Monday, Aug 4
Microsoft will be releasing two new Xbox One bundles later this year, one of which will include a white Xbox One. As for the games, the first bundle coming out will include Madden NFL 15, and the other throws in Insomniac's Sunset Overdrive. Both titles have already shown a lot of promise.
The Madden 15 Xbox One bundle is expected to hit stores later this month, alongside the newest Madden on August 26. This will include a download code for the game and comes without a Kinect, resulting in a lower price of $399. That's actually the standard for a Kinect-less Xbox One, so the game it comes with is essentially free.
As for the Sunset Overdrive pack, that will most likely be available in late October, when the game is released exclusively for Xbox One. Thing is, the console bundled with Insomniac's upcoming open-world action adventure will be the new white Xbox One. Sunset will actually be out October 28, but no specific date for its bundle has been announced.
Talk about options. Keep an eye out for Madden NFL 15 this August 26 on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4. Sunset Overdrive lands October 28 for Xbox One in North America, then October 30 in Europe.
SEGA will be making an announcement related to a new Yakuza game this month, according to a very obvious teaser website. Come August 24, we will be hearing about the next chapter in the Yakuza franchise, and it won't just be another spin-off like Yakuza Restoration.
Not much is really known about the next Yakuza game at this point. The Ryū ga Gotoku site updated recently to advertise a "new title," and that specific page bears the August 24 date in Japanese, along with the iconic Yakuza dragon tattoo.
The Yakuza series has been a PlayStation staple since 2005, when it debuted on the PlayStation 2. We've seen plenty of games spawned from the franchise since then, including more than one spin-off. Neither Yakuza 5 or Yakuza Restoration ever made it outside Japan, however, so here's hoping the new game (whatever it ends up being) changes that.
Incidentally, this would put the announcement outside this year's gamescom show in Cologne and after the undoubtedly massive wave of other industry news we'll be hit with that particular week.
Subject 13 is one of those titles that's close to wrapping up development, but needs just a bit more help to get over that last hurdle. Today, that hurdle has been cleared as the game's $40,000 Kickstarter goal has been met with three days remaining. There's still three days remaining for interested gamers to invest, perhaps pushing the game up to its $60,000 Oculus Rift stretch goal, but either way Subject 13 will be coming to PC, Linux, Mac, iOS and Android in October later this year.
What I find most appealing about Subject 13 isn't anything that the game's promoters seem to be fixated on. It's not that Paul Cuisset of Flashback and Future Wars fame is working on the project, it's not the adventure landscape or the mysterious background either. Subject 13 is interesting to me because it reminds me a lot of Myst. An adult tone, a realistic world and a ton of random junk that turns into puzzles just for the sake of puzzles. It looks like a world to explore, without getting cartoony or too fantastical.
Subject 13 is planned for release in October later this year on PC, Linux, Mac, iOS and Android.
Creative folks in the world, now is our chance. Sumo Digital has put out a lovely new detail regarding the upcoming LittleBigPlanet 3's level editor. Creators are no longer subject to the limit of the previously-used thermometer -- in fact, the only restriction in place now is the amount of available memory in the hard drive.
Players now have a virtually limitless sandbox available to build their dreams in. Do you feel like recreating Super Mario 64 in its entirety? As long as the hard drive has space, that is now an option to everyone. Levels can now be stitched together infinitely, though whether this means the return of the Level Link found in LittleBigPlanet 2 and Vita is currently unclear.
Sackboy and friends Swoop, Toggle, and Oddsock will soon be able to have their own playgrounds without limits, something creators have been looking forward to since the first series installment on the PlayStation 3. Fortunately, it appears that this feature will be available on both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 with the two systems having complete cross-play compatibility between both versions of LittleBigPlanet 3.
I, for one, will make a level with an army of infinite Swoops that I've been dreaming of since the game was first announced. Perhaps I can build a Mega-Swoop. Either way, the possibilities are now truly limitless. Look forward to building and playing with LittleBigPlanet 3 on the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 starting on November 18th, 2014.
