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Earlier today I had a chance to preview the new table for Pinball FX2. It's Avengers: Age Of Ultron and is based on the upcoming film. I don't really think there are any spoilers revealed for the film in this so I think you're pretty safe.
The table releases next week on pretty much EVERY platform (Wii U coming soon).
The first nine minutes are just me getting a feel for the table, but the high score run starts around 9:18
So...Star Wars Battlefront. Coming November 17 to North America and November 19 to Europe. Available on the Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. These things were already known. The new(er) stuff: up to 40 person multiplayer battles. "Challenges inspired by the films" will be playable solo, split-screen or cooperatively.
We get a little more info on the game from Polygon. The game won't have a dedicated single player campaign, a departure from recent installments of DICE's other franchise, Battlefield. It's being built from the ground up as a multiplayer focused title, with only the Challenges playable alone. There will be plenty of vehicles to play around in, but there won't be dedicated space battles with TIE Fighters dueling with X-Wings. But those ships will play a part in the fight, albeit closer to the ground. Based on the trailer, you'll also have gadgets at your disposal, such as the portable shield generator, although DICE isn't giving out a full list of those yet.
The first DLC pack - The Battle of Jakku - will be available for free for everyone, but you get it a week earlier - Dec 1 vs Dec 8 - if you pre-order. The DLC will set up events seen in The Force Awakens, which hits theaters later that month.
A pair of games from developer Amplitude Studios can be played for free on Steam this weekend.
Endless Legend is a turn-based strategy game which was one of my favorite games of 2014. You have resource collecting, empire building, tactical combat, and a healthy dose of RPG elements, all with an engrossing visual style.
Their other freeplay title is Dungeon of the Endless (yes, they have a theme in naming their games, as they also develop Endless Space.), which I've also played, but didn't enjoy quite as much. It's a roguelike in which you're trying to protect your crashed spaceship while exploring an expanding dungeon for resources.
Blizzard's World of Warcraft is nearing eleven years old, and they're still coming up with new tricks. Or in this case, and old trick.
With the upcoming 6.2 patch, Blizz is introducing the concept of 'timewalking' to allow your now almost unfathomably powerful character a chance to experience older dungeons again. During selected holiday weekends you'll be able to run random old school dungeons with your power and items scaled down to appropriate levels (your skill remain there, just scaled down) for that area. This makes the areas challenging once again. But while your powers are scaled down, the loot you get is scaled up to the uber-high level you're now (likely) at.
Blizzard is testing this on the public test servers now if you want to try, but remember it will only be available during select holiday weekends, and not be an everyday feature.
Publisher Take-Two has announced the shuttering of 2K Australia, with all employees being handed pink slips.
2K Australia most recently shipped Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel in October, but most of their 15 year history was spent as a secondary developer for other titles. They had contributed to all three Bioshock titles, as well as The Bureau: XCOM, Tribes Vengeance and the original Freedom Force. As you can tell from their CV, they'd worked extensively with Irrational Games (and were founded as Irrational Canberra), and the closure of that studio likely contributed greatly to their ultimate fate.
VGChartz (a notorious inaccurate source, but the best I have) says The Pre-Sequel sold 1.33M units worldwide, a respectable total but apparently not enough to guarantee the studio's survival.
The world's largest specialty games retailer is embracing the retro movement.
Starting next week, Gamestop stores in the New York City and Birmingham, AL markets will start accepting trade ins of classic consoles, games and a limited slate of accessories. The program will encompass the NES, Genesis, Super NES, Dreamcast, N64 and Playstation 1 (sorry Saturn fans!). All units will apparently be sent to the company's new refurbishment center, where they will be cleaned and readied for sale. While for now only stores in those two markets will be accepting retro items, they will be made available on the Gamestop website, or their ship-to-store system. If the program is a success, it could spread to the rest of the chain.
There has been a mild resurgence in retro consoles in recent years. The trend is partly driven by good old nostalgia (hey, now that I have disposable income, I want the consoles of my youth!) but some also go retro to protest current trends in gaming they dislike (paid DLC, always on requirement, shipping with major bugs).
We’re doing some fuzzy math at the following link.
Lately I’ve been having a lot of fun playing Splinter Cell: Blacklist. It’s a game I got a little ways through when it released and then got distracted or bored or something that kept me from going back to it for ever how long. Now that I’m back playing it and enjoying it, I’m almost done with it. So it was nice last week to get the news that another sneaky-sneak game I’m a fan of was currently in the works. Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a game I played all the way through without taking a year long or more (or less) break. Outside of the boss fights, I loved it. And while finishing up Splinter Cell, I was really hoping we’d be hearing something new for Sam Fisher, but I’ll totally take Adam Jensen in the interim.
