Many moons ago, there was a game named Jade Empire, a Bioware RPG that revolved around martial arts. In the decade since there really hasn't been a game quite like it. I'm not sure the developers of Absolver would make that comparison, but it's the best comparison I can make. Here's how developer Sloclap describes the gameplay:
Fluid Real-Time Combat: Position yourself in one of four tactical stances during real-time battles and execute devastating attacks, dodges, and parries. Movement becomes your weapon as you engage in solo duels or intense three-on-three melees battles.
Customizable Style and Flow: Players will define their character’s playstyle by picking a combat style, a weapon of choice, and arranging attacks in their Combat Deck to design their unique and personal attack flow.
Online Multiplayer Action and Narrative: Prospects and Absolvers will seamlessly encounter others in the world, generating unique stories that emerge through player interaction and choices. These moments are filled with tension as intentions to battle, trade, or befriend are never clear: trust is always a leap of faith. Encounters will have lasting consequences and transform into meaningful relationships as you make friends or enemies and find mentors or disciples.
This is being published by Devolver Digital, who puts out a lot of very interesting games. Look for Absolver sometime in 2017.
2K Games and Gearbox have dropped the price of their new hero shooter Battleborn just two weeks after launch, while also introducing the first of five DLC characters. Alani the water monk (Avatar? what's that?) joins the roster of 25 characters, while Gearbox teases the eventual release of Pendles the serpent assassin in a few months. The base game and the digital deluxe version have both had their prices cut $20, to $40 and $55 respectively. You can purchase them through Amazon.
It's tough too see this price cut as anything but a reaction to the launch of Blizzard's Overwatch. Both hero shooters had sights set on the top of the new genre, but the last two weeks have made it clear that Blizzard's offering is the popular winner. Cutting the price now rather than waiting a few weeks or months gives gamers a reason to pick up Battleborn, but it can't bode well for the future of the game.
We’re going to miss you Uncle Scrooge...at the following link.
I am a sucker for Batman. Well, actually, I’m sort of a sucker for Bat...I used to be a sucker for Batm….I hate you, WB.
When I first heard, officially, about the Return To Arkham remasters, I immediately checked to see if Arkham Origins was included. It wasn’t. Right then and there this collection and I had gotten off on the wrong foot together. This was more a Rocksteady collection than one having all of the Arkham games included. I was upset it wasn’t included and upset they weren’t pointing that out in some way with the title. In fact, they don’t reference it at all or seem to want to having anything to do with it. Arkham Origins isn’t a bad game and stands up to the quality of the other Arkham titles Rocksteady put out. It’s almost at the top of the list for me had Arkham Asylum not set the tone and crushed everything we ever knew about superhero games - for the better, I might add.
It’s worth the inclusion although as more and more gets out, maybe it’s best it wasn’t included since the remasters are getting a lot of backlash from comparison shots. It isn’t looking good at all.
I really hope I don’t buy it. I’m probably going to buy it. I hate you, WB.
Left 4 Dead 1 & 2 are some of my favorite games of all time. I've sampled other asymmetric multiplayer games, but none really captured the magic of L4D. But developer Behaviour Digital is going down a similar road with Dead By Daylight.
In DbD, you play as either one of four survivors, or the Killer trying to dispatch them. The survivors play from a third person perspective, and have to activate a quartet of generators, then escape through the door they open. But they're squishy and imminently killable, so they have to hide and trigger distractions, while the Killer - played from a first person perspective - suffers from no such mortal concerns. Each of the killers (3 ship with the game) has their own unique powers, and both sides have a tree of skill to progress through. Matches are played across a dozen maps in three locales, and each game is procedurally generated, to give added replayability.
A poster which showed up early at retail seems to have revealed the next Destiny expansion. The poster bears the name Rise of Iron, and shows Iron Banner representative Saladin armed for action. Kotaku's further indicate the expansion will revolve around The Fallen, and will be larger than either of the 'year one' DLC, 'The Dark Below' and 'House of Wolves'.
Reports earlier this year indicated Bungie would delay Destiny 2 until 2017, but provide another expansion this year to fill the content gap.
Expect this DLC to be formally announced at E3 in a few weeks, with an eye towards a fall launch.
We’re suddenly interested in Doom again at the following link.
If the conversation sounds like something you’ve heard before, that’s because you have. A few years ago we didn’t say too much about Wolfenstein when Bethesda was releasing it in May of 2014. We had no interest in it. What we were shown of the game at E3 just wasn’t doing anything for us or looking all that particularly good. Then it released and our tune changed VERY quickly.
