Today's top 10 tweets from the gaming industry – 4/24/13

tweets of the day image, twitter

What did you miss about video games today? What were some of the gaming industry's most popular people tweeting about? I'll give you 10 tweets I found awesome, informative, weird, funny, stupid, or whatever, and then I'll give some commentary on it.

Today, Microsoft revealed the date that they're revealing their next Xbox console. It was a reveal of a reveal. Seeing as how everyone on the internet knows about it now, it's mentioned once in today's tweets. That's all.

If you're a fan of action figures or DC Comics, these should be right up your alley. As the article from Game Informer states, the figures are sold in two-packs with a $29.95 price tag. And Batman, among others, aren't included in any of the packages. How the hell do you leave out Batman?

DC Injustice: Gods Among Us action figures, Superman and Night Wing

C2E2 is the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, and I'm insanely jealous that I won't see Lobo's game-play footage live among first-time viewers at the event. Lobo will be the first of four DLC characters released. Want to know howInjustice: Gods Among Us is? Check out my review.

RoombaCAT… I should've known… Thanks for killing a few thousand brain cells with that video.

There we have it — a next-gen reveal from Microsoft has been confirmed. A few people in our office got this email, just not five times. It certainly is an exciting wait until we have concrete knowledge of the next Xbox. Make sure you tune in, well, basically anywhere on the internet on May 21 at 10am PT. Of course, you'll be able to get all your next-gen Xbox information at GameZone.com.

I'm not sayin that theStar Trek game is good, but neither is this review.

I'm a huge Disney fan. I want to be angry that someone made fun of Disney, but I can't because they're spot on and too freakin' funny. My favorite is the 101 Dalmations poster.

You don't, Meggan… you don't. By the way, I fully endorse pie as a dessert over cake. F*ck cake. Pie is 10 times better.

  1. No home
  2. No computer
  3. No internet
  4. The bridge they live under does get good wifi signal from Starbucks
  5. Kickstarter is only Zach Braff and his celeb buddies now.

Everything is better with Kinect… boxes. Honestly, $15 for a box isn't that bad. I've paid a lot more money for a box before, and it was only for an hour…

Tweet of the Day

Okay, Bishop inX-Men: Days of Future Pasthas me really excited. It's only fitting that he's in it considering that time travel is a huge element in the movie's storyline. I could not be more excited!

What do you hope to learn at Microsoft's next-gen Xbox reveal? Your thoughts on Bishop inDays of Future Past? Sound off in the comments.

Make sure you follow everyone mentioned in this column on Twitter, because they're funny, offer insight into the gaming industry, and are generally just really cool people. Also, if you've got a good tweet that has been re-tweeted by someone in the gaming industry, submit it to me via email and I'll post the good ones. Thanks for reading!

You can follow Senior Editor Lance Liebl on Twitter@Lance_GZ.He likes talking sports, video games, movies, and the stupidity of celebrities. Email atLLiebl@GameZone.com

By Lance Liebl

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 Review

Satisfying stealth and shooting make Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 a notable improvement over its predecessor.

The Good

  • Great enemy AI presents a real challenge
  • Mostly realistic stealth mechanics
  • Well-balanced difficulty settings
  • Atmospheric presentation ramps up the intensity.

The Bad

  • Checkpoints are too spread out
  • Some level design quirks
  • Multiplayer is an afterthought.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is a superior shooter when compared to its predecessor. Granted, that isn’t saying much. Said predecessor suffered from terrible artificial intelligence, absurd bullet physics, and an overall level of difficulty on par with solving a Rubik’s Cube while navigating white-water rapids blindfolded. This time around, however, developer City Interactive has addressed virtually all of the sore points that made the earlier game miss as often as it hit. This is an accomplished stealthy shooter, with smarter enemy AI, more-realistic sniper physics, and scaled-down difficulty that provide a challenging, not maddening, sniping experience. Only miscues like the spread-out save checkpoints and throwaway multiplayer keep it from achieving greatness.

Better physics make taking shots like this eminently more satisfying.

Better physics make taking shots like this eminently more satisfying.

