We'll be honest, this week's podcast goes a little off of the rails. What we originally envisaged as a discussion centred around artificial intelligence programming in terms of companion characters in games became a hearty chinwag about some of our favourite companions.
We even manage to make a case for Slippy Toad being the Best Video Game Companion Ever!
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be a few instances of strong language.
Click the banner at the top to play the file, or right click and select 'Save Link As' to download the file onto your hard drive.
Update: It appears the folks over at NeoGAF have been busy, as one of their posters has found and translated a Brazilian classification document for the game. In it, the file confirms that the new Uncharted game will be coming out on the Playstation Vita. Not only that, but it will involve "casino/card games." We'll bring you more updates as we get them.
Original Story: Another entry in the Uncharted series was always going to be on the cards, but this revelation might not be what many were expecting. A notice from the Australian Classification Board was discovered overnight, spreading like wildfire across various websites, but when the news was reported by Gamespot things took an interesting turn. Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, retweeted the news on his Twitter account, practically confirming the legitimacy of the unintended reveal. As such, we now know that Uncharted: Fight For Fortune is going to happen, but we also know that it will be leaving the confines of Sony’s first party studios, being outsourced to One Loop Games.Click here to read more...
Amnesia: The Dark Descent designer Thomas Grip believes that developers and gamers need to realise that "story is not just the plot" - i.e. that games should convey their narrative through interactive gameplay, art design and audio rather than relying on cutscenes.Click here to read more...
Naughty Dog's lead designer, Richard Lemarchand, is set to leave the studio behind Uncharted, and take up a teaching position at the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California...after he spends three months backpacking all over the world, that is.Click here to read more...
Ever fancied just kicking back and watching Uncharted 1-3 as movies, well now you can. MorphinAPG has spent some considerable time and effort splicing together in-game scenes from all three games to create a seamless cinematic experience. They're all feature length too. Grab some popcorn, people!Click here to read more...
All eyes are currently on The Last Of Us: Naughty Dog's new PS3 exclusive IP that recently received some new screenshots and details courtesy of Game Informer. In an interview with the magazine, however, co-president Evan Wells revealed that the second development team "extensively explored" the idea of creating a truly next-gen Jak & Daxter game... and that the Uncharted Team would feasibly be able to apply what they've learned to the venerable franchise. Full details below.Click here to read more...
Naughty Dog are in a bullish mood, having said that Uncharted developer their hope for latest project, The Last Of Us, is to "change the fucking industry. Moreover, creative director Neil Druckmann is keen to raise the bar at his studio, to make sure that future games are praised for their entire experience, not just "amazing stories".Click here to read more...
David O. Russell's decision to drop the Uncharted movie adaptation was met with equal amounts of apathy, relief and a little disappointment... as well as a big surprise when Neil Burger (Limitless, The Illusionist) was stepping in to fill the role. In his latest interview, Burger has announced that he'll be throwing out the script and getting back to the game itself for inspiration, which is great news since he's a massive fan of Naughty Dog's franchise. Oh, and he hasn't ruled out Nathan Fillion just yet. Don't stop believing.Click here for the full story >>
Naughty Dog has announced that the Uncharted 3 beta will run for an extra 24 hours, meaning that we'll have an extra day to work towards the unlockable rewards in the full version. This may well have something to do with the character reset glitch, but hey, the extra day of testing certainly couldn't hurt. The deadline now hits on July 15th at 5PM GMT.
A stats portal has also opened, which allows players to check out a selection 0f pertinent facts and figures. Check it out here.
Let us know what you made of the beta!
Uncharted is making its way to Sony's Next Generation Portable, the NGP, and fans have been wondering whether it would be a Nathan Drake-centric adventure or an all new spin-off. Well, Nolan North fans, rest easy; as Uncharted NGP is set between the first two games, and might possible fill in some baffling gaps and even "interact" with the upcoming third installment.
