Elder Scrolls Online Collection’s Edition and Trailer Released Today, Zenimax Online Studios released information about their “Imperial Edition” version of Elder Scrolls Online, scheduled to come out on April 4, 2013 for PC and “June” for PS4 and XB1. The Imperial Edition has been priced at $99.99, the Digital Deluxe Edition (includes all digital collector’s edition content) is priced at $79.99 . Here’s Elder Scrolls Online’s description of the product: (along with pictures)
Here are a couple of videos of Premier_N7 (author) taking down some of the ACIV Legendary Ships
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Legendary Ship battle with El Impoluto. It wasn’t pretty. The beginning and the end are the ugliest, but I made it happen. Hope you enjoy.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Legendary Ship battle with Royal Sovereign & HMS Fearless. Got some bad luck with the waves on a couple of ram tries that left me high and dry. Otherwise, pretty clean cut.
Recently, Monolith studios released a gameplay trailer of their new IP Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor. This is pre-alpha footage, but so far, I am rather impressed with how the game is coming along. In the video they show the movement style of the game, the combat gameplay and they even delve into the new Nemesis enemy/storyline system that is unique to ME: Shadows of Mordor.
They put down the base storyline of the game in the video. You play as Talion, a Ranger of Gondor who was left for dead by Sauron’s forces and has is soul melded to that of a wraith both occupying his body. A big part of the storyline will be who the wraith is and what its purpose is. I have a feeling that while the wraith may not be so much pro-Sauron, it is willing to sacrifice Tailon’s body, and his soul to achieve its ends. Hopefully as the game progresses, the struggle over control of Tailon’s body will become more apparent.
The focus of the video is the Nemesis system, which is quoted as being “a next-gen living world which creates unique, personal enemies on every playthrough.” If the Nemesis system can follow through on that, I see the replay value of this game going up. One of the cool things they added is with every unique (non-generic) enemy; there is a personal experience or memory with Talion. They show an example of this in the video. Hopefully, they don’t overdo it too much, because having every unique enemy say “I remember you!” can get old.
The movement style of this game is straight out of Assassin’s Creed. It looks like they are even building on its code. The animation style and the way the physics work in the parkour sections look just like an Assassin’s Creed title. Now, my guess is that during the development they will adjust the code and make it more to their styling, but modeling it after Assassin’s Creed certainly isn’t a bad thing. Also, when Talion goes into Wraith mode it looks a lot like Eagle Vision from Assassin’s Creed as well. Hopefully, they make it a bit more ethereal like by the time the finished product comes out.
The combat style reminds me a lot of the Batman Arkham games. The counter indicators and the movement style look like they were based off the Arkham code. It has traces of Assassin’s Creed it in (but then again, so did Arkham) and when Talion takes control over an enemy it reminds me of the close ups with enemies in the Arkham games.
To me, there is nothing wrong with using these functions as a baseline because of the quality and tightness of these aspects of gameplay. I just really hope that Monolith will put a uniqueness to it that feels more Tolkein-like and less like a rip off of the other games. As long as I don’t feel like I’m playing Middle Earth: Shadows of Arkham’s Creed, I’m good. I highly recommend checking out the video (it’s posted above) to find out more about this game. Also, remember, this is pre-alpha footage. A lot can change between now and release.
Here’s a couple videos of Premier_N7 (author) playing a multiplayer round in Call of Duty: Ghosts.
Nothing really special here. Just my first video with CoD: Ghosts. Figured out how to use the Share button on my PS4. Went 27-9 in TDM in Whiteout.
Another round of multiplayer. Death count is high, but I did also get over half my team’s kills in this round. Went 38-13 in TDM in Octane.
Recently, Zenimax Online Studios, makers of Elder Scrolls Online, released a gameplay video highlighting group play. The video can be found at the top of this post. I highly recommend watching it; it’s a good video that does a great job of highlighting group play within Tamriel. The three members of the Dev team in the video are Paul Sage- Creative Director, Nick Konkle- Lead Gameplay Designer, and Dan Crenshaw- Dungeon Lead.
In the first part of the video, two players encounter what they call an overland boss. Basically, these bosses are created to encourage, but not force players, to engage in group combat. It is a great system, especially since loot streams are completely individual and there is no such thing as “tagging” an enemy. This means that anyone can just jump into a fight and it will have no repercussions on anyone involved in terms of loot or experience gained. This really does encourage group play because there is little risk and a lot of reward involved in encounters such as this. You can easily jump in, help out and potentially make new gaming buddies, or you can just walk away and continue on your own. And both options are the right answer. Sometimes, you just want to get some solo experience in. Sometimes, the other people around you are jerks. Sometimes, you find you next guild mates and have a ton of fun with them.
