It’s weeks like this that we figure we could probably pull off a show five days a week.
While it’ll only be ArJay, James, and myself, it’ll still be a miracle if we’re able to cover everything we want in the two hours we have tonight. There is A LOT to cover. From the situation at Naughty Dog to finally hearing something on Watch Dogs. That’s not even half of it. We’ll also be talking with ArJay about his trip next week to the Final Round tournament in Atlanta. We hope to have his schedule so you can possibly watch him compete on Twitch next week.
It’s been a busy week, we’ve got a lot to talk about, and as always the phone lines are open for this episode so you can bring your thoughts to the table for discussion. Our number is 334-272-9228.
...and otherwise pretty boring. I know, maybe I shouldn't be so tough on a trailer. But if EA and Bioware are going to show off Dragon Age Inquisition after more than half a year of radio silence, I expect a bit more than a travelogue. As I said, it's all very pretty, and I'm sure it's all done in-engine. But so what? Give me some other hook in the trailer: a bit of real gameplay, a snippet of story, a hint of things to come. When your first bit of news on the game in months is a tour of the realm, I'm going to start assuming that you have nothing else of value to show me.
An errant tweet from a British game retailer and trailer uploaded early to Xbox.com seem to show the new release date for Watch Dogs. Ubisoft's paranoiapunk shooter, which had originally been set to launch alongside the new consoles last fall, will be released May 27 for the PS3, PS4, XB1, 360 and PC. A Wii U version will apparently be released at a later date. Ubisoft had planned to formally announce the date later today, and when that happens we'll embed the new trailer here.
Months after they officially acquired the Homeworld IP and announced plans for an updated version of the cult-classic RTS, Gearbox has begun to give some firm details on the project. Previously they'd referred to it has Homeworld HD, but they're now labeling it Homeworld Remaster. The collection will include the original "archival' versions of Homeworld 1 & 2, optimized for modern OS', and an updated version with new bells and whistles.
Homeworld Remastered Collection includes updated high-res textures and models, new graphical effects, and support for HD, UHD, and 4K resolutions. Homeworld’s original audio and video artists have also recreated cinematic scenes in beautiful high fidelity.
Homeworld Remastered Collection uses Homeworld and Homeworld 2’s original source audio to create a stunning new mix of effects and music. On top of that, multiplayer for both games has been combined into one centralized mode that will allow you to interact with other players like never before.
Gearbox is also polling fans on the retail special edition of the game. Each version would come with the usual tchotchkes - art book, key chain, posters, etc - but they're looking at two different models of scale Motherships to include. The $75 collectors edition would come with a 6", die cast model, while the $100 one would come with a 12" plastic model that includes LED lights.
As of now, the Homeworld Remaster is slated for a fall launch.
Claim your five-finger discount at the following link.
After long years of skeptical previews, rumors of development strife, and the unmatchable expectations of the elderly, Thief the Younger has been released to hilariously uneven industry reviews and community impressions. There's a good chance that without the marquee nameplate and the years of cloudy recollections this game would have been received to general acclaim, but there's no fair shake for anyone who thinks they're deft enough to follow in Garrett's nearly silent footsteps.
Perhaps, though, in a year or two, Thief could conjure the embarrassing levels of praise currently being hurled toward Blizzard for making their game what it should have been at launch. Diablo 3 has, with the surprise release of a not-objectively-horrifying loot system upgrade, banished a large part of the angry fog that's clung to the game and subdued its legacy. I'm not usually a fan of the idea that the customer is always right, but as one such customer who's finally gotten his way, I'll gladly cling to it in this case.
Here's a shiny launch trailer for Titanfall. Ooh, pretty. Now onto the not-at-all surprising news: Titanfall will have paid DLC, and you will be able to buy that DLC as a season pass.
Respawn affirms that they will also be providing some free updates, including "private matches and things like that," so not everything will be behind a pay wall. Respawn head Vince Zampella didn't provide any more details on that DLC, but we're talking about a multiplayer shooter, so we can make an educated guess: more maps, more Titans, more weapons, more Burn Cards.
Titanfall launches next week for the Xbox One and PC, with the 360 version coming on March 25.
Amy Hennig, the creative director and writer of all three Uncharted games, has left developer Naughty Dog after a decade with the studio.
While Sony has confirmed the departure, they gave no reason for the split. IGN, however, reports that Hennig was forced out by Last of Us creative leads Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, a claim that is still unverified. Druckmann and Straley worked on the first two Uncharted games before creating The Last of Us, and IGN says they'll be taking the reins of Uncharted 4 from Hennig going forward.
