Here it is the 53rd version of the Weekly Gamefront Network News Update, the news part of the update covers the news side of the Network and the Gamefront Main site over the past week. There has been a fair bit of news from the Main site including a lot of trailers, reviews, previews and a lot more, with a lot of interesting articles this week on new consoles, piracy and even a real wipeout model!. However you can find more news from the main Gamefront site - Here
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Gamefront News: Star Wars: The Old Republic — GameFront Impressions (Part 3)
The holiday season no doubt has you wondering whether or not to pick up the latest Star Wars MMORPG. To help you with that decision, we’ve publishing a three-part Impressions series that offers the opinions of a few GameFront writers on Star Wars: The Old Republic.
The article that follows continues to explore the TOR’s mid-level experience. Each writer will present his take on Flashpoints, Warzones, and conclude with a final assessment of the game. Keep reading to find out what we thought!
Full disclosure: Played a Sith Warrior (Marauder) to Level 30
Previous MMO experience: WoW, RIFT, LotRO, DDO, WAR, and more.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is a game that has, quite honestly, surprised me. I played in the beta, and came away thinking that it would be a competent game, but a relatively uninspiring one. When the release date rolled around, I pulled on my reviewer’s hat and dove in, expecting much of the same. To my surprise, I found myself drawn into the game in a way that the beta didn’t prepare me for. Why? Well, let’s come back to that.
Gamefront News: Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, I Am Alive Get a Launch Window
The folks at Microsoft have revealed the list of titles that will be involved in this year’s Xbox Live House Party, and they include Alan Wake’s American Nightmare and I Am Alive, along with the wacky first-person shooter Nexuiz and puzzler Warp.
The House Party kicks off on February 15, with one title releasing each week for four weeks. The order of release has not yet been revealed, so that means these titles will come out anywhere between February 15 and March 7. At least now you know you don’t have much longer to wait for more Alan Wake, right? Just don’t make plans to skip work just yet. You know.
Bethesda Softworks confirmed the rumors that an unspecified number of employees working at id Software have been let go. This news comes via a statement issued to Joystiq, which reads:
As part of its standard business practice, id regularly evaluates staffing to ensure it has a workforce that meets the needs of the studio. As part of that process, some id employees were recently let go.
Despite the layoffs, the statement also noted that the company is “still recruiting and hiring qualified developers” for id Software, and that “development work on future id titles continues unabated.”
So don’t worry, Doom fans. Your long-awaited sequel won’t be hindered by these layoffs. Though people hoping for a sequel to Rage may be in for some disappointment…
Are there any upcoming id titles you’re looking forward to?
Holy s–t. Binary Domain, coming out February 28, hasn’t really been on my radar, but apparently it should have been, because this trailer I’m about to show you is totally and ridiculously awesome. It looks like THE Japanese game to play this year. I’ll just have to get over my annoyance with shooters to play it, though. We’ll see how things are going next month.
Star Wars: The Old Republic Game Director James Ohlen responded to Eurogamer’s review of the new MMORPG in an interview with the site, in which he says the review’s characterization of SWTOR as lacking innovation is “unfair.”
The review handed over an 8/10 to SWTOR and called it “immensely competent,” but Ohlen took issue with critic Oli Welsh’s claim that SWTOR doesn’t bring much new to the table. Ohlen likened SWTOR and its underlying structure to first-person shooters, real-time strategy and platforming games, saying that those games have maintained the same basic mechanics for the last 20 years, and that doesn’t cause them to lack innovation — so why should MMOs be expected to change everything?
I don’t know why the MMORPG genre is not considered to be a genre,” Ohlen shrugged. “It could be that World of Warcraft has dominated for so long that people just think of it as just a single game genre.
“But it is a genre, and we wanted to appeal to fans of that genre – we don’t want to turn them away by making something that’s radically different. And we wanted to take the lessons that have been developed in that genre over years and years and years and basically refine them, much like other companies do with other genres.
CD Projekt RED has responded to pressure from players over its lawyers seeking out players who pirated the game, saying it will call off the hunt.
There’s no digital rights management software on The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, because unlike other developers and publishers in the PC gaming industry, CD Projekt doesn’t believe in it. DRM hurts paying customers while pirates just bounce around it, they argue — which is, you know, exactly right — and so the Polish game developer opted to release its game and hope that, if it created a good product, people would pay for it.
