Tuesday, Jul 8
Humble Bundle has partnered with another willing game publisher to create a dream bundle. 2K Games is sharing their library with all, bringing out all three BioShock titles, as well as a few random games they had stuffed in the closet. There's a bit of Darkness, some Mafia, and then a Spec Ops: The Line, that have been brought up to get some air. Unfortunately there's a "Pay $20 or more" requirement locking off some games and raising the average artificially, but overall it's still a great deal.
Keep in mind that purchasers can decide whether any or all of the money they're paying goes to the publisher or to charity, so in that regard every dollar can be considered well-spent. Humble Bundle typically likes to to make games DRM free as well, and even on Linux and Mac, but in this case only the original BioShock is DRM free and only a few will work on Mac. None work on Linux.
Here's the full line-up of 2K games available in the Humble Bundle, organized into its different pay levels:
Pay What You Want
- The Beureau: XCOM Declassified
- The Darkness II
Beat the Average
- BioShock 2
- Mafia II
- Spec Ops: The Line
- More to come...
Pay $20 or More
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown
- BioShock Infinite
Like I said earlier, it's a bit frustrating that both XCOM and BioShock Infinite are locked behind the $20 or more pay wall. Considering both titles are found quite often at sales prices which are a fraction of that, not to mention XCOM has been rereleased with expanded content, this part of the bundle feels less like a sale and more like a way to drive up the average. Still, $20 for eight amazing games, the cost of which can all go to charity, is nothing worth staying disappointed over.
I enjoyed every single one of these games, though Mafia II is nothing in comparison to the first game in the franchise. Maybe that first game will pop up as an extra title down the line? The average is currently sitting around $6, so check this bundle out if you haven't dabbled in BioShock yet.
Damn, Fortnite, where have you been? It feels like Fortnite was announced ages ago, which might be because Fortnight was announced almost three years ago and also I am impatient. On top of that, the game was last shown in a substantial form years ago, it seems. If it wasn't due to Epic Games' constant reassurances, one might think Fortnite was canceled. Not so, as Epic Games has popped out of the ground, seen no shadow, and released a bunch of new Fortnite media.
In the trailer and eight screenshots released, we see that Fortnite seems to have come a long way since that last time it was shown. Character and environmental animations are tight, building smoothly off of gameplay actions. Seeing builders start walls and windows all while each individual piece builds automatically is quite brilliant. The characters themselves are clearly identifiable and scream personality now too, in stark contrast to the relative mundanity they shared previously.
Perhaps most significant, however, is that the gameplay trailer we have actually seems to show the full game being played. Sure, only flashes of different bits are being shown for better consumption, but the gameplay itself doesn't feel faked or choreographed. It looks like folk having fun playing Fortnight. That, more than anything, appeals to my sensibilities. Next comes letting me play it directly, please.
Fortnight seems to now be tentatively planned for release in 2015, as opposed to the previous 2014 release window. It was noted that players will begin to gain access to the game in 2014, likely as part of a beta, with more to come in 2015. Keep in mind that Fortnite is a free-to-play game, so standard retail release requirements won't be necessary. It'll go alph and then beta when it pleases. Speaking of which, everyone can register for the alpha on the official Fortnite page right now.
Click here to see more images
Cliff Bleszinski, Mr. Cliffy B himself, is back. His well-covered retirement from the industry came hand-in-hand with the current coma the Gears of Wars franchise has entered. The end of his retirement and reentry into the industry has long been expected. Where Cliff goes, hype follows. Last week came the leak that his studio is named BossKey, but today... today came the official announcement of BossKey's first game. Introducing BlueStreak.
BlueStreak will be a first-person arena shooter for the PC. For those young'uns who might not know what an arena shooter is, think Quake and Unreal Tournament. Ubisoft's ShootMania Storm is a great recent example (pour one out for ShootMania Storm, shooters). Knowing Cliff's style I think it's safe to say BlueStreak will be an intense, visceral experience, but having heard some of his concerns over Gears of War it may avoid the bro-tastic meat-head themes of the past.
Also notable is the fact that Nexon will be publishing BlueStreak, in addition to having a minority stake in Boss Key itself. Nexon's known for publishing and supporting free-to-play titles, including upcoming titles like MapleStory 2 and Dirty Bomb. Dirty Bomb coincidentally also being a free-to-play FPS, though more of a team-based shooter rather than arena style. Nevertheless, while Nexon is well known for their free-to-play titles, they're also known for quickly closing down games that don't find success.
