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Here comes the new boss: fears for Halo’s future

Sunday, 11 March 2012 11:39 GMT By Mike

Microsoft, Bungie and 343 Industries have bent over backwards to assure fans the studio handover won’t change anything for Halo 4. Mike Bowden dares to doubt.

The very thing that made Halo magical, the very reason I invested so much time doing the kinds of things I described, in all the manners I which I described it in, was because of Bungie’s decision to keep the Chief’s character as empty as possible.

Halo is the best console shooter to date. There, I said it. I don’t really believe that, however. In fact, I’m chuckling to myself as I’m writing. No. Halo is actually the best shooter to date, period, but I like the PC crowd and don’t wanna piss on their chips; they been good to me, y’know?

Now, with that said, I’m sure that once-crowded room that only a VG247 headline article can create, now only has a handful of people in it. My audience. I love you too.

However, this article isn’t about how great Halo is. It isn’t about how, the first time I played it, I got “the rush”. I felt like it was me behind the wheel. That perfect head shot. That sticky grenade thrown right across the map, soaring through the air majestically like Pat Garratt on his way home from San Francisco, landing on its invisible Elite target with aplomb. The musicality of the faint screaming of Grunts as the Elite tries to take cover but no: all dead. I took aim, I pitched, I shot. I scored. Heaven.

Next time I played however, I missed. So I didn’t wipe them all out I one go and the game was different. Another time I had a different weapon load-out which again, changed how I approached the situation. If I was feeling particularly aggressive I would steam in (not on Legendary obviously, that would be stupid), determined to come out on the other side ablaze with the kind vigour and verve of a Master Chief: a man of battle. (It took man-guts to write those words). Or, in a more thoughtful, reflective – a kind of quiet vicious – mood, I would hang back, targeting the Elites and Jackals from afar then simply waltz across the battlefield, meleeing the hapless Grunts, who flit around with flapping arms begging for their lives.

Then there are the Warthogs I could pick up and mow my enemies down with, or not. Then there were the marines whom I could take with me, or not. Then there were the Banshees I could fly in, or not.

My choice. My game. My sandbox. My Chief. Me.

Oh, Halo. There’s never been another game like you. Or should that be, there’s never been another game like me?

What am I talking about? Indeed, what. Trust me, hold someone’s hand and keep reading – this goes deep.

The very thing that made Halo magical, the very reason I invested so much time doing the kinds of things I described, in all the manners I which I described it in, was because of Bungie’s decision to keep the Chief’s character as empty as possible. I’m calling Bungie Lead Writer (and marine voice-actor) Joseph Staten to the stand, who, in February 2011, told Industry Gamers that:

We left out details to increase immersion; the less players knew about the Chief, we believed, the more they would feel like the Chief.”

Under 10? Halo At A Glance:

Halo: Combat Evolved released in 2001 as a launch title for the fledgling and unproven Xbox, the first American-made home console to challenge Japanese domination in generations by going head-to-head with PS2. It was originally expected to be a Mac exclusive and also appeared on OS-X and PC. The series is generally credited with popularising online multiplayer in the console sphere, thanks to Microsoft’s revolutionary Xbox Live, and the franchise has become one of the platform’s most important exclusives. The latest release is a remake of the first game, an Anniversary Edition built on the Halo: Reach engine.

Bungie developed the first three numbered games as well as Reach before handing over to the Microsoft-owned 343 Industries. With Halo 4, due for release in the 2012 holiday season, 343 will begin a new trilogy called Reclaimer.

Damn straight. Hoo-rah! Boom! Etc. He called it. I can’t disagree with him. He nailed it. Or, Bungie nailed it. Apart from the open maps, the underlying story-arc, the locations, the weapon-balance (*cough*pistol*cough*), the score – oh my God, Marty! THE SCORE! (getting goosebumps just thinking about those chanting monks), the hidden-treasures, the co-op, the multiplayer, the way the team almost single-handedly redefined our expectations for online gaming across the board, it was that – that was the overriding feature of Halo that made, or makes, it legendary and moreover The Chief so goddam sexy. It’s because he’s you, he’s me (he’s more me than you, obv.), he’s a symbol of your playing style, he’s everything you want your hero to be. Like most things in life, Staten’s design decision was beautiful in its simplicity. Forget John 117 or whoever he is/was, I’m Spartacus.

