It had oodles of potential and promise that it was going to be a gajillion and 2 percent better than whatever round joints in square sockets features Dragon Age 2 coughed up and left us with like a soggy hairball. Alas, for all of the nice things that it was going to offer us, the Dragon Age: Inquisition release date has been pushed back from its initial October timing. Anyway, reasoning, the new release date and sadfaces all round can be found after the break.
A quick skim of the ‘controversies’ section of The Vatican Bank (less conspicuously ‘The Institute for the Works of Religion’ in official terms)’s Wiki page and you’ll very soon understand that not only does The Vatican make a good, holy chunk of money each year, but that there’s also a reasonable amount of people questioning where that money comes from (mostly from Catholic follower donations and sales of stamps) and how it’s been spent over the years (anti-communist governments and also militias, maybe? Allegedly? I don’t want to go to jail). Common sense tells us that there are aspects of Papal business that are shadier than a 7 kilometre squared gazebo in the Sahara desert and The Da Vinci Code by Robert Langdon is a good, camp-y (if not slightly over the top) yet well-researched fiction book that covers it too, if that’s your bag of chips. Similarly, Shadows on the Vatican – Act 1: Greed is an excellently made point and click mystery and it’s the first episode in a series that points a few accusatory fingers in The Vatican’s direction. But it’s fictional! (Sorta.) And it’s backed up by a book of legitimate Vatican Bank facts, an unavoidable legal disclaimer and some shoddy voice acting. So onwards with the review to find out what else Shadows on the Vatican – Act 1: Greed is all about!
If there’s one place that gamers like taking the fight about female characters in games, it’s the sports genre. We had a minor win in 2012 with NHL 13 which I waxed lyrical on in the year 2012, boasting the fact that it included two puck-slapping, ice-carving, gold medal winning female Olympians in the game at a time where EA Sports’ other popular franchise, FIFA, offered ‘female characters will get in the game eventually, just not right now/any time soon’ as a pretty weak response. NHL 14 was an arguable step backward in some cases so now, the more we find out about NHL 15, the more we’re hoping one bit of information is going to tell us that ladies will get more support, but judging by this brand new graphics boasting NHL 15 trailer we might be waiting a while. Watch the video after the break.
Uh-oh, well this is awkward, for EA and BioWare at least. Several weeks ago there was a leak in which one sneaky E3 attendee recorded the invite only viewing of Dragon Age: Inquisition’s E3 gameplay demo, complete with commentary from BioWare themselves. They managed to get out and upload it like the jammiest of dodgers before it was taken down a little while after but never fear! EA and BioWare have released an official version of that same Dragon Age: Inquisition gameplay scenario meaning that none of those camera-in-hand jitters are present here and you can also view it in 1080p HD. Watch the video after the break.
A battle of wits, patience and strategic deck planning, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is the free to play card battling game from World of Warcraft developer Blizzard Entertainment and it has proved to be an early success. There aren’t any hard stats on how many people are playing the game as Blizzard keeps a notoriously tight fist around its stats (the decade it took for them to release WoW stats, anyone?) but Hearthstone has been released on iPad, PC and even a release on PS4 and Xbox One is on the cards if official Blizzard surveys are to be believed. The game is also doing so well that it’s now set to become part of the professional eSports community but as the guidelines for a Hearthstone tournament in Finland explained that the festivities are strictly men-only, the only thing the organisers are competing for is to silence the controversy.
As one of the only games that portrays LGB (lesbian, gay and bisexual) characters in a good light and one of even fewer that lets you play as them, Dragon Age: Inquisition always had some high expectations on how it did these identities right by looking for some refreshingly queer gameplay in a see of unfortunate heteronormativity. Much of those queer identities are buoyed by the follower system as for three games now (Inquisition included) the game has let you form relationships with the followers in your party, as long their sexuality corresponded to your playable character’s gender. With BioWare today revealing new Dragon Age: Inquisition character ‘Dorian’, the series looks as hopeful as ever for diversity but in the process the developer have also landed themselves in a bit of hot water.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is one massive game. One section of BioWare’s upcoming RPG is bigger than the entirety of Dragon Age: Origins. There are 40 various endings to the game, more romances than you can shake Cupid’s cherubic face at and a brand new, revamped combat system after Dragon Age 2’s battle system was frustrating like trying to eat a bowl of soup with a knife and fork. Switching out that ill-advised cutlery for something far better and more tactical this time, Dragon Age: Inquisition is already guaranteed to be better but as this leaked gameplay from E3 2014 shows, we’ll have plenty more new feature additions to build on that improvement. Watch the footage after the break.
In the run up to Ubisoft’s E3 2014 press conference, French Revolution stab-em-up Assassin’s Creed Unity was set to be one of the biggest moments of their briefing, if not of the entire event. We knew that it would be a hot topic and we knew that the next Templar-ousting game in the series would be led by a male protagonist. However what we didn’t know was that Assassin’s Creed Unity would exclude playable female characters entirely and as for Ubisoft’s downright offensive statement to justify the lack of playable ladies? None of us could have ever seen that coming.
Have you heard the Tomb Raider news? Yes, Rise of the Tomb Raider, the sequel to 2013’s incredible Tomb Raider title was recently announced at E3 2014. But what about the other great Tomb Raider news – Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is on the way too to bring us something delicious to whet our appetites while we wait for Lara’s bigger budget outfit. It’s a long road until Rise of the Tomb Raider but Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris has a chance to be something really special so we may as well get acquainted. Find out more about the game after the break.
Welcome to the Rapid Fire Reading List! The world wide web is a big place and my deadlines are always close! So this is where I put all of the interesting links from the week when I haven’t had time to cover them for J Station X. Sometimes they cover feminism/gaming/queer theory and occasionally they cover all three! Read on to find out which big stories were making the headlines this week.