The Quest Log: September 20, 2017

Hey Huddies! It’s finally time again for another Quest Log update! Starting next week, we should be returning to our regular schedule of (at least) two posts per week. In the meantime, take a look at what’s been happing over the last seven days:

Bethesda’s bringing DOOM and Wolfenstein 2 to Switch

In a surprising announcement during last week’s Nintendo Direct, we learned that Bethesda was bringing both 2016’s DOOM and the upcoming Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus to Nintendo’s Switch. Pete Hines later confirmed that DOOM was, in fact, the previously unannounced 2017 release he hinted at several weeks ago. Wolfenstein 2 will launch in 2018 sometime after the Xbox One, PS4, and PC version.

Xbox’s Phil Spencer promoted to executive vice president of gaming

Xbox boss Phil Spencer will now report directly to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella as one of the newest executives with the company, Business Insider reports. “The change follows,” they explain, “a reorganization Nadella ordered in July … to streamline the company’s operations to focus more on selling specific customer solutions,'” including video games.

http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-xbox-phil-spencer-gets-promoted-to-executive-vice-president-2017-9

 

Divinity: Orignal Sin 2  sells nearly 500k copies in four days

GamerHUD readers might be sick of hearing about me gush about Larian Studios’ Divinity: Original Sin 2, but now that it’s actually out, I can safely say that it’s one my favorite games of the year. And yes, I realize that we’ve also played Breath of the Wild, Nier: Automata, and Horizon: Zero Dawn this year. D:OS 2 is really that good.

Fortunately, I’m not the only one excited about the excellent cRPG. Divinity: Original Sin 2 sold nearly half a million copies in just four days, a feat PCGamesN says, “the first Divinity [Original Sin] game didn’t hit … until at least a couple months after release.” The game’s multiplayer servers have struggled a bit to keep up with the unexpected player, too, as it peaked on Steam with nearly 86k consecutive players.

Yeah, guys: it’s good. And if you have a PC, why aren’t you playing it yet.

https://www.pcgamesn.com/divinity-original-sin-2/divinity-original-sin-2-steam-launch-record-breaking

The Quest Log: September 13, 2017

Hello, Huddies! Destiny 2’s first raid launches today, which should be exciting news to practically everyone except those of us who are waiting for the PC version. In the meantime, Divinity: Original Sin 2, a game I wrote about around this time last year, leaves Early Access tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more hyped. It’s been a week since our last update, so let’s take a look at what’s happened in the industry since then.

South Park: The Fractured but Whole changes your character’s skin color based on the game’s difficulty slider

During a recent video demo of the game, it was revealed that South Park: The Fractured But Whole will alter your in-game avatar’s skin color based on its difficulty slider. As players increase the game’s difficulty, their skin will gradually get darker. The socio-political commentary of the move may be on the nose, but it certainly fits South Park’s sense of humor and has characteristically stirred up some controversy.

The video also shows that players will now be able to choose the gender of their character–the Stick of Truth forced you to play as a male–and that non-binary choices are available to the player. Selecting any gender other than male results in a clever ret-conning of the last game’s protagonist.

I’m not actually a South Park fan, myself, but I’ll have to admit that these recent revelations have at least garnered my interest in playing it.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-09-07-south-park-the-fractured-but-whole-difficulty-slider-changes-the-colour-of-your-skin

Rockstar announces L.A. Noire ports for PS4, Xbox One, and Switch

Rockstar announced via Twitter Last week that L.A. Noire, the crime-solving game that puts players in the shoes of a mid-twentieth century detective, will be coming to modern consoles this November. The game, which featured revolutionary facial animation technology, is a unique departure from genre norms and requires players to determine whether or not its various NPCs are lying by way of reading their facial expressions and non-verbal communication. You’ll be able to play the updated port on November 14th.

Nintendo increases stocks of SNES Classic and will bring back the NES Classic in 2018

In response to the overwhelming, though not unexpected, demand for the SNES classic, Nintendo announced that they would be shipping more units of the retro console than they did for last year’s NES Classic when it hits stores later this month. We’ve already talked a great deal about the SNES classic, which features 20 classic SNES titles including and the never-before-released StarFox 2, and the item’s already proving to be one hot commodity. Hopeful owners were dismayed late last month when pre-order stocks went up overnight across various retailers and promptly sold out. 