It’s update time again, and this one brings some nice little chunks of digital gaming niblets. South Park makes its way to the PS3 along with Master Reboot while the Vita gets Hatsune Miku Project Diva F. The PS4 gets Awesomenauts, a free trial for Killzone multiplayer, and Dead Nation, which is free for Plus members. Tomb Raider on the PS3 is also free for Plus, along with a few added discounts for some new releases and a few NFS games. The real discounts are in the sale section, and it’s a pretty big one this week. Hitman games, pretty much every Tomb Raider game (aside from the new PS4 release), and Just Cause 2, along with a few other great deals. The full update from the PlayStation Blog:
Awesomenauts Assemble! ($9.99)
Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition ($14.99)
Killzone Shadow Fall Multiplayer Trial
South Park: The Stick of Truth ($59.99)
Master Reboot ($14.99)
NASCAR ‘14 ($49.99)
The LEGO Movie Videogame Demo
Growlanser: Heritage of War ($9.99) [PS2]
HBO Go [App]
The Last of Us: Volume 2 Original Soundtrack ($9.99)
Hatsune Miku Project Diva F ($29.99) [With Demo]
Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition (PS4) [Free]
Tomb Raider (PS3) [Free]
Master Reboot $11.99
Awesomenauts Assemble! $7.99
Need For Speed Most Wanted (PS3) $5.00
Need For Speed Most Wanted (PS Vita) $5.00
Need For Speed Hot Pursuit $5.00
Need For Speed Carbon $5.00
Need For Speed The Run $5.00
Need for Speed Most Wanted (PS3) $9.99
Need for Speed Most Wanted (PS Vita) $9.99
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit (PS3) $9.99
Need for Speed Carbon (PSP/PS Vita) $9.99
Need for Speed The Run (PS3) $9.99
Breakquest: Extra Evolution – Minis $1.99
Burnout Crash! $4.99
Burnout Paradise $9.99
Burnout Paradise Ultimate Edition $14.99
Call Of Duty: Ghosts (PS4) $39.99
Call Of Duty: Ghosts Digital Hardened Bundle (PS4) $89.99
The April edition of Game Informer has the announcement of Batman Arkham Knight, which the magazine describes as developer Rocksteady's "final Arkham game."
As for the game itself, you'll face off against the Scarecrow, Penguin, Two-Face and Harley Quinn. The big addition this time is a driveable Batmobile, and a suitable huge city in which to drive it. This installment will also be skipping the older generation of consoles, and will be coming only to the PS4, XB1 and PC when it launches later this year.
I love a game that tries to be something a little different. Which is why I'm now excited for Crawl, from indie dev Powerhoof. Crawl is described as a "same screen arcade" game for multiple players. One player starts out as the hero, while 1-3 others play as spirits. Those spirits can trigger traps, or rise from arcane symbols as monsters. The spirits try to kill the hero, but whichever spirit lands the killing blow, is reborn as the hero and the cycle begins again. Until one hero gets to the exit portal It's a simple idea - you versus your friends in a fantasy dungeon - but with an elegant twist.
Microsoft is expanding the open beta for Project Spark to the Xbox One. Windows 8.1 users had previously had access to the beta, and those users will automatically get access to the XB1 version. You can sign up for the beta by heading here and entering your email address.
Project Spark is Microsoft's game building game. You can create just about anything you'd need to make a simple - or not so simple - game. On the XB1, you can use the Kinect for motion capture or to add short vocal tracks for characters. Creations can, of course, be shared with other users.
Project Spark sounds like a ton of fun, and the popularity of sandbox games like LittleBigPlanet and Minecraft show that there is a huge market for this sort of title. No release date has been announced for the full version of Project Spark, but the game will be free to all Xbox One Gold members when that time comes.
The week begins with official word that Interceptor Entertainment, the Danish studio which recently released a remake of Rise of the Triad, has acquired 3D Realms/Apogee Ltd. (To clear up confusion, 3D Realms operated as Apogee until 1996. A few years ago 3D Realms licensed the name to a new company - Apogee LLC - would develop and publish games based on old Apogee properties. That company would go on to publish 2013's Rise of the Triad, the developer of which is now acquiring 3D Realms, which still conducts some business as Apogee Ltd.)
Details of the deal were not announced, but 3D Realms will continue to operate in Garland, Texas, while Interceptor remains in Herning, Denmark. Of course this also begs the question: why spend money on 3D Realms in the first place? They don't put out a ton of products and their most famous IP - Duke Nukem - was sold off to Gearbox years back. And to complicate matters more, they're being sued by Gearbox for unauthorized use of the IP. Interceptor CEO Frederik Schreiber says the deal is about other IPs 3D Realms still controls, including Commander Keen and Shadow Warrior, and details on those properties will be forthcoming.
We’re getting closer and closer to when ArJay will be heading off to Atlanta for the Final Round competition and we’ll talk with him more about that during tomorrow night’s episode.
