Pitchford: "Duke Nukem Forever Is Not A Nostalgia Game"
We've been living in a giddy sense of delight and disbelief ever since we learned that Gearbox would be polishing off Duke Nukem Forever- but many pundits have been criticising the move. After all, DNF has been in development for over a decade, and it's possible that the core gameplay and classic Duke swagger might not wash with us enlightened 2011 gamers. Luckily, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford has reassured everyone that Duke's long-awaited return will feel like a fresh new experience that pays respectful homage to the original.
You can’t imagine playing Duke Nukem Forever without using a pipe bomb, like from Duke 3D, or without using some of the classic weapons. I want to get online and play against my buddies, and I want to freeze somebody and break them into little ice cubes, and I want to shrink somebody else and step on them. I’ve got to be able to do those things or I’m going to feel like it’s not an honest successor.
If it was nostalgia, you would just port the old game and see what happens. No, it’s not a nostalgia game at all. It’s a new game. It doesn’t have 8-bit graphics. It’s a new game, it just remembers why we love the original and plays tribute to those things as well. - Randy Pitchford
We'll soon be bringing you a hands-on preview of the game that killed 3D Realms. [Gamespot]
Black Ops Teaser Teases... Teaser?
A new Call of Duty: Black Ops Campaign trailer will air tonight (US Time), but to get us in the mood, Activision has released a teaser trailer... for the trailer. Expect rockets, crashing helicopters and a few seconds of action for diehard fans to pick through frame-by-frame.
Here it is- and we'll update this with the full version as soon as we get to see it.
Microsoft Details New Dashboard Updates
The incoming Xbox 360 Dashboard Update is set to deliver a new user interface as well as integrated ESPN, lankier avatars and a Netflix Search (which is useless for us Brits)... but Microsoft have now released a list of the smaller tweaks and improvements that actually add up to a major improvement to the existing dashboard.
- Improved voice quality: A new audio codec should improve the party chat experience in terms of clarity and stability.
- Streamlined in-dashboard virtual keyboard: This has been a long time coming. The Xbox virtual keyboard is absolutely terrible, making even the smallest task an unmitigated chore. Apparently the new keyboard will be much easier to use.
- Improved Xbox Live Marketplace UI and browse experience: With the increased weekly deluge of XBLA games, streamlining the marketplace is an essential step. I really hope that the Indie Live Markeplace will also get a much-needed revamp as well as better exposure.
- Easier to get on a wireless network: Wrangling with the current network is a bit of an ordeal (to put it mildly). Again, this is a small upgrade that will add up to a big saving of energy and time.
- Ability to sign-out other controllers in the sign-in UI: The Xbox 360 makes it very difficult to quickly sign other controllers in and out mid-game. Microsoft reckon this will really help with music games- and they're not wrong. Nobody likes playing 'menu hero'.
- New browse experience for 100 per cent completed games: Nailing 100% achievement completion is a glorious feeling- and now completed games will be logged and displayed in a much more respectful way. Hopefully the new UI will also make a bigger fuss when you actually net the last achievement!
- Improved experience for changing your Gamertag: Is your dream gamertag taken? Distraught that you can't register PotNinjaWeedKilla and can't think of anything else? Now you'll be able to spin a wheel to access some more suggestions. Just in case you want your online identity to become even less meaningful.