We love Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford here at Dealspwn - so much so that he's one of our Gaming Angels of 2010. And why? Because he's never afraid to open his big fat mouth and have a go at anything he doesn't like.
This time, the increasingly-influential exec believes that many publishers are forcing their studios to add inappropriate multiplayer modes to their wares... and that this is completely the wrong way to go about wringing an extra buck from us consumers.Click here for the full quotes and info >>
This weekend heralded a slew of previews and content for Sony Ericsson's as-yet-unannounced Zeus "Playstation Phone," but a new video has surfaced that actually shows emulated PS1 games running on the device. Resident Evil 2 and Rage Racer both seem to run extremely well using a ROM emulator rather than the Playstation Pocket application, though once again, it's worth noting that this may still represent a demo unit that may not entirely resemble the full retail release. When Sony finally gets around to unveiling it, that is.
The apparent presence of a homebrew emulator also raises a few more intriguing questions about whether the firmware will support third party software. SCE are known for their draconian measures to prevent homebrew entertainment and piracy on the PSP, so it will be very interesting to see what Sony Ericsson make of the issue.
Telltale Games are known for their characteristically cartoony visuals and goofy art direction (clearly demonstrated by the recently-released Back To The Future Part One), but their upcoming Jurassic Park is set to change all that. The five-episode story is designed to be a sequel to the first film, taking place just after the ... and overtly taking its cues from PS3 blockbuster Heavy Rain.
The atmosphere will be grim, moody and realistic (with, we assume, plenty of weighty precipitation)- and the action will apparently use frequent QTEs that provide meaningful multiple consequences depending on success or failure.
We'll keep an open mind. The first Jurassic Park episode is slated for a Spring PC release and we'll keep you posted.
Update: Randy Pitchford has stated that the original article was "inaccurate" and "misleading"... but still hasn't given us any hint about when it's set for release. Apparently we'll hear more "very soon."
Gearbox are still soldiering away on Aliens: Colonial Marines despite pressure to release Duke Nukem Forever on time (a sentence that I'd never expected to write in my lifetime), but CEO Randy Pitchford has unfortunately confirmed that it will not hit shelves until 2012 at the earliest. Until then, I'm afraid that we'll have to make do with the thoroughly underwhelming Aliens vs Predator. [via D'Toid]
We're mostly disappointed. Mostly.
Netherrealm's Mortal Kombat reboot still hasn't got a firm release date beyond some point in April, but two new characters have been confirmed. The multi-limbed boss Goro and Shao-Khan's personal assassin Jade will both be making a playable appearance and hopefully balanced accordingly.
God Of War's Kratos has long been confirmed as a PS3-exclusive character, prompting many Xbox 360 owners to wonder about who they'll be able to boast about in the forums. It looks like you'll just have to sit there and take it, I'm afraid, because a recent missive from the official MK twitter account suggests that there won't be an exclusive fighter in the Xbox 360 version. Their capitalisation, not ours. [Examiner]
The ONLY exclusive is Kratos to PS3.
Finally, Netherrealm have rolled out a new trailer featuring the psychotic Mileena and some truly disturbing dating advice.
Naughty Dog Co-President Evan Wells demoed a lengthy gameplay section from the recently-unveiled Uncharted 3 on late night American television. Despite the demented hootings of the inane presenter, it's plain to see that Drake's Deception is shaping up very nicely indeed even at this early stage. As Nathan fights his way through a burning building, we get to see the enhanced melee combo system at work as well as the epic cinematic excellence that we're used to from the series.
I'd heartily recommend skipping forward 1:38 minimise the amount of noxious, painful drivel that you'll have to suffer through. Trust me, it's well worth the brain damage.
In other Uncharted 3 news, Gamestop's Uncharted 3 listing suggests that Naughty Dog's latest epic may include campaign co-op. Take this with a pinch of salt at this early stage, but we'll let you know if we hear anything more concrete.
After announcing inSANE at the VGA awards, THQ has issued a press release that confirms a few more details about Del Toro's scary new franchise. You can read the full shebang over at the investors site, but essentially you need to know that it's going to be a trilogy with difficult moral choices running alongside the horror elements.
With this new series of video games, I want to take players to a place they have never seen before, where every single action makes them question their own senses of morality and reality. THQ and Volition, Inc. are equally excited to make this vision of a completely new game universe into a reality. - Guillermo del Toro
Sounds promising, but one of the most interesting little snippets is that "del Toro will hold the rights to any filmed entertainment products." This is common practice for collaborations of this type, but the potential for a canonical film tie-in should help to flesh out what promises to be a disturbing new venture. [THQ Investors]
All eyes may currently be on Duke Nukem Forever, but many of you will remember that Gearbox have also been developing an Aliens title that will cast players as the badass Colonial Marines. It's been very quiet lately (as the studio has likely been feverishly allocating spare resources to DNF) but SEGA has now announced that they'll be spilling the beans "in the next couple of months."
