The Quest Log: July 28, 2017

Happy Friday, Huddies! The weekend is finally here, which means that I’ve got some much-needed gaming ahead of me, including some Civilization 6, Nier: Automata, and I might check out the new horde mode in Titanfall 2. What about all of you? What are your gaming plans for this weekend?

In the meantime, let’s take a look at what’s going on in the news:

Destiny 2 PC Beta Dates and System Requirements Revealed

Recommended Spec
CPU Intel – Core i5-2400 AMD – Ryzen R5 1600X
GPU Nvidia – GeForce GTX 970 AMD – Radeon R9 390

Minimum Spec
CPU Intel – Core i3-3250 AMD – FX-4350
GPU Nvidia – GeForce GTX 660 2GB AMD – Radeon HD 7850 2GB

While Destiny 2’s beta test wrapped up for console players early this week, PC gamers have had to wait patiently for their own chance to check out Bungie’s hotly anticipated online shooter. At the dev’s official blog today they finally announced the dates of the upcoming PC beta test. For those who have pre-ordered Destiny 2, “early” access opens up on August 28 while the open beta runs officially from August 29 – August 31. Additionally, they revealed the beta’s minimum and recommended system requirements, which look quite reasonable.–07272017

Walmart Cancels All SNES Classic Pre-orders

It’d be an understatement to claim that the SNES Classic is one of this year’s most hotly anticipated pieces of gaming hardware. Fueled by both the tremendous hype of nostalgic Nintendo fans and the absurd scarcity of last year’s NES Classic, would-be SNES Classic owners swarmed to last week when the throwback console appeared for pre-order. 

Since then, however, Walmart has explained that the item’s product page was prematurely uploaded to their site and that all of last week’s pre-orders have been canceled as a result. When questioned about it by The Verge, a Walmart rep told them: “We know this is incredibly disappointing to those customers and we apologize for the mistake. We will update our site as soon as product [sic] becomes available.”

Sorry guys, it’s back to the waiting game.

Halo 5 Users Re-create Duck Hunt in Forge

If you’ve not checked out Halo 5’s Forge mode, do yourself a favor and give it a go, even if you don’t have an Xbox One since it’s available for free on Windows 10 PCs. The Forge community, it would seem, is an inexhaustible source of creativity, and this week’s latest creation is definitely one of my all-time favorites. Two days ago, Forge user Spartan Blood 1 uploaded “Classic Duck Hunt,” a map that puts one Spartan in front of 90s-style TV monitor and launches the other seven into the air ala Nintendo’s classic light gun game. Best of all, there’s no sign of that pesky dog.

The Quest Log: July 25, 2017

Hey Huddies! Hope everyone had a great weekend. Did anyone check out the Destiny 2 beta? We’ve got a couple of cool-looking games coming out this weekend, and I’m most excited about Pyre by Supergiant games, which looks like a cross between a sports game and a graphic novel with the kind of polish that we’ve come to expect from the studio. And as always, there’s plenty going on in the news. Let’s take a look:

Pokémon Go Fest Suffers from Glitches and Network Limitations

Pokémon Go developer, Niantic, held their first-ever Pokémon Go Fest in which 20,000 fans of the augmented reality mobile game congregated to Chicago for a chance to catch rare and legendary Pokémon and to celebrate the app’s first birthday. Unfortunately, the festival was plagued with glitches and network errors caused largely due to the overwhelming network demand on mobile service provider networks as well as the game’s own servers. The event was disappointing enough that Niantic offered $100 of in-game currency to all ticket holders as well a full refund on the $20 wristbands that granted access to the festival and had quickly sold out.

Despite the festival’s failures, it certainly demonstrated just how popular Pokémon Go remains, and it’s likely that Niantic will hold another event next year, if not before then. Here’s hoping they’ll have the kinks ironed out before that time comes.

Indie Game Noita Trailer Promises That “Every Pixel Is Simulated”

Indie developer Nolla Games, whose previous work includes The Swapper, revealed their next project, which looks like it’ll be rather ambitious. Noita is a “rogue-lite set in a world where every pixel is physically simulated.” While that sounds a bit ambiguous, the trailer does a pretty good job of demonstrating the claim. The materials of the game’s pixel-art world all contain intrinsic properties meant to mimic the real-world, which means that water conducts electricity, toxic gas can be ignited, and liquids generally behave as you’d expect. The whole system looks neat, and this definitely feels like a title to watch for when it hits Steam early access sometime in the near future.