Ok, great. I’ve single-handedly encapsulated what elevates Halo above every other shooter franchise out there. Well done me. Now what? Well, the whole poit of this is, is I have to tell you, I’m scared. I’m scared because 343 Industries has just announced they’re taking bold steps with regard to the big man’s character. They’re delving and I’m not sure I like it.

343’s Frank O’Connor, aka Mr. Halo to some, told our aforementioned trailblazing international editor, Mr. Patrick Garratt-if-you-please back on the West Coast of the US: 343 wants to delve into Chief’s character to see what “makes him tick”.

*Gasp*

“There will absolutely be these quiet moments of introspection and character study in the game, but […] you’re going to walk around the corner and see a staggeringly huge, bigger than Hollywood set-piece,” Frankie said.

Now that last bit I like, but I can’t help but ask myself the question: Is 343 in danger of alienating players and their affections for Master Chief? Were Staten’s words only last year perhaps those of warning for the fledgling studio? Surely the more Master Chief gets his own character, the less me there is, ergo the less enjoyment I’ll get?

“Immersion was the main goal here. Also keeping the Chief a man of few words reinforced what we wanted to be a tough-as-nails soldierly persona,” said Staten. His formula is tried and tested. So is 343’s, if were being honest. I’ve assumed the role of many a character whilst playing a video game. In fact, RPGs are my bread and butter. I’ve assumed the role of the lonely soldier, the bad-ass soldier, the deep, introspective soldier, the wise-cracking, thick-skinned-but-fragile-on-the-inside-and-a-huge-hit-with-the-ladies soldier, but the personality and character for the Master Chief, that what makes him indubitably iconic, is that with the Halo franchise, the hero is who I want him to be and the genius of it all was, was that the game engine facilitated and more than catered for the scope of imagination, hence its enormous popularity and following.

As a Halo fan, 343 has got me worried. The panic button hasn’t been pushed yet, but I’m worried. Please, Mr. 343 man, don’t take my me away from me.

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25 Comments

  1. absolutezero

    Halo invented the FPS.

    Halo invented self-insertion characters.

    Halo invented guns.

    8/10

    #1 3 years ago
  2. BULArmy

    The original Halo was fun and all, but the sequels were the CoD of the past, overrated mediocrity.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Erthazus

    To be honest, Master chief was not empty, he was (and still) underdeveloped. If you look to any Halo character, they are all underdeveloped…

    For example Half-Life’s Gordon Freeman is pretty much an empty character and he never said a single word and some people say that he is the best character in videogames because Gordon Freeman have a strong connection and relationships with NPC’s.
    The only strong connection between Chief is Cortana in my opinion and he still speaks with her and that just not make him really empty. That just makes him underdeveloped. So Microsoft or 343 industries trying to search “that” sweet spot for him.

    Everything else, well, Halo sucks in every major way it is. Don’t want to repeat myself. It’s an overhyped FPS game which had the first supported mp on the console, when other people played a ton of great MP games out there on the PC.

    @1, LOL

    #3 3 years ago
  4. pukem0n

    “Under 18? Halo At A Glance:

    Halo: Combat Evolved released in 2011 as a launch title for the fledgling and unproven Xbox,”

    2011?
    mixed up a 1 with a 0 :S

    #4 3 years ago
  5. polygem

    3: if it comes to gameplaymechanics this is the best shooter ever created – i canot understand how anyone can seriously say it´s “…overhyped…and sucks in every major way”. this is just “overarrogant” bullshit. halo is almost perfect. what bungie achieved with halo is absoluteley stunning and to me the legend of zelda, super mario and halo are the most important gaming franchises ever created and the definition of gaming. almost everything we see today takes reference from these 3 ip´s really…you can now go on and namedrop older games those games took references from – but still i believe the most impact do these three have.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. _LarZen_

    “Halo is the best console shooter to date”

    I stopped reading after that.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Maximum Payne

    @6 So what is yours then ?
    BF or cod ? :)

    #7 3 years ago
  8. _LarZen_

    @7 Cant say I have 1 that is way better then all others, but personaly I think fps games like Bioshock 1,Bioshock 2,Metro 2033,Crysis 2 etc are just as good then the Halo games. Some of them even way better…

    Enjoy COD and BF also, but it’s getting a little “old”..just like Halo.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Da Man

    Fun fact 1: PC elitists don’t like Halo.

