As part of Ninja Theory‘s plan of being open and transparent about development, in the past few months we’ve learnt quite of things about their upcoming PS4 (and PC) action title Hellblade. We’ve been introduced to leading lady Senua, we’ve been clued in on the triple A independent development process and we’ve seen some impressive concept art too. But with the game pencilled in for a 2015 release, there’s still so much that we don’t know. Luckily, Ninja Theory recently let Official PlayStation Magazine UK into their offices to talk about it for their cover feature. So from that preview, here are six things you didn’t know about Hellblade.
It’s been a busy few months for Ubisoft. They’ve managed to offend a majority of the gaming population, they’ve been releasing broken games left, right and centre and when those games proved to be broken, they even managed to make matters worse when they tried to fix them. Crikey, I hope Ubisoft have had time for a nap.
But, when the pitchforks have been blunted and our arms have grown tired from banging on their office doors and windows, Ubisoft will try and make amends. To make matters easier for them and to air out our grievances, we’ve put together a list of just a few things Ubisoft can do to make us hate them just that little bit less.
From the disgruntled masses of PC and PS4 fans to the deafening cheers of Xbox One supporters, convinced they’d finally landed a blow to the PS4’s unstoppable success, to the critics and unaligned gamers who simply asked ‘wait, what?’, the announcement that Rise of the Tomb Raider will be an Xbox exclusive come 2015 has been the talk of the town. And although the chatter of secret big money deals and sales and console wars clutters up the highways, we will eventually have to accept the fact that Rise of the Tomb Raider is going to be exclusive to Xbox One and Xbox 360 for whatever unspecified amount of time. But do PC and PS4 really need Rise of the Tomb Raider and where does the Tomb Raider franchise go from here? Read on after the break to find out.
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.
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.
“Xbox One, the all-in-one entertainment system from Microsoft”, that’s the almost laughable quote that Microsoft mandates is added to every press release and official statement about games released on their brand new platform. When it was announced back in May 2013 that the console would have a focus on media not just of the video gaming sort, the bile and vitriol spewed against the decision was unavoidable. But with millions of paying customers now looking for a way to get televised content in front of their eye sockets, Microsoft have delivered a swift ‘stuff you’ to those critics having moved ahead with their Xbox Originals program to bring original TV billing to the Xbox One and Xbox 360. It could still go wrong and come crashing down around their ears which is why we’ve outlined 5 things they need to do to make Xbox Originals a resounding success.
When Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag launched last year I praised it and included it on my list of PS4/Xbox One launch titles to watch. It had a white protagonist but (on PlayStation) it let you play Aveline, a mixed-race woman whose mother is a slave and it introduced us to Adewale, a former slave who became Edward Kenway’s First Mate on the Jackdaw. In AC4 slavery is undoubtedly a focus of the game, with plantations as common as the hairs on your head and slavemasters being met with the pointy end of Edward’s sword more than a handful of times, but many aspects were jarring and being told that you’d freed ‘8 out of 10 nameless slaves’ in a series of optional mini-games didn’t feel like it did the realities of slavery much justice. There has to be a game that depicts the horror of slavery right though, gaming needs its 12 Years a Slave or its Django Unchained* and new game Thralled is set to be the story telling masterpiece to do it.
Around these parts, we’re just a bit fond of Tomb Raider, the origins story that was released to show Lara Croft as a green behind the ears explorer who was neither very good at killing, shooting or not getting herself torn to pieces by particularly pointy bits of metal. We like the gameplay, the characters and the world that is was set in and when I reviewed it a few months ago, I even thought that Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition (the PS4 and Xbox One rerelease of the 2013 game) was a cracking title too. Obviously, I want more of it and as I’m sure some sort of Yamatai prophecy suggests, you probably do to so here’s a list of the 8 things that we’d like to see from a Tomb Raider sequel.
It’s been a busy few weeks for Diablo 3, what with the Reaper of Souls expansion pack being released and then the Reaper of Souls XP boost announcement and then the Reaper of Souls update also being pushed out to garner all of the headlines and interest around Blizzard’s highly regarded RPG. But there’s something far more important afoot, as Blizzard prepared to ready their game for the RoS playing masses by releasing an update, an update which brought clans (hooray!) but it’s not all something to cheer about as in attempting to moderate, they’ve managed to offend but even more than that, the decision to keep the word ‘trans’ out of clans brings to light some of gaming’s worst, transphobic behaviour.