That's according to Naughty Dog, who revealed the news in an interview with gameblog.fr, courteously translated by Eurogamer's European arm. They explain Uncharted on the NGP features a "different vibe" to the past two games, tailored for gaming on the go. Exploration is being emphasized above gunplay, with Naughty Dog passing the reins over to Sony Bend, who've already handled translating another studio's major project to a portable device with Resistance: Retribution on the PSP. We'll have more for you on Uncharted NGP very soon. [Eurogamer]
We still haven't made up our minds about whether the world really needs an Uncharted movie, and many fans have questioned whether the promised family dynamics will work on the big screen. Director David O. Russell (the man behind critically-acclaimed and Oscar-nominated film The Fighter) has now stepped up to soothe our concerns- and to ask us to "trust" him.Click here to read more...
After months of (correct) rumours and speculation, 2K and Digital Extremes have announced that The Darkness II is indeed in development and is dated for an Autumn 2011 release window. The original game was one of the most interesting and sadly underrated shooters of this generation, and we're delighted to see that it's making a long-overdue return.
2K President Christoph Hartmann has the following spiely speil for your cynical delectation:
The Darkness II is a well of dark and imaginative violence, and it’s a stylized and beautiful nightmare.
The game takes a unique stance on fighting in the dark versus light. Combined with the arsenal of weapons at Jackie’s disposal and the gruesome attacks of the supernatural Demon Arms and Darkness powers, we’re proud to announce another title that delivers on our core values of creating games for gamers.
As well as stylish noir ultraviolence, The Darkness II will deliver Quad-Wielding FPS mechanics that allow two weapons to be simultaneously fired along with slashing and throwing objects from Jackie's horrific demon appendages. Consider this one to watch- and we'll bring you the latest as we hear it.
Uncharted is one of the most impressive NGP launch titles on the radar thus far, but award-winning developers Naughty Dog have confirmed that they won't be in charge of the transition to Sony's impressive handheld. Rather, they'll be concentrating on making Uncharted 3 as polished as possible.
We’re a one game studio so [splitting development] would be very challenging for us.
I know a long time ago we had looked at trying to do that as well, but it’s really about what makes sense for the universe and for the franchise as well. - Naughty Dog community boss Arne Meyer to EGTV
Meyer continued to state that Naughty Dog are more than happy to pass the reins over to Sony Bend, who have been tasked with adapting the franchise to the exciting new device. As a veteran PSP outfit, they're more than up to the challenge.
Sony Bend’s a great studio, we have a great relationship with them, so it’s really exciting to see a new platform and see what they can do with it given all of the new control options they’ve got as well.
We've got the best part of a year to wait- so trust us to keep an eye on things. [EGTV]
We've been keeping you up to date with the latest Japanese news on the hotly-anticipated Nintendo 3DS, and Ninty has finally confirmed the UK launch lineup that we can expect when their handheld hits our green and pleasant land on March 25th. No big surprises here, but for the sake of completeness, here's the full rundown.
Personally, we're mainly excited about SSFIV... but with no big first party franchises on the list, many gamers may well opt to wait for a couple of months.
With the March street date looming ever closer, it's time to ask the big question: will you be buying a 3DS? Or will you be holding out for the NGP or more first party Nintendo titles? Have your say in the comments!
For the record, you can see my answer to the question here.
Leaked details from Game Informer's latest cover story has outed a few more choice tidbits about EA's recently-unveiled Battlefield 3. Apparently the shooter will feature an all-new singleplayer campaign that's unrelated to the Bad Company storyline and canon, along with cooperative modes and four multiplayer classes. The big news is that the console versions will 'only' support 24 player multiplayer action as opposed to 64 on the PC, which is said to be the Battlefield 3's "lead platform." More at GAF.
The games industry faces many issues despite the major profits that development generates... but according to Treyarch, recycled titles and buggy coding aren't the major problem. We are. Speaking in an interview with NowGamer, Treyarch community manager Josh Olin states that gamers with "negative" attitudes are holding back games development.
Too many developers who try new things are getting burned by “pundits” and angry entitled fans who look to be contrarian, sometimes simply for the sake of being contrarian.
The only thing this attitude aims to achieve is stunt that creativity and innovation even further, which is something that no rational gamer looking to be entertained would want to do.