    Fun fact 2: Erthazus is a moron who has no life other than this website and his shitty comments and he’s yet to state one reason why Halo is anything but good. Hardly anything to repeat. Only real one he hates it is because he feels threatened and believes people shouldn’t play first person shooters on consoles. That however doesn’t make this game any worse.

    Fun Fact 3: Erthazus is a ret-.. Oh, don’t want to repeat myself.

    Oh, and it is the best multiplayer on consoles. Campaign is a matter of taste. Halo is unparalleled in terms of AI and sandbox anyway.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Da Man

    Forgot to add that Half Life is a boring piece of shit.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Da Man

    And, #5 (polygem) still haven’t figured this out?

    People have nothing but PC games and internet in their life. These people have a wrong sense of entitlement. They believe their precious computer toys shouldn’t appear anywhere but PC. Halo is pretty much the reason why fps became popular on consoles. PC nerds are sad.

    This link never gets old, doesn’t it:
    http://kotaku.com/5398204/halo-reach-beta-shots-sneak-out-of-ms-hq-updated?comment=16881046#comments

    Poor misguided soul hated this game before he could even spell it. Holy war, innit.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. LOLshock94

    Halo is amazing and half life is shit, specially the story for half life….just so shit

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Hunam

    Wow, I’m almost certain some of you people are getting more stupid by the day.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Maximum Payne

    @8 Good taste.
    M apology for suspicious :)

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Da Man

    Butthurted for sake didn’t was consolized casuals.

    Hentai, PC and internet for life.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Mike

    Anyway, do you agree with what the article actually says about the Chief’s character and its implementation in Halo 4?

    #16 3 years ago
  17. OrbitMonkey

    ^ tch, mike. You start a article stating YOUR opinion that Halo is the greatest and expect the average reader to be able to focus on the rest?

    I do agree on your latter point that Chief is a superb cypher. I think of him as white, a black friend of mine thinks he’s black, we’re both gonna be disappointed if it’s revealed that chief is Chinese. Y’know what I’m saying?

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Killerbee

    Interesting article.

    I can’t say I agree that Halo is the best shooter ever but then I guess that makes me one of those PC bores. Yeah, guilty as charged (though I’d stil also take TimeSplitters 2 and Black before Halo when it comes to last-gen console shooters – so sue me).

    But yeah. The cipher thing. I agree about the iconic design of the Chief’s armour and (being a PC bore) I like the Gordon Freeman approach with the silent protagonist, but I think you’re elevating the Halo mythos too much. It’s a great shooter, and that is the main reason to play it – not the narrative or lore which I could take or leave really. Give me that sandbox and AI yes. If 343 frame a decent character story round that then great. But like other beloved shooter franchises – Doom or Unreal, say – we know they’re not going to be the next Bioshock so it’s not a major worry.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. LOLshock95

    I’m gay

    #19 3 years ago
  20. LOLshock94

    Same

    but not as gay as phoenixshite ;)

    #20 3 years ago
  21. No_PUDding

    @Killerbee

    Utterly spot on. You play it for the shooter, not the character. Halo 4 might try, but it’s very easy to forget about the developers intentions for a character who’s yours ultimately.

    No worries Mike, it’ll be good!

    @LOLshock95

    Me too!

    #21 3 years ago
  22. xxJPRACERxx

    What I don’t like about Halo is the floaty feel, the bland environments and level design, the boring enemies and the colourful look.

    What I like about Halo is the weapons feel, good control (for console I think it’s one of the best), nice story (but like I’ve said previously I don’t like the level design), good multiplayer (both co-op/firefight and competitive) and many options.

