May 16 - May 20

Let's be honest, there's really only one major game release to get particularly excited about this week, and that release is L.A. Noire. Yes, I know there is also one of those fancy RPGs making some waves in the hearts and minds of some gamers this week, and sure, it's always nice to see creative new fantasy content keep the PC gaming world moving forward. So I don't want to be too quick to dismiss that other game I know some of you care about: Fable III for the computer.

Also, some game about witches comes out. Weird.

Now that I've written my paragraph designed entirely to annoy Certis -- another check mark on the bucket list -- I will go ahead and concede that The Witcher 2 is definitely something worth paying some attention. Unfortunately, my heart was oddly impervious to the original, so the sequel is something I note with only passing interest and curiosity, like a bus full of penguins. However, on the grander point of supporting well-written stories that explore ethically gray consequences in a fully fleshed world, I am firmly in the approve column, which is why even though it's not a game I care personally about, I hope it proves a worthy successor.

As for L.A. Noire, I'm hoping for the kind of cinematically complicated sophistication that Rockstar has been able to achieve with both GTAIV and Red Dead Redemption. I am loathe to admit how much this developer has improved over the past few years, but at some point they seem to have learned the difference between creating games that were adult and creating games that were mature. With incredible voice talent, including Fringe's Emmy-deserving John Noble, a sense of incredible style and technology that seems to highly support detailed character acting, this has long been one of my most anticipated games of the year.

Here's hoping Rockstar hasn't picked now to let me down. Again.

PC
- Fable III
- The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

Xbox 360
- L.A. Noire

PlayStation 3
- L.A. Noire

Wii
- ExerBeat
- Reader Rabbit: 1st Grade
- Reader Rabbit: 2nd Grade
- Reader Rabbit: Kindergarten
- Reader Rabbit: Preschool

Nintendo 3DS
- Spongebob Squigglepants 3D

Nintendo DS
- Cake Mania Main Street
- Murder in Venice

Coming Soon:

Red Faction: Armageddon -- May 31 -- 360, PS3, PC
Duke Nukem Forever -- June 14 -- 360, PS3, PC
Dungeon Siege II -- June 21 -- PC, 360, PS3

Comments

Platform traitor

If The Witcher had released for the 360 this week, I would be $60 poorer.

Oh hohohohoh! There's trouble. Lucky it's your birthday, Certis will let you get away with that. Until tomorrow.

Justin McElroy's review makes LA Noir sound interesting, but weirdly unfun. Not at all jealous that once again the PC is being passed over, I have Geralt to keep me warm.

And if that's wrong I don't want to be right.

How can you only have a passing interest and curiosity in a bus full of penguins? That would come in my top 10 interesting things of this year! In fact, I'm adding "see a bus full of penguins" to my bucket list!

LA Noire is pre-ordered. Hopefully, I'll have it by Wednesday, and have time to play it in September!

Terraria supposedly comes out today as well. A lot of hype for something thats only been in development for a few months and is releasing in a non finished state. But all that said, it still looks pretty amazing/fun.

Witcher 2 for me, but not now, still playing the first one and its great, if you like RPG you absolutely have to give this series a look. I guess a have to scratch Rockstar from my to watch list, Redemption never made it to the PC and LA Noir may go the same way. That may change if they decide to make one of those very late PC ports again.

Witcher II!!!!

Can't wait.

I can't be mad at you on your birthday. This is BULL.

This is also Bull.

IMAGE(http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/8650/richardmollcrop.jpg)

Please love The Witcher 2.

The only Rockstar games I've played are GTA IV and RDR, but I wouldn't exactly call either "mature" as opposed to just "for adults." The vast majority of the cutscenes in both were the protagonist being impatiently polite while an over-the-top, exaggerated character did a routine. Sometimes the character would be sympathetic, in which case they would yell the main theme at you in case you didn't get it, whether it was "America provides opportunity, but it's corrupt" or "expansionism provides security, but it's corrupt".

Then they throw in some poop jokes for good measure. The cinematography and voice acting were good though.

IMAGE(http://www.bigmagpie.com/somehype/stories/heath/Ant%20and%20Luke/penguins%20in%20bus.jpg)
IMAGE(http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/ghr/lowres/ghrn172l.jpg)
IMAGE(http://th04.deviantart.net/fs71/PRE/i/2011/050/a/f/penguins_on_the_bus_by_harusamehanae-d39wpwz.jpg)

I don't know. Penguins on a bus would be pretty freaking cool. I'd devote at least 30 hours to watching them.

