Weíre pulling levers and pressing buttons at the following link.
First of all, thereís no show next week. Just want everyone to know that next week we wonít do a show, so no Tuesday update. Iíll be in Seattle for PAX where Iíll get to play Obduction in VR.
Speaking of ObductionÖ
You kinda have to know me to understand where Iím coming from when I talk about Obduction. Hopefully, over the 10 years weíve been doing this show you might have some idea already. Cyan, who made Obduction, shaped me as a gamer. Their Myst series is where I fell in love with gaming for the first time. It opened my eyes to puzzle gaming, great storytelling, and beautiful imagery. So here we are with Obduction and I am through the roof with this thing. Itís hard to express how I feel when playing this game. Thereís frustration, sure, because some of these puzzles are difficult. But there is also a sense of wonder and surprise and, well, every feeling I ever had when playing a Myst game is right back here with me during Obduction. I could use the cliches of feeling like a kid again or something to that effect and I wouldnít be wrong, but it feels like so much more than that. Itís a reunion. A return.
They say you can never go home again. But in a game, you can do exactly that. You can return to where it all began. In Obduction, Iím home...again.
After more than a decade of arguing, I'm done with the "are games art?" argument. I'm firmly in the camp that games are art, while also realizing that the vast majority of games tread the same ground over and over. Which is why I get so excited when an outfit like 11 Bit Studios tries to do something different. Their last game - This War of Mine - turned the war game on it's head by putting you in the shoes of a non-combatant just trying to survive in a warzone. Their next game - Frostpunk - also focuses on survival, but also ponders questions of empathy, cooperation and humanity.
In a completely frozen world, people develop steam-powered technology to oppose the overwhelming cold. Society in its current form becomes ineffective and it has to change in order to survive.
What does this change mean? What is culture when morality stands in the way of existence? Think about how survival may, in the end, leave us different beings. Whether worse, better, stronger, weaker or, last but not least, more or less humane Ė that is debatable.
The little chance I had to play This War of Mine showed that games can expand past the usual shoot-em-up tropes. While the above teaser and associated website doesn't give a whole lot of info, I'm dying to see where 11 Bit goes with this project.
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It's been five years since the great PSN hack/outage, but Sony has finally added 2-step verification to PSN. You can add the security measure to your account at this link. If you have a PSN account, even one you don't use anymore, I strongly suggest you add this measure to your account. Hacks and security breaches happen all the time now, and this small measure makes your accounts much more secure.
Sony has revealed that a Playstation Now app will be coming to PCs "soon". This means you'll be able to play a wide variety of PS3 titles on your PC, an act which will be even easier with the also announced Dual Shock 4 adapter. This $25 dongle lets you connect your controller to your PC, letting you easily play these games the way they were intended (instead of that icky mouse & keyboard). You can find a full list of PS Now games here.
Weíre honing our sneak skills at the following link.
This is how the console generations end. With an upgrade. Iím completely fine with this. Microsoft recently laid out some intentions on where they see the next Xbox going and, if it all works, itís not a bad direction to be headed in. We talk about it in the episode but going the direction of the way PCís work seems really simple and straightforward. When I upgrade parts of my PC, all the games I already own still work on it and home console gaming will hopefully follow suit. The Neo reveal from Sony in September probably wonít be that step for them, but Microsoft seems to be intent on making that happen starting now with Xbox One and even more so with Scorpioís release next year. However, itís probably a given that whichever way works is the way the competition will follow.
Straight from Sony, via the official PS Blog, comes news that the price of PS Plus will be increasing on September 22nd, 2016.
Update: Starting on September 22, 2016, prices for PlayStation Plus memberships will change to $59.99 USD/ $69.99 CAD for twelve months and $24.99 USD/$29.99 CAD for three months. The monthly plan will change to $11.99 CAD in Canada, and remain $9.99 USD in the U.S. If you are a current member, the new prices will take effect if your membership renews on or after this date.
As with Xbox LIVE (although to a lesser extent), there is little need to pay retail price for PS Plus membership cards as they often show up on online retailers for less. Shop around.
Eurogamer pulled the video offline on the advice of legal counsel
I wasn't going to post a story on this. The idea that a new, redesigned PS4 slim would leak via some random person selling one on an auction site seemed farfetched. I can envision a new smartphone being left behind by a careless employee ending up for sale. But for that to happen to a PS4 slim seemed...unlikely. An enthusiastic fake seemed much more likely. But then Eurogamer had to lay down some shoe leather and actually visited the person who won the auction and received the PS4 Slim, and it really is real.
The posting is light on hardware details, although the system does come with a 500GB HDD, which is smaller than most speculators guessed. The back of the unit includes ports for HDMI, ethernet and USB/camera, but the optical port on the base PS4 is gone.
A Sony event scheduled for September 7 is almost certainly going to be the unveiling of the Sony Neo (aka PS4.5), and there were rumors a PS4 redesign was also on the schedule. This leak seems to confirm that rumor, and likely means that new PS4s will be on store shelves relatively soon.
That means we're (likely) getting slim versions of the XB1 & PS4 this fall, with new NX and the hardware-enhanced Neo and Scorpio all coming sometime in the next 14 or so months. That's a lot of new SKUs for the middle of a hardware generation.
A year after their acrimonious divorce from series creator Hideo Kojima, Konami has announced an all new Metal Gear title.
Metal Gear Survive is set in an alternate reality just after the events of the Ground Zeroes prologue, and sees members of the military forces from that event sucked into wormholes dropped into a desert filled with zombie-esque enemies. Konami describes it as "a brand new co-op, stealth game". The trailer doesn't really show any stealth elements, but Survive would be one of the first games to take co-op action down a stealth road.