    For console this is probably the best package available. About single player or the overall series, I prefer Half-Life.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. shadders

    Halo is the best shooter ever made, the remarkable thing is how far ahead of the competition it is.

    Bioshock
    Crysis
    BF
    COD
    Metro

    When you really look at these games, when you peel away the flashy bells and whistles and look at the actual things you do in the game, Halo is streets ahead. We always talk about how Halo influenced all the shooters that came after it, but playing through Halo Anniversary recently, the thing that surprised me was how much it hadn’t influenced modern games. Things Halo was getting right in 2001 other franchises are still floundering with 10 years later.

    Weapon balance, sandbox, enemy AI, the mix of vehicle & on foot combat, the freedom to express yourself through play, in all of these regards Halo is peerless.

    As for 343i butchering our game.. it’s a possibility. I remain hopeful for now, because above all else I want it to be brilliant, but in situations like this there will always be trepidation. The worst case scenario is that I just pretend it didn’t happen, remove it from my consciousness and believe the story ended at Halo 3. In much the same way that I believe there are only 3 Star Wars films.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. ManuOtaku

    The thing that worries me the most about this post is that now we have two LOLshock (94,95) 8D

    #24 3 years ago
  25. ysleiro

    I agree with everything the writer wrote. Indeed Halo is the best FPS shooter series to date.

    Some of the guys here just don’t get what he is talking about or haven’t stepped out of the box and analyzed a game for what it is. A piece of technology and art.

    Technologically alone Halo goes unmatched to this day. Unparalleled multi-player experience. Amazing balance of vehicle use. A great Sand-box feel. FORGE, Game recording (the list is too big). Basically it boils down to “Halo is a technological ass whooping”.

    The one game that I think is trying and deserves honorable mention is Battlefield for it’s NICE vehicle use and sand-box feel as well.

    Art is where Halo stopped being a front runner after Halo 2 (and it’s not because of graphics). I’m talking about story telling. Not that the story sucks or the story telling got LAME as hell but they could certainly improve on this.

    #25 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Heroes of Might & Magic 3 HD Edition is now available on PC as well as Android and iOS tablets. The fifteen year-old title has been revamped in full HD and includes the seven original campaign scenarios and 48 skirmish maps. Local multiplayer mode, a map editor and a Steam lobby are also included.

  • 50 finalists for Bohemia Interactive’s Make Arma Not War contest announced

    The 50 finalists for Bohemia Interactive’s €500,000 Make Arma Not War contest have been announced, after the firm combed through over 250 entries. Finalists chosen in the single-player category were chosen by Arma 3 players, and the add-on and multipkayer entries were selected by Bohemia Interactive. Winners for the next round will be evaluated by […]

  • Here’s a new batch of gruesome Killing Floor 2 screenshots

    Tripwire Interactive has released a new batch of screenshots for Killing Floor 2. The screens show various weapons as well as a variety of Zeds ready to tear you to shreds. Killing Floor 2 is slated for release this year on PC and PlayStation 4. It will also be made available for SteamOS.

  • Hatred is now available for pre-order, new video released

    Hatred is now available for pre-order through the game’s official website. There are two editions to choose from: Digital version with the official game soundtrack for €16.66; or the Digital version with the game soundtrack and a T-shirt for €36.66. The second edition is limited to 1,485 units. Hatred, which was handed an AO rating […]

  • This The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D TV spot is sort of creepy

    With The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D arriving on the first Friday the 13th of the year, it’s only fitting Nintendo would release a slightly creepy TV spot for it. The game’s concept is rather dark, and while it the commercial isn’t too creeptastic, for as short as it is the message is conveyed […]

  • GTA 5 “documentary” chronicles the life of a Tennis Pro

    Here’s another user created video featuring footage from GTA 5, but this one is a documentary instead of crazy stunts, mayhem and face-plants. Created by Bombastic Gamer Films, the documentary delves into the life of Tennis Pro Andreas Schmovakovic, who is both the “greatest player in the world, and the worst.” It’s rather good honestly. […]

  • World of Tanks Xbox 360 updated with console exclusive Pacific Island map, JapaneseChi-Nu Kai tank