Looks like BioShock will be making a jump to mobile platforms. 2K Games today announced the very first BioShock, almost seven years old now, is headed to iOS as a "premium title." You could say this is BiOShock.
Anyway, BioShock iOS will feature fully-integrated touch controls, in addition to Made for iPhone controller support. I'm guessing most people will opt to use the former, on account of it doesn't cost extra. How well the touch controls will actually work with the first-person shooting mechanics will definitely be interesting to see, though.
This news was actually preceded by a teaser some weeks ago, when 2K released an image featuring the iconic Eve's Garden, showing a nude woman with a large apple bearing the words: "Come bite the Apple!" Truly well played, guys.
No solid release date or window was given for BioShock iOS, beyond a vague "coming soon." The game will be released to the App Store for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. In the meantime, check out some of the first screenshots below.
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Undead Labs, the developers of State of Decay, aren't the first studio I'd think of to create Pokemon-inspired mobile title. Yet it appears they're doing just that, as mobile, multiplayer, catch-the-beasties title Moonrise has now been announced. Undead Labs will be partnering with Kabam, a developer and publisher of free-to-play social titles, to create Moonrise for iOS and Android devices.
Moonrise's premise focuses on a world where the Solari, peaceful creatures of various shape and size, live in relative harmony with the people around them. Suddenly an event, once a common thing but now quite rare, occurs and transforms the Solari into corrupted Lunari -- this event is known as the Moonrise. Lunari are attacking towns and people, so it's up to "Wardens" to take to the road and cleanse said corruption.
Of course the player is a wannabe Warden and cleansing corruption is really just a way of saying that the player will capture these creatures and make them a part of their team. The description continues, saying that these recruited Solari can be "grown" and "evolved" which pretty much says everything, doesn't it? One dramatic departure from the Pokemon format, however, is that Moonrise will feature real-time battling. It's hard to tell just how fighting will come together, judging from the screenshots.
Moonrise will enter beta this fall, followed by a full release on iOS and Android devices in early 2015. Those going to PAX Prime will be able to check out a demo version of the game soon.
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Square Enix's upcoming RPG title, Bravely Second, has recently received quite a bit of new information, ranging from brand new screenshots to development details. As of now the game is nearly completed and the team is looking for new ways to expand the RPG's content.
Fans of the prequel get a good look at returning character Agnes in these new screens. However, she does not seem to be wearing any of the notable garb she might be known for from Bravely Default. These screens introduce players to Pope Agnes, the damsel-in-distress of Bravely Second, a major flip from her role as one of the key protagonists in the prequel. Worry not, however, as there is a new heroine to take her place -- Magnolia, the girl from the moon. Magnolia makes a few appearances in the screenshots in a variety of different jobs including Performer, Valkyrie, Red Mage, and Time Mage. On especially intriguing screenshot features a meeting between Agnes and Magnolia in the chapel.
On the gameplay and story sides of things, Bravely Second's writer and producer Tomoya Asano, has revealed plenty of new details regarding conceptual development and how the game improves in the sequel. Square Enix's goal for this particular title was to provide a "rescue the princess"-esque feel, and the princess in this case happens to be Agnes. Bravely Second also aims to focus more on exploration of the world of Luxendarc by adding in a number of new jobs that must be unlocked as the player continues his or her quest.
Fortunately, it appears that a Bravely Second demo is currently in the works for the Nintendo 3DS eShop. For those like me who have not yet tried out the prequel, a Bravely Default demo is currently available. Unfortunately, there is currently no word regarding a release date for Square Enix's upcoming RPG adventure either in Japan or North America. When the time comes players will be able to pick up Bravely Second exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS.
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Few video game characters can claim to be as iconic as Lara Croft, but that hasn't saved her from some pretty ill-fated reboots. In recent years, however, Crystal Dynamics managed to propel the tough-at-nails adventurer back into the spotlight with two successful yet drastically different revamps. Cue Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, a sequel of sorts to the 2010 action platformer Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.
