Rumble at the Loot Cave
Chaos broke out at the Loot Cave last night.
Having maxed out my weekly allotment of Vanguard and Crucible Marks, instead of pouring five billion hours into upping my faction standing (roving christ, what am I saying? This game is infecting me), I decided to hop on over to Old Russia’s now infamous exploit spot.
With only one other stranger by my side, things were nominal for fifteen minutes or so. Nominal, as in completely boring but still better than relinquishing myself to the bitter roulette wheel of Destiny's loot drops elsewhere in the game.
Then, I get a warning that my “enemies are moving in on each other.” That’s when dozens of Fallen and Hive start swarming the area from fucking nowhere. We’re talking all types; warlocks, Knights, and everything in between. It’s a full-on brawl. Blowing through one wave gave way to a new flood of harder enemies. Shielded enemies. Vicious enemies. Not a single one was above a level 11 but their sheer numbers had me sweating, a level 25, sweating and dancing around, trying to fend for life.
The literal stream of enemies is no doubt a coy response from Bungie to smoke players out of using the Loot Cave. But you know what? It was pretty goddamn awesome. It was the first genuine surprise this game has dropped on my lap since I’ve taken on the heavy burden of leveling past 20.
This game needs more moments like this. Sporadic moments. Moments not predetermined by spawn points. Genuinely organic moments. Truly fun, unadulterated pieces of gameplay like this shouldn’t be as rare as a legendary item. It should be the backbone of this game. Why players should want to return. Not for some measly fucking piece of armor that one player can randomly get in one hour where another slogging through one-hundred cannot.
I want to see this game evolve like a true MMO. The Destiny we have now should not be the Destiny we venture to in six months time. Heed the call, Bungie.
Batman: Arkham Knight Has a New Date, Some Swanky Collector’s Editions Too
Once set to patrol the night as soon as October 14th, Rocksteady’s final chapter of the Arkham series ends how it began: with a delay. Now True Bat-lievers will get their chance to don the cowl next year on June 2nd, 2015.
If spending $60 bucks on a box and a disc just isn’t your style, there’s two special editions of the game coming to save the day.
Behold the Limited Edition:For $99.99, this edition includes:
- A Steelbook case
- An 80-page art book
- #0 of DC’s Batman: Arkham Knight comic
- 3 Batman Skins based on The New 52
- A Batman “Memorial Statue”
Then there’s the real deal. The Batmobile Edition:For $199.99, this bundle includes everything within the Limited Edition but swaps out the ominously titled Batman “Memorial Statue” for a Triforce sculpted replica of the Batmobile from the game.
In North America, both editions will only be made available on PS4 and Xbox One… So. That “Memorial Statue.” It gets me thinking that perhaps Arkham Knight is going to end the way The Dark Knight Rises should have. Unfortunately, we have a helluva wait until we find out.
Mortal Kombat X Set to Knock Off Heads Spring 2015
The 22-year-old fighting institution that is Mortal Kombat, a torch now carried by NetherRealm Studios, headed by co-creator Ed Boon, is releasing its tenth installment — yes, goddamn tenth — on April 14th, 2015.
The date just so happens to land on yours truly’s birthday.
Impeccable timing, NetherRealm.
Preordering the game, the second most important metric to a publisher aside from selling the game, comes along with a quad-armed incentive: the inclusion of Goro, a character that’s only been playable in the series a handful of times.
For years, and for as much as loved Mortal Kombat’s style and lore, the series has slouched behind other competitive fighters in its gameplay. Its over-the-top bloodshed and signature finishing moves seemed to be its only defining feature as the games tried to reiterate themselves (the PS2 era was the darkest era).
But that all changed with 2011’s Mortal Kombat reboot, a title that introduced an airtight fighting system that welcomed newcomers and kept veterans combo inputting for entire stretches of sleepless nights. If Mortal Kombat X can retain that magic, it’ll have no problem going toe-to-toe with its fighting game peers for another round.
Sony’s Fall conference confirms behind closed doors that Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is happening and it’s happening to next-gen; PS4 version slated for early 2015, son!
