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The Weekly Wrap – CoD: Elite, Kojima, pre-E3 insanity

Saturday, 4 June 2011 16:31 GMT By Nathan Grayson

E3′s next week. We’ve been continuously wetting ourselves for the past 48 hours. You know, in a manly way. But let’s not forget the calm before the storm. Or rather, the storm before the storm.

Call of Duty: Elite officially revealed – all the details

What happened: Activision finally took the wraps off its mysterious Call of Duty subscription service – most of which will actually leave your piggybank happy and healthy as the day you first jammed a bunch of coins in its back crevice. It’s free, we suppose is what we’re trying to say.

What it means: “Blah blah blah Halo’s been doing this for years blah blah blah Call of Duty burned down my home, devoured my family, and totally never returned those DVDs I lent it.” It’s fairly surprising to see just how adamant gamers have been about not giving Elite the time of day, though the general reaction is hardly unexpected. Whipping boy, lightning rod, whipping boy whose best friend is a lightning rod – call it whatever you want. Fact is, it’s cool to hate on Call of Duty these days – oftentimes blindly so.

Granted, when the pitchforks and torches come out, Call of Duty is far from some innocent martyr. Even so, there are two sides to the coin. Call of Duty’s making some interesting moves in the social space – especially where Facebook integration is concerned – and deserves full credit for that. “Try something new already,” gamers constantly cry. Well, here you go. Baby steps, sure, but Elite’s praise-worthy nonetheless. Plus, we have to admit that rounding up some like-minded folks (via Facebook interests) and chatting about the latest Game of Thrones episode while also shooting dudes in the face is an idea we can definitely get behind.

Konami announces MGS, ZoE, Silent Hill HD Collections

What happened: Hideo Kojima waxed I-need-a-hug heartbroken about “meaningless” years and playing hooky from E3, but still managed to pretty much steal the show without attending it. Metal Gear Solid: Rising was sadly hidden away during Konami’s Big Boss of a bash, but MGS and Zone of the Enders HD collections and a sneak peek at a brand new engine went a long way toward making up for it.

What it means: Transfarring. We’ll get to the actual nitty gritty “what it means” stuff in a moment, but for now, what? There are no words – mostly because that isn’t one. We have mailed The English Language a basket full of cookies and meticulously constructed sentences, because we know it’s going through a difficult time. Anyway, Konami! We’re suckers for nostalgia and all, but Konami’s hitting the old back catalog pretty hard here. Don’t get us wrong: Kojima and co will do a double-take when they realize the majority of MGS: HD Collection’s day-one sales came from a small GameStop in north Texas. And Zone of the Enders? Do you accept credit cards soaked in anticipatory sweat and hurled in your general direction with enough force to slay a grown rhinoceros? Even so, Konami’s clearly treading water for now, with a very promising 2012 looking a lot more like its main event.

As for Kojima’s next project, who even knows? The Fox engine rendered some very nice trees, but – given Kojima’s history of notoriously long development cycles – who’s to say it won’t be woefully obsolete before the game even comes out? Perhaps it’s scalable for “next-gen” platforms? Or maybe it’s intended to fall toward the lower-end, so as to put all its eggs in transfarring’s basket. If that’s the case, we like it in theory, but it also opens the door for a flood of lazy PS3-NGP ports.



Microsoft talks “entertainment” future of Xbox, drops E3 hints

What happened: Microsoft didn’t beat around the bush. The Xbox is through being “just” a game console, it said, and crunched some particularly large numbers to back up its claims. Then it broke math by using the word “entertainment” more times in a single blog post than actually thought possible within the bounds of this space-time continuum.

What it means: It’s hard to argue against added functionality, but it becomes slightly easier when you’re losing out on the reason you purchased the machine in the first place. Games. We want to shoot things and fight monsters – to visit strange, new worlds and grievously wound their inhabitants. That’s what we signed up for, anyway. So now the question arises: Is the Xbox 360 a game console that also has a suite of entertainment features, or is it a living room centerpiece that also plays games? E3, of course, will have the final say on the matter, but Microsoft’s mission statement seemed to be more than a little chummy with the latter.