Less than a month after Harmonix announced their plans to revive Rock Band, Activision has revealed their plans for a new Guitar Hero.
Guitar Hero Live, developed by FreeStyle Games (DJ Hero), brings the series back to it's guitar-only roots, while also making several major changes to the franchise. For starters, the plastic guitar has been redesigned. The line of five colored buttons along the neck is gone, replaced by two rows of three buttons - one black, one white - at the end of the neck. As you ascend the difficulty ladder you'll move from using just one row of three buttons, to two buttons on each row, to two full rows of three buttons. The strummer wedge, whammy bar and hero button all remain on the body of the guitar.
The next big change comes to the visuals. You're no longer playing with - and to - a collection of colorful cartoon characters. Instead you're playing before a photorealistic crowd which will react to your play. Do well and they'll cheer, screw up and they'll boo. Loudly. As you progress through the campaign you'll play to larger and larger venues, with correspondingly large crowds.
Changes are also coming to the songs you play. GHL will come with a roster of base songs - including The Black Keys, Fall Out Boy, Green Day, Ed Sheeran, The Rolling Stones, Carrie Underwood and Pierce the Veil - but it will also come with Guitar Hero TV. GHTV is a suite of constantly updating music video channels, accessible without a subscription, that let you choose among a variety of curated genre channels and song lists.
Activision isn't revealing everything about how the music library will expand, but based on what they have revealed I have a guess: they're going for the League of Legends model. If you haven't played it, League has a base roster of heroes available for free, with new heroes rotating in and out for free. If you want to use one of the heroes that are out of rotation, you have to pay to unlock them. I'd guess that the roster of songs on GHTV will similarly rotate, and if you want a song once it leaves the rotation, you'll have to purchase it. Again, this is just conjecture, so take it with a grain of salt.
Then you have what may be the most interesting change. Guitar Hero Live will be available on the 360, XB1, PS3, PS4 and Wii U, plus select mobile devices. You'll be able to buy the game on any of these platforms for $99.99 and get a guitar and the full game, even on your mobile device. With those mobile devices you'll be able to play it on that screen, or connect it to your TV for the big screen experience.
We've known for some time that the second DLC pack for Destiny was titled House of Wolves and now we have a release date: May 19. The content pack ($19.99 singularly or bundled with The Dark Below in a season pass for $34.99) will apparently add a new social hub in The Reef (aka, the asteroid belt) plus all of the new gear and raids you'd expect. You should also expect some amount of exclusive content for Playstation owners, but Bungie isn't yet divulging info on that.
While House of Wolves wraps up the season pass content, there is apparently more Destiny on the horizon for later this year. A still unnamed "major content release" for Destiny is slated for the fall. We'll likely learn more about it at E3. Early leaks about Destiny revealed that Bungie was contracted to release full sequels to the game on even numbered years, with major expansions coming in odd numbered years. It sounds like this "major content release" is one of those major expansions from the early leaks.
[Update] - I made what turns out to be an erroneous assumption when I said that House of Wolves would include new raids. Turns out it won't include any new raids. Instead it will come with the new Prison of Elders endgame content, which sounds like a horde mode, with waves of enemies in a set location. I apologize for the error.
CD Projekt Red has released a(nother) new trailer for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and this time they want you to know the game is mature. Really mature. With bewbs and swears and gallons of blood.
I kid, I kid. The Witcher games - and the novels they're based on - have always been mature rated, but this particular trailer seemed to put a lot of effort into pushing that point. Which is probably a good idea. In reality, there aren't a lot of games of this type, with these production values, that goes for a hard M rating. The previous two games in the series generally handled the mature content very well, and I have to assume the third installment will be similarly well done.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be released May 19 for the XB1, PS4 and PC.
That sound you just heard is cash being sucked straight out of the wallets of patents after the announcement of Lego Dimensions, a game which combines the various Lego universes with Skylanders/Disney Infinity-like physical tie-ins.
So it's a Lego game which can interact with (some) Lego toys. Which means a lot of different fictional universes will be involved. From the announcement we know those universes will include Lord of the Rings, DC Comics, Ninjago, Lego Movie, Back to the Future and The Wizard of Oz. So if you - or your kids- have ever dreamed about having Wonder Woman, The Tin Man and Gollum tooling around in the Delorian while blasting Everything is Awesome, then this is the game for you.
So how much will this set you back? WBIE says that the starter set - which includes Lego Gandalf, Batman, Wyldstyle, a Batmobile, a Gateway and the NFC Toy Pad - will run $99.99. Additionally Game Informer reports that the toy packs will come in two major flavors: Fun Packs (1 minifig and 1 vehicle) for $15 and Level Packs (1 minifig and 2 vehicles) for $30.
