Sections

GTMature: How Rockstar grew up with this generation

Wednesday, 14 December 2011 09:37 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Rockstar’s maturation this generation has dumped parachutes and defined the modern console market, pushing the company from Mail-bait and Jack Thompson’s favoured target to a creative giant focused on seriousness and emotion. Johnny Cullen explains.

Rockstar Games

Founded in 1998 by Dan and Sam Houser, Terry Donovan, Jamie King and Gary Foreman.

Flagship studio is Rockstar North in Edinburgh, but its HQ is New York-based.

Has released 12 titles this gen, the majority coming from North and San Diego studios.

Currently slating Max Payne 3 for March, with Grand Theft Auto V and Agent on TBA timelines.

Let’s be honest, here: for many of you, your first experience of Grand Theft Auto was an underage one. It was for me.

GTA III was my first experience at 11 years old. And it was amazing, roaming about this big city doing whatever the hell I wanted. Driving tanks, flying Dodos, killing people at will. That was what defined GTA, for better or worse. That’s why it became the poster child for violent games at the Daily Mail.

But it wasn’t just GTA that showed Rockstar’s edgy side. State of Emergency was incredibly violent, and Manhunt was a perfect example of gaming torture pornography. The title of Bully (or Canis Canem Edit, as it was known here in the UK) speaks for itself.

It was from some of that notoriety that Rockstar got itself into hot water: headlines screamed about underage children playing GTA, death by Manhunt, a video game that actually lets you become a Bully (in fact, it didn’t). It was GTA that defined Florida-based lawyer Jack Thompson’s crusade against violent videogames, beginning with the Ohio case of Dustin Lynch in 2003.

And to this day, the Daily Mail launches the odd crusade against Rockstar – although Call of Duty is its new favourite whipping boy.

Things will be different

While Rockstar appeared to relish in courting controversy in the last generation, though, we’ve seen take a new direction in this hardware cycle.

Everyone was expecting a bombshell debut for PS360, but instead got Table Tennis from Rockstar’s San Diego studio in May 2006, just before GTA IV was announced at E3.

It was a smart sports game, but way outside Rockstar’s norm. To give credit, it did well critically and released at a cheaper RRP than most titles at that time. It stands at 81% on Metacritic five years after its release. A Wii version released a year later. At that time, it was a Rockstar culture shock. We were expecting violence, tits and tanks – not ping-pong.

The crusade looks set to continue in 2012, beginning with Max Payne 3 in March. Ironically, it seems more macho-action-packed than anything the company has put out in the past five years. While it isn’t in the hands of Remedy with a story crafted by Sam Lake – although the Finnish developer is consulting on it – Rockstar Vancouver has apparently created something insiders are promising will be “massive”.

It would be a year-and-a-half before Rockstar would appear again on the new hardware. Bully came to Xbox 360 and Wii with a Scholarship Edition, but nothing particularly new was added over the PS2 version besides HD graphics and Achievements. It was still the same game it was two years beforehand.

But months after its release, in April 2008, we finally got to see what Rockstar was capable of: Grand Theft Auto IV released. Telling the story of an Eastern European immigrant with a dark past, the game represented a more serious tone than Vice City or San Andreas. There were no tanks, no planes, no parachuting, no making the protagonist fat.

Instead, there was the world of Liberty City. You had a social life, a sex life, and everything in-between. Niko showed a new side to Rockstar. He is one of the most-liked, best-rounded leads in the series. He had a charm never present in games past, something that Johnny and Luis couldn’t muster in the DLC.

If GTA in the PS2 era showed Rockstar as the edgy leader of game development, GTA IV showed it could do a mature story. No, there wasn’t any crazy, but the brand alone has sold-in 22 million units as of September this year. Rockstar managed the hardware transition by deepening its flagship IP alongside the new tech.

After the release of Midnight Club: Los Angeles, we got the two DLC episodes for GTA IV. The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony opened the door just a crack in bringing the fun and over-the-top stuff of past GTAs into GTA IV. But, good as they were, the stupidness was nowhere near comparable to, say, Vice City or San Andreas.

Far Away

GTA isn’t the only game this generation that demonstrates Rockstar’s bid to be taken seriously: Red Dead Redemption ably shows how much the Housers have matured in the past five years. It was announced in 2009, nearly a year after GTA IV released and the first of three Rockstar announcements that year with Agent and Max Payne 3, but it would be another year before we got to see how Rockstar San Diego would follow Red Dead Revolver.

No one expected the result. While Revolver was a plain old action title, Redemption, released in May 2010, was an open-world effort that went past anything previously achieved.

Far Away. Epic.

Red Dead Redemption was a run away success, shipping 12.5 million units as of September this year. The ambition, the scope of the world, the ambiance and depth of storytelling captured a boatload of Game of the Year awards, and with good reason. You’d be pretty hard-bitten to not admit crossing over to Mexico with Jose Gonzalez’s Far Away playing in the background is one of the finest moments in modern gaming.

While Redemption was “gown-up,” however, Rockstar slotted itself into a pattern with the optional extras, continuing down another route other than mature storytelling: Undead Nightmare released five months after the main game, allowing Marston to deal with zombies.

The case that makes you, the case that breaks you

LA Noire further strengthened Rockstar’s position as a “serious” games company. All was quiet on the Team Bondi project from its announcement in 2006. No one knew a thing other than it was set in 1940s Los Angeles. As we started to learn more of the crime thriller, it was obvious its incredible facial technology, known as MotionScan, would define the game.

LA Noire eventually released in May this year, a year after RDR’s launch. It was a critical darling, scoring 89% on Metacritic. It would also become the biggest-selling new IP in the UK ever at launch.

While the situation at Team Bondi itself turned sour quickly after LA Noire released, the game concreted Rockstar’s switch from a “murder simulation” company to one focusing on maturity, bleeding edge technology and plot, even if LA Noire was made externally.

The transformation is complete. Creative bosses Dan Houser and Leslie Benzies, as well as president Sam Houser, have formed a unique take on modern triple-A, a serious interpretation of contemporary mass market success for the current generation.

