought that the agressive nature of multiplayer games leads to people being dicks to one another. I’ll let him explain his point, though:
Somehow, I feel like I’ve stepped into a time warp. I’m not really sure how or when it happened, but gaming has taken me back about 12 years or so. I look a little bit older, I know only a couple of more things, I’m about to be a father, but the mouse and the keyboard still feel the same: every satisfying click fires another round, sends another SCV, marks another target or claims another piece of loot.
And there’s something terribly right about the whole thing.
With the video game market being so clogged with shooters and other sorts of violent games, it’s kind of hard to forget that the medium can pull off some really serene, beautiful moments. Thatgamecompany, famous for PSN titles like flOw and Flower, return with Journey, a game about, well, taking a walk through a desert to reach a mountain far off in the distance. There’s very little cutscenes and no dialog, but the bang for your buck offered by Journey makes the trip worth it, and then some.
Starting far away from your target as a mysterious, red-robed traveler, Journey chronicles your sojourn through the vast desert and down hills, into caves and across a snowy tundra. The controls for Journey are quite simple, you press X to jump (the longer your scarf the longer your jump) and Circle to do a little shout (hold down for longer shouts). You don’t even really need much else, as Journey is quite elegant in its minimalism. There’s some cool segments like surfing down a dune through a lost city and swimming through the air in a cavern, but these need to be experienced to really understand how moving they are. There are so many things in Journey I wish I could describe, but it would be unfair to spoil these moments for you guys.
Journey is also quite gorgeous, boasting better sand and lighting effects than Uncharted 3, which had the best use of those two elements to date. Journey has an incredible style and the sound design is superb. The sand crunches under your feet, your scarf snaps in the wind, and the distant call of a fellow traveler beckons you closer. The music is haunting and resonant, and only adds to the already surreal mood.
Hey dudes, we are back from outer space, here to bring you our thoughts on BioWare’s space opera trilogy ending Mass Effect 3. We’re unfortunately beardless this week, but Eddy, Anthony, Jeff and myself wax philosophic about everything from story beats to the multiplayer, the ending controversy and the ending itself.
There’s no Six Minutes with Resident Evil 6 or a game this week, so I hope that an hour and a half of straight up Mass Effect is good enough to tide you over. Eddy hadn’t finished the game when we recorded, so he dropped out for the ending talk. When you hear Harbinger for the second time, that’s when we launch into the discussion. There was also a technical issue with both Jeff and Eddy’s mics, and the way the cast is recorded means these sorts of problems are hard to rectify. Jeff fixed his junk for the ending talk, but for the first half of the show he is super quiet.
Technical problems aside, the cast is super sweet so I hope you enjoy. If you guys could also rate the cast that would be boss. Enjoy!
Microsoft’s internal Halo studio, 343 Industries, just released the first developer documentary for this fall’s Halo 4. I know that just yesterday I posted about avoiding the gaming hype cycle, but this is our first full look at the new Master Chief and the visual direction of Halo 4 as well as a peek at multiplayer. While I expect that we’ll be seeing one of these a month until launch (at least), getting our eyes on the Chief’s new suit is worth it.
Halo 4 definitely has its own style going for it and the Chief seems to have undergone a major revision since we last saw him in Halo 3. One of 343’s talking points is that they wanted the Mjolnir armor to feel like part tank and part fighter jet, sleek yet imposing. I’m also really digging the design of the Spartan IVs that we’ll be controlling in multiplayer. The whole new look also comes off as very “Mass Effect” to me with the segmented armor plates and carbon fiber patterns. What do you guys think of our first look at Halo 4? Feeling the stirrings of desire? Can 343 actually pull this off?
While there are a number of troublesome trends in the video game industry (as many of you have noted in the Mass Effect 3 DLC discussion), every now and then someone just gets it right. I think because of the anti-consumer nature of the industry at times, it becomes that much more potent when a company does something on our behalf, or something that goes against the grain.
Today, Sony launched a totally free version of Killzone 3’s multiplayer mode for download on PSN. Yes, Killzone, one of their staple franchises. You can play the game with friends, kill random strangers, and even rank up – although past a certain point you’ll need to pay money for continued experience and trophies. Again, that’s hours of entertainment for the grand total of free ninety-nine.
To me, this is a bold and brilliant move by the company that just a few years back tried to tell us their Heavenly Sword player was worth a staggering fee of $599 with a straight face. This is basically the equivalent of Microsoft announcing that Halo: Reach’s multiplayer was going free to play. Obviously, the business side of this is that Sony hopes that it will encourage gamers to buy DLC packs, maps and so forth, but I think the results will be interesting to watch. A number of MMOs didn’t become profitable until they went free-to-play, so I can only guess that this will have a positive effect for Killzone 3 as well.
What do you guys think of this decision? Would you like to see other companies pull something similar with their big franchises? Go!
Been a while since we had one of these discussions, so I thought it was time for a good old-fashioned “What Are You Playing” from the folks at GamerSushi.
This time of year is always a strange one. It’s about the time that you start clearing out the backlog from the end of the previous year, and you’re moving on to a number of random games that you couldn’t quite find time for before. Sure, there might be the random release like Final Fantasy XIII-2 or Twisted Metal to keep you busy, but for the most part, you’re waiting for one of the big releases from March or perhaps even as far away as the summer.
At least, that’s my story right now. Having just come off of Final Fantasy XIII-2, I’ve been dabbling in a few games that I didn’t think I would enjoy as much as I do. For one, I’ve been totally up to my knees in the Mass Effect 3 demo. That one in particular was one that I had mostly written off, only expecting just a few evenings of fun – but it’s had the opposite effect on me. I’m totally suckered into it at this point, and I can’t get enough of the leveling system and the store purchases.
In addition to that, I’ve jumped into the MGS HD Collection, and I can’t believe how much I’ve liked playing Metal Gear Solid 2 again. Sure, I’m still at the early stage of the game (the Tanker), but I had forgotten just how tightly designed that section of the game actually is. I never considered that I would enjoy playing MGS 2, but here I am. And the restoration is great. In addition to that, I’ve been hopping in and out of Battlefield 3 multiplayer sessions with Mitch, and I’m right on the verge of being completely addicted to that as well.
So yeah, that’s what I’m playing these days. What about you gents? What are you playing?
Borderlands was a really interesting game when it came out, a hybrid of RPG, FPS and open-world game with a good bit of loot-craziness thrown in. Even with bajillions of guns, there were a few issues with the game, most notably the somewhat stale environments (would you like desert, garbage dump, or garbage dump in the desert?) and the most nonsensical ending in the history of video games. Secret robot assassins aside, Borderlands did well enough to warrant a sequel and the release date trailer dropped today, revealing the four main characters and adding a bit of the old dubstep.
Borderlands 2 is looking really fun, and if you put WUB WUB over anything there’s a good chance I’ll buy it. The new characters look pretty neat, and the enemy variety looks like it has expanded beyond skags and bandits. Color me excited, which I believe in loot parlance is purple. What say you? Does this trailer catch your fancy? Borderlands 2 launches September 18 in the US and the 21 in the rest of the world.