Category Archives: Game Announcement and Article

Darksiders is not dead, says series’ creative director as he drops hints for Darksiders 3

Joe Mad says Darksiders owners Nordic Games “seems very committed to continuing the series.”

The creative director for Darksiders and Darksiders II, Joe Madureira, has hinted that the series may live on.

Answering questions from fans on his Facebook page, the comic book artist turned his attentions to THQ’s Horsemen-based adventure. “[Darksiders] is not dead!!! The new owner, Nordic seems very committed to continuing the series,” Madureira exclaimed.

Nordic scooped up a bevy of THQ properties in a $4.9 million job lot auction back in April 2013. Alongside Darksiders, the Swedish company now owns the rights to Red Faction, MX vs. ATV, Supreme Commander, Full Spectrum Warrior, and more.

Is Maduriera working on Darksiders 3, then? “As far as my involvement, I can’t say at this point. Hopefully we will all have exciting news about the franchise soon!!!!!!” In May last year, Madureira spoke about the original vision for the third Darksiders title.

The last entry in the series–for now, at least–was Darksiders II, which was released back in 2012. If the series was to return, it almost certainly wouldn’t be helmed by its original developer Vigil Games. After THQ went bankrupt, Crytek acquired key staff to form Crytek USA.

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10 upcoming movies based on video games

Gone are the days when filmmakers shied away from movies based on video games and actors tried to stay as far away from them as possible. With more and more games leaving Hollywood movies behind in revenue as well as telling quality stories, it was only a matter of time before Hollywood realised the potential in these movies. In the last couple of years, every major games studio has announced that at least one movie based on their games was in production. Here’s a list of movies based on video games that you’ll be able to watch in theatres soon.

Assassin’s Creed

10 upcoming movies based on video games
Assassin’s Creed, announced in 2012, is set to be the first movie developed by Ubisoft’s very own film division. It’s being co-produced by New Regency and 20th Century Fox with a slated release date of August 7, 2015. Michael Fassbender is serving as a producer and actor for the movie, with Michael Lesslie as the writer. It is rumoured to tell an original story set in the Assassin’s Creed universe and is expected to include several familiar themes from the games that we so love. Recently, screenwriter Scott Frank was hired to revise Lesslie’s story, and its rumoured Justin Kerzel will also be joining the project as the director.

Watch Dogs

10 upcoming movies based on video games
We’re still a few weeks away from the launch of the highly anticipated game, but Ubisoft has already announced that a Watch Dogs movie is in the works. Announced in June last year, it’s supposedly a part of the second phase of movies produced by Ubisoft Motion Pictures. Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese are writing the movie, with no actors currently attached to it. Not much is known about the project yet as it’s still in early stages of production. However, we do know that it’s being produced by New Regency and Columbia Pictures and will be distributed by Sony and 20th Century Fox.

The Last of Us

10 upcoming movies based on video games
Regardless of how anyone feels about the game itself, The Last of Us has the most compelling and brilliant story ever told in a game. So it’s no surprise that it’s also being turned into a movie. Plans for the movie were announced on 6th March, with Screen Gems joining as the distributors and Sam Raimi as the director. Naughty Dog will co-produce the movie with Neil Druckmann also serving as the writer. The movie will be based directly on the game, and will simply portray the events that happened in it. Currently, no release date is attached to the project, so don’t expect the movie to hit the theatres any time soon.

Splinter Cell

10 upcoming movies based on video games
You just can’t keep a good agent down, and so even Sam Fisher has managed to get his own movie thanks to Ubisoft’s new film division. It was announced back in 2012, with Tom Hardy starring as Sam Fisher, and Eric Singer as the writer. Ubisoft will once again be working with New Regency to make the film and its rumoured Doug Liman will be joining the project as director. It is currently unknown if the movie will tell an original story or just be an adaption of one of the many Splinter Cell games, though knowing Ubisoft’s track record, the latter seems more likely. No release date has been set for the project, but filming may start in August this year.

Warcraft

10 upcoming movies based on video games
Based on the popular video game franchise of the same name, Warcraft is possibly the only movie in this list that has been in development for more than eight years. Legendary Pictures and Blizzard Entertainment are co-producing the movie with Universal Pictures serving as the distributors. The fantasy film will take place in the world of Azeroth, and serve as an origin story of sorts about the initial encounters between humans and orcs. It features Ben Foster, Travis Fimmel and Paula Patton in starring roles, and is being directed by Duncan Jones. Filming started in January 2014, and the movie is slated to release on 11th March, 2016.

