Mortal Kombat X promotional art featuring everyone’s favorite ninja spectre, Hanzo Hasashi, aka Scorpion.
Batman: Arkham Knight Falls into 2015
Get it? “Knight Falls”? Because Knightfa— All right, to hell with it. Thought I’d bring some Bat-Puns to the table since this announcement means it’s a dark day for the Dark Knight.
Originally meant to release October 14th this year, Rocksteady’s next-gen only end-cap to their Arkham Trilogy — probably my most anticipated game of the year (pre-E3, of course) — has been officially delayed into 2015. When in 2015? Sometime.
Delays seem to be as common as DLC and manual-less game boxes these days. But the last time Rocksteady was nervous about launching an unpolished product, they took six extra months and delivered unto the world Arkham Asylum in all of its Batman-y, freeflow fighting glory.
Besides, after E3 next week, something tells me the Fall season is going to be jampacked with things to burn my money on. It’ll be like a viking funeral. Except the boat is my wallet and the archer shooting flaming arrows at my money is the seventeen-year-old associate at Gamestop who doesn’t know they’re getting dropped after the season is over. Exactly a viking funeral in other words.
Toasty! NetherRealm Announces Mortal Kombat X!
After weeks of teasing from series ko-kreator, Ed Boon, and an indirect leak from a Sutherland of all places, today brings us the official reveal of Mortal Kombat X.
While targeted consoles haven’t been named, the tag to go along with the trailer states the sequel is “fueled by next-gen technology” to ”create an unprecedented Kombat experience” (To clear up any confusion, they meant to put “kreate”).
In a raw display of brutality and power between franchise poster-ninjas, Sub-Zero and Scorpion, the trailer shows off features heralded into 2011’s superb reboot including the bone-breaking X-Ray attacks.
More environmental destruction (a la Injustice) is seen, where opponents can be smashed about stages as well as break off pieces of a level, like a tree branch, and wielded as cudgels. Personal weapons — first introduced in MK4 — seemingly make a return.
Mortal Kombat X is slated for 2015. Say it with me now: IT HAS BEGUN.
Bioshock 2 Dev Taking Franchise Over from Irrational
When Boston based development house Irrational Games announced they were closing their doors for good, many assumed the franchise they created, Bioshock — a critical darling and fan favorite — would sink into the sea with it.
Irrational’s owner, publisher 2K, assured the gaming populace Bioshock would live on; somehow, some way. Bioshock, after all, makes money, and you don’t just let something that makes money slip to the bottom of the sea (or fall to the top of the sky…?).
Take-Two CEO/Best Name for the Next Bond Villain, Strauss Zelnick, believes the series has yet to reach its commercial potential. Of course, the writing on the dry-erase board says no more than “Make more Bioshock eventually.”
“We haven’t given any color on how you should think about it yet except we do believe it’s beloved,” Zelnick said to Gamespot. ”We think it’s important [and] certainly something that we’re focused on; something 2K Marin will be responsible for shepherding going forward.”
2K Marin, a team forged in 2007 from former members of Irrational, brought us Bioshock 2 — a title that hemmed so closely to the original that it might as well have been called an expansion (to toss some fairness into the mix, the game did have an excellent story; it’s not all choppy waters). Last year, 2K Marin released The Bureau, an XCOM spin-off met with mixed reviews and a wall of indifference from fans used to the strategy-heavy formula the series is known for.
All right, so we’re not exactly passing Bioshock into steady hands. But keep in mind, it took Treyarch a few goes at the Call of Duty formula before they started to wind Infinity Ward’s bi-yearly releases. Thankfully, 2013’s Bioshock Infinite is fresh enough in our minds where there’s no rush to deliver a follow-up. Take your time getting it right, 2K. Kind of a delicate IP you got there.
Been musing on Bioware’s new Mass Effect. Obviously, they’re going to carry forth a lot of what worked in the first three games; they’d be crazy not to. But I’m hoping to take a different kind of journey in the fourth game, especially when it comes to the narrative perspective.
