21 February, 2016

This Week In Videogames – 21/02/2016

Hmm do you smell that? It’s the scent of post-release support; to some it spells the beginning of the end for the industry, the foul reek of capitalism. To most though the smell is inoffensive and is either easily ignored, or else offers a reason to play more of a particular videogame. DLC ‘s most certainly the theme of this week’s news roundup!

This Week In Videogames – 21/02/2016 banner

Zeni To The Max

This week Bethesda took the fore, we’ll start off light. On Twitter, the official Doom account estimated their upcoming single player campaign to run around “13+” hours, at least  so far as the studio can from internal tests, varying of course depending upon the difficulty selected.
I’m not at all suggesting volume equates to value – hour count isn’t a metric that usually concerns me, as evidenced my review of StarWars: Battlefront – but for comparison; the original Doom averaged around 4-5 hours, Doom 2 7-9, and Doom 3 11-13, link below.

Fallout 4’s season pass got outlined and rejigged; three add-ons originally comprised the entirety of the pass’ content. However, due to the success of the game, the season pass has been expanded and so too will it’s price, here are the first three releases.

Automatron will release in March for $9.99/£7.99:
“The mysterious Mechanist has unleashed a horde of evil robots into the Commonwealth, including the devious Robobrain. Hunt them down and harvest their parts to build and mod your own custom robot companions. Choose from hundreds of mods; mixing limbs, armor, abilities, and weapons like the all-new lightning chain gun. Even customize their paint schemes and choose their voices!”
This Week In Videogames – 21/02/2016 fallout 4 automation dlc

Wasteland Workshop in April for $4.99/£3.99:
“With the Wasteland Workshop, design and set cages to capture live creatures – from raiders to Deathclaws! Tame them or have them face off in battle, even against your fellow settlers. The Wasteland Workshop also includes a suite of new design options for your settlements like nixie tube lighting, letter kits, taxidermy and more!”
This Week In Videogames – 21/02/2016 fallout 4 wasteland workshop dlc

And Far Harbor, the only truly sizable expansion of playable content of the three, will hit in May for $24.99/£19.99:
“A new case from Valentine’s Detective Agency leads you on a search for a young woman and a secret colony of synths. Travel off the coast of Maine to the mysterious island of Far Harbor, where higher levels of radiation have created a more feral world. Navigate through the growing conflict between the synths, the Children of Atom, and the local townspeople. Will you work towards bringing peace to Far Harbor, and at what cost? Far Harbor features the largest landmass for an add-on that we’ve ever created, filled with new faction quests, settlements, lethal creatures and dungeons. Become more powerful with new, higher-level armor and weapons. The choices are all yours.”
This Week In Videogames – 21/02/2016 fallout 4 far harbor dlc

This is just the first run of content, as I said at the top, this is what was planned for the £24.99 season pass, however Bethesda has promised more “adventures and features throughout 2016, amounting to over $60 in value”. As such the season pass will increase from $29.99/£24.99 to $49.99/£39.99 as of March 1st. So if you enjoyed Fallout 4 and know you want more, maybe make the most of this lower price, this is probably as cheap as it will be for the next year or so.

Closed betas will be conducted for the DLCs on both consoles and PC, with sign-ups being taken already, link below. There will also be free updates and improvements, with a Survival Mode currently in the works; overhauling the systems this mode will force players to consider their health more closely and manage food, sleep, and more. In addition to the Creation Kit, mod tools.

Bethesda studio director Todd Howard spoke at this week’s DICE summit, at which Fallout 4 was named game of the year. During which he announced that in addition to the aforementioned Fallout 4 DLC, the studio was also working on “three longer-term projects”, describing them only as, "different than anything we’ve done before, while also being a Bethesda-style game—kind of big and crazy—but in many ways different than things we’ve done before."

Filling The Void

As we covered last week, the Assassin’s Creed release schedule has gotten a bit of a shake-up this year, with smaller titles filling the gap left in the absence of a big annual release. These will be bolstered by a young adult book series called, Last Descendants.

