#142: PlayerUnknown has “big dreams” for Prologue

TODAY: Wizards of the Coast are going all-in with Dungeons & Dragons — Nintendo’s Holiday sale is about to start, promising steep discounts — Friend Computer will only send traitors to the termination booth

Top Story

PlayerUnknown has “pretty big dreams” for the mysterious Prologue

PlayerUnknown Productions, the creator of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, showed off a short teaser for their new project Prologue at The Game Awards.

The short clip doesn’t really reveal much, except that someone is deep in the woods and frantically looking around. One thing is certain: It’s not Battlegrounds 2, and it’s apparently not even a shooter. Brendan ‘PlayerUnknown’ Greene appears to be trying something different with Prologue.

“This is the first step in the journey for me,” Greene explained. “We set up the studio, and founded it with the goal of experimenting with new technology. Now we’re taking that first step towards building new technologies, and Prologue is the first step into the new world for us. I wanted the chance to deliver something new on a global scale.”

Brendan Greene wants to avoid ‘being put in a box’

“I’ve got some pretty big dreams about what I want to achieve, that I’m not quite ready to achieve. It will require some new tech,” he explained. Battlegrounds was released on Early Access in 2017 and quickly turned into a phenomenon. Greene called the game’s success and impact “humbling” and hopes Prologue will inspire as much enthusiasm.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

How many years after Titanfall 2 does Apex Legends take place?

  • 10 Years
  • 20 Years
  • 30 Years
  • 40 Years

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

Next Forza Motorsport already playable

As we reported last week, Turn 10 recently had a studio-wide playtest of their next Forza Motorsports game. It still has no official name and no target platform has been announced, and we will most likely have to wait until next year to hear any more information. It seems likely to be an Xbox Series X launch title, though, and creative director Chris Esaki has already revealed a few tidbits about the game.

Apex Legends goes festive with time-limited Holo-Day Bash Event mode

You are cordially invited to the Mirage Voyage party boat to celebrate a brand new Apex Legends game mode where you battle for control of the Winter Express, a special holiday train. Check out the new Holo-Day Bash trailer to see some festive costumes and get the low-down on the new mode.

Daily Fact

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories featured a proper celebrity appearance

Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto games are legendary for their violence, amorality and wide-open worlds – but also for their absurdist portrayals of American society and sharp satire.

This often involves parodies of real-world celebrities, and sometimes the real world bleeds into Grand Theft Auto’s wacky parallel universe thanks to the radio stations, which feature famous artists.

Vice City Stories is a prequel to Vice City, and goes so far as to feature a real-world celebrity as himself. Phil Collins, former frontman of Genesis, was involved in the game’s promotion and soundtrack, but also makes an appearance in one of the game’s missions.

Collins is visiting Vice City to hold a concert, but his manager owes $3,000,000 to the Forelli family – and you got to stop them from whacking him. You can even buy a ticket to the concert and enjoy a performance of In the Air Tonight.
Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today’s fact.

Daily News

Dungeons & Dragons is cool again

Time to whip out those d20s and get rolling, because Dungeons & Dragons is coming back with a vengeance, with Wizards of the Coast bringing out over half a dozen new games.

There have been games based on the iconic pen-and-paper role-playing game for as long as there have been home computers, but it seems like Wizards of the Coast is making a huge effort to establish the brand in the videogame space now. For instance, Larian Studios is working on Baldur’s Gate 3, the sequel to the legendary Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn, which apparently was “one of the easiest first decisions” Wizards of the Coast has ever made.

Dungeons & Dragons was first published in 1974

A new Dark Alliance developed by Wizards of the Coast’s internal studio Tuque Games was just revealed at The Game Awards, and it marks the first part of the wave of new Dungeons & Dragons games.

“We want each game to have a point of view, and to really keep on just a couple of things and do it really, really well,” says Wizards of the Coast president Chris Cocks. Since it’s pretty much impossible to replicate the freedom and spontaneity of a pen-and-paper session, each game will maintain a narrow focus and identity and avoid trying to do everything at once.

Nintendo eShop to start ‘Festive Offers’ sale from December 19

Nintendo has forecast a blizzard of discounts on the Nintendo eShop when their European holiday sale begins on December 19th. The US eShop will most likely get festive too, and Nintendo promises discounts of up to 80% on over 700 games. There’s no word on exactly which titles will be on sale, but we will find out on Thursday. Major titles like Nintendo’s own The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are usually discounted around 33%.