Four years and a generation shift separate the two, but Temple of Osiris will feature much of the same puzzle-driven cooperative gameplay that made Guardian of Light so popular. This time, Lara is joined by a larger cast of allies, including some famous figures of Egyptian folklore. I was introduced to them just recently when given the opportunity to try Temple of Osiris with a few of my peers and Crystal Dynamics executive producer Scot Amos.
Now, for those of you who only remember the studio's 2013 Tomb Raider game, the Lara Croft series is a more classic rendition that retains a lot of what characterized the originals. This includes the character herself, who is still voiced by Keeley Hawes, and the gameplay style. While the Tomb Raider series is a new origin story for the character, Guardian of Light and Temple of Osiris stick closer to the franchise's roots.
So what happens in Temple of Osiris? Lara and the determined Carter Bell, a peer and rival whom Scot described as a "rising star" in archaeology, stumpled upon an Egyptian tomb abandoned to time. Once inside, they awaken Isis and Horus, wife and sun to Osiris, respectively. There's more to the actual mythos than that, but we'll overlook the more grotesque details in the interest of video game narratives. The two gods end up recruiting Lara and Carter in their timeless war against Set, god of the underworld and a well-known usurper.
The four-player co-op basically assigns everyone to an archaeologist or deity. The first player gets Lara, and the second takes the role of Isis in the interest of variety; third and fourth players get Carter and Horus. The two god characters are each equipped with a staff, allowing them to fire beams, create holds and trigger certain traps. Lara and Carter, as the mere mortals of the group, get grapple hooks and torches.
Of course, you're free to play the entire game solo as Lara, in which case she'll also have the staff, on top of her dual pistols, torch, bombs and grapple hook. Otherwise, these tools are spread across the playable characters, opening more avenues for cooperative play. Isis and Horus can use their magic staves to raise platforms or provide a boost to their allies, while Lara and Carter can throw out a grappling line to let others walk over (like a tightrope) deadly obstacles or pull their teammates to up walls.
Again, the cooperative content is totally optional, just like it was in Guardian of Light. The puzzles actually change depending on how many people are in a game, whether it's just Lara or the full team. When playing with a group, bear in mind that loot like trinkets and weapons go to whoever grabs them first. This is a mechanic I'm slightly concerned about, as someone who does a lot of matchmaking, but the flip side is that players can communicate with each other to decide who gets what, should there be any conflicts.
These aspects were all pointed out by Scot during our demo session, which ended with our four-person team falling victim several times to a chase involving traps and a giant, angry crocodile deity. None of the encounters felt particularly like boss encounters, but just before the demo wrapped up, we did glimpse a massive scarab monster, Khepri, crawling toward the heroes, hinting at the potential scale of the boss fights in Temple of Osiris.
All in all, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris looks to be quite the adventure, bringing back what we loved about Guardian of Light and more. No doubt we'll be seeing more before the game is finally out for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Follow Lydia on Twitter @RabidChinaGirl or check out her news and reviews every day here on Neoseeker.
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Sunday, Aug 3
Maybe the Honduran National Team to show off the physicality of tackles?
With the release of FIFA 15 later this year getting closer and closer EA Sports has dropped another gameplay trailer for the next installment in the franchise. The last time a trailer was released the focus was purely on the emotion and intensity of the game, but this time around EA is keen to show off the control and movement of the players in-game.
After the strong emphasis on the feel of the game with the last trailer it was nice to get a proper feel of the actual gameplay with this one. The trailer showcases a number of technically proficient stars such as Lionel Messi, Neymar, Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla in a bid to demonstrate the close control of FIFA 15. Clearly the game won’t handle the same using the likes of Marouane Fellaini.
As with most modern editions of FIFA the pursuit of realism is evident once again, offering more realistic player movements thanks to improvements to biomechanics of the players. Gamers will be able to maintain much closer control over the ball and more accurately reflect the real life players they are based upon. One prime example shown is that of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and how in-game he will now favour that magic left peg of his, just as he does the majority of the time in real life. This fits in well with the EA Sports philosophy of trying to reproduce the personality of the world’s best players in FIFA.