Rockstar’s golden ticket for 2012 – GTA V.

The crusade looks set to continue in 2012, beginning with Max Payne 3 in March. Ironically, it seems more macho-action-packed than anything the company has put out in the past five years. While it isn’t in the hands of Remedy with a story crafted by Sam Lake – although the Finnish developer is consulting on it – Rockstar Vancouver has apparently created something insiders are promising will be “massive”.

And then there’s Grand Theft Auto V. It’s obvious Rockstar North is continuing down the road of character-driven storytelling, even after one trailer, with themes of recession and immigration being forefront to what we’ve seen so far.

And we’re missing one more title. We’ve seen a logo, but nothing more: we still have Agent. We know it’s in the 1970s and we know it’s set in the Cold War. It’s also still (apparently) a PS3 exclusive. That’s it.

Will it be the best Cold War-themed game ever? Probably. It’s time we saw a full, proper CW-based game take the mantle from MGS3. Will it define a genre, expand video gaming as a whole and reach for a storytelling level most other triple-A publishers can only ever aspire?

Knowing Rockstar, it can do it. It’s a mature company after all.

Latest

  • PS4 firmware update version 2.50 adds suspend/resume feature – report

    According to screenshots leaked from the PlayStation MVP Program, Sony is beta testing a PlayStation 4 firmware update which contains the long-awaited suspend/resume feature. Per Gematsu, firmware update version 2.50 contains the following: The system can now enter rest mode without closing any applications. You can adjust this setting in [Power Save Settings] > [Set […]

  • 30 minutes worth of Xenoblade Chronicles X combat footage released

    A new Xenoblade Chronicles X video has been released giving the viewer a look at combat. The 30 minutes worth of footage shown is a Nintendo of Japan livestream from earlier this morning. Gematsu has a written summary of the combat if you’d rather a read instead, as the video is in Japanese. The Monolith […]

  • Rockstar offers tips on setting up for GTA Online Heists

    With Heists launching next week for GTA Online, Rockstar has posted some tips to help you get started. The small tutorial goes over Leaders getting a Crew together, how headsets will be an important peripheral to have in order to communicate, assigning roles, and how Special Heist Completion bonuses will work. Here’s more information on […]

  • Here’s some Wolfenstein: The Old Blood gameplay footage out of PAX East

    If you missed the Wolfenstein: The Old Blood livestream from PAX East, Eurogamer has pulled the gameplay portions from it. Enjoy. It’s out May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

  • Overwatch beta kicks off this fall, new characters announced

    Blizzard is on a roll today at PAX East, and the latest announcement from the developer pertains to Overwatch, the first-person team-based multiplayer shooter announced at BlizzCon 2014. According to Blizzard the beta will start in the fall. You can sign up for the beta here. The two characters announced were Zarya and Jesse McCree […]

  • Lady Sylvanas, new Battlegrounds announced for Heroes of the Storm

    Blizzard announced during its PAX East panel today that Warcraft’s Sylvanas will be the next playable hero in its Heroes of the Storm MOBA. A new Battleground, Tomb of the Spider Queen, was also announced a small map with a dark and moody interior. Players will earn gems when killing off the minions which can […]

  • Hearthstone’s Blackrock Mountain Adventure pack launches in April

    The Blackrock Mountain Adventure pack was announced for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft by Blizzard at PAX East today. The content includes the Dark Iron dwarves, fire elementals, and dragons, as well as Ragnaros the Firelord. Those who manage to bring an end to the villains will be rewarded with 31 new cards inspired by the […]

  • New GTA 5 music, radio station coming in April from The Alchemist and Oh No

    A brand new radio station and soundtrack album are on the way from GTA 5 score composers The Alchemist & Oh No. The Alchemist and Oh No Present: Welcome to Los Santos, is described as a “genre-spanning collection” of new music for Grand Theft Auto 5, which will debut debuting with the PC version of […]

  • Wayward Wonders sounds like a fun CTM map for Minecraft

    Wayward Wonders is a rather lovely CTM map for Minecraft which tasks the player with building monuments. Players will need to find special blocks scattered across the map which will need to be placed on the Wonders of the World monuments. It’s a mixture of survival and adventure elements, as players will encounter enemies which […]

  • Wil Wheaton is Abraham Lincoln in Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.

    Nintendo of America has announced Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Wil Wheaton will provide the voice of Abraham Lincoln in Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. (Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace) is a 3DS exclusive turn-based strategy title which takes place in an alternate, steampunk history. “After waiting almost a year to be […]

  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Justice and Champions systems arrive with Update 6

    Update 6 for The Elder Scrolls Online went live yesterday, which added the new Justice and Champions systems. The update also overhauled provisioning, which resulted in new recipes and more inventory space being added. There’s also a new way to keep track of your mounts, pets, and costumes through the Collections Window, which allows the […]

  • Turbine’s Infinite Crisis MOBA will see a full release later this month

    Turbine and Warner Bros. have finally given the Infinite Crisis MOBA a release date. The game has been in development since 2011 and a beta kicked off in 2013. “Infinite Crisis™ has massively evolved over the past year with the help of the millions of players who participated in our open beta,” said executive producer […]

  • PAX East kicks off today – here’s the Twitch livestream schedule for March 6

    Today is the first day of PAX East, and Twitch has posted its livestream schedule which kicks off with gameplay of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. Highlights today include the live premiere of Gameplay: Story of the Videogame Revolution, a look at the Heart of Thorns Guild Wars 2 expansion, Blizzard shows off Sylvanas and Tomb […]

  • Watch the Wolfenstein: The Old Blood livestream from PAX East here

    A livestream of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, the standalone prequel to The New Order, will take place at PAX East today, and you can watch it right here on the site at 10.30am EST/3.30pm GMT. The stream will be hosted on the main Twitch channel, with gameplay from The Old Blood kicking the first day […]

  • Rock Band 4 and Justin Bieber: “if people ask for it, then why not?”

