Well, today is just the Saturday of deals, isn’t it? In addition to the XBox Live thank you gift Anthony posted about earlier, here’s another one for all of you dudes wondering how many couch cushions you’re going to have to turn over to get the rest of the games on your Fall list: GameStop’s trade in values for October 2010.
One of my earliest memories of playing video games on my very own PC (as opposed to the old Macintosh machines at school), was sitting down late at night and wandering through several hours of Myst, one of the top selling adventure games of all time. It was a game unlike anything I had played before. I remember being simultaneously creeped out, enthralled and filled with a sense of awe as I explored the stunning visuals, solved the puzzles and pieced together a world by my own choices. Some of the puzzles still rank among my favorite in gaming history (the piano in the rocketship, for instance).
Given the game’s huge commercial success over time, it should be no surprise then that people in Hollywood have been interested in turning this point-and-click adventure game into even more cash. That’s right, everyone: Myst has been optioned for a movie by Mysteria Film Group along with producers Hunt Lowry (Last of the Mohicans) and Mark Johnson (Chronicles of Narnia).
The primary thing about the first game of Myst is that it is almost completely non-linear, contains virtually no dialogue, no action, no violence and no other direct contact with characters. So how is this going to work as a movie, exactly?
Ladies and dudes, the time is here: the fall season of gaming is officially upon us, and all we can do now is paddle as hard we can to keep up with the avalanche of titles falling to our TVs and monitors. Sure, I’m mixing metaphors here a little bit, but the point here is the same: lots of games are coming out, and you no doubt want to play a large share of them. Yes, even though Little Big Planet 2 has been delayed.
Since we’re so nice, we’ve put together an epic list of our 30 most anticipated upcoming games of 2010. You’ll be surprised at just how much is waiting for you. We’ve got everything from RPGs to zombies, DS exclusives and sprawling PC MMOs. Check it out!
If you’re into online First Person Shooters, you’ve probably come to accept that all of them incorporate some sort of XP progression/unlock system at this point. This fad started gaining steam with Call of Duty 4, and it has been carried over to almost every other shooter since then. Fittingly, Black Ops takes this into the ridiculous territory with the customizations that will be allowed in game. Call of Duty usually avoided having the player customize their in-game avatar, but Black Ops will allow you to give your persona everything from face paint to armor and customized sights for your guns. Seriously, this video borders on ludicrous once the developers start detailing the different kinds of emblems you can emblazon your firearm with. Take a look:
While this is really cool, I think they lost me around the custom red-dot sight part. At some point you’re just adding too much to the investment system, and constantly dangling carrots in front of people gets annoying more often than not. As much as I love Halo: Reach, the poor design of the rank/armor system has really been rankling me (it takes forever to make it past Warrant Officer). Hopefully Black Ops will not suffer the same fate by making more options available faster. So, see anything that catches your fancy? Are you getting sick of shooter with a huge focus on ranks and unlocks?
One of the surprise features in Treyarch’s 2008 Call of Duty entry World at War was the inclusion of the four-player co-op mode Nazi Zombies. Fans of CoD were originally dismissive of this offering, but those of us who played it quickly fell in love with the shambling hordes of Third Reich undead. Nazi Zombies featured a scaling difficulty that meant later rounds necessitated a good team working together, otherwise your soft flesh would quickly provide sustenance for the ravening swarm.
Nazi Zombies quickly gained in popularity throughout World at War’s life-span, with Treyarch adding new maps and even a mythology behind the game. Now that the Call of Duty off-team is up to bat again, they’re putting Nazi Zombies into Black Ops, but tuning it up for the upcoming release. Studio head Mark Lamia gave this little snippet in regards to the return of the walking dead:
“Zombies have been such a hit with our community that we were committed to bringing brand new zombie experiences to Call of Duty: Black Ops. We’ve taken extra special care to retain the essential ingredients of our Zombie game, and have also crafted a nice surprise for the fans.”
There’s nothing else beyond that, but one can only imagine what Nazi Zombies (or Communist Zombies?) is going to look like after two years in development. There have been a lot of changes to Call of Duty since then, so one can only suppose that the mode will change to compensate. I know that my purchase of Black Ops hinged on a Zombie mode, but what about you guys? Ready to kill some whiskey deltas? When more details unfold, we will be sure to include them. If you’re the kind of person who likes a good teasing, Call of Duty: Black Ops site GKNOVA6 has what you’re looking for.
