For fans of the series this 12 minute introduction to Civilization VI narrated by Sean Bean is a both a blessing and curse. A blessing in that it gives you a pretty in-depth look at how the game plays in comparison to other entries in the series. And a curse because it looks so good that the wait until the October 21 release date will now feel like an eternity.
As part of the E3 presentation for Civlization VI, it's amazing that by simply employing an actor like Sean Bean to describe the rise of an in-game civlization, the whole thing takes on an epic, grandiose, and inspirational air.
As so it begins. Another round of Steam sales, where a number of games both big and small have been discounted just enough to tempt you into adding them to your ever growing pile of games that you'll get to one day. Eventually. It'll happen. In time. But anyway, with the picnic themed sale kicking off today a number of bargains are up for grabs. Including considerable discounts to recent titles like Doom, Fallout 4, and Rise of the Tomb Raider.
The below prices have been converted in to Australian Dollaridoos for your convenience. But with England voting on bringing back the Third Reich or something, global currency markets are in a bit of a downward spiral at the moment. So you might want to double check the conversion rates before you decide to buy anything.
Asemblance, the debut game from indie developer Niloh Studios promises to be the first part in a new psychological sci-fi anthology series that takes inspiration from a number of classics like The Twilight Zone and Black Mirror. So then, how does the first episode or installment fare? Well, we've kind of forgotten. Because you see, there's this memory machine. And after storing all our memories on it, you can call them 'reviews', we've had our mind drives wiped.
Oh wait, here's an excerpt from Assemblance.memoryfile0034
Okay, so what’s Asembance? Well in broad terms the game centres around a memory machine, a device that lets people relive their memories. For what purpose, we don’t really know. The game begins with alarm bells ringing, confusion, and a nice sounding but you-can-tell-it’s-going-to-totes-not-be-at-some-point AI giving you some basic instructions on how to operate the machinery. The first memory, a pleasing outdoor cliff side with the sun shining and grass swaying in the wind, is the first of a handful of memories that serve as the focal point of trying to figure out who you are, how you got there, and that age-old psychological sci-fi classic ‘what the hell is going on’.
Now that it's finally gone public domain we don't have to live in fear when singing the happy birthday song. And guess who's turning 20? Quake! So here we go, "Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you" etc, etc. Actually that song kinda sucks. But anyway, Quake is 20. And to celebrate one of the game's creators, John Romero, took to his blog to talk about the seminal shooter plus post the first ever screenshots from the game.
And because we're talking about the mid '90s here, they're in 320x200 resolution. Which, apparently was a resolution that people were fine with back in the day. And to think, some of us find 1920x1080 a little on the low-res side. The screenshots are a very early look at what became Quake, and because of that are very cool to see.
Alongside the early screens Romero also posted up a pretty long .txt file called QUAKETALK 95 FAQ that tells you everything you need to know about Quake. If it were October 22, 1995.
Which means if you own the game on PC you can check out the new Competitive Play mode today. Assuming of course you've hit Level 25. As Blizzard has been running PTR servers for a number of its games to give players a chance to check out new content patches early, it was only a matter of time before this was the case with Overwatch.
As per the patch notes, we've now got the official description for how the new mode works. Plus some rules and regulations. How official!
Once you hit level 25, you’ll have access to our newest feature: Competitive Play. This mode was designed to be a more serious experience, allowing players to hone their skills and perfect their strategies. But before diving into the fray, you’ll need to play 10 placement matches. These will allow our matchmaking system to gather enough information about your abilities to assign a skill rating.
With your newly acquired skill rating, you’ll be matched against players of a similar ability level. And if you play well and win games, the competition will become increasingly fierce throughout the two-and-a-half-month season. Plus, your performance will be rewarded with unique in-game items like sprays, player icons, and Competitive Points (which can be traded in for cosmetic Golden Weapons).
We’ve also made a number of changes to Overwatch's match format for Competitive Play. Some of these changes are simple interface changes, while others ensure that maps and modes don't favor one side or another—plus we’ve added a sudden death mechanic that ensures tied games are broken as fairly as possible.
