Wednesday, Sep 24
Watch Dogs: Bad Blood is officially out today, continuing the story through the eyes of one Raymond "T-Bone" Kenney. You remember T-Bone, right? Well, now he has his own story campaign and a new trailer to celebrate.
The Bad Blood DLC basically picks up after the main campaign with Aiden, when T-Bone gets an ominous call from his former Blume colleague, Tobias Frewer, in a desperate bid for help. Being the nice guy that he is, our bearded hero goes to his buddy's aid, only to wind up in some deep trouble himself. Hey, we already know Tobias isn't being upfront, and this is what happens when you decide to help shady people.
Bad Blood also unlocks access to Street Sweep contracts, a "dynamic new system" of side missions playable solo or cooperatively. Hacking and Trailing modes, as well as the ctOS mobile companion app, are fully playable with T-Bone.
The DLC is available now for Watch Dogs Season Pass holders and on Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC. The Xbox 360 version is "coming soon," while anyone who doesn't own the Season Pass can pick up Bad Blood starting September 30.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 'Power Changes Everything' trailer is almost 3 minutes of gameplay bits
Get an early dose of all the high-adrenaline action
A new Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare trailer released today, dubbed "Power Changes Everything," effectively captures the Call of Duty spirit better than any video we've seen so far. The action-heavy montage of gameplay snippets visits both single-player and multiplayer, highlighting all the non-stop gunfights and fancy sci-fi gadgets. After all, this is an advanced war 'Murica is fighting.
If Call of Duty is known for anything now that sets it apart from other FPS games, it's the series' action movie feel. That's made exceptionally clear in the new trailer as well, which is essentially almost three-minutes of gameplay footage. Might be more accurate to say that better technology and gear change everything, however, since that honestly seems to be the point, given how prevalent the new exoskeleton is in all parts of Advanced Warfare.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will be out November 4 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC. Pre-ordering now (from certain retailers) will get you the Day Zero Edition and grant 24-hour early access to the multiplayer.
Tuesday, Sep 23
New Inhouse Articles
Noctua's redux and industrialPPC fan packaging options aim to deliver performance and lower noise levels for a wide range of applications.
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The Titanfall: IMC Rising map pack will be out very soon, Respawn revealed today. The DLC will actually be released two days from now, on September 25, first for Xbox One and PC. Until then, there's a new gameplay trailer to get us acquainted with the three new maps.
These new playgrounds are dubbed Backwater, Zone 18 and Sandtrap. All three get a bit of the spotlight in the new trailer, which provides an in-depth look and a little backstory for each map. Zone 18, for instance, gets its rather uncreative name from the IMC not knowing what to call the area, then never giving it anything better than a placeholder. True story.
Bear in mind that the IMC Rising DLC will be priced at $9.99 for anyone interested in grabbing it. If you actually got the Season Pass, the upcoming add-on will be unlocked automatically without any additional charge.
Check out the trailer below, and remember to log in this Thursday for the update. The Xbox 360 version should be out in the weeks following.
Nintendo of Europe announced a special edition handheld for our friends across the pond today, in the form of new translucent Nintendo 2DS consoles, complete with a clear red or clear blue case design and Pokémon Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire pre-installed. These probably are not the sweet Kyogre and Groudon 3DS consoles that everyone was looking forward to, but the cute, ergonomic handhelds do bring about a wave of nostalgia that may even match the Hoenn remakes themselves. Don't worry, they'll be available separately, unbundled as well.
All good news must have a bad counterpart, much to worldwide chagrin. For the time being, the special edition Nintendo 2DS systems will only be available across the European market, which means I won't experience the same feeling I got when playing with my transparent GameBoy Color. All of the machinery inside fascinated young children, and it looks like that's one of Nintendo's design goals with this one; after all, the console on its own looks a little rough.
For the few Nintendo fans who don't enjoy Pokémon as much as others, or anyone just can't wait to get their hands on them, the clear-cased consoles will be sold separately without the game starting on November 7 in Europe. Versions that come with Pokémon Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire pre-installed will be available on November 28. No details have been announced yet regarding pricing.
Blizzard cancels 'Titan' development, no MMO plans beyond World of Warcraft in the forseeable future
World of Warcraft though, that's going to live forever
A Titan has fallen today as Blizzard has revealed that their 7 years in the making MMO has been officially canceled. CEO Mike Morhaime today admitted that the relatively recent announcement that Blizzard would be taking Titan back to the drawing board was actually the company reevaluating the project entirely. The results, of course, are now apparent.
