It’s typical isn’t it? On the week when arguably the two biggest games of the year get released, I suddenly realise I have half a dissertation to hand in…the games industry has never heard of University hand-in season have they? Nevertheless, I’ve suspended my study for an hour to cover some of the big news from the week – and there are some corkers this time.
- Perhaps inevitably, we start with the first launch of the week – Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. I don’t need to describe the attention surrounding this game (having already done it previously on the blog and having just taken a glance at every major gaming website going), and I shouldn’t need to tell you that it has sold the proverbial shedload of copies since it got released on Tuesday. As ever, the interesting news comes once people have got their hands on it, and the ravine in opinion has grown even wider this year it seems; critics have been relatively unanimous in their praise for the game hitting an average of 90 on Metacritic (which puts it behind Batman: Arkham City and Gears 3 interestingly enough), but the public opinion is downright hilarious. User reviews have given the game 2.6 out of 10 – now this could be angry trolls raiding the internet, but I have a feeling that some of these negative reviews will be somewhat truthful. Early reports suggest the campaign is once again far too short, and the COD Elite service has had a few technical hiccups. If you have the game (I sure as hell won’t be getting it), what do you make of it?
- And of the game that did its best to displace COD from its lofty perch, Battlefield 3? Well, despite a few fiasco’s with its launch, EA will be smiling as it shifted five million copies in its first week on sale to become EA’s fastest selling game ever – and when you consider that roster includes stuff like The Sims and FIFA, its one hell of an achievement. Still, it wasn’t enough to stop Black Ops from being at the top of the Xbox Live charts this week, giving yet more evidence to Black Ops exceptional longevity. Oh yeah, Frank Gibeau (President of EA, and therefore one of the most despised men on the internet) also casually dropped a Battlefield 4 mention this week. Imagine the specs required for that bad boy….
- Have you heard of GTA 5? Its this small game that got a debut trailer last week and sent the world into fits of speculation…all joking aside, even a week after the trailer hit the interwebs and after all the minute detailed analysis of the video, GTA 5 is still very much on everyone’s lips. We know that it will be set in San Andreas, but what people do not know is when the game will get released – Take Two have yet to divulge that information, simply listing it tantalisingly as ‘TBA’. I would personally be gobsmacked if it comes out before December next year at least, but Rockstar have been known to work miracles before. Watch this space for any more news
- The Legend Of Zelda is having somewhat a news renaissance at the moment – its only a week now until the long awaited Skyward Sword arrives for the Wii, and there have been some intriguing rumours floating about with regards to the future of the franchise on the 3DS. We have had the Ocarina Of Time remade in 3D, and now apparently Shigeru Miyamoto (resident Nintendo genius who created Mario and Zelda) has hinted that Majora’s Mask may also get a 3D remake, and maybe, just maybe, A Link To The Past from the SNES era might also get the treatment. If a remake of Ocarina was printing money, 3D A Link To The Past would be a gold mine – DO IT NOW NINTENDO!!!!!
- I’m a bit disappointed with Bioware at the moment, in particular over Mass Effect 3. Following a huge mess-up which resulted in early beta gameplay and story spoilers going onto Xbox Live for a brief period, they have now said that as far as multiplayer goes, there will be no LAN option for PC’s and no split screen co-op for consoles. It’s a bit crap really isn’t it?
- Final bit of console news (for now), and it is to say that the Jak & Daxter HD Collection I mentioned was in the works a while back has been confirmed for PS3 on a German listing site. No news yet on whether it will be an console exclusive, but I would guess it will be as Microsoft hates platformers it seems
- Now to the bright lands of PC gaming; and not everything is rosy in World Of Warcraft’s garden at the moment. Despite announcing a rise in profits and getting the new Mists Of Pandaria expansion pack ready for players, 800,000 players have recently left the game. It still leaves the total player base at just over 10 million, but it’s a significant drop, with reports saying that a lot of those came from the East of the world, especiallyChina.
- On the other hand, things keep looking up for Minecraft, which recently got its 4,000,000th paid player added to its rank. The indie game has been a remarkable success, and it’s the all the stranger when you consider its still in beta.
- And I shall end as I started, with news of a big release. As I write, In twelve and a half hours I will be queuing outside of Gamestation in Lincoln to pick up The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Hand on heart, I have not looked forward to a game as much as this since GTA Vice City…and that was near a decade ago. My Friday is going to be very busy indeed with work hand-in’s, but I intend to get a very brief editorial done chronicling my first few hours hands on with the game. And if you are one of the lucky people who have got the game a day early, I hate you very much right now.
I’ll finish off by giving a quick update on what I’m playing at the moment. I have just finished a review of Civilization IV, which will going live not soon after this article, and this week I also purchased a brand new copy of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, to see what the fuss is about – thus far I’m loving it. Before the end of the year, I have pledged to play through Final Fantasy 6 again with a bunch of people from the Gaming Society, and then I have playthroughs of Ocarina Of Time, Rogue Galaxy and Tales Of Phantasia planned – along with casual games of FIFA and Gears 3 stuck in there for good measure. Good bye social life, I barely knew you.