The Bulletin

Call Of Duty: Ghosts

Girl (Fire)Power

Call Of Duty gets female soldiers and Microsoft changes another thing you didn’t like about the Xbox One.

By Sam Barsanti • August 19, 2013

The Bulletin is a roundup of a few game-related news stories from the previous week.

Call Of Duty: Ghosts to bring women to the series for the first time

As reported by IGN, Call of Duty: Ghosts will let you play as female soldiers in its multiplayer modes, a first for the series. If I were a less creative person, I would go the obvious route and make a joke about how most Call Of Duty players have never met a woman that isn’t their mom, and we’d all leave here embarrassed because I went with that instead of something more clever or appreciative of the fact that tons of women play Call Of Duty. Really, the only thing funny about Call Of Duty adding female soldiers is that it has taken this long for it to happen. The IGN post also explains the new multiplayer modes coming to Ghosts and the new squad system that lets you create computer-controlled teammates. There’s also a handful of other minute changes that will seem like an unbelievably huge deal to some people out there.

Microsoft flip-flops on Xbox One Kinect requirements
Xbox One Kinect

Kinect for Xbox One

Last week, Microsoft announced that its upcoming Xbox One console will not require the new, upgraded Kinect sensor to be connected to work, a surprising reversal of previous statements. (Whoa, is anyone else getting déjà vu?) Microsoft told IGN as recently as May that the Xbox One requires the Kinect to function, but now it’s saying the opposite. In a new IGN post, in which commenters asked the tough questions that apparently no one else could be bothered to, Microsoft’s Marc Whitten said that “the console will still function if Kinect isn’t plugged in, although you won’t be able to use any feature or experience that explicitly uses the sensor.” In other words, the fancy new Kinect that you are required to buy with the fancy new Xbox One works just like the old Kinect did with the smelly old Xbox 360. Kotaku later beat IGN’s commenters to the punch by asking Microsoft if this means that it might consider selling a Kinect-less version of the Xbox One, but Microsoft said that the Kinect “is still an essential and integrated part of the Xbox One platform.” That may sound like a no, but come back in a few weeks, and we’ll see.

Rockstar announces Grand Theft Auto Online, makes the real world obsolete

What does your average day look like? After you wake up, do you get in your own boring car and drive the speed limit to your boring job? Do you ever wish that you could just say goodbye to your friends and family and live in a better world where silly things like “the law” and “being respectful to others” were actively discouraged? Good news! Rockstar Games has announced a safe outlet for your fantasies in the form of Grand Theft Auto Online, an online multiplayer component that’s packaged with the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V. GTA Online will be free to everyone who buys GTAV, but according to this CVG report, it won’t be coming until October 1, a couple of weeks after the main game is released. The trailer—embedded above—makes it look like a light version of a massively multiplayer online game, with you and a bunch of other online people zooming across the fictional city of Los Santos in fighter jets and sports cars. You’ll be able to complete missions and earn money that you can spend on in-game haircuts and apartments, so this really does sound like a significantly more exciting version of real life. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to get it over with and just say goodbye to my friends and family now.

This Saints Row IV special edition is the most special edition of all special editions
Saints Row IV $1 million edition

This news is a little bit older, but it is of particular relevance to The Gameological Society. According to Kotaku, Game, the cleverly named British video game-retailer, has announced an exclusive special edition of Saints Row IV that costs $1 million. Why should you care? Well, I have it on good authority that a large percentage of Gameological readers are disgustingly wealthy, and more importantly, I think they got this idea from us. During the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June, we presented a few game developers with a stock questionnaire that asked, among other things, what a $1,000 special edition of their game would look like. One of the people we talked to was Steve Jaros, Saints Row IV’s creative director. You’re welcome, Steve.

Anyway, what does the “Super Dangerous Wad Wad” edition of Saints Row IV get you? A Lamborghini Gallardo, a Toyota Prius, a shopping spree, plastic surgery, a full-sized replica of the game’s Dubstep Gun, a couple of hotel stays and spy training adventures, and a trip into space. Maybe if all of us pooled our money together we could divide that up and each enjoy some of it. I’ll make things easy and volunteer to take the Gallardo.

