Battlefield: Hardline First Official Trailer, Release Date

Battlefield

After two separate leaks that are questionably deliberate, it is again, no surprise that now EA has decided to just show off the highly innovative Battlefield: Hardline. E3 is just on the horizon, yet this is one of many early reveals, and like the rest, it’s naught but a tease.

Below is the approximately 40 second trailer that contains flashy imagery, bass-heavy tunage, lots of gunshots and explosions and some good ole’ cop drama to top it off.

I must admit that the focus on the campaign is refreshing to say the least, and this has definitely hyped me up for the imminent E3 reveal. I can only imagine the types of ideas Visceral will add to the already well-established franchise. I hope for the best, but it will be a long road as they still need to convince me that the setting is worth exploring.

You can expect Battlefield: Hardline to release on October 21 2014.

Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Gets New Trailer, Collector’s Edition And More

Witcher

CD Projekt RED just finished their 2014 summer conference on GOG, and as usual, a plethora of new details have emerged about The Witcher 3. To start, the game has received an official release date of February 25 2014. The game will launch for PS4, Xbox One, and PC and will have a collector’s edition and a few pre-order bonuses.

There are multiple ways in which you can pre-order the game, all of which can be seen here.

Below is a video demonstrating what the collector’s edition will contain within.

If you aren’t one for fancy statues, the standard edition actually comes with a few goodies. It’s quite reminiscent of other, less impressive collector’s editions.

witcher standard edition

What’s more, RED released an impressive new gameplay trailer that details much of the game that until this point, we’ve not known. It is looking absolutely exhilarating.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtVdAasjOgU

Game Announcments: Mortal Kombat X, Forza Horizon 2, Homefront: The Revolution

Kombat

This morning a lot has been announced and confirmed. To start off, the new Mortal Kombat is officially titled Mortal Kombat X, and due out in 2015, will feature both Scorpion and Sub Zero, and can be seen in this awesome trailer. Watching the trailer seems to reveal the return of X-ray moves, a fan favorite addition in MK 9. A close observer would also catch many of the moves that are trademarks of the characters, and identical to the move sets in 9 (Like Scorpions Teleport and Sub-Zero’s Ice Slide) Update: WB Games has confirmed the title to be for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox Onee and PC.

MKX

The next announcement comes courtesy Deep Silver, who has confirmed that Homefront: The Revolution indeed exists. The Crytek developed title will only appear on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac and Linux. It’s post invasion America storyline continues from the first game back in 2011, this time Philadelphia taking center stage. Early details reveal that the mission structure will be suited to the story, as a resistance players will do assassinations and covert ops instead of going in guns blazing. The idea sounds unique in the FPS space, and we will be able to see more when it comes out in 2015. You can check it’s announcement trailer here.

HTR2

The last big announcement from this morning comes in the form of a new Xbox exclusive racing game. That’s right, there’s a new Forza on the horizon, Forza Horizon 2. The game was revealed by IGN earlier today, and has been confirmed for Xbox 360 and One for Fall of 2014. IGN’s first details reveal that the game is under development by Playground and Microsoft, and is set in Southern Europe.

FH

All of these titles and more are sure to be covered more at E3, so as the conference kicks up next week be sure to check back here for more news on these three titles.

Why The Maplestory 2 Gameplay Reveal Is A Colossal Letdown

Maplestory

Before pursuing writing as a productive hobby, I spent countless hours over a span of years playing the Free-to-play MMORPG, Maplestory. I discovered the game through an advertisement in 2006 and spent a lot of time in the virtual world; eventually quitting in 2010. The game grasped me because of its unique take on the tired MMO format, it’s polished and tight design, the 2D platforming elements and the “chibi” anime aesthetics.

The game at its core was about social play, and it made you feel as if you were a part of a real community. It was designed around this idea, with level grinding being outrageous without a group, quests being party-centric, and possibly the best buddy list in a multiplayer game period. Maplestory, over a long period of time, changed for the worse. The release of new classes, redesigns and balance patches made the game feel entirely different. Classes lost their unique traits, the economy crashed as new items and pay-to-win features were implemented, and overall, the game kept digging itself a bigger hole.

