#163: EA plotting next KOTOR project?

TODAY: Syphon Filter developers had no idea what they were making, but did well anyway — Master Chief needs you … to test upcoming PC ports — Bungie’s very proud that you managed to crack their puzzle

Top Story

Report claims EA has a Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic project underway

Could BioWare’s seminal Star Wars RPGs be due for a remaster or even a remake? According to a recent report from Cinelinx, two sources have confirmed that EA has a Knights of the Old Republic “remake” or “sequel of sorts” in the works.

The first game was released for Xbox in 2003, before hitting PC in 2004. It featured a simplified Dungeons & Dragons-inspired RPG system and laid the foundations for BioWare’s modern, streamlined RPGs, which later got refined into Mass Effect. It was a big hit and a famously broken sequel launched in late 2004 – even the ending was broken.

“Wipe this pathetic planet from the face of the galaxy.”

The franchise lives on in MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic, and there have been a lot of rumours about remakes and sequels for the last decade. The rumours Cinelinx are reporting makes it sound like a reinterpretation of the two games, with the aim of bringing them in line with the current canon.

Considering the huge amount of Star Wars media coming out of Disney these days, it would almost be surprising if these rumours turn out to be false. EA is already busy with a Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order sequel, as well as the mysterious Star Wars-related Project Luminous.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Who developed the sequel to Knights of the Old Republic?

  • Obsidian
  • BioWare
  • Blizzard
  • Black Isle

The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today’s issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be.

News Bits

Vive La Résistance on Feburary 25th

Marching around the Maginot line – or blitzing your way through it – may soon be more trouble than it’s worth thanks to La Résistance, the latest Hearts of Iron IV expansion arriving on February 25th.

The expansion adds another nuisance for occupying forces, with resistance movements throwing spanners in the works. Espionage, code cracking and recon units are also introduced, along with new National Focuses for France and Spain.

Cupid is as cupid does in Mario Kart

Nintendo is in the mood for some corporate love and has announced a Valentine Tour event for Mario Kart Tour. The mobile free-to-play game goes all lovey-dovey this January 28, and will also expand the roster with a new driver.

Special events typically last about two weeks and can be based on real-world locations. The current Ice Tour started January 14 and revived some older tracks from past Mario Kart games.

Daily Fact

Syphon Filter developers ‘knew nothing’ about shooters or spies

The first Syphon Filter, a third-person stealth shooter for PlayStation from 1999, began its life as literally nothing more than a title made up by a producer.

Developer Eidetic invented everything else as they went along, and they had no real idea what they wanted to make. Their only previous title was the catastrophic Bubsy 3D from 1996.

They were inspired by Rare’s GoldenEye 007 for Nintendo 64, and wanted to make their own super-spy game. Creative director John Garvin admitted that the team “didn’t know anything about making realistic shooters set in a spy world” and that the game teetered on the brink of cancellation several times.

Fortunately, hope and talent persevered and Syphon Filter launched to considerable acclaim and became a staple series for PlayStation and PlayStation 2.

Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today’s fact.

Daily News

First Halo community update of 2020 talks Master Chief Collection testing

Microsoft’s big, bold bundle of Halo is slowly but surely coming together. Halo: The Master Chief Collection packs remastered versions of Halo, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 4 as well as Halo: Reach, Halo ODST and 343 Industries just released a new community update.

There’s still quite a lot of work left before the whole bundle is ready to rumble, and you can help out! All you need to do is sign up for the Halo Insider Program, which gives you a chance to participate in future beta tests, what 343 Industries calls “flights”. So if you are a Halo enthusiast with a gaming PC, ask not what Halo can do for you, but what you can do for Halo.

The Master Chief Collection released December 3

“At a high-level, our flighting goals are to verify future Halo: Reach updates and to bring us closer to Halo: CE Anniversary’s launch on PC,” says the latest blog post. “Beneath those top-level goals are smaller objectives that need to be tackled to ensure the game has a solid foundation.” The Master Chief Collection for PC is presently limited to Halo: Reach, but since that’s commonly considered to be the best game in the series, it’s certainly not a bad start.

One of the biggest innovations in The Master Chief Collection is the “Intelligent Install feature”, which allows you to select which games from the package you want to install, and whether you want the campaign or multiplayer content. The community update also talked about Halo 5: Guardian events and upcoming Halo eSports events, including the year’s first tournament on February 21st to 23rd.