Dishonored developers accidentally reveal next project via hilarious leaked emails
Prey 2

Prey 2

A general rule of thumb when it comes to unannounced video games is that if a studio says it is not working on something, that probably means it is. Case in point: this Rock Paper Shotgun interview with Raphael Colantonio, the creative director at Dishonored developer Arkane Studios. When asked if his company was working on Prey 2, a promising yet seemingly ill-fated game about being a bounty hunter in space, he responded with a definitive-sounding “no”. Befitting my rule of thumb, it turns out—according to a leaked email obtained by Kotaku—he was lying. The message says that Prey 2’s publisher, Zenimax, approved Arkane’s pitch for the game (which they are calling “the spiritual successor to System Shock”) in May, transferring development duties to them from former creator Human Head Studios. When Kotaku contacted Arkane about it, Colantonio sent out another email to his team telling them not to talk to “press sneak fucks” about what they’re working on. “Press sneak fucks” is an early frontrunner for my annual Best Gaming Industry Jargon award, but it seems to have offended Kotaku, as the site is now referring to Arkane’s refusal to admit that it’s making Prey 2 as “misleading the public.” Honestly, show me a game developer that has never “misled the public” and I’ll show you a game developer that is just really good at it.

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113 Responses to “Girl (Fire)Power”

  1. lokimotive says:

    I have to admit, I’m having a really hard time parsing ‘Press sneak fucks’, I’m just not sure what’s modifying what in there. If it was ‘Sneaky press fucks’ that would make more sense, but as it stands now it’s almost three separate nouns.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      Yeah, that’s an odd one.  “Stop talking to those purple monkey dishwashers”.

      • lokimotive says:

        But purple monkey dishwashers makes sense: They are monkeys with purple coloring, who are employed as dishwashers.

        “Press sneak fucks,” however is kind of impressive at how linguistically disassociative it is. Slam courtesan shitsticks. Apple piano cunts. I don’t know, even those are kind of sensical.

      • Sam_Barsanti says:

        Right? If it were being made by anyone involved with the first Prey, that would be one thing, but why have a totally different developer make a completely different game than the original, which nobody liked in the first place?

        • lokimotive says:

          Well it’s one of those weird thing where the property is just passed around and around hoping that someone somewhere will step up and use it. To be honest, the previous incarnation only featured a ‘cameo appearance’ by the previous games protagonist. Which I’m sure fully 1/2 of a person was excited about.

          But it’s kind of the same thing as Far Cry and Far Cry 2.

        • Effigy_Power says:

          I… I liked Prey… <.<

        • DrFlimFlam says:

          I feel like Prey was received as underwhelming at first but has grown in statue over time.


      • Dunnstock says:

        I’m hoping that the jet skis in the GTA V multiplayer trailer are the spiritual successor to Wave Race 64.  I fuckin’ loved that game.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

      Yeah, that’s a funny combination of words. Also I had to laugh at Kotaku leaking emails and then somehow trying to make the game developers look like the bad guys. What a press sneak fuck move.

    • His_Space_Holiness says:

      To me it sounds like a quick-time event. PRESS SNEAK FUCKS TO JUMP.

    • Knarf Black says:

      In this comment, out of context, I read it as “Press sneak, fucks” like I was failing at the world’s easiest stealth game.

  2. The_Helmaroc_King says:

    “Do you ever wish that you could just say goodbye to your friends and
    family and live in a better world where silly things like “the law” and
    “being respectful to others” were actively discouraged?”

    No, I happen to like my friends and family. Also, y’know, Rousseau’s social contract ‘n’ junk.

    • SamPlays says:

      Social contract only applies when the state’s authority is legitimate, whereby individual concessions are made in return for other civil rights. Reaching consensus to shoot you down with a bazooka and drive recklessly with minimal consequences fulfills said agreement. You gotta read the fine print!

    • mizerock says:

      I have a really hard time acting like a sociopathic asshole in games. I start rooting for myself to get my comeuppance.

      HOWEVER. I do love blowing stuff up. Especially pixellated stuff that isn’t real. Yeah, I know, the people aren’t real either, but that still bugs me. Stuff like the Wrecking Crew minigame in Red Faction: Guerrilla, now that’s in my happy zone. Or facilitating chain reaction accidents in Burnout. Or in GTA (though again, I don’t enjoy seeing people involved, even fake ones).

      Games where you look someone in the eye, and lie to them? Or assault them, for no good reason? I can never really enjoy those kind of games.

      • Professor_Cuntburglar says:

         I agree with you. It’s always sort of bothered me how many people like going on murderous rampages in those games (though they definitely help to let off steam after you’ve failed a mission and had to drive across the city for the 50th goddamn time). I much prefer just driving recklessly and trying out crazy stunts that no one could ever reasonably attempt in real life. And smashing stuff, that’s fun too.

        • DrFlimFlam says:

          I like Saint’s Row the Third because you can go nuts on gang members, who are presumably guilty persons. I don’t like running down innocents, either.

