Monthly Archives: December 2012

Steam removes “WarZ”

War Z

Following widespread controversy, Valve removed Hammerpoint Interactive’s The War Z from Steam.  People who purchased the game complained due to false advertising on the Steam store page for the game, with the game lacking various promised features.  Sergey Titov, developer of the game, responded to the backlash, ultimately letting responsibility for refunds fall on Valve.  Besides removing the game, Valve is currently offering refunds to people who purchased the game.

Consumers deal with more than their fair share of shady business from the video game industry.  On-disc DLC, subscription services, DRM, the list can go on for miles.  The War Z is nothing more than a money-grubbing scam.  This isn’t something new.  It is the kind of thing that happens almost every day, and no one bats an eyelash.  But today, people spoke out.  Maybe it’s not right that a basic refund and removal from the store is the best we can hope for; an exception to the rule of cheating and foul play.  But it’s a start.

“Bioshock: Infinite” cover to appeal to non-gamers

Bioshock Infinite Cover Art

Creative Director at Irrational Games Ken Levine recently addressed  the choice of box art for Bioshock Infinite, which has faced criticism from many.  Levine explained that the cover art was designed to appeal to people unaware of the game, as opposed to fans who’ve been following the title since its announcement.  Levine assured fans that Irrational games will provide alternate cover art that can be printed out.

Walking the tightrope between business and art always seems to be an issue with media.  It’s easy to cry “sell out,” but you need only look at history to discover that the quality of your work doesn’t mean a good life.  Can I blame Irrational Games for trying to appeal to the type of person who will spend $60 because the cover has a gun, fire, and the American flag?  No.  Will the box change the content of the game?  Also, no.  This is not the worst cover art ever made for a game.  (This is.)  However, what could have been great has resigned itself to mediocrity, a blemish on what seems will be an amazing game.

“Hitman” app causes controversy

Hitman Facebook App

Early Tuesday morning, Facebook featured the “Hire Hitman” app as a tie in to the recently released Hitman: Absolution.  The app allowed users to set up “hits” on their friends, allowing the user to identify the target through a number of predetermined descriptions, such as “her small tits” or “her muffin top.”  Sqaure Enix took the app down in response to “community feedback.” and apologized.

The video game industry has always been sketchy when it comes to promoting their products.  Whether it is mock protests or horrifying baby commercials , it’s safe to say gaming companies can make bad choices.  However, I believe this app wasn’t a completely bad idea.  “Killing” your Facebook friends could be a funny joke with a certain crowd.  The issue is that they presented the option to make fun of your friends for their appearance.  If the app allowed the user to write out their own description, then all the blame goes to the people using the app.  By shoving the option to insult your friend’s breast size in the user’s face, Square Enix took it a bit too far.

Second “Walking Dead” game features TV actor

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct

Terminal Reality Creative Director Drew Haworth announced that Norman Reedus, actor in AMC’s The Walking Dead, will voice his character in the first-person shooter, The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct.   The game is set to come out next year.

Man, I bet people are excited we are finally getting a Walking Dead game!  Oh, wait.  As far as I am concerned, Survival Instinct is unnecessary.  Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead is a genius game in its own right, and an amazing adaptation of the zombie comic/television show.  It did something new with the overused genre of zombie fiction, focusing on survival outside of killing zombies, such as making allies and not starving.  Sadly, I fear that Survival Instinct will overshadow Telltale Games’ masterpiece.  After all, we can’t get enough of those original zombie shooters!

Nintendo launches Wii Mini in Canada

Wii Mini

Starting Nov. 30, Walmart stores in Canada began selling the Nintendo Wii Mini, a $99 alternative to the normal Wii.  Along with the price cut, the Wii Mini does not support online features and cannot play Game Cube games.  It is only available in Canada at this point.

I can already hear the cries of children who will be getting this instead of the other recently released Nintendo console.  However, despite that possible mishap, this honestly is a great alternative for parents who don’t want to worry about their kids messing around online.  Why it is a Canada-exclusive system until after Christmas?  Who knows, but I think it’s safe to say the Wii U will cover their non-Canadian bases.