Gamescom 2013: RIME – Ico Meets Journey in This Lovely PS4 Exclusive

(thanks, IGN

Tequila Studios’ upcoming PS4 exclusive, RIME looks wonderful in that ICO meets Journey manner with similarly rich (but more detailed) visuals and what sounds like a pretty lovely score (provided it’s not placeholder music). As for the story and gameplay, it’s tough to get a grasp on what the plot is and how this one controls from the video, but the game sure carries the influence of Team Ico’s work with those shadowy creatures and the protagonist using a torch to fight them off. It also looks like a more open world experience than ICO or Journey, but again, it’s tough to say much other than the game looks simply gorgeous.

I’m reserving any judgement on this one until it gets seen in person and played, so hopefully, Sony will get back to inviting those of us with smaller sites BACK to their press briefings, as they’ve been shutting out everyone who’s not packing in page views by the multiple thousands in exchange for what seems to be “strategic partnerships” with the big guns. This, of course… STINKS, as I used to be invited to SCEA events all the time and it’s a total pain in the neck to not get a response back to an email or a heads up that there’s something cooking in the city. Hell, I’m a train ride away and always thrilled to see new titles, so someone needs to start paying heed to the “little guys” (although after doing this stuff since 1998, I don’t consider myself “little”, grrrr…)

Borderlands 2 Is Vita Bound. So Much For Anything Resembling Free Time in 2014…

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Buried under all that PS4 news yesterday was the really nice “surprise” that there’s a portable version of one of the best games of 2012 in development and set for a 2014 release. This is a great thing for anyone who has yet to play Borderlands 2 as well as an even better thing for those who loved (and still love) the game for all its crazy fun and loot drops galore. 2K Games has only sent out this teaser image (boo!), but we’ll definitely be keeping a collective eyeball peeled for more on this one.

Actually, it’s a good thing it’s coming out next year, as my calendar of games to play is quite full (and then some!)…

Gamescom 2013: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Trailer: Blood, Right.

Every time I see more of this game, I have to run to the nearest closet, get a hat, put it on and tip it in the general direction of developer MercurySteam’s offices. These guys and gals are knocking it out of the park and onto another planet with this sequel to the first LoS and February 2014 can’t come soon enough. What’s all the more amazing is the game is looking so great on what’s considered “old” hardware by many, but that’s been the Spanish developers very strong point since their first game. As noted previously, this is their final chapter as far as their run on the Castlevania series goes, so anyone else taking over in the future will have a hell of an act to follow, that’s for sure. Of course, the diehard fans of the classic 2D Castlevanias who didn’t like any of the 3D games in the franchise are most likely going to miss out on this one as well, but I don’t think Konami needs their approval these days unless they have something more constructive to offer other than hating the LoS games for their success.

Gamescom 2013: Microsoft Keeps Trying, But I’m Not Buying (Don’t Let Me Stop YOU, However)…

As I noted yesterday, Microsoft also stormed Gamescom with a bunch of new titles, but I can’t even look at anything the company is doing with its Xbox One thanks to the seriously mixed messages they’ve been sending. Sure, that new console looks pretty awesome, but between the enforced evolution thing they wanted to dump onto their user base, then the backtracking and in between, insulting anyone who didn’t have the proper connection to be always online or didn’t want to use that new Kinect or maybe wanted to sell or lend the games they owned to anyone at any time (and so forth and so on), it’s been a nightmare they need to wake up from soon.

Sure, some of you out there have VERY short attention spans and tend to forgive anyone for even the most blankety blanket of minor apologies. But there’s been a nice swell of pissed off gamers kicking Microsoft around who have little interest in the system, which seems to be forcing the company to do some insane stuff like give Europe a free (digital) copy of the FIFA game while stiffing US buyers because we’re dumb enough to pay full price for Madden every year (well, I don’t anymore).

So, the abusive relationship will continue between Microsoft and its die-hard fans with some great games on the new system, less draconian mandates (for now… but they’re coming back bit by bit, mark my words) and All sorts of exclusive content. Hopefully, that new system will be a LOT less prone to dying randomly like the Xbox 360 (I went through FIVE, dammit!) and people aren’t griping about not being able to access some stuff because they don’t want to turn on that new Kinect and it’ll be mandatory for some games or services we’re not yet informed about. I’d have to say this is the FIRST time I’m not excited for a new console cycle since I started gaming back in 1972. I’ll probably pick up an Xbox One eventually… but I certainly won’t miss it this year at all…

Gamescom 2013: US PlayStation 4 Arrives November 15, Vita Gets Price Drop Now…

I’ve been saying this for a few years, but here we go again: E3 has lost pretty much any relevance it’s had because Gamescom and later, TGS always have more exciting news stories and even better game reveals. Sony, coming off a pretty successful year for revealing new products (in its game division, at least) has dropped info on the worldwide launch dates for its eagerly anticipated PlayStation 4 console. North American consumers get their on November 15 and European consumers can plan on a November 29 launch. Sony also revealed that at least one million PS4 pre-orders have been taken, which means that’s a lot of folks who will be taking sudden early Thanksgiving vacations here in the US so they can snap up their systems and camp out at home with one of the many launch titles…

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Gamescom 2013: Thief “Uprising” Trailer: Garrett’s Got A 2014 Date With You (Lock Your Stuff Down)…

Well, for whatever good THAT will do, as it’ll just make him want to make YOU unconscious faster so he can have at that lock you paid good money for. Look, just make it easy on yourself, people: When February 25, 2014 rolls around, just pretend Santa is coming down that chimney, but instead of leaving out some milk and cookies, you just put out a plate of valuables and a note to not hit you upside the noggin with that blackjack. Hell, he’ll even take that hideous costume jewelry you were planning on donating to Goodwill, as anything he can sell all goes to getting his gear upgraded.

Of course, if you’re jerking his chain and plan to ONLY put out the cheap stuff while stuffing that Pink Panther somewhere… er, safe and warm. Oh, he’ll figure that out FAST. He’s been watching you all week and when you walk with that gem stuffed where the sun doesn’t shine, he’ll see that right away. Just so you know, it’s exactly these sort of observation skills that make an excellent thief…