Improvements to the control system don’t just affect those in possession of the ball, however. There have also been changes made to how a defender uses their physicality. Players going in for a challenge can now use more life-like shoulder barges, shirt pulling and blocks on players to gain an advantage in winning back the ball. Successfully executed sliding challenges will also see the victorious defender gain close possession of the ball after the challenge, allowing them to quickly get back into the action.
FIFA 15 will be releasing September 23 in North America, September 25 in Europe and September 26 for the UK on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, Nintendo 3DS and even PS Vita.
Friday, Aug 1
Net Articles Summary
Call of Duty: Ghosts will be getting its final DLC release Nemesis next week, on August 5 for Xbox One and Xbox 360. In addition to four more maps where you can continue knifing fellow players, the Extinction narrative will be concluding with Episode 4: Exodus.
New screenshots offer a thorough showcase of the four new multiplayer maps descending next week, and they look really nice. Head underground with "Goldrush," and race through the abandoned mines using the old tracks and carts. Take a stroll through the scenic gardens of "Dynasty," another medium map that happens to take place in a peaceful Chinese garden. Probably won't remain that way for long, but know that it was, once upon a time, very serene.
Here is a full rundown of the new multiplayer settings, including the Modern Warfare inspired "Nemesis."
"Goldrush" is set in an abandoned gold mine in the Southwest United States, where an intricate network of cavernous tunnels and perilous shafts create the ideal setting for medium to long range combat; while two mine carts race along the abandoned tracks offering players a fast way to traverse the map. Players who complete the unique field order on Goldrush will unleash a howling pack of wolves that will descend upon their enemies.
"Subzero" drops players into a frigid Canadian submarine base that has been hastily evacuated, with control room, submarine pen and research facilities all left eerily empty. Built around the traditional three-lane design, this medium-sized map harbors a mysterious terror that will decimate your enemies upon completion of the map's unique field order.
In "Dynasty," players are transported to a lakeside Chinese village surrounded by picturesque mountains, vivid gardens, and spectacular architecture - a serene environment that is anything but Zen-like. Multiple pathways crisscross the village in this medium map with a variety of elevation and numerous back alleys that create flanking routes. The unique field order on "Dynasty" allows players to call in an air strike of vertical takeoff fighter jets, while one lingers behind to give you unmatched air superiority.
Nemesis cranks the frenetic multiplayer action to unprecedented levels with the fourth multiplayer map, "Showtime," a sadistic reimagining of the smallest map in Call of Duty® history, the fan favorite map from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare "Shipment." In the futuristic arena of "Showtime," blind corners and narrow pathways provide momentary reprieve from the outright mayhem within the central square comprised of several shipping containers. Tight confines call for shotguns and SMGs. Survive long enough to be rewarded with one of three killstreaks: lethal automated gun turrets at key locations on the map, an air drop with multiple care packages or a deadly gas attack that forces the action back into the center of the arena.
In addition to the new multiplayer content, the Nemesis pack also brings the fourth and final Extinction chapter, Exodus. After retrieving Dr. Cross and the Cortex, the team must fight off the Cryptid siege and recover some key personnel. All in a day's work, right? Well, good luck getting out of there.
The entire pack will be available for $14.99 when it's out next week, but if you already have the Call of Duty: Ghosts Season Pass, then it should be automatically unlocked.
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- Titanfall Xbox One bundle is officially discontinued, as Microsoft makes way for new bundles 
- New Witcher 3: Wild Hunt gameplay video spans a whole 35 minutes, more tough choices incoming 
- Neoseeker is giving away Guild Wars 2 Living Story t-shirts! 
- NHL 15 launch game modes revealed, Online Team Play and EA Sports Hockey League absent 
- No more delays, Wasteland 2 to be released on September 19 
- Mega Slowbro gets his own trailer, check out the wobbling critter in action 
- Epic Mickey 2's poor sales have led to the closure of Disney's Junction Point Studios 
- Tales of Xillia 2 hits shelves for PlayStation 3 offering bonuses for owning previous games in the series