Well, surprise, surprise! LA Noire's jumped straight in at Number 1 in this week's UK Games Charts and my guess is that it'll stay in the top three for at least the next couple of weeks. Rockstar's Detective saga is jam packed full of content and I had a wicked time investigating away and busting criminals over the weekend! That's not to say it's a perfect game by any means, there are a couple of areas that could do with a bit of polish, but it's wonderful to see the story unfold before your eyes.Click here to see who made the Top Ten this week!
There's often not much to choose between sports titles, such is the annual nature of the genre, but there were a few surprises in 2010 to be found. First of all, the fight between PES and FIFA proved to be much closer than that in 2008 and 2009, with Konami implementing some brilliant new features and EA reminding everyone that football is a contact sport. It's difficult to mention sports games in the past twelve months too without acknowledging motion control. Both PS Move and Kinect enjoyed popular sports collections upon release, putting a slightly new spin on things and creating new possibilities for the fitness game niche in the process.
Click here to check out who we voted for...
To the layman, football might appear to be just a sport. It's twenty two men in shorts and shirts, chasing and kicking a spherical object, as tens of thousands of red-faced fans cheer and bellow in unison. It is, I imagine, quite baffling to watch with no interest or investment. However, to the fan, a true fan, whose devotion runs so deep it wouldn't be surprising if he bled the same colours inked into his team's kit, football is important. Football is religion. Football is life.
Which is why the ongoing tug-of-customer-war between Fifa and Pro Evolution Soccer is such an interesting battle. Fifa 11 released last Friday, and its impact was so great, it earned a colossal £28 million in the UK alone, and even prompted waves of criminal activity, with police responding to reports of thugs lurking outside the likes of Tesco and Asda, in the hope of robbing Fifa shoppers.
PES 2011 releases this coming Friday, and while I doubt it'll elicit a similar reaction, its reception, both critically and commercially, will finally determine a victor, for this year, at least. But who do the spoils belong to? Is Fifa the quintessential football experience, after years of playing second-fiddle to PES' dominance? Or has Konami's so-called overhaul robbed Fifa of the crown?
My first football game was Fifa 98'. My love-affair with the beautiful game was in its nascent stages, as was videogames grasp on the rules of not only football, but physics. In 98', you could run the length of the pitch, unchallenged, and send an automated shot into the net. Or, and this was my personal favourite, score a half-way line goal with such ease it rendered Beckham's fifty yard chip against Wimbledon in 95 a mere tap-in.
It would be a while before I picked up my next football game, when I committed a heretical act, and purchased Pro Evo 4. Oh. My. God. It was like the real thing! I could pass the ball around like Arsenal, score a poachers tap-in just like Ruud Van, and defend as watertight as Man Utd's former rearguard. It was something else. I was a card-carrying PES fan, safe in the knowledge that I'd be set for life. At least, when football games were concerned!Click here to see how more recent iterations have fared with Felix...
Beyond Good & Evil is the very definition of a cult classic; garnering overwhelming critical acclaim and abjectly miserable sales figures. However, a shiny HD version has now been confirmed for both Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Network.
There's no firm release date beyond 'next year,' but this revamp will apparently boast 1080p visuals, new character models, impressive texturing, a fully remastered soundtrack, leaderboards (for some reason) and naturally a bevy of achievements or trophies. In case you didn't know
It's about time. Listen folks, just buy the damn thing this time around!
The March launch window for the 3DS came as surprise to many Nintendo fans, since their consoles tend to coincide with the holiday season. However, Ninty president Satoru Iwata has told a panel of industry analysts that they had originally hoped for a 2010 release. Apparently supply problems have scuppered the planned schedule, thus forcing head office to push back the release date into next year.
We specialise in online delivery deals here, but as many of you may remember from (and took advantage of) last year, the major supermarket chains tend to compete over who can offer the lowest launch prices for the FIFA series. FIFA 11 will be hitting store shelves tomorrow- and as you might expect, the supermarkets are going berzerk.
As I like to say: this is half news, half deal and all awesome. Why not grab a copy with your next grocery run? Naturally, we'll be bringing you a review of FIFA 11 asap. [via VG247 and tips]
Minecraft has proven to be a massive Indie hit, allowing players to construct pretty much anything in the sandbox environment. Naturally we've seen many a Mario level and geeky homage make a welcome appearance... but user theinternetftw has constructed a 16-bit Arithetic Logic Engine that will soon be capable of running actual code. This is astounding, folks- partly because it's a working virtual...physical...computer... within a computer, and partly due to the fact that it's the size of a small town.
