More talk of resolution this week, as the PlayStation 4 version of Rockstar Games' upcoming open-world action game Grand Theft Auto V will run at 1080p, according to a new report. The game's 1080p visuals are described as "glimmering." Find out for yourself when the game launches on November 18 for PS4, as well as Xbox One--PC version coming next year..
Very soon you'll be able to get an Xbox One for $350. Ahead of the busy holiday shopping season, Microsoft this week announced a $50 price cut for the Xbox One. The price drop, effective November 2 (that's tomorrow!), is good for all Xbox One systems, including the special-edition bundles that come with copies of Sunset Overdrive, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and Assassin's Creed Unity.
On Tuesday, Sony released the PlayStation 4's long-awaited and feature-rich 2.0 Update, codenamed Masamune. Among the long list of new features introduced in the update is Share Play, which lets you virtually play couch co-op with a friend. Read more about how it works here.
Lego Minifigures Online developer Funcom announced this week that it is teaming with huge online retailer Amazon to offer the upcoming MMO for Fire TV and various Fire tablets. The game, which is already available on PC, will come to Amazon's devices by the end of the year.
What does Left 4 Dead developer Turtle Rock's upcoming 4v1 shooter Evolve look like on Xbox One? I'm glad you asked, because the studio this week released the first footage of the game running on Xbox One--and it does not disappoint. Watch it right now. We sat down with the studio to learn all about the game, which you can play today on Xbox One, PS4, and PC through an alpha.
Minecraft developer Mojang this week confirmed that the final version of its upcoming PC collectible card game, Scrolls, will launch sometime in November. The game was previously in beta, and had been for many months. The November release date comes with the standard game development warning, however. "We're not going to release it until it's ready, if you know what I mean," Mojang's Owen Hill said.
And now for something completely different. Bayonetta director Hideki Kamiya visited Valve's headquarters in Seattle recently, and he even posted a picture to prove it. WHAT CAN IT MEAN? The only logical conclusion to reach is that Kamiya is working on Half-Life 3 this has nothing to do with Half-Life 3.
Have you been waiting to play BioShock Infinite? If so, next week might be the time to jump in. 2K Games announced this week that BioShock: The Complete Edition will be released on November 4 for Xbox 360 and PS3. It includes the main game and all of its DLC for $40.
Are you hungry for cake? Now you probably are. In celebration of the PlayStation Access YouTube channel reaching 300,000 subscribers, someone (presumably Sony's head chef) baked the team a cake modeled after the PlayStation 4 and DualShock 4 controller. It was a chocolate cake, a moist chocolate cake, according to Sony's Hollie Bennett. In this case, despite what you may have heard, the cake is not in fact a lie.
Retailer Best Buy has announced midnight launch plans for next week's Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and they are quite extensive. Best Buy, like other retailers, will sell the game at exactly 12:01 AM Eastern at its stores across the US (more than 800 in all) on November 3. November 3 because that's the day the Day Zero edition goes on sale. Best Buy has also announced that, similar to Walmart, you will not need to have previously preordered Advanced Warfare to buy the game at midnight. Woo hoo!
This War of Mine, the game from a team of Polish developers that aims to show the other side of war, got a release date and a new trailer this week. The game will launch on November 14 through Steam and Games Republic for $20, and you can see a new trailer below. If you're not familiar with the game, here's a primer. You do not play as a soldier like in Call of Duty or Battlefield, but rather you control a group of civilians trying to survive a city under fire. You struggle with food and medicine, and you're in constant danger. "The game provides an experience of war seen from an entirely new angle," its developer 11 bit studios writes.
A new study from the folks at SuperData reveals some gender trends about gaming. Via Joystiq, the report showed that men play more MMOs and FPS games, while women--on average--generally gravitate toward mobile games and RPGs. Does this match up with your own personal experiences?
Rugby 2015, the debut of the franchise for current-generation consoles, has been delayed. The game was previously expected to launch by the end of the year, but that is no longer the case, as developer HB Studios announced this week that the game is now coming in 2015. No reason for the delay was announced. When it is released, Rugby 2015 will be available for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, and PC.