This is sort of a week for excellent dance-themed machinima, it seems. First we get the sublime krogan dance off in the form of Mass Effect 2′s Dance Dance Redemption, and now we have Dance Fortress 2. This little beauty of a video was made by a talented man who goes by the name of James Benson. This project started two months ago, and the culmination of his efforts can be seen below. This was apparently made as a resume to Valve, so best of luck to you, Mr. Benson.
Oh man, it’s not very often that a machinima piece makes me laugh these days, but then again, most pieces aren’t named Dance Dance Retribution. Nor do they feature two Krogans from Mass Effect 2 dancing. This is a piece created by Blue Suns for the 48 hour machinima contest that was featured in Fantastic Fest this past weekend in Austin, Texas. I kept hearing good things about it, so I just had to post on it.
Really, there’s not much else to say other than that it follows the tale of a Krogan seeking extreme justice through extreme dance moves. And it’s hilarious. Give it a watch.
Best of all? It was co-created by a SmoothFewFilms fan that goes by the handle of Gassy Mexican. Great job, man!
I don’t even really know what to say about this, because it’s just one of those crazy things that makes you rethink your life and all the ways you’ve used or wasted it over the years. I won’t lie, when it comes to video games, I have wasted many hours. I’ve thrown marbles down hills in Oblivion. I’ve looked at a girl Spartan’s butt in Halo: Reach. These are things I’ve spent time doing. But I’ve never done anything like this guy.
Apparently, Minecraft nut “halnicholas” has been working hard to construct a 1:1 scale replica of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation in said crafting game. He’s got the framework done, and is looking for skillful trekkies and builders alike to come and help him finish the fight. Wait, I’m mixing sci-fis here.
Anyway, this is certifiably insane and awesome all at once.
Also, is it wrong that this makes me want to play Minecraft even more?
It’s funny how things can change in just a few years. Microsoft, once the PC gaming giant, has now taken a back seat in that race, preferring instead to dump its collective resources into the console game. While it is making a good amount of head-way there, the giant company is rightly getting a bit of flack for “abandoning” the PC. Microsoft recognizes that it needs to give a bit more attention to the platform that launched its gaming business, and there are a few initiatives underway to make that happen.
Microsoft Game Studios’ General Manager Dave Luehmann recently had a little chat with MCV where he outlined the plan for the PC resurgence. He spoke pretty candidly on Microsoft’s stance in the industry, while at the same time being less than humble about the company’s position as a former forerunner:
“There’s been a fair bit of criticism aimed at Microsoft that we were spending a lot of our focus on console, and we need to be putting resources behind PC as well. Other companies should look to Microsoft for leadership, but I’m not sure they do. It is our job to lead the way on PC. And in some ways we are doing that and in other ways we are not. So we need to step up. We are putting some real investment and big IPs behind the Windows platform. We’ve spoken of the first three, Fable III, Age of Empires Online and Microsoft Flight. However we are not going to stop there.”
One thing is for sure, Mr. Luehmann knows how to talk a big talk. While X-Box LIVE has done some revolutionary things in regards to party connectivity and nickle-and-diming the customer, Games for Windows LIVE continues to languish as XBL’s neglected cousin. For those of us who play our games on the PC, GFWL is sort of a black-sheep compared to other, more user friendly services such as Steam or Impulse. While it’s nice that Microsoft recognizes the importance of PC gaming, it still remains to be seen as to whether or not they’ll actually do as they promise. What do you guys think of MS’s stance? Should they reassert themselves in the PC gaming scene, or is this just an empty boast? With the X-Box doing fairly well and Kinect on the way, should we even expect for Microsoft to bother with their former territory? Let us know!
Fallout’s biggest hook, at least for me, is the technology, envisioned as an extension of the 1950′s wistful imaginings of the future. All the computers are big, bulky and full of vacuum tubes, and the guns fire iridescent blobs of green plasma. It’s got a sort of innocent charm the belies the often brutal nature of post-apocalyptic survival, and the team at Obsidian is kicking the technology up a notch for New Vegas. While the game has the typical range of conventional weaponry, new types of energy guns will be included, like the Recharge Rifle, which replenishes its internal battery instead of requiring ammo. Pretty neat, if you ask me. Take a look at the most recent New Vegas Developer Diary for some other changes, including a look at the game’s sound design:
I tried the grenade machine gun during my hands on time with New Vegas at PAX 2010, and it is just as fun as it sounds. I also like they way Obsidian is taking the desert environment into account with distance being factored into how you will perceive sound. Despite some reservation on this title due to the fact that it is in the hands of Obsidian (no offense, but they don’t exactly have a stellar track record), New Vegas is shaping up nicely. Any opinions on the weapons and the auditory goodness in New Vegas? What system will you play it on? Fallout: New Vegas will be out October 19, 2010.
