is for every player to feel like an eSports star," said Vesselin Handjiev, game director at Crytek. "That shouldn't be reserved only for the top 5% of players."
Crytek is doing this by making Arena of Fate feel more like a traditional sport than other MOBAs -- primarily with new approaches to time limits, art design, and even terminology. The biggest difference, the 20-minute time limit, encourages faster paced play than in most other MOBAs where the unending clock allows for more defensive play. For example, if you're down on kills, there's no reason not to start a huge fight and hope to pull ahead before the clock hits zero.
"Teams start taking risks
It’s 1.30am and Jeffrey Yohalem is crouched cross-legged on his couch in his Montreal apartment. It’s a nice couch and an even nicer apartment, nicer than most writers could ever hope to afford (and Montreal rent is dirt cheap). But then, most writers haven’t won a Writers Guild of America Award for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and been nominated for a BAFTA for Far Cry 3. Jeffrey’s up late. Standard. He’ll usually “write from 2 to 7am.” He’s also in his underpants. He thinks our Skype window has not deigned to extend below the waist, that I haven’t noticed, but it has, and I have. I don’t want to embarrass him but I feel I should say something. He’s on a high, though.
For some gamers, playing MMO World of Warcraft can be a "religious experience," according to Manhattan College professor religious studies, Robert Geraci. In a Q&A posted on the college's website, Geraci says World of Warcraft presents a virtual reality that tests a person's' ethics and values, and also gets them to think about things like environmentalism and moral issues. In these ways, Geraci argues, World of Warcraft is capable of being much more than just a game.
"The questions of right and wrong appear throughout the game, engaging good and evil, of course, but also environmentalism, consumerism, and other moral concerns" -- Robert Geraci
"In World of Warcraft, you get people who can build communities and reflect on questions of ethics. These communities matter to the players; the online friends are really important to them even if they never meet them in a physical, conventional reality," he says. "The questions of right and wrong appear throughout the game, engaging good and evil, of course, but also environmentalism, consumerism, and other moral concerns. There are these little ways that World of Warcraft provides a kind of religious experience."
Geraci recently wrote a book, Virtually Sacred: Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life, and in it he also talks about another major MMO, Second Life. Based on his research, Geraci says he discovered that in Second Life, many religious communities have popped up, with players building structures like churches, temples, and meditation gardens. One of the groups Geraci discovered in Second Life was a community focused on C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, with its members exploring the Christian themes of the novel and connecting them with modern religious ideas. Finding a group like this is real life would be tricky, Geraci argues.
"Second Life enables someone to have a Christian community, like the Christian Narnian landscape, that would be fundamentally impractical and probably impossible in the conventional world," he says. "From a religious perspective, people are making their lives rich and meaningful and interesting in these virtual worlds."Twitter @EddieMakuch
Motion gaming has largely fallen by the wayside, what with Xbox One's mandatory Kinect being dropped, Wii U focusing on its second screen, and PlayStation 4 not making much use of PlayStation Move. Sony worldwide studios boss Shuhei Yoshida believes there isn't much interest in motion gaming right now, though he does think the Move will become essential once Sony's Project Morpheus VR headset becomes available.
"Motion gaming was a big thing, but, like with social games, dance games, music or guitar games, I don't think there's a lot of appetite for another motion game at this moment," Yoshida told Pocket-lint. That doesn't make me feel great about the two Move controllers I have sitting on my shelf, but it's hard to deny that many gamers and developers have moved on from motion controls--if they were ever on-board in the first place.
It's not that Yoshida feels anything is wrong with Move; describing it as "a precise and accurate 3D input device," he said the PS3/PS4 motion controller "was a bit ahead of its time." According to him, that's because it's hard to take advantage of the 3D positional tracking it offers on a 2D screen.
"So now we are realizing that, when we do Project Morpheus, the one thing you want to do immediately is interact with an object in virtual space, and the one way to do that is that you need a 3D positioning input device, like PS Move," Yoshida said.
Project Morpheus was unveiled earlier this year, and has since been seen at industry events and on TV shows. But as of yet, there's been no real indication of when it will be available or how much it will cost. Sony says it won't be out this year and that it'll cost less than $1,000, which is no surprise and does little to narrow down the cost.
