Gears of War 3 led the smaller batch of releases this week so we’ll be focusing on the news side of the industry. While Minecraft and Gears of War dominated the headlines this week along with news from the Eurogamer event, there were quite a few other important happenings, a lot of which we didn’t get a chance to discuss yet.
So, in this edition of the Weekly Video Games News Round-Up, we’ll discuss the future of World of Warcraft, the colors or lack thereof in the Deus Ex prequel, the expansions coming to PlayStation Home, the date and size of The Old Republic’s launch, Nintendo pricing, Batman toys, a cancelled Irrational game, Metacritic scores, the Samsung vs. Apple war and a movie tie-in MMO.
Video Game News
1. The Future of World of Warcraft
The World of Warcraft 4.3 ‘Dragon Soul’ patch concludes the story arc of the latest expansion and ends with the boss fight against Death Wing. The patch also brings with it some inventory changes such as Transmogrification which lets players customize their armor without changing its stats. This idea here is that players don’t all care about looking like they finished the game with everyone wearing the same loot.
The patch also adds the ‘Void Bank’ which lets players store more goods, though this one requires a different NPC in a different locale – It removes gems and enchantments, however, with the goal of letting players save more inventory but at the same time, reducing server-side database space.
The three instances of the patch (Endtime, Well of Eternity and Hours of Twilight) involve quite a few boss battles and the patch will be on public test servers rather soon.
As for the future of WoW, expect the next major expansion announcement at Blizzcon. The good news for fans is that Blizzard Game Director Tom Chilton emphasizes that future content will need to continue to evolve gameplay like we see with Deathwing and the latest updates.
If you’re a player and/or simply a Warcraft fan, read our World of Warcraft Wisdom column.
2. Deus Ex: Human Revolution Tastes The Rainbow
The most recognizable aspect of Deus Ex: Human Revolution is its color scheme. Everything in the game, from the interior and exterior lighting, to the menus, HUD and more are all gold in color. It works for the game and helps it be unique, but it’s also a bit much.
This led to the creation of a mod found on ENBSeries that removes the gold filter and keeps the environments looking a lot more varied and colorful. The mod however, only works on NVIDIA hardware.
Read our Deus Ex: Human Revolution review.
Source: PC Gamer
3. Shoot up Your PlayStation Home
The PlayStation Home Redesign is bringing with it a first-person shooter titled Bootleggers. It’s free-to-play and lets users use their PSN avatars in combat. In the new PlayStation home – which Sony Home director Jack Buser compared to Disneyworld – there will be different areas to do different things. Enter an action area and jump writing into, with a run-down darker aesthetic, and watch your back. It’s extremely basic but totally free – it’s goal is to get more people using Home.
There’s also a poker coming to the Sports Hub so prepared for continued growth in PlayStation Home.
4. On Approach to The Old Republic
Despite an artificial limited imposed on users buying Star Wars: The Old Republic at launch, BioWare and EA are forecasting big numbers and in their own words, “have to be ready for the biggest online launch in history essentially.”
With The Old Republic release date announced for late December, development is in the homestretch as the team works on polishing up what’s already been built. Post-launch, there will be years worth of content, a lot of it free.
5. No Dungeon Dueling For You
Back in 2002, Irrational Games was starting to work on an RTS-RPG hybrid called Dungeon Duel which got canned rather quickly. Irrational technical director Chris Kline went through archives of old, old email and they asked around on who may have worked on it back then to find out more. Here’s the original pitch:
“Dungeon Duel combines fast-paced RTS strategy with the addictiveness of card game trading in a unique fantasy setting–a true RTS game built specifically with consoles and their controllers in mind.”
For artwork and more information, click here to download the PDF.
Source: Irrational Games
6. Under The Dark Knight’s Mask
Want to know what Bruce Wayne looks like from Batman: Arkham City? Check out these action figures based on Rocksteady’s versions of the iconic characters of the Batman universe which reveal Wayne’s face under the mask.
Source: Toy News International
7. Another Nintendo Rip-off
One of the many problems with the Nintendo 3DS are how outrageous its console and video games cost. Thankfully, they quickly dropped the console price by $80 but the games are still a total rip-off where users need to pay $30-40 for games that are often worth a tenth of that on the Apple app store.
Nintendo refuses to enter the mobile market or to compete with digital download markets to “protect their developers” from lower costs, but what they are really doing is overcharging for games and reaching a smaller market because of it. The latest example of this is with the hit iPhone game Cut The Rope which retails for the friendly price of $1. Want to play it on the 3DS? Download it through the eShop with a 620% price increase. No joke. It costs more than 7.2 times as much money.
8. Additional FFXIII-2
If you were one of the many gamers disappointed in Final Fantasy XIII, maybe its sequel will do the trick. Either way, the game is confirmed to have DLC which includes new costumes, weapons and enemies.
In other fun news, FFXIII-2 will also include an amusement area where players can use a casino and watch chocobo races.
9. The Samsung iBan
Samsung is trying to ban the unreleased iPhone 5 from Korea. An executive at Samsung said the following in The Korea Times:
“Just after the arrival of the iPhone 5 here, Samsung plans to take Apple to court here for its violation of Samsung’s wireless technology related patents”
This of course, is in retaliation to Apple winning a few legal proceedings against Samsung for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet and the Galaxy Tab 7.7 in Germany and additional injunctions against the Galaxy S models.
The two children are also bickering engaged in 23 other legal proceedings around the world. This can only end well, right?
Source: Ars Technica
10. The Thing MMO
NEVERDIE has partnered with Universal Pictures to develop Hunt The THING, a “movie-length” MMO inspired by the upcoming remake of the film. For more details on this, click here.
11. Troll Banning
Metacritic is attempting to control user review scores by banning users who repeatedly offer zero scores without written reviews. This is in response to Bastion and Toy Soldiers: Cold War seeing their scores drop very quick, very significantly.
There are two major problems here with the first being there are publishers who hand out bonuses based on Metacritic ratings and the second being that Metacritic is taking out low scores, but what about the users who keep giving perfect scores to games that otherwise do not deserve it?
Source: Giant Bomb
Video Game Reviews
Follow me on Twitter @ rob_keyes.