Most of your time with Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 will be spent with the three-part campaign. You play as Cole, a special-ops sniper helping out assault teams in hot zones ranging from the Philippines to Sarajevo to Nepal. You come to care for Cole and his buddies through this seven- to eight-hour saga of betrayal and revenge that begins today, bounces back to 1993 for a look at the civil war that ravaged the former Yugoslavia, and then jumps to the present to wrap everything up along the border between Nepal and India.

A well-written, well-acted script give the game a great action-movie vibe, as do authentic-looking visuals and animations powered by the CryEngine 3. Excellent sound effects do a wonderful job of pulling you in. Weapon noises, the shouts of enemy voices, the far-off rattle of weapon fire in war-torn Sarajevo, and various atmospheric sounds like the background hum of the Philippine jungle are all handled extremely well and enhance the tension as you line up each careful shot.

And the award for best supporting actor goes to--bullet!

And the award for best supporting actor goes to–bullet!

The presentation isn’t the only thing that excels in Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2. Almost every aspect of the first game has been refined for this sequel. Enemy AI is much more cunning now. Where bad guys tended to run around mindlessly and freeze in place before, now they smartly respond to fire by taking cover. Foes react like real soldiers. First they hunker down so they don’t get their heads blown off. Then they peek out to look for who is shooting at them. And then they return fire appropriately or rush your position, which makes firefights feel natural rather than staged.

If you’ve got a good spot on high ground against a small number of enemies, the baddies generally grab cover and snipe back. But if you’re in a more vulnerable position, or are taking on a large number of foes, you can expect to be rushed and shot down like a dog. Either way, you need to be patient. Enemies sit back and wait you out at times. If you get antsy and leave cover, they generally make you pay for it.

When lives are on the line, there's no time for meditation.

When lives are on the line, there’s no time for meditation.

Shooting is also much more enjoyable, whether you’re using a mouse-and-keyboard setup or a gamepad. In the earlier game, bullet drops were extreme, slight winds significantly affected shots, and your heart rate caused the scope to carom all over the place. Here, the physics here are just right. As a result, it’s easier to gauge shots on your own without relying on the little red dot showing shot location that’s offered in the lower two difficulty settings. Now you can play on the advanced setting and feel as though you are lining up shots like a real sniping pro. Before, shooting without the interface aid felt like guesswork.

Gamepad controls deserve a mention for being easy to use, too. Playing on the consoles is a little more challenging than on the PC, due to the superior accuracy of a mouse. But it isn’t that much more difficult, because you have fine control over scope movement even with the right stick. It’s only a little annoying when shooting right after running, since your speedy heart rate bounces the scope around so much that it seems like you’re atop a mechanical bull.

Satisfying stealth and shooting make Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 a notable improvement over its predecessor.

By Brett Todd on March 19, 2013 4:13PM PDT Satisfying stealth and shooting make Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 a notable improvement over its predecessor. The Good Great enemy AI presents a real challenge Mostly realistic stealth mechanics Well-balanced difficulty settings Atmospheric presentation ramps up the intensity. The Bad Checkpoints are too spread out Some level design quirks Multiplayer is an afterthought. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is a superior shooter when compared to its predecessor. Granted, that isn’t saying much. Said predecessor suffered from terrible artificial intelligence, absurd bullet physics, and an overall level of difficulty on par with solving a Rubik’s Cube while navigating white-water rapids blindfolded. This time around, however, developer City Interactive has addressed virtually all of the sore points that made the earlier game miss as often as it hit. This is an accomplished stealthy shooter, with smarter enemy AI, more-realistic sniper physics, and scaled-down difficulty that provide a challenging, not maddening, sniping experience. Only miscues like the spread-out save checkpoints and throwaway multiplayer keep it from achieving greatness.

Multiple GTA 5 trailers coming April 30

Grand Theft Auto V Image

Rockstar has confirmed that multiple, new trailers forGrand Theft Auto 5 will be released on April 30. If the title of their post is any indication, it can be assumed that there will be three separate videos released, highlighting the game's three playable characters: Michael, Franklin, and Trevor.

We were briefly introduced to all three protagonists back in November, learning a little about each one. As we saw in the previous trailer, all three characters come from different backgrounds, but work together to perform missions. Michael is a highly successful former bankrobber who is now retired and living in luxury after making a deal with the FBI. Trevor is a "drugged-out psychopath," and Franklin was only seen cruising down a beach looking for a car he's supposed to repossess for his boss. Each character will supposedly contrast from the others and offer different experiences, geographies, and vibes. As you playGTA 5, you'll be switching between the three of them when performing certain missions.

