October 8, 2014
Some Goofy Sights From Destiny
First I wanted to say sorry I haven’t posted more, with life, school, work, Destiny, Shadows of Mordor, Forza Horizon 2, and Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS has taken all of my free time. I will however, try to take the time more often to post, and starting with that here are a couple of videos I put together to show some of the goofy things we have been up to in the world of Destiny. My thoughts on Destiny are split, the story is a incoherent mess, the loot system is all based on chance, the voice acting is hit or miss (mostly misses); but the game play keeps me coming back almost everyday. Enjoy the videos and will be back shortly with another post.
September 8, 2014
Prepare for Destiny
The servers are up, the game is waiting in store rooms around the country in anticipation for the midnight release, and the forums (Bungie.net and others) are filling with excitement. Destiny launches at midnight (though some territories already have it due to it being the 9th already, curse you Aussies and Kiwi) and the hype machine has hit maximum overload. This hybrid MMO/FPS/RPG/Kitchen sink, will be the first non-Halo title to come from Bungie since 2001 title Oni. Bungie finished off their side of the Halo franchise with Halo: Reach (released in 2010), passing the Halo torch to 343 Industries. Since the departure of Halo, Bungie has been focused with delivering a new IP. I, personally, have not been this hyped for a game since Halo 3 (coincidentally another Bungie title). I played the post E3 Alpha, and then in late July, played the Beta on three different platforms (PS4, PS3, Xbox One), and even though much of the content between those trials was the same, I could not be more hyped for this game. If you have not yet caught the Destiny bug, then I have several pieces of media, that will try its hardest to entice you.
First up is three tracks from the beta, that I am more than certain are in the final game. Just a note an official soundtrack has not been released yet, but I am hoping that will change very shortly, since the soundtrack is easily becoming my favorite of the year. The soundtrack was composed by Bungie’s resident craftsmen, Martin O’Donnel (who unfortunately is no longer with Bungie) Michael Salvatori, and special guest Sir Paul McCartney. The soundtrack is robust, dynamic, and full of contrast. Taking the tribal drums, epic choruses, rock, and electronic elements from Halo; they have crafted something that feels fresh yet familiar. Below are three of my favorite tracks from the beta, I had a list of them to choose from, but these three stand above the crowd. Enjoy!
1. The Last Array
2. Deactivating the Mesh
3. Sepiks Prime
Last, but not least, are two trailers. The first is the live action trailer that was directed by the helm of Tron Legacy, Joseph Kosinski. The trailer is all fun and fluff, trying to get the general public interested and it does a fair job. The second trailer is the Gameplay Launch trailer and does a much better job of hyping the game. Enjoy!
For anyone that played the Alpha this is for you…..
I can’t wait to see everyone starside!
August 12, 2014
The Exclusive Heard Around the World
Early this morning, here in the States that is, Microsoft held their press event at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. There were plenty of games on display during the press event but one title stood out among the crowd and it may have been for different reasons. Rise of the Tomb Raider, the sequel to the 2013 reboot of the franchise, is coming exclusively to the Xbox One in fall of 2015. This announcement was huge. The game sold well on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. The Definitive Edition came to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this year and netted more sales for the reboot. This announcement was netted with positive feedback and plenty of negative feedback. Crystal Dynamics, the studio behind Tomb Raider, posted a response on the their Tumblr page . The Response is typical PR, but is also cryptic.
“Our friends at Microsoft have always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have believed in our vision since our first unveil with them on their stage at E3 2011. We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past – we believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft.”
This is a quote taken from that Tumblr response. What I see is possibly the same thing that happened with Bayonetta. Tomb Raider sold well, but never met the lofty sales expectations Square Enix set for the game until the Definitive Editions were released. Could have this been a move by Microsoft to secure a Uncharted like exclusive? Could it have been a way to guarantee a sequel to a game, that rightfully deserves one? There are more questions than answers with this announcement; there is one thing for sure, Rise of the Tomb Raider will be out in 2015 on Xbox One.
