Gaming Article (13)
» March 4, 2014 05:00PM
Dishonored 2-Years Later Review
» February 24, 2014 05:00PM
Humble Indie Bundle 11 Review
» February 23, 2014 05:00PM
Just Cause 2 4-Years Later Review
» February 16, 2014 05:00PM
Assassin's Creed Liberation HD Review
» January 27, 2014 05:00PM
Gaming News (778)
Posted: March 8, 2014 10:05AM
If spending $60-80 on Titanfall is just not something you want to do right now, there are plenty of other games that feature titan-like mechs, and they won't cost you a penny. HAWKEN has officially returned to free-to-play following a brief Early Access period on Steam, while MechWarrior Online has been out of beta since September. If you haven't tried out either, now is as good a time as any, especially with this week's update to the latter.
MechWarrior Online has been updated with optional DirectX 11 support for those that want a little more graphical fidelity. As of now, the update simply adds MSAA to the game's video settings, but it opens the door for more DX11 features in the future, as Piranha Games president Russ Bullock alluded to on Twitter:
@MatejZelic Can do MSAA if you like and TXAA and 3D vision soon. Mostly opens more graphics options moving forward.— Russ Bullock (@russ_bullock) March 4, 2014
Keep in mind that it's not all rose and rainbows though – several people are reporting drops in framerate, including PC Gamer's Patrick Carlson. So if you don't have a beefy gaming PC, you may want to hold off on turning on MSAA at the moment until it's better optimized. But even if you can't handle MSAA, the update does have something for everyone – a new Hero 'Mech. Well, everyone who wants to spend money. As with all Hero 'Mechs, this new addition, called the "La Malinche" Banshee, can only be purchased with Mech Credits, which are obtained by spending real money. However, on March 18, a Standard Variant of the Banshee chassis will be available for purchase using C-Bills, the in-game currency.
Posted: March 7, 2014 02:17PM
With Batman: Arkham Knight's official reveal earlier in the week, along with the subsequent story details, one thing was clear – Batman's iconic Batmobile will be a major feature. While Rocksteady had always wanted to include the Batmobile in its previous two games, there were simply too many technical constraints to overcome. Thanks to Arkham Knight being "next-gen only" (or really, current-gen at this point), Rocksteady can finally realize its ambitions.
There is no "driving section" in Arkham Knight – the Batmobile is "seamlessly integrated with Batman's traversal." You can be grappling and gliding to your heart's content and then with the press of a single button, call upon the Batmobile and leap into its cockpit as it races to you. You never have to keep track of where you've parked it because it's "always sort of tracking Batman so it's always just around the corner for you to call in if you need it." The seamless integration works in reverse as well – as you're speeding along in the Batmobile, you never have to come to complete stop, you can simply eject "hundreds of feet in the air" and continue in a glide.
The Batmobile is also pretty much indestructible – and Gotham's thugs know this. While enemies may amass in the streets, they're "scared of the Batmobile," so if you show up in it, they'll scatter and not just let you ram them. If anyone happens to try and mess with it while you're busy fighting, "the Batmobile is equipped with a defensive taser unit to protect it from would-be carjackers and thieves." In addition, Batman isn't concerned about stepping on the gas and crashing through lampposts, retaining walls, or fences because of the deadly toxin threat by Scarecrow – drastic circumstances call for drastic measures.
Keeping with the theme that "Batman's official policy is that he doesn't kill," the Batmobile is equipped with a vehicle immobilizer that allows you to stop fleeing enemies. Yes, as hinted at in the trailer, it appears enemies will have vehicles as well. That probably means it's safe to assume there will be at least one "car chase" mission or side objective – maybe even a racing objective à la the AR Glide drills.
Lastly, creative director Sefton Hill confirmed that the fast travel system Warner Bros. Games Montreal introduced in Arkham Origins will not be present in Arkham Knight. Simply put, "You're looking at the fast travel system. I think we felt that it would take away from the experience rather than add to it because moving through the city is definitely part of the game." With reports that Arkham Knight is five times bigger than Arkham City – which means roughly double the size of Arkham Origins – I'm not sure that is the smartest move. But hey, if the Batmobile is as fun to drive as it sounds, maybe we won't notice the absence of fast travel.
