Zelda Orchestra plays on US Late Night TV

Screen shot 2015-10-14 at 10.01.46

[divider]

That’s right, Stephen Colbert has knocked it out of the park again by featuring, not only video games on his show, but some of the best example of video gaming. This time, he invited Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses to perform on his Late Show with Stephen Colbert programme.

The move is slightly promotional as the new game The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is coming out for the Nintendo 3DS System, but as far as promotional appearances go, this is absolutely amazing. I can only imagine, with the wealth of music in video games that we go on about, that Classic FM now regularly feature and even BBC Radio 3 has started, how many different opportunities there could be to show of games this way to a mainstream audience.

The orchestra played select pieces from the game along with other famous pieces of music from the Zelda series, interspersed on screen with clips from the game, as a suite. If you don’t know what that means, simply put it’s taking different bits of music and putting them all together to make one long piece.

This comes after the former Comedy Central political satirist featured prominent YouTuber PewDiePie on his show and also gave a platform for Sean Murray of Hello Games to show off No Man’s Sky, which we covered.

You can watch the clip from Colbert’s show on the YouTube video below and you can catch Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses on tour and find out more information about them on their website.

[divider]

[author]

No Man’s Sky Previews on Stephen Colbert

No-Mans-Sky-Banner

[divider]

Stephen Colbert loves video games. If you’ve ever watched The Colbert Report then you’ll know this is just a small part of his “geek” credentials for want of a better word. Put simply, do not challenge him on anything Tolkien. But he did the unprecedented last night when he gave eight minutes of his new prime time Late Night with Stephen Colbert show to Sean Murray from Hello Games to show off No Man’s Sky.

Put simply, this is as mainstream as video games can get in the most positive way. If you’re wondering how mainstream this is? Well… This is the show that Colbert has taken over from the retiring David Letterman. His was a name internationally known as being the king of late night TV and now Colbert is the host and chatting about video games on the show. Forgive me if I sound pleasantly amazed but I am. I knew he was going to do some things with games but I never guessed it would be to this degree.

Sean Murray keeps the release date a secret sadly but managed to find a bison and name it after Stephen. This is the same show that featured recognised God actor Morgan Freeman and it appears, as the title is a bit of a giveaway, Murray may have trumped Morgan in this regard. Maybe we should push Hello Games to make Freeman the tutorial voice, that would work, right?

Sadly, we can’t watch the Late Night with Stephen Colbert show in the UK. In fact we can’t get any of the shows Colbert has done (unless you’re clever). But thanks to this age of viral clips and short context viewing, the official show’s YouTube has put it on for our viewing pleasure. So here it is! Enjoy:

[divider]

[author]

New Fallout 4 Cartoon Shows Off Talents – Strength

fallout4ft

[divider]

That’s right, Fallout 4 is two months away today, and this new cartoon video from Bethesda is showing off one of talents that you can assign for yourself in the games attributes – Strength.

Bethesda are always very jovial when it comes to their game’s marketing and this is no different. A series of 1950s style public service cartoons are coming to help you learn about the games various attributes that you can assign to yourself. You’ll remember in Fallout 3, you did this as a rather mobile baby who had discovered the power to read. Your baby book was there, not for eating, but for deciding upon your character.

[divider]

[divider]

In Fallout 4, this is going to be done very early on as well, by a visiting salesman for Vault-Tec. Whatever your character choice, he’ll come to your home and try to sell you a place in the local vault in case of nuclear doom. Spoiler – Nuclear doom ensues. But the old S.P.E.C.I.A.L. book has now given way to the vault registration form.

Never fear though as Bethesda are doing a video for each of the attributes: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck… S.P.E.C.I.A.L. in case you didn’t get that. This first one, released today shows us how the weapon choices benefit from the strength. The stronger you are, the more you can take that and protect from “bullies.” Although the best news is a possibility of using a paddle and ball to kill people. I mean, the video says it’s a bad idea, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do it, right?

Fallout 4 is due out on PC, Xbox One and PS4 on November 10th 2015, and we for one cannot wait. If you’re local to the Colchester area, be sure to check out our friends at Xtreme Gaming who are doing a community event celebrating Fallout on Friday September 18th 2015. (@Xtreme_Gaming). Keep it here for all the goodies!

[author]

Gamescom 2015 – Day One


It’s been an interesting 24 hours here in Cologne. Europe’s premier games conference and industry trade fair is buzzing with people. Today is the calm before the storm where industry and press get to see some things before the peoples of Europe come and wreak absolute carnage. How much carnage? Well the organisers are expecting around 400,000 people approximately. That’s just under the population of Cardiff.

