hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Samit Sarkar

Epic Games debuts Unreal Engine 4

Jun 08 // Samit Sarkar
Don't expect to play games that look like this anytime soon, though. While the next Xbox and/or the next PlayStation may launch by the end of 2013, Epic expects developers to stick with Unreal Engine 3 for early games in the next console generation, and then use Unreal Engine 4 for their next projects. "It makes sense to just stay with [UE3], do higher-resolution textures, increase their polygon budget, increase the number of characters on screen and things like that," said Willard.After seeing this, we think the next generation can't get here quickly enough.GTTV Episode 520: Epic Games - June 7, 2012 [GameTrailers TV]Unreal Engine 4 Elemental Demo [UnrealDevelopmentKit YouTube]Unreal Engine 4 - GT.TV Exclusive Development Walkthrough [GameTrailers YouTube]How Unreal Engine 4 Will Change The Next Games You Play [Kotaku]
 photo

Last night on Spike's GameTrailers TV, Epic Games showed off Unreal Engine 4, the next generation of its industry-standard game engine, for the first time. You can watch the impressive "Elemental" demo above, with its heavily...

 photo

Sony: 'Magic' of small games, indies important to Vita


Jun 08
// Samit Sarkar
Indie games are vital if the PlayStation Vita is to succeed, said Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida in an interview with Gamasutra. Major franchises like Assassin's Creed III: Liberation make headlines, but thro...

38 Studios declares bankruptcy, investigation begins

Jun 07 // Samit Sarkar
Rhode Island officials are hopeful that the state can get some return on 38 Studios' assets, which it now owns. Jonathan Savage, legal counsel to the Economic Development Corporation, told reporters today that the state has had discussions with investors offering upwards of "tens of millions of dollars" for 38's former intellectual property. "We're going to do everything we can to maximize the return on our investment," said Gov. Lincoln Chafee. Here's hoping Rhode Island gets something for its trouble, since the state's taxpayers are on the hook for nearly $90 million through 2020.Bankrupt 38 Studios will be liquidated [WPRI via Joystiq]Criminal probe launched into 38 Studios [WPRI]Schilling's 38 Studios declares bankruptcy; law enforcement investigating [Providence Journal via Joystiq]38 Studios liquidation valued in tens of millions by RI, gov. will get every penny he can for taxpayers [Joystiq]
 photo

The death knell has sounded for 38 Studios. Following the layoff of its entire 379-person staff two weeks ago after missing a $1.125 million loan payment to Rhode Island, the developer of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and the...

 photo

E3: 3DS million-sellers in US: Mario, Zelda, Mario Kart


Jun 07
// Samit Sarkar
Like you didn't see that one coming.Nintendo held a press briefing yesterday evening in which it focused on 3DS software, but Scott Moffitt, the company's executive vice president of sales and marketing, took some time out to...

 photo

Call of Duty: Black Ops II is guaranteed to sell a bazillion copies this fall, but even so, developer Treyarch isn't mailing in this sequel. In fact, Black Ops II might be the riskiest entry yet in the Call of Duty franchise...

 photo

EA: Expect discounts, but no Steam-like sales, on Origin


Jun 06
// Samit Sarkar
EA's Origin service recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, and while it's a growing platform -- 12 million registered users and $150 million in revenue is nothing to sneeze at -- it's not yet as good as EA wants it to ...
 photo

E3: Arkedo's Hell Yeah! and its 'polite boss'


Jun 06
// Samit Sarkar
Jonathan Holmes headed to the Sega booth on the E3 show floor to check out a near-final version of Arkedo's Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit, a refreshingly self-aware action-adventure platformer. Studio head Camille Guer...
 photo

E3: 360 degrees of the Wii U's PanoramaView


Jun 06
// Samit Sarkar
Nintendo continues to show off the Wii U's capabilities with tech demos, and PanoramaView looks to be another one of them. Our own Jonathan Holmes played around with the feature, which lets you use the GamePad as a window in...
 photo

