FIFA 12 and X-Men: Destiny led the releases this week as we close out September and say hello to the incredibly busy fall season. Look for our reviews on both of these titles shortly. While Batman: Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed Revelations and the Battlefield 3 beta dominated headlines this week, there were quite a few other important happenings, a lot of which we didn’t get a chance to discuss yet.
So, in this edition of the Weekly Video Games News Round-Up, we’ll discuss Gotham City Impostors, the future of Red Faction, the release of RAGE and BF3, types of gamers, The Old Republic launch, the demand for the next generation of consoles, Respawn’s first game, Guild Wars 2 and EVE Online.
Video Game News
1. Gotham City Impostors Closed Beta
On Wednesday, October 5, the closed beta for the strange multiplayer first-person shooter, Gotham City Impostors. begins. Steam codes already went out to those involved for the PC-only beta but the game will only be playable during 7PM – 12AM (EST) and the beta ends on the 9th.
2. Red Faction May Live On in Spirit (Engine)
While THQ put an end to the Red Faction franchise after its drastic changes to the franchise didn’t bring in the big bucks, its GeoMod destructibility engine may see life in other IPs. In fact, it was a (very small) possibility for Saints Row: The Third although for obvious reasons, they couldn’t make it work. Volition’s Greg Donovan:
“It’s a possibility we could use Geomod in Saints Row and, yes, we considered it [for SR3]. For Saint’s Row The Third, we decided not to do it, partially due to time reasons but also because you could make a good argument that if you had full-on destruction then it’s not a Saints Row game.”
GeoMod was made very limited in Red Faction: Armageddon so if it does return, let’s hope it’s for all-out-destruction purposes.
Source: Xbox World
3. RAGE Among New Fans
With the long-awaited, graphically stellar RAGE finally hitting store shelves on Tuesday (October 4th), expectations are high and so is uncertainty. Id Software took risks with a new IP and as much as we gamers love new and original games, especially with the market over-saturated with sequels, it’s tough for publishers to hit big sales numbers when competing with established triple-A brands. Id Software creative director Tim Willits however, is confident that quality will equal a win for the company.
“I believe when RAGE ships though, that it will change the perception of the company. I think that our hardcore fans will get it and love it, and we will actually get some new fans… We’re trying a lot of new things and it seems to be working really well — people who have played it really seem to love it.”
Look for Game Rant’s review of RAGE later this week!
4. Journey To A Release Date Because Gamers Are Not Stupid
Journey developer Thatgamecompany says gamers are not stupid in referencing the industry’s tendency to shovel out vast amounts of similar games. Kellee Santiago, a co-founder of Thatgamecompany, explains that just because a title isn’t “hardcore” doesn’t mean it’s not intelligent and hence, their success on PSN with the beautiful and entertaining Flow and Flower. We agree.
Speaking of Journey, Sony finally announce that the game will release in spring 2012.
5. Star Wars: The Old Republic Release is An Achievement
If The Old Republic MMO launches successfully with their pricing plans in an era of free-to-play MMOs then this will be quite an achievement for BioWare and Electronic Arts. Players can earn achievements too in-game and the achievement system will be ready for the game’s launch. From what we hear, the achievements will be mostly for meaningful tasks as well.
Source: Ask A Jedi
6. Consoles Are Too Old
As more and more developers proclaim their desires for the next generation of video game consoles to release, we’re going to start seeing more and more games held back and/or specifically developed for the next Xbox, the next PlayStation and the Nintendo Wii U. One of those games will be a title from indie developer Jonathan Blow who you may know from the brilliant downloadable game, Braid.
According to Blow, the current generations consoles are technically insufficient to run the next game he’s working on, The Witness, and so it likely will be saved for the next gen.
“We like 360 and PS3, but their specifications are over five years old now, and that’s a lot in computer years. The kind of tricks we’d have to perform to get this game working on those platforms are such a lot of work that to port it over at this point is just not worth it for us… For this type of game, I do wish the new generation of consoles had come out by now. Even if it only meant a slightly faster graphics processor and a lot more RAM.”
7. Spawn Some Ideas For Respawn
Remember when Infinity Ward almost fell apart? Those were the days. Anyway, Modern Warfare 3 is still coming out on schedule and as for those who departed Activision’s Call of Duty dev and formed Respawn Entertainment, they’ve grown to 60 people and have finalized an idea for their first big game. It may or may not utilized 3D but they’ll want your feedback to help guide the game’s direction when the time comes!
Source: USA Today
8. Battlefield 3 Specific Drivers
Every once in a while a game comes out that the industry gets behind and must support. One such game is Battlefield 3 which (on the PC) boasts what may arguably the best video game graphics currently available. In anticipation of this Nvidia has already released drivers just for this game which increase performance by 38% and AMD is about to do the same.
9. Guild Wars 2 Beta
Colin Johanson, a designer for ArenaNet, re-confirmed that the beta for Guild Wars 2 is definitely coming out later this year with the full release still slated for 2012. Along with SWTOR, we’re psyched about Guild Wars 2 and had it listed as one of our most anticipated games of 2011 before it got pushed.
10. Kinect Just Needs Some Time
Another major release this October is that of Forza Motorsport 4 from Turn 10 Studios. The game uses Kinect for a few cool features and they’ve been acting as a salesman for the tech, explaining that its still so early in its lifecycle that Kinect and other motion controller devices have unlimited untapped potential. Turn 10’s Dan Greenawalt:
“We’re just at the tip of the iceberg with Kinect. As a creative industry, this is fairly new to us still. I know it seems like ‘Wow it’s been out a full year.’ But it’s only been out a full year. There’s a lot more time to go… If you look at Ubisoft with Ghost Recon, you look at BioWare with Mass Effect, other triple A large franchises that are known for innovation – for pushing – are picking it up and saying ‘Yeah we can do something really cool with this. Not because we have to but because this is an awesome creative challenge and we want to surprise our customers with cool new experiences.'”
11. On the EVE of The Next Generation
CCP, the minds behind EVE Online and the upcoming DUST 514 are working on tech for the next generation while also preparing more major updates for their space-based MMO. They opened a fourth studio last year, CCP Newcastle, and now we know what they’re working on. CCP VP Thor Gunnarsson (his name is Thor!):
“But, yes, we’re currently building tech for the next generation of consoles, as well as future PC tech too… Ultimately, CCP Newcastle will be working in full capacity on technology for the next generation of hardware.”
In other key CCP news, the company is pushing for its biggest “refocusing and reprioritization” ever in EVE Online and it’s all going to be based on what the players want. For more on that, click here. Big news should be coming shortly.
Video Game Reviews
- Radiant Silvergun
- Hector: Badge of Carnage – Episode 3: Beyond Reasonable Doom
- Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection
- Fallout New Vegas: Lonesome Road
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.