Dead Space 3 Demo and N7 Armour

The Dead Space 3 Demo lands today for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3!  The demo features a single-player segment as well as the new co-op play, hostile environment and weapon crafting.

Dead Space 3 - N7 Armour (more…)


E3 2012: Second Day’s Offerings

Picking through the news for what’s happened overnight at E3.. there’s been a lot more love for the Wii U, with plenty more games announced for the system.. more mention of the PS Vita, which apparently won’t be getting a price cut, and release dates for a trio of Mario titles for the 3DS.. all later this year.

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Amazon Refunds on Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3’s ending has apparently disappointed so many people that Amazon have apparently decided to offer full refunds on the game.. gamers have been reporting that they’ve had refunds on their games, at least.  I think this is the start of a slippery slope.

Now.. I’ve not seen this ending yet.  I understand that it isn’t quite what people expected, and that people are disappointed.  Mass Effect 3 is, however, not broken, and people should not be expecting a refund because they didn’t like how the story turned out.  It’s pathetic. 

If you played the game through to the end, you’ve had what you paid for.  What’s next?  Demanding refunds because you didn’t like the ending of a film?  A book?  Can I order a three-course meal at a restaurant, but then complain that I didn’t like the sauce on my dessert, and so refuse to pay for any of the meal?

Our right to a refund is supposed to be there to protect us from shoddy goods and services, not to allow ridiculously self-entitled people to use products and then end up not paying for them by claiming they were dissatisfied.  It isn’t there to allow people to cheat their way out of paying for things.

If Amazon are offering a full refund on ME3 now, they are just encouraging people to buy the game, play it through, and then claim they didn’t like it and ask for their money back.  If you claim a refund for a game you have played all the way through to the end, you are worse than a pirate, because not only are you a “lost sale”, you are costing people money in handling the order in the first place; shipping, dealing with your emails and refunding you.  You would be less of a burden on the gaming industry if you just downloaded it, played it and deleted it.

And what does this mean for writers?  Write the ending that fans want, or risk the potential that they can cheat you out of your pay?

If writers suddenly have to start making the ending the fans want, then we all lose.  There’ll be no more creativity; only the same tired storylines that have ‘proven’ themselves satisfactory in the past.  Or maybe no story at all.  Or we’ll have fan-fiction.. and well.. that doesn’t have a great reputation for quality, does it?


Grim Times

It’s really not looking good for GAME.  Yesterday’s news showed that they were looking for a buyer.. a few options such as a partial GameStop buyout were being outed in the press, with the latest possible buyers being Hilco and OpCapita.

Share prices, which started the week at 3.5p, fell to below 1p yesterday morning, and only just made it back over the penny mark.  This may put buyers off.  It may be that buyers are waiting until GAME goes into administration, as they can then negotiate around store liabilities.

GAME has also failed to secure stocks of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, which is due on March 23rd, and a press release from Tecmo Koei states that neither Ninja Gaiden 3 or Warriors Orochi 3 will be available through GAME or GameStation in the UK and Ireland, with alternative stores listed as HMV, ASDA, Blockbuster, or online.

Other bad news, or bad press at least, came for EA and BioWare.. there was a large backlash against Mass Effect 3’s ending, which apparently doesn’t take into account players’ choices in the game.

Fans discovered that the Day 1 DLC character can be unlocked from the disc; EA stepped forward to say that From Ashes is not on the disc, but is a 600MB+ download; but that some “framework elements and character models needed to be put on disc”.

The latest news is that a multiplayer DLC for the game has been spotted, by somebody using a development kit.  No pricing or release date has been mentioned as yet, but this news doesn’t seem to be getting a good reception from fans.  At this rate, we’ll be waiting for the GOTY edition.


Metacritic Drama with Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3 launched today in the US with UK gamers forced to wait until Friday.  The game has scored high ratings from the press, as expected, and has a Metacritic score of 93, but the user score is currently down at 2.5, based on 562 votes.

Sounds familiar.. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 also took an initial battering on their user score: one of the devs asked for help on Twitter, noting that the score was “suspiciously low”.  Indeed, there were a large number of 0 ratings across the three platforms.

While I’m sure there are plenty of honest ratings being submitted for the game, and here for Mass Effect 3, the political voters have certainly been out in force.  Are people downvoting the game out of spite at the Day 1 DLC?  Or is it rage at the latest revelation that the multiplayer will have an effect on the ending of your singleplayer game? (more…)


In the News – 6th March

Mass Effect 3 launched today for the Americans, with the UK release due on Friday.  The game currently has a Metacritic score of 93, while the user score is currently at 2.5.  Political voting?  I think so.

The latest that the multiplayer will have an effect on the ending of your singleplayer game.  As you complete missions and earn the support of different people, you gain them as War Assets: the game takes the number of collected War Assets into consideration when calculating your ending.. and it seems that you need a fairly high number of them.  During multiplayer, you can improve your Readiness rating.  This rating is used as a multiplier against your War Assets, so has a positive effect. (more…)


A Weekend’s Gaming

Most of the weekend was spent playing games (Mass Effect 3 multiplayer and Orcs Must Die!), with a little spent outside in the sun, and some TV time thrown in as well.  I’d call that a good weekend :)

We had decided to get together and try out the multiplayer demo for Mass Effect 3.

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Mass Effect 3 DLC Appears Pre-Launch

The first Mass Effect 3 DLC pack appeared briefly on the Xbox Live Marketplace today, almost two weeks before the launch of the game.  The DLC is called From Ashes, and the description itself included some spoilers for the game: the DLC unearths some secrets from the past.. and adds a new character to  your squad: a Prothean.  Via VG247.

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Mass Effect 3: Take Earth Back

BioWare have released a cinematic trailer for Mass Effect 3, showing the beginning of the War for Earth..

The demo is available now, on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, with both singleplayer and multiplayer sections.  The full game will be available on the 9th March.

Our impressions of the single-player demo can be found here.


Mass Effect 3 – Demo Availability

The demo for BioWare‘s highly-anticipated action RPG Mass Effect 3 is planned for launch on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on February 14th.

Single-player will be available to all, and features two sections from the game: the opening level featuring the Reaper attack on Earth, and a level from later on in the game, where Shepard travels to an alien home world to request assistance in the war effort.

The co-op multiplayer demo is only available to those who have a an activated Battlefield 3 Online pass: this part of the demo opens up to everyone else on February 17th.  This demo features two maps: Slum and Noveria.

Xbox 360 players can win codes to get early access to the demo via a Facebook app, or via Twitter giveaways such as this one.

Our impressions of the single-player demo can be found here.


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