Gaming journo Colin Moriarty’s shock resignation from Kinda Funny

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Colin Moriarty is one of the gaming industry’s leading journalist. Photo: Save As Games

Popular games journalist Colin Moriarty resigned from Kinda Funny this week; ending his tenure of work alongside his best friend Greg Miller that has left supporters in shock.

Moriarty and Miller have been side-by-side right throughout their respective careers in gaming media. After leaving IGN, the pair formed Kinda Funny and teamed up with Tim Getty’s and Nick Scarpino. What followed was a groundswell of support, and two years later Kinda Funny found themselves growing from strength to strength.

Recently, Moriarty appeared on several political shows including The Rubin Report, and it seems that whatever he does next, Moriarty will be working in that field.

Both Miller and Moriarty say that different ideas of the future direction of Kinda Funny were a factor in Moriarty’s resignation. According to all parties, Moriarty didn’t resign over his offensive tweet on International Women’s Day.

Some commentators on YouTube say that a growing tension between Moriarty and Tim Getty’s was another reason for the co-founders’ departure. Getty’s acknowledged that he and Moriarty argued at times on air, but consistently denied rumours of a rift.

The future for Kinda Funny won’t be the same without Moriarty. Plans for Miller and Moriarty’s flagship PlayStation talk show PS I LOVE YOU XOXO are up in the air, but there are talks to merge the show with a Nintendo-based show, soon to be launched by Kinda Funny.

Moriarty says he has some exciting opportunities on the horizon but is yet to make an announcement.

Black Ops III won’t feature single player on older systems

The new Call of Duty will not feature a single player campaign on older generation versions – but gamers won’t be too disappointed as the ever-expanding multiplayer experience will still feature on PS3 and Xbox 360.

Credit: Legit Reviews

Black Ops III launches in November and Activision revealed this week that PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game will not feature a dedicated single player campaign, while current gen versions will feature a brand new story mode to go alongside all the traditional multiplayer modes that the series is famous for.

Let’s be honest, most gamers who buy Call of Duty don’t hand over their money for the single player portion of the game. In fact, many jump straight into the online modes and never touch on single player. At best the single player modes in the series have been used for gamers to work out the new mechanics of the game, almost as a practice platform for the online experience.

It will be interesting to see the sales of Black Ops III on older generation consoles and will provide both Sony and Microsoft a decent indication of how well their previous systems are still doing in the market.

Black Ops III set for November release

Call of Duty: Black Ops III will release in November and features a campaign designed for four player co-op and replayability.

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The third instalment in the Black Ops franchise, Treyarchs new shooter will take place in a “dark, gritty future where a new breed of soldier emerges”.

The official reveal trailer was released today and can be seen below.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III will be available on November 6th on all major gaming platforms.

GTA V Review: More of the same

The newer version of GTA V is a solid investment, but don’t expect it to overly wow gamers who are returning to Los Santos on the new systems.

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First with the positives.

The all new First Person Perspective style of gameplay is one of the coolest additions to GTA, and without doubt the strongest game changer for the new version of a game that is already a year old.

Driving, gunplay, and free roam all feel fresh and can be adjusted to easily after an hour so of play time.

Combat feels a lot more like traditional shooters as well, and while not being as hardcore compared to the likes of a Call of Duty or Battlefield, shooting in FPS on GTA V feels much more like how combat in the game should be played.

Another thing is the level that Rockstar have gone to with detail.

Graphically, the new version of GTA V is absolutely stunning, and a big noticeable improvement on the old versions on PS3 and Xbox 360.

New details are many, especially with the interiors of cars in GTA V. Active dials, gauges, radios, and even the blinking on the dash as you start the cars engine are all clear and easily noticed from the First Person view. Even the radio station and song names come up on the radio LED screens in some vehicles.

Flying and skydiving are also amazingly immersive in First Person as well and are certainly worth a go.

The open world feels somewhat improved as well, especially in the small but noticeable little nuances as you drive through the Los Santos and adjoining desert countryside.

While playing through the game, I noticed that over in Blaine Country and near Trevor’s airfield there is actually dust blown on the road and up into the air, where as in the city of Los Santos traffic seems to be a little more bunched in, with cars having minor accidents or pulling out randomly in front of you at what feels like every second intersection.

There is also a noticeable increase in the amount of litter on the road and sidewalks throughout the open world.

The whole environment, unsurprisingly, just feels a lot more cleaned up and slightly more vibrant in the new version of GTA V.

Other improvements are frame rate, the games plays much smoother while still having the occasional issue here and there, with the new 30-player cap in GTA Online a cool feature allowing for more player interactivity.

But does all this justifiably say that GTA V on Next-Gen is worth the investment for players who’ve already experienced the game back on PS3 and Xbox 360?

Sadly not.