August 1, 2014
Remastered Cutscenes in Halo 2 (mcc) are Haunting and Beautiful
This fall we will see the release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. In that collection comes the highly anticipated Halo 2 Anniversary, a visually updated remaster similar to what we received with the Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary edition released 3 years ago. 343 Industries is taking the remaster a bit further this time with the help of Blur Studios, all of the in-game cutscenes are being pre-rendered and reanimated; they look absolutely stunning. If you are familiar with the Halo series, you will know Blur’s work with the franchise. They provided the “Scanned” trailer for Halo 4 and all of the pre-rendered cutscenes for Halo Wars. They have also created the pre-rendered cinematics for the Batman Arkham franchise, Injustice, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and War for Cybertron. They have a have an incredible resume, and every time I watch the video below, my heart hurts because I have to wait till November to get my hands on this. At the end of the trailer is Johnson’s speech to the scared marines accompanying the Chief, now on each difficulty level he spouted off something different, making it a fun easter egg. I hope they have taken that into an account when remastering these cutscenes. Enjoy the preview!
Microsoft and 343 Industries have also sent out a heap of screens showing off the remastered multiplayer map Zanzibar. One of best maps to come out of Halo 2 (and we were lucky to gets its return in Halo 3) we are getting a retooled version as one of the six maps that are getting this treatment. Enjoy your return to Zanzibar in the screens below.
July 14, 2014
Gaming in Stereo: Old is New Again
As the eighth generation of consoles are still relatively new, new games are hard to come by, and development can be delayed while learning the ropes for these consoles. As games that are next gen specific like Batman: Arkham Knight are seeing delays, we are seeing a return of previous gen games that pushed the older hardware to their breaking limits. This past January we saw the re-release of Tomb Raider in the Definitive Edition for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. At the end of this month we will see the re-release of The Last of Us in the Remastered Edition for the PS4, and at some point this year Grand Theft Auto 5 will jump to the new hardware as well. While some may scream that this is simply a money grab from companies, I see this as an opportunity for people to play gems that could have taken visual, performance, or even gameplay hits from the aging seventh gen hardware. I purchased Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for the PS4 recently and I am surprised over how good the game looks and run on the fresh hardware. I still have my original 360 copy and that was by no means an ugly game, but their is a stark visual and performance contrast. This maybe the continuing trend of HD releases we received during the last gen, which I was well on board with. Playing the game the past couple of days has also given me a new respect for Jason Graves incredible score. Graves is also known for scoring the Dead Space franchise, Murdered: Soul Suspect, and Alpha Protocol. Tomb Raider’s soundtrack may have been something I missed in the past ( with the amount of games I play and soundtracks I listen to, something just get lost), but I am correcting that today with a look at its fantastic score.
Secret of the Island Complete – Jason Graves – A very percussion heavy piece, laid with early Japanese/tribal feel; Secret of the Island is a great representation of Yamatai, the island in which Tomb Raider takes place. When the strings enter you can feel the sense of danger; the mysterious Storm Guard; the Sun Queen, Himiko; and the deranged cultist led by Mathias. The percussion makes this piece, enjoy
SOS Tower Final In-game (unreleased) – Jason Graves – This track was not on the official soundtrack, but thanks to SoundCloud and Graves, we get to listen to what is one of the more happier moments in the game. The part of the game where this piece takes place is a huge step for Lara. Still shaky about her surroundings, she is less than confident to climb the dilapidated radio tower. She does, and proves to herself that she can do this, she can become the character we know. The sight from atop the tower is beautiful, and this piece captures that wondering beauty.
A Survivor is Born – Jason Graves – The main theme from Tomb Raider, is sweeping, beautiful piece of production. Lara’s theme that starts around the (1:25) mark is epic, encasing all that Lara has been through on Yamatai and becoming the strong protagonist she is meant to be. At the (2:02) mark, the Lara theme is played again but by a solo piano. I love how in the piece there is the same central theme, the same notes even, played three different ways, at different tempos; but yet it all fits together so perfectly. I hope you Enjoy!
June 9, 2014
Microsoft Press event aftermath
Microsoft had quite a showing, lots of games, some exclusives, a MASSIVE Halo collection, and a huge lack of Kinect (which was for the better). There could have been a few more surprises but over all, it was one of Microsoft’s press events in recent memory. Games was the theme of the event, no mention of Kinect, NFL apps, TV, and the celebrities were turned down to minimum. Let gets to the games and like the press event I will break them up into things you will be playing this year and things you will be playing net year and in the future. Here we go!
