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Shooting for the Warcraft film wrapped up in May last year, taking 123 days for principal photography to finish. Post-production work will be handled by Industrial Light & Magic, who has garnered awards for its work on the Star Wars films. The studio will be creating the Orcs for the film, who will be portrayed by real actors.
The Warcraft movie was originally slated for release in December 18, 2015, but Blizzard decided to delay the film's release after Disney announced that Star Wars: Episode VII would also be released on the same date. Last year Blizzard revealed some of the characters who will be appearing in the film, as well as the actors who will be portraying them.
During a special presentation at Blizzcon, Warcraft director Duncan Jones said the movie will feature a lot of special effects he described as "Avatar and Lord of the Rings at the same time." Jones has said that he hopes the film will be released in 2D and 3D.
According to IGN, NetherRealm only confirmed the release date for the masked murderer, but didn't show any gameplay or reveal any of his killer moves.
Jason Voorhees is the first of four DLC characters coming to Mortal Kombat X through the game's $30 Kombat Pack. Everyone can try Jason Voorhees and other DLC characters for free, but you'll need to pay to have them permanently added to your game.
The other three fighters included with the Kombat Pack are Predator, Tanya, and Tremor.
Mortal Kombat X was released for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC earlier this month. It enjoyed the "biggest launch" in franchise history, according to series co-creator Ed Boon. The game will be released for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this summer.
The event is ongoing; we'll have more details on the new game as they become available.
Telltale has also published a blog post about this announcement, though it doesn't offer much in the way of specifics.
"Announced this evening in San Francisco, we're excited to reveal an all-new partnership with the incredible team at Marvel Entertainment. We'll be teaming up on the development of an upcoming Telltale game series project set to premiere in 2017!"
Marvel is just the latest brand that Telltale has taken on. Others include major media franchises like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, and Minecraft, among others.
In February, Telltale announced that it was moving beyond games with its new game/TV show hybrid project called "Super Show," though it's unclear if the new Marvel game will operate under this model.
.@CallofDuty pic.twitter.com/B6tSF92xCv— Deus Ex (@DeusEx) April 23, 2015
Mankind Divided executive art director Jonathan Jacques-Belletête also chimed in.
Hey @Treyarch, Adam Jensen says welcome on the bandwagon! The liquor bar is at the back ;)— Jonathan J-B (@Jonatchoo) April 23, 2015
We lied guyz. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided actually takes place on the Eastern Front during World War 2. We felt inspired— Jonathan J-B (@Jonatchoo) April 23, 2015
Get some popcorn, folks, this is going to be a good one.
Total Xbox shipments have now fallen for a second straight quarter, as Microsoft moved 6.6 million combined Xbox consoles during the all-important holiday season this year, compared to 7.4 million during the same quarter the year prior.
Microsoft's Computer and Gaming Hardware division, which houses the Xbox business, saw its revenue fall $72 million, or 4 percent.
The company attributed the downturn primarily to "lower revenue from Xbox Platform," but offset by higher revenue from Microsoft's Surface line.
Xbox Platform revenue itself decreased $306 million or 24 percent; as mentioned above, total console volume fell by 20 percent. Microsoft also noted that the lower price of the Xbox One in the quarter compared to the same period a year prior further led to the decline.
Cost of revenue for Microsoft's Computer and Gaming decision decreased, led by a $265 million (27 percent) decline in Xbox Platform cost of revenue. This was driven by a lower volume of units shipped and a lower cost per console sold, Microsoft said.
It wasn't all bad news for Microsoft this quarter, however. Microsoft reports that Xbox Live and other store revenue increased by $144 million, or 32 percent, compared to last year. This was driven by an increase in Xbox Live users and revenue per user, the company said.
Meanwhile, Microsoft first-party game sales were up 49 percent during the quarter, led by Minecraft. This is the second straight quarter since Microsoft acquired Minecraft last year that the sandbox game has been a major contributor to Microsoft's first-party bottom line.
For Microsoft overall, the company posted $21.7 billion in revenue, up from $20.4 billion during the same quarter last year. Meanwhile, profit for the quarter was $4.9 billion, down from $5.6 billion last year.
