Wednesday, Jul 9
Lords of the Fallen will officially be coming out in time for Halloween, on October 28. Brace yourselves, because this isn't a dungeon crawler for the faint of heart. Expect to die many, many times.
Set in an old monastery, Lords of the Fallen places players in the shoes of Harkyn, an anti-hero of sorts sent to investigate some evil goings-on at said monastery. While the character isn't customizable, how he's played is left up to you. Armor, weapons and a limited number of spells can be mixed and matched, equipped in a number of different ways to suit your play style.
Having the option to essentially create your own way to play is always nice, but in Lords of the Fallen, it's absolutely necessary to survival. One of the game's biggest draws is the absurdly high difficulty, which dictates that every enemy and encounter must be approached in a strategic manner. This isn't just a hack-and-slash, but a gauntlet of pain, frustration, and the satisfaction that comes with each hard-won victory.
Lords of the Fallen will come out for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on October 28 in the US, and October 31 in Europe.
Destiny trailer goes unboxes $150 Ghost Edition, Bungie details special collector's edition contents
Bungie announced three several versions of Destiny just yesterday, but why not follow up with a trailer? In an official "reveal" video for the $150 Ghost Edition, Bungie developers go through some of the bonuses featured in what is essentially Destiny's collector's edition, like the Ghost replica and extra downloadable content.
As the most expensive of the three Destiny varieties, Ghost Edition's big draw is the little statue of Ghost, your AI companion in the game. Yes, the figure is actually pretty small, but it also lights up and speaks in the voice of actor Peter Dinklage. Hey, the devs seem pretty impressed with the little guy, and he does seem like a nice companion to have in the actual game; stands to reason he'd make a fun collectible.
Another item worth looking at is the Arms and Armament Field Guide, a book that's supposedly written by Guardians for Guardians, giving you every bit of important information you'll need to survive. Items from the "Golden Age," when humanity still thrived without the threat of extinction, might also make lore fans and collectors happy. For anyone who wants more DLC, you'll be getting that too with Expansions I and II.
Check out the Ghost Edition reveal trailer below. Destiny will be released September 9 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and remember that pre-ordering early is required for getting into this month's beta.
Tuesday, Jul 8
New Inhouse Articles
The Phantom 240 doesn't skimp on features or quality.
Net Articles Summary
Champions aren't the only ones getting visual updates in League of Legends. After much fan feedback, Riot Games have decided it's time to give the League client a makeover, from the patcher to the landing page you see upon logging in.
In a recent update on the League of Legends site, Riot Ventropy gives an extensive rundown of what the devs are planning and detailed insight on these changes. The most noticeable change is going to be visual, redesigned to actually focus on game content and media. In the near future, the patcher will actually display patch notes, champ spotlights and the latest free-to-play champ rotations. Clicking on any of these categories won't just redirect you to the website either, but actually show the contents within the patcher, giving you a little reading material to go through while patching the game.
The above image actually illustrates how the new patcher might look, but it's also still a work in progress and subject to change before release. Here's what Ventropy had to say on the subject:
Let's use the free champion rotation as a concrete example. Our current patcher shows a few names from the rotation in the news feed, but you have to click through to a web article to see the full list. With the upcoming changes, we can highlight the entire Free to Play rotation directly in the patcher. The Patch Notes have also been pulled in so you can read up on the latest changes while you’re downloading them.
This new layout applies visual focus to all content, displaying media with every item. To accommodate these visuals, we increased the patcher's size, giving us more real estate to keep a few key pieces surfaced and make it easier to browse other articles. We also took the opportunity to group up 'core' patching tools by condensing the download progress bar, service availability indicator and region selector at the top of the patcher. Your patching progress has also been merged into one bar to provide more streamlined information.
The new client landing page -- where you're directed upon logging in -- will see some layout changes similar to the patcher, with some additional "content types thrown into the mix." The space given to content will be expanded, stretching all the way to the edge of the screen, though the client size remains the same, so the menu bar up top isn't going to change much, sans a "bit of cleanup" to the buttons.
The client landing page will pull in the same layout changes as the patcher with a few additional content types thrown into the mix. As part of this update, we've extended content all the way to the screen edges. We haven't changed the client's size, though, so we didn't need to reorganize any of the client's other features (aside from a bit of cleanup to the menu buttons).
Beyond the visual stuff, Riot is also looking to implement some new technology to improve the pre-game experience, as they call it. This should improve client stability above all, without making any drastic alterations. Expect more to come.
The first season of The Wolf Among Us is now over. Cry Wolf, the fifth and final episode of the season, is out now. What's better to do than stream and record a marathon session of all five episodes? Oh dear, what am I getting myself into here. Expect to the livestream to go up as this post is published, so tune into the embedded video player below, jump into Twitch chat, drop a comment, or send me a tweet at @bluexy if you feel like saying hello.
