Monthly Archives: August 2015 - Page 2

Dragon Age: Inquisition Getting Epilogue DLC and a Major Patch

As part of PAX Prime this weekend, BioWare announced the final DLC for its acclaimed role-playing game, Dragon Age: Inquisition, but it’s probably not what you expect. The DLC, called Trespasser, serves as an epilogue to the main game.

“It’s something we haven’t tried before,” creative director Mike Laidlaw said. “Trespasser tells an entirely new story, set two years after the main game. The story explores what it’s like to be a world-saving organization when the world no longer needs saving.”

In this DLC, players will “meet and talk with old friends” in their effort to “uncover a new threat.” Trespasser sounds like it will wrap up the overall Inquisition story–and tease what’s coming next.

Players will “ultimately decide the fate of the Inquisition you worked so hard to build. It might just contain hints about the future of Thedas, too.”

Before you can even play Trespasser, however, you will need to beat the main storyline. Trespasser will launch on September 8, though pricing was not announced.

“This content marks the end of our time with the Inquisition,” Laidlaw said. “I sincerely hope you enjoy it.”

The other piece of Dragon Age: Inquisition news announced at PAX Prime was a new patch for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC editions of the game. In addition to “the usual fixes,” this patch will contain some new features and functionality, all of which will be free.

“First, the Golden Nug lets you ‘sync’ your collectibles across games after you’ve completed Dragon Age: Inquisition’s main story,” Laidlaw said. “To take advantage of this, head to the Skyhold Undercroft post game and click the new Golden Nug statue. After you’ve done that once, every game that’s both a) online and b) on the same platform will have a similar statue added to the Undercroft and Haven. Clicking on that statue will sync your current game. This sync is bi-directional and additive, which means that any collectibles will be added to the online collection, even if the character doing the clicking is pre-endgame. It’s like new game plus…without having to start a new game.”

Basically, this lets you use your collection without needing to restart an in-progress game. The sync works with items such as schematics (including those from DLC), potion recipes (but not upgrades), mounts, and Skyhold decorations.

Also coming to Dragon Age: Inquisition through the new patch is a wardrobe for Skyhold.

“It comes pre-loaded with about a dozen outfits of varying colors, each carefully selected to minimize instances of plunging a spiked pauldron into your love interest’s face when you kiss him or her,” Laidlaw said. “The default beige is still available if that’s your jam, of course, but we heard loud and clear that some (okay, yes, pretty much everyone) of you wanted some variety. To find the wardrobe, head to your bedroom once the game patches.”

Are you looking forward to Trespasser and the new patch content? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Star Fox Zero – Scrapworm Boss Off Screen Gameplay – PAX 2015

Watch 7 minutes of offscreen footage of Star Fox Zero at PAX 2015.

Dreadnought Made Me Feel Like Han Solo

I had the ship in my sights. All it would take was one warp, a quick volley of my broadside guns, and a hasty escape before I made away with a victory. But my enemy had a plan, too–and it was better than mine.

Things can fall apart quickly in Dreadnought, the interstellar naval game from Yager. At PAX Prime, I mistakenly approached the game like I might a dogfighting simulator, focusing on twitch reflexes and aerial maneuvers. But while this approach can be useful at times, Dreadnought rewards meticulous approaches much more often.

These naval battles unravel like a scene from Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, or Firefly. But I chose a corvette, the ship class that grants me more mobility than my hulking peers in cruiser or artillery vessels. This class allowed me to glide through tight groups of ships, weave around enemies, and cruise past opponents before they had a chance to line up their shots. I was Han Solo, if he had managed to die seven times during Star Wars.

The dynamic between different ship classes, and the modifications I placed inside them, is what fuels battles in Dreadnought. There are five classes to choose from, and three variations of each, with perks to modify your playstyle, and officers that push your preferred approach even farther. Dreadnought’s customization is the heart of the experience, and while I saw a variety of possibilities during my demo, I wish I had more time to experiment.

Take my first team deathmatch, for example. I saw that ship from across a vast vacuum filled with asteroids and space debris, and immediately racked my brain for any encounter that might arise. Is that an artillery ship, which would have the range and firepower to drain my shields in a matter of seconds? Is it a dreadnought with a warp drive equipped, which could close the gap instantly? Or is it a corvette like mine, with evasive tactics and enough speed to outrun most of the shots aimed across its bow?

And just like that, a long range cannon answered my questions. It seared through my shields, left a glowing puddle on my hull, and sent me reeling backward. Before I could divert enough power to my thrusters, an enemy cruiser appeared next to me, unleashing its broadside guns from only feet away. I respawned soon thereafter. But if this was Dreadnought’s Team Elimination mode, which only grants one life, it would have been over.

The best part is, I learned a lot from each death. I should have diverted energy to my thrusters right away, as artillery cruisers need time to line up their shots. I should have used my warp drive right away. I should have dove downward, out of the ballistic’s path. I should have fired a stasis missile across the void, hoping it would strike its target and render it immobile for just a few seconds. Next time, I thought, I’ll fly away unscathed.

Unlike many space combat games, which focus on fighter-to-fighter dogfights, Dreadnought takes its time. It lets things unravel slowly, only to fall apart all at once. It gives you just enough time to make a plan, only to see someone else’s trump your own.

