What Role Will the Survival Concept Have In Gaming’s Future?
Gaming, like so many other things, is not immune to trends.
With some regularity entire styles, genres, and concepts go in and out of fashion. Sure certain aspects of gaming remain consistently popular, and others remain consistently despised, but for the most part you really have to keep a finger on the pulse of gaming in order to hope to keep up with which way the winds of change are blowing.
Do that, and you’ve probably noticed that survival games have been growing in popularity over the years, and have become especially prolific throughout 2013.
Nowhere is this more true than the indie market, where it seems like every week brings with it the reveal of yet another title that cites sneaking, scrounging, and surviving as its main attractions. Sure there’s been a number of AAA games to use survival elements (“The Last of Us” is a great example), but if you’re looking for the heart of the survival movement, it’s into the indies you must go.
Now unlike some other trends in various walks of life, the emergence of the survival genre on the indie scene is one that’s fairly easy to understand and trace.
Simply put, survival games represent a marked departure from nearly everything that the majority of AAA games represent. They do not hold your hand, they allow for (and require) a healthy amount of creative freedom, and most importantly they present a very real chance of failure without glory. In a way they are becoming the James Dean of indie gaming. An icon that so perfectly represents the antithesis of the current cultural climate, that those with similar spiritual beliefs cannot help but be drawn to their magnetism.
Unlike James Dean, however, whose global impact only required a few films, survival as a stand alone concept has yet to really produce a champion to the masses that so perfectly represents everything it stands for that its presence can no longer be ignored.
Now I want to make myself clear on that point. Survival has been a part of some of the greatest games of all time, but only a part of it. For instance, “Resident Evil” was survival/horror. “Minecraft” was survival/crafting. “Fallout 3” was an FPS RPG with survival elements. Hell, while we’re on the subject, just about every video game incorporates at least some elements of survival.
The survival genre by itself, however, is still so young that it’s not even a recognized genre on Steam of all places. You can look and look, but you’ll have a hard time finding any games which classify themselves as strictly a survival game, and there’s a very good reason for that.
Without beating around the bush, survival games on their lonesome just don’t work at the moment. It’s a realization I came to when playing “Day One: Gary’s Incident” and “Sir, You are Being Hunted.” One of those games (“Day One”) is a complete abomination of game design that shows how developing a survival game is not recommended for those who intend to go in with anything but their full ass. I’ll refer you to the infamous Total Biscuit review of it for proof.
“Sir, You Are Being Hunted,” however, is a much more interesting case all around. It’s writing is crisp, it’s world and tone are simply brilliant, and the care put into ensuring its survival aspects are clever and well implemented is quite simply second to none. Yet even then, it’s a game that is hindered simply by the fact that survival (and survival alone) is not really a compelling incentive for long term play. It’s a sort of perpetual motion predicament. You’re encouraged to survive, just so you can continue surviving.
In so many respects though, “Sir” is the epitome of the survival genre as a standalone concept so far. While that isn’t to suggest that a better game can’t come along, the end result of it still being an overall unsatisfactory experience does place some serious doubts on the legitimacy of a survival only genre, despite the growing number of entrants to it on the horizon.
However, I still do believe that the next great trend in gaming is survival.
You see, ultimately it does not matter if a standalone survival experience comes along and stands as its grand champion, as the sheer amount of games that are beginning to incorporate survival elements into their design are already a victory for the concept. Every time a new rougelike comes out, survival gaming is victorious. With every game of the year award “The Last of Us” garners, survival gaming is victorious. With every bit of hype “The Division” generates, survival gaming garners some hype.
As mentioned, this is good for gaming if for no other reason than the fact survival games are radically different from so many other major releases today. Their presence then is beneficial for the simple reason that they offer an alternative to some gaming conventions that are quickly wearing out their welcome.
The reason I think that survival will ultimately prove to be more popular than that, though, is because developers have done such a great job in the later parts of this generation when it comes to introducing survival naturally into more and more games. It’s to the point now where if a game doesn’t have aspects of survival, it feels somewhat hollow. While you could make the argument that survival would more quickly become a necessity if a game came along that used it in a way that “Modern Warfare” made the incorporation of RPG character building elements standard in most games, the survival revolution has already gathered enough steam to plow straight ahead into the next generation.