Largely, people have paid, but CD Projekt also estimates The Witcher 2 has been pirated some 4.5 million times. (Guys, c’mon — seriously?) And it’s not as if The Witcher 2 hasn’t been on sale for extremely reduced prices, like, 900 times since it was released. I got it for $16. You pirates should be able to afford $16.
The fine folks over at Origin continue to push the limits of PC gaming hardware by driving their GENESIS desktop even further, overclocking its Intel Core i7 Hex-Core CPU to a record 5.7GHz. How can that much power not melt the entire system into a very expensive puddle of silicon and plastic? With the exclusive new ORIGIN PC Phase Change cooling system, which cools the processor to sub zero temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius.
What kind of video card does this bad boy boast? It’s certainly not an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 3GB.
It’s four NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 3GB cards in SLI.
Sweet mother of mercy. There’s no doubt this behemoth can run Skyrim on ultra-high settings; the question is, can it run four instances of Skyrim on ultra-high settings?
Microsoft has announced that Kinect is coming to Windows on February 1, and will cost $250 — $100 more than the Xbox 360 version. That’s right — what amounts to the same basic piece of hardware will cost significantly more for PC users.
Here’s Microsoft’s excuse for the price increase:
The ability to sell Kinect for Xbox 360 at its current price point is in large part subsidized by consumers buying a number of Kinect games, subscribing to Xbox LIVE, and making other transactions associated with the Xbox 360 ecosystem. In addition, the Kinect for Xbox 360 was built for and tested with the Xbox 360 console only, which is why it is not licensed for general commercial use, supported or under warranty when used on any other platform.
Hackers and hobbyists have had the Kinect working on PC for over a year, and that last statement was obviously fired in their direction. In a sense, Microsoft is saying that Kinect for PC will cost more because it will have fewer applications. That’s businessman logic for you.
More and more game developers are joining the call to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act working its way through the U.S. House of Representatives. The latest to join the march is Red 5 Studios, the developer behind Firefall.
Large chunks of the Internet community are planning a day of protest on Jan. 18, including the Cheezburger network of websites and Reddit. As Massively reports, Red 5 joined the list of game developers against the bill (which includes Riot Games and Epic Games) when it announced today it’ll be shutting down the Firefall beta as part of protest actions.
The beta will be down for 24 hours, as will a big chunk of the Internet. Destructoid plans to shut down in protest, replacing its website with a static image detailing SOPA protest options, as do a number of other sites and YouTube channels. GOG.com has also thrown its support into the fight against SOPA, with a detailed post about where it stands.
Among other vocal opponents of SOPA like Al Gore — Markus “Notch Persson, the creator of Minecraft. He and his company, Mojang, oppose the bill, with Notch making a statement against it that basically called SOPA, and the powers of censorship it grants, insane.
“No sane person can be for SOPA,” he told PC Gamer. “I don’t know if we’re sane, but we are strongly, uncompromisingly against SOPA, and any similar laws. Sacrificing freedom of speech for the benefit of corporate profit is abominable and disgusting.”
I happened to be in my car this morning, driving through Los Angeles traffic and listening to my local NPR station, when I heard someone pretending to run and avoid getting shot.
“That sounds like Jennifer Hale,” I thought to myself.
Sure enough, Hale, the voice of Mass Effect 3‘s Commander Shepard along with hundreds of other characters across video games, was being interviewed by local NPR personality Madeleine Brand for her morning show. The interview is actually a few months old — it was originally aired back in November, as Internet magician and fellow Game Fronter Ross Lincoln discovered — but it’s a great piece that includes some talk about Hale’s experience in the industry in general and working on Mass Effect in particular.
Even better, thanks to the magic of the Internet and the coolness of public radio, you can listen to the interview right now. Just follow this link over to The Madeleine Brand Show and stream the interview.
Lollipop Chainsaw might be awesome — I kinda hate zombies, so it’s hard to me to say even that — and here’s another little trailer to sell you on it. This one focuses on Swan, who is the game’s villain. He is a douchebag. Seriously.
The chief product officer of future game streaming company Gaikai thinks one of the companies that makes home video game consoles will announce at E3 that they won’t be making any more of them.
“Not all of the current console makers will have one more generation. That will be the big news at E3,” Nanea Reeves told Industry Gamers at CES.
So Reeves isn’t talking about Nintendo, which is launching a new console this year. She must be talking, then, about Sony or Microsoft. Actually, she’s probably just making things up.
Interesting that this this news follows Kaz Hirai’s declaration that Sony won’t be announcing new PlayStation hardware at E3.
