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Articles on this Page
- 06/24/13--10:27: _PS4 to Have 5 More ...
- 06/24/13--11:41: _Poll: Did Naughty D...
- 06/24/13--16:40: _Top 5 Mobile Games ...
- 06/24/13--18:33: _Asteroids Movie Sti...
- 06/25/13--08:48: _Deadpool Launch Tra...
- 06/25/13--09:21: _Warhammer 40k: Eter...
- 06/25/13--09:40: _WWE 2k14 Cover Art ...
- 06/25/13--12:35: _Deadpool, Review
- 06/25/13--14:37: _Teenage Mutant Ninj...
- 06/25/13--16:05: _Xbox One Won't Incl...
- 06/26/13--10:01: _New gameplay videos...
- 06/27/13--09:32: _Grand Theft Auto V ...
- 06/27/13--09:57: _Crackdown Orb Shown...
- 06/27/13--13:01: _The Witcher 3's New...
- 06/27/13--21:53: _Google Developing A...
- 06/28/13--09:26: _Microsoft and Time ...
- 06/28/13--12:14: _Why a New Jurassic ...
- 06/28/13--12:51: _NeverWinter, Review
- 06/28/13--19:54: _Sony Says No Power ...
- 06/30/13--08:46: _Top 5 Mobile Games ...
- 06/24/13--10:27: PS4 to Have 5 More Exclusives Than Xbox One in Year One
- 06/24/13--16:40: Top 5 Mobile Games of the Week (June 14 – June 20)
- 06/24/13--18:33: Asteroids Movie Still In The Works
- 06/25/13--08:48: Deadpool Launch Trailer
- 06/25/13--09:21: Warhammer 40k: Eternal Crusade MMO On The Way
- 06/25/13--09:40: WWE 2k14 Cover Art Featuring The Rock
- 06/25/13--12:35: Deadpool, Review
- 06/25/13--14:37: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Out of the Shadows: Leonardo
- 06/25/13--16:05: Xbox One Won't Include Headset, Thanks to Kinect
- 06/26/13--10:01: New gameplay videos for Dark Souls II
- 06/27/13--09:32: Grand Theft Auto V set to smash sales records
- 06/27/13--09:57: Crackdown Orb Shown During Xbox One Reveal Not Accidental
- 06/27/13--13:01: The Witcher 3's New Screenshots Look Incredible
- 06/27/13--21:53: Google Developing Android-Based Game Console
- 06/28/13--09:26: Microsoft and Time Warner Strike Major TV Deal for Xbox 360
- 06/28/13--12:14: Why a New Jurassic Park Game Would be REALLY Great
- 06/28/13--12:51: NeverWinter, Review
- 06/28/13--19:54: Sony Says No Power Brick for PS4, But Does It Matter?
- 06/30/13--08:46: Top 5 Mobile Games of the Week (June 21 – June 27)
Sony Europe CEO Jim Ryan assured gamers that "There's a lot comng" game-wise for the PlayStation 4.
Ryan said in an interview with Gamesreactor that there are 30 games in development, and 20 of them are going to ship within the first year of the PS4's release date. Of those 20, 12 of which are new franchises.
"So there’s a lot going on, it’s just that we need to keep stuff back. We’ve got Gamescom for us Europeans—we need to have something to show at Gamescom, don’t we," Ryan teased.
The first-party IPs that we know about currently are DriveClub (looks fantastic, plays fantastic), Knack (meh), Killzone: Shadow Fall (looks kinda perty), Infamous: Second Son (more powers, check), and The Order: 1886 (be very excited for this one).
Apparently Sony will be adding to that list at Gamescom, which is taking place between August 21 and 25.
Microsoft stated last month that they would be releasing 15 exclusives for the Xbox One in the first year, with 8 of those being new IPs. Now, Sony has one-upped Microsoft yet again with their announcement of 20 exclusives, with 12 of those being new IPs.
+1 for Sony.
Actress Ellen Page may have signed up for Beyond: Two Souls, but she did NOT sign up for The Last Of Us, Naughty Dog's latest claim to fame.
However, there is a striking resemblence between Ellen Page and The Last of Us's co-star, Ellie, and on Reddit's AMA (Ask Me Anything), Page provided us with her opinion.
"I guess I should be flattered that they ripped off my likeness, but I am actually acting in a video game called Beyond: Two Souls, so it was not appreciated," Page stated.
Naughty Dog did change Ellie's appearance since we first saw her in The Last Of Us's first trailer due to Page being in Beyond: Two Souls, but did they change it enough?
What do you think? Does Ellie look like Ellen Page? Vote in the poll, below!
