In case you haven't heard, Metal Gear Solid V will be broken up into two games -- Ground Zeroes, and Phantom Pain. The latter will be the "meat and potatoes" of the package, but with the former (which will take place before P...
[Editor's Note: Before you immediately scroll down to the bottom and wonder where the score is, know that this is a scoreless review.]
When approaching a game like Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, you really need to ask yourself what you want from an MMO in 2013. If you want to ride the free-to-play wave, head elsewhere since ARR has a monthly subscription fee. If you want an MMO that breaks the mold and revolutionizes the genre, you won't find it here either.
What you will find, however, is one of the most polished, satisfying, welcoming, and beautiful MMOs out there.
Ubisoft hasn't shown any signs of slowing down on annual releases for the series, despite handily finishing its main story arc. Correctly identifying the best innovation of Assassin's Creed III as its naval combat, this latest title incorporates it as the defining feature and centers the narrative around pirate adventure in the early 18th century.
The most fun I've ever had in a Battlefield game was in 2010's Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
That's not to say it's the best title in the series or anything like that, mind you -- just that it arrived at the right time for me and offered a level of environmental destruction I found easy to fall in love with. If I'm allowed to blow open the side of a building and get the jump on an enemy, I'm going to do that. Over and over again. There doesn't even need to be an enemy.
Despite the fact that I'm not nearly as into military first-person shooters as I was even a couple of years ago -- repetitive sequels will do that to you -- Battlefield 4 has already, not even a full week after launch, surpassed my fondest memories of Bad Company 2.
Just a couple more weeks now until the PlayStation 4 is out. Sony has put together an "ultimate" FAQ for the console and it's pretty damn meaty.
The breakdown of which PlayStation 3 peripherals are compatible with the system is particularly useful, as is the list of features available without a subscription to PlayStation Plus. There are plenty of other tidbits, and some are downright disappointing -- like the lack of support for MP3 playback, DLNA for streaming, or external hard drives. Music Unlimited being required for background music while playing PS4 titles stings. No sharing of captured game footage to YouTube is also a bummer.
The company stresses that this FAQ isn't intended to cover absolutely everything, at least not yet -- some details are in the process of being finalized during these final days before launch. The plan is to continue updating it, even after the PS4 launches.
[Update: Official trailer added. Extinction is described as a "1-4 player cooperative game mode featuring a unique blend of fast-paced survival action, FPS base defense, scavenging and class leveling." Get to the chopper.]
I've always found Treyarch's Zombies mode to be a fun bonus for the studio's otherwise fairly serious Call of Duty games and have longed for Infinity Ward to offer something similar in its titles. Seems we may be getting exactly that in Call of Duty: Ghosts if an image of a loading screen for "Extinction" (shown below for the spoiler averse) is to be believed.
Aliens? Yeah, looks like it. There's been an official teaser that matches the design of the creature as well as achievements for Ghosts that reference the mode. Neat. I'd assume we'll hear more from Infinity Ward leading up to launch but, if not, that's only a week off.
The PlayStation 4 is still three weeks away from release, but that hasn't stopped its controller from sneaking onto store shelves well ahead of launch.
Shipments of the DualShock 4 have already materialized at certain retail locations. Destructoid snapped a photograph of the gorgeous new controller in its new habitat at GameStop this evening at a store near our San Francisco office. The retail price is $59.99 (discuss)
[Update: If you're curious about those PlayStation 4 or Xbox One bundles that you pre-ordered GameStop and Amazon have both released a statement detailing what they'll be doing.]
Ubisoft has pushed two of its high-profile titles, Watch Dogs and The Crew, off until its next fiscal year. Watch Dogs was originally slated to help round out this year's annual holiday crush in late November. The Crew never had a formal release date, but was expected in the first quarter of 2014.
Now, both of them are expected sometime after April 1, 2014. With regard to Watch Dogs, the development team said "We struggled with whether we would delay the game. But from the beginning, we have adopted the attitude that we will not compromise on quality. As we got closer to release, as all the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place in our last push before completion, it became clear to us that we needed to take the extra time to polish and fine tune each detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience."
The Watch Dogs news doesn't come as much of a surprise, given that Ubisoft hasn't ramped-up the marketing as one would expect with a game that's set to come out in a month. However, it's quite the blow for people that were looking forward to picking it up alongside an Xbox One or PS4.
Skylanders has had a bit of an odd history. Initially, it launched under the auspices of the Spyro name, and made a very small splash in the market -- so small, that barely anyone knew what it was. Fast forward to six months later, and it was the hottest toy on the shelves, so much so that many retailers couldn't even keep it stocked consistently.
A sequel was greenlit, and the rest was history, as Activision raked in over a billion dollars from the Skylanders franchise alone. It's a massive success, and now, the third iteration is attempting to claim the throne once again, fighting off the juggernaut that is Disney Infinity.
Let's just say it's going to be a very interesting holiday season for videogame toys.
Amnesia creator Frictional Games knows horror, I think we can all agree. There have been some intriguing videos about the team's next project, SOMA, to help set the sci-fi mood. Now we have the mother of all teaser trailers to make the wait for 2015 absolutely painful.