During the second part of the video, the shortest, they quickly go over the convenience of fast travel and meeting up with group members. It really is easy with the Wayshrines that have been put throughout the game. You pay a small fee in gold (looks like scales based on level) and after a short player action (with some extremely wrinkled hands) you are immediately transported to that wayshrine, where others can meet up, or you can travel to wherever it is you want to go. It’s convenient but certainly not game breaking in any way.
During the third part of the video, they show a Dark Anchor event in action. This is a random event that occurs around Tamriel where Molag Bol drops a literal anchor onto the world of Tamriel in order to merge it with his realm of Oblivion: Cold Harbour. Basically, a Dark Anchor is a world event where players can jump in and work together to defeat Molag Bol’s minions and destroy the pinions that hold the anchor together. It takes a well-coordinated group to defeat a Dark Anchor, with a lot of players in seemingly individual battles as part of the whole. It seems as though a healer is essential for these kinds of fights, but a tank really isn’t. Survivability overall is more important than the survivability and threat management of one. It makes combat more interesting, but I wonder how well groups will function, and how difficult it will be to find complete groups, when it’s only healers in such high demand.
The other thing I want to discuss is ESO ability to integrate both first person and third person views. It seems that they have actually done a really good job on this. From the gameplay footage, it looks like they are pretty seamless and each have their advantages. First person seems to offer more up close detail and depth perception, while third person provides more viewing area and a tactical advantage. I personally prefer the third person view, but I will probably use the first person view as needed for various situations. I bet first person would be really good from an RP stand point. It would really allow you to get into the head of your character (literally.)
Overall, this video has renewed my excitement in ESO somewhat. It had been growing stagnant for some weeks now, but then this video reminded me of why I love MMOs in the first place, for the group experiences. My biggest worry now is if my video can handle a good amount of graphical detail for this game.
Destiny is my most anticipated game of 2014. As such I am following it very closely straight from the BUNGIE website. On Thursday they released their first BUNGIE Podcast of the New Year and it seems like they are finally divulging information about the game after the big month long gameinformer reveal. This week’s guests are Tyson Green, Lead Investment Designer and Lars Bakken, Lead Designer in charge of Competitive Multiplayer Activities. Both of these leads are extremely important in Destiny becoming BUNGIE’s next powerhouse IP.
The hosts (DeeJ, Halycon, and Urk) start off by discussing the new Winter Build of the game that was finished just before BUNGIE went dark for the holidays. From how they make it sound, it seems like they are well on their way to a well-polished, bug free game come release. They are also focusing on “what is good and what sucks.” This goes hand in hand with their mantra of making games they want to play. That’s all great and everything, but my question is, is this a game I want to play? So far, it seems like it.
When Tyson Green enters the picture, the podcast focuses on the investment game. Or the concept of making you care about the game in as many ways a possible. It’s about telling the story of your character but also about telling the story of you as a player. Your memories of killing a raid boss with your buddies for the first time, or earning your first exotic weapon. Your character’s weapons will have background lore to some sort, but they will also have a personal story to them of how you obtained it. This is all part of the investment game. To me, investment is absolutely essential when it comes to success in a game. Lately, I have been having difficulty investing myself in games. I have been trying to make a World of Warcraft come back, but the investment just isn’t there, at least not yet. Ghost’s Clan Wars have be coming back somewhat, but not like I was when I first started playing the game (and was a top player in TDM.) And while NBA2K14’s MyCareer storyline is cool, some of the situations still have my frustrated and the lack of freedom (including skipping cut scenes) is really making me want to bang my head against the wall. I want; no I need a game that I am going to invest in. A game I can play with a group of people and destroy others in multiplayer, or work together to complete a raid, or help people level up their new characters. I am hoping Destiny will finally be able to fill my need for lots of social interaction (without all of the shit-talking) and my enjoyment of both RPGs and FPSes.
Some of the things Tyson Green focuses on are these different types of investment. You have your 1000 hour grinds which used to be pretty common in MMOs (and sometimes still sought after by traditionalists) and the very different (and much shorter) investment into MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games such as League of Legends and DoTA2. In these games, each round is a new investment. It’s a new character, a new build, new gear, and a new chance to prove yourself. I think Destiny is going to try and combine these different lengths of investment into Destiny (without the extreme 1000 hour grinds) in order for everyone to find their niche.