    We ask the Rock Band 4 team why there’s no PC or keyboard support, what happened to The Beatles, and most importantly, can we sing Boyfriend? “I would say around 95 per cent of content has survived – there are a few bits that, even on last-gen platforms, are no longer available. Our intention is […]

  • Magic the Gathering’s next game is going free-to-play

    Magic Duels: Origins, the upcoming game in the Magic the Gathering series, will be free-to-play. Magic the Gathering developer Steel Games has announced that the next game in the series, Magic Duels: Origins will adopt a free-to-play model. It will be based on the Summer set of the physical game. The developer announced the new […]

  • Mortal Kombat X dev confirms Johnny Cage and Kenshi ahead of official reveal

    Mortal Kombat X will indeed have Johnny Cage and Kenshi as playable characters. It looks like someone spoke about Johnny Cage and Kenshi a little bit earlier they they should’ve. Mortal Kombat X senior producer Adam Urbano spoke to Game Crate in a video interview and confirmed the addition of both fighters. The video has […]

  • You won’t need Xbox Live Gold to play online on Windows 10

    Microsoft has confirmed that playing online games on Windows 10, including cross-play titles, won’t require Xbox Live Gold. Integrating the Xbox platform into Windows 10 will not result in users needing to pay for an Xbox Live Gold subscription. Online gameplay on Windows have traditionally been free, but some users were sceptical, thinking back to […]

  • “Zero percent of people get motion sick,” says Gabe Newell about Vive

    Valve has apparently broke through and found a solution to the VR motion sickness issue with its headset Vive. According to Gabe Newell, Valve has solved the issue of nausea associated usually with virtual reality headsets. Speaking to the New York Times, Gabe Newell said that “zero percent of people get motion sick.” The reason, […]

  • MGS5: The Phantom Pain development update from Kojima

    Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima has revealed many details during last night’s Kojima Station live-stream. Yesterday, Kojima hosted another episode of Kojima Station, the show that reveals a few MGS5: The Phantom Pain details every time it airs. It’s always in Japanese though, which makes it hard for those of us who don’t speak […]

  • Steam Machine prices: from $480 all the way up to $5,000

    The prices of Steam Machines vary wildly. You could pay less than $500, or ten times more. Since Steam now has hardware pages for each manufacturer’s Steam Machine, it makes sense to go through them and see what the average price is. The full list of manufacturers includes names like Alienware, Digital Storm, Asus, Gigabyte, […]

  • Dreadnought screens are filled with lasers and explosions

    Dreadnought just keeps looking better and better every time we see it. Spaceship fighting simulator Dreadnought has produced a new set of screens to help you parse all the action. If you like what you see, you can check out ten minutes of equally-explosive gameplay. The screens are captured from a pre-alpha build and were […]

  • Bloodborne: tons of new PvP, co-op, and item details

    The Japanese site of Bloodborne has been updated with tons of new info pertaining to PvP, summoning, co-op, and much more. Bloodborne’s Japanese site was recently updated to bring into light many of the game’s features, and how some of them differ from earlier Souls games. According to translation by DualShockers the game supports up […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for March 6, 7 – Ice Breaker edition

    Xur: Agent of the Nine has brought a new set of Exotic wares to Destiny’s Tower. Xur: Agent of the Nine is back again to the Tower for another weekend of Exotic adventure. Xur will sell you Exotic weapons and armour in exchange for your Strange Coins and Motes of Light. Exotic Shards and upgraded […]

  • 30 new GTA Online screens show two Heists

    We’ve got a batch of hot new Heist screens from GTA Online that you wouldn’t want to miss. There are quite a lot of screens here showing all sorts of activities, pre-heist, during, and the getaway. Most of them are from the Humane heist, but others show one taking place at Fleeca Bank. Many details […]

  • BoingBoing’s Offworld resurrected as new, diverse gaming blog

    Offworld is back, but not as you know it. Offworld was Boing Boing’s gaming blog, helmed by Brandon Boyer from 2008. By 2010 it had been rolled into Boing Boing itself, eventually falling mostly silent and in 2011 Boyer founded a new site, Venus Patrol. The brand has languished unused ever since, but Boing Boing’s […]

  • SimCity developer: “EA is actually a great place to work these days”

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis may have been shuttered, but at least one former employee doesn’t have beef with EA and its decision. Although The Sims 4 and SimCity will continue along with the studio’s brand, the flagship Maxis studios has been closed. The closure prompted a resurgence of interest in EA’s acquisitions; there was […]

  • Humble Weekly Bundle goes monochromatic

    The theme of the latest Humble Weekly Bundle is “monochrome” – every game features a black and white aesthetic. Pay what you want for The Bridge (Linux, Mac, PC; Steam or DRM-free), Closure (Linux, Mac, PC; Steam or DRM-free) and Dominique Pamplemousse (Mac, PC; Steam or DRM-free). Cough up more than the average – $4.09 […]

  • Final Fantasy 7′s nine-disc, open-world fan sequel was too beautiful to live

    This Final Fantasy 7 sequel put together by fans shows off just how flexible Squaresoft’s tech was. Final Fantasy 7: Time Guardian was a fan-made sequel to the classic RPG, developed by Japanese indie Rodensoft. What makes it different from other FF7 fan projects is that it was being developed in the same engine as […]

  • Half-life 3 in VR: “We’re not saying no,” says Valve

    Half-life might work in virtual reality, or it might not. That’s Valve’s stance on the matter. Half-life 3 in VR makes perfect sense and should definitely happen, but Valve says it hasn’t made any decisions yet. “We’re not saying, ‘no’ but we don’t know what the right thing is [yet],” Valve programmer Jeep Barnett told […]

23 Comments

  1. Vahramas

    “You’d be pretty hard-bitten to not admit crossing over to Mexico with Jose Gonzalez’s Far Away playing in the background is one of the finest moments in modern gaming.”
    THANK YOU! Great article.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. viralshag

    Imo, RDR is the only Rockstar game I can honestly give a lot of praise to this gen.

    LA Noire was good, but calling it a “game” is bit of a stretch. Good story though.