PUBG Sells 5 Million Copies

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds may technically still be a Steam Early Access title, but it’s already sold 5 million copies according to Steam Spy, a third party application that estimates Steam software sales based on its independent polling of Steam user accounts to determine what games they own and play. Battlegrounds, which has often been described to me as The Hunger Games with guns, has already become a gaming cultural phenomenon, thanks in no small part to its massive following on Twitch and other streaming services. Currently a PC-exclusive, it’s due for Xbox One later this year, and it continues to receive major updates from its developers including the recent addition of first-person only servers, which some players hope will make the game feel even more competitive than before.

The Quest Log: July 18, 2017

Greetings, Guardians! Oh, who am I kidding, if you’re a Destiny fan, you’re almost definitely playing the Beta right now instead of reading this. Well, unless you’re an Xbox player like me, that is… but, hey! At least the PS4 exclusive Beta window’s only a day this time around, right? But enough talk, let’s have at that news.

I think I speak for everyone who has worked with Aaryn – and our fans – when I say thank you for everything. BioWare continues to hold a special magic – full of profoundly talented people, and an inspiring creative energy.

— Casey Hudson, GM of BioWare

BioWare GM Aaryn Flynn Announces his Departure, Casey Hudson Returns to Replace him

It was an emotional roller coaster on Twitter today for long-time BioWare fans as we learned that the studio’s general manager, Aaryn Flynn, had announced his upcoming departure and that his role would be filled by Casey Hudson. Hudson, who left BioWare in 2014 and began working for Microsoft Studios in 2015, has a storied history with the studio, having served as the creative director on the original Mass Effect trilogy as well as the original Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. His choices on the ending to Mass Effect 3 not withstanding, I believe I’m not the only BioWare fan happy to hear he’s returning. You can read both Flynn’s and Hudson’s official statements regarding the announcement below.

Titanfall 2 Is Getting a Four-player Co-op Mode

Titanfall 2 was one of last year’s most pleasant surprises, and despite the game’s reportedly lackluster sales, Respawn Entertainment and EA just keep churning out new content for the game. In a trailer released today, we got our first look at “Operation Frontier Shield,” a free expansion to Titanfall 2 that will see teams of up to four players working cooperatively to fight off waves of AI-controlled enemies. The game mode will feature multiple difficulty levels as well as unique Titan skins and configurations.

Kingdom Hearts III Gets a Release Window

At Disney’s D23 expo, Square-Enix showed off an all-new trailer for the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 3, a game that fans have been waiting on for nearly the past twelve years. The trailer was packed with a few surprises including a look at the game’s new Toy Story world in which Sora will team up with Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Pixar’s animated classic. Most surprising, however, was that the trailer ended with an honest-to-goodness release window. “Coming 2018,” it says. Is this it? Will we actually get a chance to play this game? Only time will tell.

The Quest Log: July 12, 2017

Hello, Hudlems! It’s hump day already, which just is blowing my mind. How has your week been so far? With the release of Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, I hope it’s better than typical for at least some of you. Just know that, as I don’t yet have a PS4, I’m green with envy for everyone who’s getting to replay one of my favorite entries in the series. But that’s not really why you’re here, is it? Let’s look at what’s in the news!

Steam bans more than 40,000 accounts following its summer sale

PC Gamer is reporting that Steam has banned over 40,000 accounts targeted by the Valve Anti-cheat software, the “biggest single-day ban wave in the history of Steam.” The ban comes just one day after the end of the Steam summer sale. As PC Gamer explains, the timing of the ban is almost certainly intentional in order to maximize the cost for those banned users to re-build their libraries under new accounts. To lend some perspective on just how financially damaging a permanent Steam ban can be to CS:GO players, PC Gamer offers that “the total value of the CS:GO weapon skins lost as a result of these bans was nearly $9,600.” That’s a heavy price to pay for cheating.

Summer Games Done Quick has wrapped up and raised over $1.7 million for charity

The semiannual speedrun marathon’s summer event just wrapped up this past week and raised a whopping $1,760,360 for Doctors Without Borders, a Nobel Prize-winning charitable organization that provides medical and humanitarian aid to over 70 nations afflicted by violence, war, and other nasty stuff. The figure is nearly half a million dollars greater than what was raised in the same event last year and serves as an awesome demonstration of not only the skill of the event’s players but the generosity of its community.

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age ditches the Sky Pirate’s Den

Okay, this isn’t the typical type of highlight I’d include here on the Quest Log, but because of my own biases, I just have to report it.

Final Fantasy XII has been one of the most wonderful and underrated titles in the series, and I’m thrilled that new and old fans alike are going to finally be able to give the game its due. Unfortunately, it seems that newcomers to its HD remaster, The Zodiac Age, will never know one of the original’s most delightful inclusions: the Sky Pirate’s Den.