So, here we are in 2015. In May. And Bethesda is releasing Doom. And here we are not at all interested in the lead up to release. And then it released and our tune is changing once again.
When games deliver like this, we’re more than happy to be wrong.
The first trailer for the Assassins' Creed feature film dropped last night and it looks... pretty decent. It hits all of the beats you expect from an adaptation of the series - the Animus, Abstergo, wrist blades, jumping from tall buildings, stylized melee combat and those trademark hoods. On the other hand, there's little to distinguish it from any other action movie out there. They have modest star power in starring Michael Fassbender (along with supporting actors Jeremy Irons and Marillion Cotillard) but there's not a ton in the trailer to separate it from all of the other second- and third-tier action movies.
The Assassins' Creed movie hits theaters December 21, which puts it out only one week after the next Star Wars film, Rogue One. Ubisoft will not be releasing a mainline AC title this year, the first time since 2008 there won't be a retail console release.
Strategy fans, your winter plans have just been set. Firaxis today announced Civilization VI, which will launch on the PC on October 21. The series returns to it's roots after a diversion to space with 2014's Civ: Beyond Earth. New and updated features in Civ 6 include...
EXPANSIVE EMPIRES: See the marvels of your empire spread across the map like never before. Each city spans multiple tiles so you can custom build your cities to take full advantage of the local terrain;
ACTIVE RESEARCH: Unlock boosts that speed your civilization’s progress through history. To advance more quickly, use your units to actively explore, develop your environment, and discover new cultures;
DYNAMIC DIPLOMACY: Interactions with other civilizations change over the course of the game, from primitive first interactions where conflict is a fact of life, to late game alliances and negotiations;
COMBINED ARMS: Expanding on the “one unit per tile” design, support units can now be embedded with other units, like anti-tank support with infantry, or a warrior with settlers. Similar units can also be combined to form powerful “Corps” units;
ENHANCED MULTIPLAYER: In addition to traditional multiplayer modes, cooperate and compete with your friends in a wide variety of situations all designed to be easily completed in a single session;
A CIV FOR ALL PLAYERS: Civilization VI provides veteran players new ways to build and tune their civilization for the greatest chance of success. New tutorial systems are designed to introduce new players to the underlying concepts of Civilization so they can easily get started on a path to victory.
Civ Beyond Earth was a solid game that tried to hit some different notes, but ultimately many of it's experimental bits fell short, and it never quite captured the greatness of previous installments. Hopefully a return to a classical setting will allow Firaxis to find their home run stroke again.
Disney has once again done the impossible by making the Infinite mortal.
The publisher today announced the end of the Disney Infinity line, and with it the closure of it's developer, Avalanche Studios. Approximately 300 people will be let go from the Utah-based studio. The final two playsets - based on the upcoming films 'Alice Through the Looking Glass' and 'Finding Dory' - will be the last content made for the series.
Earlier this year Disney announced there would be no Disney Infinity 4.0 launching this year, but the cessation of the line comes as a modest surprise. This was Disney's last internal game development asset, joining a long list of studios - including the late, great LucasArts - the publisher has shuttered in the last 6 years. Going forward any new games based on the company's massive catalog of properties will have to be developed on a contract basis. EA has a long term deal to create new Star Wars games, but the bulk of the other properties seem destined to remain mostly on mobile platforms in the near term.
EA and Bioware today announced that Mass Effect Andromeda will miss it's projected fall launch, and instead hit stores in early 2017.
Work on Andromeda has been ongoing since Mass Effect 3 dropped in March of 2012. Last year EA seemed to be leaning towards a spring 2016 release, before talk generally moved to the fall. A similar delay befell Bioware's other major RPG franchise, Dragon Age before it's eventual fall 2014 release.
Bioware's Montreal studio is taking over lead development on the series from Bioware Prime in Edmonton. Andromeda will take place in the titular galaxy hundreds of years after the events of the Shepard trilogy.
Nintendo and the Pokemon Company will launch Pokemon Sun & Moon for the 3DS worldwide on November 18. They also revealed this iteration's starting Pocket Monsters. Grass-type owl Rowlett, fire-type cat Litten and water-type seal Popplio will be your choices to start the game.
We’re pretty sure what’ll be talked about next week at the following link.