Nintendo has also detailed their plans to bring more NES Classic units to stores in 2018.

The SNES Classic hits stores September 29 and will retail for $79.99.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170912005798/en/

The Quest Log: September 6, 2017

Hello, Guardians! Destiny 2 is officially here, which means that I expect most of you will be far too busy fending off the Cabal to read this. It’s been a while since our last update, however, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least attempt to bring you the latest gaming news, so here are your highlights:

CD Projekt RED celebrates 10 years of the Witcher

The original The Witcher game released on October 26, 2007, which means that the series is nearly 10 years old. CD Projekt RED was literally an unknown studio at the time, and the entire game was built on BioWare’s already aging Aurora Engine, which had previously powered the likes of Neverwinter Nights and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

Obviously, they’ve come a long way since then, and series culminated in The Witcher 3, the greatest games of all time (at least in my own, humble opinion), and the Polish studio is celebrating its 10th birthday with a humorous and touching video. Just… just watch it. If you’re a fan of the series at all, it’s almost certain to drum up some emotion in you.

Game journalist’s Cuphead demonstrate reignites controversy

Last year, a game journalist at Polygon sparked controversy when he uploaded footage of himself playing Bethesda’s new Doom, shall we say, less-than-skillfully. Because of the impact that games reviews and other media attention can have on a title’s success, concerned fans argued that a critic should be able to play a game at a certain skill level before being trusted to review it. The whole ordeal was a great deal messier than that, but that was the gist, at least.

While the debate about whether or not game journalists should actually be good at the games they’re playing had quieted since then, a recent video uploaded by GamesBeat, a branch of tech website VentureBeat, seems to have reignited it. In the video, GamesBeat lead writer Dean Takahashi struggles to play upcoming action platformer Cuphead during the course of a 26-minute demo. Now, Cuphead is being billed as an exceptionally difficult game in the same vein as the classic Megaman titles, but some viewers are questioning whether or not Takahashi–who struggles in the first few minutes of the video to complete the game’s tutorial section–had any prior experience with the genre.

It’s worth noting that Takahashi freely admits that he’s bad at the game, and the video is literally titled “Dean’s Shameful 26 Minutes of Gameplay.” It’s also not like he’s reviewing the game at this time either, and he definitely recognizes that most of its challenge is coming from his own inexperience rather than design. But it still begs the question: should game journalists actually be proficient at the titles they write about? Does being good or bad at a certain genre validate or invalidate their opinion on games within it?

What do you guys think?

http://www.gamerevolution.com/features/347103-cuphead-reignites-game-journalists-good-games-debate#/slide/1

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds sells 10 million copies

Despite its technical status as an “Early Access” title on Steam, PUBG has sold over 10 million copies. The first-person/third-person shooter with a Hunger Games twist continues to gain in popularity and recently rose through the ranks to become the most played non-Valve game on Steam (in terms of concurrent players). It’ll be interesting to see if the game will enjoy the same level of success when it comes to consoles in the near future.

 

 

 

Fans release HD texture pack for The Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-earth

While Warner Bros. currently holds the exclusive license to develop and publish games set in Tolkien’s Middle-earth setting, the IP was previously controlled by EA, who released a number of titles that tied into the original Lord of the Rings film trilogy during the early 2000s. Among these games–which included a couple of solid action titles and some others that were far more forgettable–were Battle for Middle-earth and its sequel. The RTS games featured large-scale battles that combined siege warfare with ultra-powerful hero units, and they were the best.