When I heard that Nexon was working on Maplestory 2, I was optimistic that it would capture the feel and polish of the first, while improving upon the great ideas that were either lost, or still had much room to grow. It is extremely disappointing to see that Maplestory 2 is not only an entirely different game, but it has dropped every single thing that made Maplestory interesting to me.

The first several seconds of this trailer had me excited. You see a 3D rendered Maplestory in all of its glory, but it quickly discards that to take an isometric view-point … why? The 2D perspective offered a refreshing way to play an MMO. It had great platforming, with an entire series of quests called ‘Jump quests’ that were specifically designed around this idea. Map navigation and routing were huge parts of how you levelled up, and it made encounters feel rewarding. You see six monsters on a platform, and instead of clicking on them like a traditional MMO, you’d use a grappling attack or a luring tactic to get them to group together, swiftly finishing them off with an AOE (area-of-effect) attack. It was these kinds of things and a myriad of others that made the grind fun, especially when you had a party. It became like clockwork but it didn’t really lose its edge.

The switch to a 3D isometic view has not only destroyed all of this, but it ruins the fluidity and responsiveness of the controls. Isometric camera angles are always awkward and jarring, and they take away part of the appeal of Maple. A good example is Bastion, where all I did was struggle with navigating the field, regardless of how polished the game itself was. I don’t think I ever fell off more maps than I did in Bastion…

Beyond the switch to the isometric view, the graphical ‘upgrade’ has been surprising to say the least. While the colours are vibrant and pretty, it just looks like another Minecraft clone. It’s abundantly clear that Nexon was simply cashing in on Minecraft‘s aesthetics, and it’s a major disappointment.

Maplestory, when all else failed, had a charm to the art that made it enjoyable to look at. I had never seen anything quite like it, and it was always an utter joy to explore the new areas, or test out the newly animated skills. The game was released in Korea in 2003, and it still holds up graphically; not because of impressive tech, but because the art stood out. Everyone had their favourite locale that they’d spend downtime in, and that seems like it could be lost now. Nothing was memorable. I had to repeat the trailer several times just to remind myself of how the art looked.

It’s worth noting that they’ve kept a lot of the enemy designs and locales, such as Perion and Ellinia, but they just feel shoe-horned in for the sake of making it more like a sequel. It somehow manages to make areas that we love look like nothing but lifeless copies.

Maple0001

If these things didn’t throw me off enough, I also found the noticeable emphasis on mini-games and gimmicks a bit shocking. This trailer is in no way a display of everything the game offers, but most of the screen-time was around gimmicky mechanics and mini-games that were ripped out of Mario Party. It seems like they’re trying to appeal more to young children this time by having really short bursts of a multitude of small games to distract people. I’d much prefer a focus on improved combat and party-quests, but I am under the impression that they’re trying to pull in an entirely new audience, not keep the current one.

In the end, I think that is the main thing to take away from this trailer. Maplestory 2 will not be a game that sucks in the hardcore crowd of the first, but merely a new take on an established IP that seeks to suck as many people in as possible. It’s different, I do not like it, and it speaks volumes about what Nexon has been doing to all of their games lately.

The Wolf Among Us Episode 4 Gets First Trailer, Release Date

Wolf

Telltale Games has released the first trailer for episode 4 of The Wolf Among Us, titled “In Sheep’s Clothing”. Along with the trailer, they’ve announced that the Episode will be released on May 27 for PC and Mac, May 28 for PS3 and Xbox 360, and May 29 for iOS.

Has the Wolf met his match? Beaten and bloody, Bigby is confronted by the realization that a society built on secrets is ripe for exploitation. And that the disenfranchised of Fabletown may see his prey not as the cause of their problems, but as their solution. Constantly caught between ‘the rules’ and doing the right thing, Bigby must tread a path fraught with danger in this penultimate episode of The Wolf Among Us.