    GTAIV did nothing for me. I found it boring and a lot of the characters dull and irritating. It looked ok I suppose, if you like dreary environments.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. polygem

    @2:agreed…
    though even rdr was more in the 8/10 section in my book. i enjoyed it but i forgot about it as soon as i finished it. LANoire was quite good but extremely repetitive 7/10 and GTA IV…i just can´t stand these pseudocool gta gangsta charakters. i find them dull too. what is supposed to be funny just isn´t. at least not for me…they try so hard to do crazy stuff. like the gay tony dlc. typical american humour. seen that a million times. not so funny anymore. when you are 15-25 maybe.gtaV…not hyped yet. not at all. but thats more like a relief since there are so (too)many other games i am interested in.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. triggerhappy

    ^ ive got a friend who says the same about GTAIV… I loved it though, more serious & mature was definitely the way I wanted to see the series progress…. well, even although some of it wasn’t that mature or serious but y’know what I mean :D

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Patrick Garratt

    I just couldn’t play GTA IV. I could see how epic it was, but the whole concept of living Niko’s life ended it for me very quickly. I reckon I played about eight hours. I might go back and look again, in fact. Maybe I’ll get it now.

    GTA IV has to be one of the most divisive games this gen, I reckon. Proper Marmite. I know people who had the most amazing game experience ever, and people, like myself, that got bored with it nearly instantly. You can’t fault the vision, though, whatever you think of it.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. triggerhappy

    ^ I sank 72 hours in to it that summer. It just absorbed me.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. viralshag

    @Pat, I was exactly the same. Some of the mechanics included just put me off quickly. I don’t think I spent more than 10 hours in the game.

    Think Rockstar learnt from GTAIV, although it was a step in the direction of more serious games, it still retained some stupid and flat out bad comedy. In RDR I felt like they hit the nail on the head and had an overall more serious story with funny moments, imo they got the balance just right.

    @3, I agree I think RDR was about an 8 for me too. I loved the setting and the story, it looked great and I think Marston was a much more likeable character than Niko. But I was someone that did just feel like it was GTA on horseback. I burnt out quickly on that too.

    No doubt I will be interested in GTAV but it’s going to have to have something that really appeals to me to get it first day.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Johnny Cullen

    i’m actually on the boat that thinks GTA IV was brilliant. In fact, it’s one of my top five games this gen.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. G1GAHURTZ

    What happened to Jack Thompson??

    The guy was obsessed, and an obsession like that doesn’t just fade away.

    I know he got his right to practice law revoked or something, but I wonder what he’s doing with himself now…

    #9 3 years ago
  10. YoungZer0

    @9: Looking for a real job probably.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. strikkebil

    interresting.
    when people say “running around killing people in gtaIV just wasnt fun”, i dont think its rockstars fault. i think its the medium that have matured. its not the game, its u.
    sure when gta first came out it was amazing to drive over pedestrians and causing havok, but now games can do so much more; stories can actually make u feel something. when action movies started to look cool in the 80s and 90s, people loved rambo. but how many people would pay for a movie like that today? not as many as in the golden days. why? because people want deeper stories, characters and issues they can relate to and maybe learn from. same thing is happening to videogames. this is a good thing IMO. i think good stories + good gameplay + photorealistic visuals will blow this industry into proper mainstream. that said, i still hope rockstar can take their more mature approuch and still make something thats silly and lighthearted. and i think thats exactly what were gonna see in gta5.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. TD_Monstrous69

    Mr. Cullen, you’ve just stated some of the reasons on why it is that Rockstar Games is maybe my favorite game companies from top to bottom. Great article, and I agree with your points. Though I’d really like to see on where the hell Agent is at in development. Because with Rockstar’s storytelling prowess, and great game physics, they could truly make a great Cold War game. Plus, it’s been 2 years since its announcement, and so far, nothing but a logo for the game (the same logo used for its announcement back at E3 2009). Though seeing as how Rockstar North’s also working on GTA V, I don’t think Agent will be coming anytime soon (though I hope something’s unveiled about it come 2012).

    #12 3 years ago
  13. DSB

    I don’t know what’s meant by growing up, but I feel like Rockstar have shrunk immensely. If growing up means maturing, then they’ve gone straight past the fun yet reflective 30′s and straight into the retirement home.

    They used to play on those simple stories that would grab you and keep you going, complemented by equally simple, but still brilliant and imaginative gameplay.

    Now suddenly they fancy themselves grand storytellers, but they’re not even close. You’re never going to achieve anything by attempting to force “smartness” into a game for the sake of it.

    If I had to put a single word on Rockstars new style, it would be “forced”. It’s so shallow, and trying so hard not to be, that I get distracted by it.

    It’s not ballsy and it’s not clever. It’s the opposite. The ballsy thing would be to stay in a place where you feel comfortable creatively, and ultimately I think it would be far more enjoyable too.

    @5 I’m not sure what that vision was, and I didn’t see the slightest epic element to the game.

    They obviously weren’t aiming for the kind of storytelling that signifies a good gangster tale (eastern european or otherwise) – There was no “Goodfellas”, “Sopranos”, “Eastern Promises” or anything of the sort in there. If they were trying to mimick anything, it would be a reality show.

    Of the kind where you follow around a person that leads a completely boring, morally dubious life.

    It was incredibly well engineered, and that’s what got me through it, but ultimately it felt completely empty.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. DaMan

    #11 Many people play games to have fun or get competitive, your comparisons are off. Games are meant to be played, going the way of the movies and subsequently giving less control over the process or making it more restrictive is an oxymoron. I think what’s silly is believing GTA4 was in any way realistic, I could be wrong though.

