Saturday Video Round Up: January 25 – 31

Saturday has once again rolled back around and as usual that means it’s time for a brand new Video Round Up. We’ve got a ton of great video content for you, so kick those fett up, get comfortable, and as usual, crank the volume! Here’s just a taste of the videos waiting for you past the jump.

With Mortal Kombat X speeding towards it’s release date in April, information has begun to flow out of Netherrealm Studios and this week we learned of two additional characters joining the roster. Everyone’s favorite lizard ninja, Reptile, makes his return along with a new trailer showing him off. The red spirit ninja, Ermac, was also confirmed this week but unfortunately, his trailer was apart of the MKX stream from this week and at the time of his post, it hasn’t been broken off yet. If you want to see him in action, click here for the Stream recap on YouTube.

The Battlefield Hardline open beta has been officially announced for next week starting on February 3 and to get you ready to jump into those dangerous streets as a cop or robber, Visceral Games has released a couple of trailers. The first one is a sort of 101 trailer, detailing the many things you can look forward to when the main game hits in March while the other gives an interesting look behind the scenes at what it took to live up to the Battlefield standards.

I’ve also got new videos for Bloodborne, Dying Light, Evolve and so much more after the break, so come check out this week’s batch of trailers!

The full list of videos await you after the jump…

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Assassin’s Creed Unity Dead Kings Review – Tomb Raiding

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Dead Kings wasn’t on my list of things to do. After enjoying my time with Unity (even with its issues), I was ready to move on from the game. The story wrapped up, I felt content on where the journey ended, and I put enough time into the side content that I personally felt complete. Things obviously changed when Ubisoft made the decision to serve the added content up for free as a way of saying sorry for the very rough state in which Assassin’s Creed Unity launched. Honestly now, who am I to reject free stuff for a game that I had a good time with?

Also if you’re worried, I’ll try to steer clear of spoilers considering this content takes place after the events of Unity. Your welcome.

After putting time into the DLC, here are my thoughts on the experience. The full post waits for you below the jump.

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CD Projekt RED Stands Tall Against Paid DLC With The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

There’s absolutely no shortage of downloadable content for games these days. Add-ons, expansions, pre-order bonuses and additional optional purchases are all a standard of the games industry potentially resulting in consumers easily spending as much as another full priced game when all is said and done. CD Projekt RED on the other hand, the guys behind the Witcher games and the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077, have recently come out to detail a little bit more about what they’re planning for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Spoiler: they want to break the paid cycle.

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While we already know their stance on DLC considering they’re so vocal against the practice, co-founder and CEO Marcin Iwiński confirmed to IGN that they’re planning on releasing 16 DLC packs post launch for the game. Their aim is to make a statement against paid DLC in the industry while also rewarding people who purchase their game. Think of it almost like a big “Thank You” for placing your faith in them. Now, not all DLC pieces are going to be massive content updates so don’t expect 16 full expansions or anything like that.

Frankly, in an era where paid DLC add-ons and possible content being withheld behind some sort of pay wall is becoming the norm with this industry, I find the stance CDPR is taking both surprising and refreshing. I mean, reading some of the quotes, they seem very genuine and happy that you’re even considering their game. For example:

“And maybe the ones who thought about pirating would not pirate it,” Iwiński added. “Maybe the ones who wanted to trade it back and get something else will keep it on the shelf. That’d be great, I would like this to happen and if not that’s fine as well. I hope they’ll have fun.”

I mean, isn’t that just awesome? They’re cool with whatever as long as you have fun.

In addition, Iwiński added that when searching for a publishing partner, the majority of them pushed them to add a multiplayer mode or add multiple playable class options to which the studio shot down immediately. I’d ransom a guess that these publishers aren’t to familiar with The Witcher or the past games. I’m glad CD Projekt didn’t compromise their vision and stuck to their guns.

It’s a wild change of pace from what we’re normally thrown with all these season passes, map packs and the like. Granted, I’m not anti-DLC or anything like that and I will partake in post-released content if it appeals to me, but I absolutely respect what CD Projekt RED is going for here and it really makes me want to support them. I had trouble getting into Witcher 2, but I’m truly hoping that Wild Hunt grabs me from the start. They seem like a group that loves playing and creating games and want that to mirror their development habits around what it is to be a fan of games as well. I can definitely respect that.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is due out on May 19 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
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Gearbox Software Takes Over PAX South

The inaugural PAX South took root in San Antonio, Texas this past weekend and while I wasn’t able to be there (you can find me in Boston at PAX East in a couple months), from what I’ve read, it was Gearbox Software who decided to drop a ton of news at the show. It makes sense when you think about it considering they’re based in the nearby city of Plano. Of course, you can be sure that their shooter franchise, Borderlands, was at the heart of much of it.

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The first detail is that a Borderlands 1 remake for the new consoles isn’t off the table. For those of you surprised to see the first game left out of the “Handsome Collection” package, Gearbox isn’t saying anything for sure, but it seems like they’re basing a hard decision on how well the Handsome Collection sells. So if you’d like to see the first game brought to “next-gen” systems, then vote with your wallet. I enjoyed the first game, but I’m not sure I’d get too excited to play it again in higher resolution graphics. It was great at the time but the second game I felt did things a whole lot better. Just my two cents though.

While rumors were circulating on Friday that a Borderlands 3 announcement was imminent, sadly, that piece of news never came to pass. The only details we got out of Gearbox directly is that they’re now ready to begin development. Is this surprising to anyone? Considering that it’s their cash cow franchise, the only thing you should be surprised about with this revelation is that they haven’t really started on it yet.

