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.