Monthly Archives: November 2014

New RTS From Command & Conquer Creators Grey Goo Gets a Release Date

Real-time strategy game Grey Goo will release on PC via Steam on January 23, 2015, developer Petroglyph has announced.

Petroglyph originally planned to follow its Alpha testing with a Closed Alpha and more comprehensive Beta Testing, but it said that the information it already gathered on balance and stability was enough to come up with a road map that would take it all the way to launch.

“We know that many of you were hoping to be involved in a more full-blown Beta Testing phase,” it said. “However, instead, we have been focused on using the data we received to improve the game so that we can get Grey Goo into your hands and onto your computer as soon as possible.”

“We have a rich, lengthy background as RTS developers, dating all the way back to our time on the original Command & Conquer at Westwood Studios,” Executive Producer at Petroglyph Ted Morris said back when the game was first announced. “We want to bring back some of what made those ‘traditional’ RTS games great while addressing all the lessons we’ve learned along the way.”

Petroglyph said it will release more information about the game in the months leading to launch, starting with developer diary above.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg.

For all of GameSpot’s news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Batman: Arkham Knight Devs Talk About Batman’s Suit, Predator Challenges, and More

Batman: Arkham Knight developer Rocksteady held a Reddit Ask Me Anything yesterday where they answered some questions about the upcoming game as well as their previous entries in the series.

Reddit user dart278 asked why Batman’s suit looks more robotic than it did in previous games.

RockSteady: “We wanted to highlight the interaction between Batman and the Batmobile – you’ll see that the suit mirrors the design of the car in a lot of ways. The new suit impacts gameplay as well, as it enhances some of Batman’s abilities, particularly in the way the Batman and the car work together.”

ANBU_Spectre asked if Rocksteady added new combat moves and animations we didn’t see in the previous games.

Rocksteady: “Zafer Coban and the rest of the animation team have been doing some amazing work on making combat look and feel awesome. For example, there’s a scene toward the end of the Ace Chemicals Infiltration Part 1 Trailer where Batman faces off against two combat experts. Everything in that shot is taken straight from the game – we just shifted the camera to get a slightly more cinematic angle.”

DanishxAssassin asked what’s what’s Rocksteady’s favorite new addition to the game outside the batmobile.

Rocksteady: “It has to be the open city – now that we’ve got all of Gotham to explore it’s a great experience. The City design team here has done an amazing job building an environment that’s huge and intricately detailed. The detail in Arkham games was always my favourite thing about playing them before I joined Rocksteady, and it’s awesome that the guys have managed to keep that level of care on something so much bigger.”

Chilldude205 asked what changes Rocksteady made the game’s Predator Challenges.

Rocksteady: “I think my favourite tweak to predator has to be size of some of the encounters. You’re going to be taking on large, varied groups of armed guards. You’ll need to be a serious predator expert if you want to complete those sections without alerts.”

SPOILER ALERT for Batman: Arkham City ahead.

FogKnight22 asked if was harder to write the story for Arkham Knight given the events of Arkham City.

RockSteady: “I think it’s quite the opposite! Sefton has said that when they started work on Batman: Arkham City, they had the vision of the final scene Joker’s death almost from the start, and looked at the story from the perspective of the events that would lead to that point.

“With Batman: Arkham Knight, that ending is the point that we jump off from, asking ‘what happens when Joker is removed from Gotham’ and looking at the fallout from those events.”

Finally, Rocksteady said it will release a new trailer for the game on Monday, 9 a.m. PST.

Arkham Knight launches in June 2015 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. The game was originally targeted to launch this fall, but developer Rocksteady pushed it back to add more polish.

For more on the game, check out GameSpot’s previous coverage.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg.

For all of GameSpot’s news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Counter-Strike eSports Team Forfeits Victory After Using Map Exploit

Pro Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team Fnatic has forfeited a rematch against team LDLC after using a map exploit during the $250,000 DreamHack Winter eSports event.

