Monday, Mar 16
Just for the hell of it, it seems, Sony has announced another free mutliplayer weekend for PlayStation 4 gamers. Running from Friday, March 20 at 12:01am (PDT) through Sunday, March 22 at 11:59pm (PDT) PlayStation Plus will not be required to access any online multiplayer content on the platform. Normally players would have to have a subscription to the PlayStation Plus service in order to have access to this content.
One could dream that Sony's last free weekend showed that due to the increase of players on a free weekend, they saw such a degree of increased sales that charging for the PlayStation Plus service might actually be losing them money. That's how these things work in my headcanon, at least. The reality may be more along the lines of that these free weekends see steep increases in the amount of new PlayStation Plus subscribers afterwards. Ah well.
Whatever Sony's reasons for opening the gates on the PlayStation 4's multiplayer, everyone should take advantage while they can. Perhaps it's a promotion sponsored by Electronic Arts due to the release of Battlefield Hardline -- the more Season Pass sales, the better! Maybe it's from 2K and Rockstar in celebration of the release of Grand Theft Auto V's Heists -- truly something everyone had begun to believe was never to happen. Perhaps the folk at Sony are just being charitable -- nah.
Starting Friday Friday, March 20 at 12:01am (PDT) and running through Sunday, March 22 at 11:59pm (PDT) online multiplayer will be free on the PlayStation 4 -- no PlayStation Plus subscription required. Destiny's raids, Battlefield Hardline's deathmatches, Hellraider's co-op or, I dunno, whatever else everyone plays. Go play it next weekend!
The Grand Budapest Hotel and now this? Jeff Goldblum makin' a comeback
If you're amped for the upcoming release of Jurassic World, starring the hunky Chris Prattt and his pack of lovable raptor sidekicks, then that may or may not correlate to you being excited for this bit of news. Publisher Warner Bros. previously revealed the existence of LEGO Jurassic World in a shareholders meeting. That was followed by a short teaser and some early details. Today, however, we get our first look at some in-game action.
Warner Bros. has released the first LEGO Jurassic Park trailer, featuring a selection of cinematic scenes from the game. Many of the scenes are taken directly from one of the four major films, though of course they're parodied in one way or another. Jeff Goldblum may be a parody of himself. The focus seems to be on many of the iconic scenes from the first Jurassic Park film, with practically nothing from Jurassic World, unfortunately. I guess they want to avoid spoilers.
I don't think it's too much to say that, well, the footage in the trailers is pretty disappointing. Sure, it's cool to see these scenes in motion and built entirely from LEGO, but come on - this game is coming to PC, PS4 and X1, why does it look so... uninspired? I'd have thought we'd left this level of visuals behind in 2013. The screenshots for the game look great though. Maybe the trailer is from 360/PS3 footage? Yet, Jeff Goldblum. Still a great trailer.
The LEGO Jurassic World game is planned for release on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita this June. Obviously anyone that wants to play the game will be able to find a platform which will support the game.
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Friday, Mar 13
Net Articles Summary
To be honest, Jason isn't half the psycho as some of this roster
Let's not forget that Mortal Kombat X is being published by Warner Bros. and that means DLC, DLC, DLC! Today, a holiday of sorts, has seen the announcement of Mortal Kombat X's first major DLC pack. The $29.99 Kombat Pack -- $29.99! -- will include four currently in-development fighters as well as the bonus Samurai Pack with three skins. The big news is the pack's first character reveal, which is a familiar face. Friday the 13th's Jason Voorhees is back.
This isn't the first horror movie villain to join a Mortal Kombat roster. Back in 2011 Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare on Elm Street fame in the Mortal Kombat reboot. Apparently the stars didn't align in time for Jason Voorhees to join back then, but this time Ed Boon and the team at NetherRealm won't let the opportunity pass by. The question remains as to whether Freddy will also be coming to Mortal Kombat X, as there's some interesting language attached to today's Kombat Pack announcement.
We know that there will be four characters bundled into the Kombat Pack. One of those is Jason Voorhees for certain. NetherRealm did give a small hint to help us start guessing at who else will be included. Two of the remaining three characters are "Klassic Mortal Kombat Kombatants" which implies that some of those who might have died in 2011's Mortal Kombat could return through DLC. Then the final character will be "another special guest character." Freddy, is that you?
Well, it certainly won't be Dark Vader or Yoda.
Mortal Kombat X launches worldwide starting April 14 on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The Kombat Pack will include some content available at launch and the rest as it's finished. This Kombat Pack will be available standalone for $29.99 or packaged in with the Kollector's Edition, Limited Edition and Premium Edition of the game.
Still haven't gotten your star for world completion in Guild Wars 2? Well, soon players will have even less of an excuse to avoid the task. ArenaNet today officially announced plans to remove World vs. World from the game's world completion requirement, effectively eliminating one of the most annoying aspects of achievement.
The studio didn't provide a solid date for when this change would be implemented, but some details might be revealed tomorrow during a special Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns panel (via Twitch). World vs. World will be discussed during the panel, including an in-depth look at the new desert Borderlands map, along with a number of other expansion details.
