GT Sport July Update Live

After taking a brief month hiatus, Polyphony Digital is at it again with the rollout for July’s Gran Turismo Sport update.

Watch the official trailer on PlayStation Korea’s channel

The update, which clocks in around 3.5 gigs, offers a new fantasy track, Circuit de Sainte-Croix, 7 new cars, the ability to purchase in game cars with real money, 3 new events for GT League, the ability to add drivers to Scapes photos, and an expansion to driver suits.

For a full rundown of everything that Polyphony is offering head to their official site

After a brief break with the game, I can’t wait to jump back in and take to the new circuit with one of the more affordable new cars.

And let’s be honest, GT Sport is as much a grinding game as the best of them, arguably up there with looters like Destiny and Diablo 3.

Which brings me to the most heated point of this new update – buying cars with real money. This is a service based game, and monetization was always to be expected, but it will be interesting to see how this particular strategy plays out.

I’d like to dive deeper into this topic at a later date, and instead will opt to see how the player base reacts over the coming weeks, but I am OK with micro transactions in Polyphony Digital’s premier racer.

I would prefer things to be cosmetic based, but if it means a long road paved with plentiful content updates, I’m all for it. Even still, it isn’t the best of situations, especially considering that some cars cost 20,000,000 credits.

An Xbox Cloud Box Possibly Inbound

Earlier today, Brad Sams broke news of a possible approach for Microsoft’s next gen console strategy. Lead by the good graces of those in the know, Brad outlined a strategy where Microsoft would not only release a traditional next gen box, but also a significantly cheaper system with an emphasis on streaming from the cloud, presumably Azure servers, as opposed to playing games locally.

Continue reading “An Xbox Cloud Box Possibly Inbound”

Burnout Paradise Could Be Coming To The Switch

burnout paradise cover

A couple days ago news broke about a rumor that Burnout Paradise, the bombastic open world racer from last gen, would be releasing in remastered form for the Xbox One and PS4.

Now, it seems, that Burnout Paradise Remastered has been rated for the Nintendo Switch in Brazil. While still a rumor, many times when ratings leaks like this happen an official announcement is inevitable.

And as a new owner of the Switch I would be ecstatic to be able to experience an open world racer in handheld form. Burnout Paradise, while not my favorite racer, still offered tons of cheap thrills when I played it on the Xbox 360.

Once I found out about this possibly coming to the Switch I just had to look up some gameplay and vicariously relive the glory days of the original release. Burnout Paradise never attempted to shoot for realism like Gran Turismo or Forza but it sure was fun.

Playing this undocked on the Switch would be incredibly and, with the recent third party releases on the Switch like Doom and Skyrim, I hope this potential release keeps the ball rolling.

You won’t get the frame rates, resolution, or asset quality that you’d get on the Xbox One or PS4 with the Switch, but nothing beats the freedom offered by the hybrid nature of the system.

Sea of Thieves – The Driving Impetus aka Progression

sea of thieves

Sea of Thieves, the upcoming pirate themed coop game from Rare, has always looked to be an intriguing take online cooperative gameplay, and with each subsequent developer update, has started to take the form of something rather substantial.

Releasing March 20, 2018, Sea of Thieves allows an adventurer or a crew of pirates to take to the seas in search of exploration, loot, PVE combat, and of course, PVP combat through the form of melee weapons, guns, and even illustrious ships.

The latest developer update by Rare has outlined the progression systems of Sea of Thieves which has finally revealed their hand as far as the driving impetus of the game is concerned.

With this dev update it’s becoming clear what will make Sea of Thieves more than a pirate themed sandbox and how it will entice players to dig their teeth into the world.

Progress Among Pirates

One thing that Rare makes very clear about its progression systems is that they want players to be able to play together no matter the level of disparity between ranks.

voyages sea of thieves
Voyages, or quests, are represented through physical scrolls

For instance, the quests in Sea of Thieves, called voyages, are dispersed by entities called trading companies. If you’ve ever played a game like Destiny these are essentially factions.

By completing voyages for trading companies you will increase your rank tied to them. What happens if you are 5 ranks higher for a particular trading company than your pirate crew?

As per Rare’s agenda, everyone in your crew will still be able to take part in whatever quest you have obtained from a faction.

Much like coop loot based games like Destiny or MMO’s in general, Rare’s goal is to allow for tangible progression through use of items that facilitate customization.

sea of thieves cosmetic customization
Progress through the ranks and tailor your pirate to your own liking through cosmetics

This includes the obvious such as cosmetics (peg leg, gear, facial hair, hairstyle, and so on) but also secondary progression tracks like ranks and pirate titles.

The main mover, the penultimate goal, is to become Pirate Legend and it’s the biggest carrot on the stick.