    • mizerock says:

      Am I looking for to Saints Row IV, and GTA 5? I sure am. It’s just not in my ideal happy zone. Driving fast and making things go boom, that’s enough of the game that I can still enjoy it, even with the other behavior in the game. I’m no prude about the other parts of being a sociopath in the game, but those facets aren’t why I’m playing the game.

      Just Cause 2, an open-world sandbox where you are tasked with ripping down the propaganda of a totalitarian, with explosives. Sure!

      • DrFlimFlam says:

        You just described The Saboteur, which is super-satisfying. Nothing like bumping off wave after wave of Nazis, right?

        • mizerock says:

          Nazis are always great representatives of “people you don’t have to feel bad about shooting in the face”. Because fuck Nazis, right? Pure evil! Also: zombies. They aren’t really human. Even better: robots.

          I played very little of Infamous, but it seemed to be exactly the kind of game that would frustrate me by “making me” play as a son of a bitch, taking down random civilians with lightning power. I’m bothered that I would feel compelled to do it (to get all the trophies), but also that I find it so troubling to do (it’s just a goddamn game, what’s the big deal?). Are there any other games that have that kind of karma system, with trophies attached to encourage you to play through at least one time as as Evil?

        • Pgoodso says:

           @mizerock:disqus I’d say most single player Western RPGs since KOTOR have included some sort of karmic system (though, granted, that pretty much narrows it down to games produced by Bioware and Bethesda, and the Fable series).

          I’ve had a do-what-I-feel-like, wholly good, and wholly bad playthrough each for KOTOR 1 and 2, Fallout 3, Mass Effect 1-3, Baldur’s Gate, Oblivion, and Fable 2, and SWTOR, off the top of my head. Mostly because, like you, I’m a completionist.

          The “evil” playthrough sometimes makes me nauseous (I NEVER went back to kill all the Little Sisters in Bioshock, for example), but the psychology I view it through is interesting: that first playthrough is the ONLY time I really invest myself (as in, my personality) into the game. The other two playthroughs, it’s more like I’m playing a role on a stage than reacting as I naturally would, and thus, merely using the role to explore the parts of the game world I’ve not seen. I feel no more “complicit” in the evil I commit in those games than I do in the evil that occurs on stage when I watch Macbeth, or when I watch Dexter.

          Interestingly, this tendency also “requires” me to play female at least one time through as well, just to see how conversations change based on gender.

          Thank God for relatively simple achievements, though, because otherwise, I’d have done some stupid shit, like attempted to romance every single character in the Mass Effect series at least once, amounting to at least 9 complete playthroughs of the entire trilogy. I think 3 is enough, hehe.

        • AreisReising says:

          @Pgoodso:disqus : you SHOULD feel complicit in the evils you see on Dexter. People like you are the only reason that show was still around.

        • Pgoodso says:

          @disqus_EzvfLnTJFd:disqus Hehehe, if it helps, I stopped watching at Season 4.

    • OldeFortran77 says:

      In a 5-4 decision that shocked no one, the Supreme Court has ruled the Social Contract to be invalid.

  3. PaganPoet says:

    If anyone cares, it looks like there may be either DLC or an upcoming sequel for Persona 4 Arena. Right now they’re only testing in arcades in Japan, but there is footage of two new playable characters: Junpei Iori and Yukari Takeba from Persona 3.


    The second video also shows two new levels: the Junes food court, and the entrance to Tartarus. No word yet if this will even come to consoles or to North America or Europe yet, but they’d be crazy not to! I’ve been waiting for Junpei and Yukari pretty much since the day I got this game!

  4. Fluka says:

    You know, for a company now owned by the people behind this conversation piece, Volition has done an amazing job marketing Saints Row IV.  Then again, a game with a dubstep gun and Keith David as Keith David also kinda sells itself.

    *Throws in $5.* Dibs on the space trip!

    • SamPlays says:

      The TV ad is actually pretty funny vis a vis aliens stealing our clothes.

    • Boonehams says:

      *Throws in $5* Dibs on the full-sized Dubstep Gun!

    • Merve says:

      A cynical person might say that Deep Silver was merely trying to distance themselves from the porn star marketing controversy in which former Volition owners THQ found themselves embroiled. A less cynical person might say, “HOLY CRAP SPACE TRIP!”

    • Unexpected Dave says:

      If Volition was really smart, they’d blast all those leftover torsos into space.

  5. BuddhaBox says:

    Huzzah! Now women can pretend to murder Scary Foreign Others online without feeling marginalized by the game they’re playing!

