IGN - All News
Saturday - July 26, 2014
IGN - Top 10 RPGs Of The Generation
IGN's Kimberley Wallace put together a list of the top ten RPGs of this generation. It even includes a few PC games from the console oriented site.
Today, we're taking a look at the best role-playing games of the last console generation. Developers got more creative during the cycle, attempting to take the genre in new directions by giving gamers more choices in gameplay and narrative. They created bigger worlds, and implemented unique battle systems. Western RPGs thrived on consoles, while Japanese RPGs struggled to find their place as development costs rose, causing those publishers to turn to handheld systems. Despite that transition, some console JRPGs still made an impact, proving they still have a place in the console market.
Coming up with a top 10 RPGs list was one of our biggest debates in the office. Everyone looks for different things when it comes to this style of game. Some prize the story, others prefer the exploration, and gameplay can make or break the experience. We also took various types of subgenres into account, including strategy/RPGs and action/RPGs. For the sake of diversity, we only included one game from each franchise. In our opinion, the following games are the cream of the crop. We're sure you have your own opinions, so be sure to discuss your favorites in the comments below.
Friday - May 09, 2014
IGN - Raphael Sbarge Interview
IGN interviewed Raphael Sbarge who voiced Kaidan in the Mass Effect trilogy, and talked about how BioWare changed his career.
Thursday - January 23, 2014
IGN - Paying to Play MMOs in 2014
IGN has a new article about MMOs that talks about subscriptions in 2014. I suspect this has to do with the upcoming Elder Scrolls Online game.
If 2012 was the year the sub fee appeared to be in serious trouble amid a swath of free-to-play conversions, then 2013 was the year developers dug their heels in and refused to abandon the model. Despite popular opinion and the apparent trends of the industry, bothand announced they will be launching with subscription fees; given the battering such an approach took in the previous 12 months, this is a clear declaration of intent by the industry. Despite assumptions the sub model was preparing to keel over, we could be about to see a resurgence in a business model that many were ready to write off.
The last year has seen powerful voices - including those of Bethesda, Carbine and Square Enix - all rally behind subscription fees, confirming we won’t see the back of the model this year, despite the hopes of many gamers. While Carbine at least is prepared to riff on the existing ideas and try something slightly new with its CREDD model, bothand Final Fantasy XIV doggedly refused to launch without sub fees even in the face of staunch criticism. So, why were they so bold?
Saturday - September 14, 2013
IGN - Star Wars Good vs. Evil
IGN has a new opinion article about all the Star Wars games that give you the ability to play as the Dark side, or Light Side young padawan.
At its core, Star Wars may be a fairly straightforward tale of good vs. evil – but rarely has an entertainment franchise made both sides seem so damn appealing. Luckily, some of the most impressive and memorable video games based on the series have used this strength to allow players some level of volition, whether it's narrative or progression options that lead the character down a certain path, choosing sides in battle, or even playing opposing campaign missions.
Let's take a look back at some of the Star Wars games that let you choose your allegiance in ways large and small.
Sunday - May 05, 2013
IGN - The Evolution of RPG Archetypes
IGN has an editorial explaining "The Evolution of RPG Archetypes".
Seems like every game is an RPG these days. At this point we fully expect the next chapter of Tetris to tout "RPG elements!" on the box. It's the cliché of our times. But saying something has been inspired by RPGs usually means more than "it has numbers and a skill tree." Just about anything with even a whiff of RPG about it can trace its roots back to Dungeons & Dragons, the tabletop adventure that debuted back in the '70s.
Perhaps the greatest contribution D&D made to gaming wasn't just the use of numbers and random rolls to determine success and strength, but rather the definition of, well, roles. D&D laid down the basis for the character archetypes that appear in nearly every modern game, especially anything that even vaguely resembles an RPG. And, as it turns out, just about everything breaks down to one of three character types: The warrior, the wizard, and the thief. Or to put it into proper D&D 1st Edition terms, the Fighter, the Magic-User, and the Rogue.
Monday - December 31, 2012
IGN - Storytelling that's Serialised - an editorial
IGN has an editorial about storytelling in games. It deals with the branching landscape of serialised narratives in games. One of their examples are the Mass Effect games:
Mass Effect was loudly criticised for its conclusion, which many felt didn't adequately or effectively live up to the potential of its branching narrative structure. Previously important plot threads and characters were short-changed in the final game, and previous choices had little bearing on the ultimate conclusion. But was Mass Effect a victim of its own hype and ambition, or are these shortcomings inherent to this style of serialised story-telling? Branching narratives mean that each subsequent game grows much more complex in terms of how the choices made by players influence the game. And the more choices players are able to make, the more attached they invariably become: it becomes their game, their story anchored by relationships they've formed.
