Rocksteady Ends Their Batman Trilogy in the Next-Gen Arkham Knight
All good things come to an end, and Rocksteady’s expert tenure on the Batman: Arkham franchise, going back to 2009, has been more than good. It’s been brilliant. If it wasn’t enough that their portrayal of The Dark Knight and his gothic kingdom is one of the best outside of the comics he was forged from — even rivaling the character’s film appearances — Rocksteady went ahead and set the bar for the entire superhero game genre higher than Everest.
Batman: Arkham Knight, being developed specifically for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, serves as the final act in Rocksteady’s Arkham trilogy (2013’s Arkham Origins was handled by another studio, but you knew that, you keen reader you). “This is the natural end for the story,” said the game’s director, Sefton Hill. “We really want to go out in style.”
Revealed in this month’s Game Informer, you’ll notice a greater emphasis on the Caped Crusader’s favorite means of ground transportation, the Batmobile, seen only in cutscenes in previous titles. Now you’re finally licensed to drive the beast yourself. Gotham’s open world is being greatly expanded to accommodate this unarguably kickass new feature.
What’s a hero without his villains? One full year since has passed since the arm-breaking spree of Arkham City. Batman once goes on the hunt for a rogue’s gallery featuring Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Penguin, and the Scarecrow. If this is the final chapter, one has to wonder which of these madmen might be taking a last bow.
Batman: Arkham Knight releases October 14th, 2014.
Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition Spreads to PS4 in March
From Super Stardust to Resogun, it seems Sony exclusive developer Housemarque doesn’t know how to do wrong. Few studios are able to take such simple gameplay concepts and create massively addictive experiences out of them.
Case in point: Dead Nation, a top-down, twin-stick shooter that has you blasting apart waves of the undead either solo or with a wingman. Released when download-only titles were nowhere near even half as prolific as they are today, the quality behind Dead Nation kept it atop the PS3’s sales charts for a ragged chunk of time.
Like the festering corpses roaming the game’s decrepit cities, Dead Nation cannot be killed — enter Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition, a remaster of the original game made specifically for the PlayStation 4. This resurrected edition features touched up graphics — in full on 1080p — tweaked controls adding a new quick weapon select, and comes packaged with The Road to Devastation expansion, previously only available as DLC, worked into the campaign.
It ain’t over till the fat lady shrieks. In addition to second screen implementation thanks to the PlayStation App, a new Challenge mode is being thrown in for expert zombie smashers, where you can dole out your best level runs to friends or play against an in-game avatar representing your buddies’ top hunts.
But the coolest new feature has to be Broadcast+. While streaming the game live, as you are want to do on PS4, viewers can actively vote on whether they want to positively or negatively impact your game. Maybe they throw you a bone and have extra ammo drops at your feet. But they’re way more likely to toss some shade your way and sic a horde of walkers on your ass. And it gets even funnier when they can activate “modifiers” like disabling your sprint button. Apparently in-game zombies fitted with viewers’ names can be shot at, so feel free to make frequent examples.
Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition re-releases March 4th and will be $14.99 on the PS Store or absolutely free with PlayStation Plus.
Naughty Dog Kicking Around Ideas for The Last of Us 2
Left Behind, the first and final piece of story DLC created for 2013’s post-apocalyptic sensation, The Last of Us, is finally releasing next week on Valentine’s Day.
Left Behind's tale actually pits players before the events of the main game — following the exploits of Ellie and her ill-fated bestie Riley — but writer/creative director Neil Druckmann and cohort Bruce Straley (the game's director) are looking to the future of this potential franchise.
Of course, they may need to step away from the material for a bit. “We just wrapped up Left Behind, and Bruce Straley, the game director, and I have been doing this for over four years now,” says Druckmann, speaking to Eurogamer. “So it’s just time for a break, and to recharge the batteries.”
Still, ideas are beginning to manifest, though it sounds as if any one concept can quickly tip into a new property entirely. “We have started brainstorming some stuff. To be honest, some of them are sequel ideas, and some of them are brand new IP - we’ve spent the last few weeks brainstorming new IP.”
Ultimately, Naughty Dog is going to pursue what feels right. If it’s The Last of Us 2, awesome. If it transforms into something else, so be it.
"It’s kind of like how we approached Left Behind,” Druckmann says. “Can we tell people a story that’s really worth telling, and that’s not repeating itself? And if we can’t, where can we get inspired - what is something that’s really going to challenge us, and push storytelling in this medium forward?”
Meanwhile, with the advent of next-gen upgrades of titles like Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, the internet’s been speculating ND would follow suit, porting an upscaled version of The Last of Us to the PlayStation 4. Neil’s answer to that was a confident… “possibly.” It comes down to a matter of resources and demand.
