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And it's 50% off until July 5th, in the summer sale. $24.99

Cover Story / E3 2018: Xbox
« on: June 19, 2018, 08:24:17 PM »
Obviously, there were gonna be presentations that were not covered in other presentations, primarily because some of the games covered were gonna be in-house developed. That's why I'm here. Here's the info from the Xbox conference.

Of course, the conference was opened up by a teaser for Halo Infinite. XBox CEO Phil Spencer came out, made a simple comment about Haloe Infinite being the biggest adventure for te Master Vhief yet, then moved on. He brought up Fanfest, which I personally never heard of before (I live under a rock, shoot me), saying that the proceeds from tickets bought there were 100% going to Gamers Outreach, a program dedicated to putting gaming in the hands of children that are hospitalized, so that they can play with their friends online.
Spencer went on to mention that, in his belief, gaming as an art form was the single greatest inifier across all ages, races, creeds, etc. and that as such, the XBox team has scoured the world for Developers big and small, looking to express their own creativity utilizing the "full potential" of the Xbox One. Displaying through the course of the conference were 50 games, 18 of which were exclusives and 15 of which were world premiers.

The first game was an exclusive: Ori and the Will of the Wisps. A sequel to the first Ori game, the video showed a beautiful landscape and a new character, a baby owl that is at least partially playable in some form. Coming in 2019.

Following that was the premier of Skiro: Shadows Die Twice. The game features a protagonist who is back from the dead. He has lost an arm, which is replaced by something else, which I couldn't quite make out in the trailer. If you like Japanese hack n slash, this might be up your alley. Coming in 2019.

Next up, Todd Howard from Bethesda came out, with his typical witty humor. I really like this guy. Anyway, he mentioned a long history with Xbox, all the way back to the original console with Morrowind, up to Fallout 4. He then mentioned Bethesda titles are coming to Xbox Game Pass, starting with Fallout 4 launching the day of the conference. He then went on to talk briefly about Fallout 76, which I covered in detail with the Bethesda conference, which actually happened a few hours after the Xbox one.

Following that was a premier of The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, which I covered in the Square Enix conference.
After that, Crackdown 3, another exclusive. Featured were weapons and vehicles, and a very excited (and loud) Jax. Coming February 2019.

Next was the exclusive relase of Nier: Automata Become As Gods Edition, featured in the Square Enix conference.

Following that was Metro Exodus, coming February 22. Nice and beautiful trailer, to be showing a wasteland.

Next was Kingdom Hearts 3, which was covered in the Square Enix conference.

Next was an exclusive version of Sea of Thieves, the popular mobile game. The witty banter from the soothsayer in the trailer was very amusing. Especially when it was vlear that the guy only wanted to sell the "trinket" he'd brought her.

Up next was EA's Battlefield 5, which, you guessed it. I coverd in EA's coference..

Forza Horizon 4 was next, an exclusive world premier. Ralph Fulton from Playground Games came out to cover the game. Taking place in historic and beautiful Britain, Forza Horizon 4 will be an online, dynamic season game. And it's completely real time. The seasons and events happen the same for everyone playing at any given time. Interactions with other players is easy. As the seasons change, you gain access to other parts of the land, apparently (I think an example given was being able to cross a frozen lake during winter). It looks fun, and that's from a guy that does not play racing games. There are even World Events for the community as a whole to participate in, to acquire rewards. The game goes live on Xbox One and Windows 10 on October 2, and will be released on Game Pass the same day.

That Spencer guy (who is he, again?) came back out to announce a new Microsoft game studio, called The Initiative. I already am not a fan of this studio, as I've previously made it clear that I'm not a fan of sxclusive games, and that's what this studio is all about: collecting new talent to make exciting new games, exclusively for Xbox. But hey, if you want/own an Xbox One, it's a good thing, so don't mind my personal bias. Als ojoining the MS umbrealla are Zombie Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, and Compulsion Games.

Following this announcement was We Happy Few, which is developed by the aforementioned Compulsion Games, under Gearbox Publishing. I'm not gonna lie, this game creeps me out. Too many people in clown-like masks, smiling, all because of a drug called Joy, that makes people into overly happy and mostly mindless members of society. We Happy Few is due for release August 18.

Next up was a cosole launch exclusive: the popular Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), featuring new modes of play and new environments. Release is set for Winter 2018.

Following was the world premier of Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition, including characters and content brought to the West for the first time. Release is set for this winter.

Also premiered was Tom Clancy's The Division 2, which was covered in the Ubisoft conference.

Ashley Speicher, head of Xbox Game Pass, came out next, to address a major issue in the gaming industry: having to choose which games you'll buy. I made it clear at some point in the past that I am a PC gamer, but Xbox has made a big selling point with this Game Pass program. Not having to buy EVERY game you want to play is very nice, and that's what Game Pass is all about.
Also mentioned was FastStart, a replacement for the current Ready to Start. RtS is apparently a manually set feature that makes it faster to set up your game. FastStart actually does the job automagically, utilizing machine learning in how you play your games. Kudos for that. It's coming this month in the June Game Pass update.
Also mentioned were upcoming releases for Game Pass, including Halo: Master Chief Edition later this year, as well as Forza Horizon 4 and Crackdown 3 upon their individual releases. Also coming are games from other publishers, including Ashen, Warhammer Vermintide II, After party, and Phoenix 2, same day as their global release. Speicher then went on to announce the immediate release on Game Pass of Tom CLancy's The Division, The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, and Fallout 4 on Game Pass. She closed out her segment by thanking all of the developers working with Xbox Game Pass to get these games out to players.