What if, and bear with me on this, Reeves is talking about Sony and Microsoft teaming up for the next generation? It’s not an impossible idea, as, say, Microsoft puts Windows on Sony laptops. The two companies aren’t really competitors in any other arena. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Konami apparently thought it would be a great idea to completely take over the month of March for Silent Hill, as that’s what they’ve done; we’ve got three new releases from that beloved/hated franchise coming out that month.
The Silent Hill HD Collection, which we already hate because of the new voice overs, is starting things off on March 6. Then, the following week on March 13, we’ll be getting our all new Silent Hill home console adventure, Silent Hill Downpour. Finally, on March 27, we’ll see the launch of the PS Vita’s very own exclusive Silent Hill: Book of Memories.
Am I going to be playing anything in March other than Silent Hill games? Well, yes. Hmmm. That was a dumb question. Sorry.
Mass Effect 3 is one of the most anticipated titles of the first half of 2012, both on PC and consoles. Unfortunately, it sounds like PC gamers will have the same problem with ME3 that they had with Battlefield 3 – it’s only on Origin.
In a post on the Bioware forums, Community Manager Chris Priestly broke the news to the fans, saying, “Yes, Origin is required for all PC editions of Mass Effect 3, physical or digital.”
He also addressed the topic of ME3 hitting Valve’s Steam service, saying effectively the same thing EA said about BF3 on Steam:
During initial release Mass Effect 3 will be available on Origin and a number of other 3rd party digital retailers, but not on Steam at this time. Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content. We are intent on providing Mass Effect to players with the best possible experience no matter where they purchase or play their game, and are happy to partner with any download service that does not restrict our ability to connect directly with our consumers.
On the plus side, Priestly did confirm that “Users will be allowed to opt-out of Mass Effect 3 data collection from inside the game.” You’ll want to make sure you do that.
Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D, rumored to be coming to us in March, will be arriving sooner than that, as Konami today announced a February 21 release date for the game that might just make the 3DS worthwhile. Maybe.
This version of the game is much anticipated, and not just because it’s in 3D; it’ll have a couple new features, and if we’re lucky Para-Medic won’t f–king talk about movies so much when you’re trying to save your damn game. But I’m not holding out much hope for that.
That’s some interesting counter-programming; as you know, the PS Vita hits that week. We’ll see how well this works out for Konami.
Enjoying Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3? I know our CJ Miozzi isn’t, but that doesn’t seem to deter the millions upon millions of you out there that eat up Infinity Ward’s military shooter. And it seems the developer and Activision are banking on you wanting more.
Robert Bowling of Infinity Ward told Joystiq that the developer has no fewer than five (5) DLC packages coming out in the next three months. Please note that that’s the same number as all the map packs released for Call of Duty: Black Ops during the course of the year after its release, when it was summarily overtaken by MW3.
If you’re a premium Elite subscriber, you’ll get first access on Xbox 360, followed by regular players on Xbox and then all the rubes folks who are playing the game on Playstation (and PC, apparently). The first pack, a pair of maps titled “Liberation” and “Piazza,” hit Xbox Live on Jan. 24.
To fill such a breadth of DLC, Bowling said there will be more than just map packs on the downloadable horizon. “The first pack is traditional multiplayer maps, but we want to do Spec Ops missions, missions, Spec-Ops Survival, new game types, new game modes, and really look at adding things that we’ve never done before,” he told Joystiq.
Mojang may be a small studio, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a ton going on. And they do have a ton going on, as Mojang CEO Carl Manneh tells Edge that they have three unannounced projects in the pipe, two of which could actually be released in the first half of this year. They aren’t ready to announce these titles, though.
The third project is whatever Notch is working on these days since he handed off lead dev duties on Minecraft. Manneh says the game is kind of formless right now, and even Notch is trying to figure out exactly what it’s going to be. So obviously they aren’t ready to say much about that one either.
So that’s cool. They’ve got three games, including Scrolls, coming this year probably. That’s crazy.
During tonight’s NVIDIA Press Conference at CES 2012, the tech company demonstrated the gaming capability of its Tegra 3 tablet by connecting a console controller and playing a multiplayer FPS game, Shadow Gun, on a three-player LAN. The game looked on par with console quality and was being rendered at a smooth 60 FPS. Multiplayer FPS gaming on a tablet has never been done before and is just one of the ways in which the Tegra 3 is breaking new ground.