Also tomorrow, James & Matt will go over their first impressions with Thief. They both come from the background of the original games and will likely base their thoughts in the differences of those experiences. Or not. Speaking of, have you played Thief, or anything else for that matter? Why not give us a call and tell us your experiences and thoughts?
Regardless, we’d love to hear from you! As always, the phone lines are open for this episode and you can bring whatever you like to the table for discussion. Our number is 334-272-9228.
We hope to see (and hear from) you LIVE tomorrow night!
I'm intrigued by the idea of genre-fusing games. Some of them come off wonderfully - the puzzle RPG as embodied by Puzzle Quest for example - and some of them fall flat - Rage's mix of driving & shooting. But I love the idea that two genres being mashed together. So I'm going to keep an eye on Space Run, and indie game that mixes tower defense with spaceship building.
As you can see in the teaser, your ship is basically a blank platform onto which you can place engines, shields, weapons and other spaceship-y systems. You then have to make a cargo run while besieged by enemies on all sides. The better you do, the better equipment you can buy for your ship. So instead of placing the towers on a static path, you're placing them on a ship that runs through the path.
Space Run is expected to hit the PC this may for under $10.
We learned today that one of the most popular and influential games of the last half decade will be heading to the big screen. That's right kiddies, we will be getting a movie based on...Minecraft. The news, straight from the horse's mouth.
Someone is trying leak the fact that we're working with Warner Brothers on a potential Minecraft Movie. I wanted to be the leak!
Deadline adds a bit more to the story, including word that the film will be live-action.
On the one hand, it makes a ton of sense. As I mentioned, the game itself recently celebrated it's 100 millionth user across all platforms, and it is one of the most emulated games on the market now. It is pretty much an obsession for millions of school age children.
However, it's a game without any real narrative (which is part of the allure), dialogue or protagonist. And the visual style likely wouldn't translate well to a live action film.
So why go all in on the project? I have three words for you: the Lego Movie. That film has grossed almost $280M worldwide on a budget of $60M, and Warners clearly sees Minecraft as a comparable project. I don't see the logic of making it a live action movie personally, unless it won't be an adaptation of the game, but a film about the game. Although in that case, it mostly loses it's appeal to the younger set.
Either way, no other details have been announced, and it sounds like the ink is still drying on the deal, so we probably won't get a ton of info on it anytime soon.
Tis a sad day for gamers of a certain sort. Those hearty souls who use their Wiis or DS' to play online games. Nintendo has announced that they will be pulling the plug on the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection, which facilitated online play on those platforms, on May 20. Their respective eShops will remain open, and channel services such as web browsers and Netflix will remain active, but online play and related services such as leaderboards will no longer be available. Nintendo has posted a full list of affected games.
While Nintendo never seemed to embrace online play the way Sony and Microsoft have, they still managed to generate quite a catalog of online capable games. Most prominent on the list are the Mario Kart titles for both platforms, Smash Bros on the Wii, the Professor Layton games on the DS and the various Pokemon games on the DS. If you have a hankering for online play in one of those games, now is as good a time as any.
The second episode of the second season of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead will be released this coming Tuesday, March 4, for the PS3 (in North America), PC and Mac. 360, iOS and European PS3 versions will be released at an unspecified later date. The episode will cost $4.99 standalone, and is included in the Season 2 season pass.
I put a question mark in the headline because while I believe this is the first real gameplay trailer released for The Order: 1886, I can't be certain. Certainty aside, my opinion of the game's graphics is certainly sky high. It looks as good - or better - than any game I've yet seen. Tons of detail in the characters and extremely fluid animations combine with a (relatively) realistic art style makes it really stand out. I'm not as sold on the gameplay, which looks like a very basic cover shooter with a lot of QTEs thrown in.
The Order: 1886 takes place in an alternate history London loaded with Steampunk-y goodness. In this world, humanity has been fighting a losing battle against demonic monsters, and the tide has only been stemmed with the development of modern(ish) technology. The titular Order is, in fact, the heirs to the Knights of the Round table, and members of the group are given code names from the story. It's a weird mix of steampunk and knights, but that's exactly the sort of mix games should be great at.
The Order: 1886 is set for a fall release exclusively on the Playstation 4.
Last week we solicited your questions for the team at Turtle Rock Studios developing the new multiplayer shooter, Evolve. Today, thanks to Turtle Rock community manager Josh Olin, we have the answers to those questions.
Colony of Gamers - The most common question our community had concerned balance. In Left 4 Dead you would frequently have players quit out of versus mode if they weren’t the Infected right off the bat, or would quit out once they had their turn as the Infected. What steps are you taking to discourage that in Evolve?