Sean! I just saw some zombified penguins marching through Shakopee looking for you!
Where is a Witcher when you need one?!?

Unfortunately, my heart was oddly impervious to the original, so the sequel is something I note with only passing interest and curiosity, like a bus full of penguins.

My thanks to the people who posted images of penguins on buses.

I have to admit feeling the same way about not just The Witcher, but so many smash hit games (Diablo, CoD, GTA). What's up with that? Big games come along and sell all these copies, yet they never quite click with me. Why can't I just be happy with them like everyone else? Who the hell do I think I am?

Still, I wish all the success in the world to The Witcher 2, because I appreciate what they are trying to do.

Why? WHY would you release Fable III on PC the same week as Witcher 2. I mean....why?

I've not followed a single thing about LA Noire (apart from a couple of trailers with creepy face people and their creepy almost real animations). Should be interesting but I think I'll wait for a few reviews first before taking the plunge on it.

LA Noire. I like the idea, the implementation looks interesting...but the setting just evokes the most gigantic 'meh' in me. Just as with RDR, my lack of interest in the subject matter is going to squelch any incentive to get deep into the game, so this time I shall keep my pounds in my pocket. I'm not even bothered what the reviews are like, RDR got 90% marks, and yet there's no chance of me picking it up and putting it in the 360 again.

Witcher2. I'm not nearly as sold on this IP as others are...the first one needed a huge rewrite/patch, though it is to the developer's credit that they did so. Some of the writing was boorish as well, and yet I've preordered this and am ready to get stuck in tomorrow.

Penguins ? Not on any bus I've been on, but there are sometimes animals on there.

burntham77 wrote:

My thanks to the people who posted images of penguins on buses.

Agreed. Maligning The Witcher is one thing, but dissing penguins on buses is quite another.

burntham77 wrote:
I have to admit feeling the same way about not just The Witcher, but so many smash hit games (Diablo, CoD, GTA). What's up with that? Big games come along and sell all these copies, yet they never quite click with me. Why can't I just be happy with them like everyone else? Who the hell do I think I am?

I'm the same with many hyped games, either they are a game type or franchise I don't care for (like all those you mention), or the excitement winds up so much it just becomes annoying white noise.

Having said that I'm as giddy for The Witcher 2 as I've ever been for a game.

The Witcher 2 release seems like it has a lot riding on it. It feels like it's a test bed for developers/publishers on how to approach PC games. CDProjectRed is releasing it DRM free on GOG, will be supporting it with free DLC and the graphics and design are not being held back because of a console release (see Dragon Age II/Crysis 2).

It will be interesting to see if this good will gamble pays off.

Personally, I've been interested in L.A. Noire ever since I heard about it but after all the videos and screenshots I still have no idea how this game plays. I hope Giantbomb throws up a quicklook.

Terraria looks like a 2D Minecraft.
For some reason, all my rpgs are on my DS, so LA Noire this week!

Elysium wrote:
including Fringe's Emmy-deserving John Noble,

Oh now I'm kinda interested.

stevenmack wrote:
Why? WHY would you release Fable III on PC the same week as Witcher 2. I mean....why?

I've not followed a single thing about LA Noire (apart from a couple of trailers with creepy face people and their creepy almost real animations). Should be interesting but I think I'll wait for a few reviews first before taking the plunge on it.

Oh, the reviews are flooding in already.

I am loathe to admit how much this developer has improved over the past few years

"Blight on the industry."

wow, ok...you're not wrong.

from the first para of the giant bomb review:

Before you approach Rockstar's vintage crime opus L.A. Noire, you should set your expectations and be clear that it is, at its core, an adventure game. Like Grand Theft Auto and its legion of imitators, this game has a sprawling, open city environment for you to explore, but don't expect to grab a Tommy gun and wreak havoc in that city whenever you feel like it. This just isn't that kind of game. Instead, the focus is squarely on good, clean police work: scouring crime scenes for evidence, extracting information from persons of interest whether they're willing to talk or not, building a case, making an arrest. It's a hard-nosed and methodical experience that's not quite like anything else I've played in a game of this scale.

SOLD.

