What do developers do when their game has been off the grid for so long that people think it’s been canceled? Get some attention with a shocking trailer, of course! Techland has recently released a chilling trailer for their new open-world zombie game Dead Island. The trailer is unsettling as much as it is moving.
While no actual gameplay was shown, the trailer (as well as the developer) did reveal that there will be a heavy emphasis on melee combat. It’s a vastly different take when compared to Valve’s zombie blasta-thon; Left 4 Dead. Instead of arming players to the teeth with automatics and magical ammo drops, Dead Island will have players scrounging for AND customizing improvised weapons that will deteriorate over time.
The developer’s website http://deadisland.deepsilver.com/deadisland.php details Dead Island as a cooperative first-person action/RPG. How it all comes together remains to be seen. As of now, there is no release date besides a very broad 2011 window. Hopefully some gameplay and a solid release date will surface soon (*ahem* E3).
Check out the trailer below.
If you haven’t seen the video game headlines lately, Activision has been making some pretty strong cuts all around. In an apparent attempt to trim down the excess fat of the company, game franchises and now even entire companies are being cut from the mega-publisher. Here is what has happened so far.
Activision announces it will “disband Activision Publishing’s Guitar Hero business unit”
When I first saw this news article, two immediate thoughts came into my head. The first? WHAT!? The Second? It was going to happen eventually. We’ve all seen the news: the music game industry is declining fast. The novelty that was playing plastic instruments and feeling like a rock star has worn off significantly. With so many music games out there, the market was overwhelmed with cheap plastic and a bundle of game discs. It was shocking to see that the once almighty Guitar Hero franchise was ending its days, but now that I look at it, I shouldn’t be surprised at all. Over twenty games in a 5 year period, with the majority falling in the later years. The market simply couldn’t handle this. The DJ Hero series, which is part of the Guitar Hero franchise, has been put on hold.
Going hand in hand with the disbanding, Activision has also shut down Red Octane, the original developers of Guitar Hero, and have severely cut the staff of Neversoft.
Next on the list: Activision cuts the True Crime franchise.
This is the open world crime game developed by United Front Games. The newest installment, True Crime: Hong Kong was due later this year. The reasoning behind this cut? “It just wasn’t going to be good enough” – Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg.
Continuing on with the game franchises, The Tony Hawk series has been put on hold.
Honestly, I’m not even going to complain about this one; they had it coming and those games just plain sucked.
Lastly, as of now, Activision is shutting down Bizarre Creations.
This one hit me the hardest and inspired me to write this article. I am a huge fan of Bizarre Creations and hate to see that Activision is ending their run. For those who don’t know, Bizarre Creations is behind the madly addictive XBLA game Geometry Wars and the racing game Blur, which I actually found insanely fun. The saddest part to this story is that Activision only just recently bought Bizarre Creations back in 2007. It really does suck to lose them.
Now I may have missed another cut or hold that Activision has released, but this is what I have compiled as of now. And I get the feeling this list is going to grow even larger.
The other day I laid down a solid sixty-something dollars on an upcoming fighting game that I’ve been looking forward to. For as long as I can remember, it was all I ever wanted to play. In case you haven’t got the slightest clue, it’s Marvel vs Capcom 3. I gave a certain evil retailer my hard-earned money and counted the days until it’s arrival.
And then Capcom dropped a two-character DLC bomb on my happiness. The SPECIAL edition of MvC3 has a DLC Voucher (amongst other things) that will let players download Shuma Gorath and Jill Valentine for free. Meanwhile, standard edition owners (like me :(), will have to wait a few weeks down the road to download these additional characters.
Hearing the news I rushed back to the store I placed my reserve and tried to switch my standard edition reserve to the “Special” edition. To no avail, I was told by the person behind the counter that the “Special” edition is only sold at certain retailers and that the one I was at isn’t one of them.
There weren’t enough sighs in the world. I didn’t feel like driving all over the place to find the stores that carried the edition I wanted with the extra characters. I just let my reserve sit on the standard edition and walked away defeated.
MvC3 isn’t the only fighting game that has post-release character DLC. This is unfortunate in my book since the bread and butter of a fighting game is the character roster that is included with them. Namco borderline rapped consumers when they released Soul Calibur 4 and released console-specific DLC characters with an asking price of $5 for ONE extra character. Super Street Fighter 4 was a great all-around package with a robust roster and extra stages, but Capcom has remained elusive as to whether or not they’ll be adding more characters.