EA Sports not currently negotiating for MLB license


Jun 06
// Samit Sarkar
Fans who harbor nostalgia for EA Sports' venerated last-gen MVP Baseball franchise may want the publisher to get back in the game and put out a new baseball title, now that Take-Two, the parent company of 2K Sports, seems unw...
 photo

E3: Stab cats in Nintendo Land's Animal Crossing minigame


Jun 06
// Samit Sarkar
Jonathan Holmes' enthusiasm is infectious, as you can see in this video of his hands-on time with "Animal Crossing: Sweet Day," one of the 12 minigames in Nintendo Land. It's a rather strange little five-player game: the Gam...
 photo

E3: Nintendo Land's Donkey Kong Crash Course demo


Jun 06
// Samit Sarkar
Nintendo Land appears to be positioned as the Wii U's version of Wii Sports, a collection of minigames designed to familiarize players with the new system's features and functionality. Our own Jonathan Holmes checked out the...
 photo

E3: Be a Vampire Lord in Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC


Jun 06
// Samit Sarkar
Bethesda is expanding the realm of Skyrim with the game's first piece of downloadable content, Dawnguard. You've seen the trailer and screenshots, and now you can watch The Destructoid Show's Max Scoville give you his though...
 photo

Gearbox Software's Borderlands 2 will be a much more story-driven experience than its predecessor, and that's largely thanks to its principal writer, former Destructoid features editor Anthony Burch. In an interview with The...

 photo

We're approaching the singularity, folks: Final Fantasy games on next-generation hardware could finally look as good as the pre-rendered cutscenes we've been watching for the past decade and a half. Yesterday at E3, publishe...

 photo

Nintendo is figuring out a way to allow Wii owners to transfer data from the Wii to the Wii U, said a hardware producer for the company during a developer Q&A session held today at E3. When asked about the possibility, th...

 photo

E3: Snoop Dogg raps in his Tekken Tag Tournament 2 stage


Jun 05
// Samit Sarkar
I bet that headline is a sequence of words you were never expecting to see.At E3, didn't-see-that-coming shockers tend to fall into the category of unlikely or unforeseen alliances, like Gabe Newell announcing Portal 2 for P...
 photo

E3: Trine 2: Director's Cut coming to Wii U


Jun 05
// Samit Sarkar
Trine 2: Director's Cut was one of the games shown in a montage of third-party software during this morning's Nintendo press briefing. Finnish studio Frozenbyte is building a definitive console version of its well-received c...

E3: Wii U GamePad: 3-5 hours battery, 2.5 hours to charge

Jun 05 // Samit Sarkar
A rechargeable lithium-ion battery serves as the wireless GamePad's power source, but you might actually be spending a lot of time playing games with the unit's AC adapter plugged into an outlet. According to hardware details available on Nintendo of Japan's website -- information that, curiously, Nintendo of America omitted from its E3 site -- the GamePad's battery takes about two and a half hours to charge, and depending on the screen's brightness setting, lasts between three and five hours on a full charge.For reference, that's about how long the PlayStation Vita's battery lasts during gameplay. The GamePad has a lot of technology packed into it, but it's not actually processing gameplay; instead, the image on its screen is streamed from the Wii U console. Here's hoping the unit's charging cable isn't short or proprietary.Check out some photos of both the black and white Wii U hardware in the gallery below.Nintendo All-Access @ E3 2012 [Nintendo of America]E3 2012 - Wii U [Nintendo of Japan]
 photo

Nintendo spent the bulk of its E3 2012 press briefing on the Wii U, focusing on a glossy black version of the hardware in addition to the white console and GamePad that were unveiled a year ago. We still don't have more preci...

 photo

E3: Ubisoft's Watch Dogs confirmed for PC, PS3, Xbox 360


Jun 05
// Samit Sarkar
Ubisoft stole the show at E3 Day Zero with a surprise unveiling of Watch Dogs, an open-world experience that truly looked like a next-generation title. Based on the stunning lighting effects and lifelike animations, most of t...
 photo

