Xbox One

  • Konami Issues an Apology and Explains their Statement ‘Mobile First’ Future

    Konami has made a lot of decisions recently which left the gaming world wondering about their future and of those games that they publish, Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill being the more pressing ones.

    Recently the issued a statement saying that they will target mobile gaming more which put many people questioning exactly what they were planning. With the split between Konami and Kojima, also cancellation of Silent Hills, Konami’s future didn’t seem to certain.

    However it seems that the situation might have been a bit misleading. In a statement to IGN, a Konami representative said,

    “We are aware that the conjecture surrounding our recent changes has prompted a great deal of anxiety, for which we apologise. The Metal Gear and Silent Hill series, both beloved by countless fans around the globe, are also extremely important to Konami.”

    “We have nurtured them with care over many years since their inception, and will continue to produce products for both franchises, but we are not currently at a stage where we can announce the path these future titles will take.”

    As for what they plan in the near future, Konami President and Representative Director Hideki Hayakawa said to Nikkei,

    “Konami’s idea of Mobile First is not at all to focus purely on mobile games.”

    “Our aim is to continue to build up a comprehensive portfolio of console, arcade, and card game titles for each IP while also making the best possible use of the mobile devices that accompany our customers in their daily life, thus expanding the limits of entertainment and appealing to more and more customers,” Hayakawa said.

     “Japan is our primary market for mobile content, [as] the Japanese market is populated with consumers who are extremely particular and discerning, and it is this environment that has helped us polish game design quality to such a high level.”

    Explaining the situation regarding MGS V and Hideo Kojima, Hayakawa said,

    “Until now, in addition to game development duties, our creators were handling a wide range of responsibilities including managerial roles; we have changed our approach to instead have managerial staff thoroughly focus on strategy and how their individual skills can be best applied, with that strategy then being executed together with the creative staff.”

    Guess this is what it meant when rumors suggested Hideo Kojima was “fired”. Guess the extent of his role in Konami was reduced due to their new “unification” plan. Wonder what it means for Hideo Kojima going in the future, as well as the MGS series.

  • Batman: Arkham Knight Pre-Order Bonus and Comic Bundle Details

    Another pre-order bonus has been revealed by Warner Bros. for Batman: Arkham Knight. The pre-order named Gotham’s Future has been seen on steam which gives buyers two costumes for Btman; Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns and Batman Beyond from the animated series.

    It is not yet clear whether this will just be a steam exclusive or whether it will apply for console owners as well.

    Following includes the exclusive items you get if you purchase the Comic Bundle and also the exclusive content available of PlayStation 4 owners:

    Comic Bundle:

    Includes: The Game, Batman 1st Appearance Skin, Exclusive Limited Edition 25th Anniversary Hardcover Graphic Novel. This product is a soft bundle and takes advantage of Amazon's ability to ship more than one item together to you in an Amazon box. This product does not contain unique packaging. PlayStation Exclusive (included in Standard Edition and Comic Edition of PlayStation 4 owners):

    Includes: For PlayStation owners, Batman Arkham Knight offers the exclusive Scarecrow Nightmare Pack, in which Gotham falls victim to Scarecrow's fear toxin, transforming the famous city into a twisted, hellish nightmare. Tear through the city in the all-new Batmobile and face off against a towering vision of Scarecrow and his undead army as they spread terror on the streets.

  • Arkham Knight: DLC Details

    At the reveal of the $40 Season Pass for Arkham Knight, gamers got a little annoyed. Main reason being they didn’t mention anything about the contents of the DLC, just the hefty price point.

    Responding to the backlash, Warner Bros. responded accordingly (cited by GameSpot):

    "We’ve heard from our community that you want more information on what we’ll be delivering in the Season Pass. While we aren’t ready to unveil every aspect of the content we’ll be developing, we would like to share more detail now to give you a better sense of the scope of the Season Pass."

    Details of what to expect in the DLC:

    Batgirl: A Matter of Family: An all new prequel story expansion in an entirely new location where you play as Batgirl for the very first time in the Arkham series - check out the first render of Batgirl.

    The Season of Infamy: Play as Batman in all new story missions featuring legendary super-villains invading Gotham City, with new story arcs, missions and gameplay features.

    Gotham City Stories: Play as Batman’s key allies in narrative missions extending their storylines, from both before and after the events in Batman: Arkham Knight.

    Legendary Batmobiles with Themed Tracks: Drive the most iconic Batmobiles from Batman’s 75-year history, on custom-built race tracks, each themed to that Batmobile’s specific era. Every Batmobile will be drivable across every race track.

    Crimefighter Challenge Maps: Engage in a series of new challenge maps utilizing the unique play styles of Batman and his allies.

    Character Skins: A variety of skins from across the eras for Batman, Robin, Nightwing and Catwoman.

  • Black Ops III: Specialist Characters, Gunsmith, New Movement Details

    black_ops_3Taking the 10 point system of Black Ops II one step further, Treyarch has come up with the Specialist System. This system would allow players to specialize their play styles even more.

