Game news this week kicks off the sequel to a game no one remembers. EA confirmed Titanfall 2 with a teaser trailer this week, announcing at the same time that the game would be on display in some form at their Play Event during E3. EA’s Play Event starts on June 12, and was set up because the company is skipping E3. So far, no other details have come out about the game, but you can expect to hear more about it in June.
Some sad news for many World of Warcraft fans this week. The popular private server Nostalrius, was shut down on April 10th. This comes following a cease and desist from Blizzard Entertainment. The Nostalrius server has allowed players to keep playing vanilla WoW as it was 13 years ago, pre-expansion, and is somewhat similar to Project 99 for EverQuest. Before being shut down, Nostalrius had over 150,000 active players. To signify the ending of the server, players got together to travel from the orc capital Orgrimmar to the Thunder Bluff cliffs -- where they jumped to their deaths. In addition, many attempted to stream the server’s final moments; however, the private server violated Twitch.Tv’s terms of service, and so to were the streams shutdown.
Bethesda’s Automatron DLC was the first DLC for Fallout 4 and was a solid addition to the game, but fell slightly flat in some areas. Quickly following Automatron, Bethesda is rolling-out their Wasteland Workshop DLC, which adds to the capabilities of settlement building through new lighting, technology, and even the ability to catch creatures.
Capturing creatures is likely to be the most significant – and fun – addition from Wasteland Workshop. The types of creatures that can be captured range from raiders to deathclaws to cats. These creatures can be tamed, or more interestingly, made to fight to the death. Settlers can even be chosen to fight creatures, so next time “another settlement needs your help,” Preston can be forced to fight a deathclaw. Maybe that’ll teach him.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is making waves today following the leak of a gif from one their developers. While short, the gif depicts the player character leap-frogging buildings using a jetpack -- not a past feature of the series. This is certainly new for the franchise; in previous titles, Mass Effect’s level design was largely linear and lacked vertical elements.
We can’t be sure about the veracity of the gifs, but leaks are hardly surprising when considering that Bioware is using roughly 200 developers to work on the game. For reference, this is up from around 50 that helped make Dragon Age: Inquisition. Andromeda’s expected release date has also been pushed back somewhat, from the holiday season of this year to the first quarter of 2017.
The past week in game news saw some contradictions in initial RollerCoaster Tycoon World plans, Steam controller 3D print customization, Battleborn's beta, and Hyper Light Drifter's launch. Big news in various segments of the gaming market, all covered in our weekly recap that's embedded below.
RollerCoaster Tycoon World is up first (RCTW) – an easy topic, given our extensive coverage history of the game's tumultuous development pipeline. Developers nvizzio and publisher Atari have given in to the Early Access model, making available RCTW for $50 pre-purchases. More on this and other weekly news topics in this video:
Mirage: Arcane Warfare builds upon mechanics instituted by Torn Banner's critically acclaimed Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, preceded by Source Engine mod Age of Chivalry. The team's humble beginnings were rocketed ever upwards by Valve's placement of Age of Chivalry on the official Steam store – the first of three mods to receive such an accolade. Its peers, Dystopia and Insurgency, have also gone on to establish studios.
Mirage significantly changes the top-level gameplay from what's been experienced in Torn Banner's previous titles, but does so without shaking the foundation. Low-level gameplay elements remain intact with the new title, including swing mechanics (follow-through mouse drags that impact outcome) and the psychology-driven design approach to competitive play. Importantly, Mirage now absolves itself of largely physical combat with a new-found dedication to – go figure – arcane sorcery.
Obsidian today announced its maniacal “Tyranny” RPG, published in renewed partnership with Paradox Interactive. As was the situation with Epic Games’ Paragon upon first reveal, there’s not much information right now – but we’ve got the basics, and we’ll have a full preview live in a week’s time.
Tyranny runs on the Pillars of Eternity engine, so it’s fair to expect the same multi-character, single-player system as exists there. At least, that’s the probable foundation. As its name might suggest, Tyranny’s undertone is one of oppression and ulterior motives – the player’s actions are less aligned with “good” and tend to edge more on the realm of “possibly really evil” – a stark change from Pillars of Eternity.
Blizzard's Diablo II, the year 2000's best dungeon crawler, has once again been resurrected from the brink of incompatibility. The game just received patch 1.14a, making Diablo II one of the longest-supported video game titles in history, with on-and-off patching for sixteen years; in 2011, Blizzard pushed patch 1.13 for expanded OS & hardware support.
A developer post on the official Blizzard forums (posted by “Classic”) indicates official support for OSX Mac operating systems. Somewhat surprisingly, Blizzard also pointed toward updated cheat-detection and hack-prevention systems. In the official post, Blizzard wrote:
Cars, spaceships, and a metal band star in this week’s game news recap -- actually, two metal bands, and they’ve both got forthcoming games. In the past week, Epic Games pushed critical announcement regarding its new Paragon MOBA: The game will be entirely free-to-play -- access to all heroes included -- with only monetized cosmetic items. Early beta access costs $20, but will be waived at launch (similar to the successful Dota 2 model). Time will tell how financially viable “cosmetic items only” is for yet another game on the market, but it’s been working out well for Dota 2 so far. Not a bad model to follow.
Other news includes No Man’s Sky, a game we think is well worth a follow, and Dream Theater’s new The Astonishing game and album. Maiden’s in there, too, because Steve Harris has decided to bring Eddie to mobile devices. More in the recap video below. Script follows.
Our initial coverage of RollerCoaster Tycoon World blew-up when we were at PAX Prime 2015. It was the first time anyone had seen real gameplay footage of the tumultuously-made title, which was (at the time) on its third development team. The game seemed like it had promise and, as we learned in a later meeting, was slated for a December launch with two pre-launch betas in the pipe.
Only one of those betas happened -- the other was canceled, and the December launch target got moved. Again. We're now looking at "Early 2016" for RollerCoaster Tycoon World, which will soon be threatened by newcomer "Planet Coaster" (4Q16 launch date). RCTW's got the name and recognition, but has to pull together its development faster than might be feasible. Even just the framerates, as you'll see in the video below, are completely inexcusable for a PC game. Here's hoping things look up for the globally loved title.
In the meantime, Atari has re-re-announced its modding plans. It feels like we're stuck on loop, here -- we talked about modding at PAX Prime ('15) and, based on Atari's newest video, not much has changed -- but they want to make sure everyone remembers that the game exists and has modding support.
Breaking news from Germany -- Duke Franz Ferdinand is dead.
Well, maybe -- a NeoGAF listing by EA re-confirmed Battlefield 5, a game we already knew would ship from a recent EA earnings call. While this isn’t shocking, the setting is: according to the store listing, the Battlefield franchise will go back in time to World War 1. This rumor starts with the listed description of the game (now redacted), which states auf Deutsch that the game in question is “Mehrspieler Taktik Shooter im 1. Weltkrieg.” In the language of the victors, that’s “multiplayer tactical shooter in WW1.” If the unintentional leak is true, this would be a first for the Battlefield franchise and takes us back farther than its 1942 - Vietnam roots.