Pictured above, the Den was a relic of an era before system-wide achievements. An animated sticker book of sorts that filled up as you progress, the Den offered the player a number of challenges that, when completed, unlocked new, cutesy sprites of the game’s characters and monsters. Completing the Den was necessary to reach the highest ranks of the game’s Hunter’s Guild, and it was downright fun. Since the PS4 has its own achievement system, however, it would appear that Square Enix eschewed the Den in favor of trophies.


The Quest Log: July 7, 2017

Hey Huddies, I’m back after a long (and gaming-filled) vacation and here to bring you the latest news highlights. July’s generally a pretty dry month in the industry, but that’s not stopping Blizzard from dropping some bombshells. Also, Horizon Zero Dawn gets a bunch of free content in its latest patch.

Doomfist Finally Comes to Overwatch

Overwatch fans have known about (or at least heard of) Doomfist since before the game came out, but Blizzard really only began teasing the new hero in the lead up to Orisa’s reveal earlier this year. This week, however, Doomfist appeared suddenly on the game’s public test realm server, which means that PC gamers can play as him right now. He’s a melee-focused hero that plays pretty dramatically different from the other heroes in the game with some likening him more to a character in a fighting game than your run-of-the-mill FPS. Check out his kit below:

Horizon Zero Dawn Gets New Game+ Mode

Horizon Zero Dawn is literally at the top of my list of games to play once I finally pick up a PS4, and Guerrilla Games just added even more reasons I can’t wait to play it. Patch 1.30 adds a New Game+ option, which will allow you to re-start the game “without losing your character progression and your collected inventory,” although the official release does clarify that you won’t be able to surpass the level 50 cap. The game is also getting an “Ultra Hard” difficulty that’s only available during a NG+ run, and they’re adding some updated weapons and armor to help players tackle the new challenge. Finally, Aloy’s getting some face paint.

Hearthstone’s Next Expansion Announced

In addition to dropping a new hero in Overwatch, Blizzard announced yesterday the next expansion to Hearthstone. Called “Knights of the Frozen,” the expansion will add a new hero card type that transforms one of the CCG’s nine playable heroes into a minion-like card and upgrades their hero power. Warcraft fans will immediately recognize the setting and atmosphere of the expansion, which revolves around the infamous Lich King and his frozen throne. I’ve not played Hearthstone in a little over a year, but if Arthas makes an appearance, I may not be able to resist its call.

The Quest Log: June 26, 2017

Can you believe we’re in the final week of June? While summer may typically be the most boring season of the year for gaming (outside of E3), this one actually feels better than most with Breath of the Wild’s DLC due out this week and Supergiant’s Pyre right around the corner? In the meantime, there’s a bunch of gaming news to get caught up on. Check out our highlights below:

Nintendo Announces SNES Classic

We all knew this was coming, but it’s hard not to get excited about it anyway. Nintendo of America announced via the above tweet that the SNES Classic–a self-contained, miniature retro-console in the same vein as the NES Classic that was discontinued earlier this year–would be launching this September. This time around, they’re including two controllers, reportedly with cords that are two feet longer than the 3-footers they included with the NES Classic, and 21 classic games. Included among those titles is the previously unreleased StarFox 2, which might actually be the most surprising bit of news to be found here.

For a list of the titles being included on the SNES Classic, hit up the official link below.

The 2017 Steam Summer Sale Has Begun

Last Thursday the summer sale kicked off on Steam, which means that just about any PC title that could want is discounted. Steam did away with daily and timed deals a while back, but they do still have a meta-game of sorts to be played during the sale in the form of a sticker book. Collect enough stickers by buying games and you can earn a badge for your profile, if you’re into that kind of thing.

OpenIV Is Back in Business

After an outpouring of community support for the popular modding tool and a wave of overwhelmingly negative Steam reviews left in response to the publisher’s decision to shut down OpenIV earlier this month, it would appear that modders have been given the company’s blessing to resume, well, modding. As PC Gamer reported last Friday, OpenIV received an official update, which seemingly indicated that talks between the tool’s developers and Rockstar had proved successful. 

Take that with a grain of salt, however, as the official OpenIV website still has not yet been updated even at the time of this update.

The Quest Log: June 20, 2017

Hey Gamers, are any of you still playing Pokémon GO? The game’s getting a major update that introduces some new mechanics, but that’s not the only gaming news around. Check out our highlights below!

Dragon Ball FighterZ Could Come to Switch

The 2D fighter set in the Dragon Ball universe was announced last week, but it appeared the game would be skipping Nintendo’s Switch. While some fans speculated that the Switch may have been underpowered to run the game, producer Tomoko Hiroki says that’s not the case. Speaking to French gaming site Game Blog, Hiroki says that “if fans show their interest, they could bring it over,” and that they’re “open to considering it.”

