#1: E3 2019 Begins!

The first issue of DailyBits is here, and we want to thank you for joining us on this journey! E3 2019 kicked off over the weekend, so let’s find out what’s happened at the show so far…

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

What Year Was E3 First Held?

  • 1995
  • 1997
  • 1999
  • 2001

The Answer will be given at the end of this issue!

News Bits

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.

Daily Fact

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?

Daily News

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.

Indie Spotlight

Void Bastards (Blue Manchu)

For this week’s Indie Spotlight we’re taking a look at Void Bastards from developer Blue Manchu, which is out now. It’s best described as a rogue-lite System Shock mixed with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and ‘60s-era comic books – which doesn’t really describe it at all. What you do need to know is 1) that Blue Manchu includes a number of developers who worked on System Shock 2 and BioShock, and 2) it’s one of the best games of the year.

LOST IN SPACE

You’re stuck in a twisted area of space called the Sargasso Nebula, where you have to travel between stranded spaceships raiding them for supplies and the quest items you need. While you’re protected with a special spacesuit, the effects of the Nebula have transformed the occupants of those ships into twisted monsters – and the automated security doesn’t take too kindly to raiders. Plus, you’ve got oxygen, food, and fuel to worry about, not to mention pirates and other terrors of the Nebula.

Void Bastards is a rogue-lite, which means when you die, you’ll lose progress, items, and in this case even your character. This will be a turn-off for some people, but trust us when we say – it’s not much of a problem. We’re not particularly fans of rogue-style games, but Void Bastards softens the blows. Upgrades and unlocks will carry over, and you’ll be reset to your last completed quest rather than the beginning. You can get upgrades that allow you to start with more food, fuel, and ammo.

REMEMBER CITADEL

Travelling the Nebula is a simple point-to-point map, although you often have to choose between one location or another. You can’t go backwards, so you may have to decide between vital resources, upgrade parts, and the correct path to your objective – not to mention the various threats or bad locations. You can quit, save, heal up (at the cost of food), craft items, examine potential ships, and then decide where and when to dock.

This is where the game becomes more purely System Shock/BioShock – but a lot more tactical. Enemies wander the halls, but you can avoid them if you’re careful, but after that you’ll have to decide how you’re going to explore. Do you head to the Helm to get vital loot locations? Do you look for fuel or food? Do you generally raud? What happens when your oxygen begins to run out, or a security camera spots you, or a boss monster blocks a vital path? Void Bastards is tense, exciting, and deeply addictive stuff.

HOLY EXCELLENT FPS BATMAN

This is all topped off with the game’s wonderful comic book style, which is more than just cel-shading – there are lines around your screen as you run, cutscenes are done in panels, and you can ‘see’ the sounds of enemies in rooms before you enter. Plus, it’s very funny in a distinctly British way. Tea is a power-up, enemy numbers go from ‘few’ to ‘shedloads’, and the food item is cheese and onion sandwiches. Enemies keep elements of their former personalities too, so they’ll be just as likely to kill you as complain about there not being enough loo paper in their room. Oh, and the narrator of The Stanley Parable is your unhelpful boss.

Void Bastards is one of the best, most distinct, and compelling games of the year – whether AAA or indie. If you like the sound of System Shock/BioShock with a comic book style, randomized locations, and an amusing Hitchhiker’s Guide attitude to space exploration, it’s well worth picking up. It’s available on Steam, Humble, and Xbox Live now.

News Bits

Final Fantasy VIII: Remake first for PlayStation 4 in March 2020

It’s not a fever dream – it’s very real. Square Enix has confirmed that the gorgeous Final Fantasy VII: Remake will ‘debut first’ on PlayStation 4 March 3, 2020 (or March III, MMXX for purists). This means a timed exclusive for PlayStation before delighting PC and Xbox no doubt.

Double Fine, Single Owned… by Microsoft

Tim Schaffer has revealed his indie Double Fine Productions, Inc. is now a piece of the Xbox Game Studios empire. The man with the beard himself explains why it’s happened after 20 years, and pledges they won’t go all ‘suit and tie’ on us. Currently they’re developing Psychonauts 2, which was crowdfunded by over $3.8 million back in January 2016.

Quiz Answer - Were You Right?

What Year Was E3 First Held?

A: 1995!

Before E3 the main videogame trade show was CES, but both game makers and sellers had been getting ticked off with the way the videogame industry was treated at CES – in 1991 they were stuck behind the porn vendors in a leaky tent outside while it was raining!

The newly-formed Interactive Digital Software Association (later the ESA) helped create a new trade show called the Electronic Entertainment Expo , or “E3” for short. Publishers were forced to choose between the first E3 and CES in 1995… and E3 was the winner!

Daily Giveaway

HyperX Cloud Alpha Pro Gaming Headset

We’re celebrating our launch week by offering all our subscribers the chance to win a HyperX Cloud Alpha Pro Gaming Headset, every day this week! We will randomly draw one lucky winner from our active reader list each day, as a celebration of our maiden week.

HyperX™ Cloud Alpha’s ground-breaking Dual Chamber Drivers design will give your audio more distinction and clarity by reducing distortion. It’s multi-platform compatible with in-line audio controls, so serious gamers on PC, PS4™, Xbox One™ and other platforms with a 3.5mm port will benefit from the bold sound of the Cloud Alpha evolution.

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