Oculus VR's competing VR headset, the Oculus Rift, is currently available to developers for use on PC for $350. Like Morpheus, though, there's no official word on exactly how much it will cost or when it'll be released to the public. Oculus creator Palmer Luckey recently said he hopes it'll be out in some form by the end of next year. The company is reportedly at work on its own motion controller for use with the Rift.
If you own a PlayStation Move, have you ever gotten much use out of it? Are you now holding out hope that you'll end up using it with Project Morpheus? Let us know in the comments below.Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManXFor all of GameSpot's news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email email@example.com
Something extraordinary happened during my Dawngate demo at Gamescom. The developer talked to me about his competitors' games and the good ideas he's using from them.
League of Legends and Dota 2 are two of the most successful games ever made. Now, big developers like EA and Gearbox are jumping on the MOBA train too. With the genre growing so crowded, there's bound to be an overlap of features and ideas. Rather than shy away from comparisons (the common tactic), Waystone Games' lead producer, Dave Cerra, refreshingly gave credit where it was due and explained how the team looked to its competitors for ideas.
In Dota 2, you can "attack" the enemy's economy by denying your own units before the other team has the chance to kill them for gold and experience. It's a deep and important system, but it's almost invisible to a new player, and you'll probably never quite understand it if you don't look for help externally. Cerra said it's a great system for Dota's play style, but Dawngate wants to take the same idea and make it easier to understand immediately.
[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, a Microsoft representative confirmed that the Xbox 360 500GB hard drive will go on sale this month for $110 and that the 320GB unit should drop in price.
"A new Xbox 360 500GB media hard drive will be available starting this month," the representative said. "The Xbox 360 500GB media hard drive will be available for $109.99. We are working with retailers to revise pricing on the Xbox 360 320GB media hard drive to maintain market competitiveness, as we do on a regular basis."
The original story is below.
The hard drive will sell for $110, according to the product listing, which also says preorders will open "soon." Microsoft also sells a 320GB hard drive, though it goes for $130. It's likely that Microsoft will drop the price of the 320GB hard drive when the 500GB model goes on sale.
Currently, the Xbox 360 is available in 4GB and 250GB options. The Xbox One, of course, comes with a 500GB and also has support for external storage (as does the Xbox 360). In November, Microsoft will release a 1TB Xbox One console in a bundle with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
The 320GB Xbox 360 hard drive, and presumably the 500GB unit, will be compatible only with the newer Xbox 360 S and Xbox 360 E models. We have followed up with Microsoft, asking for more information about the 500GB Xbox 360 hard drive.Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
The PlayStation 4 version of Minecraft failed Sony's certification test, and as a result, developer 4J Studios will need to take some extra time to fix bugs and submit the game all over again. The studio announced the news on Twitter today.
"Sony found some issues we have to fix in their final test of Minecraft PS4," 4J Studios said with a sad face attached. "We're fixing, but we need to go through the process again."
4J Studios submitted the PS4 version of Minecraft to Sony for certification on August 12. The game is expected to launch this month, though the need to re-submit would appear to put that release date in question. A PlayStation Vita version of Minecraft is also in development and is scheduled to launch this month. That version is undergoing bug testing right now, 4J says.
If you already own the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 version of Minecraft, you can get the game on Xbox One or PS4 for $5, and your saves will carry forward. When it's released, the PS Vita version of Minecraft will be available as a cross-buy game with the PS3 iteration.
Minecraft, an open-ended sandbox game, has been an incredible success since its full release on PC in 2011. The game has since sold around 54 million copies across all platforms, and it's even possible that it could come to Nintendo platforms like the Wii U or 3DS someday.Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Red Awakening is a recently-announced new multiplayer game by the small development studio Domino Effect.
Combining online multiplayer action with stealth mechanics and influences from the slasher horror movies of the 80s, Red Awakening pits prisoners-turned-super soldiers against each other in battle in a tumultuous post-Vietnam War United States.
The developer sees the game as an opportunity to tap into the so-called "slasher genre" of video games and promises a great amount of ultraviolence and action throughout, as well as ideas borrowed from classic stealth action games from the 90s and 00s.
"We have found that the slasher genre in video games is an essentially untapped market with the potential to create a unique virtual experience," they stated, adding that the reaction to the horror-themed Call of Duty: Ghosts map Fog largely inspired them to pursue this form of game design.