Gaming is very much subject to trends and fads, and all indications point to survival as the next one. That may sound like a bad thing considering the negative connotations of those words, but in this case it is very interesting, as the incorporation of survival has the potential to alter the current creative direction of gaming on a very serious fundamental level.
Whether or not you actively seek out survival games may soon be irrelevant, as survival games will soon be finding their way to you.
Posted in: Editorial
Tags: best survival games, best survival video games, Day One Gary's Incident, Don't Starve, gaming, gaming news, Sir You Are Being Hunted, survival, survival games, survival gaming genre, survival genre, the future of survival games, Video Game Blogs
If Gaming is To Evolve In The Next Generation, It’s Time to Start Ditching the Cinema
Not getting my Playstation in time for the “Final Fantasy VII” craze, my first experience with the series was “Final Fantasy VIII.” While I could make the argument that I got the better game of the deal, that is a topic of heated debate best saved for another day.
Instead the point in mentioning my first exposure to a “Final Fantasy” on Playstation is to reference that moment we all experienced when playing that series for the first time on that platform when you first saw one of the games cinematics. Though I’m not an expert on human behavior by any means, I still feel fairly confident in suggesting that the majority of people’s immediate reaction to viewing one of those beauties was to pick their jaw up off the floor so they were able to better articulate to anyone that would listen how it was “Just like a movie,” and to wonder “When all video games will look that good.”
Now “FF:VIII” may have been my personal exposure to the wonders of the video game cinema, but it would be far from the last. In fact, you could argue that the PS1 was the heyday of the video game cinema, as console developers began to realize the incredible (at the time) graphical potential in these scripted sequences, and just how much they could add to the basic video game story which previously was viewed by even the most intense fans of the medium as a sort of inevitable handicap thats few exceptions of excellence were best treated as anomalies.
Simply put, cinemas on the Playstation were nearly universally thrilling exhibitions that showcased levels of potential out of gaming that may have been dreamed of, but never really considered in earnest as a viable progression.
However, the Playstation came out in 1994 and hasn’t really been actively developed for in about 12-13 years. Cinemas though, in a format that strongly resembles that which they debuted under, remain.
“But,” you say, sensing where I’m going from both context clues and the headline, “cinemas have improved greatly since then, and exercise a level of quality that makes those PS1 examples look archaic and pathetic.
On that point, I don’t disagree. There is a film like quality in the modern cinematic that even during the mind expanding origins of the PS1 cinemas I wouldn’t have been able to properly envision. What’s more is, cinemas of that quality are so prolific now that they’ve reached a point where their construction and implementation can, from a user stand point, be viewed as effortless.
The ability for a modern game to use cinemas in order to make their stories more in line with the presentation style of films may have reached their awe inspiring peak in the days of the Playstation, but in terms of overall quality you can’t argue that every subsequent year makes them better and better.
However, I hate them. Hate them, hate them, hate them. Hate them nearly every time I see them, and have had the experience of several otherwise great ,or at least enjoyable, titles ruined almost entirely by their presence.
To understand the problem with the modern cinema, you really have to look back at why they came to be in the first place. They existed to invoke the aforementioned reactions of “Wow this looks like a movie” and “When will games look this good?” and gave gaming a needed crutch to improve the outward appeal of its storytelling.
However, gaming no longer needs that crutch and is becoming weaker and weaker by relying on it. The idea of a video game being able to mimic a film may have once been a fantastic notion, but can now be accomplished by nearly any reasonable budget.
As such, that same idea is now insulting. While there may have been a time when films were the only known effective way to tell a visual story, that time is no more. To suggest that is the case is to ignore the tremendous strides that certain ambitious developers have made in the field when it comes to finding a way to present a story that is uniquely told by the abilities of video games.
Yet again and again, game developers from all walks of life see no problem in creating a tightly scripted, high graphical sequence that allows you to do absolutely nothing but put the controller down and watch. When you consider that the one universally defining characteristic of video games is interactivity, putting the player in a position where they are either entirely unable to interact with the game, or mostly unable to do so, is crippling and converts the experience from game to digitally animated film instantaneously.
