Potential Spoiler Warning Mass Effect fans!
Toronto's AM640 did a radio interview recently with former BioWare scribe Drew Karpyshyn, in which he chatted about some of the alternate story theories and endings that BioWare tossed around for the Mass Effect series. Eurogamer has the highlights, including the theory that the Reapers were trying to stop organic life because they were somehow making use of "Dark Energy" (an element only mentioned briefly throughout the series) to bring about the end of the universe. "It's very vague and not fleshed out," says Karpyshyn, adding that "it was something we considered but we ended up going in a different direction."
BioWare also played with the idea that Shepard might be an alien at one point, though eventually deemed that too close to the story of Revan in Knights of the Old Republic. Karpyshyn also says BioWare thought about turning Shepard into some combination of organic and cybernetic, a theme that did eventually get generally included in the ending of Mass Effect 3.
But in the end, says Karpyshyn, these ideas were just ideas, and should be judged as such. "It's like vaporware," he says. "Vaporware is always perfect, anytime someone talks about the new greatest game. It's perfect until it comes out." Karpyshyn says that even if fans are disappointed with the story as it is, a story that included these other considered ideas, "whatever we came up with, it probably wouldn't be what people want it to be."
Potential Spoiler Warning Mass Effect fans!
"We appreciate that folks are displeased that we haven't had any update or any info on Prey 2, but whatever your displeasure is, you can't even be remotely as unhappy about it as us," Hines said. "We spent years and millions of dollars and a ton of effort trying to help [developer] Human Head make a great Prey 2 game. What we said the last time we said anything was that it's not up to our quality standards."
Human Head is rumored to have encountered numerous setbacks during Prey 2's development. Anonymous sources claimed that development stalled in late 2011, and rumors from last month indicated that Dishonored developer Arkane Austin might be taking over the troubled project.
Hines' frank comments during IGN's interview suggest that Prey 2 is either on the verge of cancellation or a major shift in development. "You don't just keep throwing money at something or going down a path that you're not happy about," Hines explained. "You have to make tough choices. Again, when we have more info on it, we'll be happy to talk about it. That's what I can say for now."
Square Enix game director Tetsuya Nomura has elaborated on the choice to bring Final Fantasy 15 – previously known as Final Fantasy Versus 13 – to next-generation consoles instead of PS3, the original platform when the game was first announced in 2006.
In an interview with Famitsu (via Polygon), Nomura said Square Enix moved the game to Xbox One and PS4 because "the lifespan of the current generation of consoles was starting to pose a problem" to Square Enix. "We had originally thought about making this announcement last year, but due to assorted reasons that got delayed. This meant that the lifespan of the current generation of consoles was starting to pose a problem to us. If we were a year later, other companies will have more time to research the next generation, and releasing the game against their products on the older generation could have caused us to look inferior when people inevitably compared us."
Keeping Final Fantasy 15 on the current generation posed too many concerns to Square Enix – concerns that the final game wouldn't match what the company set out to do. "With current-gen systems, we couldn't fully express what we wanted to do in this project," he said. "There were more and more things that we would've had to change the form of. However, the assumption was that we'd go ahead with a current-gen release, so went through a trial-and-error process to do as much as we could. So we built an alpha version about a year ago, and the company response was 'If you remained bound to the current generation, will it will be the product you envisioned?' They suggested shifting fully to next-gen, and that was the spark that led to the move."
As for a PC port, Nomura says it largely "depends on the demand" – if enough people want it, then Square Enix may pursue it. The full interview can be read through the source link below.
Thankfully, there are no complicated schedules to mull over with July's changeover: all five games are to be added to the service on July 3. As ever, that means five games make their way out, all on July 3 too. Waving their goodbyes are Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Lord of the Rings: War in the North, The Cave, Rayman Origins, and Coconut Dodge.
"We're excited that our stories will provide a new perspective on the war effort, much like how our critically acclaimed Minvera's Den DLC for BioShock 2 allowed us to present a unique perspective of Rapture," said Morgan Gray, development director at 2K Marin.
The game's pre-order bonus is the "Codebreakers" side mission. In it, Special Agent Carter and his squad must reestablish contact a top-secret government communications facility, eliminate any threats and decrypt the employee's combined lunch order. There are no details about the post-launch DLC, but the first pack "will be available exclusively to Xbox 360 players."
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified will fight the future on August 20 and 23 in North America and internationally, respectively.
Unearthed from a crate thought lost to Hangar XCOM, this gameplay trailer shows how 2K Marin meshes real-time shooting with strategy in The Bureau. Time can be slowed down while players get tactical via a radial menu, from which they can command Special Agent Will Carter and his trusty squadmates.