    Oh, and I really don’t want to relate to anyone, especially rasterized meshes.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. strikkebil

    @14 just because games are meant to be played doesnt mean they cant have good stories. look at portal 2. fantastic story, well written, great characters, FUN to play, yet theres not many cutscenes in that game. gtaIV and red dead also gives u loads of freedom eventhough theyre heavy on story. so i dont follow…

    my point is, once games could do more than put u in a world with a gun, that old scenario stopped being fun because theres no actual challenge or depth to it. what fun is there in shooting random people on the street who cant even defend themselves, whats the motivation and wheres the challenge?

    also i dont think games have to be realistic to be interristing or have good stories. one of my favorite movies is “eternal sunshine from a spotless mind”. that movie is not realistic, but it made me think, would i ever erase memories if i could? is that a good thing or a bad thing and so forth.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. DaMan

    #15 I was talking about this particular change, thought they’ve turned what was one of the best games ever created into a boring pseudo sim, same thing with RdR.. instead of what I expected to be a chaotic open world wild west sandbox they made a boring restrictive grindfest. I’m not really opposed to storylines as long as they don’t come at the cost of gameplay.

    I ‘ve spent a lot of time on Just Cause 2, because it never gets old shooting people in the street.. these games tend to be as boring as the player acts. I wasn’t really referring to Gta as a challenging game but rather a fun one, regardless though the continously increasing strength of opposition (police) made it indeed progressively better when you’re further into the game.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. DSB

    @15 I don’t get how you can project those standards onto GTA IV though. I completely agree that Portal 2 was leaps and bounds ahead of everything else in terms of the writing, but GTA IV was mostly the opposite.

    Portal 2 had a set of very strong characters that all had an extremely precise role to play in the story itself. That made it effortlessly enjoyable.

    GTA IV was a collection of characters that weren’t interesting, that seemingly didn’t have a reason to exist, and none of which had a single line that I’ve cared to remember.

    If I had to compare Niko Bellic in GTA IV to something I’d probably go with Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. He comes out of a bad experience, trying and failing to find a leg to stand on. The difference between those stories is that Taxi Driver has fundamentals.

    You have to build a story from the bottom up. Nothing good comes from building a story from the top down. You can’t lean on a shallow concept like “eastern european immigrant opera” – You need a character, you need a world, you need a purpose for it. A foundation to build on.

    With Travis Bickle you end up with a deep and interesting character. With Niko Bellic you end up with little more than a label, a person who has nothing to say, nothing he wants to achieve, and apparently spends an entire game’s worth of time just getting pushed around by everybody else. For no reason.

    He’s a zombie, not a person. I feel absolutely nothing for him, because he doesn’t show a single genuine emotion throughout the game. It’s just a bad writers shallow concept, with nothing in it.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. strikkebil

    @16 i respectfully disagree. i think rockstars new direction have made their games better and also more fun. maybe its just my personal opinion that mindless open world games isnt fun anymore. maybe gtaV will return to the series roots, or maybe saints row will in the future only serve a small niche marked like rambo4 did three years ago. i believe the last and i hope rockstar will continue the path theyre on right now.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. strikkebil

    @17 it was not really a comparrison in that sense, it was a reply to post 15 about how u CAN make interresting and deeper stories without giving players less freedom. and that i still thought gta and red dead gave u freedom eventhough theyre cutscene heavy. ultimatly i just want stories and writing to be better in games cos it makes playing more meaningfull.

    as for the rest, thats subjective. i enjoyed gtaIVs characters and universe.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. DSB

    Of course how you enterpret it is subjective, but it’s not hard to establish the difference between GTA IV, and other stories. Simply treat missions as scenes or phases of another storydriven medium and compare it to others.

    It’s not something you can put into a spreadsheet by any means, but there’s a big difference between a well spun story and a poorly spun one, all the way from pacing to the words themselves and how they’re delivered. Even if people will never agree on how to feel about them.

    In terms of games coming of age and earning the same sort of esteem, I think we stood a better chance with far more focused efforts like Bully or Vice City. They actually had characters with a purpose, like Portal 2, or The Witcher 2 which is another example of writing that can really rival any other genre of media in my opinion.

    It’s great that people strive, but ultimately we won’t get anywhere by lying to ourselves and forcing it. Trying to make a story smart won’t make it so, you have to care for the process more than the result, and worry about what boxes you’ve checked later.

    It’s essentially the same when Naughty Dog aren’t willing to call a zombie game a zombie game. What’s the point?

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Ireland Michael

    @20 Bully I can agree on. That is one of their most surprisingly well focused stories to date. But Vice City? No. Vercetti was little more than a walking cipher of a character. Even though he could speak (unlike Claude) he barely had any real motivation or character of his own to draw upon for his actions.

    My biggest issue with GTA IV was the simple fact that Niko could amass nearly $250,000 in the process of the story, and yet he still spent all his time complaining about their poor, horrible circumstances.

    I do think they did a lot of things right right Red Dead Redemption. If anything, I think it was one of the *least* forced western stories I’ve ever seen. It had an understanding of the real history of those times, and it didn’t fall back on stiff like ignorant misinterpretation of native American cultures to tell its story. I enjoyed John Marston’s story. If nothing else, it was nice to see a gentleman in an industry chock full of gruff, foulmouthed assholes.

    What’s your opinion of RDR, DSB? Very curious.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. strikkebil

    @20 they have to start somewhere.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. DSB

    @21 Maybe I’m just remembering it too fondly. Ultimately Vice City was a joke on all the “gangster” movies of the 1980′s, which is perhaps what I’m thinking of. Scarface for example was a movie that was all fundamentals. It was a really angry, really ambitious Cuban, who wanted to take over the world, and to me that’s the kind of focus that defines good storytelling. And he had some fantastic lines.

    I didn’t play RDR enough to be able to judge it properly. I borrowed it from a friend and never got very far. I remember feeling like the story was eclipsed by the features though. All the riding and the minigames. That’s pretty much what I got from a couple of hours, the story never got started. I enjoyed the gunplay a lot more than in GTA IV though.

    I’ve been meaning to replace my aging half-crippled Xbox for a while, and I’ll definitely grab RDR when I do.

    @22 Definitely. I like the ambition, just not the direction it takes.