We start today with yesterday. Xbox’s annual briefing gave us some new glances into things we’ve been waiting for, such as Halo 5 Guardians, and Rise of the Tomb Raider. The latter of which we were treated to a secondary demo of after the breifing. Lara Croft’s adventures seem to follow the exact same system and style of the 2013 remake. Some have criticised it for being and Xbox exclusive (which we now know it isn’t after Winter 2016) and that Lara was a bit too indestructible. Honestly, whilst she certainly takes some pubishment, you don’t feel that she’s immune to the physicality she endures. The game has a frenetic and terrifying way of creating urgency in how you react against obstacles and big crazy events like collapsing caves. It does look good and we can hardly be critical for wanting more of the same and getting it.

Crackdown 3 appears to be the most technologically progressive out of the games we’ve been shown. The use of Microsoft’s cloud servers in delivering a better in-game experience is nothing new (we found out last year that Dead Island 2 was due to use the system). But there doesn’t appear to be a game that has ever been so reliant on it. The 100% world destuction is an ambitious ask for a console that has begun to find its gaming feet but it raises some questions. Will this be unplayable offline, will this be reliant on server connections being stable, will the amount of players cause lag and issues? The 4 player co-op sequel is in the pre-alpha stage so it’s going to be a while but what we’ve seen is impressive. The 100% destruction is based on actual construction with elements in the buidlings. There’s no empty shells with textures, every shatterd pane of glass, broken concrete, collapsed steel pillar and brick is a physical element in itself, with each building being based on its own server as to not interrupt gameplay. The demo we saw with ultimate destruction used 12 servers in addition to the Xbox One. Is it too ambitious? We’ll see next year hopefully.

We saw new game Scalebound (a rather jaunty hack and slash with dragons), debut some gameplay, and we saw some almost blase news that Cities: Skylines (the Sim City rival/usurper) will be making it’s way to the console. But the biggest new annoucement was a sequel we were all hoping for and from a studio that we really should have predicted. Halo Wars 2 is coming and it will be developed by Total War studio Creative Assembly. I for one am sad that it isn’t in house with a reformed Ensemble Studios but I’m more exctactic that it exists with a studio that has such pedigree.

Quantum Break was given more of an outing and we saw an expansion of the third person gameplay to something that looks quite like a rival to inFamous and the like. Remedy studios appear to be brilliantly keeping their TV style presentation for the game with Aiden Gillen (Game of Throne’s Littlefinger) sticking to one accent alongside a great cast. The gameplay does look excellent but we need to see some more, less demo-y gameplay now, and maybe even some hands on time.

We also had DVR announced (if you have that much memory left then teach me your ways), a new keyboard peripheral and backward compatibilty for Games with Gold. So your Xbox 360 Games with Gold from now on will be playable on the Xbox One. None of your previous ones sadly and there’s no telling how that’s going to limit the game choice but apparently everyone is on board so, we’ll see.

The next morning EA held a conference which, from the social media reaction, hasn’t really been well received. We have more news on FIFA 16’s Ultimate Team mode, a new Sims 4 expansion, some Mirror’s Edge gamplay, some Need for Speed and, most importantly, a new trailer for Star Wars Battlefront. To be honest, we weren’t expecting much from EA than what they had already announced at E3, with a new Battlefield game being slated for 2016. I personally didn’t see it as I was busy checking out Dark Souls 3 (a preview of which will come next week) but here’s the trailer for Star Wars Battlefield.

We also has a press conference from Blizzard which introduced new characters to Heroes of the Storm including the monk from Diablo, along with some gameplay refinements. We also saw a new standalone expansion to Starcraft 2, Legacy of the Void, new Hearthstone cards and more news on Blizzard’s first person shooter, Overwatch, including new maps and their 16th character – carnival loving Brazillian Lucio.

There’s still some noise to come from Blizzard with the reveal of the new World of Warcraft expansion and I’m going to be deep in halls checking out all that I can so stay tuned to our Twitter for more and more reports over the next week.

[author]

E3 2015: Bethesda Recap

e3bft

[divider]

As far as debut’s go, this is probably one that will live long in the memory for all of the right reasons. Bethesda took a giant leap to the stage at E3 (at the Dolby Theatre which hosts the Oscars, no less) with an already impressive level of hype.

Doom, whilst teased last year to select convention attendees and an extra three second clip last month, was very obviously going to be on the agenda. Fallout 4 was also going to be hotly anticipated and late on Saturday some leaks began to appear for Dishonoured 2 thanks to some tech-testing fluffs. But we had no idea (which is actually quite a thing in this day and age) of what was going to happen.

