The fifth entry in the main Battlefield franchise and the thirteenth full game with the Battlefield name is the World War I themed Battlefield 1. While the name is confusing, DICE is moving forward with the franchise by going back in time and using lessons from Battlefront and Battlefield 4 & Hardline to improve their latest effort.
When you look at characters that would have interesting stories that continue on from StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, I wouldn’t have considered Nova among them. The likes of Zagara or Alarak who played bit parts in the various SC2 expansions could have interesting stories following the Into The Void missions based on LOTV and the epilogue. However, Blizzard got off on the right foot with the first mission pack of Nova Covert Ops. The second mission pack is a bit of a miss, though.
Warner Bros wasn’t the only company to release a demo to the public at E3. Capcom also showed the first trailer for Resident Evil VII: Biohazard (apparently titles Biohazard VII: Resident Evil in Japan) and released a demo alongside it. While it’s not a huge demo, it’s definitely a promising start for the new Resident Evil.
Most people have to go all the way to Los Angeles to try slices of upcoming games at E3. Some companies, though, have made demos of their games available to the general public so you don’t have to be one of the permitted few that are allowed to see games up close before they reach your living room. One of those companies is Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment who gave us a short, early look at their upcoming Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
While the story of StarCraft II ended with Legacy of the Void and the Into the Void epilogue, Blizzard hasn’t ended the stories it wants to tell in the StarCraft universe. The first return to the Koprulu sector takes place several years after the conclusion of Legacy of the Void. One of the long-lost Blizzard projects was StarCraft: Ghost which was supposed to introduce Nova as the player character. The game was eventually scrapped and Nova was introduced in Wings of Liberty and a StarCraft: Ghost novel.
Many years after Ghost’s cancellation, Nova finally gets her long-awaited solo project. It’s not a shooter but it’s a real-time strategy game in the same way that we’ve come to know from StarCraft II but with an episodic twist.
In the run up to its much-anticipated release next week, Blizzard ran the final big beta test for their upcoming first-person shooter franchise Overwatch. While some features, like competitive play, weren’t in the beta, this is the best chance that everyone is going to have to try the game out before Blizzard sticks it hand out looking for $60 for the game. Fortunately for Blizzard, they put a very strong foot forward by basically letting players have a go at a near-complete version of the game.
So we have a new Star Wars trailer and many, many people have tickets to an early showing of The Force Awakens. Exactly a month before the earliest showings of Episode VII, the next chapter in the Star Wars video game franchise will hit shelves.
Both the announcement of J.J. Abrams as director of Episode VII and the appointment of Electronic Arts as the publisher of Star Wars games were met with excitement. While EA did cause a bit of trepidation, the appointment of DICE, BioWare and Visceral, three of EA’s top guns, to develop the games got gamers excited. First up for EA and LucasFilm is DICE with their take on Battlefront. The early results aren’t exactly awe-inspiring.
Apart from free-to-play mobile tower defence games, I’m not sure there’s a more crowded genre in gaming than MOBA. At the top of the pile, you have League of Legends and Dota 2. Smite is probably the #3 MOBA though Heroes of Newerth would probably give it a run for its money. You’ve also got the like of Strife and Infinite Crisis too. There are probably plenty of other that I can throw in there but I don’t want a 1,000 word intro.
The problem is that while each game has its little intricacies, they all feel fairly similar at the end of the day. You play one member of a five-player team on a three-lane map with towers that you must power through in order to destroy the central structure of the enemy base.
Heroes of the Storm doesn’t completely revolutionize the basics of a MOBA. It’s still a five-on-five match to destroy the enemy team’s core. However, Blizzard has taken the standard Point A to Point B approach to MOBAs and turned it on its head. What results is the most unique MOBA on the market right now.
It’s been about seven months since we last seen Battlefield Hardline. Back in June, EA tried to capitalize on the post-E3 hype of the BFH reveal by almost immediately launching an early beta of two game modes and one map for the upcoming game. At that point in time, the game was due for an October 2014 release.
In the time following that beta, EA, DICE and Visceral announced that the game would be pushed back five months to March 2015. As February began, EA took Hardline back to beta one more time in order to get a last big batch of feedback before it is launched in March. It looks like some lessons from the first beta were learned by Visceral has many more to take into account over the next month.
Don’t look now but I’m pretty sure the game demo is dead. In its place are “betas” that accomplish a multitude of things simultaneously. They act as a demo without needing to polish a vertical slice of the game. That’s because they can slice out a portion for QA testing by the general public without paying professional QA testers to find problems with the game. And by limiting access to betas, devs and publishers drum up demand relative to supply to goad people into pre-ordering the game to get into the beta.
Shockingly, this doesn’t bring us to Heroes of the Storm. That’s a column for another day. It does bring us to Evolve. Turtle Rock Studios left E3 with the whole world in its hands after cleaning up most of the major E3 awards. However, 2K seems hell-bent on throwing it all away with their utterly confusing and transparently greedy pre-order, season pass, deluxe edition and DLC scheme.
So when Turtle Rock gave us one last chance to get a taste of Evolve before its February release date, everyone who could jumped at the opportunity. But was this one last taste of Evolve enough to convince me to spend $60+ on the game from the Left 4 Dead developers?