Oh and to all you naysayers who are about to cry "why should we care," the creator has been offered a job based solely on the project. The system works, folks- and I just hope that the same is true of the Xbox Live Indie Marketplace and LittleBigPlanet community.
I'll be venturing out from the safety of my news desk to hit the Eurogamer Expo this weekend. Hopefully I'll see some of you there! And give y'all a free T Shirt.
I've always enjoyed footie games. I never subscribed to the school of thought that you had to own either FIFA or PES, instead I've generally tried to get both iterations each generation (waiting for bargain bucket prices in some cases) as both have always had different things to offer. However, it would be remiss of me to suggest that both have always been peerless sports sims.
The turn of the millennium saw FIFA slide slowly into a slump that was only resurrected with an overhaul for FIFA 08 that has since then seen copious amounts of polishing and refinement to match a fall from grace for the PES series which peaked at 5 before losing the plot a bit. I was astounded by FIFA 10, from the dribbling to the wealth of game modes to its excellent online support and 10 vs. 10 potential.
But it wasn't perfect.
Enter FIFA 11. Running with the tagline 'We Are 11', it boasts a number of refinements, not least the ability to finally pit 11 players against 11 others. That's right, user controlled keepers are coming, and I can't freaking wait! How well it'll work remains to be seen (watch this space for a further appraisal if we manage to snaffle some more time with it later in the week) but, with three levels of computer-assistance from hand-holding to nada, it could be quite a mouth watering prospect.
Manager Mode is out, a 15 season Career Mode is in, and yes you can even spend that time between the sticks should you wish. Other refinements include the ability to import your own song library into the soundtrack the ability to save replays locally, a fully functional creation centre rather than the borked one we have at the moment and a host of gameplay refinements and presentational polish to make matches even more exciting.
Here's our first coverage from Gamescom, Germany. We're kicking off proceedings with a look at the announcements from EA's press conference.
PS3 owners have the best news of the lot from EA at this year’s Gamecom event as Mass Effect 2 is coming to PS3 in January 2011. It will be packed with a few extra hours’ worth of gameplay nibbles as well. No mention of the first Mass Effect coming over too, but that’s what YouTube’s for right?
Bioware haven’t just been casually porting over classic 360 games to the PS3, as Dragon Age 2 has been given a release date of 11th March in Europe.
Dead Space 2 now has an official European release date nailed into our schedules, January 28th. Our very own Jon and Matt will no doubt be getting their hands on the game very soon, so keep an eye out for that coverage.
The Sims Medieval marks a change of scenery and time setting for the series. Currently only planned for the PC, gamers will face a more narrative-driven story arc than the usual get a job, get a house, get a girlfriend, then die (I’m a massive fan honest). The new setting tones down the plastic colours for something a bit more like Dragon Age. For fans it might just be the well-deserved change of scenery they deserve after years of the same. For everyone else, they’ve already skipped this paragraph. 360, PS3 and Wii gamers can look forward to The Sims 3 though on October 26th.
David Beckham was announced as an ambassador for EA Active 2. He wasn’t actually there, but we’re assured he approves. The healthy exercise game will come with a heart monitor to alert you to that vital moment as you pass out, into your new TV.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is getting the Special Edition treatment. Pre-order the game and you’ll get two exclusive cars, the Alfa Romeo 8C and the Ford Shelby GT500 (hmmm shiny). EA also pointed out the auto log system that keeps track of your friend’s times and online progress. To EA it’s new, to us it sounds a lot like features we’ve seen in previous EA titles like Burnout Paradise and Need for Speed: Shift.
FIFA 11 will finally allow full control over goalkeepers. It’s the sort of thing we’ve been asking for for ages, but will never actually use. The goalie will be available in all modes including Be a Pro and online matches. All credit to EA for reaching the goal of 11 Vs 11 online matches. Bagsey not being in nets!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be getting Kinect support. Not massively exciting, but it is one of the few existing IPs to take up the challenge of the new motion controller. The Weasley twins from the films demonstrated the game, with quite a lot of lag on show. Hopefully that’ll be sorted in the next few months before release.
