Rumor Killers: Natal, Shogun 2, Beyond Good & Evil 2

Rumor Killers

Natal renamed, dated, and priced, with details coming at E3?

It’s not long until E3, so it’s only fitting that our first rumor of the week focuses on one of the biggest potential announcements of the show: Project Natal. NowGamer has reported that an anonymous source close to Microsoft has revealed the new name for Natal, stating that it will be officially unveiled during Microsoft’s conference at E3.  

The suggestion is that it will be called the "Wave," a name not too dissimilar to PlayStation’s Move motion control functionality. Creativity at Microsoft is lacking, as it already has a product line titled Wave: a site that announces fresh developments and products from the company. Microsoft is keeping typically tight-lipped, telling VG247 the usual mantra of "We do not comment on rumor or speculation," but Wave does sound rather plausible. Natal is already a city in Brazil and a simpler name is a more marketable concept so all signs point to this being the case. A shame if you ask me, as Natal had a bit more imagination about it. I also preferred the Nintendo Revolution, though, and it’s not like the Wii’s name ever harmed sales.  

A few other Natal rumors have also sprung up, most crucially regarding pricing and a release date. Another anonymous rumor from a source with a confirmed history of accuracy according to Edge is that Natal/Wave will be launched in the US in October at a price of $149. It’s a heftier price than previously estimated which could ruffle a few feathers. The source suggested that the worldwide launch of Natal would be October 26, which would tie in with earlier reports from a Saudi Arabian executive that stated the same date.

It’s looking pretty clear what’s to come with Microsoft’s E3 Conference. The price sounds appropriate (albeit a touch expensive for the consumer) and the product name sounds predictable. Hopefully Microsoft will also announce a few exciting games to entice players into forking out the $149 asking fee. Currently the idea of Brunswick Bowling isn’t really compelling enough for me.

Rumor Killer Rating: True

Shogun 2: Total War to be announced at E3?

The Total War series has received consistently positive critical reception since the original title in the series, Shogun: Total War was released in 2000. So it seems quite fitting that things should come full circle with a sequel to Shogun possibly being announced at E3. 

Shortly after arranging a press visit with Sega Europe regarding the title, Turkish website Oyungezer leaked news that Shogun 2: Total War will be announced at E3. One site alone might be nothing conclusive but Voodoo Extreme has been digging around and has also been sent an email confirming a new Total War title to be announced at E3 in a couple of weeks time. Throw in the site’s leak of a fact sheet for Shogun 2: Total War and things are looking a lot more likely. 

The fact sheet suggests plenty of improvements such as new and improved AI (a much maligned problem with its predecessor), new campaign maps, new character progression, and additional multiplayer options. The aim, according to the fact sheet, is to re-invent the strategy genre all over again. There’s no denying that the original Shogun: Total War made huge innovations with its combination of turn-based management and real-time battles, so it’ll be interesting to see what The Creative Assembly can do after 10 years of practice with the other Total War titles.

Sega, as expected, has stated that the company ’can’t comment on news about the next Total War game’, although optimists will be pleased to see that they do suggest that another Total War game is on the way at least.

The original Shogun: Total War covers the historical period from the mid-15th century to the beginning of the 17th century in Japan – a time period that’s been fairly untouched by other mainstream games. It’d be good to see more exploration of the period and there’s no doubt that The Creative Assembly would be just the right developers for the job. 

Returning to the evidence presented, everything points at Shogun 2: Total War being announced very, very soon.

Rumor Killer Rating: True

Is Beyond Good & Evil 2 still in the works?

Beyond Good & Evil 2 has had a tumultuous history bursting at the seams with an array of good and bad rumors surrounding its development. The past week has been a particularly memorable time, with initial rumors suggesting that Beyond Good & Evil 2 had been canned and subsequent rumors stating that this is nonsense. Confused yet? I don’t blame you.

Only on Monday did a source close to Ubisoft Montpellier tell French gaming site Woot Gaming that Beyond Good & Evil creator Michel Ancel had left the studio in order to form his own company. The reason cited was due to issues surrounding Beyond Good & Evil 2’s development, suggesting that the game might never see the light of day. All was not looking well for Beyond Good & Evil 2 at all… that is until another rumor came along to restore hope. 

Another French gaming site, GameBlog.fr, announced the following day that they had been in touch with Ubisoft PR and inside sources who had debunked the original rumor. The site explains that Ancel is still at Ubisoft Montpellier and that Beyond Good & Evil 2 is still in development. Of course, much like Woot Gaming, it’s difficult to tell just which site is more reliable than the other. 

It’s a confusing mess of rumors for Beyond Good & Evil 2, which is really no surprise. The original Beyond Good & Evil suffered from poor sales despite critical acclaim across the board. The subsequent sequel has had many rumors spread surrounding its development with it feeling like a never-ending, off-and-on process. Seemingly as soon as one person says it’s on hold, another person says it’s in development again as has been seen in both 2008 and 2009. 

Whether Beyond Good & Evil 2 will actually see the light of day is anyone’s guess. After years of development and speculation, I’m not convinced anyone could honestly say when or if the game will appear. Having said that, these two rumors sound about as plausible as each other thus cancelling each other out. Assume the game’s still in development… but don’t necessarily assume it will ever come out of development. Sorry cult game loving fans!

Rumor Killer Rating: True

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