The sequel to everyone's favorite console-exclusive addiction may be making it's way onto the PC in 2017, but you may not be able to bring your characters along for the new game.
Kotaku, citing anonymous sources and a NeoGAF post, claims that Destiny 2 will release on the PC in addition to the XB1 & PS4 when it launches next year. (Note that neither Activision nor Bungie have officially announced Destiny 2, but we all know it's coming, and likely in later 2017). That source says Bungie wants Destiny 2 to feel like a true sequel, and not just another big expansion, and that may - stress MAY - mean you won't be bringing your character along to the new game.
In conversations with me, people connected to Bungie have made comparisons to Blizzardís Diablo 2, which iterated on the first game in some incredible ways but didnít carry over characters or content from Diablo. I donít know exactly how much will change in Destiny 2, but all signs point to the developers starting from scratch. ďD2 is a completely different game,Ē said one person familiar with development. ďThe Taken King was a reboot for Destiny 1 to fix small things. This is the overhaul to fix big things.Ē
People who have upwards of a thousand hours in the original Destiny probably won't be thrilled if their characters aren't migrated to the sequel, even though very few games let you continue the same character in successive titles (Mass Effect being one of the notable exceptions).
Kotaku speculates that if you can't carry your character over, then the sequel will give rewards for playtime or character progression from the original (presumably limited to the same console family).
Weíre surprised we killed two hours at the following link.
Itís mid-September. Must mean weíre going to talk about Destiny. I actually never thought that was going to be a thing but...thatís going to be a thing now. I canít put it down. Seriously, the day after we did this show I was in front of Destiny for 90% of it. And it didnít feel grindy. I was doing grindy things to be sure, but they packaged it so well that I was too distracted to notice, or maybe I did and just didnít care.
The record book is an evil plague upon the player. Constantly teasing you with a new bag of loot and constantly tormenting you with just a few more of doing this or a few more of doing that and youíll move the ball further down the field. The new public space is familiar but new and the new public arena, when the stars align, is a magical place filled with colorful loot you canít pick up because youíre already overflowing with it.
The guys at Bungie have gotten it wrong before. They got it wrong out of the gate 2 years ago. They got it wrong with the first two expansions. Theyíve gotten it wrong with an update here and an update there. But they got it right with The Taken King and theyíve been getting it right with the major updates since then and now again with Rise Of Iron. And your opinion may differ from mine on the matter, but if theyíre getting me to keep coming back again and again to play this game, then they are getting it right for me.
Bethesda has released a new trailer for Dishonored 2 entitled "Creative Kills." Note that these kills are creative, but not really stealthy. These kills are quire cool, but I tried my best to go through the original as invisibly as possible, and using powers to throw a whole cadre of guards into an electric fence sets me a bit on edge. I guess carefully edging around the perimeter of an area to gain entry just isn't as telegenic as tossing dudes in the air.
Weíre surprising each other with gifts at the following link.
I donít know of many people looking to get a PS4 Pro. Of the people I know who got an Xbox One S it was usually due to being their first Xbox One or just getting it for the size or color. All of that is to say that most people donít have a 4K display yet to enjoy what these new consoles are providing. But Iím not saying itís a bad thing. I wasnít someone back in the SDTV days who said itíll never go all digital or complained about the push for HD stuff. I was all for it. And Iím all for 4K as well. It just hasnít made the crossover yet, but it will and probably very soon. That ďcrossoverĒ being when you can walk into a store and 4K sets will be the only choice you have on the resolution side.
By the way, if you ever wondered just how much of a DuckTales fan I was or how excited Sara gets over The Banner Saga - this is your episode!
Memo to The Coalition and Microsoft Studios: should you really be calling this a launch trailer for Gears of War 4 when the game's actual launch is still three weeks off? I'm splitting hairs at this point, but "almost a month away" seems a bit early for a launch trailer.
Either way, here's a wholly pre-rendered look at Gears 4, the first game in the franchise developed by new series shepherds The Coalition. As with corporate sibling 343 and Halo 4, they're taking the reigns on a popular series, and from the look of things they're largely staying the course.
Gears is (along with Halo and Forza) one of Microsoft's big three franchises, and they'll be investing a lot in promotion, so expect to see variants on this ad a lot in the weeks to come.
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Valve has, once again, stepped into a hornets nest of their own creation while trying to improve the Steam platform.
You can read the whole post here. Short version: reviews of a game acquired via key and not a Steam purchase will now be segregated by default from the overall community score. Valve is trying to combat unscrupulous developers and publishers who give out free copies of their titles in exchange for positive reviews. Unfortunately they seems to be using a shotgun to swat a fly.
Some of the most ardent fans of a game will get their copies via keys - through Kickstarter or Humble, or as bonuses for owning earlier works by the developer - and their voices are now effectively cut out of the greater review score. So you lose the payola-inflated scores, but in the process damage the review score even more than before.
As with so many other issues Valve has run into when trying to improve Steam over the years, this one seems like it could be solved relatively easily with better curation. But that would require hiring more people just to monitor Steam reviews, and as with previous kerfuffles, Valve seems loathe to make such a move.
AAA games are unlikely to be affected by this change to the review structure, but indie games are going to feel the pinch. Even a relatively small number of excised reviews can drastically alter a game's aggregate score. RPS has a rundown of devs worrying about their futures on Steam if you're curious.