Source: Game Informer
Posted: March 7, 2014 01:15PM
Back in the beginning of February, BioWare announced that the studio will periodically release Dragon Age: Inquisition Character Kits, which provide highly detailed and descriptive looks at characters featured in the game – an artist's and cosplayer's dream. While BioWare is referring to today's entry as Character Kit #3, it's actually the fourth character released, since the previous Character Kit blog post included two characters, Cassandra and Varric, to go along with the initial offering of Morrigan.
Today's entry is Vivienne, an Orlesian human mage, who will be joining Cassandra and Varric as one of the companions available in Dragon Age: Inquisition. As always, you can view all the images below, but be sure to check the source blog entry for the PDF file.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is set to release for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 in Q3 2014.
Source: BioWare Blog
Posted: March 7, 2014 09:31AM
When I fired up Injustice: Gods Among Us on my iPhone last night, I was pleasantly surprised to not only see the message of a new challenge event, but to see it was for a brand new character to the series – Darkseid. With past challenge events in the mobile game, the characters had always been ported from the console game. Not only does the current challenge event mark the first time a new character debuts in the mobile game, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released a statement today that says Darkseid joined the roster "exclusively for the mobile game."
The challenge event lasts from March 6-24 and grants a Gold Darkseid Character Card upon completion. As a
addict fan of the mobile game, here's hoping Darkseid is just the first of many brand new characters introduced to the game.
Source: Press Release
Tomb Raider's 2013 Reboot "On Course to Become the Best-Selling Game in the History of the Franchise"Category: Gaming
Posted: March 6, 2014 06:30PM
Back in January, Tomb Raider executive producer Scot Amos told Eurogamer that the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot finally achieved profitability toward the end of last year. Today, in a "Special Note" to fans, Crystal Dynamics' studio head Darrell Gallagher wrote, "By the end of this month we will surpass 6 million units for our Tomb Raider reboot, and, having achieved profitability back in 2013 Tomb Raider has exceeded profit expectations and continues to make significant contributions to our overall financial performance." Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the game's initial release.
While publisher Square Enix was initially "very disappointed" in Tomb Raider's sales performance, it seems that's no longer the case. Not only did the game have the most launch day sales and first month sales in franchise history, it is now poised to become "the best-selling game in the history of the franchise!" It is unclear whether these numbers include the "next-gen" Definitive Edition, but either way, it's quite the feat.
If you have yet to experience the Tomb Raider reboot and you're a PlayStation 3 owner with a North American PS+ subscription, you can currently grab the game for free as part of the Instant Game Collection. A sequel is currently in development, but no further information has been divulged, except for Gallagher saying that Crystal Dynamics is "looking forward to building on the success and lessons learned from the reboot to continue redefining and setting new benchmarks for Tomb Raider in the years to come."
Source: Tomb Raider Blog
Posted: March 6, 2014 04:42PM
Author: Brentt Moore
Larry Hryb, who is the Director of Programming for Xbox Live, has revealed that for a limited time Forza Motorsport 5 will be bundled with the Xbox One. The exclusive combination of the Xbox One and the latest Forza Motorsport racing title will begin next week, with select retailers selling the limited time bundle for $499.99. Hyrb, who is more commonly known by his Xbox Live gamertag "Major Nelson," did note that the copy of Forza Motorsport 5 included with the Microsoft video game console will be digital. The newly announced limited time bundle will only be available for customers located within the United States.
Source: Major Nelson
Posted: March 6, 2014 04:16PM
Developer Team NINJA has released twenty new screenshots for its over-the-top, blood-soaked hack-and-slash game, Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, which you can enjoy below. The studio also announced an exclusive pre-order discount for the Steam (PC) release of the game, knocking the price down to $49.99 beginning tomorrow (March 7) and lasting until launch (March 21). The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions release on March 18 for $59.99, without any pre-order discount.
If you're not familiar with Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, be sure to watch the Combat Trailer that was released last week.