Resident Evil 6

10 upcoming movies based on video games
The most successful video game movie franchise is back for its sixth outing. Milla Jovovich is returning as Alice, the zombie-killing super-agent in what is supposed to be her final appearance. This of course doesn’t mean the end of the franchise, but it does seem that it may go through a reboot. Director Paul WS Anderson is also returning for the movie, with this being the fourth Resident Evil movie he directs. Previous cast members, including Michelle Rodriguez and Ali Larter are also slated for a return. Sony announced the release date as 12th September, 2014. However, there are rumours that it may get delayed to 2015.

Hitman: Agent 47

10 upcoming movies based on video games
Hitman is another one of those franchises that has already received the theatrical treatment, and with quite a bit of success too. Although the previous movie wasn’t a critical success, it did have quite a decent run at the box office. So naturally, they’re making a second one. This movie isn’t a continuation of the series, but rather a reboot of the franchise. Paul Walker was initially hired to play the role of Agent 47, but following his tragic death, Rupert Friend was hired to play the silent assassin. Aleksander Bach is directing the movie, with Zachary Quinto (Heroes, Star Trek) and Hannah Ware (Boss) starring in supporting roles. The movie will release on 5th March, 2015 and will be distributed by 20th Century Fox.

Ratchet & Clank

10 upcoming movies based on video games
Unlike most other movies in this list, Ratchet & Clank will actually be an animated movie, featuring the original voice cast from the game series. Rainmaker Entertainment and Blockade Entertainment are developing the movie, with Insomniac Games acting as a consultant. TJ Fixman, the writer from the original game, has written an original story for the movie, which will be directed by Tony Baxter. The movie will supposedly tell an origin story inspired by the events of the first game. It’s being distributed by Columbia Pictures and is slated for an early 2015 release.

Sly Cooper

10 upcoming movies based on video games
Following in the footsteps of the Ratchet & Clank movie, Sly Cooper will be the second video game movie to be developed by Rainmaker Entertainment and Blockade Entertainment. The CGI movie will be written and directed by Kevin Munroe, with Brad Foxhoven and David Wohl serving as producers. It will retell the story of the first game, with actors Matt Olsen and Chris Murphy reprising their roles and Ian James Corlett joining them as the voice of Sly Cooper. The movie is set for an early 2016 release and a teaser trailer was released recently for the public.

Angry Birds

10 upcoming movies based on video games
Rovio Entertainment surprised everybody when they announced in December 2012 that their wildly popular mobile game Angry Birds is also getting a tie-in computer-animated movie. John Cohen was announced as the producer for the movie, with Sony Pictures as the distributor. Rovio is still producing and financing the movie so as to maintain full creative control over the project. Jon Vitti was hired to write the screenplay for the movie, along with Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly as the directors. The movie is slated for 1st July, 2016, full 3D release.

Elder Scrolls Online to Introduce Justice System, New Storylines, and More

Most notably, TESO plans to introduce a “justice system” that allows players to steal from and kill NPCs – though expect to face consequences if you’re caught.
In the future, also expect new storylines and quests for the Thieves Guild and the Dark Brotherhood. Other major features in development include a system that will allow grouped players to see each other even when they’re in different phases, armour-dyeing options, new veteran dungeons, spellcrafting, and more. Even Craglorn, the zone introduced in the first content patch, will receive a new region. You can check out the full list of planned additions and improvements over at the TESO blog.

“For most of these, we don’t know yet which update they’ll be in, but they’re under active development right now,” Zenimax assures fans.

On top of that, Zenimax says it’s working on known bugs and its problem with bots. It’s also been reading reviews from media and players alike – yes, even the bad reviews.

“The important thing for you, the community, to know is that we’re looking at ALL the feedback (from critics and from players), we’re addressing any shortcomings, and we’ll continue to do so.,” Zenimax says. “This game will get better and better every week.”

Watch Dogs on PS4 Confirmed to Run at 1080p, 60FPS

While there has been no official word on Watch Dogs specs from its publisher, PlayStation.com makes the claim that you can play Watch Dogs “in a way that only PS4 can provide.”