Sadly, there’s no way to play these classic titles anymore unless you still own a physical copy of them (for PC or Xbox 360). If you’re in that boat, however, and you’ve always dreamed of an HD re-release, you’re in luck because some fans just released an HD texture pack for the first game! Bear in mind, the title’s still 13 years old, but this mod gives the various combat units a much-needed facelift.

http://www.moddb.com/mods/bfme1-hd-edition/news/bfme-1-hd-edition-released

The Quest Log: August 29, 2017

A lot’s happened since last Friday’s post, Huddies. I finished Nier: Automata’s Ending E for one, and it blew my mind. If you’re a Heads Up Display listener, then you already know our love for that game around here. And if you’re not, then make sure you hit up. Oh, and while I haven’t been able to stop talking about Nier, there’s been lots of news happening, too. Check out our highlights below:

Absolutely, yeah. We’re talking to Sony [about crossplay], we do partner with them on Minecraft and of course we would like to enable them to be part of that; one community, to unite gamers. So we’re talking to them and we’re hopeful that they’ll be supportive of it.

— Aaron Greenburg

Microsoft in talks with Sony regarding cross-platform play

As we’ve reported before Sony’s been generally reluctant to open up PSN to cross-platform play with Xbox gamers. While there are at least a handful of titles on PlayStation 4 with some cross-platform support like Rocket League, support is typically limited to PC and PS4 players. That said, Gamereactor UK asked Microsoft’s Aaron Greenburg if they were still pursuing cross-platform support with Sony, he responded: “Absolutely, yeah… and we’re hopeful they’ll be supportive of it.”

https://www.gamereactor.eu/news/585493/Microsoft+confirm+theyre+in+talks+with+Sony+about+crossplay/

Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition will support Steam Workshop… and nude mods

Based on PCGamer’s recent interview with Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata, it sounds like Square Enix is taking the upcoming PC port of the JRPG very seriously and embracing many of the aspects that the platform’s fans love. Naturally, that includes modding, which is a tradition in PC gaming almost as old as the medium. Final Fantasy XV’s Steam version–although PCGamer also confirmed the game would launch on Origin–will support Steam Workshop for nearly effortless modding.

When asked about the potential for nude mods (which are also nearly as old as PC gaming), Tabata’s response was refreshingly pro-consumer. “What’s stronger in my mind,” he told PCGamesN, “is the fact that I don’t want to limit people too much… These people–it’s a thing they’ve bought, it’s their game now.” It’s worth noting that nude mods were developed for the PC ports of the Final Fantasy XIII games and that at least some of the textures already existed in-game.

Nudity aside, it’s awesome to see Final Fantasy embracing the modding community like this.

http://www.pcgamer.com/final-fantasy-15-will-have-steam-workshop-support-and-will-run-on-older-pcs/

https://www.pcgamesn.com/final-fantasy-xv/final-fantasy-15-nude-mods

Miiverse shutting down on November 8

Nintendo’s Japanese Twitter account revealed today that its Miiverse service would be shutting down on November 8. Miiverse tied not only into the WiiU, which has been rendered obsolete with the launch of the Switch, but also the 3DS and was the only means with which to socially interact with certain games including Mario Maker. While I wasn’t able to find confirmation that the service’s termination in Japan would necessarily mean its end in the west, most of the chatter on social media seems to indicate as much.

The Quest Log: August 25, 2017

The last weekend of August is here. School has started, and the fall is practically upon us. What’s everyone playing this weekend, and what upcoming game releases are you most excited for? Before you know it, we’re going to be swimming in new releases, and it seems like major news highlights are being dropped daily now. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Square Enix announces Secret of Mana 3D remake

Square’s classic JRPG, Secret of Mana, was originally released in the US as Final Fantasy Adventure in 1993 for the SNES. Praised at the time for its colorful graphics, engrossing narrative, and its unique battle system, the game has since been re-released a number of times on a number of platforms, including iOS and Android in 2010 and 2014, respectively. Today, Square Enix revealed that the game would be released yet again, but this time it’s getting a full-fledged makeover with 3D graphics and voice over.

The remake’s aesthetics seem to fit in with Square Enix’s other remakes like Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV, both of which appeared on the DS. While I’m not personally a fan of the art style, I’m thrilled that a new generation of gamers will be able to play a true classic for the first time on modern consoles. It launches for PS4, Vita, and Steam February 15, 2018.

https://www.secretofmanagame.com/en-us/

Half-Life writer reveals the possible ending to Half-Life 2: Episode 3

Marc Laidlaw, who departed from Valve in January 2016 after working for the developer for nearly 26 years, spilled the beans this week on how the never-developed Half-Life 2: Episode 3 could have ended via a blog post on his personal site. While the names and identities of the characters in the post, titled “Epistle 3,” are genderswapped, it’s not hard to piece together exactly who’s who in it. It’s an emotional ride with its own plot twists and turns, and a bittersweet look at what might have been. If–like so many of us–you were a fan of Half-Life 2 and still crave some closure after the cliffhanger ending of Episode 2, it’s definitely worth the read. 

