- Remedy has said that they have no current plans to return to Alan Wake. They love the game, and would like to return to it someday, but the sales just weren't enough to support a sequel. Coincidentally, the game and it's DLC expansion are on sale through the Humble Bundle. Pay what you want for each, but any price over $1 gets you Steam keys and lots of extras, including soundtracks.
- 4A Games is now selling a Season Pass for Metro Last Light. The $15 bundle includes 4 DLC packs, each presumably selling for $5 individually. The DLC includes a pair of campaign expansions, a challenge room and unspecified exploration tools.
It was recently announced that Slitherine ltd would be getting access to the Warhammer 40k IP. What we didn't know was what kind of game they were making.
Warhammer 40k: Armageddon will be a turn based hex wargame set on the Planet Armageddon during the Second War for Armageddon. You will see the forces of the Imperial guard and Space Marines square off against the Ork hordes. The campaign will feature over 30 scenarios that run from the very beginning of the invasion to the final battles.
Regarding multiplayer, there will be separate maps that you'll play against friends by taking your turn, submitting it and then going about your day. It seems pretty similar to games like Hero Academy in that regard or older play by email games of Civilization.
Armageddon will release in the first quarter of 2014.
Not a huge week this week, Ratchet & Clank Full Frontal Assault finally makes it to the Vita 6 months late. The Vita also gets the incredibly tasteful game Men’s Room Mayhem and PS3 owners can download Ratchet & Clank Deadlocked and Call of Juarez: Gunslinger. Plus members get two games this week, Germinator for the Vita and Pinball Arcade for the Vita and PS3. The full update from the PlayStation Blog:
Ratchet: Deadlocked ($9.99)
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger ($14.99) [With Demo]
Resident Evil Revelations ($49.99)
Fast & Furious: Showdown ($39.99)
Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce ($19.99)
Mugen Souls ($39.99)
Remember Me ($59.99) [Pre-Order]
Laugh Factory Live App
Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault ($19.99, Cross-Buy with PS3)
Men’s Room Mayhem ($1.99, on sale for $1.39)
Pinball Arcade (PS3 & PS Vita) (Free)
Germinator (PS Vita) (Free)
Metro: Last Light Season Pass – PS Plus Price: $11.24
Men’s Room Mayhem – PS Plus Price: $.97
Darkstalkers Resurrection + Super Puzzle Fighter Bundle – PS Plus Price: $10.49
Darkstalkers Resurrection w/Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix Bundle ($14.99)
Auditorium – PSP Game (now: $0.99 original price: $9.99)
Auditorium HD – PS3 Game (now: $0.99 original price: $1.99)
Golden Axe Digital – PS3 Game (now: $2.99 original price: $4.99)
Men’s Room Mayhem – PS Vita Game (now: $1.39 original price: $1.99)
Urban Trial Freestyle – PS Vita Game (now: $6.99 original price: $9.99)
Urban Trial Freestyle – PS3 Game (now: $9.99 original price: $14.99)
Virtua Fighter 5 Finale Showdown – PS3 Game (now: $4.99 original price: $14.99)
Virtua Fighter 5 Finale Showdown Complete Edition – PS3 Game (now: $14.99 original price: $29.99)
Max Payne 3 Add-On Sale
Deathmatch Made in Heaven – PS3 Add-on (now: $4.99 original price: $9.99)
Microsoft today formally announced their new console, Xbox One. The system will launch worldwide later this year. No form date or price was announced.
The one hour presentation was light on games, and heavy on the mass entertainment that Microsoft is so interested in. Some of the highlights:
- The XB1 (the preferred acronym here) will come with 8GB of RAM, a 500 GB HDD, a Blu-Ray drive, built in Wi-Fi and USB 3.0. Processing power comes from an 8-core unified CPU/GPU. Wired has a great set of images of the system, the controller and the Kinect.
- XB1 will not be backwards compatible, but it also will not require an internet connection for simple activities such as watching disc movies and playing single player games. Microsoft has not yet said anything about mandatory installs or activations.
- Microsoft focused greatly on the entertainment aspects, announcing a live action Halo TV series from Steven Spielberg, a partnership with the NFL, and an HDMI pass through which lets you access your cable or satellite TV through your Xbox.
- To the surprise of none, the packed-in Kinect 2 was a big focus. It's more powerful and can more accurately map your body, including subtle rotations of your wrists and shoulders. The Kinect functionality is built in from the ground up, and just about everything uses it, from TV menus to Skype chats to game controls.
- On the game front, there was very little. EA Sports showed off their new Ignite engine, and confirmed that FIFA, Madden, NBA and UFC would all be out on the system within a year.
- Forza 5 was shown, and will be a launch title.