The idea of the perfect wrestling game is something that exists, but the details change depending on that individual fan's perspective on what makes professional wrestling the entertaining spectacle it is today. For some, that perfect game focuses on the technical. The methodical use of holds, throws, strikes, submissions, counters, and other maneuvers that demand respect for the level of physical agility and stamina they require--those displays of athleticism that make some fans defiantly refer to it as wrestling and not sports entertainment.
WWE 2K15 marks a push in that direction, but perhaps just a small one in the grand scheme of things. On the surface, this is represented by some of the most detailed wrestlers to ever appear in a game, thanks in large part to the player-scanning technology Visual Concepts uses for its NBA 2K games. The screenshots do an excellent job of conveying the level of detail they're going for, but seeing the game in motion is an entirely different experience. It's that kind of thing where, at a glance, the game is easily mistaken for a TV broadcast.
That being said, some wrestlers look better than others, at least from what we've seen of a very limited roster. Randy Orton and Cesaro shine as the more impressive representations of their real-life counterparts, while John Cena's Cro-Magnon-like forehead, and CM Punk's relatively indistinct visage, don't quite hit that high mark. Animation, across the board, is impressive, especially when low-stamina factors in and wrestlers start crawling for pins or using the ropes to pull themselves up.
Dig a little deeper beneath the visuals and it becomes even clearer how WWE 2K15 takes up the mantle of wrestling simulation, not unlike NBA 2K and Madden have done for their respective sports. Let's start with punching. While it's still possible to throw a flurry of fists, there's a more methodical and measured approach to landing them this time around. I often found myself jockeying for an optimal angle before throwing a punch, and if it missed, I briefly stepped back and regrouped. This slower, more deliberate pacing also extends to the new collar-and-elbow tie-up system that exists in the opening moments of every match.
In fact, this system is probably the biggest tell in terms of taking WWE games in a more serious direction. While you can bypass it entirely by weakening an opponent with strong strikes (particularly those aided by momentum coming off the ropes), it seems far more likely that you won't. At the beginning of the grapple, a prompt asks you to press one of three buttons--each corresponding to a different, automatic transition move that equates to rock, paper, or scissors. If you select "rock", it'll defeat "scissors", giving you the upper hand as the game transitions into chain wrestling.
The goal of chain wrestling is to smoothly transition from one move to the next, much like what you see in a fair share of matches. WWE 2K15 accomplishes this by displaying two images of a right analog stick, one for you and one for your opponent. If you successfully rotate the stick to find the "sweet spot" (which turns from blue to red) before your opponent does, then you will successfully transition into the next move. If the opponent gets there first, then he or she will eventually break the chain.
Of course, this begs the question, "What about this is a simulation?" It's true that what amounts to a series of quick-time events doesn't necessarily offer the associated depth of a simulation, but the existence of the tie-up is based around the idea that it slows down the early moments of a match because that's what you see on Monday Night Raw or during various pay-per-view events.
More importantly, this kind of gameplay exists because wrestlers don't execute their finishers 30-seconds into a match, except when they do. This past Sunday at SummerSlam, former UFC champion Brock Lesnar faced off against then-WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena. It's fair to say that most fans probably thought that this match would be a grueling back-and-forth, as it was hyped up to be. Instead, Lesnar executed his finishing move, the F5, less than 30 seconds in and subsequently dominated for almost the entirety of the match. Outside of Lesnar's win against the Undertaker at Wrestlemania, it was one of the most surprising things I've seen in my 30-something years of watching wrestling, and it's something that probably can't ever happen in a wrestling videogame that isn't just a recreation of that match.
The match sent a powerful message that resonates with the audience because it opens up some potentially interesting storylines, but it also illustrated that professional wrestling (even as a scripted event) is regularly unpredictable in the details. To put it in a different context, NBA 2K and Madden have buzzer beaters or last second fumbles in their respective sports that tell a dramatic story all their own. In wrestling, the similarly unforeseen moments of drama, like Lesnar's last few matches, are usually what keep even the most cynical fans tuned in week-after-week, year-after-year. They also make the perfect wrestling simulation a near impossible goal.
Even WWE 2K15 can't achieve that level imitation, based on what we've see so far, Visual Concepts is certainly trying to nail the foundation of the wrestling parts of WWE, and in-turn, push its game in a more realistic direction.