What’s more, the use of cinemas to such an insane degree have also spawned a number of other flaws in gaming. Among them, the most consistently annoying of which would have to be the rise of the QTE. These sequenced button presses are, on occasion, a well done way to add a level of interactivity to story segments, but for the most part are used as a sort of begrudging solution developers offer to anyone who may balk at why they aren’t able to actually play the game they purchased instead of just watch it for its presumed technological grandeur and “epic” story.
The game that really highlighted the gravity of this problem to me would have to be “The Last of Us.” While “The Last of Us,” has one of the greatest stories in gaming history, it is made nearly unbearable at times because of its reliance on traditional cinemas to tell the tale. The cinemas themselves may be better scripted and acted out than nearly all others out there, yet still manage to be groan worthy if for no other reason than they force you to stop playing the very game itself. A game that relies heavily on keeping you in the moment, and gains much effectiveness from its tense atmosphere which instantly dissipates the moment a cinema appears.
What’s even worse in that instance is that Naughty Dog exhibits, in the same game no less, the ability to effectively tell a story with nearly no reliance on cinemas. That’s evident both in the banter between Joel and Ellie during levels which does more to enhance both individual characters and their relationship than any cinematic in the game can possibly do, and in the opening moments of the game which show perhaps the most gut wrenching and effective moments of the entire experience and afford you at least some level of interactivity with consequence.
Now even as I type this, I feel a twinge of hypocrisy as I’m among the biggest supporters of Telltale and their “Walking Dead” series, which is more or less an experience made up entirely of cinemas and quick time events. However, the very key difference there is that the “Walking Dead” series openly presents itself as that type of experience. It is a point and click adventure game, which are traditionally expected to be lighter on gameplay, and high on scripted sequences. You know to expect that when you go into it, and the developers are able to put extra work and importance into them since they are the majority focus of the game.
Instead my real problem with the whole idea of the modern cinema, is its appearance in games that otherwise feature an extremely active pace. It’s in those games where I sign up for the action and gameplay, and are instead spoon fed cinema after cinema that, regardless of the overall quality of the individual examples, are with few exceptions nowhere near as thrilling, effective, or certainly enjoyable as the very game they are apart of and, ideally, are only in place to enhance.
There was a time when the cinematic was a useful, exciting tool that showcased the potential for gaming to reach new heights of storytelling excellence. That time has passed, and the entire reason the average pre-rendered scripted cinematic remains is based on nothing more than laziness and an unwillingness, or creative inability, to pursue a viable storytelling evolution that can recreate the feeling and effect of the first time we viewed an elaborate cinema in a game, without harming the game in the process.
Much like 2D gaming or other tropes of the medium once born out of technological necessity, there will always be a place for the video game cinematic, regardless of whether or not it is still universally desired. However developers everywhere, particularly those with budget to spare, need to really sit down and think when designing their next titles if the use of a cinema is actually enhancing the experience in a meaningful way, or is merely preventing the player from actually being able to play and only serving to help the graphic and storytelling teams flex their creative muscles without purpose like the design equivalent of a professional bodybuilder.
Do that, and I think that many of them will come to the same conclusion on cinemas that many gamers have been exercising for years, which is to just skip them all together.
Posted in: Reviews
Tags: best video game cinemas, end of video game cinemas, games, gaming blogs, I hate video game cinemas, no more video game cinemas, problems with the Last of Us, Video Game Blogs, video game cinemas, Video game news, Video Games
As Halloween Approaches, Games Start to Get in the Spirit With Themed Updates
While the age of Halloween themed TV show specials is slowly coming to a close (we miss you TGIF!), videogames have been more than willing to pick up the slack in recent years by using the beloved horror holiday to unleash a bevy of downloadable frights on gamers everywhere. This year is no exception, and here are just a few of the recent Halloween themed additions made to some popular games.
The incredibly humorous, and appropriately intense, re-make of the 90’s FPS “Shadow Warrior” continues its in-game trend of borrowing weapons from other series, as it adds an ice axe to the game’s substantial arsenal that comes courtesy of TellTalle’s “Walking Dead” games. While its effectiveness when put up against the katana it replaces is suspect, as anyone whose played The Walking Dead can attest, when in a pinch it can really make a baddie think twice, and should fit well into the game’s selection of awesome weapons best applied with extreme predjudice.
