Tuesday, Jun 2
Net Articles Summary
The Taken King might be the next Destiny expansion, due out in September. Activision and Bungie were planning some Destiny reveals for E3 this year, but someone at Red Bull might have ruined whatever surprises they had in store, all thanks to photos of a promotional Red Bull box.
The images in question, found on Reddit, show a drink case with print mentioning a special code that can be found inside. Once redeemed on the site mentioned, the code unlocks bonus XP and an "epic quest" in The Taken King. Another side of the case mentions becoming a "legend" with "Flamesword," otherwise known as MLG player Michael Chaves.
Obviously this unexpected reveal is far from official, so it's best to wait until Activision comes out with a more concrete confirmation before jumping all over this. After all, House of Wolves hasn't even been out that long, and most of us have yet to master Prison of Elders at 35.
Surprise? Nintendo still craves control over all things Nintendo
Nintendo is not expected to reveal anything concrete regarding its mysterious "NX" console anytime soon, but one thing the console company is willing to confirm at this stage is that it will most certainly not leverage some form of Google's open-source Android operating system. A Nintendo spokesman has flat out stated there was simply "no truth" to a report issued earlier this week by Japanese business wire Nikkei suggesting that the NX would adopt Android as the primary OS.
Nikkei's report was grounded on sources reportedly familiar with what's been going down within the secret halls of Nintendo's Kyoto-based headquarters. These sources reasoned that a non-proprietary OS solution for the NX would allow Nintendo to attract mobile game developers as potential third party support. A desire on the part of Nintendo to rekindle third-party developer support certainly doesn't sound far fetched, and at the very least would provide reassurance that the company has no intention of alienating them with the NX.
Nintendo's rebuttal confirms it will not be looking to a third-party solution like Android as a means to forge relationships with third party studios.
A rather limiting system at that, but refunds all the same
Steam, under heavy community pressure in recent months, has updated its policies and will now be offering full refunds upon request for game and bundle purchases made through the service. The day has finally come where gamers, the morning after a long night of Steam Sale, can wake up and realize they've spent their rent money on a bundle of hidden picture games and still get a full refund. The deals really are just that alluring. Refunds do have limitations, however, as Valve doesn't want the system to be taken advantage of. Refunds must be requested within 14 days of purchase and the game or bundle cannot have more than two hours played. It's that simple
Valve does say that refunds will not be immediate. Requesting a refund will start a verification process that Valve says can take over week. In this week they'll check the date when the refund was requested as well as check how much playtime has been recorded on the game. Why the delay, when it seems like some rather straight forward criteria? That's because Valve will continue to listen to refund requests from all gamers whether they meet these new criteria or not, as pervious. Meeting the new criteria will result in an automatic refund confirmation. If you don't meet the criteria then Valve will still listen to your case. If your reasons for requesting a refund are exceptional then Valve will approve it, just like before.
There are certain other facets of the system which users should be aware of which might end up annulling any refunds. DLC is a particularly tricky subject, as Valve recognizes that DLC refunds could easily lead to exploitation of the system. Most DLC will follow the same rules for refunds -- less than 14 days owned and two hours played. However, depending on the type of DLC if it has been consumed, modified or transferred then no refunds will be allowed. Refunds will also be prevented if the DLC irreversibly alters an in-game character in a way that removing it would break and/or ruin the game.
In-game purchases, not DLC, will also be complicated. Valve will be enabling a 48-hour window for refunds on all in-game purchases made through their own games. That's Dota 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and so on. As long as the item hasn't been consumed, if it's a consumable, modified or transferred. No buying knives, selling them and then asking for refunds, CS:GO black market. Third party games will have the option to enable refunds, but this won't be by default. When making in-game purchases through refund-enabled third-party games, Steam will notify players at the time of purchase. If you don't get that notification, then you're on your own.
Bundles can also be a bit tricky. In order to get a refund on a bundle, you have to get the whole thing taken back and not just an individual game. As such, the required playtime of under two hours for the refund spans all of the games in the bundle and not any individual game. Other types of purchases will all follow the same rules: pre-purchased titles, Steam Wallet refunds, and while Early Access purchases isn't specifically mentioned I'm sure they follow the same rule-set.
Finally, it must be said that purchases made outside of Steam will not be up for a refund. That means CD keys brought from other outlets like the Humble Store or Green Man Gaming will not be available for a refund through Steam's new system.
Valve has always allowed for refunds under special circumstances made through its support system. It's a much more responsible and appropriate thing to have an official policy in place, however. Not to mention gamers can now rest comfortable knowing that they'll at least have the opportunity to get some change back if they overspend during big sales on the platform. Also, it's about damn time, Valve.
Something big is happening tomorrow morning
Many of us are is losing our minds today after Bethesda unveiled a Fallout teaser this morning. An image of a black and white television test pattern featuring a countdown and the words "Please Stand By" was all it took.