    The details of four such classes were summarized by GameSpot as following:

    Ruin: A fearless infantry soldier with a "gravity spikes" weapon that creates an area of effect attack, and the "Overdrive" ability, which gives him a burst of speed.

    Seraph: A member of a crime syndicate with the "Annihilator" weapon, a high-caliber revolver, and the Combat Focus ability, which triggers a bonus multiplier towards Scorestreaks.

    Outrider: She has a compound bow called "Sparrow" and a "Vision Pulse" ability that pings the surrounding area and tags the location of all enemies.

    Reaper: An experimental War Robot with a "Scythe," an arm that transforms into a mini-gun, and the "Glitch" ability, which allows it to flashback to a previous position.

    Other than the difference classes, another big change is the maneuverability options in the game. Similar to Titanfall players can now wall-run, and even the thrust jump and power slide have gotten an upgrade. But hands down the biggest addition to movement in CoD probably the ability to swim.

    As always CoD won’t be much without guns. That’s why they are now implementing the “Gunsmith” feature. This allows up to 5 attachments to be added to the guns and custom paint job to be applied.

  • Dead Island 2 Delayed

    I am not sure if games are getting delayed nowadays or if they keep announcing an impossible launch date every time upon initial reveal.

    This time around it is Dead Island 2 that is getting delayed. Publisher Deep Silver has announced that the game will now be released some time in 2016. They posted on Twitter the reasoning behind the delay, keeping in line with the statement that it is the fruit of their ambition,

    "We have always set ourselves a big goal for Dead Island 2: to create the sequel that takes Dead Island to the next level. A game that takes what our fans tell us they love about Dead Island--multiple different characters to play with, co-op, and turning a paradise setting into a zombie slaughter melee--and a game that adds a ton more content and combat options on top of that."

  • "Sony Paid Gamers More Respect" Say Unity CEO

    The console war as we call it is a simple comparison of which console is better, being fueled by fanboy-ism. The reason for comparison at its core is simple, to allow the consumers to decide which machine will give them the most features and/or the best price.

    Speaking at GamesBeat Summit, Unity CEO John Riccitello said the following in regards to the approaches taken by Sony and Microsoft this generation,

    "There was a clash of ideas that really separated Sony and Microsoft in this generation... The clash of ideas was simply this. They actually had very similar architectures that they were trying to bring to the table, but Microsoft focused on the entertainment marketplace.

    I think it was a little bit like a game of pool. Microsoft was focused on the shot after the one they needed to make... but they missed the first shot and they didn't get another shot at it. Sony worried about the shot they needed to make, which was [to] win the hearts and minds of the gamers. They did a better job of execution with that. Frankly, the broad scope of entertainment may be a bigger idea, but not with an unfocused execution... Sony nailed it. They paid respect, more respect, to our community than the other guys."

  • Treyarch: Black Ops III is Better Due To 3-Year Cycle

    The whole idea of adding Sledgehammer Games to the team of Activision and Treyarch was to give each developer full 3 years to create their iteration of the Call of Duty franchise. Seems Treyarch thinks that this time was much needed.

    In an interview with Game Informer, Dan Bunting (multiplayer director) said that the new gameplay style might not have been possible to achieve in the old two-year development cycle routine,

    “In the two-year development cycles, the kinds of risks we're taking right now, we wouldn't be able to do with just two years because it needs so much iteration. We iterated on the first set of multiplayer maps for] a year. That's three maps we were working on and each one was constructed in a different way so that we could learn how the different map shapes and the different ways that you pace combat felt differently with the different moving mechanics as they came in.”

    Seems like the new Specialist character system they developed was another feature they might not have been able to pull off otherwise. Bunting says that this is a more fleshed out version of the Pick 10 system they implemented in Black Ops II. Without the additional time, they might not have been able to improve that system any further.

  • Silent Hill: Guillermo del Toro’s Regrets

    The more I hear about how much Guillermo del Toro is devastated by the cancellation of Silent Hills, the worse I feel about the entire event.

    Only last month Konami cancelled the potential masterpiece being worked on by Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro. The main reason being the unanticipated and confusing separation of Konami and Kojima.

    Del Toro opened up about his feeling regarding the game’s cancellation, "The collaboration between Kojima and myself, the meetings, and the friendship that was developing was beautiful. We had an agreement on where to go. We had an agreement on how we were going to push the new platforms. We were having a blast.”

    Del Toro said to IGN, “What we wanted to do with the game – and we were very much in agreement on this – was to take the technology and make it as cutting-edge as we could in creating terror in the house. The idea was very, very atmosphere-drenched.

    But what made Silent Hill so great was that you had the atmosphere but then you a pay-off with a very active, very intense series of moments. We wanted to do some stuff that I’m pretty sure – just in case it ever comes back, which honestly I would love for somebody to change their mind and we can do it – but in case it comes back there was some stuff that was very new, and I wouldn’t want to spoil it.

