It’s time to play catch-up on a few key games that are releasing later this year and share some fun news bits for some of our recent favorites. We’re going to look at PS4′s answer to Kinect; Rockstar’s seemingly dead Agent; Batgirl kicking butt; Wii U’s Wonderful 101, Deadpool and Ghost Recon Online; Crytek’s Xbox One exclusive, Medal of Honor’s mobile attempt; the worlds of The Elder Scrolls Online and The Last of Us; and major milestones for EA and Blizzard.
Read on for the details and a few more stories.
Does Sony need voice recognition or hands-free controls to compete with Xbox One? We won’t know until see how effective the new Kinect is and whether or not this time, it can get some quality games. Sony is however not going to miss the boat on this one as SCEA posted a job opening for a speech recognition intern, hinting at an improved PlayStation Eye that can potentially do the same as Kinect. Will Sony’s interface support it and what will it offer that’s unique or better than the Kinect?
Agent Is Alive
Remember Agent, that game we heard about four years ago that seemingly disappeared? Much like Rockstar takes their time with each numbered Grand Theft Auto, they are still working on Agent and it’s likely a next-gen release. It was listed as currently in development along with GTAV on the resume of a Rockstar employee.
Forensics Psychologist, vigilante crime fighter, daughter of Commissioner Gordon, Barbara Gordon has joined NetherRealm Studios’ Injustice: Gods Among Us as the game’s second official DLC character. Check out her kickass profile video above.
The Wonderful 101 Date
The Platinum Games developed superhero game exclusive to the Wii U finally has a release date. During last week’s Nintendo Direct, it was confirmed with a September 15th release date in North America, with Aug 23-24 dates in Europe and Japan. Bring on the Nintendo games, more the merrier!
Ghost Recon Offline
The free-to-play Ghost Recon Online for PC was announced a long while ago for Wii U, since Ghost Recon: Future Soldier skipped the platform, but it’s unfortunately nowhere in sight. While Ubisoft remains the most supportive third-party publisher of the Wii U platform, GRO is currently “on hold.”
@kakashishinoda The WiiU version of the game is currently on hold while we focus on developing the PC version.— Ghost Recon Online (@GhostRecOnline) May 17, 2013
The real tell will be whether or not the Ghost Recon: Future Soldier followup makes its way to the Wii U, but it probably will since Watch Dogs is.
Deadpool U, Deadpool Mii?
X-Men: Destiny was a horrible failure on every level, but can Activision makeup for it with their next licensed Marvel game based on the Merc with a Mouth? High Moon Studios is developing this one for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, but according to an Amazon listing, it could come to Wii U as well. Oddly enough, High Moon’s Transformers games didn’t, and Activision has been very vocal about their disappointment in the Wii U.
Crytek’s Ryse on Xbox One
Where Gaijin’s War Thunder is coming exclusively to the PS4, Crytek’s Roman warrior action game, Ryse, is coming exclusively to the Xbox One (confirming early rumors). Moments after the Xbox One unveiling, Crytek linked to their official Ryse page where it highlights “controller-based gameplay enhanced by Kinect” as players take on the role as a soldier and “lead as a General.” It also features an appropriately-themed Roman Numeral countdown clock to E3 where the game will likely show up during the Xbox press conference.
Medal of Honor Mobile
EA effectively re-killed the Medal of Honor franchise with last year’s low-selling Warfighter, a game criticized for being not only derivative of the competition, but of being a big step down from the features and scale of the previous year’s Battlefield 3. That may be why the PS Vita version Slant Six Games, the developer beyind the PSP SOCOM games and the awful Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, was working on is potentially no more. Concept art here.
Employment: Battlefield vs. Call of Duty
Kevin Flynn has left his position at EA UK as a product manager for Battlefield to take on a brand manager role for Call of Duty as Activision UK. Heresy! TRAITOR! Calm down. Hey, if’s a better gig, it’s a better gig. Congrats, Flynn! Flynn lives!
Another TESO Creature
ZeniMax released another super short video on just one of the many creatures in The Elder Scrolls Online, this one entirely new to the games, called the Wasmasu, a dangerous large lizard that resides in the Black Marsh swamps. Read all about the creature, its history and design here.
The Last of Us: Crafting, Exploring, Downloading
One of our most anticipated games of the year is less than a month away and we couldn’t be more excited about Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us. If you’re eager as well, check out the behind-the-scenes video which details the the in-game crafting mechanics and how players survive in this post-apocalyptic world. In other news, Sony is pushing the PS Store by offering The Last of Us as a full digital download on the same day it hits retail (June 14), something we’re going to see a lot of on the next-gen. Don’t worry if it’s a hefty download, since players can play while it downloads!
Happy Birthday, Diablo 3!
Blizzard celebrated the one-year anniversary of the launch woes of Diablo 3 this week and the implementation of always-online PC gaming on games that don’t need to be always-online. Criticism and cynicism aside, Diablo 3 has a lot to be proud of as one of the best-selling PC games ever. Want to see how popular it is? 67.1 million characters have been created so far and the game hasn’t even come out for PS3/PS4 yet. Check out this epic infographic for some fun stats.
Happy Birthday, EA!
Not to be outdone, Electronic Arts is also celebrating a major milestone this week, the 30th anniversary of their first five games developed by the first team of employees and founder Trip Hawkins. Back then, without internet and without any form of digitial distributing, the 50-60 employees EA had, all went to help pack games in boxes in the warehouse, to ship to stores. They celebrated with a BBQ and “I survived: May 20th 1983” T-shirts which are now collector items. What games were shipped?
- Hard Hat Mack (their first game – climb buildings like Donkey Kong)
- Archon: The Light and the Dark (strategy)
- M.U.L.E. (four-player game with economics and harvesting)
- Worms (a neon worm sim)
- Axis Assassin (arcade shooter)
Read about the anniversary and EA’s history here.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.