Sunday Video Round Up: October 29 – November 4

It was a big week for the video game world as Paris Games Week arrived and Sony just unleashed a wave of new trailers. With that said, don’t be surprised to find that this edition of the Round Up is a little Sony heavy. So with that said, let’s just jump right into it this week, shall we? Here’s a few of the videos waiting for you below the jump…

I won’t waste my words hyping up Ghost of Tsushima anymore than I already have, so let’s move on to Spider-Man, which looks like the comic book game we’ve always wanted. Plus, with the steady hand of Insomniac guiding the experience, I can’t wait to leap and swing around a modern take on Manhattan.

I’m probably one of the last remaining people who has never played Shadow of the Colossus or its re-release back on the PS3. Thankfully, Sony is rewarding my patience with another version of the insta-classic for the PlayStation 4. With the newest trailer, this isn’t just some simple port. The visuals and textures have gotten a massive upgrade, giving the game a much more modern and updated look. Who knows, maybe Sony has a few more tricks up its sleeve to share before fans get their hands on this gorgeous looking title.

I’ve also got new videos for Star Wars Battlefront II, Far Cry 5, Destiny 2 DLC, and so much more after the break, so come check out this week’s batch of trailers!

The full list of videos awaits you after the jump…

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Sucker Punch Finally Reveals Its Next Game: Ghost of Tsushima

Under normal circumstances, I would have had the “Now Arriving” post ready for all those November games posted and live right now. So I’m sorry if you were looking forward to that today, but I had to table it until next week because Sucker Punch Productions finally revealed what it is they’ve been working on all these years.

Ghost of Tsushima character

If you’ve been visiting this site for any length of time (thank you!), you already know how much of a fanboy I am of their work in the inFamous franchise. Each E3 season, I tend to write about how I hope this is the year they studio finally shows us what they’ve been working on. And of course, each year I’m left hanging.

Cut to Paris Games Week 2017 and we finally have our answer: Ghost of Tsushima.

The trailer is visually striking and absolutely gorgeous. I have no idea if that’s the game engine at work or just a CG powered trailer but either way, I’m interested. The big reveal here is that this game is obviously a clean break from the InFamous series of games.

Details are still pretty slim, but Ghost of Tsushima takes place in the 13th century during the height of the Mongolian Empire under Kublai Khan. You play a Samurai during the Mongol invasion of Japan’s island, Tsushima. Sucker Punch confirmed that this game will be an action/stealth hybrid set in a diverse open world. Knowing the developer, expect plenty of player choice.

I for one cannot wait to see/hear/experience more. It’s been in development for about 3 and a half years so hopefully, the game is ready for release in 2018. We’ll see.

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6 Awesome Halloween Inspired Video Game Events

Happy Halloween everyone! May you have a truly spooktacular day.

The concept of limit time events in video games is a newer one thanks in large part to the reliance on the internet. While some may lament the loss of single-player and couch-coop elements in favor of sprawling online-enabled games these days, there’s no doubt that without this constant online connection, fans would be missing out on these special and sometimes holiday flavored updates.

Considering today is Halloween, I thought it’d be fun to take a look back on a few of the best Halloween inspired events and updates for some of our favorite games. More and more developers seem to have really started embracing these sorts of activities each passing year so if I managed to miss your favorite, let me know in the comments below!

Without further adieu, here’s my list of some of the most frighteningly good times!

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Sunday Video Round Up: October 15 – 28

*ahem*

Yes, you are correct, there was no Round Up last weekend. My bad. I don’t really have an excuse other than life kinda got in the way this time around. So in an effort to make it up to all of you lovely readers, I’m combining both weekends for one super-sized Video Round Up this week. Hope you enjoy!

It’s launch trailer madness this week in the Round Up as this past Friday alone was easily one of the biggest release days in a very long time. Not only did Super Mario Odyssey finally drop but Assassin’s Creed Origins and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus also arrive. So many game,s not enough time!

Need more to do in Middle-earth: Shadow of War? If you’ve somehow finished orc domination, Monolith put our a new trailer showing off all of the content coming over the next few months to add to the already robust experience. New Orc tribes, new lands, and new story campaigns await!

I’ve also got new videos for Star Wars Battlefront II, Injustice 2, Destiny 2, and so much more after the break, so come check out this week’s batch of trailers!

The full list of videos awaits you after the jump…

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4 Surprising Changes In Middle-earth: Shadow of War

After a slight delay, Middle-earth: Shadow of War is finally here, continuing the story of Talion and Celebrimbor as they take the fight to Sauron in Mordor.

