Do you remember when legislators thought it was a good idea to force the ESRB ratings board to experience every last bit of content in every videogame they played? Those silly lawmakers are going to have a field day with this, I imagine. Halo 2 for Vista has been oft-delayed, to the point where the audience must have shrunk to something less than zero, but there’s a good reason for this latest delay: nudity! Okay, by "good reason," I mean "press worthy." Halo 2 is an M-rated game already, so the the partial nudity present in the game doesn’t affect the rating in any way. Basically, Microsoft just has to reprint all the packaging with an updated content notice in the ESRB rating box. All this has done is remind me of Giants: Citizen Kabuto, and how little impact "partial nudity" has in a videogame designed around blowing the shit out of weird, threatening creatures.
IGN UK has a "lucky bastards" preview of Grant Theft Auto IV right here. They provide a play-by-play commentary of the developer-controlled demo of the game, which contains a moderate amount of gushing praise alongside the technical details. What excites me the most is that the art team has been tasked with creating individual looks for the myriad streets and buildings. Nothing ruins immersion for me faster than Hanna-Barbera scenery. It’s an interesting thing, how much of the developer resources get spent on the art teams in these benchmark games. I’m not sur why exactly that’s interesting, yet; gimme a couple days.
Hot on the heels of Sony’s big press event, Ubisoft had their own "Ubidays" in Paris, at which upcoming games were showcased for eager audiences. Destructoid has a good recap of what went on, including new awesome footage from Assassin’s Creed, some details on a Beowulf game tie-in with Zemeckis’ upcoming film of the legend, and a bit on the second-tier FPS Haze. I’m even more excited for Assassin’s Creed, now. I’ve been playing a lot of Hitman, and I keep thinking, "The only way this could be better is if it were in medieval Europe and people wore tabards."
To round out this sleepy little week, here’s a time-waster for the weekend, courtesy IndyGamer blog: Chalk. It’s a freeware, mouse-controlled actioner that throws in a bit of the Okami/gesture vibe to give its distinction. I dug it. I doodle things in my browser window all the time, thanks to the gestures extension in Firefox. Now I can actually accomplish something with that doodling. Thanks, videogames!