That’s all the news announcements from EA’s stage show then. Nothing to show for Battlefield: Modern Combat 3 or Mirror’s Edge 2 then which is a shame, but we’ll keep the faith. Still, Mass Effect 2 for PS3, Kinect for Harry Potter! Everyone goes home happy, yes?
Keep tuned to Dealspwn for more from Gamescom soon.
Sigh. Here we go again. According to a new study carried out by the university of Iowa, regular gaming and TV viewing is related to attention issues in the classroom. The experiment correlated the TV and gaming habits of over 3000 teenagers with reports of attention/behavioral problems and produced some tentative positive results.
Right- it's time for me to drop a little home truth on these researchers. School is boring, guys! Of course kids are going to think about their favourite hobbies instead of copying out French verbs and what have you. Sports fans will think about their teams and upcoming matches in boring lessons- and I'm sure that Victorian students used to fantasise about their favourite books or zoetrope images instead of paying attention in class.
They may have a point, mind. After all, I'm still thinking about Puzzle Quest 2- though I'm trying to make sure that it doesn't interfere with my beautiful, shiny gems. I mean news. News. [via Joystiq]
We're getting excited about R.U.S.E. for some time thanks to Marius' beta preview. Ubisoft promise to revolutionise and revitalise the genre, but manay gamers have been extremely dubious about whether or not it will work on a console. After all, console RPGs tend to teeter precariously between being barely functional and simply unplayable. How can you possibly replace a mouse a keyboard with a gamepad?
With the Playstation Move, apparently.
Senior producer Mathieu Girard has revealed that Ubsoft is integrating Sony's motion control peripheral into R.U.S.E.'s core control systems. Using the Navigation Controller as a pointer, we'll be able to select units, zoom and pan around the battlefield. Opening menus will be as simple as a flick of the wrist.
"I wasn't sure if it was just going to be a gadget," stated Girard, "but it turns out it's a very cool and natural controller. We're very excited about it."
There's no Kinect for the Xbox 360 version, though. Girard believes that gamers simply don't want to play an RTS game standing up... and he's got a point.
This is a fairly important precedent for console RTS games. If R.U.S.E. works well with motion controls, we could even expect a PS3 renaissance for the floundering genre! [Eurogamer]
EA have confirmed that FIFA 11 will be released on the 1st of October in the UK- and have revealed a nifty new feature. Known as the Creation Centre, this mode allows players to create their own teams, kits and stadiums using browser-based online software that'll integrate with the game. Check it out here.
Custom teams can be shared, downloaded and played online. We're looking forward to seeing what artistically-minded footy fans can come up with... and how many efforts will be instantly banned for obscenity or copyright issues
Still no Word on the UK XBLA Upgrade
Yesterday Microsoft announced that XBLA would be undergoing a massive GUI upgrade to give better access and visibility to games and deals.
We didn't bother mentioning it though... since there's still no word on a UK or European release. When Microsoft deem us fit for the upgrade, we'll be sure to let you know.
The first major bomb of this year's E3 festival is has been dropped courtesy of Microsoft's lavish Experience Natal event. Natal has been officially rebranded as Kinect, which is... still a fairly nonsenical name, really.
But what's in a name, right? It's the games that we care about. Let's take a look at the lineup! [courtesy of USA Today]
•Joyride. Gripping an imaginary steering wheel, you'll mime your way through a number of courses and dance around to perform stunts.
•Kinectimals will let us train, play and otherwise interact with 20 virtual cats including a lion, cheetah and tiger. Miaow!
Kinect Sports. Can you say minigame collection? This Rare-developed (as we predicted) bundle will contain six sporting activities including boxing, bowling, beach volleyball, athletics, football and table tennis. Naturally, the Kinect peripheral will be used to mimic the actual motion of kicking/heading a football or smashing a volleyball- and will serve as an excellent tech demo of Kinect's mocap capabilities. With any luck, this will be bundled along with the camera...but we've heard disturbing early reports of lag and latency issues. Sort it out, Rare.
•Kinect Adventures includes a river-raft time trial and obstacle course that will require cooperation by up to four players. Rafting, for example, will require timed strokes and weight distribution.
•Dance Central, in development by Harmonix and MTV Games, is set to be massive. Apparently, it will have a killer setlist and will facilitate intuitive "full-body dancing" without a dance pad peripheral. Whilst this certainly isn't my cup of tea, the buzz is overwhelmingly positive- and with Harmonix at the helm, it should handle fairly well. According to early hands-on reports, it's lag free and fairly natural.