So let us discuss the elephant in the room: Metal Gear without Kojima. There is no major franchise (non-Nintendo division) more associated with one creator than Metal Gear and Kojima. Lots of fans simply aren't going to be enthused about a new Metal Gear without any link to Kojima, especially one which feels so removed from the tone and tenor of the series up until now. Survive also isn't helped by the fairly large number of bad co-op games coughed up by major franchises and publishers in recent years. In other words, there will be little benefit of the doubt for Survive when it drops next year.
2K Games' foray into the world of crime games has a new trailer. Mafia III puts you in the shoes of Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam vet who returns to his home of New Bordeaux in the late 60s. Clay isn't an angel, but he is the lone survivor of a mob massacre, and he's out for revenge. It's GTA through the lens of a blacksploitation film.
I had fun with Mafia 2 many moons ago, but it really felt like a pale imitation of the GTA template. Lets hope the third installment of the series is more fleshed out.
Weíre pretty sure thereís multiplayer in this episode at the following link.
No Manís Sky is now out among the public and most people seem pretty satisfied with it. Unless youíre playing it on PC. Looks to be a bit of trouble there. Iím not playing the game but that has more to do with what the game is than all the other things surrounding it. I donít do those kinds of survival games. What I want from No Manís Sky is probably in the game, but there seems to be quite a bit of work and what looks to me like frustration to get there. Eventually down the line during a steam sale or even something good out of Black Friday, I may end up playing the game. But nothing Iíve read, or seen, or heard of has me changing my feeling of this game from the last post I made about it on last weekís episode.
Square Enix today confirmed that Final Fantasy 15 won't be in stores on September 30th as previously announced. Instead the JRPG will drop November 29 worldwide. Moving to the last Tuesday in November means it will miss Black Friday weekend, but a franchise as big as Final Fantasy can likely absorb such a blow. As with most such delays, the team needed more time to polish the final product. In this case, they also wanted to avoid the need for a major day one patch.
In the new trailer for Pokemon Sun & Moon, we meet some new Pokemon, but we also get a look at the games' bad guys: Team Skull. I'm not that up to date on Pokemon canon, so I can't say if these guys are the replacements for Team Rocket, or rival baddies.
We will learn their role when Pokemon Sun & Moon launches in November.
Weíre uploading a day-one patch on this episode at the following link.
I donít have the least bit of excitement for No Manís Sky. However, I am totally interested in how it will play out this week in reviews and public opinion. It was on my radar at some point, I canít remember when, but I lost interest the longer they took to make it. And the excessive amounts of times they would show footage without answering a single question. But whatever...itís here now, right? So whereíd my hype go? I donít know, but Iíve lost interest. Iím curious how it plays and looks on PC, but thatís about it as far as my own involvement.
Then thereís what everyone else thinks about it. Keep in mind, however, Iím not watching this like some twisted NASCAR fan who only goes to see the crashes. I said it on the show and Iíll say it here - every time I have a bad feeling about a game prior to its release, I want to be proven wrong. Always. Every time. Let me eat my words so I can have something to enjoy that surprises me. It happened twice with Wolf and Doom. Hereís hoping it happens again with No Manís Sky.
Fresh from Quakecon, is the first fleeting glimpse of Prey gameplay. As previous reports stated, it seems like the lovechild of Dishonored and Doom, with lanky horror monsters in space. The gameplay section of the trailer is pretty short, but it's a nice little tease to keep us sated until 2017.
Ubisoft's The Division is headed for the big screen, with Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal attached to star and produce.
The Division was released last year to solid reviews and very good sales after several years of being one of the stars of E3. The game takes place in a New York City devastated by a smallpox outbreak intentionally spread via paper money. As with most games, the story itself is rather thin, but they're adapting it mostly for the concept and the name recognition.
The Division is just one of the many, many concepts Ubisoft is adapting for the big screen via their own development house. The Assassins' Creed film is set to open in December, while properties such as Watch Dogs, Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon and Far Cry are all in various stages of development. With Gyllenhaal and Chastain both formally attached, this likely puts The Division next in line for release, although no release window for the film was announced.
Weíre selling this episode ten days early on eBay at the following link.
Lead. Follow. Or get out of the way. If speculation is correct, Nintendo seems to have chosen the act of getting out of the way. Although, one could argue that Nintendo was never in the way to begin with. They are sidestepping and doing what it is they do VERY well, and thatís handhelds. Outside of phones, Nintendo has the handheld gaming market locked down and can only strengthen this grip with the NX console - again, if speculation is correct.
Also, to the guy who spent $1,300 to get No Manís Sky ten days early - bravo! First, for the courage you had to spend that kind of cash on an eBay item. And second, you can do whatever you want with your money, so go right ahead and do it. The things Iíve spent my money on before give me no room to judge you and what you do with your money.
The next Hearthstone expansion - entitled One Night in Karazhan - will take the card trading game into what appears to be Azeroth's version of a singers party. The trailer doesn't explicitly say so, but I can read between the lines.
As with previous Hearthstone expansions, you'll get a few free cards just for trying the new content, with more available if you buy access to the quest lines; $7 individually, or $20 for the whole kit.
One Night in Karazhan will be available August 11.
Sources close to Eurogamer have spilled the beans about the upcoming Nintendo NX. According to these anonymous informants (so keep those grains of salt handy), the NX is both a handheld and a console. The unit itself has a screen (no word on whether it's a touchscreen or not) flanked by detachable controllers. Games can be played on the NX unit on the go, or plugged into a base station which connects to your TV for home gaming. And retail games would be sold on cartridges, albeit carts with storage upwards of 32GB, as well as digitally.
Based on this all new form factor, and a new OS, Eurogamer's sources say the NX won't be backwards compatible with existing Nintendo platforms.
Nintendo is tentatively slated to formally reveal the NX in the fall, with a launch coming by the end of March worldwide.