For years, the games industry has been using the tools of another medium to announce its finest offerings. A well-made trailer can get tongues wagging and keyboards tapping more successfully than the game in question might have any right to do, and that trailer might well bear about as much resemblance to the final product as a lemon. But we like shiny things, here in the games industry. We get hyped up at the drop of a hat, eager to devour whatever comes next, amped for CG trailers with pulsating backing tracks and just the right amount of slo-mo.
Cinema has taught us well. Besides, it's easier to sling a few frames of judiciously edited footage together and pander to our eyes and ears rather than leveraging the interactive qualities that lie at the heart of gaming.
But there's no excuse now.
I've discussed P.T., the playable teaser that served to announced the Kojima/Del Toro Silent Hills project on the horizon, with a number of people over the past week. Some thought it was excellent, others wondered how much of it would actually be reflected in the upcoming game, and a handful discarded it as an advergame -- a little marketing gimmick that was pure promotion and little else. Unsurprisingly, most of that latter group hadn't actually played the damn thing.
From a personal perspective, I thought it was absolute genius. Hold that, actually. Regardless of personal preference, I thought it might go down as one of the best game/project reveals of all time.Click here to read more...
It's one of those things that provokes the reaction "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!" There've been quite a few instances like that over the past few years, not least because crowdfunding has made realising dreams without a publisher or multi-stringed investments a legitimate possibility provided you've done your homework. I had that reaction when the Double Fine Adventure was first announced (and again when Grim Fandango HD was revealed at E3), when David Braben announced that a new Elite game was on its way, when Nintendo surprised everyone by breathing life into Bayonetta.
For horror fans, the prospect of a Silent Hill game developed under the watchful gaze of Hideo Kojima and Guillermot Del Toro is pretty special, and the duo announced it in one of the most original ways we've seen in a long time -- with a teaser demo launched at Gamescom on PS4, simply titled P.T.
It's damn scary, as this video of me embarrassing myself will testify.
Wow so I watched someone play through that Silent Hills trailer and all he did was walk down a hallway for 10 minute and I was so tense
— Paige (@lordmayocloud) August 15, 2014
With Silent Hills now out in the open (courtesy initially of Soapywarpig) the excitement really began to ratchet up.Click here to read more...
I can't play horror games these days. Horror films aren't a problem, because most of them by now are incredibly formulaic and there's a detachment to film that puts distance between you and the action. That detachment, that distance, is not something you're afforded in games, and the real masters of horror in this industry know how to leverage that to the most chilling extent.
Over the years, series like Silent Hill, Fatal Frame, and Dead Space have basically given me a serious heart condition... along with all of the comfort food I eat after soiling myself. It's important to refuel.
This year, hands-on time with The Evil Within and Alien: Isolation have already conspired to fray my nerves further, and now comes news of a partnership between Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro. Remember how Kojima's been teasing his involvement in a new Silent Hill game? Well it's called Silent Hills, and its teaser demo -- the project briefly known as P.T. -- is playable on PS4 right now.Click here to read more...
We were rather sad to hear that, as a result of preparing to file for bankruptcy, THQ regretfully let go of Guillermo Del Toro's intriguing horror opus. However, if a recent interview is anything to go by, Del Toro's been rather busy in between nabbing Ellen McLain for movie roles, and has been actively trying to farm inSANE out to other publishers.Click here to read more...
Guillermo del Toro has said that he's "not giving up" on his horror trilogy, inSANE, saying that Valve would be his dream developer to partner up with for the project, and announcing that he's gone and cast Ellen McLain - the voice of GLaDOS - in his latest film.Click here to read more...
Irrational's creative chief Ken Levine of System Shock 2 and Bioshock fame recently sat down with fan-favorite film director Guillermo Del Toro - who after a four year absence has finally begun principal photography on Pacific Rim - to discuss their outlook on the videogame industry and their philosophies behind design. Del Toro is an avid gamer, and is directing work on THQ's inSANE. And while he himself is a master of scripting engrossing scenes, Del Toro is wary of bringing cinema principles to gaming, where he and Levine both share the belief that excessive use of cutscenes is a big no-no.Click here to read more...
Guillermo Del Toro has waxed lyrical about the narrative prospects of video games as an artistic medium, saying emphatically that he believes games offer a future to genre narrative that film and television simply won't be able to match.Click here to read more...
We know next to nothing about Guillermo Del Toro's inSANE, a joint collaboration between the film director himself and Saints Row developers, Volition Software. But we're still excited to see what's in store. However, it might be quite a while before we see anything; as Del Toro has today confirmed the game has "two or three years to go" before it'll be ready for release.Click here for more
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...
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.
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]
Volition, the developers behind Saints Row and Red Facti0n, are reportedly working on a brand new action RPG. According to a new job listing on the Volition website, they're searching for a new design director for the project... as well as an interesting tidbit about potential collaboration.
"[We're] collaborating with a high-powered creative talent in the entertainment industry to develop this original, unannounced franchise".
High-powered creative talent, eh? Like... Guillermo del Toro, for example? Considering that the director's finalising talks with THQ (who own Volition) and is looking to get into gaming in a big way, this can't be a coincidence.
