Gamescom 2014: The Witcher 3 Leaves Yet Another Winning Impression…

 

Well, this almost 16 minutes of gameplay footage is sure going to be helping sell The Witcher 3 to PC, PS4 and Xbox One owners (or make one buy a new console or upgrade a PC to run this gorgeous open world RPG… but, wait… what’s this? The Xbox One collector’s edition is getting (noooo!) extra stuff NOT in the other editions? Ruh-roh. Hmmmm… well, it’s just physical versions of the “Gwent” card decks so you can play that game (which is in ALL versions of the game) outside of the game space with like-minded friends and a cloth map of the game world.

 

Hmmm… I should be upset at this, but I know the internet fanboys will take care of that for me. It doesn’t affect the main game at all, so it’s not that big a deal. However, I can see some of the people cheering CDPR for stating that every version of the game would get the same content taking that a wee bit too literally and asking for Gwent decks for every version of the game. Of course, the company can just sell those decks separately at some point (and should if Gwent becomes popular enough to warrant making a lot more real decks).

 

Edit: I see that the whiners are in full rage on YouTube and a few message boards already! The developer did promise that TWC’s content on the game disc or via download would be the same, but it seems that didn’t extend to physical goodies at all, which as noted above, I really don’t have an issue with at all. I’m gathering they’ll stick to their guns despite the cranky types online saying they’ll cancel their pre-orders and I hope they do, but also reiterate that the ACTUAL game EVERY person is buying will be 100% the same across all platforms. Those cards and that map seem to be a bonus wrangled out by Microsoft, which seems to be looking to buy gamer love these days by getting them things they pay a lot for…

Gamescom 2014: Dragon Age: Inquisition Trailer & Screens: More To Whet Your Appetite, Yet Keep You Starving…

Well, there goes my fall and probably winter, I’m gathering. At this point, BioWare has a lot of people following every bit of ink (digital or otherwise) scribbled about Dragon Age: Inquisition, but these days, I only write too much about a game if I’m worried it’s not going to find an audience. DA:I has a built-in fan base that’s going to dive into it no matter what anyone says about it, and I have nothing bad to say at all. Other than I wish every bit of content was on a disc and there wasn’t DLC to worry about at all. I’ve been saying that a lot about all games, so fear not EA or BioWare – I’m not picking on you folks for that. It’s just a poke I take at every company that hasn’t yet realized that not everyone likes this practice or can get to that content they’ve paid for that’s on the disc or locked away as a download unless one buys into it. Options are always better to have than mandates and this game world needs to be one that anyone who can play the game should be able to fully explore.

Dragon Age: Inquisition will be available November 18, 2014 for PC, PS3/PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. I’d say you should most probably buy this one…

 

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Gamescom 2014: P.T. Is SH? Count Me IN!

I’d have to say the biggest new game news out of Gamescom was the surprise reveal of a collaboration between game creator Hideo Kojima, writer/director Guillermo Del Toro and actor Norman Reedus in the form of an all-new horror game called Silent Hills (currently) for the PlayStation 4. There’s a playable teaser (dubbed “P.T.”) up on PSN* as I type this and it seems that some players aren’t getting that it’s NOT supposed to be a demo of the FINAL game, but a teaser of what’s to come and may change entirely from what’s there. Then again, given the amusingly screechy reaction from YouTube user SoapyWarpig (the first person to discover what this mysterious P.T. was, congratulations, by the way!), I’m betting a lot of fans of that particular horror franchise will be plunking down some money towards a PlayStation 4 if they haven’t gotten one yet.

*Note: P.T. is a bit “tricky” to find on the PS Store if you’re just looking for it on your phone/tablet, laptop or desktop. However, if you log into your PSN account and use the search bar (type in PT), you’ll get sent to the demo page and all you need to is download away and get to playing. I think the jump scare stuff in that first video is funny because it might be Kojima poking fun at the endless stream of “let’s watch random guys and gals freak out!” videos that litter YouTube for every horror game these days. I found it more unsettling and bizarre than actually fly out of my chair frightening. Now, to find out if this is another PlayStation-only game or a timed exclusive that’s going to pop up on other consoles and/or PC at some point…

Gamescom 2014: Bloodborne and Until Dawn: Two More System Sellers For Sony? Could Be…

FromSoftware’s still in progress PS4 exclusive, Bloodborne finally gets a more gameplay focused trailer at Sony’s big media event and certainly looks fantastic. I actually got a Nightmare Creatures meets more deliberately paced Devil May Cry meets third-person Darkwatch vibe from this trailer, but I’m kind of nuts. Anyway, this one goes on the 2015 list. One more game for the backlog, whee!

Another work in progress, this time by Supermassive games, Until Dawn also looks pretty darn scary and cool, although it’s a different sort of game entirely. Clearly inspired by horror movies and a bit of classic adventure gaming, this tale of eight people meeting up at a mysterious shack in the mountains looks to give players a few choices in spinning fate’s wheel. Granted, I’m betting odds are slim everyone survives (what’s a horror game or film without a few demises?), but the replay value could be incredible if it’s more than a simple slasher story. Eight Little Indians getting it in so many ways is indeed intriguing…

Gamescom 2014: Why Tomb Raider As An Xbox One Exclusive Is A Lousy Move…

One: Tomb Raider got its start at a multiplatform game (PlayStation, Sega Saturn and PC), allowing many millions of gamers to see what original development team Core Design had created. While (very) dated by today’s standards, the innovation on a few technical fronts, a strong female lead character and the game paying homage to everything from Prince of Persia to the Indiana Jones movies made it an instant smash worldwide. Clamping the new game onto ONE system “forever” is to me, a mistake that’s going to result in lower sales for the new game unless there’s guarantee people will buy an Xbox One because of the new game. It’s likely in some cases, but I’d bet an old penny that any console sales are absolutely nowhere near what both Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider II did for PlayStation sales back when both games were released.

In my years in retail, there have been a handful of games I’ve seen people slap down money to buy a console for and the first three Tomb Raider games are on that list. Granted, TR III was a bit problematic on a few fronts (and how!), but crazy difficulty aside, it still sold systems… Continue reading