Popular world building RPG “Terraria” gets a little more into the traditional Halloween spirit by filling it’s world with a variety of Halloween novelties. You’ll find enemies wearing costumes, random gift bags filled with in-game treats, a variety of Halloween themed items, weapons, and locations, to explore and create, and even a special new “Pumpkin Moon Event” challenge which adds a survival mode to the game, where waves of enemies all possessing increasingly better loot descend upon the player.
The best of the Halloween updates though has to go to “Minecraft,” which has just unveiled a Halloween update for the 360 version of the game that is simply mind blowing. It essentially re-skins the entire game in a way that lets you build a Halloween world of your own, not unlike that of Pumpkin Town from “A Nightmare Before Christmas.” The attention to detail here is phenomenal, and constantly provides the feeling that the developers are more excited for Halloween than anyone else. There’s too many examples of little Halloween touches to go over, but I have to give a shout out to whoever decided to turn the game’s teleporting Endermen, into the more horror appropriate Slendermen. A free update, everyone who has Minecraft on the 360 needs to experience this, as it just may be the best way to get hyped for “Halloween” available. Browsing the images of this incredible update is also highly recommended.
Of course this is just a sampling of the Halloween updates available, and the biggest annual update (The “Team Fortress 2” Halloween update) is still yet to come. Stay tuned here this week for more updates on that, as well as other horror themed articles in anticipation of Halloween.
Posted in: News
Tags: halloween, Halloween Video Game updates, Halloween video games, Minecraft Halloeen texture pack, Minecraft Halloween skins, Minecraft Halloween updates, Shadow Warrior Halloween update, Shadow Warrior Ice Axe, Shadow Warrior Walking Dead update, Terraria Halloween update, Video Game Blogs, Video game news, video game updates, Video Games, Video Games to Play on Halloween
The Team Behind “Thief 4″ Give a Small Preview of What the DualShock 4 Can Do
Sony is a company with a checkered history of controller innovation. Sure they hit a sweet spot with the basic original PS1 controller which just felt right in your hands, but the biggest tech additions to that model (analog sticks and vibration) were lifted from the successful innovations of the N64. Even then they were so unsure regarding the whole “Analog” thing, that the original model of that controller had a button that allowed you to disable it, and the first game to require the sticks didn’t come to the PS1 until 1999.
Also, as the SixAxis proved, when it comes to home brewed innovations the folks at Sony lag behind. It would seem they are really vested in changing that image with the PS4 controller, which may maintain the timeless structure of the Dual Shock model, but introduces a miniature touch area, a share button of somewhat ambiguous specific functionality, and LED lights on top similar to those on the PS Move.
While the true test of these features won’t really be applicable until developers have had a year or so to play around with it and explore their full benefits, the folks behind “Thief 4” have provided a small preview of what we can expect from this new controller, specifically as it relates to the LED bar which in the case of “Thief” will remain dark when your character is hidden, and light gradually as you become more and more exposed. They’ve also noted that the touchpad will be used for enhanced menu navigation, and the more accurate motion sensors allow them to incorporate bow aiming mechanics into it, as well as a motion controlled dash option.
They also spoke of incorporating a mechanic that would allow you to blow onto a controller to blow out candles, but that it might be removed if it is “too gimmicky.”
Granted this isn’t game changing stuff, but it does remind me of the first time I played “Tiger Woods” on the PS2, and noticed how the enhanced graphics actually allowed me to better read the course at a glance, thus improving the gameplay through a cosmetic upgrade. It’s a little touch to be sure, but its an interesting first step towards what appears to be a new day for Sony controller integration and innovation.
Posted in: News
Tags: Dual Shock 4, Dual Shock 4 Features, Dual Shock 4 LED bar, games, gaming articles, gaming blogs, gaming news, gaming updates, Playstation 4, PS4, Thief 4, Thief 4 use of the Dual Shock controller, using the Dual Shock 4, Video Game Articles, Video Game Blogs, Video Games, video gaming
The Biggest Games Still to Come In 2013
As much as I love “GTA V” (which, if you were wondering, is more than waking up to all the presents you wanted for the year on a white Christmas morning), trying to find video game news not related to Rockstar’s magnum opus is becoming quite the epic adventure itself.