At first glance, it initially seemed to me that this week’s theme for the top new mobile games on the App Store was leaning more towards a “gold plundering” variety. After all, we had a game about pirates, and another game about snagging treasure. But in addition to another new release that opened the horizons for what can really be accomplished on the mobile platform these days, it soon dawned on me that this was, in fact, really a week of releases that showed the strengths of those mobile gaming staples we know as cutesy physics-puzzlers. So get your thinking caps on, because here are Den of Geek’s Top 5 picks in mobile gaming for the week of June 14 – June 20:
5. Puzzle Pirates
Developer: SEGA | Platform: iOS | Price: Free
Puzzle Pirates is a surprise mobile release of SEGA’s 2009 pirate-themed MMO Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates. And while the new iOS iteration of the game may have dropped that hearty “Yohoho!” from its name, that sure doesn’t mean there’s any less pirate fun to be had in this release. I’m not sure exactly what it is that makes Puzzle Pirates such an addicting experience, but nonetheless, this game will very quickly suck away all of your spare time and put up quite the sea-struggle if you even so much as try to get some of it back. All in all, Puzzle Pirates features 22 unique single and multiplayer puzzle games, which you can play online with your very own swashbuckling crew of pirate friends. You’ll even be able to customize your pirate character in the game, as you rise up through the ranks to Pirate Captain, and purchase shops or govern tropical islands along the way. The vast MMO world is exactly what you would expect from a crusty land of old sea dogs, and contains everything from frightening sea monsters to the tamer jungle monkeys that horse around on the land. Better yet, the iOS version even supports cross-platform play with people who own the PC version of the game, and who are forced to go on their virtual pirate adventure while remaining firmly locked on the land.
4. Treasure Tower Sprint
Developer: Sava Transmedia | Platform: iOS | Price: $0.99
I’m a big fan of towers. I’m also a big fan of sprinting (as long as I don’t have to do it in person), and I’m an even bigger fan of treasure, so it comes as no surprise that Sava Transmedia’s Treasure Tower Sprint is right up my alley: not to mention the perfect fit for any mobile gamer who is looking for a quick burst of non-stop, maze-running action. All you have to do in the game is collect coins throughout a number of winding and obstacle-ridden pathways in a grand and glimmering tower. If you manage to fight your way to the top of all 70 tower floors, then the great Djinn will grant you your most wanted wish. Did I also mention I love having magic genies grant my wishes as well? The “adventure-puzzle-runner” gameplay of Treasure Tower Sprint is certainly a unique twist, and it works wonderfully well in this kind of context, with the almost halfway top-down visual approach to the camera perspective. It reminds me of some obscure game I would have bought and played on a whim way back on my PlayStation 1, but with the slick and polished graphics of a 2013 mobile release. Oh yeah, and tons and tons of treasure!
3. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Developer: Firaxis Games | Platform: iOS | Price: $19.99
In last week’s Top 5 mobile games list, we got a pretty good glimpse of how bigger and more console-quality games have begun to make the shift towards appearing on mobile platforms, completely intact and sporting slick new touchscreen controls. Well if last week was any indication of this new emerging trend, then this week is certainly the nail in the coffin, as Firaxis Games has unleashed their hugely in-depth, real-time strategy game about killing aliens called XCOM: Enemy Unknown onto the App Store. Now don’t let that $19.99 price tag scare you: XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the real deal here, the complete version of the PC and console game, which is currently listed for $39.99 on Steam, so when you think about it that way, this purchase is really a steal. What’s more, Firaxis also already announced that the mobile version of XCOM: Enemy Unknown will come completely void of any in-app purchases, which seems to be like music to any gamer’s ears these days. While the lengthy single player campaign should be more than enough to get your fill of alien-blasting goodness in, the game’s critically acclaimed multiplayer mode will also be coming somewhere down the road in a free update, just in case you find it hard to stop scoring those real-time headshots (which something tells us you certainly might!).
2. Where’s My Mickey?
Developer: Disney | Platform: iOS and Android | Price: $1.99
First we had a game called Where’s My Water?, which featured a stinky alligator named Swampy who just wanted to take a bath. Then Disney expanded on that same winning water-based physics formula to bring us Where’s My Perry?, a game that took a similar concept, but redressed it to feature Secret Agent Perry the platypus from the popular Disney cartoon show, Phineas and Ferb. But now Disney has really pulled out the big water guns, and introduced their biggest and most well-known character into the Where’s My…? universe: Mickey Mouse. Now based on the name alone, you might quickly think that Where’s My Mickey? is just another rehash of the same game with different characters, but you couldn’t be more wrong in that assumption. Where’s My Mickey? manages to successfully expand upon the gameplay of Where’s My Water? in fresh and interesting new ways, where the advent of certain weather elements like rain clouds and wind play a huge role in mastering each of the game’s challenging stages. And of course, this is all without even mentioning the completely redesigned art style in the game, which mimics the latest line of “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts that are slated to premiere on the Disney Channel at the end of the month.
1. Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage
Developer: Nitrome | Platform: iOS | Price: $2.99
I said earlier during the introduction to this article that it was certainly a week for cutesy physics games on the iOS App Store, and here as our number one pick, we have a brand-spanking new game that could quite possibly rival some of those mobile giants like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope. Now first of all, Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage is based on the award-winning flash game by Nitrome Ltd., and this expanded mobile release was produced by none other than Rovio of Angry Birds fame. So if Rovio felt the need to stamp their bird-prints on this game, then you already know it’s going to be something pretty special: and pretty special is exactly what Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage turns out to be. One part Cut the Rope, and another part Slice It, the game has you using your finger to swipe across giant glaciers and blocks of ice to solve over 95 action-based puzzles. But don’t let that whole physics-puzzler setup fool you: there is an incredible sense of movement throughout the entire experience, and the game’s presentation and Viking-themed graphics are so spot-on and fluid that they’re simply to die for (only if, you know, that method of death doesn’t involve freezing in sub-temperature waters!).
Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has been hyping up the Asteroids movie on a recent press tour for Red 2, confirming that the movie is still in development at Universal.
From the sound of it, di Bonaventura is very excited about the movie, which is based on the classic 1980s video game. Di Bonaventura is also attached to the Space Invaders movie.
"Really, Asteroids is the one we're spending our time on now," di Bonaventura stated in an interview with Screen Rant.
"Without divulging too much about it, it's two lead characters - two brothers - who have to go through a seminal experience to figure out their relationship, against this huge backdrop."
More importantly, though, di Bonaventura explained that he's not trying to make another disaster movie.
"It's not a disaster movie, yeah, if we're successful at getting it made. It's much more of a space opera. It's like a great sci-fi movie if we get it done right. It is not at all what people think it is. People think, 'Oh the asteroid's gonna hit the earth,' and I have no interest in doing that. That's been done exceedingly well before. No, this takes place in an asteroid belt, the whole," di Bonaventura explained.
di Bonaventura is the man behind all three of the Transformers flicks, but most recently played producer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and Zero Hour, the very short-lived series that failed miserably.
Still, di Bonaventura's enthusiasm is something to be excited about, and hopefully we'll hear more about the Asteroids movie soon.
Source: Screen Rant
Deadpool is out today, and for Marvel fans it one of the biggest releases of the year. The bonkers hero is a definite Marvel favorite, and any game based on him certainly can't tow the usual line, and needs that little extra something to do the character justice. Fortunately, if the launch trailer is anything to go by, we shouldn't have any worries.
Never taking itself too seriously, and constantly breaking the fourth wall, the Deadpool license is one of the more refreshing comic book outings around, and the game looks set to follow suit, penned by series writer, Daniel Way. Nolan North will voice the unstable protagonist.
A third person action title, Deadpool will mix in shooting, combo-heavy melee and more than a pinch of off-the-wall humor. Cameos from other Marvel heroes and villains will abound, and if it all holds together well, this could join the Arkham series as another rare case of a superhero license that works. Here's hoping.
Deadpool is out now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in the US, and on June 28 in Europe. Have a look at the launch trailer (via IGN) below.
Behaviour Interactive, makers of Naughty Bear and a slew of kiddie titles (Monsters Inc. Scream Team, The Ant Bully), has acquired the rights to make a Warhammer MMO titled Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade, the first ever MMORPG in the 40k universe.
Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade will be made for Xbox One, PS4, and PC for late 2015.
Eternal Crusade will be a 3rd person shooter with "brutal melee combat", and will take place on a persistent planet savaged by war; a war you and your buddies will be fighting in. There will be four factions to choose from at launch: Space Marines, Eldar, Orks and Chaos.
Players will be able to customize their characters as they progress, and will be able to use Rhinos, Battlewagons, and other vehicles. Behaviour Interactive teased battles with thousands of players fighting for territory and resources.
Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade has the potential to take a bite out of the MMORPG market, as the Warhammer franchise has a large following. Hopefully, Behaviour Interactive can capitalize on the opportunity they've created, and make a game with lasting power, unlike Naughty Bear.
2k unveiled the cover art for WWE 2k14 featuring WWE Superstar Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. The official reveal took place during last night's Monday Night Raw, and shows The Rock's physicality and signature in-ring pose.
“I am exceptionally grateful to be chosen for the cover of WWE 2K14 and serve as the first cover Superstar under 2K’s leadership,” said The Rock, one of the most recognizable Superstars in WWE history. “I want the cover of WWE 2K14 to electrify the people. I want the artwork to stand out and set a new standard for all WWE video games from 2K, both today and in the future.”