Doom was first out of the blocks and it did not disappoint at all. iD Software have been incredibly quiet since RAGE and lost their lead guru John Cormack to another reality. But that doesn’t seem to have dampened the original core concept of Doom or its successors – over the top, gory violence. It’s a simple concept really, to just kill all the things in a outlandish manner with big guns, but it’s very rarely executed well (pun intended).

e3b1

We saw some excellent melee attacks including a guy having his face smashed in by his own, still attached, broken leg. We saw some fantastically smooth gunplay and weapon selection and some fast and fluid movement. The things that made games like this and Quake excellent is the fast frenetic pace of the games that heighten the excitement, the fear and the adrenalin of the game, and Doom looks to have it in abundance. We were treated to a very well lit and molten factory level set on Mars which seems to have channeled all the tropes of horror science fiction with the cinematographic flair of more recent times, including a good Red Dwarf-esque mobile hand passkey that got a good laugh. We were then treated to Hell with demons coming at us from all sides and the final shot of a BFG volley cutting to black.

The most interesting thing in this is what looks like the first Next Generation console level editor. A simple tool to snap rooms and place objects to create your own levels and game types for multiplayer. Think of Halo’s Forge but with much easier room placement. This is Doom Snapmap and it looks excellent for the creative people and modders that have always been key to the franchise’s extended success. It’s something that will certainly breathe a lot of life in to multiplayer and is a great way to get people to stay involved. Especially on the console market as the game will be coming on PC, Xbox One and PS4 in Spring 2016.

Keeping with the online focus, Battlecry announced an upcoming beta. The online team based combat strategy game looks like a crazy cross between Team Fortress and a non-fantasy MOBA. It’ll be interesting to see but we’ll have to wait until the beta’s have come before we get more of an idea on the game.

e3b4

Next up was the team from Arkane Studios, who’s Dishonored completely took the critics and gamers by surprise a few years ago. Now it’s most definitely back with you being put in to the position of Corvo once again… Or you can play as the daughter of the Empress, Emily Kaldwin. This is what we were shown and it’s great to have a new female protagonist to play with. The steam punk setting is well and truly alive with some focus on the high flying speed running and magical abilities, in a totalitarian world of death and decay.

If you’re worried about playing Dishonored 2 because you missed the boat, never fear. Arkane are releasing a collected edition of Dishonored this winter with some new textures and all the DLC. This Definitive Edition is coming for PC, Xbox One and PS4… I’ll be honest, I’m very excited for it and of all the ideas I had for a remaster (if you can call it that) Dishonored was not the one I was expecting to hear from at this conference.

Another game I wasn’t expecting to hear anything about was the recently released Elder Scrolls Online, but we got a nice little video of some new areas coming to Tamriel Unlimited on both PC and Console and we’ve also been treated to a new card game call Elder Scrolls Legends (Presumably “Scrolls” was taken by someone else?), although we’ve seen nothing of it. I was also hoping to see or at least hear some news of the other Bethesda franchises like Quake and The Evil Within, but we just got their logos at the end. At least they’re still there and more may come in future.

e3b5

Speaking of the future, ready your Pip Boys. I could talk to you a lot about Fallout 4 but you should just watch the conference from 1 hour and 5 minutes in. Returning to the Wasteland, you will walk the area of Boston with your companion Dog and do as you’ve always done – explore, fight and customise. You’ll start your story pre-bombs which give a little tongue in cheek look at the psuedo-1950s lifestyle and create your character. This looks incredibly as the old style of sliders and templates have disappeared. Instead you just select the part of the face you want and just play away, regardless of gender (hurray!). You’ll wake up 200 years later as the sole survivor and are set free to explore. No spoilers.

e3b2

The customisation is incredible though, from very specific parts of guns to your heavy armour set, clothing and even building your own settlement, Fallout 4 looks to be far and away the best open world role-playing game in terms of player individuality. Creating a world to you, the player that you have affected seems to be one of the things that Fallout 4 is bringing out, which is something the other hinted to. But the technology is now here to make it happen.

Speaking of technology, the Pip Boy is updated to be more than just a static menu (as the developers know you’ll spend a lot of time there) and has become a lot more dynamic. You’ll also be able to interchange memory tapes for audio and even games. We’ve seen a good version of both Donkey Kong and Missile Command in the demo (the latter is increidbly appropriate) and there’s a lot more to come. Especially if you’ve got your eyes on the collectors edition that includes a working Pip Boy… Well sort of. This soon to be gold dust peripheral is a wearable phone dock that allows you (with a free app) to use the whole thing as a second screen and be your Pip Boy access. The app is coming anyway so anyone can do it, but having your own Pip Boy as you play? Well that’s just swell. We also have the Sims/XCom/Tiny Tower-esque Fallout Shelter. A fun little distracting building game where you become the overseer of your own vault, released for free last night on iOS.