3D gaming is currently a divisive that frequently leads to heated arguments, wailing and rending of garments. We still haven't made up our minds whether 3D gaming is the future or a fad... but Crytek have.
“Crysis on consoles for us is pretty much taking the ground that Crysis games will be 3D now and in the future. Console gamers haven’t seen [the original] Crysis yet and when we launch Crysis 2 it’s kind of like a re-launch of the franchise. We want to make sure people associate the Crysis brand with 3D gaming in the future”- Cervat Yerli to CVG
Yerli and Crytek genuinely believe that 3D gaming is destined to be massive and will take off once the first "affordable" 3D televisions start to appear and some triple-A titles start to push the brand. They've joined Ubisoft in voicing wholehearted support for the 3D gaming scene... and only a couple more developers and publishers will be needed to shut up the haters. Still not sure if I'm fully convinced about the glasses, mind. Build them into a nanosuit helmet and we'll talk. [CVG]
Do you buy into the 3D gaming craze? Are you siding with Crytek or Pachter on this one? Let us know in the comments!
QuakeCon is about to kick off over in Dallas, Texas... and id's founder/Technical Director John Carmack has stated that we're in for a treat tonight.
"I'm showing something neat and unannounced at quakecon tomorrow. Deciding if I should leave it be or sneak a little more code in..."
It's likely that this "neat" announcement concerns Doom 4, which id are furtively developing in tandem with Rage. Carmack suggested that not only will Doom 4 take less time to ship than Rage, but it would also look "three times" better due to its lower frame rate (the devil's tradeoff, I suppose). He also suggested that id wouldn't be rolling out another new IP for at least a decade, though Rage could well deserve a sequel if it's warmly received. Apparently, they have "more IPs than [they] can exploit," and want to focus on supporting Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake and Rage.
Does that mean we could see more Wolfenstein and Quake over the next decade? Let's hope so. Naturally, we'll let you know what id's "neat" announcement turns out to be.
Guillermo del Toro, director of the Hellboy series and spectacular cult classic Pan's Labyrinth, is about to get into gaming in a big way. According to press statements made to MTV, Toro will soon announce a "big deal with a big company"- which involves the director collaborating on several "games that are going to be technically and narratively very interesting."
Del Toro's epic creature and art design will lend themselves perfectly to a videogame... and if it has anything to do with the upcoming Lovecraft adaptation Mountains of Madness, we could be in for some seriously impressive survival horror outings. Or the most bizarre Kinect fitness games ever produced. To whet your appetite, why not try out the freakishly bizarre Zeno Clash? [MTV]
Nintendo has released its first quarter financials... and I'm afraid to say that things have taken an unprecedented turn for the worse since 2009. Whilst Wii hardware sales have increased by 36% since this time last year, their profits have all but vanished. Their net income for the quarter was minus 25.2 billion yen (minus £185 million), standing in stark contrast with last year's Q1 profit of 42.3 billion (£310 million). This equates to a decrease of 60.2%... and a difference of £495 million compared to the three months ending June last year.
This is Nintendo's lowest first-quarter operating profit in five years- and there's a fair few factors at play here. European and Stateside sales account for over four fifths of Nintendo's overall income- and the recession hit both the dollar and pound sterling incredibly hard. Rampant piracy (now hopefully curbed by the ban on R4 cards in the UK) also has a role in Nintendo's financial hammering. According to Reuters, Nintendo have yet to change their profit forecast for the entire year, hoping that the 3DS and a "next-gen Wii" will be able to shift a fair few units.
The only silver lining is the epic sales that Nintendo's classic franchises managed to attract. Super Mario Galaxy 2 netted over £4.09 million by itself- and it's likely that they'll need to step up their first party output. Bizarrely, they've delayed the European release of Kirby's Epic Yarn until 2011. [Reuters]
Continuing the theme of Japanese financial woe, Capcom has also announced a 90.4% profit crater year on year. It's clear that Japanese developers and publishers will need to innovate and adapt to survive... which arguably may not be a bad thing.
Just to rub it in the faces of Nintendo and Capcom, Sony has announced a 118% rise in PS3 sales this quarter- and are closing the gap with worldwide Xbox 360 sales. Microsoft's console stands at 41.7 million global sales... with Sony nipping at their heels with 38.1 million.
Every year without fail, Sony execs and fans proudly announce that it's the "year of the PS3"... and never quite managed to make it happen. Now, however, it looks like their age of Aquarius is actually be starting to materialise.
Oh, and PSP sales slumped, much to the surprise of absolutely no-one at all. Sony's failure to secure consistent 3rd party software support and terrible advertising has crippled the handheld- which is a shame, considering its incredible hardware and potential. [via VG247]
You know you want to get involved in this one. Is this the year of the PS3? Will Sony's holiday and 2011 lineup seal the deal for the hardware giant? Have your say in the comments!
Sega has released a new trailer for Shogun 2: Total War- and it's looking mighty fine indeed. Whilst it purports to be in-game footage, it actually appears to be taken from a CG cutscene,but you'll get the idea. Expect enormous battles, some tough tactical decisions and a little diplomacy to keep your enemies guessing.