Weekly News Recap: August 22, 2014

Diablo III Ultimate Evil EditionAfter last week’s Gamescom, this week was notably a bit more subdued on the news front. That said here were the biggest stories of the week.

This week really marked the end of the summer lulls with what I would consider the first major release of the season with the repackaging of Diablo III. The Ultimate Evil edition comes with the base game as well as the Reaper of Souls expansion, and also marks the game’s debut on current-gen consoles. To that effect, reports surfaced this week that Microsoft had told Blizzard/Activision that 900p as a resolution was unacceptable, and as a result they figured a way to bump it up to 1080p on the Xbox One.

It has been a pretty rough summer for developers. This week, Infamous developer Sucker Punch Studios announced layoffs. Sucker Punch just released a pretty expansive DLC for Infamous 2: Second Son at the beginning of the month. We’ll have to see what is in store for the studio in the future.

The Behemoth, the team behind awesome games like Castle Crashers and Battleblock Theater announced Game 4 this week. The debut trailer definitely uses the trademark Behemoth style of humor and art style. It’s difficult to say exactly what the game will be like, but it will be playable at PAX Prime next week.

At Gamescom, Microsoft announced that the Xbox One would begin supporting digital pre-ordering and pre-downloading. While pre-ordering is still a bit away, pre-downloading is here, sort of. Starting with Madden ’15 next week, players can download the game early to start playing right at midnight, but this is still limited to specific titles – for example there’s no word about it for FIFA ’15 or NHL ’15 which also come out next week.


Gamescom 2014: News and Notes from Germany

Earlier this week I talked about the new Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare multiplayer news that came out of Gamescom. Yesterday I shared a couple trailers that really impressed me from the show. Today I want to hit a couple of the headlines that have come out from various publishers.

Tomb Raider Logo

First off, Microsoft dropped the news that Rise of the Tomb Raider will be an Xbox One exclusive for the Holiday of 2015. During their press conference, that was all they would say on that bit, and as a result, the fanboys (both Tomb Raider and PlayStation) got a little over reactionary as they are wont to do. However, as I think most cool headed people thought, it was revealed that it was only a timed exclusive, giving Xbox the edge on the Holiday launch window, but the series isn’t leaving the console that it saw its start on. Other than that, no new info on the game though.

Sunset Overdrive Xbox Bundle

Microsoft also announced a few new bundles for the Xbox One at their press conference. First the announced a FIFA 15 bundle that will only be available in Europe. This is most likely a parallel to the Madden 15 bundle that is available in the States, pairing the console with the most popular sports for those regions. Second was a bundle with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, featuring a custom paint job on the console and controller, the “Day Zero” edition of the game digitally, and what I would think is the main selling point, a 1 TB hard drive. Since players have to instal any Xbox One game, even with physical copies, that extra hard drive space is a great addition. Finally, Microsoft announced a Sunset Overdrive bundle, which features a really crisp looking white console, along with the Day One edition of the game.

Switching gears to Sony now, we learned a little bit more about that really cool feature they announced at E3 with Far Cry 4 – the ability to play with a friend who doesn’t own the game. Essentially, the player that owns the game sends an invite out, the other player then accepts it and can access the first player’s PlayStation. They can then play the game on their console by streaming the video from the first console. They are basically taking over the first player’s console – meaning the first player can’t really use it while they’re playing. It’s a neat idea, but I want to see how well it really works in practice before I start heaping praise on it.

Silent Hills Norman Reedus

Sony also had what might be the coolest announcement in years. The game itself is a pretty big deal, but coolest part of it was how they went about doing the announcement. They told everyone about a new “Interactive Teaser” in the PlayStation store and told them to go play through it to see the new game. It’s an innovative way to use the online store’s capabilities to get fans around the world involved. As for the actual game, at the end of the teaser it’s unveiled as being an announcement for Silent Hills, a new entry into the classic survival-horror series, being developed by Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro and the main character will be played by Norman Reedus. While it’s still really early, it’s hard to not get a little excited for this one – I fully expect a very unsettling and creepy game from this team.

There’s a lot more news to hit that’s come out from Gamescom, and I’ll hit a few more game-specific stories tomorrow.