The games of fall are almost upon us and that means it’s that time of the year when we look forward to the holiday season and discuss all the big games coming out soon. Join Robbie, Jason, Samantha and Kyle as we talk about our most anticipated games, the games we think will be a surprise and the games we thing will be disappointing. Almost every big game gets covered: Call of Duty, Halo, Assassin’s Creed, Dishonored, Darksiders, Borderlands, Resident Evil and many more.
Thank you for listening and please enjoy Episode 144 of Talking About Gamers!
The Talking About Gamers podcast can be found in iTunes and the Zune Marketplace. You can listen to Talking About Gamers through Stitcher Radio. We appreciate any reviews or to provide direct feedback feel free to send an email to email@example.com. You can hit us up on Twitter at @talkaboutgamers and find us on Facebook as well.
Ubisoft has released a new trailer for Assassin’s Creed III which focuses on the AnvilNext Game Engine which it runs on. Check out a bit of the engine’s dynamic weather system, new and improved AI and one-thousand new animations for the game’s protagonist, Connor.
If there is one thing Kyle is known for on Talking About Gamers, it’s for loving things. Now it’s unclear if it’s because his PS3 died or because Steam is slowly draining his bank account, but something has turned him sour. This week join Jason, Kyle, Addam and guest Eddie (Psi Pilgrim) as they discover that Kyle has apparently become the new Robbie.
Summer rages on and that means we take a trip back in time to discuss oldie Castlevania: Lords of Shadows. We don’t shy away from new games, though, as Eddie tells us about the recently released Quantum Conundrum. There is news aplenty this week as we discuss some happenings from san Diego Comic Con including the Deadpool game, Fortnite, Assassin’s Creed 3 co-op and more. We also tackle the business side of gaming by talking about Sony buying Gaikai, Microsoft possibly buying Activision and the Ouya kickstarter that is, apparently, sweeping the nation.
Thank you for listening and please enjoy Episode 141 of Talking About Gamers!
The Talking About Gamers podcast can be found in iTunes and the Zune Marketplace. We’re also happy to announce that for the first time you can listen to Talking About Gamers through Stitcher Radio. We appreciate any reviews or to provide direct feedback feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can hit us up on Twitter at @talkaboutgamers and find us on Facebook as well.
The nominees of the E3 2012 Game Critics Awards have been announced as voted on by various publications from the online realm and print world.
The games to receive the most nominations overall were Halo 4, The Last of Us and Dishonored, which each racked up four nominations. Each of those games is also nominated alongside Tomb Raider and Assassin’s Creed 3 for the night’s biggest honor, Best of Show.
The winners will be announced on June 26.
Check out the full list of categories and nominee below and don’t forget to leave us your personal winners in the comments as well.
Best of Show
Best Original Game
Best Console Game
Best Handheld/Mobile Game
Best PC Game
Best Action Game
Best Action/Adventure Game
Best Role Playing Game
Best Fighting Game
Best Racing Game
Best Sports Game
Best Strategy Game
Best Social/Casual Game
Best Motion Simulation Game
Best Online Multiplayer Game
Best Downloadable Game
Okay everyone take a breath. The busiest week in video games is over now and that means it’s time for reflection on everything we just watched. Join Robbie, Kyle, Jason, Samantha and Addam as we go over the press conferences from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo from this year’s E3.
Despite what most people may say about the press conferences, there were definitely a lot of games shown to get excited about and we do our best to cover as many as we can this week. Microsoft brought out the expected heavy hitters of Halo 4 and Black Ops 2 but also snuck in some surprises with Splinter Cell: Blacklist and South Park: The Stick of Truth. Sony showed off two of the best games at E3 with Beyond: Two Souls and The Last of Us but also managed to become the talk of E3 with a terrible on stage demonstration. Nintendo easily had the most to gain from E3 and we all agree that they squandered the big reveal of the Wii U with few titles and no firm details about pricing and a release date.
This is is just part one of our E3 coverage as we plan to spend more time next week talking about plenty of other games that got us incredibly excited from E3 like Watch Dogs, Far Cry 3, SimCity and more. Thank you for listening and please enjoy Episode 137 of Talking About Gamers.
The Talking About Gamers podcast can be found in iTunes and the Zune Marketplace. Please leave a review there or to provide direct feedback feel free to send an email to email@example.com. You can hit us up on Twitter at @talkaboutgamers and find us on Facebook as well.
