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GTAV PC Delayed Again, Now Until April

By Jeff Buckland, 2/24/2015 10:23 PM

Is something going wrong with the PC port of Grand Theft Auto V? First, the Xbox One and PS4 versions came out last fall without much of a mention what was going on with the PC port, then it got announced for February, then it got moved to March with less than two weeks to go until its release date, and now it has been delayed again, this time until April. Depending on the mindsets and methodologies of the developers, this means that either the game's being perfected in ways past PC GTA games haven't been polished upon release, or it's just a mess and they're frantically trying to clean up.

Either way, at the very least, these repeated month-long delays are something that from a distribution and publisher standpoint, you can only get away with on PC, since the game's set almost entirely (if not completely entirely) for digital-only distribution. There likely won't be any discs to press, no worldwide shipment, no console manufacturers' or retailers' demands or expectations. (If you've seen the list of new releases on Steam, it's pretty clear Valve doesn't need to care about any one game coming out on time anymore.)

So sure, they can get away with it there, but will fans think something's amiss? And if a few things are wrong with the port, will these delays cause PC gamers to get out the pitchforks and hate on what might just be a mostly-serviceable port?

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RPS' John Walker Annihilates Peter Molyneux in New Interview

By Jeff Buckland, 2/13/2015 8:23 AM

Over the last couple of weeks it's become clear that once again, famed game designer Peter Molyneux hasn't backed off with his terrible habit out of under-delivering on his massive, ridiculous promises when concepting out his games. The latest one is regarding Godus, which is now on shaky legs as evidenced by many articles (I've supplied two, but you can find many more). But RockPaperShotgun's John Walker got on the phone with Peter Molyneux and took the man directly to task, and the resulting interview is just brutal. It's also popular enough to have brought the site down entirely, so check out some excerpts on NeoGAF for now.

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Bethesda Announces their First E3 Press Conference

By Jeff Buckland, 2/11/2015 5:55 AM

Sounds like Bethesda has something they'd like to announce, and they can't possibly wait until the conference that they actually own and run - Quakecon that is - in August. They've announced that for the first time ever, they'll be running a press conference at E3.

Of course, that's not the first time Bethesda's been at E3 - they've been there on the show floor for years - but this time they'll also be doing a big show like EA, Ubisoft, and the like. So... likely announcements? Well, I'm betting we'll see a worldwide reveal of the new DOOM, and they'll probably also announce whatever the main Bethesda Game Studios team has been working on since Skyrim came out over three years ago. The smart money would be on a new Fallout game, but it is possible that they would be doing another Elder Scrolls, however unlikely that they'd do that twice in a row.

Oh, and Arkane Studios, the Austin-based studio that made Dishonored, have been working on something for a few years now as well that I'm betting will be announced here too. The likelihood is a direct sequel, but we'll see.

Hopefully that leaves Quakecon for some new demos to the public and not just behind-closed-doors E3 stuff that Bethesda usually does for initial reveals.

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A Vampire Walks through the Unreal Engine's coolest Paris Apartment

By Jeff Buckland, 1/29/2015 2:17 PM

The Unreal Engine has gone through some amazing changes over the years, but it's possible that this video shows off the most recent changes the best. It's a simple walkthrough of a rendering of a Paris apartment, but the number of technologies going into making such realistic lighting and giving the textures such, well, ... texture is pretty astounding. I laugh at the vampire part because of the lack of the "player"'s reflection in the bathroom mirror. (Guessing they couldn't make a character that really matched the rest of the scene that well.) Still, see for yourself:



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Borderlands 2 & TPS Getting Ported to Current-Gen

By Jeff Buckland, 1/20/2015 8:11 AM

As I expected, 2K and Gearbox Software are porting Borderlands games to the Xbox One and PS4. They've just announced The Handsome Collection which includes BL2 and The Pre-Sequel and all DLC for those games, but inexplicably, no Borderlands 1. Couldn't tell you why, especially considering that it runs on the same Unreal engine and is more highly regarded than The Pre-Sequel anyway. Still, here it is regardless:



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2014 Review in Gaming: Was it Really That Bad?