With all the sharing we’ve done here over the years, I’m starting to feel like I understand a bit of everyone’s gaming preferences. Truth be told, I wouldn’t mind playing a game designed by a few of you guys. In a perfect world, all of us at GamerSushi, community included, would be CEOs of our very own gaming giants, with millions of dollars to throw at all kinds of awesome projects. Sadly, none of us have this option, but a boy can dream, yes?
What I wanted to ask is this: do you guys have a dream game that you would make if you could? What kinds of features would it have, and what other games would it emulate or build upon? For me, I’d want to make the kind of game I still feel like I haven’t played: a sandbox story. We’re getting used to incredible sandbox games in the last few years, but the closest thing I’ve seen to an organic sandbox story would have to be some of the craziness that goes on in EVE.
So, how about it? What kind of game would you make, if you had the chance?
One of my favorite games this generation is Dead Rising, the zombie-outbreak in a mall title by Capcom. Dead Rising is famous amongst gamers for its obtuse gameplay style and outdated save system, but I loved the freedom of running around in a dress drinking milkshakes and dying my hair. Oh, and killing zombies too, I guess. Despite the fact that we’re reaching the saturation point with the walking dead, I’m still looking forward to Dead Rising 2, and to celebrate its upcoming release, some kind soul has decided to post the first fifteen minutes of the zombie-slaying sequel up on YouTube for all of us to enjoy. Kick back, relax, and enjoy the opening of Dead Rising 2:
It looks a lot like the original, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Dead Rising, for all its faults, has a lot of notions associated with it, and it looks like the new developers, Blue Castle Games, nailed the feeling of the first. One thing that might irk me is the amount of load screens, but what are you going to do? So, any thoughts on Dead Rising 2? Are you reserving your judgment, or is this fifteen minute glimpse enough for you to go off of? The game is out next Tuesday in North America and this Friday in Europe.
While I love playing shooters on both consoles and PC these days, one thing I miss from my more hardcore PC gaming days is the ability for full control customization via the keyboard. It was nice to map any feature to any button, and really helped you tailor your style of play in a unique way.
Tonight, while playing another bout of Halo: Reach, Nick randomly freaked out because his controller was set differently than he normally had it. So, as a result, he asked all of us whether we played shooters inverted or non-inverted. I thought I’d bring that question here.
For me, I used to always play inverted on controllers, non-inverted on a mouse. Eventually some weird switch flipped in my brain and now I play exclusively non-inverted. I’m not really sure how this happened, but it occurred during a playthrough of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. I was forever changed, apparently.
Just a few months ago, if you had said the words “Grand Theft Auto” to me, I might have done a terrible Niko Bellic impersonation or laughed in your face, spouting all the predictable things I’ve come to repeat about GTA 4 and what a let down it was for me. Granted, that would have been before Red Dead Redemption, which has renewed my interest in Rockstar games, and given me hope for the inevitable Grand Theft Auto 5.
The lovable dudes over at GamesRadar have put together a bit of a wish list for Grand Theft Auto 5, plotting out all the things they’re dying to see. As is the case with their other wish lists, I really like some of the stuff they mentioned, particularly the bits about the driving, more wide open spaces and a new time period. I know I constantly get mocked for this, but I just want a GTA that takes place in the future. Call me crazy.
What do you guys think of this wish list, and what would you put on yours?
BioShock Infinite (or Skyoshock, if you’re feeling sassy) was announced in late July amid much fervor and rumors. Is this a sequel to BioShock? What’s going on in the airborne city of Columbia? While we did get a glimpse at some of the fantastic looking screens, we haven’t really seen anything concrete on the game up until now. This video, shown during the behind-closed-doors press release event, goes over the sort of shenanigans we can expect to see in Irrational Game’s next foray into the BioShock universe.
One thing that strikes me about the video is how great Irrational is at world building. Much like Rapture before it, Columbia is at the tail end of its life, and the entire city is in shambles. The video opens kind of slowly, but it ramps pretty quickly after that. The game is currently set for release in 2012, so we’ve got a while to go. What do you guys think of the gameplay? Excited for Infinite?
For the last few weeks, I’ve been hearing more and more about the game Minecraft, the sandbox game that allows players to shape the world as they choose, albeit in pixelated blocks of wood and stone. Full disclosure: I don’t know much about the game, so if you do, feel free to explain some more in the comments, but from what I can tell, it was developed by one person and is currently taking the indie gaming world by storm.
