Do you like mixing your console peasantry with PC gaming glory? Do I have great news for you

News, Video Games

By William Chandler

If you lack the sophistication or hand eye coordination to use mouse and keyboard properly then perhaps you’ll be happy to know that Microsoft have come through with a solution to ease your pain. The fabulously constructed Xbox One controllers may now be connected via USB to your PC and will work as long as these drivers are installed.

As someone who occasionally enjoys seeing how the other half lives, this is great news.

I hope you guys want more Dark Souls 2 because there is some more Dark Souls 2 to be had

News, Video Games

By William Chandler

According to this overall mediocre announcement trailer, there is roughly three episodes of more Dark Souls 2 for you to die in. What’s the deal with this arbitrary episodic format you ask? Exactly how long is an “episode” of content in regards to Dark Souls 2? They’re certainly making it seem like it is broken up by locale, but most locations in Dark Souls 2 usually only take maybe an hour each to get through, so perhaps these are straight up massive environments. I don’t know, man. Sometimes I don’t have all the answers.

Dubbed The Lost Crowns, the DLC has you traveling to distant foreign lands to recover three crowns that King Vendrick once owned. That’s all we know right now. I want more Dark Souls 2 so I’m relatively excited, but I can’t help but be bummed at how cheap and uncool this announcement trailer is.

It looks like you can expect to be playing Episode 1 of The Lost Crowns on July 22nd.

Peep this video explaining the much needed netcode improvements in the new Battlefield 4 Patch

News, Video Games

By William Chandler

Better late than never, as they say. Battlefield 4’s often chastised low tickrate problem is about to be fixed. The most noticeable improvement by far is in the hit detection, meaning you won’t find yourself getting shot for a few moments after you enter cover and whatnot. But that’s not all!

According to this post on the official blog, there are several other notable improvements like:

• Improved/reduced explosion induced camera shake
• Character collision improvements
• Fix to reduce object damage mismatch between client/server.
• Fix explosion packs not being able to be shot sometimes
• Improvements for client side packet loss
• Client crash fixes

Honestly, this might just be enough to get me back into playing the game. If only briefly.

My President played only slightly less of The Witcher 2 than I did

News, Video Games

By William Chandler

I love RPGs and really wanted to like The Witcher 2. Hell, technically I do like The Witcher 2 from what little I played of it. It just came out during a time of my life when I didn’t have much time for gaming and I haven’t been able to return to it since then. But I’ve seen the opening part with the jail and the boobies on at least four separate attempts to play through it since then. Oh well… Add it to the list.

President Obama received a copy of the game during a visit to Poland back in 2011 from the Prime Minister because CD Projekt Red, developers of The Witcher 2, are Polish and the Polish Prime Minister totally knows what the fuck is up in his country. This year, on a return visit, Obama gave a speech in which he mentioned that gift briefly:

The last time I was here, Donald gave me a gift, the video game developed here in Poland that’s won fans the world over, The Witcher. I confess, I’m not very good at video games, but I’ve been told that it is a great example of Poland’s place in the new global economy. And it’s a tribute to the talents and work ethic of the Polish people as well as the wise stewardship of Polish leaders like prime minister Tusk.

He’s busy like I am and didn’t get the chance to play it either.

I’m right there with you Obama. Maybe you’ll clear out your backlog one day.

Homefront: The Revolution reminds you that you actually played through that mediocre Homefront game in 2011

News, Video Games

By William Chandler

Yo, guys, come on. Of all the IPs acquired from the liquidation of THQ properties, why is Homefront the one that gets a sequel right out of the gate? I mean, yeah, it looks absurdly pretty with that CryEngine shine, but that still doesn’t change the fact that Crytek has had a lot of trouble with game development as of late. Ryse was decidedly dreary from a gameplay perspective and don’t even get me started on whatever they’ve done to my beautiful, once PC exclusive, Crysis franchise. Say what you will about stupidly poor high to low end hardware scaling, the original Crysis was a bastion of excellent FPS gameplay that has long since been lost to the likes of the corridor shooter. But I digress.

Homefront: Revolution is a next gen, open world shooter set in a newly united North and South Korean occupied America. More specifically, the game takes place in Philadelphia, presumably because something has to. The game plans to allow players to use all of the dirty tactics in the book of guerrilla warfare to overthrow their Korean oppressors.

I’m admittedly being a little undeservedly harsh on this game, but I’m just skeptical about the idea of an open world FPS focusing on guerrilla warfare. It honestly sounds too good to ever actually happen and therefore will likely not happen thanks to the wizards of mediocrity over at Crytek.

Blimey. I better stop before I hurt myself.

Look for the gameplay reveal of Homefront: The Revolution at E3 next week.

