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Saints Row 4 is more than just coming up with 'crazy ideas,' says producer

Saints Row 4 Image

Upon first look atSaints Row 4, it's apparent Volition is taking things to a more extreme level. But it's important to realize that the over-the-top nature oftheSaints Row franchise is more than just coming up with wild ideas.

Speaking to OXM,Saints Row 4 senior producer Jim Boon explained, "The challenge is to make sure these ideas have a purpose and are fun.

"We don't want to do crazy just for the sake of being over the top, so it is important that our crazy ideas actually add to the game. The pressure comes from having the time to really hone our idea into something that feels awesome for the player."

It shouldn't be hard for the team to find a purpose for many ofSaints Row 4's wacky ideas. With the game set in an alternate version of Steelport with an arsenal of alien weaponry and technology, the possibilities are unlimited. Even this time around, you have superpowers to help take down the evil alien Zinyak.

"Ultimately the pressure comes from trying to keep things fun in SR4. We have a very creative team that comes up with some fairly crazy ideas – that is almost the easy part for the team," Boon continued.

As for what many consider to be a juvenile tone, Boon defends that, based on overall reception and sales ofSaints Row: The Third, the fans seem to "enjoy this aspect."

"We do get an awful lot of feedback from fans telling us much they love our juvenile tone – with some asking us to go even further!" he concluded. "Ultimately SR4 doesn't try to take itself too seriously and we even have a lot of fun at our own expense."

While I thoroughly enjoyedSaints Row: The Third, I'm still a bit on the fence withSaints Row 4. Despite the juvenile elements ofSaints Row: The Third — like a giant purple dildo — the game still possessed many realistic, albeit over-the-top sequences. It just seemed like an over-the-top action flick. With the addition of aliens, I'm worriedSaints Row 4could lose itself in its own silliness.

[OXM]

By Matt Liebl

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Blade Wolf DLC Detailed

Konami has announced the third DLC pack for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Called Blade Wolf, the content will be available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on May 14 (In Europe, the content will be available on PlayStation 3 a day later). It will cost $6.99 / €6.99 / 560 MS points.

The pack focuses on the wise-crackin’ robot dog Raiden teams up with, LQ-84i, and will offer gamers a chance to experience a playable side-story from his point of view.

In terms of story, Blade Wolf will apparently expand upon the origins on LQ-84i, exploring just what happened prior to his battle and eventual partnership with Raiden. Fresh weapons and abilities will be available, and a new boss will also be added to the game.

What do you reckon? Does this make you want to jump back into Platinum’s latest release? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Luke Karmali is IGN’s UK Junior Editor. You too can revel in mediocrity by following him on IGN and on Twitter.

By Luke Karmali

STILL THE
BEST WORST GAME

Few games in this console generation have split the reactions of critics as much as Deadly Premonition. A budget release previously only available on Xbox 360 (outside of Japan), this divisive survival-horror game managed to make its way onto numerous best-of and worst-of lists 2010. Even IGN couldn’t agree on it internally; our UK team praised it for being “a uniquely unforgettable experience,” while our US team described it as being “awful in nearly every way”. I tend to agree with the former, and am pleased that this PlayStation 3-only Director’s Cut rights a few of the wrongs that turned some people off of that experience – most notably the clunky controls and camera issues – but sad that it adds a disappointingly slight amount of new story content.

That unforgettable experience remains a difficult thing to sum up. Deadly Premonition is an episodic whodunit murder mystery set in a small town inhabited by a populace of off-kilter characters, with the player cast as the FBI agent at the head of the investigation. But in practice, it’s far weirder than that. Imagine if you took the complete script from David Lynch’s Twin Peaks television series, translated it into Japanese, then translated it back into English, then had a drunk friend read it to you from the passenger seat of your car while they clumsily flicked between obscure jazz radio stations that intermittently fluctuated in volume.

If your drunk passenger looks exactly like Betty from Mulholland Drive, then all the better.

It’s funny. It’s disturbing. It’s insane. Often all at the same time. But most importantly, it’s memorable. Exploring the open-world town of Greenvale and interacting with the larger-than-life locals you get the clear impression that this is a game that was unleashed from the mind of one man (director Hidetaka “SWERY” Suehiro) and exists more or less as he intended it, rather than being focus-tested into banality like so many big-budget blockbusters.

