Life After Halo: What Does Bungie Have Planned?

When you’ve been basing all your games for the past ten years around one franchise, at a certain point I’d imagine that you’d like to spread your wings a bit and try something different. With Halo: Reach drawing ever closer, various Bungie employees are starting the hype machine for their next title after Reach, a game that will be set in a brand new universe; “something totally original from Bungie”, in the words of Brian Jarrard, the studio’s Community Director.

It’s been a recurring theme whenever anything Halo crops up: people come out of the woodwork maintaining that Bungie can’t do anything but make sub-par (yet extremely popular and lucrative) shooters set in the same generic sci-fi universe. As an avid Halo fan, my automatic response is to defend these claims but after ten years I’d like the see what else Bungie can make. While their talents for building worlds and back-stories haven’t really come across in the games themselves, those of us who cared to read the Halo novels found that the setting of Halo was a lot more deep and varied than a guy in green armor smearing aliens into paste. I for one would be interested to see Bungie take a stab at a Western-style RPG, but that’s just me.

Now that Bungie is an independent studio it’s no longer tied to Microsoft’s whims, so it’ll be interesting to see where their next title ends up. I’m guessing that they will still be a 360-focused studio, but the thought of Bungie making a PlayStation 3 title has me interested. What do you guys want to see out of Bungie post Reach? Do you think this is actually Bungie’s last Halo game, a claim they’ve made in the past? Sound off!

Source: Kotaku

The Internet is an Evil Place: Battlefront Sequel Rumors Persist

The Star Wars: Battlefront franchise has had a strange and tortured history for a product that should be a no-brainer. You take the famous space and ground battles of the Star Wars universe, mash them together with Battlefield style game-play and let the players muck around as Jedi once in a while. Well, after forcing the famous conflicts of Star Wars onto the tiny screen of the PSP not once but twice, the hotly anticipated third iteration of the sci-fi combat series has hit wall after wall, going through multiple studios like a hot knife through butter.

Originally being tinkered with by Free Radical before they closed down, Star Wars Battlefront: III has shifted gears completely, now rumored to be titled Star Wars Battlefront: Online. The current developers are none other than SOCOM Confrontation makers Slant Six Games. As it stands right now, the title is in pre-production, so it may be canceled before we hear anything more about it. The current plan is to have it in presentable form by 2011, but given the unfortunate history of Battlefront III, I’m not getting my hopes up.

What do you guys think? The Battlefront series has always been a favorite of mine, and the space combat in the second game was a heck of a lot of fun. It’s sad to think that Battlefront: Online may become the next “Duke Nukem”, forced to spend eternity in pre-production while we get strung along with concept art and teaser videos. Who else is hoping for some more Star Wars action?

Source: Kotaku

Rumor: No Half-Life 2 Episode 3 in 2010?

Half-Life 2 Episode 3Oh man, this one hurts for all of you Half-Life 2 fans, I’m sure.

It seems that Game Informer is reporting that there will be no Half-Life 2 Episode 3 out this year. Apparently, this was reported in the rumor column of the magazine, hinting that the next project that Valve is working on might not even be called Episode 3, but Half-Life 3.

As video game fans, we are used to delays, but I’m sure this one comes as a blow to the many devoted Valve followers out there. Especially considering the fact that two Left4Dead games have seen release in the last two years, with no news or updates on HL2Ep3 besides some vague concept art back in 2008.

While I’m not ready to cry foul on this (it’s no Gran Turismo 5, that’s for sure), I do understand the many people who will be bummed out by this news. So what about you guys? Are you upset? Were you really hoping for the next installment in 2010?

Source- Kotaku

Geek Out Over Early Halo: Reach Scans

Like it or lump it, there’s no denying that one of 2010’s biggest titles will be Halo: Reach, Bungie’s (supposed) final game in the Halo series. The next issue of Game Informer was confirmed last week to include a bunch of new information on the upcoming sci-fi shooter, and some kind soul has seen fit to scan an advanced copy onto the internet. The scans are fairly clear considering that they’re straight off a magazine, and I have to say that the game is looking sharp. The infamous “ugly-people” produced by the Halo 3 engine are gone, and the marines in Reach look like actual futuristic grunts as opposed to cartoon characters. Speaking of Grunts, the Covenant species have been given a face-lift and there’s one new type of enemy confirmed, a Jackal look-alike of some sorts.