Because Competitive Play is more serious in nature, we want to make sure that player behavior is acceptable. This means that the penalties are more severe than in the Quick Play or Weekly Brawl! modes. Leaving a game early or stepping away from your computer will make you ineligible to join a game until the previous game has ended, and continued infractions could result in restrictions or removal from Competitive Play.
You can check out the rest of the patch notes here. And speaking of Overwatch did you know that Blizzard partnered with Apparition Media to bring the entire cast of the game to life over 21 days in the form of a giant awesome mural? You didn't, well sit back and watch the art happen.
If you’re in Sydney be sure to check it out at 132 Foveaux St, Surry Hills before it’s goes bye bye on June 27. Leave it up I say. And if I were running for some sort of office and in the middle of an election cycle I'd make it one of my policies. Alongside a national free hugs for everyone program.
As with all big releases these days when you pre-order 2K's upcoming Mafia III you'll get a set of exclusive cars and weapons. "That's all well and good, but what do they look like?" Well, glad you asked because we now have a trailer that gives us a glimpse of what's being called the Family Kick-Back pre-order bonus.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands' open-world reveal at E3 2016 was one of the big surprises from the Ubisoft camp, and while I've already shared with you a written hands-on experience, I've also gone ahead and put together a video showcasing three gameplay captures I managed to nab from E3, featuring a single mission, with three different approaches.
The idea here is to highlight how diverse the game is in terms of its emergent qualities against myriad dynamic systems, when driven by four individuals in co-op. In other words, how the game can change based on player-choices. The actual mission was relatively long, so Part 1 of this video highlights the first part of the mission, and I'll be hosting Part 2 in the coming days.
Watch the video embedded below and drop your thoughts on Ghost Recon: Wildlands in the Comments section.
Announced and released on the same day as Ubisoft's E3 conference, Trials of the Blood Dragon is a bright neon-lit '80s action spectacle where fluro headbands are part of every covert soldier's attire. And it's a game that is weirdly both a single-player Trials experience, and a quasi-sequel to the excellent Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. So yeah, confusing in more ways than one.
So how does it fare? Well, not very good.
Right of the bat it should be made clear that Trials of the Blood Dragon is strictly a single-player story-driven game. Each level is introduced via an animated sequence whilst also being peppered with dialogue between the main characters from beginning to end. For a game in the Trials series it’s kind of a big ask to be suddenly inundated with story, and with no multiplayer or online component outside of leader boards, you’ll quickly begin to wonder what kind of story requires driving a dirt bike through obstacles in order to save the world. Turns out not much of a story, and one that is equally forgettable as it is overstuffed with nods to 80s and early 90s pop culture.
A Diablo-like action game set in the Warhammer 40K universe is a golden idea. Golden. With Dawn of War II utilising some action-RPG elements to great effect, the idea of a heroic Space Marine is one perfectly suited to this type of game. Which makes the debut gameplay footage from the upcoming Warhammer 40K Inquisitor – Martyr a little tough to watch. Mainly because it looks incredibly slow, to the point where it makes the game look boring.
Which for an action-RPG is a problem. They're supposed to look exciting. But, with the debut footage of the game in action popping up developer Neocore is actively looking for feedback.
We’d really like to hear your opinion, as feedback in this phase of development can still have enormous impact on the game, for the better. Please tell us what you think so far, what’s good, what’s to be improved – your opinion matters and will be taken into account in further developments.
Here's hoping they enough short and sweet George Lucas-like "faster, more intense" responses to speed things up. Because even though it's really slow, the idea of a Warhammer 40K Diablo is golden.
After Microsoft shuttered Lionhead Studios earlier this year, and with it the promising Fable Legends, many fans were probably right in thinking that was the last they would hear about Fable for a very long time. But in a surprise move, and with Microsoft's blessing, ex-Lionhead devs took a secret Fable CCG (competitive card game) to Kickstarter in the hopes of wrapping up development. But after a lackluster crowdfunding debut, the Kickstarter campaign was unceremoniously cancelled. But, not for good.