    For reals, though, it’s good that this finally happened. One messed-up thing about CoD down, nine hundred ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine to go.

    • SamPlays says:

      Let’s not be too quick in assuming gender equity has been established. Female characters will be relegated primarily to medic and administrative roles. But hey, it’s progress!

    • His_Space_Holiness says:

      Now they can look forward to thousands of 13-year-old douchebags relentlessly targeting them because their avatars are female!

      Hopefully not, but friends of mine who are big Left 4 Dead fans have told me horror stories about the consequences of playing online as Zoe, so I worry.

      • SamPlays says:

        Studies have demonstrated that douchebags who play video games are represented across a wide spectrum of age groups. That 13-year-old shit stain is mostly intact 20-30 years later.

      • Juan_Carlo says:

        I have like 900 hours in L4D2 and I have never seen anyone target the female characters just because they are female.  Which makes sense as the gameplay of versus is such that you always need to target who is vulnerable, regardless of which character it is.  If you decided you just wanted to target Zoey your team would lose pretty quickly and/or you’d get kicked.

    • fieldafar says:

      I definitely do not mind playing a character of the opposite gender, if it is CoD. Those Xbox Live kids can shove their obscenities upside themselves. 

    • TreeRol says:

      So you’re saying there are nine hundred ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine problems, but a bitch ain’t one?

    • JamesJournal says:

      COD is so behind the times, Gears, Halo … fuck … even Perfect Dark and Goldeneye where doing this in the fucking 90s

      • BuddhaBox says:

        Is it fair to include Halo in that list? That’s like saying you can play as a woman in Minecraft. You sort of have to take the game’s word for it that the thing inside of the power armor is female. Unless there are female marines and such.

        But yeah, otherwise agreed.

        • JamesJournal says:

          Well Halo Reach allows you to play a female Spartan.  And Keyes/Hayley etc are major players in the story. That is a lot compared to Call of Duty where the only women I recall ever seeing where shot dead in the “No Russian” mission.

  6. SamPlays says:

    For the record, there’s plenty of GS johnny boys who play CoD (some also play its close cousin Europa Universalis IV).

    • The_Helmaroc_King says:

      I really liked Modern Warfare, which originally made me excited for Modern Warfare 2, but my interest in the series was pretty close to hitting a nadir after Modern Warfare 3. Nothing in particular against the two sequels, but they really had diminishing returns for me.

      The whole squad mechanic they’re developing now actually looks pretty interesting. If it’s done well it could be the most evolutionary thing about the series in ages. Plus, there’s some benefits to not having to play with or against complete strangers if you want to play online.

      • SamPlays says:

        If by evolution you mean co-opting gameplay mechanics from Tom Clancy’s Yadda Yadda and Full Spectrum Warrior, then yes. But I’m in full agreement that adding some strategy would greatly improve the games. Like you, I more or less enjoyed the MW series though with diminishing returns. That said, each game was extremely fun while I was playing it. One of the few times I’m glad that a game only lasts around 8 hours. 

      • JamesJournal says:

        COD 4 was one of my favorite games period back in the day. MW2 was just more of the same, and now I’m fucking tired of the entire fucking genre … sheeeeshhhh

    • Sam_Barsanti says:

      Wow, people play COD and EUIV? I thought it was one of those things where you have to pick one or the other (like Star Wars vs. Star Trek) since they’re both so similar.

      (I actually play COD all the time. My girlfriend is a big fan)

      • SamPlays says:

        Hold on there, Mr. Semantics. Which of the following statements best represent your intended meaning?

        A) Your girlfriend is a big fan of playing CoD.

        B) Your girlfriend is a big fan of watching you play CoD all the time.

        C) Your girlfriend is a big fan of you playing CoD all the time because she enjoys the freedom of doing her own thing without being bothered for at least 1-2 hours.

    • Ryan Smith says:

      I hate Raptr because it tells me that I’ve played a combined 500 hours of COD in the past 3 years. Sheesh.

  7. JokersNuts says:

    Looking forward to completely ignoring GTA5’s Multiplayer.

    • Unexpected Dave says:

      My reaction to the announcement was, “Didn’t they already do this with GTA4?”

      I guess it was so unmemorable that everyone’s already forgotten it.

      • JamesJournal says:

        GTA4 had that really cool cops vs criminals chase mode. That got really epic until I moved on to the kinds of games actually meant for multiplayer.

