Podcast 4 – June 15 2016

Dante’s Inferno film adaptation in the works

A film adaptation based on the Visceral Games title loosely inspired by the epic poem is currently in the works. The game’s story sends a battle hardened Dante on a murderous rampage through hell in search for his love, Beatrice. While there’s little resemblance to the tale that inspired it, the game (an unashamed God of War clone) was a lot of fun.

The film is being backed by Universal Pictures and will be directed by Fede Alvarez who recently helmed the Evil Dead reboot. A script is being written by Jay Basu.

The next Dragon Age and Mass Effect built on same core system

I’m a long-time fan of BioWare.  I’ve been playing their games for the better part of my whole life.  Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, KotOR, Jade Empire, Mass Effect–all of these games have had a lasting impact on me and I’m always tempted to go back to re-experience the greatness of those gaming classics.  I can’t express the disappointment I felt when they were bought out by Electronic Arts and the changes that came with that acquisition.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been some great games from BioWare since the acquisition, but the practices and tone of the games have changed drastically since the studio gave up its independence.

BioWareLogo

Even though it’s published by EA, Dragon Age: Origins is, in my humble opinion, the last classic BioWare game.  Production on DAO began long before EA’s purchase of the Canadian developer and it’s undeniable that it feels everything like one of their older titles.  A spiritual successor to their Dungeons & Dragons licensed games, Dragon Age was a love letter to their fans and hardcore gamers.  It was an in-depth tactical RPG with branching stories and great characters.  I loved it, as did pretty much every other loyal BioWare fan.  It was a game that gave me hope for the future of the studio under EA’s umbrella… until we got Dragon Age 2.

Among the many things bad with their fantasy RPG sequel, Dragon Age 2 can easily be considered Mass Effect with swords… and a much smaller world.  Dragon Age 2 was everything DAO wasn’t–everything a Dragon Age game shouldn’t be.  Despite Mass Effect being a great gaming franchise, it’s successful in that its mechanics work within its game world–those mechanics don’t belong in any sequel to a tactical fantasy RPG.  With that said, I can’t help but be a little apprehensive about the upcoming Dragon Age 3, which will lay the groundwork for the next entry in the Mass Effect franchise.

I can see the positive side of this as it will cut down development time for the next Mass Effect, but it also indicates that the next DA will not really distance itself from the “ME with swords” identity established with the second game.  If BioWare proves me wrong in this assumption, I’ll be thrilled.  Until then, I’m going to remain cautious about the next Dragon Age.

 

Source:  VG247

Mirror’s Edge 2 coming when it’s ready

Another EA reveal was the highly anticipated Mirror’s Edge 2.  The teaser is composed entirely of in-game footage and it looks absolutely stunning.  The DICE-developed sequel will be released “when it’s ready.”

Garden Warfare heading to Xbox and PC

EA announced a new Plants Vs. Zombies game in a very Battlefield-esque teaser.  The game is going to be a multiplayer plant-based shooter.  It’s coming first to Xbox One with 360 and PC ports following.  No official word on PlayStation releases, but it’s likely they will follow the PC release.

Star Wars Battlefront

At their E3 conference, EA brought DICE out to tease us all with the much desired third installment in the Star Wars Battlefront franchise.  The teaser shows little more than snowspeeder and the foot of an Imperial Walker, but, hey, it’s exciting news!

Respawn’s Titanfall (officially) revealed

Microsoft closed their conference with the announcement that the Xbox One will be available this November with a $500 price tag and Titanfall’s official reveal.  A trailer prefaced Respawn Entertainment’s stage debut and a gameplay demo.  Titanfall will be an Xbox console exclusive and is set to be released spring 2014.  I’ll post videos when they become available.

Respawn’s “Titanfall” outed

TitanfallJust days before E3, the first title from Respawn Entertainment has been outed by the leaked GameInformer cover.  Titled Titanfall, the game is supposedly coming only to Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC.  There were rumors floating around that the game would be an Xbox console exclusive, and those appear to be true.  The game will be multiplayer-focused with the Xbox One version heavily utilizing the power of the cloud (one of the things Microsoft was touting for its next-gen console); the Xbox 360 version is being outsourced to a different studio.  I’m sure we’ll learn more about this game in just a few days when E3 is upon us.

 

Source:  IGN

EA eliminating existing online passes

ea-logoElectronic Arts recently announced that their future games will no longer incorporate the much loathed online pass.  It seems now that existing online passes are available to gamers for free.  Going through their past library of games, EA is allowing existing gamers who purchased the games used or are borrowing them from friends to get into the online action at no additional cost.  This discount is currently only available on Xbox 360 but will be heading to other systems shortly.  Additionally, it’s worth noting that American McGee’s Alice download for Madness Returns is also available at no cost.  EA released a statement regarding this move:

As we discontinue Online Pass for our new EA titles, we are also in the process of eliminating it from all our existing EA titles as well.  We heard the feedback from players and decided to do away with Online Pass altogether.

Players will see it first with some EA Sports titles, where a prompt to enter an Online Pass code will no longer appear in-game; with other titles we are simply making Online Passes available free of charge online.

These are rolling updates that are taking effect over the next several weeks. We hope players continue to enjoy our games and online services for a long time to come.

 

Source:  GameInformer

Electronic Arts will be the Publisher of all Future Star Wars Games

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After acquiring Lucasfilm, Disney shut down LucasArts as a development house and has restructured the studio as a licensing house.  First news of licensing from LucasArts has surfaced in the way of the monumental Star Wars license agreement with Electronic Arts.  EA has secured a “multi-year exclusive licensing agreement to develop and publish globally new games based on Star Wars characters and storylines.”  Fans of both videogames and the Star Wars franchise are reporting a great disturbance in the Force… as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

The good news in all of this is EA has announced that three of their studios (DICE, BioWare, and Visceral Games) are working on titles set in the Star Wars Universe.  Fans of the original Knights of the Old Republic (such as myself) are certainly hoping for a single-player continuation of that epic story while everybody else is undoubtedly clamoring for Battlefront III from DICE.  I have no idea what Visceral could be working on, but any speculation is welcome in the comments below.  All games being developed by these studios will utilize Frostbite Engine 3.

My hope in this (aside from EA not destroying the brand and milking the franchise) is that maybe 1313 will be resurrected because, well, it looked pretty awesome.

 

Source:  IGN