Firefall is a game that has seemed to get a lot of press over the past few years, often for the wrong reasons. Whether it's word of troubled staff, protests, or delays, most Firefall news isn't good news.
But alas, as we all know, the true test of a game's strength is how it plays on its own merits, when it's fully released. After testing it out for a few weeks I can safely say that Firefall hasn't blown me away, but it has laid a decent foundation to build upon in the future.
Gamescom is the largest videogame trade show in the world. Sound like a big deal? It absolutely is. Hundreds of thousands of people cram together in a convention center that's massive, but doesn't feel even close to huge enough. Need a frame of reference? This is the crowd in the main hall on Thursday -- what's supposedly the least busy of the three days it's open to the public.
Reciprocating the scale of the event is the size of the games that publishers have on display. That was the theme at gamescom 2014: Big. All the biggest titles are here, and given how close we are to the holiday launch season, they're looking the most polished that we've seen them yet.
In no particular order, these were Destructoid's top ten games of gamescom 2014, as explained by Dale North and myself.
A lot of people seemed disappointed when Sony closed its gamescom press conference without much mention of the PlayStation Vita. And it isn't difficult to understand why.
The struggling portable seemed like an afterthought yesterday. Anyone hoping for an exciting new Vita reveal was left wanting. Adding insult to injury, the system actually managed to lose an exclusive, as Tearaway was announced for PlayStation 4.
There was a single moment during the event that seemed indicative of Sony's approach to the handheld. Thomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell took the stage in Cologne, and showcased his upcoming project, Volume, a stealth title destined for PS4 and Vita next year. It's an independent game from a tiny, but talented developer. And it's cross-platform to boot.
Outside of cursory mentions like that, Sony's show was all about PS4. And why not? It's the newer and more successful system. Sony allocated its airtime wisely, highlighting its breadwinner, rather than choosing to fight an uphill battle. It made perfect sense, too, given Microsoft's strong showing earlier in the day.
That's a rational outlook, though. Sadly for Sony, humans aren't always rational creatures. Vita owners felt spurned, and they made sure Sony heard about it.
[Update: Konami has confirmed this news live at its gamescom conference. No release dates were given.]
For years, Metal Gear Solid fans have been asking director Hideo Kojima if and Konami would bring the games to PC. Traditionally the series has been a mostly console-only affair, but with Metal Gear Rising we saw that maybe the publisher was changing its mind in regards to the platform.
Gamescom is a noisy, crowded mess. Shoulder to shoulder with patrons that didn’t seem to care what they bump into, I trudged my way to my next appointment. As I stepped through the door to the meeting room, something unexpected happened. I was teleported from a loud convention center to a rebellious teenager’s room.
Seated at the foot of a twin-sized bed, I took in my surroundings. The top of a makeshift television stand housed a half-smoked joint, while a pair of dirty Converse rested underneath. Posters of influential punk rockers littered the wall, all askew. “Fuck” was scrawled on almost everything, but especially a tattered American flag.
I wasn’t in Germany anymore. I was in Arcadia Bay, Oregon. More specifically, I was in Chloe’s safe place -- the only spot in the world where a misunderstood teenage girl can be herself. I was inside the world of Dontnod’s newly announced Life is Strange, and it was a wonderful place to be.
Far Cry 3 had some pretty wild moments. Like, remember when Vaas was dancing around on the stripper pole? Good stuff. Far Cry 4 will have some crazy segments as well, but these are a little more grounded to the core of the game.
Scattered around Kyrat are hidden tankas that, once discovered, allow the main character to meditate and travel to Shangri-La to relieve the life of a legendary warrior. You'll be transported to a surreal world with floating islands and you are equipped with only a bow and arrow to take on the enemies of these environments.
Oh, and you have a tiger that you can command to attack others. The tiger can also turn invisible.
It seems like yesterday when we were all huddling around the mysterious WebM videos floating around the internet. Showing a strange and unknown game resembling a Souls title, many people didn't know what to make of it. The character looked unlike anything from Dark Souls or even Demon's Souls, and the weaponry looked even more bizarre. But the more we saw, the more intrigued we all became. Tentatively called Project Beast, the footage showed a world in chaos, very much like the previous Souls titles.
During Sony's E3 press conference, we finally got the official reveal of the game, now called Bloodborne, and what we saw was something far more bleak and depressing than anything the previous Souls titles could muster. Once more details began to surface, fans were curious to find many changes to standard gameplay.
But was this still a Souls game? Well, Destructoid was invited out to PlayStation HQ in San Mateo to play some of their gamescom offerings, and we got to spend some quality time with From Software's next title.