The Tegra 3 is the world’s first quad core mobile processor, and it technically has five cores. NVIDIA referred to the fifth core as a “ninja core” that sneaks around quietly, allowing the tablet to operate on low power, with a high battery life and higher performance.
NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 Tablet Wants to Be Your New Console Gamefront News: Oopsies - Game Revealed Need For Speed
British games retailer GAME is pretty cool, I guess. I’ve never been to one. I’ve never even been to the country where they have them. Oh well. All I know is that they’re now a source, because whoever runs their Twitter account is a doofus.
And that’s because they tweeted this:
EA presentation was great. Had mentions of a new Medal of Honour and Need for Speed 13! EA have an exciting year ahead.
The tweet has since been deleted.
Medal of Honor 2 is not a surprise, of course, as it’s already been announced, and a new Need for Speed is also not a surprise, though that has not been announced and nobody has even hinted at it before now. EA has gotten in the habit of announcing new NFS titles at E3 before release at the end of the year, and one would expect that will be the case this year as well.
Now the question is: who is developing it? Would this be Criterion’s open-world racer? I hope so, because I want that sooner rather than later. After all, Burnout Paradise, their previous open-world racer, is probably my most played racing game of all time. Luh dat s–t. Oopsies - Game Revealed Need For Speed Gamefront News: Razer Plans To Make a Tablet That Runs PC Games Natively
So I’m sitting here on my couch wondering how I could be having a better day. My Crimson Tide are national champions, and while I’m hungover as hell, I’m feeling pretty good. Razer, though, has actually improved my outlook. At CES today they announced a tablet concept, called Project Fiona, that will be able to play PC games natively. That’s because it will have an Intel i7 chip inside. Seriously.
Normally, I would put a picture at the top of the page, but I was saving it. Look at this masterwork. Those thumbsticks are built into the device, so you don’t need any sort of proprietary controller like with the OnLive tablet app. You have to wonder, though, how annoying those sticks will be when you’re trying to use the tablet for things other than gaming. You know.
This is an interesting counter to the NVIDIA Tegra-3 tablet, which streams games from your computer. Might this be the start of a gaming tablet war? Considering that the price for Fiona, which will release in Q4 of this year, will be “Estimated below USD $1,000,” maybe not. That’s relatively cheap for a gaming PC, but it feels like a lot for a tablet. But we’ll see.
Razer rolled out a new gaming mouse at CES this week, the Naga Hex. It’s pictured above, and as you can see it’s called the “Hex” because it has six buttons that you can hit with your thumb. This is obviously a gaming-oriented deal, as what else would you use those buttons for? Hell, I’m having a hard time thinking of what I would use those buttons for in a game, although I’m very unimaginative.
This thing will cost a mere $79.99 when it ships in March-ish. What a bargain! Man, I don’t know if I can handle six buttons. Four buttons, sure, but six? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I’m gonna have to put the ole mind grapes to work on this one.
If News reports from earlier this morning turn out to be true, opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act may have just succeeded in getting it killed. Details are not entirely clear, however it appears that in the wake of the White House’s tepid, yet firm statement of opposition to SOPA, the House of Representatives is preparing to cancel any vote on SOPA, in effect killing it.
Though the cancellation is still not verified, and the news is based on the word of a single SOPA opponent, that the opponent happens to be California Representative Darryl Issa means we ought to take it seriously. Earlier today, it was reported (though the story first broke Friday) that Issa has received a promise from House Majority leader Eric Cantor that SOPA will be shelved “unless there is consensus on the bill.” “While I remain concerned about Senate action on the Protect IP Act,” he said, “I am confident that flawed legislation will not be taken up by this House.”
If true, this is stunning news, but let’s not pop the champagne just yet. It’s important to note that “unless there is consensus on the bill” is incredibly vague and could conceivably mean anything. Further, Eric Cantor has yet to confirm this promise publicly — we only have Issa’s account of their conversation at this time. The Senate’s counterpart bill, PIPA, is also still in play, and as we saw with the battle over the deficit ceiling, there are apparently procedural tricks the Senate could employ to pass PIPA without having to reconcile with a House bill. However, such tricks would require the President to sign on, and since he’s signaled opposition to core components of both bills, it’s likely that if SOPA goes down, so too will PIPA.
Despite the hot rumor of the moment being that Sony and Microsoft will be revealing new home gaming consoles at E3 this summer, at a CES roundtable this week Sony CEO Kaz Hirai steadfastly denied that his company will be making any sort of unveiling at the trade show.