        The GTA5 stuff looks more like Red Dead Redemption, and I only bothered with that game’s multiplayer until they came out with the zombie horde stuff, which was also awesome for a couple weeks until I started playing Gears again

  8. Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

    How many dollars do you want to bet that playing as a woman avatar in call of duty multiplayer will make you an even larger target for abuse?  Also, how unjust is it that the xbone will undoubtedly sell better than the Wii U at launch despite microsoft’s fucking abysmal handling of the thing so far? makes u think…

    • SamPlays says:

      I’m willing to bet 6000 Microsoft Points.

    • fieldafar says:

      I may be alone with this opinion, but I think some of Microsoft’s reversals with the XB1 are working out for them. Especially with Kinect no longer being mandatory for the system to work. 
      But I guess it all comes down to who sells the most stock by Christmas 2013, then we’ll see who wins the so-called battle. 

      • Bakken Hood says:

        Not totally alone.  I’m not proud of this, but the shitheads at M$ might have backpedaled their way into another sale, that being mine.  If they ape Sony’s innovative lack of a mandatory useless camera, I might just stick with M$ next generation and keep my hard-earned almost 50,000 GS points.

    • ShrikeTheAvatar says:

      The Wii U was very poorly marketed pre-launch.  Anytime that many people are confused as to whether you’re selling a new console or a new controller, you’ve done something seriously wrong.

      Not to mention the fact that I’m still not really sold on whether it’s worth it to buy a Wii U – do that many games really utilize the new controller scheme to justify a new console?  Most of the games I would be interested in playing seem like they would work on a normal Wii just fine, graphics wise.  

    • Professor_Cuntburglar says:

       Unfortunately, it all comes down to what games each console has, and Xbox just has the WiiU beat right now.

    • huge_jacked_man says:

      What’s abysmal here is the Wii U’s lineup. 

  9. MathleticDepartment says:

    RELEVANT GAMING NEWS: over the weekend I went here: 

    It is located in Chicago and is basically a bar with an old-timey arcade which are all free to play.  I wasn’t aware this is a thing, but it is and it is wonderful.  Happiness is unlimited free pinball.  Chicago-based Gameologicians should check it out.   

    • SamPlays says:

      I’m sorry but the “Sip N’ Slider” looks bloody disgusting. Otherwise, this place looks fucking amazing and would seemingly outweigh the cost of living in one of America’s most notorious cities for gun violence.

      • MathleticDepartment says:

        They had about 8 different posters up promoting that vile monstrosity. 

        Also, my post got flagged (WHAT HAVE I DONE) so checking to see if I can still post

    • Merve says:

      Speaking of bars that are also arcades, I was at Barcade this weekend. Man, old games are hard. Especially when your co-op partner is drunk.

  10. Juan_Carlo says:

    Prey 2 is odd.  Why bother keeping the name “Prey” when the sequel will play nothing like Prey and Prey’s universe was generic enough that they could just accomplish the same things in a new IP?  

    It’s definitely not name recognition as I’m pretty sure I was the only person who played Prey when it came out.

    • DrFlimFlam says:

      I played the demo and found 99% of it to be uninteresting. But hey, Don’t Fear the Reaper!

  11. sirslud says:

    Kotaku offended? That’s unpossible!

  12. duwease says:

    History of Player Characters For the CoD Series (by order of release/announcement):
    2003:  Males (Patriotic)
    2009:  Males (Terrorist)
    2014:  Dogs (Patriotic)
    2014:  Ghosts (Affiliation Unknown)
    2014:  A Woman

  13. Stl_Bob says:

    “Press sneak fucks” should replace “Press Start” in games.

  14. Labrat85 says:

    How is refusing to talk about a product until it is at a certain stage “misleading the public”? The public has no stake in the project, until money is put down or expectations are built up.

  15. underscorex says:

    Hey, Hate Plus, the sequel to the quite excellent Analogue: A Hate Story dropped today.

    It’s less than $10 on Steam.  

  16. Raging Bear says:

    I just saw a link to a YouTube trailer for Mother 4, and instantly died from sheer excitement. Then I saw the words “fan-made sequel” in the blurb, and instantly came back to life from sheer disappointment.

    • George_Liquor says:

      Man, nothing stings worse than disappointment reanimation.

    • Citric says:

      Unless those fans have kidnapped Shigesato Itoi and are forcing him to write the script and possibly judge cooking competitions, I’m not interested.

    • Mercenary_Security_number_4 says:

       I think it speaks volumes about the human condition that it is disappointment that keeps us breathing.

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  18. JamesJournal says:

    Women exist?

    Misleading the public? Don’t we realize that developers wouldn’t want to announce shit until it is solid and official. Why announce a game before there is anything you can really say about it?