Konami announced today that its Metal Gear Solid 5 introductory chapter Ground Zeroes will launch for the PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on March 18, 2014. The publisher serves up a 15-minute preview video of the Xbox One version above, showing off the first section of gameplay and detailing the differences between its included Normal and Hard difficulty modes.
Konami additionally revealed that the Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions of Ground Zeroes will include the exclusive "Jamais Vu" mission, in which Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance star Raiden must take out a cabal of identity-stealing "body snatchers" who have occupied a U.S. Naval facility in Cuba. A trailer is after the break below.
Konami previously announced that the PlayStation versions of the game will feature the exclusive "Deja Vu" mission, along with a classic Solid Snake skin.
Former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden, ProPublica, The Guardian, and The New York Times report today that American and British intelligence agencies have infiltrated Second Life, World of Warcraft, and Xbox Live to weed out militants that may use the games to communicate, move money, or plot attacks under fake identies.
So that noob in your PUG last night who just wouldn't heal the tank may have been a CIA agent getting paid ungodly amounts of money to level his Priest at the taxpayers' expense.
Most interestingly, Blizzard denies any knowledge of such activities: "We are unaware of any surveillance taking place," said a spokesman for Blizzard Entertainment. "If it was, it would have been done without our knowledge or permission."
[Source: ProPublica press release]
The Euro-arrival of A Link to the Past means it's likely to also venture to North America this week, and we've reached out to Nintendo to confirm just that. That said, it seems odd to bring A Link to the Past to Wii U a few weeks after A Link Between Worlds. Wouldn't it have made more sense to re-release it ahead of its 3DS sequel as a welcome warm-up?
What's that? Don't doubt the wisdom of the Triforce? Oh, okay, then.
PlayStation Plus members can put that subscription to further use by chopping a further 10 percent off both offers. Finally, as with all games in PlayStation's 12 Deals of Christmas Euro-promo, the offers last for 48 hours starting today.
Like its 2007 predecessor, Peggle 2 sits somewhere between carnival game and slot machine and, honestly, focusing a critical lens on it feels kind of silly. I played through all of Peggle 2's main levels, and I enjoyed doing so, but I can't help feeling a little disappointed.
There are some other, minor improvements being implemented during the maintenance, but the main one is the bumping up of portable activation slots to three. Once it's done, users will be able to tie SEN accounts to three Vita systems, or three PSPs, or a three-hit combo of Vitas and PSPs – go crazy with your combos, the world is your portable oyster.
As for the downtime, as usual the PS Store, Home, and account management go offline, but if you've signed into PSN sometime in the last few days it won't affect online play or apps.
With Gran Turismo 6 failing to light up the charts, this week's podium is the same as last week's: Battlefield 4 in third, FIFA 14 second, and Call of Duty: Ghosts top for the second week running. There's barely any shuffling to mention either, outside of Killzone: Shadow Fall dropping from fourth to ninth. Instead of dwelling on that, let's close with a gif that harks back to happier times.
even amongst a fresh avalanche of excellence.
I'm kind of between games like this as of late, but Super Mario World is probably the easiest example I'll ever have. There's something about that game's magic that besting the Koopa family dozens of times just can't kill off for me. I've learned most of its secrets on accident over the years, but they're never what I'm looking for. I come back to wreck havoc with Yoshis, to search the clouds for coins with a Cape Feather, to push Wigglers toward extinction as I re-learn how to escape the Forest of Illusion. I come back because Super Mario World is an unflinching match of my definition of fun, and I don't think that will change with 100 more views of the game's credits.
There have been more recent games that have done the same thing for me of course, but I already shared the big one. Now it's your turn! I'd like to hear about the games that have stuck with you long after their related game of the year discussions ended and what it is about them that makes them so memorable. What is it that they manage to do that seems to make the amount of time you spend with them irrelevant? Let me know in the comments, right after you check this week's Japanese hardware sales after the break!
Scraps will focus on a deathmatch experience, both in free-for-all and team-oriented rounds of destruction. As players blast pieces off of an opponent's vehicle, they will be able to collect the rubble and return to designated platforms to repair or upgrade their own rides. If your friends aren't into reducing cars to LEGO sets, single player, AI-filled deathmatch options will also be available. Those more interested in playing with creation tools are covered, too - Scraps will offer a sandbox mode with unlimited funds. Can you build a 20-foot wide wall of turrets on wheels capable of firing without knocking itself over? Only one way to find out!
The alpha release of Scraps is planned for the middle of 2014, but you can tinker around with some creation tools in Scraps' pre-alpha builder demo right now. If the project has already won you over, you can donate $20 NZD (~$16 in US currency) to its Kickstarter campaign and secure yourself a digital copy for PC, Mac and Linux once the first alpha is live. Yes, that will eventually include the full game too, and Steam keys will be available now that the project has been Greenlit.
Spaceteam creator Henry Smith revealed in a recent retrospective piece that he believes his iOS and Android game, which has teams of players coordinating tasks on a spaceship a la Star Trek, would not have been made had making money off the game taken top priority.
Smith discussed his game's success - and the many ways he defines that word - in the retrospective due to a Twitter discussion that arose after he posted the game's sales numbers. Smith wrote that the numbers were not "bad news" as some had claimed, and clarified that his goal was never to make money. He wrote that, "Worrying about how to 'monetize' effectively might have compromised the game design and almost certainly would have hindered ... getting my name out because there would have been much more resistance to sharing and spreading the game."
Smith repeatedly stressed dissatisfaction with current business models and claimed that he wants his future projects to be free, like Spaceteam. However, Smith still needs to earn a living, so he plans on holding a crowdfunding campaign. "This feels more honest and sustainable to me and the pay-what-you-can model seems fair for everyone else," he wrote. Smith closed with the promise he'll be sharing more details about the crowdfunding campaign soon.
