GTTV Promo inadvertently confirms Starhawk for Friday’s show?

GTTV has been teasing a big reveal for a PS3 exclusive on this Friday’s edition, with a promise to show footage of both online and offline gameplay. This, coupled with Dylan Jobe, head of Lightbox Interactive, the developer of Warhawk, posting on Twitter that “The wait is over next Friday”, pretty much everyone in the gaming world is certain that it’s going to be Starhawk, the long awaited Warhawk sequel that will be demonstrated.

In their promo for this week’s show, Gametrailers were very careful to avoid ruining the surprise, going so far as to blurring out the face of someone interviewed about the mystery game. But it seems they weren’t careful enough. Here’s the blurred out face they showed:

And here’s Dylan Jobe, head of Lightbox Interactive:

There are a few things to suggest both pictures are of the same person. First there’s the trace of a beard on the blurred image, which Dylan Jobe definitely has. Then there’s the fact that the blurred image shows the edge of a pair of glasses, which Dylan Jobe also wears. Then there’s the clincher, the person in the blurred picture has a mole on the left side of his neck. In the above picture of Dylan Jobe you can also make out a mole on the left side of his neck.

It stands to reason that if it is Starhawk on GTTV then Mr Jobe would be the man to be interviewed, since he was the media go to source for information about Warhawk, often interviewed about the game and Lightbox Interactive would hardly send a lowly programmer to speak on GTTV, they’d send their founder.
Only one more day until we find out for certain.

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Hitman Absolution to be shown on first day of E3?

Square Enix has recently revealed a teaser trailer for Hitman 5, now known as Hitman absolution. Although the video doesn’t show more than a fleeting glimpse of Agent 47’s torso and his signature handgun, the familiar image of a barcode appears at the end, the numbers under it reading: 110706040147.

The 47 part fades to red, for obvious reasons but then so do the first for digits, 110706. By reversing the order of the pairs of numbers you get 060711 which just so happens to be the first date of E3, June 7th 2011.

With Hitman: Blood Money releasing in 2006, we’re long overdue another iteration and an E3 reveal does seem likely.
This raises one last question. What does the ‘0401’ refer to?

Hitman Absolution is scheduled for release in 2012. You can check out the teaser trailer here:

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Why the PSN hacking doesn’t reflect as badly on Sony as you think.

The security breach that allowed loose-knit hacker group Anonymous to access the details of around 100m PSN accounts is undoubtedly a blemish on Sony’s reputation. Even rabid fanboys couldn’t seriously argue that it won’t hurt Sony in any way. But whatever personal information was obtained by the online security breach can’t be blamed entirely on Sony, and here’s why.

Many of you may recognise this man. His name is Gary McKinnon, an autistic 45 year old Systems Administrator from Glasgow. He was responsible for hacking into 97 different computers belonging to the United States military and NASA in an attempt to uncover evidence of extra-terrestrial technology being used by the government, causing an on-going extradition battle.

The US has accused him of hacking into their computers and deleting important files, resulting in the shutting down of 2,000 of their computers for a 24 hour period as well as copying restricted documents onto his home computer, all of which is alleged to have cost the US government $700,000. McKinnon denies causing any damage but freely admits to breaking into government computers.

Now you may be wondering what any of this has to do with Sony’s current predicament. Well, it’s simple. It stands to reason that information stored on the US military and NASA computers is going to be considerably more valuable and important than any data stored on the Playstation Network, and thus would be protected a lot better than the bank details of 100m gamers. The point I’m trying to make is that even if Sony had spent several million more to make their secure data even more secure, there’s always going to be someone that could eventually hack into this data if they were determined enough.

If a mentally challenged Scotsman can shut down US military computers for 24 hours from his Glaswegian home, then we shouldn’t be surprised that a group of hackers can break into a video gaming network. Xbox Live has been hacked before; it could easily be hacked again if someone wanted it enough. As could the Steam servers. Try to get some perspective before accusing Sony of a massive failure on their part. Sure, they’ve admitted the PSN had security flaws. But even if these had been fixed it probably wouldn’t be enough to stop a hacker group as determined and relentless as Anonymous.

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The NGP Beats the Constraints of Handheld Gaming.

When the PSP was released in 2005 it was a revolution. Graphically speaking, the games available looked almost as good as those released on the PS2. Cruising down the streets of Liberty City in a Banshee and shooting at prostitutes was as satisfying on the bus as it was in your living room.

However, the next year the PS3 was released and you couldn’t help but compare its games with those on the PSP. Since a lot of the more acclaimed games were spin-offs of console games (more than half of Metacritic’s top 30 PSP games are console spin-offs) comparing the more simplistic handheld games to their console counterparts was unavoidable.