Microsoft will hold an earnings call later today to discuss these results and answer analyst questions. Check back later for more.
Jesper Nielsen, an assistant producer at the DICE support studio Uprise who uses the handle "TheBikingViking" on Reddit, responded to a fan's concerns by promising that, while Battlefield and Battlefield share some shooter similarities, they will play quite differently.
"I simply don't get the Battlefield re-skin comment," he said. "From what we've shown, in what way does it look like Battlefield? Are you seeing tanks, lots of destruction, etc? This will not feel like or play like Battlefield. That's never been our intention."
"To some extent, all shooters are similar," he added. "Heck, to some extent, all games are similar. To my mom, all games are probably more or less the same, right? So it always depends on the person looking at it. I'm pretty sure a hardcore Counter-Strike player would say the differences between Counter-Strike and Battlefield or Halo or Call of Duty are like day and night. It's always about the lens you use, how far you zoom in. To some people, the details matter less--to others they matter more."
Nielsen's comments follow those from DICE producer Patrick Bach, who earlier this week listed off the reasons why Battlefront is so much more than a big-budget Battlefield mod.
Nielsen has kept busy responding to all manner of comments, some negative, about Battlefront. Another topic he addressed was the fact that the game will not have space battles (though it will have air combat). He pointed out that DICE is "still discussing" space battles from time to time, and explained that the developer understands that this game mode would have "some very exciting prospects."
"So of course that would be fun to explore! When and if that will happen is impossible for me to say, but no, we're not saying that space battles are evil and that we will never, ever touch them with a ten-foot pole," Nielsen said.
In addition, Nielsen provided a brief explanation for why the massive AT-AT vehicles won't be drivable in Battlefront. He said there were many factors that made up this decision, though he wasn't personally involved in making the call.
"There's a lot of things going into a decision like this," he explained. "Again, this wasn't my decision and I wasn't involved in it, so I don't want to make statements, but rest assured that these things are often not obvious yes/no decisions, but have a lot of pros and cons and have included lots of experimentation."
Battlefront launches for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on November 17. People who pre-order the game will receive the Battle of Jakku expansion on December 1, while everyone else will get this free content a week later on December 8.
For more, check out GameSpot's previous Battlefront coverage:
Never mind that this was after six minutes of rubbing the slice on a pile of jelly and broken glass, throwing it on a skateboard, letting ants crawl on it, and dragging it bare across a kitchen counter. Just something about the sticking to the wall pressed the wrong button. We all have standards, right?
But these are the kinds of thoughts that permeate the first chuckle-filled hour or two of playing I Am Bread, that magical period of a game like this, Bossa's own Surgeon Simulator, or Soda Drinker Pro where the joke is fresh and still overshadows the proper game found under the joke. The honeymoon period does eventually fade. And when the laughing stops, the white-knuckled aggravation begins.
But before that, there is the joke: the fact that I Am Bread is exactly what is advertised. In every level, you play as a sentient slice of bread who sets out on a Sisyphean quest to cross a room and to become golden brown, delicious toast by any means necessary. You do this by inching yourself across a surface or flipping yourself over and over to cover more distance and climbing the walls by sticking yourself to them. The goal could be a toaster. It could be a broken, burning TV. It could be an iron that somebody carelessly didn't unplug. Anything that provides enough heat to get yourself toasty can potentially finish the level for you. But time is of the essence, edibility is of the essence, and deliciousness is of the essence. No, really, the more jelly you can get on yourself before you cook, the better. But make no mistake: you must become toast.
Unlike most games of this ilk, I Am Bread comes more from a nice baseline of competent game design. It's certainly more visually appealing than normal, with a kitschy 1950s homemaker environment with a strong dose of food-affecting grossness to give it a contrast. The score has a bouncy, Ben Folds vibe, and though the tunes themselves are short and repetitive, they help sell the pleasant times.Just how desperately do you want that jelly?
Using a gamepad (and I would highly recommend the gamepad, as a mouse/keyboard is staggering in its uselessness here) and moving around as bread is slow but has a clear logic to it. Just pressing the left stick in a particular direction allows you to inch little by little in the chosen direction. Holding one of the shoulder buttons, each corresponding to a corner of the bread slice, allows you to clutch any surface while you turn the bread off the anchor point you're holding. If a manipulable object is in range, toggling a face button allows you to hold onto it while you do your thing. It's actually easy and logical in context, and it makes the early stages easy to work with.
