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Updating… Skyrim, The Old Republic, Skyward Sword and More!

updating lotr

Well Halloween weekend is over, even if the actual day is still upon us, and plenty of people (myself included) were too busy to be checking up on all the game related info that was released over those pumpkin, costume and alcohol-fuelled days.

Personally there are things that happened this weekend I would prefer to forget, pictures of which are still haunting my Facebook. Ok… so I put them there. That doesn’t make my pain any less real.

So let’s distract from it all with a look at what we missed over the last few days:

Firstly, in a double-dose of “I was right” (which doesn’t happen too often), Nintendo addressed claims that it was going down an all-too-familiar path – and ending up like SEGA. But who would claim such a thing? Oh that’s right, I would. In fact, I did in last Fridays opinion column. So yeah… if it’s becoming obvious even to me – there might be some problems down at the Nintendo head office.

But wait, you said double-dose of being correct (I pointedly ask myself), what was the second part?

Well Bethesda’s lead artist Matt Carofano was kind enough to talk about Skyrim in a podcast over the weekend, specifically how it differentiates itself from Oblivion. I think it got summed up pretty nicely when he said “Oblivion was a very classic medieval setting, and we felt some of that was a bit generic. We wanted to do something that showed a lot more of the culture of the people who lived there.”

This was basically my working understanding of Oblivion (considering I got bored of it in less than an hour) and I have been looking for reasons to justify my interest in buying Skyrim without liking its predecessor. By Bethesda admitting that, in some form, I was correct in my wild assumptions about both games – my fears are put to rest. So hopeful translation: “you don’t have to like Oblivion to like Skyrim.”

Whether this is opinion or fact we will find out on November 11th.

EA officials addressed concerns over the limited copies of The Old Republic available at launch. Although EA has been quoted as saying something along the lines of “only 500,000 copies will be available”, they have partially put to rest fears that this was the case by saying that “We don’t feel like we’re going to be leaving too much demand behind at launch,” even if they had to follow it by saying “but we definitely are going to be very cautious and thoughtful about how many people we bring on and in what order.”

Of course, since they haven’t even announced an Australian release – this means absolutely nothing to us. Unless you are planning to order a copy from the US, which is becoming a more and more attractive option as time goes by.

Battlefield 3 servers are still going through issues, something that we were previously assured was a symptom of the beta. Specifically, there were multiple tweets from EA mentioning problems with the PC and Xbox360 servers that they are working to resolve. Here’s hoping they get it done before Modern Warfare 3 rocks up to sweep the carpet out from under them.

D.C. Universe, the DC-themed superhero MMO is ready to go free to play, with their official launch tomorrow (which might be Australian Wednesday depending on American time difference). They are debuting with a tiered system, which gives you 2 character slots and all the base content of the game for free and scales up from there depending on how much you have paid for the game (ever). Whether or not the paid components include costumes is unknown, but if they do then I would give this one a miss. If they don’t however… this could be one of the best free to play MMO’s on the market, so strap on your cape for some good times to come.

And now for the video section of the article, where I can rest and remember it’s a Monday and I’m meant to half-ass something at least.

First up is a new Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword trailer. Now judging by the levels of fanboyism generally associated with Zelda fans, I should probably mention that there are strong hints and clues towards the games story in this trailer which people might consider spoilers. So if you are sensitive about that kind of thing, that was your one and only warning. Personally I don’t think it spoiled much, but maybe I’m just used to that kind of thing.

Next we get a look at Lord of the Rings: War in the North in their brand-new launch trailer. The game itself doesn’t come out for another month or so, which makes me wonder why they are showing off a “launch” trailer – but if you are into Lord of the Rings, this will probably get you excited. If you aren’t really, like me, it might just look some more generic fantasy RPG action. But whose judging?

Speaking of fantasy RPG’s, who wants to see more Skyrim? What? Everyone? Yeah that’s what I thought.

In what is more Dev. Diary than traditional trailer, we get to see some of the concept art of Skyrim and how it ended up looking in game. The resulting trailer is slow-paced but immersive, and the music really puts an emotional tweak on the whole thing. If they go for this “less-is-more” subtle approach to story in the game – we have plenty to look forward to.

And finally, here is a Darkness II trailer where some tentacles rip a man’s skull out of his anus.

I really don’t have any more to add.

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