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Articles on this Page
- 09/04/18--13:28: _PlayStation 2 Servi...
- 09/04/18--14:33: _2K Says That Microt...
- 09/05/18--07:57: _The 20 Best Dystopi...
- 09/05/18--10:57: _The Most Underrated...
- 09/05/18--11:06: _Fallout 76: Bethesd...
- 09/05/18--12:29: _RuneScape: Old Scho...
- 09/05/18--13:18: _BioWare Says Dragon...
- 09/05/18--16:26: _Call of Duty: Black...
- 09/05/18--18:10: _The Lord of the Rin...
- 09/06/18--11:43: _Skyrim: Legendary E...
- 09/06/18--12:07: _Fortnite: New Patch...
- 09/06/18--12:49: _PUBG Update Include...
- 09/07/18--10:45: _Yoshi's Crafted Wor...
- 09/07/18--12:00: _Hitman 2 Release Da...
- 09/07/18--12:18: _Tencent Will Use Ch...
- 09/07/18--13:22: _Final Fantasy 15 Po...
- 09/07/18--13:42: _H1Z1 Coming to Mobi...
- 09/07/18--14:39: _Overwatch League Ad...
- 09/07/18--15:05: _Civilization 6 Comi...
- 09/07/18--17:35: _How Steve Ditko Inf...
- 09/04/18--13:28: PlayStation 2 Service Officially Ends in Japan
- 09/04/18--14:33: 2K Says That Microtransactions Are An "Unfortunate Reality”
- 09/05/18--07:57: The 20 Best Dystopian Video Games
- 09/05/18--10:57: The Most Underrated Spider-Man Game Ever
- 09/05/18--11:06: Fallout 76: Bethesda Reveals Story Details
- 09/05/18--12:29: RuneScape: Old School Mobile Version Launching in October
- 09/05/18--13:18: BioWare Says Dragon Age and Mass Effect Won't Be Like Anthem
- 09/05/18--16:26: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Battle Royale Player Count
- 09/05/18--18:10: The Lord of the Rings: New Online Game in Development
- 09/06/18--11:43: Skyrim: Legendary Enderal Mod Comes to Steam
- 09/06/18--12:07: Fortnite: New Patch Adds Capture the Jewels Getaway Mode
- 09/06/18--12:49: PUBG Update Includes Training Map and New Reward System
- 09/07/18--10:45: Yoshi's Crafted World: Yoshi Switch Title Leaked by Nintendo
- 09/07/18--12:00: Hitman 2 Release Date, Trailer, and News
- 09/07/18--13:22: Final Fantasy 15 Pocket Edition Coming to Nintendo Switch
- 09/07/18--13:42: H1Z1 Coming to Mobile Devices
- 09/07/18--14:39: Overwatch League Adds Eight New Teams For Season Two
- 09/07/18--15:05: Civilization 6 Coming to Nintendo Switch
- 09/07/18--17:35: How Steve Ditko Influenced Spider-Man PS4
The PlayStation 2's era has finally been closed.
After many years, Sony is finally ending their PlayStation 2 aftercare service.
Japanese publication IT Media is reporting that Sony Japan has asked all PlayStation 2 owners to request any necessary PS2 repairs by August 31 (which you will no doubt notice has passed). Any PlayStation 2s the company receives after September 7th will not receive the requested service. It also appears that Sony has suspended their official PS2 customer service program.
In any other instance, this would hardly qualify as news. After all, the PS2 is now an 18-year-old console (its 18th anniversary for the system's Japanese release occurred in March). It's hard to think of any technology provider that will continue to service a product nearly 20 years after its debut. Sony also ceased production of the PlayStation 2 in 2012, which is just all the more reason for them to rightfully suspend any official tech support programs.
Yet, the PlayStation 2 has proven to be remarkably resistant to such tech world traditions. As the world's best-selling video game console (over 158 million units sold), the PlayStation 2 holds a special place in the hearts of many gamers. More importantly, it holds a special place in the homes of many gamers who still use the PlayStation 2 as their primary source of video game entertainment.
As such, we can't imagine that it was really that easy for Sony to set a date that marks the end of their official support of the console. The likely cause for their decision to do so now is the impending arrival of the next PlayStation, which might finally have been the moment that encouraged them to devote all aspects of their operations to the support and development of current gen technology.
For all intents and purposes, though, this does seem to be the earnest end of the PS2 era. You may start sharing fond memories of the console at your earliest convenience.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.
An NBA 2K producer believes that microtransactions are often necessary and here to stay.
2K senior producer Rob Jones believes that microtransactions in modern video games are a necessity.
"We know nowadays that most people don’t have the patience to work their way to the top," says Jones in an interview with Trusted Reviews. "They just wanna be there right away. So, you know, we look at it as, oh it’s an opportunity for us to allow you to skip the grind, but then if the grind is too long, like some people felt last year, they’re gonna sit there and they’re gonna go ‘well, you knew the grind was too long to begin with.'"
Jones also believes that "every game, at some point, in some way has currency and they’re trying to get additional revenue from each player that plays the game" and that more people should appreciate the difference between "straight money grabs" and when microtransaction systems feel like "value added."
Jones statements come at an especially interesting time for 2K and microtransactions in gaming. Recently, Belgium's government enacted new policies which essentially label video game "loot boxes" and equivalent practices as a form of gambling that is in direct violation of the country's gambling laws. 2K even went so far as to ask gamers in the region to contact the Belgian government and defend the changes that 2K has made to the microtransaction systems of games like NBA 2K.
Since we don't imagine that many people will be rushing to the defense of 2K or Jones over these statements, then we'll at least take the time to say that Jones isn't the first person to suggest that the success of such microtransaction systems is based on an increasing consumer desire to skip the grind and choose to value their time over the money they spend unlocking certain things in a game.
While there's a reasonable discussion to be had regarding the merits of that viewpoint, we're baffled by Jones' decision to suggest that "every game" utilizes such systems when we know that isn't the case. There are many popular titles which feature DLC and other additional premium content, but 2K has taken things a step further by utilizing aggressive microtransaction systems in many of their most popular titles.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.
Video games have tackled the concept of dystopia for decades. Here are the best dystopian video games ever made...
This article contains spoilers.
The last few years have been pretty terrible year for a lot of reasons, but if video games have taught us anything, it’s that things can always get worse. This is a list of games that have crafted worlds that you probably don’t want to visit, but at least these dystopic visions of the future are ton of fun to play through, and can take your mind off your real world problems if only for the briefest of moments.