We can't wait to find out whether Colonial Marines will be a stand up fight or just another bug hunt. We're in for some chop! [SEGAbits]
Outstanding. A new DLC pack for Rare's Kinect Sports has hit the Xbox Live Marketplace, delivering a raft of new minigame activities as well as 250 gamerscore for avid achievement hunters to get stuck into. The Party Pack also contains some new Mascots in addition to the likes of Fruit Splatter and Super Striker.
Oh, and it's probably worth mentioning that the Party Pack is completely free. Get it here.
Good news for fans on both sides of the console divide. The third chapter of Lionhead's Fable franchise will soon be with us, and Insomniac's Resistance 3 was revealed at Gamescom... but many fans have been wondering whether this will mark the end of their respective trilogies. Luckily, both developers have confirmed that they were never trilogies in the first place.
Let's start with Fable. When asked by Inside Xbox at this year's Eurogamer Expo, Lionhead's Peter Molyneux stated that he had no intentions of limiting the franchise to three outings.
Forget about the word ‘trilogy.’ I hate limiting ourselves to a trilogy. I want you to feel that you’re on a journey in Fable, and I’m not going to tell you what happens at the end of Fable III but I don’t think you’ll feel in any way that you’ve reached the end of a trilogy. - Peter Molyneux
Fable III is set to release in less than a fortnight. We'll soon know whether the franchise deserves a fourth outing. [Gamerzines]
Resistance 3 is still many months away (likely to release some time next year)- but Insomniac seem to be considering potential sequels even at this early stage. When asked whether the Resistance franchise will end with its third iteration, Insomniac's Ted Price replied:
I don’t think so. I think Resistance 3 is a story within the Resistance universe that can be expanded upon. Doors will be shut, but they won’t be slammed.
Just when we thought that Gearbox couldn't be any more of a class act. As of today, they've given permission (and a personal non-commercial license) for a team of fans to remake the original Duke Nukem 3D using Unreal Engine 3.
Currently working under the operating title Duke Nukem: Next Gen, the project aims to emulate Duke Nukem 3D's singleplayer and multiplayer components as if it were being developed today. It will contain all three original episodes as well as a brand new MP It's Duke Nukem "by the fans, for the fans"... and will be a completely free standalone package. The handpicked team of volunteer devs have their work cut out- and we wish them the very best of luck.
Oh, and did I mention that Duke Nukem: Next Gen is shaping up to be absolutely awesome? Don't take my word for it.
We're in two minds about Tecmo Koei's upcoming brawler. On the one hand, it's squaring up to sock us with uber-macho, brutal, insane, shamelessly vulgar action. On the other hand, it might just turn out to be yet another clunky Eastern beat-em-up with sluggish controls and grindy gameplay.
Luckily, we'll soon get to find out. Look out for the demo this Tuesday on PSN and Xbox Live Marketplace.
After getting their grubby little mitts on some game time with the Duke, Dealspwn's Dave Brown and Matt Gardner had a little chat with Gearbox Software's VP of Marketing Steve Gibson. After founding Shacknews and spending a good decade bemoaning the lack of DNF, Steve found himself on the other side of the fence last year when he joined Gearbox and we spent a little bit of time picking his brains
Steve Gibson: So, what do you call this? We call it a recorder.
Dave Brown: A “dictaphone”
SG: (scoffs) Dictaphone. You and your aluminiums! Anyway, continue...
DB: Right, how much of the game has been created by Triptych and how much by Gearbox? What's the relationship there?
SG: Triptych is about 8 or so dudes and the whole team is like 70 guys. There's the math, I don't have a more complicated answer for you than that.
DB: Why are they not just part of Gearbox then?
SG: I'm not the lawyer or anything like that, I couldn't tell you the technical reason for it, but my guess would be those guys had been working so well together or had been doing so well, much like our stuff on Borderlands and Aliens, stuff like that, we tend to keep groups of guys together. You get better results when they know each other's strengths and weaknesses. We don't just shove 'em in with the rest of the staff, because we want to complete stuff, which is the goal with Duke!
Matt Gardner: Randy spoke about it a little earlier, but did you guys feel under a certain amount of pressure? Was there any trepidation for Gearbox in taking on this 'rusted mantle' of sorts?