E3: Go undercover in this Sleeping Dogs trailer


Jun 05
// Samit Sarkar
I'm really glad that Square Enix picked up United Front Games' Sleeping Dogs after Activision dropped the project (back when it was called True Crime: Hong Kong). Hamza's write-up of the hard-boiled open-world crime thriller...
 photo

E3: Lara Croft endures in this Tomb Raider trailer


Jun 05
// Samit Sarkar
If there's one word to describe Lara Croft in Crystal Dynamics' upcoming reboot of Tomb Raider, it's "resilient." Just look at how much punishment she takes in this trailer, whether from thugs or Mother Nature. At least she ...
 photo

E3: Twisted Pixel teases LocoCycle


Jun 05
// Samit Sarkar
One of the new games Microsoft announced at its E3 2012 press briefing yesterday morning was Twisted Pixel's LocoCycle, the studio's sixth original IP. Here's the short teaser trailer from the show.The titular motorcycle is ...
 photo

E3: Quantic Dream unveils Beyond: Two Souls


Jun 04
// Samit Sarkar
Quantic Dream co-founder David Cage came out on stage at Sony's E3 2012 press briefing to introduce his studio's next project, Beyond: Two Souls. Oscar-nominated actress Ellen Page (Hard Candy, Inception) stars as heroine Jod...
 photo

The Sims Social promises to be a good woman if you return


May 30
// Samit Sarkar
Numerous online games send messages to lapsed users in an attempt to get those players to come back. Sometimes, they try to guilt you into going back; other times, they look to entice you into returning by offering free goodi...
 photo

NBA 2K13 announced with All-Star Weekend pre-order DLC


May 30
// Samit Sarkar
2K Sports has announced that NBA 2K13 is due out for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Wii, and PSP on October 2, 2012, in North America, and October 5 worldwide. A Wii U version is also in development; it will be released during ...
 photo

Origin to distribute crowd-funded games free for 90 days


May 18
// Samit Sarkar
EA is looking to expand its support of small studios, this time through its Origin digital distribution service, by capitalizing on the indie development wave du jour: Kickstarter. The publishing giant announced today a new i...
 photo

NHL 13 announced, will deliver new AI and skating physics


May 18
// Samit Sarkar
[Update: You can now watch the debut trailer, which focuses on True Performance Skating.]EA Sports has officially announced NHL 13, this year's iteration of its critically acclaimed hockey series. After releasing two teaser ...

Preview: Making FIFA 13 'predictably unpredictable'