Fnatic won the match yesterday by boosting one of its players to a ledge that gave him a view and sniping position on almost the entire Overpass map. You can see how players jump on top of one another to reach the spot in the video above posted to YouTube by user David Kallberg. The Fnatic player was essentially standing on an invisible ledge he shouldn’t have been able to reach. While DreamHack’s rules don’t explicitly forbid this, it does count as “pixel-walking,” which was forbidden at DreamHack Summer Summer 2013, according to HLTV.org.

LDLC filed protest, and after taking it into consideration, DreamHack administrators said that the teams will have to replay the match. However, Fnatic has since announced that it’s forfeiting the match.

“With tremendous respect towards the CS:GO community and other teams we have decided to withdraw from the tournament,” the team said on its Facebook page.

You can watch the rest of DreamHack Winter’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament here.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg.

For all of GameSpot’s news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Why Warlords of Draenor Got Me Back into World of Warcraft

Warlords of Draenor has pulled millions of people back into World of Warcraft, and Zorine is one of them. She explains how she caught the bug again.

Battlefield Hardline Is A Self-Aware Stealth Game

After playing two chapters of Battlefield Hardline‘s singleplayer campaign, there’s one major thing I came away with that EA isn’t telling you: this is a stealth game. Where prior Battlefield campaigns placed you smack bang in the middle of large-scale combined arms combat scenarios, Hardline’s cops-versus-criminals campaign is about smaller, quieter moments.

Sneaking into a gang hideout–a two-storey building standing beside a moderately-sized carpark–is no easy task. As a cop, you aren’t dressed to the nines with modern military hardware. Instead, you’ve got a pistol, a taser, and a badge. Oh, and unlimited coins you can throw to distract unaware enemies. This low-damage output alone promotes a slow and methodical approach which the singleplayer campaign facilitates in a way that no prior Battlefield campaign has.

You can use a scanner to mark and track enemies prior to engaging them. Enemies have alertness meters that gradually fill up if you wander into their lines of sight, giving you a chance to sneak back behind cover. Non-lethal takedowns can be performed by creeping up behind crooks, knocking them to the floor, and slapping on some handcuffs. On the minimap, each enemy displays a vision cone that you should avoid wandering into. And if you do stumble head-on into a few bad guys, you can press a button to show your badge and yell “Freeze!”, which causes them to drop their weapons so you can silently cuff them–so long as you keep your gun moving between each perp as you approach. Performing all these non-lethal, cop-like actions earns you “expert points” that unlock more equipment throughout the campaign.

But if you have to go loud, the combat scenario descends into one that will be familiar to any player of Battlefield’s prior campaigns: a loud and dirty gunfight where walls are shredded by bullets thanks to the engine’s destruction tech. In the build I played, there was no way to escape this firefight and go back into a stealth state to try my luck again. Steve Papoutsis, executive producer of Battlefield Hardline, says it’s something Visceral has already addressed:

2741508-tyson_handsup.jpg

“We’ve got a system in place now that we’re calling ‘last known position’. There’s two things you’re encountering: one, you get detected and everybody has heat-seeking AI. They know exactly where you are and start shooting you to death. That sucks, clearly. The other thing is, you don’t feel like you have an opportunity to get away from the guys and go back to that undetected state. So we’ve put in this idea of last known position. Enemies will now track where they think you’re at.”

Though Visceral is still tuning precisely how accurately enemies will track you, the system already sounds like a welcome addition. “Let’s say you’re standing where you are right now, and that’s the last time they’ve seen you–if you can move away from that position and stay out of their line of sight for X number of seconds–they will then cool back down and go into what we’re calling their search state,” Papoutsis explains. “So rather than being totally dumb and going, ‘Oh, nobody’s around, let’s go back to playing cards’, they’re aware of you, they just don’t know where you’re at. That puts them back in that state where you can then use a freeze on them, or stealth up behind them and take them out.”

“We’re taking steps to make it less punitive,” Papoutsis continues. “What people want is for it to be stealthy, but fair. You don’t want just one little mistake–that’s not fun. It’s our goal that the majority of combat provides for non-lethal approaches. There are, maybe a handful of encounters, where you have to defend yourself. They probably account for six, seven or eight combat encounters in the game.”