Variety comes into play when you account for the motives of the various trading company. Each faction has a different philosophy and motivation with each of their voyages guiding you along a path that furthers their objectives.

The 3 trading companies revealed thus far include the Order of Souls, Merchant Alliance, and Gold Hoarders. The Gold Hoarders, as you might expect, will have you hunting for gold, the Merchant Alliance will have you scavenging for resources and animals, and the Order of Souls will have you seek out magical souls in a world event/raid type activity.

But what would a shared world/MMO-lite game be without end game content?

Becoming Pirate Legend precedes the Golden Age of Piracy which is what I presume to be the end game content of Sea of Thieves. Rare hasn’t explicitly said this, so take it with a grain of salt, but I would bet this is essentially the end game content.

What they have said is that the Golden Age of Piracy is yet to come and will serve as the jumping off point for players. Rare has also stated that they plan to flesh the game out over time with the help of player feedback and, most likely, insight gathered through player behavior.

All of this speaks positive volumes about the future potential of Sea of Thieves as progression is something that really hasn’t been touched on as of yet. The “Why play?” of Rare’s ambitious new title was a deafening silence for a while there.

Hopefully this connects with players  and critics when it releases for the Xbox One and PC in 2018 because Microsoft could really use a standout IP other than the undying triangle of Forza, Halo, and Gears.

I don’t own an Xbox One myself but I truly do hope Sea of Thieves pans out. It’s a game that has been teeming with potential from the start and a good game is a win no matter the platform.

Next Battlefield Game Could Be Bad Company 3

There’s a rumor floating around that the next entry in the Battlefield, an FPS that essentially simulates warfare for those unaware, is to be the third entry in the Bad Company series.

The latest title, Battlefield 1, is still very healthy online (just today it had 50k players during peak according to BF1Stats.com) but many are keen on a new, more modern sequel.

Continue reading “Next Battlefield Game Could Be Bad Company 3”

Mega Man 11 Announced for All Major Platforms

The classic platformer dating all the way back to 1987, Mega Man, is getting a brand new mainline release for all major platforms late 2018.

mega man 11 announcement

Mega Man 11, releasing late in 2018, will launch on the Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

The news broke today on Capcom’s Mega Man 30th Anniversary Stream with a trailer displaying some gameplay segments from the upcoming title.

Capcom’s next release in the dense series will be dubbed Mega Man 11 and features an entirely new art style on display. Look to the trailer below to see the game in action.

As you can see, the game’s art style is a far cry from the original look of the series and even differs quite a bit from some of the more modern Mega Man titles.

It’s been quite a while since a release in the main series and, naturally, fans are fervent to get their hands on the game. It’s really turning out to be a great year for Capcom fans as there are also rumors that Devil May Cry 5 is in the works.

And while that may standard rumor mill affair, Mega Man 11 is the real deal, a brand new extension to the original series. The latest installments of the Mega Man series have been collections of old games whereas this will be entirely new content.

I’m no diehard fan of the series, and so I don’t have any particular longing to a specific art style, but to me the game looks great.

Everything in the trailer looked compelling, from the general platforming and combat to the boss battles themselves.

Let’s hope Capcom delivers a game that speaks to series veterans and general gamers alike. It’s one of those games that’s going to be somewhat divisive either way but it will be interesting to see how things pan out.

Notable Video Game Releases December 4th Through December 10th

Most video game releases of the 4th quarter are frontloaded during the fall, with blockbuster AAA titles cramming their way through the proverbial door to gamers’ wallets.

December, by contrast, is usually a little less bustling and next week lives up to that trend.

While just missing the mark of next week’s releases, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 did just release for the Switch and it’s garnering great fanfare and critical reception thus far.

Here are some of the standout titles that will release for the major platforms next week.

Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris

It seems that lately Bungie can do no good in the eyes of Destiny players and, while they tried to sway public opinion with their latest update, it will remain to be seen how Destiny 2’s first expansion lands the jump.

destiny 2 curse of osiris mercury

Curse of Osiris will release for all platforms on December 5, which now includes PC as of October 24th.

How will this content drop address the lack of things to do and unsatisfactory rewards?

We briefly covered the contents of the expansion in a previous article, but to recap, Curse of Osiris will offer a new explorable area on Mercury, a zone with alleged high replay value called the Infinite Forest, 2 new strikes, a new PVP map, and new raid content.

Personally, I’ll be waiting this expansion out to see if it truly delivers the goods. Destiny 2 was a great game in some ways, but fell short in countless areas, namely loot, replay value, and rewards.

I believe that within a year the game will grow into something special, it’s just a shame that we’ll have to wait…again.

The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series Collection

The episodic, narrative focused series that kicked things off for developer Telltale Games is getting a complete collection release on December 5th for the Xbox One and PS4.

the walking dead telltale series collection comparison

The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series Collection will pony up all 19 episodes of the series, as well as offer a visual overhaul of the game to bring things up to a more modern speed.