Hopefully these new trailers go into a little more depth about each character's background story and show any gameplay differences. Fans have been a bit starved for information lately.

By Matt Liebl

Call of Duty: Ghosts to release in November, according to GameStop poster

Call of Duty: Ghosts mask

Well, this isn't much of a surprise.Call of Duty: Ghosts will release in November. A leaked GameStop poster has revealed a November 5th release for the highly anticipated first-person shooter. BothBlack Ops 2 andModern Warfare 3 released in November as well.

Activision has yet to officially announce the new game, but is expected to do so some time in May — perhaps as early as May 1st. Despite the lack of announcement from Activision, it is widely speculated — based on leaked retailer promotional materials and product pages — that the nextCall of Duty game will be titledCall of Duty: Ghosts. It's basically guaranteed at this point.

A mosaic for the new gamehas taken over the officialCall of Duty website. Fans can add their picture from Facebook or Twitter to help completely the mosaic. As of early this morning it was pretty clear that it would form the iconic ghost mask: a skull-patterned balaclava worn by Simon "Ghost" Riley inCall of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Call of Duty Ghosts poster

Call of Duty: Ghosts poster

By Matt Liebl

NHL 14’s collision physics will check you against the boards

NHL 14 Image

If you eat, sleep, fight, drink, bathe, sing, watch, skate, sleep, and possibly party hockey – NHL 14 is going to be for you. A new screenshot released by EA shows some of the collision physics in action. I’ll give it to Electronic Arts, the game is looking pretty damn pretty. A good ole shove can push a player a fair-realistic distance away.

What can we take out of this screenshot? I’m going to go ahead and say physics and graphics. While I would like a follow up image to see how far the player flies or maybe even some stop motion of the whole situation… this is all we get. So there we have it, NHL 14 collision physics;.one screenshot to embody the entire experience. Do you feel it?

NHL 14 - collision physics

By Andrew Clouther

Here's the Call of Duty: Ghosts live-action teaser trailer




In case you missed it, the video above is the live-action teaser that was released alongside Activision's announcement ofCall of Duty: Ghosts. As expected, the trailer reveals absolutely no gameplay footage. We'll have to wait until Microsoft's next generation Xbox unveiling event for that.

Instead, the very brief teaser focuses on the concept of using masks to "show us what they stand for, to inspire, to unite, to defy, to strike fear in the hearts of their enemies."Basically, the Ghosts are a badass bunch that do what they need to do to protect us all.

Call of Duty: Ghosts is set to release on November 5 for Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and next-generation consoles.

By Matt Liebl

Crytek to Nordic Games: 'More than happy to take Darksiders off your hands'

Darksiders II Image

Several former members of Vigil Games — now at Crytek — have offered some advice to Nordic Games on how to handle a potential sequel to theDarksiders franchise. As was reported last night, Nordic Games purchased several THQ franchises, including Darksiders andRed Faction,in a $4.9 million bid. In a message to fans of the newly acquired series, Nordic Games CEO Lars Wingeforsmentioned, "we either want to cooperate with the original creators or best possible developers in order to work on sequels or additional content for these titles."

Naturally, several former members of Vigil Games took to the Nordic Games' forums to share some advice for futureDarksiders titles, while offering to take the IP off Nordic's hands.

"As one of the co-founders of Vigil and the lead level designer/principal designer on both games, all I can say is… make it adventurous," offered Crytek's Ryan Stefanelli. "And do what we would've done: let people know what happens when those other three comets land on Earth! Four player co-op or bust!Good luck to you guys. You've adopted our baby."

Ex-Vigil Games lead combat designer Ben Cureton, who is also now at Crytek, added: "If you actually ever go forward with the Darksiders franchise, be sure to focus on the things that made DS and DS2 cool. Things like… that feeling of adventure (that Ryan mentioned), the fast-paced combat, the sense of scale, quality voice acting, and don't forget that Strife and Fury need to be BADASS… whatever you do, don't forget to crank the BADASS meter up to 11. If you are ever in doubt of what to do… just add more skulls!"