Since the ghosts of video game present are a little tied up at the moment building their shooting skills (got to hit up Ammunation), to find something non “GTA” related to talk about, we’ll have to look towards the future.
It’s been something of an odd year for video games as even though it has seen some of the most high quality games in recent memory, they all seem to have been released early on, rather than continuing the traditional holiday season release rush. As such, while we may have a pretty good idea how the game of the year talks will shape up, here are some of the biggest games still left to get excited about, once your “GTA” addiction has subsided.
What was one of the most touted games on the video game horizon has slipped a little bit in hype due to some questionable current gen graphics shown in a recent gameplay video, and something of a media silence since the last E3 showing, but still remains the biggest name left in 2013.
It’s easy to say that its got an even tougher path to glory in a post “GTA V” world, but while it may be an open world game, it’s unique hacker mechanics and the possibilities they provide when it comes to interacting with the world in previously unexplored ways, makes “Watch Dogs” more of an original superhero style game in the vein of “Crackdown” or “Infamous.”
Obviously when you’re mentioned in the company of such titles you’ve got some raised expectations to try to clear, but so far “Watch Dogs” looks primed to provide a unique and memorable experience at the least.
Batman: Arkham Origins
While “Origins” initially drew concern from fans who were unsure if the “Arkham” name could maintain its level of excellence away from developer Rocksteady, the more and more we discover about this game, the easier it is to get excited for it.
Drawing more design cues from the “Mega Man” series than any previous “Arkham” installments, “Origins” will see the dark knight take on some of the highest profile members of his rouge gallery on his never ending quest to save Gotham City. Though it serves as a prequel to the high profile original titles, “Origins” looks to take Batman games in an interesting new direction that mixes old school gaming ideas with previous series features, and some fresh ideas (including an intriguing multiplayer mode), to form a best of all worlds experience.
Like “Watch Dogs,” this ones has some lofty goals to live up to, but appears to be coming together well.
Beyond Two Souls
Continuing the trend of wild card games that could really go either way on the quality scale, this spiritual successor to “Heavy Rain” is already causing some seriously divided discussion.
“Beyond Two Souls” continues to look like a different game every time we see it and, even as more and more of the game’s basic plot becomes clear, remains shrouded in mystery regarding what the overall product will look like and play like. We do know that fans of “Heavy Rain” will be happy to hear that it retains the interactive film gameplay of that title, while detractors will no doubt roll their eyes at the same news.
Quantic Dream has proven that they know how to create a game that differentiates itself from every other on the market, and can get people talking, with their distinctive style of game design. While it would be easy then to say that you can use your reaction to their previous games as a gauge for how excited to be towards this one, given the ambitious and exciting nature of “Beyond,” it may well be worth a trip outside of your comfort zone.
South Park: The Stick of Truth
As someone who suffered through the dreadful “South Park” games of the PS1 and N64 days, its hard to imagine that an adaption of the influential animated series could actually prove to be something worth getting excited for.
Yet that is exactly the situation I find myself in. Surviving the closure of THQ, “Stick of Truth” has continued to look better and better with every showing. In marrying the series with basic RPG elements, developer Obsidian Entertainment has found the perfect outlet to showcase the deep cast of memorable characters, and ever expanding list of scenarios and worlds the show has crafted during its long run. Their execution of the source material’s style and humor has been dead on so far and, given the developer’s track record with RPG games, there’s more and more reason to get excited for the possibilities.
The only question now is if the game will actually honor its 2013 release date. If so, don’t be surprised if this ends up being a dark horse on some game of the year lists.
Posted in: Reviews
Tags: Batman: Arkham Origins, best games of 2013, Best games still to come in 2013, Beyond Two Souls, game of the year contenders, games released in 2013, gaming, gaming blogs, gaming news, gaming previews, GTA V, remaining games of 2013, remaining video game releases in 2013, South Park: Stick of Truth, unreleased 2013 video games, unreleased games in 2013, Video Game Blogs, Video Game Features, Video game news, video game previews, Video Games, Watch Dogs
Those That Downloaded GTA V through Playstation Store Will Have to Wait Just a Little Longer to Install it
It’s lately been all quiet in the gaming world, as we all live through the calm before the storm that is the final days before Tuesday’s bombshell release of “GTA V.” While the industry lays low in fear of opposing the gaming juggernaut, we all look to the sky and wait patiently for the arrival of what could very well be the greatest game of this generation.
