Since October 21st SAG-AFTRA has been picketing many developers and publishers in the video game industry. It has been announced that Insomniac Games has been added to the list. During the month of November the union is planning to picket outside the development offices of Insomniac. They are not the first that have been hit with a picket, and will be joining the likes of EA and Warner Bros. The pickets have been a result of a failure to come to terms over many of the unions demands. The union stands by that the demands are not so out of hand, and what they are asking for is entirely fair. One of the biggest demands was that actors receive “full scale payment” for every 500,000 units sold. Another addressed the “secrecy” issue of games, citing that actors have to sometime audition for parts with knowing nothing about them. In return the gaming industry has offered a 9% wage increase, but many still claim it’s not enough. That voice acting for video games is vastly unfair in comparison to other forms of voice acting. Multiple voice actors have stepped forward in support of the strike including Jennifer Hale and Wil Wheaton. Problems range from under pay, to odd hours, to there being no further compensation for motion capture. Crispin Freeman has stated that this is about the industry treating voice actors as though they don’t matter. It is sad that the strike is still going, and even sadder to watch the list of developers being struck grow. I personally hope to see a good ending to this strike. While I do love video games, it is important that the industry treat it’s voice actors fairly and in a way that is comparable to other industries. If you are curious as to what games are specifically being struck and which are not you can visit these links. Struck and Non-Struck
We now have our first official release date for a Mario game for mobile. Super Mario Run will be launching December 15th for all iOS platforms. What we know is fairly limited at this point. The core game will have multiple different world themes as is expected from Mario games. It is also meant to be played one handed with Mario constantly moving and gamers only having control of jumps. In addition to the core Mario mode there will also be a kingdom builder and a Toad’s Rally mode. The Rally mode allows you to compete with others, while Kingdom builder seems to be a cosmetic feature. The game is going to be on the pricey side for mobile games, costing $9.99. As so little is known about it at this point, there is no news if there will then be further microtransactions to follow up with the game. My personal hope is that Nintendo keeps any additional charges for this (and future mobile games) limited to cosmetic, or not at all. It is hard for me personally to get excited for a new mobile game when so many rely so heavily on microstransactions. Honestly I have been iffy about Nintendo shifting to an emphasis on mobile games and I still am. Super Mario Run does seem like an enjoyable mobile game, and the price is large enough that they might avoid the negative direction that most mobile games takes. It doesn’t appear that there is anything really unique about this Mario game, other than Mario constantly running. If Nintendo is going to focus so heavily on mobile game I would hope that they would bring something unique to the mobile experience. That being said I have to admit any judgement at this point is purely speculative. We will know more with Super Mario Run actually launches, and when we see feature games from Nintendo. For now iOS owners get ready to bring Mario to new devices.
Xbox and PlayStation have both released the games you will be able to get for free in November 2016. If you are a PlayStation Plus member and/or Xbox Live member here are the games you can get for free next month.
Super Dungeon Bros: November 1st-30th
Murdered: Soul Suspect: November 16th- December 15th
Monkey Island SE: November 1st- November 15th
Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon: November 16th- November 30th
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
The Deadly Tower of Monsters
Costume Quest 2
Letter Quest Remastered
If you are a gamer it’s likely you noticed that people were freaking out the last few days, or you yourself were doing a little bit of it. Rockstar in a stroke of brilliance teased out the announcement for Red Dead Redemption 2. They started with a simple picture of the Rockstar logo in red, as was used for Red Dead Redemption. The following day a silhouette of 7 characters on a background reminiscent of RDR was released. Today they announced Red Dead Redemption 2, and it’s a little disappointing. First and foremost why Red Dead Redemption 2? The series has been Red Dead Revolver, Red Dead Redemption, and now Red Dead Redemption 2? The argument could be made that it’s a direct tie-in with Red Dead Redemption, however the picture today doesn’t really confirm that. The center character does not look like Jack Marston, and it’s clearly not John. It could still be tied to John’s story, it’s still underwhelming. Why not Red Dead Retribution? Another disappointing thing is once again no women characters are featured. Rockstar has gotten a lot of flack for their lack of playable women, and for the most part they have brushed this off. I was waiting to make a comment on this matter until I knew that whatever was coming next for RDR wouldn’t feature a woman. While it’s still not confirmed, it is pretty telling that there are seven featured characters and none of them are women.