Following was the trailer for Shadow of the Tomb Raider, previously covered in the Square Enix conference.

After that was the console launch exclusive of Session and the MMORPG Black Desert.

Next? The premiere of Devil May Cry 5 (yes, I did just say 5). Matt Walker and Hideaki Itsuno (game producer and director,respectively) came out to talk about it. It's been ten years since DMC4 came out, apparenly, and they're finally answering the fans' request for more. Fully costumed actors were scanned in to make visuals a real deal, but gameplay was also been worked on to make sure it is an enjoyable and worthy game yo play for the fans of the franchise.

Following that was another trailer, this one for Cuphead, featuring a new playable character and new playable area, coming in 2019. Also coming in 2019 is the action adventure game where you play as a fox (the game seems a lot like Zelda, but I haven't looked at it much), Tunic.

What's next, you ask? How about a makor collision of IPs, thanks to our friends at Bandai Namco? That's right. Jump Force. "But Rowan, what IS Jump Force?" you might ask. Well, the footage was rather fast, but I know I saw Naruto, Goku, that stretchy guy from One Piece, Frieza, and Light and Ryuk from Death Note, so that's four IPs right there. Note that not all characters portrayed are gonna be playable. I presume this is another fighting game, with a theme similar to the Marvel vs Capcom games, where you have worlds merging in some way. Coming in 2019.

And then, stunning visuals for Dying Light 2. Chris Avellone, narrative designer, came out to describe features of the game. Beyond the fluid parkour with natural movement, deep and tactical melee combat, and the terrifying nights when the undead emerge from the sewers to consume any idiots still out on the streets are all to be expected like in th eoriginal game. However, there are some improvements. Now, your action all affect the game. "From how it looks, how it plays, to the events that occur, everything in the game can change based on your decisions."In the demo shown, a scenario occurs where you are tasked by the Peacekeepers, one of the many factions in the game. You are supposed to negotiate with two survivors that are hoarding a water supply, and your decision to free the water up for sharing amongst the survivors of the city or to side with the survivors affects how the game proceeds.

The next is an exclusive world premier, oh my! The teaser starts off with comic styled word bubbles on a black screen. This one is a blast from the past for sure. That's right, the "three of you" are needed again. The...Battletoads?! Hand drawn graphics, three player "couch coop," and an all new story. Battletoads will return in 2019.

Nwzt was an action packed, story based trailer for Just Cause 4, covered in the Square Enix conference.

Studio head for The Coalition, Rod Fergusson came out to reveal a bevy of games. He's been at it with the Gears of War franchise for 13 years, and the studio has worked hard over the years to bring something to the table for an expanding pool of gamer types. The first gamr, a collab with Funco, is Gears Pop! for iOS and Android. Gears on the go has a nice ring to it, right? Next up was a PC game, Gears Tactics, in which you form a squad 12 years before the events of Gears 1, and go after some big baddie (I haven't played any of the Gears games, sadly, so I'm a little lost on the lore of the Franchise). The gameplay footage was similar to other RTS games like Shadowrun Returns and the Xcom series. And finally, the highly anticipated Gears of War 5. Kate, whom I believe was one of the protagonists from Gears 4, is suffering from grief at the beginning of the trailer, as an ally has just been lost. Also of importance, is a possibility that she is carrying something in her (as I've already said, I know very little about the series, so I am lost on exactly what is happening), that is considered a threat to humanity. To obtain orders, she disobeys direct orders and heads north from the scene with a companion (I think his name is Jack). Later on, she goes so far as to pull a gun on Jack, asking why he came with her, obviously not trusting him. This would be a good time to get into the franchise, if you haven't already.

That Phil Spencer guy must be part cockroach or something, cause he was back yet again! This time it was to closem however, with a speech on the technologies that Microsoft has dedicated to the advancement of gaming as an art form. AI, cloud technology, and yes...even the next Xbox. With the five new studios acquired, Microsoft is showing that they are dedicated to bring us as gamers the newest, the best, and the most memorable gaming experiences (and to line their pockets, of course!) for years to come.

Cover Story / E3 2018: Square Enix
« on: June 19, 2018, 01:10:40 PM »
Square Enix's conference was by far the shortest. It seemed like they were throwing the show together last week, knowing all year that it was coming. Keith David Williams narrated the show, so there is that.

First up was Shadow of the Tomb Raider, introduced by an intro clip from the game. Daniel Chayer-Bisson, Game Director at Eidos Montreal for the game, spoke afterward. He debuted footage showing Lara using things learned from the jungle against members of Trinity, as she struggles to save the world from a Mayan apocalypse (his words, not mine). New features like grappling, wall running, and 360 degree swimming were mentioned.

Up next was a video advertising a (new?) patch for Final Fantasy XIV, which involves Monster Hunter World, somehow being mixed in, apparently. Not being a player of the game, I was really quite lost about it, but it was there.

