GTA 5 screens show drive-by, fine automobiles

GTA 5 screens show drive-by, fine automobiles

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The GTA 5 updates are coming fast and loose now, with a new set of screenshots fresh from Rockstar for your perusal above. The screens give us a better look at the new vistas, motorbikes, and high-end autos of Los Santos.

Franklin sports his Grove Street Families colors as he guns down some purple-clad Ballas in one of the images–maybe his storyline will evoke GTA: San Andreas’ turf warfare system? If you want some more thorough image-based conjecture, check out the last round of GTA 5 screenshots analyzed and explained, or our latest preview.

By Connor Sheridan

Square Enix layoffs spread to Europe



Square Enix Europe is to cut an unspecified number of jobs as part of recently announced restructuring plans, with staff in the UK confirmed to be among those affected by the decision.

The publisher said in a statement issued to MCV: “We are reviewing our business in Europe to ensure we have the right structure, content and skills for the changing entertainment landscape. We do expect changes to the UK office, which will affect personnel. We will update you when the time is right, but our priority right now is for the people within the business.”

Square Enix cut multiple jobs at its Los Angeles office last month “as part of the corporate restructuring” announced at the end of March. At the same time, the Japanese publisher confirmed that president Yoichi Wada is to resign in June following a tough financial year in which results were hit by weaker than expected US and European sales of big-budget western games like Tomb Raider and Hitman: Absolution.

By Tom Ivan

Gaming league’s client forced PCs to mine Bitcoins



The client program was made to connect ESEA’s more than 500,000 members–and to make sure nobody cheated. It wasn’t supposed to use the members of the gaming league’s processors and graphics cards to mine Bitcoins, but it did that too.

From April 13 until today, ESEA co-founder Craig “Torbull” Levine says, an unscupulous employee used supposedly inactive code to mine Bitcoins–a form of distributed computing which sustains the electronic currency’s transactions, and is in turn rewarded with it.

“What transpired the past two weeks is a case of an employee acting on his own and without authorization to access our community through our company’s resources,” Levine wrote on an ESEA news post. “We are extremely disappointed and concerned by the unauthorized actions of this unauthorized individual. As of this morning, ESEA has made sure that all Bitcoin mining has stopped. ESEA is also in the process of taking all necessary steps internally to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.”

The unauthorized code was deactivated and removed after an outraged user discovered an oddly strenuous load on his graphics card, and posted his or her conclusions to the ESEA’s forum.

Levine says the total value mined equals $3,713.55. The league plans to increase its next tournament’s prize pot by the same amount, and give double that to the American Cancer Society. It’s also inviting any who suspect their hardware was damaged by the strain to file a support ticket.

Why was the code there to begin with? Levine says it was an experimental user option, and only ever activated on two consenting administrators’ accounts. They decided it was “not worth the potential drama” to pursue any further after initial tests.

For more, check out the coverage from our friends at PC Gamer.

By Connor Sheridan

Splinter Cell Blacklist Spies vs. Mercs reveal trailer

Ubisoft has released the debut trailer for Splinter Cell Blacklist’s multiplayer offering, showing off the latest update to the fan favourite Spies vs. Mercs mode. It sees the stealthy, agile and deadly-in-the-shadows spies tasked with hacking data, while the heavily armoured, powerful and lethal-in-the-light mercs attempt to protect it.

Ubisoft recently announced a Wii U version of Splinter Cell Blacklist. It will launch on the previously revealed Xbox 360, PS3 and PC Splinter Cell Blacklist release date of August 20 in the US, August 22 in Europe and August 23 in the UK. We played through the early levels of Sam Fisher’s upcoming outing in January. Get our impressions in this Splinter Cell Blacklist preview.

By Tom Ivan

Wii U rumour: 3D Mario releasing by October



Nintendo plans to launch a new 3D Mario game for Wii U by October, according to CVG sources. In January, the platform holder confirmed that it’s working on two new Mario games for Wii U, a 3D action title developed by the team behind the Super Mario Galaxy series and a new Mario Kart. Playable versions of both games will be present at this year’s E3 in June.

Nintendo plans to boost flagging Wii U sales by releasing a string of high profile first party games in the second half of 2013. June release Game & Wario will be the first Nintendo-developed title to launch for Wii U since last year. It will be followed by Pikmin 3 the following month in Japan and in August in North America.

While Nintendo wouldn’t comment on plans for its 3D Mario game, UK PR director Shelly Pearce told CVG: “From July onwards we will launch a succession of Wii U titles and we will promote these extensively until the end of the year. Marketing activity will include TV, print, online and PR as well as comprehensive experiential and social media campaigns. We have a strong line up planned for Wii U in the second half of 2013 including the likes of Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Wii U. We are looking forward to launching these in the UK and for the opportunity to showcase the full potential of Wii U.”