You’ll be able to buy the collection either digitally or physically for an asking price of $49.99.

The final season of the acclaimed series is set to release some time in 2018.

The Surge: A Walk in the Park

The Surge, a game by the developers who brought us Lords of the Fallen, is a sort of sci fi take on the Dark Souls formula.

It throws the same sort of brutal combat your way that demands a kind of one dimensional, mind to button melding that allows one to best mobs and bosses alike.

A Walk in the Park is the first DLC for The Surge, and places players in a an anything but pleasant theme park. Here’s a short snippet of the description:

Forget your cravings for cotton candy though – CREO World was not spared from the disaster. The entire park is a death trap, where roaming rescue teams have gone insane and robotic mascots patrol freely, patiently waiting for new visitors to offer a deadly welcome.

The Surge: A Walk in the Park will drop on December 5th for Xbox One, PC, and PS4, as will a complete edition of the game which includes this DLC as well as all other future content additions.

A Hat in Time

This cute 3D platformer was initially released for the PC on October 5th and it will be available to Xbox One and PS4 players on December 6th.

I’ve heard a lot about this game, mostly passing by quick mentions, and it seems to have gotten a lot of positive feedback from players.

It’s an indie game that was kickstarted with the intention of delivering a 3D platformer that pays homage giants like Super Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie.

If you watch the accolades trailer above you’ll see that the game is charming as hell. It’s bright, colorful, and an all around visual splattering of joy.

A Hat in Time will only be available digitally which is a bummer for those of us that value physical copies of games, but it’s to be expected with an indie release like this.

Which game release are you looking forward to most next week? Let us know in the comments.

The Coolest Stuff to Come Out of Destiny 2’s Curse of Osiris Stream

Bungie opened up earlier today about Destiny 2’s first expansion, Curse of Osiris, and there are some truly juicy bits that have come onto the fold.

The reveal event was live streamed on Twitch and while more information is sure to come between now and its December 5th launch, any info is worth salivating over at this point.

Destiny 2 has been dry, bone dry, for a couple months and die hard fans have been wanting something, anything, new to play.

I certainly consider myself one among said fans due to my disappointment with the overall handling of Destiny 2’s endgame and nearly complete annihilation of anything resembling depth.

But let’s not veer into the specifics of Destiny 2’s shortcomings and instead talk about some of the coolest new information that has come about with this reveal stream.

Cool Collective of Curse of Osiris

Let’s first discuss some of the basics concerning the first expansion to the shared world looter shooter called Destiny 2.

The events surrounding the Curse of Osiris expansion take place some months after the events of the Red War experienced in vanilla Destiny 2. After the Red War, the Traveler woke up and embellished Mercury with light, something that the Vex had been waiting for.

The main character of this expansion is Osiris, an exiled Vanguard leader, who is in the Infinite Forest of Mercury looking for something to reveal the Vex’s greater plan.

What exactly is the Infinite Forest?

Simply put, it’s a construct created by the Vex that simulates reality. Conceptually, it’s nerd paradise, or at least a simulation thereof.

I’ve never dug too deep into the story of Destiny although I do have an appreciation for some of the lore. But the concept of the Infinite Forest sounds really, really cool and it even melds with a new activity that has lot of potential.

Now that we’ve gotten the preamble affairs of the Curse of Osiris out of the way let’s take a look at some of the coolest features of the expansion that we learned about today.

Infinite Forest and Endless Gameplay

The absolute coolest new highlight of the info to come out is about the Infinite Forest on Mercury. As we mentioned, it already has a boundless conceptual mystique going for it which is already pretty awesome.

But what’s most interesting about the Infinite Forest is what players can potentially tap into gameplay wise.

This new area will change each time that you enter it and will feature different periods of time (past, present, and future). There are different combinations of enemies and set pieces that are made use of in order to accomplish this.

It was clarified that the Infinite Forest does not make use of procedural generation which admittedly is a bit of a bummer.

But the idea of a dynamic and changing play space is genuinely exciting amidst the stale nature of Destiny right now.

We can only hope that the Infinite Forest leans more towards something like Diablo 3’s Nephalem Rifts rather than something like the original Destiny’s Prison of Elders.

Nephalem Rifts are procedurally generated but if the Infinite Forest can emulate even a sliver of that we’ll be in a great place regarding the replay value. This will also be determined by how well the live team handles the restructuring of Destiny 2’s overall end game over the coming year.

What’s Found on Mercury

We’ve already known that Curse of Osiris would feature a new playable space in the form of Mercury but a few new pieces of info regarding specifics have been released today.

There will be a new type of public event found on the planet and it is said to be the biggest yet of the activity type. This is a bittersweet piece of information because while it could hold promise, it is rather vague.