Andy [House] is absolutely right in that we are not making any announcements at E3. I’ve always said a 10-year life cycle for PS3, and there is no reason to go away from that.
By all accounts, though, the next Xbox is coming sooner rather than later, and SCEE’s Jim Ryan has gone on the record saying it would be a bad idea for a new PlayStation to come out far after competitors’ new consoles. Too, releasing a new console wouldn’t necessarily mark the end of the PS3's life cycle, as the PS2 lived on long after the PS3 was released in 2006.
So I don’t know how to interpret this quote. I’m tempted to take it at face value, because we haven’t really heard much about a potential PS4 so far, while we’ve heard murmurings about an “Xbox Next” quite regularly for the past six months or so. It’s important to remember that the closer we get to an announcement, the more murmurings there will be; it’s pretty much impossible for these guys to keep new hardware a secret these days. So if we don’t get some serious rumors about the PS4 in the pipe in the next couple months, you can probably bet that they won’t be bringing it to E3.
Sony’s Harvard Bonin spoke with RespawnAction about Starhawk, and he revealed an interesting tidbit: namely, that buyers of the game will have plenty of DLC to look forward to, and that much of that DLC will be free.
I can’t go into specifics, but we do have a bunch of free DLC planned… and it might be surprising. We, of course, have stuff we are happy to take your money for, too! We rethought our DLC strategy and we’ll reveal more about it as we get closer to release.
Hurray free stuff.
Bonin also declared that the open beta for the game, which will allow all PlayStation Plus members to participate, will be starting up “soon.” How soon? Just soon. That’s how soon.
On Tuesday, January 17, BioWare will be rolling out a new content pack for Star Wars: The Old Republic called Rise of the Rakghouls. This content update will come with a new level 50 Flashpoint and an Operation, as well as the ability to turn on anti-aliasing in the options. Here are the deets on the new activities:
Flashpoint: Kaon Under Siege is a completely new and unique group combat experience located on Kaon, a planet in the Tion Hegemony, a strategically important sector of the galaxy that has remained neutral, Groups of up to four Republic or Imperial players must race to Kaon to eliminate the Rakghouls outbreak, securing the allegiance of the Tion Hegemony for their respective sides. This Flashpoint will be available for level 50 characters only and will feature Normal and Heroic modes.
Operation: Karagga’s Palace, is a continuation of the game’s second launch Operation. In the Operation, teams of 8 or 16 players will face off against Karagga and the Hutt Cartel after the Hutts abandon their famous neutrality and breach agreements with both the Republic and Empire. Concerned by the threat of another combatant in the war for galactic control, both factions send teams of their most powerful heroes to confront Karagga and determine his intentions. This Operation will feature Normal, Heroic and Nightmare difficulty modes.
Taco Bell is going to start running a promotion soon that will give you the chance to win a brand new PlayStation Vita before the thing even comes out in stores. There are three things you can do to win one, but the main thing will be to buy a Five Buck Box, which includes a variety of food items along with a drink. The box will come with a code that you can redeem online for a chance o win. Here are the other possibilities:
BATTLE: Download Taco Bell’s new mobile app to check out the exclusively designed Reality Fighters Dojo game where you can “battle” your friends to win a PS Vita.
BOAST: Taco Bell’s online contest will encourage you to submit a photo or video “boasting” about what you’re willing to do for a PS Vita. Submissions will then go into an online gallery where you and your peers can vote for the winners – it could be you!
Yeah, we’ll stick with the food.
This dealie will star on January 26 and run through March 11. Winners will get a 3G PS Vita with Little Deviants, a 4gb memory card and your choice of ModNation Racers: Road Trip, MLB 12 The Show and LittleBigPlanet Vita.
Are you all MMOed out with all the Star Wars: The Old Republic you’ve been playing for the past few weeks? Well, wake the hell up, because the MMO train never ends, and the next car is TERA. TERA has been in the works for what seems like years (OK, it has been years), and now it’s inching closer to completion.
The next step toward completion is the closed beta, which you can sign up for now here if you live in North America and here if you live in Europe. Hurry; the only way to get into the first round is to register by tomorrow, the 13th. They’ll gradually be opening things up to more folks later, though.
While Kaz Hirai is telling us the new PlayStation isn’t coming soon, and Nanea Reeves is telling us there may not even be another PlayStation, Sony Computer Entertainment CTO Masaaki Tsuruta is talking about the possible future of PlayStation technology.