In the end Fable Fortune only managed to raise £58,852 of its £250,000 target, but thanks to some outside funding developer Flaming Fowl Studios will be bringing Fable Fortune to Steam in the form of a closed beta. Flaming Fowl took to Kickstarter to update its backers on the good/bad news situation.
With the immediate future of Fable Fortune now secure, we have taken the decision to end our Kickstarter campaign early to focus on releasing a Closed Beta build as quickly as possible. As we've always stated, we want to make this game with your help, your feedback and your input. We have huge plans for Fortune and we know that whatever happens in the future, it all started with our already incredible community.
Although we will now be concentrating on the Closed Beta, the Alpha build will remain available during this period and we’ll be looking to deliver a balance update in the very near future. Additionally, in return for your fantastic support, we will be providing all Kickstarter backers with access to the Alpha build and will then migrate ALL players over to our Closed Beta! This means that our backers will continue to be the very first players to get their hands on the latest content and features.
Thanks to your support and the positive reviews from our current players, we know we have something special on our hands and want to enable as many people as possible to experience Fable Fortune over the coming weeks and months. Ultimately, we believe following this path is the best way to achieve this goal.
Which in a way, is a happy ending of sorts. And with the success of Hearhtstone, the announcement of a standalone Gwent, and the Elder Scrolls card dealy, even though the market has seemingly gone card game crazy in the space of a year or so, there's always room for one more.
The Technomancer, a new sci-fi RPG set on Mars, is all set to release next week on June 28 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. And to quote a certain HBO comedy legend, it looks "Pretty, pretty, pretty... Pretty good." The latest trailer for the game gives us a closer look at Mars, combat, stealth and the kinds of creatures and monsters you'll come across thanks to the wonders of genetic mutation.
It's hard to say how this one will turn out in the end but the mix of sci-fi, melee combat, and deep customisation looks to be a winner. And the setting of a colonised Mars where everything has taken a turn for the Mad Max is one to keep an eye on.
With its terraforming aborted hundreds of years ago, and a murderous sun to boot, the Red Planet isn't exactly a hospitable place, and every nook and cranny of the forsaken planet holds deadly, lurking threats. Just like these hybrid creatures roaming the canyons of Mars, originally bioengineered by the first settlers from the genetic makeup of animals found on Earth. But the other human survivors can be just as dangerous. Ever since Mars got isolated from Earth, multiple factions have risen, desperate and determined to secure whatever power they may get hold of. You will be able to befriend these factions depending on your actions and your choices throughout the story.
With the recent announcement of the first-person survival horror reboot Resident Evil 7, the online multiplayer Resi offshoot Umbrella Corps doesn't look so bad. Not that it does, it's just that people were clamoring for a proper Resi game. Out now for PC and PS4, Umbrealla Corps is a competitive third-person shooter where two teams fight for survival in maps teeming with the undead. Launch trailer after the jump.
The hook/blade-thing mechanics look pretty cool, as is the whole idea of zombies running around the map of a team-based shooter.
Today you can join the Umbrella Corps and face off against enemy mercenaries online in dangerous battlefields teeming with undead monstrosities. The 3 vs. 3 competitive third-person shooter set in the Resident Evil universe is available for digital download on PlayStation 4 and PC.
Umbrella Corps has a variety of maps drawing from different locales in the Resident Evil universe. The Resident Evil 4-themed map recreates the unforgettable Village, complete with dangerous Ganados armed with farm tools. The Raccoon City map allows players to fight it out on and below the streets as zombies wander everywhere.
Speaking of maps based on the RE series, today’s launch trailer includes a peek at free DLC offerings that will be available to players in the coming months. One map reopens the doors to the infamous Spencer Mansion, hosting intense firefights in its ornate interior. Another free map transports RE fans back to the infected and chaotic streets of Lanshiang, China, from Resident Evil 6. Rounding out the free DLC offerings is 4 Survivors mode – a free-for-all mode inspired by classic RE games where ammo, health, and decent lighting is in limited supply. Players battle one another to survive the longest in these dimly lit, more atmospheric versions of the maps in Umbrella Corps.
