Alien Isolation: “Crew Expendable”? Not In This Video, Folks!

Alien_Isolation_Crew_ExpendableWhile the internet still rages on about whether or not the adding the cast of the original ALIEN to this new game as paid DLC currently only available as a pre-order bonus, it’s good to see the old(er) cast here reminiscing for a bit about things old and new. I like how Harry Dean Stanton didn’t realize that 35 years had passed since the film was released (hey, sometimes an actor who’s appeared in so many films tends to not recall every single role he’s done and when he did them) and it’s clearly sounding like the dev team didn’t go the lazy route and just take voice samples from the first movie and drop them in where needed. The again, as Tom Skerritt notes: “It’s what you don’t see…”, meaning these missions add to the original film’s story, filling in a few gaps. Hopefully, fans of the film will more likely be a lot more pleased whether or not they like the idea of pre-paying for that DLC and Sega will decide to release both missions as a single download not too long after the game ships out so we all can enjoy them.

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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Behind the Scenes #1: On Performance and Polish.

 
Initially, I’d thought this was going to be one of those online only games or an expansion to The Lord of the Rings Online, so it got sent to the bottom of my list of games I was interested in this year. Well, as this years E3 revealed, I need to pay a lot more attention. Monolith Studios is making what looks to be a really cool action game using the Rings license for current and next-generation platforms that’s worth taking a longer look at, so here you go – the first of a few making of videos. Enjoy!

Dragon Age: Inquisition Will Be Your “Dive In And Enjoy The Ride” Game For October, I’d Predict…

Dragon_03_WM_webHearing “Are there any questions?” after watching the Dragon Age Inquisition demo being played at EA’s media event a few days back made me laugh because after seeing the game in action, I just REALLY wanted to PLAY it myself and get any answers I needed. Clearly, BioWare was listening to player complaints about the series’ somewhat limited (albeit large) maps, so the demo was initially played on a map the size of Dragon Age Origins‘ entire game world. Additionally, while the demo was played in a set manner the two times I sat through it, I was also taking notes of all the little details such as plants and other things that could be gathered, the assorted wildlife that, save for one encounter, appeared in different numbers and places and a number of other changes small to large.

I was also thinking in terms of my own play style, how long it would take to merely get from one end of that even more massive and open map to the other. I tend to get easily distracted by off the beaten path areas, so I’m imagining taking a good deal more than a half hour to reach a simple mission objective or key story point. Thankfully, the new map and mapping system should set me straight if I ever get lost and the addition of mounts for the first time in the franchise means I can ride in and out of trouble (provided my poor horse or whatever other creature I end up with) isn’t stomped on or otherwise maimed in the process. Hmmm… that’s one question I actually SHOULD have asked. The new “be a leader” gameplay bits should be grand, as the game world will evolve according to the alliances and enemies you make. As with previous entries, everything you do will play some role in how the plot spools out, but this time the number of possible ripples outward from your actions are much greater… Continue reading

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Making of Episode 1: “If You’re Going to Shoot, SHOOT. Don’t Talk!”

 
Hey, Kids! Wanna know how video games are made? Well, this video doesn’t go into ALL the not so gory at all details, but it IS a fun watch if you’re intrigued. Gearbox Software seems to be a fun enough place to work, although some gamers with too much time on their hands and rickety soap boxes to stand on will give them eternal grief for at least two games they’ve worked on until the Earth rolls off its axis. Me, I just move forward and keep an eye on what they’re doing next. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel isn’t made entirely by the studio, but you know 2K Australia is using what Gearbox has created in this collaboration to whip up this spaced-out loot frenzy that happens to take place in the fun-tastic Borderlands universe.

Given that this one is only on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, I’m betting some of you are kind of ticked off that you traded in that “old” console in trade for a newer one, right? Oh well. Next time, don’t trade in or give away any system until you ONLY see budget games coming out for it. Or even better, NO games at all. That way you’re SURE there are no surprises coming down the pike…

Alien Isolation Pre-Order Trailer: It’s “Oh, You Want Some, Too?!” Before That Line Existed In The Franchise…

 
Well, I guess there’s a pre-order in my future after all, but as noted yesterday, I really hope that Sega and developer The Creative Assembly decide to make BOTH of those DLC packs permanent and available to everyone who wants them at some point. I just can’t see them vanishing into the ether forever a year or less down the road like the content in that last Aliens game a lot of people seemed to dislike too much. Anyway, this is a completely different game and a completely different dev team, so I’m one of those smarter people not rolling in the mud and predicting this game will be anything but as solid as a developer that’s never failed me previously can make. As far as what platform to play it on? I’m still flipping a coin…

ALIEN: Isolation Nostromo Edition DLC Packs Bring Back The Cast From The Past (But There’s An Pesky Modern Catch).

Artwork_1404833897

AI_NEOkay, the BEST gaming news I’ve heard all day also happens to kick me in the tender bits (ouchie!) because it’s a blast of sci-fi nostalgia mixed with the modern retailer insanity many gamers despise that shuts them out of bonus content. Anyway, the good., no, GREAT news is the announcement on the official site (and over on IGN, which ran a brief video announcing the news) of some incredible DLC for Alien Isolation that bumps the standard edition up to the Nostromo Edition and allows for players to dive into an enhanced mission based on the first film.