Playing the original version is like pushing a wheelbarrow full of pug dogs – ugly and challenging to maneouvre, but overflowing with personality. And well, it’s still pretty ugly. Although this Director’s Cut has been upscaled to 720p, it’s still one of a few current-generation games with textures so poor that even the in-game signs need subtitles. The upscaling has also had a negative impact on the frame rate, which seems to get bogged down a bit more than it did in the original. Indeed the graphics would barely pass muster in a late-generation PS2 game, but to be fair its low-budget looks have the effect of better serving its schlocky, B-movie sensibilities.

The good news is that it’s now far easier to control, both in terms of the new manual camera setup (no more getting turned around in stairwells) and the more logically laid out shooting system for the combat sections. York no longer handles like a treadless tank, and targeting the groaning, backwards-walking Shadow enemies now feels more in line with what you’d expect from a third-person shooter in 2013. It’s not as slick as it could be, but it’s certainly far more functional this time around.

And the enemies still laugh in the upside down faces of chiropractors.

Admittedly there have been a couple of optional extras tacked onto the PS3 version, namely support for both stereoscopic 3D and PS Move controls. However, neither feature should be viewed as a genuine selling point – the 3D only serves to magnify the jagged edges of the visuals, and the motion controls work fine on foot but are effectively game-breaking while driving, and therefore can’t be considered a viable alternative.

Frustration has also been minimized due to the complete removal of the difficulty options – you now have no choice but to play on what feels like easy mode. That may seem like a copout by the development team, but it makes sense – Deadly Premonition is not a game you play to challenge your reflexes; its strengths lie with its story, its characters, and its bizarre mish-mash of campy silliness and moments of genuinely confronting horror. The fact that it’s now easier to blast your way through the monster-infested otherworld sections and get back to the absorbing plot can only really be seen as a positive.

Again, though, the problem with calling this re-release a “Director’s Cut” is that the phrase implies there’s a substantial amount of content not found in the original release, and sadly that’s not the case here. While there are about a half a dozen new cutscenes that bookend each of the episodes – as well as an extended ending that hints at a possible sequel – there aren’t any new playable missions. There’s not enough here to justify playing again if what you’re after is more of that terrifically bizarre story.

The Verdict

If you’re going to measure Deadly Premonition using traditional gaming yardsticks like graphical fidelity, gameplay challenge, and overall polish, then this Director’s Cut still comes up short of modern standards even with the fixes. Yet despite any obvious technical shortcomings, it succeeds on the strength of its story, its characters, and its countless WTF moments. It doesn’t feature enough new content to interest existing fans, but if you want to find out which side of the love-it-or-hate-it divide you’re on, now’s the perfect time to play one of the most memorable and utterly insane survival-horror games ever made in its most accessible form.

By Tristan Ogilvie

Beyond: Two Souls has an exceptionally long script

Beyond: Two Souls script

Sony's doing a little bragging about Beyond: Two Souls, the upcoming interactive-drama game from developer Quantic Dream. People have now laid hands on 2,000 blank pages of mock script.

The script book (pictured here) doesn't contain any actual words, but it's meant to represent all the scenes in the game put together. That's a lot of content.

CNET's Dan Ackerman posted the photo on Facebook, writing, "Yesterday was Earth Day; today Sony sends over 2,000 blank pages to show off how big the script for Beyond: Two Souls is."

Of course, games aren't like books — what might take an hour to read could be covered in half the time just by listening and talking to characters in-game. We'll have to wait until October 8 just to find out how meaty the dialogue and cutscenes in Beyond really are.

Still, this is impressive. Quantic Dream is obviously devoted to making a rich game. The developer also put considerable thought into the game's box art, which was revealed last week.

[IGN]

Follow @wita on Twitter.

By Stephanie Carmichael

The Last of Us Ending Spoilers Leaked

The Last of Us image

You might want to watch out around the Internet for the next few weeks if you don’t want The Last of Us’ ending spoiled for you – details of the game’s plot have leaked online. Don’t worry, we’re not going to reveal anything here.