    World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition has been updated with a new and exclusive console-only map called “Pacific Island”, which also comes with a Japanese tank. Players will be able to wreck havoc in their very own Japanese Chi-Nu Kai tank, which ca be picked up through the in-game store for Tier 5. It tank […]

  • Here’s the first trailer for OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood

    Roll 7 has released the first trailer for OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood. Gameplay in the second outing will include ramps, jumps and hills, allowing for plenty of air and split level routes. It comes with a deeper combo system with Manuals, Reverts, Revert Manuals and Grind Switching. The ‘Tricktionary’ has also been updated with new […]

  • Learn all about the single-player mode in this Evolve video

    A video showing off the single-player portion of Evolve has been released by 2K and Turtle Rock. All content in the game can be played in either online multiplayer or offline in single-player. The video below contains two matches of Defend mode played from both the Monster and Hunter perspective. AI obviously takes on the […]

  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U update comes with 15 extra stages

    An update for Super Smash Bros. Wii U has been released, and it comes with 15 new stages for the 8-player mode. The update, version 1.0.2., is 316MB in size and the stages are split with nine normal stages and six Omega stages. Here’s the list: Regular stages Animal Crossing – Smashville Animal Crossing – […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update includes Metroid Prime Trilogy, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. demo

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with the Metroid Prime Trilogy, Shadow of the Ninja on Virtual Console and a demo for Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Here’s your update: Metroid Prime: Trilogy – Wii U Rock ’N Racing Off Road – Wii U Frenchy Bird – Wii U Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. – […]

  • Battlefield Hardline open beta takes place next week on all systems

    Details and dates for the Battlefield Hardline open multiplayer beta were announced by EA and Visceral Games today. From February 3-8, the beta will be available to all players worldwide on Origin for PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. You’ll notice that the dates coincide with the Microsoft slip up earlier in […]

  • Transistor, Yakuza 4, Thief headline February PS Plus offerings

    Sony has announced your free PlayStation Plus games for the month of February. Come February 3 in North America and February 4 in Europe, Plus members on both side of the pond will be gifted with the following: Transistor (PS4) Apotheon (PS4) Yakuza 4 (PS3) Thief (PS3) Rogue Legacy (PS Vita|PS4|PS3) Kick & Fennick (PS […]

  • Life is Strange launch trailer and final dev diary released

    With the first episode of Life is Strange releasing tomorrow, Dontnod Entertainment has released the last developer diary for the title as well as the launch trailer. Titled Creating Arcadia Bay, the video provides more information on the licensed soundtrack as well as the voice actors behind Max and Chloe. It also touches upon how […]

  • LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers out this year

    LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers have been announced by Warner Bros., the former was outed by Toys R Us and then teased at the end of LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, if you recall. LEGO Jurassic World encompasses all four Jurassic Park films and will be made available in June for 3DS, PC, […]

  • Pokemon, Super Smash Bros. top Nintendo’s million units sales list for Q3

    Nintendo has posted a list of titles which have sold millions of units as part of its quarter three earnings release. Global unit sales of 3DS titles for the nine months ending December 31, 2014: Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire: 9.35 million (life-to-date, same) Super Smash Bros.: 6.19 million (life-to-date, same) Tomodachi Life: 2.11 […]

  • How to take a screenshot on Xbox One: a lesson in frustration

    Trying to do just one simple thing seems to have 360 steps with Microsoft – why is the Xbox One’s functionality such a car crash? “The Xbox One’s definition of usability is in fact the exact opposite – this is a console designed to make life inconvenient for its players unless they sign up for […]

  • Game of Thrones’ Westeros is being made in Minecraft by 125 people

    WesterosCraft, the project dedicated to creating the entirety of Game of Thrones’ Westros has resurfaced. There are more than a few ambitious Minecraft projects, but hardly any as impressive as WesterosCraft. We first came across it all the way back in January 2013, but it looks much better now. “I would say the world is […]