What do you think about this?
Friday - December 14, 2012
IGN - The Future of PC Gaming
Not specifically RPG related but IGN talks to a number of developers about The Future of PC Gaming. The rise of F2P, moving to the living room, the marginalisation of boxed games, crowdfunding, technology leadership, community building, indies and more are canvassed:
However you choose to define ‘indie games’, and even if you prefer to ignore the distinction with ‘non-indie games’ there is no doubt that 2012 has seen a large number of great games written by very small teams, often funded and distributed outside the publisher model.
The PC has always been the natural home for the little guy with a big idea. Back in the day, indies could gain fame through the sharing of disks or rudimentary download sites. But titles like Minecraft and The Binding of Isaac have become so mainstream they’re now the focus of popular feature-documentaries like Indie Game: The Movie.
The demand for the interesting, quirky, original, strange and perplexing is getting bigger and bigger. As gaming as a whole expands, so does the audience that demands avant-garde, that wants more than that which large publishers can or wish to provide.The demand for the interesting, quirky, original, strange and perplexing is getting bigger and bigger. As gaming as a whole expands, so does the audience that demands avant-garde, that wants more than that which large publishers can or wish to provide.
Sunday - September 16, 2012
IGN - Top 100 RPGs of All Time
All week IGN has been putting up their Top 100 RPGs of All Time. The list is now complete but being all-platform and including MMOs, jRPGs and everything in between, it's sure to meet discussion. The top 5 are Final Fantasy IV, Pokemon Red/Blue, Baldur's Gate II, Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI at #1, just to give you a taste.
Sunday - May 27, 2012
IGN - The Big RPGs of 2012
IGN presents The Big Role-Playing Games of 2012, a sad list of jRPGs and MMOs. I hardly recognise a single title among them.
Thursday - January 26, 2012
IGN - The Best RPGs of 2012
Following on from their other recent lists, IGN has The Best Role-Playing Games of 2012 - at least, according to them. Mass Effect 3, Diablo III, Game of Thrones, Reckoning, South Park, Torchlight 2, several jRPGs and, my personal choice, Risen 2 make the list:
Quick quote: "Risen's transformation into a swashbuckling pirate adventure hints at a more accessible approach to role-playing than Gothic developer Piranha Bytes usually takes."
Wednesday - January 25, 2012
IGN - 20 Most Anticipated for 2012
IGN asks their editors to choose their most anticipated games for 2012, resulting in a list of 20 games across a variety of platforms. A handful of RPG / RPG-ish games made the cut, such as Reckoning:
Ryan Clements: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning launches on February 7th. Now only weeks away, this massive RPG shows more promise than most other games hitting the market this year. It glitters with loot and gold, it carries magnificent lore penned by R.A. Salvatore, and it hammers the player with battles steeped in strategy. There is no greater joy than exploring a new, fantastical world with a character of your creation, fateless and shrouded in magic.
Wednesday - January 11, 2012
IGN - Top 10 PC Games of 2012
IGN has their list of the Top 10 PC Games of 2012 featuring a number of RPG-ish games but none of what I'd call the "full" RPGs anticipated. Borderlands 2, XCOM, Mass Effect 3 and Diablo 3 make the cut:
Loot games are going to be a big deal in 2012, and Borderlands 2 is part of the reason why. Gearbox's shooter franchise blends the obsessive item hunting of Diablo with fast-paced first-person shooting. Every time you fire at enemies damage numbers explode then guns and equipment shower out of their corpses. You equip the gear, power up your character, then head into battle to do it all again, only more efficiently. Borderlands 2 will feature four character classes, including a dual-wielding Gunzerker and a reworked version of the Siren class from the first Borderlands. With a greater emphasis on story, humor and better co-operative play, chances are Borderlands 2 could wind up being one of the year's most entertaining experiences.
