5 Awesome Gaming Trends of 2013

2013 saw a lot of changes in the games industry. Some were good, some great, some awful and some fell flat on their faces. However, one thing that can’t be denied is that there have been a lot of innovations and a lot of people trying new things. Of course, it’s easy to focus on the parts of the industry that are not changing and are possibly even stagnating, like the release of sequel after sequel and the unadventurous attitudes to existing game genres, but you only need to take a step back and take a look at the year as a whole to realise that there’s been plenty of new and interesting developments too. With the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One and a ‘new generation’ of games on the horizon there are likely to many many more surprises in the future. So what better time than now to look back on the last year and see what trends really worked? There are tons of interesting trends which have developed or are developing as we speak, like second screens, cross-play, cloud computing and the resurgence of platformers and rather than try to pick the ones I think are the most important to the industry, I’ve decided instead to pick just 5 trends that I personally found the most exciting. What are you favourite trends of 2013? Are they anything like mine? Let me know in the comments below! Continue reading

GTA V: No one does open world quite like Rockstar

Image belongs to Rockstar

Image belongs to Rockstar

This review has been a long time coming, but what with Simul-Tober (the month of post swapping with UWG contributors I took part in), I didn’t really get a chance to slip this one in. So here it is! The GTA V review that you probably haven’t been waiting for, because a) you’ve probably already played it and b) you’ve probably already read a thousand and one reviews of it already. Hopefully though, I can still keep this interesting for you. So. I’ve confessed this before and I’ll confess it again. I never really played much GTA at all. I did get somewhat into GTA IV and then sort of just got distracted and never finished it. I didn’t really have anything against it, it just never really hooked me in. Perhaps I just never really gave it a chance. With all the hype surrounding GTA V before it came out, I decided to really give it a shot this time to see what all the fuss is about. What I found is that GTA V is exactly what I want out of an open world game. It’s massive in size and scope and actually has activities to match it. It’s not just empty space to traverse with the occasional repetitive side mission or activity to keep you occupied for a bit. Los Santos is rich and detailed and feels as real as any game city has ever felt. That’s not to say the game didn’t have its flaws, but it’s still one of the games I’ve enjoyed most this year and that’s really saying something considering this year’s slew of awesome games. I obviously can’t really compare GTA V with any of the previous games, but I can tell you that on its own, it certainly knocked my metaphorical socks off. Continue reading

The Infamous GameSpot GTA V Review or How the Sh*t Hit The Fan

So I’m late to the game again. Big surprise right? Actually I wasn’t  really planning to write on this topic at all and this week was going to be a purely GTA V themed piece (not a review because I’m not even CLOSE to finishing the main story yet), but I realised that I really had to say something about this topic. And as you can see from the title, the topic in question is the furor that resulted from GameSpot reviewer Carolyn Petit’s review of GTA V  and whether that was fair, but it’s also more generally about the nature of reviews.  In case you haven’t heard about the controversy surrounding the review, she basically gave the game a 9/10 and mentioned that she felt that brilliant though the game was, it was also ‘politically muddled and profoundly misogynistic’. The ensuing shit storm was greater than anyone could have expected. People were really really angry. Some even felt betrayed and disillusioned. There are a number of issues here and a few perspectives were expressed on the dissenting side with, I think, varying degrees of validity. Now, I don’t entirely agree with her opinion, but that’s pretty much unnecessary in the equation. The question is whether she was wrong to have expressed that particular opinion at all. I think is important to discuss because to me, this incident is indicative of a wider problem with the community, like the excessive outrage that happened over the Xbox One or death threats to COD developers for changing a minor aspect of the game were. It’s both an exciting and a sad time to be a gamer. We’re not all like that of course, but enough of us are for the rest of us to be cast in their shadow.

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Highlights of the Week: Sony teases PS4 reveal, GTA 5 delayed and upcoming Mass Effect 3 DLC

Rumours have been abound all over the web today about the PS4 after Sony put up a video last night that said literally nothing about anything other than promising that we will “see the future” on Feb 20.Of course, pretty much everyone is assuming that this means a PS4 announcement before E3 where it was originally expected to happen. Check out the video below for yourself:

The use of the official PlayStation logo has hinted towards this and to be honest, at this point if they don’t make a PS4 announcement on Feb 20 there will probably be blood (not a threat, just an observation)!

Hilariously enough, a Microsoft insider told CVG that “[v]ictory will go not to those who make the most noise, but those who make the most impact,” while a Sony insider responded that “[t]he war won’t be won by producing the most powerful system”. Is this… trash talking? Everyone calm down before someone gets hurt!

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