2741510-nick_arrest_tap2.jpg

This stealth approach also plays into the narrative. The player-character, Nick Mendoza, is portrayed as a person who tries to do the right thing–not someone who goes in guns-blazing. But over the course of the story, something will happen that puts Nick on the other side of the law.

“The idea is, as you go throughout this campaign, you’re going to learn about Nick,” says Papoutsis. “Something happens that puts Nick in a compromised position, but that doesn’t change his overall outlook on things – with the exception of wanting to get revenge on the person that did a very bad thing to him. Conceptually, Nick’s behaviour pattern is ultimately dictated by you, the player. You can determine that, hey, you just want to run around and shoot everybody–that’s your choice. But if you choose to continue his progression as you saw at the beginning of the game where he is very much more of a by-the-book kind of guy, then you’re getting more opportunities to unlock more stuff to play with.”

It’s our goal that the majority of combat provides for non-lethal approaches.

Papoutsis adds that Nick’s compromised position won’t prevent him from performing cop-like actions. “You can still scan enemies and acquire points. You can still handcuff guys and take them out and acquire points–but that’s up to you to decide if you want to engage in those activities. By the middle point of the game when this happens, you will have unlocked a lot of stuff. So if you chose to say, screw it, I don’t want to do non-lethal stuff–you don’t have to. This is really up to the player. But Nick’s personality as you see it in the beginning, he’s very much trying to do the right thing.”

How you play isn’t going to change the narrative at all, but is has changed how Visceral is writing the game’s dialogue. For a series where it’s not uncommon to kill hundreds of people over the course of a singleplayer campaign, Hardline’s smaller scale means the total body count will be lower–but even then, the game needs to be aware that a large amount of people may end up dead by its conclusion.

“There was a point about six months ago where we had some lines that were just preposterous,” Papoutsis admits. “For instance, there was one line in a defence-type of sequence where Nick kills like 15 dudes, and then turns to one of the guys who goes, ‘Hey, the cops are coming,’ and Nick goes, ‘We’re not shooting any cops!’ But he just killed like 15 dudes, and now you’re worried about a cop. That’s weird.

2741511-khai_shot2.jpg

“We’re trying to have the game be more self-aware,” Papoutsis continues. “That’s why we’re trying to put things in place like not allowing people to do really shitty things like shooting a guy with his hands in the air. That’s just shitty; we don’t want people doing that. That’s not what the game is trying to portray. We’re not trying to make a moral statement. But at the same time, we’re trying to have the game be more self-aware. So situations like I described don’t occur. I think there are comments throughout the game where the characters will say something like, ‘Shit, what the hell are you doing?’ But it’s not an RPG where it’s reacting to every single action you do.”

Though I only played two levels of Hardline’s singleplayer campaign, its strong stealth focus, smaller scope, and self-awareness left me surprised by how much I enjoyed it. If the rest of the game follows this formula, then this will not be your standard Battlefield campaign. For me, that can only be a good thing.

Remember Me Dev Working on New PS4, Xbox One RPG

Remember Me developer Dontnod is working on a new role-playing game or action role-playing game for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, according to a recent job posting.

A post to the developer’s website links to a French jobs site, where Dontnod says it’s looking for an experienced game/level designer with a strong RPG/ARPG background to work on a new project for the consoles.

This is a separate project Life is Strange, which earlier this year Dontnod announced Square Enix will publish. Coming to Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, and PC, Life is Strange will be released digitally using an episodic model. Square Enix said that every new chapter will build and evolve on the choices you made in the last episode.

GameSpot’s review gave Remember Me a 7/10 in, finding that it had fun, fluid combat, constricted level design, and some camera issues. GameSpot’s score also matches Remember Me’s Metacritic average score, though a number of other reviews were less favorable.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg.

