Dying Light (PC/PS3/PS4/Xbox One/X360 - 2014)
For those of you who were hoping the zombie game craze that buried us this generation would die out in the next, don’t you realize you can’t kill what’s already dead?
Techland, specifically the team that brought us the first Dead Island (and not the rancid Riptide), is jumping right back into the open-world zombie domain with another co-op onslaught in Dying Light. What stops their latest game from being just another Dead Island offshoot? At the surface, not much, but there’s two key gameplay mechanics that’ll really have your inner survivalist’s makeshift fire cooking.
The first being a night-day cycle that directly impacts your play style. By day, the undead slog through the tattered city streets, allowing you to explore and hunt for supplies with relative ease — if you’re the kind of person to feel at ease around walking, moaning corpses, anyway.
By night, the situation escalates from George Romero to all-out Zack Snyder. Zombies gain strength from the nightfall and become more agile, alert, and awfully aggressive. You’ll be chased down and made chow faster than you can scream “28 Days Later” but here’s where Dying Light’s second exciting feature comes in: free-running.
Avoiding obstacles, darting down allies, and actually taking to the rooftops will be your only chance of surviving. Clever little design touches like being able to look over your shoulder mid-run for pursuers and the ability to spot dangerous “powerhouse” zombies in the environment add to the flight-over-fight system. The comparisons to Mirror’s Edge are inescapable — there’s no way to write “first-person free-running” without having DICE’s game immediately flare in my synapses — but the implementation within a horror game is too good of a concept to ignore.
The genre is well worn (“decayed” even), yet harnessing the next-gen might send a jolt of life into the dead. [Although, it should be noted, Techland intends on releasing some sort of scaled down version of the game for current-gen systems]. Dying Light is looking at an ambiguous 2014 release date; more than enough time for Techland to win our zombie killing hearts over again.
The veil has lifted, the seas have parted, and the goats have been sacrificed. You know what that must mean; Microsoft has officially revealed their next-gen successor to the Xbox 360. Everyone, I want you to meet the Xbox One.
Isn’t she a marvel of modern engineering? Just look at how sleek and…VCR-like it is. What says “The Future” better than a device that gives me the overwhelming urge to shove my VHS copy of Short Circuit into it? Check it out, it floats, too:
Ha, lookit that shit just hovering there. Technology’s wild, man. But there’s way more to Microsoft’s newest console than its totally not made up ability to float a couple of inches off the ground. Read on and we’ll tear open the system’s specs, learn about its leg up over the 360, and hopefully figure out a means to destroy these things before they’re floating a few inches over our children’s mangled corpses.
Arkham Origins: New Trailer, Screens, and Playable Character
This fine day has brought with it more than enough news for true fans of the Caped Crusader to go completely bat-shit over.
First up, a full trailer depicting an eloquent exchange of fists between Batman and hired killer Deathstroke. Other personalities that make the cut — and Bruce’s life infinitely harder — are Deadshot, the marksmen that never misses, and Black Mask, the criminal ringleader that’s turned Gotham into a murder circus. Gameplay doesn’t make a cameo, unfortunately, what with the whole trailer being fancy, schmancy CGI, so your eyes will have to chow down on the screens above for now.
Pre-ordering a copy of Batman: Arkham Origins scores you the inclusion of Slade “Deathstroke” Wilson as a playable character in the game’s challenge rooms. Slade comes stocked with two of his own challenge maps and two skins.
Rounding out the rest of Origins news, let’s touch on this casting kerfuffle. Initial reports had it that longtime Batman voice actor, Kevin Conroy, would not be reprising his role in the third Arkham game. Everyone got sad, then angry, and rightfully so. Then, Mr. Conroy up and outs his involvement, stating he wasn’t able to talk about it beforehand, having had to wait until the new title’s reveal. While press quickly took this to mean Conroy would be Batsy once more, Warner Bros. squashed that insinuation into the ground.
