According to the statistics, less than 1% of all games released in 2013 let us play as a gay (or LGBTQ) character and the crux of that is because although the majority of gamers are a fairly progressive lot and wouldn’t mind gay characters right in there with the rest of the heterosexual ones, plenty of publishers and developers are guilty of shying away from the subject in fear of the vocal, ignorant minority coming for them with pitchforks and torches aflame. Developer BioWare are actually one of the few developers to embrace queer characters wholeheartedly, with all three Mass Effect games and both Dragon Age 1 and 2 allowing same-sex romances. Dragon Age: Inquisition is set to include same-sex romance too and, BioWare say, they have plans to keep putting gay characters in their games in the future.
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.
After more rumours than you could throw an entire room of gossipmongers at and a massive leak from Amazon, publisher Square Enix have now officially the game that we all knew existed. Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition will bring Wei Shen’s shady (but justice upholding) antics to PS4 and Xbox One as our double agent copper enters Hong Kong’s criminal world to deal damaging blows to its knee caps. Or, y’know, help them do more illegal things. The game is good like that. Anyway the ‘definitive’ edition of the game comes with a tons of DLC and more of what we enjoyed on last-gen systems so you can find out more about the game after the break.
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.
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.
If there’s one place that gamers like taking the fight about female characters in games, it’s the sports genre. We had a minor win in 2012 with NHL 13 which I waxed lyrical on in the year 2012, boasting the fact that it included two puck-slapping, ice-carving, gold medal winning female Olympians in the game at a time where EA Sports’ other popular franchise, FIFA, offered ‘female characters will get in the game eventually, just not right now/any time soon’ as a pretty weak response. NHL 14 was an arguable step backward in some cases so now, the more we find out about NHL 15, the more we’re hoping one bit of information is going to tell us that ladies will get more support, but judging by this brand new graphics boasting NHL 15 trailer we might be waiting a while. Watch the video after the break.
Uh-oh, well this is awkward, for EA and BioWare at least. Several weeks ago there was a leak in which one sneaky E3 attendee recorded the invite only viewing of Dragon Age: Inquisition’s E3 gameplay demo, complete with commentary from BioWare themselves. They managed to get out and upload it like the jammiest of dodgers before it was taken down a little while after but never fear! EA and BioWare have released an official version of that same Dragon Age: Inquisition gameplay scenario meaning that none of those camera-in-hand jitters are present here and you can also view it in 1080p HD. Watch the video after the break.