“WWE 2K14 represents a new era of the renowned WWE video game franchise, combining signature gameplay with 2K’s commitment to authenticity,” said Chris Snyder, Senior Director of Marketing at 2K. “The Rock epitomizes a 2K cover Superstar. His credentials are world-class, and that is something we aspire to capture on both the cover and in the video game.”
WWE 2k14 will hit retailers on October 29, 2013. Check out the cover art, below.
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC (Reviewed)
Developer: High Moon Studios
Genre: Action, Superhero
My favorite Marvel anti-hero has finally gotten his own game. But Deadpool, like many other superhero-based games, focuses on keeping the character true to the comic book, instead of creating a full package game experience.
First, I'll say kudos to the Deadpool game writers for a hilarious experience throughout the game. Although the dialogue is highly offensive by being crude and sexist, the conversations and adlibs of Deadpool feel genuine to the character, and never grow stale. Some of the game's greatest moments come from its cutscenes, such as Deadpool singing a Patsy Cline song in an elevator. Voice actor Nolan North does a fantastic job voicing Deadpool. If you're a fan of the Deadpool comics currently being written by Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan, you'll be laughing until the end of Deadpool the video game, if you can stand the gameplay for that long, that is.
With that being said, Deadpool fails to provide any uniqueness with its typical gameplay. You spend most of your time doing the hack-and-slash dance we've done a million times in previous action games, with very little variation. You can chain together your slashes with gunshots for long combos to earn coins which will allow you to choose from a small variety of upgrades, ranging from health boosts to new weapons. There's a limited selection, but more noticeable than that is the lack of Deadpool alternate costumes available for purchasing. Boss battles are way too simple even on the hardest setting, and don't provide for much of a challenge. Basically, you shoot the bosses from a distance and teleport away from getting hurt while you recover your health. You can literally do this for any of the bosses you'll face in the game.
The controls feel lightning quick as you're playing, but there are some minor issues. The same button you use to attack a foe while trying to chain a combo is the same button used to teleport, but the gameplay is too easy to make the wonky controls much of an issue. Controls aren't the game's only issues, though, as you can tell that this is clearly a licensed game. The graphics are less-than-impressive, environments look uninspired, and framerate drops make their expected appearance throughout the game. There are even a couple of screens that feel like they were taken from PowerPoint animations.
I know we aren't supposed to take Deadpool seriously, especially since it is an attempt at action game parody. However, it is supposed to be an overall fun experience. If you can accept that the only thing making this game worth playing is the fact that Deadpool is hilariously an asshole, than this game is for you. But, if you're looking for something to last you longer than a few hours of fun, look elsewhere.
Story – 5/10
Graphics – 5/10
Gameplay – 6/10
Multiplayer - N/A
Sound - 7/10
Replayability – 3/10
Raphael, Mikey and Donatello have all already been in their very own trailer for the upcoming TMNT video game. Now, Leonardo, the oldest ninja turtle, is featured in the latest trailer for the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
He's selfless, responsible, well-rounded, and wields a katana in each hand. And, well, he has to put up with Raph.
Check out Leonardo in action in the trailer, below.
Microsoft has announced that the Xbox One packaging will not include a standard headset, although Microsoft says that the headset is "a must-have."
Microsoft has stated that Kinect's "highly sensitive multi-array microphones designed to enable voice inputs and chat as a system-level capability, both in-game and with Skype and other experiences."
So if the Xbox One will use the default Kinect microphone by default, which will more than likely pick up your TV's audio, prepare for Call of Duty pre-game lobbies being littered with super annoying non-headset wearing gamers with their TVs turned up. Awesome.
The standard Xbox One headset will be available seperately, as well as Turtle Beach and Polk Audio headphones.
For the record, Sony will not bundle a headset with their hardware, either.
The Xbox One will launch in November for $499.
The notoriously tough action RPG, Dark Souls, is set to arrive in its second entry in March next year with Dark Souls II, and fans simply can't wait to die again, and again, and again. So, with a long nine months still to wait, we thought you might like to have a gander at some tasty, fresh gameplay footage that's made its way online.
Below are four new gameplay clips that show various character classes in action. Demonstrated is a selection of magical attacks, back stab techniques and the series' traditional, block, counter, attack gameplay.
Enemies will be even tougher than before if reports are to be believed, and so, once more you'll need to approach every fight carefully, studying your foes and using the right tool for the job, which is also demonstrated here as the various heroes constantly switch weapons and skills to handle each deadly situation.