The frugal Nintendo gamer has probably already enjoyed discounts from various physical and digital retailer’s holiday sales, but the eShop sale is sure to inspire some last-minute impulse purchases before everyone settles down for Christmas.

Nintendo UK and Nintendo of Europe both announced Festive Offers

Hopefully Nintendo will discount classic first-party gems like Super Mario Odyssey, which would be a terrific excuse to get a Switch if you haven’t already – and don’t forget that the cheaper, handheld-only Switch Lite makes a tremendous stocking-filler.

Game Spotlight - Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory

If you are not happy, you’ll be adjusted

(Black Shamrock, Cyanide Studio – PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Release Date: December 5th 2019 (Epic Games Store Exclusive), 2020 (other platforms)

Inspired by the classic pen-and-paper role-playing game, Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory combines real-time tactical combat with active pauses in a retro-futuristic world. Take on the role of a ‘Troubleshooter’ and assemble a four-person squad. Everything feels just a tad disconcerting as you do the bidding of Friend Computer, the cranky and occasionally inscrutable AI that runs the Alpha Complex – and will exterminate you just as quickly as pat you on the back.

The Alpha Complex is humanity’s last refuge, but it’s not exactly heaven on Earth: Every person you interact with has a strange name, consisting of numbers and letters and the society feels very impersonal and robotic. Using a Hygiene Booth that cleans you up and fits you with a jumpsuit gives you a pretty good idea of just how disposable Troubleshooters really are – and by extension, most people in the Alpha Complex.

While there is some humour, Paranoia is really about the sinister and unnerving nature of Friend Computer and the tasks you need to carry out for it. These jobs are not necessarily very interesting, and frequently requires you to go through a startling number of steps to reach simple goals. Fortunately, you can change things up and develop a playstyle that suits your temperament by investing in your Troubleshooters’ skills.

Your Troubleshooters have three different attributes, each of which governs a set of skills: Brains, Mechanical and Violence. For example, Brains governs bureaucracy and psychology while Mechanical deals with programming, engineering and crafting. Then there’s Violence, which deals with melee and the use of weapons. You can also boost your skills with pills issued by Friend Computer.

The most interesting part of the skill system are the Mutations, which are very powerful but also a grave sin. Mutants, like traitors and secret society members, are fair game for Friend Computer and any of its minions. The team leader can also use a special ability to inspire his team, which increases stats by 50% for 15 seconds.

Good luck out there, Troubleshooter

When you die – and you will probably die quite often – you can either restart the mission or send in a clone to take your fallen character’s place. Cloning reassigns your skills and essentially loses you all your character progress, which is a bit frustrating – but also a central part of the game. Troubleshooters are, after all, eminently expendable and losing a few of them upsets you much more than it bothers Friend Computer – or anyone else in Alpha Complex, for that matter.

We played the game both at a computer and on a TV via streaming, and found the game very difficult to use with a controller. Particularly the menus are a pain, and it’s probably a good thing that the console versions won’t be out until next year since the developers definitely need to polish controller input. We suggest sticking to keyboard and mouse.

The graphics settings are also pretty disappointing, only supporting two resolutions: 1080p and 720p. No ultrawide aspect ratios, and no 4k. There is support for high refresh rates, although this is a pretty slow-moving game where most of your time is spent staring at static screens pondering your next move. That means high frame rates are nice, but not exactly essential.

Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory is already available on the Epic Games Store. It will be releasing on Steam, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One next year.

News Bits

Pokémon GO expands its horizons

Niantic Labs has announced that they will add a whole lot of new sightings to Pokémon Go. They will spread out sightings in areas where they used to be dense, and expanded to areas where there were practically no Pokémon before. They hope they will encourage more Trainers to explore past their own city or neighbourhood.

Seth will appear in Champion Edition

Seth, the final boss in Street Fighter IV, is the 40th character added to treet Fighter V: Champion Edition, which will be released on February 14th. The December update is out now, and adds Gill along with the Sun Chase Moon stage, V-Skill II and some balance changes.

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Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

How many years after Titanfall 2 does Apex Legends take place?

Answer: 40 Years!

Apex Legends takes place in the same universe as Respawn’s popular shooter series Titanfall – but is notably missing the iconic mechs from the earlier games. The developers have hinted that they might appear one day, and earlier updates have added creatures from the earlier games as well as a number of other nods to the series’ roots.

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