He tells M&E Tech that they are looking to create a console that runs games at 8K resolution and 300 frames per second.
OK, chill, there’s no way in hell that’s happening with a console that will probably be released in the next two years. It would just be too damn expensive, mane. But, when we have wallscreens, I bet you can expect a PlayStation that looks damn good on it.
But why would you need to run games at 300 frames per second? That seems kind of like a pointless waste of resources, as nobody it going to be able to tell the difference between 100 and 300. Let’s put a little bookmark on that point; I’ll bitch about it again when the time actually comes.
As Congress prepares to return for the first time since adjourning at the end of 2011, so too does the threat posed by the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and it’s odious Senate Counterpoint, the PROTECT IP ACT (PIPA). We dodged a bullet late last year when the House Judiciary Committee abruptly cancelled a scheduled full house floor vote on the bill, in order to consider further alleged problems with the provision that would enable the Justice Department to impose changes to existing Internet infrastructure. That discussion was then postponed until the 2012 session, giving SOPA opponents much-needed additional time to raise public awareness of the bills’ onerous limitations on Internet freedom and blatant undermining of a fair and free marketplace.
Among the more high-profile public campaigns is the posting of two petitions directly to the White House website calling on the Obama Administration to veto SOPA. They have apparently succeeded in grabbing the administration’s attention: today, the White House finally issued a response to these petitions. The good news? It appears the Obama Administration opposes the bill.
“While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response,” the statement reads, “we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.” Wonderful, and better still, the statement also firmly defends the concept of an open Internet and decries SOPA provisions that would drastically change Internet infrastructural protocols:
Game Informer has confirmed with Sony that the PS2 title that spawned this generation’s best looking shooters, otherwise known as Killzone, will be coming to the PlayStation Network on January 24 for $10. Is that exciting? Well, the game was kind of not all that good, so maybe not. But if you just got into the franchise with Killzone 2 or 3 and want to see how the ISA got into that mess with the Helghast, the PSN is going to be the place to go.
So the last episode of the Skyrim Show didn’t go all that well, and our bros on the video team have decided to do a hard reset. Probably a good idea.
So this episode once again takes on the beginning of the game, but this time they also cover character creation. Will they do the right thing and make a Khajit? I sure hope so. Also, they may or may not be using a certain crazy mod. Watch.
It would be easy for us to forget while we obsess over Star Wars: The Old Republic that there are other MMOs out now and on the way. One of the MMOs that’s on the way is FunCom’s The Secret World, and to remind us all that it exists is a new trailer that focuses on the Illuminati. It’s pretty sweet, and it ends with a special cocktail recipe. Mmmmmmmmmmm.
You know what they say about not wanting to join the kind of club that would have you as a member? We kind of feel like that after Friday’s announcement of the Writer’s Guild of America’s WGA Awards nominees for video game writing. They are:
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Story by Alexandre Amancio, Jean Guesdon, Corey May, Darby McDevitt; Multiplayer Story by Stéphane Blais, Richard Farrese, Jeffrey Yohalem; Lead Script Writer Darby McDevitt; Script Writers Richard Farrese, Nicholas Grimwood, Corey May, Jeffrey Yohalem; Greek and Turkish Ambient Dialogue Writer Vincenzo Beretta; Ubisoft
Batman: Arkham City, Lead Narrative Designer Paul Crocker; Story Written by Paul Dini, Paul Crocker and Sefton Hill; Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Brink, Lead Writer Edward “Bongoboy” Stern; Bethesda Softworks
Mortal Kombat, Story by John Vogel, Brian Chard, Dominic Cianciolo, Alexander Barrentine, Jon Greenberg; Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Written by Amy Hennig; Sony Computer Entertainment
Yesterday morning, Riot Games CEO Brandon Beck posted his official opposition to SOPA in a statement on the League of Legends forums, listing reasons why LoL players should actively support the anti-SOPA movement. While it’s no surprise to see Riot express their opposition to SOPA, it was surprising to see a U.S. Congressman chime in.
In a forum post, Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado introduced himself and stated:
I’m particularly concerned that SOPA might stifle the kind of innovation that brings us games we love, such as LoL. The bill makes it far too easy for angry competitors to sue good law abiding companies out of existence. It threatens any company or website that depends on user-generated content, even companies like Riot. Instead of coming up with great ways to keep making games like LoL even better, companies will have to spend their money hiring lawyers. That’s why companies like Riot, who want to protect the games they create, are opposed to SOPA.