The article expands upon the setting and the various characters and there’s a lot of info for Halo canon nerds (like myself) to obsess over. Go check out the scans and tell us you thoughts!

Source: All Games Beta

Rumor: NBA Jam Gets a Revival

NBA JamBoom shaka-laka! He’s on fire!

If anyone knows those words, then they will be excited to hear one of the newest rumors circulating around the video game realm this week. Namely, that NBA Jam is getting revived by EA Sports for an exclusive Wii title. That’s right, the Midway classic that we played in arcades and on our SNES or Sega Genesis are getting the Frankenstein treatment, coming back to us in the year of our Lord 2010. Allegedly.

While details right now are scarce, it seems that there is a pending announcement that could hit later this month. I’m not sure if you guys ever even played this game, but it ranks among my top sports games of all time, and probably as the greatest basketball title that I can remember playing. I loved getting on fire and doing the crazy make-your-opponents-weep kind of dunks to get absurd scores by game’s end. Even though I don’t have a Wii, I seriously can’t wait to see how this turns out.

Does anyone else remember playing this game?

Source- VG247

Today’s WTF: Macbeth by Marc Ecko?

Do you remember Mark Ecko’s Getting Up? Well, here’s a quick refresher if this game happened to have slipped your mind: you fight against a tyrannical government by spray-painting buildings. Once The Man runs out of turpentine, then he’ll feel the sting of the oppressed! Marc Ecko also collaborated with Microsoft to make some spectacularly hideous Halo clothing a while back.

Well, it turns out that public property and a decent sense of fashion weren’t all that Marc Ecko was interested in vandalizing. Somewhere along the line the clothing designer drew up a concept that adapted Shakespeare’s Macbeth into a video game. Apparently he would have converted the classic play into a hack and slash brawler where the main chunk of the game would be devoted to lopping people’s heads off.

You’ve got to admire the man’s guts, at least. He’s not afraid to do what he wants, even if it does turn him into a pariah of sorts. His response to the question of what people would think of a Macbeth game was “I don’t live my life afraid of what other people think,” adding “Our adaptation, I think, would have made it relevant to people who wouldn’t have otherwise known about this great story. It’s unfortunate, because a lot of people just don’t know Macbeth.”

Thankfully, his project had trouble getting up and never made it past the concept phase. I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief that this game was passed over, but who knows what the future holds? What do you guys think of this wacky premise? If you’re wondering, Marc is currently working on I Heart Geeks, a DS puzzle title.

Source: Destructoid

Is a Modern Zelda Possible?

zelda-futureReboots. Everybody’s doing them, because it’s the cool thing. I’ve thought for some time now that one of the franchises in the biggest need of a makeover would be Nintendo’s legendary Zelda series. In fact, we’ve had quite a few discussions about it here on this site. While I think the series has had some great entries in recent years, its formula might need some re-thinking.

So it was with keen eyes that I read over an article on Kotaku posing the question: How Modern Can Zelda Get. In it, Stephen Totilo notes that the franchise has seen more and more modern technology (a boat in Wind Waker and the train in Spirit Tracks) as the series progresses. He then asks Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma if Zelda can continue to have even more modern technology than what we’ve already seen.

While Aonuma’s response was somewhat vague, I couldn’t help but become excited about the possibilities. Considering the rumor that there will be flight in the next Zelda game, it’s hard not to wonder. What do you guys think? Could Zelda be given fresh life by having a modern upgrade of some kind? Should Hyrule stay the same forever? Does the series even need an upgrade?

Source- Kotaku

Nintendo Teases Zelda Reveal in 2010

Not to be lewd, but I imagine the current relationship between enthusiast gamers and Nintendo to be comparable to a young man and some sort of harlot. She keeps giving you tantalizing glimpses of her ankle while all the while promising that more is coming.

To continue with this tortured analogy, the “ankle” here is the concept art that Miyamoto was parading around at E3 ’09 depicting Link and some sort of ethereal being that looked vaguely like the Master Sword. In a recent interview with UK’s Official Nintendo Magazine, Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma says he hopes to show something “surprising” at E3 ’10, thus completing the promise of “more”.

Nintendo proved recently with Super Mario Bros. Wii that it still knows how to make titles for its old-school fans, and with Metroid: Other M on the horizon I think we can take this as a sign that Ninty is finally starting to show appreciation for the “hardcore”. Though the company is often criticized for its constant rehash of the same tired franchises, there’s no doubt that gamers everywhere still clamor for these titles. The question is, how much longer will we get strung along before we see some actual gameplay? What’s your opinion, though? Are you pumped for a new Zelda, and what do you expect from it?

Source: Kotaku

Rumor: Modern Warfare 2 With a Third-Person Perspective?

Okay, I am thoroughly confused by this one. I’m a big supporter of the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” game design method, so I’m a little puzzled as to why Infinity Ward thought that their upcoming blockbuster needed a third-person multi-player mode. The following video was taken off a live stream of someone in France (the big source for all leaks, apparently) showing off the supposed alternate view point for Modern Warfare 2. It certainly looks legit, but I’d wait until an official comment comes from Infinity Ward before going too crazy. I mean, those poor guys have enough problems as it is.

The video is of questionable quality, which is a natural consequence of recording off a live stream. It shows the action well enough, and it does look like MW2. The third-person modes in question appear to be Team Death Match and Cage Match, so I wouldn’t expect to see this camera option appear in the campaign or SpecOps. What do you guys think? True or fake, and is this a weird move for the series?

Edit: So, it looks like this is true. Infinity Ward’s Robert Bowling confirmed the existence of a couple third-person playlists, citing it as “another way to play”.

Source: Destructoid

Rumor: InFamous 2 to Shock With New Voice Actor?

Hey, so, I guess that InFamous 2 is in production! I had no idea, but apparently Sucker Punch, developers of the original lightning-themed open world game and the Sly Cooper titles, are fishing around for a new motion-capture/voice actor for the game’s protagonist, Cole McGrath.

The biggest part of this rumor for me is that InFamous is getting a sequel, which is awesome. As you may remember from our Quick Hits feature, I gave InFamous a nice healthy A-. I had a lot of fun playing that game, and even though the story was kind of silly, I’d like to see where it goes.

I didn’t mind Cole’s voice, personally, but I think that if they’re re-casting Cole, they should re-work Zeke as well. He was a pretty awful supporting character with few redeeming qualities. Anyways, enough about my musings on the re-casting, what are your guys’ opinions? Did you play InFamous, and do you think that re-casting Cole is a step in the right direction? What are some games that you enjoyed, but would re-cast the main character?

Source: Destructoid

Thoughts on a One Console Future

one-consoleA lot has been made recently over the recent (and supposedly untrue rumor) that Microsoft may purchase Electronic Arts. Even though this rumor appears to be false, it does bring up some valid questions, and ones that got Anthony and I engaged in a ripping e-mail debate this morning.

As most debates go, it ended with us making various claims about each other’s mothers, but before that there was some reasoned discussion going on. Anthony believes that a move like this could really hurt the video game industry on the whole, and potentially see the downfall of the other two giants (in this case Sony and Nintendo). My position is that while I agree that such a situation might occur, we are reaching a point where a one-console future could and probably will be a reality, it’s just a matter of who goes the way of Sega first.

So, what do you guys think about this idea? Would you push away the idea of a one console future, or welcome it? To me, we are already on our way there, seeing as how there are fewer and fewer exclusive titles to separate the systems out anyway. Go!

More Like PSP No! Retailers Boycott the Hand-held.

I should be hung for that title, but I couldn’t resist. It seems that the gaming industry is trying on its big-boy pants lately, what with all the high falutin boycotts going on. Usually we see consumers getting up in arms about the alleged unfairness of some crazy rip-off or another, but this time around we’ve got actual stores joining in on the fun.

The PSP go, a recently announced upgrade for Sony’s base portable model, is being met with a hostile reception by several retailers in Eruope, with the Australian branch of EB Games being rumored as a potential party. Dutch game shop chain Nedgame alleges that the portable is too expensive to bother stocking in addition to being miffed about the lack of UMD support on the gizmo. According to the store’s official statement, the lack of actual discs for sale robs the chain of its main source of profit on game sales: the mark-up on prices. The PSP go uses media which is exclusively available from the PlayStation Network, so I’d imagine that being the middle-man in this exchange would rankle a bit.

One small chain of stores refusing to stock a product is one thing, but once a big company joins the party it’s a whole different kettle of fish. What do you guys think? Is this the first step in stores really lashing back at downloadable content? Where can this go from here, and do you think that the stores are taking the right approach with this?

Source: Kotaku

Rumor: Halo Movie Revived with Steven Spielberg?

spielbergWow. So there are rumors and there are rumors, and I’d say this one falls in the latter category. As many already know, the Halo movie that was in development hell for months and then killed was originally helmed by Peter Jackson as the Producer and Neil Blomkamp as the Director. Unfortunately, all negotiations were finally killed due to Blomkamp’s inexperience, and the two went on to make the cool-looking District 9.

However, a new name has been attached to the Halo movie: Steven Spielberg. That’s right, the maker of Indiana Jones, ET and Jurassic Park is apparently blown away by a Fall of Reach script that was written by Stuart Beattie last year, and some negotiations are rumored to be underway.

Personally, I’ve always thought that if a Halo movie ever did come to life, the Fall of Reach would be the perfect story to attach to it, as its much more interesting than anything the actual games had to offer. Like I said though, this is a rumor in every sense of the word, but next to Peter Jackson I couldn’t see someone better to tackle a Halo movie than Spielberg. What do you guys think of this?

Source- IESB

Today’s WTF: No LAN For StarCraft II

sc2Blizzard, Blizzard. You seem so content to make it into the WTF parties these days. While lately I’ve been upset with the amount of whining and fussing that gamers tend to go on and on about, I can’t help but sympathize a little on this one.

As of right now, it seems that there is no planned LAN support for StarCraft II, the long-awaited sequel to one of the greatest RTS games of all freaking time. I find this to be a little curious, especially seeing as how nearly every LAN party I’ve ever seen or heard of has some folks ready to drop in on some StarCraft-ing action. To me, this reads like a calculated move to force users onto, which reportedly might come with a fee this time around.

LAN support seems like a no-brainer to me, especially on a multiplayer game like this. Looks like you’ll have to alter the game just to play at a LAN party. Bad move, Blizzard. You continue to develop the perception that you like to throw your fans under your collective bus.

So what do you guys think? Is this WTF worthy?

Source- Destructoid

Uncharted Movie Wishlist

unchartedLately, there’s been a lot of buzz about an upcoming Uncharted movie, which is apparently in the works. Personally, after playing this game, it’s one of the few games that could easily make a silver screen transition, mainly due to its completely cinematic presentation.

In response to all this rumor-mongering, MTV has posted its wishlist for an Uncharted movie, filling out the cast with talents such as Nathan Fillion, Emily Rose, Powers Boothe and then some. I think they all seem to be a pretty decent fit, but it got me thinking about what other game movies need an actor wishlist.

I would for real pee myself over a Metal Gear Solid movie with Josh Holloway from Lost or Hugh Jackman as Snake. Or maybe a Super Mario Bros movie with Dennis Hopper as Koopa. Oh wait… All joking aside, what would be your dream cast for some of your favorite video game movies?

Source- MTV

Rumor: Mass Effect 2: There Will Be Bloodbaths

me2One of the coolest things I think I’ve ever seen in an RPG, and perhaps one of the defining moments of my life as a gamer, came in the Bioware RPG Knights of the Old Republic. In one crazy-ass sequence of scenes, your party can literally turn on itself, causing some to run away, some to fight you to the death and perhaps even a force command of one friend to kill another. It was glorious, because I had never experienced anything like that.

While we don’t know any details at all about Mass Effect 2, we do have a glimpse from an interview with Bioware project director Casey Hudson, who says that the game’s ending could end up being a veritable bloodbath. Apparently, the game sets you up to go on a dangerous mission at game’s end, and if you’re not prepared, it could all go south:

If you don’t do a lot of the stuff, or make the right kind of choices, the ending will be a bloodbath, and the people that you brought with you will die, and it’ll be a great ending, but it’ll be that kind of ending.

This sounds amazing. Why can’t this game be out like, tomorrow? Also, what are some of the wildest endings you’ve seen to a video game?

EDIT: Apparently this interview has caused quite a stir on the official forums for the game, because people are stupid. The dude at one point hinted that you would have an all new party, which caused people to go ballistic because they wanted certain characters back. Bioware clarified that they haven’t announced any details on parties yet, and that in some instances some of the old party could be back. Though some say that means this interview is incorrect in its entirety, I disagree. Regardless, I will slap a rumor tag on it.

Source- NowGamer

Rumor: New Mario Game to Be Unveiled at E3

mario2Well, get your rumor counters going, because they’re going to be running wild for the next day or so. Since the first E3 press conference is tomorrow (Microsoft), things are going to be flying off the Inter-tubes left and right.

Some fresh news just broke from Japan as a news service printed that a new Mario game is scheduled to be shown by Nintendo this week at E3, and will release in Japan as soon as the end of this year. Let’s hope it’s a proper Mario game and not a new Mario Party or something like that. Considering Mario Galaxies was such a hit with the Mario alumni out there, this is definitely some exciting news. Now I’m just holding on to my hopes that a new Zelda game will be shown as well, since it’s been even longer since the last one of those.

So who’s excited about a new Mario Wii game?

Source- 1Up

Microsoft Working on 300,000 Person MMO?

xblIt’s no secret that MMO’s are the train that every major developer hopes to ride into money country, following the trend of Blizzard’s oh-so-popular moolah machine, World of Warcraft. While we know that Microsoft previously worked on a Halo MMO that was ultimately canned, some have speculated that they still had something else they were constructing in the shadows.

Well, a recent post on DevelopMag shows that Microsoft is not only looking to get into the MMO genre, but to jump into it with flying colors. Apparently, Microsoft is working on having a game that can support 300,000 simultaneous players at once over XBox Live. To give you an idea of how nuts that is, EVE Online supports 300k players total. The most ever online at once was 50,000. Kind of crazy.

It definitely makes you wonder what kind of property this MMO is, considering that MS expects to have so many players on at once. A different, resurrected Halo MMO perhaps? It’s the only thing I can think of that would possibly be a big enough IP to attract an audience that large. Thoughts?

Source- DevelopMag

Rumor: Next Team Ico Project Revealed

Team Ico, the awesome guys that brought us classic legendary titles like Shadow of the Colossus and Ico, have been hard at work on a new, super-secret project. Well, according to PlayStation LifeStyle, that PS3 project has just been revealed, codenamed “Trico”. While they have no source on the trailer below, it definitely has the look and feel of some of their past projects.

The footage shows a boy and a strange creature that seems to be a dog/rat/bird thing, and the two engage in co-operative platforming through awesome environments. I don’t know how I feel about the animal, but the footage definitely has a great feel to it. No word on whether this is real or not, but the music isn’t original and appears in the movie “Miller’s Crossing”.

So what do you guys think?


Source- PlayStation LifeStyle

Rumor: New Metal Gear Game?

kojimaAh, Hideo Kojima. You’re a little rascal. You like to make crazy cut scenes, pretentious dialogue, awesome action and things that tease your loyal followers. Take this new announcement Web site from Hideo Kojima, for instance. It appeared sometime last week and has a mysterious countdown, a field, some lightning, and what appears to be the number “5” (or the letter S) splashed across it.

However, it seems some Metal Gear Solid fans have done some digging around, and the source code for the site shows that the timer runs out on June 1, the day of the Microsoft E3 press event (Sony’s is on June 2). A Microsoft Metal Gear game, perchance? Also, looking at the meta keywords reveals the words “next” “metal gear” and “mgs”, though nothing that says “mgs5”.

So, what does this all mean? While Metal Gear Solid 4 was the last entry into the Solid Snake story, I wouldn’t put it past Kojima to keep the series going, only with a new and rebooted storyline with some different characters. What do you guys think?

Source- Kotaku