Walking through the streets of Warsaw, the PR head at CD Project Red explained to me how important The Witcher is to the people of his country. It's a franchise held up as a national treasure - a gift that the president himself gives to visiting dignitaries. To the public, it's a national symbol - a piece of literary and digital art that they can proudly point to and say "this came from home". To say that creating a fitting conclusion to such a renowned franchise is stressful would be a gross understatement.
If you ever stepped onto a skateboard and dreamt of shredding massive rails and landing massive Ollies, then you’ve got Tony Hawk to thank for the inspiration of joining generation X. And I’m not talking about his cameo in Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol. No, it’s the Tony Hawk video games which are to blame for your scraped knees and excessively baggy pants. And some were great! Some were also beyond terrible! So let’s take a grind down memory lane, and examine every single one of them.
I don’t know when we’ll see another Batman game once Arkham Knight wraps up. But I also doubt that Warner Bros. Interactive will retire such a franchise once Rocksteady departs. Because there’s still plenty to mine out of the Batman mythos, and I’d bet my left Bat-testicle that we’ll see a new game unveiled within the next couple of years. And maybe, one of them can borrow story elements from some legendary Batman tales.
The release of GTA V came and went in the later months of 2013, devoid of one crucial piece of content. GTA Online was missing from action, and the promise of a shared, persistent online slice of Los Santos to wreak havoc in with friends remained a distant dream. Only a few weeks later, and the gates to online multiplayer were flung wide open to all – but it would be a long time for the true promise of multiplayer to arrive. And even longer for a whole new market to get in on the action.
Following the blockbuster release of Grand Theft Auto IV, Rockstar once again got back to work on their iconic franchise in 2009. Not only aiming for a game that looked bigger, better and hewed closer to the ridiculous side of the franchise, Rockstar wanted to create a game that told a better story. And the best way to do that, was to triple down on the ambitions.
Following the release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in 2004, Rockstar immediately began work on a game that would be even more ambitious in scope, size and narrative. With a core team of around 150 developers that were led by the key members from the Grand Theft Auto 3 development squad, Rockstar got to work on a game that would graphically surpass everything that they had done so far.
Hah! Bet you thought we’d move on to GTA IV today – but no. Instead, we’re going to look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of the handheld Grand Theft Auto Games. While the series was born on PC and later made its home very much on consoles, the series has found its way to various handhelds over the years. It didn’t exactly start off well.
The intriguing realm of Mortal Kombat is one that has always been steeped in mystery and absurdity. Ever since the release of the original Mortal Kombat in 1992, the franchise has paved the bloody path for video game violence. Now more than a decade later we see the release of Mortal Kombat X, the 10th major title in the series and one that is expected to only further cement the MK franchise as one of the best in the fighting genre.
A month after GTA 3 was released to record sales, Rockstar knew that they had a franchise on their hands that would steer the company towards even bigger successes. Buying developer DMA Design and rebranding them as Rockstar North, the future clearly had more wanton destruction, violence and high speed pursuits in store for it. And it wouldn’t be long before the next GTA game arrived, taking players on a trip down south and back in time.
Grand Theft Auto in its original form may not have had anything new to offer in terms of action, but the top-down game was a massive achievement when it came to creating a world that lived and breathed alongside a homicidal player. Translating that style into a fully three dimensional world where players could rampage to their hearts content however? That was considered impossible for many years. Until the PlayStation 2 arrived on the scene however, and work began on the GTA that we all know and love today.
There’s a reason why Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is a polarising game. Some folks love the more detailed characters. Other people hate the iffy level design. The Zero-G combat is pure fun, provided that you can make it past the various bugs in the game. It’s a game that doesn’t hit all the right notes, but it is a Borderlands game that is important, thanks to the story that fleshes out the events between Borderlands 1 and 2. In the Claptastic Voyage however, the game goes somewhere few vault hunters have had the courage to explore. Prepare to enter the mind of…Claptrap.
Crime doesn’t pay. At least, that’s what anybody in any sort of position of societal authority will tell you. It certainly paid for a little Scottish studio by the name of DMA Design. Founded in the 80’s by David Jones, the studio found its first big break with Lemmings, published by Psygnosis. It was a different game that would set DMA Design on its course to become a veritable development Rockstar.
One of the best video game memories I have is back in the days of Quake 1 where I played for Damage Clan for a while and went on an amateur tour of South Africa playing in Internet cafes and getting stupidly drunk while pretending to be training.
From the faithfully recreated, bustling streets of Hong Kong to the visceral hand-to-hand combat, Sleeping Dogs was a sleeper hit when it launched, and quickly cemented itself as a cult classic. It’s one of those polarising experiences though, that either had you loving or hating it, with a pretty standard sandbox formula giving way to a new setting and gameplay mechanics. Instead of a proper sequel, we’re getting Triad Wars – an online vertical slice of Sleeping Dogs that’s probably going to divide far fewer people.
...But at least I can give you some first impressions of the game. You will have to wait for our official reviewer to give you a more detailed assessment and the all important score. However, I engaged in bizarre couples' bonding over the weekend by playing about 10-12 hours of Bloodborne like a normal person (not rushing) and here are some initial thoughts.