Trawling through blogs can be time consuming, so we thought we’d make it even easier by rounding up the hottest headlines, ripe reviews and fantastic features each week in a handy, low-fat look at the previous seven days.
- Polytron Acknowledge FEZ Bugs, Working On Patch: The release of Fez has seen many (myself included) indulging in the nostalgic delights of Polytron's pixel-art platform puzzler. Unfortunately, a number of bugs and crashes have been unearthed that have seen a few unable to play the game at all. Polytron have promised to look into the problems, and urge any affected to pop an email to them at email@example.com outlining their experience.
- Starbreeze: GAME Troubles Hurt Syndicate Sales: While some publishers are eager to deny any correlation between the difficulties that UK high-street retailer GAME have been experiencing and reduced sales of their titles, Starbreeze CEO Mikel Nermark has stated that his team's reboot of Syndicate may well have taken a financial hit by releasing in "the midst of GAME going under".
- Valve's Secret Project Exploring "Wearable Computing": Valve aren't exactly renowned for sitting on their laurels, and it appears that they may currently be researching something very exciting indeed. "Wearable computing" is where it's at, according to Valve engineer Michael Abrash, who believes that within 20 years we'll be "computing everywhere, all the time". That said, Abrash does make clear that it's very much in the research phase, and as such no product has been developed, nor will we be seeing an E3 announcement any time soon. Still, it's a mouth-watering concept.
- Crysis 3 Confirmed, Pre-Order Bonuses Detailed: So Crysis 3 is officially on its way. Releasing in the spring, EA have already begun to tout it as "the first blockbuster shooter of 2013". It will take place in an area known as the New York City Liberty Dome, and feature advanced weapons and an enhanced nanosuit. Par for the course perhaps, but the inclusion of - and focus on - a new composite bow indicates perhaps a slightly more tempered experience to that of its gung-ho predecessors.
- Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Ends, Nets $3 Million: Perhaps more exciting than the considerable amount of cash the team behind Wasteland 2 now have to craft their game, are the members of the team itself. Obsidian's Chris Avellone, Fallout's Jason Anderson, and original Wasteland designers Alan Pavlish and Mike Stackpole are just some of the exceptional talent involved in bringing the long-long-awaited sequel to one of the first post-apocalyptic RPGs to our screens.
- RUMOUR: Black Ops 2 Reveal A Fortnight Away? You'd be a fool to bet against the appearance of a Black Ops 2 this November, even moreso now that Kotaku appear to have obtained what looks like a fairly convincing retail banner for the title. Evidence suggests that a reveal could be as little as a fortnight away, and with the Medal of Hono(u)r series gunning for a piece of the Christmas period action, Treyarch will have to pull something pretty special out of the bag if it wants to remain top dog.
- Codemasters To Rebrand As 'Codemasters Racing': As part of their vow to dedicate themselves to (admittedly sublime) racing titles, Codemasters will soon be rebranding themselves as 'Codemasters Racing'. With it comes a number of new job openings and the indefinite holding of any shooter IPs the company are currently developing. Budding developers should keep an eye peeled on the Codies site over the coming weeks.
- Prey 2 Is Not Cancelled, Just Delayed: The news that Prey 2 may well be on the verge of cancellation was met with an outpouring of dismay from online communities. The dark sci-fi sequel showed a huge amount of promise, right down to its Blade Runner-inspired aesthetic. Bethesda have this week given us reason to rejoice however, flatly stating that Prey 2 has not been cancelled, merely delayed, due to "unsatisfactory developmental progress". The celebrations have since been muddied by controversy regarding a possible Human Head strike.
- Newell: Apple Didn't Visit Valve: The Internet was sent into a frenzy when rumours of a possible visit by Apple CEO Tim Cook to Valve headquarters last week. Newell has denied the rumours, while also expressing a desire to meet with a company exec to talk gaming.
- Dead Space Producer: Gears Of War Has "Literally The Worst Writing In Games": Inflammatory as his comments may appear, there's no denying that Dead Space story producer Chuck Beaver may well have a point, slamming as he does the Gears of War franchise for violating basic storytelling models and displaying "literally the worst writing in games". He does however point out that it is possible to enjoy the games regardless.
