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Call of Duty: Black Ops III 'Ember' trailer channels Deus Ex's human augmentation

1 comments Rory Young - 11:45am (PST) Like (1) Share

Call of Duty fans, they asked for this

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Treyarch and Activision have a new teaser trailer for the next iteration of the Call of Duty franchise today. Call of Duty: Black Ops III's "Ember" teaser trailer is a mood builder, a video dedicated to connecting us, the players, to the core ideas behind the upcoming shooter. It's, well, it's already more than some Call of Duty titles ever did to build up their premise. The odd thing about the "Ember" trailer is that it feels oddly familiar, like Black Ops III might be taking some inspiration from a certain recent Deus Ex title.

Human augmentation is the name of the game, err, well, not literally. The teaser jumps from the doping, wearable technology and various medical breakthroughs of modern day before jumping into a near-future fiction. Human augmentation, including bionic limbs and retinal chips, beginning to improve of what we consider to be human. Strife is apparent as protests grow over this idea of becoming more than human. Then, the payoff -- super soldiers voluntarily sacrificing limbs and life for evolution via technology.

Black Ops III seems to be growing into the setting of what happens before Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The space where humanity is just learning about what we're capable with augmentation, but it's the military that first takes the steps that would otherwise not be taken. I'm sure this will open up some interesting storylines regarding secret wars between super soldiers. Maybe we'll get a returning character or two from Black Ops II, only now become cyborgs.

Gameplay-wise, the opportunities are clear as well. Black Ops II can build off of the exo-suits that Advanced Warfare found so much success with. Bionic limbs, implants and who knows what other kinds of bio-weaponry can begin to be plugged straight into the player-character. Stealth and longer jumps are certainly just the starting point. It's more about how willing Treyarch will be to break the shooting experience that has carried the Call of Duty franchise up to this point.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III is planned for release later this year. Expect a full reveal for the shooting game on April 26.


Latest Mad Max overview trailer promises cinematic car customization, cannibalism

3 comments Rory Young - 10:15am (PST) Like Share

Scavenging meat from a dead dude's chest -- just Mad Max things

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Avalanche Studios' Mad Max is... crazy. It's difficult thinking about what to make of the odd game and the latest trailer, while impressive, doesn't help very much. Today Avalanche Studios released a "Gameplay Overview" trailer which shows what Max does when he's not brooding or providing deep-voiced monologuing. Cars, cannibalism, crashes, and other wasteland shenanigans are plentiful, as expected. Can I say that cannibalism is ever expected? On Mad Max it is.

Customization is really the core of Mad Max, according to this gameplay trailer. The player will spend much of their time picking a car, which Avalanche says is named the player's "Magnum Opus," customizing said car for combat, hunting down additional components for the car to further upgrade it, and using those upgrades in action. Mad Max can be "upgraded" in similar ways it appears, strengthening his fighting skills, but how you upgrade Max isn't as clear as how you upgrade his car.

Unless that's where the cannibalism comes in. Survival is also a key component in Mad Max, considering it takes place in the middle of a post-apocalyptic desert where crops can't grow and things like petrol are dwindling. We see Max eating from at least a couple sources in the trailer -- he eats from an open can of beans, as well as grabbing something chewy from the decaying chest cavity of a long-dead corpse. Maybe this is how Max upgrades himself, by partaking in the delicacies of the desert. I'm sure they're all very hearty.

Other systems touched include a Batman-style close-combat system. We see Max surrounded by crazies, each fighting Max one at a time, with Max blocking attacks and responding with various attack combos. We also see a fancy weather system, hearkening to George Miller's highly cinematic film coming to theaters soon. There's also just a smidge of story teased, naming a bad-guy for instance (Scotus?), as well as showing various locations including the Thunderdome

What is Mad Max? That's still pretty up in the air. It looks like a good mix of Just Cause, Fallout 3, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Road Rash. All I've got to say is... if you're not getting Mad Max on PC then it ain't gonna look anything like the trailer, that's for sure. Those sand and storm visuals, man. That's impressive stuff. Mad Max will be coming to PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on September 1.

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Teaser for tomorrow says Overlord's back, 'Evil has a new face, well, four actually'

4 comments Rory Young - 1:12pm (PST) Like Share

Did somebody say... Overlords?

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Overlord, the minion-mastery action-adventure series from the past ten years, is coming back. Today publisher Codemasters released a teaser trailer titled "Previously on Overlord" which recapped the events of the original two games, while also promising a new announcement tomorrow. The implication being that we're now just a day away from seeing Overlord 3 be announced.

The cinematic trailer does a great job of going through basic structure of both Overlord and Overlord 2, establishing the personality of the franchise and how it doesn't take itself particularly seriously. It's also a lot of fun to see the world unfold over a period of time, whereas the series up to this point never felt particularly cohesive. It's exactly what the series needs, creating a direct sequel so many years after the second game was released.

As for hints as to what exactly fans can expect from Overlord 3, there are a few. Note that the full reveal will come tomorrow, I'd expect, so speculation here isn't necessarily very valuable. It's still fun though. First off is that in the credits for the trailer, the upcoming is references as "Developed and Published by Codemasters." Triumph Studios, the developers of the first two Overlords titles, are currently busy working on the Age of  Wonders franchise. It's possible they'd come back to Overlord, but more likely that Codemasters is taking over the series for internal development.

There's also the big teaser saying that, "Evil has a new face, well, four actually." This is corroborated by a short clip at the end of the trailer which looks more like a four-player co-op ARPG than a standard Overlord game.  A teaser image released by Codemasters gives a better look at these four "protagonists." This all but confirms a shift in direction for the franchise. The question now becomes just how different Overlord 3, or whatever is announced tomorrow, is from its predecessors.

Expect an official announcement from Codemasters regarding the future of Overlord tomorrow. For now, take a stroll down memory lane


Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Goku and Vegeta DLC for Dragon Ball Xenoverse coming soon

22 comments Rory Young - 8:21pm (PST) Like (1) Share

Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Goku... is he Super enough?

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Okay, to be totally honest I'm not really sure if this is newsworthy or not. I can't say for certain whether Dragon Ball Xenoverse's DLC packs have had their contents confirmed, or really who is already on the roster or not with any confidence. I do know, however, that being able to write Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Goku in a headline isn't an opportunity that will come again, and so I'm take it. 

The third DLC pack for Dragon Ball Xenoverse was confirmed for release in the month of May today, packing a ton of content together and themed after the upcoming Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F movie. The final date is still in the works, but we do know every bit of content that will be included in the DLC. For fans of the fighting game, it doesn't get much sweeter than this.

  • 4 Playable Characters
    • Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Goku
    • Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Vegeta
    • Golden Frieza
    • Jaco the Galactic Patroller
  • 5 Quests
  • 2 Masters
    • Jaco the Galactic Patroller
    • Elder Kai
  • 13 Moves
  • 2 Costumes
    • Turtle Hermit's Aloha Shirt
    • Gohan's Jersey (Move Version)
  • 2 Accessories
    • Tagoma's Scouter
    • Turtle Helmet Set
  • 7 Z-Souls

Dragon Ball Xenoverse is a 3D fighting game which, unlike its predecessors, has an entirely unique story unto itself. It's the most glorious of fanservice, featuring all of the characters Dragon Ball fans adore while also providing a robust character creation system which lets players apprentice themselves to heroes of their choice. As far as Dragon Ball video games go, this is the definitive fighter. Whether it's actually a great fighting game, well, that probably doesn't matter to the true Dragon Ball faithful.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse's third DLC is the final announced post-launch content for the fighting game. Expect the development team to move onto their next title, likely to be released later in 2015, afterwards. The DLC can be purchased individually for $9.99 or as a bundle with the other two packs for $24.99 via Season Pass. And yes, the DLC will be coming to PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 at the same time -- in May.

Okay, just one more time if that's okay. Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Goku! Still fun.

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WWE 2K15 PC release just 'weeks away,' packaged with free DLC

0 comments Rory Young - 8:00pm (PST) Like Share

Are we sure that a PC can handle both 90's and Hollywood Hulk Hogan?

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For the first time in, err, has this even happened before? For the first time, the WWE is coming to PC. World Wrestling Entertainment has announced that their latest console multi-platform title, WWE 2K15, is going to be arriving on the platform within a number of weeks. The port is said to "mirror" the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game, though what kind of scaling options will be included aren't clear just yet. I'd say you can probably expect to pay full price for a new game on it too, despite it being some month old.

That's because the PC release of WWE 2K15 is said to include the console DLC content entirely for free. This includes all three Showcases: One More Match with Christian and Randy Orton, Hall of Pain with Mark Henry, and Path of Warrior with The Ultimate Warrior. And I guess that's just the tip of the DLC iceberg. Here's, erm, John Cena talking about what to expect:

"One of the great bonuses of getting the game on PC is that you get nearly all of the downloadable content that was released after WWE 2K15 launched in October free, as part of the package. That’s an incredible amount of content: 36 extra characters, 4 new managers, 26 matches, 46 entire single player stories and cut scenes in 2K Showcase, and a whole lot more. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that that’s a pretty awesome deal."

DLC included, the game will retain all the features fans expect -- MyCareer and Showcase modes -- and all of the faces and heels expected, too -- two versions of Hulk Hogan! Content aside though, because everyone knows what to expect from a wrestling games these days, what matters is that this is 2K doing good for their community. PC gamers can be wrestling fans too, and for whatever reason the WWE hasn't allowed for their games to come to the platform in a while. That changes soon.

WWE 2K15 will be coming to PC, with the release "only weeks away." 


Guitar Hero Live's 'Behind the Scenes' trailer goes backstage

1 comments Rory Young - 11:37am (PST) Like Share

This six-button guitar idea is growing on me

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As a follow-up to last week's Guitar Hero Live announcement, FreeStyleGames and Activision released a "Behind the Scenes" trailer to provide some added depth to the reveal. The reveal of another Guitar Hero game being in production alone was enough to get people excited, to get people curious. Yet there's much more to Guitar Hero Live, as it's shaking things up in terms of form and content -- it's even changing up the plastic guitar. Most importantly, it left people with questions.

Enter the Behind the Scenes trailer. While the trailer itself doesn't introduce any new information features or content for fans to get excited about, it does give a closer look into the features that have already been revealed. Primarily the trailer focuses on the live-action campaign, the music video "TV Channel," and the new guitar design. Hopefully the backstage tour showing filming and "GHTV" sections give everyone some perspective on what the team's trying to accomplish in Guitar Hero Live.

What seems to be the most important portion of the trailer to me is the closer look at the guitar and the reasoning behind the changes. The guitar in Guitar Hero Live will feature six buttons, or two rows of three. Gameplay will feature the same music notes scrolling down-screen, but only in three rows instead of the standard five fans have grown to expect. The different between the top and bottom rows will be noted by either a white or black color to these notes.

Why the changes? It's actually pretty simple -- the 6-button configuration allows for both easier and harder difficulties, while also fixing a glaring issue that prevented a lot of players from getting the entire Guitar Hero experience. I'm talking of course about the infamous pinkie button, which sadly many Guitar Hero player couldn't and would never be able to reach. With just three rows of buttons, players won't have to stretch that way. Meanwhile, with six buttons and two rows, finger positioning for very hard difficulties will only get more complicated, more challenging. The best of both worlds, but the question remains whether audiences are ready for such a dramatic change.

Guitar Hero Live will be launching later this year on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS and mobile devices. Apparently only PC gamers have been deemed lacking in rock and roll.



Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations to bring Ooo into 3D, arrives in November

3 comments Rory Young - 11:22am (PST) Like Share

Ice King in 3D is actually quite unsettling

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When one thinks of Adventure Time, one thinks of action, mystery, fun and of course adventure. When one thinks of what one would like from an Adventure Time video game, it's those things as experienced and explored from the player's perspective. Publisher Little Orbit has experimented with doing this in 2D up to now, but as of today it looks like their aspirations have now grown to 3D. Introducing Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations.

Yes, Adventure Time is being made into a 3D action-adventure game! It could only get better if it was open-world, but maybe that'd be best to save for a sequel. Finn and Jake Investigations sees our heroic duo taking on the career of their investigator parents, solving mysteries like detectives themselves. They'll be interrogating the curious citizens of Ooo, fighting off dastardly enemies, solving puzzles and exploring many familiar settings from the Adventure Time cartoon. And of course, it's all in 3D.

While the gameplay from Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations will have to be proven with some deeper video features, I'd say that we can at least recognize how spot on the 3D visuals of the game are. It's actually getting me a bit stirred up to see places like Finn and Jake's treehouse in 3D, as a place the player will get to explore. I mean, let's keep expectations in check. Vicious Cycle and Little Orbit aren't known for their ambitious work. Still, just from first impressions this could be the start of something really cool.

Adventure Time: Jake and Finn Investigations is a 3D action-adventure game coming to PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U and 3DS starting November later this year. Hopefully the game is great and the sequel is a full on Banjo Kazooie adventure platformer.

Note: Working on getting the early gameplay footage uploaded. It's of much higher quality than the screenshots, which for some reason are very grainy. 

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Leaked images confirm Mickey, Mulan, Tron and Pixar's Inside Out part of Disney Infinity 3.0 line-up

3 comments Rory Young - 4:27pm (PST) Like Share

Come on, Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars Edition

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With Disney Infinity becoming an annual franchise after last year's Marvel Super Heroes release, fans are already speculating as to what the theme of the 2015 release of the game will be. While Disney Infinity 3.0 doesn't have a title yet, though it's largely speculated to be Star Wars themed, a Chinese retailer has leaked what's assumed to be the first wave of figures for the release. 11 new figures will be joining the already large pool available to Disney Infinity players, most which shouldn't be too surprising.

The 11 figures all fit into the category of recent big Disney releases, announcements, or ongoing content.

  • Headlining the 3.0 wave of figures will be Disney's perennial mascots, Mickey and Minnie Mouse. It's more of a surprise that they've lasted this long without being added! Mickey and Minnie are starring in what must be monthly cartoon shorts on Disney's "DisneyShorts" Youtube channel.
  • Next up is Mulan, who we just learned will be starring in her own live-action film (official announcement pending). Disney's has also unlocked the vault to offer the Mulan Blu Ray, DVD and digital movie for the time being.
  • Olaf is still popular from his Frozen days, but now we know Frozen 2 is in the works as well. I wish the silly snowman would just melt, but his Disney Infinity figure looks solid enough.
  • Pixar's upcoming film, Inside Out, will see all five of its emotion-themed protagonists join Disney Infinity. Meet Joy, Disgust, Sadness, Fear and Anger are all getting their own figures.
  • The biggest surprise of hte group are two characters from Disney's Tron franchise. Both protagonists from the 2010 film Tron: Legacy are getting figures, Sam Flynn and Quorra. It might have something to do with the Tron: Legacy sequel starring Quorra named Tron: Ascension that begins filming this October.

That wraps up the 11 figures that have been leaked. Keep in mind that these are Disney Infinity 3.0 exclusive characters, meaning they won't be backwards compatible with the original game or Marvel Super Heroes. It's also important to note that these are not going to be the bundled-in figures with the game either, meaning they'll likely be sold individually. The main Disney Infinity 3.0 theme has yet to be unveiled (come on, Star Wars).

Expect further details on Disney Infinity 3.0 in the months to come, as well as official confirmation regarding the different figures that will be part of the game's release.

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Star Wars: Battlefront dev diary promises 'lifelike authenticity,' shows first third-person shot

3 comments Rory Young - 3:08pm (PST) Like Share

I'd laugh if all imperial stormtroopers had to shoot in third-person mode

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European retailer GAME has themselves an exclusive deal with EA to publisher a series of four developer diaries for Star Wars: Battlefront. Today saw the release of the first of those developer diaries, a short affair that largely covers the few details given out during last week's debut of Battlefront's first cinematic trailer. There were a couple of extra details which slipped through though, including the first still image of third-person perspective within the game.

Additionally, quite a bit of the focus in the trailer was in promising extensive levels of "authenticity." The team at EA Dice, like many teams working on Star Wars projects, traveled to the infamous Skywalker ranch to research various materials used in the original production of the films. From lightsabers to stormtrooper helmets, EA DICE wants everything in their game to be as accurate to the source material as they can manage.

Most of the rest of the trailer shows off footage from last week's cinematic trailer featuring a battle taking place on Endor. I keep hoping each tim I watch it that I'll see an Ewok somewhere in the treetops, but no luck so far. They also went out of their way to remind everyone that Battlefront will feature battles of up to 40 players and that the Battle of Jakku will be available for free post-launch, something being taken from the upcoming Star Wars movie.

As for that third-person still shot, well, it's about what everyone expects. It's the game in third-person, which will certainly be a boon for console players and certain classes or class actions in general. It's always hard to take these still shots seriously until we see 100% game footage, as you  never know what's been touched up. Gosh, it does look good though. 

Star Wars: Battlefront will be comign to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One November 17 later this year. Expect three more developer diaries in the weeks and months ahead, which hopefully talk about gameplay in a bit more depth. This will work for now, I suppose.


Star Wars: Battlefront release date leaked in official site's source, battle begins November 17

3 comments Rory Young - 7:54pm (PST) Like Share

The force has truly been awakened, or should I say a-leak-ened

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Today saw the reveal of an all new trailer for upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens and with it a waterfall of exciting things for video game fans. An updated Star Wars: Battlefront website openly provided the first official in-game screenshot of the game. The end of the Star Wars trailer teased an as-yet unseen cinematic trailer with a short, small clip. Then, unintentionally, the source code of the Battlefront's website revealed what we've all been waiting for: a release date.

An unused description within the code reads as follows, and keep in mind that it's code taken from the "News" portion of the site:

"The latest news and updates for Star Wars Battlefront. Available November 17, 2015 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC."

Obviously, it must be said that until the official word comes from Electronic Arts or EA DICE, this leak must be treated as a rumor. Though this about as official as it gets without being in a press release. It's literally coming from an official EA source, however unintended the publication of it may be. The date even lines up perfectly with standard holiday releases, as it falls on the Tuesday a week prior to Black Friday.

Let's be realistic here. Star Wars: Battlefront is going to get a huge marketing surge by coming out a month prior to Star Wars: The Force Awakens hitting theaters. There is no world in which EA misses the holiday sales surge, especially considering their prior willingness to release rather broken games to make that window. Too far? 

November 17 is the date to watch for Battlefront fans. Ahem, at least that's the rumor. The officially unofficial until it's official rumor. Star Wars: Battlefront is just 7 months away, everyone. Oh, and don't forget the big reveal tomorrow, which is likely to be that cinematic trailer teased in Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer from this morning.

Watch for the Star Wars: Battlefront teaser clip at the end of this Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, and make sure your annotations are on!