Bethesda didn’t show a lot but truthfully they didn’t need to. It was a lesson in how a company can show a minimal amount of products but with a huge amount of quality. All of it coming for next generation consoles and PC. All of it absolutely captivating. Sometimes you just need to do a good job and in their debut to E3’s conference schedule, Bethesda certainly nailed it.

[divider]

[author]

LEGO Annouce Dinosaurs and Superheros (Jurassic World)

2145422_LEGOJurassicWorldLogo[1] (1)

It’s not often we cover news, but this one was certainly too big for me to miss posting about.

Warner Bros Interactive have announced the TT Games/LEGO line up for 2015. These include another Marvel tie in with LEGO: Marvel’s Avengers, new LEGO Ninjago game: Shadow of Ronin and iOS releases of The Lego Movie videogame and Lego Batman: Beyond Gotham (the 3 has been dropped).

But the big news is that we’ll get more Chris Pratt, along with Sam Neill, Richard Attenborough and a double helping of Jeff Goldblum. If you’ve worked it out already (without looking at the obvious title), clever girl. Some of the more astute of you who have played and competed LEGO Batman 3 might have noticed this pictured dinosaur in the credits, along with John Williams’s famous score. Personally I blinked and missed the connection. But finally dinosaurs are coming to LEGO.

JP1

LEGO: Jurassic World is a tie in to the upcoming 2015 movie reboot of the series also titled Jurassic World. But it will also include parts of the first three movies: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park: The Lost World (Dino-Godzilla) and Jurassic Park 3 (Island+Dinosaurs+Sam Neill=Cash). In traditional LEGO game style all of these movie tie-in games will be available for every console (360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, PC, Wii U, 3DS) along with LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin being 3DS and PS Vita only.

So a few things we’re looking forward to? Well obviously being able to repeatedly punch Dennis Nedry and the kid from the first movie who got himself electrocuted. We’re looking forward to dinosaur consultant Phil Tippett being brought in and turning TT Games area of Manchester in to a crazy Velociraptor party. But mostly, we’re intrigued as to what LEGO: Marvel’s Avengers is actually going to do.

LEGO: Marvel Super Heroes was already a fairly big game that had bits of the cinematic universe lore from phase one and two of the movie collection, along with comic book versions of properties Disney don’t have the movie licences for. It does seem like it’ll be a tie in to Age of Ultron, wgich is due out later this year, but it promises to include the previous Avengers movie as well (and presumably some more of the recently and soon to be expanded universe).

But I’ll leave you with this fun fact. A Samuel L Jackson character will now have been in three LEGO games. Mace Windu (Star Wars), Nick Fury (Marvel Super Heroes) and now John Raymond Arnold (Jurassic Park). It seems we shall indeed know his name when he rains his blocky virtual self upon our gaming systems.

[author]

 

New Magicka 2 Trailer Karaoke Competition, More Exploding Cats

m2 feat

The lovely people at Paradox Interactive have just sent us over their new karaoke trailer for Magicka 2 and… Well I am in no way, shape or form going to describe it to you. You should just watch it below.

Suffice to say that my personal highlights, other than a tune that is completely stuck in my head and is making want to go and fish out my old Yamaha DX7, is the poor dog shedding a tear over the thoughts of many exploding cats and fire… Mans best friend is a sensitive creature. I wonder if the dog from Fable feared such feline combustion? I also cannot help but enjoy the faux VHS tracking effects and the inescapable reminder of how strange it is when karaoke videos are playing in Chinese restaurants.

m2 2

The trailer is not only a bit of fun and has Vlad dancing around in his robe, but is also a competition. You budding Wizards with dreams of Lost In Translation style, karaoke booth entertainment (there’s a cross over that you never thought would be mentioned on a Friday afternoon), get the chance to upload your own Magicka karaoke music video.

That’s right, you can download an instrumental version of the song and create your own video, your own lyrics and upload them in order to win an awesome prize. As far as gaming launch competitions go, this is one of the most intriguing. Oh and if you do enter it, do not set fire to any cats. If you’re interesting in winning a yet to be announced prize (I’m hoping it’s a set of deluxe robes and staffs so I can go around the town pretending to set things on fire), you can enter at www.magicka2.com/singalong.

If you want to see more of Magicka 2, as there is some gameplay in the trailer, you can check out our hands-on preview from Gamescom. The game itself will be out in early 2015 for PC and PS4.

