Dishonored 2 gameplay trailer

Dishonored 2 is set to release November 11, 2016. Pre-orders, for a limited time, will include Dishonored Definitive Edition.

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Prey reboot announced

At their E3 2016 press conference, Bethesda surprised fans by bringing Arkane Studios on stage to announce a brand new project:  Prey.  Fans were disappointed when the previously announced Prey 2 was canned after the surprisingly attractive game made a huge splash at E3 2011.  The new game appears to be a complete reboot of the franchise with little or no connection to the original.  Little else beyond the cinematic trailer has been revealed about the game at this time, though it is scheduled for release sometime in 2017 and will be available on PC and current-gen consoles.

Telltale unveils screens from Batman

Telltale’s Batman game was announced at last year’s The Game Awards in December.  Telltale has arrived prior to the start of this year’s E3 to unveil some screenshots of the upcoming adventure game.  Also revealed is the game’s voice cast which features Troy Baker as The Bat himself.  The list of voices joining Troy Baker in the game’s cast is as follows: Travis Willingham as Harvey Dent, Erin Yvette as Vicki Vale, Enn Reitel as Alfred Pennyworth, Murphy Guyer as Lieutenant James Gordon, Richard McGonagle as Carmine Falcone, and Laura Bailey as Selina Kyle.  Telltale is promising more reveals of characters and cast as the season progresses.

Kevin Bruner, Telltale’s CEO, said the following about their upcoming Batman game:

“We’ve been hard at work at Telltale creating an all-new iteration of the iconic Batman story that puts players in the suit of billionaire Bruce Wayne, just as much as it will put them behind the mask, deciding how to carefully navigate a complex drama, rich with action, crime, corruption, and villainy lurking around every corner of Gotham City. The complex life and fractured psyche of Bruce Wayne has lent itself to becoming a bold evolution of the signature ‘Telltale’ role-playing experience, and we couldn’t be more excited as we prepare to debut the series to players across the world this summer.”

Ryse: Son of Rome Gamescom trailer

Xbox One is not that far away now.  And, since it is not that far away, Microsoft needs to drum up a little more interest in the system.  What better way than to show off some new footage from the absolutely gorgeous launch title Ryse: Son of Rome?  There is no better way.

The trailer starts off with a pre-rendered segment before showing off gameplay in Gladiator Mode.  It’s violent, it’s bloody, and it’s beautiful.  I noticed some neat new things with the finishers.  It appears now that button prompts are gone (which is great) and are replaced with colored outlines.  I could be wrong in this assumption, but I’m fairly certain that the colored outlines indicate what button to press.  Instead of an obtrusive button prompt on your screen, a slick colorful outline will help keep you immersed.  You’ll see in the trailer yellow and blue outlines which seem to indicate Y and X button presses.

Anyway, the game’s looking better now than it did at E3 with more depth than a simple quick time button masher.  Take a look for yourself.

Dead Rising 3’s SmartGlass features unlock exclusive missions

Capcom’s upcoming Xbox One exclusive Dead Rising 3 will give gamers a reason to boot up the Xbox extension SmartGlass.  The game re-skins players’ SmartGlass devices to look like the character’s phone within the game universe.  From there, players will receive calls which will grant them exclusive missions otherwise inaccessible.  Capcom has stated that the missions players gain access to via SmartGlass will expand the game’s story but will not be essential to it for gamers who don’t have access to a SmartGlass capable device.

SmartGlass will also grant players access to bonuses like air strikes.  Completing missions in-game grants players codes which can be used in the SmartGlass application to purchase the special attacks and such in-game.  Josh Bridge, Dead Rising 3’s executive producer, confirmed that the game does not have microtransactions and that all these purchases will be “within the game’s own ecosystem.”

Dead Rising 3 is coming exclusively to Xbox One as a launch title this November.