While the new First Person style of playing is such a great new way to play the game, the experience on the new version of GTA V is really nothing more than that with a handful or beautiful graphic improvements, with the power of the PS4 and Xbox One consoles being enough to allow Rockstar to fill the world of San Andreas up a little more and make it all feel just that little bit more polished and refined.

What really stuck out was how much better the game looked and played.

But after a few hours game time and once the exploring has been done, the experience is generally just more of the same.

For those who have invested hours and hours into this game already through single player, and the countless days and nights spent with friends creating mayhem in GTA Online, the upgrade is worth a go but not exactly worth a buy considering the other options on the market right now for both PS4 and Xbox One.

GTA V Next-Gen: The new features

It is always hard to gauge how successful a reboot of a game will be, but in GTA V’s case the upgraded version will be everything the original was as well as adding something new.

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Rockstar’s latest entry into the GTA franchise was one of the hottest selling games in history, selling hundreds of thousands of copies within the first 24 hours after the September 17th launch date.

While the newer updated version of GTA V probably won’t sell as well, there are a number of reasons for gamers to invest in the upgrade.

First is the much anticipated debut of First Person Mode in a GTA game, allowing gamers to experience combat, driving, swimming, flying, and just walking around in free roam from a whole new experience.

Other features in the upgrade see the online player cap has been extended to 30, and classic cars from the GTA franchise are available for players to find.

The graphics have been remarkably improved, over 150 new songs have been added to the game, a new special set of missions for Michael’s character.

All GTA Online data from the original versions of the game will be able to be transferred over, allowing players to pick up from where they left off with their online characters and missions.

A big controversy for Rockstar has been the absence of Online Heists in GTA V, a promised feature which had been due to go live shortly after the original launch. Over a year later, Online Heists still are not playable as yet, but Rockstar promise that the mode is close.

Arcady driving mechanics won’t hurt The Crews’ launch success

Ubisoft’s big open-world racer is just a few weeks away, but it has been met with some controversy following the latest run of closed betas.

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Much talk has been about the handling physics brought by Ubisoft to The Crew especially since the last closed beta.

A large sum of Xbox One and PS4 players have aired their displeasure at the arcady and unrealistic driving style, some even going as far as calling the Crew’s driving physics the worst they’ve played in years.

Bradley Jenkin, a teenage gamer from Auckland New Zealand walked away from his closed beta experience satisfied.

“It’s a pretty good game, the graphics are pretty good and the gameplay is pretty nice.”

Responding to the controversy, Jenkin compared the handling in The Crew to an NFS style rather than a more hardcore simulation that the likes of a Forza brings to console gaming.

Just this year Ubisoft were slammed for the handling physics for driving in hit title Watch Dogs, and it appears at this stage that players can expect a similar driving physic in The Crew.

Though he only played the beta version, Jenkin said that the damage mechanic in The Crew was only cosmetic.

Without doubt, Ubisoft have created a racer that features one of the biggest open worlds seen in a video game.

Jenkin says the map in The Crew is two to three times bigger than GTA V’s vast open world in comparison. Ubisoft have opened up the entire west to east coast in the game, allowing players to drive through and visit some of the most popular towns and cities in America.

“I like how massive the map is, you can drive pretty much from the corner of New York all the way to Los Angeles.”

Confirmed cities in The Crew are New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Miami, Washington, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and more.

Train stations and Airports in The Crew are also interactive.

Players can use these as fast travel options if they don’t want to invest the time it takes to drive from coast to coast in game.

“From what I saw and from what I did there was a lot of customization. You can change all the different bumpers and side skirts, stuff like that.”

Looking ahead to the games launch, Jenkin says that not much could be improved to The Crew and believes that Ubisoft will need to ensure the servers that the game runs on are polished and running properly come launch day as the game requires constant online connectivity to be played.

The Crew is set for a NZ launch on December 2nd and will be available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Day One patch required for GTA V on new consoles

Rockstar have released the launch trailer for the new version of GTA V, and have also announced that a day one patch download will be required.

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The launch trailer can be found here:

The patch download includes fixes for optimization. Rockstar say that the download will be required if gamers wish to experience gameplay at its best, and it will run for both the PS4 and Xbox One versions.

The new version of GTA V launches next Tuesday, the 18th of November.

Updated GTA V on PS4 and Xbox One looks worth the investment

Rockstar have confirmed that the upcoming PS4 and Xbox One versions of critically acclaimed GTA V will feature a First Person (FPS) experience.

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The rumor of FPS has been around since the newer version of GTA V was revealed.

From a FPS experience, players will be able to drive, shoot, walk around, and fly all from the new camera angle that Rockstar say they have wanted to put into a GTA title for a long time.

Footage if the new mode can be seen below:

The updated version of GTA V will also feature classic cars from the franchise, new missions, and all GTA Online data from PS3 and Xbox 360 versions will be carried over through the Rockstar games club.

GTA V on PS4 and Xbox One will release on November 18th.