Thursday - December 15, 2011
IGN - Why RPGs Dominated 2011
I'm not sure Why Role-Playing Games Dominated 2011 actually proves the point made but it does give a summary of the year in AAA RPGs, with some good observations along the way:
Dragon Age II shared a lot of similarities, but didn't endure the transition to a streamlined gameplay style nearly as well. BioWare offered heaps of items but simultaneously deemphasized Item acquisition by locking out the ability to equip armor on your party outside of preset upgrades, and in the process destroyed the thrill of item discovery. It was like trying to pick something to wear to a wedding out of a closet with three nice suits and thousands of ragged t-shirts. Eventually the entire game felt like one long backtracking mission. There was plenty of decision points and a handful of memorable moments, but those couldn't allay my fear that Dragon Age II was a sign that big budget role-playing was becoming too diluted and concerned with mass appeal for its own good. I was even more concerned after playing the PC version of Fable III, a game too terrified of confusing players to do anything interesting. Then the Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings came out, and I felt stupid for worrying.
Wednesday - October 26, 2011
IGN - A History of RPGs @ IGN
IGN has penned a four page editorial about the history of RPGs, both Western and Japanese.
It seems to cover Zelda as well as some modern and semi-modern JRPGs, like Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger. Mass Effect also gets a short mention as does Ultima.
A snippet from the beginning:
It sure wasn't pretty in the beginning. The modern video-game RPG hardly resembles its ancestor, which was a poorly assembled mass of pixels attached to a hastily written fantasy adventure. The earliest RPGs took their cues from the pen-and-paper world of Dungeons & Dragons and crafted those game mechanics into rough but playable digital quests dominated by text scrawls. Most of these early titles, such as Ultima, Gateway to Apshai and Wizardry, were playable via personal computer or early consoles and adhered to a similar set of tenets.
Monday - June 20, 2011
IGN - Terrible Ideas from Great Developers
Terrible Ideas from Great Developers covers five game elements from otherwise very successful games - although IGN could have developed this idea a bit further themselves. Five issues are covered, with Oblivion's level scaling and Mass Effect 2's planet scanning falling into RPG domain:
Unlike other RPGs, the NPCs of Tamriel level up alongside the player, so that the same level of difficulty is retained throughout the game. That's the theory, at least. The extent to which you can customise your character in regards to certain skills – magical, physical or otherwise – is enormous, so unless you build your character in a particular way, you're pretty much screwed by the time you reach the later story quests. Want to spend your first ten levels building a speedy, stealth oriented character with the Thieves' Guild quests? That's great, but your almost non-existent weapon skills are going to make that scaled up Clannfear seem like God on steroids, and that's only the fourth story quest. Spend your time levelling your armour and sword skills however, and you'll breeze through.
Wednesday - June 01, 2011
IGN - Storytelling in Games, Part 2
IGN continues their Storytelling in Games roundtable:
IGN: What challenges are there in telling a story in a video game, where the viewer is an active participant?
BioWare - Casey Hudson, Executive Producer:
One principle that drives the evolution of our games is that in an interactive medium, every part of the experience should be interactive. Obviously that includes the story, and yet many games have a story that is completely non-interactive. You play the entire length of the game without being able to change or influence the events or the outcome of the story. To give players the freedom to shape the story, however, leads to some of the biggest challenges in game design. It requires the designers and writers to literally write a multidimensional story, considering the experience of multiple versions of the story arc as they develop each plot.
Tuesday - May 31, 2011
IGN - Storytelling in Games, Part 1
Storytelling in Games Part 1 is the first of an interview series at IGN with various developers discussing the topic. Each develop answers the same question, which for this part is "How has storytelling in video games matured over the last decade or so? Has it matured?":
BioWare - Casey Hudson, Executive Producer:
Storytelling in video games has definitely matured a lot in the last decade. One way to look at the maturity of a medium is to look at how well the content makes use of the unique aspects of the experience. Just like early movies had not yet developed the sophisticated language of cinematic storytelling, early games had neither the features nor the content to really weave the emotional impact of great storytelling with the interactivity of the medium. And with games, interactivity is the core of the experience. The best contemporary videogames are doing really interesting things to bring storytelling subtleties and emotion into the interactivity.
Tuesday - December 14, 2010
IGN - Best of 2010 Awards
IGN has their Best of 2010 Awards, with accolades for the different platforms and various categories. Mass Effect 2 wins pretty much everything other than Best PC Game of the Year (Starcraft 2), with nods for Best Story, Most Innovative Gameplay (?), Best Character, Best Visuals, Best Soundtrack and Best SciFi game. Fallout: New Vegas picked up Best Bang for Buck and DeathSpank, Funniest Game.