I’m worried about Dragon’s Dogma. With a release date only a couple weeks away, we’ve all had the recent chance to check out the demo on Xbox Live (and if you haven’t already, you need to). You need to check out the demo because the game looks awesome. So what’s the basis for the worry then? Well, despite the great promise unveiled so far in the demo and myriad trailers, there are still a lot of unknown factors where this particular game, independent of what it actually accomplishes, may still falter.
We’ve all seen it before, where games don’t get the credit or fanfare they deserve. We hear about games like Beyond Good & Evil or Psychonauts being adored by critics but for some inexplicable reason just not doing well. Granted, it may be a bit too premature to say that Dragon’s Dogma will score critically well, but given what we’ve seen so far I think it’s reasonable to believe that there’s a good sized audience out there that will enjoy the title.
What worries me is that even presuming the game garners high scores and fan praise, and despite how much I personally enjoyed what I’ve played so far of this game, I think there’s a good chance that Dragon’s Dogma is going to fail.
Let’s start with worry number one: the developer. In case you’re the sort of skeptic that doesn’t accept anecdotal evidence, it has pretty much been proven that Capcom is primarily a sequel-making machine. In the past, the company has latched on to single, good ideas and made a dozen iterations from them. And although Capcom tricked a large number of people into thinking that it was changing this business model by releasing new IPs such as Lost Planet, Dead Rising or – you guessed it – Dragon’s Dogma, Capcom is still clearly the same old company.
Dead Rising released as a new IP in 2006 and Capcom managed to restrain themselves for three full years until the dam burst, spewing forth Chop till you Drop (2009), Dead Rising Mobile (2010), Dead Rising 2 (2010), DR2: Case Zero (2010), DR2: Case West (2010) and DR2: Off the Record (2011). Let’s not forget the dozens of pieces of non-standalone DLC available on the marketplace. Games like Lost Planet tell a similar tale, where a sequel to the sequel has already been announced despite Lost Planet 2 not rising above a 70 on Metacritic.
Though you can’t much fault Capcom for wanting to make money, gamers can and do fault them for their policy on DLC, which is essentially that no matter what comes on the disc you paid for, their definition of DLC is whatever they decide to charge you for. Of course there’s no concrete evidence that Dragon’s Dogma will force you to pay extra just to see the game’s ending, as critics of Asura’s Wrath have contended. But the fact that there’s a history there gives enough cause for concern when you start to think of all the ways that unnecessary DLC could be shoehorned into an RPG like Dragon’s Dogma.
Specifically in this instance, with the pawn system in place that allows you to recruit fighters from other realms to assist you in overcoming tougher obstacles, even I would be tempted as a developer to offer up a special character for just one measly dollar. Who wouldn’t recruit a ranger that knows a weak point for an otherwise nearly invincible dragon, or a thief who knows a secret back entrance to where said dragon is guarding a large hoard of treasure? Can you honestly say as a gamer that you wouldn’t have paid money to have a claptrap join you in Borderlands if it “knew” how to one-shot kill Crawmerax?
But that’s not really my biggest worry here. As much as we like to rail against the monetization of something we love, if Dragon’s Dogma achieves even moderate success it’s kind of comforting to know that a Dragon’s Dogma 2 is probably already being planned. What worries me even more is that Dragon’s Dogma is going to get so little attention that it won’t stand even the smallest chance at popularity. For that worry I don’t blame Capcom, I blame the ides of May, which every game developer who is not Blizzard ought to be wary of.
Yes, if anything is sure to spell doom for the action RPG of Dragon’s Dogma, it’s Diablo 3. Releasing just one week before Dragon’s Dogma, there’s little doubt in my mind that most lovers of action RPGs, the western fantasy theme setting, loot drops and seamlessly integrated multiplayer functionality will be playing Diablo 3. We already had a taste in the public beta not too long ago and it was absolutely glorious. It more or less is the Diablo that gamers have been waiting twelve years for.
