Author: Andrew Rainnie - UK Correspondent

In addition to being Warp Zoned's UK Correspondent, Andrew Rainnie is a screenwriter and filmmaker. You can email him at andrew AT warpzoned DOT com or you can, if you're inclined, visit his personal website.

The Changing Face of Bethesda’s Heroes Led the Way at E3 2015

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Bethesda’s first-ever E3 Press Conference was chock-full of goodies, from Dishonored: Definite Edition for next generation consoles to a new Doom and its intuitive SnapMap creator. But there was also something else to celebrate during the presentation, as the company’s two biggest announcements, Fallout 4 and Dishonored 2, both offered the choice to play as a female character. And believe it or not, every game showcased by Bethesda will give players that same choice. (more…)

Posted in Opinions, PC, PS4, Top Story, Xbox One | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Opinion: I Wish Sony Had Let The Last Guardian Fade Away

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Sony put on an incredible show during this year’s E3 Expo, debuting new IPs from Guerrilla Games and Media Molecule, as well as offering further glimpses at long-awaited titles such as No Man’s Sky from Hello Games and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End from Naughty Dog. Yet it chose to open its presentation with perhaps the most long-awaited title of all time, The Last Guardian. (more…)

Posted in Opinions, PS4, Top Story | Tagged , , ,

Iwata is Listening: 5 Things Nintendo Needs to Hear After Negative E3 Reaction

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In a year when big hitters like Microsoft, Sony, and Bethesda gave exciting, extraordinary E3 presentations that included a smooth blend of new tech, surprise reveals, and gorgeous gameplay videos, the reverse is true for Nintendo. The company, who gave up on live E3 presentations two years ago, delivered a lackluster Digital Event that sought to highlight games due out this year or early next year. This effectively ruled out showing any new footage from the still untitled Legend of Zelda Wii U, despite the fact it was revealed at last year’s E3. Not content with backing itself into a corner with this decision, we were told that the company’s new platform, the NX, would also not be touched upon. Yet, given how meager-looking the titles were for the Wii U, it has led to rampant speculation that the company is holding upcoming games back for its next console.

In summary, Xenoblade Chronicles X was shown. Again. Super Mario Maker was shown. Again, and not just from E3 2014, but also from the Nintendo World Championships. Yoshi’s Woolly World was shown. Again.

3DS owners fared far better, with the announcement of new games such as The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes and Hyrule Warriors Legends, a port of the underrated Wii U game. There was also a new Paper Mario-esque title, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, and an odd Samus-lite Metroid game, Metroid Prime: Federation Force.

There were a few surprises for the Wii U, but not the good kind, and certainly not the ones fans wanted or expected, such as Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash or Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival (which is, essentially, Mario Party with Animal Crossing characters). The initial reaction to the presentation was best summed up by our good friends over at Nintendo Life:

As a Wii U owner and general advocate for Nintendo, I was not as angered as many who chose to vent their anger on social media, but after Sony and Microsoft made pitch-perfect presentations, to say I was disappointed in Nintendo’s efforts would be an understatement. Nintendo President (and part-time puppet) Satoru Iwata seemed equally aware of the reaction from gamers and fans around the world, taking to Twitter to reassure them the company was listening: “Thank you for watching until midnight. We take the various opinions for this year’s Digital Event very seriously. I would like to continue our efforts to be able to meet more and more of your expectations in the future.”

Unlike many armchair CEOs calling for his resignation, I personally think Iwata has steered Nintendo through a stormy chapter in its history, and is obviously aware that more change may be needed. With that in mind, here are five suggestions on how Nintendo can improve for next year. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, Opinions, Top Story, Wii U | Tagged


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Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture will launch on August 11

The weird and wonderfully titled Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, the kooky collaboration between developer The Chinese Room and publisher SCE Santa Monica Studio, is set to make its PS4 debut August 11.

Set in an eerie village in the English county of Shropshire, the screenshots released thus far depict thatched roof houses and quaint British pubs, a million miles away from the popular image of a world hit by an apocalypse. Players will explore the village and the surrounding landscape to try and piece together what took place when the world ended 31 years before.

There will be six location hubs in total, each one telling the story of a separate character. Floating orbs will allow the player to tune into frequencies and conversations from the past, gathering clues as they listen to the long-raptured residents talking and gossiping. The Chinese Room has made the experience an unsettling, non-linear one, so players will be free to visit the stories in any order they see fit.

If this gets your interest up, Dan Pinchbeck, the Creative Director for The Chinese Room, recently dove deeper into the game’s world for the PlayStation Blog. The developer also launched the game’s official website, which is packed with even more information and spooky screenshots.