All of this being said I am still rather excited for this news. Red Dead Redemption was an amazing game, and I am glad that the series still has life. I’ve always been in the minority of gamers that has preferred Rockstar’s other open-world games over Grand Theft Auto. It will be interesting to see what where this game goes, and how it ties into John’s story while still standing on its own. The game was announced for Fall 2017, and there is a trailer expected later this week. So for the time being, I will not attempt to speculate or comment beyond this. I am very excited to bring more news as it unfolds, and hope that it’s good news.
When Nvidia announced their 10 series graphics cards, they also announced the impending arrival of their new screen capture technology – Ansel. While it was spoke of in conjunction with the 10 series cards, it works with cards from the 680M upwards (a list of compatible GPUs can be found here).
Ansel first arrived with Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst but was released for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt recently. I was able to have a bit of a play around with the new tech and it’s fun, intuitive and easy to use.
Pressing alt+f2 in-game pauses everything – combat included – and brings up a series of sliders that you can adjust to your liking. I usually edit most of my screenshots after taking them in Photoshop so some of the brightness & contrast options held no merit for me, but playing with field of view and the new 360 view capture was a blast and something I’d only been able to achieve previously by stitching a lot of photos together. There is also an option to create a “super resolution” image – 63,360 x 35,640 pixels. The amount of detail present in this particular mode is absolutely stunning and a great option for those who want to create high quality print outs of their screenshots.
Below are a couple images taken with the 360 view capture – there is a little “banding” but that may just come from the game itself.
Have you tried Nvidia Ansel? What do you think of it?
Xbox has announced their Games with Gold for September 2016. Xbox Live Gold members will be able to get the following games free next month.
Earthlock: Festival of Magic: September 1st-30th
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China: September 16th- October 15th
Forza Horizon: September 1st-15th
Mirror’s Edge: September 16th-30th
The extremely popular PC and PS4 puzzle game is finding a new home. Creator Jonathan Blow informed IGN that The Witness would be coming to Xbox One. The game will be the same, as any drastic changes would change the core of the game Blow also went on to say. There will be a few technical changes because of the hardware, but nothing that should be overly apparent to gamers. The game should be available September 13, 2016, but there is still a bit of fine tuning to be done. They are also still working on an iOS version of the game, but when that will release is still unknown. The iOS version of the game would have to undergo some major changes so it might be a long time before we know anything solid.
Back in June gamers got the sad news that Allison Road had been cancelled. The horror game was meant to be the spiritual successor to Silent Hills. The game was planned to take the style used in the playable teaser for Silent Hills, and turn it into a full game. Many horror fans were devastated to hear that it was cancelled. Now gamers have something to be happy about, because the creator of the game says it’s back on. Christian Kesler has founded a new company, Far From Home, and will be continuing to develop Allison Road under that label. The main reason for the cancellation was disagreements over the future of the game. Part of the team wanted to stick with the indie/kickstarter model, while another part wanted to find a publisher. Ultimately the disagreements led to the kickstarter and then the game being cancelled.
Before everyone gets too excited, there is more news. Kesler is taking on the game completely solo. This means two things, one that certain changes have to be made to the game. Some of the things used in the alpha will no longer make the final cut. Perhaps the biggest thing this will impact is development time. Kesler is not even hinting at a potential release date at this point because it’s such a big project. He said from the initial idea to where we were when the game got cancelled was nearly two years, so there is a long journey ahead of Kesler to finish this game. Still even knowing it’s far off is better than the game not coming out at all.
How do you feel about this news? How about the idea of a game taking the PT model for a full length game?
The newest gameplay trailer for Dishonored 2 is out. This one features Emily, showing off her various moves and powers. It was rather well crafted as it goes through a variety of gameplay styles, powers, moves, and combos. The more that is revealed of Dishonored 2 the better it looks. Check out this gameplay trailer and let us know what you think.
