#75: Will Batman appear at The Game Awards?

TODAY: Borderlands wasn’t always colorful and humorous — Could Alan Wake turn up in next year’s Altered World Events? — Project Resistance might just redeem Resident Evil’s checkered multiplayer past

Top Story

Voice of Batman teases new Arkham

It has been four years since Batman: Arkham Knight, and it seems like creator Rocksteady has moved on to bigger and better things – at least we hope so, we still have no idea what they’re working on! That makes it safe to assume that Arkham Origins developer WB Montreal is working on a new Batman.

Voice actor Roger Craig Smith, who voiced Batman in Arkham Origins, has done some winking and nudging about something that he can’t talk about that’s definitely not a videogame, so maybe there’s a new Batman announcement around the corner?

Can I be trusted?

Straight from the horse’s mouth: ”Super bummed to not be working on anything that I can’t tweet about right now because I can’t violate an NDA for something that I assure you does not exist. And isn’t a video game.”

While that’s not exactly conclusive evidence, WB Montreal developers have been saying their next game will be revealed soon and will feature the Batman villains Court of Owls – using the same style of coy denial-speak and consistently calling the project [REDACTED].

Why the hullabaloo, then? Well, we can be pretty sure he’s not voicing Sonic the Hedgehog or Ezio Auditore, since Warner Bros PR Manager Gary Miereanu replies to the tweet saying “your publicist thanks you, and promises we’ll let the cat out of the bag reasonably soon.”

In short, there are no details available, but it’s looking pretty likely that the creators of Arkham Origins will announce a new Batman game soon – maybe the Game Awards in December, since other Batman games have been announced at the show in the past.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

What unusual product sponsored Remedy’s Alan Wake?

  • Energizer batteries
  • Maglite flashlights
  • General Motors cars
  • Sony TVs

The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!

News Bits

Star Wars Battlefront 2’s new co-op Mode will be out September 25th

It’s been nearly two years since Star Wars Battlefront 2 was released, and is showing no signs of losing momentum. A new content roadmap shows a steady stream of new content all the way up to December, when Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker finally hit cinemas.

The biggest news is the team-based PvE co-op mode launching on September 25th, allowing you create your very own – albeit pint-sized – rebel alliance. It’ll be like old times, Luke. They’ll never stop us!

Daily Fact

Borderlands used to be very serious business, and wasn’t even cel-shaded

The eagerly-anticipated Borderlands 3 is out tomorrow, featuring the series’ signature co-op looting and shooting, corny humour and eye-popping cel-shaded comic-style visuals. While all of these features makes Borderlands stand out and helps explain the series’ huge appeal, the game used to be dramatically different and much more po-faced.

Development on Borderlands started in 2005, four years before the game eventually launched in 2009. When it was originally revealed in 2007, it looked completely different to the game that eventually launched two years later.

It was a much more typical post-apocalyptic affair along the lines of Fallout 3 and Rage, and … well, it looked quite drab. Fortunately, Gearbox had noticed as well, and put a small team to work reworking the visuals in a cel-shaded art style reminiscent of Jet Set Radio. Both Gearbox and publisher 2K loved their work, and decided to go whole-hog and apply the new style to the whole game.

A good decision if we ever saw one. It’s hard to imagine anyone would be excited about Borderlands 3 – or that there would even be a third game – if it looked anything like the screenshot above.

Game Spotlight - Greedfall

The 17th Century as you’ve never seen it before

(Spiders, Focus Home Interactive – PS4, PC, Xbox One)
Release: Out Now!

Action RPG GreedFall is out now, introducing players to a different version of the 17th century with a fantasy twist. Playing as De Sardet, you’ll be tasked with travelling to find a cure for a horrible disease that is quickly spreading through the continent. With a few companions by your side and a truckload of skills and talents up your sleeve, you’ll explore, fight and maybe even sweet talk your way out of a few tricky situations.

There are three different classes that you can choose between: Magic, Warrior and Technical – but this doesn’t mean that you have to stick with all the attributes of this one class for the entirety of your play through.

It’s clear that developer Spiders wants players to have the most enjoyable experience with GreedFall, as a result of their decision to allow players to cherry pick skills from different classes. For example, if you choose a Magic build you’ll have a Divine Magic Ring that grants you a number of shadow powers, but you can also spend acquired points on abilities such as wielding two handed blades and creating a bomb from the Warrior and Technical classes.

