Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?
What Year Was E3 First Held?
The Answer will be given at the end of this issue!
Xbox Game Pass for PC unveiled, begins this August
Microsoft has remembered that it’s got computer video games for PC as well, and have announced the Xbox Game Pass for PC, which officially starts up this August. It will feature “over 100” PC titles and it includes big publishers like Bethesda and SEGA. Even Paradox Interactive is getting in on the subscription fun with titles like Imperator: Rome. Veni, vidi, subscribed.
Shaky cam horror with Blair Witch
Remember the Blair Witch Project? The film was about some young people being terrorised by a shaky camera stalking them in the woods? We totally remember it. Blair Witch has been announced for Xbox One as a first-person horror, and it’ll include a canine sidekick (will you be able to pet them?) and someone missing. If you see anyone standing in a corner getting a timeout by the way, sick the dog on them. Blair Witch is out August 30.
E3 has run every year since 1995!
Yep, the biggest show on the gaming calendar is 24 years old, meaning it’s old enough to drink, drive, make questionable life choices, and think The Phantom Menace wasn’t actually that bad.
The first E3 in 1995 was a more modest affair than the crazy conference-heavy news-barrage it is today, existing mainly to please retailers rather than press or punters. E3 quickly ousted the previous trade show, CES, which was so dismissive of the videogame industry that one year it stuck SEGA outside in a leaky tent behind the adult videos.
Games on show at E3 1995 included Panzer Dragoon and Virtua Fighter for SEGA, Ridge Racer and Twisted Metal for Sony, and Earthbound and Killer Instinct for Nintendo. Other great games included Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Chrono Trigger, Resident Evil, Primal Rage, and I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream (the highlight). Even the Atari Jaguar was there! No Aliens Vs Predator though, so who cares.
Oh, and E3 2019 marks the first E3 since 1995 that Sony haven’t attended. But how will we find out how to kill the giant enemy crabs now?
Borderlands 3 is not a Destiny-like shared-world shooter because Gearbox is “not trying to change the formulas”
Borderlands was the first game in the ‘Loot Shooter’ genre, and many wondered if Gearbox would embrace ideas from more recent Loot Shooters, such as Destiny, The Division, and Anthem. Would Borderlands 3 go shared-world?
We spoke to Borderlands 3 Mission Designer Kate Pitstick, who confirmed that the game would not have a shared world like Destiny, and is instead an improvement on the traditional Borderlands formula.
If it ain’t broke, don’t make it like Anthem
No, we’re not doing the shared world shooter,” she confirmed. “It’ll be very much like, I know you I want to hop into your game or I send out the signal flare that other people can join my game… It wouldn’t be like Destiny where you can see everyone running around the same space. We’re all in our different games, it would be the same way I can invite you into my game [in previous Borderlands games].
I think the biggest thing for Borderlands 3 is we’re not trying to change the formulas. We’re just trying to expand on them. [We’re] trying to take what everyone knows and loves and is familiar about [Borderlands] and just expanding that in ways that make sense. So it’s the same familiar thing, it’s not Borderlands-Destiny or anything like that. It is Borderlands, and still true to that spirit.
Borderlands 3 will release on September 13th and will be co-op focused, but you won’t see loads of other players running around your game world like you can in games like Destiny or The Division. Hopefully that’ll be good news to the Borderlands fans out there!
Microsoft’s next Xbox out before end of 2020, Halo Infinite a launch title
Project Scarlet is the internal name for Xbox’s next big brother, or ‘Xbox-Tooie’ as I like to think they actually call it, since they own studio Rare. Microsoft calls this the “biggest leap” over the previous generation.
There was no glimpse of this mysterious gaming box of the future though, just a bunch of technical jargon and bullet points, so here they are:
- Custom AMD Zen 2 processor manufactured by *gasp* AMD, and said to be four times more powerful than Xbox One X
- Potentially run games at 120 frames per second
- 8K resolution playback, though unclear whether it’s limited to video-streaming or not
- GGDR6 memory and a variable refresh rate – how variably refreshing
- Real-time ray tracing for more realistic lighting (expect much more screen glare)
- Runs using a custom solid state drive for faster read/write and heavily reduced load times
- Will feature backward compatibility for ‘all Xbox One titles and accessories’
Phil Spencer’s cloudy forecast
‘When we talk about Xbox in the cloud, when we talk about streaming your games, Project Scarlett and all of its power and all of its performance is the foundation of our future in console and the formation of our future in cloud,” said Xbox big chief, Phil Spencer.