Unfortunately for those who chose to download the game through PS3′s store, the wait may be slightly longer than anticipated.
Sony had initially announced that those who download the game through their store would be able to pre-load it starting today, and access it immediately at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday. However, they’ve recently retracted that statement saying that you’ll have to wait until Monday to install the game.
It may not sound like a huge deal, but when you take into account the HUGE filesize of this game, and the fact that gamers no longer have the weekend to let it install. Not to mention that since the hype for this game is at critical mass, any announcement of a delay of any time is sure to cause an internet explosion of an unprecedented degree.
No explanation of the move has been provided, though it is likely related to the high profile leaks that occurred through PS3 earlier this month.
Ultimately those who per-ordered should be able to have the game installed in time for its launch. However, should anything go wrong with that process just a day before, you can expect to hear the cries of anguish from any point on the globe.
Posted in: Reviews
Tags: download GTA V early, gaming, gaming blogs, gaming news, gta, GTA V, GTA V delays, GTA V leaks, GTA V playstation store, GTA V pre-install, PS3 GTA V, Video Game Blogs, Video game news, Video Games
New Feature Will Allow You To Share Your Steam Games With Closest Friends
Valve announced today that they are developing the beta for a new feature called Steam Family Sharing that will allow you to share your Steam library with close friends, just like you are lending them a physical game.
Though the full details are still unknown, the basic way the system appears to work is that up to 10 authorized friends can request to access your Steam account and download and play, through the cloud, most games you have available, and vice versa. To prevent abusing the system, if the user whose account you are borrowing from accesses their own account while you are using it, even if they are playing a different game than you are, you will be given a prompt that you have a few minutes to buy the game, or you will be kicked out.
Further details reveal that not every game will be available for sharing, though the specific games are unknown, and that purchased in-game items will not carry over to sharing, though it appears that DLC will. Also actions that can affect reputation in a game that are done by the player borrowing said game will carry over to the lender.
Though a few concerns and questions remain (Can a lender access his account when a game is installing to the borrower? If you’ve installed the game over the cloud and choose to buy it, does it have to be re-installed?) this is a tremendous idea that has been rumored for some time, but is still a welcome and exciting addition to Steam that provides a great opportunity to try out games that don’t usually have demos, as well as revive the borrowing concept, albeit in a slightly limited fashion.
Steam is accepting early beta applications now, while the release date for the full version is unknown.
Posted in: News
Tags: borrow PC games, borrow steam games, gaming, gaming articles, gaming blogs, gaming headlines, gaming news, how yo share your Steam game, lend PC games, lend steam games, share your steam games, steam, Steam family sharing, Steam family sharing beta, Steam updates, Video Game Articles, Video Game Blogs, video game headlines, Video game news, Video Games
Camouflage Your Game Collection With These Clever Covers
Even though I recognize the superiority of e-books, I’m still hesitant to commit to the switch from the physical format, mostly because amidst all the discarded Snickers wrappers and empty beer bottles, my bookshelf of partially read literary classics is pretty much the only part of my apartment décor that identifies me as a an adult.
I never really though about it, but I suppose you can’t say the same about my game collection, as it kind of gives off that Gamestop-y vibe that isn’t usually associated with ideal interior decorating. Though I think my game collection reeks of class, looking at it from visitor eyes it does possibly makes me lose the adult cred I gained from that book shelf.
Thankfully etsy user JamesBit came up with a solution to this conundrum that will restore balance to your living room classiness, with his custom made game covers that are designed to look like Penguin Publishing books.
Even though you are only sent a PDF of the covers to print yourself, the price of the idea is right ($6 for three, or $1.49 per for larger orders), and you get to pick your own games to receive covers for. Designs are also available for every major system, as well as PC games, Mac games, DVD’s and Blu-Rays, with new cover designs promised to be on the way soon.
So whether your looking to turn your extensive gaming collection into something that classes up the joint a bit, or you just need to disguise all of those imported Japanese “dating” sims, this is an extremely cool concept that will no doubt be welcome in the homes of sophisticated gamers everywhere.