Steam is a wonderful platform, but it needs to avoid some of the horrors that have befallen the Google and iOS app stores. Dumping the reviews of the unscrupulous is a good step, but not if they're taking the reviews of the passionate along with them.
One of the most important creative voices in the industry that few gamers know about is retiring. Blizzard's Chris Metzen (senior vice president of story and franchise development) has announced his retirement from the company after nearly a quarter century of service.
Metzen isn't a terribly well known name in gaming, but he's been a key designer and writer for pretty much all of Blizzard's games since, from Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft to WoW, HoTS and the new Overwatch. He's also lent his voices to characters such as the Skeleton King, Bastion and the terran Battlecruiser.
He'll never be seen as a giant of the industry, but he's helped lead some of the biggest, most beloved games of the last two decades, and his work has spawned tons of spinoff material and innumerable works of fan fiction. Unlike most "retirements", Metzen says he's really going home, not just leaving to found a new studio in a few months. So let us say thank you for a man who has had a hand in creating art beloved and enjoyed by so many.
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Iíll start by telling you the show is a bit short. At least what youíre hearing (or watching) is a bit short. There was an issue with Twitch and we lost a few minutes there. Sorry about that.
Iím back from PAX West/Prime and while it shouldnít have taken us as long as it did to talk about that, we sort of spent a long time talking about that. So long, in fact, that we didnít get to the whole PS4 Pro situation. We touch on it just a little bit before the end of the show, but Iíve saved all our notes and moved them over to this weekendís episode so weíll be sure to spend a good chunk of time talking about this new console that sort of, kind of, really isnít new.
I hope you didn't already ask for time off on October 28th. Because Sony has announced that The Last Guardian won't make it's previously announced launch date, and will instead be in stores December 6, 2016.
Ultimately, this is just a five week delay (one day for each year of the game's development). But this means it will miss the crucial Black Friday window. Some games can launch after that and do fine - some of Nintendo's biggest titles of the last decade launched in December - but that's a lot of Holiday money to miss out on. You also have the problem of death, as many of the fans who grew up playing Ico and Shadow of the Colossus have long since died of old age, and their children are too enfeebled to grasp a controller at this point. Will the hype for this game cross multiple generations? We'll find out in December.
Bethesda has announced that mod support for Fallout 4 and the upcoming Skyrim special edition will not be coming to the PS4 after all, and the company lays the blame squarely on Sony's head. Bethesda's statement:
After months of discussion with Sony, we regret to say that while we have long been ready to offer mod support on PlayStation 4, Sony has informed us they will not approve user mods the way they should work: where users can do anything they want for either Fallout 4 or Skyrim Special Edition.
Like you, we are disappointed by Sonyís decision given the considerable time and effort we have put into this project, and the amount of time our fans have waited for mod support to arrive. We consider this an important initiative and we hope to find other ways user mods can be available for our PlayStation audience. However, until Sony will allow us to offer proper mod support for PS4, that content for Fallout 4 and Skyrim on PlayStation 4 will not be available.
We will provide an update if and when this situation changes.
Mods went live on the Xbox One version of Fallout 4 earlier this week, while the PC has had them since day one.
The flagship Bethesda titles have had a rocky few years on Sony's systems. DLC packs for Skyrim were delayed on PS3 over a full year due to technical issues, and there were significant issues with Fallout New Vegas' DLC, too.
Mods on consoles sound like a great idea, in theory. But they also clash with Sony and Microsoft's desire to closely curate content available on their closed platforms. They largely look the other way when it comes to small things, but mods on a game the scale of Fallout 4 or Skyrim SE are ripe for the sorts of abuse both companies most fear: widespread IP infringement.
Sony finally took the wraps off of the PS4 Pro (formerly PS Neo) and the new PS4 Slim.
The big news is the Pro, which will launch November 10 at a cost of $399 for a unit with a 1TB HDD. The Pro will output games at 4K resolution with HDR and improved framerates. All games from November on will have a Pro mode to take advantage of the enhanced resolution. Sony also says that PSVR games played on a Pro will see a marked improvement in visuals.
The PS Slim launches September 15, at a price of $299, and performs the same as the base PS4 but with 28% less power consumption.
So, is the PS4 Pro for you? If you already own a 4K display, or are planning to purchase a PSVR, and don't already own a PS4 the answer is likely yes. The allure is less clear if you don't have a 4K set, or plan on being a VR early adopter, or already own a PS4. At this point, the $100 premium seems relatively modest for what you get, but Sony also clearly sees this as a companion SKU rather than a replacement for the base PS4 unit.
As I grow older my love of multiplayer gaming has faded, replaced with a desire for games which can be played in short, interrupted bursts, and where twitchy skill is less important than strategy and learning. One of the great examples of this is FTL, and it's become one of the most frequently cited titles when describing new games. But nothing has yet (for me) quite scratched that itch. Which brings me to Diluvion, coming to the PC later this year from developer Arachnid Games.
Diluvion takes the crew management of FTL, and places it under the sea, where humanity is starting to reclaim treasures lost when nuclear war scoured the surface of the earth. The Steam page has a rundown of some of it's features, but you'll be piloting one of nine submarines while collecting loot to upgrade your boat and your base.
Diluvion is slated for release later this year on the PC.
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.
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.