I’d be fascinated to see the ME universe from a POV not associated with a militaristic outfit. I want to step away from Shepard’s world of rank, orders, and protocol. You’re constantly fed updates and mission goals from either the Council or Alliance in the original trilogy. I want to take control of a fringe character, man. Someone that doesn’t know what the hell is going on until it’s shooting at him/her.
I’d like to start off the game as a ne’er-do-well. A mercenary. A smuggler. Shit, maybe even a stoner clerk that works at a Citadel gift shop selling tiny replicas of the Normandy. I want to start as a nobody and build my legend from the ground up.
Shepard already had pretense — had already gained infamy in battle even before ME1 began. I want to start as a blank slate. Have characters in the world ask aloud, “Who the hell is this supposed to be?”
"I’m the guy that’s going to save your blue ass."
I don’t want to be handed a glossy starship and assigned a perfect crew. I want to earn my ship and recruit my people. As violently and heroically as possible.
Watch_Dogs Goes to Hell: “Madness” Gameplay
You drive a derby conditioned muscle car in the annals of Chicago’s hellish counterpart. Your mission is to drive over the damned denizens flooding the streets. They’re not hard to miss — their fucking skulls are on fire.
I don’t know how this mini-game, one of four Digital Trips, ended up in the final game. But, like the neon-soaked lunacy that was Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon before it, I’m not here to look a ludicrously awesome gift horse in the mouth. It’s like Mad Max meets Ghost Rider meets a glow-in-the-dark sheet of acid emblazoned with Scooby Doo’s winking cartoon face.
Here’s five or so minutes of Satan egging me on to detail my car in blood.
Watch_Dogs - “Alone” Gameplay
I’m learning that Watch Dogs has tons of surprises hiding about Chicago’s virtualized nooks and alleyways. The Digital Trips rank as my favorite discoveries.
The idea is a trench-coated individual of loose morals sells you basically a VR acid trip. Why Aiden Pearce considers tripping virtual balls in the middle of his revenge-quest a worthwhile pursuit is anyone’s guess and, secondly, who cares? He gets to play psychotropically induced mini-games that exist in his head, which is basically what video games will be next-next generation.
This is “Alone,” where Aiden blows up darkness spewing generators guarded by laser-shooting androids with surveillance cameras for heads. So, yeah, your standard acid trip. The kind of high five the person who came up with Alone deserves would shatter every bone in their hand. Here’s a snippet of my time battling this Philip K. Dickian nightmare-verse.
Next-Gen Gears of War: Sometimes Innovating Means Betrayal
"This isn’t a great way of phrasing it, but I always talk about shipping a sequel to customers as ‘managing betrayal.’"
After Microsoft bought up the rights to the Gears of War property from series curators, Epic Games, the company’s in-house development studio, Black Tusk Games, was quickly assigned the job of carrying the franchise to the Xbox One. Rod Fergusson, former production head at Epic, joins Black Tusk in keeping Gears' cogs turning.
Though Fergusson was put in place in order to keep the fabric of Gears — it’s identity, so to speak — intact, the producer wants to stray from the familiar. “They want something new but they don’t want something so new that it doesn’t feel like what they want,” said Fergusson to OSM. “But if you put out something that’s very familiar and is the same as the game they just had, then it’s like ‘I’ve already had this. This isn’t new enough.’”
Black Tusk basically wants to avoid Back to the Future Part III Syndrome. It’s a wise play. Fergusson’s philosophy on how to achieve this, however, is unique. “You actually have to betray them enough to give them something new and surprising but not so much that they disconnect, and I think that is a big thing that we have to focus on.
It’s how we can innovate and bring something new to the franchise while at the same time really proving that we understand Gears - that this is the franchise that you know and love.”
Fergusson has broken down for his team which core conceits of Gears have to remain unchanged versus rusty joints in the gameplay where innovation is needed. It may be a good long while before fans endure the betrayal of change, as Phil Spencer, Xbox’s new commander-in-chief, has stated he wants to give Black Tusk all the time in the world they require to evolve Gears of War for the Xbox One.