Treyarch has also been receiving a huge amount of flak regarding Call Of Duty: Black Ops' PS3 performance. Maybe we're just being too "negative?" [NowGamer]
Right, you know that you want to weigh in on this one. Do us gamers have an attitude problem? Are we holding back development? Or is the giving us plenty to moan about? Have your say in the comments!
Cor blimey, wow and so on. Sony has released a new trailer for its recently-unveiled NGP handheld that shows off some of the games that will be hitting the platform- and it's enough to make even this jaded gamer reel his tongue back in. Killzone, Uncharted and Resistance look absolutely stunning, but several newly-unveiled IPs are also shaping up nicely. Insane parkour platformer Gravity Daze will be one to watch.
Seriously, hit play already. And ignore the terrible preppy music.
The NGP has met an extremely mixed reception from pundits, journalists and gamers alike, but there's no denying that it's shaping up to be a stonking piece of hardware with some killer games. You can read our reactions to the device here.
THQ Executive VP Danny Bilson has confirmed to VG247 that a "big" Saints Row 3 announcement will be "coming soon." We expected that the third entry in the anarchic sandbox franchise make would be unveiled last year, but after nary a peep from THQ on the subject, we're delighted to hear that we'll soon be in for some concrete intel. Since the Q3 investor's call is set for later tonight, the smart money is on at least a mention.
Naturally we'll keep you posted. [VG247]
Here's another teaser for you. During today's quarterly investor's call, EA boss John Riccitiello dropped a few hints about a potentially new and "exciting" FPS title that will be announced this year. When questioned about the future of the Medal Of Honor franchise, Riccitiello delivered the following cryptic response:
This year, with the tail-end of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 still doing well and Medal of Honor still doing well... with Crysis and Bulletstorm we're clearly going to make more progress towards our goal and that's before we get to what I think is going to be a very exciting entry later in the year that we're not yet announcing.
Before you get too excited, this "exciting entry" could well turn out to be a Battlefield 3 or a new addition to the MoH franchise. Here's hoping for a new IP- possibly from Respawn Entertainment. [EG]
As promised, the 27th of January has finally rolled around... and Sony have blown the lid clean off of the PSP2 during their Japanese press conference. Months of leaks, theories and gossip have all led up to today- and in case you didn't stay up to watch the announcements live, here's everything you need to know!
First things first. Sony have confirmed that the new handheld has been codenamed the NGP, which stands for Next Generation Portable. The PSP2 branding may return at a later date, but it's likely that Sony are looking into distancing their latest device from previous hardware with a new brand identity. NGP is almost certainly a placeholder, but that's what we're going to call it for now.
Does anyone else find it odd that NGP also stands for NeoGeo Pocket? I'm not suggesting that there's a comeback conspiracy, but... wait, that's exactly what I'm saying.
Here it comes: it's specifications time. Rather than a massive text dump, we've done our best to trim it down to the pertinent details that you need to know.
No real surprises here, but it's great to see the twin thumsticks confirmed at long last. The built-in GPS is also a nice touch. As rumoured, the form factor has reverted from a sliding panel to a single unit in order to house more effective fans and heat sinks.
As far as the rear multi-touch pad is concerned, Sony have announced that it's the same size as the screen and corresponds 1:1. It's up to developers to work out how to use it or ignore it completely.
Rumour: Eurogamer reports that maximum battery life may be in the region of 4-5 hours. Take what you want from that.
Well, yeah. The Uncharted, Metal Gear Solid, Call of Duty and LittleBig Planet franchises will all make an appearance on the handheld- and will use the hardware to its full potential in terms of graphical output and motion control.
Sony have also confirmed a massive list of publishers who have signed up to support the device. You can read up on the full legion over at VG247, but it includes the likes of Capcom, Square, Activision and even the Oddworld lot.
This is absolutely key, folks. Make no mistake, Sony have to ensure that the PSP2 receives consistent third party support in order for it to succeed. This is a major step in the right direction.
This is probably the second biggest piece of news to come out of the press conference, though it's easily overlooked beneath the shiny games and specs. Sony will be rolling out a new digital content service entitled Playsation Suite, that will apparently deliver Playstation 1-2 games to Android devices and smartphones. What's more, cloud saves will also be supported, making it compatible with the NGP.
