Posted on

The end of Joel and Ellie? New characters a possibility for The Last of Us 2

The Last of Us has made waves as one of the best modern games to ever release and the developers at Naughty Dog have certainly had the idea of a second game in their head since the first title’s launch on the PS3 back in 2013.

In an interview with PlayStation Magazine Naughty Dog’s creative director, Neil Druckman, revealed that Uncharted 4’s development impeded on his and Bruce Straley’s desire to get to work brainstorming the next The Last of Us.

“…we were brainstorming ideas for The Last Of Us 2 with new characters; ideas for TLOU 2 with Joel and Ellie; ideas for a sci-fi game; ideas for a fantasy game, and building prototypes for each one of those ideas. And just as we were getting close to settling or narrowing that list down, we were asked to work on Uncharted 4.”

With a team as small and concentrated as Naughty Dog it’s understandable that The Last of Us has taken a backseat to Uncharted 4, but that doesn’t mean some things are being brewed by the dev. Nolan North, Joel’s voice actor, confirmed the existence of a TLOU 2 last week at MetroCon.

Apparently Naughty Dog wasn’t quite expecting North to talk about the game at all according to Druckman. “…that was kind of a surprise for us for him to say that. I was like “Oh, he knows more than we know [about] what we’re doing next.’ We joked about it afterwards during shoots and stuff.”

North also announced that he has not been approached (yet) for any other work from Naughty Dog besides’ Uncharted 4.

Though with the revelation of these type of stories in the same time frame it’s likely that Naughty Dog truly hasn’t gotten too deep into the TLOU 2’s development. It’s a possibility that not even they know if Joel and Ellie’s story will continue in some fashion in the next game.

Posted on

A ten year plan for Destiny? Not so fast says Bungie [Poll]

Destiny released to widely varying criticism with many complaints of a lackluster story and plot since its release in 2013. The title has recently gotten it’s biggest add-on yet — The Taken King. The DLC has not steadied the game’s place at all though with a barrage of complaints accompanying the massive sales numbers.

Up until now, Bungie has suggested that this trend of big DLC updates would continue as the game was expected to last as long as ten years. Bungie’s contract with Activision promised a ten-year span of dedicated work on the game and in multiple interviews Bungie suggested that they were prepared to continue working on the game for those years.

In an interview with the Guardian in 2014 the CO of Destiny, Pete Parsons said “We love to invest in universes. We did Halo for ten years we just didn’t have the benefit of knowing it would happen.”

Well, that plan isn’t quite what Bungie is thinking now according to Erik Osborne, Bungie’s community and marketing relations manager.

“It just became the narrative. I mean, I drive a Honda Civic. I don’t know shit about $500 million. A ten-year plan? It’s a ten-year partnership agreement. It has nothing to do with the development of the game proper. To think that somehow, before Destiny had shipped, we had some ten-year plan written down somewhere? It’s comical. We allowed the narrative to get constructed that Bungie is just a corporate entity and not a bunch of humans, a collection of people who are just trying to make a really great game.”

Though these comments directly contradict the expectations of Activision’s CEO, Eric Hirshberg when he spoke with Wired magazine in September, 2014.

“I think a lot of franchises get built game-to-game, or month-to-month — the moment really determines the momentum of the franchise… Bungie aren’t just thinking about the content that goes on the first disc; they’re thinking about a ten-year story.”

Do you think Destiny was designed to last for ten years?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Posted on

Exit Project Morpheus…Enter PlayStation VR

PlayStation VR

Sony shows off PlayStation VR at TGS 2015, hints at price

If history is any indication of future events, then Sony consumers across the globe know all too well the Japan-based video game juggernaut can’t have a feature product without PlayStation in its name.

That is why Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House officially announced the name change of Sony’s flagship foray into virtual reality gaming from Project Morpheus — which sounded like something out of the Terminator franchise — to the clean and simple PlayStation VR.

