Gran Turismo 5 certainly isn't short of tracks, but according to some recent internet investigations, Polyphony may be intending to bring even more to the experience as downloadable content. A GT Planet forum sleuth discovered 24 track logos hidden within the official site that don't feature in the game, which appear to be sized for display in the Remote Racing page. Full details below.Click here for the track list and the rumour in full >>
Today brings us a couple of interesting new updates about Diablo III, the long-awaited action RPG that Blizzard "hope" to release by the end of the year.
A recent job advert for a senior producer for a console version of Diablo III caused the rumour mill to explode into frenzied activity, but Blizzard have spoken out to stress that the 'project' is only in the concept and exploratory stages. It's entirely possible that a console version will never see the light of day, though naturally it would sell like hot cakes.
We’re exploring a Diablo-related concept for consoles and are currently looking to fill a few senior console-related positions on the Diablo III team.
Please note that this is not an announcement of a console title. We are first and foremost developing Diablo III for Windows and Mac PCs and don’t intend to allow any possibility of a console interpretation to delay or affect the release of the game. - Blizzard Spokesperson to VG247
We'll keep an eye on it. [VG247]
In other Diablo III news, Blizzard have revealed the male Demon Hunter character to Eurogamer. We've previously seen the female counterpart's sultry and dangerous take on trapping and declawing the enemy hordes, but when designing the male version, Blizzard were angling for a more edgy and muscular a. In fact, he's a cross between AC's Altair, Clint Eastwood and Trent Reznor!
The female demon hunter is obviously a lot sexier. The male? Well, he's more of a Clint Eastwood type. He's dark and moody – you don't want to meet him in a dark alley. He's definitely the most stylish, most metropolitan of our characters. He's got a modern sensibility in that regard. I think of Trent Reznor when I look at him. - Senior Designer Jason Bender
Put simply, Diablo III is a thing that we want. Here's hoping for a 2011 release. [EG]
Today marks the closure of Bizarre Creations: the British studio behind the Project Gotham, Geometry Wars and Blur franchises. After lukewarm sales of Blur (which was inexplicably launched at the same time as Split/Second) and 007: Blood Stone, Activision made the decision to can the entire outfit. With Microsoft and EA unwilling to take Bizarre Creations under their wing, there's nothing to do but mourn their loss after a seventeen year run.
And it seems to me they made their games like a candle in the wind. Never knowing who would buy them when the rain set in. Still, the team will be infinitely more employable as individuals and we're not concerned about their futures. They'll be fine, and we wish them the very best.
As of this morning, Gran Turismo 5 has received an enormous update that patches the game to version 1.06. You can read up on the slew of new features over at TSA, but here are some of the most exciting additions that v1.06 brings to the experience.
GT5 continues to evolve beyond its original remit- and this newest update is a staggering improvement to an already impressive title. Outstanding.
Nintendo has announced a new Kirby title to investors in the latest IR report. According to our intel, it will be a traditional platformer that focuses on using abilities from popular Nintendo characters to defeat enemies and solve obstacles. Why not check out the small yet mighty trailer?
My Japanese is a little rusty (and Google isn't much better in this case), but from what I can make out, this new title will release in Japan by the end of the year. And features something about "smoking vomiting stationary game machines." Seriously, if you speak the lingo, feel free to give us the translation!
In case you desperately need more Kirby in your life, Kirby's Epic Yarn will finally hit UK shores next month. [Nintendo Investors]
We're all over Sony's newly announced (if persistently and correctly rumoured) NGP, and have bundled all of the pertinent details into our comprehensive first look roundup. However, Sony Euro boss Andrew House has clarified an interesting grey area in the press presentation: the fact that the NGP will ship with at least two separate SKUs at different price points. 3G will only be available in the more expensive models; hopefully allowing Sony to roll out the more basic version at their "affordable" price level.
Stay tuned for our reactions to the NGP announcement!