[divider]

[divider]

[author]

Destiny – By The Numbers

destiny ft

So it’s almost upon us, that time we’ve been waiting for since E3 2013. The time when Destiny comes to us and the Traveller will occupy our time solidly for the next 3-4 months.

So how many of us are actually waiting for that? And what is the deal with the numbers behind it? Let’s have a little run down, shall we?

Publisher Activision have said, although developer Bungie have disagreed with this in part, that Destiny has cost up to $500 million to make. That would make it the most expensive video game ever developed. A record that is currently held by Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V. Take Two and Rockstar reportedly spend around $115 million to develop the game and $150 million on marketing it, making a grand total of $265 million in total development cost. That figure would be nearly doubled if Activision’s account of costs are true. Bungie have said that the development costs went no where near that figure and that Activison would need to tell you how much they’ve spent on marketing. Although Take Two’s Q3 profits for 2013 thanks to GTA 5 were $1.62 billion so I’m sure they’re happy.

GTA 5 also shifted 32.5 million copies to make that figure. Destiny has already got a lot of pre-orders going for it, more than Watch_Dogs. The figures suggest that Destiny has beaten Watch_Dogs previous record of being the most pre ordered game for next-generation consoles and is the most Pre ordered new IP (intellectual property) in history. So how does this work out? Time for some maths:

Destiny 1

The Pre Order chart for the US (dated the week ending 23rd August) shows the Destiny pre-orders at that time. That was three weeks ago though so this could have grown quite exponentially. The next-generation console pre-orders total up to around 1,584,897 copies in the US alone. (we couldn’t find the EU figures unfortunately). All format pre-orders make that total 2,016,517 units. Now looking at Amazon.com, the prices of the two most readily available copies, the standard edition and limited edition, are priced respectively at $59.96 and $99.99 for all formats. Some numerical jiggery-pokery makes that an average price of $79.98. So how much have the pre-orders potentially made them? Well that would be a cool $161,281,029… That’s just over $161 million.

That figure is of course conjecture and not at all official. That does not however show any figures for the EU and other territories and obviously cannot legislate for how many people will actually buy it on the day of release either. Those records are currently held by Grand Theft Auto V.

The records that GTA 5 holds are incredible and it would take some monumental effort to beat them. The Guinness Book of Records shows that GTA 5 sold 11.21 million units in its first 24 hours. For Destiny to do that pretty much everyone that owns a PS4 would have to buy it and at least half of the people with an Xbox One if console sales figures are to be believed. GTA 5 made $815.7 million in the first 24 hours which is more than Marvel’s The Avengers and Guardians of The Galaxy films made in their opening weekends combined. Destiny has that potential but we’ll have to wait and see. The three records Destiny could potentially break at launch are: Best selling video game in 24 hours, Highest grossing video game in 24 hours and Highest grossing entertainment product in 24 hours.

Destiny 2

It is something that Bungie have done before however. When Halo 3 was released way back in 2007, it completely smashed then record holder Spider-Man 3 as the biggest US entertainment launch in history, making $170 million at launch. That also beat the final Harry Potter book as well and was helped by the 1.7 million pre-orders of the game.

The figures will be interesting given that, except for Watch_Dogs, this is the most high profile next generation release. It will dictate how many other games will go about their business in the years to come of this generation. I’m pretty sure the pre-order figures for the US also don’t include any console bundle pre-orders nor do they count the digital download platforms of Xbox Live and Playstation store. We’ll know for sure at the end of the week but one thing for certain is that the business end of Destiny will be talked about for as long and in as much detail as the game playing side will be.

[author]

GTA San Andreas coming to Mobile in December

gta san andreas mobile

It was only a matter of time before we all jumped back in to Los Santos after finishing GTA V. What you didn’t know is that you’ll also jump back in time around twenty years… Well, you could have guessed.

Following in the footsteps of both GTA 3 and Vice City, GTA San Andreas is getting remastered and coming to mobile devices this Christmas. Whilst we look forward to this new generation, Rockstar are allowing us to skip back in time to the previous one and arguably the biggest game of the PS2/Xbox era.

Once again the graphics get a revamp that even puts those consoles to shame nowadays and all of the musical goodies that came with it (just listen to West Coast Classics on GTA V if you’re unsure of how awesome it is). Touch controls will allow you to return to Grove Street and take the return of CJ from funeral visitor to San Andreas lynchpin. I can’t wait to see the better looking versions of San Fierro (San Francisco) and lose all of my money in the parody neon lights of Los Venturas.

So, this December, your iOS device, Android, Windows Mobile and Amazon Kindle will get a whole lot more awesome (violent, colourful, musical – awesome) and full controller support apparently. We’ll give you more when we get it.

[divider]

Link: Rockstar

[author]