Tough times ahead for Call of Duty, as one analyst believes the series has peaked, and Advanced Warfare will sell 40 percent fewer copies than Ghosts and a whopping 70 percent fewer copies than Black Ops II. Analysts are not always right, however. We'll find out soon enough, as Advanced Warfare launches next week. Are you buying a copy this year?
Heads up, retro game fans. Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner announced this week that he has donated a collection of design notes, drawings, correspondence, business records, and software related to his best-known works (Karateka, Prince of Persia, and The Last Express) to The Strong museum in Rochester, New York. The works will be available to researchers at the The Strong's research library, and also to the public in future exhibits.
Video game charity Extra Life announced this week that it has now raised $5.4 million thanks to the coordinated, worldwide efforts of recent charity live-stream marathons. GameSpot played 100 games in 100 hours to raise money, and lots of other sites and studios held campaigns, too. Donations continue to pour in, Extra Life says, and you can do your part until December 31.
In other charity-related news, video game retailer GameStop announced this week that it has renewed its partnership with the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for its annual "Thanks and Giving" campaign. What this means for you is that when you shop at GameStop this holiday, you'll have a chance to donate to St. Jude at the point of purchase. Last year, GameStop raised more than $1 million through the initiative, and it is aiming higher this year. As a thank you to customers who decide to donate, GameStop will give you a 10 percent off coupon you can use the next time you buy a used game at the retailer.
Fueled by the massive success of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, the free-to-play game based on the celebrity, publisher Glu Mobile hit a record for single-quarter revenue for the latest period. Oh, the power of celebrity! It's only a matter of time before other celebrities follow suit, I'd have to imagine.
In other Kim Kardashian news, Zynga founder Mark Pincus snapped a stealthy selfie with Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian, during a World Series game last week. He also took a photo of West, Kardashian, and Barry Bonds. Just incredible. Go Giants!
That's it for this week. Have a great weekend!
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[UPDATE 2] 2K has released another statement regarding the PS4 version of Evolve.
"2K, Turtle Rock Studios, and PlayStation continue to work hard to resolve the difficulties affecting the Evolve Big Alpha on PlayStation 4," a representative said. "Evolve's closed alpha test is still playable on Xbox One and PC. We thank our PS4 users for their continued patience. More information will be provided at the Evolve website, Twitter and Facebook pages as it becomes available."
[UPDATE] The Evolve alpha period on PlayStation 4 has been delayed due to network difficulties.
"Following the recent PS4 2.00 firmware update, we are experiencing difficulties with the Evolve Big Alpha on PlayStation 4," a 2K representative told GameSpot. "As a result, the test on PlayStation 4 is postponed. PlayStation and 2K are working together on a resolution. Evolve's closed alpha test is still playable on Xbox One and PC."
The original story is below.
The "Big Alpha" for 2015's much-anticipated 4v1 shooter Evolve comes to PlayStation 4 and PC today, following its launch yesterday exclusively for Xbox One.
The alpha will be available to download on PS4 and PC today starting at 9 AM PDT / 12 Noon EDT / 4 PM GMT. If you preordered a copy of the game, you're guaranteed a spot. The alpha ends on Sunday, November 2.
2K Games and developer Turtle Rock Studios have also released a new "Kraken Interactive Trailer" for Evolve, which you can see below. It allows you to see a match unfold from five different perspectives.
Evolve was originally targeted to launch this year, but it was recently delayed to February 10, 2015. The game's developer, Turtle Rock, also created the Left 4 Dead series. In Evolve, four players fight together to take down a fifth player, who takes on the role of a monster with unique (and deadly) attributes.
Evolve was originally a THQ game, but when the company went bankrupt, 2K Games parent company Take-Two Interactive bought the game during an auction for $10.9 million. For more on Evolve, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.
GameSpot's early access reviews evaluate unfinished games that are nonetheless available for purchase by the public. While the games in question are not considered finished by their creators, you may still devote money, time, and bandwidth for the privilege of playing them before they are complete. The review below critiques a work in progress, and represents a snapshot of the game at the time of the review's publication.