Bethesda's released a still image of the test pattern, also known as the "Indian-head test pattern," to social media today, bearing the same "Please Stand By" message and a corresponding hashtag. A link was provided as well, leading to official Fallout site, which bears the same TV pattern and a countdown ending tomorrow, June 3, at 7:00 AM Pacific.
The studio will also be holding its own press conference for the first time ever at E3 2015, leading to plenty of excited rumors leading to hopes of Fallout 4 or Dishonored 2 announcements. Bethesda has been pretty tight-lipped, however, letting the excitement fester and speak for itself.
Rumors regarding the upcoming and unofficially-named Fallout 4 go back as far as 2012, when a Reddit post pointed to Boston as the next primary setting.
Monday, Jun 1
Net Articles Summary
Really, when you think about it, it's about dang time
Just recently we were introduced to LEGO Dimensions, which quite honestly seems rather spectacular. Today, however, we're introduced to something even braver and more ambitious than Dimensions. TT Games, the guys behind almost every other LEGO game out there, released LEGO Worlds to Steam Early Access today. Yes, the huge LEGO branding on an ambitious little project coming out exclusively on PC via Early Access with little to know prior marketing. I'm still in disbelief. Yet that's not even the craziest part. LEGO Worlds is an open world, Minecraft-inspired, wholly customizable game that costs just $14.99 (for now).
Imagine a huge, Minecraft-style world of unique biomes made entirely out of LEGO bricks. Players can then alter the world by adding constructions of their own design, brick by brick or with huge world-bending tools the likes of which Minecraft has never allowed for. According to TT Games and Warner Bros., a number of LEGO set themes will be unlocked while the game is in early access. Perhaps that implies that other sets will need to be purchased as DLC later on, which could explain the hugely affordable pricing. Considering a standard real-life LEGO kit often comes at twice the price, this could be a great alternative for experimental builders.
Tom Stone, managing director at TT Games, provided the following introduction tto the game:
"LEGO Worlds embodies the physical, LEGO brick-building fun that consumers have enjoyed for decades, on a digital platform that delivers an entirely new type of experience with the beloved bricks. From the brick-by-brick editor, to discovering an expansive range of items, characters and creatures to populate your worlds – the creative possibilities are endless."
It may seem like for the time being LEGO Worlds is just a sandbox game, and for the foreseeable future that will indeed boe the case. Early Access appears to be TT Games checking to see if this a marketable product that fans will be interested in without any sort of structured content. If that indeed proves to be the case, again much like how Minecraft first found success, then odds are players can expect to see TT Games expand on the idea and the sort of content available in-game.
LEGO Worlds is available in Steam's Early Access right now, which means it can be bought and played ASAP. It just might have a few bugs in it, is all.
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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Exo Zombies 'Carrier' unlocks new secrets this week, new trailer out
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Exo Zombies Carrier comes out tomorrow, picking up after some of the cliffhangers we were left with before. In advance of tomorrow's release on Xbox Live, Activision released a trailer for Carrier to convert some of the nonbelievers.
So some spoilers ahead. Previously, Sentinel's Captain Lennox killed one of your allies, leading to a whole lot of questions with no real easy answers. Unfortunately, with the zombie threat being a thing, the four celeb heroes need to call a temporary truce with their captor in order to survive. And yeah, that is an undead shark you see in the trailer.
Carrier comes out first tomorrow, June 2, for Xbox One and Xbox 360. You know the drill by now. PlayStation and PC platforms will likely see the DLC's arrival in roughly a month.
Those voice syou hear talking belong to Rose McGowan, John Malkovich, Bill Paxton, and Jon Bernthal.
A new Rise of the Tomb Raider trailer popped up today by way of Microsoft and Crystal Dynamics. It's really little more than a cinematic teaser, but we're reminded that Lara is back with a vengeance as a timed Xbox exclusive.
The trailer opens up with images of famous people throughout history, while Lara speaks of adventurous spirits finding greatness. She herself is one such spirit, seeking to crawl her way to each new discovery. The cinematic shows her scaling a mountainside, likely somewhere in Siberia, climbing a slippery wall of ice, during which nothing could go possibly wrong.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is the anticipated sequel to Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider from 2013, which drew plenty of praise from those who played it. The next installment, expected to come out later this year, will be exclusive to Xbox One and Xbox 360 at launch. PC and PlayStation versions will be released at some point after.
ArenaNet will be making the Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns PVP mode, Stronghold, accessible in another open beta phase this week. For anyone who missed the last Stronghold beta, here comes another chance to try it out and help ArenaNet with their testing.
The new public beta opens tomorrow at 12:00 pm PDT and remains active until 12:00 pm PDT on Wednesday, June 3. During this period, Guild Wars 2 players in the North America and Europe regions can access the upcoming competitive mode through the Heart of the Mists. The last Stronghold public beta placed the relevant NPC by the hot-join fellow to the left of the lobby.
