This Week In Gaming – March 25th to 31st 2013
Happy Easter! And yes, the chocolate is calling; but first, let’s talk games…
Ubisoft announced more details of Assassin’s Creed 4′s release later this year, releasing a new video of gameplay elements and the contents of numerous collector’s edition packs. While seeming to move more and more away from the subtlety encouraged in the first games, and a very short release schedule (AC3 wasn’t released that long ago, and still has pending DLC content), the game still looks to move in an interesting – and hopefully fun – direction. The game is due for release on November 1st.
Also revealing video of upcoming game content, EA and DICE released a 17 minute gameplay video of Battlefield 4 last week. While the series overall is best known for being a multiplayer experience, the teaser showed an extract from the campaign – a squad of American soldiers fighting Russians in China, perhaps predictable but less controversial than Battlefield 3′s fighting in Iran. As expected, many things are destroyed – the video is a demonstration of the game engine as much as the game – and we even get some Bonnie Tyler.
As a multi-dimensional Metroidvania-brawler platformer, you cannot accuse Guacamelee! of lacking ambition. Controlling hero Juan Aguacate [aguacate = avocado = guacamole... yes, that did take me a moment to realise] you brawl your way through various dimension to save the mayor’s daughter – and the world.Developed by Drinkbox, the Mexican-inspired indie game has already won a lot of awards – and this is before the PS3 and PSV title is even released (April 10th, btw).
Rockstar, having delayed the release of GTA 5, have instead whetted fans’ appetites by releasing some delicious screen shots for us to savour. Showing all the usual hobbies you’ve come to expect in the series – shooting things, driving dangerously, stopping for a look at a romantic sunset – the game looks to be shaping into something fans of the series will love. Whether some of the more tedious elements criticised in GTA 4 will be refined or removed will become clear when the game is released in September.
If one Batman doesn’t seem enough, how does playing a game with numerous Batmen sound? Warner Bros released a trailer for Infinite Crisis last week, an multiplayer online battle arena game controlling various DC characters (and alternate universe versions) created by Lord of the Rings Online developer Turbine. Promised as a free-to-play game due for release later this year, you can apply to play the closed beta by signing up at the official website.
However, if you’d sooner play for the other side, that’s an option too – no, I don’t mean the villains, I mean Marvel. Also planned as a free-to-play title, the MMO action-RPG Marvel Heroes lets you play as various Marvel heroes against several of their iconic villains. The game is promised for release on June 4th – although players who purchase the game’s foundation pack can start playing from May 28th.
Third person MMO shooter APB had a rocky start – struggling as a subscription title, before being resurrected as a free-to-play – but seems to have found itself on stronger ground, as GamersFirst announce plans for a spin-off title. Entitled APB Vendetta, the title announced last week would be an online arena based shooter, with an emphasis on John Woo movie style bullet time combat. How this may work in practice remains to be seen, but the game’s proposed model of being modable by the community may be appealing to current APB players looking for a change.
And finally, a little phrase we may need to remember – “Adam was right”. Last December he posted here on the site various reasons why the trailer for an unknown game shown at the VGA awards might actually be a sneaky Metal Gear Solid preview – that game being called The Phantom Pain, and now confirmed as the new subtitle to Metal Gear Solid 5. Konami released a trailer for the game at GDC last week, using much of the same footage as the earlier video… as well as new footage which increases the already high “wtf?!” quota, though adds no further information about a potential release date.
Updates and DLCs
Jagex, the publishers of browser-based MMORPG RuneScape, have announced that this summer RuneScape 3 will go live. Upgrading the existing client to HTML5, adding an orchestral soundtrack, and various other technical improvements, as well as advancing the game-world plotwise as it “enters the Sixth Age”. As a new engine rather than a new game, existing characters will continue as they were (which is perhaps a relief to the players of the game’s 200 million accounts) – and there is a promise that players with older PCs can continue to use the existing Java client.
EVE Online is to get its 19th expansion soon, with Odyssey due for release on 4th June. With the announcement focusing on updates to exploration, the game’s Senior Producer Andie Nordgren is quoted in the press release as saying “[i]t brings changes that will wake the wanderlust and taste for adventure in both new and veteran pilots.” Wider changes are also suggested, including ship rebalancing, new star base improvements, and “a few surprises to be unveiled”.
Sticking with the universe of EVE, and DUST 514 is also going to be receiving a content update on May 6th. Titled Uprising, the expansion for the free-to-play massively multiplayer FPS – which is technically still in beta – promises basic improvements such as graphical updates and new equipment, as well as unspecified updates for the occupation of planets (which affects control in EVE Online as well). A new trailer was also released, showing content from both games working together.