I'm rambling a tad, because there's actually little to no information on BlueStreak released as of yet. Cliff and Boss Key both made the announcement today via Twitter, but nothing more. Some of the developers working on the project will be revealed shortly, and Cliff says he'll do a Q&A tomorrow around 5:30 EDT. In the mean time, the reveal itself will have to do. Cliff even said not to expect a, "fake CG trailer showing 'Gameplay' because that's not how @bosskey does it."
In the mean time, I think we can all rest a little easier knowing Cliff Bleszinski is back in the saddle and making games again. BlueStreak will certainly have its audience, and knowing Cliff he'll only hype it up all the more. BlueStreak is a free-to-play PC arena shooter with no announced release window. Expect to hear more soon.
Gearbox Software pulled a surprise, post-E3 announcement out of their hats today with the reveal of Battleborn. From the teams that put together Borderlands 2 and probably all of Gearbox's other junk too, Battleborn is a first-person shooter battle arena set in a space opera setting -- think Star Wars-style fantasy. Five heroes versus five heroes in what looks to be a Dota 2 type of good vs. evil scenario. And of course, it just reeks of that amazing Gearbox personality.
That's not all! Come on down! Battleborn isn't just a battle-arena game, it's also a co-op shooter, including what Gearbox's zany floating head Randy Pitchford describes as a, "hobby-grade co-op campaign." I'm not entirely sure what that means, but it sounds like a great supplementary experience to the multiplayer mode... or is it modes?
What's been revealed about the multiplayer is pretty standard for the MOBA genre these days. Front and center in the discussion is the term "eSports" which these days is meant to thrilling moment to moment gameplay with a strategic layer meta. Basically, it means it's fun to watch and fun to follow in addition to being fun to play. Exactly what sort of features Gearbox plans to implement to supplement the eSports claim, such as spectator mode, replays and soon, is yet to be revealed.
What's most striking about Battleborn is of course its style and personality, a very Gearbox focus for the game considering the developers past with the visually outstanding Borderlands series. At first it might be easy to call out Battleborn as aping Dota 2's visual style, only in space, considering the main hero featured in the trailer looks a lot like Windrunner in Samus' Zero Suit. The more that's shown, the easier it is to see Battleborn is making its own identity. I see themes of Star Wars' Jedi, Hellboy's clockwork Nazi, steampunk, Warcraft, and that's not even beginning to analyze the evil side either. Until actual gameplay is shown, it will be difficult to make any sort of controversial claim.
I will say that, personally, I'm already digging the style of Battleborn. It's not just that I love future-based fantasy settings, which I do, it's that every character shown isn't just a pile of tropes. Sure, some of them have obvious character design inspirations, but they're each particularly unique in many regards as well. Even dual-saber Jedi dude, who is just such a freaking Jedi, looks completely different than expected. Plus, man, it means so much that all off the women shown (I think there are three revealed so far) aren't sexualized beyond all reason. I've seen zero boob windows so far. God bless you, Gearbox.
Battleborn is, unfortunately, planned for as late as a 2016 release. However, as with all battle arena style games, I think it's safe to say that a lengthy beta will be taking place. That beta could, potentially, start any time between now and that eventual 2016 launch. Oh, and cheer up console gamers, Battleborn is announced for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Note: Game Informer had the initial announcement for Battleborn with their monthly cover reveal, and will be featuring new Battleborn content announcements throughout the week. I'll post the cover here, because it's all sorts of badass, and source their Battleborn hub so everyone can keep track.
Click here to see more images
Titanfall heads to the Frontier’s Edge, second map DLC includes Dig Site, Export and Haven's beaches
So it was just the middle of the frontier up till this point?
The second of three planned Titanfall DLC content packs has been announced by Respawn Entertainment today. Named "Frontier’s Edge" the pack is a follow-up to the previous "Expedition" map pack and is said to be, "Pushing the battle to the furthest reaches of the universe." Just like the second pack, Frontier's Edge will also feature three brand new maps.
Frontier’s Edge sees three new maps added to the current roster of eighteen. At this stage little is known beyond the names of the maps and a brief tidbit about each one, but they're exciting all the same. Two of the maps would appear to be thematically similar on first look, with Dig Site and Export being based in a mining outpost and mining hub respectively. Export, however, is set on the side of mountain and that sounds like all kinds of Titan stomping fun to me. The third map is named Haven and apparently takes place on an exclusive beach resort. Here’s hoping it’s in considerably better shape than Fracture's crumbled wealthy neighborhoods.
The new map pack could even bring out the best of the recent changes to Titanfall brought in by Update 4. Update 4 saw the addition of two new games modes, Marked For Death and Wingman Last Titan Standing, along with new features such as Titan burn cards.