So, is Microsoft setting its aging box up for a fall? Well, failure to quickly capitalize on Kinect’s momentum aside, Microsoft’s done a pretty good job of broadening its brand’s audience this generation. And sure, an Xbox may not be the best Netflix/Hulu/music/ESPN-spin-off-that-no-one-watches player, but it is convenient. And sacrificing quality for convenience? Most people will do it in a heartbeat. Why do you think fast food chains now roam the earth – roaring and devouring smaller competitors as the dinosaurs of yore once did years ago?  So then, the only real loser here? Why, that’d be you, John Q. Hardcoregamer. Really sorry about that. But hey, at least you have a cool last name.



NGP: Launch games official, pre-E3 info explodes

What happened: Sony said it didn’t stand a snow sculpture of a delicate kitten’s chance in hell of competing with smartphones. Then it named its next portable machine as though it were – wait for it – a high-end smartphone. Also, games!

What it means: The NGP or the Vitamin Water or whatever we’re calling it is coming out swinging. Between a desert dry game lineup and a giant eShop-shaped hole, the 3DS’ early days have been something of a disaster. The NGP, on the other hand, appears to be seriously getting its affairs in order instead of being haphazardly flung out the door. The launch lineup has a decent many heavy hitters, Sony’s not trying to butt heads with mobile game developers, and the hardware sounds like a dream constructed specifically to combat people’s PSP analog nub-based nightmares. The only big question mark left at this point is price, but with a bite from the PS3 pricing debacle still stinging, odds are against Sony shooting too incredibly high.



First Tomb Raider trailer confirms autumn 2012 release

What happened: It was a really good week for ultra-snazzy announcement trailers. Darksiders II, Aliens: Colonial Marines, and Metro: Last Light all turned heads in spectacular fashion. And then there was Tomb Raider, which made us feel incredibly bad for all the times we’ve yelped in pain over paper cuts or stubbed toes. Because seriously, ouch. We’re guessing Lara’s not getting an auto-regen health system in this one, then.

What it means: Well, most obviously, 2012 is going to be a good year. We’d rather not be forced to look and not touch for an entire 365 days, of course, but that’s simply the way these things work. Beyond that, though, we have to ask: Is there any particular reason we’re even doing E3 anymore? Sure, it has its fun side, but if every publisher under the sun’s going to let all their cats out of the bag before the big show, then why spend so much time and money on what’s essentially a repeat viewing? Couple that with pre-E3 demo events for most of the major press outlets and you have a recipe for obsolescence. Dear gaming industry, please try making sense again. Smooches, our aching brains.

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2 Comments

  1. mathare92

    Beyond that, though, we have to ask: Is there any particular reason we’re even doing E3 anymore? Sure, it has its fun side, but if every publisher under the sun’s going to let all their cats out of the bag before the big show, then why spend so much time and money on what’s essentially a repeat viewing?

    Precisely. Pre-E3 has become the new E3. :(

    #1 4 years ago
  2. jacobvandy

    Well, E3 is about more than gaming; that’s just what’s become most popular about it. It’s a trade show, not a public convention, so a lot of what goes on there is stuff that we never see or hear about, closed-door meetings and whatnot. Then there’s the hands-on aspect for people that attend, and the major press conferences sprung up around it out of convenience (the industry is already gathered, might as well take advantage of that audience). Pre-show announcements will never replace E3 itself (why do you think they started the event in the first place?); if anything, the gaming press orgy will spin off into its own thing. And perhaps you should wait another week before pronouncing that there’s nothing left for them to tell us… Think of it this way: If they were willing to show us all this already, what are they holding back for E3?

    #2 4 years ago

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  • Battlefield Hardline will support AMD’s Mantle

    AMD has confirmed what most Battlefield fans thought. Battlefield Hardline will indeed support Mantle. Battlefield Hardline will support Mantle, AMD has confirmed. Some players weren’t sure whether the retail version of the game will support AMD’s API, due to its absence from the recent PC beta. AMD did not say whether the feature will be […]

  • Unreal Engine 4 GDC 2015 sizzle reel shows what the tech can do

    Unreal Engine 4 is a pretty versatile bit of tech, as this new sizzle reel shows. As one of the more ubiquitous engines, Unreal will be on show at GDC this week. Developer Epic produced the following sizzle reel to quickly demonstrate what it can do – cutting edge graphics (there are very few games […]

