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The PlayStation 4 cannot receive infrared (IR) remote control commands, a Sony representative told GameSpot sister site CNET, meaning universal remotes will not be supported.
What's more, CNET was not able to locate an IR receptor on its review unit, and Sony also confirmed that the PlayStation Camera cannot receive IR commands.
The PlayStation 3 also was not capable of receiving IR commands, which CNET points out led to the creation of a line of IR-to-Bluetooth converter boxes.
By comparison, the Xbox One will support IR control commands through its integrated IR blaster, similar to Logitech's Harmony Smart Control. During initial setup, users will need to enter the model number of their TV, amp, and cable box.
The PS4 launches on Friday in North America for $400, while the Xbox One will follow a week later on November 22 for $500.
Warlords of the Draenor, the next expansion for World of Warcraft, was only just announced on Friday, but its follow-up is already in the works, Blizzard Entertainment president Mike Morhaime told Polygon in a new interview. He explained that the company will increase the speed at which it releases new content for the MMO as a means to keep players coming back on a regular basis.
"It's going to be on us and our development team to continually look at ways to evolve the game and keep it relevant," Morhaime said. "And look for new ways of maintaining engagement within the game. We view expansions as a huge opportunity to do that.
"We recognize that we need to release them on a faster cadence than we have in the past," he added. "So we're investing in the team and our resources to enable us to do that."
Morhaime said last week during an Activision Blizzard earnings call that Blizzard has more resources dedicated to World of Warcraft now that it ever has in the history of the franchise.
World of Warcraft currently has 7.6 million subscribers, down just 100,000 from the previous quarter, but also below the 10 million subscribers it had following the release of Mists of Pandaria last year. Morhaime said Blizzard has adjusted the way its World of Warcraft development team is structured to allow them to continually look ahead to what's next for the aging MMO.
"We also have to start looking further down the road and planning further out," he said. "We've already started working on the expansion after this one [Warlords of Draenor]. We've never done that in the past. We've been doing one expansion at a time, sort of a very linear content creation model, and we've looked at ways that we can parallelize that. So that while we're working on this expansion we're looking at the new one."
For more on Warlords of Draenor, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of the expansion.
Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus is a lean, mean machine. It doesn't represent a great departure from the franchise, but instead hones in on what made the games so fun in the first place: fast-paced, gun-toting mayhem. It's a laugh a minute in this exuberant return to form, which has the heroic lombax coming to terms with his rightful place in the universe.
Following the events of Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, the heroic duo is transporting the infamous criminal Vendra Prog to a detention center. In an explosive introduction, Vendra is rescued by her twin brother Neftin Prog and his horde of Cockney-voiced hired goons working for Thugs-4-Less. What follows is a daring chase by Ratchet and Clank as they hop among five different planets in pursuit of the fleeing felons. Coming in at around five hours, the budget-priced Into the Nexus is short, but that brevity supports its narrative purpose. This is an epilogue, designed to cap off the Future trilogy of games and tie up loose ends in the process.
The Temporal Repulsor delivers a shotgun blast of quantum energy to multiple foes.
The classic sense of humor of the franchise remains intact and always hilarious. The jokes come early and often throughout the campaign, from slapstick moments thanks to the bumbling gator-faced Thugs-4-Less goons, to the zany array of weapons. For example, there is a gun that lobs a grenade that summons a ghoul in the form of a pirate or clown to scare enemies, and another called the Winterizer, which plays holiday music while turning foes into grinning snowmen brandishing candy canes.
It's hard not to get a warm chuckle out of the franchise's geriatric robot heroes, Cronk and Zephyr, who adorably bicker over war stories and age. From amusing dialogue to dry, subtle jokes buzzing in from various intercoms in certain stages, the game erupts with wit and charm. The humor is sprinkled throughout a smart script narrated by a fantastic vocal cast, with guest appearances from Talwyn Apogee, the Plumber, the Smuggler, and of course, Captain Qwark, who is as useless and unwanted as expected.
A new enemy comes in the form of the Nethers, ghostly creatures from another dimension called the Netherverse. These beings are far more formidable than the usual thugs, and pop in and out of the dimension during battles. Early in the course of the campaign, Clank gains the ability to enter the cracks in reality leading to the Netherverse, thanks to the eccentric scientist Pollyx. Clank traverses the shadowy Netherverse in the style of a 2D platformer where gravity is controlled using the right analogue stick. The goal: get Clank to be chased by a Nether beast through the crack, which causes the wall to explode, allowing the two heroes to continue their quest. Clank's adventures in the Nether are rare, but they become challenging, as getting to the exit means executing quick gravity shifts while dodging floating spiked rocks and hazardous burning floors.