  • Dying Light exploit gives you unlimited money and items

    Dying Light has been out for just over a day and an infinite money and item exploit is already out there. A simple exploit has been discovered in Dying Light that lets you duplicate weapons, all of which you can sell for profit. Win/ win. YouTuber PowerPyx lays out the steps in the handy video […]

  • Sunset Overdrive concept art is as jovial as the game itself

    Sunset Overdrive is a colourful game which is partly due to its concept art. The concept art featured below is created by Vaughan Ling, one of the concept artsists who worked on Sunset Overdrive. Anyone who’s played the game will immediately recognise the locations, weapons, character designs and general atmosphere of the game through these. […]

  • Get an extended look at the PS4 version of Project CARS

    The PlayStation 4 version of Project CARS has been shown in 1080p 60fps. The video below is captured by racing game enthusiasts Team VVV from a preview build. You can see different racing disciplines being demonstrated here, on different circuits. The game’s impressive visuals get even better when the weather gets worse.

  • Battle Pod is the Star Wars arcade game you’ve waited your whole life for

    Star Wars: Battle Pod is an arcade game that lets you replay the battles of the original trilogy, and features an incredible cockpit. If you’ve never played a game at an arcade before, Star Wars: Battle Pod will definitely be the one to change your mind. It’s an arcade cabinet out of a classic Star […]

  • CoD Exo Zombies: how to unlock the Ride of the Valkyries Easter egg

    To no one’s surprise, Exo Zombies mode in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has some Easter eggs. The first Exo Zombies Easter egg, of surely many more to come, has been discovered. It’s a musical one that involves Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. How you unlock it is not as convoluted as you might […]

  • Dying Light is sub-1080p on Xbox One, full 1080p on PS4 – report

    Early analysis of Dying Light on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has revealed a few technical details about both ports. Digital Foundry has produced some analysis of both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports of Dying Light based on some early testing. Both versions manage a solid 30 frames-per-second, only dipping below that in […]

  • Battlefield 4 Second Assault DLC free to all EA Access members

    EA is offering Battlefield 4′s Second Assault expansion free to anyone with an active EA Access subscription. Anyone with an active subscription to EA Access can download the Second Assault expansion pack for Battlefield 4 starting January 29 and through February 28, free of charge. All you need to do is find it on the […]

  • The Witcher 3 is getting optimised, but no visual downgrade

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is in the final stages of development and developer CD Projekt RED is making sure optimisation work doesn’t impact the game’s visuals. The Witcher 3 art producer, Michal Stec, spoke to Eternity in an interview and was asked whether the team will downgrade the visuals to get better performance. “No. […]

  • Can’t download Dying Light on PS4? Here’s a fix

    If you’ve bought Dying Light on PS4 and you’re having trouble downloading it, you’re not alone. Here’s how to beat the bug. Techland’s Dying Light is stumbling out of the blocks a little this week, with many PS4 users experiencing problems with their full-game downloads. A bug’s to blame. Your console thinks you’ve already installed […]

  • What The Witcher 3 owes to Skyrim – and how it surpasses it

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt owes more than a nod to Bethesda’s Skyrim. I went to see The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and had a great time. I went in a fan of the books but not very experienced with the first two games. I came out with The Witcher 3 top of my gaming […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online has great monsters

    Dragon’s Dogma Online looks pretty rad – an undesirable quality in a game unlikely to come west, from our perspective. The first Dragon’s Dogma trailer was released this afternoon; admire its beauty below. The free to play online RPG was announced for PC, PlayStation 3 and PS4 overnight, but Capcom doesn’t intend to bring it […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X map about five times the size of last game’s

    Xenoblade Chronicles X is not a small game. This week’s Famitsu has a feature on Xenoblade Chronicles X giving some details on Monolith Soft’s next RPG and first Wii U game. According to Siliconera‘s translation of reports on the feature, the game’s map is about five times the size of that in Xenoblade Chronicles. The […]

  • Take on Mars expected to hit beta in April

    Take on Mars, the space sim from Bohemia Interactive will soon be reader for wider consumption. According to a new Take on Mars development roadmap, the sim will go into beta at the start of April, with full release expected in June. The project is currently available via Steam early Access, but between now and […]

  • Can you guess the next Mortal Kombat X character reveal from this fatality audio clip?

