Friday, Apr 17
Net Articles Summary
After no less than three delays, racing sim Project CARS is finally given a release dates. For PC, the game will be out May 6, while the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions come out May 12.
When first announced back in 2011, Project CARS set some high expectations, and racing fans were understandably excited for such a visually and mechanically advanced simulator. The game's crowd-funding phase went through without a hitch, and development was underway.
Project CAR's initial delay in 2014 was based on publisher Bandai Namco's desire to avoid competition with other Fall releases.
Today, EA and DICE release the long-awaited Star Wars: Battlefront debut trailer. While it doesn't exactly feature straight gameplay, the trailer does offer up plenty of in-engine footage, showing us how the Battle of Endor is going to look in DICE's hands. A small batch of screenshots confirm a number of other planets as well, offering a quick look at Hoth and Tatooine.
Battlefront will, of course, be taking place during some of the most pivotal moments in the original Star Wars trilogy, including the Battle of Endor. The previously unexplored planet of Sullust has also become a new setting of conflict.
Iconic characters like Darth Vader and Boba Fett are all made playable in the upcoming reboot, and players will find a number of different modes to keep entertained. A 40-player competitive multiplayer has been confirmed, and missions will support online or split-screen offline co-op. Now there's a feature you don't see too often anymore.
For especially eager fans, EA is already offering the Battle of Jakku as a pre-order bonus for Star Wars: Battlefront. Reserve the game, and you'll get early access to this Outer Rim planet on December 1, while everyone else has to wait until December 8. The game itself will be out November 17 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
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Thursday, Apr 16
Net Articles Summary
- Phanteks PH-TC12LS Review - Frosty Tech
- Enermax DigiFanless 550W Review (French) - Cowcotland
- BitFenix Colossus Venom Review - pcGameware.co.uk
- 17 CPU water coolers test - Hardware.Info
- Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4-2400 4x4GB Kit Review - PureOverclock.com
Have you ever danced with a dungeon crawler in the pale moonlight?
Rhythm and rogue, it's the perfect combination. Brace Yourself Games is ready to transition their successful Early Access release into a fully launched game, they revealed today. Crypt of the NecroDancer, a mixture of a rogue-like dungeon crawler and rhythm-based music game, has come together better than I bet anyone could have expected. Starting April 23, hopefully the entire world will be caught up in the dance -- compelled, even.
Crypt of the NecroDancer is magical. It's almost ridiculous that the concept hasn't been done prior. Dungeons are laid out in a grid as rogue-likes tend to be, but the player must move space to space in rhythm with the beat of the soundtrack. Each beat will also move enemies as well, which means if you aren't moving, you're giving your enemies the opportunity to flank you. Yes, it turns into a bit of a dance between you and the monsters of a dungeon. It's almost too perfect.
Attacking is done by moving into the enemy, so long as the player has a weapon which can reach them. Different weapons have different attack patterns, so pairing the right weapon with the right positioning, against an enemy who can't attack the player, is where the depth of the experience comes in. Each enemy is its own kind of rhythm puzzle and of course the deeper in the dungeon a player gets, the more complicated the puzzles.
That's just the shallow end of the pool for Crypt of the NecroDancer though. The game bleeds personality and retro fun in the same way that Shovel Knight and Rogue Legacy have done in recent years.
According to the game's Steam page, the final version will add the final fourth zone and end-game bosses as well as three additional playable characters. Veterans of the game will be excited to challenge themselves further and new players will find a complete game full of epic dancing difficulty.
Crypt of the NecroDancer will transition from Early Access to full launch on April 23. If folk can't wait they can buy into Early Access now for $14.99, which should be the same price as the game will be at launch.
Ain't nothin' like a good ol' Rapture to get the party started
Much like Sony helped From Software keep making great games by bringing Bloodborne to the PlayStation 4, they're also keeping The Chinese Room working too. After Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs didn't bear the weight it was hoped to, Sony and the British studio partnered to bring Everybody's Gone to the Rapture to PlayStation 4 instead of PC. Today the latest trailer for the unnerving first-person title has been released, but oddly enough a release date is still yet to be found.