It doesn't take long for an evil spike of a learning curve to present itself, however. By stage three, there are fewer flat surfaces to work with and more hellish climbs up walls, bending the slice around corners, and hoping that the finicky physics engine decides not to screw you over if you land in just the right way where you bounce off your destination. You could end up in a freefall where you think you have a shot at grasping a surface to avoid hitting the dirty floor but don't (dirtiness affects edibility, and inedible bread is dead bread.) If you manage to get into a groove with movement, though, it's possible to cartwheel your slice across virtually anything, and that's around when the slew of bugs start to make their presence known. Many have been reported and supposedly fixed by the game's most recent update. For my part, aside from a few physics issues where a bread slice falls through an object it's supposed to lean on, one big one cropped up more than any other: a camera issue where the point of view will tilt straight up, at random, for no reason at all. When sitting on flat surfaces, it's annoying but acceptable. During a grueling climb, however, in a section that's already taken 10-15 minutes to traverse, it can mean the difference between becoming toast and becoming...er...toast. And messing up a stage where you've already spent a half hour just to get within a breath of a hot place, only for the game's physics to throw you for just enough of a loop to fail and send you back to the start, is an infuriating place to be.
Because every homemaker knows behind a picture of a dog on a shelf is the best place to store baked goods.
The joke does have a punchline it's building to: an ongoing story of the guy whose apartment you're making a mess of in your toasty quest for enlightenment, who's being diagnosed by a therapist because no one believes that sentient bread is to blame. That ultimate punchline is funny, but the game has the same problem that all these joke titles have in that the effort required to hear the joke through to its conclusion renders said joke inert. The game fares better with its bonuses: a demolition mode in which you play a destructive baguette that can be tossed around to wreck a kitchen, a bagel race, and the ability to play stages in zero gravity, with each slice of bread equipped with tiny boosters. The game fares better with these because they can be accessed, futzed around with for 10-15 minutes, and left alone. And yet, the ability to access them requires beating each stage, which can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour each, and that's with no guarantee that you'll be successful.
Ultimately, it's a game for the same folks who still cackle with glee whenever there is a new Sharknado, or that still watch Snakes on a Plane. The joke is in the premise, in the title, and it won't stop winking and snickering with you for hours on end. But all it takes is one moment of clarity, one second-guess "why was I laughing" for the whole thing to fall apart. And in this game's case, all it has to do is remind you of how irksome it can be and often is to go from being a goofy joke to a serious headache in a flash.
Age of Wonders III encourages this type of emergent, player-centric storytelling. The more I play, the more I realize that its strengths come from the unique melding of role-playing and turn-based strategy. It trusts you to create your own rich role-playing experiences and lets you control the narrative through empire-building and a robust tactical battle system. The result is a vibrant, special game that is ruthlessly entertaining. Age of Wonders III's latest expansion bolsters an already exceptional core with more races to play, a better grand-scale strategy, and an excellent morality system.
Eternal Lords trusts you to create your own rich role-playing experiences and lets you control the narrative through empire-building and a robust tactical battle system.
Those familiar with the Age of Wonders series, particularly the third installment, will immediately recognize the tactical/strategic duality driving each session. You'd bounce between macro- and micro-management, controlling both the direction and structure of your civilization as well as the outcome of individual battles. However, that two-stage system is hard for any game to pull off well, and it was one of Age of Wonders' weakest points. While tactical bouts had plenty of variety and the available options made matches thrilling and tense, the large-scale planning lacked depth, leading to a lackluster half. Eternal Lords finally brings enough new features to flesh out the game and cover almost all the base game's weaknesses.
For starters, two new races (the Frostlings and the Tigrans) are added to the basic Dwarves and Elves. Both have a visual flair and uniqueness all their own. Frostlings, for example, are an offensive race with bonuses for ice magic. They dwell in cold areas and can take advantage of often-barren land to launch raids on more temperate cultures. Tigrans are their natural foil. Based on the mythology of ancient Egyptian culture, they are a quick, desert-dwelling class of felines. They worship the sun and idolize the duality of nature. To wit, Tigrans specialize in necromancy, and they worship the dead as well as the living. This makes Tigrans an ideal pairing for Eternal Lords' new class--the Necromancer.