Dark Souls II is set to arrive in March 2014 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
It's being reported by CVG that retail sources are claiming Grand Theft Auto developer, Rockstar, has allocated three million copies of the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V for the UK alone. If this is true, and if it sells as well as Rockstar clearly expects, the sandboxer would strip the sales record from the previous sales record holder, Call of Duty: Black Ops, which managed to sell 1.4 million copies in a single day.
2006's Grand Theft Auto IV managed to shift 630,000 units on its first day which, as CVG switch out, represented a quarter of console owners in the UK at the time (Xbox 360 and PS3). Now that many more people own the consoles, with the seven year gap seeing more units installed in households across the country, GTA V could well hit this lofty goal, especially as records show thirteen million consoles now entertaining the UK populace. This means that GTA V would only need to hit around a fifth of the UK user base to shift the 3 million.
GTA V is due out on September 17 worldwide on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and features a new multi-protagonist story set in and around the city of Los Santos.
During the Xbox One reveal on May 21st, there was a new Crackdown teased in the bottom left hand corner of a screen Microsoft was using during the presser. And, according to Microsoft Studios Vice President Phil Spencer, it was no accident.
"Oh...Crackdown is one of my favorite games, and not just because it's a Microsoft first-party game," said Spencer. "I have a lot of love for that franchise. The homage to Crackdown in the reveal screenshots was...I know there was some, like, 'Did we accidentally sneak that...?' It wasn't accidental. Definitely."
Spencer went on to say, "The natural progression for a game like Crackdown is in these living, open worlds that live in the cloud."
Spencer, like many others, would like to see a Crackdown 3 for Xbox One. Judging by Spencer, who says things like 'No, I don't think Crackdown is dead at all,' there will be one sooner than later.
We've got six brand new screenshots from the highly anticipated next iteration in The Witcher franchise, The Witcher 3. The developers at CD Projekt RED have crafted what appears to be an incredibly rich game world.
Check out the awesome new screenshots for The Witcher 3 below.
Internet and tech giant Google is creating an Android-based gaming console, as well as a wristwatch device that connects with Android phone.
We don't have much more information than that; no specs, no prototypes, not even a name. But, Google is reportedly looking to have their android console hit the market at the end of the year, and will also release a new version of their Android operating system.
In a major deal struck this morning, Time Warner customers will be able to watch their content via Xbox Live on the Xbox 360.
The deal will bring 300 channels to Xbox via an app, and will launch later this summer. Channels include favorites such as AMC, Comedy Central, CNN, Food Network, and Cartoon Network. An Xbox Live Gold membership, as well as a Time Warner login, will obviously be required to access the content.
“TWC TV is a significant addition to Xbox 360, bringing our customers their favorite entertainment in one place—enhanced TV experience, games, movies, music, sports and entertainment apps,” said Blair Westlake, corporate vice president, Media & Entertainment Group at Microsoft. “Our partnership with TWC enhances all that is available on Xbox 360 today, which will we continue expand. We’re thrilled to offer TWC TV to U.S. Xbox Live members and Time Warner Cable subscribers.”
This is the kind of major deal Microsoft needs to be striking for their upcoming Xbox One. While it doesn't include all of the possible channels Time Warner offers, for those that only have a basic cable package, this is one less cable (and cable box) for them to use.
Do a little research on the history of Jurassic Park games and you will come to find the same thing that I did in preparation for this article: it’s a spotty lineage at best. On top of that, their franchise hasn’t stuck its head into the gaming world in quite some time (minus the at best forgettable game of 2011 from Telltale. In light of this weekend’s release of Jurassic Park 3D, what’s a better time than now to mention that, somehow, a game in which you are running in constant terror from genetically engineered dinosaurs hasn’t made its way into the digital world of video games?
I can already hear you all yelling at me. Yes, I know that Turok was rebooted in 2008, but don’t you all remember how not awesome it was? The insta-kill knife button, the total dearth of actual freakin’ dinosaurs and the focus on meathead space marine clichés ad nausea? Turok seriously downplayed both the dinosaurs’ presence in the game and just how horrifying they can be when you aren’t an armed-to-the-teeth Native American badass with extensive military training.
Remember the scene at the end of the original Jurassic Park movie when everyone is retreating into the air ducts? Dr. Grant fires a shotgun a couple times at the window before retreating, the camera next focusing in on the jammed automatic shotgun. It is this idea that could really make for a good Jurassic Park game, one where I am prey through and through. I want to have to take perilous trips to remote power stations so I can turn the electric fence back on. I want to be as afraid of raptors as the cast is in the movies. More than almost anything, I want to come face to face with a T-Rex and mask myself by staying still.