    #23 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

  • Pokemon developer, Sega collaboration teased

    Pokemon developer Game Freak is apparently working on something with Sega. The Sega Twitter published the following teaser image this week: pic.twitter.com/12XtR6f9LM — SEGA (@SEGA) March 5, 2015 Game Freak is, of course, the team behind the Pokemon games, and we often forget that it’s independent rather than a Nintendo studio. As such, whatever the […]

  • Rock Band 4 “feels almost like coming home”, says Harmonix

    Rock Band 4 has been a long time coming, and Harmonix is as excited as we are. Or it would be, if that were possible. Harmonix announced Rock Band 4 overnight to massive excitement, especially in the vicinity of me. It’s something we’ve all been waiting for, but no less has Harmonix been waiting for […]

  • Destiny Weekly Update – what’s coming in the pre-House of Wolves patch?

    Destiny guru Arekkz Gaming runs down what Bungie’s mysterious update means – and could mean. This week’s Destiny Weekly Update was kind of light on information, but sometimes even saying nothing is really saying something. What are your theories for what’s coming soon to Destiny?

  • Ashes of the Singularity is “the most advanced RTS ever”, says Stardock

    Stardock has revealed Ashes of the Singularity, a new take on sci-fi RTS. Ashes of the Singularity is described as “not an RTS battle, an RTS war” which sounds pretty exciting. Built on Oxide Games’ Nitrous Engine, Ashes of the Singularity boasts of thousands of units on screen at a time, each with multiple targeted […]

  • Disgaea 5: meet Zeroken and Christo

    Disgaea 5 developer Nippon Ichi has dropped a ton of new information regarding its next RPG. Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance is coming to PS4 in Japan this month ahead of its western launch in northern autumn. Gematsu has gathered all the latest intel on the RPG from a recent Nippon Ichi press release. Head […]

  • Skyworld VR strategy game looks kind of like playing with toys

    Skyworld is a new turn based strategy designed for use with VR headsets. Skyworld comes to us from Vertigo Games, and will be compatible with Valve’s Vive headset. IGN reports Vertigo has worked in close collaboration with the SteamVR project, so Skyworld will support both seated VR and full-room features. Think about that while you […]

  • Link and Ganon battle in new Legend of Zelda fan film

    The Legend of Zelda fans are clearly a very clever bunch. The production values on this Legend of Zelda fan film are through the roof. This is only the teaser, with the full movie from PlayerPiano to follow, and we’re pretty excited. By the way, Netflix is said to be working up a Live action […]

  • Underworld Ascendent backers unlock Lizardmen, more stretch goals available in final hours

    Underworld Ascendent’s Kickstarter has just 15 hours left on the clock, but backers have already unlocked some great stretch goals. One of the latest Underworld Ascendent stretch goal milestones was $750,000. By passing this post, backers have ensured the inclusion of Lizardmen in the final game. Developer Otherside will now add the Dire Grove environment […]

  • Early Access version of MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore lands on Steam

    MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore has landed on Steam Early Access. The game popped up on Amazon last month for PlayStation 4 before Nordic Games had the chance to announce it was reviving the former-THQ property for current-gen. It still hasn’t by the way, to our knowledge. According to information sent over today, the initial […]

  • Avalanche is making sure Mad Max stays “true to the collective body of work”

    Mad Max developer’s Avalanche Studios sat down with Game Informer, as part of its month-long exclusive coverage, to discuss the game’s development and physics-based car combat. In the video below, director Frank Rooke and senior producer John Fuller explain the process of designing the open-world game; how the narrative was fully integrated into the gameplay […]

  • Destiny will get another update before House of Wolves drops

    Destiny got a major update with patch 1.1.1 last week, but Bungie isn’t done. The next major Destiny update will arrive before the House of Wolves expansion. In this week’s Bungie Weekly Update, the developer said it wasn’t ready to share details yet. However, more information will be shared in the coming weeks. The update […]

  • A beta version of Guild Wars 2′s streaming client releasing soon

    ArenaNet has announced a beat version of its streaming client for Guild Wars 2 will be released alongside its upcoming update. How it works is explained in the latest blog post, but in short, it gets players into the game faster, much the same way the streaming client works in World of Warcraft. “Our goal […]

  • Steam storefront updated with Steam Machines, other product pages

    Valve has updated the Steam storefront with a list of various Steam Machines on offer, which range from $460 to $5,000. There is also a store page for the Steam Controller and Steam Link, both of which are out in November for $49.99 each. Steam Machines listed on the service feature a link to the […]

  • Finally, we get a look at Necropolis in action – video

    No longer content with releasing only gifs of Necropolis, Harebrained Schemes has decided to provide a short video. The upcoming third-person action rogue-like with procedurally generated levels is headed to Linux, Mac and PC sometime next year, with a possible console release as well. If you made to PAX East despite the weather, don’t forget […]

  • Super Dungeon Bros will be one of the first cross-play titles for Xbox One, Windows 10

    Another cross-device multiplayer game for Windows 10 and Xbox One has been announced, and it’s Super Dungeon Bros – a “rock-themed, co-op dungeon brawler” from React Games. Super Dungeon Bros tasks four “bros” with raiding underground crypts built by the gods through an ever-changing layout. There, they will be up against “dangerous foes, deadly obstacles, […]

  • Pre-ordering State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition in US nets an in-game knife

    Those who pre-order the State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition will net a bonus, according to Undead Labs. Select retailers in the US will offer the following knives as in-game pre-order bonus content: GameStop -  The Avalonian :  A true work of art, taken off the body of a fantasy enthusiast whose excitement at having […]

  • Rollercoaster Tycoon World gameplay teaser video released

    Today, Atari has provided a look at gameplay for Rollercoaster Tycoon World. Set for release during the first part of this year, the game allows players to build their own rides and which can be shared with other players. It will also feature four-player co-op.