 

Source:  VG247

Halo Reclaimer Trilogy is now a “saga”

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Halo 4 was originally announced as the beginning of the Reclaimer Trilogy by 343 Industries, but that idea has apparently been expanded to a “saga.”  The next entry in the Halo franchise was recently announced at this year’s E3 featuring a cloaked figure in a wasteland–with the cloaked figure being revealed as, gasp, Master Chief.  343 has specified that this is the next “legitimate” entry in the franchise and is expected for Xbox One in 2014.

With the expansion of the trilogy into a saga, it makes me wonder if we should expect to see more numbered entries in the franchise set in the current story arc or if we’ll be given a few spin-offs between the numbered entries.  Personally, I’d love to see the brand expand beyond the FPS genre in the future.  I loved Halo Wars and would love to see another Halo RTS.  A controller-based RTS game with SmartGlass and Kinect enhanced features would be phenomenal, I think.

The Haloverse is a wonderful place just begging to be expanded in other genres–especially ones more welcoming to more robust storytelling–so I’d really like to see it step back out of its comfort zone and explore new gaming territories.  Whatever 343 has planned for the future of the franchise, I’m sure it’s exciting.

 

Source:  GameSpot

Xbox One: All the policies you feared are NOT an issue

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Microsoft has confirmed that their upcoming console will not restrict the sale of used games and will not require an internet connection beyond the console’s initial setup.  Single player games will be playable offline and disc-based games will be playable with the disc inserted in the console.  The system has also been confirmed to not be region locked.

Microsoft has been pretty coy in outright confirming anything regarding the Xbox One, internet requirements and the whole borrowing/trading/selling/buying used games dealio.  They’ve been on and off about what the system does and doesn’t need and gamers have been just rallying against the system.  Now that we have some solid confirmation that the system will not be as restrictive as people have feared, it’s nice to be able to breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to this next generation of gaming without the fear of restrictions.

 

Source:  IGN

I preordered an Xbox One, and here’s why…

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I’m a gamer.  I’ve spent countless hours hunched over keyboards and slouched back in a couch holding a controller; I’ve even done my fair share of time flailing with Wii remotes.  It’s a great hobby and it’s something that’s really come to define a part of who I am.  Over the years, I’ve grown attached to certain properties.  Games like Mario, Zelda, and Metroid helped to shape my childhood along with Sonic and Sega’s band of misfits.  Sega, Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft have all had a part in shaping me, my imagination, my interests, and even my sense of humor.  Gaming is more than what I do, really, it’s a part of who I am.

With E3 just wrapping up, there’s a lot of hubbub going on about which of the two new consoles to get.  There was a huge, and I mean huge, negative outcry against Microsoft’s Xbox One with gamers responding to Sony’s less restrictive PS4 with thunderous applause.  The Xbox One requires a daily internet connection, it locks games to users’ accounts, there’s the possibility that publishers can block or profit from used game sales; these are all, obviously, awful things.  These horrible things are all things that Sony’s last bastion of hope for freedom in gaming doesn’t do, so why pick the console that does?  Well, the games.

New-Xbox-One-ConsoleI watched the E3 press conferences for Microsoft and Sony and even the Nintendo Direct.  I saw a few reasons to get a Wii U in the future, but nothing that made me want to run out right now to get Nintendo’s already dated home console hardware.  From Sony, I saw them promise a less restrictive platform with a lower price point than Microsoft’s Xbox One.  And from Microsoft, I saw games.  Games I wanted.  Games I cared about.  All the reactions I’ve seen regarding who won E3 come back to Sony in that they announced a cheaper and less restrictive system.  What I really wanted to see was games.  I didn’t really feel like Sony delivered on that front.  A large portion of what they showed off was stuff we’ve known about for quite some time.  Sure, Sony has some great franchises in its library and I’ll no doubt be buying a PS4 when Quantic Dream (one of my all-time favorite developers) releases their next title after Beyond: Two Souls, but I didn’t see anything at their conference that made me want to have the system at launch.