After that was a presentation from Michel Koch and Miguel Barbet, creative directors for Life is Strange, to introduce The Awesome Advetures of Captain Spirit. The game looks quite charming, and is a brand new story in the Life is Strange universe, and will be available to download for free on June 26 (Hmm...I have a doctor's appointment on the same day). The directors made it clear that this is not Life is Strange 2, but it will introduce characters and stories that will be a part of it. It will be available to play on PS4, XBox One, and Steam.

Following was a trailer for Dragon Quest XI. The graphics were impressive in a cartoony kind of way, and the story seems to be well prepared (from what little I can tell from a trailer, anyway). You apparently play someone that is repeatedly called "Bold Luminary," with a large number of people swearing to help defend you from the dark. Pre-orders are now available, and the game will be in stores on September 4. The game will be playable on Steam and PS4. Also mentioned at the end was a clloaboration between Final Fantasy Brave Exodus and Dragon Quest, to commemorate the new game.

After that came a teaser trailer for Babylon's Fall, a game which I could tell nothing about from the video, other than it's going to be a PS4 and Steam game, released sometime in 2019. I'll have to look into this one, more.

Next was a release announcement for a new version of Nier: Automata (Become As Gods Edition), for XBox One. It will include previously released DLC. And it will be available Hune 26 (the date of my doctor's appointment is apparently an important one! ;D)

Next was a trailer for Octopath Traveler, a Nintendo Switch game, which will be available July 13.

Up nwzt was an interesting introduction to Just Cause 4, which takes place in a fictional South American country full of beaty in many forms. But underneath the first appearances, there is a darker nature at work in the locale, with a brute private military enforcing the oppersice rule of the day. Also revealed were an impressive landscape damage engine, including extreme weather conditions like blizzards, lightning, or tornadoes come in to make everyone's day a living nightmare.
Vehicles have been improved and added on, including car transports, motorcycles, and even jet skis and microjets.
Combat is improved, as well, featuring new and improved AI on enemies, featuring several different archetypes (each with their own unique abilities). Rico's grapple has been overhauled, as well. It's been streamlined for easier use, whether you're new or not so new to the franchise, with even more tethers than ever before, and the addition of booster rockets and apparently balloons that can be used on vehicles to transport them through the air. I personally haven't played the third game, but I definitely am interested in picking this one up.
The story has been written to allow for an open world take on the game, and the graphics are tremendously beautiful. The game will be available for XBox One, PS4, and PC (including Steam) on December 4.

Following was an intriguing trailer for The Quiet Man. All that was showm realley was an intro movie with a man bringing a paper sack to an alley where three men are, at least one of which being Hispanic, telling him "wrong address!" The man sets the sack on a nearby trash can, then points at his own ear and wags his finger, to indicate that he can't hear, assumably. The men approach, he beats them down, then drops the sack literally on the face of one of the men. "More to come in August." This game is et for PS4 and Steam release.

Next was the biggest anticipated game, in my opinion: Kingdom Hearts 3. The trailer featured bits of Frozen Big Hero 6, and Tangled. Also highlighted was Elsa being forced to choose between the light and the darkness. Anyone want to buy me a PS4 so I can buy the previous games on it and finally play through them all in time to get the new game on January 29? This time, KH will be playable on PS4 AND XBox One.

Closing out the conference was a montage of footage from all games presented, as well as a thank from Keith David Williams. Oh, and apparently I've been pronouncing Enxi wrong this whole time. Williams pronounced it En-nix, not Ee-nix. Fun facts.

Cover Story / E3 2018: Ubsoft
« on: June 15, 2018, 04:18:08 PM »
Ubisoft's conference was on Monday. Hitting it off with almost an hour's worth of preshow, including trivia giveaways and a small tournament for a front seat golden ticket to the show, Ubisoft was pretty hyped up by the time the show started.

In the actual show, they started with  a rather colorful performance by several different dancers representing Just Dance 2019. Nothing was revealed about the game, really.

Following that was a very emotionally raw CG movie for Beyond Good & Evil 2. Speaking for the game were Gabrielle Shrager, Narrative Director, and Guillaume Brunier, Senior Producer of Ubisoft Montpellier. The characters portrayed all had a major role in the game. Gameplay footage revealed that the game can be played solo or coop, with seamless transitioning between flight and travel on foot, with combat in both. Brunier then revealed that the team was looking to expand the BG&E universe in a way never done before. He actually called for the community to openly submit their own artwork through the Space Monkey Ptogram, which will be a collaboration effort with people of all walks to contribute to the game. Music, graphics, anything that people want to be considered. Josepg Gordon-Levitt, co-founder of Hit Record, which will be partnering with Ubisoft to make this program happen. You might also record Gordon-Levitt from a few films, too. The way that Hit Record works, according to G-L, is not so much each person uploads what they do, as much as everyone works on a thing together. It's not a contest, it's a collaboration in its truest form. Links were provided to and Bear in mind, that this is a call to artists of ALL forms. Writer, Musicians, and visual artists are all being called upon. Some results of this collaborative effort will be revealed at a new event called BGEfest in Montpellier this fall.

Next up was Justin Kruger, Community Developer for Rainbow Six: Siege. He was happy to report that the R6:S community is now at 35 million players. Kruger mentioned a few things that are coming up with pro leagues, as well as two new operatives, Maestro and Alibi. All of the operators can be looked at in Operation Parabellum, playable now. Also unveiled was an upcoming documentary called Another Mindset, which tells the story of some very noteworthy players, apparently. Release is set for the Six Major event, in Paris, August 13-19.