“The world of Watch Dogs comes alive on PS4 with the best graphics on any console and exclusive missions found only on PlayStation,” the full text reads. “Hack everything as you make your way through Chicago’s underground as you experience Watch Dogs in a way that only PS4 can provide, at 60 Frames Per Second in 1080p.”
In April, Watch Dogs’ cinematics animation lead Lars Bonde made mention of the game’s resolution on PS4, but there’s still no word – official or otherwise – on the resolution of other versions of the game.

Hungry for more Watch Dogs? Here’s everything we know about the game so far.

Valve releases Compendium for 2014 Dota 2 championships, increases prize pool to $2.2 million overnight

Will Valve break last year’s record of a $2.8 million prize pool?

Valve has released the 2014 Compendium to its annual Dota 2 tournament The International last night, and proceeds from its sales have already raised the championship’s overall prize pool from $1.6 million to $2.2 million.

Introduced last year, the Compendium is a digital interactive program for the competition, where you can keep track of the different teams and make predictions. Each Compendium costs $10, and each sale raises the prize pool by $2.50. As the prize pool grows and hits its stretch goals, more rewards unlock for all Compendium owners and, in some cases, all players.

Leveling up your Compendium by using it and completing special challenges will reward you with Battle Point Boosters and different items. You can also just buy points to level up, and 25 percent of those sales will also add to the overall prize pool.

Last year, Compendium sales raised the prize pool to $2.8 million, so given the amount Valve has raised in this short time already, it seems like it’s on track to raise much more this year.

The International Dota 2 Championships will take place starting July 18 at the Key Arena in Seattle. 10,000 tickets went on sale in early April and sold out within an hour.

11 teams will compete in the tournament this year, with four regional qualifiers taking place from May 12 through May 25. Alongside the invited teams, the winner of each regional qualifier will secure a guaranteed place in the finals, and the four runners-up will compete for the final slot in the tournament.

There are many more rewards and updates that come with this year’s Compendium. For more details, check out its official website, or GameSpot sister site onGamers’ great breakdown.

For more on Dota 2, check out GameSpot’s previous coverage.

Sony PlayStation E3 2014 press conference dated for June 9, 6PM

Sony has started sending out invites for their pre-E3 press conference with dates and times. Are you ready?
Sony has started sending out invites for their press conference today, confirming the date and time as Monday June 9 at 6PM.

If you’re planning out your week based on press conference watching, here are the confirmed details we’ve gotten for the other exhibitors so far:

Microsoft: Monday June 9 at 9:30 AM PST
EA: Monday June 9 at noon PST
Nintendo Direct: Tuesday June 10 at 9AM PST

The only company left who normally presents a press conference is Ubisoft, and we expect confirmation from them soon. E3 officially runs from June 10-12, and we’ll be covering the entire conference with in-depth coverage all week.

So, what do you expect to hear and see from Sony this year?

Top-secret” Blizzard project to be revealed in 2014, according to resume

Blizzard has already released Hearthstone and Reaper of Souls this year, with Warlords of Draenor still to come.

 

Blizzard’s year might already be a busy one between the launches of Hearthstone and expansion packs for Diablo III (in March) and World of Warcraft (later this year), but it has plans for even more, as an employee’s resume indicates a new project will be announced sometime in 2014.

As reported on Kotaku by Internet sleuth Superannuation, the LinkedIn profile for a senior artist at Blizzard mentions he is at work on “a top-secret project to be unveiled sometime in 2014.”

Click to see a full-size version.

Calling it a ‘top-secret project’ would suggest this has nothing to do with any of the games Blizzard has announced, like StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, Heroes of the Storm, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, or the next-gen-console versions of Diablo III. It’s possible that this is another expansion for Diablo III–Reaper of Souls sold 2.7 million copies in one week, so clearly there is interest in more content for the game (particularly with the much-maligned auction house removed).

Superannuation suggests the possibility of hearing something about Titan, the “next-gen” MMO Blizzard has been working on for the better part of a decade. That project has, according to statements made by Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime, evolved from what the developer originally envisioned it as, and Superannuation brings up the possibility that the game may no longer even be an MMO.

