We reported about the upcoming themed downloadable expansions for Battlefield 3 just last week, and now we're seeing some footage from the first one to be released, 'Close Quarters'. The video below shows some absolutely frantic in-your-face action, which should please fans of indoor combat, more along the lines of Call of Duty.
It's a far cry from the original Battlefield titles where it was mainly outdoor combat, but would please the fans of Call of Duty. Close Quarters seems to have some pretty amazing destructibility built into its environments, which should make for some amazing combat. But I'm two minds about it, personally. On one hand, I love what Battlefield 3 has done for the series, pushing it in a new direction, but at the same time, it feels like its not the same Battlefield I experienced when Battlefield 1942 first came out.
Close Quarters is released in June, with the above video showing off Ziba Tower. One thing I think should be banned from this map is the use of rocket launchers, I can see the rocket spam now... it will be insane.
RumorTT: Polyphony Digital team spotted taking shots of Mount Panorama for the new Gran Turismo game
The two guys pictured below weer spotted doing leg and truck-powered laps of Bathurst's Mount Panorama, where they've taken photos of one of Australia's most recognised race tracks. That's not all, because audio from intrepid's souls phone camera definitely points toward the raceway being featured in the next instalment of the Gran Turismo series.
The clip is below, and you can hear the guys talking about it, with a subtitled version available, too. There's also a thread on the GTPlanet forums, where people are convinced that one of the Polyphony Digital guys says "GT6". Of course, this isn't 100-percent irrefutable evidence, but it does have more credit than just a shot of two guys posing for a photo.
Unless this is a DLC pack for Gran Turismo 5, that is. The other question is, if this is for GT6, would it arrive on the PS3 or the PS4? Polyphony Digital do take their time releasing games, so I would be willing to put some money on this game hitting the PlayStation 4.
The team behind Crysis, Crytek, have just released a new video showing off some next-generation CryENGINE 3 graphics. If that's not enough "cry's" in one sentence, then sit back and relax with the nearly 4 minutes of the updated graphics engine below.
Impressed? I am. It looks gorgeous. But, we'll never see those graphics. Right now, I'm putting my foot down and declaring we will never see those graphics, in all that detail, smoothly, in any game from Crytek (or anyone who licenses that engine) for a very long time. Why? First up, we never see tech demo graphics make it to the final game, it's just too much. Secondly, how much detail can be inserted into a pillar, or water... look at that water for example. It looks absolutely beautiful.
That's the problem, there is so much wasted computational power used for something that will never see the light of day. Even if it did, all that water is, is scenery. It's not an actual useful item within the game, it's background graphics. Unless it plays some pivotal role within the next CryENGINE 3-based game, it means nothing to me.
Heavy Rain, to me, was great. It had its problems (frame rate, and the whole "Jaaasssooonnnn" bit) but it was a completely different game to the usual genres out there. The mastermind behind the game, David Cage, and his company, Quantic Dream are back again, and want your socks blown off, again.
Enter Kara. Kara was shown off during GDC, where it was again a PlayStation 3-exclusive, and just a technology demo that was showcasing the company's new game engine. Cage says:
Kara was made a year ago, so the technology has evolved a lot since then," the Quantic Dream head told CVG at GDC. We've worked a lot on the cinematography, we've worked a lot on lens flares, on diffraction and how the light plays on the optic... We're playing with all these things, so I think that the next games - whatever they are - are going to look much better than Kara.
In the latest conference call reported by CVG, EA's CEO, John Riccitiello has revealed that their super-MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic has almost 1.7 million subscribers. This suggests that SW:TOR has overpowered that usual one-month slump that can happen when the subscription charge slaps players for the first time.
What goes toward helping this is that BioWare have been quite vocal on the upcoming updates to the MMO. The Legacy Patch is said to arrive in April, which should bring a new flashpoint, warzone and operation, expanding the legacy system, as well as improving character textures, adding armour color customization and more.
SW:TOR player? Enjoying the game? What do you think of 1.7 million gamers playing with you? I haven't gotten into it, I just don't have the patience!
Arguably the biggest game to launch this year, EA are boasting they sold nearly 900,000 copies of Mass Effect 3 in the first 24 hours of being on sale. If we want to get into some exact numbers, its 890,000 copies, said EA boss John Riccitiello.
The boasting was revealed at the Wedbush Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference. He has been quoted saying "we anticipated it doing well, so we're happy". US giant GameStop saw a huge 40-percent of day one customers also buy a download code for the day one DLC "From Ashes". With Riccitiello saying "the tie ratio at the register is the highest in their history".
This is a huge scoop for Mass Effect 3 and should [hopefully] close off the trilogy quite well for BioWare and EA. Did you grab Mass Effect 3? What are your thoughts so far? Or are you too busy to see this news because you're engrossed in the game itself?