Though platforming is part of the game, there is a stronger focus on action.
This is a simpler Ratchet, unfettered by an overabundance of jumping and moving platforms. Over the course of the franchise, Insomniac has experimented with new gadgets and moves to enhance the scope of platforming. Into the Nexus firmly plants its boot down on the side of action, focusing on the big guns and the legions of enemies you fire them at. There is platforming, but much of it has been toned down. There are no more ledges to shimmy along nor are there rails to grind, and using the OmniWrench to manipulate platforms is all but forgotten. Puzzles are nonexistent outside of a few simple box arrangements in Clank's visits to the Nether. The pared-down platforming might disappoint you if you enjoy giving the jump button a workout, but I felt the change in pace to be exactly what the series needed. By stripping out the elements that bogged down prior games, Into the Nexus becomes a playground of gun smoke and noise where the person with the biggest toys is the one left standing. The action and small environments keep the pace lightning quick, with two planets that mainly exist to offer a short list of optional side missions.
Adding to the enjoyment are tighter controls, which have been tweaked to let Ratchet use his hoverboots without needing to equip them first. Some planets allow Ratchet to utilize a jetpack he wins at the Destructapalooza, a battle arena on Planet Kragg, so that he may reach previously inaccessible heights. It's exhilarating to streak across the environment in hoverboots and then blast off into the skies, and dropping from the strata onto unaware enemies instills a sense of empowerment. This is still the Ratchet & Clank you know and love, but the dull humdrum has been all but banished.
The Winterizer turns snarling enemies into adorable, festive snowmen with presents to share.
New weapons are unlocked quickly and often, along with copious amounts of bolts and caches of raritanium to use for upgrades. Weapon upgrading has been expanded, allowing you to choose which features you want for your favorite tool of destruction. The upgrade screen is a map of branching grey hexagons, each of which grants a new ability such as increased ammo count, weapon range, or extra bolts for each enemy kill. Green hexagons adorned with question marks are mystery upgrades, and can only be unlocked after clearing all the grey hexagons surrounding it. Much like before, weapons level up with use, and the weapon wheel is larger on the screen, making it faster than ever to choose the item you want.
The series is well known for its colossal arsenal of strange and fantastic weaponry, and Into the Nexus follows suit. Over the years, however, the weapons selection in each game has become somewhat uninspired, a fact that unfortunately befalls Into the Nexus. During the course of the game, I rarely used more than a chosen few weapons out of the 12 available, though those weapons were always a blast to use. In particular, I'm a fan of the returning Mr. Zurkon, a sarcastic, snarky battle bot who speaks in the third person while harassing Ratchet for his organic faults. The Netherblades, which send a storm of whirling purple blades that ricochet off walls and surround enemies, is another easy favorite.
Early in the game you earn a new tool called the Grav-Tether. Firing it at grav-targets creates a purple grav-stream that you ride on to get to new areas. The concept is fairly straightforward: firing the tether activates one target, while firing at another will create a stream flowing to that second target. It is typically used to float over deadly drops or reach higher ground. Astute players will spot areas where the tether offers access to hidden areas, which often have secret items such as RYNO VII plans or gold bolts tucked away. You can have other kinds of fun with the tether as well; trapping enemies in the grav-stream and canceling it as they float helplessly above a cliff is good for a quick laugh. Though an interesting new addition to Ratchet's usual repertoire of tools, the game forgets about the Grav-Tether over time, and it goes into disuse by the final chapter.
The dynamic duo has returned, and, as always, trouble has followed.
Completing the game unlocks Challenge Mode which allows you to restart the campaign at a higher difficulty but with all the weapons you've unlocked. This mode applies a bolt multiplier which lets you unlock more upgrades for your weapons and level them up to golden Omega status using gold bolts hidden throughout the game. Challenge Mode is a fantastic way to really get some bang for your buck. Your weapons become more powerful with new upgrades, and the mode gives you a chance to try out others you may have neglected on your first playthrough. You also have the option to jump back into your game after the credits roll to mop up any leftover side missions, earn better boss battle scores, and grab some missing skill points. If you fancy a wave of nostalgia, visit the museum, which houses exhibits featuring the enemies and heroes who have graced the series. And in case you missed out, the game also comes with a copy of Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty.
Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus doesn't entirely break from the series' classic roots, but its focus on action over platforming makes it a fast-paced thrill ride, and the short length makes running through it again with Omega weapons in Challenge Mode irresistible. In what may be the last Ratchet & Clank for this console generation, the series takes its leave with a proper bang, reuniting you with your favorite characters and keeping you hooting and hollering all the way to the finish line.
You can get a lot done with a pink spaghetti-like arm floating outside of your head and an alien buddy named Ted who sometimes lives in your warm, toasty brain. And if that pink spaghetti arm can read the minds of those around you, peel back elements of the world as if they were stickers, help you swing from ledge to ledge and grab objects around you, so much the better.
Stick It to the Man is the story of Ray Doewood, a professional hardhat tester who was clonked on the noggin by a mysterious package dropped from a military airplane during a freak thunderstorm and wakes up to find a pink spaghetti arm emerging from his head. Within hours of this discovery, Ray learns that he's the target of a citywide manhunt. He has been accused of murdering his girlfriend, and the effort to find Ray and the arm has been orchestrated by a shadowy government figure known as The Man. Excellent voice acting brings each over-the-top character to life throughout the game's 10 chapters. This is a world filled with the random thoughts of aliens, insane psychiatrists, presidential brains in jars, and government agents wondering about Descartes. Ray's voice rehashes the works of Woody Allen, especially as he cites his plethora of neuroses.
What better way to read a cop's brain than with a pink spaghetti arm?
Stick It to the Man is a puzzle platformer with a dark, twisted 2D art style reminiscent of Double Fine's Psychonauts. The arm proves invaluable and you can readily use its telepathic mode to read the thoughts of the people, animals, and robots around you to learn what they need and what puzzles you should be trying to solve.
The surreal artistic style isn't the only aspect of Stick It to the Man that that's a bit twisted; the sense of logic has just as many oddball wrinkles. In the space of a few minutes, you might peel back the corner of a building to reveal the people inside, use the pink spaghetti arm to read a nearby poodle's thoughts to learn that it wants more-ferocious teeth, use the arm to steal a set of false teeth from a nearby person's mouth, and slap the false teeth into the dog's mouth all to the tune of the game's noire jazz tunes.
The arm emerging from Ray's head is a remarkable and useful appendage. Need to reach a ledge? Just aim the spaghetti arm at a pin above the ledge, and trigger the arm to grab the pin, swinging Ray along in the process. This mechanic feels like a webswinging in a Spider-Man game, and using your worm body as a whip to grab a branch and swing across a gap recalls Earthworm Jim. A responsive, fun control system helps bring it to life here, and it's easy to execute half a dozen swings within a matter of seconds once you get used to it.
Use your pink spaghetti arm to peel off the layers of the world around you.
Ray is chased by dozens of government agents who'll gladly gladly grab him and tase him to death, though he promptly respawns at a nearby Mr. Copy save point. Instead of dodging or outrunning the agents--which you can do if you want to--you can readily use the arm to gleefully read and mess with the agents' minds to find their weaknesses. If they're thinking about napping or about how to abduct you, for instance, you can grab a sleep icon or an image of your face from their thought bubbles, and then slap those icons onto your pursuers to put them to sleep or force them to chase a decoy of you, respectively. Should you find yourself cornered, it's easy to aim the arm at a nearby pin and quickly swing towards a ledge, traversing walls and surrounding scenery in the process. Even if you think you're trapped, an escape is usually possible, and the pink spaghetti arm makes continuous, nimble evasion both easy and fun.
It's easy to learn the Stick it to the Man's movement, environment and puzzle mechanics, which in turn allows you to apply your gray matter to solving the conundrum at hand. When the rhythm of a level clicks into place, there's unfettered joy in exploring the map and literally peeling away layers to discover new areas, reading the minds of the kooky characters around you, and using the nimble arm to solve three or four puzzles at once while swinging across the environment with abandon.
Grab the pins to swing up to nearby ledges.
Your enjoyment of Stick It to the Man might be interrupted by occasional audio bugs, such as an issue where a character's screams echo no matter how far from the source you travel within the level. Misleading cues also lead to some frustrating situations. While I was generally able to figure things out, there are times when characters steer you in the wrong direction, especially during an escort session in the asylum level; I had to lead a girl outside of the asylum to a stuffed whale corpse, even though her audio cues indicated she wanted to be led to a dead mouse for her cat.
Purchasing Stick It to the Man from the PlayStation Store functions as a cross-buy and entitles you to both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions. This is a dark, thoroughly ridiculous world you're visiting, but it's an inviting one, and its odd sense of humor, semi-absurd puzzles, and delightful action grab your attention and hold it.