Author Archives: Arjun Sukumaran

GTA V gameplay trailer is why are you still reading this?

I’ll say this for Rockstar Games – they’re masters of stringing you along, this is known; but when they deliver, boy do they deliver.

It looks…well, it looks fantastic. The graphics are good, it looks like they’ve put some thought into improving the mechanics, and the world…you know, the worlds GTA’s given us over the years were always the biggest draw for me. Whether it was the keen sense of satire around the inhabitants, the abundance of tucked-away easter eggs and other secrets or the simply staggering attention to detail, there was nothing I enjoyed more than getting up to speed in Rockstar’s Bizarro metropolises. And I absolutely cannot wait to sink my teeth into this one.

It’s either a testament to the reputation Rockstar’s built for itself or to my unashamed status as a GTA fanboy (or both), but I was grinning before I even clicked ‘play’. That grin stayed on my face throughout, except for all the times my jaw dropped; and there were quite a few of those. I’ll probably take a more in-depth look at the snippets the trailer reveals, but right now, I’m just going to watch it a few more times and try to hold back my growing conviction that Rockstar’s done it again.

Somewhere between joyful and peachy? Sounds about right.

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E3 2013 – welcome to the next generation

It’s that time of year again.

I’m not even going to attempt to keep up with the torrent of information that’s going to be pouring out of Los Angeles, starting in the next few hours and going on for 3 insane days. Heck, even full-fledged websites struggle under that kind of workload and I’m just one blogger. (A rather magnificent one, it must be said, but still just one.)

So here’s my plan, dear readers. I’m going to watch all the press conferences today, or at least as many of them as I can stay up for. (Future Me – 2 and a half. That’s not bad!)

I’m going to take notes while the conferences are going on and try uploading them as soon as possible once they finish.

And then, once the deluge starts dying down, I’m going to sift through the haystack of gaming news and focus on the important ones. The game-breaking ones. If all else fails, the shiny ones.

That’s my plan. It probably won’t happen, at least not as organized as I just made it sound. I’ll miss stories, whether through inattention or simply Not-Giving-A-Damn (hello, this year’s Madden!). Heck, I’m typing this minutes before I dash off to find someplace with a connection reliable enough to let me stream the conferences in a resolution greater than Minecraft’s, so there’s a good chance this post might be delayed as well. (Future Me – damn, I’m good.)

And there will be many of those – whatever else is revealed at E3, we know we’re on the threshold of something amazing. Next-Gen – the phrase is bandied about so much that it’s lost all meaning. I’ve been using it myself for years now, and it’s yet to sink in that we’re finally here. It’s finally here. Marketing hyperbole aside, I don’t think there’s any doubt that what we see over the next few days could potentially have a huge impact on what we play and the way we play for the foreseeable future. I am so excited right now, and so should you be. This is a wonderful time to be a gamer, and I can’t wait to see what happens. Show me the future, E3. Next-Gen is now.

God, what wouldn’t I give to be in the Los Angeles Convention Center now.

From the creators of The Incredible Machine comes Contraption Maker

What does zis button do?

From their website:

The team that created the original Incredible Machine® is bringing all of the Rube Goldberg craziness to the modern age.

Solve puzzles involving ridiculous chain reactions full of hamster motors, trampolines, alligators, cats, and so much more. Then go to the powerful Maker Lab, where you can create your own contraptions. Everything you loved about the original game is back and improved with a new physics engine, high definition art, and new parts and programmability.

Our community features will allow you to share your creations with the world. Cooperative play, subassemblies, mods and more are coming soon. Keep a eye out for the Early Access (Alpha) release coming to PC & Mac this summer!

There are two possible reactions to this news. If you scratched your head in confusion and emitted something that sounded roughly like ‘buh?’, The Incredible Machine was a series of DOS games that came out in the early 1990s. They were puzzle-based – each level tasked you with accomplishing a goal of some sort (put a ball in a box, or pop all the balloons, for example) using a variety of levers, pulleys, boxing gloves and cats. Mostly cats. Yep, you basically had to make like Rube Goldberg and build some wacky machines. Are you starting to get it now? If you need more, worry not – I’ve embedded a video of the original The Incredible Machine after the break.

If, on the other hand, your reaction was something like this…

omg

…then welcome, comrade! Also, you may not want to click past the break if:

a) You’re planning on doing anything productive in the near future.

b) Your nostalgia resistance is critically low.

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Assassin’s Creed IV will fly the flag for the Golden Age of Piracy

It’s not much of a leap to link pirates with the Assassins, and this trailer does so rather straightforwardly. Disenchantment with order, devotion to freedom (and debauchery), and a certain predilection for pointed objects – they’re all present and accounted for. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag will apparently show us the “true story” of the pirates, “rough and unvarnished”. (The story, that is, not the pirates. You can’t varnish a pi- well, I wouldn’t want to be the one to try it, anyway.)