Laidlaw’s being cheeky about the post (as you can see in the above Tweet), which sort of makes the whole thing even better.

http://www.marclaidlaw.com/epistle-3/

As it turns out, Divinity Original Sin 2 will be fully voiced

This may not be the biggest news in the industry today, so I’m going to have to just admit my own personal bias towards Divinity: Original Sin 2 again. Larian’s upcoming CRPG has only gotten better since it first entered Early Access late last year, and it’s one of my most anticipated releases for this fall. While Larian had stated in a Kickstarter update some time back that their budget wouldn’t allow for voice over in the game due to its sheer enormity, they surprised backers this morning by announcing they had found a way to make it work. It’s just one more reason to put this game on your radar if you haven’t already, especially if you’re a fan of isometric RPGs, turn-based combat, local co-op, or simply good games.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/larianstudios/divinity-original-sin-2/posts/1971818

The Quest Log: August 22, 2017

Hey, Huddies! Sorry I missed our last Quest Log Update, but I was getting in one last summer trip before the season ended. The good news is that the trip gave me ample opportunity to play Sonic Mania, and it’s just so good. A lot’s happened in the industry since our last update, so let’s take a look at some of the big highlights.

Age of Empires IV announced, developed by Relic

Age of Empires III released for PC almost twelve years ago, and while we saw a remaster of AoE 2 hit Steam not too long ago and learned that the original AoE would be getting a similar treatment this past E3, plenty of the venerable RTS series’ fans had long since given up hope on seeing a new original entry. During Microsoft’s Gamescon conference in Germany this week, however, we learned that not only was Age of Empires IV a real thing, it’s being developed by Relic, one of the biggest names in modern real-time strategy. There’s not a lot of info on AoE 4 just yet outside of the fact that it’s planned as a Windows 10 exclusive (which means no Xbox One port), but this is one that I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on during the coming months.

Also, it’s worth noting that while Relic’s logo appears on the game’s official site and the announcement trailer, there’s no sign of Sega anywhere in the materials that I can see. Sega, who acquired Relic during THQ’s closure, typically publishes the studio’s games, but AoE 4 seems to be published by Microsoft, as you’d expect.

https://www.ageofempires.com/games/age-of-empires-iv/

Shenmue III gets a trailer, and it might be the best-looking game ever to hit the Dreamcast

If it were releasing for Dreamcast, that is.

Yet another sequel the series’ fans thought we might never see, the very existence of Shenmue III was one of the biggest surprise reveals at Sony’s E3 2015 press conference. Almost equally surprising was that the announcement at the time wasn’t for the game, really, but instead for the game’s Kickstarter campaign. Games eager to see a conclusion to the story of one of the Dreamcast’s flagship games flocked to the crowdfunding site in record numbers, and it raised its goal of $2 million in under 8 hours and later went on to raise over $6 million by the campaign’s end.

Yesterday we got our first official teaser trailer for Shenmue III, and it…. well, it would surely have made jaws drop if this were the year 2000 again. As it stands now, awkward character models set against realistic environments rendered Unreal Engine 4 is jarring at best. It’s easy to see why the game’s release date has been pushed back, and one can only hope we’re still seeing some very early Alpha footage of the game.

Full disclosure: I was a day-one backer of the campaign, and I’m a diehard Shenmue fan. If I get a satisfying resolution to Ryu Hazuki’s odyssey, I’ll be perfectly content even if the game launches in its current, hideous state. But I can’t help but admit that I expected more from a series whose visuals were nothing short of groundbreaking 17 years ago.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ysnet/shenmue-3

Final Fantasy XV is coming to PC and mobile devices

Final Fantasy XV is coming to PC in beautiful 4k resolutions and 60 FPS early 2018. Dubbed the “Windows Edition,” the game’s already got a page on Steam, will include all current and future DLC, and will eat up a whopping 170 GB of precious space on our hard drives. In addition to featuring an improved frame rate and support for ultra-high-def resolutions, it will also implement a number of Nvidia Gameworks features, which means that Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition will almost certainly be the best-looking version of the game on the market.

