WarDevil is in the Details

(Those of you that noticed me re-using the headline from a similar post at my Weblogs Inc. blog can feel free to sue me.)

I half-expect random message board posts to go a little overboard when they talk up a new rumor but, for some reason, I expect a little more out of IGN.This faith seems misplaced based on their recent coverage or the sudden release of a teaser trailer for “WarDevil – Unleash the Beast Within” by previously unknown developer Digi-Guys.

IGN’s article starts off with a whopper of a headline: “WarDevil Shows Potential of Xbox 2” Besides the dubious systemhood for the game (see below), such a headline implies the released footage is running on the XBox 2 hardware, even though later in the article it correctly states that “the trailer appears to be CG cut-scenes.” Last time I checked, even the original Playstation could play CG cut-scenes without breaking a sweat.

In fact, GamesRadar went as far as to call someone at Digi-Guys (a shocking prospect, I know) who confirmed that the trailer footage actually comes from a concurrent film version of WarDevil and not the planned video game. So it’s actually more accurate to describe these impressive videos as showing the “potential” of the computer workstation that produced them, not the hardware that will likely be just be running a video of them.

Even though the game’s website doesn’t mention a target system, IGN goes on to claim that, “several key pieces of information make [an Xbox 2 release] an almost sure thing.” Here are the several key pieces of information they cite (emphasis added):

  • “WarDevil is … set for release in late 2005.”
  • “Nintendo’s Revolution and Sony’s PS3 [are] set to ship in 2006.”
  • XBox 2 has been “long-rumored to release in holiday 2005.”

IGN’s basic journalistic formula here: “set for release” + “set to ship” + “long-rumored” = “an almost sure thing”

Anyone who has followed videogames even casually knows that release dates, whether set or, worse yet, rumored, are far from sure things. Even assuming the Digi-Guys are assuming these dates as well, their choice of system could as easily be current-generation as next-generation given that the footage is just a CG cut-scene (In fact, Xbox2News.com points out that WarDevil was originally planned for XBox, and for all we know still could be.)

The article goes on to parrot some ridiculous marketing promises about the game being “beyond the conventions of a normal video game” with “in-game visuals [that] won’t differ much [from the cut-scenes]” but by this point a careful reader should have stopped paying attention. The WarDevil trailer is a pretty CGI film of a concept for a game that might potentially come out for some system, maybe in late 2005. The real news here may not be as relevant, but it’s a whole lot more accurate.

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