I haven't looked through the other platforms and you can also vote in each category for the Readers' Choice awards.
Friday - April 16, 2010
IGN - Are Franchises Killing Gaming?
Whilst I think the immediate answer to Are Franchises Killing Gaming? is "yes", who doesn't anticipate a sequel to a favourite game? IGN looks at the situation without coming to much of a conclusion:
Why take a risk on a new concept when it's easier (and potentially more profitable) to rest of an established brand, concept or character? This attitude is so all-consuming and pervasive right now that it rings with clockwork predictability. More and more often, we're hearing about developers opting to create franchises rather than standalone releases; we saw it happen with Mass Effect and Gears of War – to great success.
However, the assumption that the game warrants a trilogy is a flawed and dangerous one. You need only look at what happened to Silicon Knights' sci-fi / mythology trilogy-that-isn't, 'Too Human' - a title that, after dismal critical response and mediocre sales, would likely be far too risky a proposition to continue the franchise. So too with SEGA's 'Shenmue'; titles like these hold too much back from the story, structure and gameplay in order to provide compelling content across three games, rather than simply nailing an outstanding first game and letting the market decide if it wants a sequel.
Tuesday - January 26, 2010
IGN - Developer Roundtable: Last Decade in Gaming
IGN gathered a number of developers to a roundtable talk about the past decade of video gaming has been. They've talked to Borderland's Randy Pitchford and World of Warcraft's Jay Allen Brack and a few others as well.
Here's a snip from the interview where Jay Allen talks about his favorite system of the decade:
J. Allen Brack (Production for Director for World of Warcraft, Blizzard): Well, I am a big fan of PC. I was raised on PC gaming. I've always been a console fan - I've had consoles and I have consoles right now, but I really appreciate the flexibility that the PC has; I really appreciate the power that the PC has over a lot of the consoles, and of course I think that for many games and many types of games the keyboard and mouse is a superior control mechanism...
Saturday - January 09, 2010
IGN - Why PC?
PC.IGN has a surprisingly good editorial called Why PC? that argues carrying over the same mass-market mentality publishers often apply to console games to PC development, doesn't serve the strengths of the platform and - ultimately - might be less profitable because niches that could thrive are ignored or watered down:
The difference between the console and PC markets is kind of like the difference between network and cable TV. NCIS and Dancing with the Stars will always have more mass appeal than Iron Chef or SpongeBob simply because they're designed and positioned to attract a larger demographic. But the specific appeal of the cable show is in finding a smaller niche or an underserved segment of the market and delivering the content they're not able to get from the major networks. The mass-market games like Madden or Street Fighter or Mario are a great fit for the consoles, but I don't think that the most profitable future for PC games is in trying to adopt that same mentality. To the extent that the PC catalog reflects this thinking, it fails to serve the individual gamers who want their war games, racing sims, or sports management titles to have a depth of detail that only the most hardcore can appreciate.
Thursday - December 17, 2009
IGN - PC Game Of The Year
IGN has released their picks for the best PC games around for 2009.
Borderlands recieved the Best Shooter award.
Fallout 3 - Broken Steel won for Best Expansion.
The other nominees for Best Role-Playing Game award were Torchlight and Risen.
For the Best Story the nominees were Batman Arkham: Asylum and Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition.
Dragon Age was up against Batman Arkham: Asylum, Braid, Empire: Total War and Left 4 Dead 2 for the Game of the Year award.
Wednesday - December 16, 2009
IGN - The Year in Violence
IGN looks back at the year's most violent games and, not surprisingly, Dragon Age gets a spot. The write-up is only one paragraph for each title, so here's the whole thing:
Here be viscera.
BioWare is in the fantasy business. And in the medieval-style role-playing game Dragon Age, the developer provided gamers ample opportunity to indulge themselves. Want to train a killer dog? Here you go. Want to wield swords and slay beasts? Done. But these are mere pencil-and-paper choices that have become common RPG fare. BioWare went past that artifice of violence, choosing to give players direct feedback for their behavior by splattering their characters with gallons of blood. In most modern western RPGs, the character creation is a sacred ritual in which gamers carefully craft their avatar's background, appearance and dress. But the resulting character is seldom put into context. In Dragon Age, if you've just fought a battle and stroll into town to chat with the locals, the conversation scene will show your elves and wizards drenched in the blood they've just shed. Designed to be both a thrilling symbol of victory and a reminder of your brutaity, it fails at both. In the end, it comes across as little more than gallows humor.