Josh Olin - While Evolve is still very deep in the thickets of development, I can say that we’re well aware of these concerns. Many games suffer from this pain point. And as gamers, we feel it too. So without going into specific details (that are still in flux to be frank), we will have features and other mechanisms in place to encourage good player behaviors, and discourage the bad ones.
CoG - Roughly speaking, how will a match work in the game? Will each map be a discreet session, or will there be a cycle of maps, a la the campaigns in L4D?
JO - There are a number of game modes in Evolve. Sounds like you know Turtle Rock’s lineage quite well! The only mode we’ve revealed so far is called Hunt, however, which is like a big game of Hide ‘n Seek with epic boss battles that could erupt at any moment. It pits the team of 4 Hunters against 1 player controlled Monster, whose job is to evade detection while he feeds on wildlife to grow more powerful, so he stands a better chance against his pursuing foes.
CoG - How many playable monsters will there be? And will the player select their specific monster before the start, or will a monster be assigned to them?
JO - Evolve will ship with multiple Monsters, as well as multiple sets of Hunters for each class. And like the Hunters, the player will have the choice of which Monster he/she would like to play.
CoG - You’ve said that the Monsters will evolve as the match goes on and gain new abilities and buffs. But will the humans have any sort of growth in-match, or will their abilities remain static?
JO - Both the Hunters and Monster are alien to the planet Shear. So the wildlife is actually neutral/hostile to both sides. This means the Elite wildlife creatures – the ones that will drop consumable Perks – can be targeted from both sides. Imagine as you’re pursuing the Monster, hot on its heels, and the Monster leads you past an Elite… do you continue pursuing the Monster? Or do you take the time to take out the Elite creature so you can get the Perk (which could very well be a temporary movement speed bonus, among a variety of other possibilities)? We’ve seen this tactic employed in games before where the Monster needs to break the pursuit, and it leads to all sorts of interesting decisions in-game.
CoG - Can you give us examples of how the AI will adjust the game relative to the skill of either side?
JO - The core of Evolve is all about 4 v 1. Not 4 v AI. While there will be a solo component to the game, the difficulty will be something you can select as a player, not something that will necessarily adjust in real-time.
CoG - You’ve shown off Hunt mode at press preview events, but you’ve also said there will be more game modes available. Even if you can’t, at this time, expound upon what those additional game modes are, can you give us a ballpark estimate of how many modes there will be?
JO - We aren’t getting into specifics at this time, but there will be multiple game modes centered around the 4v1 conflict of human vs. monster.
CoG - Will the PC version include modding tools?
JO - Right now the team is solely focused on shipping the game, so it’s really difficult to say with any certainty what that scene will look like post-release. We love the modding community and many of us came up thru modding, so we’re stoked to see the creations you guys come up with! We’re also working with a licensed engine, not a proprietary one, so I’d encourage the community to explore what tools are currently available for the CryEngine.
CoG - What is the coolest or most surprising thing you’ve seen while playtesting the game?
JO - Personally? That’s a tough one. Every match is comprised of “moments.” Moments that just leave me in awe. A moment in recent memory: I was playing as the Trapper. I had Goliath harpooned – which means he cannot move any further away, but can still close the distance to the Trapper. I was out of Jetpack juice at the time and waiting for it to re-charge, so when Goliath turned and lunged for me, I could not utilize my Jetpack dodge mechanic to boost out of the way. This launched me backward off the face of a massive cliff, all the way down to a pond beneath. Inside that pond? A Tyrant (a very powerful wildlife creature on Shear that lies in wait under water). It immediately dragged me under, and my team was unable to save me whilst still engaged with Goliath. Goliath, left facing a 1v3 scenario, was able to clean up and win the game. A hard loss, but a great reminder for how alive and hostile the world of Shear really can be!
Four days of wall-running, jump-jets, ejector seats and the roaring atmospheric entry of the Titanfall beta haven't done a damn thing to help us decide what we actually think of Respawn's imminent multiplayer shoot-bang. A huge number of people seem to have fallen head-over-heels for this thing, but we're still absolutely certain that we've missed some important element that's only been experienced by other people. It's a good game, no doubt, but we're more than a little sad to be left off the hype train. Maybe all of this excitement will suddenly make sense if I give EA some money?
That is, of course, if I have any left after giving it all to Blizzard, who seem dedicated to offering new and controversial paid options in World of Warcraft, so long as those options don't involve giving us new content. Their newest addition involves paying what many consider irrational sums of money to skip the only content that matters; hand over sixty dollars and go straight to level 90. It's hard to say if this is truly the pay-to-win scenario that we're all afraid of, but it's clear this is Blizzard's favorite sort of feature creep, and buying levels may one day seem quaint and simple compared to what they have planned.