But that’s not all PlayStation fans were offered at the 2015 Tokyo Game Show this week. House did not specify an exact price for the headset but did confirm it will be priced as a “new gaming platform.” So consumers will have to be really committed to PlayStation VR to consider shelling out another $350 or so dollars for it.

House believes PlayStation VR will be a key part of the PlayStation ecosystem.

“VR rewrites the rule book on how you can create games,” House noted in an interview with Bloomberg. “You’re seeing a large amount of interest and work happening among smaller teams, because it’s possible to create something in VR that is very simple but still very magical.”

Playing catchup?

PlayStation VR has come a long way since its introduction in 2014 at the Game Developers Conference.

Since last year’s prototype, several modifications have been made to improve the Sony piece into the leading VR headset in the industry. In addition to changes, PlayStation VR packs a hell of a punch in terms of its specifications:

  • New 120Hz refresh rate (up from 60Hz), the fastest available across the “Big Three” of VR headsets — PS VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift
  • Additional 90Hz display option to give developers more flexibility
  • 5.7 inch 1920 X RGB X 1080 resolution OLED display, which expands the field of view and enables low persistence, removing motion blur
  • Reduced latency to less than 18ms, about half of what the first PlayStation VR prototype had, helping to deliver a sense of presence and comfort to players

PlayStation VR, which will work in tandem with the supposedly-underpowered PlayStation 4, shocked the VR community when it announced its upgrade to a 120Hz refresh rate, the highest of any VR headset on the market.

Release date

House confirmed earlier reports that PlayStation VR will enter the market in the first half of 2016. Additionally, the Sony executive said it plans to deliver over 10 titles for the device throughout the course of next year.

For now, PlayStation VR seems to have the hot hand. Time will tell if Oculus or HTC can halt Sony’s momentum.

Posted on

Xbox One’s new user interface will soon be rolling out to preview members

Microsoft’s Xbox One has long been plagued users with slow load times across the user interface, but since June those on the Xbox team have been promising big things with a redesigned user interface designed to match and beat the speed and efficiency of the Xbox 360.

At E3 Microsoft had shown off a bit of their progress and the new interface displayed a massive improvement in time spent on completing simple tasks like accessing a friends list, starting a party, sending a message, and other tasks.

Now that work is finally going to be put into practice for many Xbox One gamers as preview program members are scheduled to begin getting invites to the new UI “next week.”

The interface does away with the prominent home-screen tile system that launched on the Xbox One, and instead offers greater integration with the console’s social features linking to the game hub of whatever the last game you’re playing and listing friends currently playing.

Home_US_3P
The original Xbox One interface matching the Windows 8 tiled-layout style.

One of the hallmark features is an improved snap guide that aids in making those basic tasks as fast possible.

The snap guide is designed to rival the functionality of the Xbox 360 guide.

The Xbox division has been building up to this fall since the start of this year with a variety of high-profile titles scheduled to release — including Xbox One‘s exclusive Halo 5.

This “new Xbox experience” is just one major keynote in a second half chock full of announcements for Microsoft.

The new UI will be rolling out in small increments to preview members with the most active members in providing feedback getting the update earliest.

Posted on

Bethesda boasts depth of Fallout 4 announcing over 111,000 lines of dialogue in game

Bethesda’s games do an incredible job offering an unprecedented level of depth with massive worlds and personality-rich characters (and occasionally an overabundance of launch-day bugs). The upcoming Fallout 4 game from Bethesda is already being named in contention for game of the year with how much content is expected to be in the game and Bethesda’s twitter is adding even more excitement for fans.

Bethesda Game Studios announced that Fallout 4 would have 111,000 lines of dialogue. The preceding RPG Fallout 3 had just 25,000 in comparison and the fantasy RPG Skyrim had roughly 60,000. Both of those games are already heralded as being extremely rich with content.

Putting this in more perspective, Skyrim alone has over 1,000 individual characters and if the lines of dialogue were used in the same proportion of Skyrim, Fallout 4 would have closer to 2,000 individual characters.

However, perhaps one of the biggest aspects of dialogue adding to the massive amount of lines is the fully voiced main character which Bethesda is hoping will help add a more personal and emotional connection between players and the game world.