Shadow of Mordor was one of those games that seemed like it wasn’t going to live up to the hype. On paper, it had a lot of great aspects to it like the Nemesis System, big open world, third-person action, etc, etc. Thankfully, I was wrong and Monolith created something truly unique and fun to play.

With Shadow of War, the studio took those things that worked well, and simply built on top of it. The theme I’ve noticed so far is more, as the world is much larger and more diverse, there are more skills to unlock, orcs to fight, and things to do in the world.

Overall, I’ve found the game to be a really well-made sequel. In my experience so far, all of the worries and fears over the forced microtransaction system are unfounded because it’s really unnecessary. I haven’t felt any desire to spend any sort of currency at all because the game dishes out items and new orcs like candy on Halloween.

Even though I’ve put a lot of time into the game so far, there’s so much I haven’t done yet. So I’ve instead put together four of the biggest changes to the formula I’ve seen so far in Middle-earth: Shadow of War.

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With Visceral Games Shutting Down, Single Player Games Take Another Hit

I don’t think 2017 has gone exactly as expected as EA initially thought. The first blemish came earlier this year with Mass Effect Andromeda, which launched and got (unfairly IMO) lambasted by social media over wonky animations. While I enjoyed the game, it ultimately didn’t fare too well and the studio was soon restructured and franchise essentially put on ice.

Now, we have this piece of news…

Patrick Soderlund, the Executive Vice President of EA, revealed in a blog post that the company made a decision to move Visceral Game’s Star Wars project to EA’s Worldwide Studios with EA Vancouver leading production. Not only that, the game is being changed from a linear, story-driven experience to a broader one that leans more into the Frostbite engine, changes many of the central elements of the game, and allows for more player agency and variety.

While we don’t know exactly what that means, it sounds as though EA is going to be changing the game to be something more akin to Destiny. Financially it makes sense when you consider how well the Destiny franchise has been for their rival, Activision. Unfortunately, this decision just isn’t what fans or the developer wanted to hear.

Sadly, without a new project to fall back on, EA has also decided to effectively shut down Visceral and try to shift as many employees as possible to other projects.

The news immediately struck me as a decision based on the fact that EA viewed the game as lacking a way to keep players hooked over the long term. Right or wrong, the sad fact is that single player games are quickly becoming a rare breed as publishers look for ways to monetize their games over the long haul. Honestly though, when did the word ‘linear’ become such a bad thing? Would BioShock exist as we know it if it had come out this year rather than in 2007?

I guess when you think about it, single player games like Assassin’s Creed Origins and its publisher Ubisoft deserves a tip of the cap for going against the quickly growing trend. Same goes for Sony who published the outstanding Horizon: Zero Dawn earlier this year and is also set to start 2018 with God of War as well.

After reading EA’s statement on the news, my mind immediately thought back to Star Wars 1313, another linear and story heavy experience. Considering the fate of that title was almost exactly the same (although it was outright cancelled and not moved), it feels like fans just can’t get a bad ass looking single player game. Seriously, what is it with all these amazing single player Star Wars games getting the boot?

Also, can Amy Hennig be allowed to finish a game? First, it was Uncharted 4 and now this.

I could go on and on about how this decision is utterly disappointing but I’ll let Daemon Hatfield say it for me:

In all seriousness though, I feel really bad for the hard working employees at Visceral. Best wishes to all those affected by this decision. While EA had remained silent and coy on the title, it held a lot of promise from the few things we did hear about it. I’m especially sad for the employees of the studio and wish them all the best in their next phase. Thought Visceral hasn’t produced much recently, I don’t think I’ll ever forget their work on the Dead Space franchise, where they actually got me to pick up and play a scary game, something that I don’t typically do.

Fare thee well Visceral Games. You will be missed.

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Is the Force Strong With Star Wars Battlefront 2?

When EA announced Star Wars Battlefront a few years ago, I was very happy to see the franchise making a comeback. I spent a lot of time playing the old Pandemic Studios games back in the day, creating countless memories with friends. Staying up late, or skipping a class to play one more round was a common theme in my college dorm.

While the spirit of the franchise was there, unfortunately, DICE’s first attempt rang somewhat hollow. The team nailed the visuals and sound but the gameplay felt uninspired and boring. It was missing that spark which hooked my friends and I back in the day. With Battlefront 2, you can see that DICE took the feedback to heart, rectifying many things that didn’t sit well with fans. Chief among them is a new single-player, story-driven campaign, as well as finally including all three Star Wars eras into the multiplayer.

Thankfully, fans got a taste of what DICE has planned thanks to a beta test that happened earlier this month. After letting my thoughts stew for a couple weeks, here’s what I thought of the experience.

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