When Demon's Souls was released and I wrote up my review, many readers didn't believe that I had actually completed the game. But I didn't get what all the buzz was about, because I've never found the Souls series to be pa...
[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.
It's believed that Grand Theft Auto V will release for PC in the first quarter of 2014, reports Eurogamer. "I don't think it'll be console exclusive very long," said Chris Silva, an Intel director of marketing, chatting with PC Gamer. "But that's what happens when you have a brand new launch with two companies that have lots of money trying to make sure they have content."
Rockstar's official line on the matter is that "We don't have anything to share about the possibility of a next-gen or a PC platform release at this time and we are completely focused on delivering the best possible experience for the consoles people have right now."
While I'm thankful to get some GTA V time in using Conrad's copy, truth be told, I'm cautious not to get too invested in the main story knowing how much better the game could be on PC. GTA Online, however, I don't mind playing now. Until roaming gangs of players mercilessly and systematically hunt me down. Actually, that's kind of hilarious, in retrospect.
If you haven’t played the eXcellent XCOM: Enemy Unknown, you should. However, now there is a caveat to that. You should play it, but you should probably wait until November 12 to do so because that’s when the Enemy Within eXpansion comes out
Those who own Enemy Unknown on PC or Mac will need to plunk $30 down on the expansion and start a new XCOM campaign to eXperience the content. Console owners can nab a bundle of Enemy Unknown, all its DLC, and Enemy Within for $40, which is a particularly lovely deal if you haven’t picked the game up yet.
Grand Theft Auto V was undoubtedly one of the most exciting open-world games in recent memory, but the question remained -- how much would Grand Theft Auto Online add to the package? At first, it was looking pretty good for GTA Online, because in my initial impressions period, I had very little problems getting online and playing. But unfortunately, it seems to have only gotten worse as of late.
Rockstar has a really great game on its hands -- perhaps its best multiplayer offering to date by a mile. The company just really needs to get all of the crippling online issues out of the way as soon as possible.
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.
It's here! It's finally here! Pokemon X and Y is out this week for the 3DS and it's pretty much going to be the only thing anyone talks about leading up to the next-gen consoles. Oh, Beyond: Two Souls is also out this week. It has emotions and stuff. You like emotions, right?
Other biggies this week are two repacked re-releases: Borderlands 2 and Dishonored Game of the Year Editions. Oh, videogame industry. No wonder gamers love Steam sales so much.
I swore hand over heart that I would not spoil the resolution of Burial at Sea, so that will remain a mystery until the rest of you fine citizens get to enjoy it before the holidays. However, to give you a sneak peek at Burial at Sea: Episode 1, some spoilers will naturally occur.
You're Booker, Private Investigator; your office exists in the heart of Rapture in 1958. Elizabeth walks into your office, reminiscent of a scene from the Maltese Falcon, and employs you to search for a missing girl named Sally. You tell her Sally is dead, but Elizabeth has reason to believe she's still alive.
And from here, your quest in a Rapture set before the downfall begins.
Although Rockstar has quite a bit of basic multiplayer experience with Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3, it has never tackled something quite as ambitious as Grand Theft Auto Online. As a result, millions of players have experienced hangups time and time again, as they wrestle connection issues in attempting to play Rockstar's first grand online experiment.
Possibly due to a sheer stroke of luck, I was able to get into Rockstar's latest venture for hours on end, and found that once you make your way past some incredibly questionable presentation design, there's a ton of fun to be had in a multiplayer-centric version of Los Santos.
Grand Theft Auto Online is finally here, and despite the connection issues that come with any massive online launch, I've been able to play a fair amount of it.
Although I haven't spent as much time with Online as I have with Grand Theft Auto V's story mode, I've come across a few useful tips throughout my journey of killing hundreds of players and stealing hundreds of cars.
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.
The fact that Grand Theft Auto Online has microtransactions -- which Rockstar has come out to confirm today -- bothered some people far more than I would've expected. Considering how ambitious the base multiplayer experience sounds, and knowing that free content updates are planned, it's hard for me to feel angry. Or feel much of anything. I do get the concern that real-money purchases of in-game currency could break GTA Online. Here's Rockstar's response:
"The game and its economy have been designed and balanced for the vast majority of players who will not buy extra cash. There is no in-game paywall and nothing that should disrupt the balance of the game. You don’t have to spend real money to attain the cars, guns, clothes, flash and style of a high-roller in Los Santos, but can if you wish to get them a little quicker. The economy is balanced differently from the single player economy, and cash earned in one cannot be taken over to the other. Most players will earn cash much faster Online than in Story Mode."
That said, there will be growing pains. The company is really pushing for feedback in the early weeks of GTA Online -- both in terms of technical issues and the direction it should take for future updates. October 1, 2013 will be here before we know it. I'm looking forward to Online more than any other aspect of GTA V. Hope my expectations aren't out of whack.
Take-Two Interactive announced today that Grand Theft Auto V has pulled in $800 million in worldwide sales from launch day alone. This is the highest first day retail sales of any GTA game, and in the history of the company.
This also marks a new record in day-one sales in general, as the previous record holder was Call of Duty: Black Ops II with first-day sales in the $500 million range. Grand Theft Auto IV made $310 million in the first 24 hours back in 2008.
Are you playing Grand Theft Auto V now that it's finally out? So am I! Actually, I've been playing it for a little while now, and I've gathered some of the things I've learned throughout my travels and put them into one quick video.
One of the biggest things I can suggest is to switch between all three playable characters if you've saturated all your mission icons, as it can be a bit puzzling sometimes to find out where to go next without a contextual action springing up. As always, feel free to share any tips you're uncovering throughout your own gameplay sessions in the comments.
Writing an introduction to a Grand Theft Auto review seems unnecessary. If you know videogames, you know Grand Theft Auto. Hell, even if you don't know videogames, there's a better than low chance you know Grand Theft Auto. The "bad boy" of the games industry for many years, few titles have generated as much controversy -- and sold as many copies -- as Rockstar's premier crime series.
It's been twelve years, however, since the seminal GTA III, and times have changed. As videogames become more mainstream, and the inherent violence in many of them reach a point of normalization, the once shocking world of Grand Theft Auto isn't quite so hair-raising anymore. In an age where game budgets have skyrocketed and scale is everything, the idea of a huge immersive world doesn't impress as GTA: San Andreas once did. No longer the rebellious firebrand, GTA is a part of the old guard -- it's been around forever, and we know its tricks by now.
Grand Theft Auto V, to its immense credit, seems to embrace this. It's a story about old men who aren't what they used to be -- and worse, never changed -- in a world of younger competitors and a society that outpaced them. GTA V does, in many ways, act as a gleeful celebration of the Grand Theft Auto series, and a slightly smirking self criticism.