In the base Age of Wonders III game and the first expansion, players chose both the race and class of their young nation's leader. Because a good chunk of the game was modeled after Dungeons and Dragons and similar fantasy settings, the classes were standard fare: rogues, warlocks, and warriors. Necromancers are a bit different. Whereas the others fit into standard heroic archetypes, fiction has always associated the art of controlling the minds and bodies of the dead with evil. Let us not forget that in the original Hobbit novel, Tolkien created a necromancer character who bided his time until he could revive himself as the Dark Lord Sauron.
Age of Wonders III's latest expansion bolsters an already exceptional core with more races to play, a better grand-scale strategy, and an excellent morality system.
Suffice it to say, it's a strange premise to work into an empire-building strategy game. Even fictional conceptualizations of the undead lend themselves to a different system of goals and values. The dead, for example, don't care where they are or what they're doing. They're nigh unlimited as well because any war is likely to yield more soldiers to bolster your armies. Eternal Lords understands this and makes necromancy and its related magicks whole and distinct.
I spent the majority of my time with Eternal Lords leading an undead sect of dwarves below ground. I defended my cities with small bands who could summon up much larger armies from fallen warriors on the battlefield. They were a bit weaker than some other units, but I overwhelmed my enemy with sheer numbers. After a time, I gathered enough power to cast a massive spell that revived recently killed troops from around the world under my control. I had become a demigod, and my abrupt omnipresence spooked other world leaders. In short order, I flooded the surface with my abominations and championed the spread of good and kindness throughout the world. Again, it might sound incongruous, but it does a make a sort of sense when you consider how all of Eternal Lords' pieces fit together.
For example, the morality system facilitates a broad variety of play styles and leads to some distinct late-game units based on your alignment. The path of good is tied more to sparing the lives of the innocent and protecting the weak than it is to any cosmic moral authority. As such, I decided that my undead were like friendly vampires. They did what they needed to do, but they were more interested in establishing systems of cooperation with the hope that everyone else would willingly choose to become zombies at some point in the future.
To that end, I made friends with the other races, brought them under my protection, and governed them as well as I could. I eventually converted them, but they were almost always better for it. Those choices lead to a positive alignment in the game, and I won by unifying the globe in peace and harmony. You won't see any complex, ambiguous moral quandaries here, but it works as the foundation for a creative system to promote an interesting network of decisions and allegiances.
Tendencies towards openness and role-playing even show up in Eternal Lords' single-player campaign. Here, you'll play as Arvik, a necromantic Frostling. He is the heir to his kingdom's throne and is thrust into a complex political situation, forcing him to make a series of tough calls as he unlocks his abilities as a powerful wizard. Each new scenario presents you with important decisions regarding how you want to govern your people and what kind of leader you want to be. It's not the best writing around, but it does reinforce the themes of Eternal Lords' minute-to-minute play--engaging decisions.
Eternal Lords carries a few problems over from its core game. Worker units aren't terribly useful, for example, outside of building singular roads. Flying units can move around the battlefield without any kind of penalty, and because those are typically the strongest units (i.e., dragons), it can sometimes feel like you don't have much recourse against stronger opponents. That's balanced somewhat by the sterling tactical play, which rewards careful planning and gutsy gambles, but it still leaves something to be desired.
The morality system facilitates a broad variety of play styles and leads to some distinct late-game units based on your alignment.
Strategy game legend and Civilization creator Sid Meier once said, "Games are a series of interesting decisions." By that metric, Age of Wonders III: Eternal Lords is excellent. Your possibility space is vast, and you can craft your adventure and your nation in any number of ways. Systems of morality, player races and classes, and governance all work together to create an interlocking web of player-driven narrative potential. This expansion's only real weaknesses are those endemic to the structure of the base game, but Eternal Lords is a worthy follow-up and fresh take on the classic turn-based strategy game formula.