With this latest trailer, The Chinese Room says they're aiming, "to go small and intimate with this one, be a bit different with it." The focus is on story and tone, which is why the trailer itself is rather uneventful yet still stirring. It's the kind of trailer worth watching a few or a dozen times, because of how it's styled. The intention is for the watcher's eyes to wander, as there's no clear focus. The more detail the watcher takes in, the better they're immersed in the experience being created.
I have to say, even after the numerous times I've watched the trailer, I have no idea what's going on. The implication being that the people in the game have gone through the "Rapture," the second coming of Christ where the faithful have ascended to heaven. How that fits into what the player will be doing in-game, however, is completely unclear. I respect that The Chinese Room is aiming for mystery. That's a big part of their games. Still, I want to know what I'm buying here, especially after Machine for Pigs, and these trailers haven't done that yet. It does look beautiful though, I'll give it that.
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is planned for release this summer. The game is apparently entering "beta" soon and a release date is in the works, but you never know until you know. Hopefully we'll hear more soon. Let's hope Sony Santa Monica is helping The Chinese Room with their previous schedule-keeping issues. Make sure to check out both the trailer and a song that has also been released.
The force has truly been awakened, or should I say a-leak-ened
Today saw the reveal of an all new trailer for upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens and with it a waterfall of exciting things for video game fans. An updated Star Wars: Battlefront website openly provided the first official in-game screenshot of the game. The end of the Star Wars trailer teased an as-yet unseen cinematic trailer with a short, small clip. Then, unintentionally, the source code of the Battlefront's website revealed what we've all been waiting for: a release date.
An unused description within the code reads as follows, and keep in mind that it's code taken from the "News" portion of the site:
"The latest news and updates for Star Wars Battlefront. Available November 17, 2015 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC."
Obviously, it must be said that until the official word comes from Electronic Arts or EA DICE, this leak must be treated as a rumor. Though this about as official as it gets without being in a press release. It's literally coming from an official EA source, however unintended the publication of it may be. The date even lines up perfectly with standard holiday releases, as it falls on the Tuesday a week prior to Black Friday.
Let's be realistic here. Star Wars: Battlefront is going to get a huge marketing surge by coming out a month prior to Star Wars: The Force Awakens hitting theaters. There is no world in which EA misses the holiday sales surge, especially considering their prior willingness to release rather broken games to make that window. Too far?
November 17 is the date to watch for Battlefront fans. Ahem, at least that's the rumor. The officially unofficial until it's official rumor. Star Wars: Battlefront is just 7 months away, everyone. Oh, and don't forget the big reveal tomorrow, which is likely to be that cinematic trailer teased in Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer from this morning.
Watch for the Star Wars: Battlefront teaser clip at the end of this Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, and make sure your annotations are on!
PS4 retakes hardware sales crown as both it and Xbox One continue to outsell predecessors
From the smouldering crater left by February's moonfall emerges new frontrunners to lead video game software sales in the U.S. for the month of March. According to NPD, Battlefield: Hardline and Bloodborne convincingly earned the top two spots in the monthly software top ten charts for U.S. retail sales. Many of February's top sellers have since fallen off the charts, though unsurprisingly most of the incumbents are multiplatform releases.
That said, March still witnessed a fine showing for platform exclusives like Bloodborne, MLB 15: The Show, and Mario Party 10. Square Enix's Final Fantasy: Type 0 HD barely breaking into the software top ten should also be a pleasant surprise for fans, considering the title isn't really a numbered flagship release in the series.
March 2014 (which saw the launch of Titanfall) may have been a tough act to follow even for March 2015's new titles, as monthly (physical) software sales would decrease 3 percent year-on-year to $395.4 million USD. That said, eighth-generation console (PS4, Xbox One, Wii U) software sales as a whole still managed to grow 58 percent compared to March 2014. U.S. retail sales for the gaming industry as a whole would fall 6 percent to $963.7 million.
