Having trouble downloading mature-rated content on your Wii U before 11pm? Well that's because Nintendo have been busying themselves trying to comply with Germany's hardline stance on mature content distribution.Click here to read more...
Microsoft have revealed that developers will not be able to ship mature-rated games through the Windows 8 Store in Europe. According to a new report that quotes heavily from the Windows 8 app certification requirements, the new regulations will prevent the sale of any games rated PEGI 18 in Europe, or ESRB Mature in North America.
If that seems a little hypocritical considering the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, well that's because it is.Click here to read more...
I want to talk about three buzzwords today, and I'll have to ask for your indulgence as I get slightly angry about the semantics of marketing doublespeak and the damage it's doing to our industry. So many of the press releases we get these days, usually pertaining to shooters or hack and slash titles, come bearing emphatic statements supposedly to do with quality. But a trend has arisen wherein, perhaps in attempt to move away from the somewhat childish connotations associated with the word "game", titles bearing 18-certificates now have to come with a blurb that spells things out. Just in case you weren't aware, folks, these are "mature" games, with "dark" subject matter, told in a "gritty" way.
This is all bollocks, of course, because nine times out of ten, what this actually means (and this is a direct translation) is "We've filled this game with guns, violence, and maybe some boobs, you'll shoot a lot of people in the face, and everyone will speak in a gravely voice and act like The World is at stake."
To be honest, I think the game that first started to really make mme angry about this was Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, the insinuation being that a bit of wobbly-cam and buckets of grime would make for an intense, dark, and gritty adventure. Except it didn't. It made for a nausea-inducing standard third-person shooter. There was talk of Inversion featuring a relatively gritty and mature storyline. Of course, it had about as much bearing on the action as an ant might have on a football match. The obvious current talking point is Visceral's take on Army of Two, which is literally described as "intense, mature and grittier" by EA.Click here to read more...
Publisher: 2K Games
Within seconds of firing up Spec Ops: The Line, with an overdriven and slightly sneering cover of "Star Spangled Banner" greeting gamers over the opening title screen, there's a palpable feeling that in spite of the desert backdrop - depicting a Dubai landscape submerged beneath millions of tons of sand after a freak storm - we're in firm Vietnam territory here.
From tense, vicious firefights that play out to the sounds of Deep Purple's "Hush" being streamed over a makeshift PA system, to the brooding and atmospheric, guitar-led soundtrack that sounds like it could have been plucked from any number of 'Nam films, it's a game that reflects upon the horrors of war, and how shock and revulsion can turn a man's mind. At its core, Spec Ops: The Line is a game all about three rather altruistic Delta Force operatives, tossed into a frying pan of physical and moral conflict, and left to try and find their way out...with their minds and bodies somehow intact.
Given the desensitising nature of violent video game culture, and the rather flippant attitudes of the majority of action titles out there, it's refreshing to see a developer strive to take a slightly different look at warfare. This is a game seemingly at odds with the flippancy and casual attitudes to mass murder found in most military shooters these days, and at times Spec Ops: The Line appears to indulge in a spot of self-awareness - asking questions of the very industry and genre of which it is a part. Taking on a third-person perspective with their shooter, Yager allows us an everyman we can project onto, before breaking him down in rather brutal fashion, and forcing the player to consider what they have done.Click here to read more...
This week, after rummaging around a couple of rumours from the week just gone, we take a look at maturity in games, and ask if adults are being short-changed. We look at how the industry often panders not only to teenagers, but to the lowest cultural denominators, how money and the bottom line have fuelled an unbalanced demographic. Fianlly, we look at David Cage's suggestions that gaming really hasn't evolved much over the last couple of decades, and ask what this means for next-gen.
PWNCAST | Season 1: Episode 14, Recorded: May 17th, 2012
Some of the things that get covered this week:
...and much, much more.
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be quite a few instances of strong language.
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on the heels of Jenova Chen's suggestion that the games industry doesn't to enough to serve a mature audience, Quantic Dream's David Cage has said much the same, believing that our industry is currently "too far balanced towards kids and teenagers" and "too focused on violence".Click here to read more...