Here’s a quick roundup of some of the big news stories from this week in the gaming world
Positive news for Sony this week – in Europe the PS3 has just passed the 22 million units sold mark (making up roughly 40% of the overall number of PS3’s sold since its launch in 2006). The recent price cuts have only helped to spur people to buy the PS3, which had a very sluggish start to its life but has really picked up the pace on the Xbox 360 over the past two years as its games catalogue increases. In fact, the PS3 is the best selling console of the year thus far, even with the PSN hack scandal that dominated the headlines a few months ago.
Sonic CD is the latest game of the Sonic The Hedgehog franchise to be updated for the new generation. Originally released in 1993 on the Sega CD system (and marking the first appearance of both Metal Sonic and Amy Rose), the updated version will include widescreen graphics, achievements, and the original Japanese soundtrack. It will be hitting all systems this coming Winter. Sonic CD is often considered one of the better Sonic games with its interesting time travel dynamics, and perhaps this re-release will give it the success that it failed to achieve on the doomed Sega CD system.
Crytek recently made their highly impressive CryEngine3 free for people to download, and it seems that it has been quite the success with over 100,000 downloads recorded within a week of it becoming it available to the public. Just remember, if you make a game commercially available using the engine, Crytek will ask for 20% of the revenue – otherwise, go nuts and create some crazy games as you wish
Kinect Star Wars has been delayed by Microsoft, and will not be making the Christmas rush it seems. I can only assume they realised that the game is horribly broken and have decided to fix the thing before the punters can buy it. LucasArts, please just give it up and make Battlefront 3 already.
And finally, some clever gamers managed to get a recording of the FIFA 12 demo in action at Gamescom, and in doing so showed off the ratings for the players of the six demo teams. If they make it to the final version of the game, then it will mark a departure from 90 being the highest threshold a player can reach – Messi is a frankly unbelievable 95 in the demo, and the rest of the teams similarly have some very highly rated players (Tevez is an 88 for City, and Fabregas a 89 for Arsenal…before he moved of course). You can check all the player ratings from the demo via this video.
It’s typical. I decide to delay the news for one day, and then EA amongst others drop multiple bombs at the GamesCom conference in Germany. Oh well, means I’ve got more to write about – and believe me, this stuff is sehr gut (very good, as the Germans would say). Let’s crack on:
The most pertinent thing to discuss is Battlefield 3, and how it has played a massive trump card today. After announcing the addition of co-op gameplay (which seem to be missions separate from the main storyline retaining all the features of normal gameplay) and demonstrating a mission live to the GamesCom audience, they showed off some frankly unbelievable multiplayer footage: the amount of stuff going on in the video is crazy, featuring your standard gun and run action, but with plenty of tanks and other vehicles to keep you occupied.
After a long summer lull where Zumba Fitness has enjoyed a jaw-dropping eight weeks at the top of the game charts, the games industry explodes this fall in what must be said is the most promising, and certainly one of the most competitive, winter seasons for gaming in many years. There are some absolutely top quality titles coming out, and quite simply in this article I am counting down my Top 20 most eagerly anticipated games for the next few months.
20 – Need For Speed: The Run – 15th November
Once upon a time, Need For Speed was the undisputed king of the Christmas sales list; the two Underground games and the fantastic Most Wanted dominated their respective years, but then the series took a turn for the worse with Carbon, before ProStreet (which I had completely forgotten existed) and Underground performed poorly. Criterion’s reboot last year, Hot Pursuit, was a welcome return to form, and now we have The Run, the first game in the series to include on foot segments. Hopefully it will continue Criterion’s good work. Continue reading Dazcooke’s Top 20 Most Anticipated Games For Winter 2011→
(Breaking news as I write) COUNTER STRIKE IS COMING TO XBOX LIVE ARCADE – yep, you heard me right. The game will be called Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and will feature updated versions of maps that have become synonymous with the game, such as de_dust, as well as new game modes and leaderboards. Coming early 2012. Well, can a 12 year old game ignite Xbox Live like it has the PC world?
I like what Codemasters have been doing with the F1 franchise since they got the license; F1 2010 was an excellent start, F1 2011 looks simply gorgeous, and today they announced a new title in the form of a free to play management simulation. F1 Online will feature all the cars, drivers and tracks from the sport, and will allow you to manage a team throughout an entire season, complete with qualifying and practice sessions, while dealing with all the hidden duties of managing an F1 team, such as conducting research and financing teams. You will also have the opportunity to create your own teams and liveries if the pre set teams aren’t up to your liking. I’m never going to own an F1 team, so this is the next best thing – and it sounds ace. More news on it should be available soon from the GamesCom conference to be held next week.
And speaking of GamesCom, EA have said they will reveal the date that the FIFA 12 demo will be available for download on Xbox 360 and PS3 next week. We usually get details of the soundtrack with the demo as well, so that’s something else to look forward to.