Spartan Strike's bite-sized five-minute missions fit in well with a straightforward story involving the Artifact of Doom plot device. In this case, the artifact is called the Conduit, a device that functions as a Promethean portal key. It is also a tried and tested sci-fi term that has been used in Mass Effect, Dead Space, and as the title of a Sega-published first-person shooter. Through much of Spartan Strike, the Conduit is subjected to a football-like change of hands between the UNSC Marine Corps and the Covenant.Spartan Strike is never monotonous, partly thanks to its vehicular sections.
Equally engaging is the opportunity to revisit familiar areas from the main series. In Halo 2, New Mombasa was a war-torn battleground where Master Chief was just one of countless soldiers tasked to repel the Covenant. The raised visual perspective of Spartan Strike shows off New Mombasa as a highly vertical metropolis. While you're guiding a Spartan-IV along a commercial district in the foreground, UNSC troops are holding their own on a bridge in the background, hundreds of yards away. Although your player-character functions like a one-man army, nothing detracts from the implied accomplishments of the soldiers in the surrounding areas. Conversely, the location shift to Gamma Halo (also known as Installation 03) is a less engrossing environment, as, for the most part, it's a generic jungle accented with Forerunner architecture.
The 15 years Halo has been around offers more than enough time for minor timeline errors and potential retconning. It might be inconsistent to see Prometheans in a story arc related to Halo 2, but that doesn't dilute the gratification of making them disintegrate, especially when using their own weapons.
Spartan Strike's bite-sized five-minute missions fit in well with a straightforward story involving the Artifact of Doom plot device trope.
Much like the Rappys in Phantasy Star Online and the blackbirds in Bloodborne, the Halo Grunts are the series' annoyance incarnate, which makes melee kills with rifle butts all the more satisfying. Even without the first-person view, killing up close in Spartan Strike quenches the bloodlust for these troublesome halflings. As in Spartan Assault, transposing familiar enemies into an overhead-camera perspective works, because of the familiar weapons used to kill them. The battle rifle bridges the lethality of the sniper rifle with the firing rate of the assault rifle, and, as always, makes short work of any elite. The same goes for the mounted gun atop a warthog, which doesn't suffer from overheating.
If you've played Spartan Assault (and you should have already, if you're a fan of Halo's expanded universe), the Spartan Strike mission objectives will be very familiar. A given stage will involve one, or a combination, of the following objectives: get from Point A to Point B, destroy X objects, or survive for X seconds. Again, these are short missions, and the simplicity of these assignments works well for Spartan Strike. Holding your ground in a limited space offers a glimpse of how a Fireflight mode would work as a twin stick shooter. Whatever your objectives, it's the abundance of Covenant and Prometheans that serves as the game's connective tissue. The odds seldom feel overwhelming, but there's still a lot of death to go around. Thrilling moments, like vanquishing energy sword-wielding elites, often make high-score incentives a secondary priority. And with all the A.I. marines joining the fight, it's a mystery that Spartan Strike lacks multiplayer, especially when it was one of the big draws of Spartan Assault.There are very few extended breaks in between gun battles.
That's not to say Spartan Strike is bereft of features. Customizable loadouts, uncommon in the mainline Halo campaigns, let you pair the assault rifle with a rocket launcher right out the door. Add an armor ability like a regen field, and you have a Spartan who can go toe-to-toe with the Chief. You are fortified well enough that, potentially, you could clear Spartan Strike without dying. This is compounded by the mandatory auto-aim, which cannot be toggled off in the Settings menu. At least you can count on Halo Skulls to give the Covenant and the Prometheans a fighting chance. Whether it's lack of armor or low ammo pick-ups, there's something to increase the stakes. As usual, using Skulls isn't a purely masochistic exercise; reward flirts with risk, since XP is multiplied with Skulls.
XP is the juicy core of Spartan Strike's replay incentives. It's the currency for purchasing optional weapons like the Spartan laser or the sniper rifle. These armaments significantly help in fulfilling Assault Ops goals, purely non-mandatory assignments that yield more XP, bragging rights, and progress toward a couple of achievements. And while, typically, achievements are not worth noting, Halo: Spartan Strike's inclusion as an Xbox game for Windows means that achievements can already be earned without having to wait for the unannounced but presumptive Xbox One version.A nostalgic return to New Mombasa .
