I just had to reuse one of those gorgeous shots from Far Cry 3. Look how pretty that game looks. And that island. If it wasn't infested with sharks, tigers and thugs, I'd definitely want to go visit.
Moving on to our Best Of content this week, we kick things off as usual with a comment from the community.
Our favorite comment of this week comes to you from OddDino:
Something I love about Link is the way the character design has been largely unchanged since the first game, meaning the fans of the franchise have come to associate that design with everything Link stands for.
Link, despite his limitations, is a surprisingly diverse character.
Each game tends to have Link expressing himself in a different way and showing slight alterations on his core traits, especially in the newer games.
In a lot of the earlier games Link had a childish dismissal of the severity of the situation he was in, with elements of the story that could be really dark and sinister not really phasing him.
Twilight Princess had a much more tortured link, giving him a lot more reasons to fight out of anger and to protect his loved ones, with a number of scenes showing people he cared about being directly put in danger.
Skyward Sword in my opinion had by far the most well characterised Link, as the story started out with him and Zelda already in the middle of a very strongly developed relationship.
The characters around would comment on Link's lifestyle and constantly point out how impressed they were by the ways he had grown during his search for Zelda.
At multiple points you come face to face with Zelda only to be separated each time, but at each of these moments the reason for the separation was different.
At first Link is denied access to Zelda because he has not matured enough to be with her again, the second time he lets her go in order to protect her, the third time he accepts that Zelda has a job more important than reuniting with him, and so he lets her go.
Each time Link's motivations change slightly, each time his purpose is to be with Zelda again, but as the game progresses he accepts more and more responsibility and realises there is more at stake than just there relationship.
Jason Schreier rounds up more stories from YouTubers. More »
Patricia Hernandez contemplates the benefits and drawbacks of evolving technology. More »
Tina Amini points out a bad habit of video game box art that don't feature protagonists properly holding their weapons. More »
Kirk Hamilton previews the newest Tomb Raider and comes away with a ton of information. More »
Jason finds a lot of new and exciting things to discover in this latest DLC. More »
Kirk rounds up a bunch of tips to help you get going in Far Cry 3. More »
Alex Hutchinson and Matt Turner answered your questions live. More »
Patricia explains why she doesn't like the unlock system in first-person shooters. More »
Jason finds quite a lot to explore in Skyrim's new DLC. More »
Stephen Totilo tells us the story of how Guitar Hero 7 was canned. More »
Luke Plunkett wants a video game that doesn't pit you as an all-powerful soldier. More »
Chris Person reminisces about LSD: Dream Emulator. More »
Michael Peck explains why David Petraeus could never appear in a strategy game. More »
Luke puts together a bunch of screenshots that look way better than the games they're associated with do. More »
Stephen pretty much liveblogs his preview experience with BioShock Infinite. More »
Brian Ashcraft doesn't want to see this sort of drip-fed, hyped-up information anymore. More »
Evan Narcisse gives us proof of how games have grown up this year. More »
But here's a surprise: the series' creator, From Software's Hidetaka Miyazaki, will serve only as a supervisor on the sequel, while the game will actually be directed by From's Tomohiro Shibuya. His comments about the game don't shed a whole lot of light on the sequel, other than to indicate that the new title will be faithful to the older ones but also introduce new things (as expected, of course): "This new chapter in the Dark Souls saga presents opportunities for us to drive innovation in gameplay design, develop an entirely new story, and expand the scope of the world in which the player interacts with the game. We have taken these necessary steps with Dark Souls II in order to evolve the overall experience of the Dark Souls series... the entire development team is striving to make Dark Souls II an experience that is fresh while not forsaking its roots in presenting players with challenging gameplay. Our goal is to surprise and delight our fans with new experiences and plot twists while enticing new players to join our dark journey."
According to the game's publisher, the new game "will feature a new hero, a new storyline, and an unfamiliar world for players to survive in while delivering its signature brand of unrelenting punishment that players hunger for."