Stronghold is a completely new take on PVP in Guild Wars 2, set to release with the Heart of Thorns expansion. Rather than adding another Control or Deathmatch mode, Stronghold pushes for tactical thinking and organized groups, with factors like resources and MOBA-like minions coming into play. Two teams must race against the other through superior strategy and DPS to take out the enemy Lord.
For more about Stronghold and the Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns campaign, check out our preview from a studio visit with ArenaNet. The developer is expected to attend E3 this year, and rumors point to a possible release date announcement for the highly anticipated expansion.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown was and is an outrageous success, spinning off a new wave of tactical strategy games and forcing Firaxis to stop focusing entirely on their Civilization series. The game's mix of highly challenging and often punishing gameplay and unique 2D grid combat mechanics made for an experience unlike many modern gamers had ever seen. It's only natural then for Firaxis to announce XCOM 2, though a bit more surprising to hear it's (for the time being) PC exclusive. The game is tentatively planned for release in November later this year.
As an extra twist, Firaxis won't just be building up XCOM 2 as a second wave of an alien invasion after the first was successfully fought off. Oh, no. Much in line with the personality of the first game, the reality of the setting is that the aliens won the war in XCOM: Enemy Unknown. XCOM 2 will take place 20 years into the future after the events of the original game. The aliens have rebuilt society with a new world order. It's now up to a largely forgotten XCOM to perform insurrection from within. With an all new mobile headquarters XCOM will build bases of resistance throughout the world with a goal of overthrowing their oppressors.
And it wouldn't be a sequel if Firaxis didn't have some exciting ideas for feature additions. Here's XCOM 2's creative director, Jake Solomon, talking about the community's influence on the direction of the game:
“The feedback from the passionate XCOM community played an important role in the development of XCOM 2, driving us to push the visual, gameplay and replayability boundaries of what a strategy game can be,” said Jake Solomon, creative director of XCOM 2 at Firaxis Games. “We’re thrilled to implement long-time fan requested features such as procedural levels and modding support, as well as adding more of what makes XCOM great like new aliens, enemies and soldier classes.”
Specifically, Firaxis is planning on adding five updated soldier classes, increased soldier customization and more alien and enemy types. That's in additional to an entirely new campaign with all new upgrade paths and ways to expand the reach of XCOM, too.
Sure, it sounds a bit more like an expansion than a full sequel, but unfortunately that's just kind of how Firaxis rolls. They put out two or three games every year, most of which are just rather small iterations on their previous release in the franchise. XCOM: Enemy Within was released just a year and a half ago, so even if Firaxis works on the sequel for those full two years (which it may very well not have, as it has many other projects going on) it's still just on par with say a Call of Duty release. What I mean by that is there's certainly the potential for another outstanding game, but it's unlikely to be much of a dramatic departure from the previous title.
XCOM 2 is planned for release on PC in November later this year, with Mac and Linux ports also being worked on by Feral Interactive. Check out some of the new alien and soldier types in the debut trailer released this morning, sourced from IGN.
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Friday, May 29
Net Articles Summary
Titanfall 2 definitely exists in some form or another, but fans of Respawn Entertainment's sci-fi mecha shooter shouldn't expect to see the unnamed sequel at this year's E3. Sorry to break the news, ladies and gentlement, but the powers that be have spoken, by whom I mean Respawn CEO and founder Vince Zampella.
Zampella took to Twitter today to drop the somewhat disappointing news. In fact, the studio has no plans to show anything at E3 2015, which means Zampella will actually get to enjoy the show as just another video game enthusiast. Good for him!
For everyone asking, we aren't showing anything at E3 this year. I'll get to actually see all the games!— Vince Zampella (@VinceZampella) May 29, 2015
Well, at least he's letting us down easy. Sort of. Now hold back those tears, soldier, AND STAY STRONG.
Although Titanfall 2 has been officially acknowledged, the sequel doesn't have a final title yet, so "Titanfall 2" is really just a placeholder. Respawn already confirmed the next installment would make its way to PlayStation 4, in addition to Xbox One and PC.
- Bethesda just dropped a massive Fallout 4 teaser counting down to everyone's hopes and dreams 
- Next Destiny expansion 'The Taken King' might have just been outed by Red Bull promotion 
- Nintendo debunks Android for NX rumors 
- Steam, under community pressure, adds refund system 
- LEGO Worlds, a Minecraft inspired open world with brick building, is now on Steam Early Access 
- League of Legends to release Prehistoric skins, including a new dinosaur version of Anivia 
- Firaxis rearms with XCOM 2, 20 years after humanity lost to the aliens 
- Rise of the Tomb Raider CG trailer makes Lara Croft into a rising legend