Watch Dogs is a solid title with familiar bells rung

There is no denying that Ubisoft’s new IP is a winner, while ringing the bells of a very familiar and loved franchise at the same time.

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Watch Dogs is arguably GTA like in many respects, but with the addition of hacking. It hit me right from the get go that while Watch Dogs is a hot new franchise for Ubisoft, it hits on so many similar notes as GTA does, but it also goes off in its own and exciting direction as well, it plays like a typical Ubisoft open world game, and that isn’t a bad thing at all in the minds of many gamers.

You play through the campaign trying to find justice for a lost niece, and the main protagonist Aiden Pearce is an interesting character, without much personality, but also extremely gripping as the storyline plays out. The storyline is one of Watch Dog’s major good points.

The main tool in Watch Dogs is your smartphone, you hack into the CtOS Network, and you can profile anybody, from members of the public to security guards and policemen. When you profile a person, you see what their job is, their annual income, and a weird quirk or interest that they may have, for example a security guard that I profiled on my first hour or so of gaming had a “fetish for modern design”.Watch Dogs does a great job of entertaining throughout, and I found myself compelled to continue profiling more and more people as the game went on, for my own enjoyment and curiosity more than anything.

Graphically, Watch Dogs is ok, and that is where much of the talking point has been since the game came out. Watch Dogs was slated to be a next gen launch game, but Ubisoft delayed the game for an additional six months to “make the game as good as possible”.

I agree with the critics to a large extent, Watch Dogs doesn’t look, play, or perform like the polished title that Ubisoft promised or even showed at E3 a couple of years ago. Its buggy, a trait that has been frequent in many Ubisoft titles, especially Assassins Creed. There has been talk that the PC version was downgraded in order to make the PS4 and Xbox One versions look better graphics wise, and PC gamers are raging on social media, claiming (without evidence proving otherwise as well) that the PC version of Watch Dogs is the poorest running in terms of graphics and gameplay.

In my view, Watch Dogs runs poorly in some aspects, and it looks like a game that could have come out for the launches of PS4 and Xbox One. The additional delay didn’t improve much, at least in terms of what you see on the surface, but god only knows how bad the game could have run if Ubisoft stuck with the November 2013 release.

But with the poor buggy annoyances, Watch Dogs is a standout game, and one of the best I have played on PS4 so far. It rings bells of GTA, but Watch Dogs stands alone in its claim to fame, it can be compared to GTA, but shouldn’t be judged as a success or a failure next to GTA either, and it is well worth the buy from what I have experienced so far. Could it be a viable franchise to release an annual version of? Well if Ubisoft can do it with Assassins Creed, then they can do the same with Watch Dogs, or maybe bring it out once every couple of years like they do with the Far Cry franchise.

Reaction: Strong E3 for Sony but nothing mind blowing

E3 was another strong outing for Sony in 2014, but it didn’t leave gamers with anything too memorable, and it certainly won’t see many go rushing to the pre order stands.

2013 was arguably Sony’s greatest E3, but with no new hardware reveals or groundbreaking sequels on the horizon for this year, PlayStation’s conference was never going to be as strong as last year and it was pretty much a case of interesting new announcements, games that look cool, but nothing that has bettered Sony’s position over Microsoft going forward.

Destiny is Sony’s big release this year, and the game will launch with a white PS4 bundle on September 9th. The white PS4 design looks amazing, and it will sell well.

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No word was mentioned about DriveClub which surprised many, but the announcement of Dead Island 2 was one of the most memorable moments from this years conference. Like it did last year, indie developers took up much of the conference, too much in fact, with some cool looking games coming to PSN but nothing that had anybody terribly overcome with excitement. There was no mention of the rebooted Abe’s Oddysee either which had me a little disappointed. Other games which were shown yesterday include BattleField 5, The Order: 1886, Last Of Us Remastered, Mortal Combat, and Metal Gear Solid.

One of the most pleasing moments of the conference was the announcement that GTA V was coming to PS4, and it was confirmed that GTA Online data will carry over to the next gen systems, and that will no doubt see the higher quality version of GTA’s most popular installment ship many copies.

It wouldn’t be a Sony conference at E3 without Naughty Dog making an appearance, and to close out the show, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was revealed. It seems that the next game in the series may be the last, as much of the trailer showed Nathan Drake, a seemingly older Nathan Drake, be going back to Sully for “one last time”. If this is to be the final chapter in the Uncharted series then it will be a sad but bittersweet release for the PlayStation faithful, but hopefully A Thief’s End will be just as enjoyable and groundbreaking as all the other games the series has given.

In closing, Sony had another strong E3 in 2014, and their conference clearly outdid Microsoft’s. The PS4 is in a good position as Microsoft continue the fightback for brand surpremecy with Xbox One, but despite a strong E3 which promises some great things in 2014/2015, Sony haven’t really improved on anything that they came into E3 with.