Killer Instinct is Coming to Steam

The 2013 (former) Xbox exclusive was confirmed via the game’s official Twitter account to be due for Steam later this year. While Killer Instinct is already playable on PC on the Windows 10 Store, the inclusion on Steam is bound to appeal to PC gamers who have historically avoided Microsoft’s official app space. Despite its age, Killer Instinct has received regular support and updates since it launched in 2013, so it may be one to watch out for to those fighting game fans who may have passed on it before.



Pokémon GO Gets Raids and Updated Gym Mechanics in its “Biggest Update”

Pokémon GO, the augmented reality mobile game that became an international phenomenon last summer, is getting a major new update soon that introduces a “new motivation system that will significantly change how you interact with Gyms” and Raid Battles, which are “cooperative gameplay experiences” that see players teaming up to take down boss characters. Access to Raids requires players to hold Raid Passes, one of which is provided free daily with other, “premium” passes available for purchase, and reward successful teams with a shot at catching rare or powerful Pokémon. Check out the official release below for the details.


The Quest Log: June 16, 2017

Well, E3 2017 is over, and the summer–gaming’s driest season–is in full swing. In our last update, we rounded up all of E3’s major press conferences, but there was a whole lotta news that slipped through the cracks while the gaming world’s eyes were fixed on the expo. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights:

Konami Blacklisting Kojima and Former Employees

Brian Ashcraft with Kotaku reported earlier this week that Konami appeared to be blacklisting some of their former employees, including Hideo Kojima. The famed Metal Gear creator’s new studio, Kojima Productions, is having difficulty joining the Kanto IT Software Health Insurance Association in order to provide health benefits to their employees, and Konami may be to blame. More than that, Konami has “allegedly told large game companies to be careful about hiring former Konami employees and Japanese TV stations to disregard them.” Yikes.

KOTOR and Mass Effect Writer on Board for Anthem

Drew Karpyshyn, the veteran BioWare writer who’s writing experience stretches all the way back to Neverwinter Nights, has confirmed that he’s working on Anthem, the impressive-looking multiplayer RPG-shooter that BioWare showed off at E3 earlier this week. Karpyshyn’s had a hand in developing some of the most well-loved sci-fi universes in gaming, so his involvement should come as a welcome surprise to fans.

Hitman Developers Regain Independence, Retain Hitman IP

Despite the critical and commercial success of the latest Hitman title, Square Enix announced earlier this year that they were seeking to sell IO Interactive, the development studio behind the Hitman series. Today, IO Interactive announced that they had secured their independence once more while maintaining control of the Hitman IP.

The Elder Scrolls 6 Isn’t in Development Yet, Bethesda Says

After a disappointing showing at this year’s E3, Bethesda have confirmed that the sequel to Skyrim is still a ways away. While the report is consistent with what Todd Howard has explained historically, open-world RPG fans were all but convinced they’d see a game announcement from Bethesda Softworks earlier this week. For the time being, we know only that Todd Howard has confirmed they’ve got two unannounced projects in the work ahead of TES6.

Rockstar Shut Down OpenIV, Kill GTA V Modding Scene

The PC port of Grand Theft Auto V has enjoyed long-lived success thanks in part to the game’s extensive modding community. On Wednesday, however, the lead developer of OpenIV, the game’s most popular single-player modding tool, announced that their team had decided to kill the project in response to an official Cease-and-Desist letter they had received from Take-Two, Rockstar’s parent company. While OpenIV is still functional for users who already had it installed, the official download link now directs users to the official statement linked below.

The Quest Log: E3 2017 Conference Roundup

Nintendo’s conference wrapped up this morning, which means that nearly all of this year’s biggest surprises have already been unveiled. Let’s look back on the major reveals of the past few days.


EA unofficially kicked off E3 with their press conference, which they bumped up from their regular time slot to this past Saturday. It’s probably for the best that they had a whole day to themselves because there really wasn’t much to see. Lots of sports game talk; a teaser for BioWare’s new IP, Anthem, which didn’t get a proper trailer until Microsoft’s show the following day; and a bunch of Battlefront II footage made for a largely unsurprising show. There was one notable exception, however, in A Way Out, an upcoming co-op prison break game set in the 70s and developed by the crew behind Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.