Posted: March 6, 2014 02:02PM
The PC version of Dark Souls II has finally received an official release date – April 25, 2014 (compared to March 11 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360). Pre-ordering on Steam or other major retailers nets you quite a few digital bonuses: early access to the Black Armor Weapon Set, the digital soundtrack, the Official Dark Souls II Artbook in PDF format, and the complete Dark Souls II Digital Comic Book.
While the PC version of the original Dark Souls was a (rather poor) straight port, in today's press release, publisher Namco Bandai made sure to ensure PC gamers, that is not the case this time around: "Adventurers will be delighted to discover that the PC & STEAM® version will fully benefit from PC capabilities: increased texture resolution and an enhanced frame rate option. On top of that, FromSoftware have been working to perfectly adapt the game for a mouse & keyboard combo."
Mathieu Piau, EMEA Marketing Director at Namco Bandai Games Europe, explained that Namco Bandai is "conscious of the high expectations from PC gamers and are working with FromSoftware in ensuring that the PC version of Dark Souls II offers the best experience possible."
Namco Bandai also released part one of the Dark Souls II Prologue:
Source: Press Release
Posted: March 6, 2014 12:13PM
Dragon Age: Inquisition, the third game in the Dragon Age series, is looking quite good. Using EA DICE's Frostbite 3 engine, Inquisition features a large, complex world with diverse environments and certainly upping the ante from the previous two games. Today, BioWare released a video entitled "Discover the Dragon Age", which "highlights only some of the locations you can choose to visit during your adventure. Each area in the video has its own realistic ecosystem with predators, prey, factions, and opportunities to expand your Inquisition."
Dragon Age: Inquisition is planned for a Fall 2014 release for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. There's also still time to win the opportunity to voice a character in the game!
Source: BioWare Blog
Posted: March 6, 2014 11:28AM
It's never easy to take a highly anticipated title and tell those eagerly awaiting its arrival that there's going to be a delay. But that's what Ubisoft felt it had to do with Watch Dogs in October of last year, just a month before its original release date. I've always been of the mindset that delaying a game for extra development time is never a bad thing, so despite having wanted to play Watch Dogs since it was unveiled at E3 2012, I was okay with the move. When I saw a live demo and visited the Ubisoft Montreal studio back in October and saw so many people hard at work on the game, that certainly reassured me.
Fast forward to today and Ubisoft has finally announced the official release date for Watch Dogs – May 27, 2014 for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. The Wii U version will be coming at an undetermined later date. Because a release announcement just wouldn't be complete without an awesome new trailer, Ubisoft has also released the official "Story Trailer":
In a separate UbiBlog post, Senior Producer Dominic Guay answered a lot of the questions surrounding the delay, including just what "polish" meant to the Ubisoft Montreal team. One of the major acts of polishing that occurred revolved around increased variety. Guay explained that "once you do a lot of playtests you realize there are certain parts of the city where players go more than others." As a result, the studio "actually produced more content that would fit into the areas where the players went more, moved content around a little bit, looked at it again, played it again," and continued the process until the team was satisfied. Because Watch Dogs is a rather big game, this took quite awhile.
One thing Guay was clear about was that there was never any pressure from Ubisoft HQ to push the game out. The initial November 2013 release date was a mutual decision because the game was "playable front-to-back" by Spring 2013. It wasn't until the aforementioned playtesting that everyone realized the initial release date wasn't feasible if they wanted to produce the very best game they could. Ubisoft HQ understood.
You can read the full post for more examples of changes and additions to the game over the past few months, or you can just wait to enjoy the game yourself this Summer! After Watch Dogs won my E3 2012 Game of the Show and E3 2013 Best Action-Adventure Game, I'm just happy it'll be released before a third E3 appearance!
Posted: March 5, 2014 08:32PM
Chilean indie developer ACE Team is known for its rather unique and quirky games, starting with its first game Zeno Clash, and following up with Rock of Ages and Zeno Clash II. Now we can add Abyss Odyssey to the list – and it's every bit as unique and quirky as the other titles.
Abyss Odyssey is a side-scrolling, Rogue-like, fighting game. There are three distinct warriors to choose from: Katrien, Ghost Monk, and Pincoya. The combat it more akin to fighting games than your typical 2D side-scroller, including "dodge-cancels and other technically demanding techniques." In addition, enemies are just as complex with equivalent combat move sets as your own – oh, and players can possess almost any enemy in the game and use its skills and combat abilities.