From what we’ve already seen of the NGP’s graphics, the gap between handheld and console has decreased once again. From the footage we’ve glimpsed of NGP versions of console franchises, namely an as yet untitled Uncharted game and a port of Metal Gear Solid 4, the NGP comes pretty damn close to replicating the PS3’s graphics.

Uncharted on the NGP

While the PSP had roughly a year to showcase it’s impressive (at the time) graphics before the PS3 came out and blew it out the water, Sony has confirmed that there are no plans for a PS4 in the immediate future, which means that the graphics gap between the NGP and the current-gen consoles is going to remain relatively small for some time.

Some of you might be thinking that it’s unfair to compare console graphics to those of a handheld and while that’s certainly true, playing a franchise game on a handheld isn’t going to be as appealing when you could be playing a far more graphically advanced game from the same IP at home, in fact it’d be quite jarring. It’s fortunate then that Sony appear to have done a stellar job at putting some seriously powerful hardware in a pretty affordable (if the rumours are to be believed) gaming system and since there are already several console spinoffs confirmed for the NGP (Killzone, Call of Duty and Resistance to name but a few) it’s just as well that the comparisons will be favourable.

Brand New Copy of LocoRoco 2. All Yours For Just £2999.50

Seller GamePIMP over at online retailer is selling a brand new copy of acclaimed PSP platformer LocoRoco 2 for just under £3000 ($4800). A steep price for any game, let alone a bizarre cult game from 2008.

At first glance it just seems like an innocent enough mistake but the amount it’s up for is bizarre. If it was up for, say, £999 then it’d be obvious that someone meant to list it at £9.99 but accidentally forgot to put a decimal point in there, but £2999.50? It’s too precise to be a typo but unless the box is stained with the tears of Michael Jackson or the ‘Swedish Warehouse’ it’s being shipped from has a sideline in cocaine smuggling, it’s pretty certain it’s not worth that much.

Needless to say, it won’t get sold anytime soon.

Left 4 Dead Better than Left 4 Dead 2?

I’ve been playing Left 4 Dead 2 a lot recently, and despite it, and its prequel being understandably similar, (they were released a year apart so how different could they be), L4D2 fails to improve on all aspects of its predecessors, which is unusual for a video game.


Firstly, I thought the overall tone of the first was better. It seemed a lot darker and grittier as you’d expect a zombie game to be. L4D2 on the other hand seemed almost cartoonish in the graphics department and  I understand the decision to change a lot of it to during daylight or at least dusk since it probably would seem a bit samey with the same appearance in the second. That’s why I think they should just have kept releasing new maps for it, rather than a new game a year later.

Secondly, I feel they overcomplicated L4D2 in a way. The first’s simplicity was great, it was just four people, a limited amount of guns each with their own distinct strengths and weaknesses and the same with the enemies. None of this laser sight and explosive rounds rubbish. The more open-ended environments didn’t feel right with me either. There’s nothing like a series of narrow corridors and a swarm of enemies or a tank charging right at you to get the tension going.

Though I know I’m in the minority. It just seemed like the changes to the game engine were pretty inconsequential, the only one that actually made a difference or set it apart from the original in any way was the addition of melee weapons but they could have simply patched this into the first game. I think I’m just bitter at paying £20 for what is essentially DLC.

That said, L4D2 is still miles better than most online co-op games and I’ll probably buy whatever future instalments they ram down my throat.



Mirrors Edge 2 to use Battlefield 3 Engine?

Footage of the Frostbite 2.0 engine has recently surfaced, demonstrating the technology behind upcoming tactical FPS Battlefield 3 and part of the video demo shows a scene bearing an uncanny similarity to the art style of Mirrors Edge:

Frostbite 2 Engine

Mirrors Edge

The screens show a similar colour palette, with the original Mirrors Edge’s trademark stark red tone and distinct radiosity, particularly in the wall textures but that’s not all that’s similar.

Take a look at the white barrel in the screenshot then compare it with one from Mirrors Edge. The rings around the barrels are an almost perfect match:

The fact that both Battlefield 3 and Mirrors Edge are being developed by DICE adds weight to the theory since a game developer would most likely want to make the most of a brand new proprietary engine.

However at this point not much is know about a Mirrors Edge sequel. Last year, executive producer at DICE Karl-Magnus Trodesson said:

“I can’t really comment on that because we haven’t officially announced that we’re working on it”, adding: “But we were very happy and proud of Mirror’s Edge one as a studio, so we are thinking about what we are going to do in the future” and other than this nothing is known about the project.

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