Angry Birds fan? Want to see their giant leap into the realm of space? Well, you're in luck. We have a video below where you you can an entire level of Angry Birds Space.
The video doesn't feature any fancy music or fast cuts, so it's just pure gameplay - which is great to see. As an ex-Angry Birds fanatic, this look great! It actually looks like Rovio has put some work into the game.
Rather than just a re-skin of the previous Angry Birds games, they've put some effort into this and it looks like it pays off. Now, the question for me is, should I buy a Galaxy Note just to get this bad boy? Samsung, it's my birthday today (for real), would you like to send me one just for this game? ha!
An MCV-exclusive article has said that Microsoft have been telling their partners that the next-generation Xbox will ship without an optical drive. MCV's source has described the briefings and associated NDA's "the strictest NDA's" they've ever encountered. Obviously not strict enough if this news is leaking out.
The new Xbox would ship without an optical drive, but would sport some form of interchangeable solid-state card storage, where it's not known if this would be a proprietary format, or something more familiar and wide spread like SD.
More news was available apart from the no optical drive business, where it has been "confirmed" that the new Xbox will see a release in 2013, with an announcement of the console at this years E3.
No optical drive would usher in a new way of gaming, simultaneously making it better for games themselves, as over time Microsoft could have a streaming service for games. Something along the lines of what Valve have with Steam, but they could do it with a pre-load, and then as you go through the game, it requires an always-on Internet connection, where it would stream the rest of the game to you.
Epic Games' Cliff "Cliffy B" Bleszinksi B has just grabbed a huge crowd of developers at 2012's GDC, and told them how it is. He has said that when starting up as a developer, forget Xbox Live, PSN, iOS, Android and Windows Phones, and instead, create games for PC.
Cliffy B talked down Microsoft and Sony's way of treating indie developers, dismissed mobile gaming, and said that the PC was the only place to start. He only had a five-minute microtalk, but he went through it quite quick, according to Rock, Paper, Shotgun. He heavily emphasised the need to focus on PC, and jokingly suggested that they should use the Unreal Development Kit (UDK) to do it.
He also stated that early games will definitely suck, but added that persistance and passion were necessary for eventual success. He cited Rovio had made 50 games before they hit the big time with Angry Birds. Cliffy B did state that developers should move onto different platforms over time, but primarily said to stick with PC, and consider iOS if you can get the touch controls to work properly. The Xbox and PlayStation he still qualified with warnings that Microsoft or Sony may not give you the promotion you deserve.
He did give one quote at the finish, which is exactly how it should be:
Do it because you love it, but make sure you get paid.
Cliffy B - you're now, my hero.
Game Developers Choice Awards were held, with big winners for Valve's Portal 2, and Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Skyrim walked away with non other than Game of the Year (GotY) award, which is quite the epic achievement.
Game of the Year had some serious competition, with Skyrim going up against Batman: Arkham City, Portal 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Dark Souls. Portal 2 took home the most awards, with it winning Best Narrative, Best Game Design, and Best Audio. Battlefield 3 took out Best Technology, when when pitted against Crytek's CryENGINE 3-powered Crysis 2.
The event itself was hosted by Cliffy B, who you'll know from Epic Games. A full list of the nominees, and winners, is below. I've bolded the winners:
Game of the Year
Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady Studios)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
Portal 2 (Valve)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Eidos Montreal)
Dark Souls (FromSoftware)
Portal 2 (Valve)
The Witcher 2 (CD Projekt RED)
Bastion (Supergiant Games)
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (Naughty Dog)
Saints Row: The Third (Volition)
Best Game Design
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo)
Portal 2 (Valve)
Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady Studios)
Dark Souls (FromSoftware)
Rumors started floating around last week, thanks to The Verge, of a possible Steam Box from Valve. We all dreamt about it, and thought it could really change the gaming scene as we know it, but today those dream are crushed, as least in the short-term.
Kotaku spoke to Valve's marketing director, Doug Lombardi, where he has been quoted:
We're prepping the Steam Big Picture Mode UI and getting ready to ship that, so we're building boxes to test that on. We're also doing a bunch of different experiments with biometric feedback and stuff like that, which we've talked about a fair amount. All of that is stuff that we're working on, but it's a long way from Valve shipping any sort of hardware.
But, Lombardi did reduce to flat-out say whether Valve isn't working on a console. Stephen Totilo from Kotaku asked - "What you're saying is, there's definitely nothing coming any time soon, nothing at GDC or E3, but what you're not ruling out is the possibility that, hey, maybe some day Valve would make hardware", to which Lombardi responded with just "I think that's accurate".