    Norman [Reedus, the Walking Dead actor who was attached to play the lead role] was super happy, Hideo was super happy, and so was I. I know there’s a petition going on the internet and it’s gathering signatures. I would add my signature to it, and hope that someone pays attention.”

    The cancellation was a big surprise to his especially because it was a great hit. Del Toro continued,

    “P.T. was downloaded enormously, which shows that people have a passion [for the series]. [Silent Hill] hit me at the right time when I played the first one and the second. It’s a truly great mythology and too great a storytelling arena to let die. It’s too good.”

    From speaking to him, it's clear Del Toro isn’t a Hollywood director wanting to play in the world of video games; he has a passion for the series, and truly believes in the form, but after two failed projects – the first being Insane, which was cancelled in 2012 following the demise of its publisher THQ – he’s unsure if he’ll ever make a game.

    Considering this is the second time he was involved in the creation of a game, and the second time it failed to even complete, he might not be making any further attempts in this field.

    “Well, you know, I’ve tried twice and I don’t know if I’ll ever come back to the form. In one instance, the company went down, and in the second, the completely unexpected happened, which was Kojima and Konami separating. It’s kind of left me reeling.”

    Based on what he concluded the interview with, despite the setbacks, he wishes something can be done. To create a game, even if not in the name of Silent Hills, a brand new horror game, with the atmosphere these two had created.

    “Hideo and I have been in touch. And he knows he would be the only guy I would follow to the ends of the earth on anything. I think if anything can be rescued, I will be more than happy.” 

  • Assassin's Creed Syndicate Details

    This year’s Assassin’s Creed has been revealed and is called Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (not previously rumored Assassin’s Creed Victory).

    This is the first game in the franchise to be set in a post-industrial era. The setting is London, in the year 1868. The new assassin is named Jacob Frye, and he will be armed with brass knuckles, throwing knives, the assassin gauntlet which comes with a new rope dart, the classic hidden blade, and also hallucinogenic darts.

    So he is packing in short. This time around instead of one we will be getting two protagonists to play as. The story will mainly revolve around Jacob Fry, but about 30% of it we will be playing as his sister, Evie Frye. This came along with the confirmation that there will be no sort of multiplayer or co-op mode in the game.

    There have been changes made to several features of gameplay. Ubisoft has actually changed up the combat system in the game, making it more fast-paced. I guess they took inspiration from the Arkham series.

    They have also reworked the platforming and stealth mechanics. Again, making them more intuitive. They put emphasis on utilizing the environment, in some cases using it to take down enemies. One big change was the addition of vehicles. For the first you can have vehicle chases in Assassin’s Creed, and using stage coaches no less.

    Other information includes the fact that the map of London is now going to be 30% bigger than that of Paris in AC Unity. Ubisoft also admitted that AC as a series will make its return towards more focus on the modern day storylines with future installments.

    Lastly, this marks the first official current gen only AC game till now. Ubisoft confirmed they will no longer be making AC games for the PS3 and Xbox One. AC Syndicate is set to launch 23rd October 2015 for the PS4 and Xbox One. As will all iterations of the AC, there will be several editions of the game, 4 to be exact.

  • Witcher 3 On Xbox: Dynamic Scaling Used to Boost Resolution One

    Well if you are one of those lucky few who own both the PS4 and Xbox One, and haven’t yet grabbed your copy of the Witcher 3; this bit of information might interest you.

    It has been confirmed that the CD Projekt, developers of Witcher, have used something called dynamic scaling to boost the native resolution of 900p on the Xbox One to 1080p (depending on what is happening in the game).

    Richard Leadbetter from Digital Foundry explained how it works:

    "Dynamic resolution scaling is a really interesting feature - pixel count adjusts according to GPU load, the idea being to ensure the highest possible resolution while maintaining a consistent frame-rate. The idea isn't new at all, and we've seen a whole host of different implementations over the years.

    Most recently, we've seen Wolfenstein: The New Order adjust resolution on the horizontal axis progressively, reducing as GPU load increases - the difference in image quality mostly disappearing in between the fast action and post-process effects.

    Meanwhile, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on Xbox One simply shifts between 1360x1080 and full 1080p according to the scene. Done well, it's a good effect, but there are occasions when it fails to convince - for example, Rage on PS3 could strobe between very different resolutions - even when standing still - producing a distracting effect."

    CD Projekt released a 5 minute video of Witcher 3 playing on the Xbox One with the following statement:

    "The video you're now watching is grabbed directly from an Xbox One console. We've been working to give gamers an even better experience on Xbox One and, on day 1, we'll bring you dynamic scaling from 900p to 1080p. We're not much more than a week before launch, but we're still fighting for every line of code - we want gamers to get the best possible experience we can deliver."

    As for the PlayStation side of things, the Witcher 3 is locked at 1080p resolution on the PS4 as announced. Leadbetter added the following which I guess all of us would be interested to in "I'm looking forward to seeing what CD Projekt Red has come up with, and how well the dynamic solution compares to the locked 1080p we get on the PS4 version of the game," 

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