Eurogamer reports that in the demo version of the game released with God of War: Ascension, there is a list of cutscene names hidden away within the code, which dedicated people have cracked open. They contain very strong allusions to the game’s ending, as well as ostensibly revealing what happens to key characters. They’ve also found a full list of weapons and multiplayer details.

As you might expect, 4Chan, GameFAQs and some Reddit threads are already rife with unexpected spoilers, so be careful.

The Last of Us is out in just over a month, on June 14th. Watch out until then. IGN is doing a spoiler-free livestream of the game on May 24th from a huge live event – if you’re near London, UK, you can win tickets here.

Keza MacDonald is in charge of IGN’s games coverage in the UK and DOES NOT WANT this game spoiled for her. You can follow her on IGN and Twitter.

By Keza MacDonald

Dead Island Devs Announce Hellraid for 360, PS3 and PC

Techland, the studio that’s made games like Dead Island and Call of Juarez, has announced platforms and given their previously named “Project Hell” an official title. Now called Hellraid, it’s described as a “first-person co-op slasher,” Hellraid will have both a single player campaign and a multiplayer mode where you, “destroy the denizens of hell and compete with your friends for points and rewards.”

It isn’t entirely clear how the game will play from the initial screenshots, but Techland stated that it will feature, “melee, ranged and magical weapons.” It also apparently puts an emphasis on randomly generated content, and loot and enemies will apparently be placed differently when you jump back in.

Hellraid is currently slated to be released later this year for 360, PC, and PS3.

Anthony Gallegos writes about PC games for IGN. Follow him on Twitter for random ramblings, as well as on IGN.

By Anthony Gallegos

Gearbox, SEGA Sued Over Aliens: Colonial Marines

Aliens: Colonial Marines image

Update: Gearbox has now commented on the lawsuit, providing the following statement to IGN:

“Attempting to wring a class action lawsuit out of a demonstration is beyond meritless. We continue to support the game, and will defend the rights of entertainers to share their works-in-progress without fear of frivolous litigation.”

Additionally, SEGA provided its own statement earlier today:

“SEGA cannot comment on specifics of ongoing litigation, but we are confident that the lawsuit is without merit and we will defend it vigorously.”

Original story follows:

A class action lawsuit has been filed against SEGA and Gearbox regarding Aliens: Colonial Marines. In a lawsuit obtained by Polygon, plaintiff Damion Perrine claims “that Gearbox and Sega falsely advertised Aliens by showing demos at trade shows like PAX and E3 which didn’t end up being accurate representations of the final product.”

Their ‘actual gameplay’ demonstration advertising campaign bore little resemblance to the retail product.

The demos were advertised as “actual gameplay” at the time, yet portrayed a level of “graphical fidelity, AI behavior and even entire levels not featured in the game.” The suit explains that by having reviews under an embargo that lifted the day of release, consumers did not have time to learn from critics about the difference in quality in the final product compared to early footage.

“Each of the ‘actual gameplay’ demonstrations purported to show consumers exactly what they would be buying: a cutting edge video game with very specific features and qualities,” the claim argues. “Unfortunately for their fans, Defendants never told anyone — consumers, industry critics, reviewers, or reporters — that their ‘actual gameplay’ demonstration advertising campaign bore little resemblance to the retail product that would eventually be sold to a large community of unwitting purchasers.”

The suit also points to this tweet from Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford, which acknowledges that the difference between the original demo and final game is “understood and fair and we are looking at that. Lots of info to parse, lots of stake holders to respect.”

Earlier this month, SEGA agreed to add a disclaimer to trailers stating that they are not reflective of the final product. The Wii U version of the game was later canceled.

We’ve reached out to SEGA and Gearbox about the suit and will update this story with any comment we receive. For more on the differences between Colonial Marines demos and the final product, read our analysis of whether or not early screenshots lied to you.

Andrew Goldfarb is IGN’s news editor. Keep up with pictures of the latest food he’s been eating by following @garfep on Twitter or garfep on IGN.