Twelve years! Do you honestly think anybody who wants to swing a sword is going to give the single-player-only experience of Dragon’s Dogma a second glance? As much as we like to believe the entertainment industry is recession-proof and that in a bad economy people still stubbornly spend on those sorts of creature comforts that take their mind off things, the fact of the matter is that the industry as a whole has seen a large number of layoffs and closings. Whether the recession is over and we’re just seeing people spending on the mundane projects they were putting off, or whether the global economy is worse than we’d like to believe is all an editorial for another website. What we’re concerned with here is the trend that at this particular moment gamers don’t seem to be buying quite as many games (see the graph on page 10 of the ESA’s 2011 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry).
Games like Skyrim and Diablo 3 make it all too easy for smaller titles to get lost in the shuffle. Despite the fact that Dragon’s Dogma offers some really unique and amazing combat – where else can you hang onto the haunch of a chimera and hack off its tail – whether or not that will be enough to succeed is unknown. If the game actually turns out to be as awesome as the demo and trailers lead me to believe, then I’m preparing myself right now for its failure. As a huge fan of the action combat or RPGs, I like to believe that there’s some intrinsic value to a system where hard work lets you level up a character on a risk/reward system.
Not everyone enjoys the white knuckle adrenaline induced by a Modern Warfare veteran run. Nor does everyone enjoy the tedium of the traditional turn-based RPG. The reason why games like Skyrim and Mass Effect are succeeding isn’t just due to story, I believe it’s due to the fact that you can choose your own level of difficulty in every specific encounter. With enough skill and effort you can defeat one of Skyrim’s giants early on, or you can just as easily wait till you’re strong enough to take one down with a couple well placed sword swings. Dragon’s Dogma makes that specific promise, highlighting the fact that you can retreat from encounters and return later if you don’t happen to fancy the challenge.
It is precisely that variable challenge that refreshed Squaresoft fans in Final Fantasy XII, the style of combat that made Xenoblade Chronicles a critical darling, and is pretty much the only reason why anyone has heard of the otherwise mediocre White Knight Chronicles series. The question is whether or not people will give Dragon’s Dogma a chance to prove what appears to be similar mettle, as the combat seems to be more fun and have greater depth to it than any of the aforementioned titles, including Skyrim and Mass Effect. (Yeah, I just went there!)
In a way, it almost feels like a mixture of Assassin’s Creed and Shadow of the Colossus. Granted, I can tell you right now it doesn’t match the fluidity or grace of Assassin’s Creed, and I doubt it ever will with any amount of polish. But the spirit is impressive enough to warrant a look and keep it on your radar. Fingers crossed, mechanically the final product will be every bit as impressive as the recently released demo was.
Granted, it was only a demo, so it’s hard to say just how polished the final product will be, but it begs the question of whether or not Dragon’s Dogma will edge over the threshold of what is considered a “Triple A” title. As fun as the demo was, my inclination is to say that it won’t quite achieve that level of refinement, particularly being a new IP. That is all the more cause for concern when industry icons like Cliff Blezinski have argued (and I believe rightfully so) that middle-of-the-road games don’t stand much of a chance.
Between now and May 22nd I can’t help but worry about all the factors that could so easily hold Dragon’s Dogma back. If a game as great as Kingdoms of Amalur couldn’t weather the Skyrim storm, coming out a full three months after its competitor and achieving less than one-tenth of the sales, then barring some massive fan support, major PR effort or an unrevealed genre altering aspect, there’s little hope that Dragon’s Dogma will succeed. The sad thing is that the failure will most likely come not because the game was fundamentally lacking – again, check out the demo and see for yourself all the awesomeness it has to offer – but because not enough people paid it any attention. And from what I’ve seen of Dragon’s Dogma that would be a fate it doesn’t deserve.
Today we get a look at the first official trailer for Assassin’s Creed III.Â Ubisoft also issued a press release this morning devulging quite a bit of info on the game.
First up, the game will be releasing on October 30 (31 in the UK) for XBOX 360, PS3, PC and is in development for the Wii U. It will indeed take place during the American Revolution in the late 18th century. The new protagonist is named Ratohnhakton (luckily he goes by Connor) who is of Native American and English heritage.
Assassin’s Creed III will also be using a new game engine called Ubisoft-AnvilNext. Ubisoft promises that this new engine “delivers breakthroughs in visual quality, character models and artificial intelligence. Assassin’s Creed III will feature a ground-breaking level of stunning graphics that bring Colonial America to life.”
Anyone who pre-orders the game from GameStop, Best Buy or Amazon will receive a Limited Edition collectible case while supplies last.