Next up was a goofy (presumably Evel Knievel inspired) entrance by Antti il Vessuo, Creative Director for Ubisoft Redlynx, creators of Trials. He was there to announce a new game, Trials Rising. The game looks interesting, and is apparently about stunt motocross racing. Brought in to explain the game a little more was Brad "Professor Fat Shady" Hill, a Youtuber that did an unofficial set of tutorials on the original Trials, who was brought in as part of a 20 person "Trials Elite" group to design and build all of the tutorial content for the new game. You can register now at for a closed beta happening later this year, and the release date for the game is February 2019 for PS4, XBox One, (first time ever) Nintendo Switch, and PC.

Julian Gerighty, Creative Director for Massive Entertainment came out next, with Tom Clancy's The Division 2. He started out with the background story. "On Black Friday, a strain of the smallpox virus was released on dollar bills in New York City. The infection and chaos spread across the nation. Seven months later, the virus has most burned itself out, but America is tearing itself apart. Washington, DC is at the heart of this battle. Under constant threat from dangerous factions, civilians are trying to rebuild. In their survival lies the seed for the rebirth of society."
After you complete the main story (which I presume is basically an intro quest), you pick from three specializations. Each specialization has its own skillset and weapon set. The specializations are Sharpshooter, Demolitionist, and Survivalist.
Also of note is the addition of raids in Division 2. That's right, you'll be able to join groups ofup to 8 players. DLCs will come episodically, and year one will see three of them cone out, all free.
There was gameplay footage in the XBox conference, which featured voice chat between the players, as well as a look at some of an area involving an airport.

Xavier Manzanares, Lead Producer for Ubisoft Paris, came out next, with information on a new game featuring Donkey Kong, unveiled with music written and composed by the in house composer, Grant Kirkhope, performed by the band Critical Hit. The name of the game is a mouthful: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Donkey Kong Adventure. Release date is June 26

Justin Farren, Creative Director for Ubisoft Singapore was next, with Skull & Bones. Preceded by an impressive intro movie, he spoke of a world with greedy trading companies and deadly pirates roaming the seas. But no heroes. You can ally yourself with other players, or attack them. And when I say you'll need help at some point, I mean it. Four players took on a Portuguese frigate at one point in the footage, and one of them sank, almost immediately. Then, as pirates do, the remaining three turned on each other. Skull & Bones is set for an ambiguous 2019 release.

Next up was another collab with someone from film. Elijah Wood (wasn't he in a set of movies with walking trees?), Creative Producer of Spectreviaion, came out with Benoit Richer, Game Director for Ubisoft Montreal. The game they presented was Transference, a psychological thriller that has something to do with jumping between the perspective of several family members in order to solve puzzles and such. It's set to come out on VR and traditional game systems this fall.

Next up was a very interesting segment. Starlink: Battle for Atlas opened up with a typical trailer, featuring a space fighting game where you are looking to defeat an oppressor by joining with others. Laurent Malville, Creative Director for the project at Ubisoft Toronto, came out after the trailer, to speak about the game. Taking place in the Atlas star system, 400 light years away from Earth, you manage your pilots, gear, and fighters, form alliances, and fight to save the system from Grax and the Forgotten Legion.
But wait. There was a twist with this presentation. Out of nowhere, Fox McQueen shows up in a video to save a fellow pilot. That's right, Starfox will be integrated in the Nintendo Switch version of the game. Wes Guillemot, Co-founder and CEO of Ubisoft, came out to formally announce the presence of Starfox in Starlink. Miyamoto himself was in the front row and brought up to receive a model of the ARWing from Starfox to commemorate the occasion.
Starlink will launch on all consoles on October 16, with the Starfox team being exclusive to the Nintendo Switch.

Next came Carlos Campos-Oriola, Creative Director at Ubisoft Montreal for For Honor. Starting with an appreciation for the devotion gamers have had for the game, he stated that up through Monday, the Uplay version of For Honor Starter Edition is free. Following that, he announced that the For Honor team is ready to expand their world. Cue the clip featuring Chinese warriors taking out fighters on a battlefield. The Marching Fire update will bring in four Chinese warriors into the For Honor game. Campos-Oriola said that this was the biggest update to the game yet, but it would not be complete without answering a huge request from the player community: Breach, a 4 vs 4 castle siege mode. The update will be released October 16.

Delphine Dosset, Brand Director at Ubisoft Ivory Tower for The Crew 2, was next. The game will go into open beta on June 21st on PS4, XBox One, and PC. Full release will be a little over a week later, on June 29th. Following her announcement was a clip showing in engine rendered footage.

Last, but not least, came Assassin's Creed Odyssey. Jonathan Dumont, Creative Director at Ubisoft Quebec for Assassin's Creed Odyssey, came out to speak about the game. The game takes place in ancient Greece, both on land and sea, in a time of great change nd also great conflict. In the game, you will affect the story by your actions and choices. A clip is shown talking to Sokrates (I hope you recognize the name), and the options you choose in the dialogue affect his reaction to you. Also of note is the choice between two protagonists: Alexios or Kassandra. As the descendant of Leonidas, and armed with his broken spear, you have access to many ranged, combat, and stealth abilities that you can unleash upon your enemies. The segment closed with a clip showing gameplay, primarily for viewers at home. A playable demo was available at the show.