The Rogue-like nature of the game comes from its procedurally generated levels, making it so no two playthroughs are ever the same. Everything from the monsters, merchants, and pathways between levels are randomized. ACE Team says there are only two constants in Abyss Odyssey: "a great evil awaits at the bottom of the pit, and succeed or die, the warriors will have to battle the abyss for eternity." Yes, you read that correctly – there is no end to your plight.
Abyss Odyssey will launch Summer 2014 for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, with ATLUS doing the publishing duties.
Source: Press Release and Official Site
Posted: March 5, 2014 07:12PM
Developer Rebellion has announced that Sniper Elite 3 will be releasing in North America on July 1, 2014 for consoles and worldwide on July 27, 2014 for PC and consoles. The console versions are being published by 505 Games, while the PC version is self-published and releasing on Steam. Along with the release date announcement, Rebellion also announced Sniper Elite 3's pre-order bonus, "Hunt the Grey Wolf:"
Hitler, Allied code name "Grey Wolf", and his double have embarked upon a clandestine trip to the Libyan port town of Tobruk in 1942. In order to prepare for this mission, and that crucial final shot, you must infiltrate the ancient streets and crumbling rooftops of the German-held town using stealth and distraction. Featuring an expansive open environment, and randomized target identities, journals and locations, no two playthroughs will be the same. The question is – can you tell fact from fiction, the real target from the double?
The PC version is currently available for pre-order on Rebellion's online store for 20% off, bringing it down to $39.99 instead of its normal $49.99 price. As the PC version requires Steam, you'll obviously get a Steam key when they become available. The console versions can be pre-ordered from GameStop and other major retailers, with a $69.99 Collector's Edition available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, featuring a "limited edition ammo tin box, dossier, three exclusive ammo and weapon DLC packs, collectible playing cards, sniper shooting range target, dog tag, and bullet-shaped torch pen."
Source: Press Release and Facebook
Posted: March 5, 2014 02:37PM
It was fairly inevitable in this day and age that first-person shooter Titanfall was going to receive the Season Pass treatment. Titanfall has "three planned content packs" that will be included in the Season Pass as soon as they become available. As of now, "each content pack will contain new Maps," while additional content has yet to be determined. The game ships with fifteen maps. Individually the content packs will cost $10, with the $24.99 Season Pass saving you $5. But that's not all – PC gamers get to enjoy a further discount!
EA has announced the Titanfall Digital Deluxe Edition exclusively for Origin PC gamers. The Deluxe Edition includes the base game and the Season Pass for just $79.99 and is already available for pre-order. If you happened to already pre-order the Standard Edition, you can contact EA Help to upgrade. The Season Pass will be available for purchase March 11 for Xbox One and March 25 for Xbox 360. It's already available for purchase on PC via Origin, though why any PC gamer would buy the base game and Season Pass separately instead of the Digital Deluxe Edition at this point is beyond me.
Titanfall goes live March 11, but you can watch the launch trailer here.
Source: Official Site
Posted: March 5, 2014 02:03PM
Path of Exile's first mini-expansion, Sacrifice of the Vaal, was announced nearly three weeks ago, and after two weeks of teasers before the details were finally spilled this past Friday, its finally live! Sacrifice of the Vaal brings about a lot of changes and additions to the game, with the full patch notes found here. The one thing it doesn't change is developer Grinding Gear's commitment to its free-to-play business model – a model that should be studied and followed by any other studio going the free-to-play route.
If you've never given Path of Exile a try, now is a perfect time to hop in.
Source: Official Site
Posted: March 5, 2014 01:41PM
Batman: Arkham Knight was officially announced yesterday, along with an outstanding announcement trailer, but details were sparse. Today, Game Informer posted a video entitled "Revealing The Story Of Batman: Arkham Knight" that sheds some light on the game. One of the biggest surprises is that the "Arkham Knight" moniker does not refer to the Dark Knight himself, but rather "a brand new villain." Hush had been teased last month on the Batman Hush Facebook page (though the teaser is now gone), but it sounds like it may actually be someone we've never seen before in any medium. In the video below, it's stated that Arkham Knight is seen "holding a gun, but looks like Batman," but Rocksteady wasn't ready to divulge much more.
