The Uncharted movie has been in development hell since, oh… forever. There’s a new glimmer of hope, though: Sony has asked filmmaker Joe Carnahan to write the latest script, according to Variety. What drew him to the project was an interest in archaeology and how staggeringly popular the franchise is.
“Archaeology today is in itself an antiquity, but that world has always fascinated me,” he said. “Especially when you go to a museum today and wonder how a piece got there to begin with.” That almost seems like a reference to Uncharted 3’s opening, to be honest.
Carnahan is perhaps best known for his work writing and directing 2002’s Narc with Jason Patrick and Ray Liotta, and The Grey from 2011 — the movie where Liam Neeson fought wolves with booze bottles taped to his fists. Really.
The movie still needs a director, but even with Carnahan’s talent behind a camera, it can’t overcome his schedule at the moment. Among other projects, he has Bad Boys 3 on his plate and said that if he was going to direct, production would have to be pushed back. Considering that the film is already at least two years behind one of its promised release dates, what’s a little more time?
The line between using Twitch on mobile and desktop is getting even more blurry. The live-streaming juggernaut recently announced that now, you can host another channel’s broadcast from the mobile app. Twitch writes that all you need to do is tap the gear button in the app, hit “Host” and you should be good to go. It’s available for everyone on iOS at the moment, and will be rolling out slowly for Android. Need to update? Hit the source link below if your iDevice hasn’t updated yet.
Disney Infinity is done and it’s nearly time for Avalanche Software to pull the plug. The game will wind down in stages, starting today with the discontinuation of in-game purchases in the PC, iOS, Android and Apple TV versions of Disney Infinity 2.0, though in-game purchases are still available (for now) in the Steam edition of Disney Infinity 3.0.
On September 30th, the PC, iOS and Android versions of Disney Infinity will disappear from their respective stores and current players will no longer be able to log into the game. Apple TV players will still be able to access the game, but it will be removed from the actual App Store. Disney Infinity 2.0 and 3.0 will remain available on Steam, though online and community features will be disabled. Most importantly, Toy Boxes will be no more — the Community team will cease reviewing and accepting new Toy Boxes across all console, mobile and PC versions. However, Apple TV and Windows 8 or 10 players will be able to download existing Toy Boxes through March 3rd.
In-game purchases will disappear from Windows 8 and 10 editions on January 3rd. And then comes the big shutdown: On March 3rd, Apple TV and Windows versions will no longer be playable or available, and all online services for all installments will be discontinued. Console versions of Disney Infinity games will still function, though they won’t have access to online or community features.
Disney Infinity was Disney’s final stab at making video games in-house, and the series was a success overall — just not enough of one. Infinity single-handedly turned Disney’s gaming sector around, making the division profitable for the first time in years. But, it seemed Disney was betting against the series from the beginning. Add to that Disney’s long history of selling off its gaming properties and the huge influx of cash from licensed franchises like Star Wars: Battlefront, and it feels like Infinity didn’t stand a chance.
Source: Disney Infinity
Even though Blizzard’s light-hearted digital card game, Hearthstone, just got a new expansion back in April, rumors of new content just around the corner have been proven true. At an event in Shanghai, China, the studio announced a new adventure, One Night In Karazhan, that will add hours of single-player content and 45 new cards to the mix when it launches on August 11th. Best of all, the first prologue mission is free for everyone.
First, specifics: as the game’s adventures have gone, Karazhan won’t be as full-fledged as a proper expansion like April’s Whispers Of The Old Gods, which added 100 cards and made quite a few changes. Instead, the upcoming content addition will introduce a new single-player experience released in weekly episodes, known as “wings.” Every Thursday, players who have paid admission (in real-world money or in-game gold) get a new slew of mini-bosses that, if defeated, award cards.
Like the previous adventures, Karazhan is a multi-person dungeon raid from World of Warcraft. In the MMO, players explored the spooky, abandoned tower of the treacherous-but-now-redeemed wizard Medivh. In Hearthstone’s upbeat side universe, gamers are invited to a disco-infused dance party, but strange things are afoot for them to investigate.
To keep the game fresh, Blizzard introduced new competitive rules with the last content addition, Whispers Of The Old Gods, splitting constructed player-versus-player into two modes. Standard only allows cards released in the last year, and as the de facto mode for tournaments and professional play, keeps top-line competitive play fresh. Wild, on the other hand, is a catchall of every card from the beginning set, two full expansions, and three adventures released to date — a total of 832, not including Karazhan.
Each new content release’s cards typically adhere to a unique synergistic theme, but aside from an intriguing handful of new additions featured on Polygon’s post, it’s unclear how Karazhan will change the face of Hearthstone. Entire decks seen in professional play have been built around single cards released in the last expansion, last year’s League of Explorers, so it’s a good bet that the new ones will shake up the deck balance that’s been settling since Whispers dropped in April.