Umbrella Corps is available now on PC/Steam for $29.99 USD and the PlayStation Store for $44.95 AU.
Much like the weird version of Europe seen in Forza Horizon 2, the Australia we'll get to drive around in Forza Horizon 3 looks equally bonkers. Perhaps even more so, with it's slightly confusing placing of Surfers Paradise, the Great Ocean Road and Byron Bay. Gone is the iconic shape of Australia, and in it's place a more game friendly mashup of iconic locales, rainforests, and a section simply called The Outback.
The following map was stitched together from several shots of the game map, and it's clear that developer Playground Games has taken a bunch of great Australian scenic locations and molded them all into one, well, giant playground.
According to Microsoft, Forza Horizon 3 touts one of the largest open worlds ever created for a game, and with four-player campaign co-op support, and Windows 10 and Xbox One cross-play it's hard not to be excited.
Okay, so you know how in all previous Civilization games a city took up a tile and that was it? Well in Civlization VI the new 'Unstacking Cities' approach means that cities will now spread across an entire region. And with the introduction of 'Districts' this means more control than ever before. In fact, after watching the new video that introduces the mechanic you'll be hard pressed to imagine playing it any other way.
There's even a whole Sim City meets Cities Skylines vibe to it, which is very cool.
In Civilization V, you simply queue up a build order, construct your buildings and they all live as one enormous stack within the city screen. With Civilization VI, we’ve unstacked the cities, removing all of that clutter within the city screen. So not only do you need to weigh build order in Civilization VI, but you also have to consider district adjacency bonuses and what terrains around your city center are compatible with certain Wonders. There isn’t one template for success in Civilization VI, and players need to react to the environment around them. No two games will play the same.
Combat is also affected by the Unstacking Cities mechanic in Civilization VI. As cities spread across more territory and become more exposed, adept warmongers may target specific tiles to cripple a city’s infrastructure before going after the city center. Additionally, passive players who would choose to fortify cities in the past must now consider their city’s full perimeter when deciding to pursue this same tactic in Civilization VI. A city is so much more than just its city center now.
Finally, from a visual standpoint, Unstacking Cities presents great aesthetical changes to the Civilization experience. Cities now look more diverse and reflect their growth in more distinct ways. We’ve found this change goes a long way, not only in making players feel more connected to their choices and progress, but also in keeping players immersed in the beautiful world of Civilization VI.
The latest update to the Creation Kit finally sees the implementation of PlayStation 4 support for Fallout 4 mods. With the feature going into beta it looks like PS4 owners may have a few limitations when it comes to checking out mods. For one the file size limit is set to 900MB, and texture support is limited to PC textures. Which may lead to performance issues.
In addition to the above, sound files are currently not supported due to the PS4's proprietary sound format. Which means that excellent radio station mods like Atomic Radio won't work on PS4. But, Bethesda is working close with Sony to support sound in a future update, alongside optimised texture support and an increased file size.
With mod support recently launching on the Xbox One version of Fallout 4 Bethesda ran into similar problems with the 2GB limitation on that console. And although either 900MB or 2GB sounds like enough space, the file size limitation applies to all mods you've currently enabled. Which, can be a problem when you're running a bunch of different gameplay enhancements, audio, and graphic mods.
Competitive Play is the new ranked mode for Overwatch that we've been hearing about for months. Still on track to debut in the coming weeks, Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan has utilised the latest developer update video to brief players on how it will work. Remember the tier-based progression system from the beta? Well, that's gone. In its place we've got a new skill-rating and matchmaking system that aims to give players a better sense of taking part in a seasonal event.
As for the seasons themselves they'll run in conjunction with the northern hemisphere seasons, with the first Overwatch Competitive Play season to be themed around summer. Each season will run for roughly two and a half months, with a short break between seasons.
The ranking system will now focus on a skill rating, first obtains from playing placement games. A person's skill rating will be visible to all players and teams themselves will be given an overall skill rating. It's expected that through continuous play you'll see your skill rating rise and fall depending on performance.