20. Papers, Please
2013 | 3909 LLC | PC
Most dystopian video games put you in the role of a freedom fighting good guy, so it’s unusual to find one where you play the role of the bad guy, especially one with such a mundane job. The goal of Papers, Please is to simply check passport documents, determining who is legitimately crossing the border of your fictitious militarized country and who is using forged documents. And if you do catch fake papers, you always have the option of taking a bribe before letting the visitor pass. It’s about as close as you’ll ever get to being a Soviet-era border guard without all the pitfalls of Soviet communism.
19. Costume Quest 2
2014 | Double Fine Productions | PC, PS3, PS4, X360, XBO, Wii U
Double Fine is known for its light-hearted games, so it’s odd to find a title that paints a bleak future. Admittedly, the future world of Costume Quest 2 wouldn’t be the worst place to live, but then again, living under the rule of an evil dentist who hates Halloween and outlaws candy isn’t really anyone’s idea of fun either.
18. Mega Man Zero
2002 | Capcom | GBA
It’s been more than 100 years since Zero has been seen. Reploids are on the run, hunted down at the command of a totalitarian leader. His name? X. This is the story that begins the Mega Man Zero quadrilogy, the darkest and easily most underrated series in the lengthy Mega Man franchise. It’s kind of jarring to see such a bleak future in a Mega Man game after the optimistic utopia portrayed in the earlier franchise, but this is a rare case of the darker tone helping to elevate the sequel over its predecessors.
17. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
2014 | Sledgehammer Games| PC, PS3, PS4, X360, XBO
We would be so lucky to let Kevin Spacey take over the world. The Call of Duty series strives for a certain level of realism, but the sight of Spacey announcing that he’s declaring war on the world on the floor of the United Nations and then following through on his promise is one of the most unintentionally hilarious and campy moments in all of gaming. The rest of the title is the standard Call of Duty formula of shooting guys while lots of things explode, but Advanced Warfare is worth experiencing to see what’s basically Spacey’s House of Cards character take over the world.
2011 | Kaos Studios | PC, PS3, X360
Speaking of ridiculous military shooters, there’s perhaps none sillier than 2011’s Homefront, the story of North Korea suddenly becoming a superpower under Kim Jong-un and invading the United States in 2025. Yeah, two minutes on Google will tell you that’s about as likely as North Korea developing the next great video game. Still, the game does relate the uncomfortable realities of living under a military occupation well, particularly in the early chapters. It’s just a shame that the recently released sequel did nothing to follow-up on the few things the original Homefront did right in that area.
15. Metro 2033
2010 | 4A Games | PC, X360
Nuclear wastelands are the ultimate cliché when discussing dystopias in fiction. Still, 4A Games crafted a title (based on a Russian novel) that did something different with a played out formula. Rather than wandering a bombed out wasteland, the characters of Metro 2033must survive in the cramped tunnels below Moscow. The underground world of Metro 2033 is easily one of the most detailed of the past few years (especially if you pick up the remastered edition), and there’s real tension in navigating tunnels and getting into firefights with rival survivors.
2007 | Microsoft Game Studios | X360
At first, Pacific City doesn’t seem like such a bad place. Yes, there’s a lot of crime, but you play as a special agent. You’re there to take out the city’s rival gangs and make it a better place. That’s what you think almost the entire game at least, until it’s revealed in the final cutscene that actually your employer created these gangs as part of a plan to scare the public into accepting totalitarian rule. You spent the entire game not fighting crime, but laying the ground work for a 1984-style dystopia. This is one of the better twists in gaming that the disappointing sequel did absolutely nothing to address. Here’s hoping we find out more about The Agency’s master plan in next year’s Crackdown 3.
13. Chrono Trigger
1995 | Square | SNES
The SNES wasn’t much of a powerhouse compared to modern systems, but Square had such talented programmers and artists on staff in the ‘90s that they easily conveyed the despair of a doomed world in Chrono Trigger’s future. Set hundreds of years after the emergence of the evil alien parasite Lavos, this future world is home to only pockets of human life, who while technologically advanced, must survive wandering tribes of angry mutants and robots while constantly fighting off hunger after Lavos destroyed all food sources. Chrono Trigger’s future is most definitely not somewhere you’d want to live, but at least you’re eventually able to avoid it.
12. Phantom Dust
2005 | Microsoft Game Studios | XBOX
A mysterious dust covers the land. Not only has it made it impossible for humans to live above ground, it’s also stolen all of their memories. Your goal in this forgotten world is to recover these memories and find out why no one can remember the past. Phantom Dust is a melancholy game with one of the most unique and enjoyable card-based battle systems ever devised. Sadly, it was released near the end of the original Xbox’s life cycle and received little attention. In 2014, Microsoft announced a remake for the Xbox One, but it’s not clear if that game will ever see the light of day. A future without more Phantom Dust might be the most depressing dystopia of all.
11. Freedom Wars
2014 | Sony Computer Entertainment | VITA
Thousands of years from now, overpopulation has ravaged the planet. Existence itself is a crime, and criminals face million-year sentences. The only way for hundreds of millions of people to win their freedom is to kill giant monsters that roam the world. Freedom Wars might have the most depressing story in all of gaming. Still, it’s a lot more interesting and mature than the Monster Hunter games it takes its inspiration from, and the gameplay is very entertaining. Freedom Wars is one of the best reasons to pick up a Vita long after Sony has given up on the system.
10. Wolfenstein: The New Order
2014 | MachineGames | PC, PS3, PS4, X360, XBO
The horrors of the Nazis practically define dystopia. While there’s been a lot of speculative fiction over the years about what would have happened if Nazi Germany had won World War II, The New Order adds its own twist to make that hypothetical world just a little more terrifying. In this version of Wolfenstein, not only did the Nazis conquer Europe, they also developed mechanical monstrosities - including killer robot guard dogs - and supersoldiers created in gruesome experiments. Series protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz is on a mission to make the Nazis pay...
9. Remember Me
2013 | Capcom | PC, PS3, X360
Just from a gameplay perspective, Remember Me is probably the worst game on this list. It gets overly repetitive, and it’s just not very fun. That being said, it does have a great art-style and one of the best visions of a dystopia in any video game. In 2084, the evil Memorize corporation has developed a technology to track, store, and delete all memories at will, creating a police state patrolled by drones and heavily armored soldiers. The quest to take down Memorize is memorable, as are the sections where you can edit memories. It’s just a shame the rest of the game isn’t so great. Still, RememberMe is worth a playthrough if you’ve worked your way through your backlog and are looking for something different.
8. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
2010 | Ninja Theory | PC, PS3, X360
Decades after a war has wiped out most of humanity, the planet is ruled by mechanical life forms seeking to eradicate what’s left of the human population. In this world, one man and one woman go on a quest that ultimately leads them to a difficult choice about what’s best for the future of humanity. Really, it’s best to not spoil the ending of Enslaved if you haven’t played it, but once you’ve seen it, you’ll never forget it. This is a really underrated gem from the last generation, and considering how many inferior games have already been ported to the PS4 and Xbox One, it’s surprising that Enslaved hasn’t yet made its way to those consoles, too.