It seems that multiplayer is going to be tweaked as well. Demon's Souls and Dark Souls had an unusual multiplayer system that allowed users to do everything from leaving quest hints for each other to invading each other's games. So what to make of this bit from the press release about Dark Souls II ? "Players seeking to share their experience will discover a revamped server-based multiplayer mode that will put a distinct Dark Souls II twist on the concept of playing with others."
The game's publisher, Namco, is promising a game full of "unrelenting challenge."
Dark Souls II is slated for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. No timeframe given, though anything sooner than late 2013 would be a shock. No mention of Wii U or next-gen platforms. Hmmm.
Watch the trailer for the new game here.
Kotaku editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo is out in L.A. for the Spike Video Game Awards. And he's dug up some evidence that appears to support the theory that the mysterious Phantom Pain game is in fact another Metal Gear title.
— See the trailer here —
The moody trailer for The Phantom Pain took everyone by surprised when it aired on Friday night and theories immediately started spinning about what it could portend. Upon seeing the logo, Totilo spoke to the gentleman pictured below about the shirt he was wearing. This conversation happened at a Konami party. Moreover, the mystery man said that he designed the shirts for the Moby Dick dev outfit. When Totilo replied by saying that Moby Dick wasn't a real studio, Shirt Guy just laughed.
Konami, of course, publishes the Metal Gear games and this man's presence at a Konami fete could mean that the Phantom Pain trailer could be teasing Ground Zeroes or even Metal Gear Solid 5. Consider, too, these images sent in by tipster Nil Zero. The theory here is that a Metal Gear Solid V logo is lurking in plain sight. Active camo, anyone?
According to Totilo, no one affiliated with Konami is talking. But, then again, maybe they don't need to.
The conspiracy theorists at NeoGAF are rounding up hints that further support the Metal Gear Solid V theory. Check out the thread—and the animated GIF below—there.
Here's a preview of an upcoming Minecraft update, showcasing fireworks, enchanted books and nether brick slabs.
And, in case the you're interested in the fireworks, here's a closer look at how they work and how you'll be making them. Creeper-shaped fireworks? Neat.
EDIT: The fireworks update "will be out before Christmas, and 1.5 will wait until January (or possibly February)," according to Mojang.
At the 2012 Video Game Awards, Ken Levine of Irrational Games previewed the latest trailer from BioShock Infinite, which is now releasing on March 26. This appears to be entirely in-game footage, with 75 seconds of that being straight gameplay and not cinematics.
The Spartan Ops episodic missions for Halo 4 have provided a whole other narrative experience for players of the Xbox 360 exclusive. The weekly UNSC vs Covenant drama will continue in January. Here's a teaser of what's coming.
Skip ahead to 6:33 for the trailer:
The key takeaway to this prequel to Epic Games' sci-fi shooter series is the idea that the humans of Sera thought they could win a fight against the Locust. You've got Delta Squad's Baird and Cole front and center as the Slugs start to break through the surface. Giant subterranean lifeforms? Check. Cover combat. Check. A sense of scale bigger thane we've seen in previous Gears games? It's got that, too. Look for Gears of War: Judgment to hit next March.
Skip to 7:57 in the below video for the trailer:
The Phantom Pain was a world premiere trailer out of left field—not only is that a new series, it's a new studio. Well, to most folks, anyway. Ever heard of Moby Dick Studio? Me either.
[Update] It's Kojima.
[Update] Yeah, we hear you. "Joakim" is a rearranged spelling of "Kojima." All sorts of things point to this being some kind of a surprise reveal for a Metal Gear Solid game. Fine. Here's how this outfit describes itself on its own page.
Moby Dick Studio is a game developing company operating out of Stockholm, Sweden. Moby Dick Studio was founded by CEO Joakim Mogren who after years of working for a major American developer brought together people out of various game studios from around the Scandinavian area to start something new.
Our goal is to deliver an uncompromising, exciting and touching game experience to people all around the globe.
We will shortly be disclosing information regarding our first major release.
That's the only page with anything on it. Tabs for an image gallery and studio are coming soon.
And, all the chatter backstage at the VGAs seems to hint strongly that this is a teaser for the next Metal Gear game.
Moby Dick Studio [Official Site]