By Jeff Buckland, 1/2/2015 11:03 AM

I'll start off this post answering the above question: yes, it was. But what I'm disappointed to see is that so many people seem to have not seen this coming. From publishers releasing downright-broken blockbuster games to the gaming world throwing an excessive amount of vitriol at each other with all of the controversy, it seems like 2014 was special. To me, however, it was just building up to this - and those who think that 2015 will surely be better without any action having to be taken aren't looking at the cause of the problems we saw in 2014.

Who is causing these problems? We are. All of us.

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Witcher 3 Content Locked Ahead of May Release

By Jeff Buckland, 12/23/2014 6:45 AM

Mansoor over at Nerdacy has an interesting story up with word that developer CD Projekt has already "content-locked" The Witcher 3. That means that a producer has decreed that no new content is to be added to the game - that it is content-complete. From here on out it's just bug-fixes and such. But what's interesting is that many games get maybe a month of sitting in this status, and The Witcher 3 is scheduled for release in May, in roughly six months' time.

So either this game is currently very, very buggy, or the developers are quite serious about a polished experience.

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Steam: Green Light / Red Light for Hatred

By Jeff Buckland, 12/16/2014 6:52 AM

Earlier yesterday, Steam Greenlight allowed a game called Hatred to pop up into their crowd-choosing sub-platform. It's an isometric action game where players go on mass murders of innocents and take out cops that come in as well. After a bit of controversy, Valve pulled the game and said they will not be publishing the game at all.

Fair enough, but is it because the game made that the objective? Because you can do this in a lot of games... including the Grand Theft Auto series. The trailer's below. You decide!

Update: Gabe Newell got involved and reinstated the game's Greenlight status. I think he believes that if the game really is as heinous and deplorable as some have made it out to be, it will fail entirely on its own, and that he doesn't think Steam should be a platform for censorship. Considering all of the mindless killing that can be done in so many other games - maybe not quite as encouraged in many cases, but we still have games like the Postal series on Steam - I get where Gabe is coming from.



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You might not want to pre-order The Order: 1886 (or any game!)

By Jeff Buckland, 12/12/2014 1:34 PM

Ian Higton from Eurogamer put together a nice little video showing five reasons you "might not want to pre-order The Order: 1886". For me, what he shows could also count as reasons you might not want to buy it at all! Or, at least, wait until it's on sale or something.

The video is below, but I wanted to point out cover-shooting as one thing. We've had a LOT of games with cover shooting as a main mechanic over the last seven years, and while cover is a worthwhile mechanic for a realistic-ish action game, it needs to give players and enemies good reasons (realistic or not) to actually leave that cover some of the time. Relatively few games do, and from what I'm seeing, The Order is not one of those few games.

Anyway, check out the video and see if you agree. At the very least, I almost always recommend pre-ordering a game that you can't at least cancel with a single click. (Like Amazon's system.)



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GOG.com Winter Sale Begins

By Jeff Buckland, 12/4/2014 9:01 AM

GOG.com has announced that their winter sale has begun. You can get some great discounts on entirely DRM-free versions of many games, both new and old. The $21 D&D Package including a ton of classic RPGs like the Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights series is great, and you can even pick up, while "supplies" last, a free copy of Age of Wonders. Would have liked to see the Star Wars X-Wing and Tie Fighter packages on sale down from $10 each, but oh well.

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Tales from the Borderlands is Reviewing Well

By Jeff Buckland, 11/25/2014 9:06 AM

Looks like Telltale Games has the Midas touch, as right when you'd think people (game reviewers included) would be pretty sick of Borderlands games - what with the less-than-completely-stellar Borderlands Pre-Sequel just having been released within the last six weeks - it turns out this one's getting many 9/10 and similar reviews. I'm sure it's at least due to Telltale making use of Gearbox Software's writing talents very well, something that 2K Australia seemed to fail at with BL:TPS.

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New EVE Online Trailer

By Jeff Buckland, 11/22/2014 7:38 AM

The space-based sandbox MMO game EVE Online only continues to grow, even if slowly, but the 11-year running game has been the source of some very interesting stories. It's extremely involved and complex, and completely unforgiving. The latest trailer shows some of that, along with impressive space battles and recordings of voice comms supplied to developers CCCP by real players. Looks good, right?