Microsoft wasted zero time showing off Project Scorpio, now called the Xbox One X, and then immediately moved onto showcasing game after game after game after game after game. We heard the word 4k uttered more than a few dozen times, but we also got a handful of genuine surprises. Phil Spencer revealed that the Xbox One’s backwards compatibility was being expanded to include original Xbox titles, and the PC smash-hit PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is due for its console premier later this year. Other highlights included Ori and the Will of the Wisps, The Last Night, and an all-new Crackdown 3 starring Terry Crews.


It’s a tough call on who had the less interesting show between EA and Bethesda, but at least the latter was relatively short and sweet. After showing off Doom and Fallout VR and the Switch port of Skyrim, we got our first look at the upcoming standalone DLC for Dishonored 2, TES Legends’ first expansion pack, and a gut-punch called the “Creation Club” for Fallout 4 and Skyrim SE. The Evil Within 2 is looking creepy. But the star of the show was definitely Wolfenstein 2 with a trailer that was totally bonkers.

Sorry Elder Scrolls fans, sounds like TES 6 won’t be here anytime soon.

PC Gaming Show

PC Gamer held their third annual PC Gaming Show, too, which doesn’t really seem to be having the kind of splash they might have hoped at the beginning. The show kicked off with a plug from Intel about their upcoming i9 CPU series before showing off a number of upcoming PC titles. The big surprise here was an announcement of Age of Empires: The Definitive Edition, an HD remake of the original RTS game in the same vein as the one we got for AoE 2.

I couldn’t find an official recording of the conference, but you can find most of it here:


Ubisoft had an exceptional showing this year with a number of interesting surprises. First off, who know that Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle might actually look fun? I, for one, was blindsided to learn that it was an XCOM-style combat strategy game. They also showed off a brand new IP: Skull and Bones, a pirate-themed naval combat game based on the popular system from Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. We also got to see more of Far Cry 5 and Assassins Creed: Origins. That wasn’t all, though, Ubisoft went out with a bang by showing us a new trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2, which I think all of us had assumed was vaporware by now.


Sony spent even less time on stage talking about their games and showed a nearly non-stop sequence of game trailers. It literally felt almost like a really long sizzle reel, but there was plenty of meaty content to be found in it.

We got to see some Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and God of War, and there was a surprising trailer for Shadow of the Colossus a remake of (sequel to?) the PS2 classic. Naturally Call of Duty was in full force, and we also got a new story trailer for Destiny 2. We saw the first of Horizon: Zero Dawn’s upcoming DLC, and the show wrapped up with some gameplay footage of Spider-Man, which looks like web-slinging fun.


Nintendo came outta nowhere and hit hard. Metroid Prime 4 is officially in development, as is a “core” RPG Pokémon game. Mario Odyssey looks delightful with its body-snatching hat shenanigans. And the new Yoshi game looks delightfully charming. Oh, and Rocket League’s coming to the Switch with cross-network support, which is something we simply wouldn’t have heard of only a few years ago.

The Quest Log: June 7, 2017

EA’s and Microsoft’s press conferences are happening this weekend, which means that E3 is nearly upon us! In the meantime, there’s already plenty going on in the industry with yet another Valve writer on his way out the door, a trio of Pokémon games revealed via Nintendo Direct, and more. Check out our highlights below:

Jay Pinkerton Departs Valve

Yet another industry veteran has left Valve, it would seem. Via his officialTwitter account, Chet Faliszek, one of the Valve writer who worked on the Half-Life series as well as the original Portal, seemingly confirmed that Jay Pinkerton, who wrote Portal 2, had departed the studio. Valve, who are better known for Steam than they are for game development these days, lost two other writers earlier this year, leaving us to wonder just how much writing talent could possibly be remaining at the studio.

Nintendo Announce Three New Pokémon Titles for 3DS and Switch

Nintendo announced three new Pokémon titles earlier this week during a Nintendo Direct broadcast. The more traditional Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are coming to the 3DS this November while an enhanced port of the Wii-U’s Pokémon Tournament will appear on Switch this September as Pokémon Tournament DX.

I’d hoped we’d see a proper franchise entry also make find a port to Switch, but at least for now that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Battleborn’s Competitive Multiplayer Goes Free-to-play

Battleborn actually came up during our conversation on the last Heads Up Display episode, which seems like a pretty wild coincidence. The shooter-MOBA hybrid from Gearbox failed to make a huge splash when it launched last year ahead of Overwatch. Gearbox’s marketing had largely attempted to create a rivalry with Blizzard’s team-based shooter in spite of the fact that the two games played remarkably differently from one another.

With online populations dwindling, many assumed that Battleborn would go free-to-play before long, and today is finally that day. Well, sort-of. The game’s competitive multiplayer is now free to play without limit, but the generally well-received cooperative game modes are still locked behind the game’s retail price tag.