It will also provide a "new development environment," which we hope means that Sony will be encouraging Indie development to create smaller applications for microtransaction-style sales.
Playstation Suite is looking very suite indeed. We'll keep you posted.
It looks like we've got a few more lawsuits to add to our already-bulging portfolio of ongoing games litigation. Sony has been "looking into" the issue of their recently-cracked PS3 firmware and the appearance of numerous emulators/homebrew applications... and has now decided to launch lawsuits against GeoHot, the fail0verflow consortium and various other individuals (including, we believe, KaKaRoTo).
Sony alleges that the defendants "circumvented effective technological protection measures employed by SCEA to protect against unauthorized access to and/or copying of PlayStation 3 computer entertainment systems" as well as broader piracy charges. A tangled mess of many different violations has also been stated, including Copyright infringement and Computer Fraud. They're currently seeking temporary restraining orders and impounding of both modified hardware and software- but as far as we know, no financial damages are on the table.
GeoHot has published the summons in full here, though the server's currently at breaking point. The defendants have yet to respond, but we assume that the 100 individuals are too busy smashing up hard drives to comment at present. [Engadget]
In other Sony news, VG247 claims that confidential sources have outed a strategy meeting on January 27th as the first official announcement of the long-awaited PSP2. We'll keep our eyes to the East over the next few weeks.
After knocking out Crackdown 2 in less time that most developers spend playtesting, Scotland-based Ruffian studios have announced that they've got two new projects in the works.
Since completing Ruffians first born, Crackdown 2, we’ve now moved onto a couple of new games. Rather boringly as is the case for most nascent projects we’re unable to talk about them in any detail right now. What we can say is they’re really exciting, high action, visceral titles that are heavily focussed on online. Which could be a lot of games to be honest.
One of these nascent (good word, that) titles must be Crackdown 3, since Ruffian have previously stated that they plan to "alter" Pacific City in future Crackdown titles. Their other project, however, is anybody's guess. We hope they'll be able to deliver some cracking games now that they have more time on their hands. [Ruffian]
Castle star and geek idol Nathan Fillion previously campaigned to play Nathan Drake in the upcoming Uncharted film- a move that was thoroughly supported by us dewy-eyed superfans here at Dealspwn- but . Many Uncharted (and Firefly) fans were disappointed by the decision, but Fillion has announced that he fully endorses and supports Wahlberg in the starring role.
Just watched The Other Guys, and honestly excited to see Wahlberg in Drake’s Fortune. He’s got mad skills. - Nathan Fillion on Twitter
What a class act. Hopefully Uncharted can break the cycle of sickeningly mediocre film adaptations... or will be awful enough to destroy the trend completely. Either's fine in our book. [Gamingbolt]
Gemini Rue was one of the most exciting Indie titles at last year's Eurogamer Expo. We were wowed by its noir visuals and Blade Runner-esque vibe, and Wadjet Eye Games have now revealed that it's set for a February 24th downloadable release. Preorders are now available at the official site.
Adventure games aren't going to get much better than this. Miss it at your peril.
Does Gran Turismo 5 seem a little slow to you? Blame everyone else. GT5 servers are currently groaning under the weight of players attempting to access the online functionality- including both logs and online multiplayer. Bizarrely, this is causing performance drops even in singleplayer. The official Sony line indicates that, in many cases, menus are taking several minutes to navigate and the startup procedure frequently hangs or stalls. It's puzzling (and slightly disappointing) that the singleplayer is being affected by an online issue.
Sony are naturally feverishly working on a solution- and have temporarily denied access to logs and certain aspects of player profiles. They've suggested simply disconnecting from the internet for the time being... which sounds fair enough to me. [Thanks, Kotaku]
UPDATE: Yamauchi has announced that a large patch should be arriving this Saturday. [Eurogamer]
It's rumour control time again, folks. Multiple sources (including French site Nowereelse.fr and MobileCrunch claim to have been invited to the major reveal of the (not-so-secret) Playstation/PSP Phone- dated for December 9th.
According to MobileCrunch, the phone features a "mind-blowing" retina display and will be aiming for a February 2011 release.