The PS4 succeeded in reclaiming the crown for top-selling gaming machine of the month from the New Nintendo 3DS XL. NPD notes that both the PS4 and Xbox One continue to outsell their predecessors for the seventeenth month in a row. Unfortunately, total hardware sales dropped 21 percent year-on-year to $311.1 million last month, but this was attributed to the steep decline in sales for previous generation consoles (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii) as opposed to the current offerings.
|1.||Battlefield: Hardline||Electronic Arts||Xbox One / PS4 / Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC||03/2015|
|2.||Bloodborne||Sony Computer Entertainment||PS4||03/2015|
|3.||Grand Theft Auto V||Rockstar||PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360||11/2014|
|4.||Mario Party 10||Nintendo||Wii U||03/2015|
|5.||Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare||Activision||PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||11/2014|
|6.||MLB 15: The Show||Sony Computer Entertainment||PS4 / PS3 / Vita||03/2015|
|7.||Minecraft||4J Studios||PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||11/2014|
|8.||NBA 2K15||2K Games||PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||10/2014|
|9.||Borderlands: The Handsome Collection||2K Games||PS4 / Xbox One||03/2015|
|10.||Final Fantasy Type 0 HD||Square Enix||PS4 / Xbox One||03/2015|
As ever, Australian AAA development will rise again
Australia's largest game development studio has closed today, as 2K has confirmed that their offices in Canberra are no longer open. 2K Australia, popular developers of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Freedom Force, and Tribes: Vengeance, began as a sister studio for Irrational Games. Now, however, they'll be following their old partners into dissolution. All employees at 2K Australia will be laid off in the process.
Regarding why the studio is being closed, 2K references that costs of operating at the Canberra studio were too high to continue. A source in contact with Kotaku Australia says that the initial plan was to move the studio to Melbourne where costs would assumedly be lower. However, after a number of high-profile staff left the studio as a result of the planned move, 2K ultimately decided that the only option would be closure.
2K provided a statement regarding the studio's end:
"We can confirm we have taken steps to begin the studio closure process for 2K Australia in order to better manage ongoing development costs while improving the working proximity of our creative teams. We are very grateful for the team’s valuable contributions to numerous 2K projects, and are working with affected staff to explore reassignment opportunities where possible."
2K Australia began as Irrational Canberra in the year 2000, where it began work supporting Irrational Games on projects including Freedom Force, Tribes Vengeance and SWAT 4 for various publishers. After Irrational's acquisition by Take-Two Interactive in 2006, the studio was soon renamed to 2K Australia. Despite the name change, the studio would go on to support development of the original BioShock. From there their projects included BioShock 2, BioShock Infinite, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified and finally the first solo project -- their final project -- Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
Unfortunately 2K Australia will become another sad tale in Australian game development, one which includes the closure of studios including THQ Australia, Team Bondi, and Irrational Games. Let's start a Kickstarter in the hopes of Halfbrick Studios taking on new talent for a AAA, narrative-driven and cinematic Fruit Ninja.
As ever, we at Neoseeker wish the best to all of the talented developers from 2K Australia now looking for work. With luck, you'll each find a new home and project which continues to drive your passion for games within a short window of time.
Wednesday, Apr 15
Net Articles Summary
- Core X9 Review - Overclockers Club
- Fractal Design Define R5 Review (German) - Hardwareoverclock
- Roccat Tyon Review - ThinkComputers
- Intel Core i7-5930K vs i7-4960X Gaming-Performance - FullHD, 1440p, UHD - ocaholic
- InWin 904 Review - KitGuru
Activision confirmed that the latest Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's latest add-on pack, Ascendance, will be released for PlayStation consoles and PC on April 30. Per Call of Duty custom, this is about a month after the DLC's Xbox debut on March 31.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Ascendance adds four maps to the competitive multiplayer, all of which take in place in some new environment varying in size and tactics. "Perplex," for instance, takes place inside a modest apartment complex giving players a small-to-medium sized map to play around in. Construction drones continue changing the environment, creating new paths and cover. "Chop Shop" is a symmetrical map about medium-ish in size, and throws in an Advanced Repulsion Turret for players to contest. This powerful weapon radiates a microwave EMP that can turn the tide of a fight for the team in control.
- Perplex: Get vertical in Sydney as you fight to dominate this five-story modular apartment complex. Take the high ground or blast through the close-quarters interior in this small to medium sized map. Adapt your strategy mid-match when construction drones shift apartment modules, creating new routes and cover positions.