As stated yesterday, Arkham Knight takes place one year after the events of Arkham City. There is a chemical weapon threat by Scarecrow that causes Gotham to be evacuated, though of course hundreds of gang members have moved in. It wouldn't exactly be a Batman Arkham game without a bunch of gang members to beat up on, now would it?
Before I go any further, I'd be remiss if I didn't provide a spoiler warning – IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY, SPOILERS AHEAD, INCLUDING THE VIDEO AND THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE.
Okay, now that you've been warned about SPOILERS...
In the video above, game director Sefton Hill explained, "One thing we really wanted to respect were the events of Arkham City." This means that Joker is indeed dead. Rocksteady will not be bringing him back to life, he is "dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead." Meanwhile, "Harley is distraught [...] and seeking revenge," as she blames Batman for Joker's death. Also, no Harley is not pregnant.
While further details on the story are being kept under wraps, senior script writer Martin Lancaster said that the ending is "bold." This is the finale of the Batman Arkham games and both he and Hill think fans will be satisfied with the ending.
Source: Game Informer
Posted: March 5, 2014 11:30AM
Releasing on April 30, 2014 for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Wii U, Child of Light is perhaps Ubisoft's most unique game to date. Set in the magical world of Lemuria, Child of Light is a side-scrolling platformer and turn-based RPG rolled into one. Thanks to the in-house game engine UbiArt Framework, it also has a very unique hand-painted look and feel.
While predominantly a single-player experience, the game does feature local co-op, where one player controls the main protagonist Aurora and another controls her firefly companion Igniculus. The "Co-Op Trailer" published today shows off how it works:
Source: Ubisoft Blog
Posted: March 5, 2014 09:31AM
Alien: Isolation is not the only science-fiction survival horror game currently in development. Frictional Games, the Swedish indie developer behind the critically acclaimed Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Penumbra series, is currently working on a sci-fi survival horror game of its own, entitled SOMA. Today, Frictional Games has posted a new trailer that showcases some of the scenery and voice over work, along with a status update on the PlayStation Blog.
SOMA isn't expected to release until 2015, with the studio about a week away from an alpha version that represents just over half of the full game. Because SOMA is story-driven and doesn't rely on a "core gameplay loop", completion of a playable alpha that actually gives a good sense of the game took a bit longer than it would for some other games. In describing the activities players will partake in, Frictional Games said, "You'll search for notes, solve puzzles, hide from dangers, explore unsettling places, take part in strange events and sometimes just run away. All of these come together with the graphics and soundscape to create a larger whole." Since the atmosphere, narrative, and themes are slowly built up over time, a fairly "large chunk of the game" was required before proper testing could be done. Frictional Games has set five goals for SOMA that it hopes to test and refine through the alpha testing, but before we get to that, here's the new trailer:
The first goal for SOMA is "the feeling of playing a narrative." As I mentioned earlier, SOMA is a story-driven game, so Frictional Games is making sure puzzles never get in the way of the narrative. If you think about the earlier Tomb Raider games, where you find a tomb and you know you're in a "puzzle section," Frictional Games wants to avoid that.
The second goal is "a coherently crafted world." By that, Frictional Games means that SOMA must be steeped in some sense of reality. Unlike Amnesia, where you had supernatural occurrences that could just be explained by "magic," the studio is trying to build SOMA as "proper sci-fi." This means things like realistic technology, sensible puzzles, etc.
The third goal is "gameplay with plenty of variation." Frictional Games wants players to focus on how the game looks, sounds, and feels rather than figuring out some underlying design. This means that the studio will attempt to "keep things fresh and avoid repeating [itself]." Since it's a survival horror game, players can't become too comfortable.
The fourth goal is "deep, disturbing themes that make you think." SOMA isn't simply about scaring you, but rather making you question "what it means to be a sentient being." Frictional Games doesn't want to tell you how to think, but allow you to draw your own conclusions.
