The magic of Grand Theft Auto games has always been the attention to detail to the fidelity of interactivity in the world, whether it’s watching the character throw his toll money into the receptacle, or being able to watch the actual TV in your safe house. One of the more subtle touches in GTAV is that characters having a conversation in a car will react dynamically to any mishaps, usually with a quick expletive, and then continue where they left off once things return to normal. Naturally, some crashes seem to deserve bigger reactions, and having the characters shrug them off can seem a little… quirky.

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Well, someone’s getting fired.

A Rayman Legends trailer, almost certainly the sequel to Rayman Origins as reported earlier in the week, leaked out onto the internet, ensuring its immortality. What’s more, the trailer was specifically for the Wii U version, which has seen no direct promotion since E3 2011.

First, regarding the game itself: beyond the improved rendering engine, the game features new social features, multiplayer modes, characters, and all those sequelly things we’ve come to expect. However, the game also takes advantage of some unique Wii U features. In one scene, one of four players is shown directly manipulating platforms on the Wii U tablet’s resistive touch screen, allowing the other three players to advance. And, in the first instance we’ve yet seen of the Wii U’s built-in NFC technology, figures were placed on top of the Wii U tablet and recognized, granting additional features in-game. This functionality is notably similar to last year’s Skylanders, a game that enjoyed perhaps surprising commercial success.

The Wii U tablet controller looks largely unchanged, save for an odd black patch on the back on the controller. Camera? Infrared sensor? We’ll have to wait until E3. And that Ezio Auditore statue is intriguing…it’s hard to imagine how he’ll fit into the happy-go-lucky world of Rayman, but we’re more than willing to find out.

Amazon.com dropped the ball a bit by letting everyone see this trailer before it was officially released by Sony; particularly as the title itself hasn’t even been announced. From the contents of the trailer, it looks to be a prequel, perhaps a little bit like Reach was for Halo. Only more depressing, because at the end, instead of making the ultimate sacrifice so the heroes can escape, you end up being enslaved by your saviour, who will eventually betray due to your torment, and things get worse from there.

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It’s relatively old news now, but somehow things like this become more real to me when someone changes up the lyrics to American Pie to fit the situation.

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For those unaware, the latest earnings call for Activision announced that the Hero brand would no longer be exploited. Probably because there was nothing left to exploit. I’ve been spouting the superiority of the Rock Band franchise for the longest time, but no one wants to be right in this fashion. With the ill-fated Power Gig: Rise Of The Six String and Rock Revolution, this latest development leaves Rock Band with an unquestionable monopoly on the grander music gaming experience. DLC for DJ Hero and Guitar Hero is also seemingly at an end, with no plans to release any more after the already announced packs for February. Hopefully some good will come from this, in the form of a hard lesson learned by Activision: Squeezing the goose that lays the golden eggs generally has a detrimental effect on the goose, whilst providing no boost to production.

A record number of podcastulators this week, James comes back, and I even manage to show up.

Bargain.

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With Infinity Ward (may their eternal souls rest in peaceful slumber) off the Call of Duty mega-franchise, the duty falls back upon developer Treyarch to keep the wheels turning. The newest entry, Black Ops, recently had a trailer released. Details are yet scarce, though the video reveals some standard fare: snow, jungle, helicopters, things that go boom, you know. Has there ever been a Call of Duty level set in a world made of candy? We need some new locale!

Check out the video after the break.

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Fallout New Vegas - Banner

Experience all the sights and sounds of fabulous New Vegas, brought to you by Vault-Tec, America’s First Choice in Post Nuclear Simulation. Explore the treacherous wastes of the Great Southwest from the safety and comfort of your very own vault: Meet new people, confront terrifying creatures, and arm yourself with the latest high-tech weaponry as you make a name for yourself on a thrilling new journey across the Mojave wasteland. A word of warning, however – while Vault-Tec engineers have prepared for every contingency,* in Vegas, fortunes can change in an instant. Enjoy your stay.

* Should not be construed as a legally-binding claim.

Due for release towards the end of 2010. Let the hype begin! Trailer after the break….

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Not, not David Farrier’s weird TV3 gaming segment, I’m talking about the upcoming game from The Behemoth (Alien Hominid & Castle Crashers), which has now been officially announced as “BattleBlock Theatre”. I can’t be the only one hanging out for more information on this. At any rate, the official trailer is behind the break; it looks to be keeping with the great tradition of The Behemoth’s unique art style, with possibly an extra pinch of being a jerk to your friends (I can’t be sure if the video is player vs player or just solo). Continue reading