The other staff member in the podcast is Lars Bakken. And he divulges some neat information about competitive multiplayer experiences and some of the balancing issues that come with it. He first iterates that they are not making Halo again (wait what? Yay!) but the combat will still have that Halo/BUNGIE feel to it. However, with the addition of different load outs and armor, different grenades and foci, the variation of combat will be much greater than that of any Halo title. Also, BUNGIE is making for quicker kill times and combat resolution with Destiny as compared to Halo. It won’t be like Call of Duty kill times, but it will be quicker than previous Halo titles. This is so that players won’t immediately think to retreat when they start getting fired upon, which causes a lack of combat resolution that I personally think that Halo has always struggled with.
One of the things Lars said that I’m impressed with is that skill is very prevalent, but it isn’t just thumb skill. It’s going to be more about your load out, your tactics, your build, and basically everything you do to make your character unique and the best it possibly can. There still will be thumb skill of course, but it will be part of a greater whole, which is something that makes me happy. I have above average thumb skills, but I pride myself I knowing tactics and out thinking/ out maneuvering my opponent. To me, that is real skill. Flanking someone and getting them dead to rights is a lot more skillful than a strafing shootout in my opinion. This is why I’m glad BUNGIE is moving away from the Halo style strafing shootouts.
A little bit of information that BUNGIE has finally leaked is how supers will effect PvP combat. From what I understand, supers will be just as powerful in PvP as they are in PvE, but you have to earn them. DeeJ even says that in Destiny PvP he has more reasons to stay alive because if not he’s just feeding them supers, which to me means that players earn supers similar to kill streaks on Call of Duty. I would guess you get a super for every 3 kills you get without dying (complete speculation) and you can just keep earning them with every kill streak of 3 (or whatever number they have.) This is great in my opinion. It makes players think more tactically, because they don’t want to be just giving other players supers, and it provides a nice balance to moves that if made available all the time, would be really overpowered.
Another leak of information that the Podcast provided was that there are proximity mines that can act as traps or bottle necks within the map. One of these, called the Arc Prox, discharged an electrical pulse that isn’t lethal but extremely weakening. They also mention something called an Axiom Bolt, which seems to have a similar effect to a Nova Bomb. My biggest surprise, given the jetpack tactics of many Halo games, is that BUNGIE has stated that movement modes will be “weapon down” movements. Meaning you can’t fire, or rain down grenades, or anything combative while in these modes. I don’t believe it includes slide, which is a standard movement mode, but I am sure it includes the double jump, glide, and teleport movement modes. I am not sure how this will affect teleporting though, because that is supposed to be instant. It might make it completely overpowered comparatively, but I am hoping BUNGIE has some sort of balancing solution.
They have also stated that a lot of the maps in Destiny are changing and have a lot of vertical variance. This is good news, because it means tactics will be more important than ever, and it will require a lot more time for players to master. Also, with maps changing, those people who camp (to me campers are players who sit in one particular spot and wait for an enemy to pass by, usually at close range, to me snipers on a perch are not campers, they are snipers and players that protect and guard a certain part of a map aren’t campers, they are defenders, but that is another topic to discuss) will be a lot less effective, because change breeds movement.
Finally, BUNGIE has confirmed that PvP will only take place in specific “arenas” within the game. PvP will not be available “out in the wild” or in public areas. This is because BUNGIE understands that most players will not want to deal with the experience of some idiot sitting in a public area saying “Let’s play PvP!” And attacking everyone who comes around, and yes there would be people who would do it, and think it’s funny. It’s not. The only thing I would like to see them do is maybe add acceptable duels between players in these areas. Kind of like the WoW duel system. It’s one on one and has to be accepted by the other player, and only those players can attack each other. It would be a fun little side game for players who want to improve their PvP skills or prove they are the best one versus one.
There was A LOT of information released with this new BUNGIE podcast. So much it took me 4 days to write this and actually be happy with it. I will try and stick with BUNGIE updates on Sundays though, so it gives me time to go through the weekly update, any monthly podcasts, and sorting through the mail sack. This week’s BUNGIE update pretty much just reiterated what was said in the Podcast and provided new screen shots from the game. I’ll be adding them to this post and to the Catalyst Games gallery.