Why would Blizzard cancel a project seven years in the making? Fans may never know the true reasons, but Mohaime -- reflective of their statements after Starcraft Ghost's cancelation -- stated it simply didn't meet their expectations:
We had created World of Warcraft, and we felt really confident that we knew how to make MMOs. So we set out to make the most ambitious thing that you could possibly imagine. And it didn't come together. We didn't find the fun. We didn't find the passion. We talked about how we put it through a reevaluation period, and actually, what we reevaluated is whether that's the game we really wanted to be making. The answer is no."
The decision, however, was not made easily, as Blizzard VP Chris Metzen makes clear. At the same time, he acknowledges that Titan's cancelation was the right choice:
"It's always really, really hard to make those kind of decisions. It was hard when we canceled Warcraft Adventures. It was hard when we canceled StarCraft Ghost. But it has always resulted in better-quality work. The discipline of knowing when to quit is important. We were losing perspective and getting lost in the weeds a little. We had to allow ourselves to take that step back and reassess why the hell we were doing that thing in the first place."
When Metzen mentions "getting lost in the weeds" he's likely implying a much more complicated situation going on at Blizzard. Further comments make it seems like Blizzards MMO focus was actually creating an unproductive environment within the company. Was the idea of following up World of Warcraft with something bigger pushing the company in a direction that was worse for them overall? "Are we the MMORPG company?" Morhaime would finish his thoughts with.
The end result is not only Titan's cancelation, but also the acknowledgement that Blizzard has no current plans for another MMO beyond World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft's future is safe, as Metzen says he hopes they game continues to be supported "forever." Will the company eventually change their mind and return to MMO development? Morhaime won't say never:
"I wouldn't say no to ever doing an MMO again. But I can say that right now, that's not where we want to be spending our time."
A Titan has fallen, but knowing Blizzard, Morhaime and Metzen, they're already planning what sort of Abomination can be made from its corpse. In less Forsaken terms, we can all be sure Blizzard's next project is already in the works.
Developers stress "there's nothing different" between consoles
City Interactive's upcoming hardcore RPG Lords of the Fallen will apparently run at 1080p on PlayStation 4, but at 900p for Xbox One. This little tidbit came directly from creative director Tomasz Gop, though he's also assuring everyone that the two console versions will be "pretty much similar."
In a recent interview, Gop brings up the resolution difference when discussing the Xbox One and PS4 versions. He also stressed, however, that this doesn't make any one version better than the other, and both will be fairly similar. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find any other notable inconsistencies.
Gop mentions that "probably the resolution [on Xbox One] is like 900p instead of 1080p on PlayStation 4. But apart from that there's nothing different I would say." The developers simply dicovered that hitting the 1080p mark on Xbox One was "slightly tougher."
Seeing as how Lords of the Fallen isn't actually out yet, some eager fans might be hoping for a resolution bump prior to release. Unfortunately, because development is so close to wrapping up, such an expectation just isn't feasible. According to Gop:
"It's really, really close [to completion]. Pretty much the only thing that we're doing is last minute fixes, but we've already been certified. We're already past the US certification for PlayStation."
Lords of the Fallen will be released for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on October 31. We're going to assume the PC version is doing perfectly fine, with a fanbase that can hardly wait to die over and over again.
Update Now set for September 30 in North America, Europe
Update: Bandai Namco confirmed this morning that the upcoming Dark Souls 2 DLC Crown of the Ivory King will be out September 30 in North America, as well. This date applies to PC, Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network.
Original (9/22): The third installment of the Dark Souls 2: The Lost Crowns DLC trilogy, Crown of the Ivory King, will be waiting an extra week before it's available in Europe. Originally slated to arrive September 24, the add-on has instead been rescheduled for September 30 and October 1, on PC and consoles.
News of the delay comes from Bandai Namco Europe, who announced the minor delay earlier today. The DLC will still be coming out September 24 in North America, as far as we're aware, but if you're located in Europe, then that's an additional six to seven days of wait time. Crown of the Ivory King will be going to Steam for PC and Xbox LIVE on September 30 and then to the PlayStation Network on October 1.
Screenshots for the Ivory King chapter were released last week during Tokyo Game Show, and depict a lot of ice and snow. Better bring a warm coat and your favorite weapon.
The Long Dark has a new gameplay walkthrough "A Good Day to Die" today, from developer Hinterland, showing off the open Sandbox Mode. The trailer features a good six minutes of gameplay footage, in which a female survivor is seen exploring a post-apocalyptic winter wonderland rife with dangers and threat of death.
This particular survivor "persona" is actually voiced by Jennifer Hale, whose involvement with The Long Dark has been advertised rather extensively. Not surprisingly, she sounds pretty terrified for most of the video. Just about everything in the frigid mountains can end up killing you, whether we're talking about wild dogs or just really bad weather. Survival is key, and figuring out how is the name of the game.
The Sandbox Mode is currently available on Steam as a sort of early access before the Story Mode goes live. For $19.99, you'll immediately unlock the non-narrative game mode, plus all of Season One once The Long Dark kicks off Story Mode.