Lastly, the fifth goal is "a pervasive sense of horror." SOMA isn't simply about providing a few scares here and there, with Frictional Games instead wanting "this blanket of oppression and fear wrapped around the entire experience." As I said before, players should never feel too comfortable, and the studio certainly doesn't want players to ever be able to "predict upcoming events" because it happened to repeat some pattern too often.
SOMA is coming to PC and PlayStation 4, but "is still a year or so away from its 2015 release." Frictional Games does promise "to reveal a big secret about SOMA" soon though.
Posted: March 4, 2014 03:03PM
Layoffs are unfortunately an inevitable part of the gaming industry following a major release. With Thief launching last week, that inevitability has struck developer Eidos Montreal. Publisher Square Enix confirmed the layoffs of 27 people today to IGN, explaining that "unfortunately it's something that every major studio has to do in order to ensure you have the right set up for current and future projects." Square Enix is trying to re-locate as many of those people as it can within its other studios, but has also reached out to outside studios in Montreal to arrange a career day.
Reviews for Thief were mixed, but generally favorable.
Posted: March 4, 2014 02:18PM
Ubisoft's highly anticipated, oft-delayed, mature RPG South Park: The Stick of Truth released today, so with that comes the (obviously NSFW) official launch trailer:
Meanwhile, the equally highly anticipated first-person shooter from Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment, Titanfall, launches a week from today, but its official launch trailer was also released:
Posted: March 4, 2014 01:01PM
Supernatural detective thriller Murdered: Soul Suspect has finally been given an official release date – June 3, 2014 in North America and June 6, 2014 everywhere else. The game is priced at $49.99 USD for Windows PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, while the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions cost $59.99. Pre-ordering in the US at Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target, or Walmart includes an "interactive digital strategy map" that is accessible via computer or tablet and shows "the location of hundreds of in-game items including quest givers, collectibles, and Easter Eggs." The game is also available on Steam, though it's unclear whether pre-ordering directly from Steam will net you the pre-order bonus (it's not currently listed).
Murdered: Soul Suspect puts you in the shoes of Ronan O'Connor with a rather unique task – solving your own murder from the ghostly afterlife. Trapped in a limbo world called Dusk, only bringing your killer to justice will help you find peace, though there are various optional side quests you can complete as well. Both bp9801 and myself awarded Murdered: Soul Suspect Best Adventure Game of E3 2013, so this is definitely one game adventure fans should be excited about.
Source: Press Release
Posted: March 4, 2014 12:49PM
Author: Brentt Moore
Sony has revealed that it has now sold 6 million PlayStation 4 consoles within the markets that the next generation gaming console is currently available in. The sales figures are up roughly 700,000 from the last report made by Sony on February 18, 2014, in which the company informed the public that 5.3 million PlayStation 4 consoles were sold. The increase in sales can be heavily attributed to the PlayStation 4 being released in Japan on February 21, 2014.
As both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One make their way into more markets and gain popularity while doing so, it will be interesting to see which gaming console sells the most units throughout this year.
First Look at Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham Knight in April 2014 Game Informer; Official Trailer ReleasedCategory: Gaming
Posted: March 4, 2014 09:11AM
Yes, all the rumors were true – Rocksteady's next entry in the Batman Arkham series, Batman: Arkham Knight, has been confirmed and revealed as the April 2014 Game Informer cover story. While most of the information currently available was leaked earlier today by UK retailer GAME via VideoGamer.com, at least we have solid confirmation, along with a better look at the Batmobile we'll get to drive. According to Game Informer, "An entirely new area of Gotham City, far larger than Arkham City, has much wider streets to accommodate the new driving gameplay that is designed to integrate smoothly with Batman's gliding and grappling traversal."
Arkham Knight takes place one year after the events of Arkham City, and will be the final Arkham game – though hopefully not the final Batman game Rocksteady and WB work on. Below is the four-minute Announce Trailer entitled "Father to Son":
Batman: Arkham Knight is set to release later this year for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One – no "previous-gen" to hold the game back!
Posted: March 4, 2014 08:34AM
If a recent "accidental" listing on UK retailer GAME is accurate, it seems last week's leak about Rocksteady's next Batman game may be true. VideoGamer.com grabbed a screenshot before the listing was removed, which provides some interesting tidbits about the next game in the Batman Arkham franchise.