Witchmarsh is the side-scrolling action RPG set in the 1920s that you never knew you wanted

News, Video Games

By William Chandler

Kickstarter and I are really not cool with each other. On the one hand, it can be a great tool for developers to bring projects to life that may not have otherwise found sufficient funding. For instance, I am quite stoked about the new Amplitude game. Even some of the best independent games from the past couple of years were crowdfunded; games like FTL, Broken Age, and The Banner Saga. That said, an absurdly large number of the projects that were successfully funded either produced less than stellar results, like the Ouya, or became forever trapped in development hell. However, sometimes it’s really hard to not be optimistic about a Kickstarter project. Witchmarsh is that project.

Set in the drastically under-explored time period of the 1920s, the game follows a team of detectives as they search for twelve missing townspeople in rural Massachusetts, and features a healthy dose of action RPG standards like loot, character customization, and even branching dialogue choices. But the real treats are in the ways that Witchmarsh differs, like its uniquely grim, pixelated art style, and jazz age stylings. It even has a lovingly crafted Jazz soundtrack from dope as fuck composer Francisco Cerda, who did great work on the soundtrack for Gunpoint.

Even my cripplingly jaded, black heart can’t help but hope that this game will be fucking amazing. But I refuse to give money to Kickstarter projects because that hurts my journalistic integrity or something.

Shadow of Mordor is totally shaping up to not be shit

News, Opinion, Video Games

By William Chandler

Confirmed for using severed heads as weapons

Against all odd, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor looks like an absolutely quality production courtesy of the folks at Monolith. The evidence of this is even in the title. The fact that it is called Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor rather than Lord of the Rings: Shadow of Mordor means that this is much more than an overt attempt at abusing an extremely recognizable franchise. I like that.

Also under the category of shit I decidedly do like resides extreme violence (which the game has in spades), serious weapon customization, as well as Nolan North and Troy Baker. They even managed to take something I don’t like, that being politics, and turn it into an awesomely unique gameplay mechanic. Trust me, this isn’t C-Span. In order to shift political allegiances away from leaders in the Orc army and to your own side, you must intimidate them or fool them into doing your bidding, which creates something of an Orc army of your own to use against the vast armies of Sauron.

Here’s to hoping we can finally get another good game set in the Lord of the Rings universe. Look for it on PC, Xbox One, and PS4, as well as the 360 and PS3, on October 7th.

Metro Redux is yet another re-release of a game for next gen consoles

News, Trailers, Video Games

By William Chandler

Metro Redux is a packaged re-release of both Metro: 2033 and its sequel, Metro: Last Light for next generation platforms, joining Tomb Raider, The Last of Us, and many others in what is becoming a disturbing trend. I suppose they’re really trying to fill out the sad libraries of these new consoles, but it just seems so pointless. I really doubt that too many people who own a PS4 or Xbox One either did not own one of the previous gen consoles, or simply skipped these games the first time around. This means that a lot of their market are just bored consumers who want to see what the same game they’ve already played looks like with better lighting and shadows. And that is a really fucking sad thought.

Either way, I like the Metro games. I think the developers’ hearts are in the right place and that they’re trying to do some pretty intriguing stuff with FPS level design and storytelling. Of course I think people should play these games, it’s just hard to get behind such obvious attempts at cash grabs.

Remember, not so long ago, when everyone bitched constantly about remakes of games that were actually fairly old? Fairly old, as in more than five years at least. Now we’re getting remakes of games from two fucking years ago. What a strange time to be a gamer.

Evolve releases on Oct. 21st, stands as a grim reminder that I can hardly get any of my friends’ schedules to sync up for a co-op game

News, Video Games

By William Chandler

Remember Left 4 Dead? Sure you do. I mean, I know it has been quite a long time since Valve actually produced any video games, but they were all pretty memorable ones. What was that one with the crowbar guy as the protagonist? Man, that game was pretty darn good. Did they ever release the third part?

Anyway, Turtle Rock Studios, best known as the creators and primary developers of Left 4 Dead, have been hard at work on their new cooperatively competitive monster hunting bonanza, Evolve. In similar Turtle Rock fashion, four players work together cooperatively as hunters in an attempt to survive in and triumph over a hostile environment, however, this time around, there is only a single major enemy. A massive, player controlled beast roams the environment, and the four hunters must track it down and kill it. The title of the game stems from the fact that the massive beast is capable of increasing its power by performing certain actions, like devouring local wildlife, and then subsequently evolving.

But you probably already know all of that stuff. What you may not know, is that the game has finally been given a concrete release date. On October 21st, Evolve releases on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. It seems pretty good so you should consider playing it with some of your friends. My friends are probably all working opposite schedules and, therefore, will be unable to play. I will likely manifest this frustration in a highly negative review of the game, so look for that in October as well.

Miyazaki, President of my heart, now also President of FROM Software

News, Video Games

By William Chandler

Hidetaka Miyazaki, best known as the director behind Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls 1, has been appointed President of FROM Software. Not to be confused with Hayao Miyazaki, retired animated film director who made such classics as Spirited Away and Grave of the Fireflies. I don’t really know what he’s up to.

There honestly isn’t much of a news story here, but it’s just exciting when cool people in the industry succeed, especially considering that the appeal of the Souls franchise is far from mainstream, yet it still affords FROM all this success. And besides, I can report about whatever I want.