In terms of balance, the rating system will take into account who you go up against, so if you're matched up against a higher skilled team then you'll be rewarded more for in-game performance. Also with the Competitive Play Blizzard are looking at certain maps and things like sudden death to ensure they're more balanced for both attackers and defenders.
Blizzard intends to tweak and improve the system as time goes on, and it'll be great to finally to our skills to the test. Here's hoping we have what it takes to unlock some of the seasonal cosmetic rewards, like golden weapons for characters.
Although we got a good look at EA and Respawn Entertainment's upcoming Titanfall 2 at E3, we now have the broll footage that EA was showcasing at the show. In it we get to see a number of stylish acrobatic mech and non-mech takedowns, plus some grapple hook action where a pilot swings onto a titan like Tarzan and takes it out with a grenade.
The original Titanfall provided fast, fluid, multiplayer action and the sequel looks to do the same. Check it out.
Titanfall 2 is out October on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
The first episode of Asemblance, the debut game from Nilo Studios drops this week. Taking inspiration from classic sci-fi series like Rod Serling's Twilight Zone and Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror, Asemblance comes form a team made up of veteran developers who worked on big sci-fi hits like Halo and Destiny. Asemblance delivers psychologically thrilling tales for today's gamer, in an intriguing new anthology series.
Although saying a game is a bit like X and Y is a kind of an easy way to associate a visual style or gameplay mechanic in a manner that can sell something in today's fast-paced go-get-em modern-day society-place, Assemblance stands out for the absolutely perfect blend of inspirational choices. Personally speaking, both Twilight Zone and Black Mirror are seminal sci-fi, providing the sort of rich narrative experiences that go beyond genre to say something profound about humanity. Plus, show us what would happen if Captain Kirk got drunk on a plane and began imagining a creature just chillin' on the wings.
Assemblance apparently is also part X-Files, David Lynch soundscape and in terms of gameplay draws inspiration from recent titles like PT and The Stanley Parable. Which, when you add it all up, make this one that any sci-fi or psychological weirdness fan should be keen to check out. Plus, the idea of a game series going the anthology route is one we're keen to check out.
The pilot episode of Asemblance takes place around the building of an experimental memory machine. You find yourself trapped in its systematic logic with the choice of trying to escape or going deeper into the memories you begin to uncover. Progressing the game depends on using context clues to solve puzzles and the narrative possibilities allow you to decide on what is ultimately true.
Which we plan to do when the game launches June 22 on PlayStation 4 and PC, for $9.99 USD.
E3 has always traditionally been a show where the AAA game reigns supreme. After all it's the place where Sony, Microsoft, and publishers like EA and Ubisoft showcase the biggest games currently in development. Where in most cases they'll work for months fine-tuning specific E3 builds to show off the latest post-apocalyptic survival thing. This year was no different, but behind the bright lights and pretend explosions lie a number of fascinating indie titles also on display.
And here's a few of them.
In terms of flying under the raider We Happy Few actually got to take center stage at Microsoft's E3 conference alongside the likes of Gears of War and Forza Horizon, so it's a game that a lot of people are now familiar with. Taking place in a 1960's version of London where prescription medication and lifeless masks hide a disturbing reality, We Happy Few looks incredible. In the following demonstration we see the protagonist stop taking his pills and becoming a 'Downer', leading to some pretty intense imagery.
If ABZU looks a little bit like the indie classic Journey that's because developer Giant Squid is led by Matt Nava, the art director behind Journey and Flower. But visual similarities aside, ABZU looks as beautiful as any underwater photography we've ever seen. And with a release date of August 2 for PC and PS4, we won't have to wait too long to dive into this one.
When you think about the term indie game you probably conjure up images of a wide variety of games. In a sense it's very much a catch all term to represent non-traditional games, where developers are given free reign to bring their artistic vision to life. But then again, an abstract puzzle game with visuals that are both perplexing and mesmerising in their simplistic beauty, just about screams 'indie'. Which brings us to Manifold Garden.
