No announcement yet.

Article Inside Top


A bold return for the True Crime franchise


Article Inside Side


Latest Articles


  • Destiny Update 1.1.1 : The one about Weapon Rebalance
    Bald Bouncer
    Destiny Update 1.1.1 brings you a round of weapon balancing, perk fixes (including the heavy ammo fix), and other issues.


    For a detailed review of weapon changes, head over to Destiny Weapon Tuning.
    • Fixed an issue in which armor with perks that increase ammunition carrying capacity resulted in ammunition loss upon respawn
    • Decreased over-penetration value for weapons with armor piercing perks
    • Fixed an issue where items from the PS3/360 Destiny
    26-02-2015, 06:26 PM
  • Here’s an overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
    Bald Bouncer
    As new gameplay overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, culled from the Active Time Report, stream has been sent over by Square Enix. The video provides a look at the history and environments of the Kingdom of Orience; the 14 memebers of Class Zero; the battle system with customizable magic spells; and the ability to summon Eidolons.

    A secret movie will be included in the game and it will be unlocked when a player meets certain requirements.

    Final Fantasy...
    26-02-2015, 06:16 PM
  • You and your crew could win £10,000 with Battlefield Hardline: Live
    Bald Bouncer
    EA UK has launched Battlefield Hardline: Live which is a competition giving players a chance at winning £10,000. Those who wish earn a place with their crew should enter over on the official website where additional information can also be found. Theater company DifferencEngine will host the event at a “secret Central London location” for eight days from March 8 -25 where a one-hour controlled session with the winning crew leader claiming the £10,000 ion prize money.

    24-02-2015, 08:20 PM
  • Heists for GTA Online coming in March for consoles, PC delayed to April
    Bald Bouncer
    The console version will arrive on March 10 and the PC version of Heists will arrive on April 14, as the PC version has seen a delay. “We know it’s been a wait, and appreciate your patience,” said Rockstar. “Heists will bring a brand new 4-player cooperative gameplay experience to GTA Online, giving players the chance to team up to pull off a string of intense, multi-part raids and robberies across Los Santos and Blaine County.

    “Over the next couple of weeks,...
    24-02-2015, 08:11 PM
  • Digital Foundry: Hands-on with Dead of Alive 5 Last Round
    Bald Bouncer
    Boasting two extra characters, new stages, and a variety of additional costumes, Dead or Alive 5: Last Round is the definitive version of Tecmo's divisive fighting game. Available across current and last-generation consoles, the title is remastered for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One using the extra power on offer to deliver 1080p60 gameplay - a clear leap above the variable framebuffer and slightly wobbly frame-rates present on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. While there's some confusion surrounding...
    24-02-2015, 07:56 PM
  • Dying Light and the survival renaissance
    Bald Bouncer
    Dying Light just goes to show that the market is hungry for games that challenge. Luckily, the industry looks set to deliver. Let’s be real, Dying Light got pretty lucky releasing in January. Absolutely nothing else came out worth mentioning, and resting in solitary splendour on the “new release” shelf no doubt gave an early sales boost to TechLand’s zombie parkour sim.

    But that only accounts for one week of sales, and Dying Light, despite having a definite end,...
    23-02-2015, 08:28 PM

Side Advert


Article Tags



  • A bold return for the True Crime franchise

    Producer Jeff O'Connell conveys the grim atmosphere reigning over the developers at United Front Games, moments after losing their publisher and months before their ambitious open-world game could stand in a lineup with other free-roaming felons. Activision wanted a bold return for its True Crime franchise, but decided to pull the plug in February 2010. The protracted effort just wasn't guaranteed to conclude at the top of the genre. Enter: Square Enix London Studios, a division of Square Enix Europe (formerly Eidos). At about 20 members it's a much smaller group than the Vancouver-based United Front, which had close to 180 employees at the peak of True Crime development. "We're a pretty small, tight group," says General Manager Lee Singleton. "I think, actually, a couple of years ago I did the math and I think the average amount of industry experience is like 15 or 16 years or something. We're all pretty seasoned guys."

