Congratulations to Skyrim, which picked up three awards at the Golden Joystick awards yesterday including the much coveted Ultimate Game Of The Year
THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM (2011) – BETHESDA GAME STUDIOS
It feels like a very long time since I queued in the cold to pick up a copy of Skyrim last November. Since that moment, hours and days have seamlessly passed me by as I have explored the vast and engrossing world that Skyrim offers up to those who take the plunge. A few weeks ago, I finally managed to complete all the major quests that the game can throw at you – and since then I have had the trouble to trying to evaluate in my own words what hundreds of publications have already elaborated upon. Perfect scores and ‘Game Of The Year’ awards across the board have cemented Skyrim as a truly magnificent achievement for video games; what follows is simply my two cents on what Skyrim had to offer to me. Continue reading Shoot A Dragon In The Knee, Save The World – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review
Yep, it’s the time of the year when the gaming world zooms in on Los Angeles as E3 gets underway. The big conferences start on Monday 4th June, but as ever some eager developers want to get their offerings out there as soon as possible, and therefore today we have had a steady flood of news from the expo floor. As with last year, I aim to do my best as an amateur games journalist to try and sum up the biggest news over the next few days. So, to kick things off, here’s the big news that has been revealed today: Continue reading E3 2012 – Day One News Update
I must begin this article with an apology. It’s been quite a few hectic weeks for me – deadlines and exams, finishing off society work, and in the last few days the sun has decided to burn Britain to a crisp so there has been much socialising to do. Alongside this, I’ve been writing up my next project for the blog, which should come to fruition over the next week or so. All of this means that news updates have been somewhat non-existent. To make up for this, I deliver to you a very short and sharp news blitz:
- After a slight lull in big titles through March and April, the big hitters came back in force during May. Rockstar Games Max Payne 3 has a fine average of 87 on Metacritic, and despite some massive game errors at launch Diablo 3 has earned the record of being the fastest selling PC game ever, shifting 3.5 million copies on the day of release.
- Alongside the big releases, some games have been delayed though – the latest casualty to join Bioshock: Infinite in 2013 is DmC, the reboot of the Devil May Cry franchise. The game will now be released on January 18th 2013 worldwide.
- The boxart for Halo 4 has been revealed. I like it
- Those of us who have played the hell out of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim may be surprised to learn that Bethesda are still adding new features to the game. Alongside the usual raft of bug fixtures, the 1.6 patch will finally allow you to swing a weapon while riding a horse, allowing for mounted combat; a feature that has been a long time coming in my opinion.
- In a double whammy for Persona lovers, Persona 4: Arena has been confirmed for a European release on both PS3 and Xbox 360, and the opening for Persona 4: Golden (the enhanced remake of the magnificent original game set for release on the PS Vita) was popped onto Youtube last night. The animation was done by the studio, Madhouse, who are experts in the field – check it out via this link.
- Finally, this year marks the 25th anniversary of one of the most loved franchises in gaming: Street Fighter. And to celebrate, Capcom have put together a tantalising Collector’s Edition set for release on September 18th in America for $150. For your money you get quite a bit: Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Street Fighter III 3rd Strike Online Edition, Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition and Street Fighter X Tekken(all playable on PS3 and Xbox 360), a two-disc Blu-Ray set which includes a documentary and the Street Fighter IV & Super Street Fighter IV Anime movies as well as all episodes of the Street Fighter animated series and Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, a 8” light-up statue of Ryu, an 11-Disc Soundtrack, a 64-page Hardcover Art Book, and a replica of Ryu’s martial arts belt. Sold!
So what you got to look forward to in the next few weeks? I’ll be travelling down to London tomorrow for the annual MCM Expo, and I hope to get some hands on time with a few of the games being showcased there, including Lollipop Chainsaw which is getting its first UK showing – if I find anything cool, expect a report on Monday. And as promised, hopefully my latest project should begin next week as well, as I count down the ’20 Games That Changed The World’. In the meantime, enjoy the blue skies and sunny weather
News update time methinks
- Yesterday, Bethesda Studios announced The Elder Scrolls Online, a new MMO which will take place in the world of Tamriel. The game (which has apparently been in development since 2007) will allow you to travel over the enormous world of the Elder Scrolls universe as you engage in a plot that sees various factions fighting for the position of the Emperor. Series traditions such as the Thieves Guild and the Dark Brotherhood are expected to make an appearance, as well as PvP combat between the various factions. No details have been outed yet on what structure the game will take with regards to money (seeing as free to play MMORPG’s have become quite popular as of late, and the likes of Guild Wars 2 will get by on a one time purchase fee). Judging by the screenshots that were released yesterday, it seems we might be seeing this game sooner than some of us might have perhaps expected.
- And continuing the Bethesda trend, we have more details on the first piece of DLC for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The DLC will be called ‘Dawnguard’…and that’s all we know. They are keeping very quiet about what the DLC adventures will involve, but some eager eyed players found models for Snow Elf’s amongst other things in a recent update file, suggesting it may deal with the Falmer and their origins.
- The ridiculous success of Angry Birds Space continues in emphatic fashion. Developers Rovio this week revealed that the free to download title for Android, iOS, PC and Mac has reached the figure of 50,000,000 downloads in just 35 days…which works out at roughly 17 downloads every second.
- Finally, there’s some new game called Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 that has been officially unveiled this week. Its set in the future, has mechanised armies taking on humans, updated zombie modes, blah blah blah…I’m sorry for the scepticism, but have Activision ever heard of giving a series a break? It was perhaps inevitable that the series was going to move into the near distant future (after all, pretty much every historical setpiece since World War Two has now been featured in the franchise), but the series is growing noticeably more tired with every instalment now. Seriously, give the developers a year off, spruce up the engine and the game (and the FPS market as a whole) will be better for it.