Whereas Origins was a glorious return to old-school RPG sensibilities, Dragon Age II played like an action game that took place in the same universe. I liked the sequel for different reasons, but it felt like a wasted opportunity as it attempted to juggle some of the RPG elements from Origins while having some faults of its own, like re-used environments and a lack of scale.
If you felt the same way, Inquisition may be for you.
At the EA press conference today, BioWare announced its next project, Shadow Realms. Jeff Hickman, the Studio General Manager discussed its inspiration in old school pen and paper role-playing games, before elaborating on how that applies to the videogame.
Set in a "modern fantasy" world, the heroes form teams of four to do battle against the forces of the Shadow Lord, who controls a range of evil creatures. The result is an online role-playing game with asymmetric multiplayer.
Of course, BioWare throws in its own twist, where story remains a significant component of the gameplay. The studio plans to release content for Shadow Realms episodically, so the community can experience the progression of the story as it evolves together.
Shadow Realms is scheduled to release for PC "late next year," but it is currently playable at gamescom, and interested parties can sign up for the alpha at ShadowRealms.com.
During Sony's gamescom 2014 press conference earlier today, there was bizarre, eye-catching announcement for something called "P.T." which was said to be playable immediately for PS4 via PlayStation Network. It was shown so quickly that many of us didn't think much of it. Whoops.
Turns out that P.T. is a playable teaser for the next Silent Hill from, get a load of this, designer Hideo Kojima and director Guillermo del Toro. The game -- which seems to be named Silent Hills, presumably because that's how Kojima rolls -- stars actor Norman Reedus.
The ruse was figured out by Twitch streamer SoapyWarpig, whose playthrough of P.T.can be seen here. Skip to around 1:16 for the unveil or simply take a look at the .gif below. As someone who hasn't been much into the series in recent years, this is one hell of a way to win me back.
Sony's gamescom showing went by quickly, with announcement after announcement and more than a few new intellectual properties put on display for the first time. Really, though, it's still From Software's Bloodborne that has me most wanting a PlayStation 4. As for the PS Vita, the handheld was practically non-existent at the press conference. Poor thing!
If you missed out on the stream or simply couldn't keep up, here's what went down.
If you don't like Halo, you probably didn't have a great time watching Microsoft's gamescom conference today. Having said that, they did have a decent indie sizzle reel showing, and the ID@Xbox program is making vast strides compared to how rigid its old ways were during the tail end of the 360.
Check out all of the news from Microsoft's conference below.
Today at gamescom, Sony has announced that they have "exceeded" 10 million units sold globally for the PlayStation 4. President and CEO of SCEE Jim Ryan confirmed that these are 10 million units sold direct to consumers.
It's pretty amazing how Sony has turned things around from the troubled launch of the PS3. Whereas the Xbox 360 was the "default" system for a lot of publishers when it came to previews and reviews in the games industry, the PS4 has slowly been taking over this generation. At a recent visit to BioWare, developers even noted that an "increasing" amount of fans were migrating from Microsoft platforms to the PS4, and demanded a tool to transfer over progress.
Diablo III has had a tumultuous history to say the least. Always-online DRM, the Real-Money Auction House, and loot problems plagued the original release -- all issues that took months to address. It's a hot-button issue even now, with many gamers stating that the PC players were had, paying for a "demo" of the console version that would eventually drop with all the fixes in tow.
For those of you who did enjoy the game previously or haven't gotten caught up in the maelstrom of problems though, the Reaper of Souls expansion delivered in just about every way possible. Thankfully, the Ultimate Evil Edition brings that same great experience to consoles.
Activision is upset with us, you know. As it turns out, publishers love revealing things. So when someone leaks something before a publisher intends on tipping its hand, well, it gets angry. And you aren't going to like a publisher when it gets angry. That's when certain invites to certain preview events start getting "lost in the mail."
Missing out on a hot ticket like that sucks, but it's not really the end of the world. Everyone's played Call of Duty. And lord knows we've done a preview or two in our time. Hm... Actually, you know what? With a little imagination and some assumption of false optimism, I think we can make this work. You're going to get a damn Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare preview, dammit!
You guys might not know this, but some of us here at Destructoid are big fans of videogames. For a change of pace, we'd like to share that interest with you all and fill you in on some of the games we're playing right now.
Unlike last month's Mario Kart 8 fervor, just about everyone is playing something different, thanks to the merciful summer game "drought." Until our lives are ruined by a month or two of multiple big games a week. Next year looks even scarier.
Anyways, let us know what you've been playing these days in the comments!