With the success of Pillars of Eternity, and much deserved so, developer Obsidian Entertainment is experiencing a bit of a renaissance of late. Obsidian's latest RPG effort may look a lot like Pillars, and in terms of presentation it's very much an extension of, but Tyranny looks to be more ambitious in its approach. In the game, players take their part in a story where the bad guys won. That part at the end of every RPG where instead of being able to reload an earlier save after taking on the final boss for the first time and losing, you have to live with the consequences.
Inside, from the developer that brought us the brilliant Limbo, has been in development for a number of years now. Usually that could be cause for concern but in the world of indie games, longer development cycles are usually a good thing. With a minimalist visual style, a world where fascism rules society, and stealth, puzzles, and platforming, Inside is looking better than ever. And better yet, will be out June 29 on Xbox One and July 7 for PC.
Announced only a month ago, this stylish new online melee combat game from developer Sloclap and publisher Devolver Digital looks like the lovechild of Jade Empire, Dark Souls, and any number of of great visually arresting indie games. With the first gameplay footage of Absolver making its debut at E3, the game certainly looks to be living up to its potential, with fantastic animation and a slow measured approach to combat that should please fans of the genre, and martial arts in general. Plus, it looks amazing.
In terms of percentage, once could confidently state that the majority of the retro-inspired indie titles out there take their inspiration from either the 8 and 16-bit eras of gaming. The early days of 3D polygons usually doesn't get much love, but with Yooka Laylee we get to see a 2016 version of a classic Nintendo 64-era 3D platformer. With a development team made up of ex-Rare employees, many of which worked on the seminal Banjo Kazooie, Yooka Laylee not only looks like a blast from the past, but a sequel that also takes into consideration the long passage of time that brings us to 2016.
Developer Dontnod Entertainment is a bit of a critical darling now thanks to the success of its popular adventure game series Life is Strange. The studio's next title however looks to be the furthest thing from an adventure game where you take on the role of a teenager, as Vampyr is an action role-playing game set in the blood-soaked streets of Victorian-era London. The premise which allows for the game to be completed without the player taking an innocent life leads to a situation where your character can't level up or obtain any cool vampire skills. Which sounds pretty cool.
After a successful first outing in January the fine folks at Rooster Teeth will be returning to our shores in February next year for RTX Sydney 2017. As the first RTX event held outside of the land of the free and the home of the deep fried chicken snack, RTX Sydney 2016 drew huge crowds from across the country to an event packed with gaming, internet, and internet gaming. 2017's event looks to be bigger with more games, more panels, and more celebrity guests.
"When we launched RTX Australia earlier this year we were thrilled with the turnout and response," said Gus Sorola, Rooster Teeth co-founder and executive producer. "TheRTX brand historically has experienced exponential growth year over year, and we anticipate over 50% growth in 2017. After wetting our feet in the Australian market in January, we’re ready to do more of everything in 2017: more celebrity guests, more first plays of hot new games, and more surprises to delight our fans."
2017's line-up will see the return of Rooster Teeth co-founders Burnie Burns and Gus Sorola, plus the addition of Kinda Funny Games Greg Miller and Tim Gettys, with more to be revealed in the coming months. RTX Sydney 2017 will take place in Sydney from February 4-5 at the new International Convention Centre Sydney at Darling Harbour.
Tickets go on sale July 7th, and for more information head to rtxsydney.com.
As the highly anticipated sequel to a 2010 cult action-RPG, Square Enix and Platinum Games brought both a new gameplay trailer and look at a particularly action-packed boss battle from the upcoming NieR Automata to E3 this year. The footage looks very cool, with parts of the boss battle looking like a section from classic top-down shooter Ikaruga, and others from other Platimun action-hits like Bayonetta.
Set for release early 2017, NieR Automata takes place in a world where humans have fled the planet and robots have taken over Earth. With players taking control of what could either be some stationary or a group of androids, 2B, 9S, and A2. Yeah, story wise the original game was kind of out there but beloved by fans.