But best of all, everyone can try out the first level of Karazhan for free. The prologue and first wing will be playable on August 11th, with each of the three others becoming available on subsequent Thursdays. Players can buy the entire adventure for $20, or each wing for $7 or 700 in-game gold, with Blizzard promising a money-saving bundle should folks purchase them piecemeal. And lest you think you’ll skirt the adventure and just drop dollars on a few packs…you can’t. The only way to get all the new cards is to earn them by buying a new section and beating it. Good luck, and may the groove be with you.
Id and Bethesda want to make sure that the action never stops in the new Doom’s multiplayer. That’s regardless of whether or not you’re buying the recently announced premium map pack, “Unto Evil.” With PartyPlay, so long as someone in your party has bought the add-on, everyone can keep playing together and vice versa.
It’s a very welcome measure of goodwill from the development team, and one that will likely pay off dividends. Bethesda and id aren’t the first to do this, of course — Crackdown and certain modes of Gears of War 3 included a similar feature as well — but it’s definitely a cordial addition to Doom.
This strikes a fan-friendly balance between giving away all of a game’s add-ons and splintering the player-base between DLC haves and have-nots. It also still allows a publisher to recoup costs after a game ships, so it will probably (hopefully?) become more common as time goes on. Where might we see it next? This fall’s Gears of War 4 on Xbox One.
Twitter is expanding beyond traditional stick-and-ball streams and moving into the lucrative eSports realm this weekend. As part of a partnership with Eleague and Turner Broadcasting, the microblogging service will air two days of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive play from Atlanta. The action starts today at 5pm Eastern with semi-finals. Eleague’s end-of-season championship play starts Saturday afternoon at 4 Eastern with two teams going head to head in a best-of-three series.
Of course, streams on Twitter or Twitch won’t replace this weekend’s traditional broadcast on the TBS cable network, but will serve as a different venue for a much different audience than TV. It’s a bit surprising that this will be the first time Twitter has streamed eSports, but hey, everyone has to start somewhere.
Sony will release a virtual reality version of Driveclub just in time for the launch of its upcoming PlayStation VR platform on October 13th. Driveclub VR will feature “brand new tracks” including a city track (pictured above) and let players view vehicles from multiple angles while they trade paint. Sony revealed the news in a blog post (which was subsequently pulled, so it was possibly published too early). Interestingly, other details were tweeted by Paul “Rushy” Rustchynsky, a developer for Codemasters.
@VG_Dave There is a collection of brand new tracks. Not sure I can comment on development yet – I’ll get back to you.
— Paul Rustchynsky (@Rushy33) July 29, 2016
The original Driveclub, from Sony’s first-party studio Evolution, had problems from the day it was launched, and the free PlayStation Plus version was about two years late. As a result, Sony decided to close Evolution, but the team behind it was quickly snapped up by F1 2016 developer Codemasters. Sony didn’t say which studio was behind the VR title (it’s listed as coming from Sony Interactive Entertainment), but on a NeoGAF forum, Rushy said that “the same development team who made Driveclub also made Driveclub VR.”
It’s still not clear whether the Driveclub VR is as big as the original game, or if it’s a smaller experience with a limited number of cars and tracks. Nevertheless, the fact that a triple-A racing game is coming to the PlayStation VR gives the platform an extra shot of legitimacy.
Source: Paul Rustchynsky (Twitter), Sony (Screengrab, translated)
Steam tossed some VR experiences into last month’s summer sale, but this time, it’s throwing a party exclusively for virtual reality enthusiasts. The gaming platform has just announced a VR weekend sale, where it’s selling 175 titles for up to 80 percent off. Sure, the selection isn’t as extensive, but don’t forget that we’ve only just begun exploring the world of virtual reality. The games and experiences in the list will work with the the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, which, if you’ll recall, was a collaboration between the Taiwanese company and Steam’s creator Valve.
You’ll find a diverse offering when you browse the event page, from first person horror games to space simulators. Steam bundled some of the best its library can offer as a single package, though, so you can grab them all in one go. The VR Weekend Sale is already live, so you can head over to the platform and see what’s available until Monday, August 1st, 10AM Pacific/1PM Eastern.
Sony’s most recent financial report is out and, if you squint, things almost look good for its moribund mobile division. Sony Mobile posted a profit of $4 million, which the company attributed to the fact that it’s fired enough people to get its costs to break even. If you want to put a positive spin on things, it looks like a greatly-slimmed down phone business might generate just enough money to keep it going. Given that Sony’s had to cover Mobile’s losses with PlayStation’s gains for the last few years, some executives may be reaching for the champagne.
But this is Sony, so there’s no silver lining without some pretty dark clouds covering the horizon in the form of Japan’s currency. The Yen has been getting stronger of late, which means that Sony’s exports are more expensive, and less competitive. That’s important because Sony needs to sell its products to the world — something it expects to get harder in the near future. As for Mobile, the company expects sales of Xperia (and its successor) devices to fall once again, because fewer people are buying smartphones — and when they are, they’re going for cheaper Chinese brands.
