Archive for March, 2007
I haven’t had too much luck with single-player games recently, having just tried Oblivion and found it wanting. But I think I’ll continue giving Oblivion a try, and I’ll definitely be giving Assassin’s Creed a try when that is released. It’s one of the largest games in development at Ubisoft, if the grapevine is correct. Hopefully Ubisoft can marshall all those resources together in an efficient way to give us a great game.
Xbox Gazette has an interview with Jade Raymond of Ubisoft, and for the most part there’s not much new. We do learn that Ubisoft is using some of their most experienced developers on the project, which is good to hear.
Also interesting is that Ubisoft is modelling three whole cities and the space between them, giving your a lot of territory to explore. Hmmm, somewhat like Oblivion. (Though I doubt that it’ll match Oblivion’s scale.)
I’ve been doing a lot of reading about Oblivion, and the general consensus is that this is a fantastic game that’s lot of fun, though it does have a couple bugs. As well, people suggest that this is one of the best games available for the PS3, and that even people who aren’t RPG’ers would enjoy it.
I rented it on Friday and have been playing it every day since. And you know what? I just can’t get into it. I closed my first Oblivion portal and now my task is to help some guard clear some city of bad guys. Which I find quite boring. These puny little bad guys just toss fire at you and attack when close enough. A couple swings of the sword and they’re dead. Rinse and repeat. And repeat. And repeat. Untold Legends follows the same basic formula but for some reason I get a much bigger kick out of UL than I do out of the big “O”.
I’ll be trying the game again tonight to see if it picks up steam any. But I’m not holding out much hope. On Wednesday I’ll return the game to Rogers, and I don’t think I’ll ever play it again.
Disclaimer: this is purely my opinion. Your opinion may vary, but that does not invalidate mine.
For a while now I have been thinking that Sony’s gaming future lies not just with the likes of GTA and MGS, but the first and second party titles they can produce.
For most of the existence of the PlayStation brand Sony has predominantly relied on high profile third party titles to build visibility in the marketplace. Here in the EU this started with titles like Wipeout on PSOne which, thanks to strategic marketing, grabbed clubbers with its dance soundtrack. Worldwide though, exclusives like the Final Fantasy series and Metal Gear Solid built up the PlayStation into the dominant platform, with developers attracted by the cheap cost of development and the possibilities of the CD format.
Sony repeated this with PS2, although there were already the first indications of Sony developing a first party portfolio; with Sega’s lack of success with the Dreamcast third party publishers and developers once again focused their attentions on the PlayStation format despite late arrivals from Microsoft and Nintendo. However, by the time the PlayStation 3 was announced Sony had significantly upped its first party content by buying up studios like Naughty Dog and established firm relationships with the likes of Insomniac and Evolution Studios.
Now, in the PlayStation 3 era the third party situation has become a lot more competitive. Sony has had to face the loss of titles that were previously exclusive to the PlayStation format as publishers seek to make their titles as profitable as possible by producing them for the (currently) more ubiquitous Xbox 360 and the cheaper to develop for, but very popular Wii. The most obvious recent example is Devil May Cry 4 becoming multi-format. I doubt it will be the last title either; it’s a sign of the $20million+ development cycle. So Sony is screwed right?
Wrong. Whilst it’s easy to point out where Microsoft’s major first party title is (yep, Halo) and Nintendo has a few (Mario- Super or Paper, Metroid, Zelda, Smash Bros, Pokemon and the incumbent WiiSports/WiiPlay series), Sony’s, whilst much harder to highlight, role call is impressive. One example, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune pictured above, has huge potential. Other titles to watch out for this year are: Killzone, Ratchet and Clank Future, Singstar, Eye of Judgement, Lair, Warhawk, Heavenly Sword and Hot Shots Golf 5. But these are the ones we know about. It won’t be long until we see Gran Turismo 5, next-gen SOCOM, Syphon Filter, Wipeout (already confirmed), the Getaway, many more Eyetoy titles, the next full game from the God of War team, Team ICO’s next work as well as eventual sequels to Resistance and Motorstorm. So whilst Sony might not have the third party support all to themselves this time around, their first party lineup is much stronger.
What’s strange is that Sony seems so reluctant to showcase these titles. There are a lot of games in development, and I hope we see them sooner rather than later.
Cellius is a joint venture between Namco and Sony that was announced earlier this year. Their stated purpose is to make games for PS3, PC, and mobile phone.
The first three PS3 games from this venture have surfaced on Japanese site mpack. These are all said to be PS3 exclusives. Given that Sony owns a large stake in this venture, that isn’t too surprising.
- Brave Arms Third-person action game.
- Chain Limit Espionage or survival game
- Second Season 01 Sci-Fi drama first-person action
These all sound like very unique and interesting content. We’ll have to wait a little longer to get more solid details.
(thanks to Sporty for the pointer)
UPDATE: Minor corrections.
This game is a remake of the Xbox exclusive game “Ninja Gaiden Black” for the PS3 which upgraded and additional content.
- There is a new playable character, Rachel, with ten completely new playable missions.
- Lots of new extras and secrets added to existing levels. For example, one significant cut scene in the game has actually been replaced by a playable battle.
- The sixaxis motion sensing functionality is used for the magic system.
- Runs at full 1080p at 60FPS. All you HDTV owners are a lucky group.
- All textures have been reworked for the PS3. Many new graphical effects have been added or upgraded.
This really sounds like a lot more than a simple port, it sounds like they’ve really upgraded and expanded the game quite a bit. I haven’t played the original, so I’m really looking forward to getting this.
I’ve also heard that the combat system requires a lot of skill. A common grunt enemy will kill you if you aren’t playing well, which is in contrast to something like God Of War where you can pretty much button mash through the weaker enemies. This sounds like a true gamer’s game.
IGN lists this as a June 26, 2007 release. I really can’t wait to get this!