- Activision debuted Call of Duty: Ghosts, built on a new engine, you now have a dog in the game. The setting is America just after a near-apocalypse has broken the country. In-engine cut scenes were pretty, but no in-game footage was shown.
- MGS and developer Remedy showed off Quantum Break, a new title which revolves around a creepy girl with some sort of powers. Again, no in-game footage, just a live action trailer and a CGI crash.
- Microsoft Game Studios will be releasing 15 titles themselves for the XB1 in it's first year, 8 of which will be new IPs.
My thoughts on the reveal - Mildly disappointing. I expected a ton of Kinect, Smart Glass and TV connectivity, and I got it. I didn't expect much in the way of game reveals, and I got less than I expected. Not one second of clear in-game footage was shown. CGI cut scenes are nice, but they in no way demonstrate the power of the system, even if they're in-engine. I know they're saving the software revelations for E3 in a few weeks, but they needed to show something more.
The TV connectivity and Kinect stuff is nice, but it's not going to move systems without games. Microsoft seemed to forget it's a game console first and foremost. These issues can be rectified, but it's not off to a great start.
We'll update this story as more news and assets become available.
[Update 1] - Wired is reporting that the XB1 may require installation of games, and will require a separate purchase to play used or borrowed games. Lots of other sites are reporting this, but they all link back to Wired, and I haven't seen any independent confirmation.
Additionally, the Xbox One FAQ notes "You can install games in segments so that gameplay starts quickly and updates download silently in the background." But at one point it had more info (via Joystiq)
In a post answering "top questions" about the Xbox One, the official Microsoft page notes the system "does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet." Additionally Microsoft notes that in the case of pre-owned software, the Xbox one is designed "to enable customers to trade in and resell games. We'll have more details to share later." The Q&A makes no mention of the fees confirmed by Microsoft to Wired.
So it almost certainly requires installs, which isn't a deal breaker for anyone I'd guess. But locking out the used/borrowed market, would be a negative. Unless they open up the reselling of used games, which to my knowledge no other digital distributor does. We're trying to figure out exactly what is up, and we'll let you know.
The new controller has more rumble motors, and can provide directional feedback: eg, if a truck is moving from left to right in your field of view, the controller will simulate that rumble moving from left to right. There is a removable battery, but the compartment is now flush with the back of the controller. The "ring" of lights previously seen on the controller and the unit itself are gone, and now the Xbox icon itself will glow different colors.
Finally, developers have the option to offload some of the game's computing load to cloud servers. This will, potentially, allow some lower power jobs to be foisted off onto the cloud while the unit is online, freeing up internal power for other jobs, effectively expanding the power base of the system. Potentially.
The XboxReveal will be starting shortly, and our live blog of the proceedings can be found here. The event will be shown on Spike TV, and streams will be available on Xbox.com, Game Trailers, Twitch.tv and a host of other places.
This thread will stay closed to comments until just before the event starts.
Microsoft is holding their Xbox Reveal today at 1pm E/10am P (a little more than three hours from now), so we're sort of in a holding pattern until then. So why not have some fun with my patented 'Bold Predictions Sure To Go Wrong.'
The Games: Microsoft has already said that this presentation will focus on the new console, with the game reveals saved for E3 in a few weeks. We already know that Call of Duty: Ghosts will be shown, and EA Sports will be there with a number of titles (FIFA, Madden and UFC at least). So we'll likely only see 2-3 more retail titles and maybe one downloadable title. Predictions: new Forza, Gears of War 4 and the Respawn game, with a downloadable game from Rare thrown into the mix.
Xbox Live: As much as gamers dislike it, Microsoft makes too much money off of the Gold subscriptions to phase them out completely. So you will have to pay a sub of some sort for online play and for most entertainment options. I'd guess you probably won't need a sub to utilize the rumored interface with your cable/satellite service, but that's one of the few things that likely won't be behind a pay wall. Oh, and MS is almost certainly killing the MS points system, so everything you buy will be in real currency amounts for your region. Huzzah! On the other hand, don't expect backwards compatibility of any sort.
The Hardware: Most of the rumors seem to say the same things about the guts of the system: Blu-Ray drive, built-in HDD & Wi-Fi, mandatory Kinect 2.0, a low power mode, and processing power broadly similar to that of the PS4. Rumors also have peg the new system to have an HDMI pass through which will let you use an Xbox interface with your cable or satellite system. The controller is supposed to be mostly unchanged, with minor tweaks to connectivity and construction.