By Andrew Goldfarb

FYI: Tomb Raider Reboot 50% off on PSN

Tomb Raider image

If you live in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile or Argentina, I have good news for you: from right now until Monday, April 29th at noon (Pacific, presumably), Crystal Dynamic’s Tomb Raider will be 50% off as part of a PlayStation Network Flash Sale. Naturally, this is for the digital version only.

Tomb Raider typically costs $59.99, but only costs $29.99 right now. So if you’ve been thinking about getting the game, now might just be the time to strike.

There’s nothing else to add… just consider this yet another reminder from your friendly neighborhood PlayStation editor!

Colin Moriarty is an IGN PlayStation editor. You can follow him on Twitter and IGN and learn just how sad the life of a New York Islanders and New York Jets fan can be.

By Colin Moriarty

Beyond: Two Souls is Ten Hours Long

Beyond image

Quantic Dream head David Cage has revealed that the upcoming narrative-focused Beyond: Two Souls will last for ten hours.

Speaking at an event for the game at the Tribeca Film Festival (via Gamespot), Cage revealed the figure after a 35 minute clip of the title’s “Homeless” level was shown.

Because people wanted to see the end, they wanted to know what would happen next.

The figure comes after mock scripts for the game were sent to media outlets last week, revealing the title’s narrative spans over 2,000 pages.

Cage also revealed he’s confident that most gamers will finish the title, as his last game Heavy Rain had a higher than average completion rate amongst gamers; typically about 20 percent of players see a game through to its end, though for Heavy Rain this number was about 75 percent.

In his opinion, this is down to the story-heavy nature of the game. He explained, “Because people wanted to see the end, they wanted to know what would happen next…all this was very important.”

Alongside the 35 minute clip, a new trailer for the game was debuted at Tribeca, which you can check out below.

Luke Karmali is IGN’s UK Junior Editor. You too can revel in mediocrity by following him on IGN and on Twitter.

By Luke Karmali

FYI: Behold the PlayStation All-Stars Heritage Sale

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale image

Sure, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale may not have sold the best, but it’s still a great game with a loyal following, and its many odes to PlayStation’s proud heritage are about to be on sale. Starting on Tuesday, April 30th in North America only, both regular users and PlayStation Plus subscribers can expect to save some bucks (with Plus users saving even more) on the following games that inspired PlayStation All-Stars.

Oh, and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale itself will be on sale for both PS3 and Vita, too, to the tune of 50% off for PS Plus subscribers.

  • BioShock (Retail)
  • BioShock 2 (Retail)
  • Devil May Cry HD Collection (Retail)
  • God of War HD (PSN)
  • God of War II HD (PSN)
  • God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP)
  • God of War Collection (Retail)
  • God of War: Ghost of Sparta (PSP)
  • God of War Origins Collection (Retail)
  • Infamous (Retail)
  • Infamous 2 (Retail)
  • Infamous: Festival of Blood (PSN)
  • LittleBigPlanet (Retail)
  • LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
  • LittleBigPlanet 2 (Retail)
  • LittleBigPlanet Karting (Retail)
  • LittleBigPlanet PS Vita (Vita)
  • Metal Gear Solid (PSone)
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty HD (PSN/Vita)
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater HD (PSN/Vita)
  • Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (Retail/Vita)
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (PSP)
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD (PSN/Vita)
  • Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (PSP)
  • Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus (PSP)
  • Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One (Retail)
  • Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault (PSN)
  • Ratchet & Clank HD Collection (Retail)
  • Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest For Booty (PSN)
  • Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal (PSN)
  • Secret Agent Clank (PSP)
  • Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus HD (PSN)
  • Sly 2: Band of Thieves HD (PSN)
  • Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves HD (PSN)
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (Retail/Vita)
  • The Sly Collection (Retail)
  • Twisted Metal (PSone)
  • Twisted Metal (Retail)
  • Twisted Metal 2 (PSone)
  • Twisted Metal: Black (PS2)
  • Twisted Meteal: Head-On (PSone)

Consider this a reminder from your friendly neighborhood PlayStation editor.

Colin Moriarty is a Senior Editor in charge of IGN’s PlayStation coverage. You can follow him on Twitter and IGN and learn just how sad the life of a New York Islanders and New York Jets fan can be.

By Colin Moriarty

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