  • One Heist challenge in GTA Online pays out $10 million in cash

    GTA Online’s new Heists content was previewed by various outlets at GDC 2015 this week, and according to hands-on with the free upcoming content, there’s over 20 hours worth of things to do and quite a bit of money to gain. Oh, and a VTOL Hydra jet too. According to a really informative piece from […]

  • Activision Blizzard makes Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list

    For the first time, Activision Blizzard has been named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for 2015. The survey conducted by Fortune found the company “ranked highly with its employees” which felt the atmosphere was friendly and place in which they could “be themselves.” “We have always considered Activision Blizzard to be […]

  • Evolve Hunt for Gold Weekend nets players special monster skin

    A Evolve community event is taking place this weekend, and participants will receive a special skin for Goliath, Kraken, and Wraith. Dubbed the Evolve Hunt for Gold Weekend, it’s the first in a series of upcoming online community challenges and events taking place over the coming months. Those who log-in starting today at 9pm PST […]

  • This video teases contents of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3

    A teaser video and images for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3 have been posted by Capcom. The assets can be considered potential spoilers, so just be aware of that before having a look. The game’s Season Pass costs $20, and the disc version releases March 17 in North America and on March 20 […]

  • GTA Online Heists teaser video is extremely short

    With Heists coming to GTA Online next week, Rockstar has released one of the shortest teaser videos we’ve seen in ages. Hopefully you didn’t blink. Heists, along with Daily Objectives and Adversary Mode, arrive next week on March 10. The PC version of Heists will arrive on April 14 when the PC version of the […]

  • The Division rumors claim Dark Zones support up to 100 players – video

    With the recent leak of older, pre-alpha footage of the The Division, rumors over the game’s contents have been swirling, and today we have a video for you discussing said rumors. Once of the rumors pertain to the game is that it contains 50-100 Player Dark Zones, which are PvP areas. Supposedly, these areas also […]

  • Here’s a look at MGS5: The Phantom Pain emblem creation, limited edition bionic arm

    A look at how to create your own emblems in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain was demonstrated in the latest Kojima Station broadcast, along with a look at the bionic arm replica included in the limited edition. A Venom Snake emblem will come with the limited edition version of the game, parts of […]

  • Elite: Dangerous coming to PS4 once Xbox One exclusivity period ends

    Elite: Dangerous was announced for Xbox One at GDC 2015 yesterday, and those disappointed over the lack of a PlayStation 4 announcement will be pleased to know it’s in the cards. According to Frontier boss David Braben the space-sim will head to PS4 at some point, once the console exclusivity deal with Microsoft has expired. […]

  • Here’s two new The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt screenshots to salivate over

    Two new screenshots from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have been released, and they are gorgeous as always. The screenshots follow the two released over the weekend. You can look at the new images in full HD glory over on Only Single Player. CD Projekt Red is at PAX East this weekend showing off the latest […]

  • Microsoft looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One

    With Windows 10, Xbox One users will soon be able to stream their games to PC. Microsoft is also looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One, according to news out of GDC. Speaking with Polygon at GDC 2015, Xbox program director Mike Ybarra said the company is also looking into the ability to stream […]

  • Free! Vindictus Lann Revamp codes worth €25

    We have 400 Lann Revamp codes worth €25 to giveaway for free to VG247 readers. All you need to do is enter your details in the box below and you’ll be given a code to redeem in game. The codes are for warrior character Lann and offer a 7 day unlimited Inner Armour pass, battle […]

  • US eShop update: Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli, more

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli and a demo version of Azure Striker GUNVOL. Your full update is below. eShop Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars – Wii U, 3DS – Cross Buy OlliOlli – Wii U, 3DS – Cross-Buy Proun+ – Proun+ […]

  • Rock Band 4 confirmed for Xbox One and PS4: supports old instruments and 2,168 songs

    Harmonix has lifted the lid on the long-rumoured Rock Band 4, stating it will support 2,168 previously released tracks and last-gen instruments on PS4 and Xbox One. The game will be out this year. Harmonix has yet to reveal specific features for the game, but it has been built with a completely new engine. As […]

  • First run of Rodea the Sky Soldier copies on Wii U come with Wii version

    The first print run of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will come with the Wii version packed in, NIS America has confirmed. The publisher confirmed today in a press release that anyone who buys the first run of the retail version of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will find the Wii […]

  • Unreal Tournament 4 lets modders sell cosmetic items to players

    Unreal Tournament 4 is a game built with the help of the modding community. So it’s only natural that it will feature a marketplace where all cosmetic items can be sold. Epic Games has confirmed that it will allow modders from the community to sell the cosmetics items they’ve created on the game’s marketplace. The […]

  • D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is coming to PC – rumour

    SWERY 65 has shown off D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die running on PC at GDC this week, teasing that a possible port may be on the way. D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is SWERY 65′s latest project. An episodic detective affair, D4 came out on Xbox One last September and utilised Kinect as its main […]

  • Valve’s Lighthouse, VR controllers and more explained

    Valve’s less-talked about prototype VR controllers and its Lighthouse technology have been shown in more detail. When HTC announced Vive, the VR headset it’s working on with Valve, it mentioned “base stations” and ergonomic controllers. Now we know what they meant by that. The controllers are still in prototype phase, and will look better when […]

  • Listen to two professional Counter-Strike players explain why Dust2 is so popular

    Hear what makes iconic Counter-Strike map Dust2 one of the most popular maps in shooter history from two former eSports players. Sal “Volcano” Garozzo and Shawn “FMPONE” Snelling are both retired professional Counter-Strike players who are currently working as designers. At GDC this year, the pair hosted a panel titled “Community Level Design for Competitive […]

  • Core Morpheus hardware locked in, no plans for wireless version

    Sony has finalised the core hardware for its VR headset Project Morpheus, and does not currently plan on releasing a wireless version. SCE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida spoke to Gamespot at GDC and confirmed that the core hardware of Morpheus is “pretty much done” but that “lots of tweaks and improvements” are still being […]

  • Watch the full Phil Spencer keynote from GDC 2015

    The full GDC 2015 keynote of Xbox boss Phil Spencer is now available to watch. In case you missed last nights’s Phil Spencer keynote at GDC 2015, the whole thing has been made available to watch on YouTube. The address is titled “The Future of Gaming Across the Microsoft Ecosytem,” and it’s where Spencer announced […]