Latest blog from Bungie says they “watched in awe” as community cracked ‘the puzzle’

Destiny 2’s hardest community puzzle to date has been cracked right open, and Bungie couldn’t be prouder of y’all, according to their latest This Week at Bungie blog post.

“We’d never shipped a puzzle of this size before, and watching the community engagement was a thrill in itself,” cooed the studio. “…we’ve watched in awe as the community came together to solve one of Destiny’s most complex puzzles to date.” Bungie has apparently been buried in requests to talk talk about the process behind ‘the puzzle’.

The Corridors of Time will be closing next week, reminds Bungie

The goal of this event was to create a time maze where players can discover secrets and lore, intrigue players with a “shared community puzzle” that rewards the Exotic Fusion Rifle, and finally to celebrate the community achievement by inviting all players to bask in their accomplishment.

The post also discusses some of the performance improvements Bungie is preparing to launch. They’re working on resolving UI stuttering and frame rate drops as well as framerate problems plaguing Gambit, Gambit Prime, the Sanctified Mind encounter, the Pit of Heresy dungeon and general performance improvements to scenes with lots of debris flying around.

Weekly Deals Roundup

What are ya buyin’?

It’s the Lunar New Year! Maybe not terribly important unless you’re Chinese, but it means plenty of stores are having amazing sales!

The best deal this week is Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – Ultimate Edition for PC, at a historic low price of £24. This version includes the Deluxe Pack (numerous DLC bits) and the Season Pass which adds two major episodic story arcs to the game.

UK & Europe

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – Ultimate Edition (PC) £24 @ Amazon

Catherine: Full Body (PS4) £25.95 @ The Game Collection

Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle (PS4) £27.85 @ Base

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (PC) £32.49 @ Blizzard Store

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (PS4) £12.99 @ PlayStation Store

If you haven’t played Outer Wilds yet, you should definitely pick it up now if you are into exploration and discovery. Outer Wilds is an open-world journey through space, and if you like the feeling of discovering something new you will definitely fall in love with this hidden gem.


Outer Wilds (PS4) $19.99 @ PlayStation Store US

NieR: Automata (PC) $22.99 @ DLGamer

Frostpunk (PC) $10.80 @ Green Man Gaming

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 (PC) $12 @ uPlay

Valve is generally quite generous with their older titles, but this deal pretty much takes the cake: From now until the day Half-Life: Alyx launches, every Half-Life game is free to play on Steam. If you’ve been too stingy before, now’s your chance to enjoy one of the greatest game series of all time for the low, low price of absolutely free.

Rest of the World

The entire Half-Life series (PC) Free to play until March @ Steam

The Bridge & Farming Simulator 19 (PC) Free @ Epic Games Store

Dead by Daylight (PC) Free to play until January 26th @ Steam

Indivisible, Sea Salt, and Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour (Xbox One/PC) £1/$1 for one month on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate/PC @ Microsoft Store

Be sure to hug your loved ones extra tight before a gaming session as it’s important to let them know how much you care. Have a great weekend!

News Bits

More sci-fi horror from Bloober Team

Bloober Team’s psychological sci-fi horror series Observer seems poised to expand judging by some cryptic Twitter messages. Will we once again hack into suspects’ minds? Is it a sequel, or could it be a a VR version like the recent Layers of Fear VR? Stay vigilant.

Apex Legends Season 4 revealed

The fourth season of Apex Legends is about to begin, and Respawn Entertainment is spilling the beans on all the new stuff. Forge is the newest addition to the cast of heroes, and is supposed to be the total opposite of Crypto. A new weapon has also been revealed, the bolt-action sniper rifle Sentinel. Apex Legends Season 4 begins February 4th on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Who developed the sequel to Knights of the Old Republic?

Answer: Obsidian!

BioWare struck gold with the original Knights of the Old Republic, which is still considered one of the best Star Wars games ever made. The sequel is less famous, mostly because it was rushed and launched in quite a state.

It was buggy, not terribly different from its predecessor and with a lot of content cut out. Still, it had its charm and a combination of official patches and fan efforts has fixed most of its problems and restored a lot of the missing content.

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