I have no excuses of any real merit as to why I have not posted any News for the last two months and a half. Minus a week that I spent on Holiday without internet and the few days it took to move into my new student flat I really could have been posting Endweek News without any real issues.
Seeing as it has actually been over a month since I last posted any form of News the prospect of posting EVERY piece of interesting News during that time makes me go pale with terror. I’ve posted long News posts before BUT I would very much rather avoid having to write out 10,000 words which, let’s be honest here, few people would ever struggle through (no matter how interesting the content). Instead, I did have a few tidbits I had collected with the intention of posting (but never got round to it) from in between our last post (on the 6th) and the present.
Hopefully the interest level here will make up for the fact that most of them come really rather late…
Prince of Persia reboot? – 06/08/2012
Back on the 6th of August a rumour spread through the internet that Ubisoft were working on a new Prince of Persia title, rebooting the series. The above screenshot was released on the NeoGAF forums along with a trio of teaser images from Ubisoft. The bottom of the screenshot says “PoP Zero 2” which apparently does tie in with what little is known about the next Prince of Persia game. Supposedly Ubisoft were going to create a PoP game set in the modern day called Prince of Persia Zero, so Prince of Persia Zero 2 could in fact be a reboot of the game rather than what was originally planned.
So far nothing else has really been confirmed, even a month down the line, but it seems fairly certain that a new Prince of Persia is in the works.
Valve working on Source Engine 2? – 06/08/2012
For a long time, or at least what seems to have been the majority of my life, me and many other gamers have been patiently waiting for Half Life 3, hoping and praying for the storm of awesome that Valve would unleash with it’s release. So far though there has been nothing but disappointment and frustrating teases from the company. Now, however, it seems that they have finally explained at least WHY they have not released Half Life 3 yet.
Uncovered by Valvetime.net within Valve’s Source Filmmaker program were lines of code which referred to a Source Engine 2. While, again, so far nothing has been officially confirmed, if the generally held theory can be believed it would seem likely that Valve are working on a new Source Engine. Seeing as the original Source engine was released all the way back in 2004 it would probably be high time for a new one. A new engine would also explain why we have had to wait so long for Half Life 3, if Valve have decided they are going to use a completely new engine for the game then it stands to reason that the game itself would take longer to make as well.
Of course this is all still speculation, but here’s hoping that the reason behind the constant delay of Half Life 3 is that they are intending to unveil it alongside the sparkling new Source Engine 2!
DayZ to become stand alone Game
By now all of us should have heard of DayZ, the almost ridiculously popular zombie-apocalypse survival mod for ArmA 2. Well, good news folks, it would appear that the insane popularity of the game has allowed creator Dean “Rocket” Hall to now start turning DayZ into a stand-along game. He was quick to assure everyone in his blog that maintenance of the mod itself would continue alongside development of the actual game which would be created in the Minecraft-esque style of a very bare-bones start with ever-more updates coming in until they achieve the final product.
The website for the actual game can be found at dayzgame.com which will hopefully keep us updated on when the game will be released and in the meantime you can still always head over to the mod page to download the mod itself.
Thief 4 – For the Next Generation – 08/08/2012
Despite the website for Thief 4 having not changed since it’s launch and announcement of the game back in 2009 Eidos are apparently still working away at it and will supposedly be delivering it to us late next year. This means that the game will supposedly be launching in a similar time period to the expected release dates of the Xbox 720 and the PS4 making Thief 4 one of the first next-gen games.
The report of this comes from CVG and could prove to be false, but for now it seems that the reports on both counts are accurate and NOT just rumours and hearsay. Here’s hoping that by the end of 2013 we are sneaking around a gloriously rendered map on a ridiculously expensive console!
On Gears of War Judgement – 28 and 30/08/2012
A couple of interesting tidbits about the upcoming prequel for the Gears of War series. Nothing entirely major but due to my (perhaps foolhardy) continuing interest in the series I feel they are newsworthy. Essentially what is up is that Gears of War Judgement will feature a new multiplayer mode which, for the first time in the Gears series, will allow you to fight in a free-for-all deathmatch, as opposed to the normal team-based ones.