  • Elite: Dangerous won’t be “dumbed down” for Xbox One

    The Xbox One version of Elite: Dangerous will in fact be the same as the PC one. Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier came out on stage last night at GDC to announce the game making its console debut on Xbox One. Some have feared that the port would not provide the same experience as the PC […]

  • Virtual reality: by gum, it’s really happening

    Virtual reality has exited the realm of peripheral gimmick and turned into something that just might go mainstream. VR has an uphill battle ahead of it. The tech is going to be expensive, and there are a number of problems that need to be solved before it could be considered an inclusive technology (motion sickness, […]

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor takes Game of the Year at GDC Awards 2015

    And the winner is: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor beat out Alien: Isolation, Bayonetta 2, Destiny, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft to win Game of the Year at the Game Developer’s Choice Awards 2015. Elsewhere in the awards, Ustwo’s mobile hit Monument Valley was a stand-out favourite, with wins in the Innovation, […]

  • Alien: Isolation was prototyped in third-person – video

    Alien: Isolation is one of the most effectively scary triple-A games in years, but it didn’t start off a perfect creation of pure terror. Creative Assembly prototyped Alien: Isolation in third-person perspective before they nailed down the final approach. The developer revealed this during a GDC 2015 presentation, and it’s a good reminder that games […]

  • Madden 15 added to EA Vault

    Madden 15 is now included in EA’s all-you-can-eat subscriber service. Madden 15 is the ninth game to be added to the EA Vault, a stash of games available on demand for EA Access subscribers. It's still Madden Season for EA Access members – Madden NFL 15 is now in The Vault for all members. Go […]

  • Source Engine 2 doesn’t have hidden costs or royalties – but is Steam exclusive

    Three major engines went free at GDC 2015, and each of them is monetising in a different way. There’s been a heck of a lot of discussion about development tools and the costs associated with them during GDC 2015. First Epic announced that Unreal Engine 4 would be free, bar royalities on successful releases. Then […]

  • Final Fantasy creator hates sequels

    Final Fantasy, a byword in prolific franchises, was created by a man who hates sequel. Final Fantasy games are famous for being reinvented with each core release, and it was not until series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi began to withdraw from the franchise after Final Fantasy 9 that we started seeing regular sequels and spin-offs. Speaking […]

  • Guardian complaints led to the closure of Destiny’s Loot Cave

    Destiny players are to blame for the shuttering of the much loved Loot Cave. Early in Destiny‘s history, many players got hugely excited about the “Loot Cave”. Accessible shortly after starting the game for the first time, this high-volume spawn point allowed players to stand in one place, taking out waves and waves of low-level […]

  • Xbox and PC games boss Phil Harrison to leave Microsoft – rumour

    Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business VP and EMEA head of games Phil Harrison is rumoured to have thrown in the towel. Microsoft has not issued a statement on Harrison’s alleged departure, despite repeated questioning by press at GDC 2015. Instead, word comes via multiple sources speaking to GamesIndustry at the show. According to the rumours, Harrison […]

  • Metal Gear Online commentated trailer explains stuffed dog – but not invisibility

    Metal Gear Online developer Kojima Productions has provided significantly more insight into how the multiplayer side of The Phantom Pain works. Metal Gear Online is the online multiplayer component of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Konami hasn’t shared a great deal about it yet, but we did see a very cool Metal Gear […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Xbox One trailer shows off space MMO

    If Elite: Dangerous looks this good on Xbox One we have nothing to complain about. Microsoft revealed Elite: Dangerous is coming to Xbox One this year during its GDC presentations today. We don’t know very much about the port, but I suppose we ought to have expected it; Frontier Developments has a very close relationship […]

  • Battletoads to appear in Shovel Knight Xbox One

    A Battletoads remake must be on the horizon. Right? Right?? The Battletoads will appear in the upcoming Xbox One version of Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games revealed today. The Battletoads drop in for a fight! Shovel Knight is headed to Xbox One and meets up with @RareLtd brawling trio! pic.twitter.com/OCQIuWbH3W — Yacht Club Games (@YachtClubGames) […]

  • The Division pre-alpha footage leaks, Ubisoft says it’s well out of date

    The Division fans finally got a look at Ubisoft’s MMO this week, but the publisher has said the footage is not in any way representative. Pre-alpha footage of the The Division was leaked this week, but has since been thoroughly smacked down by takedown notices. All that remains are a few screenshots and a GIF: […]

  • Microsoft HoloLens designer killed in hit and run accident

    Very sad news out of Redmond this week, as Mike Ey was killed in a tragic accident. Ey, 30, was one of the key project designers on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset. He was killed on Saturday morning in a rear-end collision. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene but was tracked down by […]

  • AMD throws support behind VR with new low-latency anti-nausea tech

    GPU manufacturer AMD has released a new SDK compatible with “a broad set of VR devices”. Called LiquidVR, the tech is designed to “bring better content, comfort, and compatibility to VR applications” including games, simulation, entertainment, education, social media, travel, medicine, real estate and ecommerce, apparently. AMD said maintaining comfort and realism in VR environments […]

  • Danganronpa 3 in the works, but a long way off yet

    A new Danganronpa is happening. Danganronpa 3 is in the very, very early production stages, writer Kodaka Kazutaka has confirmed. Nothing about the project is “set in stone”, Kazutaka told Polygon, so there are no details to share yet; the characters and story may change several times before being finalised. The writer said he’s weighing […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League 2015 schedule announced

    Major League Gaming has announced the full schedule for the 2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League. The eSpots firm revealed two more seasons of Pro League, a live Relegation tournament for Season Three, and a season ending World Championship with $250,000 up for grabs You can watch all the action on MLG.tv […]

  • Happy Birthday PlayStation 2, you are almost old enough to drive

    Amidst all the GDC 2015 hoopla today, we forgot to wish PlayStation 2 a Happy Birthday. The system turned 15 years old today, going by its March 4, 2000 launch date in Japan. It was released in the west that autumn, and had shipped 100 million units in less than six years post launch. PS2 […]

  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]