Hello, and welcome back to the weekly recap of all the biggest news in gaming. Let’s get this started with the headlines.
‘Day-Z’ creator leaves Bohemia
Day-Z has really become quite the phenomenon since it’s original mod version for Arma II. Now that the official title has been released on Steam Early Access, let’s just say that it’s content is.. lacking. However, Dean Hall, the creator of Day-Z has decided to step down from development as leader. He will be leaving the company at the end of the year and to continue making games with a new studio. In an interview with Eurogamer, he explained his reason for leaving with one of the vaguest and most confusing metaphors ever;
“I am a grenade. I have a specific use. I’m really good at risk-taking and making other people take risks, I’ve always been good at that in my life. Like you say, maybe I’ve got the gift of the gab, so I can talk, I can explain something, I can talk people up to the ledge and get them to jump off it.
“That’s what I did with Day-Z; I’ve done it twice now [once with the mod, again with the standalone] – two new code teams have separately done it.
“But eventually, that’s the bad person to have. Eventually, you don’t want the guy telling you to go over the top and get through. So at some point I’ll be a disaster for the project, at least in a leadership role.”
This departure really could mean two things. One; he believes he has finished his role at the company and is suited better elsewhere, or; he decides to grab his money and leave the sinking ship before it sinks. The sheer amount of bugs and problems Day-Z is currently facing is staggering, and with the head of the company leaving, I don’t see clear skies in the future.
‘Deux Ex: The Fall’ comes to PC in March
The Deux Ex franchise has gotten quite the nice little reboot of late, what with the success of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and the announcement of Deus Ex: Universe. Fans of the classic PC title have had a good time with this reboot, but sadly the second title in this new phase wasn’t the best, mainly because it was released on a non hardcore gamer focused device; iPads. Many fans were angry it was not coming to consoles and PC as it was heavily important to the plot and a direct sequel to Deus Ex: Icarus Effect, a book based in the same franchise.
Double Fine Confirms ‘Broken Age Act 2’ is Funded
After the successful Kickstarter that funded Tim Schafer’s most recent project, Broken Age, it was a shock to learn that the game was being split into two halves. While this is certainly not out of the norm for this industry (Telltale games capitalized on this business model) it was still a surprise considering just how much money the Kickstarter achieved for the project (over $3,ooo,ooo). The title was to release on backer money, and then to make up for money needed for development, Double Fine was planning on using money from the release. I, myself was very skeptical of this, considering how many donated in the first place, who would be left to buy the game? Well, apparently a lot of people, as in a interview with Games Industry International, Tim Schafer confirmed that this move has resulted in the funding of part two and the iOS version. I was quite a fan of episode one, and I am very glad to hear that this business move has worked out for Double Fine, even if it is very risky. But with another Kickstarter project in development (Massive Chalice) I am worried that this bubble will burst for Double Fine.
‘Deep Down’ gets a new trailer
Capcom‘s ‘Deep Down’ hasbeen shrouded in mystery for quite a while now. It will be an action dungeon crawler, similar to Dark Souls and will have a free to play business model. Capcom has released a new trailer for the PS4 launch in Japan. We get to see more of the world and monsters we will be attacking, and some god awful English voice acting, but really this just makes the plot even more confusing. Hopefully we will learn more about this interesting title in the coming months, and fingers crossed for a European release.
King.com Abondons ‘Candy’ Trademark
It’s no secret that King.com, creator of the successful Candy Crush Saga, has received a lot of negative press as of late due to its recent trademark on the word “Candy”. Numerous games with the word candy in the title have been taken down, regardless if they have anything to do with Candy Crush‘s game play or even if they were around before the title. Well, King has decided it’s time to stop this madness and has abandoned their claim on the word. The company filed paperwork for abandonment for the trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on February 24. King spoke out on the subject, stating “King has withdrawn its trademark application for Candy in the U.S., which we applied for in February 2013 before we acquired the early rights to Candy Crusher.”Each market that King operates in is different with regard to IP. We feel that having the rights to Candy Crusher is the best option for protecting Candy Crush in the U.S. market. This does not affect our E.U. trademark for Candy and we continue to take all appropriate steps to protect our IP.”
Sadly though, this only means that the American trademark has been lifted, so any game company anywhere else in the world can still be taken down by using the word Candy. Also the word ‘Saga’ still cannot be used, even though King.com‘s claim was suspended. So while it seems like a victory, really it only took American press off its back, so for us here in Europe, King hasn’t changed anything.
