News Wrap Up: Pacific Rim Tie-in, Next-Gen Ubisoft Games & Nintendo Solutions

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Wii U Mario Kart Super Mario Bros

It’s time to play catch-up on a few key games that are releasing later this year and share some fun news bits for some of our recent favorites. We’re going to look at what Nintendo is attempting to do make the Wii U successful, viruses in Resident Evil: Revelations, EA’s latest controversy with real-world arms manufacturers, a Pacific Rim movie game, rumors of a PGR5, a Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon movie and more info on Ubisoft’s AC4 and Watch_Dogs.

Read on for the details and a few more stories.

Nintendo Solutions

The Wii U isn’t selling well, there are barely any Nintendo games for it, and third-parties have seemingly given up already, as the (true) next-gen consoles approach for release this fall. What will Nintendo do to turn it around?

According to multiple sources, they’re looking at taking advantage of the free-to-play/subscription model phenomenon that’s proven successful in the PC market, and they’re even modifying the hardware to work with mobile smartphone apps – already sending out devkits – not unlike the repeatedly-delayed Android-powered Ouya console. Oddly enough, critics were quick to point out when the 3DS launched that Nintendo should instead become a software producer for smartphones and other consoles.

Sources: CVG, Kotaku

Resident Evil Sickness

No, no, we aren’t talk about how bored we are with Resident Evil after RE6 and Operation Raccoon City – not to mention, the films – after beating us down with mediocre, derivative gameplay, we’re talking about Revelations! So desperate to get another quick release out the door, Capcom is porting the 3DS title (which is actually good) to PC and the current-gen consoles (including the Wii U).

In the latest Resident Evil: Revelations developer diary video, game director Kazuhisa Inoue speaks about the them of viruses in the game and how they’re based on real-world infections.

Authentic Guns. It’s In The Game.

While promoting the disappointing Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Danger Close Games played up the authenticity factor while promoting the game, using actual Navy SEALs to promote the title and help craft its story, and even launching a stupid (and thankfully, quickly canceled) promotion which gave away a tomahawk, while encouraging sale of real-world weaponry featured in the game.

That mess was quickly swept away and now publisher Electronic Arts is ending their relationships with the gun manufacturers whose weapons are featured prominently in the MoH and Battlefield games. That doesn’t mean the guns are going anywhere digitally, they’re just not going to pay for the rights anymore.

EA’s President of Labels Frank Gibeau tells Reuters:

“We’re telling a story and we have a point of view. A book doesn’t pay for saying the word ‘Colt,’ for example.”

Pacific Rim Movie Tie-In

Pacific Rim Video Game

The age of obligatory full retail movie tie-ins is coming to a close, thankfully. Marvel movies from Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk to Captain America and Thor all had awful-to-meh $60 video games, not unlike their competitors with the Green Lantern movie tie-in. But these are no more, and we’re seeing an increasing number of genre summer blockbusters not getting the corresponding game. And it’s good because the industry needs to stop wasting money and time on rushed, low-budget, ugly and derivative tie-ins.

Now, we’re getting even lower budget downloadable tie-ins. The Expendables 2 had one, Battle: Lost Angeles also had one and now, Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim is getting one too according to the Australian Classification Board – the ultimate source for unannounced game reveals. The game is rated M, multiplatform, and features online functionality and is published by Yuke’s. Expect to find out more soon.

Project Gotham Racing 5

Lucid Games Ltd, one of the studios spawned from the demise of Bizarre Creations, took to their Facebook page earlier this month to happily announce that they have interesting news coming mid-May, perfectly timed with the May 21 unveiling of the next-gen Xbox. With their history at Bizarre, and their racing game background, rumors point towards Project Gotham Racing 5 potentially being a launch window title for the next-gen Xbox.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon: The Movie

The retro-futuristic ’80s sci-fi B-movie styled spinoff Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon won over the gaming world (read our review) with its unapologetic fun-focused downloadable spinoff starring Michael Biehn which was announced on the premise of being a sci-fi movie filmed on the Rook Islands setting of the main game. But what if it actually were a movie as crazy as the game? The above fan-made trailer may give you an idea, and it’s actually something we’d like to see. Could Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon ever end up on the production slate for the newly formed Ubisoft Motion Pictures alongside adaptations for Assassin’s Creed, Ghost Recon, and Splinter Cell?

Hacking Watch Dogs

Watch DogsTakedown Cop Dropping Door

Last week in New York we previewed Ubisoft’s next-gen IP Watch Dogs to see the world of Chicago through super hacker Aiden Pearce. While driving stolen cars, acquiring weapons, gun-fighting and more, Pearce can also hack on the fly, and according to senior producer Dominic Guay in an interview with Joystiq, they sought out feedback from Kaspersky Lab and their expert hackers to make the game more authentic.

“It’s not about the minigame that will let me open the door, it’s the fact that I’m making a plan. I’m making a plan of how I’m going to chain hacking, shooting, traveling the city and driving to achieve an objective.”

We chose this quote because it’s the most accurate. From what we saw, hacking simply involves pressing a button prompt when a hackable object is in sight.

Next-Gen Assassin’s Creed

When Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4 in New York on February 20th, Ubisoft took to the stage and showcase new footage of Watch Dogs and to confirm its launch coming to the new console. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is another Ubisoft title coming to both current gen and next-gen consoles and you can hear the devs talking about game features and improved visuals in the video above. It won’t be until next year or the year after (or even after that) when we get a full, true next-gen AC game that takes advantage of the power of next-gen consoles but the key highlight is how Sony redesigned their new console to be developer-friendly, something they failed to do with the PS3.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.