UK libel laws really are awful, and I apologise to the rest of the world for that (though I'm Scottish and hope we'll be independent soon, so then I won't have to feel bad about that!). I recall a case where a book accusing a rich and powerful Arab ruler of links to terrorism was published in the US (and only the US) but was pulped because he succesfully sued for libel in the UK. Someone bought a copy from US Amazon, so it fell under UK law! Similarly a science journalist was taken to court (unsucessfully) by chiropractors for debunking their nonsense. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/apr/19/libel-laws-reform-simon-singh
Anyway, as for Wainwright, judging by her Giant Bomb blog (and her actions) she's an immature and starry-eyed kid who is way too swept up by the excitement of writing about games, seeing preview builds and having 'behind the scenes' access and contacts. Those are exactly the people most susceptible to being influenced (without realising it) by PRs and publishers. Think about how much you would love someone like that if you work for Square Enix - let her see ten minutes of a preview build of Tomb Raider - which costs you nothing really - and she'll be so pleased you're guaranteed some free breathless hype. Call her a 'consultant' and ask for some feedback on the game before it is finished and they'll love you even more.
More damaging in many ways than plain old corruption, because it's subtler, more inisidious and there's not much that can be done about it.
I am sure I have heard Jeff for one talking about exactly this problem, in fact. On one of the Jar Time videos, I think.
Hope Rob gets a better job with all the attention he is getting. Hopefully he can continue writing for a non UK site because they are all trash as far as I can tell. Maybe Polygon can help him out. And LOL at Lauren now trying to edit her tracks. For a person who is trying to make a living writing on the web she doesnt seem to know how it works.
He writes and stars in a nationally televised comedy sketchshow - the games writing isn't his only thing. This is probably why he felt able to be critical in a way many fulltime games journalists aren't.
Youse should try to hunt down the internet games show he did years ago, Consolevania.
There's an article where the headline talks about risk assessment, data entry and playtesting of Halo 4. God, so exciting, how can one resist reading and article about such things?
The layout is horrific. Sure, it looks nice, but I don't need my entire screen filled with screenshots from the game they're reviewing, with text placed around it. That works for a physical magazine, not for something you read on a screen.
I like written reviews - Ryan in particular is a really good writer, and there are occasions where a game has had a quick look where it looked poor but was in fact a really good game. Something like Alpha Protocol falls into that category - the moment to moment mechanics are visually unappealing, while the cool things that game does don't come across in the quick look format. I'm surprised so few people read them.
I feel like Video Reviews evolved into quick looks, though.
I've not played WotR but it seems very similar to Mount and Blade. Chivalry is more arcadey, accessible and fun. It has a superficially simple but effective melee system where you have three attack types (slash, overhead swing or stab), a kick, the ability to block or parry and a dodge (which may be restricted to the man-at-arms class?). This is a good thing, as it means the game relies more on reactions, skill and understanding of the mechanics and of the right time to use each ability, rather than having to wrap your head around the weird controls better than your opponent, which is the problem with Mount and Blade (and why I greatly prefer the gunpowder-based Napoleonic Wars mod over the melee combat era game). This means you can get locked into long yet fast-paced, tense duels, with each of you strafing, dodging and blocking your opponent's attacks with aplomb, trying to predict when your opponent will attack so you can find and opening. In this respect it almost feels like a boxing game, mechanically. Also, there's nice differentiation between the four classes - I like the Knight class most.
Where M&B and WotR are more like semi-simulatorish type games - a medieval version of Red Orchestra or something like that - this is more a fast-paced arena-based first person brawler.
Being decapitated is also funny, and it's really satisfying to cave someone's skull in.
Is the game moddable? I could see that being a fairly easy to implement solution
Yeah, it seems that the other voices for each different language are included, so it shouldn't be too hard to mod those into the game. It's mad hearing Japanese, Scottish and German guys all speaking with American-accented English.
*I noticed that Scotland seems to be an independent nation in the game, as its flag is in separate from the UK flag. Someone clearly predicting the result of the independence referendum in 2014 :)