While the game is normally just 9 bucks, it’s actually free to play indefinitely while creator Markus Persson works on getting everything back up and running. To me, the most interesting aspects of the game, on top of building whatever you want, is the idea of community construction and fashioning the world together in a multiplayer setting.
Anyway, this Minecraft fanmade trailer really has perked my interest even more than it was originally, and I’m tempted to try this out. Have any of you guys played this current PC sensation (looking at you, karhax and Muaddib)? Please share your thoughts!
In just one month, folks will be clamoring to jump back into the world of the Fallout universe, this time taking on the wasted west and the deserts around Vegas. I know several people who are particularly looking forward to this game, eager to dip back into an enormous quest (or series of quests) yet again.
And for all of you wishing to see a little more to fuel your need for Fallout: New Vegas, you’re in luck. As is becoming custom for new video games these days, Obsidian just released its first Fallout: New Vegas developer diary, going over the setting and story of the game. I have to say, I’m intrigued by the nature of the story, complete with its own MacGuffin in the form of a mysterious package stolen from the player.
Anyway, give it a watch. Hard to believe it’s out October 19 here in the U.S. Who’s getting this game, and what do you think of the video?
They say that only the good die young, but sometimes this old adage extends to the bad as well. All Points Bulletin (APB for those of us who have never been in the back of a cop car) was released only three months ago, but the cops-and-robbers style MMO is being put behind bars already. The game was lauded for its strong customization options but lost a lot of points for having dull combat, horrible player versus player and a very generic quest system.
While fans of the game are certainly upset, most of us who followed the news surrounding the title wouldn’t be surprised. Realtime Worlds, best known for the X-Box 360 hit Crackdown, entered administration (bankruptcy over in the United Kingdom) and laid off a significant part of their work force last month. APB’s Community Officer Ben Bateman posted a final thanks on the official forums:
APB has been a fantastic journey, but unfortunately that journey has come to a premature end. Today we are sad to announce that despite everyone’s best efforts to keep the service running; APB is coming to a close. It’s been a pleasure working on APB and with all its players. Together we were building an absolutely amazing game, and for that, we thank you. You guys are awesome!
It looks like this is the end of Realtime Worlds, folks. It’s a real shame that the studio that brought us Crackdown is on the down and out. While I was originally psyched for the game, really poor reviews led me to steer clear, and I imagine that’s true for a lot of us. What do you guys think of RTW closing? Any parting thoughts for this once celebrated studio?
Get your popcorn ready. Bobby Kotick’s got a bright idea for you.
Ever since gaming content distribution has moved online in a significant way, I’ve wondered privately why video game studios haven’t taken full advantage of this by capitalizing on their audiences with video content. Since it’s ridiculously hard these days to get a video game movie produced, why don’t video game studios take this development into their own hands?
With great looking game assets and competent studio directors, there’s no reason someone like Konami, Bungie or Naughty Dog couldn’t take their popular franchises and create an in-game graphics movie out of the cut scenes, extending their stories or telling side stories. At a proper price point, this would be cheaper than producing a movie, and much cheaper than going to a movie for consumers. I imagine a 90 minute Uncharted movie would sell millions online, but I could be naive about this.
Well, we appear to be inching in a slightly different direction, if Activision CEO Bobby Kotick’s latest comments are to be taken at face value. You see, Kotick thinks that if Blizzard took the cut scenes from the already released Starcraft II and put them all together at once, gamers would pay up to $20 or $30 for them. Say what, Bobby Kotick? Check the jump for the quote.
The apocalyptic Wasteland can be a lonely and bizarre place, especially for gunmen hopping around on RPG-like quests and equipped to their teeth in dangerous weaponry. Naturally, slaughtering ghouls and all kinds of other baddies in the Mojave is a grim task to face alone. So that’s why Fallout: New Vegas, like Fallout 3, allows you some tag-alongs in the form of one humanoid and one non-humanoid buddy with which to explore the expansive desert.
In a recent update on the Playstation blog, Bethesda Senior Community Manager Matt Grandstaff outlined the possible Fallout: New Vegas companions that we can look forward to meeting in the sequel to the hit Fallout 3. The list actually gives quite a bit of detail on the various friends you can partner up with, and they come in all shapes and sizes. There are dudes, dames, dogs and even a mutant named Lily who looks like Beast straight out of the X-Men.
Anyway, totally worth checking it out, especially for the non-humanoid companions. With this game only about a month away from release, who’s getting more anxious for it to finally be here? What do you think of the companions?