7. Beyond Good & Evil
2003 | Ubisoft | PC, PS2, XBOX, GC
Beyond Good & Evil may be set in a dystopia, but I could still play it multiple times without getting tired of it. This classic title embraces its sci-fi setting much more than similarly-themed games. Rather than being set on a post-apocalyptic Earth, Beyond Good & Evil takes place on the planet Hyllis, which is ruled by a military dictatorship locked in a war with an even worse alien threat. But the real highlight is the tight Zelda-inspired gameplay throughout that adds a few twists of its own, like photography and a spaceship. Designer Michael Ancel has long-promised a sequel, and Ubisoft has confirmed one is in development, but exactly when we’ll see it is anyone’s guess.
6. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
2008 | Konami | PS3
The Metal Gear Solid franchise has jumped around its timeline so much, and has had so many bizarre plot twists, that it’s easy to forget just how disturbing its universe really is. Yes, there’s a lot of cool technology to play with, but those toys come with a price. The world’s armies and private contractors are constantly at war for the sole purpose of propping up the world’s economy, and Snake must survive this never-ending battlefield in the penultimate MGS game. The world of Metal Gear Solid may be a great place for old soldiers, but it’s a literal hell on Earth for everyone else.
5. Mirror’s Edge
2008 | EA DICE | PC, PS3, X360
It’s easy to make an oppressive game environment with drab colors and hulking soldiers on every corner. It’s much more difficult to make a world that at first seems perfect but is actually a nightmare to live in. The unnamed city of Mirror’s Edge is bright and glistening. At first it seems like the ideal future. It’s only once you’ve delved into the game that you realize how tightly controlled everything is, and just how steep the price is for dissent. Few games have nailed such a unique atmosphere so well. Even Mirror’s Edge’s recent sequel struggled with it, yet it’s still worth checking out the original to get a view of a very different type of dystopia.
4. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
2011 | Eidos Montreal | PC, PS3, X360
Of course, if you’re going to do a more stereotypical dystopian game, you better do it right. Deus Exhas never strayed too far from its cyberpunk origins. There are mega corporations, conspiracies, and all sorts of cool, futuristic weapons and gadgets. But the freedom that the game gives you to accomplish goals anyway you see fit is what’s always made it stand out from similar games. While all of the Deus Ex games are great, Human Revolution is easily the franchise at its very best, as the world of the future is divided between those that have biological augmentations and those that don't.
2007 | 2K Games | PC, PS3, X360
So many of the great dystopias in fiction began as utopias. At least that’s what happened with Rapture, the undersea paradise founded on Ayn Rand’s objectivism philosophy. While many first-person shooters have tried to copy BioShock’s plasmid-based gameplay and emphasis on story over the past decade, virtually none have emulated what really made the game great: its unique setting. Rapture initially showed so much promise before it was torn down by the inherent flaws of mankind and thrown into a bloody civil war full of monsters, psychopaths, and addicts. If more games tried to tackle philosophical concepts like that, rather than just copying gameplay gimmicks, they might see the same success as BioShock.
2. Half-Life 2
2004 | Valve | PC
It’s been more than a decade since Half-Life 2 came out. Hundreds of first-person shooters have been released in that time, and many of them have featured oppressive, futuristic settings. And still none of them have come close to topping Valve’s masterpiece. From the depressing arrival in the alien-controlled City 17 at the game’s onset to the final assault on the Citadel to the weird science throughout, few games have better conveyed a sense of place and urgency. If you’re reading this, you’ve almost certainly played Half-Life 2, and you’ve probably beaten it. Still, now is as good a time as any to remember just how great Valve's dystopian masterpiece really is.
1. Fallout: New Vegas
2010 | Obsidian Entertainment | PC, PS3, X360
Perhaps no gaming franchise has become so synonymous with the idea of dystopia as Fallout. The great thing about Fallout is its realism. No, there likely wouldn’t be any super mutants or laser weapons after a nuclear war, but there would be people trying to survive in the ashes. Some of those people would be soldiers. Some would be psychopaths. Some would just be normal citizens just trying to get by in a terrible situation. While the setting of the Fallout games has always been depressing, the series has never forgotten this basic tenet of humanity, and the writing in New Vegas displays this better than any other game in the series. Fallout almost makes life after the nuclear holocaust enjoyable.
The criminally overlooked Spider-Man PlayStation game from 2000 remains a special experience.
As we are apparently entering the final days of the current console generation, now is a good time to remind gamers everywhere to not stare so intently at the future that you end up overlooking some of this generation’s best titles. That might sound like a strange warning, but without fail, the final years of a console yield truly great games that fail to attract the attention they deserve. It’s a plague disguised as a trend that robs some games of their legacy. It’s also a big part of the reason why 2000's Spider-Man for PlayStation isn’t often remembered as one of the greatest superhero games of all-time.
Released in North America on August 30, 2000, Spider-Man was released at a time of transition for pretty much everyone involved with the project. Developer Neversoft had just released the revolutionary Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater the year before and hadn’t yet become a studio largely responsible for pumping out skateboarding sequels. Publisher Activision had begun making some of the acquisitions that would eventually turn it into one of the most successful game publishers in the world. Marvel, meanwhile, was still trying to recover from its December 1996 bankruptcy filing and had begun looking for more ways to expand the brand (which included the release of the historically important superhero films, Blade and X-Men).
Yet, the most important name in this chronological conundrum is PlayStation. By the time that Spider-Man for the PlayStation was released in North America, the PlayStation 2 had already been released in Japan and was generating the kind of hype worthy of a system that would go on to become the best-selling video game console of all-time. While the PlayStation 2 wouldn’t be released in North America until October 2000 - and Europe in November 2000 - the mere allure of its arrival was strong enough to effectively kill Sega’s Dreamcast, which had launched just one year prior.
Sega’s beloved final console wasn’t the only victim of PlayStation hype, though. Indeed, many PlayStation games released in 2000 failed to garner the attention that they might have otherwise received had they arrived a year or two prior. That left major titles like the brilliant Final Fantasy IX, the true cult classic Vagrant Story, the all-time great Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, and even big-name sequels like Driver 2 fighting for the affection - and money - of gamers who were just marking the days until the PlayStation 2 arrived.
In the middle of that pandemonium was Spider-Man. While Spider-Man’s name value did help the game’s mere existence garner a certain level of hype, you have to remember that this was before the release of the 2002 Spider-Man film and a decade before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a thing. Neversoft’s most-anticipated game of 2000 was Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. The Spider-Man name on the jewel case just didn’t have the drawing power you think.