- Site 244: A spacecraft has crash landed, spilling its mysterious cargo under the shadow of Mt. Rushmore, USA. This medium to large three-lane map allows for any style of gameplay, focusing combat through the space ship's fuselage and around the debris-littered landscape. Use the map-based scorestreak to crack open an alien spore and instantly enhance your perks and exo abilities.
- Climate: Fight your way through a futuristic man-made utopia in this lush, climate-controlled enclosure. In this small to medium sized circular map, land and water routes channel frenetic combat around the central island structure. Watch your step when the river water changes from an asset into a deadly bubbling obstacle.
- Chop Shop: Think fast as you make your way through the black market exoskeleton industrial complex and engage in fast-paced shootouts in this medium sized, symmetrical map. Activate the map-based scorestreak to take control of an Advanced Repulsion Turret that radiates a deadly microwave EMP to help lock down key areas.
The new Infection chapter of exo zombies also accompanies Ascendance, following the story of the four (celebrity) Atlas employees in their desperate attempt to escape the ravenous hordes. To learn more, see the latest trailer for the DLC below, centered around the new exo zombies chapter.
You've all had enough time to play through Dying Light by now, and then some. So why not go back now that the developer tools have been released for the game's PC community? A recent trailer released by Techland showcases just how customizable the game becomes once you start playing around with the tools available.
Everything from the environment to character dialogue can be altered. Even objectives can be tweaked, and all your hard work can then be shared via the Steam Workshop. Sounds like plenty of fun, but if you're not sure where to get started, Techland also released a six-part tutorial on the feature. For those who'd rather not create their own content, the Workshop page does display what others have made.
Take a look at the trailer below to see what's being offered. To access the dev tools, just check your Steam Library.
Tekken, SNK, Tatsunoku, Namco and now Super Smash Bros.
A 3DS tinkerer on Reddit has uncovered something special for Super Smash Bros. fans to think about. While decrypting the code for the fighting game's latest patch, 1.05, several sound files were discovered which were previously not there. Some of these were tied to DLC characters Mewtwo and the recently revealed Lukas. In addition to these two DLC characters, two other unannounced characters also had sound files added: Ryu from Street Fighter and Fire Emblem's Super Smash Bros. veteran Roy.
Is it possible that Nintendo accidentally pushed some files tied to upcoming DLC releases? It certainly seems so. After the sound files were converted to something we could listen to outside of the game, it's hard to deny. The sound files are in fact victory tracks. As in, the songs that play when characters win a round of Super Smash Bros. The existence of these tracks implies that somewhere Nintendo is at least experimenting with making these characters playable.
I've got to flag this story as a hard rumor right now, however, as shinyquagsire23 is so far the only person able to verify the existence of the files. He is, however, confirmed to be a rather well known 3DS "tinkerer" and can be verified as such just by his Reddit comment history alone. Without some secondary sources though, I'd recommend maintaining some healthy skepticism.
Even should the decrypted data be verified from Super Smash Bros. 3DS' 1.05 patch, it's best to keep in mind that nothing is official until it comes directly from Nintendo or Capcom. That Ryu might be added to the game behind closed doors does not mean that he can't be cut and left on the development floor. Same with Roy. Maybe Nintendo will decide to rush out some DLC from the community vote, rather than these guys.
Now that we've covered our bases regarding how Ryu and Roy are just rumored characters -- how awesome would it be to get them? How crazy would that be? A Street Fighter character being added to Smash Bros. is a cross-over that I think everyone in video games can support. Not to say Roy isn't a great addition as well, but come on, he's no Ice Climbers. Hopefully we get some official confirmation from Nintendo or Capcom soon!
- Hoopa Unbound discovered in Pokemon Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby, mythical Pokemon's true form 
- Star Wars: Battlefront release date leaked in official site's source, battle begins November 17 
- League of Legends chroma packs headed to PBE, letting players customize their favorite champs 
- Star Wars: Battlefront debut trailer drops into the Battle of Endor, featuring in-engine footage 
- Rumor: Super Smash Bros. update 1.06 hides files for Street Fighter's Ryu and Fire Emblem's Roy 
- Project CARS dated for release once more after many delays, now expected to arrive May 6 
- The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited goes live, making TESO officially free to play 
- EA drops Star Wars: Battlefront teasers in the form of Stormtrooper armor, split into three parts