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There's been a lot of talk surrounding Epic and their Unreal Engine 4 as of late; it's the greatest thing to happen to games since Samus Rule 34 surfaced, apparently. Still, there's no denying that it makes pretty pictures. I just hope that they come up with some really interesting ideas to make the games powered by Unreal Engine 4. As shiny as their demos are, the subject matter of Epic's demos is never really all that engaging to me. There really is an impressive amount of detail here, though.


I've been waiting days to cover this story because I wanted to better frame my approach. See, 3.4 million copies of a game are some pretty lofty numbers. Sure, maybe that's a poor number for say, a console Zelda release, but it's still a profitable number. Tomb Raider's original popularity may never be matched, but since the 90's the franchise has been pretty pathetic in sales numbers, failing to even top 1 million.

In comes a highly touted and well reviewed reboot of the whole franchise. It moved 3.4 million physical copies across all platforms, the most the series has moved since the 90's. In addition, if you add digital sales, you're likely looking at a number north of 4 million total sales. That ranks it as the 3rd best selling game in the series and probably when it's all said and done, potentially the 2nd best. That, to me, seems like a very successful reboot. The fans are raving, the critics are raving, people bought the product, and things seem fine.

Until we find out that Square lost money on the project. So much so they themselves called it a failure. So, what's wrong?

Valve is perhaps the most beloved publisher / developer in the world right now, and for good reason. The constant influx of quality games, fabulous customer relations and a business model that does not feel like giving a blowjob to 500 pound rednecks named Buck in the back of a convenience store for games are all very positive things. However, Valve has set themselves up for the biggest backfire in the history of gaming, and it's called Half-Life 3.

Just today we have seen a new stream of rumors concerning the imminent announcement of Half-Life 3 (source), and I wholeheartedly expected my fleshy insides to tingle with excitement. Instead, all I felt was last night's leftover lunch becoming much less solid and much more brown. The truth of the matter is simple - Valve is pushing it. There's only so much teasing that the gaming community is willing to absorb, and giving the rapid (SEVERE UNDERSTATEMENT) decline in overall customer satisfaction with the industry, even the goodwill that Valve has amassed among its fans is starting to wear thin in this particular regard. However, that is not the crux of the issue, a "it's ready when it's ready" mentality is not necessarily a bad thing, and it won't matter once we have a release date and eventually sit down to play the game.

The day is finally upon us, you can now go out and buy BioShock Infinite to meet your heart's desire; the skies of Columbia are no yours to traverse. Still questioning whether or not you should pick yourself up a copy of the third BioShock game? Perhaps this launch trailer will help convince you otherwise. Infinite has been met with superb reviews so far, and the high scores just keep rolling in, so be sure to check it out!

Excited for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag? It's alright not to be, we did just get ACIII nearly half a year ago. But Black Flag surely is doing its best to expand upon its gameplay by letting players take to the seas to not only wage war against other ships, but to search the ocean floors for treasure and battle sharks. The trailer also shows the on-land portions of the game and the forests/jungles the players can traverse are simply stunning, looking lush and vibrant from all angles. It may not divulge much upon the story of Black Flag, but it's bound to at least garner your interest so be sure to check it out!

Hello Battlefield fans, I'm sure you're excited for the recently announced Battlefield 4 title, but more so for when it will be released, supposedly later this year in Fall.

According to a leaked preorder art piece which was promoting preorder dog-tags, Battlefield 4 will come out later this year during Fall, which, given how shooters are usually announced in the year they're released in, isn't all that unlikely. But of course, this is just a rumor for the time being and the artwork could be fake.

In other related news, a song supposedly from Battlefield 4 can be found and is called "Hanna's Theme," suggesting that female soldiers will be in Battlefield 4. A leaked image of Origin Russia also suggests Battlefield 4 will have a beta available to all Battlefield 3 Premium subscribers. Be sure to hop inside for a larger image of the supposedly leaked artwork!

Do you remember the days when we only used one term to describe a console’s power? Twenty years ago, what people saw as “bits” were all that mattered and we could tell when one console was better than another simply by looking at the games. One needn’t any more insight than his own eyes to see that Donkey Kong Country was more advanced than the arcade’s Donkey Kong or that Sonic the Hedgehog could do more than Alex Kidd in Miracle World.

Fast forward to today and how do we compare consoles? Jargon. Twenty years ago, people didn’t debate the relative merits of a “Customized 6502 CPU” and a “Television Interface Adaptor Model 1A” because a system’s power could be easily described by marketers as “bits,” and every generation self-evidently doubled the power of the last. But those days, as you certainly know, are gone.

These ever-improving graphics were always one good reason to buy a console, but alongside visual improvements, each generation’s new technology brought us bigger and better ways to play our games. The new Mode 7 technology of the Super Nintendo, for example, allowed racing games like F-Zero and Super Mario Kart to take off, while the jump to 32 and 64-bit consoles allowed for full 3D gaming, which was a monumental advancement in its own right. During this time, advancements in technology went hand-in-hand with advancements in gameplay, but when the core fundamentals of a video game have reached their limits, companies look for other, less essential ways to improve the experience.

Head past the jump to keep reading!

Last month at Sony's PlayStation Meeting, Blizzard announced that the latest entry in the widely popular Diablo series would be making its way to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 at some point in the future.

This partnership between Blizzard and Sony was implied to be exclusive, but now it appears it may not be as great for Sony as we thought.

"We don't have any announcements to make at this time, but we're not necessarily a Sony exclusive."

Another bright point to note is that one of the biggest issues that plagued Diablo III on PCs was the lack of an offline play and dozens of server crashes, which, in conjunction with one another, left the game unplayable for a while. On the console version of Diablo III, however, you will be able to play the full game offline with up to three friends, which "feels very collaborative," at least on the PlayStation 3.

