Tuesday, Dec 9
Team up and adventure with a friend... or many friends
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is officially out today, gracing PC and current-gen consoles as a downloadable title. No, this isn't actually part of the new Tomb Raider series, but a not-quite sequel to the rather successful Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light action platformer from 2010. Both come from developer Crystal Dynamics.
These Lara Croft games from Crystal Dynamics follow their own continuity, and the big draw tends to be their fluid co-op gameplay. In Temple of Light, the stakes are higher as Lara and her colleague (purely by circumstance) Carter find themselves facing an angry god. Fortunately, they get help in the form of deities Isis and Horus, effectively raising the supported player count from two to four.
If you prefer going solo or don't feel like meeting that max player count, rest assured the game is entirely playable with any number of players. The AI is fairly intelligent, and the game will actually tailor its puzzles to however many players are actually playing. To learn more about Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, check out our hands-on with the game.
Editor's Note: This news article was written in conjunction with our sponsors for Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris.
Update: Dragon Age: Inquisition's Patch 2 notes are now available.
Today's Dragon Age: Inquisition patch teaser from BioWare is unfortunately unspecific. Considering Dragon Age: Inquisition is swamped in broken, buggy gameplay, you'd expect them to be quite a bit more open about their plans and progress. Patch 2 is rolling out today on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
What's that; where's the Xbox One patch? According to BioWare the Xbox One patch will be going out as "soon as possible," which in other terms means was delayed. The Xbox One version of Inquisition is by far the most broken version of all the platforms, to the point where it affected my review score of the game. Could it be taking longer because BioWare needs to put more time into it, or because BioWare is putting less priority on the platform?
Regarding the actual patch teaser, they read more like a list of blanket ongoing issues and give no specificity to what's been fixed, how fixed each issue is, or whether there are plans for more fixes for each issue going forward. Full patch notes are expected to go up after the patch is live:
- Stability – Various crashes, freezes, audio/voice glitches, and many stability improvements.
- Gameplay – Conversations, quests, plot states, combat, UI, camera, controls, follower/enemy AI and path finding, exploits, radar, and search.
- Multiplayer – In addition to some of the gameplay improvements listed above, multiplayer fixes also cover areas such as animations, game mode bugs, stat reporting, and stability/crash fixes.
- PC – Numerous control & UI fixes, fixes to some hitching, improved Mantle performance, graphical glitches.
The takeaway is that either everything is fixed or nothing is fixed. Keep in mind that Xbox One players can at least comfortably rely on the fact that nothing has been fixed.
Odds are everyone should be able to start up Dragon Age: Inquisition today and hopefully notice where there was an issue before, there no longer is. Without more specific patch notes, however, it's going to be difficult to hunt each specific issue down. Trust. Trust in the developers who released such a very buggy game in the first place.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is currently available on the PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Oh, I almost forgot, it's also on the Xbox One. I guess these things are pretty easy to forget about. Also, don't worry guys. BioWare made sure to mention that additional content is already being made. DLC? DLC. No note on whether Xbox One players can expect to get that the same time as everyone else.
What's with the man always trying to keep a zombie down
As is so typical for zombie movies, books and games, Dying Light features a city under quarantine. This city is on the brink of a cliff, facing both the plague of undead as well as the looming threat of an outside government holding a very large bomb over its head. This situation is painted clear in Dying Light's newly released introduction cinematic. There's no in-game content and it's not even particularly cinematic, but it paints a very bleak picture.
The city's name is Harran. if that matters. Luckily, the heavy quarantine is also the perfect setting for a video game. After all, open world video games love putting up walls and a quarantine is a perfect in-context reason for that. It's also perfect for several other reason, like supply drops, weapons being everywhere, and why murdering everything and everyone is rewarded. Why worry about a bomb, when players will do a fine job of tearing down Harran from the inside?
I find it interesting that Dying Light creates this threat of a bomb that eradicates the city you'll be playing in right off the bat. What's intriguing to me about Dying Light is the bits of society that build themselves up within the quarantine zone, how each decides to survive and how the player will be interacting with them. The idea of a looming threat the player won't have any control over doesn't seem like a very interesting plot device. Perhaps Dying Light will prove me wrong.
Dying Light is scheduled for release on January 27 for the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Techland's jump from Dead Island to Dying Light isn't too far of a leap, so I've got high expectations for this zombie game.
Monday, Dec 8
Net Articles Summary
- ASUS X99-A LGA 2011-v3 Motherboard Review - HardOCP
- Asus X99-A Review - HardOCP
- Samsung SSD 850 EVO Review - Benchmark Reviews
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 G1 Gaming Review (German) - Technic3D
- Swiftech H240-X Review - techPowerUp!