The franchise's fourth entry is entitled Batman: Arkham Knight and was listed as "the explosive Finale in the Batman Arkham Series." The series is indeed returning to Rocksteady and one of the biggest additions will be a driveable Batmobile, uniquely designed by Rocksteady for the game. The game's central villain this time around seems to be Scarecrow, who "returns to unite Gotham's most feared villains," including Penguin, Two-Face, and Harley Quinn. Considering the Scarecrow scenes in Arkham Asylum were arguably the best part of the game, I'm certainly excited to see how Rocksteady makes him the focus of the story, barring a twist of course. Meanwhile, pre-ordering the game allows players to play as Harley Quinn across four exclusive challenge maps.
Batman: Arkham Knight is listed for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One with an expected release date of this year. More info will probably come shortly with the rumored Game Informer magazine cover reveal.
Posted: March 3, 2014 08:42PM
Blizzard's MOBA Heroes of the Storm was playable at BlizzCon 2013, but soon others will get to play it on their own PCs. After a lot of internal testing, Blizzard has announced that the first public testing phase will begin soon. The purpose of this initial phase, which Blizzard is calling the "Technical Alpha", is to help the developer "better examine how [its] infrastructure and tech will function across a much broader spectrum of machines and connection types." Heroes of the Storm is very much a work in progress, with a lot of the features not even implemented yet, not to mention placeholder sounds, interface elements, and even graphics. Nevertheless, there will be absolutely no Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), which means you can share videos, screenshots, and any impressions you have with the world.
Access to the Technical Alpha will be extremely limited at the start, but expand over time as Blizzard has always done with its alpha and beta tests. Currently, only players in the United States will be eligible, and signing up is as simple as checking the Heroes of the Storm opt-in box found on the Beta Profile Settings page of your Battle.net Account. If you're a Blizzard fan and/or MOBA fan, what are you waiting for?
Source: Official Site
Posted: March 3, 2014 02:27PM
If the leaked image is accurate, a Dishonored II "full reveal" is coming at E3 2014 – as if there was any doubt the highly acclaimed stealth action-adventure game Dishonored would be getting a sequel. The image, which appears to be of a PowerPoint slide, doesn't say much except for the title Dishonored II, the E3 2014 reveal date, and a hashtag of "#DarknessOfTyvia", which may indicate that the full game name is "Dishonored II: Darkness of Tyvia." Either way, the good news is that the Arkane Studios logo can be seen in the lower-left corner, which means it's a good bet the Dishonored developer is returning for the sequel.
E3 2014 takes place June 10-12, 2014, so we may have a while until we learn more, but hopefully there's at least a teaser trailer released before then.
Source: All Games Beta
Posted: March 3, 2014 02:12PM
Titanfall launches in North America on March 11, but a lot of information has leaked out since the Titanfall Beta ended a couple weeks ago. While the beta only featured two maps (Fracture and Angel City), the game's full roster of fifteen maps has been leaked in the form of top-down images. These images not only show the overall top-down view of the maps, but also point out "key locations" in each one. The environments are certainly varied, with both indoor and outdoor locales, though curiously not one snowy environment... DLC, anyone?
Source: All Games Beta
Posted: March 3, 2014 01:39PM
With Ultra Street Fighter IV being the fifth entry in the Street Fighter IV (SFIV) series, there are bound to be players that haven't been happy with their favorite characters being changed just for balancing purposes with the introduction of new characters. Well, Capcom is going to placate those users with the addition of Edition Select Mode, which allows players to choose any character from any version of SFIV (Vanilla SFIV, Super SFIV, Super SFIV AE, Super SFIV AE ver. 2012, and Ultra SFIV).
The only caveat is that it appears Edition Select Mode will only be available in offline play. The official announcement doesn't say that, but an entry on Capcom's Japanese site seems to indicate that point, if the translations are accurate. The reasoning is because of the aforementioned balancing issues. Nevertheless, if you have a friend to play with locally, it should provide for some interesting match-ups.
