Here it is, the first look at Rockstar’s latest project, Grand Theft Auto V. We’ve all been anticipating this since the video game developer hinted at its arrival in the form of an image. Check it out above, then read on.
In an official press release, it is confirmed that Grand Theft Auto V is currently in full development and Rockstar North– GTA series creator–is leading the charge. The game will take place in the fictional “city of Los Santos and surrounding hills, countryside and beaches in the largest and most ambitious game Rockstar has yet created.” Rockstar is keeping mum about the game’s plot. The PR only goes so far in saying this: “A bold new direction in open-world freedom, storytelling, mission-based gameplay and online multiplayer, Grand Theft Auto V focuses on the pursuit of the almighty dollar in a re-imagined, present-day Southern California.” Rockstar Games founder Sam Houser adds, “Grand Theft Auto V is another radical reinvention of the Grand Theft Auto universe. We are incredibly excited to share our new vision with our fans.”
After watching the trailer there are a couple things we can speculate. First, it would make sense that the narrator is the protagonist of the game and what we know is that he is a father in pursuit of a better life; he wants to be “a good guy for once, a family man.” Now even though the trailer features one narrator, it does jump around between various characters. Whether or not this means the game will have players jumping in and out of the shoes of more than one character is still up in the air. But it’s certainly fun to speculate. Mission-based gameplay is expected, while multiplayer co-op is on every one’s wish list. A release date has not been set, but I’d say it’s safe to assume a holiday 2012 launch. Once again, stay tuned.
This, by far, is the greatest trailer for a video game I’ve ever seen. I thought nothing could come close to those beautifully produced Halo trailers (especially this one), but man was I wrong. This trailer for the upcoming survival-horror game Dead Island is so emotionally gripping it really rips at your heart not unlike a traditional theatrical trailer. The slow motion reverse chronology played against a piano and violin backdrop elicits memories of Lost in a chilling and striking manner. Watch it, let it all sink in, then watch it again.
Brilliant on so many levels, right? The realism is simply stunning. Now let’s move onto some background info concerning this now-hotly anticipated title. Dead Island was first imagined in 2007 by publisher Deep Silver and developer Techland (Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood), and they’ve been working on it ever since. Techland describes it as a “first-person zombie-slasher/action-RPG.” So what does that mean? It’s hard to say since the developers are keeping mum on the game mechanics for the time being. Here’s what we know. The game takes place at the fictional Royal Palms Resort based on the remote island of Banoi in Papua New Guinea. The island is a tourist-magnet and you play a guest vacationing at the hotel. A zombie outbreak takes place during your stay, and its up to you a the remaining uninfected to find a way to escape the island. During your journey you’ll begin to discover the secret behind the mysterious outbreak. Gripping story so far, huh? In addition to fighting zombies you’ll come to discover how–and most importantly why–it all started. Speaking of combat, the developers are taking a uniquely different approach to the survival-horror zombie game. Instead of having a massive arsenal of guns and ammo at your disposal, things will be much more realistic in that you’ll be forced to use objects like knives, axes, broken pipes and other items you would find on a tropical island to fend off the flesh-eating undead. Think of it as survival horror with a melee action twist; combat will be more intimate that what you come to expect from a game like this.
According to the publisher up to four players can drop in and out of the game. But though co-op is supported, a single player mode will be there too. What we know about the RPG elements of the game only go so deep. You start the game as a simple tourist with no prior knowledge of zombie survivor skills, and as you fight your way through the infection you’ll gain skills and they will be tracked in some sort of leveling system. The game’s being developed for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC and is expected to release sometime this year.
If the game can at least live up to the trailer, Dead Island is primed to become the next best zombified project since AMC debuted The Walking Dead.
A brand new Angry Birds game based on ‘Rio’ animated flick coming soon [Update: Super Bowl embedded code]
App developer Rovio has teamed up with 20th Century Fox to put together a new Angry Birds game for iOS and Android. Following the original Angry Birds and Seasons games, this new installment is inspired by the upcoming Fox animated feature Rio (watch a trailer for it here). Angry Birds Rio will pack 45 new levels, increased graphics performance, and “a few new twists.” Future updates will add more levels. Look out for the app to hit iOS, Android, and Symbian app stores this March, ahead of Rio‘s April 15 theatrical release.
And if you you didn’t know, Team Rovio is currently developing an animated TV series based on the Angry Birds universe. After watching this trailer for the Rio-inspired game I cannot wait to see what they come up with for the show. Who needs dialogue when you’ve got furious birds yelling and slimy green pigs snorting?
Update: It’s been revealed that during the Super Bowl 20th Century Fox will air a 30-second commercial promoting Rio that features an embedded code, the first of its kind. The secret code will be inserted into a single frame of the ad. When it’s entered into the Angry Birds app a new level will be unlocked and it will enter players into a Rio sweepstakes. Winners will attend the animated flick’s world premiere in Rio de Janeiro on March 22. That also happens to be the day Angry Birds Rio hits the App Store, in case you were wondering.
Saturday night Spike aired the 2010 Video Game Awards hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption beat out CoD: Black Ops, God of War III, Halo: Reach, and Mass Effect 2 for the coveted Game of the Year award; Redemption also won Best Original Score and Best DLC for “Undead Nightmare.” Mass Effect 2 managed to prove its worthiness by taking home Best RPG and Best Xbox 360 Game; game developer Bioware was crowned Studio of the Year. Other notable winners include: God of War III (Best Graphics, Best PS3 Game), CoD: Black Ops (Best Shooter), Halo: Reach (Best Multiplayer Game), Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Best Wii Game), and Limbo (Best Independent Game).
