Fable Anniversary pushed to February 2014

Fable fans waiting for the HD remake of what is arguably the best game in the series are going to have to wait a little bit longer. Lionhead by way of Ted Timmins has stated that the studio needs a bit more time to provide the best Fable experience for fans. He even hinted at some “top secret announcements” for the game. So, it’s entirely possible that Lionhead is working on some new content for the decade old action RPG.

Advertisements

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.

Microsoft may make Games with Gold permanent

XboxLive

Currently, Microsoft’s Games with Gold promotion is only set to run through the rest of this year.  However, according to Major Nelson, that is subject to change depending on audience reaction.  Given that people like free things, even when there might be some disappointment there, I’m sure it will be a resounding success throughout the gaming community.

Microsoft first announced its Games with Gold promotion at this year’s E3 by promising gamers with an Xbox Live Gold subscription two free games every month throughout the remainder of the year.  The first two games to be announced were Assassin’s Creed II and Halo 3.  There was some expressions of disappointment with the two free games, given that they’re already several years old and most anybody that wants to play them already has them (and, c’mon, pretty much everybody has a copy of Halo 3 by now), but they’re free.

The major benefit of this promotion, besides the two free games thing, is that the games will be yours to keep.  Unlike Sony’s free games for PSN+ subscribers, games made available for free on Games with Gold will not expire even if you cancel your Gold subscription.  While I’d certainly like to see something newer than what Microsoft has shown so far (or at least something I haven’t played yet), I’m not going to complain about free games–even if I already own those games, it doesn’t hurt to have a digital copy… especially if it’s free.

Defense Grid is the first free Game with Gold and will remain free through July 15.

Source:  VG247

Age of Empires going mobile

AgeOfEmpiresLogo

Microsoft is licensing its Age of Empires IP to KLab Inc. for development of a mobile entry in the franchise for mobile platforms.  From the sounds of things, the game will be coming to iOS and Android first with a Windows Phone version coming at a later time.  The game is being developed in English first with a global release planned and other languages as well as the Windows Phone version planned for a future release.

There was speculation of other Microsoft franchises planned to be released on mobile platforms, but Microsoft refuted those rumors with the vague “there are no further announcements beyond Age of Empires at this time.”

 

Source:  Polygon

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”

HALOLogo

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

Win/Lose – Commentary on the Xbox One policy change

XboxOne

Microsoft employees have gone on to say it after all the bad press regarding their next game console’s policies and I’ll say it myself, I think it comes down to people misunderstanding the policies where all the hate stems from.  People reacted about as warmly to that statement as one would expect; the statement was essentially misinterpreted as Microsoft calling consumers “stupid,”  that’s not really the case.  What they’re saying is people made immediate and biased assumptions about the system’s policies and this perpetuated ignorance and hatred for the system.  Paranoia and unwillingness to change have, ultimately, had a negative impact on the future of gaming.

Microsoft was all sorts of elusive when confirming anything regarding Xbox One’s used game/always on policies.  This wasn’t really a good move for the software giant, but understandable given the huge amount of backlash received after they made any confirmations.  With some things cleared up, Microsoft went on to show off some astounding games at this year’s E3–which I thought gave the system the upper hand.  Sony showed off some great games, too, but not a whole lot new, and not nearly the number of exclusives that Microsoft had.  To win E3, Sony went for the throat and proudly undercut the Xbox One’s price by $100 and proclaimed that there will be no used game restrictions or always on policy.  The audience erupted and immediately declared Sony the winner.

New-Xbox-One-ConsoleFrom there, the internet and her high-class citizens went on about damning the Xbox One and its restrictiveness.  The assumption that gamers wouldn’t be able to buy, sell, trade, or lend used games was a major misconception in destroying the Xbox One’s reputation.  The necessity to connect your system to the internet daily was another point counted against the system.  The rampant disregard to purpose behind those systems is what screwed us all in the end.

I made my decision to pre-order the Xbox One immediately after E3.  Why?  Primarily because of the games.  Beyond that?  I knew what Microsoft’s policies meant.  I highlight all of that wonderful stuff in my now outdated article on why I pre-ordered an Xbox One.  I liked the idea of a game being linked to my account so I can play it without a disc.  Why?  Because it meant that no matter where I was or whether or not I had the game disc with me, I could download the game on any Xbox One and enjoy the game I purchased.  The license granted to me from purchasing a game on Xbox One was good beyond the game disc, I had access to the game on Games on Demand and could continue enjoying the game even if I didn’t have access to the game disc.  Pretty wonderful idea, if you ask me.  I loved the family sharing plan.  The fact that I could grant access to my entire gaming library to 10 of my Xbox Live friends was awesome.  Rather than having to be local to lend games, I could give full access of my games to friends of mine out of state.  Borrowing and lending games would be better than ever before because it wasn’t grounded strictly in real-world media.

