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PAX Australia 2013 - There was just one single game that I truly wanted to see, and play at PAX Australia 2013, with that game being Ubisoft's Watch Dogs. It looks absolutely incredible, and Ubisoft had it on the show floor. It wasn't playable, but some pre-recorded footage. We weren't allowed to take video, but we were allowed to take photos.
We have a plethora of photos, but we were greeted to two videos - the first was some footage of the game for PAX Australia and then the E3 trailer. The main trailer had Jonathan Morin, the Creative Director on Watch Dogs, explaining the game to the crowd. Both videos were impressive, and have shown off more of the super connectivity the game has to offer. Everyone and every thing is hackable, and the video really drove this home. Watch Dogs is a day one purchase for me, and I'm sure there are thousands of our readers who think the same.
Something I loved seeing in the demo of Watch Dogs was the fact that the public's opinion can be swayed about the protagonist, Aiden Pearce. If you're the type of gamer who saves people, and doesn't screw them over by hacking their accounts, or killing them, then the public will support you as a force against the system and government. But, if you're the type of gamer who likes chaos, and causes damage and violence, the public will hate you.
After a long 23 years in the industry, THQ is finally no more. Today, Judge Mart F Walrath approved the request for liquidation by once gaming industry powerhouse THQ. The liquidation will serve to pay off creditors as much as possible with whatever money is made from the sale of THQ's remaining assets.
THQ originally filed for bankruptcy in December 2012 in hopes that some major company, investor, or individual would swoop in and save the day. Unfortunately, this was one sinking ship that was deemed unrepairable. It is expected that the sale of the company's assets could recoup anywhere between 20 and 52 percent of what US-based creditors are owed. Unfortunately, it is unclear whether or not foreign investors are entitled to recovery as well, and this could leave US investors receiving much less compensation than they had originally expected.
All of THQ's studios and intellectual property has been sold off which includes heavy hitter Relic Games who brought us titles such as the Homeworld series, the absurdly popular Saints Row, Company of Heroes, and Warhammer 40,000. As a longtime fan of THQ, I think I speak for everyone at TweakTown when I say goodbye old friend and we will miss you.
How many times have you wished you could save your progress while playing Angry Birds on your phone and switch to your tablet or PC to continue playing? What about when upgrading your device and losing all of your gameplay info? Apparently, Rovio has heard your frustration and has released a new service called Rovio Account sync.
This service allows you to save your progress in Rovio's cloud and lets you continue where you left off playing on any device that supports their Angry Birds franchise. Picking up where you left off is as simple as logging into your Rovio account and then the game will automatically detect all of your settings, saves, and records. The company says that at the moment it is limited to the original Angry Birds as well as The Croods, but it will be added to all of the companies games over the next few months.
During the E3 Expo, Microsoft announced a new Halo game that would be released on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices. Dubbed Halo: Spartan Assault, the game is set sometime in between the Halo 3 and Halo 4 timelines and features playable characters Sarah Palmer or Spartan Davis. The game is a top-down shooter that has been exclusively designed for touch-enabled devices, and Microsoft says it will appeal to hard-core gamers as well as Halo noobs.
From the Halo: Spartan Assault Website:
This new chapter lets you experience the first missions of the Spartan Ops program and dives deeper into the backstory of Human-Covenant wars. Play through the eyes of Commander Sarah Palmer and Spartan Davis stationed aboard the UNSC Infinity as they fight never-before-seen battles against Covenant forces.
PAX Australia 2013 - Something that caught our eye at PAX AU 2013 was Energizer's booth, where they were testing gamers' reaction times on a workout-like machine.
The machine had a bunch of lights on it, which were punchable. When the lights flashed on, gamers had to mash that button, but get ready for the next button to flash on. There was a leaderboard where gamers could compete against each other, but I didn't try it out, the only thing I'm good at mashing is my keyboard.
