This Week in Games now has a companion piece; our new weekly live show Quoted for Truth. The show features news editor Brendan Sinclair and and the magnificent Tom McShea, along with myself as host (this week wearing a tie, at the behest of the Twitter community.) Each week at 1pm PT we'll be discussing/arguing/fighting about the big stories of the week--many of which are also featured here--and inviting you to contribute through the comments on the live feed and on Twitter using the hashtag #GSQFT. Next week we'll start with a pre-show feed 10 minutes ahead of the main show where we'll point you at specific topics for feedback so you can be featured.
Is Diablo III Innovative Enough?
Diablo III is nearly upon us! Excited? The game will be live this coming Tuesday, and already it can lay claim to the title of Blizzard's most anticipated game ever, as the PC action role-playing game was confirmed this past Wednesday as the developer's most preordered title of all time. That news comes with a slight asterisk, as it includes copies that found their way into the hands of
suckers people that went for the World of Warcraft Annual Pass promotion, which gave a free copy to anyone who signs up for a full year of the subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
Praised for its depth and intuitiveness, the game was an improvement on Diablo in almost every way: bigger, bolder, and more accessible. Now, with the next game so close that we can almost taste it, the time has come to ask: will Diablo III manage to pull off the same feat?
Twelve years ago, Diablo II became the fastest-selling video game of all time, selling 1 million units in its first two weeks on the market. Praised for its depth and intuitiveness, the game was an improvement on Diablo in almost every way: bigger, bolder, and more accessible. Now, with the next game so close that we can almost taste it, the time has come to ask: will Diablo III manage to pull off the same feat? We explored this earlier this week, speaking with developers on the team at Blizzard, and with talent that have moved on to other games (like the excellent Torchlight and its imminent sequel) and tried to get to the bottom of the thinking behind the new game. The responses illustrated the fact that there's a need for as much "science" as there is "art" in crafting a successful, modern game of this nature. Diablo III Game director Jay Wilson said, "Innovation comes from perfect execution. An innovative game that's poorly executed is not a good game. A game that's executed well is always a great game."
Have you pre-ordered the game? Were you able to secure a Collector's Edition (did you even want to)? How important is innovation in this genre, or are you just looking for "more" Diablo? What do you think the review scores will be when they hit next week? Let us know in the comments.
Quoted for Truth
Phooey442: “I think what most people expect from blizzard at this point is polish, not innovation…not to say that's a bad thing, it's just what they do best
Before we move on, here's an unboxing video of the Collector's Edition for your viewing pleasure.
Also, we have an exclusive six-page excerpt from the upcoming novel Diablo III: The Order right here.
On the Subject of Blizzard
"Both Blizzard and Valve recognize that, at the end of the day, players just want to be able to play the games they're looking forward to, so we're happy to come to an agreement that helps both of us stay focused on that."
Blizzard DOTA is now Blizzard All-Stars, the name change due to Valve and Blizzard's recent long and complicated dispute over rights to the DOTA name. As part of the resolution, Valve will keep using the DOTA 2 name for its in-development game, while Blizzard's continued use of DOTA will be limited to noncommercial use for the Warcraft III and Starcraft II communities. Blizzard executive VP of game design Rob Pardo explained the change in a statement, saying, "Both Blizzard and Valve recognize that, at the end of the day, players just want to be able to play the games they're looking forward to, so we're happy to come to an agreement that helps both of us stay focused on that. As part of this agreement, we're going to be changing the name of Blizzard DOTA to Blizzard All-Stars, which ultimately better reflects the design of our game. We look forward to going into more detail on that at a later date." That's it, it's over. Fans on both sides can now stop getting worked up about it. Right? No, wait. We probably have at least a month of there being declarations of someone "winning," when we should just be bitching about the choice of "All-Stars" as a name, right? Thoughts in the comments, please.
While we're on the whole DOTA thing, too; Valve's second annual Dota 2 tournament, The International 2012, will be held this September at PAX Prime in Seattle, Washington. The championships will take place between August 31 and September 2, 2012, and will carry a grand prize of ONE MEEEEE-LLION DOLLARS. The tournament will be broadcast in multiple languages free of charge.
Quoted for Truth
KruzaderNKat: "All-stars? That's the best they could come up with?"