In December, rumors abounded that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. developer GSC and the in-production sequel were being shut down. But after the Christmas break, a Facebook status update clarified the situation with the following message:
The Stalker team is extremely happy! Why? Because we are continuing work on Stalker 2 after the holidays.
However, the company is still seeking funding. GSC spokesperson Oleg Yavorsky told Edge:
We are still in the process of seeking funding to back up the project. We are hopeful things turn out well eventually. The team really wants to see STALKER continue.
While S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is, by far, the most annoying game to write about thanks to the use of a huge acronym as a title, I commend the game for its modability and the modding community it has fostered. I hope GSC finds the funding it needs.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Firaxis’ recently announced strategy title, will be coming both to consoles and the PC, but all versions will not be the same. Rather, the PC version will be given the attention it deserves and will be tailored to the mouse and keyboard experience. Here’s an excerpt from Game Informer’s new feature on the game:
And fear not, PC players – Firaxis is planning to take advantage of the platform’s unique capabilities to provide an enhanced interface. Lead designer Jake Solomon uses [Dragon Age: Origins] as an example of what he wants to happen with XCOM. He suggested a zoomed-out full-map view of the tactical map as the kind of feature that PC players can expect that might not make it into the console versions.
Eeeeeeeeeexcellent. Treat us right, Firaxis, as you know you should. Dooooooooooooooo eeet.
If you don’t get Game Informer, you can read the entire feature on the game over at NeoGAF.
You’re familiar with Cheap Ass Gamer, right? If you’re a middle class gamer or below, you probably are, and by extension you’re probably familiar with the guy who runs the site: CheapyD.
Well, back in 2010, CheapyD won a charity auction that landed him a spot in Saints Row: The Third. Now, that dream is coming true, as next week, on January 17, you’ll be able to download the CheapyD Homie DLC for the game, which will allow you to call up CheapyD and have him take a bullet or two for you. Or you can set him on fire or something, if you so choose. Here’s a teaser to help you decide if you want to take the time to download this free new homie:
The first content update for Star Wars: The Old Republic is coming next week, right here I’ve got for you a look at the new Flashpoint it’ll be bringing to the table. It looks pretty sick, even though I’m not a fan of stories about outbreaks that cause people to eat other people. But we’ll see, as I always say. Here’s your trailer.
Empire at War: Legacy Era: Two Years, 250k Hits and Counting
A late Happy Holidays to everyone!
So, the last article was half a year ago and it's time for a new one. I've been extremely busy with senior year of high school and getting a job, so I've had to cut back on the time I spend modding (don't worry, it will be completed though).
While it may be a couple months late, but the mod is now two years old! Starting all the way back in September of 2009 I started this crazy thing by myself and my tiny bit of modding knowledge. Now it's become something bigger than I ever imagined, and I've met some amazing people. And not to forget, the mod's now reached over 250,000 views! Thanks to everyone in the community who has contributed to helping me get this far.
So to give an idea of the differences between then and now, let's do some comparisons.
First off is the [B]Y-12 Orbital Garrison[/B]. This little thing is built by the Krayt Empire as a defensive supplement to your space forces. As the name implies, it holds a garrison of fighters and bomers as well.
The station is designed as only providing support to your defenses and should not be treated as the backbone of your fleet. It is about equal in strength to a System Defense Station (level 2 starbase) and thus can stand up to multiple ships up to fighters, corvettes, and a frigate or two, but not much more.
Armament is as follows:
8 Medium Concussion Missile Launchers
6 Point-defense Laser Cannons
4 Medium Ion Cannon Batteries
4 Medium Turbolaser Batteries
This station will prove to be a very useful asset in defense against raids typical of the Galactic Alliance and is important for adding defenses to worlds where you are limited to smaller starbase sizes.
Credit to [B]Warb [/B]for creating the station.
The Wheel is the other new space station, located in the Besh Gorgon System of the Mid Rim. The outer section of The Wheel, which gives the station its name, is a sprawling city with an untold number of casinos, including the Crimson Casino and the Grand Casino, which are two of the Wheel's star attractions. The Wheel is an enourmous hub, with thousands of vessels coming to and fro weekly.