Posted in News, PS4 | Tagged

Ratchet & Clank PS4 remake is actually a game based on a movie based on a game

Insomniac Games has been busy of late, debuting on the Xbox One last year with Sunset Overdrive, plugging a few iOS games this year, as well as developing Edge of Nowhere, the company’s exclusive game for the Oculus Rift. Yet, with such a full plate, Insomniac is returning to its roots with a new Ratchet & Clank game for the PS4.

Instead of producing a sequel to the modestly well-received PS3 title Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus, Insomniac has chosen to get very meta, reworking the 2002 original for the PS4, but also adapting part of the upcoming animated feature film about the space-faring duo. Confused? So are we! The PlayStation Blog put it best: “Play the game, based on the movie, based on the game!”

But Ratchet & Clank is more than just a glossy version of the 2002 original game, and has been reworked to specifically tie-in with the film’s plot, which tells the story of Ratchet’s origins. In short, it is almost a brand new game with elements of the original, but with modern controls, sleek graphics, and more missions, planets, and bosses, thanks to the power of the PlayStation 4. You can see the only thing in motion in the E3 2015 trailer embedded above.

But let’s not forget the franchise’s focus on new weaponry, like the Pixelizer, which turns enemies into something out of Minecraft. Old favourites also return, from the Groovitron to Ratchet’s cybernetic bodyguard Mr. Zurkon. If you pre-order the game, you will also get The Bouncer, an exclusive weapon originally featured in Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando!

Ratchet & Clank will be available for the PS4 next Spring.

Posted in News, PS4 | Tagged ,

Kickstart This! Defragmented, Pixel Starships, Severed World

A short time ago we featured Dimension Drive in our Kickstart This! column. The developer, 2Awesome Studio, thought it had the money in the bag, until one of the donations was deemed fraudulent. However, Kickstarter allowed 2Awesome to relaunch the project straight away, and with two weeks to go the game is already fully funded, so we’re thrilled that everything worked out for the best.

Turning our attentions to some brand new crowdfunding projects, we begin with top-down cyberpunk shooter Defragmented, moving on to starship management strategy game Pixel Starships, before finishing with 2D MMORPG Severed World. (more…)

Posted in Mobile, PC, Top Story |


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Kickstart This! CCTV Nation, Overdosed, Power Drive 2000

While my own Kickstarter campaign, The Illuminant Midnight Project, didn’t reach its funding goal, the first big crowdfunding story of 2015, Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee, zoomed past its initial funding goal of £1,000,000 in less than 24 hours, and met its “final” stretch goal a few days later, pushing Playtonic to add further stretch goals. The campaign still has a little less than a month left to run, so there is little doubt it will reach the £2,000,000 goal of free DLC for everybody. The campaign’s success has been built on months of anticipation, coupled with a sweet price point for backers. I pledged £15 to get the game on Wii U, which is insanely good value for the money.

Of course, the former Rare employees have two decades worth of nostalgia to help them succeed, whereas other developers must rely on more modest means to help them complete their gaming projects, bringing us to this week’s Kickstart This! We start with the curious augmented reality game CCTV Nation, before plunging into the depths of hell with top-down shooterOverdosed. Finally, there is stunning sci-fi racer Power Drive 2000.

Where we’re going, we don’t need roads… (more…)

Posted in Features, Mobile, PC, Top Story |

Mario Kart 8: Animal Crossing X Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack Review: More Tracks! More Characters! More Speed!

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Nintendo has released Mario Kart 8’s second downloadable expansion during an interesting time for add-on content. Other publishers have been very welcoming to the new revenue stream, some perhaps overly so, but Nintendo has mostly shied away from creating additional content for their games. However, with Mario Kart 8 and the upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles X, the company seems to have found the perfect balance between releasing extra content that generates more revenue while offering value for money. The Animal Crossing X Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack is priced at $7.99, just like the earlier Zelda-themed expansion. However, players can pick up both packs for $11.99, which would add four additional Cups to the game, each with a mix of old favourites and new challenges. Players who buy both packs will receive 16 new tracks on top of the original 32, which is 50% more game for only a fifth of the price.

Not only that, they released it a month earlier than expected!

But this second DLC add-on brings something special with it, a free update that adds a 200cc Class to the game, which is a faster gameplay mode than the Mario Kart franchise has ever included previously. The new speed setting is a game changer, and the best part is that it is free to everyone, not just those who bought one or both DLC packs. But is this new, challenging speed setting perhaps a step too far in this fun-filled game? (more…)

Posted in Reviews, Top Story, Wii U | Tagged