Of course, if Spider-Man had been a true once-in-a-lifetime great video game, it would have broken through all of those barriers and captivated the gaming world. That’s one thing we should probably get out of the way now, though. Spider-Man isn’t an undisputed great game.
In fact, it’s hard to imagine any modern gamer finding it in themselves to get past the game’s visuals and other technological shortcomings. In one of those strange twists of fate that can only exist in this complicated little world we’ve made for ourselves, those shortcomings can largely be attributed to Neversoft’s desire and ability to push the abilities of the PlayStation to its final limits.
The result is a game that is both incredibly ambitious and technologically handicapped. Neversoft clearly wished to create a Spider-Man game that allowed players to truly experience the thrill of controlling Spider-Man in rich 3D playgrounds. It was a fine goal, but even after developers had explored just about everything the PlayStation could do, they hadn’t yet discovered how to use the console to create vast 3D worlds that didn’t require a considerable number of design compromises.
Chief among those compromises is the “fog” that rolls across many of the game’s outdoor environments. Yes, much like Silent Hill, Spider-Man finds a way to work fog into the plot in order to compensate for the PlayStation’s terrible draw distance. No in-game excuses are made for the simply rendered character models, stunted animations, or for Spider-Man’s painfully limited ability to swing around the game’s levels. As for Spider-Man’s 3D combat...well, this was before Batman: Arkham Asylum showed the world how great brawler battles in 3D action games could be.
All of those limitations would have sunk Spider-Man were it not for one crucial design element that even the most powerful consoles can’t instill in a game: the passion the studio had for the character. See, it turns out that the developers at Neversoft were huge Spider-Man fans. In fact, there are many times when the game’s core plot - some trifling mess involving an imposter Spider-Man - feels like the best available excuse the developers could come up with to work some of their favorite Spider-Man villains and Marvel heroes into the game.
What keeps the whole thing from feeling like a misguided piece of fanfiction is the sheer joy of it all. In the game’s very first level, we are greeted by narrator Stan Lee - who was doing Stan Lee cameos before Stan Lee cameos were cool - run into Black Cat, swing by the Fantastic Four headquarters, and get to hear J. Jonah Jameson scream at Spider-Man even as The Scorpion threatens to kill him. From there, players encounter Daredevil, Venom, Carnage, The Punisher, Captain America (who is caught playing cards with Spider-Man during a post-credits sequence), and even get references to and cameos from other Marvel characters like Thor, Wolverine, and Galactus.
In case you haven’t already gathered, many of the things that make Spider-Man so special are the same things that make the current MCU special. At a time when many Marvel and superhero games were still seen as an attempt to exploit the love fans had for these characters and their worlds, Spider-Man utilized that love not as an exploitative form of marketing but rather as the lifeblood of the experience. The name on the game said "Spider-Man" - and the game does do an excellent job of capturing the spirit of that character - but it was more than that. Spider-Man was truly a grand celebration of the Marvel universe that a generation of people who grew up on Marvel perhaps didn’t yet realize they needed in their lives. In fact, a large part of what makes the game unique to this day is the way that it draws much of its inspiration from Marvel comics.
Spider-Man is about as far removed from the idea of a “gritty superhero reboot” as you can get. No attempts are made to hide the inherent absurdity of Spider-Man comics or Spider-Man: The Animated Series, which the game also borrows heavily from. Venom alternates between being a true threat and comedic relief. Rhino is a dumb thug with a fondness for forward momentum. By the time Doc-Ock and Carnage merge and the mechanical tentacled abomination starts chasing Spider-Man through an exploding building, you won’t even bat an eye at the ridiculousness of it all.
While the technical shortcomings of Spider-Man might frustrate modern gamers, the comic book charms of Spider-Man have lost none of their initial appeal. Few superhero games released since Spider-Man have truly endeavored to recreate the style and tone of their comic book sources - 2005’s Ultimate Spider-Man is one of the few that comes close - and none have really tried to recreate the “Golden Age” feel of Spider-Man. That design deficit only elevates seemingly minor aspects of this game, such as its various unlockable costumes that double as a museum of Spider-Man’s history as well as the game’s brilliant “What If?” mode that pays tribute to the world of alternate Marvel universes by presenting the game’s main story in ways that slightly change several scenarios.
That’s the true tragedy of Spider-Man’s hidden gem status. This game never really got the chance to innovate and inspire other superhero game developers to pursue digital recreations of comic book worlds as it should have. Later games like Freedom Force, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, and even Viewtiful Joe would draw from that well, but the majority of major superhero games released since Spider-Man - including the Arkham series - aimed for something more cinematic.
While it’s hard to fault the results of that approach (the PS2 adaptation of Spider-Man 2 is rightfully remembered as one of the best superhero games ever for its brilliant open-world web-slinging), you can’t help but feel that something has been lost by the industry’s willingness to so quickly abandon the more whimsical nature of classic comics in favor of the continuing pursuit of more mature expressions of the superhero genre.
Maybe that’s Spider-Man’s true legacy. Rather than arguing its merits as one of the greatest - and certainly most underrated - of superhero games, perhaps it’s time that we recognize this title’s status as one of gaming’s greatest love letters to the comic book medium.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.
Fallout 76's story will be filled with quests, plot points, and solo play opportunities.
In an interview with Game Informer, Bethesda's Todd Howard revealed some of the first substantial details about Fallout 76's campaign.
According to Howard, the game's campaign will revolve around the disappearance of Vault 76's Overseer. It seems that the Overseer left the vault before the scheduled emergence date for its inhabitants but left a message for the player which seems to contain some curious instructions. Howard indicated that these instructions send players on a kind of quest that will end with the discovery of the nuke codes.
While that statement could suggest that the game's main quest is a fairly linear experience, Howard is quick to describe the game's campaign as a "lengthy, multi-part story that takes players across West Virginia." His statements suggest that the completion of the game's campaign will somehow be tied to the player's level progression, which means that you shouldn't expect to just be able to blow through it in order to start nuking other players. It's likely that certain key quests won't be accessible until you've reached a certain character level or relevant milestone.
Howard also emphasized the role of side quests in Fallout 76. Simply put, it doesn't sound like the team is planning on short-changing gamers by reducing the number of side quests in Fallout 76. There will be plenty of side activities left in the game, and Fallout 76 will clearly indicate when there is a quest available somewhere in the area. Project lead Jeff Gardiner says that there is a "scary amount of stuff" in the game.
All things considered, Bethesda's Pete Hines believes that Fallout 76's single-player and story-based activities will offer those who are less interested in the game's multiplayer aspects plenty to do.