The Gaming Lounge / Megaman X Collection coming in late July?
« on: June 15, 2018, 11:42:41 AM »
I happened to be browsing through my Steam collection today and saw the Megaman Legacy collections, and it reminded me to look for any news on a Megaman X version. Well, it's supposedly coming on July 26, both to consoles and to Steam. Personally, I'll believe it when I see a store page on Steam, but there is hope!

Cover Story / E3 2018: Bethesda
« on: June 14, 2018, 01:35:48 PM »
Bethesda Global Senior VP Pete Hines opened the show up after an intro clip basically touting the people that support the developers, whether it be the cooks at the studios that feed them, or the secretaries that answer the phones. They are ALL Bethesda. This was unexpected for me, and the fact that they did this was basically part of the theme that this whole process of games production and evolution does not end in the developers' chairs.

Before I get started on this one, be mindful that not a lot of info was revealed at E3 about some of the games. Announcements and confirmations (thank you, Walmart Canada) were made, but a lot of info is being saved for Quakecon, with will be August 9th - 12th. Dandel will be attending (he lives nearby and goes EVERY year), and may be able to give a good bit of info about the convention and what all happens there. Of course, Ill have to ask him real nicely, as this is a personal holiday for him ;p

Back to the show. Hines started off with a quick, humorous  shot at Walmart Canada, whom some of you may know revealed a lot of games a couple weeks back by revealing upcoming games. To quote Hines, "we're starting with a game that we announced a few weeks ago, through our friends at Walmart Canada, perhaps best known for their low prices and ability to keep a secret. So let's get started with a look at Rage 2."
Cue a horrible song performed by Andrew WK, "Ready to Die." This was just over the top. I was not impressed by the performance, and the little chatter I read about the conference mentioned it as being anti-climactic, for the most part. It did not seem to grab the attention of the audience. Think 80s rock done by a 2000s 40 year old.
Where was I? Oh, Rage 2. The impromptu concert was followed by Tim Willits, studio director at ID Software, and Magnus Nedfors, game director of Avalanche Studios. There was a bit of humor at Willits' cost, as Magnus is a full head and shoulders taller than him, and Bethesda likes to cut jokes, apparently. Cue gameplay footage, featuring abilities, weapons, and even a few vehicles you can use in the game. It is claimed that if you can see it, you can drive it. A demo of an actual mission is run, and it actually featured a cute little tv ad in the middle of the battle about a mutant head wall plague thingy that talks. Disturbing. Release is scheduled for Spring 2019, and much more info is supposed to be available at Quakecon (See? I told ya!)

Next came Christian van Hoose, Community Manager for The Elder Scrolls Legends, announcing  brand new, totally overhauled visuals, as well as new as releases later this year on Nintendo Switch, XBox One, and PS4. He went on to add that you can download immediately on PC, mobile, or tablet, and your progress would be carried over if you install on one of the other platforms upon release, through your account. Cue a video promoting the ease of getting into the game, the visuals, and, of course, the players (one of which was a young bonde female that grew a disturbingly well trimmed beard while playing. I wish it was that easy for me :/).

Next was Matt Firor (FIE roar, in case you're wondering ;p), Game Director of The Elder Scrolls Online. Firor started off reinforcing what Hines said at the start of the show, giving a shout out to his team, and then extending it to the players, of which he and his team are also. He said they go home "every day," and get in the game along with the rest of the over 11 million players in ESO, now (1 million in the last year, alone). He went on to remind everyone of the achievements with the game in the previous year (MMO of the Year, for the 3rd straight year, the release of the Morrowind expansion, amd just last weel, they released the Summerset expansion). But they're not done. They release DLC for ESO every quarter, and the next release will be called Wolfhunter, based on werewolves, and later this year a story DLC named Mirkmire ("We're going back to Black Marsh."), for those who've been asking for a deeper dive into Argonian lore and culture. Diror closed out his egment with a video highlighting the amazing stories that the player create by banding together and doing what they do, basically.

Following that was a clip showing hell on Earth, introducing Marty Stratton, Executive Producer, and Hugo Martin, Creative Director for Doom Eternal, the next in the series of the new Doom saga. Martin said that they've been inspired by what the community has said that they'd like to see next for the past two years. "You want the Doomslayer to feel even more powerful? Well, we got it! You want even more badass demons. Well there are more than twice as many in this game. You wanna see Hell on Earth? Well, we just teased it." Cue the momentous applause. Stratton took over, saying that they also wanted to mention the ton of features that will be going into Doom Eteran. BUT, you're going to have to wait, cause their team will be debuting the game at Quakecon, this August (I told you so!)

Next was Joshua Boyle, Commnity Manager for Quake Champions. The basic take away from Boyle was building upon the legacy of Quake as a community drive game, they will be holding major tournaments at Quakecon and Dreamhack Winter this year. For this week only, Quake Champions (which is still in early access, apparently) is FREE to download (this includes on Steam). New features to make the game easier to get into have recently been added, as well. It was stated that, if you download and install the game this week, during this promotion, you will be able to continue playing for free even after the promotion ends. Boyle closed out with a new trailer that was released to showcase a few things, including some of the characters you can play as, and also showcasing the Play for Free trial period, of June 10-17.