The standalone price for the Frontier’s Edge DLC is $9.99, or your regional equivalent, but is also included in the Titanfall Season Pass. Anyone who purchased the Season Pass will be able to download the DLC as soon as it becomes available without the need to pay any overhead. Currently there's no announced release date for Frontier’s Edge, but more details will no doubt be revealed in the near future. I’m hoping that in the run up to its release there will be detailed breakdowns of each map contained within the pack, as was done for the Swamplands, Runoff and War Games maps in the Expedition DLC.
Everyone clear their schedule for the next couple of weeks
It all starts here. Dota 2's world championship, The International 2014, begins in earnest today. While the group stages of the 16-team tournament won't begin until tomorrow, today marks the start of the event's wildcard playoff. There's a single spot remaining on the 16-team docket and four qualifying teams will have to battle it out to until only one remains. Virtus.Pro, MVP, CIS Game and Liquid have each earned second place in their respective regional qualifiers, but for three teams the path to greatness ends here.
Running consequently with the wildcard playoff will be The International's Solo Tournament. It's a one versus one tournament featuring eight of the best carries and semi-carries in Dota 2. What happens when their teams are stripped away from them and they're forced to rely solely on their creep waves and a bottle? Sound like the premise of a very depressing film, but in practice it means great fun.
Of course, all of The International 2014 is livestreamed for free via multiple means. The games can be watched in-client via Dota 2, on Dota2.com, or via Valve's Dota 2 Twitch channel. Those are the outlets, but Valve has stepped up its game with regards to how everyone watches in terms of presentation too. This year Valve has added a few different things. First is a noobs stream, which helps new players pick up on the complexities of the game. Second is a multi-cast stream which will displace all ongoing games at the same time, never losing a second of wonderful International gameplay. Finally, every single game will be available on the Dota 2 website, organized into spoiler-free videos on demand. It's like Valve knows what it's doing or something!
Let's go over the teams that will be playing today and the brackets they'll be facing. Starting off will be the wildcard playoffs:
- CIS Game
There are the two matchups to start the day off. Each matchup will play a best of three, including the final between the winners of the above matchups. That means we could have as few as six games or as many as nine.
Next up is the 1v1 line-up, which as of right now I'm not certain is best of three or just single elimination. Either way, here are the brackets:
- Dendi - Natus Vincere
- Arteezy - Evil Geniuses
- s4 - Alliance
- iceiceice - DK
- fy - Vici Gaming
- Resolution - Empire
- Mushi - DK
- Ferrari_430 - Invictus Gaming
Two DK members tells you a little about how well-respected that team is, yeah?
Let's stop rambling here, because the first match in the wildcard playoffs has begun! Everyone have a great The International and expect more news here from Neoseeker as the tournament progresses round by round. Make sure to find the livestream with your favorite commentator. Personally, I enjoy Tobi, because he's awkward as heck, but calls the in-game action better than anyone. Ah, the professionalism when $10 million is on the line.
Click here to see more images
Monday, Jul 7
Net Articles Summary
Insomniac Games recently released the opening cinematic for their new Xbox One exclusive title, Sunset Overdrive. Before players get a shot at the game, the opening cinematic should serve to paint a picture of where exactly the story comes from. Oh, and for those who have watched the E3 trailer multiple times like myself, the giant balloon mascot returns to dance on stage with less helium.
The story opens itself up with an overhead view of Sunset City, the main setting of the game, during a gathering to celebrate the release of a new energy drink known as Overcharge. Attendees dance on through the night, while we are introduced to a young man working to clean the massive numbers of drink cans laying around. As the hip-happening party comes to a close, the cleaning boy is assaulted by someone at the party, someone who happened to drink Overcharge. The man mutates and, along with others who took a swig of the mysterious drink, chases down the hero first introduced at E3.
The trailer comes to a close as the town goes up in fire, spelling out the word "Apocalypse". Unfortunately, it doesn't look like balloon buddy will be here to help, but he does look spunky and cute floating up in the sky. Players will have the opportunity to explore Sunset City soon, but bear in mind that your job in the town is to remove the mutant threat and protect those who want to take you out. It's a rough life being a hero, but at least the world's become your playground -- and you can be any sort of hero you want.
Insomniac Games's Sunset Overdrive will be available on Microsoft's Xbox One console starting October 28, 2014 in North America.
343 Industries today released a Halo: The Master Chief Collection trailer that actually debuted last month at E3, and focuses on everyone's favorite Elite, the Arbiter.
The Master Chief Collection will be out this November, a year in advance of 343's highly-anticipated Halo 5: Guardians. That actually creates the perfect opportunity for developers to drop as many teasers they feel comfortable with. Like with Combat Evolved Anniversary and the optional terminal content teasing Halo 4 events, the terminals in The Master Chief Collection will uncover some of Arbiter's story, and hint at things to come next year in Halo 5. All in all, a pretty good reason for Halo fans to get in on the action, and 343 are proud of what they've done here, for their faithful followers.