"I know it was a concern in our community, and it was a concern for me because I play solo a lot [in games]," says Hines. "Given my schedule, it’s hard to find times to group up with folks. With my current character, my plan was, ‘I’m walking out of the vault, and I’m going left. I haven’t been over there before and I don’t know what’s there. Let’s see what happens.’ I came across some super mutants and got in a big fight with them, completed a few quests, and found this one location outside of a pharmaceutical plant that seemed like an awesome place for a camp... I figured not a lot of people could see me up there. I’ve been using that base camp to go off and do quests.”
We'll know more for sure when Fallout 76 hits shelves on Nov. 14 for PS4, XBO, and PC.
Old School RuneScape is coming to iOS and Android.
Old School RuneScape, the game that lets you play the fondly remembered classic version of RuneScape, is set to release for iOS and Android on October 30th.
In a post on the RuneScape blog, the Old School team confirmed the game's mobile release date and shared a little information on how this release will work. In case you didn't know, a beta version of Old School RuneScape for mobile has been available for Android devices for quite some time. A closed beta was recently released for iOS as well. This full release will replace the beta version currently available on Android.
However, those who have access to any of the mobile version's betas will be able to continue playing the game up until the full release of the mobile version. Users in certain areas (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) will also be able to access a soft launch version of the mobile game that will be accessible once the full version releases everywhere in October.
Simply put, anyone currently able to play the game on mobile will be able to continue playing the game on mobile until its "release." Everyone else will need to pre-register for the full version and wait for its formal release. There is a membership fee for the game, but there are various promotions and in-game methods that help you "earn" your fee in other ways.
Without breaking down the full history of RuneScape, we'll simply tell you that this release is kind of a big deal because RuneScape remains kind of a big deal despite being an over 17-year-old game. The original version of RuneScape (which is being sustained on PC and which this mobile version replicates) is still considered to be one of the most addictive and generous MMO titles ever released.
For what it's worth, the early versions of this mobile game have received mostly rave reviews from longtime RuneScape fans. It feels like a pretty great way to jump into this experience if you've avoided RuneScape up until this point or if you just want to take your addiction with you wherever you may roam.
BioWare calms fans everywhere by clarifying what Anthem is.
BioWare's Casey Hudson has taken to Twitter to ease some growing concerns about how Anthem's design will affect the design of future BioWare games.
"Some weird stuff going around about how our future games will be influenced by Anthem," said Hudson. "Of course when we do a Dragon Age game it will be designed from the ground up based on what Dragon Age should be. Same with Mass Effect...Anthem is a specific thing that's unique from our other IPs in many ways. "What carries forward is what we learn about game design, which is a constant evolution."
It doesn't feel like Hudson is responding to any particular article or social media statement, but rather the general concern that has emerged since we learned that Anthem will not feature certain famous BioWare design elements like romances, NPC companions, and the ability to make choices that alter the story/universe in significant ways. Instead, it sounds like it's going to be the massively multiplayer online shooter that many have suspected the game will be since it was first announced.
For the most part, BioWare has remained committed to the narrative that they were in no way pressured by EA to make a game like Anthem. They say that it's something they wanted to work on and challenge themselves with while utilizing the studio's talent to put a spin on this style of game. That's done relatively little to quell the masses, though. Anthem is an anticipated title (it's one of our most anticipated titles of 2019), but it's also seen as a possible last gasp for BioWare (despite statements to the contrary).
The good news is that Anthem isn't the only big gun left in BioWare's arsenal. The studio has already confirmed that they are actively looking into the futures of franchises like Dragon Age and Mass Effect. That means that those who crave classic BioWare experiences might just get what they want in the near future.
As it stands, though, BioWare is going to have to prove some people wrong by delivering a different kind of BioWare classic in Anthem.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will support a rather large battle royale mode called Blackout.
If the Black Ops 4 beta is any indication, Call of Duty's battle royale mode will support 80 players.
Game Informer has played the Black Ops 4 battle royale beta and state that it currently boasts an 80 player max. They also noted that Treyarch has informed them that they've been testing the mode with up to 100 players during internal play sessions. The studio says that they've been playing around with that number but currently intend to launch the mode with the 80 player max.
“What’s really more important to us than a number is that the gameplay experience is as refined as it can be, that’s it the ideal perfect format for what players are going to play,” said Treyarch's Dan Bunting. “So we’re starting with 80 players, but we’ve gone higher than that. Whenever we launch a game as a beta or whatever, that’s the beginning of something. We’re going to actively be participating in the community and taking feedback, making changes and adapting, evolving the game as feedback rolls in. So there’s a lot that can go on that can happen beyond that first impact of the game going out there.”
During a special reveal event, Treyarch first revealed the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 battle royale mode.
Titled "Blackout," this mode was specifically referred to as a battle royale experience. However, Treyarch emphasized that Blackout is unlike any other battle royale mode out there and certainly unlike anything that the series has done to this point.
Blackout will allow players to access years of Call of Duty/Black Ops history. Based on the information revealed thus far, that means that players will be able to enter the game's battle royale mode and use character skins from existing games in the series, weapons from previous Black Ops titles (including those featured in old zombie modes), and other items that touch upon the franchise's rich history. Treyarch also confirmed that the mode will contain air, sea, and land vehicles.
We fully expect that Treyarch and Activision will reveal much more about Blackout in the coming weeks and months, but they've already started releasing information in little bursts. We now know the mode's player count and we also know that the mode will utilize classic Call of Duty maps, items, and other features. We even know that the mode will utilize zombies to some degree to enhance the chaos of the whole experience.
What we don't know is how this all comes together to form something that is going to drag CoD fans away from the game's more traditional multiplayer experiences. With any luck, we'll know the answer to that question soon.
A new, free-to-play Lord of the Rings online game is on the way from Athlon Games.
A new Lord of the Rings game is in development, according to an announcement from Athlon Games. The new Lord of the Rings title will be a free-to-play online game set "at a time long before the events of The Lord of the Rings, exploring lands, people, and creatures never seen before by fans of the Tolkien universe."
Athlon has secured a multi-year licensing deal with Middle-earth Enterprises to produce the game in partnership with another studio, which was not named in the announcement. If you haven't heard of Athlon before, that's because it's a new subsidiary of Chinese publisher Leyou Technologies, the company that owns Warframe developer Digital Extremes as well as Splash Damage, the studio that most recently worked on the multiplayer for Gears of War 4. The Lord of the Rings will be Athlon's first big project.
“It’s a singular opportunity to work closely with Middle-earth Enterprises to create a completely new experience for fans of the landmark fantasy work of J.R.R. Tolkien, and we are excited about the resurgence of interest in The Lord of the Rings IP,” said Dave Miller, president of Athlon Games. “This, along with several other major properties Athlon is working with, will help us to further our goal of creating AAA cooperative console and PC experiences that gamers will want to play for years to come.”