I don’t know that there is much I can say. I loved Stick of Truth, and I have been on the hype train since this game was announced. The newest trailer highlights a bit more of gameplay, but really at this point it’s just more giggles, and more hype. Enjoy
For those that have not heard of Yooka-Laylee it is the spiritual successor to the Banjo-Kazooie series. It is being developed by a number of people that worked on Banjo-Kazooie and specifically meant to capture the feel of the N64 games. Now I am a huge fan of Banjo-Kazooie and like move people was extremely disappointed with the direction the game took with Nuts and Bolts. However regardless of if you are fan of the Banjo series, the more we see of Yooka-Laylee the better it looks. For those that are excited to get back to the feel of Banjo it’s certainly there. For those looking at it with fresh faces you are still presented with a colorful, entertaining looking, solid platforming experience. Yooka-Laylee is building up to shine because it does tap into that nostalgia, while still remaining unique and fresh. We still don’t have an official release date, but I can’t wait to bring you more news as we can.
ReCore was announced at E3 this year. It is an adventure game that blends many different aspects for gameplay. The trailers have shown puzzle solving, platforming, and action heavy aspects. We finally have a new gameplay trailer, that focuses more on combat. However it does show ReCore is something unique, and uses the various robots and gadgets to challenge players with gameplay. The game is set to release just under a month from now, and truly does look like a fun experience. Enjoy the new trailer and then let us know what you think about ReCore.
There have been plenty of rumors about another FFXV delay, so the news is unlikely to shock anyone. Square Enix has made it official the game has been pushed back, however only until November of this year. After waiting for so long this slight delay doesn’t feel nearly as bad as some had feared. The delay is mostly for polishing reasons, to ensure that everything about the game is perfect on launch day. This launch is rather important for the future of Final Fantasy, so we hope these few extra weeks helps to make the game a great one.
Microsoft reported fairly good numbers for their console in the month of July. Microsoft was able to finally pull ahead in Sony for consoles sales, something that hasn’t happened in awhile. While overall consoles sales were down for both companies, neither is doing poorly. Not only that but early sales for the Xbox One S were pretty off the charts. For the 2TB version UK sold out and parts of the US did as well, nearly all of the country in fact. Microsoft has been steady but slow with this round of consoles, but they are extremely optimistic. Microsoft is believes that S sales will remain sold and help the company overall.
The 6th installment of the Ace Attorney series, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney- Spirit of Justice (hell of a name) will be releasing September 8th. It will be $29.99 US, and there will be a demo of the game August 25th. The game was announced a few months ago, but more information has been slowly coming forward. This installment will rely heavily on being able to flash back to the final moments of a victim’s life. Doing so will help to solve cases, and reveal clues that could otherwise be missed. Joining the game is Ema Skye, Apollo, Athena, and Phoenix’s adopted daughter Trucy. Get ready to take on more cases with our favorite attorney in just a few short weeks.
The Witcher 3 Game of the Year Edition is officially up for pre-order. The game will be releasing August 30th, and will include The Witcher 3 (of course) and all the DLC. In addition to the DLC it will have a few extras thrown in as well. It will be $49.99 US. As of right now the game is only showing up on Amazon and digital copies, however that doesn’t mean that it will be the only way to get the game. We will bring you more news as we can.
If you haven’t heard Blue Isle Studios (Slender: The Arrival) is bringing us a new game, Valley. Today an extended story trailer has been released. The game itself will have players use an exoskeleton suit in order to explore the vast world of the game. The suit allows players to manipulate the environment around them, including giving life or bringing death. There are still more questions than answers, even with the extended trailer. The trailer and images imply that the game relies heavily on themes of technology vs environment. It also seems like it will delve into the idea of how far it too far. Despite the many questions the game does look beautiful, and a little bit of mystery can be a good thing. Gamers will be able to play the game August 24th, and it will be $19.99 US.
Despite early promises of a September beta, it now seems that the Gwent closed beta has been pushed back to October. A spokesperson for CD Projekt RED simply stated that they needed more time to prepare the beta, and that it would be the first impression of the game so they wanted further development. They are apologetic about the delay but admit that having a good game is more important than keeping a deadline. Many would argue that a beta doesn’t need to be complete, but a beta is a very important step in the development process. If a beta is rushed then it’s likely everything following will also be rushed. It’s not an overly long delay, as the closed beta will now begin on October 25th. We wish them luck and hope gamers stay hype for Gwent.