What has me most excited about SOMA is that it's a different kind of horror -- one that I'm super interested to see Frictional tackle. This is coming to PC and PlayStation 4 and will feature no combat or cutscenes. Love to hear that confirmed so early on, although, it only seems early to us; the game's been in development for three years now.
Best of all, what's shown here isn't going to ruin anything. The footage comes from a custom-made level "meant to show off the general feel and tone of the game," not an exact segment of SOMA that we'll get to experience ourselves. For that matter, the character showcased isn't even the protagonist. Frictional knows what's up. This is how you promote your game.
I recently got to play a solid few hours of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and was able to do whatever I wanted, outside of the select core missions Ubisoft wanted to specifically show off. There was a lot to do, but I wanted to focus specifically the open ocean world and how you'll be interacting with it here.
Why? Because it was easily my favorite new feature for the Assassin's Creed series due to it being something fresh and different. Plus I liked ramming my big ship into tiny little ships because I'm the best pirate ever.
That Deus Ex: Universe trademark? It's not what it might've sounded like. Eidos Montreal has lifted the lid on its future plans for the franchise, which include multiple games for PC/consoles as well as mobile titles, books, and graphic novels -- that's what Universe is all about.
"The concept behind Deus Ex: Universe is to create an ongoing, expanding and connected game world built across a generation of core games," writes studio head David Anfossi. "It's a commitment on our part to deliver meaningful content that expands the franchise on a regular basis and to deliver a deep conspiracy that will span several connected Deus Ex games, creating a more immersive and richer experience than ever before."
An important first step is a new core game from the team behind Human Revolution. Announced for next-generation consoles and PC, the title is currently in production and you can see the first concept art above. We actually asked for this! "[The artwork] shows trans-humanism segregation, which is a backdrop to our vision for the next Deus Ex," says Anfossi.
"It represents a "ghetto-city' voluntarily built in order to separate the classes. The people in this segregated class have reshaped their environment, nostalgic for their ideal of Cyber Renaissance. This dark and dystopian vision sets the tone for things to come in Deus Ex."
At Tokyo Game Show last month, I got an early peek at Elemental Labs' Reborn, an action RPG with a sci-fi twist that they're aiming to put on both PS3 and PS4 next year. New publisher acttil hosted an event where Elemental Labs' Franz Tissera, CEO, showed off his last year of work on Reborn and announced a Kickstarter campaign.
Reborn is an interesting mix of old and new, folklore and sci-fi. It pulls from the history of Japanese swordsman Musahi Miyamoto and works the famed tale into a bit of a futuristic retelling. They've set this story in Neo-Tokyo, a world where huge corporations rule, and body augmentation is a regular thing.
Assassin's Creed IV it truly an open world experience. There's so much to do, a ton of things to explore, and it's all happening in a near seamless sandbox. I had to know just how long it would take a player to 100% the game, and as I feared, I don't have nowhere near the time to please my OCD nature with this one.
I asked Ashraf Ismail, director on Assassin's Creed IV, how long it would take and he told me that "one guy in the office actually did it two weeks ago for the first time. He got a 100% sync, which was mind blowing. This was one of our testers, so imagine he's a tester who knows the game really well. He's been working on the game for a year and a half. From zero to a hundred on one build [of the game], it took him 48/49 hours. The thing is, he knew what he was doing is the crazy part."
Nearly 50 hours for a guy who knows the game like the back of his hand. Wow. For the rest of us that are not as familiar with the game like this tester is, Ashraf estimates that it will take anywhere from 60 to 80 hours to get a 100% sync.
Don't worry though. For the core storyline, it will take you roughly 20 hours to complete that. Still, beyond the story there's all sorts of side missions, the whole open naval combat, all sorts of hidden things to find -- There's a lot, suffice to say. There's even a throwback to Altaïr's ultimate armor from Assassins' Creed II. You'll find a couple of ultimate-like armors that you'll want, and to get them you'll have a bunch of side activities to engage in.
So yeah, 50 to 80 hours. And that's not even factoring how much time you'll invest in the multiplayer, or even the free companion app for mobile devices.
Capcom are showing their upcoming next-gen game, Deep Down, to the public for the first time here at Tokyo Game Show. This game captured our imaginations following a brief tease during February's PS4 announcement in New York with its flashy visuals and mysterious concepts. Perhaps that's why the booth had wait times of 3 hours or more at Tokyo Game Show today.
I didn't have to wait, but if I did I would have been a bit disappointed by the TGS demo for Deep Down. It's not…well, deep at all. And it's short. It's a tease for a game that I'm hoping will be pretty good.
Yeah, you read that headline right. Trust me, I was having a hard time wrapping my head around it too, but sure enough, a Japanese-style role-playing game from Ubisoft. Even stranger, Child of Light is by writer Jeffrey Yohalem and creative director Pat Plourde, two of the main people behind Far Cry 3.
Child of Light is a 2D action JRPG made on the UbiArt Framework engine, the same engine that's made that last two wonderful-looking Rayman games. The team is looking to make a love letter for JRPG fans, those that fondly remember the golden age of Squaresoft, with influences from Final Fantasy to Grandia.