On the other end of the spectrum, Square Enix also announced Final Fantasy XV Pocket, a mobile port of sorts of last year’s epic JPRG that will follow the plot of the original while trading out the game’s aesthetic design for chibi-style graphics. I’m not personally a fan of the new art direction, but the idea of playing FF15 on my phone is pretty wild nonetheless. And you have to wonder: could this mean a Switch port might be forthcoming?

UPDATE: Square Enix has since clarified that the game will not (necessarily) require 170 GB of HDD space, so stand by for official specs closer to release

http://www.finalfantasyxv.com/

 

Metal Gear Solid 2 HD announced for… Nvidia Shield

Okay, this is too bizarre not to include in this week’s update. Metal Gear Solid 2, one of the best examples of postmodern storytelling in gaming (and an all-around great game), is being re-re-released for the Nvidia Shield TV, the Android-powered gaming console that streams all its game content from Nvidia’s Netflix-style service. The Shield TV hasn’t exactly been a popular piece of hardware, so not only is it surprising to see it getting a new game, it’s especially surprising that its latest release is a classic PS2 remaster.

https://shield.nvidia.co.uk/games/android/metalgearsolid2-uk

 

The Quest Log: August 15, 2017

Sonic Mania is here, and it’s good! Also, it’s about time we got a really great classic-style Sonic Game. Speaking of classic games, raise your hand if you’d like you to see Amaterasu (the white, furry one) on current gen consoles! Okay, good. Now take a look at today’s highlights below:

Okami HD rumored for PS4 and Xbox One

Yesterday, Kotaku UK reported on a rumor that the original Okami could be coming to Xbox One and PS4 this December. In addition to the title showing up on two separate European vendors’ lists of upcoming releases, Kotaku UK corroborated the rumor with two unrevealed sources. Okami, which originally released for PS2 in 2006 before being ported to PS3 and Wii, was developed by the late Clover Studio and blew the world away with its watercolor art style and Zelda-like gameplay. It’s a classic that everyone should experience at least once, so it’s great news to hear that a whole new generation of gamers may be able to do just that.

http://www.kotaku.co.uk/2017/08/14/report-okami-hd-heading-for-xmas-release-on-ps4xbox-one

When we announced that we’d be transitioning away from the Battle.net name for our online-gaming service, we suspected that the shift would be challenging. We understood that Battle.net stood for something special—it represents years of shared history and enjoyment, community and friendship, for all of us and our players.

— Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard’s Battle.net gets another name change

This past March we reported that Blizzard had officially decided to nix the moniker “Battle.net” for its online service and game launcher. While the PC app did at one point see a name change, it would seem the rebranding effort simply couldn’t stick. As of yesterday, the service will once again be known as Battle.net or, more officially, as Blizzard Battle.net. Yay!

https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/news/20972461/blizzard-battle-net-update

Hideki Kamiya says Nier: Automata saved Platinum

Hideki Kamiya, founder of PlatinumGames, took to Twitter to laud Yoko Taro for literally saving the studio. While the original tweet is in Japanese, as one would expect, a NeoGaf user posted a translation, part of which reads: “it’s a pitiful story, but to say that Yoko-san saved Platinum would not be an exaggeration. I cannot thank him enough.” PlatinumGames, which rose from the ashes of Clover Studio (don’t you love it when the news seems to form a cohesive narrative all on its own), is virtually unparalleled in the world of action game design with hit titles such as Bayonetta, Vanquish, and Metal Gaer Rising: Revengence under their belt, but they’ve recently encountered financial stress likely exacerbated by the cancellation of upcoming Xbox One Exclusive Scalebound. It’s great to learn that Platinum will be around for a while longer, and I’m particularly happy that one of my favorite games of the year was the title to make that a reality for them.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=246051818&postcount=1

The Quest Log: August 11, 2017

Another week’s over, which means we’re another week closer to fall. This is my favorite time of the year partially because it signals the start of what’s generally gaming’s best season, but I seem to recall having some different feelings towards it when I was a kid. The big releases are already starting to kick off, too, with Hellblade launching this past Tuesday and Sonic Mania due out this week. What are the rest of you guys going to be playing as summer comes to its end? Oh, and let’s take a look back at the news of the week!