SG: Yeah, definitely. A lot of people were asking the question 'Is this something we should do?' taking on this legacy and all of the pressure that came with it, yeah that came up a lot. But what we did is we got our engineers involved and did a whole technology and game evaluation and we asked 'What will it take?' which gave us a great standpoint from which to decide. And we decided that we could do it, we had the technology, we'd shipped across these multiple platforms, we'd covered FPS mechanics and multiplayer with Borderlands, which was very multiplayer intensive. So the fear has turned to something inspiring and humbling, realising that we can do this and be a part of this huge, decade-spanning story, and help get this game over the finish line. That we can be a part of this story is amazing!
Sadly Gearbox have yet to actually release any screenshots or assets yet and we weren't allowed to take photos...so the vids in this article are made up of trailers we've seen over the last decade.
After 12 years of broken promises, disappointment and people just generally moving on with their lives, it's unsurprising that Gearbox hit something of a bump in the road when it came to deciding just how the hell they were going to present this new-but-old (DNF incorporates a massive amount of the original code) rejuvenated Duke, so they figured they'd just take the gam eon the road and turn up to PAX without telling anyone. Thankfully, they also brought it over for a European tour, and I got sit down with it and bust through the 15-20 minute demo to check it out for myself...after pinching myself, of course, just to check.
Set 12 years after the events of Duke Nukem 3D, being self-referential is a key ingredient, Duke is now the most famous and the most wealthy guy in the world. He owns a hotel and a casino in Las Vegas called The Fellatio, he has his own stadium, statues that testify to his greatness line the streets. He leads a typically hedonistic lifestyle in the penthouse suite of his own hotel and life is good.
But not for long. You see, the aliens have returned, although under the guise of peace. Duke's having none of it, of course, and wants make pork chops and bacon sandwiches out of them, but the world powers are attempting to broker a peace and he's told to stay out of it and not mess things up by getting trigger happy. It seems, though, that Duke's right. Secretly, the aliens are beginning to steal away the women of Planet Earth in order to spawn an enormous mixed-species invasion force that can wipe out Mankind.
You don't mess with Duke's women.
Kicking off with the assertion that Duke is once again all out of gum, the demo starts, as you may have seen, with the big man having a piss in one of the changing rooms of an American football stadium. Although it would seem to be the perfect place to have a button mashing minigame just to see how high on the wall you can get it, alas you can only look around. If you think that what I just wrote is immature, puerile and disgusting then...you're right. And this game, or preview, certainly isn't for you!
Roger Ebert may have controversially stated that videogames "can never be considered art," but famed director Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy) has now spoken out to assure us that games represent one of the pure narrative art forms. And he should know, being both a film-maker and an avid gamer.
“Videogames are the comic books of our time. It’s a medium that gains no respect among the intellegensia. They say ‘oh, videogames.’ And most people that complain about videogames have never f*cking played them,”
“They are an art form and anyone saying differently is a little out of touch because they are a narrative art form.” - Guillermo del Toro, during a book reading in Portland, Oregon
Amen, Guillermo. The visionary director cited Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Marathon, and Halo as his particular favorites- which is as sound a list of gaming credentials as any.
In other news, del Toro hinted that full details of his partnership with THQ and Volition will be revealed within the fortnight. Whilst we're aware of the collaboration, we're looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labours. The creepy, creepy fruits.
Borderlands will soon receive a Game Of The Year Edition that bundles the original title along with all of the DLC packs... but apparently it will also contain a little bonus for Borderlands fans. Gearbox has announced that it'll contain a beta entry for Duke Nukem Forever, giving us a glimpse into the long-awaited title (as well as some other goodies as part of the Duke Nukem First Access Club).
This Game Of The Year Edition is shaping up to be the GOTYOTY. [Electronic Theatre]
Hahaha, it's been a while since we've heard anything from Jack Thompson. Just in case you've completely forgotten who he his; Jack is a wretched little troll who lost his legal standing, his reputation and the limelight by being the world's least professional attorney. However, this hasn't stopped him from running his mouth yet again. This time he's claiming victory for the rebranding of Medal of Honor's Taliban- and delivers his statement with characteristically good grace.
“I win again, as usual. Any gamers who don’t think so and who don’t appreciate what I do to protect our culture can go to Hell.”
“Any gamers that don’t know how to get to Hell on an expedited basis, let me know, and I’ll send along the cheat code to get there more quickly.”- Thompson
Listen up, Thompson. Your practise is in ruins. Your legal reputation in tatters. And you had absolutely nothing to do with EA's decision to rename the Taliban to "opposing forces." I think I speak for the lot of us when I say... whatever, Jack. We'll have forgotten you again by tomorrow morning. [Ripten]
As we predicted last month and coyly hinted at the bottom of yesterday's news roundup, the big news from the Penny Arcade eXpo is that Duke Nukem Forever is very much alive. But under new management. Gearbox, the developer behind Borderlands and Brothers In Arms will be taking over from 3D Realms and finishing off DNF for a 2011 release. Excitingly, it'll make its long awaited debut on PS3 and Xbox 360 as well as the PC.