Capcom’s set to roll out a bigger reveal at this year’s Tokyo Game Show. Now, say it with me: “Please feature Claire. Please feature Claire…”
From Top to Bottom: Joel negotiating, Joel making friends, Joel’s “Texas Twist” firing stance, Joel enjoying the warm beaches of… Pittsburgh.
Resident Evil's Sublime Remake is Being Revived for Current and Next-Gen
In 2002, the Nintendo Gamecube of all systems saw a resurrected and reconfigured version of one the greatest titles that helped define the survival horror genre.
Rather than stray away from the core values of the ‘96 classic, this new Resident Evil improved upon them — the game was made grislier, the atmosphere was darker, and the difficulty was even harder than the original. If you wanted to experience the S.T.A.R.S. team’s first disastrous mission, REmake (the name fans coined) quickly became the preferred vessel to do so. Despite this, it didn’t sell worth a shit stuck on Nintendo’s purple purse.
Now, Capcom has revived the underrated classic for the HD generation. Set for release in early 2015 as a digital download, this ragged chunk of RE history will be made available on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The game’s visuals — from our hapless heroes to the dilapidated Spencer Estate — have been bolstered by an upgraded resolution and 3D models. The game even runs at 1080p on next-gen systems.
The creaking wood floors, the skin-crawling soundtrack, and the bone-crunching noise that comes along with making Jill Sandwiches are all retouched in 5.1 Surround Sound. The game can be played in the original 4:3 aspect ratio or enjoyed in a brand new widescreen mode (flat-screens were less common in 2002, if you recall).
The series famous tank controls return as a default, and you can bet your ass I’ll struggle through them like a champion, but if you bewilderingly dislike fighting the controller you’ll be glad to know a new “Push To Go” control scheme is being implemented. You can toggle between both during gameplay in case you youngin’s want to see how hard us old men had it back in the day.
Get 50% Off The Last of Us Remastered By Upgrading Your Copy
The PlayStation 4 re-edition of Naughty Dog’s magnum opus is arriving as soon as Tuesday. The game’s price is hedged only slightly, dropped from the typical $60 price point to $50.
However, even if you’re still in possession of an original PS3 copy of The Last of Us — and of course you are; how could you part with it? — Sony has no upgrade discount in place as we’ve seen in the past with current-to-next-gen hop on’s like Call of Duty: Spooks and Assassin’s Creed IV: Pirate Face.
Low and behold, here comes Gamestop, benevolent multi-billion dollar corporation and friendly choke hold on video game distribution in the market, to save the day. Bring in your vanilla copy of TLoU between July 27th and August 2nd and the retailer will slash Remastered's tag down by 50%. If my team of mathematicians are correct in their calculations, that's a savings of $25 (don't quote me on it, though).
The Last of Us Remastered, if you don’t know, features the original new-classic brought up to full 1080p resolution and optimized at 60 frames-per-second. The game as been re-textured, re-did, and recombobulated. Included is every piece of DLC released to date, featuring the seminal Left Behind and its exercise of precision storytelling. Want to poke around Naughty Dog’s head, too? Well, good thing a developer’s commentary is worked into the package.
Gearbox Reveals Their Next Multiplayer Scramble: Battleborn
Debuting in this month’s Game Informer, the creators of a little co-op diddy called Borderlands are following up their genre mash-up with another FPS mix drink.
Battleborn combines the trigger-happy thrills of a first-person shooter with the quick leveling, team-heavy gameplay found in most popular MOBA’s. This arena, however, is at the edge of the universe where a galaxy wide armageddon has brought together a hodgepodge of warriors to duke it out over the only remaining star.
The core conceit behind Battleborn's huge and eclectic cast of characters is that each handles so uniquely, they feel like they were ripped out of entirely different genres. Game Informer illustrates the juxtaposition between the title's space marine — an amalgation playstyle ranging anywhere between Master Chief and the Doom Guy — and an elven archer whose heightened maneuverability and volley of arrows instantly recalled years worth of fantasy action games.
Gearbox’s main man, Randy Pitchford, calls it a “genre-fused, hobby-grade, co-operative and competitive FPS exploding with eye-popping style and an imaginative universe” and easily the most ambitious project the studio has taken on. Both the competitive multiplayer and five-person co-op campaign will be laced together by a encompassing narrative tying the insanity together.