And when Bungie stays vague and speaks in generalities it usually precedes being let down.

Hopefully with this expansion we see something that makes replaying public events more compelling in the form of a reward loop or something to chase.

Lost Sectors will also be handled a little bit differently on Mercury. Before the campaign is completed they will not show up on the map to encourage organic exploration.

While not the most Earth shattering change, it does pull Destiny 2’s exploration in a direction that could offer a greater and more sincere sense of discovery.

New Raid Old Raid

Raids have historically offered some of the best gameplay experiences of Destiny and thankfully a new raid will be served up with the first expansion.

Players were worried that Curse of Osiris’ raid would come with a travesty of a catch due to the new raid being referred to as “new raid content” prior to the reveal.

And while the new raid, called Eater of Worlds, does take place on the Leviathan ship, it will offer completely new encounters, new loot, and new places to explore according to Bungie.

I absolutely wouldn’t slight anyone for still being wary of Bungie’s promises considering they have reskinned and revisited so much “new” content over the franchise’s life, but it’s their word against ours until we can see Eater of Worlds for ourselves.

Other Notable Mentions

Above is what we find most promising in terms of entirely new content but there was other new expansion info bits mentioned on today’s stream.

The Heroic Strike Playlist is making its Destiny 2 debut with Curse of Osiris and it’s a great first step towards making Strikes in Destiny relevant again.

It would be something else if they lock the addition behind a paywall but it’s a step in the right direction nonetheless.

The Lighthouse is also returning to Destiny 2 in the form of a social space, first appearing in the Destiny universe in the first game upon completing a flawless card in Trials of Osiris.

Will it only be relevant for a short amount of time like the forgotten dust enraptured farm of Destiny 2?

Only time will tell but it’s a cool addition and nice little throwback for veteran Destiny players.

Other new or returning characters we will get to see more of with Curse of Osiris include Osiris’ female ghost (Sagira), Ikora, and Brother Vance.

Waiting Out the Honeymoon

The new info that has surfaced does shine a glimmer of hope on Destiny 2’s bleak present state but it’s a matter of really sinking gamers’ collective teeth in and waiting to see how this first expansion will truly stack up.

I really hope that we will see some major endgame changes with Curse of Osiris or any added depth at all in order to massively bolster the reward loop of Destiny 2.

Most players were completely enamored with Destiny 2 upon its launch but quickly found that it was akin to a body of water a mile wide and an inch deep.

For a loot game, there really weren’t very many compelling reasons to venture on with the virtual chase soon after launch. And this is no good no matter how you spin things for a game centered around the concept of extrinsic rewards.

We will have wait and see if any of the outlined changes stated by the live team make their debut in Destiny 2’s first DLC because the game is sorely lacking at the moment. Curse of Osiris could be the first step towards creating growth and a game ripe with near endless replay value instead of the disappointment we have today.

Big thanks to reddit user dulfy for compiling information on today’s Destiny sream.

Blizzard’s Jab at Pay to Win Mechanics

If you’ve been keeping tabs on the lead in to Star Wars Battlefront 2’s official release then you know that it’s been subject to unadulterated blow back from the internet.

After many learned of Battlefront 2’s inane progression system and pay to win mechanics, players took to reddit and other communities voicing passionate and often times verbose comments as to how and why the current systems in place need to change.

Said passion is almost palpable as of now with an official EA comment on the official subreddit for the game receiving the award for the most downvoted comment in reddit history.

Adding fuel to mockery infused fire, Blizzard released a series of cheeky tweets directed at games that implement pay to win systems earlier today. This was followed by a full on advertisement for Starcraft 2 becoming free to play which also made light of the current pay to win debacle.

All Ominous Blizzard

Here are some of the tweets that Blizzard released earlier today:

And the StarCraft 2 ad announcing its free to play status while retaining a play to win status:

We’re all for this sort of playful jab by Blizzard because the current systems in place with Battlefront 2 are downright disrespectful to the player.

Yes, Blizzard is a bit of a hypocrite because Overwatch does employ what can only be called a playful form of gambling in the way of cosmetic loot boxes.

But when loot boxes are taken to the point of being game changing and a system is put in place to create a progression environment that is unfriendly to players who play without spending additional money, a line has been crossed.

Gaming corporations are attempting to squeeze players for all they are worth, edging closer and closer towards a breaking point.

One could argue that this point has already been reached but the most egregious is what companies like EA are trying to accomplish by literally stunting the player’s experience in order to accomplish a greater amount of revenue.

Much like the initial Xbox One unveiling, this situation can absolutely be changed by players through channeling dissenting opinions online. And we do hope that EA listens not only in regards to Battlefront 2 but also upcoming titles such as Anthem and the next Battlefield entry.