If you’ve been playing the GTA III 10 Year Anniversary Edition, it’s been a delightful trip down awesome memory lane. Even as primitive as the graphics look as as one-take-only-ever as the voice acting is, it is every bit the game that changes the gaming world forever when it was released in the fall of 2001. There’s a reason for that – well part of a reason anyway. The mobile version of the game uses the same file structure that the PC version did. So what does this mean for you? It means that it’s theoretically possible to go into the actual game files and tweak or modify them, and even install new files. In other words, to make and/or install mods. Awesome!
There’s just one catch: You can already get cracking right now on your Android devices, but iPhone and iPad aren’t so cooperative. Apple loves to make it impossible to do anything to their accessory devices, sof you want to put mods on your iOS copy of GTA III, you’ll have to jailbreak your iOS device. That’s completely legal of course, but it also voids the warranty. Best you wait until after your warranty expires to do it. Assuming you don’t care then it’s all good.
In the meantime, a thread over on XDA has helpfully compiled instructions and various mods for the Android version of GTA III.
So have any of you out there jailbreaked your iOS device and installed or made GTA mods? Let us know! And meanwhile, we’ll look forward to the iOS version of San Andreas, so that everyone can freak out about ZOMG HOT COFFEEEEEEEE.
Those of you interested in 2012′s huge slate of big name games – seriously, we get Mass Effect 3 in less than 3 months – have probably heard of an obscure game from upstart Indie Developers Rockstar Games called Grand Theft Auto V. Sure, I concede this game will probably garner some limited critical praise, but it’s probably going to end up a cult favorite on par with Beyond Good and Evil. If they’re lucky, Rockstar will be able to find new funding for their next game, with future GTA titles being XBLA downloads only.
But seriously, we all know this is going to be one of the year’s biggest games. But how big? Electronic Entertainment Design and Research’s Jesse Divnich has made the completely uncontroversial pronouncement that it will be the year’s biggest, and he said as much in an interview with IndustryGamers. “It goes without saying,” Divnich says, “that GTA V will be one of the year’s biggest releases, but I will take it one step farther and say GTA V will be 2012′s biggest release. Don’t get me wrong, Call of Duty will undoubtedly be huge, as it is every year and it may even grow, but if I had to call what will be a photo finish race, I will go with GTA V.”
Could he be right? I think so. At least, I hope so. The GTA series is one of the rare examples of something that is both incredibly popular and incredibly high quality. I would love to see it beat McDonald’s Call of Duty. I would also love to see CoD come in behind Mass Effect 3 as well, so gamers, you know what to do. Spend your money wisely.
And while you’re at it, why not pick up a copy of Bulletstorm so the game can sell enough copies to warrant a sequel.
Starting yesterday, Rockstar Games has created a two-part Q&A about Grand Theft Auto III to commemorate the just-passed 10 year anniversary. The second and final installment went live a couple of hours ago, and they finally got around to addressing the fact that GTA III came out less than 2 months after the September 11 attacks. Rumors have long held that significant content was cut from the game at the last minute, offering fans the tantalizing possibility that at some future point, an restored edition could be released that would greatly expand the already epic game (and give us a little insight into what was deemed so controversial in the wake of the attacks.)
Alas, the reality isn’t as fantastic as people had hoped. It’s true that changes were made to the game due to concerns about sensitivity in the wake of 9/11, but they were relatively minor, involving one mission and a change in packaging:
Q: How different would be #GTAIII if 9/11 wouldn’t have happened?
About 1% different. We removed only one mission that referenced terrorists and changed a few other cosmetic details – car details, a couple of ped comments, lines of radio dialogue etc – the game came out a very short time later. The biggest change was the US packaging which remixed the previous packaging into what became our signature style – because the previous packaging [which was released as the cover of the game in Europe] was, we felt, too raw after 9/11. All of the more extreme rumours are amusing but impossible to have been achieved in such a short period of time.
That’s actually pretty interesting. I’d love to play the mission, though I’m willing to bet that even 10 years on, certain segments of the population would get a little too upset about adding a terrorism-referencing mission to the game.
* The Dodo was designed to be deliberately unflyable because GTA III is meant to be primarily driving and shooting.
* There is no ghost island.
* They actually considered a multiplayer component to GTA III before abandoning it to make Vice City.
You can read the whole thing on the official Rockstar site.
Good to see this is still going strong! Always good to read...
#2 - 02-01-2012 at 10:24
Danny (Staff) From: (Canterbury, Kent) Joined: July 11th, 2002 Posts: 993
Thanks, sorry didn't notice the comment until now, although i have to say though not sure how you coped doing this for as long as you did for the amount of time it takes!
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