When asked by GameSpot about Titan last year, Blizzard COO Paul Sams said, “We really aren’t talking about that product right now.” What he was willing to talk a little about was his enthusiasm at the prospect of developing a new IP, which has to be considered as another possibility for this 2014 secret unveiling.

“I think it’s difficult to launch a new franchise. I think it’s risky to launch a new franchise, but that has never been the reason to deter us.” Sams said. “It’s always been about doing the game we think we want to play next. What is the best franchise for that? Is it an existing franchise or is it one we should create? I think we have no concern and no hesitancy about building a new franchise if we think we have the right ideas and the right game to pair it with. Hopefully we’ll have some of those things to talk about in the future.”

Whatever Blizzard is allegedly revealing, BlizzCon 2014 would be the most likely place for it to make an announcement. This year’s conference is scheduled to take place November 7-8 in Anaheim. The first batch of tickets went on sale earlier this week, with another set to be made available tomorrow, May 10, at 10 a.m. Pacific.

GDC 2014: The Push to be Daring, Bold and New

Days 1 and 2 are filled with sessions pushing developers to be more daring in every aspect of their creative efforts.

Image provided by GDC under creative commons / by / 2.0 license.

 

GDC Days 1 and 2 have been filled with inspiring and thought provoking talks ranging from game design, to story development, music composition and more. Speakers tried to reach out to game developers to push them to make daring decisions regarding their projects in every aspect. Be bold, be new, come up with new tricks. Think of ways to inspire players and be different from everyone else. Day 1’s general motif was about creating a game that will elicit a natural response from the player.

In his presentation, “Building Player Investment,” indie developer Chris Cornell, creator of Save the Date, told the audience that the game industry was “running out of tricks.” He said we can actually learn a thing or two from cinema; directors and movie makers have a way of implying things and emotions instead of showing them directly. It allows the viewer to have a much more natural response to things that aren’t communicated in an extremely blatant fashion. Players become more easily immersed in a game when they are allowed to explore and learn things by themselves. Cornell urged that the player’s interpretation of the game and its story were more important than the actual stuff written and intended for the player by the creator; it doesn’t matter what the game means to the creator, it matters what it means to the audience.

Image courtesy of Evan Goncalo.

 

A talk by Daniel Greenberg entitled Evocative Story Writing: Write Less, Reveal More directly compliments what Cornell had to say. He started his talk with something he has tried to teach to everyone he has come across in the industry. “The game world does not exist on the screen, but between the player’s ears.” Once again, the importance comes down to what the player actually takes away from the game. Greenberg brought up the master of still-documentaries, Ken Burns. He said that Burns was able to create moving and highly emotion-evoking films just through the use of still photographs; he didn’t need to show a bunch of action. Burns allowed the viewers to take in the story from the photograph. This had a much more lasting impact than most other films and games. Greenberg implored developers to trust that players will take what they are given and turn it into something meaningful and experiential. Developers can accomplish this through creating small stimuli that work their way subconsciously into a player’s mind, in turn creating strong but subtle emotional nuances. It all comes down to whether or not the game designers use basic design choices to help them make these stimuli. Tools such as color, wardrobe, physicality, gesture, cinematography, lighting, etc. Greenberg warned that just because these elements exist, does not mean they are necessarily working for you. You have to find creative ways that will work for what you want the player to experience.

Image courtesy of Evan Goncalo.

 

For Day 2 I decided to attend a few music boot camp sessions because besides being a writer, I am an active musician and composer. After attending I realized what I learned not only translates to my career as a musician, but also to working in the game industry in general. In the first talk of the day, Peter Zinda, a sound designer from the Formosa Group, told aspiring sound designers that the best decisions you can make are ones that utilize all the tools at your disposal to make out-of-the-box, long lasting results. Though he spoke about the world of digital signal processing in sound, his ideas are meaningful within the context of design and game work in general. Designers have a range of tools at their disposal, whether they are photo programs, 3D programs, game engines or other software programs. They’re capable of creating some pretty amazing stuff, but that only happens when they realize what each tool can do. Their full potential must be explored. Once you gain knowledge on these tools, you can create better work much more quickly. It’s also beneficial to be looking for newer, interesting software that speeds up or enhances a process beyond what can be produced by the tools you already use. Essentially, just know how to use available tools and you will be surprised what you can actually accomplish with them. I learned that to make a force field sound from the noise of an old refrigerator running…go figure!

