After years upon years of watching and waiting, it's finally time... to wait a little longer. But now, there's at least a day to mark down on your cybernetic calendar implant that also doubles as a George Foreman grill.
We consider ourselves to be fairly complex individuals driven by an unfathomably intricate system of wants and needs – including the desire to succeed, chocolate, and chocolate – but it seems Eidos Montreal's solved our psychological puzzle. Simply mash together one storied franchise, one incredibly promising trailer and one unexpected delay, and – presto! – crushing depression.
Citing “harsh market feedback” on recent titles, publisher Square Enix has decided to push Deus Ex: Human Revolution into its next fiscal year, which means the cyberpunk shooter won't hit cyber-shelves until April 2011 at the absolute earliest.
Odds are, this stems from Final Fantasy XIV's cringe-inducing bellyflop of a landing and the publisher's fear of a repeat performance. There, especially, “harsh” is an understatement, and its developers are in a state of disaster control so intense you'd think the game recently suffered a Godzilla attack (which, incidentally, would make it so much better).
So basically, we can't blame Square Enix for delaying Deus Ex. Plus, there's no such thing as too much polish. But even in the face of such evidence, we can't squelch our inner five-year-old's screams of “I want it now!”
To call Final Fantasy XIV's launch "disastrous" might be a bit of an understatement. Hell, we may have even gone with “cataclysmic” if another obscure MMO didn't already have the market cornered on that one. The bottom line? FFXIV was near-universally panned by critics and players alike, with everything from maps to tutorials to its entire questing system ranging from half-baked to a slip of paper with the words “IOU” written on it.
At the very least, however, Square Enix recognizes that its flagship MMO probably shouldn't have set sail as soon as it did, so the publisher's decided to take away its subscription fee entirely until the game's in working order.
“To realize this vision, and in doing so, provide our customers with a better game experience, we have assembled our company's top talent and resources. Taking over the role of producer and director is Naoki Yoshida, a passionate individual for whom customer satisfaction has always taken top priority. We also welcome several new leaders handpicked from other projects to work with the existing talent on Final Fantasy XIV,” reads a post on FFXIV's official site.
“We realize time is of the essence and are fully determined to provide our customers with quality service. It is because of this that we ask our customers to be patient until we are able to confidently present them with a concrete plan outlining Final Fantasy XIV's new direction. The free trial period will be extended until that time.”
Some tips to get you started, Square: keep the brief storyline cut-scenes that pop up once every ten levels or so and get rid of everything else. There, now you already have a whole 30 minutes of worthwhile content! Aren't we helpful?
We don't mean to laugh at your suffering, Final Fantasy XIV fans, but we have to admit that we find this whole situation pretty amusing. See, Square's slammed the brakes on its FFXIV open beta test, which was scheduled to begin on August 31.
“FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test, which is scheduled to begin at 19:00 (PDT) on Aug. 31, 2010, will be postponed due to a confirmation of critical bugs. New schedule will be released at a later date,” the developer wrote on FFXIV's official site.
So then, why are we conjuring up our hardest Gigglaga at your expense? Well, here's the thing: aren't beta tests all about sniffing out and squashing the daylights out of “critical bugs”? If we were to yank the phony costume mustache off this “beta test” guy, we're pretty sure we'd find our old buddy “glorified free promotional demo” underneath -- as we have with countless other recent "open betas." Can we just start calling these things by their real names already?
In Just Cause 2, anything can happen. Well, ok, maybe not “anything,” but every conceivable event involving a parachute, grappling hook, explosions, and crazy moon physics. So I’m keeping a diary of my high-flying adventures, because it’s actually mathematically impossible for the above combination of factors to not be entertaining. So read on, and feel free to comment about your experiences with the game as well! Also, if you’d like to start from the beginning, here’s part one.
One of the coolest things about Just Cause 2 is that if you can see someplace, odds are, you can go there.
Bells and whistles. In some cases, that’s all that separates the (in tech years) eons-old Windows XP from spry upstarts like Windows 7 and, to a lesser extent, Windows Vista. But – like it or not – the bell may be tolling for Windows XP. At least, if you’re a gamer, anyway. Fittingly enough, Just Cause 2, a game about revolutions and, er, parachuting, is leading the charge.