"It’s something that we’ll figure out as we move forward," he said.
Production on a next-gen Uncharted for PS4 remains steadfast.
Delsin Lights Up Seattle in These New Infamous: Second Son Screens
Sucker Punch may have missed the PS4’s launch, but every new screen and trailer I see for Second Son convinces more that it’ll be worth the wait.
Never one to jump on the Killzone bandwagon and having had a Best Buy demo of Knack guarantee I’ll never play that particle-happy abomination again, I’m at a severe loss for first-party-my-console-pick-was-the-righteous-pick titles. Though technically marvelous, I don’t feel like I’m beholden to the power of the next-gen when I play Call of Duty of Black Flag.
It’s up to Infamous to swoop in and save the day. Or, at the absolute least, kick the day’s ass. Second Son charges into retail on March 21st, 2014 (a gamer is two things: either gaming or waiting).
Just testing the share function on my PS4, folks. If you see this, I guess it’s safe to say it works.
Lookit this fancy ass future where I can rip gameplay videos with the press of a button… If I wanted to share the video only on Facebook. And so long as the last fifteen minutes was, by chance, interesting since you seemingly can’t edit captured footage. Okay, so the future needs some work.
Anywho, experimentation led to me recording some Resogun gameplay. Watch as I destroy an entire planet to save eight featureless, helpless, neon green humans (there were ten but, uh, fate struck them pretty hard).
Man From Future Enslaved By PlayStations Destroys PS4
Having witnessed his entire family captured and assimilated by the PlayStation 4’s sentient descendant — known in 2084 as “KillStations” — this Montreal man braved a wormhole through time in order to arrive at a Best Buy midnight event for Sony’s newly launched console.
With the images of his loved ones’ pained expressions still flashing before his mind’s eye, the time traveler tore through the unit’s stylish cardboard housing, gutted the prize within, and began slamming the PS4 against the ground over and over again until it was a mess of snapped plastic and thrashed metal.
Of course, it was the seventeenth update to PSN, in which the new AI program overseeing video content gained nuclear launch codes, that ended the Age of Man, but the catharsis displayed here is made no less poignant by that fact.
Naughty Dog Lowdown - Uncharted PS4 + The Last of Us Story DLC
The famed Santa Monica based developer came at us last night with updates on two of its most coveted, Sony exclusive IP’s. Let’s dig into the less enigmatic of the two announcements:
Undoubtedly my favorite title of the year, the third-person apocalyptic heartbreak simulator, The Last of Us, has had story DLC quietly in the works over the last several months. Now we finally know the name: Left Behind.
A prequel to Joel and Ellie’s giraffe filled adventure, Left Behind focuses on Ellie and Riley (first depicted in the comic American Dreams), a rebellious teen whom Ellie befriends within the military operated boarding school she attends. Spoiler alert: Expect your emotions to be damaged.
Priced at $14.99, Left Behind will hit PSN early 2014. Watch the teaser trailer hereabouts (light on the “trailer,” thick on the “teaser”).
And now for something cryptic. Naughty Dog announced a new Uncharted game! Annnnd… That’s it. ND swears there’s revealing hints to be found in this trailer, but it takes a better fan than I to be able to spot the bastards.
What’s certain is that it’s setting course exclusively for the PlayStation 4. What’s uncertain is everything else: Is Nathan Drake back? What’s the official title? When does it take place? Is the love of my virtual life Elena back?
Nothing official has been plotted, though rumors are already suggesting Sir Francis Drake may be the protagonist, making this Uncharted a period piece. More on this diddy as it develops, folks.
PlayStation 4 Will Support CD and MP3 Playback… Someday
Following fan outcry over the PS4’s inability to play MP3’s and CD’s as well as its lack of support for DLNA, Sony’s Worldwide figurehead Shuhei Yoshida confirmed the features will be worked into the system post-launch.
Gabbing it up on Giant Bomb’s Interview Dumptruck, Yoshida admits his entire team was surprised to hear such vehement feedback over a feature that, apparently, nobody really talks about.
"It’s not like we actively decided ‘let’s not do this feature so people will have to subscribe to Music Unlimited,’" said Shuhei. "The focus has been more on the game features. Some of the features we wanted but we couldn’t get in on day one."
Yoshida goes on to say “the system guys” in Japan are already figuring out when to incorporate the omitted feature.
Sifting through IGN's comments section on the issue, there seems to be some confusion as to why MP3 and CD playback, in particular, is a big deal; one user even quips that Sony was correct in thinking nobody cared about the feature, that they simply saw the other guys had it and demanded their fanboy informed console decision house the feature, too.