May 16 // Samit Sarkar
FIFA 13 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii, Vita, 3DS, PSP, PS2, iOS) Developer: EA Canada Publisher: EA Sports Release: Fall 2012 Three of the creative leads behind FIFA 13 delivered a lengthy presentation to members of the press a few weeks ago at EA Canada, located on a sprawling campus in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby. They discussed five major gameplay innovations that are coming in this fall’s new soccer game, but they did not speak of new modes or any other changes, and we didn’t have a chance to play the game. So there’s a lot more to come regarding FIFA 13 -- perhaps at E3, or, more likely, at Gamescom -- but for now, I’ll take you through what gameplay producer Aaron McHardy called “a revolution of game-changing features” for the PS3, 360, and PC versions. Attacking Intelligence lets AI teammates think ahead Dumb AI is a perennial nuisance in team sports games; it’s always frustrating when a scoring opportunity evaporates because a computer-controlled teammate didn’t do something you perceived as natural, lifelike, and/or smart in a particular situation. EA Canada has revamped FIFA’s positioning code, making AI attackers smarter and opening up the field for your offense. FIFA 13’s new Attacking Intelligence feature is felt in a number of ways. Players are now much better capable of analyzing space to go on decisive runs -- they can not only evaluate openings on the pitch and realize they’re in position to make a run, but also can get to valuable space in a manner that creates more scoring chances. This encompasses new behaviors such as stutter-stepping to stay onside, curving runs around defenders, and creating separation from opponents to open up passing lanes, as well as more complex soccer strategy in player positioning and ball movement. The world’s best players have an unparalleled ability to visualize and predict the progress of a play. As McHardy put it, “They’re processing the game at another level,” always thinking ahead to try and gain the upper hand on defenders. Your teammates in FIFA 13 will do the same: they have the intelligence to understand where the ball is likely to go next, and accordingly -- instead of standing around until the play comes to them -- they’ll start moving one or even two passes ahead of time, putting themselves in better position to receive passes and propel the attack forward. McHardy played footage from the studio’s test bed environment, complete with wire-frame players, proving the improvements between FIFA 12 and FIFA 13 to be apparent, significant, and remarkable. Dancing around defenders with Complete Dribbling Last year’s game introduced Precision Dribbling, a setup that suffered from the same problem that has plagued the movement systems in almost every soccer game: players pushed the ball in a direction and turned their body to follow the ball. It made it difficult to get around defenders without using FIFA’s relatively complicated Skill Moves. FIFA 13 brings in an update called Complete Dribbling. McHardy said it’s “way bigger” than Precision Dribbling, with the key element being that EA Canada has finally separated the moving direction from the facing direction. I asked McHardy how important that change is, and he told me it’s “completely liberating.” Until now, he explained, “You couldn’t really face up a player 1v1 and beat him in the way that Messi beats a player 1v1: running straight at him, sidestepping around him, keeping that facing angle forward, and being able to get around the player.” It’s now possible to move laterally while still facing forward, which lets you quickly evade defenders and continue attacking. Complete Dribbling gives you the power to embarrass your opponents, and the freedom and creativity to do it in a variety of ways. Precision Dribbling brought shielding into FIFA, and Complete Dribbling expands on that with the ability to lock a facing-away angle contextually and chain shielding more fluidly with other dribbling moves. In addition, you now have the ability to change direction more quickly in low-speed dribbles, as well as finer control over close touches. Some of these elements came from the dribbling system in FIFA Street, according to Rutter. While Street is an arcade game, the FIFA team felt that “mapping stick control one-to-one with foot movement work[ed] well,” and implemented parts of that setup in FIFA 13. Complete Dribbling also makes advanced dribbling tactics accessible to all players. It’s controlled completely by the left stick, so even novices who can’t pull off Skill Moves will be able to dribble circles around their opponents in FIFA 13. “What we would like is for everyone that plays our game to feel like they have tools to go around defenders,” said line producer Nick Channon. First Touch Control means nobody’s perfect McHardy played footage from a real soccer match in which Ronaldinho perfectly trapped a pass from 50 meters out -- just one gentle tap from his foot, and the ball fell safely into possession. But he’s one of the world’s best footballers, and even he can’t pull that off in every situation. The next clip McHardy showed was from FIFA 12, in which a middling player managed to receive a long pass with perfect touch. That’s simply not realistic, and FIFA 13’s First Touch Control system aims to fix that. This year, the ball isn’t glued to your foot. The new system introduces “contextual trap error,” taking into account a wide variety of factors to determine how easy or difficult it will be for a player to secure the ball. Rain makes it much tougher; a soft pass is easier to gather, unless it’s