PAX Australia 2013 - So, uh, if you've ever wanted to play a life-sized version of Connect Four, PAX Australia 2013 is the event for you. I nearly walked past this, but two guys were having at it, Connect Four style.
The game was quite big, and this was in the game center, where you could play board games, Nintendo DS games, and much more. Bean bags were everywhere, gamers were everywhere, and the vibe was absolutely incredible. Even something as simple as Connect Four is a great experience for gamers, or just friends, or strangers even, at PAX Australia 2013.
OUYA has announced that it will match some of the funds raised on Kickstarter for games being developed on its Android-powered console beginning next month. Dubbed the "Free the Games Fund," OUYA will match donations up to $1 million total for eligible game projects that are posted on Kickstarter between August 9 and August 10.
The project owners can set funding goals at any level they wish but to receive the extra funding that OUYA has promised, the game developers will need to meet their Kickstarter goals and raise at least $50,000. OUYA says that they will match every dollar raised beyond that amount up to $250,000. There is, however, a small little catch to receiving the funding: the game must be exclusive to the OUYA for at least six months after launch. Additionally, the company will give a $100,000 bonus to whichever eligible game raises the most funding.
I really hope that this incentive will create some really good games for the OUYA as my experience so far has been less than satisfying. I have played several games on the device and clocked in a few hours of total game play. To me, everything seems laggy with some games being virtually unplayable due to the near half second pause between pushing a button on the controller and it causing a reaction on the screen.
Today, the NCAA said that they will not allow Electronic Arts Inc. to use their name or logo in any future video games. In a statement, the NCAA said that it has no plans to enter into a new contract with EA Sports after the current one expires in June 2014. While not official, industry analysts suggest that this is due to a number of pending lawsuits against the NCAA from former college athletes who state that EA profited off their likeness.
EA Sports says that they will still produce college football video games which will still feature all of the powerhouse colleges such as Alabama, the University of Georgia, Ohio State, and many others as it is the schools who license their name and logos, not the NCAA. This is usually handled through the Collegiate Licensing Company who manages the trademarks of the majority of the colleges in the country.
"EA Sports will continue to develop and publish college football games, but we will no longer include the NCAA names and marks," said EA executive vice president Andrew Wilson. "Our relationship with the Collegiate Licensing Co. is strong and we are already working on a new game for next generation consoles which will launch next year and feature the college teams, conferences and all the innovation fans expect from EA Sports."
Forza 5 won't include all of the game content on the Blu-ray, you'll need to download content before you play
Next-gen gaming is upon us, and it is a weird world we're about to step into. With Forza 5, you'll need to download game content from the Internet before you can buy the game. Yes, even after you've inserted your Blu-ray copy of the game into your console.
Turn 10's Dan Greenawalt, when speaking with IGN, explained that there is actually a good reason behind this: "So when you first boot up the game, we're going to ask you to log in. And when you log in you're going to get the Drivatars and you're also going to get a whole bunch of content: tracks and cars. Our production schedule is such that we are putting them in as late as possible and that means making them free as downloadable content on Day One."
So it's not technically DLC, because it's part of the game. I'm kind of on the fence about this, what about those with slow Internet connections? But, it means you get up-to-date content, which is a nice touch. It also gives developers a few extra days to do some last minute changes to the content, which hopefully means we get less issues, and better games.
Half-Life is one of my favorite games ever, and after fifteen years on the market, the Sven Co-op team have been granted full access to the standalone game based on the mod.
This means that the team will modify the engine to their liking, going as far as adding new features that should provide stability, performance and even gameplay improvements to all. We should expect bigger and more detailed worlds, with automatic updates delivered through Steam's content delivery system, 'SteamPipe'.
Better yet, Sven Co-op's next version of the game will be free and will include the official Half-Life campaign for co-op play - oh, yeah. If you don't already own Half-Life - and let's face it, if you don't, there's something wrong - you won't have to purchase it, as this version will be free. No ETA has been made, so we don't know when to expect it at all unfortunately.