And speaking of EA (see what I did there?), news for those who want to play Battlefield 3 on your PC’s this winter – you have to download EA’s digital distribution service, Origin, if you want to buy the game online. This will come as a great annoyance to those who wanted the game on Steam, easily the most popular digital distributor of games available at this time, as EA are allowing the game on other digital distributors services – just not Valve’s. Obviously you can see why EA have taken this decision, as they want the maximum profit from the game, and this can come through them charging the price rather than Valve (EA’s news pitch cites the limitations for DLC and patches as the main reason for not being on Steam), but I wonder if limiting the audience is wise if they truly want to challenge Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which will be available through Steam.
And speaking of Call OF Duty (I’ll stop doing this now…sorry), more news has come about the upcoming ‘Rezurrection’ map pack for Black Ops. The big selling point here of course is that it is a purely all-zombies affair, featuring remakes of four World At War maps and a new proposition, where you fight zombies on the moon. People who bought the Hardened and Prestige copies of Black Ops will get the maps for free, and you also get the Zombies Soundtrack and a dashboard theme thrown into the deal. Not bad at all…if you don’t mind paying for needless remakes. If you didn’t buy the collectors editions it will cost you 1200 MS Points. It will be available on the 23rd August. Check this video for a behind the scenes look at the maps from the guys at Treyarch
Finally, THQ have made some footage of Saints Row: The Third available for people to see. It shows the second mission, where you fight a plane, engage in a freefall where you gun down rival gang members, before culminating in a ridiculous set piece where you hijack a plane which is flying straight for you…as OTT as you’d expect then, The footage is a few weeks old, but the news sites only seem to have got a hold of it these last two days for some strange reason
Now that I have an afternoon free, I’ve decided to do the usual roundup of the most interesting/biggest news in the games industry over the past week or so. There is a fair bit to cover, so I have resorted to the journalist’s old friend, the bullet point list, to get everything concise. Let’s jump in shall we?
Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 (the super edition of the popular fighter with all the bells and whistles on it) has been announced, and it was swiftly followed by video footage showing four new characters. And then even more swiftly, all 12 new characters were leaked, including the long demanded inclusion of Capcom favourites Nemesis and Phoenix Wright. I have to say that the Marvel side looks a tad weak, surely they have put Venom in there somewhere? Anyway, if Super Street Fighter 4 is anything to go by, expect it to be relatively cheap when it comes out, and if you don’t fancy having all the new characters, I would expect the standard version price to drop like a stone as well.
Activision has confirmed a new game, and it’s a shooter; not Call Of Duty 7, but a Xbox 360 and PS3 version of Goldeneye 007, to be named Goldeneye 007: Reloaded. The game had been previously released on the Wii, but these updates will include HD graphics and a new set of MI6 Ops Missions (*cough cough ITS SPEC OPS FROM MODERN WARFARE 2*). Also expect an updated multiplayer mode to deal with Xbox Live & PSN.
Suda 51, the crazy man behind the likes of Killer 7, has announced his new take on the zombie genre with his game ‘Lollipop Chainsaw’. It will feature a cheerleader riding around a school environment on rollerskates….massacring zombies with a chainsaw. Don’t expect gore and blood however, as Suda wants the game to be ‘pop entertainment’, so zombies will explode in all the colours of the rainbow. Sounds insane. Good.
Catherine, the puzzler-cum-dating simulator from Atlus, will be making its way to European shores after a period of uncertainty over its release. It will be published by Deep Silver in PAL regions.
EA have announced an ‘unprecedented deal’ for FIFA 12, and they have signed it with….Manchester City. The deal means that the players have had the 360 degree camera treatment to get their faces in game (and they look scarily accurate), and City fans will be able to get a look at the new kit exclusively in the game. A few things to note; Tevez isn’t any of the trailers for the news so EA have been wise to the fact he may leave the club, Man City’s players will now be massively overrated in the game (sponsor players always have been), and finally, why Manchester City? Sure they are muchos rich…o, but they aren’t the highest profile team that EA could have got.
And in more football game news, Konami have revealed the new fantastic dynamic (their words, not mine) which will debut in PES 2012: using the right analogue stick, you can control another player while dribbling with the left stick, making attacking easier and more flexible. Good luck to them; I predict it will be a ball-ache to use and will not encourage FIFA fans like myself to make the jump to the other side.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 will be released in America in January 2012, just one month after its release in Japan. An early contender for RPG of the year then, at least before Mass Effect 3 comes out.
Saints Row 3: we knew it was going to be over the top and crazy, and the confirmed voice actors for the game just reinforces this idea. The voice of the leader of the luchadore wrestling gang is none other than Hulk Hogan. This game is going to be ridiculous….brother.
The achievement list for Resident Evil 4 HD has been released. Two things to note on this, first of all that Capcom have not forgotten about it having announced it ages ago, and secondly that the list equals 1000 points, amking it the first Xbox Live Arcade game to have such a total. No word yet on whther this trend will spread or not.
Before I go, I will quickly outline what I hope to do with the blog for the next few weeks or so. Obviously I will keep updating with any news if it comes my way, but as far as reviews go, expect the likes of Crash Team Racing, Final Fantasy 9, Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence and Final Fantasy 13 to be hitting your webpages soon. Cheers for reading.