BNice wrote:
The Witcher 2 release seems like it has a lot riding on it. It feels like it's a test bed for developers/publishers on how to approach PC games. CDProjectRed is releasing it DRM free on GOG, will be supporting it with free DLC and the graphics and design are not being held back because of a console release (see Dragon Age II/Crysis 2).

It will be interesting to see if this good will gamble pays off.


What people read into it depends upon the person doing the reading.

For example, I'm sure someone will point out that it gets pirated to some degree (everything does, on all platforms), but I'll be they have a stake in bringing it up, whether it's pageviews, or attached to a publisher, etc, and the figures will be presented with little context against other comparable releases, just "OMG big numbers!".

The other thing that could be interesting is that being developed in Poland the development costs will be lower (plus they're not licensing an engine this time). The Witcher 1 cost about $8m to develop, which is pocket change nowadays for such a title compared to developing in North America.

stevenmack wrote:
SOLD.

The reviews did me in. I wanted to support this game, but being poor and an abusive partner to most games had me reluctant. It's coming tomorrow.

Yeah, that quote makes it sound more like a new, more brutal Police Quest.
I'll definitely try to get it once I buy the X360, but for now I'll have fun with the relatively obscure RPG. (Disclaimer: Not that anything would change if I owned the console right now, Witcher 2 would still be my top priority :))

How long ago were people saying something along the lines of "the single-player game is dead"?

Scratched wrote:

The other thing that could be interesting is that being developed in Poland the development costs will be lower (plus they're not licensing an engine this time). The Witcher 1 cost about $8m to develop, which is pocket change nowadays for such a title compared to developing in North America.

I remember reading that development costs aren't that much higher for The Witcher 2. Hopefully the game is great which should lead to healthy sales which will perhaps draw some attention from the big publishers/developers.

I'm still worried that Battlefield 3 is going to require 2 EA logins, being a member of their Gun Club in order to use a scope, a pre-order bonus that allows my character to sprint, DLC only purchasable with Biowa-I mean DICE bucks and other nonsense.

BNice wrote:
Scratched wrote:
The other thing that could be interesting is that being developed in Poland the development costs will be lower (plus they're not licensing an engine this time). The Witcher 1 cost about $8m to develop, which is pocket change nowadays for such a title compared to developing in North America.
I remember reading that development costs aren't that much higher for The Witcher 2. Hopefully the game is great which should lead to healthy sales which will perhaps draw some attention from the big publishers/developers.

I'm still worried that Battlefield 3 is going to require 2 EA logins, being a member of their Gun Club in order to use a scope, a pre-order bonus that allows my character to sprint, DLC only purchasable with Biowa-I mean DICE bucks and other nonsense.


I think EA is committed to their EA account path now, and their EADM steam alternative. I can only hope they tidy up and unify their various stores, websites, points, account names, etc. At the moment it's a mess as it seems each studio is free to do almost whatever they want. It's almost as though you're using software from completely different companies, which I feel is opposite to what 'central EA' is trying to do

Scratched wrote:
For example, I'm sure someone will point out that it gets pirated to some degree (everything does, on all platforms), but I'll be they have a stake in bringing it up, whether it's pageviews, or attached to a publisher, etc, and the figures will be presented with little context against other comparable releases, just "OMG big numbers!".

The other thing to keep in mind is that sales figures for PC games are released at the whim of the publisher, being almost impossible for third parties like the NPD to track, making a fair sales comparison between, say, a DRM-laden game and a DRM-less game almost impossible to make. Piracy numbers, likewise, are inevitably the roughest of rough estimates and almost impossible to put into any kind of context because it's impossible to know how many of those dirty, dirty pirates would've bought the game if it had been harder to pirate, as opposed to, say, just pirating a different game.

Proving once again that the old adage is true: there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

wordsmythe wrote:
I am loathe to admit how much this developer has improved over the past few years

"Blight on the industry."

Publisher, you mean. The dev is Team Bondi, and I think this is their first game. All the other notable Rockstar games are made by separate devs: GTAIV (Rockstar North), Bully (Rockstar Vancouver, nee Barking Dog), RDR (Rockstar San Diego, nee Angel Studios).

I preordered The Witcher 2, even though I know I won't be able to play it properly for a while--since I accidentally chopped off the tip of my left index finger while making dinner the other night. Of all the inconveniences caused by that stupid mistake, this one just might be the worst--I've been itching to play it!

I'm going to hold off on L.A. Noire until I hear some feedback on it. Looks interesting, though.