Microsoft, on the other hand, showed off Ryse: Son of Rome in its latest, controller-based iteration.  It was damned gorgeous and captivating–something I’ll definitely want to play.  They showed off a new Killer Instinct which will be available on Xbox One at launch.  They touted some beautiful footage from Forza 5.  They showed a little more on Remedy Entertainment’s Quantum Break–and I can’t miss a Remedy game.  And, probably most importantly to me, they teased a new Halo game.  Since the first title, I’ve been attached to the Haloverse–I’ve read the books, the comics, watched the anime, watched Forward Unto Dawn, and played all the releases on day one since Halo 2.  It’s a story I care about and I was thrilled to see that 343 Industries actually cared about telling an epic space opera with Halo 4, so I’m more than a little excited to see where the franchise goes moving forward in this new trilogy.

KI_LogoIn addition to that, there’s some really exciting stuff in the “other” media features on Xbox One.  While not gaming per se, there are two original television series in the works for Xbox One that I’m interested in following:  Halo: The Television Series with one Stephen Spielberg being involved and Remedy’s extension to Quantum Break with episodes being tailored depending on decisions in-game.  I love stories and that’s one of the most important things, to me, when it comes to what games I want to play.  If the developers expand on the universe in interesting ways, I’m all for that.  I’d love to see more of the Haloverse outside of the games (but inside canon).

Now, I can’t say I’m entirely thrilled about everything regarding the Xbox One.  It is baffling that Microsoft would think it’s a good idea to move forward with some of their restrictions (specifically the locked games and daily online access requirements), but these are things that, I don’t think, will affect me.  Microsoft has confirmed that borrowing/lending as well as selling/buying used games will still be supported on the system.  They’ve also made it sound like there’s going to be some great new ways to borrow and lend games with a sharing library where 10 users can have access to your library.  What this means is that I can be lending out games to friends in a different state without having to give them my disc–they simply install the game and enjoy it based on my sharing settings.  Pretty great.  The downside is that these friends do need to be on your friends list for a minimum of 30 days and… well, that’s all I can really think of.  I’ve got friends and family several hours away and being able to share games from my account is pretty awesome, in my opinion.

Xbox-One3I’m not strictly a console gamer; I’ve got a decently sized gaming library on my PC which is primarily thanks to Valve’s Steam.  While I’ve always been a fan of how consoles worked differently than PCs with no needing installs, keys, or being able to easily lend your games as physical media, I can’t really complain about Microsoft’s system requirements when I willingly subject myself to similar or stricter restrictions on my PC.  I can’t lend games on my PC, they’re locked to my account.  I need periodic internet access to get on Steam.  I don’t have a problem with this on my computer, and it really should have been expected that the console market would move in this direction sooner or later.  I’m not defending the Xbox One’s restrictions, but I am saying that they’re not as ridiculous as everyone is claiming.  If Microsoft has a solution for if and when Xbox Live is down, good, because that’s really the only problem I can see with the system.  Really, my biggest concern is longevity.

I still have all of my classic consoles.  I’m really quite proud of my gaming collection (as I said earlier in this post, gaming is a part of who I am).  I love going back to play some of my favorites in the best way possible–authentically.  Sure, I can easily boot up an emulator and enjoy classic games that way, but there’s something special about holding the proper controller and taking it in the way I did 10 – 20 years ago.  It’s a great feeling.  So, since I’m such a nostalgic sap, what’s going to happen to my Xbox One library 10 or 15 years from now when Microsoft stops supporting the system?  Will I no longer be able to go back and enjoy my favorite Xbox One games like I do with all my other classic consoles?  That’s what I really want to know.  Not that there’s much I can do about it, but I’d like to have my worries comforted as we move forward into a new console generation.

So, the Xbox One… I’ve made my big day-one decision and I’m sticking to it.  It’s got the games I want, and that’s the most important thing to me.  It’s nowhere near a perfect console and some of the restrictions are downright depressing, but I’d rather play the games I want to play than buy a PS4 simply to send a message to Microsoft.