Currently, world completion in Guild Wars 2 entails all the vistas and points of interest found in the game's various cross-server PVP zones (or Borderlands). While venturing into enemy territories can be difficult on its own, the way the World vs. World rotation system works can make the task seem even more impossible, often cutting off areas for weeks to months at a time.
Deep Silver has confirmed that Homefront: The Revolution won't ship until sometime in 2016. The game was previously expected to release this year, prior to the news of its delay.
With the announcement comes confirmation that Deep Silver has their Dambuster Studios heading development still, following Deep Silver's acquisition of the Homefront IP and all assets from Crytek UK.
Homefront: The Revolution director Hasit Zala commented on the transition, noting the team's continued dedication to "something truly special." The statement proceeds as follows:
"We are excited that Deep Silvers acquisition of the Homefront IP and assets from Crytek has allowed development of Homefront: The Revolution to continue with minimum disruption. The team here believes we are working on something truly special."
Beyond the 2016 ship window currently, Homefront remains without a solid release date.
Thursday, Mar 12
Net Articles Summary
Ori and the Blind Forest might be one of the best games some of us play this year, so naturally the soundtrack deserves a little attention as well. Microsoft Studios and independent developer Moon Studios have released the original soundtrack for this charming action-platformer, composed by one Gareth Coker.
Coker (The Labyrinth, The King's Speech) notably attended the Royal Academy of Music in London and later completed the music program at the University of Southern California. Apparently, the man also traveled around the world in order to better himself as a composer, drawing influences from numerous musical backgrounds. In Ori, he created a more whimiscal soundtrack to accommodate the game's hand-drawn aesthetics and fantasy focus.
Ori and the Blind Forest follows a lost guardian spirit through the dying world of Nibel, as he discovers his own origins, the fate of the forest and his kin, and learns how to bring back an entire world from the state of decay. Honestly, there's a reason we gave it our first Editor's Choice badge of 2015.
The soundtrack should now be available on iTunes and other digital retailers.
The battle continues between the PS4 and Xbox One at U.S. retail and while Sony maintains the lead it regained at the start of the year on the home console front, February console hardware sales technically went to Nintendo with its 3DS family of handhelds including the New 3DS XL. Despite launching only one of two flavors of the mostly-new handheld in North America compared to Europe and Australia, Nintendo's 3DS family still proved to be the primary force behind a 10 percent year-over-year growth in overall hardware sales for the month of February.
Nintendo boasts that the New Nintendo 3DS XL accounted for a "great majority" of the 395,000 3DS handhelds sold at U.S. retail last month. At the very least, first month sales for the New 3DS XL were 130 percent higher than those for the original 3DS XL back when it launched in August 2012. Nintendo proved more guarded with monthly Wii U sales which it claims were 20 percent higher year-over-year.
Sony and Microsoft similarly kept console hardware sales close to their chests, but Sony reiterates that the PS4 is already sitting at 20.2 million units worldwide since launch. The PS4 also remains the top-selling hardware out of the three eight-generation consoles in the market. Microsoft meanwhile confirms that Xbox One sales in February were 84 percent higher than those in January.
Recap on how the PS4 and Xbox One have been fairing at U.S. retail over the past few months:
Nintendo's good fortunes continued into software, where The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D proved to be the best-selling game in the U.S. last month. The company reveals that the 3DS remake of the N64 action adventure achieved combined physical and digital sales of 515,000 units. Curiously the other 3DS darling, Capcom's Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, just barely made NPD's monthly software chart with a total of 290,000 copies sold (physical and digital sales combined).
So we know what it took to land in first and last place on the software charts for February, which refreshingly saw more new releases like 2K Games' Evolve, Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, and The Order: 1886. Ready at Dawn's cinematic experience for the PS4 drew groans over its length and gameplay, but it ultimately made a fine showing for itself at retail considering how long in coming it was.
|1.||The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D||Nintendo||3DS||02/2015|
|2.||Evolve||2K Games||Xbox One / PS4 / PC||02/2015|
|3.||Dying Light||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment||PS4 / Xbox One / PC||01/2015|
|4.||Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare||Activision||PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||11/2014|
|5.||Grand Theft Auto V||Rockstar||PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360||11/2014|
|6.||NBA 2K15||2K Games||PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||10/2014|
|7.||Dragon Ball: Xenoverse||Bandai Namco Games||PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||02/2015|
|8.||Minecraft||4J Studios||PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||11/2014|
|9.||The Order: 1886||Sony Computer Entertainment||PS4||02/2015|
|10.||Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate||Capcom||3DS||02/2015|
Evolve's first round of free maps, Broken Hill's Mine and Foundry, are Xbox One exclusive for a month
Man, why does all this DLC stuff have to be so complicated?