Posted in: News
Tags: alternate game covers, best ever gaming covers, best gaming covers, custom gaming covers, etsy creations, gaming articles, gaming blogs, gaming covers, gaming news, print out game covers, Video Game Articles, Video Game Blogs, Video game news
Is Sony Ready To Enter the Virtual Reality Market?
Continue to be skeptical about virtual reality. Go ahead, it’s ok. After all, what has the concept ever done but crash and burn in the form of one half-assed peripheral after another? Hell, if it wasn’t for virtual reality, none of us would have had to suffer through the terror of the “Lawnmower Man.”
In fact, being cynical about virtual reality is your duty as a responsible consumer.
That being said, that little sliver of hope that exists from countless sci-fi works that the idea can work, has to be getting bigger and bigger every time another jaw dropping impression of the Oculus Rift hits the web. It’s new approach to the concept continues to look better and better with every showing, and may just be a more significant release than any next gen console at this stage in their respective development cycles.
Perhaps realizing this, and no doubt being aware of the Rift team’s insistence on not being bought out, Sony appears to be throwing their hat into the VR market as news broke today about a new model of their HMZ headset that will emphasize immersive capabilities similar to that of the rift. While the only official response on the subject is a cryptic “We don’t talk about that” from a high ranking Sony official (making the subject the hardware equivalent of a trip to Ravenholm), the official announcement a new model of the headset will debut in mid November (likely alongside the PS4) suggests there is some truth behind the rumor.
Now whether or not this particular model is Sony’s answer to the Rift, or if one is truly in the works at all, is debatable, but it’s not hard to fathom other major gaming companies wanting in on the action, as any exciting idea that can potentially lures in the ultra casual gamer dollars is deeply coveted in the industry, as evidenced by the motion control craze kicked off by the runaway success of the Wii.
It’s not irresponsible to continue treating VR as a pipe dream not ready for the big time, but ironically continuing to ignore the popularity of the idea entirely is becoming the fastest way to live in a reality truly different from our own.
Posted in: Reviews
Tags: gaming blogs, gaming news, HMZ-T3, HMZ-T3W, is Sony working on VR headset, oculus rift, Oculus Rift PS4, PS4 virtual reality, PS4 VR, sony, Sony VR, Video Game Blogs, Video game news, Video Games, virtual reality, virtual reality devices, virtual reality in gaming, virtual reality video games
Grand Theft Auto V Soundtrack Leaked; Vice City Still the Soundtrack King
Full disclosure here, as this list of leaked GTA V songs are “unconfirmed” and were all snagged through a recent PSN update which apparently gave away the majority of the game’s tracks.
It’s a big list complete with some station names, DJ reveals (series regular Lazlow returns, because dude apparently can’t hold a job), and of course a crapload of songs that run a gamut that includes big names (N.W.A, Queen, Johnny Cash…umm…Britney Spears), one hit wonders, and some painfully bad obligatory choices (pretty much the entire Pop station).
While it doesn’t feel like a complete list (there’s not near enough radio stations), it is a list that gives the impression that the series will follow the “GTA IV” route of cutting down on big names and instantly recognizable tracks, to instead offer up more of a variety of genres with bands you may not necessarily be familiar with immediately.
Or maybe I’m just really out of touch with modern music.
In either case, it’s looking like “Vice City” will remain king of “GTA” soundtracks with its incredible variety of 80s’ classics. That’s not really a dig at this music selection, but more of a personal preference as the nature of “GTA’s” chaotic gameplay doesn’t really allow me to focus on the music much while driving and therefore makes the whole “discovering new music angle” kind of a moot point. This could be alleviated if Rockstar allows you to listen to music outside of vehicles this time around, but so far there is no word on cribbing that feature from “Saint’s Row.”
Still it’s going to take more than Fergie to derail the “GTA V” hype train, and if this is a slice of the real track list, there are certainly more hits than misses, meaning the “GTA V” hype train keeps rolling, now blasting some pretty sweet tunes as it chugs along to its September 17th release date.
Posted in: News
Tags: best GTA soundtrack, gaming, gaming blogs, gaming news, grand theft auto, Grand Theft Auto music leak, Grand Theft Auto V, gta, GTA music leak, GTA V, GTA V music, GTA V soundtrack, GTA Vice City Soundtrack, Video Game Blogs, Video game news, Video Games