Gearbox, under the outspoken and irascible leadership of Randy Pitchford, is known for delivering some excellent games with genuine personality. On time. Hopefully they'll be a perfect fit for the franchise, and we'll be watching this one like a hawk. Shake it, baby! [DukeNukemForever]
Update: Gearbox has confirmed that development is complete. All it needs now is a few months of spit and polish. [Thanks, CVG]
Activision and Eurocom's reimagining of Rare's classic (and genuinely important) N64 shooter has been causing fans to suffer alternating bouts of extreme nostalgia and anxiety. It's currently difficult to tell whether the Wii version will deliver a truly reverential experience - but according to Martin Hollis, Activision are too focused on the financial bottom line to care about the game itself. Hollis is the director and producer of the original N64 Goldeneye, and stated the following to Official Nintendo Magazine when asked about the new project:
"I imagine it is a business decision, isn't it? This name is valuable, let's use it."
"I find it hard to picture Activision's top management being excited about the original and wanting to do it justice. In fact, I find it hard to imagine them being excited about any game. It's my perception that they are trying to be EA, only more so. I think they are doing a fine job at that."
For the sake of balance, he also stated that he admired Eurocom as a developer and is sure that they're doing their "very best." Only time will tell whether they've been able to get "excited" enough to effectively emulate and improve upon the source material. [Official Nintendo Magazine via Eurogamer]
I managed to play some Goldeneye at Gamescom... and whilst it's showing some promise, Eurocom will really need to step development up a notch in order to hold a candle to the original. Check it out here.
In an attempt to market their impressive Motion Control peripheral to an older audience, Kevin Butler (yeah, I'm still calling him that) has stepped up to the plate and delivered a hilariously epic trailer. Nothing I've seen or played at Gamescom has convinced me that Move is particularly appropriate for hardcore gamers... but hey, why not watch the video and decide for yourself.
Want to weigh in on Kevin Butler's latest mini epic? Fancy raving about Move or bringing up Kinect for no particular reason? Drop us a line in the comments!
You wouldn't usually include the words Activision and free games in the same sentence, but an odd Modern Warfare 2 glitch is currently allowing Xbox Live subscribers to download a selection of SNK games for free. The affected titles include: Garou: Mark of the Wolves, The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match, Metal Slug 3, Metal Slug XX and Samurai Showdown II. Fatal Fury Special.
Just to sate your natural curiosity (and not because y'all love free games or anything), here's how it's going down. Downloading a trial version of one of the listed games and quick launching it from within Modern Warfare 2 tricks the SNK DRM into believing that you've purchased the full version. The full game and even achievements can be accessed, though this process will need to be repeated every time around.
Naturally, you'd better believe that Microsoft, SNK and Activision are beavering away to plug this leak and restore the expensive status quo. We honestly don't know how long this one will last... and even if it's been fixed as this news goes live, it's still a hilarious and embarrassing weakness for all concerned. Drop us a line if you managed to take advantage of it- or if you decided not to on principle! [Gamesradar]
Double Fine has been making the news recently thanks to a new four parallel project plan and Tim Schafer's big mouth... and we reported yesterday that Double Fine had trademarked Costume Quest as a downloadable title. It turns out that this was right on the money, as THQ and Double Fine have announced that they'll be partnering up to bring Costume Quest to a "variety of digital distribution platforms."
Apparently, Costume Quest will chronicle the actions of a group of trick-or-treaters as they collect candy and dress up on Halloween night. This might sound a bit tame... but with Double Fine at the helm, nothing is as it seems. Entering combat mode and undertaking quests allows the kids to grow to titanic sizes and gain supernatural abilities to throw down on a selection of deadly monsters.
Oddly, this game will miss a Halloween release and hit early next year. [1UP]
Just following up on an old story. We recently reported that an eagle-eyed forum dweller had revealed the fourth official Borderlands DLC pack as a ninja-assassin-Claptrap related adventure... and Gearbox have now officially confirmed this to be the case (on top of Randy Pitchford's coy approval at the time).
However, this isn't the only headline that Gearbox has attracted today. "Confidential Sources" that spoke with Kotaku have suggested that Gearbox has taken over development of Duke Nukem Forever.
I'll let that one sink in for a second.