- Meet Juliet's Crazy Sisters In The Latest Lollipop Chainsaw Trailer: And now, in what is fast becoming one of my own most anticipated titles, Chainsaw Lollipop has been given a trailer outlining the heartwarming relationship between Juliet Starling and her batsh*t insane sisters. Enjoy.
- Wheels Of Destruction Review: Slow off the line this week is Wheels of Destruction which, as Matt points out, is hampered by horrendous controls, a shallow class system and nowhere near enough content to keep you satisfied for any real length of time. If you're just looking for something cheap and pretty you could still do better than this.
- Pandora's Tower Review: It's fair to say that the JRPG no longer going to satisfy the vast majority of Nintendo's audience. Nevertheless, Ganbarion take a stab at crafting a decent roleplaying experience, and to a large extent pull it off. Jon cites good storytelling and decent gameplay mechanics as reasons to take a chance on one of the few serious titles still trying to carve out a niche on the Wii, but warns of a genuinely awful camera and a whole heap of wasted potential as counterpoints to an otherwise essential purchase.
- Skullgirls Review: Exploitation aside, Skullgirls promised to deliver a deep and balanced fighting game to rival even the biggest of the genre's heavy hitters. Jon is pleased to reveal that it sticks rigidly to this manifesto, providing a beat 'em up that plays as good as it looks. This comes at the cost of content however, with Skullgirls failing to provide any real staying power, short of the competitive online modes, which will surely be dominated by hyper-capable enthusiasts intent on beating any who dare oppose them to a pulp. Still, if you think you're hard enough... [poor choice of words -Ed.]
- Trials Evolution Review: There's not much to say about RedLynx's arcade trials-bike title that you won't have heard from passers-by in the street by now. This game is everywhere, and with good reason. High-quality gameplay does not, as is the case with some of the other titles in our list this week come at the expensive of quantity, with Trials Evolution providing a massive amount of bang for you buck. Challenging enough for veterans but accessible enough for newcomers, there's no reason for you not to add this to your online game collection.
- Kingdoms Of Amalur: Teeth Of Naros DLC Review: Jon gets stuck into Big Huge Games' second dose of Amalur DLC, and finds it a far more refreshing experience than their first batch. Shorter, but far sweeter, Teeth of Naros populates an exciting new setting with a whole host of new enemies, and wraps them up in an engaging storyline full of interesting characters. An exceptionally strong addition to an already strong title.
- Spec Ops: The Line Preview: Much has been made of Yager's fresh take on the third-person cover-based shooter. All of the genre's elements are present and correct, but drawing them all together is a fluid story littered with moral choices. Unfortunately, Carl saw very little of the latter in his hands-on time with the title, but confirmed that the narrative itself looks to have been crafted superbly. Time will tell.
- Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Hands-On Preview: Jon finds out that Ghost Recon: Future Soldier really is better together, as he pops a few melons before getting his own shot at following the arrival of an armoured apc. Unforgiving, and brutally realistic, Future Soldier is shaping up to be a worthy addition to the Tom Clancy brand. He also manages to grab a couple of minutes with chief level designer Evan Champlin to discuss the hyper-realistic sound design and the team's almost obsessive attention to detail.
- Blast From The Past | Star Trek Armada II: I must admit to being alien to the Star Trek franchise (I know, I know...), but our commenters assure us that Tom is spot on in his belief that Star Trek Armada II is one of the best things to happen to Star Trek in the gaming universe.
- SimCity Preview: Matt gets hands-on with the latest iteration in the SimCity franchise, and investigates what changes the new Maxis-developed engine have brought to the series. Interconnection is the name of the game here, with your choices affecting not just your city, but also those around you. In the words of our esteemed editor: "Roll on 2013". Until then, there's a comprehensive interview with the general manager of the series Bret Berry to get your teeth stuck into.
- DealsPwncast: And don't forget, if you want to hear the Dealspwn guys having a banter about the latest goings-on in the gaming industry, you can always download the Dealspwn podcast from the link below.