Whoops. High Voltage has confirmed that Conduit 2, their anticipated Wii shooter, has been delayed once again in order to polish up its multiplayer modes (as well as, we assume, the overall package). At least we now have a firm release date to look forward to: April 22nd.
The game is now scheduled for release on April 22, 2011, which allows for the team to continue to balance and enhance the game’s multiplayer, one of the key features and focuses during the development of this ambitious sequel.
In my hands-on preview last year, I suggested that The Conduit 2 could use a lot more polish in order to deliver on its impressive potential. We'll happily wait a little longer for a great Wii shooter. [VG247]
Excellent. We love it when game developers fall out and deliver juicy, inflammatory judgements against other franchises. This latest angst-bite comes courtesy of Need For Speed: Shift producer Jesse Abney, who informed Videogamer that Gran Turismo 5 isn't technically a game. Because games are supposed to be fun, apparently. Who knew?
I've never really considered GT5 a game. A game to us equals fun, equals entertainment - and Need For Speed has always been about entertaining and fun.
You play GT5, you get a scientific approach to driving. Physics simulations are often subjective, and again - we find we're not presenting the same kind of physics simulation in the race day environment that GT5 is doing in their driving simulation.
Okay then. Anyone fancy taking a crack at that one? [Videogamer]
2010 was a year of returns for the driving genre...F1, Need For Speed, and of course Gran Turismo. But there were a number of new acolytes hoping to shake things up a bit too. From arcade motoring to hardcore racing sims, the year had petrolheads of all kinds pretty much covered.
Click here to see who we voted for in the Driving category...
Excited about Guillermo del Toro's recently-announced horror series? If not, you've got plenty of time to get psyched. We learned yesterday that inSANE will be a trilogy (and possibly a film), but THQ boss Danny Bilson has revealed that the entire saga will take the best part of a decade to complete.
This is an epic project. It’s going to take the next eight to ten years to build all three chapters of this game.
Guillermo del Toro has revealed that the project has only been in development for six months, justifying the projected 2013 release date of the first part. Apparently there will also be a learning curve as the dirctor gets to grips with the exciting new opportunities that our medium poses.
I think that what people need to understand, when you come from a medium like movies, is that the narrative medium of videogames is entirely different. The rules are different, the way you tell the story is different. You don’t come into this world and try to apply the same rules. I’m here to learn and try some crazy shit.
Luckily for us, we like crazy. [Stuff We Like]
Gran Turismo 5 packs a lot of cars onto the disc... but only around a fifth of them are actually modelled with the highest poly counts and fully-detailed interiors. However, Polyphony Digital auteur-in-chief Kazunori Yamauchi has announced that these 'premium' versions will start to phase out the standard cars over the next few months.
Apparently this gradual change will be facilitated through free updates rather than paid DLC. [andriasang]
In other GT5 news, Sony has announced that a Japanese gamers will be receiving a Christmas present of 3 special edition cars that were only attainable through limited edition packs. We'll let you know if they decide to extend this deal to the rest of the world.
In case you missed this morning's announcement, the latest Humble Indie Bundle is out to provide you with great games, an unbelievable saving and the opportunity to donate to some worthwhile charities. The promotion has only been open for just over a day, but we're delighted to report that it has already raised over four hundred thousand dollars! A significant part of this revenue has been secured from advertising rights, but it's clear that many thousands of gamers are willing to pay a decent amount for the five fantastic games on offer. They're worth it.
Let's try to make this the biggest humble bundle yet!
SEGA has confirmed that a bundle of classic Dreamcast games will be hitting coming "soon," likely hitting the shelves early in the new year. SEGA's sales and marketing VP Alan Pritchard has stated that the "devoted" Dreamcast fan community and excellent sales of the Ultimate Genesis Collection have inspired the decision, though he has yet to divulge the games that will be included in the package.
You have to wonder if the bare-bones downloadable versions of Sonic Adventure and Crazy Taxi will be included on the disc. A cynical cash grab would explain why so little has been done to update them...