It's unclear how this new project will affect The Lord of Rings Online, the long-running MMO that launched in 2007. That game takes place during and after the events of the books, so the settings of both of these online games could be different enough for both to persist, but that seems unlikely. We'll keep you updated as we learn more.
Skyrim mod Enderal tells a mature story in a diverse world.
Massive Skyrim mod Enderalis coming to Steam.
Developed by SureAI, Enderal is (for all intents and purposes) an entirely new game in the Elder Scrolls universe. It's based on the base Skyrim game, but it features so much new content that it's hard to believe that it's not a new Bethesda Studios Elder Scrolls title. Now, you can download it directly from Steam rather than from NexusMods where it has already been downloaded almost 200,000 times.
Much of Enderal's appeal comes from its world. The mod's creators have crafted a stunning world that feels very true to The Elder Scrolls (especially in terms of the various architecture themes in towns and cities) but also challenges the design standards of previous Elder Scrolls worlds by utilizing a much more diverse series of environments. From snowy mountain peaks to lush forests, Enderal's world is loaded with fascinating corners that are begging to be explored.
Enderal also boasts a lengthy campaign that is anchored by an utterly compelling narrative that revolves around a spreading illness that threatens to wipe out a large portion of the population. Our hero's mission (should they choose to not get sidetracked and ignore it) is to seek out ancient machinations and knowledge who some believe may lead to a cure. It's a dark tale that touches on many surprising themes (such as the role of religion in an ailing world) and features an impressive 30 hours of original voice acting.
On top of that, you get a new soundtrack, a far deeper character building system that lets you craft a unique class by combining various skills, class-specific "talents" that let you utilize things like fire arrows, traveling bards who sing original folk songs, and much, much more.
We know that it seems like you're always hearing about the next great Skyrim mod (we've talked about a few ourselves) but Enderal is truly one of those special fan creations that just might be good enough to spoil you for what we eventually get from The Elder Scrolls VI.
Fortnite's Getaway mode is a nod to an FPS favorite.
Fortnite is getting a very intriguing capture the flag style mode.
Dubbed "Getaway," this mode sees players try to collect various jewels spread across the map. Once you've collected them, you need to drop them in flying vans that are all over the map. How do you drop something in a flying van? Well, you're going to have to build your way up to them, which we're sure will be very easy to do while everyone is gunning for you.
Complicating this system further is the fact that carrying jewels will slow you down tremendously. To make matters worse, drop rates for long-range weapons will be much more generous in this mode, and you'll also not be able to access jump pads and rifts (in case you were thinking about fast traveling). So, while it appears that you'll only need to capture one jewel in order to win, it doesn't sound like these matches are going to end quickly.
In typical Fortnite fashion, this new mode will reward players with new cosmetics once they win and complete certain objectives. For instance, dealing 500 damage to the jewel carrier will net you a new spray. There is also a variety of new skins that are being added to the game as part of this latest update but will not be unlockable directly through the Getaway mode.
If running the jewels isn't exactly your thing, then you'll be happy to know that this upcoming patch will also feature a new grappling gun that lets you use a very effective plunger to pull yourself to far away places. While the gun only comes equipped with 15 charges, it's possible to chain shots together in order to cover as much distance as possible via this item.
All of the fun associated with this upcoming patch is available starting today.
PUBG's latest update introduces some significant changes to the game.
PUBG's latest update features quite a few changes and additions.
The game's humbly named 2.1 update serves as a significant overhaul to the still popular (though not industry leading) battle royale experience. For many, the highlight of this update will be the addition of a proper training mode. This training mode places players on a 2x2 kilometer map that features sections designed to help you learn to drive vehicles, parachute properly, practice short and long-range weapons, and even learn to navigate environments better.
It's an impressive collection of training options that go far beyond the simple target practice range that some fans have requested for quite some time. The team's goal with this area is to help new players learn the ropes and to give more experienced players a safe place to hone some of the game's finer skills.
The other significant addition featured in this update which is causing quite a stir is the new mission system. The plan is for PUBG to assign you various tasks that include things like getting a certain number of kills with a specific type of weapon. The experience that you earn from completing these objectives contributes to your "Survivor Level." Manage to reach a new survivor level, and you'll get a reward.
It sounds simple, but the system is complicated by the fact that you don't seem to get to keep most of the rewards you earn for more than a week. It appears you do keep the rewards you receive every time you gain 10 levels, but the single level rewards are more like rentals. It's a reward system that has some fans worrying that the PUBG team is just trying to get you to spend more money on items that they let you use for a short period of time.
For now, the mission system is limited to the game's test servers. It's possible that it will be changed in time for its official release. Until then, be sure to check out this breakdown of everything featured in this patch (which includes new weapons, vehicles, and a host of technical improvements).
Get ready for Yoshi's Crafted World! Here are all the details on the upcoming Yoshi title for the Nintendo Switch...
A new leak has revealed the title for the upcoming Yoshi game for Switch: Yoshi's Crafted World. As reported by Nintendo Wire, Nintendo of America let the cat of the bag on its website when it put up a listing for the game, assumably to coincide with a Nintendo Direct stream that was postponed earlier this week.
Nintendo Wire managed to take a screenshot of the listing before it was taken down by the publisher:
The company has not announced the game's title officially. We'll make sure to let you know when they do.
What we do know is that the game is based on a fairly fascinating gimmick involving the depth of stages. Basically, Yoshi is able to move in-between and interact with background and foreground elements that would usually be considered static in many such platforming titles. There are numerous instances of this mechanic being utilized during the trailer, but some of the most fascinating examples of this dynamic mechanic involved Yoshi attacking enemies in the foreground and flipping a stage at will to reveal brand new paths that simply looked like background objects before.
It certainly doesn't hurt that the game's vibrant art style contributes to the storybook nature of the level design and the use of this flip mechanic. The Switch may not be a technical powerhouse, but games like this showcase why a bright color palette and creative design will sometimes best pure processing power.
Indeed, Yoshi may very well be the game for Switch fans who still harbor a deep love for classic platformers. While Super Mario Odyssey promotes a more open-world take on the platformer genre, Yoshi looks like the kind of classic platforming experience that we might have dreamed of as kids if we could dream quite as big as game's clearly imaginative development team.
Here's everything we know about Yoshi for the Nintendo Switch:
Yoshi Switch Release Date
Yoshi has been delayed and will now be released exclusively for Nintendo Switch sometime in 2019. Nintendo has not given a specific reason for the delay.
Yoshi Switch Trailer
While not the most high-profile reveal of Nintendo's E3 2017 showcase, this trailer for an upcoming Nintendo Switch Yoshi game was certainly one of the most interesting previews of the show.
Everything you need to know about Hitman 2, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!
Warner Bros and IO Interactive have officially revealed Hitman 2. As suspected, Hitman 2 is essentially a follow-up to the previous season of Hitman. However, IO Interactive indicated during the game's live stream reveal that the next Hitman will not follow the episodic format of the previous Hitman game.
