GTA Online unwrapped, Xbox One dis-Kinects, Half-Life 3 makes excuses
17th Aug 2013 | 10:00
Seven days of gaming bliss
We'll be honest - we're writing this Week in Gaming through a haze of dizzy delirium.
From going hands on with the Xbox One console to salivating over the next era of GTA multiplayer, there's been no end of things to keep us busy over the past seven days.
Grand Theft Auto Online
We'll kick off with the one that everybody's still buzzing about - the big reveal of Grand Theft Auto Online. Rockstar tore off the wrapping and showed us exactly what we can expect from the new multiplayer of GTA 5, and it's even better than we expected.
But is it an MMO or isn't it? Good question, glad you asked. While only 16 active people can join in at one time, the world is persistent and each player has permanence in their actions, from buying property to customising their character.
So it's an MMO so long as the first M stands for Minor. Also, let's face it - an all-out GTA MMO would just be manic. People would jump red lights, there'd be parking on the sidewalk. Absolute chaos.
Despite the fact that this is launching with its own title and release date (two weeks after GTA 5) Rockstar insists it has no plans to sell Grand Theft Auto Online as a separate entity. [CVG]
Xbox One and Kinect let go
More decision-reversing from Microsoft this week as the company announced that the Xbox One will no longer require Kinect to function.
Now, Microsoft isn't breaking its commitment to Kinect and insists that it's still integral to the whole Xbox One experience. A lot of features will be unavailable when the device is unplugged too. But this should appease those concerned about Kinect being used as an Orwellian spy tool, always watching and listening to our every word.
The PS4 and Xbox One are becoming more and more similar by the day. In fact, we're getting to the point where we can barely tell the difference. Is this what we really wanted?
Then we get out mits on it (again)
Then lo and behold - an Xbox One appeared right in our office. So of course we didn't waste a moment and got our fingers all over it.
Check out our hands on with the unboxed Xbox One below. Hell, you might even learn something.
Peter Molyneux told us that he thinks the backlash on the Xbox One has been unfair and we reckon he might have a point.
Half-Life 3 has emotional problems...
Is it just us or has the Half-Life 3 news been gathering a bit of pace recently? There was more this week, but unfortunately not the good kind, with Valve voice actor John Patrick Lowrie coming forward to say that he believes the game is not in development.
According to Lowrie, who provided voice work for Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2, the problem that Valve is facing with HL3 is motion capture. While characters in the second game would follow you with their eyes when talking to you, motion capture doesn't allow for that yet.
He did add, however, that voice actors are always the "last to know anything" so we shouldn't take his word as gospel.
We'd reckon it's pretty unlikely that Gabe and his team aren't working on Half-Life 3, and our argument is simple: money. Lots and lots of lovely money that Valve will be rolling in the minute it sends Gordon Freeman back out into the world again.
However, he's likely right about the motion capture aspect of the game. And hey, we're happy to wait a little bit longer if Valve is going to make it worth it, right? What? We're not? Oh.
...while Microsoft goes full Steam ahead
And while we're on the subject, former Steam icon Jason Holtman has just been picked up by Microsoft to head up its PC gaming.
Holtman spearheaded Valve's Steam business for eight years, and we all know how popular that became. Microsoft is clearly hungry for equal success in the PC space.
With most of Microsoft's focus on the Xbox One right now, this will no doubt come as relief to desktop gamers who might have felt pushed to the margins these past few months.
Speaking of which…
Just a day after we heard about Holtman's move, Microsoft announced it was closing down the Games for Windows Live marketplace. Is this the start of its initiative to offer a more seamless, less fragmented, games market experience?
We hope so. And perhaps some nice crossover with the Xbox One. After all, we now know that we'll be able to use the Xbox One controller on our PCs as of next year.
Can't Lego of the past
Not a day goes by where we don't wonder how awesome our consoles would look if they were built entirely of lego. But what we never stopped to consider was how much better they'd be if they could also transform into giant robots.
Thanks goodness that New York artist Baron Von Brunk is here to fill this gap in the market, with his range of insanely-cool lego transforming Nintendo 64 consoles and accessories. Check them out over at CVG.
Rayman springs back to life
We also had a chat with Emile Morel, the lead designer on Rayman Legends, who gave us a bit more of a glimpse into how the team approached designing for Nintendo's home console.
"When we started to work on the Wii U it was scary," he admitted. "I think its a bit like the first Wii... to do a good game, you have to go in a direction where you're only thinking about this console."
He also told us that the team had "a few crazy ideas" but only some of them made it to the final game. "I haven't seen any other games on the Wii U making as good use of the gamepad," he added. Even if he says so himself, we have to agree.
And on that note...we'll finish off with some hot links from around Future's network.
Is this the biggest ever shake-up of the Grand Theft Auto series? CVG breaks down GTA Online - and it sounds incredible.
"You guys know your sh*t!" CVG interview Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies about Grand Theft Auto Online.
Let the fragging begin: Games Radar has all the Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer details.
"It just happens to be one of the greatest superhero games ever made." Click for GamesRadar's excellent Saints Row IV review.
Official Nintendo Magazine
Your one-stop shop for all things Pokemon X and Y Pokedex - New Pokemon
More Pokemon! Top 5 Pokemon Types - what would be on your list?
Official PlayStation Magazine
"A meaty stealth experience even bleeding heart liberals can't resist." Check out OPM's Splinter Cell PS3 review and gameplay video.
"It's a shame there's not more invention, because when Saints Row 4's missions do deliver, they do so spectacularly." Click for OPM's Saints Row 4 PS3 review and gameplay video
Official Xbox Magazine
Characters! Perks! Killstreaks! DLC! Plus COD's "biggest overhaul since the original Modern Warfare". OXM's full report on Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer.
A parent's guide: How to avoid cyber-bullying on Xbox Live, and what to do if you encounter it.
Pass the tissues. It's time to undo years of therapy with 50 Movie Deaths That Ruined Our Childhoods.
It's fresh, shiny and full of film goodness. It's Total Film's new YouTube channel!