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.
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.