,Sonic Mania delayed on PC

Today during one of their regular livestream events, Sega revealed that the upcoming Steam version of Sonic Mania will be delayed from August 15 to August 29. Citing optimization as the primary reason for the delay, it looks like PC gamers will have to wait two more weeks to play the classic-style Sonic game while console players, including those on Switch, will have access to it when it launches this upcoming Tuesday. In order to soften the disappointing news, Sega is giving away free copies of the original Sonic game to users who pre-ordered Sonic Mania through Steam.

That said, Sonic Mania looks like it’s shaping up to be one of the best releases for the series in recent memory, and Sega released the game’s official introduction cinematic on YouTube last evening. The animation–which was created by Tyson Hesse, one of the game’s contributors whom Sega plucked from the Sonic fan development scene–definitely has a Sonic CD ethos to it, which is more than enough to get me pumped to play the game this week.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbqPX15G9_0

Warcraft III PTR released along with an all-new patch

Warcraft III is one of the best RTSes of all time and arguably one of the greatest games of all time, too. It’s also 15 years old, which means that even for a Blizzard title, it seems totally unexpected that we’d see an official update for the RTS-RPG hybrid game that dominated many of my high school years’ afternoons. Yet here we are. For the first time ever, Blizzard has made an official public test realm version of the game available to players, on which they can now test the game’s latest patch. The latest update brings a number of balance changes and other fixes and is available right now for those who download the PTR. You can do that here:

https://us.battle.net/forums/en/bnet/topic/20758576598#post-1

No Man’s Sky’s Atlas Rises Update brings some big changes

No Man’s Sky may go down in the annals of history as one of this generation’s most disappointingly overhyped releases, but that hasn’t stopped Hello Games from releasing a ton of new content for the game since it launched a year ago. Update 1.3, the “Atlas Rises Update” is the latest of those. Marking the one-year anniversary of No Man’s Sky’s original launch, the patch hit this past week and brought with it a veritable (space)shipload of new content including an all-new story (30 hours’ worth, according to the game’s official page), new systems and quality of life changes, ships, worlds, economies, space combat, and more. No Man’s Sky is better than it’s ever been right now, so if you’re one of the many disappointed buyers of the game, maybe it’s time to give it a second look.

http://www.nomanssky.com/atlas-rises-update/

The Quest Log: August 8, 2017

Welcome back to the Quest Log, Gamers. If you’ve been on social media at all today, you’ve probably heard about the controversy surrounding Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, the latest game from studio Ninja Theory. Don’t worry, we’ve got that and more in our news highlights. Check them out below:

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice Threatens (Bluffs) to Delete Player Saves After Excessive Deaths

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a very cool-looking action game from Ninja Theory, the brains behind Heavenly Sword and DmC: Devil May Cry (a game Joe will defend to the death). Set in Norse mythology’s version of hell, players embark on Senua’s quest to “fight for the soul of her dead lover.” It’s a title that intentionally plays a great deal with themes of psyche and psychosis, and the devs have even explained that they collaborated with neuroscientists to that end.