Earlier this week, we reported that Sony Ericsson boss Bert Nordberg has been fanning the flames- stating that there "must be a fire" behind all of this smoke. We reckon these latest reports may well be on the money.
Controversial actor (and former Mr Angelina Jolie) Billy Bob Thornton has blamed us gamers for lowering film standards. Apparently all we want to see is stuff blow up and people getting shot, which allows directors and writers to get away with much lazier scripts and storylines.
We're living in a time when we're making - in my humble opinion - the worst movies in history.
They're geared toward the videogame-playing generation. And these videogames, which I'm on my son about constantly, these games are people killing for fun, and I think traditionally in movies, there's always been some kind of lesson in the violent movies. -Thornton to The Telegraph
I'm sure that you'll be able to draw your own conclusions from this allegation. Let us know what they are!
Despite Nathan Fillion's recent campaign to portray Uncharted's protagonist Nathan Drake in the upcoming feature film adaptation, it seems that David O Russell has selected a game-to-film veteran. Mark Wahlberg (Boogie Nights, The Departed) is no stranger to videogame adaptations- having previously played Max Payne in the not entirely convincing remake- and has hinted that Joe Pesci and Robert DeNiro have also been contacted about starring in the movie as family members (father and uncle respectively). [MTV]
I'm still not entirely convinced that we need a movie adaptation of an existing cinematic experience; which boasts a linear narrative that required well over 8 hours to tell properly. In fact, I can't get my head around why this film could possibly be a good idea. Still, if you're looking forward to it or want to weigh in on David O Russell's choice of leading man, drop us a line in the comments!
Currently holding 74% and 76% Metacritic scores on PS3 and X360 respectively, it's safe to say that whilst early reviews of Medal of Honor have indicated that the game is perfectly solid, it's not quite as special as EA would have liked us to believe.
Cowen and Company analysists Doug Cruetz and Adam Noily, in a post-release report entitled 'Early Medal of Honour reviews look decidedly Tier 2', have suggested that failing to reach a score of 85-90% overall so far has been something of 'a black eye for EA management given the amount of focus and hype they have placed on the game'.
'We believe the mixed reviews could impact the title's legs as it will likely be competitively disadvantaged once Activision releases Call of Duty: Black Ops. We continue to believe MoH can achieve roughly 4MM units in first year worldwide sales but believe that the likelihood of upside to that figure is now significantly diminished.'
Speaking to LA Times, EA have been quick to shrug off the lower scores, suggesting that unlike certain direct competitors, this is a series that has lain dormant for a few years and that the company is looking at a long-term strategy
'Critics' scores are highly subjective,' it said. 'The game had the highest pre-orders in the 11-year history of the Medal of Honor franchise; this is an essentially big achievement considering Medal of Honor has been dormant for several years.
'This is the first year in rebooting the franchise. Medal of Honor is part of a larger EA strategy to take share in the shooter category. This is a marathon not a sprint -– today's Medal of Honor launch represents a step forward in that race.'
Unfortunately, the company's share price dropped by 6p overnight, although some analysts have suggested that the drop, following a six week rise, has come as a result of inflated levels of expectation: 'I think it's a situation where some of the air is being let out of the balloon following a nice run in the shares and high expectations,' said MKM's Eric Handler. [GamesIndustry.biz]
We'll have our own review for you soon, but what are your opinions on all of this? Still psyched, or going to give it a miss?
As well as those who've purchased the Borderlands Game of the Year re-release, it seems that gamers who bought Gearbox's shooter via Steam will get codes for the Duke Nuker Forever Early Access demo according to Kotaku. The demo won't be available until next year, though, and Steve Gibson has indicated that the demo will also be made available to the rest of the public at some stage too, although there's no concrete date set for it yet.
Can't wait that long? Check out our hands-on impressions here!
With the Uncharted movie reportedly back on track under writer/director David O. Russell, this news has surprised...absolutely no-one. Talking about the role, the Firefly and Castle star recently tweeted 'If ever there was a Twitter campaign, let this be it. Rise, ye Browncoats. Rise, ye Castillions. RISE!'.