What you will be playing on Xbox One in 2014
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – 11/4/2014 – There was a live gamplay demo given like there is every year. While it looking very nice, it did not pull the a wow factor. The game still looks incredibly scripted, it did not appear to have the signature 60 FPS (though it could have just been the stream), and it looked bland. Everything just looked like gaming Sci-Fi tropes. Microsoft, as always, will have the DLC first on the Xbox One.
Forza Horizon 2 – 9/30/2014 – This is where the press event picked up and never let go. I loved the first Horizon and I am stoked it garnered enough for a sequel. The drivatars from Forza 5 will be transferable to Horizon 2, there will 200+ cars, and you can create clubs with up to 1,000 other players. The game will be 1080p, but 30 FPS like the previous Horizon title.
Evolve – The new title from Turtle Rock studios is looking like a blast and the Xbox One version is getting exclusive content and beta.
Assassin’s Creed Unity – Ubisoft’s venerable franchise is back in 18th century France during the height of the French Revolution. There will be a new lead character and the edition of 4-player co-op.
Dragon Age 3: Inquisition – 10/07/2014 – The game is looking beautiful running on Frostbite 3 and the Xbox One has snagged content first.
Sunset Overdrive – 10/28/2014 – The Insomniac developed exclusive looks like a massive load of fun. A third person shooter, with an emphasis on traversing the terrain in fun ways, the game will have a solo mode as well as a 8 player co-op mode. The game will have day one edition.
Dance Central Spotlight – There will be a new Dance Central game, it will be download only, and was the only hint at Kinect during the event.
Project Spark – the create a game, game has hit 1 million creations. There will be Conker (Conker’s Bad Fur Day) content coming to Project Spark soon.
Fable Legends – The game will not release this year, but there will be a beta this year. The game has 4 heroes teaming up to fight the threats of Albion. There will be playable villains, which works more like a level editor, where you are working against the heroes. You can sign up for the beta and more at Fablelegends.com
Ori and the Blind Forest – a new game from Moon Studios that looks incredibly beautiful and touching.
Halo: The Master Chief Saga – 11/11/2014 – This game garnered a huge applause from the crowd at the event and with good reason. For $59.99 you get Halo 1, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4; all four titles on their original engines but running at 60 FPS and at 1080p. The games will feel the way they did when they were released, all the nuances, fun, and secrets will be there. All 4 games will have their respective multiplayer as well, over 100 maps will be available. The collection will also debut the Ridley Scott produced series, Halo Nightfall, which ties into the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians. But that is not all, Halo 5: Guardians will have a beta this fall as well.
Here comes the games you will be playing next year and beyond.
Playdead Studios project – A new title from the Limbo creators was shown off and will be exclusive to the Xbox One.
Rise of the Tomb Raider – A sequel to the excellent Crystal Dynamics reboot. Only a promotional video was shown.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – new gameplay was shown off. The combat still looks deep and complicated (that being a good thing).
Phantom Dust – An original Xbox title is getting the reboot treatment just like Killer Instinct.
The Division – Showed us a bit more gameplay, Xbox One will snag new content first.
Scalebound – A new game coming from Platinum Games being published by Microsoft.
Crackdown – the venerable franchise is coming back, with series creator David Jones heading up the project.
June 9, 2014
Here is the E3 Schedule
Here is the times and dates for the big E# press events. Microsoft kicks off here in just 15 minutes which you will be able to watch right here on The Gamers Blog. If you would like to catch Microsoft’s and Sony’s press event, you can on their respective consoles. The Xbox Live Event Player and PS@E3 app are available to download and you can watch all the press events live. Hopefully we will see plenty of new titles and some very good reasons to own these new consoles this year.