As of Tuesday morning, Destiny players will find a new NPC in the Tower on Earth, named the Queen's Emissary. That's right, The Queen's Wrath event has gone live, and it will remain active until October 4, giving Guardians a chance at some unique loot. Most of it's purple.
The event essentially adds a new reputation track and bounties, which aren't much different from the typical Vanguard variety. To find the Queen's Emissary and check out what sorts of rewards can be purchased after gaining the Queen's Favor, just head up the stairs behind the bounties NPC. An area previously closed off will now be open, and the Emissary is standing in the way back underneath her ship, where she offers some class items, shaders (Let us preview shaders, Bungie!) and rare weapons.
Here are the Queen's Favor bounties:
- HER WILLFUL GAZE
- +100 QF +5000xp | Defeat 20 Guardians with Scout Rifle headshots
- BY THY HAND
- +50 QF +2500xp | Defeat 20 Guardians with Hand Cannon headshots
- RELIC HARVEST – FALLEN
- +50 QF +2500xp | Collect 200 Ether drops from fallen
- EXTERMINATION PROTOCOL
- +100 QF +5000xp | Defeat 200 Fallen with Headshots
- ARCHON SLAYER
- +100 QF +5000xp | Defeat Riksis in the mission Restoration on Earth
- LAST DAYS OF WINTER
- +100 QF +5000xp | Defeat Draksis in the Scourge of Winter on Venus
The Queen of the Reef was first introduced during the main campaign, when the player goes to the Reef and seeks guidance from the Awoken. In all honesty, the Queen and her brother weren't very nice people, but the Awoken do seem to have some interesting history behind them that might explain what their sovereign's deal is. Idling near the Emissary also provides more insight into the Awoken's general blasé attitude toward the greater galaxy.
Remember that you've got until October 4 to earn any goodies you might want from the special vendor.
Monday, Sep 22
New Inhouse Articles
The Gigabyte R7 250X OC offers great gaming performance and features for $100.
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Man, and I was hoping for Zombie George Washington Returns DLC
Assassin's Creed Unity is about a month and a half away from its November 11 launch in North America. Pre-release hype is growing to mass capacity and veteran gamers should know what that means in our modern era -- Season Pass announcement time. At least there's no competitive multiplayer packs in this one! Unity's Season Pass will package together story DLC, additional missions, and even an entire spin-off game set in China. No pricing details have yet been revealed.
As ever, there will be a mix of content types with Assassin's Creed Unity's Season Pass. As such, it's likely that everyone will want to look at each piece of the pack and weigh whether it's worth picking up the full Season Pass as opposed to just one or two pieces individually. Here are the three DLC packs included in the Season Pass:
- Assassin's Creed Unity Dead Kings - A story campaign DLC that takes place after the ending of Assassin's Creed Unity. Described as "the darkest story" explored in the Assassin's Creed franchise, Dead Kings takes players to the rural city of Saint Denis where France's royalty has been traditionally buried. Secrets lie buried here as well. A self-contained story that unlocks weapons, gear, skills and outfits that can carry over to the main game.
- Assassin's Creed Unity Missions, Weapons, and Outfits - Additional content added to the main Assassin's Creed Unity setting in Paris. The three missions are titled The American Prisoner, Killed by Science and The Chemical Revolution. Includes "over 30" new weapons, outfits and equipment on launch day.
- Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China - An all new spin-off title which takes the Assassin's Creed franchise in a 2.5D direction. The side-view standalone game is developed by Climax Studios, not Ubisoft, and takes place in 16th century China. Players take on the role of Shao Jun, a pupil of Ezio Auditore, as she acts out her revenge using stealth and action. Shao Jun first appeared in Assassin's Creed: Embers, a CG short that was released with Assassin's Creed Revelations in 2011, during which the woman (on the run, then) sought out Ezio and beseeched him to train her.
The Season Pass is described to incude over 8 hours of content and pre-ordering the DLC will unlock an exclusive weapon, the War Axe. And while pricing has not yet been announced, the total cost for purchasing the Season Pass will be 30% cheaper than purchasing each piece of DLC individually.
I'm actually really interested in both the Dead Kings DLC and Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China. The dark nature of the former and the stylized 2D f the latter are great directions for the franchise and I'm glad they're able to be explored as DLC. However, mixing in the third part of the Season Pass, the outfits, weapons, and missions, is extraneous and is only there to justify the price. Basically, everyone's paying for the other two pieces of DLC and getting the other content free. It's not really much of a deal in that regard.
Assassin's Creed Unity launches on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC starting November 11. Well, that is unless the PC version is delayed as Ubisoft loves to do. Both the game and its Season Pass are likely available for pre-order right now.
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