In addition to handing out awards, the VGAs are also used as a platform for game developers and studios to premiere titles and announce surprises about future releases. The biggest announcements include: Mass Effect 3 is slated for a Holiday 2011 release; Professor Hugo Strange has been confirmed as Batman: Arkham City‘s main villain (in a new fantastic CGI trailer it is revealed that Strange knows Batman’s true identity); Bethesda Studios put together a teaser trailer for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and the game’s set to release November 11, 2011; Insomniac Games’ Resistance 3 ships September 6, 2011; Activision officially announced a sequel to Prototype and it’s expected to drop in 2012; Turn 10 is bringing Forza Motorsport 4 to Xbox 360 in Fall 2010 with Kinect support; EA resurrected the SSX franchise with SSX: Deadly Descents, and gone are the cartoony graphics–they have been thrown out and a more realistic approach to the snowboarding genre has been implemented; Thor: God of Thunder will complement the superhero’s spring theatrical release on May 3, 2011; Kratos, the protagonist of the God of War franchise, is confirmed as a playable character in the upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot game (he’s a PS3 exclusive); developer Volition (Red Faction, Saints Row) is teaming up with filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (Hell Boy, Pan’s Labyrinth) to create a horror game called Insane due out at in 2013; and finally Naughty Dog closed out the show with an extended trailer for Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and revealed it’s release date: 11/1/11.
Hop after the break to see the full list of winners and watch game trailers for the titles mentioned above.
Three years after the release of the original BioShock developer Irrational Games is back with a brand new game called BioShock Infinite. Infinite (set in the year 1912) serves as a sequel to the 2007 critically acclaimed horror first-person shooter (which was set in the 1960s). It takes the player out of the underwater city of Rapture and into a fantastical city-in-the-sky named Columbia. You play as Booker DeWitt and your assignment is to find an abducted women Elizabeth and then work with her to escape Columbia. As you can see in the trailer, the Big Daddies look, erm, a bit primitive. (Update: It’s been confirmed that the machine with big hands is not a Big Daddy..then what the heck is it!?) Lead designer Ken Levine explains that although Infinite is an extension of the BioShock franchise, the game clearly sets itself apart from the previous BioShock games; the environment is not the only difference. Though he does not go into much detail about the gameplay specifics, you should head over to Joystiq to read (or watch) an informative interview with Levine. BioShock Infinite plans to release sometime in 2012. And I…can’t…wait.
Microsoft kicked off E3 2010 in unique fashion with their Project Natal for Xbox 360 Experience featuring a Cirque du Soleil crew. Next they kicked things into high gear with their media briefing at the Wiltern Theatre. Ready, set…
The press conference began with a number of game trailers and real-time demos. First up was Treyarch with Call of Duty: Black Ops. It releases November 9. It was announced that Microsoft & Activision signed a multi-year agreement pertaining to Call of Duty downloadable content. Starting with Black Ops in 2010, all Call of Duty add-ons and map packs will launch first on Xbox 360 through 2012.
Next was Kojima Productions with Metal Gear Solid: Rising. It’s being described as a “sword action game” that’s based on the Japanese terms “zan-datzu” which means “to cut” and “to take.” A brief trailer revealed that the game will feature protagonist Raiden slicing and dicing his way past enemies (and watermelon).
Then Xbox’s major blockbusters hit the stage. Epic’s Cliffy B. demonstrated Gears of War 3 which is due out April 5. A new mode called “Beast” will be detailed soon. Then Lionhead Studios’ Peter Molyneux showed off a trailer for Fable III; it releases October the 26th. And things rounded out with a new trailer for Halo: Reach, “the most ambitious game Bungie has ever created.” The trailer was a mix of gameplay footage and cinematic cut scenes. Reach drops September 14. Also thrown into the mix was a new game from Crytek codenamed Kingdoms; it looks like a game based on the move 300. (*Each game title is linked to their respective E3 trailers/gameplay footage.)
Kinect for Xbox 360, formally known as Project Natal, was detailed. ”Kinect detects both movement and sound in very sophisticated ways.” An image revealed the guts of the motion-sensing device; it contains two 3D depth sensors, an RGB camera, multi-array mic, and a motorized tilt. ”When you combine the power of Xbox 360, the services of Xbox Live, and the magic of Kinect, the result is not just a revolution for your games, but for all of your entertainment.” Enter the Kinect Hub.
To get your Xbox 360 to recognize you, simply stand in front of Kinect, wave your hand, and the software will sign you into Xbox Live and bring up your custom avatar. Wave your hand a second time and you’re brought to a “controller-free menu” designed for Kinect gestures. The Kinect Hub allows you to interact with your games, friends, Netflix, Zune, Facebook, last.fm, and also customize your avatar. Thanks to the built-in mic, voice control is also accessible. Their motto is “if you see it, just say it.” You must precede all commands with “Xbox.” So for example, if you say “Xbox, Zune” the Zune hub loads up and now you have access to Zune Video, and now, Zune Music. Over seven million songs are now available over Xbox Live with Zune Music integration. With controller-free entertainment that’s “natural and effortless” you can also play/pause movies with your voice and rewind/fast-forward them with your hands. To select a piece of content simply hover your hand over it for a couple seconds.