Generally speaking I've been a staunch supporter of playing Telltale's episodes as they're released. I think the tension and climax of each episode is best served in small doses. However, I've never really experienced it from the other end, trying each episode back to back. Thus, this is rather an experiment for me. I'm excited to find out whether it will be for better or worse.
Again, check out The Wolf Among Us, now finished with its first season, on PC and PlayStation 3 (North America). Other platforms will follow the the next few days. Or, stick around and see how things turn out on my livestream.
Guild Wars 2 will be getting its next chapter, dubbed Entanglement, in the ongoing Season 2 Living Story next week on July 15, and a new teaser shows the evil growing. Quite literally, in fact, as the mysterious vines have spread as far as the Shiverpeaks. Frankly, I blame the sylvari for this entire mess.
So in addition to those vines popping out everywhere, they've also grown increasingly aggressive, and are shown in the video nabbing people from the surface. Our heroes are doing all they can to curb this threat, of course, and their adventures will take them beyond just Dry Top to some familiar and not-so-familiar places. A giant appears briefly in the video as well, but at least we know giants can be friendly; this one may not be.
Episode 2: Entanglement will be going live next Tuesday, July 15, and no doubt bring along some nice additions to the Gem Store. In the meantime, keep helping those Zephyrites, and remember to try your luck at winning a Guild Wars 2 Living World t-shirt before Friday.
What terrors await in the five wings of Naxxramas? DLC prices...
Blizzard has revealed the final pricing and release details for the upcoming Hearthstone expansion, Curse of Naxxramas. As expected, considering Hearthstone is a free-to-play game, they're a bit overly convoluted in order to persuade folk to just spend real money, but there's absolutely an option for players to earn access to the whole thing with just gold earned from playing. There's no update on the release date at this time, but the expansion is still planned for a July release.
Let's get down to the specific details then. First and foremost, Blizzard is still planning on releasing the first "Wing" of Curse of Naxxramas completely free for all players, but obviously there's some fine print. The Arachnid Quarter will be the first release of the expansion and will be free for the month-long launch window. Anyone who plays during this period will get the content for free, but anyone who misses that window will have to buy it later.
Following the launch of the Arachnid Quarter, each of the four other quarters will be released one at a time each week. Those Wings will also release in a specific order: Arachnid Quarter, Plague Quarter, Military Quarter, Construct Quarter, and Frostwyrm Lair. No matter whether players buy each wing with gold or real money, the gates on these wings won't open until their scheduled release. Five wings, five weeks.
Pricing is also a bit intriguing. Let's start with the purchase of individual wings. If folk decide to buy each wing one at a time they'll be spending either 700 gold or $6.99. Gold of course can be earned by completing quests in-game or succeeding in the Arena. For folk who find $6.99 a bit too spendy for each wing, Blizzard will be offering a bundle offer. If purchasing the bundle, each wing that the player doesn't already own will cost about $5. That means that players who own Arachnid Quarter for free can pay $19.99 for the remaining four. If a player gets the Arachnid Quarter for free and then buy Plague Quarter with gold, they can buy the remaining three for $14.99. If a player doesn't want to wait for the free Arachnid Quarter, they can spend $24.99 right now for all five Wings -- accessible as the gates unlock week by week.
That's about all for pricing details, which can also be seen in the pricing graphic provided by Blizzard which I used for the header image. In addition to pricing, however, Blizzard also announced Heroic Mode for each Wings. Once players defeat all of the bosses in a given Wing they can then challenge the Heroic Mode version, which includes much more difficult versions of each boss. Defeating Heroic Mode of a Wing will unlock a a card for the player's account.
Oof! Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas expansion is just weeks away and now everyone has pricing and release details at their fingertips. All that left is spamming quests and Arena trying to collect up the 700x5 gold needed to get each Wing without paying real money. Best of luck, everyone!
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
- Pokemon Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire are Mega Evolving this Steel/Psychic, meet Mega Metagross 
- Dota 2's The International 2014 sees 6 teams eliminated in the fourth day of group play 
- Glacier White PlayStation 4 launches this September bundled with Destiny for $449.99 
- ArcheAge enters closed beta starting July 17, all players granted 'Patron' status for the duration 
- EVO 2014 Championship Series begins, fighting game tournament opens with Melee and Street Fighter 
- Love it or hate it, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair's second English trailer out 
- League of Legends loves robots, new Mecha Aatrox and Mecha Malphite splash arts are gorgeous 
- Fable Legends E3 presentation demonstrates Xbox One multiplayer beta due this fall 
- Tropes vs Women in Video Games series talks violence against women in new episode 
- Neoseeker's E3 2014 Award Nominations: Trimming down 13 categories to just a few games 
- Neoseeker is giving away Guild Wars 2 Living Story t-shirts! 
- Super Smash Bros. Wii U Hands-On Impressions: Brawl's successor ascends 
- Sony: 31 percent of new PlayStation 4 owners hopped aboard from Xbox 360 and Wii 
- Halo at E3 2014: The Arbiter returns in Halo: The Master Chief Collection terminals, teased for Halo 5