Next came Prey. Susan Kath, Production Manager, and Ricardo Bare, lead designer, started off on screen, mentioning the immediate release of a patch that added three new game modes: Story Mode, New Game+ (a huge comunity request), and Survival Mode. They then added that they've been working on a huge new DLC called Mooncrash, in which every time you play, it's different in some way. At this point the recording featured one of the small aliens materializing behind them and attacking, blacking out the screen, and going to a trailer for the new DLC. Link to the trailer This is where I complain about how catchy You Spin Me Round is. Following the trailer, Kath and Bare appeared on stage, to even further announce all things Prey. Coming later this year is Typhon Hunter (I hope that's how it's spelled), where one player gets to be human, and go up against five other players who are mimics, complete with the ability to look like everyday items in the game. Coffee mug, banana? (Bare said it, not me) This will be an intense multiplayer experience that just may ruin a few friendships. ;D

Enter Jerk (Yerk, you jerk!) Gustafsson, Executive Producer, and Jens Matthies, Creative Director of Machine Games, who started off reminding us about LAST year's game, Wolfensteain II, the New Colossus, where you played as BJ Blaskovitch and "beat the living (insert F bomb) out of those Nazis." They also mentioned that the game would be released on Nintebdi Switch on June 28, so you can beat on some Nazis on the go.  Next, they went on to announce the next Wolfenstein game, Youngblood, where you get to play as BJ's twin daughters in 1980s Paris. Note that they mentioned twin sisters. Yes, Youngblood will be a coop experience. Huzzah! Cue the trailer linked here. Coming in 2019.

Hines returned out of nowhere. "Hi!" He came out to tout the VR program they unveiled way back at E3 2012, and went on to list the games that have already been released. Then he mentioned the new kids on the block. When Prey: Typhon Hunter comes out, you will also get a VR experience option. And a new game, Wolfenstein Cyberpilot, lets you take over Nazi robots and turn them against their masters, "in our...neverending quest to bring our message of (F bomb) Nazis to every platform possible."

Hines then brought in Todd Howard, Game Director at Bethesda Game Stupios, so he could "tell us what he and his team have been waiting so damn long to tell us about." Fallout 76. Now, Howard is a master at cutting right through the ice. He made growing up references to the various stages of the E3 show, including a joke about the show now being in it's twenties, able to handle its alcohol better etc etc. Then he continued saying that he knew most of the audience was here for one thing (insert a shout from the crowd "Get hammered!"). "I think it's to see where we're putting Skyrim next." Cue the video I linked to in my thread announcing that I would be writing up coverage of the various conferences, that introduces Skyrim Very Special Edition. I really don't know how many people took this as a joke.
"Had to do it. Ok, now we're gonna talk about why you're really here." Fallout 76 is a prequel to all the other games. And it's the biggest one yet, at four times the size of Fallout 4. Set in the hills of West Virginia, you are one of the first to emerge from the Vaults. Roll that beautiful bean footage! Vault 76 was built to commemorate America's tercentenary ("which is an awesome word, btw. That's your word of the night!"). You are one of the select few that has been selected to be a member of the Vault and 25 years later celebrate Reclamation Day: the day the vault opens. Howard goes on to mention that they always start with the world, and with the improvements to rendering, lighting, and landscape technology, they are allowed to have 16 times the detail, and even view distant weather systems across the map.
"Now, most people don't know West Virginia that well. It is an incredible array of natural wonders, towns, and government secrets. This is where the ACTUAL nuclear secrets are, and the quest that the Overseer sends you on will take you through six distinct regions, each with their own style, risks, and rewards." There are plenty of new Fallout creatures, including some influenced by the folklore of the area of West Virginia.
"We have always wanted to tell the story of what it would be like for you to be the first to leave the vaults. But there is a difference with this game. Each of those characters is a real person." You ARE able to play this solo. But this is an evolution of the game. People always talk about their experiences in games like this, but they've never been able to experience them together. Your character will not be tied to a specific server (which Howard said you won't even see a server at all). You will be playing with only a few dozen peple on each instance (my words). "It's the apocalypse, not an amusement park, people!" Death does not mean any loss of progression. You'll be able to join with your friends at any time, and your progression goes with you. This is portrayed as a new world in a way, and "fortunately, ours friends at Vault-Tec have created a series of instructional videos." Video Link
Another video follows, featuring CAMPS, a mobile building platform. link
"We love dynamic game systems. So we thought, why don't we put multiple nuclear missile sites on the map, and then let all of you do whatever you want with them." You obtain pieces of nuclear codes at random, and when you get a complete code (multiple players can combine their pieces), you can launch a missile at a location. link
Fallout 76 will run on 100% dedicated servers, which will support this game for years to come. Howard continues the Fallout 76 segment with announcement of the Break-it Early Test Application (BETA, duh). He even makes a quip about reading on the internet that some of their games have bugs. "I did. I read it on the internet, so it's true." He then moves on to the special collector's edition, which will feature a map of the world "that glows in the f*&@ing dark." Figures also come with it that you can place on the map. And finally, there's a collectible that Howard said "I've alwways wanted, so we made it for everybody to buy: link
The most important answer of them all? November 14, THIS year.