Battlefield 3 is set to receive some themed downloadable expansions, with the first one 'Close Quarters' arriving in June. The new expansions will feature new weapons, and vehicles that can be used across the entire game, as well as new multiplayer maps.
Console players are set to receive something quite new, with a rent-a-server programme, allowing them to run dedicated game servers that can be customized to their own rules and preferences, just like the PC players know and love. This is a first for any console shooter.
Close Quarters is as it sounds, focused on up-close-and-personal indoor infantry combat with verticality to the map designs. It drops on the PS3 one week early, includes 10 new weapons and four new maps. It has been described as "hectic and intense". The map was shown off at EA's GDC event, and featured a "swish-looking" office block called Ziba Tower, according to Eurogamer, with, my favorite: lots of glass to shatter.
The next add-on after Close Quarters will be called Armored Kill. This pack focuses on tank-based combat, and will offer the Battlefield series' biggest map ever and includes one new drivable vehicle for use in the game. No release date has been stated. The final add-on will be called End Game, where nothing is known about it, this is being kept top secret by DICE.
Crytek's first game in the mobile universe is called 'Fibble - Flick 'n' Roll'. Crytek say that the game is a "highly engaging puzzle game" that "combines strategy with physics-based interactions" with vivid and highly detailed visuals.
CEO and President of Crytek, Cevat Yerli says:
Going mobile is an incredibly exciting step for us as a game development company. The way that people play games on mobile devices is a real blessing. This allows us to get back to our roots, experiment and focus our energy on creating great gameplay experiences while still keeping Crytek's high production values.
Whereas, General Manager Games at Crytek, Nick Button-Brown says:
With Fibble - Flick 'n' Roll, Crytek is aiming to surprise people with a whole new style of game as well as to make a big impact in the field of mobile entertainment. It will also give us a great opportunity to make a big splash with a whole new generation of players who've yet to play a Crytek game. We ourselves love to play games on mobile devices and we very much look forward to bringing our production values and skills to them.
EA have removed The Simpsons: Tapped Out from the App Store for a, well, weird reason. First up, an anonymous gamer posted on EA's help forum, asking about the game, and had a very interesting response from an EA representative:
To ensure current players have the best possible experience, we've temporarily removed The Simpsons: Tapped Out from the App Store to limit the game's server capacity to its current players and address connectivity and lag time issues.
So, EA removed The Simpsons: Tapped Out, because it was too popular? I was never the popular kid in school (contrary to popular belief from my flowing locks and eagle-sharp eyes, I look like a young Alec Baldwin), so I don't understand how this happens. EA predicts that players who have already downloaded the game will experience a smoother experience, with EA saying "actually, your experience should only improve as we work on a solution".
What I don't understand is, we're talking about EA here. Surely they have enough server bandwidth, or enough money to throw up some servers - especially as they saw the downloads ticking over from the App Store... obviously not, or there was an underlying issue with the game itself, and this is an easier way to fix it - rip it offline, fix it, throw it back and blame server overload issues?
EA have just released the first trailer to the Frostbite 2.0-powered first-person shooter, Medal of Honor: Warfighter. The trailer does look quite good, and features the glorious explosions and slow-mo one would expect from a first-person shooter franchise.
The trailer states that all pre-orders will be upgraded to the limited edition version, at not extra cost. At least there's no day-one DLC. Personally, I think EA should back away from the "here guys, you get limited edition upgrades for free", its almost like EA are telling you it's all good, you're getting something for free. I don't want anything for free, and I'm personally willing to pay $100 for a game that breaks boundaries, and isn't a formulaic first-person shooter.
The trailer does look cool, as I said, but with (what it seems) no in-game footage, it's always hard to tell. Will this look as good, or better, than its Frostbite 2.0-powered cousin, Battlefield 3? Only time will tell. It should look better than the next Call of Duty, that's for sure. The trailer also gives us a release date: October 23, on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
GDC 2012: EA have just announced that SimCity will be named, well, SimCity. No numbers, no space, just SimCity. It's being made by Maxis, and is a PC-exclusive. Yes, you read those words right: PC-exclusive. EA/Maxis have thrown a trailer into the lions pit, aka, the Internet, and boy is it exciting me.
Maxis' goal is to create a vision o the game that includes more choice, while simultaneously making the game the most playful and most responsive one in the series. The game will be in 3D, and will offer online components, but the emphasis of this full announcement is on how much the spirit of the original games are to them, which is great.
Maxis stressed that everything you see in the game, is there for a reason, with greater emphasis on detail, and a greater impact from your sim-building decisions. You'll be able to interact with the cities of your friends, and for example, if your city pollutes, you could lower the air quality in your neighboring cities. SimCity also sports roads like I like my women: curvy. A city is not built on a grid, and now we have curvy roads, finally.