Thursday - October 29, 2009
IGN - PC Gaming in 2010
Yes, another list. IGN presents PC Gaming in 2010: Ten to Watch. No genuine RPGs make the compilation but two RPG-ish sequels get the opening spots: King's Bounty Armoured Princess and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call to Pripyat.
Saturday - August 29, 2009
IGN - RPG Cheers and Tears
IGN has assembled an arbitrary list of RPG "cheers" and "tears" in this article. Oblivion, Fable, Fallout 3 and Freedom Force vs The 3rd Reich get the thumbs up, while Pompolic: Call for Heroes, The Chosen, Dawn of Magic, Dungeon Lords and Gothic 3 get the tears:
Is it fun? No. Is it polished? No. Is it even finished? No. When the most fun you can have with a game is setting the box on fire and flinging it at your co-workers, you really know that you've wasted your money. There's no drama, no charm, and not even any furniture inside the buildings. It's almost like the developers left the game unlocked overnight and a bunch of thieves came in and stole all the art and physics. Combat is a joke with terrible animations and improbable creature spawns and there are even features listed in the game manual that are nowhere in the game itself. This one is a huge mess right from the beginning.
Sunday - June 14, 2009
IGN - Best of E3
IGN has kicked up their Best of E3 thingy, with Mass Effect 2 winning the Best RPG. Alpha Protocol made a brave showing at #2 and then we have Dragon Age, Final Fantasy XIII and White Knight Chronicles.
Friday - May 29, 2009
IGN - It's How You Say It, Part 2
Part 2 of IGN AU's surprisingly good article on RPG dialogue is online. This time they look at some upcoming titles and offer their own idea for a new dialogue approach. Not so keen on these but at least they are thinking about it:
This idea for an RPG dialogue system is difficult to describe, but here we go. Imagine that each cut scene or conversation interaction took place without any actual input from the player apart from agreeing or disagreeing with what your avatar is doing/saying. So, if we imagine the game being played on an Xbox 360 console, the A button could represent Agree and the B button could represent Disagree.
This system works a little bit like the Political Debate Worm – you know, where each member of the audience has a buzzer and they press it when they like or dislike what's being said. The worm moves up or down depending on consensus. Well, our imaginary conversation system works a little bit like the worm. At several points during the beginning of the game, the main character may try some morally dubious approaches. If you agree with this and would like to see him continue down that path, you'd obviously be hitting the A button while the scene is playing (or holding it to strongly agree). If you don't want your avatar to be evil, you'd tap or hold down B to show that you disagree with that path. Over several conversation interactions, the system would presumably reach a moral stance that suits the player. Further complexity could perhaps be introduced in the form of real-time Agree/Disagree actions – such as dictating whether or not the avatar kills a character.
Thursday - May 28, 2009
IGN - It's How You Say It, Part 1
I'm surprised to find this at IGN...It's How You Say It posits the RPG genre has failed to innovate dialogue and then looks at several large titles such as Fable II, Oblivion, Mass Effect and Rise of the Argonauts. Here's the intro:
Amidst this marketing cyclone, one genre seems to be falling behind the pack when it comes to examining its own, some would say stale, conventions. The RPG, whilst arguably the most complex of game types, seems rather content to mosey along, repeating itself ad nauseam, with few serious attempts to change – or at the very least examine – its most important gameplay element. We are, of course, referring to conversation, or more specifically conversation interfaces.
Wednesday - January 21, 2009
IGN - 10 Trends That Are Destroying Videogames
Yep, another list. This one does make some good points, though. IGN AU's Ten Trends That Are Destroying Videogames points the finger at dud writing, sequelitis the promise of future patches and DLC and more. Here's a bit on Too Human and Mass Effect being a little arrogant:
Lesson learned: there are few things as needlessly arrogant as announcing a trilogy before the first game is out the door. Too Human, Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect, Gears of War and Half-Life 2 Episodes, we're looking straight at you. Speaking frankly, look – there's nothing wrong with ambition. You want to make an epic, sprawling universe? That's totally fine. But start with getting the first game right and then let the market decide if it actually wants a sequel, let alone a trilogy. If your team is stuck under the thumb of three games in a row, you're looking at potentially between five and ten years of development time – which means you might be spanning two console generations – or more.