Star Wars: The Old Republic celebrates two big events this month: its second anniversary and the launch of its latest expansion/update/patch/thing, Galactic Starfighter, for subbing players. The new content's highlights include new off-rails ship-to-ship content for PvP players. Should you shell out to play it now or wait until it's freely available next year? Our SWTOR columnist says it's easily worth the cost of a one-month sub right now.
Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.
To see the image in full resolution, you can check out McGee's DeviantArt page or order an A3 or A4 size poster print by clicking here.
The Origin Bundle's launch followed Moore's insistence that EA could "do better" just before it won its second consecutive Golden Poo award. It would be interesting to see a full breakdown of the Humble Origin Bundle's revenue, but it's nice to at least see this sliver of the results, especially when EA isn't necessarily raking in cash for themselves.
Participants will compete in four categories: Total Modification, Singleplayer Game Mode, Multiplayer Game Mode and Addon. The event's keystone reward, a prize of €200,000, will be rewarded to the winner of the Total Modification category. The other categories will grant scaled awards depending on a contestant's placement - first place winners will rake in €50,000, second placers will get €30,000 and those in third will get €20,000. Ten finalists will be selected for most categories (20 for Singeplayer), with the victors being selected according to four equally-weighted attributes: Technical Quality, Originality, Experience and Presentation.
Applications won't be accepted until 2014, but Bohemia welcomes those interested to begin working on their project right now. Once you're done daydreaming about a future sack of money, you can also check in on the rules of entry. Submissions will be accepted up until October 28, with winners being announced on January 15, 2015.
David Ellis, designer at 343i, also hinted at Longo's new position when he tweeted that he looked forward to giving Longo regular feedback as he plays through the recently-announced Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition. Longo replied that he's "all #343Industries & @HaloWaypoint now!"
Holmes' LinkedIn profile lists his most current position as "Franchise Creative Director" for 343i, but his Twitter biography has been updated to read "EP [Executive Producer] @ 343." We've reached out for clarification on the position changes.
"Planetary Annihilation will launch when we feel confident about its level of polish and the amount of awesome we can jam into it," the statement reads. "We don't have a hard date moving forward. However, we do expect it to be feature-complete in early 2014."
The Kickstarter campaign for the project began back in August 2012 and harvested $2.2 million, outperforming the requested $900,000 by far. Planetary Annihilation's beta launched this month and is available to backers or those that purchase the $45 Warfare Edition (or above) of the game from Uber's store.
Legendary Pictures tweeted that the initial Warcraft cast includes Travis Fimmel (Vikings), Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma), Robert Kazinsky (Pacific Rim), Toby Kebbell (Wrath of the Titans) and Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol). Slashfilm also reports that Universal is in final negotiations with Dominic Cooper (Captain America: The First Avenger).
As we previously noted, the film's plot is something of an origin story for the conflict between orcs and humans, and takes place long before the events of World of Warcraft - hence the title being just "Warcraft." We'll have to wait a bit longer than originally anticipated to see which of the above actors will be taking up arms for Horde or Alliance (or indeed if those factions will yet exist in the film's timeline), as the movie was recently pushed back from its December 2015 release date to March 11, 2016.
The demo features a hexagonal game board that brings in special areas as the match continues on. Coin deposits and health regeneration spaces are common resources, and racing players to a sparking, incoming space on the grid is frequent. They're not all races you want to win, however - getting too hectic with clicks can lead an unfortunate contender onto electrified trap spaces. You won't be able to just shrug off a chunk of lost health, either - players slowly lose health as the match progresses, so utilizing game spaces and the items purchased in shops is essential for a victory.
While Bossa describes Time to Live as being in an "alpha stage of development," you can try out a round of the game show from the future by loading up the demo. If you can't find friends or strangers willing to blow each others heads off for the sake of an audience, Time to Live's demo will fill your match with bots.
But it makes me wonder: now that we're into December and the holiday season proper, what are some favorite presents you've opened early? It's okay that you peeked, we won't tell. So spill the beans: what did you get, and how did you find out? Tell us your tales after checking out this week's selection of webcomics!
Penny Arcade (Incorporated)
Critical Miss (The More Things Change)
Awkward Zombie (Shanty Shaming)
Dorkly (The Most Annoying Gamers On The Internet)
Nerd Rage (A Link Between Addictions)
ActionTrip (Patchfield 4)
- Telltale Games' success with the first season of The Walking Dead seems to have granted them a Golden Key to any partnership they desire. Naturally, they've revealed Tales From The Borderlands, a collaboration with Gearbox Software that will be set in the Borderlands universe. They've also started work on a Game of Thrones series, which will be based off the HBO show. Both projects are slated for 2014.
- Cranky Kong has had it with these youngsters and their rambunctious romps through jungles, so much so that he's decided to chase them all as the fourth playable character in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Cranky must have gotten a few good strikes in with his cane for that delay, too, because the Kong family has settled on braving the Wii U's incoming frost on February 21.
- Titanfall had already shown a decent arsenal for blowing up buildings with, but in case you doubted its capabilities, Respawn Entertainment debuted two new mech types tonight. Aside from the Titans, Ogre and Stryder mechs will spread destruction across Titanfall's cityscapes. Ogres will be slow, clunky and powerful, while Stryders will focus on outrunning everyone on the field.
- Hello Games, the developer of the Joe Danger series, brought along the show's biggest surprise - No Man's Sky is a procedurally generated, exploration-focused sci-fi game planned for 2014. The game's trailer showcased vivid landscapes before blasting its way through asteroids in spacecrafts.
Fully armed and operational.
Fully armed and operational.
Fully armed and operational.
What's In A Name
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Latest episode: Friday, December 6th, 2013