Starting from now, I’m going to be doing a quick recap of the week’s big news stories (and a bonus “news”-based pun) every Friday. Consider yourself informed.
The new Xbox will hate people who play games.
We’re deep in the dark, thicketed depths of rumour country with this one, but there have been rumblings about details of the next-generation Xbox, specifically what it will and will not allow you to cram into its eager slot.
Yeah, I went there.
According to Kotaku’s sources, the new console will play Blu Ray discs, trading the cramped, dingy squat of DVD discs for the palatial suite of a Blu Ray’s 40GB storage. Barred with the DRM chastity belt, however, are pre-owned games, so you won’t be able to play a video game on a machine designed to play video games if someone else did it first. The gaming economy relies on the pre-owned market, but because publishers don’t see any of that money, they’re just going to squeeze consumers even harder, insisting that every single person has to have their own individual copy a game to be able to play it. The sad thing is it would just encourage even more inventive acts of piracy, but that’s another debate to for another blog post.
Blizzard cancel BlizzCon, most likely to prepare an assault on your bank account
Blizzard crashed their own party recently by unexpectedly calling off their sweaty-palmed wizard festival BlizzCon this year. The lamentations of the fanboys howled hauntingly on the wind, but it seems likely that the event’s cancellation could be to give the studio the breathing room to bring three games to market in 2012. Demonic spell disco Diablo 3 is set to come out this year, and we’re about due the second instalment of the StarCraft II trilogy – Heart of the Swam – if you ask me. To be fair, Blizzard have got their hands pretty full at the moment; with another World of Warcaft expansion ready to go, and their next-gen MMO Titan looking like it will incorporate product placement, they probably neet to clear some extra space in the diary for swimming in the oceans of cash they’ll be making.
Ubisoft aren’t too bothered about flogging the Assassin’s Creed franchise to within an inch of its life
If you’ve seen how Ezio looks during the loading screens of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, you’ll see how he’s a perfect metaphor for the franchise at the moment. He is old, haggard, with the shuffling movements and facial pallour of a zombie. It’s like even he is asking Ubisoft to stop milking the Ezio storyline so hard. But Ubisoft’s CEO, Yves Guillemot, doesn’t seem that fussed, and openly went as far to say that it was a good thing for the AssCreed series to bring a new game out every year. Guillemot has promised the next instalment will be be the “biggest to date,” and it looks likely that there’ll be some new characters this time around. Bearing in mind that the last time they did that was in 2009, you would be forgiven for thinking that maybe the idea well has run a little dry, but I’m still excited for what they bring out next. If they finally take us to to a new historical period, and bring in some interesting new assassination mechanics, then I think they may be able to breath life back into the franchise.
Resident 6 embraces diversity
Speaking of the walking dead, if you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the announcement trailer for Resident Evil 6:
That’s right, the seminal zombie fracas franchise is going down the Metal Gear Solid 4 route of sequels by bringing back every character ever to make an appearance in a Resident Evil game. Floppy-haired charisma toilet Leon Kennedy is back, as is meat slab series regular Chris Redfield. And even though you threw him into a goddamn volcano in the last game, I wouldn’t even be surprised if Albert Wesker returns, crawling out the magma like the T100. This time the game is taking a more international approach to genocide and sending you globetrotting, letting you murder zombies of what seems like every creed and colour in the world. At least pitting you against the undead of every ethnicity protects Capcom from any accusations of racism. As far as the actual game goes, I reckon it could go either way. Resident Evil 4 revolutionised the franchise when it came out, but the fifth instalment changed little and struggled to impress because of it, so I don’t know how to feel about the fact that RE6 looks very…familiar. The over-the-shoulder shooter thing was revolutionary two games ago, but now it might not play so well, and Capcom have their work cut out for them if they’re going to keep the game experience fresh.