So even though what you see here may not make much sense, it certainly look very cool.
And here's that look at the boss battle, featuring one of the protagonists and what looks like a giant ballroom gown-bot.
One of the standout games of E3 2016 was arguably South Park: The Fractured But Whole -- follow-up to the critically acclaimed South Park: The Stick of Truth, and we managed to score an insightful interview with the game's lead game designer, Kenneth Strickland, who explained they worked on their Snowdrop Engine so it could take fresh assets from South Park Studios as Matt and Trey iterated their own treatment of the game's plot.
"The first thing we did is make sure our engine -- the Snowdrop Engine -- takes their show assets directly," Strickland reveals. "So when they do decide they want a rewrite or to re-animate, or to tweak a scene, we can just port that in, like, 30 seconds, plus some build time in the night.
"That’s what we’ve tried to emulate, and they do it at such an incredibly fast speed -- have you ever seen Seven Days to Air? They still do it like that, and so we just try to emulate that with that speed so anytime, you know, they hand us say a cinematic, we can hit that speed with them. It’s when we start to get to more interactive segments that we have processes where we kind of fly down [to South Park Studios] and every two weeks we’re talking about the interactive parts of the game -- the things you have to nail down a little bit earlier."
I never chose a fence between Star Wars and Star Trek. The Star Wars movies are awesome, and several ongoing Star Trek TV series were equally awesome. Essentially I got the best of both worlds -- and why wouldn't you want that?
Now we know Star Wars is going to have VR cockpit experiences, but before they're even exploreable, Ubisoft has been working on a Star Trek bridge experience for VR, and I'm not too geekly ashamed to admit I might have peed a little, and that was before playing it.
Without waffling on too much though, here's a snippet:
I won real-world rock, paper, scissors to take on the role of tactical officer. After having watched Commander (now Captain) Worf, I figured I’d know what I was doing. We also had engineering, helm and of course, captain. All in the same room, but you can also play the game with your crew online or solo with any other role being filled by AI, and it’ll be available on Vive, PlayStation VR and the deck we were playing on, Oculus Rift.
Now at this point all of this might sound a bit silly. Especially if you’re not a Star Trek fan, but you won’t believe how quickly you matriculate to functioning crew-member once it all gets going. It’s stunning to watch as your starship -- the USS Aegis, pulls out of its docks and to just look around at space, but quite another when a distress signal pulls you out of the fantasy of being in VR, and even deeper into the fantasy of being a Federation starship officer. As tactical, my role was to manage phasers, photon torpedoes and the ship’s shields. Weapons have cooldowns and you can’t use transporters with shields up. You also can’t transport or fire on the enemy unless certain ranges are met, and all of these are spread across the rest of the crew from a management perspective along with steering the ship, how fast you’re going and more.
At E3 2016 we were given a chance to take Ubisoft Montreal's For Honor for a little sword-swinging stroll. We also spoke with producer Stephane Cordin who gave some insight into the game's beginnings and what they hope to achieve with such a lofty project.
Here's a snippet from our feature:
On paper, it’s every kid who grew up watching sword-fighting epics’ dream. What if we put some of the most disciplined sword-wielders from history into the same story; into the same fight? What would happen? Which discipline would win out? Whose culture had the strongest will to win, and to survive? In fact, History Channel and the like have made entire series around those very questions, but they’re all spoken to, and presented in, a modern dialogue.
Now, sure, I get where your concern lies -- well, videogames are a modern dialogue too, right? Yes, as a medium, but not in what that medium is capable of doing, if put into the right sword hand. For instance, the game’s main driver, Jason Vandenberghe, is a passionate sword person. He was behind Ubsoft’s Red Steel 2 -- one of the first games requiring the Wii MotionPlus add-on controller device which he felt brought unseen fidelity to gaming (if you click that link, bear in mind that was in 2009). Jason’s For Honor producer compatriote Stephane Cardin was also happy to explain that Vandenberghe himself is a student of the sword -- the German broadsword, to be specific. And also that he has been pitching this idea to Ubisoft for more than three years.