    Mortal Kombat X will have at least one very liquid-sounding fatality. NetherRealm is revealing Mortal Kombat X’s cats one character at a time, and has promised a new reveal during a community Twitch stream tomorrow. It also provided the following teaser video – it’s audio only, and apparently taken from a fatality sequence. What’s your […]

  • Nintendo Creators Program now recruiting YouTubers – PewDiePie, others weigh-in

    Nintendo has opened a Creators Program designed to ensure creators get a slice of ad revenue from videos featuring Nintendo assets, and some prominent YouTubers aren’t pleased with the company. Update “What Nintendo are missing out on completely is the free exposure and publicity that they get from YouTube,” wrote Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) on his […]

  • Xbox Live issues under investigation

    Can’t sign into Xbox Live? Microsoft is on the case. Xbox 360 and Xbox One users report being unable to sign in to Xbox Live. Microsoft is already aware of and working on the problem. “Our team is hard at work right now trying to get this resolved. Thank you for staying patient while we […]

  • Make money from your non-Valve mods with Steam Workshop

    Valve has opened the money-making side of Steam Workshop to third-party titles, giving enterprising modders more ways to make money. Steam now hosts curated Workshops for Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, the first non-Valve games to support the scheme. What that means is that community members can create, vote on and eventually even […]

  • Check out DmC: Devil May Cry’s new manual lock-on

    DmC: Devil may Cry developer Ninja Theory has released a video showing off the new, controversial lock-on mode. The new manual lock-on is causing quite a stir, although its reception is probably better than the white-wigged Dante who makes fans even more upset than the original makeover. “The primary purpose of this video is to […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes looks pretty fun

    Dragon Quest Heroes is yet another Omega Force take on an existing property – like Hyrule Warriors or the One Piece games. And it looks pretty sweet. We haven’t heard much from Dragon Quest Heroes here in the west because it hasn’t been confirmed for release outside Japan. This isn’t terribly surprising as we still […]

  • Square Enix to reveal new PS4 game this weekend

    Square Enix is doing something pretty mysterious right now. The Final Fantasy publisher is teasing something called Project Code Z. The project, which Square Enix is tweeting about in Japanese, English and German, is due for reveal at Tokaigi 2015 on Saturday. It’s a PS4 game, but that’s all we know. There’s a website you […]

  • Tetris has crowned its first known western Grand Master

    Tetris fans have a new western champion. Tetris is one of those gaming obsessions that goes much deeper than you might expect. For example, did you know that some versions of the game assess your performance and over you the chance to become a “grand master”? Turns out that’s a thing, and according to Polygon […]

  • Ken Levine’s next game teased as “sci-fi-ish” small, open-world RPG

    A series of tweets from BioShock creator Ken Levine has shed a sliver of light upon his next project. According to Levine he and his team are considering something a bit sci-fi and contemplating first-person mode. The team is developing the game for PC with a large in scope, expandable, systems-based narrative where more can […]

  • Become a lynx in new Shelter 2 trailer

    Shelter 2 casts players in the role of a lynx, which makes for quite a different experience to the badger of the first game. The first Shelter game had you evading predators, but in the second, you becomes one yourself. That doesn’t mean there are no dangers to face, of course. Judging by the trailer […]

  • Why King of Fighters 13 isn’t coming back to Evo

    Evo, the premiere western fighting game tournament, has dropped support for a few previously favoured titles. King of Fighters 13 had a loyal following, but isn’t featured in the Evo 2015 line-up. “Many things go into what games makes it to Evo, but the most obvious one is, ‘Is the community playing this game?’” Evo […]

  • An average Evolve match takes less than ten minutes

    Evolve players are pretty quick at hunting each other down. Evolve developer Turtle Rock has released an infographic brimming with statistics garnered from its recent beta test. One of the key takeaways is that all three monsters, and all four classes, are working as intended – their performance in game matches Turtle Rock’s designs. If […]