This weekend, we learned indie tower-defense Dungeon Defenders II would be released to consoles as a PlayStation 4 exclusive. The PC version, on the other hand, is already available via Steam, though still in Early Access stages.
Dungeon Defenders II has been in development for well over a year, and developer Trendy Entertainment plans to keep the game in Early Access for at least another year after its Steam debut. Throughout the course of Early Access, the devs will continue updating the game with more features, from pets to improved loot systems. Local co-op is also something players can look forward to down the line.
For the time being, the game is a decent $19.99 via Steam, enjoying a temporary 20 percent discount. The price cut will end December 12, so if you're looking for a colorful strategy game, now might be a good time to jump the Dungeon Defenders bandwagon.
Editor's Note: This news article was written in conjunction with our sponsors for Dungeon Defenders II.
Few games are as unforgiving with decision-making than The Banner Saga. Well, we learned over the weekend that this beautiful tactical RPG is getting a sequel next year, The Banner Saga 2. So far, developer Stoic has confirmed the game for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4; The Banner Saga will be heading to PlayStation Vita as well.
On Xbox One, The Banner Saga 2 is actually being released through Microsoft's ID@Xbox self-publishing program, meant just for indie developers like Stoic. That also more than likely means the game is being released digitally to each respective platform, come early 2015.
Interestingly, the studio made no mention of going mobile with their second game. The Banner Saga was originally released to PC, home consoles, and mobile platforms. An upcoming PlayStation Vita version was confirmed recently.
The Banner Saga 2, announced this past weekend, is the unexpected sequel that spawned from an incredible Kickstarter success story. Stoic caught a lot of attention when it became known the studio was comprised of veteran BioWare devs, and early assets for their flagship title The Banner Saga quickly won them a significant following and more than enough financial backing.
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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been hit with another delay, pushing the anticipated RPG even further into 2015. Geralt and friends now have a new arrival date of May 19, and developer CD Projekt is really quite sorry.
In an open letter to their fans (CD Projekt loves open letters), the team informed their significant fanbase that The Witcher 3 needs more time in development. As such, the powers that be decided to delay its release by another 12 weeks, shifting from winter to late spring.
Ever since we started working on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, we knew it would be an ambitious game. We wanted, and still aim, to give you an incredible experience, an epic adventure in a vast, completely open fantasy universe.
The sheer size and complexity of The Witcher, key features of the title, have had a decisive impact on production. Now, nearing the end of our work, we see many details that need to be corrected. When we release the most important game in our studio’s history, we must be absolutely sure that we did everything we could to limit any bugs to a level that will allow you to enjoy the game thoroughly.
With this in mind, we took another look at current workloads and what they mean for the team. Even though everyone is working at full speed, we concluded that we need another 12 weeks, so we are shifting the release date of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to May 19th, 2015.
We owe you an apology. We set the release date too hastily. It’s a hard lesson, one to take to heart for the future. We know what we want to do to make Wild Hunt one of the best RPGs you will ever play. And we continue to work hard to achieve just that. So, we apologize and ask for your trust.
Thank you for the all support you show us on a daily basis. We truly do appreciate it. It has fueled us in our passion since the start and will continue to do so.The Board of CD PROJEKT SA
So that royally sucks for those of us who've been waiting for the conclusion to The Witcher. The third installment in CD Projekt's acclaimed fantasy trilogy was originally slated for 2014 release but saw its first delay back in March. The bright side of all this is, of course, the promise of an even better game, one that will actually play properly; comforting news considering the unfinished state many 2014 AAA titles were released in.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, again, will be out May 19 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Look forward to a lot of free DLC, too.
Sunday, Dec 7
Yeah, wandering in a Washington forest is terrifying in its own way
Unfinished Swan was an experience wit ha lot of sensory overload. The mix of color, or lack thereof, made for a very vivid and abstract gameplay experience. With their next game, developer Giant Sparrow wants to retain that scope and scale of visual impressiveness. Of course, they're going to recreate it in an entirely different way this time around. Introducing Giant Sparrow's new game, What Remains of Edith Finch, a PlayStation 4 exclusive.
The story of What Remains of Edith Finch takes place in the state of Washington, which Creative Director Ian Dallas describes as the key to the game's atmosphere:
"More than anything this game was inspired by growing up in Washington State and being surrounded by forests, mountains and oceans where nature often feels both beautiful and unsettling."
Told via a series of short stories, What Remains of Edith Finch focuses on a family. A cursed family, specifically. Each story focuses on a different member of this cursed family, spanning over 100 year in total. Each story ends with the family members death. Somehow Edith Finch is the only member of her family left alive and she wants to understand why.
While I love the idea of more first person, narrative driven mysteries, it's a bit too early to tell just how What Remains of Edith Finch is coming together The voice acting in the trailer is unfortunately a bit rough, which doesn't bode well. Then again, horror titles like Amnesia and Outlast really capitalize on mediocre voice acting to make the mood more unsettling. I'm not sure that's what Giant Sparrow is going for here, however. I'd like to see more.