If you’re detecting a certain lack of excitement in these quarters, you’d be right. As a longtime Assassin’s Creed fan, I just can’t bring myself to get too worked up about this installment. After the agony and the ecstasy (mostly agony, though) of Assassin’s Creed III, Ubisoft’s next game really needed to sing a redemption song to get the franchise back on track. Instead, what we’re getting is another one-year-later sequel; but what’s worse is that it’s got a ‘IV’ tacked on to the end. Is Black Flag really going to be the bold next step for the franchise? When you consider that Brotherhood, ground-breaking in so many ways, didn’t get that honour, you have to wonder. I loved the naval combat in Assassin’s Creed III, but I don’t think that doubling down on one of the shining lights in an otherwise broken game is the way forward for Assassin’s Creed. Hopefully, Ubisoft and Edward Kenway will prove me wrong when Black Flag launches on October 29th.

Saint’s Row IV gameplay proves that laws don’t apply to the President, especially those of physics

Just a couple of days after Saint’s Row IV announced itself with dignity and grace (HAHA, no) comes our first look at the gameplay. Enjoy almost 7 minutes of Presidential carnage above!

I’ve gotta say, it doesn’t look much different from III graphically. There are already many people questioning why this couldn’t just be a large expansion instead of a full-fledged sequel, and I don’t see this video doing anything to silence them. Still, it looks to have inherited its predecessor’s absurdly manic notion of fun – even if it’s looking like I’ll have to endure a fair amount of dubstep if I’m going to play this game. 2013’s shaping up to be a stellar year for fans of open-world games with this, GTA V, Assassin’s Creed IV and Arkham Origins all on the horizon.

With great dubstep comes great responsibility, Mr. President – meet Saint’s Row IV

Oh God.

So, you remember how Saint’s Row III was pretty crazy, right? So it appears Volition’s decided that the best way to take Saint’s Row forward was to make the leader of the Saints the leader of the free world, give him aliens to fight and superpowers to fight them with.

I’m supposed to write words about this. Intelligent and meaningful words that will make you feel something about this game, about this franchise, or maybe even about the state of gaming in the world today.

Instead, all I can muster is ‘what is this I don’t even’.

If you’d like some bat-shit insanity with your thoughtful political commentary, Saint’s Row IV assumes office on August 20th.

0:49 made me laugh out loud. Even he seems embarrassed by that getup!

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is out today, here’s a video to show you why you should play it

Far Cry 3 did set the the bar fairly high when it came to developer diaries, but Blood Dragon simply smashes it out of the park. It’s not often a developer walkthrough manages to drop my jaw, but this one managed it on multiple occasions. If you’re still on the fence about Blood Dragon, watch this – you might love it, you might hate it, but it’ll definitely leave an impression.

Get to know Michael, Franklin and Trevor in these new GTA V trailers

Open-world action games are a dime a dozen these days, but there’s just something about GTA. Whether its the impeccable song choices, the scathing social commentary or just some brilliant writing, there’s a flavour to a Grand Theft Auto game that’s all its own. And these trailers have it in spades.

Franklin’s arc looks set to be a return to the war between Grove Street and the Ballas that featured prominently in San Andreas, while Trevor…is almost certainly insane. In a good way. There’s a man who’s clearly read How To Win Friends And Influence People. Despite Franklin and Trevor each being callbacks to earlier GTAs in their own way, I have to say that the one I’m most interested in right now is Michael. The Ulysses character is nothing new, but in the hands of Rockstar? It could be something great.

5…months…more.

Microsoft will take the wraps off the next Xbox on May 21st

[Image courtesy Polygon, click to see original article]

Microsoft’s long-awaited reply to the PlayStation 4 will finally be unveiled in just under a month from now. Here’s the official announcement from Major Nelson:

On Tuesday May 21st, we’ll mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV and entertainment. On that day, we’ll be holding a special press event on the Xbox campus and we invite you to join us via the live global stream that will be available on Xbox.com, Xbox LIVE and broadcast on Spike TV if you are in the US or Canada.

On that day, we’ll share our vision for Xbox, and give you a real taste of the future. Then, 19-days later at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, we’ll continue the conversation and showcase our full lineup of blockbuster games.

We are thrilled to pull back the curtain and reveal what we’ve been working on.

A New Generation Revealed
Xbox Campus, Redmond WA
Tuesday, May 21st @ 1p ET/10a PT/17:00 GMT

This is going to be very exciting indeed. Much like this amazing GIF, found on The Verge’s forums:

Now, be honest – if it did that, you’d forget all about that always-online thing.

Come the revolution, all box art will be made using Clip Art and Comic Sans

COMIC SANS RULES OK

And the revolution is already underway, over on NeoGAF and Tumblr!

For the sloths among ye, I’ve embedded some of the more…breathtaking pieces after the break.

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