Overall, the picture for the company isn’t looking particularly rosy, with falls in performance noted across almost all of its divisions. The only bright spot was PlayStation, which saw profits increase thanks to more people buying PlayStation 4 games. But a drop in image sensor sales, TVs and the fallout from April’s Kumamoto Earthquake mean that profits are down pretty much across the board. So, it’s one step forward, three back for Sony which, at this point, most people would call business as usual.
Source: Sony (.PDF)
There aren’t enough dedicated apps for the Apple Watch, let alone role-playing games from established publishers like Square Enix. The name alone conjures images of classic RPGs: Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger and Valkyrie Profile to name a few. That’s why Cosmos Rings, the company’s first Apple Watch-exclusive RPG, feels like such a departure from the norm. It’s vivid, gorgeous and inspired, but unfortunately it falls victim to the very same cliches of so many mobile games that came before it.
At first glance, Cosmos Rings looks quite promising, with a narrative that’s par for the course when it comes to JRPGs. As the God of Time, you’re tasked with wandering an endless expanse called the Rift in a bid to restore time to the way you once knew it. After being moved to stop time to grant the wishes of human beings, you’ve got to repent for causing the Goddess of Time to shatter into pieces. Her crystallized remains were scattered throughout the Rift, and it’s up to you to make things right. Lost love? Check. Protagonist taking it upon himself to make things right? Double check. Now all it needs is an amnesiac to fill the rest of its RPG trope quota.
The Rift acts as the stage on which Cosmos Rings plays out. Get used to the way it looks, because you’re going to be seeing a whole lot of it. After you launch the iPhone app and open up the companion version on your Apple Watch, you’re met with a bit of expository story coupled with artwork that’s meant to move you along. These quickly introduce additional characters whose presence don’t immediately make sense in the context of the God of Time’s story, but you’ll soon realize it won’t matter much when the game basically plays itself, barring a few player-controller machinations.
That’s right — Cosmos Rings is essentially an incremental game that requires little or no input from you. The game is perfect for the diminutive Apple Watch screen, and its neon pixel art absolutely sings on the small display. But in the end, it’s little better than playing Tap My Katamari or Cookie Clicker with a few added mechanics.
The God of Time continues to run headlong into the Rift, fighting off enemies as they appear before him. This is your default screen among the three the game’s comprised of. The God will automatically attack on his own, but if you so desire you can tap the Skills button at the lower right of the screen to utilize various attacks you’ll earn along the way. If you wait for the timer to count down and then fire off a Skill right after the first one, you can chain them for additional damage. You can also rotate the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown to head to the Fragments screen, where you can spend Fragments (displayed on-screen as you collect them in battle) to upgrade your weapons, unlock additional skill slots and most importantly, earn more time.
You’ll want to keep a close eye on the time you’re allotted, especially if you don’t want to keep playing the same “days” over and over. There’s a timer at the bottom left of the screen that continually counts down. Essentially, that’s your HP gauge. Let it run out, and you’re forced to start the game from the beginning, though you’ll retain any Skills or Relics acquired in the process.
It’s more akin to a roguelike in this respect than an RPG, and is one of the most challenging elements of Cosmos Rings. If you make a mistake or forget to use Fragments to level up or augment your equipment, you can also use the digital crown of your Apple Watch in the Rift to rewind time to a specific “hour,” as the game is split into during each day, to go back and do it all again. These light strategic elements add a little variety, but the game is otherwise so hands-off you’ll wonder why you’re even interacting with it.
Bizarrely, time doesn’t cease counting down unless you’re fighting a boss, when the ticker hits 3 minutes, or during a story event where you’re given a slice of story. So if you’re planning on not playing for a long stretch of time you’ll need to make sure you do keep an eye on the game when you want to make progress. It’s almost like toting around a Tamagotchi or a Giga Pet, except you can’t let your “pet” die.
Cosmos Rings is a strange amalgam of clicker mechanics, colorful pixelated graphics and a score that you’ll want to listen to more than once, but it’s also lacking in the RPG department. When compared to its competition, a fantasy adventure called Runeblade from Everywear Games, Cosmos Rings seems feature-deficient. The former utilizes several of the same mechanics Cosmos Rings does (namely time travel), but offers an offline mode, various quests, and other reasons to keep you coming back. It’s hard to recommend Square Enix’s offering over Runeblade, especially since Runeblade is free.
If you’re looking for something to idly tap on while on the way to work or need to use your Apple Watch for a use beyond regular apps, it’s an interesting experiment. If you’re hoping for anything more than an endless grind with little input required from you, you might want to take your 3DS or Vita with you along for the ride instead. Cosmos Rings is available now as an Apple Watch exclusive.
Source: App Store