Cureton didn't offer advice without a bit of temptation. "If you decide you don't want to continue making games for the series, let me know. We'd be more than happy to take the IP off your hands." I love to see this type of passion from a developer about a game they've worked on. It truly shows they care more about the game itself than the money. "In fact, you can even have all of the money that DS1 and DS2 continue to generate!" he offered.

Perhaps Nordic will take Crytek up on the offer and outsource the development. Given the rave review forDarksiders 2, I'm sure the new Crytek studio would certainly be up for the task.

By Matt Liebl

Darksiders, Red Faction, and more picked up by Nordic Games

Darksiders

Maybe you're not familiar with publisher Nordic Games. Thanks to some recent acquisitions, it won't stay that way for long.

Nordic — which has published titles like Painkiller HD and the excellent adventure-game series The Book of Unwritten Tales — has picked up some of the remaining properties from THQ in an auction that ended on August 15, according to a press release.

The assets, which cost more than $4.9 million and apply to both PC and consoles, include Darksiders, Red Faction, MX vs. ATV, Titan Quest, Supreme Commander, Frontlines, Stuntman, Juiced, Full Spectrum Warrior, Destroy All Humans, and more.

This is the biggest acquisitions deal in Nordic's history. The publisher is encouraging gamers to discuss the future of these series on its forums, where it's taking an active role in listening and responding.

Nordic and THQ will finalize the purchase transactions after May 13.

Follow @wita on Twitter.

By Stephanie Carmichael

Rockstar re-releasing Grand Theft Auto 1 and 2 for PS3, PS Vita?

Grand Theft Auto PS Vita ESRB

NeoGAF, where all the gaming news breaks, has struck again. User ULTROS! has spotted the originalGrand Theft Auto 1and2on the US ratings boards. Both games have been rated by the ESRB for the PlayStation 3, PS Vita and PSP platforms, withGTA1 receiving a 'Mature' rating, andGTA2 getting a 'Teen.'

Considering the otherGTA games, exceptGTA4,are on PSN, it would make sense that developer Rockstar would be re-releasing games asGrand Theft Auto 5's release approaches; that said, they still haven't mentioned any of these plans.

The likely scenario is that the two games are released via digital downloads through the PlayStation Store.

You can follow Senior Editor Lance Liebl on Twitter@Lance_GZ.He likes talking sports, video games, movies, and the stupidity of celebrities. Email atLLiebl@GameZone.com

[NeoGAF via Eurogamer]

By Lance Liebl

Hey UCF fans, Zombie Nation is in NCAA Football 14

UCF zombie nation

As a UCF alumni, this is pretty freaking awesome.The song "Kerncraft 400" will be featured in this yearNCAA Football 14. The extremely catchy Zombie Nation song is a crowd favorite as many stadiums across the college football landscape, but it has becomethe song of Bright House Networks Stadium. Oooooh, oooooh, oh, oh, oh, ooooh… yea, you can see why it's played quite often at sporting events.

Of course, this isn't the only track being added to the popular college football game. In an effort to improveNCAA Football 14's presentation, EA will be adding several licensed songs including The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army." I know for a fact that the University of Miamiloves to play this song.

“We went out to about 30 stadiums this year to record crowd chants,” said producer Ben Haumiller. “We licensed songs like ‘Zombie Nation’ and ‘Seven Nation Army’ because there wasn’t a single game that I went to or watched, where these anthems weren’t playing and the crowd wasn’t chanting along to them.

"It’s all about the crowd chant on top of the songs, so we have recordings of these chants that we’re going to play, and these aren’t just for during a timeout, they’ll start pumping these between second and third down, and it really adds a lot to the atmosphere to make the game feel more legit," he added.

Haumiller also noted that the developers have stripped the game of its "resource hogs," like the ESPN menus in backgrounds. This year, the game's menus will feature more of a "whiteboard style font," which Haumiller says "speeds everything up."

"ESPN is still in the game in terms of in-game presentation, but in the front end, we wanted to go with a quicker, cleaner look and have something that’s more 2-D based.” Also new to the game are dynamic load screens which will provide more information — top players, injured players, etc. — for the game you're about to play. Various stats will also pop up after every play during the game.

Elsewhere in the interview, Haumiller talks about the 500 new vignettes added, enhanced commentary, and increased stadium and uniform detail.

[ESPN]

By Matt Liebl