What’s ironic is how many scenes like the ones I mentioned above have actually made an appearance in many of this generation’s best games, but under a different skin. Staying still to avoid a T-Rex could feel an awful lot like a certain memorable moment in Call of Duty 4’s “All Ghillied Up” mission. Anyone who played Alan Wake can attest to the many times they had to plunge into the darkness to power up a generator to avoid being devoured by the dark ones. What about the Gatherers from Amnesia? Hell, they had this guy hiding in a closet.
With me listing how every other game out there has done things that dinosaurs could do already, you’re probably wondering why we need a Jurassic Park game. Well, as the old adage goes: it’s not what you say, but how you say it. Sure, these other games all provided tense and terrifying moments, but not with dinosaurs.
A great Jurassic Park game could fill a massive gap this generation seems to have; survival horror. While it leans more towards a creature feature, escaping from a dino-infested island with nothing but your wits to guide you would be almost as terrifying and uncomfortable as an Uwe Boll movie marathon. With Dead Space probably on the way out, after the identity crisis that was Dead Space 3, it is time for a new monster to step into the ring.
In an era filled with reboots, HD reduxes and reimaginings, I think now is as good a time as any to start thinking about bringing back another classic. Like this article, whose writing was conveniently timed with the release of Jurassic Park 3D, I think it would also be awfully convenient to hear a developer give us some good, scientist-with-a-god-complex-related news.
What do you guys think? Would a Jurassic Park game be as great as I’m insisting it would be? What developer do you think would do a good job with the license? Sound off below in the comments!
Release Date: June 20, 2013
Developer: Cryptic Studios
Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
Well it certainly has seemed like a long time coming, but the final release of Cryptic Studios’ Neverwinter is finally upon us, so grab your sword and a potion or two, and let us all rejoice! A lot of what I said in my initial preview of the game (when I got to embark on a special VIP quest with one of Neverwinter’s developers to beat the crap out of Vansi Bloodscar at the bottom of the murky Cloak Tower) still rings true in the final build of the game: Neverwinter is still a total blast to play, and the addictive mix between hack-and-slash dungeon gameplay and deep RPG elements will be sure to draw any gamer in to the wonderfully imagined world in the Dungeons and Dragons universe. But after playing through the game on and off for a few weeks now in various beta events, how does Neverwinter stand up against the test of time to rival the longevity of other MMORPG greats that so pointedly suck away so much of our lives?
The big thing about Neverwinter, though, is that I think the entire experience would have been perceived in a completely different light if it didn’t come attached with that MMORPG tag. In many ways, the game is much more story-driven and linear than larger MMORPG’s that most gamers might be familiar with, and Cryptic Studios has frequently listed games like Dragon Age and Oblivion as big influences for Neverwinter’s own method of progression. For instance, there is always a clear-cut path for you to follow at any point on your adventure, and deviating from this path will either net dead-ends or little rewards, or have you clearing out areas that you’ll just have clear out again later when the game actually intends for you to do some.
Now personally, I don’t mind the linear nature of the game. This is probably because I’m more accustomed to playing single player experiences that always reach a definitive end, and in this regard, there certainly comes a point when Neverwinter hits that inescapable end-game wall. Whether you’ve reached the level cap of 60 or not by the time you finish the final stretch of the story, there’s very little incentive to keep on grinding towards that goal, despite the promised updates and future quest expansions that will be factored in later on down the road. In many ways, I think a large part of whether or not you wind up loving Neverwinter will boil down to how linear you like your MMORPGs.
Not exactly helping the MMORPG cause, however, is the surprising lack of community to be found at times, and just the overall wealth of singular experiences that pepper the world of Neverwinter at regular intervals. I didn’t exactly find that partying up with other players was always required to finish some of the more difficult quests, and being the loner that I am inside the game and out, I managed to just always go my own way and be none the wiser. Still though, it’s not like questing with others in the game would have been all that exciting had I made the effort to really go that route. Maybe I was spoiled by playing the game in the special closed beta event weekend, where dwarves and warriors were running around every which way I could see, and camaraderie was the name of the game, but I couldn’t help but feel that the online community had significantly diminished from when I first started my adventure: alarmingly so, for a game still so fresh off its release date.
To combat this linearity a little bit, Neverwinter’s Foundry mode offers a wide playground of player-created levels to keep the experience fresh and alive even after you’ve excavated the very last dungeon in the initial main game. Now I’m not as much a creator as I am a run-through-the-hallways-slashing-everything-that-gets-in-my-way kind of guy, but after fiddling around with the Foundry interface for a little bit, it certainly seems like it has more than enough options to offer for all your aspiring Dungeon Masters out there. However, you may have already heard about the item drop restrictions that Cryptic has placed on these user-created levels, and I’m sorry to say that does happen to be the case in my own experience of playing through some of my fellow questers’ creations. While there may not be a very good incentive to play through a lot of them, or some long-term goals the Foundry will ultimately help you reach, the option does prove to be a nice breath of fresh air when the main story quest starts to grow a little too stale. But like any online game with a heavy community-based component, the strength and longevity of Neverwinter’s Foundry mode will fall squarely on the community’s shoulders: and only time will tell if the intriguing original content will continue to pop up a few months down the road.