  • Super Mario Amiibo can be pre-ordered on Nintendo UK, Mario and Peach sold out

    The latest set of Amiibo in the Super Mario series is now available for pre-purchase through the Nintendo UK Store. Each of the following sports a red base and will run you £10.99: Bowser, Luigi, Mario, Peach, Toad and Yoshi. It looks like Peach and Mario are both sold out, though. All six can be […]

  • The Music of League of Legends Vol. 1 free to download now

    League of Legends has excellent music, and now you can have it too. The Music of League of Legends Vol. 1 collects 15 tracks from the MOBA’s history, and is available for free. You can grab the music from iTunes, Google Play or via direct download. Tere’s an example track below to get you in […]

  • Super Bowl 49 update arrives on Madden NFL Mobile

    With Super Bowl 49 occurring this coming Sunday, February 1, EA Sports has updated Madden NFL Mobile with new feature enhancements and Super Bowl-themed Live Events. Updates include: League vs League Tournaments Obstacle Course Super Bowl Bonus Players Tom Brady and Richard Sherman Super Bowl Legends Super Bowl Moments Upgraded Auction House The Super Bowl […]

  • See Super Smash Bros.’ unused custom moves

    Super Smash Bros. was originally intended to have 16 custom moves per character. The final version of Super Smash Bros. only features 12 custom moves per fighter, but Nintendo left animations for some of the cut moves in place. A Youtuber called RED has dug these cut mvoes out of the brawler’s code, and displayed […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt contains 16 hours of sex scene mo-cap data

    Sex is nothing new to the The Witcher games, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is no exception. In fact, it contains 16 hours of sex scene motion capture data. Giggity. There’s a reason for the bedroom dalliances though, as Geralt is a flesh and blood human, or a modified human at any rate, with […]

  • Here’s the launch trailer for Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered

    A launch trailer for Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered has been released after an Amazon listing was revealed for it over the weekend. Key upgrades include: High-definition Graphics — All of the in-game textures have been meticulously recreated in HD for mobile and desktop. Widescreen Support – A true widescreen (not cropped) view strengthens the game’s […]

  • The open beta for Battlefield Hardline will be dated tomorrow

    The exact dates as well as more information on the Battlefield Hardline open beta will be shared tomorrow. This is according to the latest blog post from developer Visceral Games. “We’ll share the exact dates and info on the Battlefield Hardline open beta tomorrow,” wrote Visceral boss Steve Papoutsis. “Stay tuned, thanks again, and keep […]

  • Upcoming Hearthstone patch to apply balance change to Undertaker

    An upcoming Hearthstone patch will apply a balance change to the Undertaker card, Blizzard has announced. After the release of Goblins vs Gnomes, Blizzard said it kept an “eye on the state of game balance” as more matches were played using the additional cards. Released with The Curse of Naxxramas, Undertaker is considered an overly […]

  • February Games with Gold offers up Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

    The free games on offer in February via Xbox Live Games with Gold have been announced. Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One can download #IDARB during February. Xbox 360 users can grab Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons from February 1-15, when it will be replaced by Sniper Elite V2 from February 16 -28. […]

  • Kinguin blames unidentified Russian for deactivated Far Cry 4 keys

    Third-party game key seller Kinguin is issuing refunds to those who found their games deactivated through Ubisoft’s Uplay service. Customers which purchased keys for Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4, The Crew and Watch Dogs are affected. Kinguin said 4,600 customer tickets were submitted over the last 72 hours and 35 out of 3,400 of […]

  • Video Unlimited to be re-branded as PlayStation Video starting in February

    Like Music Unlimited, Sony’s Video Unlimited service is being replaced and re-branded PlayStation Video. PlayStation Video will become part of PlayStation Network to streamline digital services for the over 64 million PSN users. PlayStation Video and PlayStation Music will be added to PSN which is already a destination point for the PlayStation Store, PlayStation Plus, […]

  • Spotify arrives on PlayStation Music this spring, Music Unlimited closing

    Spotify will launch on PlayStation Network this spring as part of a new music destination called PlayStation Music. PlayStation Music is a replacement for Music Unlimited, and those with a PSN account can link to Spotify which can be used just for music, or when playing games on PlayStation 4. Existing playlists from current Spotify […]