By Tom Ivan

Call of Duty: Ghosts announced – New engine, next-gen confirmed

Call of Duty: Ghosts will premier alongside the next Xbox on May 21. The game is coming to next-generation consoles at an unspecified date, and on November 5 to PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.



Microsoft’s event will provide a first look at the game, implying another generation of close cooperation between Infinity Ward and Microsoft on one of gaming’s biggest franchises. Visitors and viewers will be the first outside of Activision to see Ghosts’ all-new engine, narrative, and cast of covert grunts.

“Everyone was expecting us to make Modern Warfare 4, which would have been the safe thing to do. But we’re not resting on our laurels,” said Mark Rubin, executive producer of developer Infinity Ward, in a press release. “We saw the console transition as the perfect opportunity to start a new chapter for Call of Duty. So we’re building a new sub-brand, a new engine, and a lot of new ideas and experiences for our players. We can’t wait to share them with our community.”

Pre-orders are now live, with a special poster and Black Ops 2 weapon skin for GameStop customers, and, uh, exclusive digital wallpapers for Amazonians.

The next Call of Duty is officially BFFs with the next Xbox. Ex-Infinity Ward team Respawn’s sci-fi shooter is a rumored Xbox-exclusive. Even though we haven’t seen the system yet, it’s already clear Microsoft is bringing some serious shooter heat to the next-gen console war.

By Connor Sheridan

Grand Theft Auto V new trailers right here

The triad of GTA 5 trailers are live, and there’s never been a better time to get to know its three maladjusted main characters. Each video delves a bit deeper into what Michael, Franklin, and Trevor want to get out of their new life of crime together:

Michael wants a bit of excitement and to get away from his spoiled rich family, Franklin wants to get out of the hood with as few bullet holes as possible, and Trevor… Well, we’re not sure even Trevor really knows what he wants here. See for yourself below.






Apparently it is possible to be more excited for GTA V than we already were, so stay tuned for our first full preview coming on Thursday, May 2. If you need more sweet video goodness until then, you can find the very first trailer for GTA V here and the second over here.

By Connor Sheridan

Asda cuts Wii U price to £149



British supermarket chain Asda has introduced a second Wii U price cut of £50, having slashed the console’s price tag by the same amount in early March. The drop applies to both the basic and premium versions of the console, which can now be purchased online for £149 and £199 respectively. It’s unclear if the price cuts will be permanent or simply limited time offers for the upcoming UK bank holiday weekend, with the Walmart subsidiary currently offering 33 per cent off the regular price of all Wii consoles.

Either way, the price reductions come at a time when Nintendo is struggling to hit Wii U sales targets, with company president Satoru Iwata stating this week: “We have not been able to solidly communicate the product value of Wii U to our consumers yet, which has been a grand challenge for us.” He added: “Some have the misunderstanding that Wii U is just Wii with a pad for games, and others even consider Wii U GamePad as a peripheral device connectable to Wii. We feel deeply responsible for not having tried hard enough to have consumers understand the product.” Nintendo is currently sending out messages to Wii owners via the WiiConnect24 service explaining that Wii U is “an entirely new system” and “not just an upgrade”.

By Tom Ivan

Batman: Arkham Origins won’t star Kevin Conroy

Batman: Arkham Origins won’t star Kevin Conroy

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Batman’s had plenty of performers behind the mask. But for the generation that grew up on Batman: The Animated Series, none are more beloved than voice actor Kevin Conroy.

While his contributions to Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City were key, Warner Bros. Interactive has decided to move on for Batman: Arkham Origin’s younger Bruce Wayne, according to NAG Magazine (via Kotaku).

Since Origins is, well, an origin story it makes sense to bring in a younger actor–Batman has yet to earn Conroy’s signature gruffness. But with Conroy, Joker voice actor Mark Hamill, series developer Rocksteady, and writer Paul Dini all departed, it seems the party’s over even though Warner Bros. Interactive is still wearing a lampshade.

At least you can enjoy the purdy new screenshots and art above. Check out what we know and what we want for Batman: Arkham Origins for more details.

By Connor Sheridan

Unreal Engine 3 runs native in your browser



You may be able to run Unreal Engine 3 in your browser right this moment, with no installation. Epic Games and Mozilla have collaborated on a native port of the engine’s Citadel tech demo to JavaScript, OpenGL, and HTML5.

You can find the the demo right here; keep in mind you’ll likely need Firefox’s nightly build to run it. Feel free to try playing elsewhere, but it crashed when we used Chrome.

Most browser games require some extra finaggling with plugins or add-ons, and some even launch a separate program. Citadel doesn’t have the visual firepower of the Infiltrator Unreal Engine 4 demo, but it gives us a lot of hope for the future of easy, accessible, browser-native gaming.

The video below shows HTML5 Citadel if you can’t get it to load, as well as some browser-based Unreal Tournament III gameplay.

By Connor Sheridan