Also, Epic Games have apparently hired two new writers to work on Judgement: Tom Bissell and his partner Rob Auten. These guys worked on the New Yorker and Avatar respectively and have been brought in to try and bring Judgement’s up to scratch. The reason for this was due to the absolutely horrible writing for the previous games which has been critisized by just about everyone. Naturally, story isn’t what Gears is about but having a decent plot might add something to the game and does perk up my interest in this. Until now I’ve been a little sceptical but with good story perhaps it will be worth getting after all.
Skyrim DLC Hearthfire and Dawnguard- 28 and 31/08/12
By now I’m sure all of you will be aware that Hearthfire was recently released for Skyrim. The new expansion for the massive RPG from Bethesda has, once again apparently not been too well received. The new expansion allows the player to purchase a plot of land and build a house on it. And not just any old house, a giant mansion I believe would be the correct way to describe it. I’m not sure on the specifics but I believe you can customise the layout of the house as you wish, slowly purchasing and obtaining supplies to build it and expand it. There are display cases, trophies, furniture to be added, rooms with purposes like a greenhouse and an enchanting/alchemy room. You can also bee hives, a garden and if you haven’t got the time you can hire someone to do the building for you. The expansion also allows you to move your family into the place with the inclusion of being able to adopt a child. And all of this for only 400 Microsoft points.
While all of this is pretty cool and nifty, it doesn’t really seem like the sort of DLC which I was hoping for for Skyrim. I admit I have yet to buy Dawnguard (and I still think I would like to, even with all the negative reviews) so I’m not in the best position to comment but frankly I was hoping for more from Bethesda. They promised big and epic DLC for their game to make it even more amazing but so far things really haven’t been up to scratch. It’s just a bit disappointing honestly. I also don’t understand why in an 18+ game you have to adopt a child… I’m not suggesting that they edit in sex scenes like those in Mass Effect (although I believe many would approve) but it does seem slightly ridiculous that you can’t have a child with your spouse in the game…
That’s not all though folks. Along with this there is also the unfortunate news that Bethesda seem to be despairing of ever releasing Dawnguard on PS3. So unfortunately for all those of you who bought that version of the game it seems that you won’t be getting any the DLC at all, even if it’s supposed to be rubbish!
League of Legends Honour System
Riot Games have recently introduced a new initiative to their TDHBRTSG (or MOBA) League of Legends. With a community which I believe is well over 20 million players strong LoL often sees the worst of human behaviour from it’s players. Trolling, flaming and generally hostile behaviour has been common from the players for a long time now. Some players will lose their tempers when a game is being lost due to stupidity or foolishness from their team (or on their own part) and some people will just be generally awful to play with for either side of the game. While the majority do try to stick to the Summoner’s Code I do think that a large part of the players don’t.
To try and stop things like this Riot already have a number of systems in place including the Tribunal (an online system of trial by jury for players who are reported too often) and have now started a new one. Honour. The Honour system is simple, while you might report a player for harassment a negative attitude or saying “Easy” at the end of a game (seriously I hate that) you can now give a player Honour points for being helpful, or fun to play with, or gracious in defeat or victory. While there the Honour points don’t seem to have any functional use yet I do think it’s a smart idea, already I actually find myself trying a little harder to be nicer to people in the game. Going out of my way to say “gl hf” at the start of games is just one small part of it.
Riot, I’m still not convinced you aren’t going to try and take over the world at some point but for now consider yourselves still in my good graces.
Bioware Announce Dragon Age : Inquisition – 17/09/2012
Bioware have over the past two years been slowly ramping up development on the sequel to Dragon Age 2 and have recently officially announced the game. Called Dragon Age: Inquisition the game will use the Frostbite 2 engine and will apparently be released some time late next year. Not much else is known about the game at the moment, a while ago some of the story was leaked which says that you will lead the standard team of heroes in the fight against evil (this time of up to 10 people). You will head up a new organisation called The Inquisition which will fight a new and menacing evil both on the battlefield and more covertly with spies and political intrigue. As well as this it seems that the game will possibly be set in the southern lands of Orlais rather than northern Ferelden. As well as this it seems increasingly likely that multiplayer arenas will be included into the game.