Nevertheless, however you might feel about the linearity of Neverwinter or the seeming lack of things to do thereafter, there’s still no denying that the presentation of the game positively shines. I mean, just look at the gorgeous opening cinematic of the game, which was another nice surprise for us beta players upon booting up the full retail release for the first time. Even though I’ve been playing the game for a few weeks now, I’ll never forget that incredible sense of magic that I felt the very first time I stepped into the rich and breathtaking D&D-inspired world, and got to run wild through the decrepit streets of the game’s opening moments and battle a giant boss monster at the end of a bridge. There is still very much that is truly exhilarating about Neverwinter, and even though that sense of open-eyed wonder and magic will slowly fade into repetition and indifference as the experience wanes on, it’s still something that should really not be missed, for MMORPG and D&D fans alike.
And do you know the best part about it? The entire Neverwinter experience is completely free to play! Now, I’m sure there will be more than a few who find some irksome things about Cryptic Studios’ free-to-play model, but for the most part, I’d like to think it’s a pretty fair one, all things considered and the decently sized breadth of the game as well. At the end of the day, I can play through the entire Neverwinter story without paying a dime, and so I have to say that’s certainly enough for me. Of course, I may not ever be able to utilize some of the decidedly cooler features that can be possible in the game without paying, such as the epic riding mounts like the Heavy Inferno Nightmare, which is quite literally the most badass-looking horse I’ve ever seen: complete with demon red eyes and deadly flames licking at his hooves and his mane. The prices of store items such as these can get insanely expensive though, but the developer needs to make money somewhere in here, and there are definitely a few purchases that I can think of that seem cool enough to more than warrant that slightly steep asking price.
All nitpicking aside though, Neverwinter is still a very polished, very fun adventure, whose addictive gameplay qualities are only matched by the amount of time and effort that you’ll want to put into the game. While Cryptic Studios may have traveled down the straight and narrow path more times than most might have desired, you really can’t say that the path they chose isn’t filled with consistently great action, and breathtaking scenery and set pieces that are simply to die for (that hopefully won’t make you die in the actual game!). Hopefully a dedicated stream of updates, along with a healthy online community in the game’s Foundry mode will enable Neverwinter to stand the test of time, and reign supreme in the world of MMORPGs as the D&D brand has continued to reign over most of our geekiest pastimes today.
Story – 8/10
Graphics – 8/10
Gameplay – 8/10
Multiplayer – 6/10
Sound – 7/10
Replayability – 7/10
Sony President Shuhei Yoshida has confirmed that the PlayStation 4 will not use a power brick, but will have the power supply housed within the console itself.
Microsoft, on the other hand, will apparently use a power brick, like the Xbox 360 did.
I'm not sure what all the fuss about, though. Power brick, no power brick; why does it matter? My Xbox 360 is set-up so that you cannot see the brick, anyway (like most gamers have done, also). Laptops have power bricks, also, so it's not a new concept or anything like that.
Powerful devices require massive amounts of power, which usually causes a lot of heat. And, with all of the overheating problems the Xbox 360 had, Microsoft is probably better off utilizing a brick. I'd rather have a brick than red rings of death.
Another week, another slew of fascinating new games to play on our mobile devices! From solving murder mysteries, to punching smarmy scientists in their dumb spectacled faces, to relieving the classic and tough-as-nails days of gaming on the NES, there’s certainly a lot of fun new gaming ground to cover this week. Oh, and did I even mention there’s also a game that lets you use your iPhone like a makeshift Wii Remote? Because yeah, there’s also that. Don’t believe me? Well then you should continue reading, and see all of the awesome new games that you can play on your mobile device RIGHT NOW, in Den of Geek’s Top 5 Mobile Games for the week of June 21 – June 27:
5. Motion Tennis
Developer: ROLOCULE GAMES | Platform: iOS | Price: $7.99
Are you sick of playing the same old mobile tennis games from the comfort of your couch? Well never fear, because Motion Tennis is here to get you on your toes – quite literally! Basically, how Motion Tennis works is you sync up the game to your Apple TV, and then your iPhone actually becomes your virtual tennis racket, as you hold the phone in your hand and swing your arm accordingly to whatever is playing out on the TV screen in front of you. So it’s sort of like the tennis game in Wii Sports, only now you have a 100% greater risk of launching your smartphone and breaking both your mobile device and Apple TV in one fell swoop! Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to try Motion Tennis for myself yet, mostly because I don’t have the spare change to run out and buy a brand new Apple TV, but I still wanted to include it on the list this week, because it’s certainly unlike anything we’ve ever seen on a mobile device before. But despite how cool Motion Tennis comes across from everything we’ve seen about the innovative mobile game so far, I think I’ll always have my personal animosities towards the sport after taking a Tennis course in my freshman year of college and failing the final exam (how was I supposed to know what King Henry VIII’s tennis racket looked like?).