The game itself continues roughly where the last Hitman left off, as Agent 47 continues his pursuit of the mysterious Shadow Client. However, it seems that 47's mission will force him to confront some potentially unwelcome details about his own mysterious past.
Mission-wise, the reveal and trailer teased a Miami mission that sees Agent 47 eliminate a race car driver by potentially manipulating his vehicle before the big race. Elsewhere, Warner Bros. and IO referenced "sun-drenched streets to dark and dangerous rainforests" as possible locations. As always, each of these missions will afford Agent 47 - and players - the chance to utilize multiple paths to victory and the opportunity to complete multiple objectives.
Both Warner Bros. and IO Interactive expressed how excited they are to revive the Hitman series after it faced an uncertain future following Square Enix's decision to drop developer IO Interactive.
Here's everything else we know:
Hitman 2 News
Hitman 2 takes the action to the jungles of Colombia in a new trailer:
And here's a new gameplay trailer, too:
Hitman 2 Release Date
Hitman 2 arrives on Nov. 13, 2018. The game is coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. If you're interested in pre-ordering the game, you can find out more about Hitman 2's various editions by visiting this website.
Hitman 2 Trailer
Hitman 2 will feature upgraded versions of the Hitman missions.
As explained in the trailer above, developer IO Interactive will essentially be remaking Hitman within Hitman 2. All of the game's levels will be available in Hitman 2 and will benefit from the new features and technology included in the sequel. Through this, IO hopes to create a World of Assassination that binds the revived Hitman games.
Best of all, anyone who owns the first season of Hitman will be able to access the remade original levels for free. Everyone else will need to download them as part of a DLC pack.
The PC Gaming show at E3 2018 included a surprising look at Hitman 2's gameplay. While not a long preview, this trailer does confirm that Hitman 2 will continue the good work that the last game started.
Check out the announcement trailer below:
New to the series is a co-op option called Sniper Assassin. This two-player mode sees players compete to take down a series of targets via the use of sniper rifles. It's not entirely clear what the extent of the competitive/cooperative nature of this game mode is, but we do know that players will also have the option of completing these sniper missions by themselves if they choose to do so.
Here's the Sniper Assassin mode trailer:
Tencent's stunning new restrictions are part of China's crackdown on gaming.
China technology company Tencent will help the government limit the time that children spend playing games.
Tencent will start imposing restrictions that will impact how much time children are allowed to play the popular MOBA game, Honour of Kings(also known as Arena of Valor). It all starts on September 15th when players will be forced to use their real names when registering to play Honour of Kings. From there, Tencent will actually use a police database to reference the names they have been given in order to identify children who are playing the game.
Any child who is between the ages of 13 and 18 will only be able to play the game for up to two hours a day. Anyone under 12 will only be able to play the game for one hour a day.
This isn't the first time that Tencent has tried to impose these restrictions, but this is the first time that they've used official records in order to try to verify the actual age of the people playing these games. That means there will be no equivalent of setting your birthday to January 1, 1925, like most of us do to avoid the age gate on Steam.
Indeed, the thing that separates this story from all the other parental control attempts out there is that Tencent is actually using government information to identify children rather than trust them to share their true age or by leaving it up to the parents to enforce optional restrictions. It's that aspect of government mandate that will no doubt spark a conversation regarding whether or not this latest move is a step too far in the wrong direction.
There's little doubt that this move was inspired, in part, by China's recent decision to impose certain restrictions on video games in order to help improve children's eyesight. Those restrictions have greatly impacted Tencent's market value, and some suspect that they are looking to expand to other regions more aggressively (particularly with the success of Fortnite) even as they comply with China's regulations.
Mobile game Final Fantasy Pocket Edition now has console homes.
Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is coming to Nintendo Switch.
Previously released on mobile devices, Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is best described as the chibi version of Final Fantasy XV. That means that it's loaded with cute caricature models of famous FF XV characters, world, and foes. Yes, it's part of that movement to chibi everything that we're not quite sure we fully understand.
It's tempting - and somewhat accurate - to say that it's a watered down version of Final Fantasy XV, but that's doesn't quite tell the whole story. There's actually quite a bit of content in the base mobile game. Pocket Edition features a fairly respectable interpretation of Final Fantasy XV's combat system that actually enhances certain aspects of the core experience due to how much of the fluff it cuts out.
The story is also quite good. While the game utilizes that chibi art style, the plot itself is fairly deep and touches upon many of the same aspects and plot points that we saw in the full version of the game. For a mobile game, it's actually pretty impressive.
That said, we're not entirely sure whether or not Pocket Editionwill find a substantial audience outside of the mobile crowd. It's fairly cute and pretty well-made, but it's one of those titles that certainly feels like it was made for mobile devices, despite the best efforts of Square Enix to enhance certain features for the game's console port. It's likely the Switch port of the game will feel a little more natural than the also confirmed Xbox One and PS4 versions of the title.
You'll have the chance to find out for yourself how Pocket Edition fares when the game releases on an unknown (but likely very soon) date for what appears to be the suggested retail price of $29.99 (though a sale will knock that price down on at least the Xbox One and PS4).
Battle royale title H1Z1 will be re-branded as Z1 for this mobile port.
Because H1Z1 refuses to fade away, the franchise is coming to mobile devices.
Yes, for those who don't have enough battle royale games in their life (who are you, and what do you want from us?!?!?), we bring you another battle royale game. This mobile version of H1Z1 - which will simply be known as Z1 - is being developed by NantWorks who has reportedly invested in H1Z1 developer, Daybreak. This mobile game may just be the first project involving the two companies.
“Daybreak Games is pleased to have NantWorks as our investment partner to support and accelerate the growth of our company,” said Daybreak Chairman of the Board, Jason Epstein. “Working with NantWorks, NantStudio and Dr. Soon-Shiong will allow us to maintain our cutting-edge development in the video game industry and to benefit from Nant’s technological expertise and reach as a resource.”
The two parties may be happy to work together, but given that there aren't many details available about the mobile version of H1Z1 at this time, we're led to believe that that this title is probably in the earlier stages of development and won't be released in the near future.
As for what we can expect from this game...well, that's a great question. The fact that this mobile version will carry a different title from the base game almost suggests that it might feature at least a few differences from the PC and console versions of the title. However, we've seen other ambitious battle royale titles like PUBG and Fortnite successfully transition to mobile devices with relatively few sacrifices.
For what it's worth, the PS4 port of H1Z1 is reportedly doing quite well, which tends to bode well for what developer Daybreak intends to do with this franchise moving forward even as they endure some financial struggles.
The Overwatch League's second season will feature a lot more competition.