Wednesday - November 26, 2008
IGN - Obsessive Gaming Not Necessarily An Addiction
IGN posts an article dealing with a new examination of obsessive gaming by Keith Bakker, founder of the Smith & Jones Centre, an Amsterdam-based clinic that treats addictions of many types. The conclusion he comes to is that the problem is a social rather than a psychological one:
"These kids come in showing some kind of symptoms that are similar to other addictions and chemical dependencies," Bakker told BBC News; however, he noted that the problem wasn't really an addiction and that the issue could be solved through positive social interactions. "The more we work with these kids the less I believe we can call this addiction. What many of these kids need is their parents and their school teachers; this is a social problem."
"This gaming problem is a result of the society we live in today," Bakker said, adding, "Eighty percent of the young people we see have been bullied at school and feel isolated. Many of the symptoms they have can be solved by going back to good old fashioned communication."
The article also examines the idea that violence in real life is tied to playing video games:
[One gamer named George]...used Call of Duty 4 as a cathartic release. "I was aware that I played too much but I didn't know what to do. But it helped me because I could be aggressive and get my anger and frustration out online."
This hostile behavior has lead many to believe that videogames also spur real-life crimes. Anti-videogame activists have linked 1999's Columbine shootings to violent videogame addiction... However, the Smith & Jones Centre says that acts of anger and aggressions often exist before the desire to play violent videogames.
A solution to the problem, Bakker proposes, is for parents and caretakers to spend more time listening to what children have to say.
Wednesday - June 25, 2008
IGN - PC Games of Summer
IGN has a 3 page list of games coming out this summer for the PC, and it includes several we cover, like NWN2:Mysteries of Westgate, Space Siege, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky, and The Witcher's Enhanced Edition.
Here's the blurb for The Witcher EE:
The Witcher was a hit when it released last year, and unfortunately represents something of a rarity in PC games today as it's a single-player role-playing game. We miss you, 1990s. Oh well. Though it did offer an interesting plot, tons of quests, plenty of options for customization and an entertaining combat system, it was a little rough around the edges. Its inventories were messy, loading times obscenely long, and NPC interactions a little awkward. Thankfully CD Projekt RED didn't sit back, instead announcing they'll be releasing a new version that addresses many of the complaints from the first.
Saturday - June 14, 2008
IGN - 2008 E3 List
IGN has started their E3 coverage with some general info and a list of confirmed games including Fallout 3, Rise of the Argonauts, Fable 2, Puzzle Quest:Galactrix and a slew of others to be featured there:
The always-popular Electronic Entertainment Expo has returned to its roots this year, with the annual game show moving back to the Los Angeles Convention Center after a solo season on the sunny beaches of Santa Monica. Kicking off on July 14 and running through July 17, E3 2008 showcases several of the year's biggest software titles from the industry's biggest publishers.
Source: Voodoo Extreme
Saturday - January 19, 2008
IGN - PC Previews 2008
Since the steam is leaking out of the Best of 2007 coverage, a lot of the larger gaming sites are doing previews of this year's upcoming games, including IGN. This one includes all genres, but the link is to the Role Playing category, which covers three games: Bethsoft's Fallout 3, Codemasters' Rise of the Argonauts, and Gas Powered Games' Space Seige. The descriptions are pretty generic and too brief to merit a quote, but the article ends with some predictions that might be worth a look:
Foreign Developers Dominate US PC Market
Over the last ten years we've seen more and more foreign developers gain a real presence here in the US gaming market.... As the talent pool expands around the world, we're seeing more and more foreign PC games scoring huge successes in the US market.
Given that so many of the top tier PC developers here in the United States are moving towards the console as their lead (and sometimes only) platform for development, that leaves lots of room for the less-console focused developers in the rest of the world a chance to step in and pick up the slack..
PC Games Disappear from Shelves
Okay, maybe we're overstating this one just a little but, but digital distribution is here to stay and it's going to have a significant impact on the presence of PC games in traditional enthusiast shops. We've already seen the shelf space for PC games shrink substantially over the last few years and the success of services like Steam and Direct2Drive are going to make traditional retail boxes a bit of anachronism. There are still some old-timers who are attached to the quaint notion of actually wanting a physical product in their hands in exchange for their fifty bucks, but they're becoming a rare breed indeed.
