Having trouble keeping up with all the gaming news flying off the RGM news desk? Don’t worry, so am I. To help you stay up to date with the big news stories from throughout the week we have put together a brief re-cap of the stories we know you will want to the news about.
This week’s top topics are:
- Pokemon Go Major Announcement coming December 12th, Possible Johto Pokemon coming?
- Alien: Covenant New Set Photos Leaked
- Donald Trump and the Media Censorship Disparity
- Halo 5’s Biggest Update on the Way
- New Details Emerge About Zombie Survivor ‘State of Decay 2’
To begin with we have:
For those who have stopped logging in on a daily basis to update their Pokedex, it seems that Pokemon Go developer Niantic seems eager to bring you back. Rumors and speculation have spread throughout the last couple days that there will be a massive roster update for the massively popular mobile game and thanks to some determined data miners, it seems that Niantic has over a 100 new Pokemon within the code, ready to be unleashed whenever the dev finds it worthy.
Niantic recently acknowledged the possibility of a roster update by simply saying “we’ll answer that soon.” They also released a brief statement stating that:
“The Pokémon Company International and Niantic, Inc. will reveal details on December 12 about the first addition of more Pokémon to Pokémon GO, one of the most popular mobile games of the year. Stay tuned, Trainers!”
There are plenty of possibilities regarding this big update, but it’s clear that there will be some form of update sometime soon. The question simply depends on how expansive this update will be. The timing of it will be intriguing to see as well, for the update could happen right on the 12th or later in the Holiday season. Another possibility could be the announcement of a legendary Pokemon event involving the legendary birds (Zapdos, Moltres, and Articuno) and possibly even Mewtwo (but that’s the least likely).
Here’s hoping that by the end of 2016, players will be able to get their hands on either a Typhlosion, a Zapdos, or even both.
Author: Kevin McCasland
Net up we have:
We are now less than a year away from the next release in the long-running Alien franchise. Almost universally beloved, its hard to deny the impact Alien has had on science fiction and horror in general. The direct sequel to Prometheus, Alien: Covenant hits theaters May 19, 2017. Noomi Rapace is reprising her role as Elizabeth Shaw, while Michael Fassbender will again play the incredibly advanced android David. While we are still eagerly awaiting the first trailer, some photos from the set have appeared on the AVPGALAXY forums, providing an interesting glimpse in to the production of this massively anticipated film.
There is definitely some interesting material here. The first photo shows what appears to be a vehicle on some form of loading ramp, perhaps as a setpiece for the interior of the titular starship Covenant.
This next shot captures a wall of some sort, with what look like bodies piled up beside it. An event in the film, or an archeological find? We’ll have to wait and see.
The third photo is an Alien prop, no doubt a model for some creature which will be encountered by the unfortunate crew. By its size it appears to be an infant but it could just as easily be a model for reference that is not to scale.
This is the most uninteresting of the shots but it appears to confirm we will once again see the infamous cockpit of the Engineer’s spacecraft.
This last picture is an alternate angle in daylight of the second capture. Here, we see more clearly the long-dead bodies of Engineers.
Alien: Covenant has a lot of expectations to meet and questions to answer. However, if these leaked pictures are any indication, we can remain cautiously optimistic it will live up to the task. If you want to check out these pictures in more detail, the album has been posted to Imgur here.
Author: Samuel Tolbert
Moving along with:
November 8th saw America elect Donald J Trump to presidency, a move that has not received universal support. Whatever your values and opinions on the result, his election could alter the way we game over the coming years. Only a few years ago, Trump tweeted the following:
Republican sensibilities have often been offended by violent games, but only time will tell how President Trump and the Republican Party can influence the censorship of the gaming world.
Having played games famed for their violent content such as the uncut Manhunt 2 and Splatterhouse, I can see how some parties may be offended or upset by their content but that is where the double standard comes in. When interviewed about their favorite TV programmes in the run up to this year’s US elections, noted Republicans have cited Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad amongst their favorite shows; how can a party so openly outraged by the GTA “Hot Coffee” scenes (that weren’t even accessible without mods) favor the far more explicit content of these shows? Even at the time of release, Manhunt 2 looked dated and lacked the visceral details of Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead. It certainly lacked the emotional content too.
So… Nudity, sex, drug abuse, language and graphic violence are all fine on TV where any content can be viewed without non-parental restriction, but ‘M’ or ‘Adult Only’ games that cannot be purchased by children shouldn’t even approach this sort of material. We all know the arguments; parents can choose which channels they have, they can limit what their children watch. But they can’t limit the games and consoles they buy their children, right? Maybe it’s the interactivity, then? Let’s be honest, even with Kinect or PlayStation Move, interactivity is fairly limited in games. With the advent of VR, perhaps we will see more of an issue, but to say that lacks foresight. Imagine a world where immersion can deepen the impact of an experience and really get a point across. However, for me, this remains an issue of parental control and understanding – Politicians have a responsibility not to censor art, but to educate parents who are supposedly trusted to understand MPAA or BBFC ratings; let’s bring that level of understanding to PEGI or the ESRB.
There’s a parallel to be drawn with comics in the 20th century; content became more adult and there wasn’t a system to adequately rate the material so they tried to implement The Comics Code and ultimately failed (shortest version of that story…). Thanks to organisations like the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, we’ve got a world where works such as Watchmen and The Sandman exist and are universally praised. I can see where games are going. Games will be recognized alongside film and literature some day; let’s not kill them off in a moral panic.