coming to Earth from way up high; and a well-timed shove from a defender could make all the difference. First Touch Control also accounts for players’ attributes, differentiating the Ronaldinhos of the world from less skilled footballers. Channon made sure to note that it’s “unpredictable, [but] it’s not random, and that’s a very key difference.” EA Canada implemented the system to eliminate perfect control and introduce opportunities for your opponent to take back possession. Playing aggressive passes will make it harder for your teammates to corral them, and it will give the other team chances to pick up balls that bounced away from an attacker’s foot, providing balance to the more offense-minded gameplay changes discussed above. Getting physical on and off the ball with the Player Impact Engine The FIFA team debuted a completely new collision system with the Player Impact Engine last year, and it had its share of glitches. Many of those errors -- the infamous “kiss,” or players’ limbs being forced into biomechanically-impossible-without-tearing-tissue positions -- arose because FIFA 12 didn’t properly model the musculoskeletal structure of its players. Joints now have the proper tension associated with them, and EA Canada has added (and slowed down) animations so players can disentangle themselves without expressing their love for each other. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. “What’s really rewarding this year is building loads of features” on top of FIFA 12’s solid foundation, said Channon. The original Player Impact Engine had a major limitation: it only calculated physics for collisions in which one player already had the ball. Two opponents waiting for a pass to drop, however, had very little interaction. FIFA 13’s evolution of real-time physics allows for players to push and pull each other off the ball, bringing in the crucial element of jockeying for position. “We never really had that concept in our game,” Channon told me, “and I think that’s something we’re very excited about.” This development makes playing defense much more active, and it allows bigger players to use their size and strength to their advantage in preventing attackers from getting to the ball. It’s all about the “battle for the ball,” said Channon, noting that “it’s like any sport, really: if you’ve got good body position, you’ll generally be in a good place.” Tactical Free Kicks provide creative freedom I have limited experience playing FIFA, but even I’ve noticed that free kicks weren’t very exciting -- not nearly as interesting as they are in real life. “Free kicks, in FIFA, have just been kicking the ball over the wall,” admitted Channon. That’s only one element of many in the highly variable setup, and FIFA 13 finally retools the system to give you numerous options, both on offense and defense. The kicking team can now organize up to three players over the ball to play around with fakes, and execute dummy runs to take the ball down the side or to the front. Test bed footage showed two players hopping over the ball, after which the third player sent a pass to the first, who put a shot on goal. You can add to or subtract from the defensive wall, and even creep upward (with the potential for the referees to notice and penalize you). If you mis-time a shot-blocking attempt, you can reform the wall and jump again. More aggressive teams can send a player toward the kickers to intercept passes or block shots. These changes have been “in the making for a while,” Channon told me, “and we felt that this year was the time to do it.” Minor enhancements can have major effects McHardy closed his presentation by discussing additional gameplay improvements. Last year’s iteration of real-time physics made it “infinitely more difficult” for referees to call fouls correctly, so the team has “re-architected” the rules system to work better. They have also humanized the CPU by making it a bit more forgiving, especially on Professional difficulty, which used to be robotically perfect. Lateral defensive containment is a new option, letting defenders cut off passing lanes by moving sideways instead of only toward or away from attackers. On offense, you can take advantage of new pass types, sending lofted through balls or passes that bounce over defenders’ outstretched legs. EA Canada has also added animations for 180-degree shots, off-balance shots, and celebrations. As you can see, EA Canada is doing a lot of work to more accurately simulate soccer. It took Rutter, Channon, and McHardy 90 minutes to cover all the new gameplay features -- that’s how much is changing this year. I heard a few amazed gasps from fellow journalists during the presentation, so it seems like FIFA fans have a lot of stuff to get excited about between now and FIFA 13’s launch this fall.
 photo

The draw of “reality” television is its ostensibly greater degree of unpredictability over scripted shows, the coveted “you can’t make this stuff up” factor. Many simulation videogames better rep...

 photo

The well-received Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is making its way to the PlayStation Vita this summer, sans Peace Walker; the original PSP game can be purchased on the PlayStation Store, although not through the Vita, weird...

 photo

Lions' Calvin Johnson voted onto Madden NFL 13 cover


Apr 26
// Samit Sarkar
EA Sports put the Madden cover to a vote once again this year, and as of last week, the fans had whittled down a bracket of 64 NFL players to just two: Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam "Ace Boogie" Newton (the No. 1 seed) an...

Auto-loading more stories ... un momento, corazón ...