As promised, Turtle Rock Studios is making all of its Evolve map DLC completely free so as to not "split the community" ... at least in terms of maps. Today the developer revealed the first two maps t o be offered as part of this free DLC program: Broken Hill Mine and Broken Hill foundry. Both maps will be available across the entirety of the game -- in Hunt, Next and Rescue modes, through Skirmish, Custom matches are even in Evacuation. Unfortunately, the DLC will be exclusive to Xbox One for a month.
Turtle Rock Studios has also provided pretty lengthy descriptions for each of the maps as well, including details regarding the buffs that can be earned by playing each map in Evacuation. Here are the general descriptions of each map, some tantalizing context to keep Evolve players excited:
Broken Hill Mine
The first and largest bohrium mine on Shear, Broken Hill Mine produced the billions of tons of raw materials necessary to build the rest of the colony. Until the Monsters showed up.
Broken Hill Mine is a deep labyrinth of caves running below the surface of Shear. The cave system divides into three visually distinct areas: One area is a rock quarry, a venom hound nest is set in another, and the last zone has a massive conveyor belt running through it. These surround a central drill chamber. Hidden, destructible entryways allow the Monster to shortcut through the map – or to fake out the Hunters and lead them down the wrong path. The mine’s tight confines reduce running and encourages a lot of stealth and close-quarters firefights. One cool thing to look for: Look up and you’ll see the crane for the Broken Hill Foundry (the second new map) above.
Broken Hill Foundry
Along with iron, nickel, copper, and aluminum, the Foundry smelts the tons of ultrastable bohrium produced by the mine. There are several foundries dotted across the colony, and Broken Hill’s is the largest.
Broken Hill Foundry gets you out of the wilds of Shear and into an industrial complex. It’s an overlapping mix of open areas, corridors and low ceilings create new tactical options for both Monster and Hunter players. In the warehouse alone, there are three levels to stalk prey. Another area takes you through the streets – and to the rooftops – of Slagtown where a Monster can be lurking around every corner. Crates of bohrium, found throughout the facility, can be eaten as food for the Monster. Though the crates are easy meals, they don’t have a pop top. Breaking them open makes considerable noise and give away the Monster’s location.
Evolve also has an observer mode in the works -- another piece of free DLC. Though it's not a particularly robust, it will offer an option for players wanting to run their own custom events. Custom matches will be able to add an additional "observer," whether they're one player or five players large. This observer can then stream the game and shoutcast it for a wider audience.
Evolve's first map DLC will be available starting March 31 on Xbox One, followed by a PC and PlayStation 4 launch on April 30.
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The latest trailer for Mortal Kombat X brings together the Cage family, including mom and dad Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage. Of course, we also have their daughter, Cassandra "Cassie" Cage, who appears to be one of the main protagonists in the upcoming Mortal Kombat installment.
So Sonya isn't dead, and she shares a playfully antagonistic relationship with Johnny. At least their kid turned out pretty well, right? The trailer shows us glimpses of the three, though the group interactions mostly focus around the former wife and husband duo. They still fight well together, even if the marriage didn't quite pan out.
Mortal Kombat X will be out April 14 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC. As a pre-order incentive, Goro will only be available (for now) to players who reserve an early copy.
In an interview with IGN leading into tonight's BAFTA awards, Respawn Entertainment's Vince Zampella had spoke on the topic of Titanfall's sequel. Namely, he spoke on the fact that it does exist and that Respawn is hard at work on the project. He didn't necessarily seem excited that EA has been talking about the Titanfall follow-up, but he was still a good sport and said about as much as can be expected for something with a lot of work left on it.
"I guess EA announced a sequel, so I could play coy and pretend I don't know anything about it, or… yeah. So we're working on a sequel. No official name yet, but we're working on that. That's the main focus but we're starting up a second team and doing some smaller stuff too. Small, exploratory, taking it slow! It'll be multiplatform."
Shortly after that Respawn's Twitter account tweeted that fans will have to wait for more information on "Titanfall 2," so I guess they do have a title in mind.
Officially, Titanfall 2 has yet to be 100% confirmed for PlayStation 4 in addition to the Xbox One and PC platforms which the original launched on. The implication of Vince saying that the title will be "multiplatform" certainly implies the jump to Sony's console though. Not to mention that they said they'd jump on the PS4 with a sequel last year as well. I'm curious to see whether they'll still try and include PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 with this next round as well.
Not much else of value to add to this story. Titanfall 2 is in the works. It's almost certainly coming to PlayStation 4. More details sometime in the future. Download those free Titanfall DLC packs while you can.
- April's doubled Games With Gold adds Pool Nation FX and Child of Light to Xbox One libraries 
- Nintendo delays The Legend of Zelda Wii U out of 2015 
- Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel DLC Claptastic Voyage raises cap to 70, available March 24 
- PlayStation 4 update 2.50 adds long-awaited Suspend/Resume feature, available now 
- Xbox One April System Update to add Voice Messaging and Party Chat support servers 
- Grand Theft Auto V PC looks as gorgeous as ever in new wave of screenshots 
- XSEED relocalizing Ys VI: The Ark of Naphishtim for PC, porting Akiba's Trip to PC too 
- Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns' new Legendary Precursor Mastery finally detailed