“There is no XP support for Just Cause 2. This is because the game has been written to take advantage of the extra performance offered by Direct X10 and sadly Windows XP does not support that application,” Square Enix Community Manager Mike Oldman told VE3D.
Granted, games like Halo 2 and Shadowrun also gave the cold shoulder to XP for similar reasons, but that was before we were two Windows OSes removed from XP’s heyday. Maybe it’s finally time to move on and let people see what DirectX 10/11 can really do. So, you know, basically the opposite of Halo 2 and Shadowrun.
Just Cause 2 is out on March 23, in case you're interested. Check out the full, not-afraid-to-stick-their-tongues-out-at Windows XP specs for the game through the link.
A few months ago, Japanese publishing powerhouse Square Enix and current Deus Ex publisher Edios got hitched, which meant that – along with becoming a shoe-in for “Least Expected Buyout of the Year” award (Sorry, id and Bethesda. Maybe next year!) – the two would presumably toss something in the oven with both their names on it. That thing, as it turns out, is Deus Ex 3.
"Deus Ex 3 is going to be the first project which will be a concrete product of joint effort between Square Enix and Eidos. The cinematics—by which I mean any CGI pre-rendered cinematics — are going to be done in Tokyo by Square Enix, and that's going to be amazing,” Edios Montreal general manager Stephane D'Astous told Edge.
"We already have some pre-visualisations," D'Astous added. "The people in Tokyo are just so glad to work on it; this is the first project for them that's a non-Final Fantasy title— they even want to work on Thief 4 too, so everyone is really excited."
Thief 4, huh? Just remember, Square Enix, ostentatious spiky hair and sumo-sized swords may cut the mustard for JRPG heroes, but Garrett’s a bit subtler than that. He works in the shadows, deals in darkness, and wouldn’t be caught dead riding a bright yellow, constantly squawking Chocobo. He would, however, be killed shortly after. Point is, just let Eidos stick to what its good at and… oh, you’ve already renamed it Square Enix Europe? Hoo boy.
Announced earlier this week, Final Fantasy XIV is an MMO, and – as such – will be coming to the PC. However, even though the game shares a number of cosmetic genes with direct predecessor Final Fantasy XI, the two games’ developers insist that they, like two adolescent identical twins, are “completely different.”
"FFXIV is completely different from FFXI and as such, there won’t be any porting over of characters from FFXI to FFXIV, even though the character design is similar. We will not be using the PlayOnline system but a new design," said Producer Hiromichi Tanaka.
And while we’re certainly glad that we’ll no longer have to jump through PlayOnline’s many flaming, crocodile-moat-surrounded hoops in order to play FFXIV, Tanaka didn’t exactly explain how the game is different from FFXI. That’s where Director Nobuaki Komoto came in.
“The game systems will be different. FFXIV will have new in-game systems for character development as well as an expanded job system. It is quite different from FFXI. Many features of FFXI will be improved upon. We want to bring content for solo players and casual players as well as large party play from the beginning of the game,” he explained.
Tanaka also added that FFXIV will have plenty of content for “those that just want to play 40 minutes a day and content for those that wish to play all day.”
Will it have content for people who want to play Star Wars: The Old Republic all day, though? Yeah, that might be a bit of a sticking point for us.
Traditionally a console-focused publisher, Square Enix has finally decided to bestow its, er, unique sensibilities upon Steam’s ever-growing masses.
On April 9, the Japanese mega-publisher will drop add its first drop – a JRPG called The Last Remnant – to Steam’s bucket, with promises of more to come.
"We are excited to offer the millions of Steam customers online access to Square Enix titles beginning with our major action RPG, The Last Remnant," said John Yamamoto, president and chief executive officer of Square Enix."Square Enix is committed to delivering the best quality titles to PC gamers and distribution on Steam is one of the many steps we are taking to increase accessibility for fans in North America and PAL territories."
We think it’s great that Steam’s embracing the Japanese side of PC gaming – just so long as it shies away from groping around in this steamy (read: NSFW) region. Thanks in advance, Valve!
The smell of gun powder hangs in the air, and E3's off to leisurely, jogging start. Since news is spewing out of the California-based trade show like lava from an active volcano, I'm going to focus on bigger stories that will appeal to Maximum PC users' more-refined palettes. So, with that said, read more to find out all about Portal's early return, Duke Nukem's new trilogy, and much, much more.