Last Descendants is written by Matthew J. Kirby, known for the book Icefall, and is set to release in September, with a sequel landing in January 2017. The book will follow a group of teenagers as they jump through DNA-based history into 1860s New York and the Aztec lands during the Spanish invasion. The figures William "Boss" Tweet, Hernan Cortes, and Adelina Patti are all set to appear in typical Assassin’s Creed fashion.

(Via Gamespot).

And You Though Punching A Missile Was Dumb

Just Cause 3 is a crazy game, not as off the wall as Saints Row The Third, or 4 is grant you, or quite as… Japanese as some of Swery’s works, but nonetheless crazy, both in its action and in its writing. And it’s about to up the ante with the ‘Air, Land, & Sea Expansion Pass’ that is set to add three pieces of content to Just Cause 3, the first being the Sky Fortress shown in the trailer below.

Note the swarm of drones and rocket-powered wingsuit.

Second is the ‘Land Mech Assault’ DLC that will add missions surrounding a new highly manoeuvrable mech outfitted with a gravity gun. There is no information on the final ‘Baravrium Sea Heist’ DLC, save its watery nature. The pass will cost $24.99/£19.99, with the Sky Fortress available from March, costing $11.99/£9.49 on its own.  

Total Administration

In a pleasantly transparent forum post, Creative Assembly revealed the inner structure of their studio and the projects they currently have in the works. There are five teams of varying size working on the Total War franchise; one team headed by game director Gabor Beressy is busy on Total War: ARENA, the “free-to-play massed battle strategy game”, which is currently in closed beta. Renaud Charpentier is leading the Total War Battles: KINGDOM team, which is in open beta on Steam in some regions, it’s also free-to-play though will be cross-platform on mobile devices and PC/Mac. The ‘core’ historical team, who last developed Total War: Attila, are currently prototyping features for the next ‘huge’ historical Total War title, though its announcement is a while off.

This Week In Videogames – 21/02/2016 total war warhammer chaos troll

Working in support of the historical team, and soon transitioning onto the Warhammer team, is the ‘New Content Team’, headed by Jack Lusted. This team builds both the smaller culture packs, like the upcoming Slavic Nations, as well as the larger expansions like Charlemagne and presumably The Last Roman. In the immediate spotlight is the Warhammer team, helmed by Ian Roxburgh, Total War: Warhammer has been in production since 2012 and is set to release April 28th this year.

Additionally, there’s the team responsible for Alien: Isolation who are now busy on Halo Wars 2, though no further information was given.

The Twitter Happenings Of Bioware Leads

Intriguingly Bioware’s Mark Darrah, Executive Producer of the Dragon Age franchise, asked his Twitter followers if they would be interested in a ‘tactics’ game.

He clarified in a later post:

There’s a good chance it could amount to nothing, however with regards to Dragon Age Inquisition, Bioware were remarkably forthright during development, discussing systems and ideas with fans at events such as the PAX’s years before release. I truly did love my time with Dragon Age Inquisition, and frequently think of returning to it, but a smaller, more intimate slice of that universe sounds delectable, even knowing where the Trespasser expansion left the story.
Also on Twitter and concerning Bioware, Mass Effect Andromeda lead writer Chris Schlerf announced his departure from the Montreal studio, describing it as:

And that he believed Andromeda would “blow people away,” it’s slated to release in this coming fiscal year, so by the end of March 2017. Schlerf is moving to Bungie, where he’ll take up the reins as lead writer of whatever the hell Destiny will become. Previously he was lead writer on Halo 4.

Unending Fear

I’m afraid I don’t have any ‘hilarious’ news with which to close out this week, but I do have this clip of dumbness courtesy of The Division open beta.

Check back to the site tomorrow for the full video, as well as a break-down of the WWE special Fastlane that’s kicking off tonight!

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