Whilst some of us are still a little upset that Firefly was ever cancelled, seeing Nathan Fillion in anything would be awesome, quite frankly. But what of Nolan North himself, should the original actor be considered for the role? Who would you like to see pulling it off? Let us know down below. [1UP]
At the launch of this year's London Games Festival, UKIE Chairman Andy Payne gave a rousing speech that firmly saw UK games development as the future cornerstone of the country's entertainment industry, placing a huge emphasis on education and encouraging young people to realise that you can have a legitimate career in the industry, and have boatloads of fun while you're doing.
We already saw a large careers presence at the Eurogamer Expo earlier this year and now UK games industry trade body TIGA has released a free-to-download guide aimed at students and young people contemplating a career. The guide outlines the qualifications required, advisable course choices, potential career progression as well as which areas of the country offer the best opportunities.
'In our experience people are often unaware of the fantastic opportunities that exist in the UK games industry,' said CEO Richard Wilson. 'They also do not realize the size of the industry here in the UK. We hope this guide will offer people practical, straight-forward advice on how to secure a job in this exciting sector.'
Following Felix's post about Uncharted 2 earlier today, I thought now would be a good time to mention that Shop To are also great deal on the original game. It's currently one of their Star Buys and available at the bargainous price of £12.85.
The next best price is from Tesco (£14.45 if you use their current discount code) and virtually everywhere else has the game for £15 and upwards.
Don't forget you can get an extra £1 credit on your Shop To account with our exclusive Dealspwn voucher code, which can be found here!
Though it's not quite as good as its sequel, Drake's first adventure is still well worth taking. At the time its production values were little short of astounding and it has stood the test of time well, with pleasing graphics and a great cinematic feel. It's a rollercoaster ride of silliness that you are bound to have fun with so long as you don't take it too seriously.
Thanks to GSD at Hotukdeals!
Medal of Honor was once the premier historical shooter, but it's fallen on seriously hard times these last few years. However, EA Games president Frank Gibreau has come out swinging: declaring that MoH's forthcoming franchise reboot will put the series back on top.
“[We're] going to be in the Medal of Honor business for a long time. With [the upcoming] Medal of Honor, we’re rebooting the series to get into the top 10,”
"We want to be the worldwide leaders in the shooter category, full stop.”
Them's fighting words, Frank. We'll find out whether EA's all talk when the game launches on October 15th. [VG247]
The MW2 Stimulus Pack hit PSN yesterday... and hit it hard. Users have been reporting problems with wallet topups, downloading games and redeeming codes- but Sony's apparently aware of the problem and are currently sorting it out.
To be honest, Xbox Live experienced similar problems when the Stimulus Pack came out, and these issues will likely be rectified as the demand slacks off over the next day or two. [Playstation Blog]
Wow, loads of videogame film tie-in news today. Let's go to the movies!
Why not have a gander at Brendan's recent list of game movie howlers and silver screen sins?
There are some days when the realities of working for a deals site hit home such as when you nip out to do a bit of grocery shopping only to find that you've no money left for food and it's all because three super hot deals pounced on your money stash yesterday and left it hollow and empty. Deals like this one, for example. Amazon have always been good with bundles, but this one is one of the best I've seen for a while, netting you a PS3 Slim 250GB console along with an HDMI cable and two of the best games around.
Basically, if you hit the link below and follow the 5 simple steps that Amazon gives you, you can nab this behemoth of a console, along with arguably the best game of 2009, the pending triumphant return to Rapture and a cable to allow you to experience it all in retina-melting HD for £265.50, provided you opt for free delivery. Considering that not only is the console cheaper (it normally retails on its own for this price if not more), but that you get the as-yet unreleased Bioshock 2 for £15 and, better still, Uncharted 2 for free, this is an absolute stormer of a deal. You could opt for Eye Pet, but we'd probably judge you for it.
There are a few swap out options to suit most action gamers, for example if Bioshock 2 doesn't float your boat you can always go for Dante's Inferno or Assassin's Creed II, but it doesn't impinge much on the massive saving you'll be making anyway. If you've been holding off on swiping a PS3, there's never been a better time to get in the game.
Need proof? Check the HUKD link to see some screenshots that will put your wallet in serious jeopardy.
Thanks to adsldave atHUKD