It looks like Diablo III is shaping up to be a great console gaming experience from a franchise that's been so strongly rooted on the PC. Will you be picking Diablo III up on a home gaming consoles?

Any Elder Scrolls fan knows that the series is primarily played through a first-person perspective, so many were upset, even outraged, after hearing that The Elder Scrolls Online would be a third-person title with limited first-person function. Well, time to stop being so upset, because those restrictions are gone.

Chris Carter over at Destructoid managed to play the game's first-person mode and was surprised to see ESO can be fully playable in first-person like the mainstream titles such as Skyrim. I myself prefer to alternate between the two, so it's nice to see the First-Person aspects will be fully retained.

Zenimax has stated that the current build is in testing and playable, and it will be available with the game at launch along with availability on the Mac OSX on day one.

Rachel appeared in a very early trailer for Resident Evil: Revelations, and those that played the original game of the 3DS got to know her as the character that died just to later become a mutated boss. That, and as the women who somehow managed to see through a fringe that covered her eyes, but was unable to dress to cover her own cleavage.

Capcom has now announced that Rachel will be a playable character in the game's Raid Mode, along with Hunk, who was announced last month. The re-release will also feature two new enemies: one being called the "Wall Blister" and the other remains a surprise.

Further details have been revealed in regards to the Wii U version of the game. Players have the choice between the GamePad and Classic Controller when playing on the television, but can also play the title solely on the GamePad. The Wii U version also contains some extra features through Miiverse. More inside.

Earlier in the year, Polytron Corporation announced they would be porting the indie hit Fez to other hardware, beyond the Xbox 360. Many were curious of how the game could work on the 3DS with the system's three-dimensional capabilities.

Phil Fish, the creator of the title, partook in an AMA (or an "ask-me-anything" for you less avid internet users) on Reddit today. It's actually a fascinating and hilarious read. Anyways, back on topic, one user inquired on the possibilities of a 3DS port and this followed.

Is FEZ coming to 3DS?

Phil Fish: we don;t have any plans for that, no. people keep assuming fez would be a no-brainer on 3DS, but in truth it would be kind of pointless. the game is practically always shown in isometric 3D, there’s never any perspective there. i don’t think it would work.

Well, that's a tad disappointing to me. His reasoning is a little flawed, as a 3DS game doesn't have to necessarily use 3D (see Fluidity: Spin Cycle), but Phil Fish is a busy man, and one I have respect for. I'll be sure to pick up Fez when it hits Steam on May 1st. A Mac version will follow, and there is talk of PlayStation 3 and Vita ports for you Sony fans out there.

Beginning today, Electronic Arts (EA) and Maxis are offering players who have suffered through SimCity's launch server issues with a free game download. This was announced by Maxis Genreal Manager Lucy Bradshaw on her blog, and the emails were sent out to gamers today, detailing how to get their free game.

"On March 18, SimCity players who have activated their game will receive an email telling them how to redeem their free game. I know that’s a little contrived -- kind of like buying a present for a friend after you did something crummy. But we feel bad about what happened. We’re hoping you won’t stay mad and that we’ll be friends again when SimCity is running at 100 percent." — Lucy Bradshaw

Be it little more than a nice little public relations ploy, it is still a nice treat, just like the Nintendo 3DS' Ambassador Program provided gamers who purchased the console before the price drop with something for their dedication. Likewise, dedicated SimCity fans get a little something. Which games can be chosen are after the jump.

I don't think anyone truly thought EA was being honest with consumers when they stated that only a complete overhaul of SimCity would allow the game to not be online (aka, have offline single player). Mounting evidence, and now finally access to a completely offline debug mode where the entire game is playable, suggest EA is just talking out their ass.

First, Rock Paper Shotgun had an anonymous inside source explain this:

"The servers are not handling any of the computation done to simulate the city you are playing," claims RPS' source. "They are still acting as servers, doing some amount of computation to route messages of various types between both players and cities. As well, they’re doing cloud storage of save games, interfacing with Origin, and all of that. But for the game itself? No, they’re not doing anything. I have no idea why they’re claiming otherwise. It’s possible that Bradshaw misunderstood or was misinformed, but otherwise I’m clueless."

Of course, anonymous inside sources don't mean a whole lot... that is until a fan proves these sources to be 100% correct. More inside.

I definitely have had some fun with Call of Duty: Black Ops II on my Wii U. It has a fairly active online community and all of the modes are very pick up and play. It's nice when I don't want to take things too seriously or when I don't have a lot of time to game. In many ways, that makes it sort of a casual experience, since anyone can really play and feel like they are accomplishing something. It reminds me a lot actually of Goldeneye back in the N64 days.

John Gibson, President of Tripwire Interactive (Folks behind Killing Floor and Red Orchestra 2), talked extensively to PC Gamer about how Call of Duty is ruining the FPS generation of players these days. The main reason? It's taken what was previously a hardcore only experience and turned it into a mainstream casual style genre. Don't believe that? Think Call of Duty is a hardcore gamer's game? Hop inside to see why that's not the case.


It's no secret that the modern gaming market is a lot less stable than it was a few years ago. I was hoping to write a lengthy editorial on this very subject, but the brilliant minds at CleverNoobs have just done so in video form! This feature takes an in-depth look at the gaming crash of 1983 and the parallels between it and today. Discussing the effects of DLC, online gaming, and retooling old games, CleverNoobs explains why the current market is in a state of upset and what we can all do to try to avoid it—and even why a crash may ultimately be a good thing. CleverNoobs has done a wonderful job at explaining the state of the industry, and as educated gamers, this is an essential video to watch.