News

News 30/7/10 – “Bobby Kotick is a prick” Edition

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Although the wake of E3 brought with it the dreaded Summer games drought, before the winter indulgent gaming and procrastination, there’s still a whole bunch of mildly interesting stuff that happened recently, including some very interesting games indeed. I’ll be reviewing the primally terrifying Limbo over the next few days, but for now here’s everything you don’t need to know.

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The Daily Scum

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Recently here in the UK, we received the horrifying news that Raoul Moat, a 37 year-old from the Newcastle area, had been released from prison only to shoot his ex-girlfriend, her new partner (who was killed) and a policeman within two days, and had then went on to threaten the wider public. The incident ended up in his suicide.

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For some inexplicable reason, someone, somewhere on the internet mocked up an image that quite distastefully parodied the classic Grand Theft Auto cover, dubbing it GTA: Rothbury (where the murders occurred). Here’s the point at which so-called journalist Jerry Lawton took the image, with ostensibly no hesitance, and published an article on the Daily Star’s website, informing readers that Rockstar was developing this game, and that a movie was in the works. He also informed the 69 year-old grandmother of the victims, who was naturally appalled.

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All of this was done with absolutely bugger-all research or checks. The article was taken down soon afterwards, but this didn’t stop the witless cretin, Lawton, from writing the following in response to criticisms from gamers, on his facebook: “Baffled by the fury of adult gamers. These are grown (?!?) men who sit around all day playing computer games with one another who’ve today chosen to enter the real world just long enough to complain about my story slamming a Raoul Moat version of Grand Theft Auto! You would think I’d denied the Holocaust!!! Think I’ll challenge them to a virtual reality duel….stab….I win!!!”

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This, on the other hand, is a grown man, who calls himself a journalist, yet writes completely and undeniably false stories at the writing level of a 10 year-old, to appeal to the Daily Star’s main demographic, and then proceeds to insult a massive group of people with frankly, pitiful attempts at humour. Amazingly, the Daily Star itself recently released a statement accepting its folly and apologising, promising to donate a sizeable amount to charity. The sorry excuse for a journalist Mr Lawton, however, has still not apologised.

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Motion Control Alternate Reality Flow Charts

Fancy taking a look at how consumer common sense works in the land of unicorns and rainbows? This is Microsoft’s questionable take on your motion control choices, followed by an equally suspect chart from our friends at Sony. There’s really not much to say about this; it’s almost as if they’re trying to convince themselves rather than us. Either way, with a price tag of £130 for the most interesting option Kinect and an uninspired offering in the form of Move, I think I’ll be substituting my own consumer logic and giving it a miss.

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Dragon Age II

Last week also saw the widely expected, but highly anticipated announcement of Dragon Age II, sequel to the massively popular RPG, which squeezed epic storytelling, customisation and general RPG goodness into a sickeningly brilliant bundle of addictive fantasy funsies. But the folks at Bioware, never ones to be complacent, have decided to take the series in a slightly different direction in comparison to some fans’ preconceived ideas. Much like Mass Effect, Dragon Age II will feature a main character now named for you “Hawke”. This decision was presumably made to amp up the narrative elements, allowing for a fully voiced protagonist, but neutralising the chance to pick your own race. And, in the interest of keeping things fresh it seems they’ve opted for a new visual design, making muscles noticeably chunkier, with starker colours. Here are the officially released screenshots thanks to GameInformer. Pencil in Dragon Age II for March next year!

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On The DL

As always there’s plenty of DLC to get you through the long summer, so here’s some of the best. Recently Alan Wake just received its first portion of DLC “The Signal”. The content plays out like another chapter in the story, directly progressing the narrative and although it’s criticised for its difficulty, fans will love the continuation and dropping in on Alan to see how the botoxed lad is doing.

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Mass Effect has yet another round of DLC for those of you disposed to a dash of space hopping called “Lair of the Shadow Broker”. Although it is currently not dated yet, the mission sees you teaming up with old spark Liara to discover the truth about…you guessed it, the Shadow Broker!

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Finally, everyone’s favourite, and most people’s only wild western game, Red Dead Redemption has had a string of DLC packs slated and dated, which focus on multiplayer.

  • Legends & Killers: Nine new multiplayer maps, eight new characters, a brand new tomahawk weapon and a partridge in a pear tree!
  • Liars & Cheaters: A new mode “attack and defend”, new horse races with combat, an explosive rifle , eight characters and MP versions of liar’s dice and poker.
  • Free Roam: New challenges, action areas, leaderboards and anti-griefing measures.
  • Undead Nightmare: New singleplayer adventures, challenges and quests, eight MP zombie skins and new animals (presumably undead).

Hmm. Zombies v. cowboys? Another conundrum to consider! No dates apart from the first one which is due out early august. Each pack will cost 800 MSP or $9.99 (PSN)!

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Hitman 5

Despite the denial from Square Enix that the Hitman concept art with the number 2011 on it, that surfaced the other day, was simply art to create a portfolio and no indication of a sequel for one of the most bad-ass and admirably creative assassins, Eurogamer reports otherwise. According to their source, IO Interactive are hard at work on Hitman for PC, PS3 and 360 and the game will be out earliest next Christmas! There’s hope at least then that any homicidal tendencies we may harbour might be satisfied soon.

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Notes

  • Space combat confirmed for Star Wars: The Old Republic
  • Tim Schafer called Activision boss “prick”, then says it was an accident (sure!)
  • Medal of Honour studio named Danger Close and given very nice logo.
  • LBP2 dated in US for November 16th and given adorable collectors edition. [plus new comic con footage!]

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  • Developer Just Add Water is developing new Oddworld titles!
  • Halo: Reach’s Forge World mode has a lot of potential for both frivolous and competitive purposes.

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Offbeat Stuff

Kratos Rocks A Tracksuit

As we speak, a God of War movie is on the way. Unfortunately it’s not a indie flick, but thanks to Gamervision’s superbly produced trailer you can pretend it will be!

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Modern War Gear Solid

Not content with two separate action games starring two different idiosyncratic bad-asses? These imaginative fellows have got you covered with on that one, along with great production values.

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Final Fantstarcraft

Blizzard’s recently released Starcraft II has a great map and game editing tool. Shown below is someone’s version of Final Fantasy made within the editor and here are a wealth of other modifications thanks to Kotaku.

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Far Away

Jose Gonzales dropped into Rockstar’s New York office to record a live version of his song “Far Away” written specially for Red Dead: Redemption. This is a beautifully haunting song which helps to create a simply incredible segment of the game as you ride to Mexico for the first time.

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July 29th, 2010
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