June 3, 2014
And the Delays keep coming…
2014 was looking like a great year for games. We had big hitters such as Batman: Arkham Knight, The Witcher 3, Tom Clancy’s: The Division. The Order:1866, The Elder Scrolls Online (console version), and many others. The latest title slipping in to 2015 is Batman: Arkham Knight. Thought this makes my fall release schedule a tad easier on the wallet, this was my most anticipated title of the year. So now I have Destiny, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Evolve, Smash Brothers Wii U, Lord of the Rings: Shadow of Mordor, and the recently announced Forza Horizon 2 to look forward too. Not a bad line up of games to get me though the cold winter, but the Dark Knight will sadly be missed. I agree that game creators should take their time, more time could mean a better, more finished product. Here is a list of everything that has been pushed back so far.
-Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4/One/PC) – 2015
– The Elder Scrolls Online (PS4/One) – atleast 6 months, could be December, my money is on early next year.
– Tom Clancy’s: The Division (PS4/One/PC) – 2015
– The Witcher 3 (PS4/One/PC) – February 2015
– The Order:1866 (PS4) – 2015
– Steam Controller (PC) – 2015
– Mad Max (being developed by Just Cause 2 developer Avalanche Studios) – 2015
– Half-Life 3 – 2054
Hopefully with E3 a week away, we see some more concrete titles coming this fall, and more reason to put money down on a new console. Even if 2014 does end up on the weaker side, 2015 should be a smashing year for gaming. If any other delays are announced I will update the article.
May 21, 2014
New Arkham Knight Gameplay Trailer Ignites!
The gloves are off as Rocksteady takes one last knockout punch to the Batman franchise before moving on, and the new gameplay trailers made my inner fanboy scream with glee. The game is scheduled to be released this fall on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. This will not be a cross generation game and the visuals show, the visuals are gorgeous. The batmobile makes a huge presence in the trailer, as I stated in my first preview, it will play a major roll in the game, both for combat and traversing the environment. The trailer does hint at the villains that will take center stage; Two-face, the Penguin, Scarecrow, and the mysterious Arkham Knight. Also shown in the trailer is Oracle, a.k.a. Barbara Gordon. She was in the previous two titles but only in voice, and I am glad we are seeing her character even more fleshed out in Knight. I am still trying to figure out who’s behind the Arkham Knight mask. At the ending of Arkham City we had several villains fall, and for the sake of repetition, I hope they stay that way. They did hint at a Talia al Ghul, Bruce Wayne relationship in Arkham City. Could Damian Wayne make an appearance? We also have Hush and Azrael (Michael Lane) that are unaccounted for after City. I hope you enjoy the trailer as much as I did, and it is very nice to have Kevin Conroy back as the Dark Knight.
May 16, 2014
343 Industries Announces Halo 5: Guardians
While sifting though emails and press releases this morning, I came across one from Microsoft and almost spit my coffee at my monitor. The Halo game that was teased last year at E3 finally has a name and release window. The game is titled Halo 5: Guardians and will be released fall of 2015 on the Xbox One. The game will feature a brand new engine running at 60 FPS (whether it is native 1080p was not stated). Halo 4 showed off a fantastic tweak to the art style showing a natural evolution to the Spartans and their program. The announced box art (shown above) shows off the venerable Master Chief, but down played to who ever is standing right side up. It will be interesting to see if this is a new protagonist, the end of Master Chief, and what became of the UNSC Infinity. The Steven Spielberg collaborated Halo live action series will also debut next year, presumably to lead up to the release of Guardians. 343 Industries is calling this the “Halo Journey” and that the journey will start this year, possibly with a Halo title launching this year, a Halo 2 anniversary edition maybe (Please, yes!)? Details surrounding this “Halo Journey” will be announced during Microsoft’s E3 briefing on June 9th. As a rather rabid Halo fan I am quite excited by this announcement. I am hesitant on the multiplayer side of things to be honest. While Halo 4’s multiplayer was fun, it felt like they were trying to copy the Call of Duty mold and offer loadouts and slightly faster game play. Halo has never been about that, it was about map memorization, weapon hierarchy, and fun vehicle combat. I hope 343 take the multiplayer to the series roots while continuing to evolve the campaign. Halo 4 was a video and audio splendor, while bringing out lore from the books and encompassing the universe as a whole. I am excited to see what 343 will show off at E3 and if we will get our first glimpse of Halo 5: Guardians in real time.