Upcoming games like MvC3 and Mortal Kombat are already boasting retailer-specific DLC and additional characters. MK kreator (see what I did there?) Ed Boon has gone on record teasing extra characters as DLC. This simply confuses the consumer and makes the full retail price of a $59.99 fighting game seem disconcerting. I understand that developers have to make money and by the time a game goes gold there may not be room or time for all that content to be shipped with the disc. However, from a gaming consumer’s standpoint, it makes the full asking price of a $59.99 fighting game seem insubstantial. While I paid full-price, it never feels like I got all the game has to offer.
Even with all this bitching about paying for DLC characters; guess what? I’m still gonna buy them as soon as they hit XBL Marketplace or PSN. I know, I’m a sucker and I’ll be the first person to admit that. I’m only contributing to the problem of the nickel-and-diming DLC epidemic, but I believe it is not entirely my fault as a consumer. It’s also the developer/publisher’s fault for dividing this content so strongly.
People can argue that, “Hey if you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Voice your objection through your wallet.” I understand and respect the idea behind that statement, however, I’m not going to sit idly by and miss out on meaningful DLC. Essentially, I just don’t want to miss out. Even if I resist purchasing these extra characters at first, I’ll inevitably find myself at the virtual check-out. The fault isn’t solely placed on the consumers; but also on the developers, publishers, and retailers that continue to perpetuate this ugly (but understandably profitable) trend. It’s a vicious vicious circle.
Still… I can’t wait to play as Shuma and Jill…
Mass Effect 2 was last year’s gaming blockbuster. Now, it’s finally touching down on Sony’s platform for PS3 gamers to enjoy. However, numerous owners are experiencing difficulty logging into the Cerberus Network and redeeming the DLC that comes with the game. The DLC includes a few extra characters as well as expansion missions that weren’t originally included when it was released last year on the Xbox 360 and PC. It also includes a digital comic that allows players to make decisions from the first Mass Effect title that will impact the events of the second. Unfortunately, since the servers are undergoing maintenance none of those incentives are redeemable at this time. This leaves PS3 owners twiddling their thumbs and waiting some more. Sad face 😦
UPDATE: EA is offering owners experiencing problems with the DLC a $20 credit to the EA Store. That softens the blow a bit eh?
You’re in a constant state of running, leaping across chasms, stomping on turtles and flying fish, beating this mysterious clock in the upper-right hand corner of the screen, swimming through an entire level on one breath, cramming yourself down (up?) claustrophobic pipes, surviving purely on the consumption of mushrooms and flowers, vanquishing fire-breathing reptilians in a seemingly endless castle – ALL WITHOUT BEING TOUCHED ONCE (or twice).
Only to run across the biggest “fuck you” in gaming… and this week’s quote of the week. Damn you Toad… damn you.
Legendary Pictures has recently released a new trailer for the upcoming Zack Snyder film, Sucker Punch. It is to be Zack Snyder’s self-proclaimed masterpiece that ISN’T based on another IP *ahem* Dawn of the Dead, 300, Watchmen *ahem*.
The film’s plot involves a young girl that gets institutionalized by her stepfather and finds herself locked away in an insane asylum/burlesque …house? Yeah, you heard right.
The female protagonist copes with her incarceration by envisioning her escape. Within the realm of her mind she is able to formulate a plan to break free from those that have detained her. Apparently, it involves mechs, fire-breathing dragons, undead samurai, Nazis, and cyborg ninjas. Sign. Me. Up.
The film is slated to be released on March 25, 2011
The studio that developed the beloved Persona series has yet another over-the-top, super Japanese title up their sleeves. Atlus will be releasing a game simply called “Catherine”. It will be the Japanese developer’s first HD title that will be touching down in BOTH Sony and Microsoft’s camp.
The story follows a man named Vincent who keeps having recurring nightmares once the mysterious title character Catherine shows up in his life. Every night since their first “encounter”, the dreams get progressively worse as he finds himself constantly fighting for a way out of his nightmarish limbo.
It seems to stay in line with the Persona series by completely reveling in it’s strong sense of Japanese culture and just oozes with an almost eastern Guy Ritchie style. While Atlus is normally known for their compelling RPGs, “Catherine” is set to be the developer’s first interesting foray into the horror genre.
As of right now, it is slated for release in Japan on February 17th, 2011. No official dates have been set for other regions… boo 😦