Sounds like more corporate market speak, but it’s likely Xbox-Tooie (I’m sticking with it) will be leveraging faster Internet for more streaming-based services. Not sure Microsoft would be so bold as to ditch the optical drive, just yet.
Project xCloud is Microsoft’s fancy cloud-based streaming ecosystem for Xbox, and your console can serve as a ‘data center’ to stream games to other devices. This is almost certainly being extended to Scarlett if Phil Spencer has anything to say about it, which he certainly does!
Halo Infinite will be there at launch
What’s it about? It’s about Master Chief returning in the “next chapter” of Halo and it’ll be coming alongside the next Xbox in Holiday 2020. It’s a direct sequel to Halo 5: Guardians, and it’s for PC Tooie!
Cyberpunk 2077’s “breathtaking” reveal of Keanu Reeves and April 2020 release
CD Projekt RED pulled quite the cheeky stunt at Microsoft’s E3 event this week as they not only revealed an April 2020 release date for Cyberpunk 2077, but that they’ve also been secretly working with Keanu Reeves!
A teaser trailer played before Mr John Wick himself emerged to much applause and praise. The trailer has his character at the end of it say something, crouch down and remove his sunglasses. That was it. The likeness is incredible and Keanu seems to have got himself quite an intriguing role.
“We have a city to burn”
Reeves described walking around the in-game streets of Cyberpunk 2077 as “breaktaking”, before an overexcited gaming YouTuber by the name of Peter Sark declared “You’re breathtaking!” Proving he’s still got those Neo reflexes, Reeves fired back with “You’re breathtaking! You’re all breathtaking!” The moment will go down in E3 history, and the memes have already begun.
It’s now available for pre-order across multiple platforms and digital stores, with both a standard and a Collector’s Edition on offer.
Cyberpunk 2077 releases on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 April 16, 2020.
Elden Ring revealed as From Software and George R.R. Martin’s “dark fantasy action RPG”
It’s finally happened and we have a name to go with From Software and author George R.R. Martin’s collaborative genius. Elden Ring is the name of this new open world action RPG with a dark fantasy setting, and while specifics maybe scarce, Hidetaka Miyazaki has revealed more in an interview.
Miyazaki-san says they started work on Elden Ring shortly after Dark Souls 3’s last DLC, and they had considered a more classical fantasy theme, but ditched it for something much darker. I think we’re starting to see a pattern emerge here. Elden Ring will be focusing a lot more on its RPG elements.
More ‘open field’ than world
“I would have to say the biggest difference is it being open world. Due to this, the scale of the world and its narrative, as well as the depth and freedom of exploration have increased dramatically. It is without a doubt our biggest title yet in terms of sheer volume. There are many definitions to the term “open world,” and I might not be phrasing it correctly, but we have simply tried our own approach to a game with a large, open field to play in,” said game director Hidetaka Miyazaki.
“Yes, I do,” added Miyazaki-san, when asked if Elden Ring would prove as challenging as other FROM titles, like Dark Souls or the more recent and action focused Sekiro. “The importance we place on the joy the player experiences through overcoming challenges will be the same as it is in our other titles. I believe it will prove to be a very satisfying experience.”
What we know:
- It’s a dark fantasy world with greater emphasis on RPG elements
- The game is set in an open world environment, or at least by FROM’s own definition
- Much of Elden Ring’s mythos is penned by George R.R. Martin
- Character customisation will feature, unlike in Sekiro with its predefined ninja badass
- Weapons and magic will vary to suit player styles
- Major feature-set boss battles will be mercilessly slaughtering us, no doubt
Elden Ring is coming to PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 although no release date has been offered yet.