I have been enamoured by Telltale’s take on The Wolf Among Us, and if A Crooked Mile is any indication of how excellent In Sheep’s Clothing will be, we’re in for a dramatic treat.

Driveclub Release Date Announced In New Trailer

Driveclub

After what seemed like forever, Playstation 4 exclusive Driveclub  has a release date. The long awaited and heavily delayed ‘social racing game’ will be released on October 7 2014 according to Sony’s official blog.

To celebrate this announcement, Sony has released a fresh trailer to not only remind everyone that exists, but that this game is worth buying.

Check out the trailer below if, for some reason, you were not already convinced that this is a game that you will have to buy:

It’s a relief to see that Driveclub still sports the ridiculously beautiful graphics that were on display at last year’s E3. In an age where pre-release footage is often not representative of the final product – I’m looking at you Dark Souls II – it’s nice to see that at least one of the heavy hitters is still a true show-stopper.

Whether Driveclub actually lives up to its promise, only time will tell, but I think it’s safe to get excited!

You Should Have The Forest On Your Radar

Forest

Have you heard of The Forest? The Forest is an open-world survival game being developed by Endnight Games that will be going into early-access on May 22. It is a game that struck me as both beautiful and disturbing, and each time Endnight releases a new trailer for it, I find myself getting more and more excited.

On March 19, Endnight released the third trailer for The Forest, detailing more of the late game shenanigans.

Here’s our third trailer, showing a more extended look at some of our survival systems and also what life is like in the forest a little further into the game.

The first thing I noticed when I saw The Forest was that the game looks undeniably gorgeous. It is possibly the most technically beautiful indie game I’ve seen considering the lighting effects and particles, and It’s shocking that they’ve managed subtle things like reflective water on bodies and seemingly dynamic wildlife. There are serene qualities to the graphics that boost the atmosphere and make the game feel oddly welcoming. That is, until they take any sense of safety away and throw hordes of hideous creatures your way.

That stark contrast plays well into the games atmosphere and makes the encounters even more startling. The balance between reprieve and horror seems to be an idea they’re keeping in the forefront, as each trailer shows off tranquil scenarios which slowly lead into the things nightmares are made of.

Furthermore, if you consider that the AI is programmed in such a way that the cannibals might watch from a distance or stalk you rather than engaging in all out combat, it seems that there will be many terrifying and exciting moments that make The Forest memorable.

forest1

Beyond this, the gameplay seems to revolve around survival and crafting. Everything from cutting down trees and building structures, to hunting, fishing, trap-making, and weapon crafting. All of these elements combined really make it feel as if you will be fighting for survival. How deep they make the system is something we will have to keep an eye on, but if it’s anything like what the trailers are hinting at, every single choice and action could be life or death.

The more Endnight teases The Forest, the more I want to sink my teeth in. If the trailer above left you wanting more, head over to these links for more survival horror goodness.

New Dark Souls II launch trailer gets awkward

Dark Souls

Namco Bandai released a final trailer to promote the launch of Dark Souls II today, and it causes more cognitive dissonance than any other trailer for the Souls series thus far.

Dark Souls is famous for its crushing difficulty and grotesque atmosphere, so it should come as a surprise that the song of choice for this trailer is a Jethro Tull song. It’s jarring that it is placed over over what is potentially the best example of atmosphere in recent memory. Thus, any feeling this game is supposed to evoke has been crushed by such an awkward choice in music… at least, I think? The lyrics match up to everything going on to an almost poetic degree, but the song itself couldn’t feel more out of place in tone and style.

Beyond the song choice however, the trailer is interesting in that it shows off a few new bosses and enemies that until now, we haven’t seen. The actual design possesses a unique, macabre look as usual, and it’s really exciting to see what is beyond the dilapidated bridges of Drangleic.

Will you be picking up Dark Souls II? I regret to inform you that I will be quitting every aspect of my social life for it.