...When you factor in the costs of producing packaging, shipping and paying for retail space and promotion and balance that against the costs of handling that same transaction over the internet, it's easy to see why so many publishers, both large and small, are relying primarily on digital distribution these days.
Fallout 3 Pushed to Early 2009
...Bethesda has a proven track record of delaying games past their originally announced released dates, the most recent example being The Elder Scrolls IV being pushed from 2005 to March of 2006. It happened with Morrowind too, moving from a late 2001 window to May of 2002. We're certainly hopeful it doesn't happen with Fallout 3 because, well, we're very much looking forward to playing another Fallout game, even if it's a far cry from the hex-based original. Please prove us wrong, Bethesda.
Saturday - January 12, 2008
IGN - Best of 2007 Awards
Another one of the big gaming sites posts it's selection of the best games of 2007, along with the results of it's Reader's Choice polls. Focusing on the PC platform, there aren't many surprises. Bioshock wins Game of The Year in both categories, as does The Witcher for RPG of the Year with Jade Empire:Special Edition coming in second. The Witcher also wins for Best Original Score.
The Best Story award goes to Bioshock, with Half-Life2 and The Witcher listed as runners-up. For the XBox 360, Best RPG is won by Mass Effect, with the Oblivion:Shivering Isles expansion and Eternal Sonata as runners-up.
The full lineup of awards for all platforms is available here.
Wednesday - November 28, 2007
IGN - Top 100 Games
IGN has kicked up a minisite with a huge Top 100 Games feature. Examples of included games are Ultima VII: The Black Gate at No. 93, World of Warcraft at No. 83, Planescape: Torment at No. 71...well, you get the idea. Fallout is the highest placed CRPG so far, with the last 30 or so titles yet to come.
The article covers all genres and platforms, including arcade machines.
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Thursday - October 25, 2007
IGN - RPG Cliches That Need to Die
Not an original idea but it's worth revisiting - IGN (and even they have done this particular thing before) have a humorous article titled RPG Cliches That Need to Die:
Though I am but a simple pig farmer, it appears that I have the potential to become the most powerful hero the world has ever known. Don't let my youth and inexperience fool you; my destiny will carry me to far greater heights than my lowly origins might suggest. At least that's what the mysterious stranger who has only just now dropped into my life is saying. The timing is perfect too; it seems that the world is currently being confronted with a cataclysmic danger that only I can prevent. While it seems odd that I should suddenly be hailed as "The Chosen One," I can only assume that my potential has merely gone unnoticed until now. Perhaps I am suffering from amnesia. Perhaps I have been adopted. That no one seemed to expect much of me will make it all the sweeter when I get to rub my newfound fame in their stupid faces.
Wednesday - February 21, 2007
IGN - Sword of the New World Impressions
IGN has some impressions of Sword of the New World, which comes from the developers of Ragnarok Online:
Sifting through the MMO market can be a tricky business considering the similarity of so many titles out there. One of those that has struck our attention is from the creators of Ragnarok Online called Sword of the New World, which puts players in control of characters that have come from afar to help colonize and explore a newly discovered world. Characters and architecture are based off of 17th century design and create a very surprising mix of style next to some of the monsters and creatures found throughout the world.
Sunday - February 04, 2007
IGN - Missing in Action - Lost PC Games
IGN has a feature titled Missing in Action: The Lost Games of PC. While "Whatever happened to..." articles are nothing new, this one is an odd implementation that includes games that are obviously "missing" (Diablo 3), games we know are in development (Fallout 3) and games we know were canceled long ago (Ultima X: Odyssey).
Tuesday - January 23, 2007
IGN - Editors' Most Anticipated of 2007
IGN has kicked up a feature titled Editors' Most Anticipated PC Games of 2007, with three different editors nominating 10 projects. Several games we cover were mentioned, including The Witcher, Bioshock, a couple of MMOGs and Dragon Age:
We've been waiting to see this one for so long that we're nauseous with hunger. BioWare is finally building a game for the PC again and the consoles can't have it! Considering the games these guys have put out recently, it's hard not to be at least a little hyped up about wandering a new fictional universe that has been in the works for years. There's a lot still to find out about this game, but we've been told BioWare is hoping it will be out in 2007 so it's on our list.
Wednesday - January 17, 2007
IGN - Games of 2007