You have probably been playing the Overwatch beta. You’ve probably enjoyed playing the Overwatch beta. I haven’t touched the Overwatch beta and, after this episode, I kinda feel bad about it. Luckily for me, it was extended so I can at least get my feet wet a little bit. My main anticipation, however, has been for Uncharted 4 and that hits...well, right now as you’re reading this, actually. It’ll likely be a bit of the topic of conversation for next week and a few weeks to come as we dig our way through the game. We’re fans, so we’re going to talk about the things we enjoy and what we’re excited about. But it’s also why we have so many ways for you to reach out to us...so that we can also discuss those things you’re a fan of and what you are excited for.
We hope each week you’ll take advantage of that ability and really be more a part of the show than you’ve ever been before.
EA is taking Battlefield back in time, in more ways than one. Battlefield 1 (no, that's not a typo this time) is going back to The Great War, World War I. Which means bi- and tri-planes, battleships, horses, early tanks, trenches and chemical warfare.
Off the top of my head, I can't recall any major action games set in WWI, which is a bit of a mixed blessing. It allows EA and DICE to recreate or reinterpret the major conflicts of the war without mining the same territory as innumerable other titles set in WWII or modern day. On the other hand, WWI is much less well known among modern audiences, which means way fewer iconic moments to replicate. There is no Omaha Beach scene from Saving Private Ryan, or Stalingrad from Behind Enemy Lines, or Operation Market Garden from Band of Brothers to serve as touchstones for players to latch onto.
Battlefield 1 launches October 21 worldwide on the XB1, PS4 & PC.
The first batch of game content DLC for XCOM 2 will be launching next week. Alien Hunters will add a trio of new alien ruler bosses to the game - including the Viper King pictured above - who will start showing up at random after you complete the new narrative mission included in the pack. You also get access to four new weapons, three new sets of armor and the new “Hunter’s Lodge” update for the armory.
The Alien Hunters DLC launches May 12 for $9.99, but is included in the Reinforcement Pack DLC bundle.
EA has announced that Titanfall dev Respawn is developing a new Star Wars game. The still-unnamed game will be a "third-person action/adventure game", with former God of War lead Stig Asmussen heading development.
The still untitled Respawn game joins a number of other Star Wars projects in the works from EA, including the unnamed title from Visceral Games and former Uncharted lead Amy Hennig (heavily rumored to be an open world RPG which will debut at E3 next month). DICE is still working on Battlefront, and presumably will produce a sequel at some point, while Bioware stays hard at work on the MMO The Old Republic.
Bethesda and Arkane Studios have announced that Dishonored 2 will launch worldwide on November 11. Dishonored 2 allows you to choose whether to play once again as Corvo Attano or as the empress he saved in the original: Emily Kaldwin. Bethesda will debut gameplay footage at their E3 presser in June.
Sega and Relic have released the first trailer for Dawn of War III. The cinematic trailer shows off the game's three faction - Humans, Orks, and Eldar - while also introducing the giant units which will be a part of the game. What they don't show is a single second of actual gameplay.
The press release did not specify platforms or a release window.
We’re REALLY curious about E3 now at the following link.
I don’t know if I’m more interested in how E3 plays out this year or how it changes next year BECAUSE of this year. The floor space alone would be interesting to see. The companies that are out (so far) include Activision, Disney, EA, and War Gaming. That is a TON of room on the show floor that will be vacant. And now, Nintendo has announced that their new system won’t be at E3 and the only game they will have there to show off is the new Zelda title. That’s unheard of for one of the big 3. Nintendo may have their own reasons, but I can’t see the coordinators of E3 not looking at this and wondering what they can do to change it for next year.
Speaking of, I have massive doubts Nintendo will actually release their new console in March of next year as they’ve announced. You’ll hear why in this episode.
The debut trailer for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare confirms just about every rumor floating around the game in the last few weeks. It's set in the relatively distant future, and will feature combat in outer space, including low Earth orbit and what seems to be one of Saturn's moons. As per usual, the first trailer focused on the campaign, and revealed little of the multiplayer, although Activision confirms that the Zombie mode will return.
Activision will also be releasing a remastered version of the original Modern Warfare, which will be included in premium editions of the game (starting with the $79.99 Legacy Edition). It's unknown at this time if the remastered Modern Warfare - which will include the full campaign and 10 of the multiplayer maps - will get a standalone release.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will launch November 4 on the XB1, PS4 & PC.
Gearbox' Battleborn has a shiny new trailer ahead of it's launch next week.
Unlike their other major hero shooter brethren launching this year - Epic Games' Paragon, Nexon's LawBreakers and Blizzard's Overwatch - Battleborn has a full single player mode in addition to the competitive and co-op multiplayer modes. Each of the 25 characters has a persistent advancement across all modes, in addition to the instanced leveling for individual matches and missions.