Much like Spartan Assault before it, Spartan Strike is the closest we have to a Halo game, had it existed in the late 1980s arcades. While the lack of multiplayer is disappointing, it features more than enough loadout options to add variety that it warrants repeat playthroughs. More importantly, Spartan Strike still retains Halo's core combat appeal despite the top-down view, auto-aiming, and amped up armor abilities. It preserves the palpable tension in emptying two M7 Caseless SMGs while back-pedalling against a brute. It's a familiar predicament for Halo fans, but one that can be remedied in Spartan Strike with the one-button ease of an air strike. That might be unfair to the brute, but if you've ever been on the receiving end of a gravity hammer, an air strike is hardly a cheap countermeasure.
“You wanted Dungeon Keeper,” Realmforge seems to say, “so here you have it.” There's little to none of the original Dungeons' innovations here. Happily, this means that veterans of Peter Molyneux's 1997 game will find much that's familiar, whether it's the throne room and the hole from which you summon minions or the surrounding dungeon that's packed with gold veins and potential tunnels just waiting to be dug out. Should one of the "little snots" who do your bidding stop to break the fourth wall and wave at the camera, you can slap them around with the giant, disembodied hand you use to guide progress and set minions to new adventures and tasks. Dig out a square or rectangular space and slap down, say, a brewery to attract orcs to hack and slash for you. The production process is slow at times and the AI is responsible for making the little snots work, but this is Dungeon Keeper in all but name.The humor extends beyond the narration to little touches such as 666 and 1337 values for the Prime Evil's attacks in the intro.
It's kept from being a straight clone by a new overworld RTS mode that sends you and your minions off to the world above to mess stuff up and occasionally nab MacGuffins from other, smaller dungeons. The world certainly looks good, and there's a pleasing visual element to the whole affair in that the landscape shifts from grassy and sunny to hellish and reddish as your hordes move through it. "Horde" is an appropriate word--the game itself calls them that, and it sends you off to fight the forces of the "Alliance," right down to the familiar blue-and-white fortifications from the Warcraft series.
Alas, Dungeons 2's RTS element is undercooked. Regardless of which stage of the campaign you're on, the basic strategy never deviates far from amassing a swarm of orcs, goblins, trolls, and snaky naga in the dungeon to attack the Alliance, and you accomplish this most effectively by selecting the whole pile and right-clicking on units to attack. There's some fun involved in watching the world change as you pillage and plunder (even if my GTX 780's performance dragged when too many enemies were on the screen), but the act of guiding your army is complicated by an awkward shift in control schemes from the underground. Deep in your dungeon, you can't control minions directly, which led to some frustration when I realized my little snots were just loitering around because I hadn't dug out a room large enough for my intended project. In the overworld, you can control your units, although singling out the few minions that have special powers involves trying to pinpoint them from the swarm with your mouse and selecting them independently.It's goofy stuff, but a lot of work was put into providing a backstory for the action.
The chief surprise I encountered while playing Dungeons 2 was that I enjoyed it despite these downsides. I suspect a lot of that has to do with the near-constant humorous narration, voiced by Kevan Brighting. It sounds like he's playing the exact same role that won him such acclaim in The Stanley Parable. Brighting's voice work never fails to hit the proper notes here, even if the script pours on the self-awareness too thick (at one point, your overworld minions encounter and slaughter a bear, and you're told that it was pointless because bear meat isn’t used for anything in the game). Sometimes, it feels as though Realmforge is trying too hard, although the narrator's always good when he's used as a tutorial of sorts to correct the Ultimate Evil--as the main character's called--when he goes in the wrong direction.
All of this might be much more fun when you take advantage of the LAN and online multiplayer content, which gives up to four players their own dungeons and lets them fight over a shared overworld. Unfortunately, this review arrives prior to the game's full release, so other players are as hard to find as original, sealed copies of Dungeon Keeper from 1997. Its directions are sometimes muddled, and the whole affair feels like it was oversimplified to cut down on micromanagement, but the beauty of Dungeons 2 is that it never fails to let us take some glee in sowing discord. It's not quite a keeper, but it's an improvement over the original.