I have to say, I am excited. I am currently playing through Dragon Age Origins (review to come soon) and it is every bit as good as everyone says. While I have heard that Dragon Age II did not live up to it’s predecessor and was something of a disappointment I do think that Bioware could very easily return to form with Dragon Age III if it is done right.
Of course, the last time I trusted Bioware they screwed up the ending of my favourite series of games of all time… So consider me watching you closely Bioware… Veeeerrry closely…
Colour Me Intrigued – So much Slendy and MORE Zombies – 17,20 and 21/09/12
I have not been keeping up with the news (we have established this) and so in the last few weeks there may have been a lot of interesting new bits and pieces of games or mods which would have caused my ears to perk up with interest. However, before my laziness decided to come into play there were a few things which caught my eye.
First of all is an official remake of Slender. Now called Slender: The Eight Pages (to avoid confusion with all the dozens of other Slenderman games which are starting to appear). Creator and head of Parsec Productions Mark “AgentParsec” Hadley has announced that the remake, entitled Slender: The Arrival, will include better visuals, more stages a more fully fleshed out story (like there was a story at all in the original). The game will supposedly be bigger, better and even more bloody terrifying than the original. You can check out some of the screenshots over at Eurogamer here. It is also wroth mentioning that this is a separate project to Slender: Source. Slender: Source is the four-player re-imagining of Slender using the source engine while this is an official remake. It is also worth saying that apparently this might actually cost some money… Which is unfortunate…
Next up is State of Decay coming at us from Undead Labs (apparently a company headed up by one of the lead programmers of World of Warcraft) for the XBLA and PC. The game seems like a really ambitious and intriguing project. Set in a 4 square kilometer open-world of “Anytown, USA” the game is set after a zombie apocalypse. Now while the fact that it’s set after a zombie apocalypse does initially make me a little dubious because it’s been so done to death, I have to say that the rest of it does make my interest perk up a little. Essentially you start off as a preset character and are placed right into the middle of this Anytown and then you can explore, save other survivors, drive cars and kill zombies. All the usual trappings of this sort of game. However, you also then get to start up a strategy side of the game. Finding survivors you slowly start to build up a community of allies and you move them onto a base. At the base you can slowly build up fortifications and your community to make it easier to survive the apocalypse. Once you have more than one survivor in your community you can play as any one of them in a third person perspective. Each survivor will also have different skills (in things like combat, construction and other relevant things I imagine) and you can choose them as the situation dictates. Your survivors will also slowly get tired if you play as one of them for too long and so you have to switch between them back at your safe-house in order to keep them all alive. The game essentially is all about finding a place to be your base, building it up to be your stronghold and keeping all your survivors alive. There is also strategy in choosing when and how to use resources you scavenge. Supposedly the game will have a campaign up to about 15 hours in length and I have to say it does sound like it could be an interesting play. A combination of a number of different game styles into one package, consider my interest officially tickled.
Honestly I’m not sure how clear I’ve been here when describing this, so if you are interested then I suggest (again) that you head over to Eurogamer to hear more about this.
The next two interesting pieces aren’t really new games so much as mods for existing games. First off is a mod under creation for Skyrim where some fans are painstakingly recreating Morrowind using the Skyrim engine. Dubbed project Skywind the lead creator is known as Eloth who also apparently worked on Morroblivion (the recreation of Morrowind with the Oblivion engine). For more information and/or screenshots you can head over to the mod’s official site or you can check out this Eurogamer article (yeah I steal everything from them… What about it?). The other mod of interest is a mod for the source engine created, again, by a group of enthusiastic fans. Black Mesa is a mod for the Half-Life 2 engine which recreates the original Half-Life in all new and stunning form. Not only did the modders actually re-record all the voices they included a greater degree of textures and have tinkered with level layouts and the AI. Essentially the graphics of Black Mesa will be better than in Half-Life 2 and everything else has also been brought magnificently up to scratch. If you are itnerested, and you should be considering that it is free, you can check it out over here!
Videos and Trailers
I don’t really see the need to explain about this few videos. Enough to say: they are all awesome, they are all worth watching and one of them is our Song of the Week! Enjoy folks!