For all of GameSpot’s news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Star Citizen Adds Pets as It Nears $65 Million in Funding

Space sim Star Citizen will add traditional and alien pets to the game, as promised by its $64 million stretch goal, which it reached just days after hitting the $63 million mark.

“We have repair bots, we have fish… but we haven’t implemented a traditional pet system in Star Citizen yet. At $64 million, that changes,” Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts said. “From Jones the Cat in Alien to the Battlestar Galactica’s Daggit, pets have a place onboard starships… and we want to give you that option in Star Citizen.”

Roberts said players can expect “traditional terrestrial options” (dogs, cats, etc.) and exotic pets dreamt up for the game’s universe.

With more than $64.8 million in funding from more than 665,600 backers, Star Citizen, which is the most crowdfunded project of any kind in history, is closing in on $65 million quickly. For the next stretch goal, Roberts said that developer Cloud Imperium Games is investigating a major feature. “Suffice it to say, we’ve heard a lot of your feedback about modular ships and we want to expand our plan for how to do them,” he said.

For more on Star Citizen and Roberts himself, check out part one and part two of GameSpot’s interview with the legendary designer.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg.

For all of GameSpot’s news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Nintendo Patents Game Boy Emulator for Phones

2746178-gameboy1.jpg

Nintendo has filed a patent for a software emulator that could bring its Game Boy games to phones and other devices.

The patent (via NeoGAF), which was filed in June, describes emulating Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance Games on cell phones, as well as seat-back displays of the type you see on some airplanes and trains.

However, the patent doesn’t mean Nintendo plans on actually bringing its games to phones and other platforms. It’s an updated version of an older patent, which is probably meant to just secure the option for the company.

Nintendo has explained multiple times that it’s not bringing its games to mobile devices anytime soon, and earlier this month, it touted the sales of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate as proof that dedicated handheld gaming devices are here to stay.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg.

For all of GameSpot’s news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Kojima to Reveal New Metal Gear Online

Metal Gear architect Hideo Kojima will reveal the next edition of Metal Gear Online at a games event in December.

Little is known of the multiplayer-focused game, nor whether it will be sold standalone or come packaged with Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, but Kojima is expected to reveal early details of the project at The Video Game Awards 2014.

Geoff Keighley, a games broadcaster who produces the new game awards show, revealed on Twitter that Kojima will provide a “world premier” of the new game. It’s not clear whether this will come in the form of a gameplay demo or a trailer, though games award shows tend to opt for the latter.

Next Friday night I’m honored @HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN will join us at @thegameawards to world premiere Metal Gear Online. pic.twitter.com/rT6sLDfdxb

— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) November 27, 2014

The first iteration of Metal Gear Online was released in 2008, bundled with the PlayStation 3 exclusive Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. More than one million players registered for the game, though by 2012, publisher Konami decided to shut down its servers.

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is expected to ship in 2015. The game’s prologue, Ground Zeroes, shipped on cross-gen consoles this year and divided critics.

The Video Game Awards 2014 will take place on Friday, December 5 in Las Vegas–which is the night before Sony’s PlayStation Experience community event. It will be streamed on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and PC.

(Video above: Metal Gear Online, 2008)

Sony Leaning on PS4 to Boost Profits

Sony is aiming to increase sales in its videogame division by 25 percent over the next three years, with plans bring it to “as much as 1.6 trillion yen ($13.6 billion.)” According to Reuters (via gamesindustry), Sony executives discussed the need to increase margins as opposed to market share at its investors’ conference recently.

The company intends to cut back on its TV and mobile phone products in order to save costs, instead looking to its PlayStation 4 and image sensor products to generate a surge in revenue over the next three years. Sony said that this would be helped by users purchasing personalized TV, video and music distribution services.

Recently-appointed chief of Sony’s mobile division Hiroki Totoki said, “We’re not aiming for size or market share but better profits.”

The PlayStation 4 was released over a year ago and has shipped more than 13.5 million systems worldwide since launch. In the US, PS4 hardware sales have generated more revenue for Sony than any other new platform. The company suffered a reported loss of $806 million last quarter, which was better than investors feared.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com