2/14/14 Game News Roundup
How do you inject a dose of freshness into a genre some gamers may feel is losing steam? Add mechs, wall running, and jetpacks, of course. "Titanfall" is shaping up to offer an experience more dynamic than traditional titles like Call of Duty, and might be the start of this generation's new wave of FPS franchises. Although the shooting mechanics should be familiar, the way characters move about the battlefield has players excited and engaged. The skill progression system isn't anything new, but it seems to provide very real, practical choices rather than simple stat tweaks.
The rumor mill has provided prescient truth! Steve Downes, the voice actor for Master Chief, confirmed in an interview with Gamezone that "Halo 2 Anniversary" and "Halo 5" are in the pipeline and coming soon. Fans have been clamoring for an HD redux of one of the most controversial Halo games of all time, and their pleas have been answered. "Halo 2," of just about all video games, was one of the most anticipated sequels, had one of the most disappointing endings, took a massive role in building Xbox Live, and spawned endless debate about game balance and running multiplayer services. It would be surprising if "Halo 2 Anniversary" was anything less than a total success at launch.
Stepping outside the quick-travel options many open world games provide, "Destiny" will force players to haul their own butts from event to event. That might have been annoying in games like "Grand Theft Auto 5" or "Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim," but those games don't have sweet hoverbikes. Rather than slogging their way on foot, players will be able to cruise in style with sci-fi transports. The elements that will make or break this design concept are the time required to travel, the difficulty of following a given route, and whether or not there will be anything between missions to keep players engaged. If driving vehicles between hot spots is nothing more than a scenic buzz through desolate battlefield, I'll be put to sleep. If the driving times are too long, I'll get frustrated. The concept has great potential, but we'll find out if it pays off once "Destiny" drops.
As companies grow larger, they tend to focus on optimizing the experiences they deliver. How can they reach the most customers? What can they do to make the experience as enjoyable as possible? While there are very real economic decisions driving this trend, it's caused some to consider most triple-A games as soft, fluffy rides that hold players by the hand. How can you have adventure without danger? How can you have mystery when all points of interest are brightly highlighted?
"Dark Souls" bucks that trend in spades. It's notorious for being ruthless to players as they discover how to fight different enemies and make their way safely through the world. Surviving through till the end requires dedication and grit, not stat optimization. This piece by Gamasutra delves into the economics and design of "Dark Souls," and why it maintains an enduring appeal.
For some sexy, zany, over-the-top action, check out the latest trailer for "Bayonetta 2." There's only a small amount of gameplay shown, but the cutscenes are as gorgeous as what the original "Bayonetta" presented. The story seems to continue the theme of pitting heroic witches against oppressive, angelic rulers. A gateway between the realm of light and the realm of darkness has been discovered, and all sides are vying for control. The plot sounds solid enough given the tone of the game, but it's still disappointing that a game like this is a Wii U exclusive, especially since the first only appeared on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. But, of course, nothing says family-friendly Nintendo like Bayonetta's meticulously sculpted backside.