Overwatch League will welcome eight more teams before the start of the 2019 season.
Joining the previously announced new franchises from Atlanta and Guangzhou are six teams hailing from Chengdu, Hangzhou, Paris, Toronto, Vancouver, and Washington, D.C. For those keeping track at home, that means that Canada is adding its first two teams to the competition while China adds a pretty surprising three more teams to the Overwatch League (the Shanghai Dragons, the only existing OWL team from China, posted a winless record during the league's debut season).
Activision Blizzard's Bobby Kotick noted that "fans spent 160 million hours watching the leading Overwatch players in the world compete" during the first season of the OWL and that Activision Blizzard is "thrilled to add eight new outstanding team owners from Europe, China, and North America to our Overwatch League ownership group." With these new addition's the OWL team count stands at 20.
The OWL certainly seems to be successful so far from a sheer revenue standpoint, and we imagine that these eight new teams would not have joined the League unless they were confident that there is enough to go around.
What remains to be seen is where these new teams are going to get players from. There's no shortage of competitive Overwatch players from around the world who aren't currently signed to an OWL team, but OWL's first season featured a noticeable skill gap between the best and worst teams. That being the case, we do wonder whether or not these new teams will be able to be immediately competitive and whether some kind of "draft" system will need to be implemented in order to keep the competition fair.
Hopefully, Blizzard will reveal more information about how OWL season two will work now that there are many more teams in the mix.
Free time everywhere is about to be destroyed by the Switch version of Civilization 6.
The incredibly addictive Civilization VI is coming to Nintendo Switch.
Staring on November 16, you'll be able to download the latest entry in Sid Meir's global strategy series. As a nice bonus, the Switch version of the game will include the Vikings, Poland, Australia, and Persia/Macedon content that was added to the PC version of the game after its initial release. That's quite the deal, especially when you consider that Civilization on Switch is a big enough deal in its own right.
Switch owners will also be able to access cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes that will allow up to four players to get in on the action. Of course, "action" in this instance means slowly growing your Civilization turn by turn as you prepare to eventually remove your enemies from the map (or at least chip away at their power).
Initial reports suggest that the reason behind this announcement's somewhat surprising and fairly low key reveal is that the Switch version of Civ VI was supposedly supposed to be part of the Nintendo Direct showcase that was postponed due to the devastating earthquake that rocked Japan. That's also probably why Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition for Switch was announced so suddenly.
The idea of taking a proper version of Civilization with you wherever you go is certainly appealing, but it must be said that Civilization VI remains a somewhat controversial entry into the long-running franchise. Some of the game's new features and gameplay tweaks haven't exactly received a warm welcome. The same can be said of Civilization V's initial release, but that game eventually won fans over through some excellent DLC expansions that greatly improved the base game. Civ VI's expansions haven't had that impact so far.
Sill, Civilization VI is a well-made game that sports the same addictive base gameplay that has inspired people to say "one more turn" for hundreds of hours.
When designing its take on Spider-Man, Insomniac Games looked back at the work of legendary artist and Spidey co-creator Steve Ditko.
The Amazing Spider-Man is back on consoles and PC today with a new adventure brought to you by developer Insomniac Games. Not only is Marvel's Spider-Man the first major Spidey game since 2014, but it's a fantastic game to boot.
Part of the game's success has to do with its unique style. Insomniac Games' take on the webslinger isn't a direct adaptation of the comics or any of the movies. Instead, Insomniac's Spider-Man lives in a universe all his own, which means that some parts of the beloved Spidey mythos are bound to get remixed. For example, in this version of the story, Peter Parker's beloved Mary Jane Watson is an investigative reporter while the snarling J. Jonah Jameson becomes a right-wing radio pundit who spends most of his airtime condemning Spider-Man.
One of the biggest changes to the look and feel of the world of Spider-Man is the hero's own suit, which was redesigned for the game. With a big splash of white across his chest and some particularly stylish footwear, Spider-Man swings through the New York City skyline like you've never seen it before. But in order to create Spidey's unique look as well as the game's version of New York City, Insomniac also went back to the hero's roots and the work of legendary artist and Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko.
The late Ditko, who passed away earlier this year, created the character with writer Stan Lee in 1962 in the pages of Amazing Fantasy #15. Ditko was the first artist to bring Spider-Man to life on the page and drew his first appearance (with a cover from another legend, Jack Kirby). He was also the main artist on The Amazing Spider-Man, the hero's flagship book, from 1963-1966, all while creating another Marvel icon, the psychedelic Doctor Strange.
It's impossible to skip Ditko's work when crafting your own Spider-Man story, and Insomniac did its due diligence. I spoke to Insomniac art director Jacinda Chew at a recent PlayStation event about Spider-Man's new look and how it all came back to Ditko in the end.
"For us, when we're designing Spider-Man, we pretty much just looked at the comics," Chew says. "He's got a really deep, deep well of comic books to look at. We looked at the classic ones, like Ditko. He's the classic designer for Spider-Man suits and that was pretty much it."
While you'll play a large chunk of the game with Insomniac's original suit, Ditko's classic Spidey costume can be unlocked during the game. Still, Chew stresses that it was important for Insomniac's world to have its own Spider-Man look.
"We never really considered having the game star the classic Spider-Man suit because we knew we were going to create a game that was basically standalone," Chew says. "It wasn't going to be related to a movie. It wasn't related to the comics. It was going to be something that was in the Spider-Man universe and it's our very own Spider-Man. So we wanted to create a suit that was ours alone, and that's why we see such a unique suit."
Chew says that the team didn't really look at any specific storylines from the character's more than 50 years worth of comic book adventures. Ditko's work was the point of reference when looking back the comics.
"No, there actually wasn't a specific storyline at all. Like I said, I like Ditko's work because it's very simple and it's really graphic and it's pretty clean. Because if you think about some of the costumes that came out later, they're a lot more complicated, a lot more detailed. We want to keep something that is very iconic and that's what I feel like Ditko's suit is."
All that said, there are nods to other Spider-Man stories in the game, specifically through the suits you can unlock throughout the experience. On top of the Ditko costume, you can also unlock the Iron Spider suit from Avengers: Infinity War, the Scarlet Spider look, the Secret Wars suit, the 2099 getup, and quite a few others. Not to mention that a version of Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man, is running around in the game, too...
"I feel like we've definitely retained the spirit of Spider-Man," Chew says. "I feel like we did a good job capturing all of that and translating this into a video game."
Indeed, Marvel's Spider-Man is a celebration of what's come before, and especially Ditko's work. Play the game for only a short demo and you'll get a real sense of the love and care Insomniac has put into bringing Spidey to our living rooms. In that way, and in so many others, Ditko's work continues to live on past the page.
Marvel's Spider-Man is out now exclusively on the PlayStation 4.