‘The Walking Dead: Season Two – Episode 2’ Gets a Trailer and a Release Date
Telltale has released a new trailer for the new episode, “A House Divided” along with a release date for PC for the 4th of March. Sadly no European dates for XBLA or PSN have been given,but expect then around that week. Expect my written opinion shortly.
‘South Park: The Stick of Truth’ Receives Censoring in Europe and a Number of Territories
In a piece of news that shocked no-one, the long awaited South Park RPG developed by Obsidian is being censored. Sadly for us European gamers, we will be one of the regions to receive the censored version of the game, unless you are playing the PC version. The censorship will come in the form of descriptive text overlaid onto explicit scenes. Ubisoft has spoken out on the matter stating “This was a market decision”. These scenes are the usual kind of humor you can expect from South Park, including Alien Anal Probe scenes. While I am not shocked that this happened, it’s still interesting to think that these scenes are fine in America, but in Europe its a no go area.
‘Awsomenauts Assemble!’ coming to PS4 next week
One of my favorite games of the last generation had to be Awsomenauts. Its unique blend of platforming and MOBA gameplay elements were mixed together to provide a hilarious, charming and insanely addictive title. The developers have been adding to the game since its launch on PC with a whole host of hilarious and memorable characters to play as (Many of which are voiced after Youtubers; Simon from the Yogcast and Totalbiscuit) but sadly these characters were never able to update on the PS3 and XBLA versions of the titles. Updates on these systems cost a vast amount of money, which is impossible for such a small developer team like Romino. But now console fans can receive all of these updates, as the game is being brought to PS4 under the name Awsomenauts Assemble!. This updated version will come with new characters, skins and maps. If you’re interested in the idea of a MOBA but are intimidated by the high learning curve, I would suggest picking Awsomenauts up. The game is easy to pick up,but hard to master,and with great characters,addictive gameplay and one of the best soundtracks in gaming,Awsomenauts is a must play.
Nintendo offering Pokemon X/Y when register of a 3DS and a select game
If you’re one of the 5 people out there who didn’t pick up Pokemon X and Y yet, then this news may interest you. Nintendo is currently holding a promotion until the end of March that if you register a 3DS, 3DS XL or 2DS and a specific game from a list then you will be eligible to receive a free copy of Pokemon X or Y. These games are Mario Kart 7, Super Mario 3DS Land, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins and Yoshi’s New Island. This is a great incentive for anyone currently on the fence about getting a 3DS, including myself I must say.
Romino games announces ‘Swords & Soldiers II
Romino Games may be most famous for their side scrolling MOBA ‘Awsomenauts’, but they did originally release a side-scrolling RTS back in 2009 called ‘Swords and Soldiers’. The title was pretty well received and had a pretty great visual aesthetic. Now Romino have announced ‘Swords & Soldiers II’ for the Wii U. From the trailer, we can see the goofy humor is still intact, but no game play was shown. There is no current release date for the project.
‘Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea’ – Episode 2 to Include 1998 Mode
An interesting little piece of news here, Irrational Games have announced a separate gameplay difficulty setting called ‘1998 mode’. This mirrors Bioshock Infinite‘s 1999 mode, which changed enemies, ammo sparsity and unforgiving checkpoints. Irrational Games showed off a pretty cool cover that is clearly inspired by the original cover for Thief: The Dark Project. It’s fitting as both games heavily feature a bow in some kind, and harks back to days of intense difficulty in stealth titles.
Ken Levine spoke out on the matter stating “In Burial at Sea – Episode Two, we put a focus on balance and stealth mechanics. As we were developing this new style of gameplay, we started to see people self-impose non-lethal playthroughs. Given the fan reception of 1999 Mode, we thought it would be cool to give them another way to play Burial at Sea that challenged their mastery of stealth tools.”
BioShock Infinite: Burial At Sea – Episode 2 releases on March 25th for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
‘Risen 3 :Titan Lords’ Announced
Deep Silver has officially announced the third title in the Risen series, Risen: Titan Lords. The game is coming to PC and consoles in August. The series hasn’t exactly had the best of histories, the original wasn’t amazing and the sequel was pretty dull, so at this point the only way we can go is up. In case you are unfamiliar with Risen, it’s a series of pirate based RPGs. No release date or platforms have been announced as of yet.