Howard continues on to mention it is the third anniversary of Fallout Shelter's announcement and release, commemorated by announcing the release on PS4 and Nintendo Switch. "And yes, it's still free." They were released that night.

He continued on, mentioning that Fallout Shelter had been played by over 120 million people, more than all of their other games combined. This led him to mention that when they had looked at the iPhone years ago, they had a few ideas, FS being one of them. Another one that they had and Howard was pleased to announce, was far more ambitious, and had been worked on: The Elder Scrolls: Blades. link
Blades is scheduled to be released on every platform imaginable, including VR, both at home and on cellular devices. And they are all connected. You could be in a meeting, playing in portrait mode on your phone (Howard mentioned it being ehst hr calls Meeting Mode) against someone at home in VR. And it's coming this fall. For free. Register for early access at

Howard then moves on to future projects, beyond this year. Starfield, Bethesda's first wholly original IP, is coming. "Starfield is a game that we've spent years thinking about and workking on. Something we feel uniquely postioned to pull off, and that we're incredibly excited about. But...we're also building toward the game after that. And it's the one you keep asking about." Cue a video clip zooming through mist covered mountains and out to a massive view beyond. And the logo we've all been waiting to see. The Elder Scrolls VI.

"Ok, now I'm really done!"

Cover Story / E3 2018: EA
« on: June 13, 2018, 08:11:35 AM »
E3's round of conferences started off on Saturday, with EA.

At the beginning of the show was Battlefield 5, which was previously revealed, and expounded upon at the show. Features mentioned were being able to jump through buildings, (pretty effecrive) distractions including some serious tanks driving through buildings, movable defenses (there was a mobile turret shown being dragged around the battlefield by some sort of tank or truck), as well as soldier/vehicle/weapon customization (not only for gameplay; the characters' looks are affected by your customized loadout). Advertising themselves as not being Pay to Win, there will be no loot boxes and things of that sort for people to buy their way to the top. Also mentioned near the end of the BF5 section was a new game mode: Royale. Unfortunately, not much was revealed about it; "we'll reveal more about that later this year. BF5 is apparently set for an XBox One exclusive release.

Next came FIFA 19. The primary news was the inclusion of the UEFA Championship in game. I'm sadly not as big of a soccer/football fan as I'd like to claim, as I never knew the UEFA existed until watching this presentation. Apparently, it is an annual championship run in Europe, to win a very big trophy (which was present at the presentation). Gameplay improvements were mentioned, as well as an announcement of a new FIFA (the actual tournament) update to FIFA 18 for  PS4, XBox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. As part of this tremendous time, FIFA 18 is available for free for a limited time on XBox One, PS4, and PC (not on Steam, however. The game isn't available, apparently). FIFA 19 is slated for release on September 28.

Next was a pitch on a new streaming service from EA, called Origins Access Premier, which will give members access to all new games, such as BF3, Madden 19 (back on PC for the first time in over a decade), FIFA 19, and Anthem. It will also provide access to the EA Vault, containing a large number that I forgot of their classic games. This will be coming out later this summer.

Next, Vince Zamfella from Respawn was present to announce that they have been "working with Lucas" and they don't have anything to show, yet, nut he did want to come out and throw out a name: Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order. Not much was revealed about the game, other than the fact that it takes place chronologically between Episodes 3 and 4. It was also teased that the name implies that you'll play a Jedi. Release date is set vaguely as "Holiday, NEXT year."

Following that was a presentation on new content for Star Wars: Battlefront II. Next week, new content based on the Solo movie is coming, headlined by the new planet Kessel, and featuring the return of one of the team's favorite modes: Extraction. Coming later this summer is a new squad system, which will allow you to team up with your friends a lot easier. Also coming is a new starfighter mode, featuring dogfighting with your hero ships. Even further along is planned the release of more sandbox multiplayer stuff, with a capture the flag game and something about destroying command ships. Also mentioned for this year is content for the Clone Wars. Several maps from planet Geonosis were mentioned. Characters featured will include Obi-wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Count Dooku, and General Grievous.

Next up: Unravel 2. At the beginning of the game, the little yarn guy (isn't he called something silly like Yarny?) has been through a storm and he yarn snaps, losing his spark in the process. But then, he finds hope (I dunno if that's the name for the second yarn dood), The two yarn guys connect their yarns and a new spark is kindled. Basically, this game is about second chances. And throughout the game, you either switch between the two characters to proceed, or you play with a friend. And it was available the day of the conference.

Next was the lead producer of the EA Originals program, which focuses on helping indie game developers realize their dreams (Unravel's group, as well as the group behind A Way Out were funded by EA Originals), He introduced the newest developer to come, Jo-Mei (a small studio from Berlin), and their game, Sea of Solitude. SoS revolves around the idea that everyone alive has both light and darkness inside of them, and the protagonist,, suffering greatly from life, has her darkness come out, and she is transformed into a monster. The course of the game takes her through an adventure to become human, again. It's a nice, cartoony looking game. SoS is coming early 2019.

NBA Live 2019 had an advertisent play next, announcing a November 7 release.

And then, there was Madden. Coming out to promote Madden 2019 was some football player from the Pittsburg Steelers whose name I can't remember (nor do I really care to), and the winner of some sort of pro league for Madden 18.