Let me clarify why MP3/CD playback is important to me: motherfuckin’ custom tracks, son. That’s it. I love jamming to my own tunes while I game. Don’t get me wrong — it’s not like I’m masking Jack Wall’s score on Mass Effect or overlaying Stone Temple Pilots where Nobuo Uematsu should be. If I’m kicking on music, it’s usually to spice up the humdrum military anthems that accompany online sessions of Call of Duty or circumvent the head-on collisions caused when Skrillex splits my ear canal in Need for Speed.
Music Unlimited’s ability to play tunes during every game session leads me to believe that gone are the days of the PS3’s brutally selective custom track feature. Thanks for listening, Shuhei. Now knock your team’s heads together until the patch goes live.
"Hadouken Cabs"…? What the Hell Is Sony Up To?
Sony’s been dropping this odd viral caveat off at different gaming junkets, and I’m just damned stumped trying to figure what it’s really for.
The mock ad features “Hadouken Cabs,” a taxi company that’s apparently been “knocking the competition out since 1987.” The 30 second spot is, obviously, filled to the brim with Street Fighter references, an allusion to the original PlayStation’s launch year, and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it flash of the DualShock 4.
What in the hell is Sony — and, guilty by association, Capcom — teasing? Something Street Fighter; something PS4. Well, it must be that the upcoming re-re-re-release Ultra Street Fighter IV is also on its way to the next-gen…
Except Capcom’s own Yoshinori Ono, the man who perpetually carries Blanka in his pocket, says there aren’t enough resources to port Ultra to the next-gen. Maybe Ono’s being sly. But would this face lie to you?
That can only mean, then, that Street Fighter V is a PlayStation 4 exclusive!
Except… Producer Tomoaki Ayano very recently stated SFV likely won’t be ready for the public until 20-goddamn-18. Like a dodged hadouken, that dream flies off-screen.
Unless a Mishima Airlines commercial is uploaded next week, this ad alone doesn’t point too firmly to Tekken X Street Fighter, which has been suspiciously quiet for suspiciously long. The mystery stands and we’re left to anxiously ponder. Which is exactly what they want, man.
PS4’s Lack of MP3/DLNA Support: Yoshida Speaks
Nearly two weeks out from the PlayStation 4’s launch date, Sony shared with the public a gigantic FAQ composed of every known fact about the next-gen console.
A lot of the information are regurgitated tidbits we’ve been hearing over the months since the console was officially announced. But if you really sat down and poured over the list (because your time is as worthless as mine), some interesting facts stick out and slap you in the eyes.
Notably, the complete lack of MP3 and DLNA support. We’re talkin’ none. You can’t stream from your computer or a music device. You can’t even play a standard audio CD. Unlike the PS3, the PS4 doesn’t let you store music on the console’s hard drive in the very least. If you’re a custom tracks loving sort of gamer like me, that unpleasant feeling clouding your vision is rage.
What’s the ploy here? Music Unlimited is that ploy — the only way, at launch, to play background music during games… or any music at all on the PS4. And, yes, good guess; Music Unlimited does require a paid-for subscription.
Now, a lot of the folks I run into aren’t as prolific with the feature as I am. Understandable. A majority of PS3 games don’t allow for custom tracks. But enough of you out there shared your contempt for the removal of MP3 playback (you gorgeous people, you), and Sony’s Worldwide Studios president responded.
Shuhei Yoshida, taking to Twitter no less, stated, “Thanks for the feedback to the lack of MP3 and DLNA support at the launch of PS4. I’ll share with the PS4 Dev team for future consideration.”
All right, that’s… promising. It wasn’t quite “We’re fixing it” but it was a far cry from “Deal with it, jabronies.”
Then, being the man of his word he is, Shuhei took to Twitter again. “Had a very good discussion w the PS4 Dev team today.”
Hells yes. Yoshida saw our concerns, adjusted his tie, and said, “Not on my fucking watch.” Barging down the dev team’s door, I imagine he began slapping every team member there with a Dualshock 4 until it broke. Then he unboxed another one and broke it across their faces all over again. So what’d he accomplish? What’s the verdict, Shuhei?
"We’re happy & appreciative to learn so many people use and like PS3’s media feature."
Goddamnit, he doesn’t sound like he even so much as fractured a jaw. Ah, well. At least they know what we want, and something in Yoshida referring to the MP3 lack of support as an “at launch” issue makes it sound like it’s a feature that can easily be implemented into the PS4. Eventually. Maybe.