Commentary follows:

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Fallout: Lonestar Looking Interesting

By Jeff Buckland, 11/18/2014 6:50 AM

Patricia Hernandez at Kotaku did a little article looking into this whole Fallout: Lonestar mod for Fallout: New Vegas, and new entire mod-based games based on the Fallout world always look interesting. I'm definitely looking forward to this mod when it's released.



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Remembering Half-Life 2

By Jeff Buckland, 11/16/2014 9:13 PM

You have probably seen recently that Half-Life 2 quietly celebrated its tenth birthday this week. One of the things that keeps this series, besides its high quality, is the simple fact that Half-Life has consistently lived up to the considerable hype these games have received over the years. Of course, we haven't seen anything new in years and years, and I'm sure that somewhere at Valve people are very worried about making a follow-up that lives up to the expectations of gamers. It's a weird position to be in, considering that Half-Life 3 hasn't been announced and currently doesn't even officially exist - but for now, I think you'll find that the entire Half-Life series still holds up well. Considering the last Half-Life 2 release was over seven years ago, I think that's a pretty good track record.

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G4 Shutting Down Nov 30th

By Jeff Buckland, 11/16/2014 3:11 PM

Looks like G4 is finally shutting down this month. Those of you with fond memories of greats like Attack of the Show! and other gaming-related content will likely lament the end of G4, but then again, maybe we should have been doing that a long time ago, as G4 hasn't really had new and original gaming-related programming for quite some time now. (Usually it was just Cops reruns, I think.)

Let's pour out a forty for good ol' G4 and hope that if we ever see another TV channel devoted to gaming, that it lives a fuller and better life than G4 did.

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What a difference a change in perspective makes!

By Jeff Buckland, 11/5/2014 6:28 AM

Rockstar has been largely quiet about what's going on with the next-gen and PC versions of Grand Theft Auto V until recently, but the latest video showcasing an optional first-person perspective looks fantastic. It naturally puts you closer to the game's best effects and textures, and the animations, considering they've probably had to be re-done at least some, seem to be worth the effort. (For that matter, we're in support of action game developers putting in both first- and third-person views in as many games as it is appropriate, as it seems worth it to us to have the option in most action games.)



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First Move from Microsoft-Mojang

By Jeff Buckland, 10/12/2014 6:47 AM

It's not a huge thing, but Minecraft developer Mojang, under their new Microsoft ownership, have made their first move: Erik Johnson at MCV UK confirms that they're releasing a Pocket Edition of the game for Windows Phone. Obviously there needs to be something bigger than this for Microsoft to justify the 2.5 billion dollar price tag that Mojang commanded, but it's good to hear about some movement only a few weeks after the purchase.

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Honest Trailers: Team Fortress 2

By Jeff Buckland, 9/7/2014 1:53 PM

I love that the Honest Trailers guys got into doing their magic on video games a while back. Here's a great one as they roast Team Fortress 2.



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Gratuitous Space Battles 2 Looking Epic

By Jeff Buckland, 8/8/2014 3:06 PM

Cliff Harris (a.k.a. the one-man studio known as Positech Games) has released a new video - see below - for Gratuitous Space Battles 2, his space strategy sequel with the unique feature that you don't control your ships directly during the battle. Instead, your building and strategy happens almost entirely during the planning phase. He's got a new video up showing native dual-monitor support. This is what PC game developers need to be focusing on, is adding options to make use of PC features that you can't get anywhere else.



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Polygon's Ben Kuchera isn't buying Battlefield: Hardline

By Jeff Buckland, 6/25/2014 3:26 AM

Ben Kuchera over at Polygon.com has declared that despite a love of the Battlefield games, he won't be buying the upcoming Hardline, and puts together a pretty good case for why you shouldn't be either - including quotes from DICE's Patrick Bach saying that making Battlefield a yearly franchise would suck, that having another studio make it would suck, and EA wouldn't do that. Well, now EA is doing exactly that, so I think it would pretty much stand to reason that what Patrick Bach said will actually come true. Another studio (Visceral Games, coming hot off the failure of Dead Space 3), a year after the release of BF4 (which for some players still doesn't work right), and EA is of course leading with all their usual DLC trickery.

On this matter, you don't even have to listen to Ben, who many will consider suspect as he is a game journalist. Listen to DICE's own Patrick Bach, whose words are coming back to haunt him as this new Battlefield looks like it's pretty much his own nightmare scenario.

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