I’m still a traditionalist–I love physical media.  I’ve got a huge collection of games spanning 15 or so game consoles and they’re some of my most prized possessions.  Gaming is a huge part of me and that tangible media is an important part of that–I love to collect.  Having the option to enjoy owning and collecting the physical media while maintaining access to my games in the digital world is pretty awesome.  Being able to borrow and lend games online is pretty awesome.  The fact that our world is pretty much always online just makes me wonder, why on earth were we all afraid of the Xbox One?  The DRM?  The DRM incorporated in the Xbox One was simply to check to make sure that the game was attached to your account or you had legitimate borrowing access.  That’s not a bad thing and it is, in no way, restrictive to what you can do with your game.  Microsoft confirmed that used games and borrowing would continue without issue as they do now–the main difference is that third-party publishers would have the capability to earn money back on game resells if they so chose.

Xbox-One3With all of that, the gaming community still complained.  Harassing comments wherever they could be posted and ensuring Microsoft know that you’d much rather have the PS4 than the Xbox One because of its “less restrictive” approach to gaming.  Your dollars spoke and, Microsoft being a business, had to react.  Making money is pretty important for a corporation, so they have to make sure you’re willing to give it to them.  Microsoft retracted their online spot check and DRM policies for you, but also for them.  Why?  Because you hated everything the system promised, so they had to make it more like the system you wanted to prevent the investment from being a total loss.  Win.

I’m not trying to say any one system is better than the other.  I have no doubt that I will own a PS4 before too long, but what I saw of the Xbox One made it my platform of choice at launch.  It is frustrating, to me, that some of the reasons I chose the platform are being taken away from me.  I made an investment in the system and now I’m losing the functionality I was so looking forward to.  I’ll still have the games, sure, and that was, ultimately, the top reason I selected Xbox One as my Holiday 2013 launch system, but it is saddening that I’ll have to give up some of the system’s most promising features because of you.

The removal of these policies may seem like a big win for the gaming community, but we’ve really just put a halt on some groundbreaking features.  Digital borrowing/trading was a huge win for us, but we didn’t want that.  Switching games without switching discs was a huge win for us, but we didn’t want that.  Access to our entire gaming library no matter where we are was a huge win for us, but we didn’t want that.  It may have seemed like all these policies were put in place to restrict us, but they really promised a pretty bright future for gaming, but we didn’t want that.  The next gaming generation could have been a huge leap forward, but, after eight years, we only wanted a small step.  So, let’s celebrate because we won the battle.  So, why then, does it feel like we’ve lost?

Old News: Fable Anniversary

The first Fable, and more specifically The Lost Chapters, is one of my all-time favorite games on the original Xbox.  It was a fantastic action RPG with a lot of charm and great artistic design.  I loved it.  I continued to love the franchise going forward, but none of the sequels managed to capture that same spark that the first one had with me.  Needless to say, I’m really excited about the upcoming remake of the first game in the franchise.

I didn’t really let this news slip me by–I was fully aware of the fact that there was a remake in the works–but I just got side tracked with other posts.  Going back through my RSS feeds, I’ve re-stumbled upon the news that Fable is being remade in high def.  With E3 and all of excitement coming from it, I can understand how this might have been missed by a lot of people, so I’ve taken it upon myself to share this wonderful (old) news:

Quantum Break E3 Trailer

Remedy Entertainment’s Sam Lake took the stage at Microsoft’s E3 conference and showed us a scene from their upcoming Xbox One exclusive Quantum Break.  As a long-time fan of the studio and Sam Lake’s incredible storytelling, I’m more than a little excited for this groundbreaking title to launch alongside its Xbox One television counterpart.

Master Chief returns on Xbox One (Update: Trailer)

Microsoft’s next Halo game is heading to Xbox One.  The reveal began with a cloaked figure wandering a desolate wasteland.  This figure was later revealed to be the one and only Spartan 117:  Master Chief.  A cryptic reveal with some non-information shared after the teaser.  The game will be an FPS, feature the Chief, and run at 60 frames per second.