Right. This is currently just a rumour... but if it's kosher, this could well be the dream partnership of the decade. Other rumours suggest that a playable demo could hit as early as this year- and we're chasing this one up right now. We'll let you know as soon as we hear anything.
The recently-discovered patents for Kinect suggested that it was capable of understanding sign language... but Microsoft has now categorically stated that this was cut from the original spec and included in the patent applications just to keep the door open.
Just letting you know. Sorry for the inconvenience. [VG247]
Activision have been dominating the headlines recently- and today has marked a flurry of new announcements from the emergent monopoly. Here's a quick rundown of the three stories that caught my eye today.
We recently informed you that gearbox would soon be announcing a new DLC pack for Borderlands, but it seems that an eagle-eyed forum dweller has discovered some juicy details by trawling through the recent patch files. Here's what he found... spoiler alert?
“Basically the ninja claptrap was created by Hyperion to stop the vault hunters from taking all the guns and treasure etc, but was too clever, he saw other claptraps being ‘enslaved’ and ‘killed’ – he wanted it to stop so he started a claptrap revolution. Now Hyperion have asked the vault hunters to help them stop the claptrap uprising and return things back to normal but the claptraps have gone about re-animating dead people and adding claptrap robot parts to them to fight in their army. Some of the people re-animated include Dr Ned. Commandant Steele and General Knoxx.”
In a surprising twist, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford has actually confirmed these leaked details in broad terms... though he stated that it represents a first draft of the script rather than a finished article. Pitchford also finally came out of his worrying shell of silence by proudly declaring that there'd be plenty of hidden Easter eggs in the DLC that would take us over a "day to find."
We find you worthy, Randy. We accept your challenge.
The weekend's only a few hours away... and what could be better than a healthy dose of power-armoured badasses, hammy voice acting and massive 'splosions to ring in your Friday night. There's a fair bit of gameplay wedged awkwardly between the CGI cutscenes, but Vanquish is shaping up to be an eyepopping and truly exhilarating cinematic experience.
My one worry is that the control scheme will turn out to be clunky, nuanced and counter-intuitive. Japanese developers have a tendency of introducing cumbersome and finnicky controls into their shooters (with a couple of notable exceptions, I know)- and I'd hate for crappy inputs to spoil something that's looking very special indeed. With any luck, my doubts will evaporate upon release.
SEGA has detailed a lot of interesting facts about the armour, canned characters and even robot dogs on the Vanquish blog. Why not check it out?
Naughty Dog's critically-acclaimed action adventure has scooped up 10 awards at the annual AIAS Award ceremony in Las Vegas, including Outstanding Achievement in Animation, Visual Engineering, Art Direction and the coveted Game of the Year award. This isn't surprising, since it was by far and away the best PS3 game of 2009 as well as being one of the highest-scoring video games of all time (according to Metacritic and Gamerankings).
Batman: Arkham Asylum and Scribblenauts were also honoured with multiple awards, and all three titles have also been nominated for BAFTAs. Better make sure that there's plenty of space on the mantelpiece, guys! [Guardian.co.uk]
Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford loves running his mouth. Taking some time out from his hectic schedule of picking fights with Valve, Pitchford has criticised the Wedbush Morgan analysts that predicted that Borderlands would be "sent to die" by competing with Halo 3 ODST and CoD MW2. In an interview with Gamersutra, he stated:
"We were sandwiched between the two biggest first-person shooter franchises ever, and the guys at BioWare, who walk on water, were releasing Dragon Age around the same time."
"You know what, Mike? I knew you were wrong."
The 'Mike' in question is Michael Pachter, the controversial and outspoken industry analyst who famously forecast that Borderlands was doomed to fail. Luckily for Randy, the addictive FPS gained huge popularity; selling over 3 million units and becoming the best selling original IP of 2009. It'll be interesting to see whether the stubborn analyst may have met his match in the tenacious Gearbox CEO- or if there'll be some serious smack talk to come!
Sony has filed a patent for a universal controller that will be compatible with "the PlayStation, a controller made by Nintendo, Xbox game controllers made by Microsoft, Amiga CD-32 controllers, Atari Jaguar controllers, Gravis Gamepad controllers, Sega controllers, and Turbographics controllers."
This controller will feature an LCD screen that allows its buttons to be mapped to several control configurations, as well as an alphanumeric keyboard. It will also be backwards-compatible with older consoles (which will appeal to retro gamers who may have lost or damaged their older peripherals). Depending on the price, this new peripheral could become a ubiquitous part of every gamer's arsenal- and will make local multiplayer gaming sessions a lot easier to organise. [US Patent Office]