Even better, this mission has the voices and faces of all but one of the actors from the original film. Sigourney Weaver (Ellen Ripley), Tom Skerritt (Dallas), Veronica Cartwright (Lambert), Harry Dean Stanton (Brett), and Yaphet Kotto (Parker) are all on board in the “Crew Expendable” DLC, with Ian Holm’s Ash being portrayed by a sound-alike.

So far, so good, right? But of course, here comes the claw to the throat… Continue reading

Abyss Odyssey Asks You To Beat Time (and Plenty of Bad People) On PC, PS3 & Xbox 360

AO_WPACE Team’s games have ranged from the extremely strange (Zeno Clash, Zeno Clash 2) to the somewhat stranger (Rock of Ages), so it’s a fine thing indeed to see them making a more straightforward game in Abyss Odyssey, set to hit PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on June 15 for $14.99 (or 9.99 if you pre-order the game on Steam, you lucky PC owners you!).

abyss_shot_pit According to Atlus, the game is “a new side-scrolling action adventure game featuring a complex fighting engine in procedurally generated levels”, which means no two players should see the exact same levels as they play. Gameplay will seem familiar to fans of Dragon’s Crown on the PS3 and Vita, but like that VanillaWare instant classic, AO owes a lot to gaming’s past on a few fronts.

screen1_plantworld01 screen2_bossfight08 screen3_caverns15 screen4_plantworld03 abyss_shot_deertaur abyss_shot_park

As you can see above, the art style here is certainly gorgeous, as is most of the animation, going for a mix of realism in the character models and lush fantasy elements in those lovely environments and enemies. Additionally, making a female one of the playable characters from the outset is a smart move, as a game such as this will have a wider appeal with the addition of a lady who can hold her own with the tough guys here.

That said, it’s too bad this isn’t on a disc, as I know a few folks who aren’t fond of digital all that much who’d LOVE this game to death. Oh well – I suppose one day Atlus will gather all of ACE’s games up and stick them onto a Blu-Ray for a limited retail release at some point. Or at least realize that not everyone prefers the “convenience” of not owning a physical product you can lend to someone without having to rely on the internet to make that loan or trade possible. Anyway, this one looks like an instant BUY in my book.

DESTINY Collector’s Editions: Get That Ghost (Or Whatever Else You Want) Soon!

Digtial Digital Guardian Edition_info sheetWhile I’m not sure how supremely high interest is in Bungie’s first new project since the blockbuster Halo days (that’s a bit on an in-joke, kids – people seem to want this all-new IP quite a lot), the hype around Destiny is certainly huge enough that the game is getting a few collector’s editions as you can see and read below:

Destiny PS4 Limited Edition_packshot Destiny Limited Edition_info sheet

That’s the Limited Edition above and there’s the Ghost Edition below:

Destiny PS4 Ghost Edition_packshot Destiny Ghost Edition_info sheet

And of course, DLC is along for the ride in this online-only experience. Here’s what’s coming down the early part of that long road Bungie and Activision have planned for the future:

Destiny Expansion Pass_info sheet
Now, I’m not big on the whole Expansion Pass thing, but it’s one of those accepted practices that should work here quite well should the game have legs and Bungie wants to give its fans more as they burn through all the content in the main game. I just KNOW there will be some really enterprising players who team up to blow through the game world and its story content as quickly as possible, so I’m hoping the developer can at least keep up with those people and address any “complaints” they have. Granted, you’re not “supposed” to stay up for what, 20 hours straight (or however long it takes to see everything) playing ANY game. but try and stop someone with too much time on his or her hands and prepare to get slapped when they get a free hand.

Escape Dead Island Trailer: Live Men Tell Plenty of Tales…

 
Is anyone else getting a distinct Telltale Games vibe from the art in this Dead Island spin-off game headed to PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this fall? No? Well, okay, it’s not an EXACT lift from those excellent adventure games, but I’d bet a smelly coin from a zombie’s pocket that developer Fatshark Studios was inspired by that series when they were cooking up this one. That’s not necessarily a bad thing at all, as if it’s done right, I can see Dead Island appealing to gamers in a slightly different manner than it has previously. That and I wonder if those stylized visuals also mean this one’s Vita-bound as well? That would be pretty cool at the end of the day. Anyway, we’ll see what’s what soon enough, right?

Alien: Isolation Is Calling Me (Let’s Hope Sega Is Listening As Well)…

Alien Isolation smallOkay, Sega. I wasn’t at E3 this year, so tell me you’re rolling into NYC with Alien: Isolation and a few others sometime soon. I have a few appointments in July, but I’ll clear out the better part of a day just to see this in action and play it a little. Not TOO much, as I don’t want to pee myself in public (ha, ha). Just enough so that I know it’s on the right track (and I already do, but hands-on is better than too much “journalistic overconfidence” any day of the week). Um… that is all for now. Oh yeah, Sonic the Hedgehog had a birthday recently. I baked a cake, but ate the whole thing because he needs to watch his weight with that new look and all…