The plague, accidentally dropping your chocolate digestive in your tea and microtransactions. Ask most gamers for our pet peeves and we’ll give you that list in that order. In free to play titles like Candy Crush we’re willing to accept having to pay extra for more plays in an allotted time because the thing didn’t cost us a dime to download and play in the first place. But is it just fundamentally wrong for publishers and developers to shoehorn microtransactions into full price games that not only sell for $60 but make paid-for DLC available too? That’s a very good question and a blazing white hot topic too so the microtransactions in Assassin’s Creed Unity are only going to fan the flames even further.
From the disgruntled masses of PC and PS4 fans to the deafening cheers of Xbox One supporters, convinced they’d finally landed a blow to the PS4’s unstoppable success, to the critics and unaligned gamers who simply asked ‘wait, what?’, the announcement that Rise of the Tomb Raider will be an Xbox exclusive come 2015 has been the talk of the town. And although the chatter of secret big money deals and sales and console wars clutters up the highways, we will eventually have to accept the fact that Rise of the Tomb Raider is going to be exclusive to Xbox One and Xbox 360 for whatever unspecified amount of time. But do PC and PS4 really need Rise of the Tomb Raider and where does the Tomb Raider franchise go from here? Read on after the break to find out.
When I interviewed Jotun designer Will Dubé about the game earlier this month I learnt that the top-down action title is as much Dark Souls as it is Shadow of the Colossus. Its primary boss battles might seem to embrace SotC’s ‘gentle giant’ theme with whatever inspiration grabbing appendages but the jotun in Jotun are going to pulverise you to little Norse pieces if you don’t dodge out of the way of their attacks. Like Dark Souls, there’s a method in the madness of getting squished by a foot, a blade, or whatever over and over again in that Jotun challenges us to use our wits to defeat its enemies. I thought this sounded like a novel premise but being an in development game, Thunder Lotus didn’t really have much to prove that to me. They’ve since put together a combat teaser video for Jotun, showing off the battle mechanics and such. Watch it after the break.
There’s a handful of things that we loved about The Sims franchise. It lets us have same-sex relationships and marriages, we can take on any career path we want from rockstar to sticky fingered criminal, we can destroy livelihoods and meet alien life-forms all in the ultimate life simulation game. But, the very best thing that we can do is kill off our sims. Like the Grim Reaper with a vampiric thirst for blood, sim murder has always been one of the very best things to do whether we removed stairs from pools (should have brought your floatees, sucker!), packed a house full of electrical appliances or just made our sims pee themselves to death in a room with no windows or doors. The Sims 4 won’t make that any less fun (although watery deaths are off the cards for now as EA have removed the feature) and as this new trailer shows, there are going to be more hilarious and incredibly sadistic ways to to kill of our characters come next month.
Never Alone is a game about learning! Well not that kind of learning; there’ll be no point and click hunts for trivia here as instead it will imbue us all with the knowledge of Alaska Native cultures and their century’s old stories via the medium of adventuring and video games. As a young Iñupiat girl named Nuna, alongside her trusty fox (whose name is literally Fox, which is brilliant), we’ll take on a rough Alaskan setting that will chill our button-pressing thumbs to the bone and send shivers down our spines with some beautifully crafted design. There’s also gameplay that involves lots of puzzles and we’ll meet such characters from Iñupiat history as “The Sky People”, “Manslayer” and “Rolling Heads” so you know this’ll be a good’un. More on Never Alone after the break.
It suddenly occurred to me this morning that I failed to cover the new Assassin’s Creed Unity trailer last week although like the wary gamer I am, with a fondness for stabbing virtual bad guys in the beck, I watched it. Even despite the controversy. You probably watched it too so if you want to watch it again I don’t blame you, or if you landed on this post by some miracle of a search engine, please join me as I join the throngs of others with a bone to pick with Assassin’s Creed Unity and the Ubisoft team(s) behind it.
Jotun is a game far more inspired by Team Ico’s Shadow of the Colossus than it is by the soaring wave of popularity surrounding Thor. The game’s lead is a Norse woman for one and the fact that her name is ‘Thora’ in a time when Marvel have decided to make Thor’s comics counterpart a woman (also named Thor) is a happy coincidence I’m told, but in all honesty, the similarities end there. Thora wields a mahoosize blade from the get-go and gameplay is a mix between death-defying feats of wit, bravery and willpower against giants (those would be the ‘Jotun‘ then) and puzzles that see you embrace runes, shrines and the gods of Norse mythology as Thora fights her way out of Purgatory and into Valhalla. So with that enough to whet my axe-wielding appetite I decided to talk to the game’s designer, Will Dubé, to find out more.
The year is 1975; you’ve got a handlebar moustache itchier than a trouser leg full of poison ivy, some stir crazy goldfish in the heel of your platform shoes and this song is probably playing in the background. I would imagine, anyway. I wasn’t even alive in the 70s so I don’t really have a clue but what I do know is that according to LA Cops it was full of jive talkin’ punks (!) that needed to be put down with a swift dose of justice in the form of the bullets that fly unabashedly from your guns. Hey, keeping criminals off the streets doesn’t always mean you stay on the right side of the law but police guidelines were really crummy back then and besides, bad guys are called that for a reason. More on LA Cops after the break.
Right, let’s get this out of the way; I didn’t play GTA V on PS3 or Xbox 360 and I don’t plan to either. But with good reason, though! I was waiting for Rockstar’s crime caper sandbox to land itself on PS4, updated visuals, DLC that I’m too lazy/cheap to pay extra for and all. That’s probably the only valid reason for not having played it, if I’m honest, unless running over pedestrians and doing drive-bys willy nilly aren’t really your thing, but alas I’m sure that there are a few of you who were holding out for a GTA V next-gen release too. Rockstar played it coy with that trailer from Sony’s E3 presser focusing on glamour shots only, a bit of sexy leg scenery here, a bare glimmer of lights at dusk there and they were especially withholding on that release date. We might have an answer now though as retailer GameSeek has outed the GTA V next-gen release date on its website.
It had oodles of potential and promise that it was going to be a gajillion and 2 percent better than whatever round joints in square sockets features Dragon Age 2 coughed up and left us with like a soggy hairball. Alas, for all of the nice things that it was going to offer us, the Dragon Age: Inquisition release date has been pushed back from its initial October timing. Anyway, reasoning, the new release date and sadfaces all round can be found after the break.