Lego Dimensions will be released September 27 for the Wii U, 260, XB1, PS3 and PS4. Looks like PC players are out of luck...for now.
The screenshots for Deus Ex Mankind Divided leaked yesterday, but they didn't really impart any real information. The cinematic trailer embedded above...doesn't give much more info, but it sure is pretty. I'd have to say that Square Enix is one of the best in the biz at making cinematics, and the trailer for Mankind Divided manages to be action packed and pretty while also explaining the core plot of the game. Enhanced humans are now being hunted down, and Adam Jensen has to save them, while also terminating the truly evil and destructive enhanciles.
Square Enix says Deus Ex Mankind Divided will be released "soon" for the Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC. I have a feeling their definition of soon is different than mine, but we'll have to wait and see on that count.
The sequel to one of my favorite under-the-radar shooters is coming to Steam early access on April 21. Tripwire Interactive's Killing Floor 2 will sell for $30, and the early access version will include "four classes, three maps, and something in the neighborhood of 11 monsters" with more added as development progresses.
The original Killing Floor took a lot of seemingly disparate elements - gory zombies, RPG-esque level progression and a variety of classes - to make a tremendously fun multiplayer co-op shooter. Based on the video posted above, the sequel looks to maintain the fun of the original.
We finally got everyone in the room at the following link.
I think part of this episode is a great example of part of what this show does. That part being where we pretty much sell you on a game (or keep you from making a mistake). We give our experiences and make you want to share in those. The discussion James had about Elite Dangerous pretty much convinced Matt to buy it right on the spot. It almost caused a few others to pull the trigger as well. It’s a good conversation and one to listen to if you are also on the fence about picking it up.
I’m also surprised at my lack of remembering that The Order just came out not very long ago as we discuss the plight of NOTHING to play on our consoles. Exclusively, anyway. As an owner of a PS4, Xbox One, and a PC, I can’t really think of anything coming out in the next 6 months or more that I’ll be playing on those first two systems. I can imagine the comments and emails we’ll get for leaving out the Wii U. I can also go ahead and tell you I agree with all of them.
A collection of all six Star Wars films will be making their way onto major digital platforms this Friday. The Star Wars Digital Collection will include HD cuts of each movie (and these are all apparently the current versions of the movies, and not the classic, un-retouched versions) along with a variety of extras.
The announcement didn't include a price, but Amazon is selling the individual films for $19.99 and the collection for $89.99, a $30 savings. It seems a bit pricey, but if you're a fan of the series and want a digital copy which you can access anywhere, it may be right up your alley.
Microsoft is also offering an additional sweetener, with a free R2-D2 avatar and Star Wars Pinball Pack for Pinball FX2 (360 or XB1) if you purchase on Xbox Video.
In a little less than a year developer/publisher Crytek went from being unable to properly pay some of their employees to teasing a "huge" licensing deal with a mystery partner which would seem to secure their financial future. That's quite a reversal of fortune for a company which seemed on it's last legs relatively recently. Now Kotaku is reporting that their mystery investor is none other than Amazon.
The ubiquitous internet retailer slash budding media conglomerate makes an interesting licensor for the CryEngine. Amazon has invested heavily in the gaming space in recent years, hiring pedigreed developers (Kim Swift, Clint Hocking), acquiring a dev studio (Killer Instinct and Strider dev Double Helix) and launching a set top box designed with gaming in mind. So they're invested in gaming, as are a ton of other mega-corporations. So why keep the Crytek deal under wraps? Could there be a significant announcement be in the offing for E3 in about two months?
I know someone will quibble about me labeling System of a Down's 'Chop Suey' as a classic rock song, but it was released in 2001. Fourteen years ago. It may be borderline, but I think it qualifies!
Oh, and there's a game too. The above trailer is actually directed by SoaD's Shavo (who has done a bunch of music videos in his career), so there's a link to the song. A good, popular song can 'pop' a commercial and increase penetration among the public, but I have to say this isn't a great example of the form. The 'direction' seems to be limited to timing some of the jump cuts in time with the song, but it makes for a trailer that just seems to move too much and too quickly. Sales of Mortal Kombat X likely won't be affected much by this trailer, but it could have been so much better.
One of the earliest innovators in the realm of cloud gaming has been snatched up by one of the console overlords. Sony has acquired the struggling OnLive, and will be shuttering the service on April 30. No word on how much the deal is for, but Sony seems to be most interested in a number of patents controlled by OnLive.
Sony, of course, acquired one of OnLive's early competitors - Gaikai - and integrated that technology into programs such as Playstation Now and Remote Play. OnLive has been troubled for years, and their focus had been transitioning from cloud gaming to remote streaming of late.