  • Survarium’s latest patch removes limit on battle ammo, rebalances experience gain

    The latest Survarium patch has readjusted the value of experience and reputation points gained and removed the limit to the maximum amount of ammo you can use in combat. Survarium developer Vostok Games has released patch 0.27a to the public, having recently finished testing it. The patch is a major one and covers changes to […]

  • The Hunt Begins in new Bloodborne TV spot

    Bloodborne is so close you can almost smell its coppery tang on the wind – and also you can watch commercials for it. Bloodborne arrives on PS4 at the end of this month (March 24 North America, March 25 Europe, March 27 UK) so excitement is starting to build. Sony isn’t helping keep us calm […]

  • World of Warcraft: you’ll soon be able to buy game time with gold

    Blizzard will soon allow World of Warcraft players to exchange in-game gold for game time and vice versa. Blizzard has announced a new system that will launch soon for World of Warcraft. The system is called WoW Token. Using this system, players will be able to buy game time using in-game gold. Here’s how it […]

  • 3D Realms’ Bombshell returns with the first gameplay trailer

    Remember 3D Realms’ Bombshell? The isometric ARPG that was announced last year? Well, it’s back, and we get to see gameplay footage. The game stars Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison, a bomb technician turned mercenary with a mechanical arm. She will embark on a quest to rescue the president and save Earth, all while shooting aliens. The […]

  • Unreal Engine 4 is now free for everyone to use

    Epic Games has made Unreal Engine 4 available for anyone to download and use, for free. Unreal Engine 4 is now free. Anyone can download it and start using it, the developer announced today in a blog post. The download features the the full set of tools used by Epic, and includes 100% of the […]

  • Call of Duty European Championship winner announced

    The winner of the European round of the Call of Duty Championship has been announced. This past weekend, 28 teams representing UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, the rest of Europe and Middle East attended the final of the European round of the Call of Duty Championship. UK team Epsilon eSports was crowned […]

  • GOG brings back Insomnia sale with discounts up to 90% off

    GOG.com is bringing back its Insomnia sale event with even more games. GOG’s Insomnia sale is back with double the amount of games. This year, there will be two sets of games available at once. The sets are seasoned classics and fresh new titles. Each set will feature games with discounts up to 90% off, […]

  • 2K is shutting down NBA 2K14 online servers, won’t affect career save files

    2K will be shutting down the servers for NBA 2K14 this month. The publisher revealed yesterday that online servers for NBA 2K14 will be turned offline on March 31. “You will no longer be able to play ranked games/online association,” reads the announcement. NBA 2K14 relied on online servers to store save files for MyCareer […]

  • One Dead or Alive tournament organiser is proposing ban of “over-sexualised” costumes

    A Dead or Alive tournament organiser has suggested a soft ban on some of the game’s “over-sexualised” costumes, and not everyone is happy. Tournament organiser “The HuBBs” took to the FreeStepDodge forums to suggest a list of rules that other offline tournaments can follow. The list goes over stages, characters, moves, which is certainly in […]

  • Destiny: all the news from Bungie’s open house Q&A

    Bungie hosted an open house Q&A session with the community last week and lots of exciting news have come out of it. Arekkz Gaming has gathered all the information that came out of Bungie’s open house Q&A in one handy video. The list is massive, going over Exotic weapon balance, upcoming events, PVE, Crucible rewards, […]

  • Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen to honour Nimoy with in-game memorials

    Developers behind space exploration games Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen will honour the memory of Leonard Nimoy through in-game memorials. The develops of both games have confirmed separately that in-game memorials will be established to honour the memory of the late Star Trek actor, Leonard Nimoy, famous for playing Spock. Elite: Dangerous executive producer Michael […]

  • Deal: get a PlayStation 4 + three exclusives for $399

    Amazon’s latest PlayStation 4 deal is not one to miss. With purchase of a PlayStation 4 console from Amazon in the US, the online retailer will throw in digital codes for Infamous Second Son, Killzone Shadow Fall and The Last of Us: Remastered, all for the same MSRP of $399. The Last of Us Remastered […]

  • Destiny: this is how one player predicted House of Wolves details and Xur’s inventory