•Star Wars and Disney will have their own third party outings. With any luck, we'll be set for 1:1 lightsaber duels and... Disney minigames? Shame it isn't a crossover, really.
We can expect a few more third party announcements (including Kojima Productions' Metal Gear Solid Rising) over the next week.
Hmm. Not a stellar lineup by any means, and frankly, Kinect Sports and Adventures really ought to be a bundle package in my opinion. However, the sticking point is price. Microsoft has yet to announce both dates and price point (though they've promised to do so over the next 48 hours)... but they need to remember that you can buy a Wii bundle deal for around £120 these days. If Kinect launches around this bracket, many gamers will actively consider buying a Wii to get their motion control fix (as well as access to Nintendo's game library and web browser). Stay tuned for our updated (and in-depth) Kinect roundup later on! [Thanks to USA Today, Eurogamer]
Confused by FIFA 11's new Personality+ feature? Unsure exactly how a player's individual personality will factor into the gameplay? Well fret no more, as EA has released a developer diary explaining the whole thing.
Ezio has some unfinished business with the Templars- and will be stalking the shadowy backstreets and rooftops of Renaissance Rome this November. According to Ubisoft's latest announcement, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood will be released on November 16th.
Have a gander at the updated trailer below. It's light on gameplay footage, but very easy on the eye. [Joystiq]
After the success of Darksiders, UFC and Metro 2011, THQ are having to rebuild their stable of developers and titles. According to VP Danny Bilson, their success is due to lightly managing their talent with a hands-off approach to game development; letting the studios do what they do best whilst making sure they're unfettered by marketing and finance.
Bilson has stated that they've got a responsibility to provide quality rather than quantity- and their new policy will focus on delivering a small number of "classy" titles rather than a steady flood of mediocre content.
"Our responsibility is to give [you] guys and ladies - great. There's nothing short of that, the whole world of selling average games in gone. The world of selling anything but spectacular games is gone. So what I think that means is less games, more focus, more care ... it's all just about more love really. It's just treating them with more respect."
Love, respect and quality titles? Yeah, I can dig it. However, we're still in the dark about what they have in store. [Gamesindustry]
Apparently THQ will be announcing a new game tomorrow. We'll be keeping a beady eye on the latest developments.
FIFA 11, this year's iteration of EA's all-conquering footie sim, will be receiving a major dose of "player authenticity" and personality according to the latest press release. Each player's on-pitch personality will be reflected by the way the handle and react within the game, with 36 attributes and 57 traits making each player feel distinctive and authentic. With any luck, controlling Wayne Rooney will feel like playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2...
In other news, FIFA 11 will not have an online Manager Mode this time around. Whilst series producer David Rutter was keen to stress that the singleplayer mode is the most popular feature from the FIFA franchise, apparently its online functionality is not up to scratch this year.
“Until I’m utterly convinced there’s a way of providing the massive user-base of Manager Mode players with a compelling mechanic that will work, I would be very reluctant to go to market with something I’m not 100 per cent convinced with."- Rutter
Future FIFA titles may bring back this game mode, but we'll probably have to wait for 2012. [VG247]
We started getting excited about Power Gig's playable six-string guitar peripheral back in March, but the last 12 hours has revealed some sublime and ridiculous news about the fate of the franchise. First, the good news. Power Gig has signed guitar legend Eric Clapton and the Dave Matthews Band to populate their setlist. This is a real coup- and we can only hope that Layla, Bad Love and the DMB All Along the Watchtower cover will make the cut.
And now for the bad news. Seven45 has finally revealed their second peripheral: the AirStrike Drum Base. Cool name aside, it's a wireless sensor that sits on the floor and makes you strike arbitrary patches of air above it. Whilst we're all prone to a bit of air drumming from time to time, this new drumless drum kit seems to be a massive step in the wrong direction. But don't take my word for it. [Eurogamer]
For your consideration: The worst trailer ever made.
Time for a little reality check. Forgetting for a second that the lack of physical feedback will lead to aching wrists and hunched spines, the AirStrike actually flies in the face of Power Gig's raison d'etre. Its entire unique selling point appeared to be that the peripherals are real, playable instruments that could teach us elementary musical technique...and I can't quite get my head around how this drumless kit fits into that philosophy. We'd be interested to hear what y'all make of it!