The last sound/music based talk I went to was with Grammy-nominated composer Austin Wintory, responsible for the music found in popular games such as Journey, Monaco, and the more recent The Banner Saga. Wintory’s talk was all about the choices we make and how they define what type of artist we are. Each decision we make, whether it be miniscule or large, separates us from any other artist. If we lack “creative courage” our work will lack meaning and will most likely be ignored. We synthesize through discovering and exploring and making choices from these discoveries. “Don’t straddle multiple realities.” We must fully commit to our artistic choices and decisions. Wintory suggested some ways to go about making articulate decisions by example of his more recent work with The Banner Saga. He found it useful to ask himself before he started writing, “What is the idea of the game?” He wasn’t concerned specifically with the characters or setting necessarily, but with what those things were trying to accomplish and show players.

Image provided by GDC under creative commons / by / 2.0 license.

 

Also, how do you play the game? What is the player interaction like? These considerations can take compositions and designs in two completely directions. These issues need to be defined first. Wintory stated that he does his best work with people he truly cares about. Truly great work comes when you personally invest yourself into a project. When you truly want the game and its creators to succeed, your best work will shine through. Though he wanted to inspire the audience to make decisions, Wintory didn’t want people to become afraid of making bad decisions. You actually learn and become better from these mistakes. “If you’re going to fail, don’t fail in a way that doesn’t matter.” Ultimately, figure out what the game and its creators as a whole are trying to communicate and explore the choices that will truly compliment the originator’s vision and the game the players will experience.

Days 1 and 2 provided me some pretty important advice not only concerning the topics at hand, but concerning the attitudes I should carry throughout my career. Everyone in the industry should always be thinking about the bigger picture and what the players and audience are going to experience. As soon as I figure out and define these things, I can create and synthesize amazing compositions and designs through exploring and learning about the tools I have and the choices I can make. Every choice should be a definite one. Every choice should be a meaningful one.

Nate Goncalo is an English/Communications major at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He is a working musician and composer that currently plays in a successful New England-based band and has won multiple awards for his compositions. He is currently pursuing work in the independent game community.

New Wolfenstein is around 20 hours long if you collect everything

“But there’s also lots of incentive to make a second playthrough,” developer says; studio has “lots of ideas for a sequel.”
Upcoming first-person shooter Wolfenstein: The New Order will take you around 20 hours to complete if you collect everything and explore all the environments the game has to offer. MachineGames creative director Jens Matthies revealed the figure today during a Reddit AMA session.

Matthies also pointed out that Wolfenstein: The New Order (which does not have a multiplayer mode) will encourage you to play through the game again, “especially to explore the alternate timeline,” he said. He went on to say that early on in the game players will make a choice that will open up an alternate timeline which “changes the vibe of the story.”

“It’s recommended to do a second play through and see what would have happened if you chose differently,” he said. It’s unclear how the paths differ.

Also during the AMA, Matthies addressed the possibility of making a sequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order. Though nothing is decided yet, he said he would “love to do a sequel,” or even an Enemy Territory-style multiplayer game.

“But MachineGames will never make both at the same time. We find that the best possible results come from having the whole team focused on a singular experience for the duration of the project,” he said.

“We have lots of ideas for a sequel and we’d love to do one,” he added. “It hinges on the financial success of this one, of course.”

Matthies also revealed during the AMA that the PC version of Wolfenstein: The New Order allows “complete key binding freedom.”

Wolfenstein: The New Order launches May 20 for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC. Preordering the game will guarantee you access to the upcoming Doom beta, though it will be available only on the Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

The Inside Track on Driveclub’s Delay

By Luke KarmaliAfter months of speculation, we finally have a release date for PS4 exclusive Driveclub. But while the announcement that the game had been delayed a little longer gave us the answer to one question, it also caused a whole load of others to spring up, from how the PS Plus version of the game would work, to what benefits (if any) we should expect from the delay.

So we asked you for your most pressing questions to put to game director Paul Rustchynsky, in a bid to get you all the answers you want. You didn’t disappoint and, thankfully, neither did he, candidly responding to a huge range of your points from microtransactions to the controversial decision to stick at 30fps rather than push for the higher 60fps that its next-gen rivals boast.