It’s a game that looks like it should be talked about for all the right reasons save for one aspect that received a great deal of criticism as reviews began rolling out earlier this morning. As PCGamesN explains, “the game promises you that the rot will increase with every death, eventually killing Senua permanently.” The threat of mandatory permadeath was enough to have some players decrying the title before it even hit store shelves, but it would seem the whole mechanic is merely a bluff. Check out the link below to see PCGamesN’s extensive test of the supposed mechanic:

https://www.pcgamesn.com/hellblade-senuas-sacrifice/hellblade-permadeath-bluff

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Will Have Microtransactions

Following the smash success of Middle-Earth: Shadow of Morodor, the upcoming sequel seemed to have everything going for it. The trailer at E3 showed off the game’s vastly increased scale, its sense of humor in the form of a downright delightful orc, and its expanded Nemesis system, which perhaps the first game’s greatest achievement. Shadow of War will leverage the same system to allow players to build their own orc armies and fortresses, which looked quite promising. Earlier this week, however, Monolith took some of the wind out of the fall release’s sails by sharing with us some of the ways the Nemesis system was being expanded:

“An important aspect of the Nemesis System now comes in forging, customizing and leading your own army of unique Orc followers against the fortresses of Mordor. There are different ways to do this, including dominating Orcs by exploring the vast open-world and encountering them as part of Orc society, or players can acquire Orcs and other items through the Market (in-game store).”

In other words, the game’s getting microtransactions, and the loot players are allowed to purchase is not limited to purely cosmetic items. While Monolith promises all items can be earned in-game for free with enough time, players may opt instead to use real-world money to “save time” that would be otherwise spent actually, you know, playing the game. It’s the kind of strategy that we see all too often in free-to-play multiplayer games, but it’s disconcerting, to say the least, for it to appear in a game that’s played almost entirely singleplayer (although it will include some multiplayer elements).

Read the full press release below for additional details:

https://community.wbgames.com/t5/Official-Announcements/Introducing-the-Market/m-p/1611183

Horizon: Zero Dawn’s First DLC Gets a Release Date

Horizon: Zero Dawn is already a standout title in a year filled with an abundance of incredible games, so its first expansion is already hotly anticipated. We got our first look at it at E3, but we’ve only just now learned the upcoming DLC’s release date: November 7th. In their official press release, Guerrilla Games explains a bit more about what we can expect from the expansion. “Set in icy territories to the north, this new chapter of Aloy’s journey adds a new area to explore, new mysteries to uncover and new, highly lethal machines to take on. Also, there’s a PlayStation avatar up for grabs if you pre-order the DLC.

https://blog.us.playstation.com/2017/08/07/horizon-zero-dawn-the-frozen-wilds-launches-november-7/

The Quest Log: August 4, 2017

Hey Huddies, as another weekend arrives, let’s take one last look back at what happened in gaming news this past week.

Dishonored Composer Passes Away

Beloved film, television, and game composer Daniel Licht succumbed to cancer last Wednesday at the age of 60. Gamers likely knew Licht best as the composer behind the scores of both Dishonored and Dishonored 2, and he was an accomplished musician and composer whose credits included all eight seasons of Dexter. 

http://variety.com/2017/film/news/daniel-licht-composer-dexter-children-of-the-corn-composer-dead-1202515585/

Activision Considering Other Remasters Following Crash Bandicoot N-sane Trilogy’s Success

Bolstered by the success of the Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy’s success, Activision says they’re considering remastering other classic games. In spite of some mechanical quirks with the remastered trilogy, which actually goes beyond simple texture and resolution upscaling and lands somewhere between a traditional “remaster” and a full-fledged remake, Crash’s return to gaming has been welcomed warmly by new and old fans alike. As a result, players who grew up with Crash and other classic Playstation-era titles are perhaps more hopeful than ever that we may see other Acitvision-owned franchises–like Spyro the Dragon–make a similar return.

http://thisgengaming.com/2017/08/03/activision-is-considering-other-remastered-titles-thanks-to-crash-bandicoot-n-sane-trilogy-success/

The Long Dark Leaves Early Access

After nearly three years of being on Steam Early Access and the Xbox One’s Game Preview program, survival game The Long Dark has been officially released for PC, Mac, Xbox One, and PS4. Early Access titles on Steam, particularly those in the survival genre, have something of a bad reputation of remaining perpetually unfinished, so it’s nice to see The Long Dark join the ranks of titles that have successfully graduated from it into a full release. As a survival game, The Long Dark departs from some of the genre’s fantasy and horror tropes by pitting players against more grounded threats like wolves, bears, and the elements.

http://steamcommunity.com/games/305620/announcements/detail/1432560398146280105