Points can also be redistributed at any time, so if you’re unhappy with your build for whatever reason, you can change it without having to start a new play through. While following the game’s story, you’ll unlock a number of quests that can be achieved in different ways. If you’re one for putting a lot of points in Charisma, you’ll be able to diplomatically solve a number of problems.

These dialogue options are displayed with a predicted success rate next to them so that you can weigh up when it’s worth trying to charm your way out of a predicament. Similarly, investing more points in Science will let you discover different routes through a building by giving you the option to blast through a wall. As you’d expect, the further you move along a skill tree, more valuable upgrades will become available.

A heavily customisable experience

Alternatively, you may want to have some coins on hand to buy your way out of a sticky spot. For those who prefer a more aggressive approach, combat is sometimes an option, yet it’s worth mentioning that it surfaces quite erratically at first. Some mobs are already hostile when you pass them and will suddenly trigger your combat state, launching you into a fight.

As a Magic build, we found that the base abilities were sufficient for dealing with enemies, particularly if you have a trusty companion by your side. You’ll meet a number of viable companions over the course of your time with GreedFall, but you can only have two in your party at a time. Each companion is also fashioned with their own abilities and archetype, so be sure to choose wisely and pick characters that can complement your build.

Fighting humans is satisfying enough, but how do you fancy taking on some strange creatures too? Early on, you’re introduced to a large unknown creature that you’ll have to fight alone. This gives you a good indication of what’s to come later on, when you reach the Island of Teer Fradee, a region steeped in beautiful stretches of forest and magic.

One of the earliest powers that you’ll have (utilising the Magic class) is Stasis, a spell that can stop an enemy in its tracks for up to eight seconds. This buys you some time to perform a charged attack, heal, or move to a better position to continue the fray. GreedFall also enables players from all classes to call a tactical pause mid-fight. Before heading into combat, we recommend setting up your shortcuts to ensure that you have your best spells and necessary potions set to convenient slots for use during these pauses.

Though the PlayStation 4 Pro version of GreedFall ran well enough at a locked 30FPS at 4K with HDR support, we have to imagine the PC port should improve on this dramatically. The last game Spiders released on PC was The Technomancer back in 2016, which featured 4K support and could be played at high refresh rates. Judging by our last battle against the creature in the boat, the improved performance of the PC port would really help during the combat sequences to make things more responsive.

With so many different ways to approach GreedFall, we’re interested to see how people progress through the game, using their selected skills and talents. Lasting between 30-45 hours and offering multiple endings, GreedFall will release on September 10th on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Daily News

Control is getting two DLC expansions, and one might be Alan Wake themed

Control, the latest and greatest from the creators of Max Payne and Alan Wake, came out last month to much acclaim – and now developer Remedy has laid out the game’s content roadmap right up to the end of 2020. Two new modes are coming this year, and two expansions are coming next year – and one of them seems particularly exciting.

The two expansions are called The Foundation and AWE, the former turning up in “early” 2020 and the latter appearing “mid 2020”. The Foundation will apparently “delve into the history of the Oldest House”, the ever-shifting setting of Control, and will initially be a PlayStation 4 exclusive. But the second expansion is particularly interesting, since it appears to be an Alan Wake crossover.

Are you awake?

The second expansion, AWE, deals with the Altered World Events central to the initial campaign, and reveals more about the Investigations Sector of the Oldest House. More importantly, an expansion teaser picture shows a mix of the Control and Alan Wake cover art. Alan Wake already appeared as an Easter egg in Control, suggesting that the game’s events were investigated by Control’s bureau. Maybe we’ll get to be a part of their investigation?

As for the more imminent events, there’s a Photo Mode coming up along with a new game mode called ‘Expeditions’ due in December – apparently “a challenging new end-game mode” that will be free to all players. We just can’t wait to dive back into the world of Alan Wake, especially since there won’t be any sequels any time soon.

Project Resistance is a 4v1 Resident Evil multiplayer game, beta next month

Capcom released a short teaser trailer earlier this week, and today we finally got a better look at Project Resistance. We can now confirm that it is indeed a new multiplayer Resident Evil game, with a neat twist: It’s a 4v1 asymmetrical game, a little like Dead By Daylight or Left 4 Dead’s Versus mode with a sprinkling of Space Hulk.

