Three new demos have recently become available in the Xbox Marketplace that many gamers might be interested. The demos are for Diablo III, FIFA 14, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 and all are very popular titles in the industry. The Diablo III demo includes a variety of features including all five Hero Classes, local and online gameplay, and allows players to reach the Skeleton King with demo saves capable of carrying over to the full version of the game. The full version of Diablo III was launched a little bit earlier this month. The FIFA 14 demo introduces the players to the new shooting style called Pure Shot which uses upgraded ball physics allowing the game to feel much more realistic. FIFA 14 is expected to launch for the current generation of consoles on September 24 and the next generation consoles in November. The final demo for Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 includes an entirely rebuilt physics system, and updates to team and player AI capabilities. This demo also features advanced graphics and an improved “atmosphere.” The Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 full game is scheduled to launch for the current consoles on September 24.
New Game Developing Studio
It was recently announced that a new game developing studio has been formed by numerous former employees from several major studios in the gaming industry. The new studio is named Hinterland and their employees come from other high profile studios including BioWare, Riot Games, Ubisoft Montreal, Sony Santa Monica, and id Software. These studios have all been responsible for working on a variety of wildly popular games that have been released in the past few years alone such as the Assassin’s Creed series and many others. The founder of this new studio is Raphael van Lierop who worked on projects including Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine and Far Cry 3. The first game that Hinterland will be developing will be released for PC and is titled The Long Dark which will be a survival simulation game set in an open world with an apocalyptic history. There is no current release date scheduled for The Long Dark but I know that I am excited to see the work that comes from this new studio in coming years.
- Fledgling BC studio Hinterland announces post-disaster survival sim The Long Dark (business.financialpost.com)
- Hinterland Studio announced, reveals first game ‘The Long Dark’ (joystiq.com)
- Ex-Relic, Bioware, Riot & Volition devs form Hinterland Studio, debut title The Long Dark coming to Kickstarter (vg247.com)
- Relic, BioWare, Volition and Riot Veterans Team Up (usgamer.net)
- The Lost Dark is a mature, episodic survival sim for PC from industry veterans (venturebeat.com)
- Hinterland: a new studio by veterans of Relic, BioWare and more (gamasutra.com)
- Ex-Relic, BioWare, Riot, Volition devs form Hinterland Studio (oxcgn.com)
- Veteran AAA Developers Join Forces To Create An Episodic Survival Game (kotaku.com)
- Triple-A vets form Hinterland Studio (develop-online.net)
While we wait and pray for a Game of Thrones officially licensed game to developed that feeds our addiction to the series in a way that the current Game of Thrones: Genesis and the RPG Game of Thrones have not quite filled there has been an fan developed 8 bit game created by Abel Alves. The game is freeware is openly shared and can be downloaded from http://gameofthrones8bit.blogspot.com/ . Alves is a Spanish comic book artist that is currently living in Uraguay and is currently working on other projects. The game includes four different playable characters such as Daenerys, Tyrion, and Jon Snow. Each character has weapons/accomplices present in the books including a direwolf, a dragon, and either a crossbow or an axe (hard to tell in 8 bits). The game includes several different songs used in the soundtrack including the HBO shows theme song and the “Rains of Castmere.” The graphics use a mixture of 8 and 16 bit images giving the game a classic retro feel. The game does not perfectly follow the story of the books but it does stay fairly on track. Alves has also mentioned that there is a possibility that there could be a sequel for the game developed in the future.
It has become known via Twitter announcement earlier today that the lead project director from Halo 4 Scott Warner is leaving 343 Industries to continue his career with EA Visceral. This is good news for EA Visceral because Warner has quite a resume working with previous game development companies such as Pandemic Studios and Black Isle Studios. The most well known recent product released from EA Visceral was Dead Space 3 which was released earlier in the year with good reviews despite failing to meet projected sales by EA. The big upcoming project from Visceral is a new Star Wars game that is in no way connected to the DICE studios revival of the Star Wars Battlefront series that is under development for the new generation of consoles running on the Frostbite 3 engine. Hopefully Mr. Warner finds his move to EA Visceral to be easy and that he continues his illustrious career in producing excellent games that we can enjoy in the coming months and years.
