06 September, 2015

This Week In Videogames – 06/09/2015

Here’s a selection of things that happened this week, curated be me and my totally varied tastes. I promise there’s more to videogames than guns and violence… You believe me right? Right?

This Week In Videogames – 06/09/2015

Nathan Fillion Was On Screen, No Firefly Isn’t Coming Back


Earlier this week 343 Industries, unveiled the opening cinematic (below) of their upcoming title Halo 5: Guardians. The scene follows Spartan Fireteam Osiris, that’s Agent Locke and his team, presumably leading into the first mission of the game. After a minute and a half long preamble laying out Osiris’ snatch-and-grab mission, the target none other than Dr Catherine Halsey, you know the accused war criminal; stealing kids, illegal (flawed) cloning, the training and indoctrination of child soldiers, oh and treason against her species. In the following minute and a half, Osiris disembark whatever they were flying straight into a heavily armed Covenant formation and promptly begin to dismantle it as they descend a rather perilous mountain.


The scene, by which I mean the fight, looks great – the more anime the fighting gets the better, in my opinion. But I can’t help imagine that whatever action follows, that you the player control, won’t look half has epic or fluid. 

Your Favourite And Mine…


Halo not doing it for you? Well Destiny’s probably right up your alley then. Destiny is in little over a week going to see its third expansion pack launch, The Taken King, only this time it costs twice that of the previous two, at $40. Unlike the previous ones, this expansion actually looks as if it will change the game in some meaningful ways. Allegedly. This includes a redesign of the levelling system, meaning that progression from level 1 to 40 is all XP based, rather than the post-20 grinding of Light. The quest system is also receiving some kind of ‘overhaul’ Bungie’s Luke Smith told Gamespot. The only the changes the article highlights is the inclusion of a quest tracker on the HUD, and a new page in the menus allowing for more, easier to cash in bounties. I guess you could spin that as an overhaul?

Destiny the taken king quest tracker

But the real news, the thing that sparked the previous paragraph of barely concealed sarcasm, is that The Taken King won’t launch whole. That’s right parts of the expansion will be patched in later, specifically the raid. King’s Fall, which will be the third raid to grace Destiny is said to be greater in scale than its predecessors, but it’s not going to land with the rest of the expansion. Oddly the same thing happened when the vanilla (base) game launched last year, the raid launched a week later, allowing Bungie to claim that reviewers weren’t doing their job properly, describing them as not having, “time or patience”. Bungie later announced that King’s fall will launch three days later on the 18th, The Taken King launches September 15th. I wasn’t expecting three days of content from the expansion – three hours of new areas maybe – unless there is a compelling reason I’m just not seeing, it seems like an effort to create an illusion of longevity.

(Via GameInformer, Gamespot, IGN, and Polygon). 

It Was, No Is The Worst


Nuketown was never a good map, just a death trap, it was two steps removed from being a twenty meter rectangle you fought across. Somehow it’s managed to worm its way into yet another game; its latest incarnation Nuk3town, is a preorder bonus for Call of Duty: Black Ops III. According to the press release Activision despatched, the offer is exclusive to GAME; the decaying corpse of a UK brick-and-mortar retailer. However, a quick hop to the Black Ops III website shows the map advertised with the console manufacturer stores too.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III nuk3town

Get Ready To Drop Into Battlefront Early


It’s a big week for shooter news, EA announced Star Wars: Battlefront is getting a multiplayer beta in the not too distant future. The beta rolls out on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in early October. It will contain Walker Assault on Hoth and a Survival Mission on Tatooine, both were shown during the EA/Sony press conferences at E3 this year, there is something completely new though; Drop Zone. This mode which they’ve shed no light on as of yet, will also be playable in the beta – and don’t you worry, I’ll find creative ways to work its name into whatever I write! Additionally, the Battlefront Companion app will be released for testing at this time, aside from tracking your progression, it will contain a card game called Base Command, which will earn you weapons in Battlefront proper.

Star Wars: Battlefront beta

Flying Helicopters Underground Is Rarely Advisable


The Orcs are at it again – though to be fair they are in almost all Games Workshop licensed games – this time they’re ransacking the Dwarven realms, in another in-engine cinematic trailer (below) for Total War: Warhammer. ‘In-engine cinematic’, basically means it’s in-game assets spruced up to modern trailer standards. The trailer opens with a lone Dwarf being hunted through ruined halls by Goblin Spider Riders, before panning out to a massive battle between fortified Dwarves led by Thorgrim Grudgebearer the High King, and an Orc horde. This is all happening below ground too; the game will feature subterranean battles, Gyrocopters and Organ guns represent hard in this trailer. We haven’t seen the actual gameplay yet, but Creative Assembly seem have the art direction down to a tee!  


Iconic


Last week we spoke about videogame clothing, the appeal and suitability of it, and of course the price. I actually made the mistake of sticking up for Ubisoft for once, remarking that at least characters like that forgettable dude from Watch Dogs was a person with clothes (and an ‘iconic’ cap), in stark contrast to the armoured war machine that are Halo’s Spartans. And honestly, some of those Assassin’s Creed hoodies just look cool. Naturally, Ubisoft just had to get one over on me, so they launched the top hat you see below.

Assassin’s Creed syndicate top hat

Admittedly it’s probably real useful for cosplayers, doubly so if Ubisoft’s paying you to wear it. The hat is available at Merchoid for £26.99, it will ship October 25th, according to the product description:
Pop one of these Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Top Hats on your head, and you will instantly be transported back to the time of the Industrial Revolution – where gears and gadgets push the world into the future, and any cane may hide a sword.

One Guardian, Against The Growing Darkness


This week we depart on an uplifting legal note! Ex-Bungie composer Marty O’Donnell, (one of) the minds behind the soundtracks of the older Halo titles and Destiny, won his courtroom battle against Bungie. O’Donnell a cofounder of Bungie, was originally tasked with creating the soundtrack of the entire Destiny franchise, he did this in 2013, it is known as the ‘Music of the Spheres’. However he, quite naturally one may argue, reacted poorly to Activision (Destiny’s publisher) assuming creative control over the Destiny trailers. This included changing the music. This dispute between O’Donnell, Activision, and elements of Bungie team escalated until his employment was terminated without cause on April 11th, 2014. O’Donnell sued and won his owed vacation pay and unpaid wages, and later had his shareholder rights restored too, despite Bungie’s lawyers objecting that he would prove a, “…bothersome presence at board meetings and in the company…”. This final ruling entitled O’Donnell to Bungie stock, or the percentage of the cash equivalent from various times. The exact value is isn’t known, but the first profit-sharing payment he is entitled to is $142,500. Here is a copy of the final ruling, if you’re interested, VentureBeat have a far more comprehensive story on the matter. I’ll leave you with this!

 

(Via VentureBeat).

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