Following up was a simply cloud game, where you get to launch a nuke at your enemy. It'll available for iOS and Android, but it's available for pre-alpha now, on Android, inly. Oh, and it's called Command & Conquer: Rivals.

Next up, EA CEO Andrew Wilsin came out to announce EA's 3rd annual Play to Give program, where players took part last weekend in 9 in game events to earn money for three charities, all of whom were based around eliminating bullying of some sort. As a result of the event, a total of 1 million dollars was donated by EA to the charities.

And at last, the finale. Anthem. I went into this presentation knowing nothing about the game, since I live under a rock. After the intro played, I was interested. Anthem takes place on a world where the gods have left, and in their wake something called the Anthem of Creation has been left. Someone or something is using the Anthem to create monsters of varying sizes, apparently. Anthem will be based on the concept of "Our World, My Story." Everyone on at any given point is experiencing the same things. Enemies, weather, night/'s all shared. Solo play IS possible, it's just a little harder to manage. The only truly single player experience is the "Your Story part, which happens in your main base, which is a city of sorts, I guess.
You play as a Freelancer, piloting one of three powered exosuits called Javelins. There are four classes of Javelins: the average Ranger, the heavy Colossus (basically a walking tank), Interceptor, and the Storm. Customization is possible, with gear and weapons affecting gameplay, and cosmetic items changing how your javelins look. There will be no loot boxes to give you a hand up. You will only be able to buy cosmetic gear to make your Javelins LOOK different. The presentation did not go over the abilities of the last two Javelins. The presentation ends with some gameplay footage of a mission, Scars and Villainy. The Scars, whomever they may be, have devised some sort of acid based weapon, and you have to take them out. You start out in your forward base of operations, which is a walker of some sort, and from their you and your friends enter your Javelins and head into the mission proper. Theses suits are not just flashy Iron Man knockoffs. You can walk, run, fly, and even go underwater with them, to perform whatever jobs you need to do. I cannot express enough how beautiful the landscape is in this game. And transitioning into water is seamless, as is coming back out of it. Anthem is slated for release February 22nd, on XBox One, PS4, and PC.

The presentation ended with a little mini-FIFA 18 tournament run by four players, two Americans (they lost) and two players from Mexico. Honestly, I didn't really watch the game, as I was more interested in what was being released coming up.

This was the first of many Conferences at E3, this year. Stay tuned for coverage of the others!.  :clap:

News / E3 2018
« on: June 11, 2018, 01:02:12 PM »
As many of us already know, E3 started already. Because of my gaming habits, I was woefully unprepared, and as such the coverage I had planned is not even started.  My apologies.

Now, to go over how the information will be presented. Because of the cross-platformy-ness of the third party vendors, I will be covering them on a Publisher basis, with a final topic covering everything that is missed in that way after the end of the show. I'll be gone most of the late afternoon and evening, so I will start compiling once I get home, and hopefully will have everything started and at the least, the Bethesda and EA conferences will be covered and released by tomorrow, mid-afternoon.

In the mean-time, why not play Skyrim Very Special Edition on your Amazon enabled devices? Youtube link WARNING: Profanity IS included.

Cover Story / Re: Atari VCS up for Preorder.
« on: June 10, 2018, 06:25:16 PM »
There's also "I like swords" ;p

Cover Story / Re: Atari VCS up for Preorder.
« on: June 09, 2018, 05:39:46 PM »
For one thing, it's not just another console. It can be set up with a linux distro and made to do more than just play games from Atari's distribution means and stream stuff from the streaming apps. I'm also under the impression that it can be set up to use as a Steam box, which increases its usefulness even further.

You keep going back to "it's just a quick cash grab." Prove it. Atari started the console era. Not Nintendo, not Sega, not Sony, and DEFINITELY not Microsoft. What do the "Big 2" have that makes them a better choice? Besides platform specific games (which is a thing I hate, and have hated for twenty years)? Oh, that's right. Credibility. They're a proven concept. There's a long list of things you probably have in your home that weren't a proven concept when they were released. The Switch was one of them.

Cover Story / Re: Atari VCS up for Preorder.
« on: June 08, 2018, 10:28:53 AM »
ONE claim is not going to make something true, KoH. Especially when you take into consideration the scope of advertisement that Atari has already taken in this project. They have OFFICIAL advertisements ON YOUTUBE. Do you really think they would do that if it were just hype?

Cover Story / Re: Atari VCS up for Preorder.
« on: June 03, 2018, 06:31:42 PM »
I managed to get enough up for the console only Onyx edition. I hope the controllers won't be super bad when they're available after release, as I'd like to use them with certain types of games. Plus the retro controller is just awesome looking

Cover Story / Re: Atari VCS up for Preorder.
« on: June 01, 2018, 07:12:18 AM »
What's also getting a lot of attention for this is their Youtube ads. I was on there for a good bit yesterday, and I saw it like three times. This was obviously driven by my browsing history, but still.

Cover Story / Re: Atari VCS up for Preorder.
« on: May 31, 2018, 09:26:53 AM »
Haha, nice!

Cover Story / Re: Atari VCS up for Preorder.
« on: May 30, 2018, 12:55:10 PM »
I'm extremely interested in this project, but unfortunately, I won't be able to pre-order. I just threw down most of the spare money I had on an electric longboard for transportation reasons. :/

I love how high the money raised is, already, though. ;D

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