A few weeks ago Sony released a statement telling gamers that the PS4 is capable of being turned on remotely when users use the Playstation app to purchase games. Upon purchasing the game the PS4 will turn on remotely and begin your download in order to allow the gamer to play their new purchase when they arrive home. This news was released by Sony President Shuhei Yoshida via Twitter. In addition to this news Sony also confirmed the upcoming consoles ability to support cross platform party chat between the PS4 and the Playstation Vita which is also exciting. Hope that you guys are as excited as I am for all the new features that we will gain access to upon the release of the new generation of consoles. Until then keep on gaming, winning, and having fun!
According to a report released by Polygon there is a relatively new video which was leaked onto Youtube which contains images of the new Xbox One Beta Dashboard. The original clip has since been deleted but the video has been republished by a variety of users and can still be seen online. The video shows a dashboard similar in function to the Windows 8 tiled interface and allows users to pin their favorite fuctions such as games, apps and content to their dashboards. Microsoft has mentioned the ability to switch between games, television, and the dashboard and the video reaffirms this ability to minimize functions while exploring the dash and the use of the Xbox One controller menu guide to resume minimized functions. The original poster of the video commented that this beta is still fairly buggy and that it requires additional work before its release in November. There has been no official statement by Microsoft at this time concerning the video and it is uncertain whether the video is authentic. Despite the lack of certainty about the video’s authenticity I think it is worth checking out and hopefully the bugs/glitches mentioned by the original poster will be solved by the release of the console. Have fun gaming and hopefully we will get a statement from Microsoft to authenticate the video in the near future.
For all the gamers out there like myself itching to get their hands on the upcoming games from Respawn Entertainment Titanfall beware the online scams claiming to give players the opportunity to play in a game beta. Respawn has come out and said that all such offers are scams and should be avoided at all costs in order to protect your personal information. This message was released by the company on Twitter and hopefully it reaches most gamers before they fall victim. The game will be released in the upcoming year for PC, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One and I am definitely excited!
GTA V Promotional Image courtesy of usgamer.net
The producer of Grand Theft Auto V Lazlow Jones recently released the news that the voice actors used in the game were actual gang members. The team brought in a variety of gang members in order to create a more authentic feel to the audio in the game and one of the gangster voice actors actually was released from prison the day before he recorded for the game. During the process of recording the development team often scrapped their prepared script in favor of allowing the actual gangsters to use their realistic phrases and responses to the situations found in the game. This method of voice acting should give the audio for GTA V a much higher level of street credible authenticity with the dialogue than in previous games using Hollywood and LA actors impressions of gang dialect. Lazlow also mentioned that in addition to the use of the actual gang members the game would also include voice acting from some celebrities however the actual celebrities were left unnamed. I am excited to hear how this experiment turned out in the game and see if it assists in building the setting of the game making it a more believable situation for the player.
Image Courtesy of exameinformatica.sapo.pt
For all the Xbox 360 gamers out there that were dreading the release of the new generation of consoles because their pocketbooks were a bit on the light side and were not going to be able to make the transition shortly after the launches this holiday season there is good news. Microsoft has come out to confirm that they will continue to provide support for the 360 console for three more years in addition to handling the new Xbox One. This news was released by Yusuf Mehdi during Citi Global Technology Conference which took place on September 3rd. In addition to receiving continued support Mehdi also mentioned that there are 100 additional games planned to be released for the aging console while the company slowly moves to phase the console out by 2016 unlike the abrupt abandonment which the original console saw with the release of the 360. I know that I personally don’t have the cash to shell out to pick up one of the new generation consoles at release so I was quite pleased to learn that my 360 would still continue to be usable for quite a bit of time to come. Hope that this news is as exciting for some of you as it was for me and keeping up the gaming and have some fun!
Across the globe the number of Game Stop store locations has been decreasing with 52 stores being closed over the last year. The company has also opened 13 stores but according to statements by the company they expect the downsizing to continue with a 2% decrease expected over the next year. The numbers for the U.S. were 46 store locations closed and 7 new locations opening shop. The company noted decreased earnings over the last quarter which ended August 3rd and it is hoping numbers will improve towards the end of the year with upcoming releases of the new consoles like the Xbox One, Playstation 4 and their games and the company expects this holiday season to be the largest console launch period of gaming history.