Author: Richard Lamb
For lovers of the latest installment in the Halo franchise, we have some great news coming your way soon.
Since the failure to launch that was the Master Cheif Collection, 343 Studios has been prolific with its focus on post-release support. Their biggest commitment was to have all of Halo 5 DLC come free to all players.
This commitment from 343 not only had them in good graces with their player base but it also gave the players a reason to stick around thus conquering Halo 4’s biggest problem of player exit after only a month.
Thus far Halo 5 has added multiple playlist, forge updates, weapon and armor variations, and their biggest addition Warzone Firefight. While Halo 5’s story was not received well by players or critics the multiplayer in its base state was heralded as the best in the series and has only improved since.
For the latest update coming to Halo 5 this month, the information was released on Neogaf forums this morning. Included in the update is:
-SERVER BROWSER (Yes you can now browse for custom games on XBO/PC)
-Big fixes and optimization for PC version
-Arena/Warzone announcer voice packs
-“Biggest” Forge update ever (sanghelios map included)
-Extensive aiming improvements (it has been reported there is now no input lag)
-General UI improvements
-Halo: Reach Grenade Launcher
-Even more new skins and armor
More modes are rumored to be added to the game in the post but are still unconfirmed at the moment.
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Author: Kyle D. Boren
To wrap up we have:
State of Decay was a very well received hit when it arrived in 2013. The game, originally for Xbox 360 and PC, with an Xbox One release that followed, tasked you with survival in a zombie apocalypse. You had to manage resources, sustain frayed relationships and ensure you can survive. Due to its popularity, it was no surprise that a sequel was eventually announced at E3 this year.
Apart from the initial reveal trailer (which you can see below) not much is known about the upcoming sequel. Fortunately, IGN have spoken with developers Undead Labs and gleaned a bit more nuggets of info whilst we await the games release in 2017.
Speaking with CEO, Jeff Strain (suspicious surname right?) and design director, Richard Foge, IGN have gleaned some new pieces of information including new concept art and the news that State of Decay 2 will provide four player co-op:
“The millions of State of Decay players have been clear about what they want in State of Decay 2: A bigger, better State of Decay they can play with their friends.”
One of the main pieces of new information learned from the interview is that the play area in State of Decay 2 will be much bigger than the originals map:
“I know SoD fans are hungry for details on number and size of maps, regions, kilometers of playable area, etc, but we’re not quite ready for that. For now, suffice it to say that the playable area is substantially larger than State of Decay.”
Following on from the confirmation of four player co-op, there are obviously concerns about how that will work in terms of the other players suddenly deciding to turn on you in-game, as the game can foster hostile relationships, which could inevitably lead to a survivors downfall. Richard Foge commented on how players will work in a multiplayer context:
“The primary goal for multiplayer is that other players bring an interesting new dynamic to the simulation. The heart of State of Decay is consequences, and we need to make sure that other players are more than just an awesome addition to moment-to-moment gameplay; they need to become a part of the story based on the agency they have in your world.”
“Your guests cannot just say ‘screw it, I’m taking this to PvP-town!’ and directly attack you or any of your community members, because State of Decay 2 isn’t a PvP game. They can’t go into your base and tear down all of your facilities. But there are plenty of ways that they can be a hostile force in your world because they can directly affect the simulation in meaningful ways.”
“The simple example of this is someone making noise and the zombie simulation responding. You may find yourself in a situation where one of your characters ends up getting killed because your guest made a racket that you couldn’t deal with. This goes both ways though. You may end up causing a situation that gets one of your guest’s characters killed, permanently.”
“A more complex example is killing enclave NPCs that aren’t a part of your community. There might be great reasons for them to kill those characters or they might just be going Westworld Blackhat on your simulation, but either way you are going to have to deal with the consequences of those actions. In the case of killing members of an NPC enclave, your relationship with that enclave is most likely going to become incredibly hostile and they may attack your community on sight. Now you have to decide how you want to handle that situation.”
There was also a revelation that players will be able to split off from each other and the group and explore, as needed, to ensure the groups survival. Players can do this by using cars within the game:
“We want it to be fun to play with your friends, so the design mechanics encourage teamwork and cooperation,” Strain said. “That said, ‘encouraging’ is not the same as ‘forcing.’ You will be free to get in a car and go anywhere you like, just as you would if you were playing by yourself.”
“There may be times when it’s tactically advantageous to do so,” he continued. “For example, you may be under the gun to get medical supplies back to your base, and you decide to split up and have two players scavenge the supermarket pharmacy while two others go scout for a car or SUV with a large amount of trunk space to get the goods home. Or you could even be working on completely separate objectives and only come together as needed to get each other out of a tight spot. Ultimately you’ll be more effective (and, if we do our jobs well, you’ll have a lot more fun) playing close together, but as always with State of Decay, your play style is up to you.”
Strain also spoke about the move to the Unreal 4 engine from CryEngine in the original. He confirmed that the move will provide a substantial improvement, visually, but also allow ease of creation of content. Strain commented that this would allow for an easier means to create content before and after the games release.
State of Decay 2 is scheduled for release on Xbox One and PC in 2017.
Author: Adam Stuart
So, there you have it, a wrap up of some of the interesting items that landed on the RGM news desk this week.