Also, it shows us that if you're going to see off an extraterrestrial invasion, you may as well do it dressed to the nines - Carter is the definition of dapper in that vid. Independence Day could only have been improved if Jeff Goldblum had boarded that spaceship in a tux.
The fashion of alien warfare aside, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified touches down on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC on August 20.
According to the PlayStation Twitter account, the 4.45 update includes trophy notification options and improves system stability - hmm.
We've reached out to Sony to clarify the situation. While the issues don't seem to be affecting all users, it might be wise to stay clear of the update for the time being.
Update: Sony Computer Entertainment sent us the following statement this morning:
"We are aware of reports that the recent PlayStation 3 system software update (version 4.45) has caused the XMB to not display on a small number of PS3 systems. We have temporarily taken 4.45 offline and are investigating the cause of the problem. We will announce when the system update is available for download as soon as possible. We apologise for the inconvenience."
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is ready to fire off its next DLC salvo on July 2 on Xbox Live, with PS3 and PC versions to follow. The Vengeance map pack includes new multiplayer maps Rush, Detour, Cove and Uplink, which a remake of Summit from the original Black Ops.
Buried, a new Zombies mode variant, is included with Vengeance along with the Ray Gun Mark 2 weapon, available exclusively in Zombies mode. No pricing is announced in the video above, though the two previous DLC offerings – Revolution and Uprising – were both priced at 1,200 MS Points ($15) each.
Butcher, being the engineering guy, also gets some time to geek out about the game's lighting and animation.
The weekly PSN update is live, unlocking Capcom's collected quest classics, Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara. Joining the 2D beat-em-up is Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, which finally makes its way to PSN after its Xbox Live Arcade debut back in March.
The Jak and Daxter Collection – which includes all three original PS2 games, Jak and Daxter, Jak 2 and Jak 3 – steps up on PS Vita today, along with Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. Rounding out this week's update are free PS Plus games Saints Row: The Third and Gods Eater Burst.
For the full list of this week's PlayStation Network content, hit up the PlayStation Blog.
The PS3 retail version's Facebook page describes the release as a treasure trove for retro gaming connoisseurs, comparing it to the well-received Street Fighter Alpha Anthology on the PlayStation 2. The collection includes a color-edit feature, and allows multiple players to play as same character. The retail edition also offers an in-depth series of options, allowing players to toggle features like random damage and breakable weapons. A similar "House Rules" system was announced for the digital release.
The digital version set for release this week is developed by Iron Galaxy, who previously produced arcade compilations like Darkstalkers Resurrection and Marvel vs. Capcom Origins. NeoGAF member toypop notes that the PlayStation 3 Blu-ray version of Chronicles of Mystara is developed by an internal Capcom team staffed by developers of the original Dungeons & Dragons arcade games.
The PlayStation 3 retail version of Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara will launch in Japan this August. Capcom confirmed with Joystiq that the retail edition is exclusive to Japan, and is not scheduled for a North American release.
Technically, it's a complete mess, though I'm sure any fan of Earth Defense Force can tell you the series has never been known for its impeccable graphics or silky smooth action. Despite its rough edges in comparison to the polished Xbox One and PS4 games on display in the very same convention center, EDF 2025 still carries a unique charm.
God of War 2 lead Cory Barlog had reportedly gone to Avalanche Studios in 2010 to work on a Mad Max game, tied to a new movie. "I don't know what [Barlog] worked on before he started working with us," Sundberg told Polygon, "but when we worked together he wasn't on Mad Max."
Sundberg said the team has been in production on this Mad Max game for around 18 months, though it's been at Avalanche in some capacity for years now. "The game has gone through a series of iterations. We've been working for it for a couple years."
Mad Max is due in 2014, for PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. We saw the open-world action game game at E3 and caught up with our old hillbilly pal, Chumbucket.
Sega has preserved that difficulty in the remastered version of the game, as seen on the floor of E3 2013 last week. Sega Studios Australia has teamed up with the original game's creator, Emiko Yamamoto (who still works for Disney in Japan), to recreate the game in 3D and add new elements.
Provinciano's determination to port Grand Theft Auto 3 to NES hardware escalated into a love letter to video games and pop culture. While Provinciano hasn't announced his next project yet, he says we should expect more humorous open-world games.
Jump into the ultimate retro-style meta RPG experience this week with The Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition...
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This rebranding – combined with the Final Fantasy 13 name getting second billing to its lead character – provides some compelling evidence that the developer might be a little ashamed of that "lucky" number these days.
Last week at E3, Sony detailed plans for PlayStation Plus moving forward. While it's required for online multiplayer on PS4, it won't be necessary for video services or certain free-to-play games, and won't see a price increase during its transition to next-gen.
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