I did something in Sorcerer King I’ve never done before, at least not so directly: I killed thousands of my own people to stop an impending apocalypse. I can think of a few cases in which I’ve had to sacrifice lives to succeed, but this was an active choice. I didn’t simply let my citizens perish; I straight-up killed them. It was a cold, albeit necessary choice.
To reach such a point of no return, you must first become acquainted with this turn-based strategy game’s rules of engagement. You marshal your own high-fantasy forces, build up one of the last human civilizations, and do everything in your power to stop an evil demigod. Sorcerer King resembles games like Heroes of Might & Magic in that you maintain several cities that produce soldiers, construct buildings or improvements, and harvest resources to streamline your medieval industry. Turn by turn, your soldiers spread across the land, finding arms, armor, and artifacts that modify their combat abilities. Some creatures even carry rare materials that can be crafted into powerful weapons or potions. It all depends on what you find, and how you react to the situations with which you're presented.
In one encounter, I came upon some undead soldiers who were looting an ancient tomb. I chased down the responsible necromancer and then hypnotized him, gaining an exceptionally valuable battle mage in the process. These examples are abundant and offer countless opportunities to the bold. You are like Middle-earth’s Aragorn in these moments, assessing and adapting to increasingly precarious circumstances, struggling to turn the odds to your favor. One of Sorcerer King's biggest planned features will help complete that illusion, adding minor factions that can be courted in the hope that they might aid your crusade.
Sorcerer King leans on a tactical battle system, in which for each encounter you take direct control of soldiers and maneuver them about. Each of these fights starts with units close to the front lines, meaning you can often get in at least one solid attack on the first turn. That's important, as it keeps the pace up and helps prevent you from having time to dread the encounters. There's an auto-resolve button that you can use if you really don't want to take the time to mess with the fight, but battles are usually over in less than a minute, and jumping into the tactical side of things can, and often does, yield superior results, in no small part due to your access to some high-powered spells.
No fantasy setting would really be complete without some form of magic or mysticism, and for Sorcerer King, that often comes in the form of global spells that draw from your mana pool. Mana, in this instance, is something of an economic resource. Your cities can produce it continuously, and there are some structures that will provide a steady stream of mana, which you can then focus into learning new spells or skills, building up a pool of learned spells that you can draw on in combat. Most potential leader choices aren't currently available, so to begin with you only have access to a relatively aggressive warlock who favors spells that deal direct damage to foes. These spells can often shift a particularly crucial battle, such as the capture or defense of an important city. It was actually my limited mana pool that led me to kill off so many of my own citizens. Some way into the game, I learned a spell called "Sacrifice." With it, you can halve a city's population and convert those people directly into mana. I used them to heal the last few troops in my army, launched a final assault on the Sorcerer King, and stopped the apocalypse.
It was my first game of Sorcerer King, and since I was unfamiliar with the rules (there's no decent tutorial yet), I was at a hefty disadvantage. I'd let the doomsday counter fill up a bit too much, and I was out of options. So I dumped all that additional mana into healing my troops and giving them what buffs I could so that I could take on the Sorcerer King directly. The gamble worked, and while I felt bad about the sacrifice, this turn of events was one of the more melodramatic examples of the game's excellence.
More so than most strategy games, Sorcerer King is about asymmetry and how you choose to cope with it. You'll never be overwhelmingly more powerful than your foe because you simply don't have enough time to build up the resources and the forces to be. Instead, you'll be forced to manage your risk, seeking not supremacy but mere survival. For that reason, the game comes off as delightfully fresh.
A surprisingly fresh concept. The constantly ticking Doomsday counter works extremely well, creating just the right balance of tension and motivation, and troop customization is wonderfully rewarding.
What's To Come?
More of everything. On the docket are more player classes, enhanced diplomacy, more customization, and teaching tools.
What Does it Cost?
$39.99, available via Steam.
When Will it Be Finished?
The developer claims it should be done in the first half of 2015.
What's the Verdict?
It still needs a lot of work, but the underlying ideas are so strong that their brilliance shines through. Sorcerer King distills all the best parts of strategy games and fantasy RPGs, mixing them into a rich cocktail that doesn’t feel overwhelming or unnecessarily cluttered.