    The method one Redditor possibly used to leak some details from Destiny’s House of Wolves was the same one he used to predict the inventory of Xur: Agent of the Nine. Last week, Reddit user Megamanexe4 leaked a few pieces of House of Wolves expansion content. The leaks included strikes, new Crucible mode, and a […]

  • Mortal Kombat X is coming to iOS… as a card-battler

    Mortal Kombat X will be releasing on mobile devices in some form, just not the one you except. Mortal Kombat X is coming to Android and iOS devices as an extension of the main game. It will launch in April alongside the console versions. The mobile game will be part card collecting and part fighting […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain announcement coming this Wednesday

    Kojima Productions will unveil something about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain this Wednesday. Metal Gear Solid fans should standby for a Phantom Pain-related announcement on Wednesday, March 4. According to developer Kojima Productions’ Twitter, there’s going to be an announcement at 2pm GMT on Wednesday. The developer posted the following image. The image […]

  • Reader survey: time to let us get to know you better!

    We’d really appreciate it if you could fill in this survey about the websites you read and the games you buy. It massively helps! You can fill out the survey right here and obviously all the information you supply is confidential. It helps us build a better picture of the people who read our site […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium: here’s everything you get for $50

    Battlefield Hardline’s Premium membership will give players access to 4 new features, early access to expansion packs and more. EA detailed the offer today – it costs $50 in total (£40 in the UK) and gives players a whole bundle of new gear and content. Check it all out in handy list form below: Masks […]

  • Hayter’s gonna hate: the voice of Solid Snake wouldn’t answer my Metal Gear question

    Voice actor and Hollywood writer David Hayter discusses the differences between movies and games. And politely declines my leading question. “It might be fun to do a crazy, over-the-top film version of Saint’s Row.” Yeah, that headline is a bit cheap but you’re reading the work of a man who once asked the maker of […]

  • Xbox One bundle gets £100 price cut in UK

    Microsoft has knocked up to £100 off Xbox One bundles in the UK. The Xbox One with Kinect Assassin’s Creed bundle is now £100 cheaper and comes with a free £20 voucher to be spent on the official Microsoft online store. Over on the Xbox online store there’s a £70 price cut on the white […]

  • Pokemon Shuffle downloaded 1m times, free stuff given out to celebrate

    Free-to-play 3DS title Pokemon Shuffle has been downloaded over 1 million times. As a reward for playing the match-3 puzzle game Nintendo has gifted players a Complexity -1 item for free. The item reduces the difficulty of a level, according to Eurogamer. By all accounts Pokemon Shuffle is a cynical game with poorly implemented microtransactions. […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power sure is pretty

    FrozenByte Games has revealed Trine 3, due for release in 2015 And what better way to reveal a new side-scrolling adventure than with a very pretty trailer full of gameplay? The latest in a series that has already sold 7 million copies is earmarked for PC and “other” formats. Trine 2 released on PS3, PS3, […]

  • Dying Light takes UK number one

    A month since it was released on digital platforms, Dying Light’s physical release has topped the UK charts. Techland and Warner’s zombie survival game has proven to be one of the big hits of the year so far. It was released on digital formats a month ago but has only just been released on good-old […]

  • GTA 5: that’s some seriously accurate grenade throwing

    Think you can take down a jet plane with a grenade throw? This guy can. In fact, he can do it twice. This is in a variation on the player-created deathmatch “Stunters Versus Snipers” which seem to be all the rage in GTA Online at the moment. One team has a sniper rifle (and grenades) […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: Mother Base turns pink in the morning sun

    The Phantom Pain looks nice even when Kojima just takes a quick pic with his phone. Look at that beauty. We get nice reflection in pink at the first gray of dawn. pic.twitter.com/aERTBoZT9z — HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) March 2, 2015 The game doesn’t have a release date yet, which makes us a bit nervous for it […]

  • Dying Light: Underpant Gnomes and 9 other secrets you missed

    Dying Light still has legs – maybe because it’s crammed full of secret things to discover. Ten of those have been highlighted by TerraMantis’ latest YouTube video, including reference to the Underpant Gnomes, guitar lessons, farting zombies and well, we don’t want to spoil it for you. Even if you think you’ve seen everything in […]