We've talked about Hawken a few times now, and to keep you up to the latest, Hawken is a free-to-play Mech Combat FPS that will arrive on 12/12/12 and is bought to you by Adhesive Games and Meteor Entertainment.
The latest trailer shows some in-game, beautiful multiplayer mech combat. The game is looking insanely fun, and it's quite unbelievable considering it's free-to-play. Hawken hits the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, the only thing to make it better would be some cross-platform play.
Maybe Hawken 2 will step it up a bit, and go from free-to-play to being on all three platforms, as well as the Steam Box, Wii U and Android/iOS-powered devices, where we can get some seriously slick new features (with the tablets being used as in-mech controls? Adhesive, listen up!).
Diablo III could be released next month, folks. So get your mouse, keyboard, souls and chairs ready, dump your girlfriends (or boyfriends), wifes, and say goodbye to your children. You'll be gone for quite some time, hopefully, by April 17, according to mmorphitalia (Italian).
They've claimed that Activision Italy has informed retailers that the region should expect Diablo III on April 17, which has prompted some retailers to put up pre-order boxes. Amazon.it is one of the retailers that initially ran with the April 17 release date, but have since changed this date to just "2012".
Game director for Blizzard, Jay Wilson, chimed in by answering questions regarding the rumored release date through Twitter. He was asked to confirm or deny the date, where he tweeted that he "cannot debunk or confirm" the proposed April 17 release date. This has of course riled up the entire Internet. Wilson did add one more nugget of info through Twitter, where @ChrisFW asked to comment on how close an announcement is on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not even close, and 10 being imminent.
Wilson replied with a '9'.
Ah, Halo. I have fond memories of the hours upon hours that I pumped into the original game when I grabbed the midnight-launched Xbox in my home town. It's hard to believe how much the Halo franchise has grown since then, and how now left the proud parents Bungie, and gone into the hands of 343 Industries.
343 Industries along with Microsoft Studios are proud to show off Halo 4. The first proper sequel to Halo 3, not taking into consideration ODST and Reach. Halo 4 will be released this fall, and the above video shows off some of the game, the new armor that Master Chief sports, as well as some new built-for-multiplayer maps that will be included.
Master Chief's armor has been redesigned for the new game, which looks nice and slick. The video continues with the Halo 4 team talking about how amazing the new game will be, and shows off that the multiplayer side of things has a story-based reason behind the reasoning of huge amounts of spartan's going at it all over the galaxy. Multiplayer maps will not just be lifted from the single-player campaign, and are designed specifically to allow for balaned gameplay.
Left 4 Dead 2, Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2 now have support for full motion play with Razer's Hydra controller
GDC 2012: The first news off the startling line of this years Game Developers Conference (GDC) is news from Razer, which is very interesting indeed. Razer and Sixense Entertainment have just announced that they have full integrated motion gaming support now built for Valve's most popular titles: Half-Life 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and Team Fortress 2.
Not only that, but future Valve-made games such as Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will support full motion play with Razer Hydra. The news does continue to get better, though. Sixense and Valve have also integrated Sixense MotionCreator 2.0 software into Valve's Steam gaming platform. This does something quite special indeed: it enables backwards compatibility for motion gaming with the Razer Hydra controller to over 250 of the most popular titles on Steam!
From now on, Steam users will receive automatic motion control updates for current, and future games, as well as a new in-game overlay which lets gamers view control maps for the Hydra controller, as they play. CEO and Co-Founder of Sixense, Amir Rubin, says:
Sixense is excited to bring the Razer Hydra motion gaming experience to the Steam community. By wrapping Sixense MotionCreator inside Steam, the PC and Mac gaming platform of choice for both gamers and developers, we are able to provide plug-and-play functionality for the Razer Hydra to showcase our innovative motion gaming modes across game genres.
Ah, BioWare, you sure know how to stir up the excitement of your fans. They've just released the official Mass Effect 3 launch trailer and holy crap does it look good. The launch trailer offers just a tease into what the sure-to-be-epic game includes.
It seems that all hell breaks loose between the Reapers and the Humans, with Shepard in the middle of it, of course. Mass Effect 3 features co-op, action and story modes, a high-degree of customizability, a tweaked reputation system, completely redesigned enemies, where some enemies are get this, more than one mile tall, and a rich story where the underlying premise seems "survival at any cost".
Mass Effect 3 lands in the US on March 6th (just hours from now) for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Australians have to wait a few days to collect it on March 8th, and European-based Mass Effect fans have to wait 24 hours more until March 9th. BioWare will also released a collector's edition with exclusive items, various DLC and a stand-alone digital sound track.