The Bungie Podcast can be found here: http://www.bungie.net/en/News/News?aid=11358
(all images were taken from the Destiny public image gallery. The gallery can be found here: http://www.bungie.net/en/destiny#page=media)
It always tough for me to pick my 10 most anticipated games for the year. Mainly because it’s so difficult to know for sure what will be coming out this year. Uncharted 4 isn’t a for sure, same as Tom Clancy’s The Division. Kingdom Hearts III belongs in this as well. Potentially the unannounced new Mass Effect game could come out this year. However, I was able to compile a list of ten games I am most excited about for 2014. I stayed away from the yearly franchises of Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty, although I will probably pick up at least Assassin’s Creed. Here are my top 10 of 2014:
10. World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor- Blizzard (Release Date: Q3 2014)
It’s a bit unusual to start off with an MMO expansion, but as a bit of an MMO junkie I have a feeling I’ll end up getting this and trying it out. With new character models, another +10 level cap increase (finally) and new game features like the build-your-own-garrison feature are certainly things I would really like to try out. Anticipation Level: 3.75 out of 5
9. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor- Monolith Productions (Release Date: Q4 2014)
I am a big fan of the LOTR books and movies. I love the universe and I have always been interested in the time between the two books. Shadows of Mordor allows us to have the experience with a half man half wraith Ranger named Talion. There isn’t a lot of information out on this game yet, but I have high hopes for it. Anticipation Level: 3.8 out of 5
8. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt CD Projekt RED (Release Date: Q4 2014)
I have been meaning to play the first two titles in this series, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. However, that doesn’t mean I am not excited for the final chapter in Geralt’s story. CD Projekt RED has done amazing things with this series and I am truly excited to see how far they can take this with an open world. Anticipation Level: 4 out of 5
7. Watch Dogs- Ubisoft (Release Date: Q2 2014)
This game has me very nervous. It has the potential to really advance video games with the ability for players to jump into other player’s worlds and potentially really mess things up. I am hopeful for the storyline and the new hacking mechanics being implemented. Should be a very interesting ride, here’s to hoping it won’t get delayed again. Anticipation Level: 4.1 out of 5
6. Infamous: Second Son- Sucker Punch (Release Date: 03/21/2014)
Being a former Xbox owner, I never got the chance to play any of the Infamous games before this one. So I am really excited that they are revamping the series with a new character and a new storyline. Open worlds are usually tons of fun, and I will probably spend a whole lot of time within the open world of Seattle. I just hope there is still some of it left standing when I get done with it. Anticipation Level: 4.3 out of 5
5. Thief- Square Enix (Release Date: 02/25/2014)
The revamp of this series is something I am unfamiliar with. I haven’t played a Thief game before. I am however, excited about the concept of stealth without killing. The name of the game here is stealing, not slaughter, and I am excited for a new experience with my stealth genre experience. Anticipation Level: 4.5 out of 5
4. Dragon Age: Inquisition- Bioware (Release Date: Q3 2014)
I cannot tell you how happy I was when I found out that Bioware was coming back with the Dragon Age series. I easily put 300+ hours into Origins and probably around 100 hours into Dragon Age II even though it was lackluster in comparison. With the implementation of Inquisition coming with the next gen consoles, my biggest worry is how they will implement continuation of save files. As long as I can reflect my choices from the previous games though, I’ll be a happy Bioware maniac. Anticipation Level: 4.75 out of 5
3. The Order: 1886- Ready At Dawn (Release Date: Q4 2014)
Victorian London? Big fan. Supernatural Half-Breeds? Big fan. King Authur’s Court? Big fan. Steampunk Style? Big fan. This game is literally setting itself up to be one of my favorite games of the year just by its style and storyline. I sincerely hope this game doesn’t get delayed and pushed back to 2015. I am seriously excited for this game to come out and to learn more about The Order. It also reminds me a bit of Sherlock Holmes, which is never a bad thing. Anticipation Level: 4.85 out of 5
2. Elder Scrolls Online- Zenimax Online (Release Date: 04/04/2014)
It’s Elder Scrolls. It’s an MMO. It’s something I have desperately dreamed of for years (that and a Mass Effect MMO.) With the option for third or first person views and the implementation of traditional TES combat style and not just button mashing and shot rotations, I feel like this game with challenge my RPG skill a lot more than any other this year, especially when other players are counting on me. Anticipation Level: 4.9 out of 5
1. Destiny- Bungie (Release Date: 09/09/2014)
Drool. That’s literally what I’ve been doing since last February. I love the art style. I love the clashing of RPG and FPS genres. I love the integration of online co-op and competitive experiences. The unique weapons remind me a bit of Borderlands. I cannot wait to explore our solar system, customize my ship, reveal the secrets of the Traveler and many other things when this comes out. And best of all, Bungie has committed itself to this game for the next 10 years! Drool. Anticipation Level: 5 out 5
What are your most anticipated games of 2014? Do you have any suggestions for me? Please let me know in the comments!
(All images were taken from various public image galleries, please visit each individual game’s website/wikia for image sources)