Instead, our young Dark Knight will be voiced by Roger Craig Smith, whose laid down vocals for the likes of Ezio Auditore and Chris “Boulder Punch” Redfield, and the new Joker will be played by Troy Baker — a modern voice acting veteran most recently associated as Booker Dewitt in Bioshock Infinite and Joel from The Last of Us; more fittingly, Baker was Two-Face in Arkham City. That still leaves the matter of Kevin Conroy, his role still unannounced, but the great detective in me thinks we’ll likely hear him narrate the affair as the older, battle hardened Batman we all love and wisely fear.
Just a day after EA’s announcement about how they don’t have a single title in gestation for the Wii U, a bold employee uses the social megaphone that is Twitter to clue us in as to why.
Credited as a Senior Software Engineer and having been with EA since 1999, Bob Summerwill has since sweept his Twitter account of controversy. You can still check out Bob’s heated, but disarmingly honest, comments on EA and Nintendo’s relationship hereabouts. Among them, Summerwill criticizes Nintendo for running shop like it’s still 1990.
“They should have ‘done a Sega’ and offered Mario/Zelda as PS4/Durango exclusives.” That’s my favorite, if you were wondering.
You’d figure those in the industry would temper their opinions when speaking on an immensely public platform what with the whole Adam Orth catastrophe fresh in everyone’s minds, but I’m not complaining. I wouldn’t have “Done a Sega” otherwise and…I simply don’t want to live in that world.
EA: Absolutely Nothing in the Pipeline for Wii U
Here’s the byline bouncing around this evening: Despite EA announcing an “unprecedented partnership” between itself and Nintendo at E3 circa 2011, the game publishing giant has revealed it currently has no games in development for the struggling Wii U.
That oath, made while CEO John Riccitiello had a clasp on the company’s reigns, manifested in several ports of popular titles — Mass Effect 3, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, and Madden included — that long since had homes on the Xbox 360 and PS3. According to EA’s spokesperson, Jeff Brown, those handful of ports encompass the whole of their Wii U partnership, ensuring future blockbusters such as Battlefield 4, FIFA, and Madden 25 won’t be making it onto Nintendo’s newest console.
Having that waterway dry up — the”waterway” here referring to one of the biggest third-party publishers in the world — further shoves Wii U into a rough corner. But, as Kotaku illustrates, ever since the first Wii third-parties have had a hell of a hard time finding success on Nintendo’s systems. Usually Nintendo’s first-party hits take up the lion’s share of sales while third-parties are left to scavenge for scraps. Follow that with Nintendo’s increasingly upward slope of a fight to put their hardware in gamers’ homes, and even the big boys like EA are turning their back to the Japanese monolith.
Business is business, however, and EA isn’t likely to give Wii U the lifetime shunning if the system starts to perform well. Hell, EA might even be threatening a drought just to incite Nintendo into shaping up and narrowing their focus on pushing their console. Just a musing. Ultimately, time — and your dollars — will tell.
Arkham Origins Teaser Trailer Teases Better Trailer
WB Montreal(’s marketing team) dropped this nugget on the web earlier today. What ensues is about twenty seconds of our boy Bats duking it out with Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke, who is just one of eight hired killers bent on ridding Gotham City of its winged rodent problem.
The tragedy of tragedies is that we’re only treated to pre-rendered animations instead of some juicy gameplay. At the end of this abrupt teaser, though, is the promise of a full on trailer incoming May 20th. Hopefully WB intends on serving up some meat to go along with this side dish (I’m trying to say I want to see gameplay — I could’ve just said that but that makes an uncomfortable amount of sense).
“Blood Dragon really is the game Duke Nukem Forever should have been. Whereas that meddlesome abortion half-assed it by showing up to ‘80’s Night in a Joy Division t-shirt freshly picked off a Hot Topic shelf, Blood Dragon crashes through the doors in a DeLorean, speakers ear-bleedingly capped at 11, cranking out ‘Bark at the Moon.’”