Source: Capcom Blog
Posted: March 3, 2014 01:08PM
Activision has announced that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 video game will arrive in North America on April 29, 2014 for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, and 3DS. Those who pre-order the PlayStation or Xbox versions of the game from GameStop will receive the exclusive Web Threads Suit Pack. Activision included PC in the list of eligible pre-order bonus platforms, but GameStop does not have the PC version currently listed, plus the PC version will only be available digitally in North America, so I cannot say with 100% certainty that the PC will get that pack. The first game is available on Steam, so it's likely this one will arrive there as well (and hopefully with the pre-order bonus).
The Web Threads Suit Pack contains four Spidey suits available at launch: Iron Spider Suit, Cosmic Spider-Man Suit, Venom-like Black Suit, and Spider-Man Noir Suit. Each suit offers unique combat bonuses, but specifics were not provided. Check out the image attached below to see what each suit looks like.
Posted: March 2, 2014 09:49PM
David "Smokejumper Georgeson, Director of Development for the EverQuest Franchise at Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), outlined SOE's five-phase plan for EverQuest Next Landmark, the "world-building" portion of free-to-play MMORPG EverQuest Next. Landmark is currently in Phase 1, which Georgeson refers to as the "Founder's Pack" era. The game is currently in Alpha, but the only way to gain access is to purchase either the $99.99 Trailblazer Pack or $59.99 Explorer Pack.
Phase 2 is going to start "in the latter part of Alpha," and kick off SOE's microtransactions. SOE plans on starting small with just character outfits and resources. Outfits are merely cosmetic, while buying resources will essentially be a "time shortcut to let people build more easily." The latter is already stirring controversy amongst players who would rather resource gathering remain solely a gameplay mechanic.
Phase 3 is where the real "time shortcut methods" are added, and is intended to be an ongoing phase, with the start also being around the end of Alpha. As a "theoretical example" of what a time shortcut would entail, Georgeson explained, "Let's say you have to craft a recipe in order to make a 'power up my pick' potion so you can gather resources more quickly. The time shortcut option would be available as a button on your Collections sheet, so you could just buy that potion effect immediately instead of needing to craft it first." He ensures us that shorcuts will not affect game balance and they can always be avoided if you want to spend the time and effort.
Phase 4 is where Landmark's real selling point (no pun intended) begins – the introduction of SOE's Player Studio. Player Studio is SOE's marketplace for player-created goods, allowing players to buy and sell templates. Georgeson also later stated that resources will not be able to be sold via Player Studio because of "nasty international tax laws," though you can still sell them out of in-game Market Stalls. Player Studio should be introduced "early during Closed Beta."
Lastly is Phase 5, occurring at the end of Closed Beta, which will involve the addition of some "bigger-ticket [microtransaction] items." These will include "cosmetic pets, sound/music packs for your claims, name/gender changes, extra claim flags, and more." However, in a later reply, Georgeson explains that almost everything can be earned within the game, with only a few cosmetic items (like outfits) being microtransaction-only.
So there you have it – the five-phase business plan for EverQuest Next Landmark. However, everything is of course subject to change, and Georgeson is clear that there will likely be additions and subtractions as it moves forward. Georgeson explains that SOE is fully invested in the free-to-play model and understands that it means the studio has "to entertain you before you decide whether to pay [..] or not."
Source: Official Forums
Posted: March 1, 2014 11:19AM
Swedish developer Starbreeze Studios "accumulated a total loss of SEK 94 million (approximately USD$14.4 million)" from 1998 to June 2013. In just the past six months, the studio "generated a profit before tax of SEK 104 million (approximately USD$16 million)," thanks in large part to strong sales from Payday 2 and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Along with the original Payday: The Heist, Starbreeze now has "three games that generate royalties every single day."
Starbreeze CEO Bo Andersson Klint stated rather matter-of-factly, "I would like to think that is what they call a turnaround." In addition to the great earnings report, Starbreeze has also signed a new 20-month agreement with publisher 505 Games that allows the studio to develop and refine Payday 2 "so that it becomes the best co-operative gaming experience available on the market, with many more add-on packages and other exciting events planned."
And speaking of add-ons, Payday 2 was just updated with free DLC entitled The Death Wish, which adds a new difficulty level, two new enemy types, four new masks, a free melee weapon in honor of the 350,00 member mark, and 35 new achievements. You can watch the trailer below: