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Neoseeker's Best of E3 2015 Awards: Game of the Show

19 comments Rory Young - Jul 03, 15 5:14pm (PST) Like Share

As if any other game could have won after Bethesda's press conference

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The best games of E3 will always be the ones that show well in short windows. Whether it's a 5-minute trailer, a 15-minute demo or a 30-minute hands-on, if a game can't persuade anyone of its quality in that short period of time then odds are it won't be winning any E3 awards. That's absolutely not to say that games that don't win E3 awards aren't excellent. Quite the opposite actually, since as games mature those that trade depth and complexity for immediate reward are less valued. It's just important to recognize what these E3 awards represent and enjoy them for what they are. These are great introductions to what will hopefully be great games.

This is Neoseeker's Best of E3 2015's final award category, the Game of the Show category, which includes our nominees, a runner-up and our winner. They are the games that took the brief opportunities that E3 provides and made us excited about playing them both then and in the future. They have much to prove in terms of full gaming experiences, but for E3 2015 these games rose above our expectations and made us excited for the future of video games. 

E3 2015 is now weeks past, but the true fun is yet to come as these games get released over the next year or two (or longer, looking at you The Last Guardian). For now, in this moment, here are Neoseeker's Best of E3 2015 awards for our Game of the Show.

Super Mario Maker

Nintendo's line-up of Wii U and 3DS games at E3 were unfortunately disappointing this year, compounded by a Nintendo Direct that poorly spotlighted even the great games Nintendo does have lined up. Case in point Super Mario Maker, which lets players make their own classic 2D Mario levels and upload them or download others from online. The Super Mario Maker demo during the Nintendo Direct was short, failed to cover the full customizable experience, and most of all didn't explain why such a game can be fun -- is fun.

Luckily, Super Mario Maker was also showcased during the Nintendo World Championships prior to E3 and they didn't waste that opportunity. The two finalists in the tournament raced through levels created by Nintendo Treehouse employees in order to win the tournament overall. It was exhilarating, with each of the levels shown being completely unique, challenging and ohmygosh I wanted to play them myself right then and there. This game is certain to be the definitive Wii U experience and I can only imagine all the brilliant levels fans will be able to make when it's finally available for purchase.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

This may be the last Metal Gear Solid title, and is almost certainly the last made by Hideo Kojima. Lucky us, it looks like an amazing game that's larger than any of us could have expected. So having Hideo Kojima release another, potentially final, self-directed trailer full of the wonderfully confusing drama that no other game director could possibly recreate is both brilliant and quite a bit depressing. Add on a 40-minute gameplay demo so rich in awesome new feature teases and content that it'll take quite the while to dissect, and it's inconceivable not to add Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain to this list.

If there was one thing that the demo managed to accomplish, it's that it showed just how big and complex the world of The Phantom Pain is. The demo runner runs through several missions, explores the impressive open world for quite a while, and is full of so many great details that only a near-finished, highly polished game could capture in a demo. It's important to note that Konami takes an interesting note to E3. They aren't hype-focused, but rather just excited to show off more of their games than they can just through normal means. As such, while Metal Gear V didn't win our Game of the Show award, it absolutely has our 100% attention as its September release approaches.

Just Cause 3

Just Cause 3 won our Best of E3 2015 Action award with little to no argument and that's because it's a game that knows exactly what it wants to be. Avalanche took an idea and executed on it, which based on their E3 showing is going very well for them. Huge explosions and unending combat, all with the player in control of so many fun weapons and gadgets, are sure to make all Just Cause 3 players happy with their investment. Could Just Cause 3 aspire to more? Absolutely, but that they chose not to says how dedicated they are to this adrenaline-fueled, player-driven experience.

No Man's Sky

Sad story, but No Man's Sky struggled to get nominated in any single given category. That's not because of a lack of excitement over the game, but more that it's really hard to agree on why we're each excited for No Man's Sky. There's action, adventure, and even shooter action shown in this E3's spaceship demo. Hell, it could probably be considered an RPG based on some of the features we've seen. While it may not lead in any one of those given areas, when put together there's no denying that No Man's Sky looks like an excellent game. If there was a category for pure wonder, then it probably would have won that.

Star Wars: Battlefront

EA DICE has used some sort of magic on me, because every time I watch their scripted E3 demos for Star Wars: Battlefront online it feels like I'm revisiting those classic films we each hold in our hearts. Except that can't be true, because: A.) this is a video game and, B.) it looks and sounds better than Star Wars ever was on my VHS tapes. The development team should be so proud with the way they've recreated this universe in-game. Art, animation, gameplay -- it looks feels like a Star Wars film battle being acted out from first-person. The depth of the multiplayer experience may be another matter entirely, but for now let's just take in the beauty of these initial showings and appreciate them for what they are.

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Nathan Drake's tetralogy will be coming to an end with the 2016 release of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. I feel like I should be nominating the game just for how impactful the previous three games have been on the industry. Luckily the game looks better than ever, so it can pick up this nomination on its own merits. Nate, Elena and Sully are back and decisions must be made. Their relationships are on the line and it's probably a safe bet that not everyone will come out of this one unscathed. While the demo shown to the world, and even the extended demo shown to press, didn't fully dig its hooks into us, there's no denying that Naughty Dog's latest will be of the highest quality on consoles. 

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - Runner-Up

When Deus Ex's cinematic trailer was initially shown, I was excited. It wasn't any sort of outrageous excitement, but I'd never say no to more Deus Ex. When the briefest bit of gameplay was shown during the PC Gaming Show press event, my excitement grew exponentially. Imagine then what it felt like when Square Enix later released a 25-minute gameplay demo featuring stealth, combat and conversation gameplay. Sure, it's quite a bit similar to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but that's a good thing in my book. Plus, Adam Jensen has all of these awesome new cyborg toys to play with!

Fallout 4 - Winner 

Fallout 4 was without a doubt the most exciting reveal of E3, but Bethesda didn't just settle for announcing their huge RPG with a cinematic trailer and a bit of story. Director Todd Howard took over the Bethesda E3 2015 keynote to show off an assortment of awesome new features for what felt like hours. At least, it felt like hours in my heart. No other developer or publisher seemed so excited, so confident in their game as Todd Howard did and the audience shared those feelings. Boston shall become home to all gamers.

Okay, I lied, all that really matters is that they announced 2015 release date. GG, Fallout 4! You win!

Thanks to everyone for sticking around and enjoying Neoseeker's Best of E3 2015 awards. It was a great year for games and gamers. 2015 has a ton of great titles lined up month by month for the rest of the year and now 2016 is starting to look stacked as well. Stick around an join in on the conversations E3 has started in each game's respective forum

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Skyforge, F2P MMO collaboration between Obsidian and Allods, starts Open Beta on July 16

12 comments Rory Young - Jul 02, 15 2:24pm (PST) Like (1) Share

Tentatively interested, but F2P is such a four letter word these days

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The wait is almost over! Skyforge, the free-to-play MMO made in collaboration between Allods Team and Obsidian Entertainment, will kick off its Open Beta starting July 16. Those who have purchased a Founder's Pack will gain access a full week early, as servers will go up for them on July 9. Accompanying the announcement is a special open beta trailer introducing the world Skyforge takes place in, as well as its enemies. The Open Beta will not have its servers wiped once the game fully launches, unlike witth Closed Beta. That means mark your calendars, because the grind starts soon.

Skyforge is not a traditional MMO, by any means. It's a game built from the ground up to be free-to-play and its progression systems are absolutely representative of that. For instance, Skyforge characters don't have levels. Players will instead strengthen their characters through how far they've gotten in the game's content and their character stats. As in, you may find yourself doing things many times in order to get the loot or currency necessary to improve your character's stats and hit up the next level. That's not to say the action won't be exciting and fun, but odds are those unwilling to spend a bit of up-front cash may be a bit inhibited from progression.

Let's just take a look at some of the currencies available in the Founders packages. By my count there are at least four or five currencies which Founders will get a lump sum of to start with. Those include "Argents," "Credits," "Spark Replicators," "Celestial Threads," and "Enhancement Stones" split into ranks 1-3. Plus, there are Premium Account subscriptions, which technically haven't had their boons revealed yet. Rumors are that they'll increase the weekly caps that free players will have on progression, as well as increased earning rates. Oof.

Add in that Skyforge will also lock classes, costumes, mounts and other microtransactions behind pay walls and one has to ask whether the developers and publisher really want players to see all of the cool things they're working so hard on. You know things are rough when you're looking at spending $70 for a founders pack full of items which you have no idea what they do, in quantities that don't tell you whether you'll be able to afford what you want. I've heard more about the sketchy free-to-play practices of Skyforge up to now than I have about the game's gameplay. 

Nevertheless, a free-to-play MMO is a free-to-play MMO and if its whole job is to get me to play just once and potentially get hooked from there, then they've got me. The action looks like a lot of fun and the brief demo I've been shown from the developers has my interest piqued. I'll be there on July 16 with the other free-to-play players ready to see what Skyforge really has to offer.

Categories: PC Games

Trials Fusion's Awesome Level MAX DLC gameplay isn't too extreme, but does have cats on unicorns

2 comments Rory Young - Jul 02, 15 12:31pm (PST) Like Share

Needs more unicorn power, methinks

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Gameplay for Trials Fusion's upcoming Awesome Level MAX DLC pack was not shown during Ubisoft's E3 2015 press conference. Instead Red Lynx trolled everyone with this huge cinematic trailer, getting folk to think there was some big AAA game about to be announced. Nope, just Trials Fusion DLC. To be fair, as a Trials Fusion fan the cinematic trailer got me ridiculously excited. Nothing better than Trials pushing even further into the absurdity that it already embraces. Today Ubisoft let loose the first look at Awesome Level Max DLC's gameplay and, well, it looks like more Trials Fusion.

When you say you're adding a cat wielding a pistol and riding a unicorn to the game, taking Trials to the next level, there are certain expectations set. Judging from the gameplay trailer the whole "taking it to the next level" thing doesn't seem to be wholly accurate. There are definitely cats on unicorns, though. It just seems to be more of an alternative skin for the motorcycle instead of a transformative gameplay feature. Many of the maps shown also seem to share level assets from the main game as well, though there definitely were a few unique levels to behold too.

Hopefully Red Lynx has taken a number of cues from their community, who has definitely had their fun with Trials Fusion's level creation system. That infinite stairs level shown in the trailer is literally taken directly from a number of custom levels I've played through myself. But hey, if all Red Lynx was doing was releasing their favorite custom maps made up by Red Lynx's engineers and playable with a unicorn being ridden by a cat? I'd still be in. Sounds like they've at least got a few surprised to discover in there, though.

The Awesome Level MAX DLC pack for Trials Fusion will be released on July 14 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, followed by a PC launch on July 15. The pack will include 30 all-net tracks, 30 challenges, the unicorn ride, and more. Folk will also be able pick up the standalone Awesome Max Edition of Trials Fusion starting with the DLC's release. That bundle will include the full game and all of its six Season Pass DLC packs, plus the new Awesome Level MAX DLC. Expect to hear more on that in the months to come.


Extended Uncharted 4: A Thief's End E3 2015 demo reintroduces Elena

4 comments Rory Young - Jul 01, 15 12:32pm (PST) Like Share

And Elena doesn't look too happy

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The Uncharted 4: A Thief's End demo shown during Sony's press conference at E3 2015 was very impressive. There's no argument to be made with that statement. However, considering that the demo closed out Sony's entire conference, it was quite a bit anti-climactic. The demo ended with Nate in the middle of a chase sequence, abruptly ending without any meaningful conclusion or cliffhanger. The truth is that this was because they were showing the second half of the demo behind closed doors to press and industry folk on the E3 show floor. Today the full, extended demo has been published online for all to see.

It's not necessarily Naughty Dog's fault that their left a rather sour taste in many viewers' mouths during the press conference. They likely had nothing to do with choosing when their demo would be shown in the event and it definitely seems like they didn't expect to be the show's closer. But that's definitely what they were. Nevertheless the press went on to laud Uncharted 4 as one of E3 2015's best showings, citing the closed demo. But it's hard to persuade casual viewers that something gets better when they haven't seen it for themselves as of yet. Thank goodness Naughty Dog decided to put out this extended demo relatively recently after E3 2015 ended, eh?

The demo picks up right where the E3 demo started, with Nate and Sully looking for Nate's brother, leading into a huge chase through the mountain-side city. Where the Sony E3 demo ended, as Nate tethered onto a truck's overhanging crane hook as it rode across a bridge, Naughty Dog's full demo continues on. I won't spoil the action itself, as the video will showcase it much better than I can describe. I will mention that the conclusion of the demo is much more rewarding, as we're reintroduced to Nate's wife, Elena. It's clear she isn't happy to find her husband back in his adventuring ways, and seemingly having been lying about them as well.

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is planned for release exclusively on PlayStation 4 in early 2016. This may be the last we see of the game for some time as Sony hypes up their holiday releases in the months to come, but I think most will be happy with this glimpse at the upcoming action adventure title.


PlayStation Plus in July adds Rocket League on PS4, Geometry Wars 3 on PS Vita

19 comments Rory Young - Jul 01, 15 12:14pm (PST) Like (1) Share

More free PlayStation 4 games for the PlayStation 4 god

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Sony had some comparably challenging competition from Microsoft's Games With Gold in July. Assassin's Creed sized competition. It doesn't look like Sony's stressing it, maintaining their monthly mix of indie titles and mid-tier surprises that may have passed people by in July's PlayStation Plus. Sony uses their service to promote titles that may otherwise never have found the spotlight on PC or on their own platforms. Well, beyond the PS Vita that is. Sony just seems to put every great PS Vita game directly onto PS+. No complaints there!

Note that July's PlayStation Plus line-up won't begin until July 7, since July 1 falls on a Wednesday and Sony only updates their storefront on Tuesdays. 

PlayStation 4

  • Rocket League
  • Styx: Master of Shadows

PlayStation 3

  • Rain
  • Entwined (PS4, PS3, PS Vita)

PS Vita

  • Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved
  • Mousecraft (PS4, PS3, PS Vita)

It's good to see another mix of multiplatform offerings on PlayStation Plus this July. Both Entwined and Mousecraft will be available on all three Sony platforms, giving the PS4 four games, the PS3 three games, and the PS Vita three games. Oh yes, whatever PlayStation platform you're on, there will certainly be a grand selection of games to play. There aren't any big blockbuster titles this month, which is sure to frustrate some subscribers. Hopefully they'll all be too busy with Rocket League to make too much of a fuss over it.

Make sure to log in and download your copies of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Skulls of the Shogun for PlayStation 4. They'll be departing from PlayStation Plus as soon as July's games kick in.


Launch trailer for The Great Ace Attorney's July 9 Japanese release, no localization yet announced

9 comments Rory Young - Jun 29, 15 12:52pm (PST) Like Share

Don't you dare keep this one Japan-only too, Capcom!

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Damn it all, Capcom! Why do you do this to us? The Great Ace Attorney, a loose translation of the Japanese title Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Bōken, is coming up on its July 9 launch in Japan. Yes, that's the latest tile in the Ace Attorney franchise, though you won't see Phoenix Wright or Miles Edgeworth in this one. This one's set in feudal Japan and starring Ryūnosuke Naruhodō, his last name a pun on "I See!" Time travel probably isn't out of bounds for the franchise though. But back to the point -- here we are so close to the Japan launch and Capcom still hasn't announced a western localization. Damn it all, Capcom!

I'll be honest, the launch trailer for The Great Ace Attorney isn't likely to be very enticing to western audience. I'm not really posting this one for us all to watch and get hyped. I'm posting it because apparently Capcom needs quite a bit more pushing before they'll localize the damn game and if one more news post can help with that then I'll do my best for the cause. Remember, Capcom didn't even release Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth 2 in the west, because they're freakin' jerks. I'm crossing all of my fingers that The Great Ace Attorney won't also miss a localization, but you really can't trust Capcom with these things these days.

The trailer itself focuses on introducing each of the major characters in the game, spinning up a bit of the classic investigative intrigue with a tease of the game's first murder, as well as showing plenty of that classic Ace Attorney personality. Unfortunately there's quite a bit of text and very little movement in the trailer. 3DS gameplay doesn't translate very well into a big, high-resolution launch trailer, so they spend a lot of their time dropping unmoving concept art on-screen and adding the Japanese voice-over on top of it. I'm sure it's great if you know Japanese.

Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Bōken, loosely translated as Great Turnabout Trial: The Adventure of Ryūnosuke Naruhodō and known in the west as The Great Ace Attorney, will launch in Japan on July 9. The 3DS exclusive adventure game has yet to have a localization for other regions announced. It may not be localized at all. Make sure to message Capcom via their social media channels that we want more Ace Attorney here, because we do. And Capcom won't do it unless we make them!


20 minutes of Gearbox's Battleborn shared from their E3 demo, unsurprisingly very Borderlands-ish

3 comments Rory Young - Jun 29, 15 12:05pm (PST) Like Share

Where all my purple drops at, Gearbox?

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Battleborn is Gearbox's upcoming free-to-play shooter. The name can be a bit tough to remember in the mix of all these upcoming F2P shooters like BattleCry, Gigantic and Overwatch. Think of it as Battle-Borderlands, which kind of sounds like Battleborn. Battleborn-derlands. Whatever. Anyway, Gearbox went E3 with Battleborn and showed off their game to attendees. That doesn't do much good for us kids at home, however. Luckily Gearbox has our back too, as they've released about 20 minutes of gameplay footage from their E3 2015 demo.

As expected the game is quite Borderlandsy. Battle-Borderlandsy. The mission shown is one of the game's cooperative modes where the players push through enemy AI, ultimately growing into the escort of a large doomsday robot of sorts. The footage ends just as this robot seems to be converted to the enemy's side. Apparently watching our players take on waves of mindless, near powerless drones makes for a good demo, but the big awesome boss fight at the end was too much to handle. Eh, the gameplay seems less focused on the action, oddly, and more on introducing the characters and their abilities.

Battleborn is one of the upcoming waves of FPS MOBA-likes where players pick one of a large roster of characters to play as. Each character has a subset of unique abilities as well as general attacks, but the focus is on ensuring each one feels fun, special, and packed with personality. Gearbox has really exemplified these ideas with Borderlands, pouring style and humor onto a surprisingly simple sort of gameplay and finding a lot of success with it. Battleborn is an extension of that idea, but capitalizing on the current popularity (and profits) of the microtransaction-rich F2P MOBA-likes.

The issue I can already see arising is that perhaps Borderlands' gameplay, and so then Battleborn's as well, just isn't enough to carry this kind of experience. Borderlands was all about progression, including leveling up, finding tons of loot, and moving the story along bit by bit. The shooting was just a part of following these progression paths. Free-to-play games and MOBA-like experiences, however, are all about quick, fast and adrenaline-pumping gameplay. The style and personality help differentiate the games from competitors, sure, but the gameplay is what's key.

I'm not sure that from what I've seen of Battleborn is enough to keep people tied into the experience in such a way. Compare what we see here to Overwatch with its quick skill cooldowns and frantic, action-packed combat, or even Gigantic's speedy action with tons of verticality and really large, screen-filling abilities. Then look at Battleborn with its rather tepid gun-play, slow movements, scant skills that are very understated and on long cooldowns. Maybe the game's overarching progression systems will be a more worthwhile investment, like in Borderlands, but the gameplay definitely isn't selling the experience very well right now.

Battleborn ha no currently announced plans for a beta, though one should be expected before the end of the year. Hopefully we'll hear more in the months to come. 


Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance available October 9, revenge drives Killia against Void Dark

7 comments Rory Young - Jun 25, 15 2:07pm (PST) Like Share

Everyone knows what Disgaea delivers -- there's nothing else to say!

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Nippon Ichi Software continues to pump out these Disgaea games like they're a niche strategy JRPG of Call of Duty! What number are we on again? Oh yeah, Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance! This time, it's a boyish protagonist with a lady side-kick for some reason wearing a bikini, wait... that's the same, isn't it? Okay, well this time they're fighting to overthrow the dark powers ruling hell, wait... that's the same too, huh? Okay, well this time it's on PlayStation 4. Hah! Even Disgaea can do new things once and a while. Announced today, Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance arrive on October 9 exclusively for PlayStation 4.

And of course I'm mostly kidding, guys. Disgaea 5 has plenty of new features that should placate the dedicated fans that the franchise has amassed so far. The latest game will feature alliance attacks, special moves only activatable when protagonist Killia's "relationship" is aligned with an ally. There's also an all new Revenge Mode which strengthens characters as their allies get defeated in combat. And Disgaea 5 is making a point to show off more of the Netherworlds than ever see before. Okay, so the new features aren't really changing the game in any significant way. But it's on PlayStation 4!

The game doesn't need to change in any huge ways, after all. Fans love Disgaea because of the huge customizable roster of allies, including over 40 races and jobs, each with their own specific traits. They love the grid-based tactical combat and grindy yet challenging combat. They love the oh-so-anime storytelling from the perspective of an anti-hero battling for control of what's basically hell. There's not really anything like Disgaea, which is why Nippon Ichi doesn't really ever need to change the formula. Fans want more of this sort of experience and so Nippon Ichi delivers.

Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance will be available on PlayStation 4 starting October 6 in North America and October 9 in Europe. The latest game in the Disgaea franchise will not be coming to PlayStation 3 -- it's a PS4 exclusive! So if you're a Disgaea fan, I'd recommend jumping to the new generation. I don't think the franchise will be going back now that they've made the jump.

NIS America also announced that Disgaea 5 will feature a special Launch Day Edition which includes the game, a reversible cover, a wider collectible box, a 32-page art book and the game's original soundtrack -- all for the same price as the game would be otherwise. It's basically the best way to do launch day incentives ever, because there's none of that pre-order DLC crap involved.


Apple removing iOS Civil War games for depicting the Confederate Flag

21 comments Rory Young - Jun 25, 15 1:03pm (PST) Like Share

The iOS storefront yet again shows it's not a safe place for video games

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In today's chapter of "Video Games: Is it Censorship?" I believe we can add another page in the, "Yes, it's Censorship" part of the book. Apple has gone on a banning rampage in their own iOS storefront, removing every game which depicts the confederate flag. This includes titles such as strategy game Ultimate General: Gettysburg and a series of Civil War strategy games made by Hunted Cow. The only similarity between the titles appears to be that they include the confederate flag as an asset within their game files.

The statement that Apple has apparently been sending to developers who have had their art pulled from the store gives only a bit of reasoning for the action:

"...because it includes images of the confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways."

The flag has long been an object of political controversy in the United States, but has recently been pulled back into the spotlight after a racially motivated public shooting occurred in the state of South Carolina resulting in nine murders at a Charleston church. The state's leadership has come under fire for running the confederate flag at the state capitol, a symbol rooted in racist history going back to the times of slavery and a symbol the South Carolina shooter used to justify his hate crimes. The South Carolina governor has taken down the flag as the controversy has spread across the nation, starting a conversation regarding the meaning of the flag to those who continue to fly it. It still runs in front of many government buildings in the United States.

Apple has apparently decided that this controversy is worth dealing with within its own App Store, dealt with by removing games featuring the confederate flag in any way from their storefront. Video games remain a federally protected art form, but as far as Apple's storefront goes they are well within their rights to remove any product they want to. Still, this amounts to suppressing art based off of content found distasteful within them. That is to say, it is the very definition of censorship. 

The question of whether this is the right thing for Apple to do or not is another question entirely, but let no one call this anything but censorship. At least some of the games pulled from the storefront went lengths to portray an accurate historical context for their content, but this seems to have no meaning to Apple in their effort to remove all instances of the confederate flag. Apple is well known for removing any sort of "distasteful" games from their storefront in the past, including games approaching any sort of sexual content or excessive violence. Censorship is something they are well versed in, for better or worse. It's unlikely these games will be allowed back on the storefront.

Touch Arcade has received a statement from the developer of of Ultimate General: Gettysburg which I believe accurately and maturely summarizes the situation:

"We accept Apple's decision and understand that this is a sensitive issue for the American Nation. We wanted our game to be the most accurate, historical, playable reference of the Battle of Gettysburg. All historical commanders, unit composition and weaponry, key geographical locations to the smallest streams or farms are recreated in our game's battlefield.

We receive a lot of letters of gratitude from American teachers who use our game in history curriculum to let kids experience one of the most important battles in American history from the Commander's perspective.
Spielberg’s "Schindler's List" did not try to amend his movie to look more comfortable. The historical "Gettysburg" movie (1993) is still on iTunes. We believe that all historical art forms: books, movies, or games such as ours, help to learn and understand history, depicting events as they were. True stories are more important to us than money.

Therefore we are not going to amend the game's content and Ultimate General: Gettysburg will no longer be available on AppStore. We really hope that Apple’s decision will achieve the desired results. We can’t change history, but we can change the future."

Simply put, the iOS is not a safe place for art and so is not a safe place for video games. Hopefully more developers become aware of this as a result of today's events.

Join in the ongoing discussion for this topic within the Neoseeker community, care of @Shilz.

Categories: Mobile Games

XCOM 2's behind-closed-doors E3 2015 gameplay shows off our alien-conquered Earth

0 comments Rory Young - Jun 25, 15 12:15pm (PST) Like Share

Snakes? It had to be snakes

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Dedicated XCOM fans have probably been able to sniff this out already, as Firaxis Games gave several live demos to various live-streaming outlets during E3 2015. The folk at Firaxis and 2K understand that not everyone was able to keep up with every E3 livestream though. So they went ahead and released a full recording of their E3 2015 demo which was otherwise only shown "Behind Closed Doors." XCOM 2 will be arriving in November later this year, so you can rather reliably say that even though this is beta footage, it should be feature complete. This gameplay is a good indicator for what the final game will look like.

As is typically the case for any and every E3 demonstration, the XCOM 2 demo focuses rather heavily on introducing the various new features which Firaxis will be adding in the sequel. These range from large features like stealth approaches to start a mission, secondary objectives like blowing up the statue, to less obvious features like the new classes, improved cinematic quality of gameplay and evacuation procedures. All in all, there is a ton of information for XCOM players to take in from this demo. I figure folk will be looking it over for quite some time in order to figure out its secrets.

For folk like me who aren't so interested in the features so much as the XCOM authenticity, I'd say this demo is a triumph. The whole party is wiped out except for one single character, yet performed  rather amazingly considering they went up against overwhelming odds in the middle of an alien-controlled stronghold. Just having that final character survive is great symbolism, as the game's entire premise is about losing the war yet continuing to struggle against oppression. Also, he saved that other character so he could salvage her armor and items. That's a true XCOM player right there. What a huge loss of investment otherwise, right?

XCOM 2 is in development at Firaxis Games and is planned for released exclusively on PC in November later this year. It takes place some time after the events of the original XCOM and is built on the idea that humanity lost the war with the invading aliens. XCOM has survived, however, and is planning on taking back their planet.

Categories: PC Games

Games With Gold for July adds Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag on X1, Gears of War 3 on 360

5 comments Rory Young - Jun 25, 15 11:32am (PST) Like Share

Here ends the reign of Pool Nation FX of the Xbox One's line-up

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Well hey, hey, hey! Look at this! Microsoft's got a pretty solid line-up of title for Games With Gold in July. Both Xbox platforms will be picking up a pair of games. I guess Pool Nation started to ask for too much money. Best yet, we're getting both a pretty outstanding AAA game as well as a smaller indie game. That's the best of both worlds. The Xbox 360's are both just outstanding. Two of the best games of that generation, and one of them well-timed considering a pair of announcements at E3. Good on Microsoft to even be willing to share this one. Alright, enough teasing.

Let's take a look at Microsoft's Games With Gold line-up for July:

Xbox One

  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (July 1 - July 31)
  • So Many Me (July 16 - August 15)

Xbox 360

  • Plants vs. Zombies (July 1 - July 15)
  • Gears of War 3 (July 16 - July 31)

We're witnessing an interesting divergence here. It looks like Microsoft has figured out the direction they want for the program going forward. Xbox One games on the service seem to be on a monthly release schedule, but with tapered releases. That is to say that a new game will be added every 15 days, but an old game will then be removed. This will maintain a 2-game schedule, but also provide two new games every month. The Xbox 360, though, where it must be easier to get contracts for new games in a short amount of time, will also maintain two games each month. However, they'll only last 15 days and only one will be up at a given time.

Gears of War 3 is an awesome  game, my favorite in the franchise, and Microsoft must be releasing it to build up hype for the pending release of the Gears of War Ultimate Edition on Xbox One. Hopefully they don't end up showing how much better the series is on Xbox 360. Plants vs. Zombies is an understandable pick. It's a great title that comes from one of Microsoft's closest third-party partners. I believe Garden Warfare has also been a part of Games With Gold. And Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is just a solid get no matter what. Sure it's one of the older titles on Xbox One, but it's possibly also the best launch title for the platform.

There's your Games With Gold for July, everyone. Make sure to hop online and download Massive Chalice and Pool Nation FX on Xbox One before the end of July, as well as Thief on Xbox 360.


Diablo III 2.30 upcoming patch adds 'Ruins of Sescheron' zone, difficulty expanded up to Torment X

3 comments Rory Young - Jun 25, 15 2:23am (PST) Like Share

Unclear if the Ruins of Sescheron is story-based content or not

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Season 3 continues unabated in Diablo III, looking as strong as it ever has. The game has been reinvented with post-launch patches and the major changes introduced with the release of the Reaper of Souls expansion. The flock of returning player has only reinvigorated the Blizzard Entertainment devs currently working on Diablo III, as they've only just announced their plans for Patch 2.3.0. The patch will feature an entirely new zone to explore and adventure through, rewarding players with the mysterious Kanai's Cube artifact upon completion. And that's just scratching the surface.

The patch will be hitting the Public Test Realm "soon" for those willing to be test rats. It's not clear whether Blizzard intends to release 2.3.0, though with Season 3's end still a ways away it seems like might have it ready before the Season's end. Here are the major feature updates, though it should be noted that Blizzard has made major changes to patch features before. Don't be surprised if things change between now and release:

  • Ruins of Sescheron Zone: Patch 2.3.0 will unlock the Ruins of Sescheron zone, an explorable are with new enemies and "environmental hazards." At the end of the zone will lie the Tomb of King Kania and his mysterious Kanai's Cube artifact."
  • Kanai's Cube: Like the Horadric Cube on steroids, Kanai's Cube allows for breaking down Legendary items in order to equip their effects as passive skills, converting crafting materials, and other tricks.
  • Crafting Updates: "Crunched down" number of crafting recipes, as well as dynamically adjusting recipes for low level items.
  • Adventure Mode Updates: Changes to improve the pacing of Adventure Mode, while encouraging players to do more bounties across multiple acts. Includes Act-specific crafting materials and bonus Horadric Caches for completing Bonus Acts.
  • Season Journey: Starting in Season 4, a new interface will allow players to track their progress across Chapters and Tiers. These will note "major milestones" and unlock portrait rewards for certain challenges.
  • Increasing Torment: Torment, previously capped at VI, will not scale all the way up to Torment X.
  • Legendary & Set Items: It wouldn't be a patch without new legendary and set items and effects, as well as revamping some existing items. Not retroactive.
  • Combat Changes: Crowd control to be less effective against certain "tougher" monsters. More or less experience granted based on monster difficulty (time taken to kill a monster). Difficulty diverted away from Rift Guardian and into challenges along the way.

This is just a list of major feature changes made in Diablo III's patch 2.3.0. The specific notes have not been published, and the developers have even noted that there are some smaller but equally awesome changes that just didn't make the list. 

As mentioned earlier, the patch is not yet live on the Public Test Realm and it's not clear whether or not the patch is intended to be released before or after the end of Season 3. The general trend for Blizzard is to release these big patches as a season is ending, however, so players can get accustomed to the content before the next season begins. All without shifting the meta mid-season. Expect more details on this soon.

Diablo III and its expansion Reaper of Souls are both currently available on PC, and also on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the form of the Ultimate Evil Edition. News on console patches tends to come quite a bit later than for PC, so please wait for more information in the months to come, console players.


Pillars of Eternity patch 2.0 available for all, lands with The White March's Part 1

0 comments Rory Young - Jun 25, 15 1:02am (PST) Like Share

Why can't everyone be as cool as you guys, Obsidian?

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As the gaming industry toils over botched PC ports and exploitative DLC practices, it's good to know developers like Obsidian Entertainment are still there for us. Today the developer announced their Pillars of Eternity 2.0 patch, arriving with the release of their expansion The White March. Or, well, the first part of The White March that is. What's so awesome about another expansion gamers will have to throw their money at? How about the fact that patch 2.0 and the major features it adds will be available for all players of Pillars of Eternity. No expansion required.

Patch 2.0 won't include any additional content for Pillars of Eternity players, as if they'd need any more in the base game. However, for those doing their second run or perhaps for those who are just starting out, these will be great features which enhance the overall experience. As usual, in addition to the feature additions the patch will also include bug fixes and balance changes

  • Party AI - "You will now have the option to enable AI behavior for your party members. You can toggle AI on and off by selecting the toggle on your character action bar. You can choose what kind of behavior you want to use by right-clicking the new icon or opening the menu from the character sheet. There's a variety of behavioral options available to each class and there's also an option to enable them to use per-rest abilities. While the AI is active your party members will select targets, spells and abilities automatically. You won't need to micro-manage them. However, you can override the AI at any time with your own input."
  • Individual Stealth - "You can now select which individual party members go into or out of stealth. When one of your party members is spotted your entire party won't be forced out of stealth. At the start of combat you now have the option to sneak some of your party members around to get into the perfect position."
  • Range Indicators - "We have a new UI option being added that shows the range of your spells, abilities and attacks. It should be easier to tell how close your wizard needs to be to cast a spell or what distance your ranger can maintain from a foe."
  • Accuracy Indicators - "We now have an option to show accuracy over the heads of enemies when you select them for an attack. This will give you more information for how difficult a particular enemy might be. It will also show you how likely you are to hit a friendly target with a spell that hits everyone within its area of effect.

Again, all of these features will be available to Pillars of Eternity players whether or not they've purchased the expansion. 

Pillars of Eternity is Obsidian Entertainment's big Kickstarted classic RPG originally pitched as "Project Eternity." The game was released in March earlier this year on PC about two and a half years after raising over $4 million in crowd-funding. It has received very high praise from critics and its expansion, The White March, was only just officially announced at E3.

Categories: PC Games

Driveclub PlayStation Plus available June 25, offline only to start with online rolled out

3 comments Rory Young - Jun 25, 15 12:22am (PST) Like Share

Update Now available for download

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Update: Driveclub PS+ Edition is now available for download in both America and Europe!

Driveclub's initial announcement was exciting -- the game would be debuting as both a full game as well as a PlayStation Plus exclusive demo versions. Yet when it came time to launch, the glee turned to scorn as the PS+ version's servers were quickly overhwhelmed. The launch was disastrous for all Driveclub players and the PS+ version was postponed indefinitely. Ever since developer Evolution and publisher Sony have promised that the game would return, it was a huge part of the PlayStation 4's launch campaign after all, but until today no one knew when. Today we learned it would arrive tomorrow.

Yes, on June 25 the Driveclub PlayStation Plus Edition will be released in all its glory. Err, hold that thought. It won't be released in all of its glory. It'll be released in all of its offline glory. Sony's apparent solution to their servers being overloaded was not adequately preparing their serves for the load, but rather to disable everyone's online access to start and then slowly roll it out to the masses. I'm not sure why it took so long for this solution to be found.

"We have to take this precaution because Driveclub connectivity is demanding for a multiplayer game, with countless ever-growing social connections across clubs, challenges, multiplayer, and hundreds of thousands of dynamic leaderboards and activity feeds."

Still, better late than never and also better offline than not at all... maybe? Actually I'm not so sure about that last bit. Sony will apparently keep a record of how quickily online services for Driveclub are rolling out over at the official Driveclub website

The thing is, I'm not so sure how excited people are to download Driveclub anymore. Dilligent PlayStation Plus members will be certain to check it out, but will they go out of their way especially with online disabled to start? The full game has already been released for some time, and while the game's visuals were a high point of the game it was overall panned as a relatively lackluster game. I get the feeling this is just Sony trying to deliver on an old promise with as little fanfare as possible. They just don't want it to be another car crash. After the thing is out, everyone can start forgetting about it all.

Driveclub PlayStation Plus Edition will be available starting tomorrow, June 25, exclusively on PlayStation 4.

"Thank you to everyone who has stood by Driveclub during the past year and for everyone who has accepted the extra wait for the PS Plus Edition and the companion app which will come after. The team at Evolution Studios is working incredibly hard to make Driveclub great for you, to get everyone to have fun racing in clubs and continue the evolution of the game with spectacular updates every month. I can’t wait to see all of you enjoying the game online together."



'Butcher Bridge' ARAM map first part of League of Legends' upcoming Bilgewater: Burning Tides event

0 comments Rory Young - Jun 25, 15 12:21am (PST) Like Share

Gangplank's coming home, boys

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Riot Games never stop making awesome stuff for League of Legends. Sometimes it's pretty unexciting, sometimes it's expensive, and sometimes it's just really awesome. Today came the reveal of one of those awesome things. Riot is planning their next big themed meta event/content drop, similar to previous drops for Freljord, Shadow Isles, and Shurima. Next, summoner's will be visiting the pirate island nation of Bilgewater. Details on the drop will be forthcoming in the next few weeks, but Riot did have one special reaveal for now -- introducing Butcher's Bridge.

Butcher's Bridge is a new map, or should i say a new old map? As the name implies, Butcher's Bridge is an ARAM map, meaning it's just like the Howling Abyss map currently in-game. They'll both run the same game mode of ARAM and feature the same mechanics. Riot's said that Butcher's Bridge will be replacing Howling Abyss for the duration of the Bilgewater event, they're still exploring their options for the map post-event. I'd hope they just put the maps on a randomizer and half the time you get Howling Abyss and half the time you get Butcher's Bridge. In a few years maybe we'd have four or five of the maps on rotation! How awesome would that be?

But yeah, as far as gameplay is concerned there will be no differences on the ARAM map. Everything else, well, it wouldn't do to have Freljord influence in Bilgewater, would it? Riot's given the bridge an all new style, high above the Slaughter Docks. The towers have become salvaged cannons of sorts, the shops are manned by characters of a more pirate-y origin. Even the minions have taken up the pirate spirit and, err, no, I think they're just still wearing their Pool Party clothes. Never mind.

The Butcher's Bridge is currently up and playable on the League of Legends Public Beta Environment. It might stay there for a bit yet, as Riot says they still have some work to do on it. They also warn folk who'd like to avoid spoilers for the Bilgewater event to avoid PBE round-ups for the next week or few. They'll be testing quite a bit of things, apparently. Bilgewater sounds like quite the endeavor.

Categories: PC Games

Bungie attempts to placate frustrated Destiny players with The Taken King DLC options, VIP rewards

19 comments Rory Young - Jun 24, 15 7:57pm (PST) Like Share

Bungie wasn't kidding when they said The Taken King will change Destiny forever

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Bungie just published their "Weekly Update," in which they addressed many of the frustrations regarding Destiny: The Taken King's announcement and the ongoing discourse regarding the pricing of the expansion. Sadly I'm not entirely sure if Destiny fans are going to be happy with Bungie's response or angrier than ever. The Weekly Update focused on three things: Bungie creative lead Luke Smith's apology for comments made during a Eurogamer interview, a new plan to release the bonus content from The Taken King's Digital Collector's Edition standalone for $20, and free VIP rewards for year one players who have "picked up and played" Destiny and its two current expansions.

First, regarding Luke Smith's apology, the sad truth is it's unlikely that Destiny's community will forgive him until pricing issues revolving around The Taken King and its supplementary digital content is solved. Judging from the response in Destiny's community already, those issues are ongoing despite today's announcements. With that said, Luke's apology does not ring entirely sincere. He begins by explaining that those who know him would understand he was just being sarcastic and only apologized to the community which apparently doesn't understand his humor. Then he closes out with the Destiny community marketing line of, "We  are listening," and let me tell you that when you're apologizing to a community tired of hearing, "We are Listening," when it very much seems like Bungie isn't, saying, "We are listening," again isn't the best option.

Second, Bungie's apologetic solution to frustrated Destiny Veterans having to spend $40 for an expansion, plus another $40 for exclusive DLC bundled with the original game and its expansions, is to discount the DLC to $20 and remove the bundled game. All Bungie's done is redirect the frustration towards still having to pay $40 for an expansion plus $20 for content they still believe aught not to be something sold. Bungie and Activision has essentially used fan frustration over the initial bundle to cross a line they haven't before -- by selling microtransactions. $20 for emotes, shaders and class items. Emotes! You have to pay money in Destiny to get emotes. This is after Destiny devs said out loud that the game has to do more to create a social atmosphere in the game. I doubt emote microtransactions were what they had in mind when they said that.

Third, a VIP reward for year one players. This, this is actually a good idea, but right now it just seems like candy to placate an angry child. Unless Destiny solves their pricing issues, I don't think this angry child is going to accept candy as an olive branch.

Or maybe they will, because at the end of the day Bungie's community is incredible. It's one of the best gaming communities online. And the thing is, Bungie and Activision know that if they do nothing to change prices from now until The Taken King's launch, their community will still buy the expansion because they love Destiny and the community. Will Activision and Bungie make meaningful pricing changes? Or will they knowingly keep things the way they are, because they know they can?

And here I am, wondering if today's announcement of a Destiny and Red Bull partnership, where exclusive The Taken King content keycodes are put in packages of the energy drink, was meant to distract from this ongoing controversy or just otherwise horrible, horrible timing.


Warner Bros. suspends sales of Batman: Arkham Knight on PC

6 comments Rory Young - Jun 24, 15 6:52pm (PST) Like Share

Rather an unprecedented decision on the part of Warner Bros.

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The launch of Batman: Arkham Knight on PC has not gone smoothly. Not only has the port, rumored to have been developed by third-party Iron Galaxy in only two months prior to launch, been smothered by technical issues, but it is also is extremely barebones by PC standards. The game is hard-capped at 30fps, rather than opening fps open as PC gamers not just request but rather expect. Warner Bros., just yesterday, defended the port saying it was the way the game was built to be played, as it was on other gaming platforms. Today Warner Bros.  has made a drastic decision, announcing that Batman: Arkham Knight's sale on PC had been suspended.

Warner Bros. cites the ongoing technical issues as the reason why Batman: Arkham Knight has been pulled. They say that sales of the game will remain suspended while they, "work to address these issues to satisfy our quality standards." However, Warner Bros. also notes that they want to, "do whatever we can to make the experience better for PC players overall." Obviously the technical issues will be priority for Warner Bros., but it seems they're also considering perhaps addressing the 30fps cap as well. They don't say outright that it's their goal to fix the 30fps cap though, leaving them room to leave it as is if it's too much trouble otherwise.

That is, I think PC gamers should walk away from this frustrating time with their chin up. Consumers know that Warner Bros. dropped the ball here. Seeing them pull the game from digital storefronts is recognition of that fact that they've screwed up, and considering how limited publishers tend to be when it comes to legalese and marketing speak this full statement is as good as it really gets. There's an apology, a promise of fixing technical issues, and a hope to improve the performance of the game overall. It doesn't make up for the release of the PC port in the first place, but it's good news in this post-launch world.

Batman: Arkham Knight is available now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with retail copies of the PC version still likely be on store shelves. The PC version has been pulled from Steam, but other digital storefronts that buy their keys in bulk will likely keep the game on sale. Expect further news on patches for the game in the days and weeks ahead. Hopefully Warner Bros. will be able to put something together for PC gamers who decided to hold onto their copies in a quick fashion.

Here is the full statement as released by Warner Bros.:

Dear Batman: Arkham Knight PC owners,
We want to apologize to those of you who are experiencing performance issues with Batman: Arkham Knight on PC. We take these issues very seriously and have therefore decided to suspend future game sales of the PC version while we work to address these issues to satisfy our quality standards.  We greatly value our customers and know that while there are a significant amount of players who are enjoying the game on PC, we want to do whatever we can to make the experience better for PC players overall.
Thank you to those players who have already given valuable feedback. We are continuously monitoring all threads posted in the Official Batman: Arkham Knight Community and Steam forums, as well as any issues logged with our Customer Support ( If you purchased your copy of the game and are not satisfied with your experience, then we ask for your patience while these issues are resolved. If desired, you can request a refund at (Steam refund policies can be found here: or the retail location where you purchased the game. 
The Batman: Arkham fans have continually supported the franchise to its current height of success, and we want to thank you for your patience as we work to deliver an updated version of Batman: Arkham Knight on PC so you can all enjoy the final chapter of the Batman: Arkham series as it was meant to be played.

Categories: PC Games

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 rundown trailer, features Park Creator and multiplayer with up to 20 skaters

6 comments Rory Young - Jun 24, 15 2:28pm (PST) Like Share

Tony Hawk is so hyped for this game that he's intimidating

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Judging from the response to our nominating Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 for Sports in our Best of E3 2015 awards, most people didn't even realize the game was at the show. Luckily Tony Hawk and crew have put at little post-E3 something something together to help fans catch up to speed. The new rundown trailer focuses on many of the major goals for the project, straight from the mouths of Robomodo developers and professional skaters featured in the game. Perhaps they might be trying to lay on the Tony Hawk nostalgia a little too thick, though.

Oddly enough though, the trailer doesn't really go into multiplayer. According to a post on PlayStation's Blog from Robomodo's president, Josh Tsui, multiplayer is the key addition to the game on top of the classic Tony Hawk experience fans would otherwise expect: 

"Online multiplayer is where Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 truly takes off, letting players drop in and out of ongoing online skate sessions with friends and challengers from around the world; it’s like a skatepark that never closes. Complete missions, unlock new content, and level up online or offline, or go head-to-head on the fly against all takers in competitive matches."

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 will feature a surprising 20-player multiplayer mode. I'm not entirely sure how that will work, beyond how a lot of skaters are going to be pushing and shoving their way up ramps, but at the same time that sounds kind of awesome.

Instead of focusing on the multiplayer, the introductory trailer shows off various gameplay including some new features. Those include mid-air "stomping" which lets players move downwards after making a jump in order to more quickly land on the ground or rail. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 will also feature a park creation tool, letting players create their own maps full of ramps, jumps and rails specifically positioned for whatever nonsense they please. They tease a bit of how the map creation will work in the video, but whether or not the feature is substantial in the final product will need to be proven.

Mostly, yeah, it just looks like Tony Hawk. The visuals aren't particularly impressive, and they do have that weird elemental feature where you can light your board on fire or charge it with electricity that was shown but not discussed, which could be weird. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 could be interesting? Hopefully we'll see more of the game soon.

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 is planned for release on September 29 later this year for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.

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Epic sets People Can Fly free, Warsaw-based studio buys their independence

1 comments Rory Young - Jun 24, 15 12:19pm (PST) Like Share

Now to see if they can spread their wings

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Epic Games and subsidiary People Can Fly have reached an agreement allowing the the Bulletstorm studio to become independent, according to Studio Director Sebastian Wojciechowski. The Warsaw-based developer of both Painkiller and Gears of War: Judgment has decided that they have aspirations beyond the current plans of Epic. As a result of a "Management Buy-Out," People Can Fly was able to come to a business deal with Epic's management allowing the smaller development team to buy their independence. Where will they go from here? Time will tell.

Sebastian Wojciechowski provided the following statement regarding the separation, supplying kind words for his previous overlords at Epic:

"We, as a People Can Fly team, are extremely excited about new possibilities ahead of us. We’re going to work on a new game, while continuing to partner with Epic and use UE4. We’re grateful to Tim and the whole Epic team for our long and successful collaboration."

While People Can Fly will retain ownership of the Bulletstorm property, which has always been under their own control and not Epic's, the studios is much smaller than it used to be. After Bulletstorm disappointing sales, much of the company left to pursue other opportunities. Previous co-owner and creative director Adrian Chmielarz left to form The Astronauts, while others went to a myriad of studios including Techland, CD Projekt RED, or even western studios like Naughty Dog. Nevertheless, after having been transformed into Epic Games Poland in 2015, just having their identity back is likely a huge morale booster for the studio.

Since Gears of War: Judgment's release in 2013, the studio has largely been put to work on other Epic Games properties. These include Fortnite, Infinity Blade III and Unreal Tournament. While it's not clear whether or not they had their own unique project that they were working on, or whether its status helped lead People Can Fly to go off on their own, the studio definitely has plans for their own games already. 

Wojciechowski provided the following statement to Polygon regarding their reason for departing, as well as their plans for the future:

"The desire to create our own game was stronger than all the benefits of being a part of Epic group. We are lucky that Tim Sweeney as well as Epic’s board and its executive team members are fair and honest people and allowed us to reach for our dreams and gave us amazing opportunity to become an independent developer again."

Best of luck to People Can Fly in the future! We're excited to hear about their next project, especially considering the lengths they were willing to go to in order to make it happen. 


Batman: Arkham Knight PC port performance issues widespread [Update: WB's June 24 response]

18 comments Rory Young - Jun 24, 15 12:20am (PST) Like Share

Update WB's second official statement is quite disappointing

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Update: A second official message regarding Batman: Arkham Knight's ongoing issues on PC has been posted, this time from a WB Community Admin. "Yorick" states that WB Games is "working diligently" with their studios, Nvidia and AMD to fix "the issues" as fast as they can. While the overall tone of the post is very professional and respectful, as he even recommends utilizing Steam refunds should players not be happy with their purchase, the undercurrent is that WB perhaps believes that a large part of the problem stems from users running the game on low-performance hardware or by altering files to make the game run at more than 30fps. 

That is to say, WB is taking the issues they recognize as their own fault very seriously. They will work towards ensuring the game runs at the settings they've said will run for specific hardware configurations, will fix real in-game bugs and not likely anything more. 30fp is the cap for Batman: Arkham Knight on PC, as it is on PS4 and X1, and altering files to make it run faster will not be supported by WB.

For more specific recommendations regarding settings and hardware configurations, from Nvidia or AMD GPUs to mechanical hard drive issues, check out Yorick's full post at the official community website.

Original Story: What an odd age we live in that the PC, of all platforms, so often becomes the worst supported. Batman: Arkham Knight launched early today and reports are already widespread regarding huge performance issues for the port. It starts with the fact that the port is capped at 1080p and 30fps out of the box. From there, PC players are reporting issues with frame rates, SLI not working, hard crashes and, well, a bit of everything else too.

It's important to recognize that many PC users have also resorted to editing the game files in order to avoid the 30fps cap. This change has, reportedly, led to a larger range of issues than if the cap was left in place. The game was simply built to run at 30fps and that PC hardware can so easily provide better performance does not seem to have made a difference in the port.

Nevertheless, Batman: Arkham Knight developer Rocksteady has already heard the complaints, with Community Manager CODA issuing a short response in their community:

"We're aware that some users are reporting performance issues with the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight. This is something that Rocksteady takes very seriously. We are working closely with our external PC development partner to make sure these issues get resolved as quickly as possible.
We'll update this thread when we've got more info to share."

What's important to take away from this is that while Rocksteady is the main developer for Batman: Arkham Knight, they were not directly responsible for the PC version of the game. Rocksteady built the game on console hardware for console hardware, with the PC port handed off to a third party to port. Warner Bros. would be responsible for the handling of this port, and we should all be familiar with past Warner Bros. published PC ports including Mortal Kombat X's disastrous PC launch.

Whether or not improvements to the PC port will be forthcoming in any reasonable amount of time is highly questionable. After all, this isn't a matter of Nvidia drivers or AMD drivers, as both parties have released updated drivers for the game. This is an issue of the port being limited by its console origins. Who knows how much work would have to go into rebuilding it for PC in order to unlock larger frame rates and scaling visuals.

Hopefully we'll get another update on Batman: Arkham Knight's ongoing PC issues from Rocksteady or Warner Bros. before too long. Until then, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One may be the places to play Batman: Arkham Knight. Or, alternatively, Steam has implemented a return system for those unhappy with the quality of their experience.

Categories: PC Games
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