In an interview with Telegraph it was said that the two main voice actors for the main character — Courtenay Taylor and Brian T. Delaney — recorded 13,000 lines apiece. Without their contributions the lines of dialogue drops down to a tamer 85,000.

Still, the potential of 1,500 unique characters outside the main protagonist should excite fans.

Fallout 4’s November 10 release on Xbox One, PS4, and PC looks prepared to give fans the deepest world since Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind in 2002.

Posted on

Homefront: The Revolution gameplay trailer showcases game’s progress since last bankruptcy

Homefront: The Revolution has had a rocky history with it’s original owners (THQ) went bankrupt, and then the company they were sold to (Crytek) moved them again due to “internal restructuring.”

Now the game’s developers at Deep Silver have finally come to something resembling a finished product and the latest “Red Zone” gameplay trailer shows off some fantastic visuals for the guerrilla-warfare focused FPS.

While this trailer does run in real time at 1080p, 60 FPS, it’s important to consider that it is run on a PC rather than the Xbox One console like the control scheme shows in the trailer. So the visuals may not look quite as spectacular on Xbox One or PS4, but even if these visuals are simply the height of what the game is capable of it still will look very good on whatever platform players choose.

The combat shows some great interactions between CPU players and the player in an open world, but Deep Silver also suggested in the past they’re hoping for equally immersive online multiplayer.

Combat looks to be smooth and polished with CRYENGINE running things. CRYENGINE boasts not only an excellent engine, but compatibility with Linux and Mac promises great gameplay on every platform.

Homefront: The Revolution is due to release on Xbox One, PS4, PC, Linux, and Mac in 2016.

Posted on

Borderlands movie being made by Lionsgate with same “in your face attitude”

2k Games’ Borderlands series has had tremendous success on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation and Lionsgate is hoping that success can translate into a role on the big screen. The movie studio announced in a public statement that they’re working on formatting the FPS for a live-action, feature-length film.

The Creative Director at Marvel, Avi Arad and his brother Ari Arad will be leading the project and both had very positive things to say about the Borderlands franchise in a recent public statement.

“Borderlands has a unique story-driven narrative energy and rich multi-dimensional characters that position it to become a singular motion picture event.”

Two chairmen with Lionsgate, Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger expressed their own positivity as well claiming they have “the right partners” and the “ideal creative team” to lead a Borderlands movie to success.

The positivity is warranted with the success that Avi Arad and his brother have had in the past working on the Ironman, Spiderman, and other Marvel movies.

Two of the most definable characterisitics of the Borderlands games are the cell-shaded art-style which compliments the exaggerated personalities. Both will be a challenge for Lionsgate to adapt for a live action film. The correct use of special effects as well as the best actors to portray whatever story they’d like to present will be crucial in representing the Borderlands universe fairly.

No release frame is yet ready, but the movie is likely at least 2 years away from word on a release.

Posted on

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood brings back the classic video game feel to the new generation | Review

The Wolfenstein franchise is over 30 years old, and since 2009 has begun being rebooted for contemporary consoles. While the 2009 release didn’t fare particularly well on the Xbox 360 and PS3, this latest installments including Wolfenstein: The Old Blood from MachineGames and Bethesda Softworks is the perfect approach to introducing the old arcadey style from its early days as Wolfenstein 3D to the modern style first-person shooters have today.

Wolfenstein merges the old with the new and does it really damn well.

There's some flashes of beautiful vistas, skyboxes, and ruins amid the death and destruction.
There’s some flashes of beautiful vistas, skyboxes, and ruins amid the death and destruction.

The developers at MachineGames weren’t looking to completely conform to what the prototypical modern first-person shooter is now — and it’s awesome. What they made is truly fun to play. It takes the FPS gameplay trends of the late 90s and reintroduces them to many gamers who have not experienced them. It’s not flashy and it’s not a game riddled with little gimmicks.