4. Layton Brothers: Mystery Room
Developer: Level-5 | Platform: iOS | Price: Free
Layton Brothers: Mystery Room is a new spin-off game of the insanely popular Professor Layton series that rose to fame back on the Nintendo DS with all of its investigative and mind-boggling mini-game puzzles. Built from the ground up to appear on mobile devices, Layton Brothers: Mystery Room has players assume the role of Alfendi Layton, Professor Layton’s nephew, and his new assistant Detective Constable Lucy Baker, as the pair tries to solve a number of intriguing murder mysteries. With 9 total cases to unfold in all (the first two are free, and the rest can be unlocked via in-app purchases), players will need to pull out all the stops, and investigate each crime scene by zooming in and out to examine suspicious objects, piece together all the clues they’ve found, and then of course, the most important step in solving any murder mystery, make sure they arrest the right suspect! What’s neat about Layton Brothers: Mystery Room as opposed to other entries in the Professor Layton series, is that the new spin-off title features a wealth of rich 3D visuals to accompany the many different crime scenes, so you’ll really be able to form your “who-dunn-its” based on some seriously eye-popping evidence!
3. League of Evil 3
Developer: Ravenous Games | Platform: iOS | Price: $1.99
Sidescrolling platformers have always been kind of hit or miss on the App Store over the last couple of years, and a lot of whether one of these elusive games succeeds or fails usually boils down to one primary thing: the touchscreen controls. Luckily, the League of Evil series by Ravenous Games seems to have found a formula that truly works, and uses the simple jump and punch control scheme as the foundation for a whole new slew of frustrating platforming levels to navigate through. And I mean “frustrating” in every sense of the word. Yes, even the slightest lapse of judgment in this game will send your character bursting into a meaty explosion of human flesh and blood. But the worst part is that the game’s controls are so spot-on, that you can only blame your failures on YOURSELF now, before sucking it up and hitting that “Try Again” button for the hundredth time this sitting. Like the first two games in the League of Evil series, your goal in each stage is to reach a smarmy scientist and bunch him so hard that he literally explodes. Take that, science! Maybe you shouldn’t have tried to be so darn smart all the time.
2. Anodyne Mobile
Developer: Sean Hogan and Jonathan Kittaka | Platform: iOS | Price: $2.99
At first glance, Anodyne Mobile might seem like a reimagining of the original Legend of Zelda game way back on the NES. But once you really get going in the game, and the incredibly moody and atmospheric original soundtrack begins to sink into your skin, then you’ll see that this is a much different, much more beautiful look at the top-down adventure game that we thought we once knew. An iOS port of the well-received PC game, Anodyne, Anodyne Mobile features a captivating 6-hour adventure, where players assume the role of a hero named Young, and help guide him through his own subconscious that is filled with gorgeous 8-bit environments that evoke nature, urban, and even abstract states of mind. Now that sounds pretty deep if you ask me! I’m pretty sure the only things running through my own subconscious mind are what I’m going to eat for dinner, and what I’m going to eat for dessert. Maybe someone should make a game about my subconscious mind next. Well, you know, if they don’t get so hungry that they eat their development kits first.
1. Contra: Evolution
Developer: PunchBox Studios & Konami | Platform: iOS | Price: $0.99
Contra: Evolution has had a pretty strange journey onto the App Store this year: one that has almost become as notorious in the mobile gaming world as the game’s notorious difficulty was back when we were all just early gamers, and hadn’t even broken our first controller out of sheer frustration yet. After making its way to mobile devices exclusively overseas in China, the tough-as-nails sidescroller shooter quietly made its way over to us in the U.S. this week. But even though the game’s launch didn’t have quite as big a boom as some Contra veterans would initially expect, once you fire up the fast-paced and blistering action of Bill “Mad Dog” Rizer and Lance “Scorpion” Bean, well then the non-stop explosions which follow will never let up! And sure, so what if Konami introduced some dreaded in-app purchases into the untouchable classic? And so what if the early reports are true, which say that they stripped the age-old iconic “Konami code” and replaced it with a truly dastardly (and downright expensive) in-app purchase? I know that I for one don’t really care, because now I’m able to play Contra on my iPad. Seriously, we now live in a world where we can play Contra on the go in glorious HD, and at least to me, that’s a pretty amazing thing in of itself.