What Remains of Edith Finch is a PlayStation 4 exclusive planned for 2016 -- yes, not 2015. It may be a while yet before we see more of the game. Still, it's one to keep on our radar.
Is this what our world has come to? Guns shooting bullets with bullets? I don't even know how to read that previous sentence, but when I try it makes my insides cry. Enter the Gungeon is that feeling come to life, a "radial shooter" bred with a dungeon crawler to create inhuman fast-paced insanity. The game debuted yesterday morning during the PlayStation Experience keynote and is planned for release on PlayStation 4, PC, Mac and Linux in 2015.
The narrative premise of Enter the Gungeon is as brilliant as its title -- the hunt for a gun that can kill... the past. Just from the perspective of someone who has never played or heard of the game beyond yesterday's announcement, it sounds like a great explanation for a game where players will go through the ssame type of content over and over and over again. The past gets destroyed so it can be relived once more.
What's really quite interesting about Enter the Gungeon should be obvious. It's the style and humor that developer Dodge Roll Games has made so blatant. The enemies are quite literally bullets with guns. They're equipped with all sorts of wild weaponry that makes the action exhilarating every second of every game. It looks like pure mayhem. The only disappointing issue is that it looks quite a bit like Nuclear Throne, though I hope that's just a coincidence.
Enter the Gungeon is a Devolver Digital published title planned for PlayStation 4, PC, Mac and Linux. It's planned for release in 2015, so you can bet your butt it'll be up in Steam Early Release in the blink of an eye.
Is this a murder mystery? For children? I'm so confused
Katamari Damacy, Noby Noby Boy and now Wattam, Keita Takahashi is determined to create beautiful games that stir our imaginations and push us to challenge what's normally expected of a game. Wattam is his latest project, on which he's the creative director working closely with the studio Funomena. What is Wattam? Well, it's exclusive to the PlayStation 4 and that's just about all I can put into words.
In the words of Funomena co-founder Robin Hunicke, Wattam is about, "making connections between different types of things." The idea that Keita Takahashi had for the game stemmed from playing with his two-year old son and wondering about what if the toys all were alive, and how they'd connect themselves. That idea grew into Wattam, which is composed of the Japanese and Tamil words for "making a loop." Yes, it's all very abstract.
In motion, the game that is Wattam becomes even more confusing. The trailer which debuted at the PlayStation Experience keynote didn't show gameplay. Rather, it showed the mayor of Wattam, a globe-like fellow, messing around with hats and an oddly placed explosion. What does it imply? How does it translate into a game? Who knows, but it's still utterly charming just as Keita Takahashi's work always tends to be.
Expect more information on Wattam in the months to come, as the PlayStation 4 exclusive title is planned for release in 2015. In the mean time, watch this trailer and then maybe log off of the internet for a while.
Saturday, Dec 6
In glorious day where both Final Fantasy VII and Suikoden II were announced for rerelease on modern platforms, what more could a humble boy ask for? I want Day of the Tentacle too, damn it all. Ask, and ye shall receive. Tim Schafer took the stage at the PlayStation Experience keynote today first to remind everyone that Grim Fandango is being remastered for the PlayStation 4, but didn't leave the stage until he also announced that Day of the Tentacle would be remastered next.
Yes, the Maniac Mansion spin-off featuring three unlikely losers (unlikely that they're involved in an adventure that is, as they're very likely losers) fighting through time itself to defeat an insane tentacle come to life. It's an adventure game, and I don't mean any of this modern Walking Dead adventure game stripped to a couple of conversation options and quick time events. I mean LucasArts sets you loose in a hotel and you've got to search the place in order to knock over a stereo speaker to dislodge gum holding a quarter which you use to... hell, I don't even remember. It's a good think Double Fine is bringing it back.
Day of the Tentacle will be remastered for PlayStation 4, PS Vita and also PC and Linux. Its development will kick off as work is completed on Grim Fandango. I can only imagine what projects will follow those two titles up. Loom? Indiana Jones? No, it's got to be Full Throttle, doesn't it? Look forward to more information soon.
- Let the games begin! Wintersday arrives in Guild Wars 2 along with new dailies and outfit 
- Reintroducing Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Naughty Dog's E3 2014 trailer portends doom 
- Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC adds multiplayer variety, offers standalone Deluxe upgrade 
- Double dose of Devil May Cry coming to PS4/XB1, DmC and Devil May Cry 4 both remastered in 2015 
- Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 announced, more Naruto on Sasuke action 
- Ciri will be playable in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and she has some cool abilities 
- Mojang's card-based strategy game Scrolls is exiting beta, launch details confirm $5 price