Jenova Chen says PS3 Players Appreciate Art More Than 360, Wii Players
Journey developer and thatgamecompany co-founder Jenova Chen told VentureBeat earlier this week, "the player who owns a PlayStation 3 is more likely to be interested in artistic games compared to Wii and Xbox 360." He went on to claim that, "Sony has a more artistic and adult-focused taste. They care about how grown-ups feel toward their games." He was subsequently eviscerated by the games-playing, forum-dwelling population of the Internet. Given the way that Microsoft and Sony (in particular) have positioned their online services and the offerings therein, don't you think he has even a tiny bit of a point? Do you agree with him?
Quoted for Truth
Phil-teh-Pirate: "Quite, quite. I regularly talk of the greatest artisans of our time over a scotch whilst contemplating the bold stark lines of blood that covers my screen as I blow the face off of a nameless peon during a game of Battlefield 3. Why I dare say it even irks me to consider the petty dealings of the "lesser" consoles scoff scoff chortle and gafaw I say."
Rovio Making Non-Angry Birds Game. World Gasps
Amazing Alex will be based on the physics-based puzzler Casey's Contraptions, which Rovio just recently acquired from developers Snappy Touch and Mystery Coconut.
Rovio Mobile has revealed the follow-up to its supremely popular downloadable title Angry Birds. Studio CEO Mikael Hed told Finnish television network YLE this week that the new game will be titled Amazing Alex, and is due to arrive in just two months. According to the report, Amazing Alex will be based on the physics-based puzzler Casey's Contraptions, which Rovio just recently acquired from developers Snappy Touch and Mystery Coconut. Details are thin on Amazing Alex, but Hed said the title will boast an educational component, and will focus on Alex, a young boy with a proclivity for building things. It's got some big shoes to fill…Angry Birds has now been downloaded a billion times.
Quoted for Truth
Gamingod2272: "I actually kind of like Angry Birds. Granted, I'm sick of hearing about it, but I'm also sick of hearing the constant whining from "hardcore gamers" about how it ripped off Armor Games' Crush the Castle. Okay, sure they did, but Crush the Castle really isn't that great of a game. Angry Birds streamlined the game, made it funnier, and made it more innovative. If Crush the Castle really was better than Angry Birds, then people would've bought Crush the Castle. It's like you guys have turned into a bunch of hipsters, "Yeah, I liked Crush the Castle before it was cool to like physics based artillery games."
Microsoft Confirms $99 Xbox 360
Microsoft confirmed rumors that were kicking around previously by announcing a new deal this week. Those of you in the market for a 4GB Kinect-equipped Xbox 360 hardware bundle now have the option of picking one up for $99 if you commit to a two-year Xbox Live Gold subscription at a cost of $15 per month. Yep, you read that right. More than the current subscription. The deal may well cost less up front, but you will actually wind up spending more in the long run. If purchased separately at today's standard prices, the console and two-year Xbox Live subscription would cost $420. If purchased under this promotion, the deal's total cost at the end of the two years would come out to $460. The offer is currently available only at the 21 Microsoft Store retail locations in the US. There is also an early termination fee for those who want out of the contract, with the penalty starting at $250 in the first three months of the contract and scaling down to $12 in the 23rd month. Wondering where there are Microsoft stores? So were we. There's a handy list here.
So, what do you think? Is this the beginning of a new model for the way we're sold consoles? Do you think this means that we'll see the next generation subsidized by contracts like mobile phones? Let us know in the comments.
Quoted for Truth
BattyOnBench: "This is like buying a cell phone. Get a new phone for $0 and get f**ked on a 3 year contract."
BioShock Infinite Delayed Until February
BioShock Infinite will not ship this October as previously announced. Take-Two Interactive announced on Wednesday that Irrational Games' upcoming first-person shooter will now be released on February 26, 2013. In a statement, Irrational Games creative director Ken Levine explained that the extra development time will afford the studio an opportunity to pursue new game ideas. "When we announced the release date of BioShock Infinite in March, we felt pretty good about the timing," he said. "Since then, we've uncovered opportunities to make Infinite into something even more extraordinary. Therefore, to give our talented team the time they need to deliver the best Infinite possible, we've decided to move the game's release to February."
Quoted for Truth
Tripwolf: "Ugh. As long as they use this time to improve the single-player campaign and not something stupid like Multiplayer or Kinect Support. I guess I'm ok… *sobs*"'