    United Front can whip out a similar resume, built on familial qualities. "We consider ourselves very close-knit," O'Connell says. "I'm sure a lot of these studios say they consider themselves a family, and we do, and we do things to foster that kind of feeling. We have a lot of events, and even though we're a very young studio, we're a very experienced studio." The studio began with Modnation Racers, a vibrant, approachable racing game built with Sony, but incorporates veterans from Bully, Prototype and the Need for Speed franchise.

    "Meeting Square, which we did very shortly after the game was canceled -- and I'm probably going to use some corny expression -- was like a bright light," O'Connell says. "Right away, we met those guys and I think we just clicked with them. It's one thing for people to come in and love the game, which they did, and it's another thing for people to come in and just get along with them incredibly well and go out for drinks and meals with them, and just have a really fantastic time, and have them in the studio and have them ask questions or make suggestions, and have that show their depth of understanding." If that run-on sentence isn't indicative of real enthusiasm about this relationship, we don't know what is.

    Of course, you don't go from True Crime to Sleeping Dogs -- a new title that refers to the protagonist's veiled prodding of Hong Kong's underworld -- just by finding people who get along with each other. Square Enix London envisions a different future for this violent homage to Hong Kong action cinema, and disagrees with Activision on how satisfied consumers and critics will be with the end product. Sure, some of it's inflated talk, necessary for games with a staccato history, but Square Enix claims it has the numbers to prove it.

    "You can probably count the number of AAA developers in the world on one, possibly two hands," Singleton says. "There's not many, right? And talk is quite cheap. You meet a lot of developers and they're like, 'Yeah, we're gonna do a 90-percent Metacritic game.' It's really easy to say, but until you've actually done that, you don't know how hard it is. You know, I've done it, it's bloody hard." (Games filed under "bloody hard:" Batman: Arkham Asylum and Just Cause 2.)

    Square Enix London plays an academic role in development, offering access to usability labs -- "with mirrored glass and that kind of stuff" -- a database of professional testers, and a wealth of data that helps eliminate "those little points of frustration," Singleton says. "It's really tough, and if everything goes right it's still really hard. Generally, making games is about dealing with a lot of problems, it's really tough, so we just try to compliment the dev teams that we work with."

    Singleton believes that intense tuning is what sets the best games apart, most of all when it's done during the climax of development. "To be honest, that bit at the end is where you take your game from an 80 to a 90, if you've got all the right ingredients." There's an adherence to numbers throughout his explanation, which almost makes game development into the product of cold science. And with science comes some measure of predictability, and more than an inkling of what Metacritic will say a few weeks after launch. "The furthest we've been out is three percent," he says.

    And how much money will Square Enix be out if the error goes beyond three percent? Singleton doesn't say, but drops the diplomacy when addressing the AAA industry's money-sucking state. "Every game is a huge financial risk, if I'm honest with you. Game development is a money pit. It doesn't matter how much you throw at it, it keeps sucking it up." Quality is your only hope, Singleton says, and it must be verifiable to warrant the huge investment. "We're not making iPhone games here, right?"

    Singleton is drawn to the "magic" that he feels was already in Sleeping Dogs, and perhaps just needed some more time and tuning, while Jeff O'Connell paints a picture of dedication. Even when the plug was pulled, the lights stayed on at United Front Games.

    "We always kept working," he says. "I think, obviously, when you lose your publisher, there's a period of shock that sets in, and you have to make sure that you're taking care of yourself and your people at that point and you're helping people through that time." United Front kept working on the core technology and, from what I've played of the game in its latest incarnation, a set of enjoyable mechanics given emphasis over a surfeit of city run-around missions. "We always believed in the game, and always felt that it was going to somehow make it out there because we felt what we were offering was really unique and strong. So, yeah, we didn't stop."

      Posting comments is disabled.

    Article Inside Bottom