Like certain other “episodes” we’ve been impatiently anticipating for quite some time, GTA IV’s two after-dinner mints have taken nearly as long to arrive as the main course. But at least GTA IV has a good (ish) reason. You see, Microsoft struck a timed exclusivity deal with Rockstar… for the Xbox. PC, not so much.
So now, nearly one year after the first of the two episodes launched, GTA IV: Episodes from Liberty City has escaped from the Xbox’s supermax prison to wreak havoc on the PC (and PS3, in case you’re keeping count).
The two packs – known as “The Lost and the Damned” and “The Ballad of Gay Tony” – are launching on March 30, and will come bundled together in stores or separately as DLC.
So, who’s up for another 30 or so hours of car-stealing, murder, drug dealing, and whatever else you crazy kids are into these days?
Welcome to the latest installment of Disappointment Theater -- starring Your Life. Today's guest star: Grand Theft Auto IV! Wrecking one of the year's best games definitely seems like an impossible task, so read on and be astonished.
According to Steam's fuming masses, as well as gaming site Shacknews, GTA IV's creepy crawlies are all over the place. Topping players' lists of things not to be thankful for, however, are missing textures (apparently caused by corrupt graphics drivers) and the ever-popular crashing bug, which can potentially keep you from even loading the game at all.
Fortunately, one intrepid Steam user has tossed together a forum thread outlining all known issues and possible fixes, so as a (highly prestigious) reward we're putting his name on the site. Thanks, Ramzy!
Additionally, while it's not exactly a bug, the majority of wannabe-crime lords are being forced to run their game of choice at low graphical settings -- a complaint to which Rockstar has issued a response:
"Higher settings are provided for future generations of PCs with higher specifications than are currently widely available," claimed the developer.
Rockstar also released a statement promising that it'll unscrew this pooch as quickly as possible.
So, unless you want to pay $50 for a glorified beta test, wait a couple weeks before taking the plunge.
Electronic Arts couldn't have predicted the unprecedented backlash from outraged gamers following Spore's release, or at least not the extent that they would take the anti-DRM crusade. Protests ran the gamut from blasting the title with thousands of negative user reviews on Amazon to not just making the game available on warez sites, but actively encouraging consumers to pirate the title. If you thought it might be awhile before SecuROM saddled another high profile release, think again.
Despite all the recent raucous, Rockstar has decided to implement the DRM scheme on GTA IV for the PC. But before you cry foul and grab the pitchforks and torches, Rockstar says its version will be much more user friendly than the one found on EA's Spore.
Hit the jump to see what makes GTA IV's DRM different than Spore's.
Gaming, in at least one major way, imitates real life -- and I hate it. Year after year, the game release schedule ebbs and flows with the prototypical real life schedule, and the end result isn't pretty. Spring is simple enough; summer is a time for basking and vacationing. But winter and fall make up for summer with gusto. Papers flutter about as work and/or school top-off on the overwhelming meter, family members get traded amongst households for myriad holiday celebrations, and nothing ever goes according to plan.
Meanwhile, spring showers usually herald games that winter and fall somehow missed, summer deludes us into getting excited about games like Too Human, and fall/winter try to cram as many games as possible into what little free time we have left over thanks to, you know, life. And guess what: everyone's favorite part of the cycle kicks off yet again in only a couple of weeks.
So, my question: as a result of the so-called "most wonderful time of the year," what games do you most regret having missed out on? Are there any games you plan on sacrificing for the greater good this year?
Sadly, if today's Roundup is any indication, don't count on a dam for the annual game flood any time soon. Inside, you'll find a concrete release date for Fallout 3, the first details about the greatly enhanced PC edition of GTA IV, and tons of other news nuggets in between. Give it a read after the break.
If not for the fact that I was able to actually make physical contact with David Hayter at this year's Capcom E3 press conference, it would've been a total letdown. The whole thing was just a giant shill for Capcom's Lost Planet film, and its reception was nearly as icy cold as the movie/game's setting. But in between cracking big, corporate grins and repeatedly uttering the Japanese equivalent of "So awesome," the Capcom big-wigs dropped a tiny bomb. See, as it turns out, Lost Planet had popped from Capcom's collective womb with a ticket to Hollywood in hand. The game was born to be a film.
As we've seen with movies like Doom and Resident Evil, and games like Guitar Hero, media convergence is inevitable. United we stand; divided, we make less money. And that just won't do. However, whereas other instances of convergence have taken two (or more) disparate media forms and none-too-subtly mashed them together -- casualties be damned -- Lost Planet, if all goes according to plan, will straddle the line between games and film. Instead of removing what makes the game special -- effectively neutering it with a rusty knife -- Lost Planet: The Movie has the potential to usher in an era of game-themed movies not unlike what we're seeing with comic books right now.
But is that what we want? Last I checked, comic book fans were a tiny niche, nearly fit for a somber, "Don't let these beautiful creatures die" commercial from the World Wildlife Fund. Yeah, I'm not sure comics are the greatest role model. Plus, do we really want cherished characters having their in-game appearances altered just so they can more aptly fit their roles as movie characters (See Nick Fury, among others)?*
So, are you ready for some top-notch game-to-movie conversions, or would you rather our hobby stick to the small screen, interactive and proud?
Today's Roundup features a big-name title that's already being preened for stardom, and wouldn't you know it, Electronic Arts is the, er, preener. Inside, you'll also find Rockstar decrying the hardcore/casual divide, a top-15 list of Olympic proportions, and massive success from a WoW competitor. Hurdle past the break for more.
During my many years of Taekwondo training (no, really) I've seen a fair share of faux-martial artists come and go. Not all of them were masters of the ol' chop-socky, but that doesn't mean they weren't good company. One of those long-since retired combatants was big into games, so naturally, we hit it off. In between feasting on one another's punches and kicks, we talked about all of the latest releases -- mostly on the PC. But, in one major way, we were different: I purchased; he pirated.
Of course, he had a reason. PC games can sometimes be buggy and unreliable -- even going so far as to not run on certain PCs. He raked in torrents as "extended demos," and presumably purchased the games he liked. Even so, I'm not sure if I agreed with his methods. After all, isn't that what regular demos are for? Plus, I never really got the impression that he actually followed through with step two of his little plan.
So, question of the day: Do you pirate games?If so, what's your justification? Do you even call it "pirating"? Don't worry, I'm merely asking as a discussion question -- not to judge anyone.
Today's Roundup contains a few possible methods of diverting cash back into the pockets of those who create games, though I'd wager none of the wannabe saviors really have a concrete idea of how they're going to end the Yarr-ing menace once and for all. On one had, Microsoft sees downloads usurping retail's throne in the near future, which could create an iTunes-like situation for the gaming industry. On the other hand, Turner has decided to toss GameTap to the curb like a box of unwanted kittens (an $18 million box of kittens), so obviously not all is well in the realm of downloadable games. Read about all of that and more after the break.
Today's Gaming Roundup isn't afraid to ask questions. Why do gamers hate color? Why is World of Warcraft so big? And why, in almighty God's name, is Star Wars Galaxies getting a trading card game? The Roundup asks, and it also answers -- all just a hop, skip, and jump (past the break) away.
With all the crowing over Rockstar's hidden sexual content unlocked through the now infamous Hot Coffee mod, you'd have thought it was Vivid Entertainment and not Take-Two Interactive who published Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. As it turns out, most gamers weren't so offended after all, and it appears the lawyers were the ones looking to cash in more than anyone else. Why? Keep reading to find out.