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Joystiq Weekly: GDC 2014, Infamous, Metal Gear Solid and more

Welcome to Joystiq Weekly, a "too long; didn't read" of each week's biggest stories, reviews and original content. Each category's top story is introduced with a reactionary gif, because moving pictures aren't just for The Daily Prophet.

We saw many great games and met with many great people during this year's Game Developers Conference in sunny San Francisco. Or did we? One of the biggest announcements of the show was undoubtedly Project Morpheus, the upcoming virtual reality headset from Sony, and during our hands-on demo, we felt pretty darn virtual. So now the question is: What if we didn't really attend GDC 2014? What if it was all virtual reality? Whoa, dude.

Sony also gained news traction this week thanks to the release of PS4-exclusive, Infamous: Second Son. Meanwhile, Snake/Jack Bauer has come out of retirement (again) to save the world in Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, and a new cyborg ninja came to town with the release of Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z. You can read all about these games and more of the week's biggest and best after the break.
[Image: Joystiq]
News
  • And so it came to pass, that on the 17th of March, in the year 2014, that a swarm of game journalists and developers did descend upon the city of San Francisco, for the annual Game Developers Conference. This exciting event gave us so much news that we split our round-up of our coverage into two parts! You can find part one here, and part two here.
  • Oui, monsieur, there is a new Assassin's Creed coming! Assassin's Creed Unity is slated to take a stab at Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC this holiday season. The game will take place during the French Revolution. Now, we weren't exactly history buffs in school, but we think that means we'll be told to eat cake. And that sounds nice.
  • Having a hard time tracking down a PlayStation 4? Well, we've got good news and bad news. The bad news is, don't expect that to change any time soon. Sony has announced that they don't expect stock to catch up with demand until post-E3. The good news? Well we saw this sweet shirt at the mall the other day and guess what? It's on sale!
  • Sony has joined Oculus in exploring the new frontier of virtual reality with their prototype headset, codenamed Project Morpheus. We expect a virtual gold rush to follow, where developers will journey to virtual Oregon with their virtual oxen and someone will get virtual diptheria.
  • Mojang continues to make hand over block-shaped fist thanks to its cultural phenomenon of a game, Minecraft. The most recent earnings are reported to be almost $128 million in profit. Meanwhile, we've lost count on our fingers and toes trying to go that high, and we even recruited Six-Toe Joe to help, and he has ... well, you know.
  • The Roller Coaster Tycoon series is back! Yay! And it's coming to mobile! Yay? The announcement of Roller Coaster Tycoon 4 Mobile didn't leave a positive first impression for many people, but Atari tweeted that a new Roller Coaster Tycoon experience would be coming to PC. Whether it's on a computer or a smartphone, we can't wait to build elaborate death traps be responsible business managers.
  • Capcom revealed Decapre to be the fifth character joining the Street Fighter crew in Ultra Street Fighter 4, but don't be surprised if people just start referring to her as "Evil Cammy." The two fighters look quite similar, and Capcom's Peter 'Combofiend' Rosas compared the two female fighters' similarities to those found between Ryu and Evil Ryu. So yeah. Evil Cammy.

Reviews
  • Editor-In-Chief Ludwig Kietzmann Snaked his way past some pretty heavy security to bring home a review of Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes. And while Ground Zeroes is a beautiful game that allows players to experiment with its world, it's also short, and whether or not "30 bucks for one hell of a cliffhanger" is worth it ultimately feels like being caught between a rock and a nuclear-equipped, walking deathmobile.
  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z sounds like a 13-year-old's dream come true: a cyborg ninja fights zombies while aided by an oversexed scientist with the name of a Bond girl. Weekend Editor Sam Prell took up the sword against Team Ninja's undead hordes and found the overall experience lacking, though he noted that it had a certain "balls-to-the-wall, cybernetic-finger-in-the-air confidence" that made up for some of the game's weaker elements.
  • It's a made-up word, but we can't stop saying it all the same: "Luftrausers." It just sounds fun! This air combat arcade game from Vlambeer had us blasting apart our enemies while feverishly fighting for the next high score with our customizable flying machines. We'll die a lot, but that's okay, because as Sam Prell put it, "even at its most infuriating, it's hard to stay mad at Luftrausers." Hee, we said it again.
  • The Infamous series has made its next-gen debut with Infamous: Second Son, and the PS4 exclusive makes for one heck of a compelling reason to own Sony's new console, according to Contributing Editor Danny Cowan. The new game trades series mainstay Cole MacGrath - or Shockmaster Gravelthroat, as we liked to call him - for Delsin Rowe, whom we lack a nickname for at the moment - Beanie McBarbequehands, maybe? - but beyond that, also represents "a great leap forward" for the series and the system it calls home.

Original Content
  • Monaco creator Andy Schatz only has a concept in mind for his next game, codenamed Armada, but that doesn't mean he can't - or won't - talk about it, with some particularly frank language. Schatz says the game, a blend of the RTS and MOBA genres, is designed for RTS players who "don't have Korean-level APM (actions per minute).
  • Sega and The Creative Assembly have a lot to prove with Alien: Isolation, so Feature Content Director Xav de Matos spent some time with the development team to learn more. He came back with not one, but two articles' worth of information, which burst through his chest in what could only be described by onlookers as "disturbing, but also kind of awesome."
  • So, GDC is a thing that happened. Have we mentioned that yet? Because it's kind of a big deal. This week's Super Joystiq Podcast comes to you straight from the Game Developers Conference floor, where Ludwig, Xav, Jess, News Content Director Alexander Sliwinski, Reviews Editor Richard Mitchell and Weekend Editor Thomas Schulenberg give HR all sorts of reasons to have a job.
  • Once upon a time, myths and legends had to be passed down orally; by telling a story to someone who would in turn tell the story to another, and so on. The upside to this is that legends could become even better when recited by a gifted storyteller, but the downside is that the spoken word lacks a physical presence, and so legends could become distorted or fade out completely. The solution: create a video game that keeps your culture's legends alive. Awesome.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.