The Show: Prediction - pain. Microsoft has said the show will only run an hour, so it should be mercifully brief, but these things are usually agonizingly awkward. I think Microsoft will try to use the Illumiroom concept to make a big splash, even if they're short on details for it. Now that Molyneux has left Rare, CliffyB has left Epic and Riccitiello has left EA, I'm not sure which gaming pseudo-celebrity will be trotted out. Is Vince Zampella going to be the biggest name on the show, or will we be 'treated' to a non-gaming celeb brought out to painfully demo a game? I predict Taylor Swift or The Biebs, just because
So now it's your turn: your best or most entertaining predictions. And I'll see all of you back here in a few hours for the live blog.
If you're a WiiU owner and were mostly holding out for more Virtual Console fare, then you're in luck. Super Metroid is this month's Famicom 30th Anniversary title, and as such is 30˘. Alongside it are Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts and Super Mario Bros. 2, which itself can be had at 50% off with the purchase of Super Mario World. BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien see a 25% discount.
3DS owners strike out this week, as The Starship Damrey and Harvest Moon are out this week. A surprise comes in the form of Swords & Soldiers 3D, a game that was originally available in the App Store and Google Play.
Nintendo WiiU eShop
Super Mario Bros. 2 (50% off)
Super Metroid (Famicon 30th Anniversary)
Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts
Nintendo WiiU Retail
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
Publisher: WB Games
Developer: TT Games
We're in the swing of things at the following link.
Our first segment, as usual, is brought to you by Electronic Arts and their very tarnished image, which they've managed this week to rub off onto Nintendo. Then we spend a short stretch with a spoiler-free, qualitative discussion of Metro: Last Light. In the second hour we talk with Jamie Fristrom of Happion Labs about his game, Energy Hook.
It's preview day for Batman: Arkham Origins, and with it we get a pretty new CGI trailer of Batman fighting Deathstroke. The previews all agree that the combat which was so engrossing in the first to games remains a selling point in the prequel. Bats has some new gadgets and moves, of course, but they all fit in with the existing mechanics. The city you explore is a lot larger than in Arkham City, but much of the crazy, carnival-esque structures are not yet present, and the city as a whole seems to be more traditional. New developer WB Montreal (original series developer Rocksteady is rumored to be working a next-gen title starring Batman and possibly the Justice League) has expanded the detective portion of the game, giving it more depth than in the two previous titles. Some of the previews seemed skeptical about whether the larger game world would have enough pass times to justify the added space. A series of optional missions starring the Anarky character were shown to the press, but little else outside of story missions. WBIE additionally revealed that Deathstroke would be playable as a DLC character, although whether he'll be usable in the main game - as Catwoman was in Arkham City - or just in challenge rooms was not revealed.
We also learned today about some of the key voice actors for the game. Batman will be played by Roger Craig Smith (Ezio from Assassins Creed) while the Joker will be voiced by Troy Baker (Booker DeWitt from Bioshock Infinite, Robin & Two-Face in Arkham City), both veteran voice actors with tons of other credits under their belts. Oddly, we also learned this weekend that Kevin Conroy has spent the past few months recording lines for the game too, but he's apparently not playing Batman this time around. Could he be voicing some sort of framing sequence as modern Batman?
Batman: Arkham Origins will be released October 25 for the 360, PS3, PC and WiiU.
Some of you might remember Titan Quest, the action RPG set in the realm of Greek myth. It was a good game, unfortunately that company folded, but from its ashes, Crate Entertainment was formed. They made another action RPG. Grim Dawn, and turned to Kickstarter backers for help in getting it done. They've been quiet for about a year now, but now some backers are getting the chance the play around with the alpha. In the video we get to see character creation and gameplay, what do you folks think?
Thanks to Rock, Paper, Shotgun for the link and RicHSAD2 for the video.
The Book of Unwritten Tales collection is down to $10. That's quite a deal for one of the more charming adventure games to release in the last few years. That includes The Critter Chronicles.
I'm fairly certain the entire Ubisoft catalog is on sale over at GoG this weekend. There are some real gems in here, from the Might and Magic games to Beyond Good and Evil. Hit the link for the full list.
Trion Worlds the developers of MMOs Rift and the recently released Defiance, has been hit with a round of major layoffs. IGN reports that between 50%-80% of the company's total staff has been let go just today. They also report that senior staffers are being denied severance due to "undelivered services."
Things seemed to be going so well for the company. Just yesterday they'd announced that Rift would be going F2P, and the announcement that SyFy had picked up Defiance for a second season should have been good news. Except things can't be going that well at a company that culls a majority of it's workers in one shot. Trion also went through a much smaller round of layoffs at the end of last year, with most of those axed employees coming from the Rift team. This time around it's the devs on Defiance, a game which shipped only 6 weeks ago. Kotaku's sources say the retail performance of Defiance, and it's just released expansion Storm Legion, were the major force behind the layoffs.