Speaking to Industry Gamers, everyone's favourite smug bastard analyst Michael Pachter has recently said that he was 'disappointed' not to have seen Activision charging a subscription rate for Black Ops' online multiplayer.
'We were disappointed to hear Activision’s new head of publishing flatly deny the company’s plans to charge for multiplayer,' said Pachter, allegedly tickling a feline's chin from the comforts of his underground lair. 'We firmly believe that until the publishers address monetization of multiplayer, game sales will continue to be challenged by the publishers’ altruistic decision to provide significantly more entertainment value per hour than ever in history.'
Of course, Activision Publishing's CEO Eric Hirshberg has already stated that it won't charge for Call of Duty's online content. 'Ever'. Poor Michael.
'In our view, monetization of multiplayer is one of the greatest opportunities for the publishers, and we think that it would be a serious strategic error to pass on this opportunity,' said the Wedbush Morgan analyst.
Speaking with his business hat squarely on, Pachter isn't really wrong. Online subscriptions would be an incredibly cynical but, also, profitable move. It would also be an enormous PR nightmare to charge for something that has been free up to this point. Restricting online content for second hand purchases is one thing. Making you pay for it out of a brand spanking new box is something completely different. [VG247]
Kaz Yamauchi is at it again, promising new and exciting things for Gran Turismo 5 fans everywhere on his Twitter account. Apparently 'early next year' you'll be able to monitor races from a web browser, issuing commands like 'overtake' and 'stop in the pits'. Your PS3 game will still need to be running, though, but it means you can multitask whilst managing a race, which is nice.
Fanboys rejoice! And don't be too hard on Yamauchi...he's very 'sorry to have kept you waiting'. [Kotaku]
No, not the guy who hitch-hiked around Ireland with a fridge...Tony Hawk, professional skateboarder and Activision's trendy cash cow.
Apparently, even in the face of depressingly mediocre sales of latest game Tony Hawk's Shred, head of Activision Publishing Eric Hirshberg maintains that 'Tony Hawk does really still have relevance and tremendous appeal for people'.
'He is a lasting icon,' Hirshberg went on. 'He has that Michael Jordan-ish or Jordan-esque staying power, seemingly. And that doesn't mean that other great skaters haven't come up who are younger and more current, but he really is that kind of Mount Rushmore-level guy in that category, so that's not the issue.
'I think we have to ask all the smart questions and make some smart moves in terms of innovation to see if we can recapture people's imaginations.'
I think that making a game that works rather than spoiling a legacy by chasing after some high-end, peripheral-based cash, might have been a better p;an. Still, Activision expect Shred, which only sold about 3,000 copies in the US over October, to sell 'steadily' over the Christmas period. We rather expect it to get shredded. [IndustryGamers]
We're going to believe it when we see it, but according to a new report courtesy of IGN, the PSP2 will be able to reproduce graphics akin to those witness in PS3 games.
'As far as graphics are concerned,' IGN's report suggests, 'the PSP 2 is a beast, packing enough processing hardware to produce graphics comparable to early PlayStation 3 titles. The processor, we're told, is just over half as powerful as the PS3, though the specific framework of the cores and the clock speed was not revealed.
'While the device isn't as powerful as the PlayStation 3, its components should allow it to sufficiently play games of comparable graphical quality due to the fact that it is rendering to a smaller, lower-resolution display than a full 1080p HDTV.'
Their source also allegedly confirmed the leaked VG247 pics (one of which is seen above), which give us an inidcation of the current develomental state of the handheld console.
Naturally, we're a little excited; but, as the first PSP proved, power really isn't everything. If Sony give Nintendo too much of a headstart, as that man Pachter says, the PSP2 might find itself 'dead on arrival'. It'll be very interesting to see if it makes an appearance at E3 2011. [via Eurogamer]
Apparently placed on hiatus back in 2005 as MGM struggled to deal with its mountain of debt, with word from James Bond fansite MI6 suggesting a kind of 007-meets-Splinter Cell vibe, Raven's mashup between Messrs. Bond and Fisher is allegedly back on the cards.
Furthermore, a video showreel for Raven animator Hanjin Song appears to contain some rather interesting footage of the potential title.
In amongst the Singularity footage, there's definitely something with a whiff of Casino Royale about it. It looks pretty cool too. What do you reckon? Sam Fisher meets Bond? Would it work? Are Raven the guys to do it? Frankly considering just how fun Singularity was I'd fully support giving them a shot.
Give us a shout below with your thoughts. [via Eurogamer]
We've been merrily ragging on Gran Turismo 5 for having released after a six year wait seemingly unfinished for a little while now, but wait! Here comes update 1.03 to make everything better. The damage modelling in the game - with realistic damage unlockable at Level 40 - has been the subject of some criticism, criticism of the criticism, criticism of the criticism of the....oh you get the picture.
But overnight Polyphony updated the game to allow players to access three different levels of mechanical damage: none, light or heavy:
Before you start celebrating, though, there's a small catch: you can only access these options from the multiplayer lounge, with no easy optional modelling available in singleplayer as yet, although Polyphony do say that it's coming in later patches and updates, of which there will be many. Polyphony are looking long term with this one, with plenty of bells and whistles to come in the future hopefully. Unfinished product or basis for expansion? Let us know what you think. [Kotaku]
Talking to Gamasutra, Blizzard boss Frank Pearce suggested that releasing hard copies of games through retailers still has an advantage over a purely digital distribution service, particularly with regard to fans.
'Retail has things to offer that we can’t offer digitally – like the collector’s edition, which is always popular with our very passionate fans,' he says. 'We’re also planning midnight launches for the game at retail around the globe with our developers in attendance and signing autographs. You can’t get that experience through the digital purchase.'
This comes a couple of months after Blizzard's Rob Pardo maintained that we were moving away from bricks and mortar retail at Blizzcon. I still buy CDs and DVDs, and speaking purely as a gamer for a moment, I'd honestly hate to see digital distribution take over completely, but fear that convenience and commerce might well win out over character.
What about you guys and girls? let us know what you think below. [VG247]
Crystal Dynamics are back with another Tomb Raider game, although it'll star lara as you've never seen her before.
'After a brutal storm destroys the boat she was travelling on, a frightened young woman is left washed ashore on an unknown beach. On her own but not alone she has only one goal, to survive.
'Here begins the first adventure for a young and inexperienced Lara Croft in a story which charts the journey of an ordinary woman who finds out just how far she must go in order to stay alive.'
Intriguing. with Ninja Theory exploring Dante's origin story, and CD now appearing to turn back the clock a bit for Ms. Croft too, we can't wait to see what they have in store.
'Forget everything you know about TOMB RAIDER, we are exploring things that have never been done before in this game,' said Darrell Gallagher, Head of Studio, Crystal Dynamics. 'This is an origins story that creates Lara Croft and takes her on a character defining journey like no other.'
Considering how good Guardian of Light was, we're pretty psyched for this one.
There's been a bit of a kerfuffle in the past week with critics, developers, readers and fans alike all getting themselves into a bit of a muddle over review scores for Gran Turismo 5, a number of reviewers having lambasted the game's damage modelling without necessarily acknowledging the fact that realistic damage unlocks at level 40. There's been a significant amount of criticism across a wide number of sites, ours included, levelled at the reviewing process, asking what constitutes a 'thorough' review. A defensive reaction would have been to simply say nothing as others have done, or to perhaps angrily retort against slights against our professionalism in these respects, but quite frankly it's a subject that needs to be talked about.
This is not a defence piece by any means. Brendan's review was a fair and honest appraisal of the game and, let's be fair, a predominantly positive one that garnered a good score. Rather I hope for this to provide something of a backdrop to a wider debate about approaching video games and the review process in general.
There can be no doubt that it's far easier to review some games than it is to review others. Any relatively self-contained, singleplayer game - such as Super Mario Galaxy, Dead Space or The Force Unleashed - is a simple process. You play the game, you beat the game, you maybe check it out on a few difficulty levels, you review it. Games that have a relatively linear strutare a cinch, it's all very straightforward. But so many games offer more these days, even before we move into the realm of multiplayer.
Gran Turismo 5 is currently gaming's hottest topic, both in terms of sales and controversy. Polyphony Digital boss (and auteur-supreme) Kazunori Yamauchi has revealed that myriad patches will be improving several aspects of the game over the next few weeks. The eagle-eyed fans at GT Planet have the full skinny, but here are some of the more important updates that are headed your way.
A reward program that earns free Microsoft points for active Xbox Live members has been on the cards for some time- and MS has finally detailed how the promotion will work. The official site demonstrates a few examples of the prizes that are in store for both Free and Gold members.
Money for nothing. And 'cool prizes'. It may be a cynical ploy to sucker new members into paying for Gold membership, but we still like it. [Thanks, Kotaku]
Oh, the weather outside is frightful. But the games are so delightful. The Xbox Live Indie Winter Uprising has kicked off today with the release of Epic Dungeon... to be followed by a startlingly excellent selection of titles throughout the week. We'll take a closer look at Epic Dungeon in our Xbox Live Indie Game of the Week roundup- but for now, start earmarking those stray points.
Viva la revolucion. Long live the uprising!
It looks like our Japanese intel was right on the money. After leaked copies of Famitsu magazine rumoured that a new "robot shooter" was set for a reveal today, SEGA has officially announced that Binary Domain is indeed in development. You can glean more information about the project along with our previous confirmed rumours, but Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi offered some new insight into the unique themes that will hopefully elevate it above being just another Sci-Fi TPS.
When you hear sci-fi you may think of cold, clinical environments, [but] with Binary Domain I wanted to combine this with a deep human drama. The keyword we have in mind for this project is 'Life'. I wanted to make something that will be accepted by both the Japanese and Western markets, and this fundamental theme is something everyone knows but which the full extent of can be difficult to grasp. - Toshihiro Nagoshi
There's also a new trailer for your eager delectation. Enjoy.
It's been a spectacular generation thus far, what with the 360 revolutionizing online console gaming, the PS3 bringing Hollywood-grade splendor to our living rooms, and Nintendo's Wii broadening the market, ensuring our medium's lifelong security. You can't argue with cracking new IPs like Crackdown or Uncharted, or smashing finales like Halo 3 and God of War 3. We are, quite simply, blessed.
However, where there is good, there must too be bad. And believe me, we've had a lot of bad. So much so, in fact, we thought it only right to expose these poor excuses for silicon. Presenting... the Top 10 Next-Gen Flops!
(NB. It's worth mentioning that we're talking critical flops, games that didn't live up to their potential. Many of the games below sold really well...but that doesn't make them any less disappointing.)
Listen, Gran Turismo 5 isn't a bad game. This list isn't necessarily for bad games. A flop is something else. Sky-high expectations, and then a rocky descent, followed by a lacklustre landing. I think that pretty much sums up GT5. It's been in development for almost six years, and in that time we've had countless other smashing racers, from the Burnouts to direct competitors like Forza. Is GT5 good enough to warrant such a wait, and to tolerate such shortcomings as a broken online and dated mechanics? I don't think so.
Lost Planet was a welcome surprise, a typically Japanese shooter with an ice-cold twist. Anticipation was rampant for the sequel, and early signs were promising. Then it all happened. Glitches. Mid-game chokepoints. A level set aboard a train where, if you die at the grueling turret section near the end, you're all returned to the very beginning. It was a sorry state of affairs. Even Capcom seemed upset.Click here to discover what the remaining 8 next-gen duds are...