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:

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:

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.

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: March 17, 2017

Hello gamers, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Also, welcome back to the Quest Log, where you’ll find the top highlights from the latest gaming news.

Blizzard is Seeking $8.5 million from Cheat Maker
The makers of Overwatch, Starcraft, and World of Warcraft are seeking a $200 fine per infraction from Bossland, the German manufacturers of popular hacking and cheating tools for Blizzard games including WOW and Diablo as well as a currently unavailable program for Overwatch, citing copyright infringement along with business lost due to illegitimate players and bots driving away rule-abiding players.

Guerilla Games Planning an Expansion to Horizon: Zero Dawn

In an official press release by Sony Interactive Entertainment, Guerrilla Games, developers of the critically acclaimed Horizon: Zero Dawn, seemingly confirmed that an expansion was in the works. “This is only the beginning of Aloy’s story and our exploration of the world of Horizon Zero Dawn, with the team already hard at work on an expansion to the story,” says Hermen Hulst, Guerrilla’s Managing Director. While his language is ambiguous enough that it’s possible he’s hinting at a sequel or some other related project, a DLC-style expansion seems more likely

Warren Spector to Direct System Shock 3

While the fact that System Shock 3 has been in development hasn’t exactly been a secret–and neither has the involvement of Warren Spector–it’s now official. Starbreez AB, a producer and developer based out of Stockholm, Sweden, announced this week that they’d be publishing the long-awaited horror-shooter sequel currently in development by Otherside Entertainment. Spector, the producer of the original System Shock along with a slew of other legendary titles (i.e., Deus Ex) will be directing the project.–3,c2214464