Here are the important headlines from the last week in the gaming world:
- Where would the news industry be these days without internet leaks? This week we had a bonanza as two games had more news unveiled before their developers intended. First up are Pokemon Black & White 2, which had new details spoiled in Japanese comic CoroCoro. Among the biggest changes (all of which are listed here by the ever useful Bulbapedia) is that two years after the original games, large parts of Unova has been frozen over. There are also two new gym leaders (a Poison and Water gym respectively), a new starting city, and some Pokemon that were previously excluded from the Unova region are now present from the start. The entire game world of Unova also looks like it has been given a pretty serious revamp to prevent accusations of a copy and paste job. The first official trailer for the game was released yesterday in Japan, which you can view via this link.
- And the second leak concerns Crysis 3. After an image of a future solider holding a crossbow was released on Origin, EA have come out and confirmed the existence of the game, as well as stating that further details will be released on Monday 16th April. Expect the Crytek game to look outstanding and probably be based in a ruined city once again.
- Do you remember Skyrim? You know, the game that came out last November which you may or may not have played to death since? Well, if you have completed the game on Xbox 360 and own a Kinect, you now have reason to go back to it, as this week Bethesda confirmed Kinect support for the title. Set for release around 23rd April, the update will allow Kinect users to operate the game with over 200 voice commands at their disposals, including control over menu navigation, follower commands, and most importantly Dragon Shouts – meaning that everyone’s interpretation of ‘FUS RO DAH’ will actually do something now. Make note however that it won’t be a full update; in order to control movement and fighting you will still need your trusty controller to hand. Bethesda have also remained pretty coy about upcoming DLC for Skyrim, simply maintaining that they are hard at work on new content.
- Finally, you know that you have hit the big time in gaming when Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong amongst other things) heaps praise upon your game, and that has been the case this week with Rovio’s stupendously successful Angry Birds series. Miyamoto stated that the bird flinging mobile game is ‘one of those games that I immediately appreciated when I first started playing’; even going to the lengths of stating that he wished he had invented it for the DS. Angry Birds Space, the latest free release, was downloaded over 10,000,000 times in just 3 days after its release last month – who knows, maybe one day the series will hit a billion sales one day.
The clock has just hit 12:30 here, and I am currently sitting bored of dissertation work in a library. Time to get some news rounded up:
- It’s surprising how quickly rumours can be confirmed nowadays – what was mere speculation hours ago has been confirmed as a legitimate project in the form of LittleBigPlanet Karting. Concrete details at the moment are pretty sparse, but it seems like it will be a PS3 only title under the helm of United Front Games (the minds behind ModNation Racing, another PS3 exclusive), and that their may be a Move-compatible wheel being made as well. As much as I don’t wish to be sceptical, it seems like a quick cash in: Mario Kart is undoubtedly the king of the genre, and slapping a karting label on a popular exclusive franchise such as LittleBigPlanet seems a bit lazy. It also disappoints me as it may well mean Naughty Dog will not give us UnKarted….
- And in other PS3 news, I’m afraid that PSN is dead….but don’t despair, as the service is simply being renamed as SEN (Sony Entertainment Network) under a new firmware update for the console. Version 4.10 will also look to increase the speed of the internet browser facility that the PS3 offers.
- Credit where credit is due – Activision sure know how to print money. They’ve done it on multiple occasions with the Call Of Duty and Guitar Hero franchises, and now it seems we have another cash cow to add to their collection in the form of the Skylander’s series. The toy/game hybrid which involves you buying real life character models to put into the game has been ridiculously successful and all but killed off Spyro The Dragon as a credible character (for which I will NEVER forgive Activision), and there’s now a sequel – Skylander’s Giants. The game will introduce eight new characters and feature forwards compatibility with the characters from the first game. Cool. If you want a proper Spyro game may I recommend the gold old days of Spyro 2 and Spyro 3?
- FIFA 12’s reign of terror (or if you are a FIFA fan like me, reign of awesomeness) at the top of the UK Sales Chart is over. The footballing juggernaut has finally been displaced by Final Fantasy XIII-2 which debuted in the charts at the number one spot. The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection also debuted strongly at number two, while Soul Calibur V debuted at a disappointing number five. The rest of the top 10 is made up of the usual suspects, including Battlefield 3, FIFA 12 and Assassins Creed: Revelations.
- The long awaited 1.4 patch of Skyrim is finally out for PC owners, and will be hitting Xbox Live today as well. Agonisingly for PS3 owners, the release date for that system has not yet been announced – and that’s the one that people will scrutinise as Bethesda have promised in earnest that it will remove the lag problem that has made the game unplayable for many PS3 owners. As for me, I’ll be able to enjoy finally being able to put weapons onto racks again on the Xbox 360 version.
- Finally, a quick roundup of the titles that have come on sale this week. On the retail front, you can pick up The Darkness 2 & Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning for Xbox 360 and PS3, while the Jak & Daxter HD Collection is a PS3 exclusive. On the handheld front, Resident Evil Revelations has been released for the 3DS, and on the digital front you can pick up The Simpsons Arcade Game, Shank 2 and Gotham City Impostors.
That’s all the news for this week; before I go I would just like to point you in the direction of my Best Video Game Music series that I am slowly adding to, and towards the link for a weekly podcast I am doing with a good friend of mine, Callum Loughlin. Its free, so why not give it a listen? Otherwise, I wish you all good day.