Check out the trailer below, and remember to snag The Master Chief Collection November 11 for Xbox One. The bundle includes Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4, the first two being their anniversary versions. Multiplayer will also encompass the maps from all four games.
Let's be frank, it's a romance simulator dressed as an RPG
Our third NIS America localization of the day, also a Nippon Ichi Software developed title, is The Awakened Fate Paradox. While not perhaps a direct sequel to The Guided Fate Paradox, The Awakened Fate Paradox will be similar in many ways. Expect a tactical RPG with dungeon crawling elements, where the focus is less the gameplay than the romance options and scenarios that grow out of conversation choices.
With that said, let me introduce everyone to The Awakened Fate Paradox's premise. In an ongoing war between good and evil, evil is getting an advantage. Good then decides to create a weapon that creates a "God" of sorts. However, the angels can only use it on a human. When a human boy has an accident on Earth, the angels pluck him up and turn him into their would be god.
Then The Awakened Fate Paradox get's super anime. Like any new god, it will take time to learn one's powers. Lucky for our protagonist two very pretty anime ladies of polar opposite personalities are tasked with helping the hero along the way. Siding with either of the ladies will lead to difference scenarios, and of course an eventual relationship with the lady of choice. Japanese RPGs these days, right?
The Awakened Fate Paradox is a PlayStation 3 exclusive title that's planned for release in both North America and Europe starting in 2015. Expect more information on this and NIS America's other upcoming localizations in the weeks and months ahead. Catch the Japanese announcement trailer below, though a lot is lost in translation beyond the character art and the obvious air for drama.
Here we have NIS America's second Anime Expo announcement. Criminal Girls: Invite Only is an updated and expanded version of the Japanese PSP title from 2010, planned for release in North America and Europe in 2015. It's an RPG featuring seven ladies, criminals whose souls have been damned to a life of imprisonment in hell. Also, it's a huge pervert game. Oh, NIS America...
Let me just read you this one line from NIS America's announcement press release, in which they say that one of Criminal Girls: Invite Only's main features is "Touching Gameplay."
"Connect with the girls, and uncover each of their unique personalities through one-on-one motivational sessions with a unique use of the front touchscreen and rear touchpad, and fulfill the girls’ special requests to discover more about their interesting, and often dark pasts."
Aha, yeah, there goes NIS trying to either hide or glaze over that a good portion of this games takes place on a bed, with the seven sinful ladies in vulnerable positions. Just look at the logo, people. It's filled with hearts and handcuffs. "On-on-one motivational sessions" indeed. You're not fooling anyone, NIS America! To add to that, it's likely that some stuff will be censored, as a result of western laws against sexual depictions of young people.
Anyway, "motivating" the girls will unlock their spells, skill, and stats, making them stronger in battle. Thus, it's a core component in putting a team together and progressing through the game. Maybe NIS America will release a trailer down the road showing off how, err, power leveling works. Judging from how they've dealt with potentially offensive content in the past, however, I wouldn't count on it.
Criminal Girls: Invite Only is a PS Vita title that's planned for release in North America and Europe in 2015. The extra content that will come with the PS Vita release includes two new playable characters, extra scenarios, and updated artwork and effects. Again, NIS America has already stated that some content will be censored. Don't expect the game to get too hot and heavy.
- Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire's goes Animal crossing, expands 'Secret Base' feature 
- Watch the epic new Dragon Age: Inquisition trailer, just don't expect any character reveals 
- BioWare showcases Josephine, new Dragon Age: Inquisition character romanceable by any gender 
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare behind-the-scenes trailer shows us what the future sounds like 
- Nintendo DS and Wii 'Wi-Fi Connection Service' discontinuation May 20, end of online play 
- Hearthstone expansion Curse of Naxxramas' final pricing and access details revealed 
- The Wolf Among Us - Episode 5: Cry Wolf is out, time to marathon livestream Season 1 
- Humble 2K Bundle brings out all the BioShocks, with a healthy share of XCOM, Darkness and Mafia too 
- Nintendo Direct at E3 2014 Live Blog: Which Nintendo franchise has earned the golden ticket? 
- Tropes vs Women in Video Games series talks violence against women in new episode 
- Pac-Man launches an old school attack on Super Smash Bros. to sate his hunger 
- Palutena crushes your Mii (and everyone else) beneath her heel in Super Smash Bros. 
- Neoseeker's E3 2014 Award Nominations: Trimming down 13 categories to just a few games 
- The Internet with Rory and Lydia: E3 2014's Thursday Wrap-Up, Smash Bros, Far Cry, Fable