Four players take control of the survivors Valerie, January, Tyrone and Samuel, each with different abilities like hacking or special melee attacks. They need to make their way through a typical Resident Evil setting filled with puzzles and monsters, scavenging for supplies and staying alive – but they got one more player to worry about as well.

You’re all going to die down here

The fifth player is the Mastermind, who acts like a sort of Dungeon Master and needs to spot the other players at any cost. The Mastermind can place traps, activate gun turrets, unleash new creatures and even take out the lights or block doors – and summon a boss monster, like Resident Evil 2’s Mr. X.

The game is developed using the Resident Evil 2 Remake engine, by a fairly new team called Neobards in close collaboration with Capcom. You can sign up for a closed PlayStation 4 and Xbox One beta on October 4th-7th. Looks like Project Resistance will be a ton of fun, and maybe even make up for Operation Raccoon City and Umbrella Chronicles!

eSports Roundup

Astralis win CS:GO StarLadder Berlin Major

Astralis secured a 2-0 victory in the final match against AVANGAR on maps Inferno and Dust II. This is the team’s third Major victory in a row, after previously winning the IEM Katowice Major 2019 and FACEIT Major: London 2018. They’re also the only team to have won four Major titles.

The team started strong, managing to dominate on Inferno and finishing the first half 12-3. They quickly shut down AVANGAR’s advances in the second half, wrapping up the match 16-6. Dust II took a similar turn, with Astralis hitting that 16th round, having only given 5 away to AVANGAR. Looks like Astralis are once again the strongest CS:GO team in world.

Kai’Sa joins the Teamfight Tactics roster in patch 9.19

The League of Legends champion, Kai’Sa, is finally making her way to Teamfight Tactics in patch 9.19. As a Void Assassin Ranger, Kai’Sa is likely to spice up the meta over the next few weeks as players learn to use her.

Kai’Sa’s ability allows her to dash past the furthest enemy, gaining a shield and a lot of attack speed for a few seconds. If you can’t wait to get your hands on her, check out the Teamfight Tactics’ Public Beta Environment to get learn her skillset ahead of everyone else.

$500,000 event in the run-up to 2020

Intel and The International Olympic Committee have announced that a $500,000 esports event featuring games such as Street Fighter V and Rocket League will be held in the lead-up to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The event is called The Intel World Open and will be open to all players, giving everyone the chance to qualify and represent their national team. The live qualifier event will be held in Katowice in June, with the Championship Tournament taking place from July 22nd-24th in Tokyo.

While this sounds exciting, Street Fighter V players have already voiced concerns on forums, since the qualifier relies on online play. This isn’t as much of a problem in games with better netcode, but Street Fighter V is not exactly best in class.

It’s bad enough that Street Fighter V executive producer Yoshinori Ono has addressed the issue. He explained that the SF development team is trying to fix the problems, but didn’t confirm whether the system will be overhauled in time for the qualifiers.

News Bits

Star Ocean: First Departure R launching on December 5th

There’s an enhanced version of the original SNES Star Ocean on the way, still rocking that sweet 16-bit 2D look. That means there’s some proper old-school JRPG fun coming to PlayStation 4 and Switch on December 5th, at $20.99 / £16.99 / €20.99.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

What unusual product sponsored Remedy’s Alan Wake?

Answer: Energizer batteries!

Alan Wake is one of developer Remedy’s most popular games, and as we’ve reported in the news today, it’s looking likely that there will be a Control and Alan Wake crossover in 2020. Let’s hope they’ve avoided sponsorship deals this time, though! There was a surprising amount of product placement in Alan Wake – including Energizer batteries and Verizon Wireless, which was the theme for the first expansion called The Signal!

Alan Wake may not have featured General Motors branding, but it did have both Ford and Lincoln automobiles in the game. There were more than a few nods towards Microsoft products too, including the Xbox 360 – although that’s more understandable, since Alan Wake was an Xbox exclusive at launch.

Weekly Giveaway

Iconoclasts on PS4

It’s time to save the world in another DailyBits giveaway! We have 5 PS4 keys to give away for amazing platformer-adventure Iconoclasts. All you have to do to enter the sweepstakes is to follow us on Twitter and on our Facebook page, and we will choose five random followers who will each receive a Iconoclasts PSN code to play on PS4! It couldn’t be any easier.

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