'DESTINY' WON A BAFTA AND PEOPLE ARE PISSED
Let's get this one right out of the way: at the BAFTA Games Awards in London last night (the 12th of March), all-the-money sci-fi shooter Destiny emerged triumphant in the category of Best Game, meaning it's the most awesome thing to have come along for your console or computer since the last gaming BAFTAs gave the same gong to The Last of Us. Now, Destiny's fine, fun even with mates over headsets if you're into that sort of thing. But game of the year? The best of all the games released in the last 12 months? Oh shit no. No. Just no. Go home, BAFTA. You're wasted.
The titles the Activision-published zero-story FPS was up against were Monument Valley, Alien: Isolation, Mario Kart 8, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. If you stopped every ceremony attendee before they took their seat to ask what release would walk away with Best Game, you'd be looking at four, maybe five percent of respondents going with Destiny. And they probably work for its developer, Bungie.
Which is not to say Destiny's bad. I am not saying that. I see its appeal. But it is the worst game of the shortlisted selection – a gloriously beautiful multiplayer affair that works, but offers nothing to surprise anyone who's played a game at any point of the last ten years, or more. It's as mechanically mundane as any new-gen game can be before we all give up on the industry ever progressing to more-than-just-guns experiences.
Whatcha saying, Twitter?
Thought so. Elsewhere, there was good news for the crew behind mobile puzzler Monument Valley, as the M.C. Escher-inspired game won in both the Best Mobile and Best British categories. Other indies fared well, too, with wins for Never Alone, side-on skateboard twitch-test OlliOlli (in the same category, Sport, as FIFA and Forza), and the delightfully hand-crafted Lumino City. Click here for all the winners and nominees.
NATHAN DRAKE IS TAKING THE YEAR OFF
PlayStation 4 owner? Looking forward to the new instalment in the Uncharted series, A Thief's End? You're going to have to really squint to see it now, as the game's been moved back to a 2016 release. To be honest, if the PS4 is your main machine, that doesn't leave you with a great deal of big-hitting heavyweights exclusive to the platform in 2015, once Bloodborne's been and gone.
Then again, maybe this is simply Sony freeing up schedule space to finally confirm a release date for The Last Guardian, eh? Eh? No? Okay.
TURKEY'S CHICKEN OVER LETTING ITS KIDS PLAY 'MINECRAFT'
Turkey might ban Minecraft. It won't obviously, because that's insane. But it makes for a good headline and, look, we've got a bunch more words on it over here.
CHANGES TO 'FIFA' DIDN'T GO DOWN HALF AS EASILY AS RIVALDO AT THE WORLD CUP THAT TIME
I stopped playing FIFA properly a few years back for a couple of reasons. One, it was eating up too much of my time, time that I should have been spending attending to my first-born child. And secondly, for my money FIFA 10 nailed it. Perfect FIFA. No need for any more. I'm done. Obviously the game can, and has, become prettier, and there'll always be demand for up-to-date squads. But in terms of how the game actually plays? It'll always be 10, for me. (I do have 15, though, so if you ever want to come over for a game, just say the word.)
This week, the game's makers EA shook up the Ultimate Team mode and got an absolute spanking for it – on Twitter, obviously; nobody's showing up at their place of work with paddles.
Well, indeed. This Ultimate Team business might as well be in Japanese to someone like me, but apparently the changes have cheesed a lot of FIFA players off. The Guardian has a useful summary of the whole not-quite-a-fiasco, ultimately concluding that everything will probably be okay. It's only a game, as my wife reassures me when I'm sulking into my tea after seeing Saints lose to Swansea City.
A VERITABLE SLURRY OF SUMPTUOUS NEWSY TITBITS
If you're looking forward to the gore galore of Mortal Kombat X, but are hanging onto a PS3 or Xbox 360, unlucky. The fighter might be out for new-gen consoles in April, but it'll not transfer to older systems until the summertime. Oh, and Jason Voorhees is in it, apparently. Because it's 2015. (And, yes, because it's Friday the 13th, very good.)
The BBC is turning Grand Theft Auto – the making of it, at least – into a drama for broadcast later in 2015. The 90-minute film will focus on the people behind the game's development – the first GTA was produced by DMA Design of Edinburgh, before the company became Rockstar North in 1999 – and will air on BBC Two as part of the Beeb's "Make It Digital" initiative. No transmission date is confirmed as yet, but when it is you can guarantee The Daily Mail will get a blustering op-ed out there before you can say "hot coffee".
Gorgeous-looking Xbox One platformer Ori and the Blind Forest has hit some snags. Kotaku reports that the game "isn't working properly", with remedial action going as far as requiring the complete uninstalling of the game before setting it up again. Which we swear we didn't know about when running the headline "Xbox One's Indie Strategy Isn't Working Just Yet" earlier this week.
Remember when Nintendo dominated America with the NES? Of course you don't, because you weren't born. But they've only gone and done it again, albeit just for the month of February. MCV reports that Nintendo topped both the hardware and software charts for last month in the States, with the company's New 3DS handheld selling a bundle and the new, 3D version of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask coming out as the best-selling game. Old dog, a few new tricks, bingo.
Love eSports but always on the move? theScore has you sorted, as the Canadian company's eSports-focused app, innovatively titled theScore eSports, has just made the leap from Android devices to iOS, as reported by Polygon. Stats and that, in your hand, plus a smattering of highlights reels and live streams as and when action's taking place. Just another indicator that eSports is edging ever closer to the mainstream.
Community funded racer Project CARS is now out in May, not April (which is a shame as I have played it, and it's looking great). Grand Theft Auto V's newly implemented heists are alright. Titanfall 2's been confirmed. PlayStation Mobile's dead, but it's not like anyone knew it wasn't anyway, so. This was the news.
SOME NEW GAMES CAME OUT
Several of them, but all I've played this week – save for a bunch of so-new-they're-not-even-out-yet indie games at Rezzed (okay, and Shovel Knight) – is Chrono Trigger and 80 Days. But rest assured, reader, that I'll be seeing to some of these this weekend. Maybe.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number isn't quite as good as the first game, say a slew of reviewing sorts. But if top-down, retro-styled slaughter is your body bag of bloody good times, this is what you should be downloading to your PlayStation Anything. We've a feature on the game's makers, Swedish studio Dennaton, over here.
LA Cops isn't Hotline Miami, but sort of is, albeit isometric, slower and nowhere near as bastard hard/super fun. I'm basing that opinion on what I saw of the game as it was played by a 13-year-old school kid at Rezzed. Either he sucked, or the game did, or maybe both. Probably both. Reviewing on GamesRadar, Steve Hogarty says: "LA Cops is a game that's utterly lacking in personality and soul." Swerve it, then.
Ori and the Blind Forest, we covered that already. The PS4 and Xbox One "definitive edition" of DmC: Devil May Cry looked super sweet on my TV for the five minutes I played of it on Wednesday – I liked Ninja Theory's 2013 original on last-gen systems, so I'm expecting to get stuck into this glossy rework in the coming days. (More on it, here.) Likewise Resident Evil Revelations 2, now on episode three of four – being one of these press types you read about being all "collusive", I've the complete package sitting on my PS4, so I'll have more to say on that this time next week.
I don't know what Cities: Skylines is but it's already sold over 250,000 copies, so I guess it's at least as great as Destiny. It definitely can't be as bad as that shitty sci-fi flick of 2010, Skyline. Though at least that attempted to tell a story, unlike Bungie's handsome but hollow award-winner of last night. Bye.