The next Assassin’s Creed game now has a teaser.


Unity, the code-name of the next title of the Assassin’s Creed series, has just received a sneak peek video. It’s supposedly alpha footage (which it very well may be), but it seems too good to be true given the graphics of Assassin’s Creed IV. Then again, this title will not be hindered by the XBox 360 or PS3. Ubisoft has so far been planning to release two titles holiday 2015; one for last-gen consoles and this one for next-gen.

The series itself is getting a bit stagnant. The weakest part of Assassin’s Creed IV is the actual assassin bits; I really just wanted to play a pirate game with decent graphics, and, if the meta-commentary of the game is to be believed, the developers just wanted to develop a pirate game too. The French Revolution setting should be interesting, but the gameplay needs to advance a bit. A difference in the parkour, better swordfighting, or at least more assassination options (poisoning food?) would help.

We’ll know by this Christmas how the game fairs. In the meantime, I can only hope Ubisoft doesn’t screw up Watch Dogs.

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Is Diablo 3 fixed?


With the closure of the Real Money Auction House (alongside the in-game gold auction house), there has been talk on whether or not the issues with Diablo 3 have been fixed. They haven’t been. At least not completely, and I don’t think they ever can be truly wiped from the game without making another title.

The flaws themselves differ from player to player, and like anything referring to games it’s debatable. The disconnects, faulty server connection, loot that would pale in comparison to the auction house, and sub-par writing plagued the launch. Most of that has been fixed, and if you’re a fan of Chris Metzen that last bit has never been an issue. What hasn’t been fixed is what can’t be fixed.

The skill runes over a traditional or intricate RPG set up to make an unique character is the biggest issue. Diablo 2 punished you for not allocating your skills correctly; a simple respec via quest or vendor would’ve answered this. Instead we get a decent handful of skills/spells, along with runes, to cater to specific play styles when combined. This is either an advancement or a disgrace; there is Path of Exile, Torchlight 2, or even Borderlands 2 for us that dissent.

The other major issue is lack of LAN play combined with always having to be online. It’s in part to hurt pirates and spoofing items, but it mainly affects those of us who don’t always have a stable connection. It also makes hardcore characters extremely painful when you’re dealing with a faulty modem or router. The answer is simple: include off-line play (and please LAN play), but disable achievements when a connection to the server is not available.

The last bit is the story. The voice acting, characters, and the multiple settings don’t quite capture the eerie Diablo feel of previous games. Everything reminds me of World of Warcraft. Gameplay is always more important than story (we’re not playing a visual novel or adventure game), but here Blizzard dropped the ball. The Butcher is re-hashed for no other reason but nostalgia. Belial and Azmodan just sit back like cartoon villains. The writing is grandiose, epic, without any sense of gravitas.

Yet, I can’t stop my self from putting in 10-15 minutes a day while deciding what multiplayer game to play with 2-5 friends. I’ve spent enough of the day browsing the internet, and I want something I can quit. And, just like World of Warcraft, it gives me that hollow dopamine fix. Plus, it let’s a certain family member know that their gift wasn’t completely in vain. Otherwise, it’s not worth your $20.

John Carmack’s Quakecon 2013 Keynote


John Carmack talks for two plus hours in this keynote from the recent Quakecon. Everything from the console market, game publishing, and the advent of motion controllers are covered. Be prepared to actually listen to a programmer discuss gaming and not a CEO or marketing representative.

There are some gem comments throughout the keynote; “I used to give Apple a lot of grief about the one button mouse when anybody working with a mouse really wants- more buttons are helpful there. And Kinect is sort of like a zero button mouse with a lot of latency on it.”

Carmack himself is one of the co-founders of id Software, known for developing graphics engines and technology, and a rocket scientist in his spare time.

Microsoft Has No Idea What They’re Doing


This is supposed to be a commercial for the Microsoft Surface Pro. If you’ve been to a movie theater in the past few months, chances are you’ve seen this dance routine accompanied by a short detailing how the commercial was made. I still have no idea what the tablet can do.

Compare this to their direct competitors in this area: Apple.

Apple details exactly what their devices capabilities are. The strengths of the iPad 4 are clearly stated, and the commercial reads more like a press release straight to their customers. Even their 30-60 second commercials are more direct and straight to the point. Microsoft just misses the point.

It’s no different in the console realm at the moment. Iwata and Reggie point out everything about the WiiU and 3DS through Nintendo Direct. It may as well be a press conference, but every one is receiving the same data at the same time.

Although Nintendo isn’t Microsoft’s main competitor; Sony is. The confusion over how shared games would work is a huge point. The XBox One was going to have the future of sharing entire game libraries with up to ten people; the confusion was whether or not this would be an hour demo or the complete game. Sony released a commercial overnight mocking this:

Microsoft has no clear idea what they’re doing any more. They backtracked on a good portion of the XBox One’s “features” due to bad press, but the public didn’t even know what those features fully entailed. There was no option to opt out of them either to limit accessibility.

For example: when you use an iOS device the terms and conditions state that you should be syncing to a computer to receive full functionality (as far as backing up your information goes). All Microsoft needed was a console that’d let you play offline for longer than 24 hours; maybe, as a repercussion, achievements wouldn’t work or you’d be unable to share games to your ten people. Instead, consumers initially received: “If you don’t have an always online connection, there’s still XBox 360.” Then there was the full backpedal of all of the restrictions.

It doesn’t help that the backpedal was after E3. Microsoft really needs to come together with a unifying vision for their company and actually sell their products.

DuckTales: Remastered adds PC to it’s list of platforms


A Capcom-Unity post has confirmed PC for receiving the DuckTales HD remake. The release post details the $14.99 price, and the game’s release to almost all digital platforms (that double as slight DRM): Steam, Origin, Impulse, GamersGate, and Green Man Gaming. Good Old Games is noticeably vacant. The game will still be cracked in a few days, if not hours, upon release.

DuckTales: Remastered is set to be released by Q3 2013 on PS3, XBox 360, WiiU, and now PC.

Sonic Lost World Debut Trailer


The WiiU exclusive, Sonic Lost World, doesn’t look terrible. Sonic Generations was a breath of fresh air for the series, and hopefully Sega has learned their lesson from the problems from making Sonic either rescue a human princess, wield a sword, or become a werewolf. The actual gameplay bits in the trailer reveal level design mimicking that of Super Mario Galaxy.

It’s not a reason to buy a WiiU, but it would be something to play while waiting for the next Super Smash Brothers iteration. Sonic Lost World is currently expected to be released late 2013.

Sony posts first annual profits since 2008


It only wants to eat games like the XBox 360.

It’s like it literally eats money.

The New York Times has reported that Sony has finally made a profit. Sony has made an annual profit of $435 million USD, or 43 billion Yen. This doesn’t even begin to recoup losses the year earlier: 456.7 billion Yen. It’s rather tragic for the company that has been slowly declining in electronics sales. Samsung overtook the Bravia in sales, Nintendo sold more hardware in the handheld market (and the Wii prints money), and the Walkman brand might as well be dead if it isn’t already.

Still, this marks hope for the company. The Playstation 4 should have it’s debut soon, and hopefully the company won’t have to sell it at too big of a loss. The success of it could build the company back up or very well break it. The PSVita isn’t overtaking tablet, phone, or 3DS sales any time soon.