In other “Borderlands” news, the Pre-Sequel is getting another character DLC pack featuring the sister of Sir Hammerlock, Aurelia. She’s an ice based character, able to apply cryo damage to her weapons and many other interesting skills. If you want a little more detail, click here to head over to her page. She’s arriving tomorrow for $9.99 or free with the season pass. If you’re planning on grabbing the Handsome Collection, all DLC from Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel will be included.

The excellent downloadable game from Telltale, Tales from the Borderlands, also showed off a clip from the upcoming second episode. The clip showed off Scooter who fans will immediately recognize from the main games. Sadly, no hard release date was given for when the second episode would be ready for download.

Tired of all this Borderlands news? Well, maybe this will help. The other major franchise that Gearbox has been plugging away on is Homeworld, which they purchased during the THQ bankruptcy auction. This weekend, they were finally ready to reveal pricing and release date details and the good news is, you don’t have to wait long. The Homeworld Remastered Collection is arriving on Steam Feb 25 for $34.99. The collection features remastered versions of the first two space-strategy games, the original classic versions as well, and access to a beta for the game’s multiplayer. If you’re already sold on this beefy package, Steam has the game listed for a very nice 15% off, so make sure to check that out while it’s active.

If any of you went to PAX South this past weekend, what was your favorite part? Let me know in the comments below.

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Saturday Video Round Up: January 18 – 24

Hey! Look at that, it’s Saturday once again and as usual that means it’s time for a brand new Video Round Up. We’ve got a ton of great video content for you, so kick those fett up, get comfortable, and as usual, crank the volume! Here’s just a taste of the videos waiting for you past the jump.

What would Mirrors Edge look like with zombies? Maybe a little like Dying Light which is out on PC and next gen consoles next week. To celebrate, Techland released a pair of videos one focusing on pure gameplay and the other showing off the developers playing co-op.

The Order 1886 is less than a month away and while we’ve seen the game in action quite a bit, the overall story is still wrapped in mystery. This week, Ready At Dawn and Sony teamed up to deliver a big time story based trailer showing off many of the characters you’ll be coming across in Victorian London. There’s no denying that the game looks visually stunning. I just hope the gameplay can keep up as well.

I’ve also got new videos for Ori and the Blind Forest, Evolve, Fable Legends and so much more after the break, so come check out this week’s batch of trailers!

The full list of videos await you after the jump…

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Far Cry 4 and The Wrath of Nature

Ask anyone out there what they love about Far Cry 4 and you’ll probably get a slew of different answers all ranging from things like the crazy characters you come across, being able to explore the open world, to the different gameplay elements. All are valid answers and I would agree with the previous responses. All of those aspects make great arguments as to why Far Cry 4 is such a compelling entry in the series but for me though, my love of Far Cry 4 stems from something else entirely.

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For me, Far Cry 4’s strongest element is with it’s dynamic and unique living world. It’s just one of those games which keeps you on your toes even when doing the most mundane actions like harvesting plants or wandering the countryside. I’ve had so many unique events happen out of nowhere that the game is constantly surprising me. Sure, the core game is excellent as well and manages to tell an entertaining story, but the real star of Far Cry 4 is this living and breathing world you’re placed in.

There’s nothing quite like getting attacked by a pissed off Rhino while you’re trying to hold a conversation with an NPC, or see an eagle swoop down and pick up a goat only to drop it off the top of a mountain. Seeing how NPCs react to a tiger or a honey badger (yes, a honey badger) wandering into their camp is simply fascinating. It’s these moments that throw a monkey wrench into the core gameplay, altering a seemingly stable situation forcing you and the NPCs to react. It’s this randomness which elevates the game beyond a traditional open world first person shooter.

It’s these moments which seem to spawn out of no where that helps to keep the player engaged and entertained throughout the campaign. It’s also the reason that many people lose so many hours to this title rather than sticking to the main campaign. I can’t begin to tell you how many videos I’ve seen of people just messing around, experiencing bonkers wildlife attacks, or manipulating the game’s world in often hilarious ways. Thankfully for you, I’ve managed to capture many of these moments in my “When Nature Strikes Back” series over on my YouTube channel. Have a look and don’t forget to tell me what your favorite game with a world that lives and breathes with you is down in the comments.

Enjoy!

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Robotoki and Human Element Are Signing Off

Sad news out of Los Angeles yesterday as the end of the road has been reached for Robert Bowling and his Robotoki studio. In an announcement, studio head and founder, Robert Bowling announced that the studio would be shutting down and their first project under development, Human Element, has been placed on hiatus. The team posted a heartfelt goodbye on their site yesterday as well.

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After showing new content and revealing more information during the Video Game Awards show over a month ago, today’s news was pretty surprising. As far as I could tell, it seemed like the studio was making great progress enroute to a late 2015 release.

So what happened? It would appear that a publishing deal between Bowling’s company and another company either fell apart or has been delayed postponed. Up to this point, the development of Human Element had been funded out of pocket and due to the deal not happening when expected, the money ran out. A sad truth to independent studios without financial backing from a publisher.

Many of you may remember Bowling from his previous gig as creative strategist at Infinity Ward and the Call of Duty series. He left them back in 2012 to open Robotoki and work on the (then Ouya exclusive) Human Element, a survival style game set within a zombie apocalypse. The game went dark until this past year where it was announced that the game had morphed into a PC and “next-gen” (current gen?) title, using the CryEngine, and was no longer free-to-play. It’s debut trailer was revealed in December during the Video Game Awards show hosted by Geoff Keighley.

It’s never fun to hear about a studio shutting it’s doors for good and Human Element seemed to hold a lot of promise. Considering the game is on-hiatus, hopefully down the road we’ll eventually see the project as it was meant to be. I want to take this opportunity to wish all those affected, the best of luck.

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