Heck, the game can get pretty chaotic at points with that slight touch of the old rapid movement of the first FPS games like Doom, Marathon, and Wolfenstein 3D. But duel wielding shotguns and Ak47s while flying down corridors and the ruins of Castle Wolfenstein make the experience as fun as a game can be.

Even the setting is a tad off-putting for those not familiar with the Wolfenstein franchise. A Nazi-controlled alternate universe set in 1946 with America still fighting despite bleak circumstances.

Players are placed in the shoes of B. J. Blackowicz, a U.S. marine helping to lead the fight back against the Nazi oppression. The main mission for Blazkowicz is to find Helga Von Schabbs, commanding officer of Castle Wolfenstein. Blazkowicz is set forth to find and capture documents that could potentially help win the war for the U.S.

And while that’s absurd itself the game takes a dramatic sci-fi esque turn later in the story.

*Spoiler Alert*

The game initially plays in a somewhat reasonable setting, but as the game progresses through the eight-chapter long campaign the developers take some fantastic creative liberties opening up a world of zombie-apocalypse with flaming — yes, flaming — Nazi zombies raining down from above. Even further down the line, the story’s primary antagonist — Helga von Schabbs unlocks the uncovered demon/monster creature from the dark depths of ancient ruins.

*End of Spoiler*

Any sense of realism in this game can be quickly dismissed.

This is what a pure video game should be.

Exageratted physics, overpowered characters, and the ability to withstand multiple (graphic) stab wounds adds enough ridiculousness that a hint of comedy is in almost everything as well.

wolfenstein the old blood 3

Adding to that is the sometimes cheesy dialogue with an overly badass main character  taunting the enemies around him.

Blazkowicz serves as the primary protagnist for the entirety of the story, and “badass” really isn’t quite a strong enough word. His attitude oozes confidence and stares down the face of those who would like to (and do) stab him in the face repeatedly with no remorse as he mows them down and attacks back with his trusty (and rusty) iron pipe.

The iron pipe is one of the first weapons and tools shown to players and serves a variety of uses from wall climbing like a mountain climber to killing your Nazi/zombie/mech opposition.

While the rusty piece of piping is certainly the most versatile weapon in the game, there are six main weapons — the Handgun 1946, Assault Rifle, Schockhammer Shotgun, Double-Barreled Shotgun, Bombenschuss rifle, and Kampfpistol.

wolfenstein the old blood 6

Each weapon is well balanced with no being too overpowered to be deemed better in every situation over anything else. In addition, each enemy has specific niches that give players the opportunity to think more creatively with how to kill them.

While the combat is great, it is very fast paced and some players that are used to contemporary shooters may find it disorienting at first. The game does allow you to aim down the sites for more precision like contemporary games, but it is definitely much more fun to just go berserk dual-wielding and hip-firing shotguns or other guns.

And fun is what this game is all about.

Which leads to an unfortunate aspect of the game that inhibits how enjoyable it could be with friends — the lack of multiplayer. While a full online multiplayer system complete with lobbies, ranking, classes, and more is understandably not fitting for the game nor likely in the budget with just the $40 price tag, a small local co-op mode would have been extraodinarily well-placed in the challenge mode that is also offered in the game.

Challenge mode lets players rack up points and fight for high scores against an endless onslaught of enemies from every chapter in the game. It’s an excellent addition to add a touch of replayability in a game that doesn’t offer too much more after beating the game the first time.

It’s very surprising to not see multiplayer incorporated into this game mode whether it be online or local.

The lack of multiplayer is about the only drawback of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood.

wolfenstein the old blood 5

However, even with the fault of no multiplayer the game is still incredibly enjoyable and well worth it for the campaign alone. Currently available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC Wolfenstein: The Old Blood offers a blast-from-the-past style gameplay reminiscing the classic Wolfenstein 3D game and brings a great level of pure fun, silliness, and insanity that isn’t always prevalent on modern consoles. It’s lack of multiplayer is disheartening, but not dismissing of how enjoyable this campaign is.

8.9/10

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is currently available for Xbox One, PS4, and PC retailing at $19.99.