Trion just issued a statement:
To best position Trion in a rapidly changing industry, we have reorganized our teams and are expanding our free to play offering. With Defiance, we delivered a great game that more than one million gamers registered to play and continue to enjoy. As we progress from launch to ongoing development of the game, we are adjusting our staffing levels to deliver new content and improved features. RIFT, and our other titles in development, were unaffected by these changes. We are very much looking forward to the free to play release of RIFT and are excited by the other new titles currently in development.
Trion has one other project in the works, the MMORTS End of Nations, which had been set for release later this year.
Well this likely isn't good. IGN is reporting that Gamestop has removed Rainbow Six Patriots from their database, halting further pre-orders and possibly cancelling existing ones. IGN's tipster says this sort of removal has to be done affirmatively, unlike some other retailers, who automatically remove entries after a given period of inactivity. The same tipster says that Gamestop "tends not to remove big-name games from major publishers without an official confirmation that a title is dead."
Patriots was announced back in 2011 with the above trailer, which controversially seemed to be referencing both the American Tea Party and Occupy movements as inspiration for their antagonists. The game more or less disappeared after that, skipping the major trade shows last year and meriting only a single comment from Ubisoft that the game was still in development.
It may be hard to believe now, but not too long ago, Rainbow Six was Ubisoft's flagship franchise. The Tom Clancy titles were a major part of Ubisoft's catalog, and Rainbow Six was the leader of the bunch. That was - more or less - a generation back, and the intervening years haven't been kind to the series. Splinter Cell passed it for the lead Clancy title, and Assassins' Creed supplanted it as Ubisoft's crown jewel. Ghost Recon and Far Cry would probably be seen as the publisher's leading shooter franchises. The last Rainbow Six title was 2008's R6 Vegas 2, which was a lifetime back, relatively speaking.
EA has announced that they're killing their Online Pass program. Going forward EA titles won't require you to enter in a one-time use code or buy a piece of DLC to play their games online.
So that's a good thing. Gamers didn't like it, and clearly EA wasn't seeing much revenue from sales of Online Pass DLC. However, it doesn't mean that pack-in codes are going away completely. It just means you won't need a code to play Battlefield 4 or Madden 25 online. Each of those games - and likely most future EA games - will still lock some content away behind a code to discourage the second hand market.
It also begs another question: is EA ending the program now because they realized it isn't profitable, or are they killing it because they know that some sort of used game protections will be present on the new generation of consoles?
Speaking of podcasts, have you listened to the newest episode of In-Game Chat yet?
Or maybe you aren't the talking kind. Maybe actions speak louder than words. Well, fine, buddy, if you're gonna be pushy, HERE. CLICK THIS LINK, HEAD OVER TO RAINWAVE, AND LISTEN TO DULCET VIDEOGAME TONES.
Sony took over the Siverston track in the UK today to announce Gran Turismo 6. The game will ship with all of the tracks and cars from GT5, with new additions bringing the totals up to over 1200 total vehicles and 33 tracks (with 71 total configurations). The game is running on a new engine that will allow for easier integration of DLC and an extensive second screen experience.
Now here's the somewhat surprising thing: GT6 is coming this year to the PS3. Not next year, and not the PS4. I would have wagered a pretty penny that Sony would have GT6 on the PS4, even if it also released on the PS3.
Sony also announced that a demo of the game will be released in July.
"After more than two months of discussions with [Desilets], we couldn't align our vision both on project development and team management," said Guillemot, "so consequently our collaboration has ended, and we have suspended 1666 for an undisclosed period of time."
Ubisoft acquired the studio formerly known as THQ Montreal, the rights to unrevealed titles 1666 and Underdog earlier this year after the dissolution of THQ. Their current statement makes no mention of Underdog, so it's possible the studio has simply shifted all resources to that or an all new project.
Ubisoft says development on the game is suspended, for now, but most titles which are put on hold never see the light of day. If that's the case, then Ubisoft isn't going to get much return back on the $2.5M investment they made acquiring the studio and it's assets out of bankruptcy.
EA subsidiary DICE has announced plans to open up a Los Angeles-based studio tasked with creating new Star Wars titles. Just last week EA announced a deal with Lucasarts to develop new Star Wars games, and specifically listed DICE as one of the studios working on the franchise.
The new studio is already open, with staffers from the now apparently closed Danger Close (Medal of Honor) forming the core, with DICE hoping to have a total of 60 worker at the LA studio by the end of the year. DICE GM Karl-Magnus Troedsson specifically noted that the new studio would be drawing talent from some of their biggest competitors: Call of Duty developers Infinity Ward and Treyarch (I should also point out that EA Partner Respawn Entertainment also operates out of Southern California).