This is another case of Microsoft backtracking on the Xbox One, which started out with a mandatory Kinect, an always-online Internet connection and aggressive DRM. With this most recent update, just about a year after its announcement, the Xbox One no longer requires any of these things. It’s a win for consumers, certainly, but not for Microsoft’s previous vision for the console.
The most curious aspect of this for me is that this makes the Xbox One cheaper in Canada than the PlayStation 4, which saw a $50 price bump earlier this year. The $399 Xbox One without Kinect will be available on June 9.
What do you guys think about this news? Does this new $399 Xbox One without a Kinect make the console more appealing to you?
One thing I always miss from the good old days of gaming are really bad-ass mech games. Those kind of waned for a long time, but Titanfall seems to be bringing it back. But, if a first-person-shooter is too goddamn casual for you, there’s also Matador, an action-strategy roguelike mech game from developer Stellar Jockeys. You can check out the trailer below and man, does it look gorgeous.
As the old saying goes, “bigger is better” although in the case of multiplayer shooter games this isn’t always true. While Titanfall may go big in terms of the giant mechs it features, the player count for Respawn and EA’s upcoming sci-fi shooter is a little on the smaller side.
While we’ve know for a while that Titanfall would contain a smaller number of players in matches (the E3 demo had 7 on 7), Respawn founder Vince Zampella confirmed on Twitter that Titanfall matches would max out at 12 humans, so 6 versus 6. The backlash to this news has been kind of over the top, as is the way with the Internet, but is 6v6 really that bad?
Many of the best competitive shooters out there, from Counter-Strike to Halo, have always had smaller matches because with more people things just get a little too hectic. Battlefield is one of the only games to pull this off because that’s their gimmick, but sometimes a full 64 player match can get kinda of crazy. Respawn additionally confirmed that the Titans, while capable of being directly controlled by a player, can also be automated to defend a specific area or follow a person around, so the matches are essentially 12 v 12 with some AI enemies padding things out.
I played Titanfall at PAX Prime 2013 and I honestly didn’t notice that it was a smaller game. With all of the AI enemies constantly dropping in, the action felt fast and frenetic and captured the feeling of being a small part of a larger battle. I’ll wait to actually play the game proper before making my judgement, but given how Titanfall felt at PAX, I imagine 6 v 6 will be just fine.
What do you guys think about this? Did the Internet overreact? Are more players essential, or do you prefer things to be a bit more…intimate?
While the article about this over on Kotaku reports this leak as legitimate, given what happened with Survivor 2299 and the fact that Bethesda has declined to comment, I’m going to firmly declare this as a rumor until we hear something official.
A series of casting documents obtained by Kotaku apparently confirm the existence of a game codenamed Institute (which if you remember from a Fallout 3 sidequest is the in-universe name for what was once MIT), which you might know better by its proper name, Fallout 4. The word Fallout doesn’t appear in any of the scripts, but it points to Fallout 4 being set in Boston, which makes sense given its codename. The casting script also details the opening monologue (in which the classic “war never changes” line is read by the player character instead of series regular Ron Pearlman) and a few side characters such as Sturges who is apparently a cross between Buddy Holly and Vin Diesel.
While I wish Fallout 4 is real as much as the next person, the rash of hoaxes surrounding the next game in the series over the past few months has made me very skeptical. Although I wouldn’t mind a Fallout game set in Boston and centered around the Institute, the information in this casting document, even if it is real, is subject to change so a lot of what is in there might not even be in the final game.
What do you guys think? Is this the real deal, or yet another hoax?
While I’m enjoying Battlefield 4 a lot, I’ll be the first to admit that the game is broken. While DICE has brought out 13 server-side updates and two-client side patches (with more to come) since the October 29 release date, their next-gen shooter is in a sorry state of disrepair.
Even though China Rising just launched this past Tuesday, work on Battlefield 4’s remaining expansions (and other DICE projects, presumably the Mirror’s Edge prequel and Battlefront) have been halted until the majority of the issues with the game have been sorted out. While the previous client-side patch solved the Commander EMP blur effect and the sound bugs on maps like Golmud Railway, there continues to be a large array of problems on every system.
China Rising was apparently too far along to postpone (no word on Second Assault which is an Xbox One timed-exclusive) which is why it stuck to its original release date. DICE recently held a double-EXP event and gave players a 3.4x scope for the 1911 pistol which was formerly a developer-exclusive attachment as a way to make up for the issues that have been plaguing the game.
To editorialize a bit here, I’m a massive Battlefield fan, but the sorry state of Battlefield 4 (and the fact that EA put it on sale for $30 on Black Friday/Cyber Monday) has made me really wary of pre-ordering Battlefield games in the future. I have a huge amount of respect for DICE, but every Battlefield game has been messed up on launch to varying degrees. While DICE has demonstrated that they are working hard on these issues, and postponing work on future projects and DLC is a good move, the fact that we’re over a month after launch and the game is potentially just as, or more, messed up now as it was on day one is a pretty big black mark on their record.
Has anyone else been playing Battlefield 4? What do you think of this move by DICE/EA?
You have to admire Valve, they really think out of the box. Between XP, trading cards, everything going on with Dota 2 (thanks Volvo for Diretide), they’re turning Steam into not only the premier digital game delivery service on the Internet, but also some sort of weird crowdsourced laboratory.
Take this recent move as a prime example. Steam users will now be able to leave reviews on games they have launched via Steam (purchase not required) without having to recommend it, which was the previous method of doing user reviews (indeed, any previous recommendations will be upgraded to reviews).
The user reviews will exist alongside the Metacritic scores on Steam. I think this is a really cool move for Steam, and I’m eager to copy/paste some GS reviews in there to see what happens (kidding!). What do you guys think about this? Have you written any reviews yet?
There really aren’t enough words to describe the affection I have for Telltale Games at the moment. The guys absolutely knocked me off my feet with their astounding take on Walking Dead, and I hear they’ve actually managed to raise the bar with Wolf Among Us. So count me ecstatic then, given the current rumors surrounding the studio.
Today, IGN reports that Telltale is working on none other than Game of Thrones, the HBO series based on The Song of Ice and Fire books by George R. R. Martin. Of course, this is speculation at the moment, as IGN is citing multiple anonymous sources, and Telltale has offered no official comment.
But we can dream, can’t we? If you ask me, Game of Thrones is one of the perfect franchises for Telltale to lend their talents to. What other universe is full of so many great characters, such emotionally charged decisions, so much danger and betrayal. Imagine saying the wrong thing to the wrong family, and have it come back to bite you in a big way games down the road.
So yeah, I am dying to find out if this is true. What do you guys think of this rumor? Yay or nay?
Valve kicked off the announcements this week by showing off SteamOS, the Linux-based operating system that will guide your magical journey through living-room centered PC gaming wonderfulness. It sounds like you can dual-boot the SteamOS on an existing PC or stream games from your current gaming PC to a Steam Machine running SteamOS and play your games that way.
According to the letter, Broken Age got pretty large; so large in fact that internal predictions at Double Fine put the game’s release in July of 2014 with a significant amount of content being cut. Instead of releasing a smaller game at a later date than promised, Double Fine will be selling the first half of Broken Age through Steam Early Access in January of 2014 to fund the rest of the game.
Backers will still get their full game as promised; what the Steam Early Access will do is open the game up to people who didn’t back the game on Kickstarter and will hopefully create the revenue Double Fine needs to finish it off. Double Fine thought it would be improper to get money from an actual publisher or go back to Kickstarter.
So what do you guys think? If you’re a backer, what’s your take on this?
Giving the Internet an ego boost it did not need, Microsoft reversed their controversial polices regarding DRM and always-online as it pertains to the Xbox One, their next-gen console scheduled for release in November of this year.
Giant Bomb reported that multiple sources were suggesting that Microsoft was poised to do the mother of all walkbacks and fundamentally change their approach to used games, DRM and online requirements for the Xbox One. Shortly after that, Microsoft did in fact reveal the changes, which are highlighted below:
The Xbox One does not need to be online at all with the exception of a one-time initialization during set-up.
The Xbox One will not be required to check-in online every 24 hours.
Disc based games will be played from the discs, the same as with the Xbox 360. Installing the game is no longer required.
All downloaded games will function the same when online or offline
No additional restrictions on trading games or lending discs
Man oh man, if there’s one game for the rest of this year that might be able to topple BioShock Infinite off of its lofty perch, it’s The Last of Us. Sure, everybody might have their own personal Game of the Year (come on, Battlefield 4), but I predict that those two giants will be slugging it out for that prestigious award come December.
What makes me say that, you ask? Well, in case you missed it yesterday, the review embargo for Naughty Dog’s fungal-fueled post-apocalyptic title lifted and there are some fantastic reviews out there. Here’s a round-up of what some outlets are saying about it:
Pretty much unanimous across the board, except for Polygon’s review which highlights a few inconsistencies with the shooting mechanics. The multiplayer is of particular interest to me, especially considering I kind of forgot that The Last of Us even had this mode.
The game is out next Friday, so what do you guys think about these reviews? Are you getting excited?
What this means is that Nintendo is using YouTube’s copyright algorithms to analyze videos and if there’s a certain percentage of Nintendo content in those then Nintendo monetizes them and receives that ad money. This cuts the video makers out of the ad revenue loop and any Let’s Plays will forward the money to Nintendo instead of the person(s) who made the video.
This has led to a bit of backlash from the YouTube Let’s Play community, with a lot of well-known personalities claiming that they won’t be playing Nintendo games on their channel anymore. A lot of smaller game developers have come out saying that Let’s Play videos are great forms of grass-roots advertisement, and a few companies have gone out of their way to give YouTube channels special permission to make money by playing their games and making videos of that.
What do you guys think? Is Nintendo right to claim the ad money from these videos? Are people correct in the backlash? Go!
Last week’s revelation that EA had acquired the exclusive rights from Disney to develop new Star Wars games was only the first drop in what is likely to be a slow trickle as new information slowly comes to light. Today, our Bothan spies have returned with more news regarding EA’s intentions towards the fabled franchise.
As reported last week, Bioware, DICE and Visceral are the 3 EA studios being granted first crack at the galaxy far, far away. Of those 3 though, it appears DICE is the flyboy who gets to go into the garbage chute first. EA just opened DICE LA (no, my caps lock is not stuck) in, you guessed it, Los Angeles. The studio will be “a key cog” in its Star Wars plans and is located very close to Activision, with a clear purpose: Continue reading EA Opens Star Wars-Focused DICE LA Studio
After Disney shut down LucasArts, we were all left wondering why would pick up the Star Wars torch and bring new games to the market. Turns out we didn’t have to wait long because earlier this week, Disney announced that Electronic Arts has acquired the exclusive license to make core Star Wars games. Disney will retain the rights to make social and casual games for Star Wars.
EA wasted no time in announcing that DICE, BioWare and Visceral will start making Star Wars titles, presumably due to coincide with the new movies starting 2015. Here’s what EA Labels President Frank Gibeau had to say about this deal:
“Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe. Three of our top studios will fulfill that dream, crafting epic adventures for Star Wars fans. The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay.”
So there you go guys, it looks like we’ll be getting Star Wars titles that aren’t just movie tie-ins, but three unique products that have their own story-line and characters. What do you guys think about this? Anyone want to take my bet that Visceral will end up with Star Wars 1313? Go!
I barely have the words to describe Blood Dragon, FarCry3’s new standalone DLC, but I suppose I’ll try my best. Imagine if FarCry3 were re-invented as a really terrible 80s science fiction movie starring Michael Biehn of Aliens and Terminator fame. Yes, that’s what Blood Dragon actually is. Oh, and there are also robot dragons that shoot lasers out of their eyes.
In what it is seriously one of the most bananas moves I’ve ever seen by any video game company, Ubisoft is going completely off the rails with FarCry 3’s new content — and I couldn’t be more excited, even if I have no idea where this inspiration comes from. I can’t say I’d mind playing FarCry3’s mechanics in a ridiculously hilarious ode to 80s science fiction. And for $14.99, I can’t see why I wouldn’t jump right in with two bionic legs.
Sometimes it’s nice to get some vindication. While I’m not normally one to harp on when I get something right (since it so rarely happens), I would like to point out that the following news is something I’ve been hypothesizing for years — the next XBox is going to focus on TV programming, according to a report from the Verge.
While many of the console makers have been saying for years that they want to make their system of choice into your all-inclusive entertainment box, Microsoft actually seems to be taking a legitimate step in that direction with their plans for the next XBox. Not only will the new system function as a DVR of sorts, it’ll also have HDMI-in for your cable TV. Continue reading The Next XBox Wants Complete Control of Your Living Room
LucasArts has had a troubled history these past few years, what with the ugly rumors surrounding Battlefront 3 and the Force Unleashed series being canned before the second game even came out. Star Wars 1313, which made a good impression last year at E3, hasn’t really made another big appearance since then, another victim of LucasArt’s internal struggles. Star Wars: First Assault, the digital-based first-person-shooter, has also been cancelled.
Disney has made it clear that this doesn’t mean the end of Star Wars games by any means, just that we won’t see another one developed internally by LucasArts. It’s a sad day for the 150 employees laid off by this move, and we here at GamerSushi hope the land on their feet. That said, having another developer take a stab at the franchise might be just the kick it needs to bring Star Wars video games back into relevance.
What do you guys think about this news? Sad to see LucasArts go? Which studio do you think will pick up Star Wars? Which team would be the best fit for Star Wars 1313 or a new Battlefront?
GDC is going on this week, and apparently Konami and EA were bursting at the seams to announce their games and couldn’t wait for E3 to roll around. Both Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (a combination of the previously announced Ground Zeroes and, of course, The Phantom Pain) and Battlefield 4 were revealed with accompanying trailers. Metal Gear Solid 5 is just below, with Battlefield 4 after the jump.
While the writing might have been on the wall for a while, it still came as a bit of a shock this past Monday when John Riccitiello left his position as EA’s CEO. Citing lower than expected financial targets, Mr. Riccitiello’s turn as EA’s CEO will officially be done on March 30, where he will be replaced by Larry Probst (EA’s former CEO from 1991-2007) for the interim. Riccitiello said this about his departure in a letter to the company:
This is a tough decision, but it all comes down to accountability. The progress EA has made on transitioning to digital games and services is something I’m extremely proud of. However, it currently looks like we will come in at the low end of, or slightly below, the financial guidance we issued in January, and we have fallen short of the internal operating plan we set one year ago. EA’s shareholders and employees expect better and I am accountable for the miss.
Call of Duty is, without a doubt, the most popular online FPS game of our time. Millions of people have played it and become accustom to the mechanics, so much so to the point where if you want to make a successful shooter, you have to ape the way CoD plays and feels to a certain degree.