Battleborn is set for release Q1 of 2016 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and, of course, PC.
Everybody Wants to Rule the World in Assassin’s Creed Unity
Four player co-op. Improved mobility. Reworked engine. Eagles.
Creed’s first full next-gen affair seems to have it all. Even a magnificently atmospheric Tears for Fears cover overlaid this stunning (though pre-rendered) trailer.
The masses are quick to lambaste a franchise that rushes out to the Holiday season every year, but I cut Assassin’s Creed some slack because Ubisoft has always experimented with its formula in each major release. The results aren’t always terrific (remember willfully skipping that tower defense mini-game in Revelations?), yet their tenacity has lent to growing and shaping AC into a tightly wound ball of playability and clever ideas.
They had my rapt attention when fellow online players joined lead Arno in hunting down their unknowing prey in yesterday’s gameplay reveal. If you know me, you know competitive multiplayer isn’t always my bag — I’m especially averse to it in third-person games — so a co-op offering is a cup o’ tea I cannot pass up.
Be a buddy and help your friends incite a revolution when Assassin’s Creed Unity releases October 28th, 2014.
Double check for No Parking signs; nobody likes clawing their way out of a web-coffin.
The Last of Us is Bound for PS4
I’ll get through the bad news first: The Last of Us 2 ain’t happening anytime soon. Hey, come on. Don’t make that face. We pretty much knew that already.
Here be the good slice of news: A Sony higher-up has stated that the original Last of Us, including its sublime piece of DLC, Left Behind, is heading for the PlayStation 4 in all of its post-apocalyptic, giraffe-petting glory.
The news comes way of an attentive NeoGAF user (but doesn’t all juicy news, though?) who spotted a Mr. Sercan Sulun, PlayStation Eurasia’s Software Market Manager, giving an interview to CNN Turk. Thirty-six minutes in, Sulun fielded a question asking whether or not we’d see The Last of Us 2 (aka The Next to Last of Us) anytime in the near future.
"There is no information about a new The Last of Us game,” said Sulun, “But I can share this knowledge; as of this summer, The Last of Us will be on the PS4. Both on PSN and physically.”
Naughty Dog’s instant classic and the freshly released single-player DLC will be graphically enhanced for the PlayStation 4. It’s currently unknown if the port will take advantage of any PS4 specific features such as the touchpad. Honestly, I could give a shit if they program horse farts through the controller’s speaker; I’m just beyond stoked to see this brilliant masterpiece brought to the next-gen.
Stay tuned for more official news (or the Shakespearean tragedy of an official debunking).
Major Improvements to Sharing and Streaming Coming to the PS4
Power to the people! Or, rather, power to the players! Wait, shit, that’s Gamestop’s slogan, isn’t it? They’re gonna be up my ass if I use that and they’ve already sued me the one time… Whatever, moving on. Point is, thanks to the PlayStation Nation’s feedback — as in your feedback — some pretty serious improvements are hitting the PS4’s Share functionality.
Coming soon via a patch, the PlayStation blog reports that a new video editor will be added that’ll let you “personalize your video clips” through use of a simple tool. Better yet, the update allows you to export screenshots and gameplay clips to a USB drive. Just hit share, choose your device, and you’re ready to rock. Hopefully this means we’ll have more avenues to share content than just Facebook.
Those who have been wishing for an alternative to capturing and streaming gameplay than the built-in Twitch/Ustream suite will be pleased as hell to learn that this very same update includes an “HDCP off” option, finally allowing gameplay capture via HDMI. The blog also promises even more unannounced features are being worked into this patch.
Sometime after that patch, Sony is planning yet another system software update that’ll integrate the ability to archive Twitch broadcasts. No more going live and having your sessions disappear into the ether. Additionally, Sony is looking to enhance streaming resolution to 720p. PC-less and capture device, uh, -less, I’m most excited by these upgrades (commence shameless plug: follow The Red Herb on Twitch!).
More info on these updates are said to follow in the weeks to come.
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 has passed since the arm-breaking spree Bats went on in 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.