Yager is bringing Dreadnought to open beta early next year. I only played the game for 30 minutes, but I’m still thinking of all the possible combinations of ship classes, officer perks, and unique abilities. There are so many opportunities for emergent gameplay, and I can’t wait to see more of them.

15 Minutes of Pit People Gameplay – The Behemoth’s latest game

We captured a ton of Pit People Gameplay at PAX Prime 2015 the latest game from The Behemoth.

Making a Cooking School Dungeon in Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer

Check out this gameplay clip of Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer from PAX Prime 2015.

Tinertia Live Demo at PAX Prime 2015

Mary gets a live gameplay demo of Tinertia from PAX Prime 2015.

Castle Crashers Remastered – New Mini-Game Gameplay

Check out this new mini-game called Back Off Barbarian, available on the upcoming Castle Crashers Remastered. Footage is a work in progress.

16 More Things We Learned About Final Fantasy 15

While Square Enix won’t be announcing the release date for Final Fantasy XV until March 2016, director Hajime Tabata shared more details on the game’s story and major features with GameSpot, including a deeper dive into footage shown during a panel at PAX Prime today.

Fantastical Beings

  • Tabata revealed a new summon: Leviathan. A classic summoned creature from previous Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy XV’s Leviathan is a female serpent who lives in the waters surrounding the city of Altissia. According to Tabata, she “has a lot of intellect” and can disguise herself and move around as a liquid. She was one of the first Eidolons designed for Final Fantasy Versus XIII/XV.

  • Eidolons, the term for creatures you can summon in Final Fantasy XV, play a major role in the world’s cosmology. Eidolons are godlike creatures that were involved in the creation of the world, and each eidolon has a distinct look and personality. The eidolons are also gendered–for example, Ramuh is male and Leviathan is female–and their own language. Players will discover each Eidolon as part of Final Fantasy XV’s storyline.
  • When Final Fantasy Versus XIII was announced, Square Enix said it would be part of Fabula Nova Crystallis, a series of Final Fantasy games connected by their themes and mythology. According to Tabata, Final Fantasy XV is no longer connected to the Fabula Nova mythology, and is thematically much different than Versus XIII was, though some design elements remain.
  • Final Fantasy XV’s cosmology has a baseline built in Japanese mythology, with elements of Western religious melded in. Throughout the game, players will learn how the world was made and about the divine beings that made it.
  • The woman in the Final Fantasy XV logo–drawn by series artist Yoshitaka Amano–isn’t necessarily Etro, the goddess of death mentioned in earlier trailers for Final Fantasy Versus XIII. She is, however, the most important goddess in XV’s world, and Amano’s original sketch of her was the inspiration for her character.

  • The monsters you encounter out in the field aren’t all enemies. Designer Tomohiro Hasegawa said that all creatures have been designed to feel as though they belong naturally in the world, and not all will be enemies to Noctis and his friends. Hasegawa explained that creatures were designed to look like they would actually live in the environment they populate. Additionally, defeating some monsters will yield consumables–like Garula sirloins from Garulas–that Ignis can cook and convert into status buffs. At this point, not all monsters will drop consumables, but Hasegawa notes this could change before the final game is released.
  • We’ve seen tons of new creatures, but where are the classic Final Fantasy monsters Moogles, Tonberries, and Cactuar? In keeping with the idea that Final Fantasy XV is a “fantasy based on reality,” Hasegawa said that because they are hoping to keep creatures somewhat realistic, it has been difficult finding ways to incorporate these classic mystical beasties. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see them; Hasegawa and Tabata said we’d definitely be seeing some of these creatures.

People and Places

  • Several new locations were revealed: the Venice-inspired city of Altissia, a series of floating islands set among waterfalls and waterways; Lestallum, a town inspired by Cuba built on top of a massive crater containing a meteor that provides the area with its energy; and Hammerhead, a mechanic’s station where players will be able to service the Regalia, Noctis’ car. The team also revealed Caem, a port city where Noctis and his friends can find boats.
  • Noctis and Luna are romantically involved, but their tale won’t be the “typical love story,” Tabata said. He said Luna is character of great inner strength, and she and Noctis will greatly influence one another.

  • Players will have an active role in developing Noctis’ relationship with Ignis, Prompto, and Gladiolus. The strength of their bond will be dependent on doing activities together, much like the two-person sidequests in Episode Duscae 2.0. In addition to main narrative beats, players will develop the relationships through these quests, which will in turn affect the strength of combo attacks Noctis can execute with his companions. Tabata said the team really wants players to feel these bonds grow.
  • In Hammerhead, players will meet another mechanic character that isn’t Cindy, the blonde-haired women featured in Episode Duscae. Tabata said this mechanic is a character we’ve come to know throughout the Final Fantasy series, suggesting the character will be called Cid. Every Final Fantasy game includes a character name Cid, and he is often a mechanic.
  • In the ongoing quest to balance combat in Final Fantasy XV, the team has added firearms and shields to Noctis’ arsenal. Players will be able to use both items in conjunction with Noctis’ main weapon, the Phantom Sword. Weapons will be obtained along Noctis’ journey and the exact number of weapons seems to be significant, with Tabata noting that the number is “meaningful” but not saying what it is.

The Car

  • The Regalia, Noctis’ car, is a physical manifestation of Noctis’ carrying his father’s connection along his journey. The car is a metaphor for the prince taking his father’s love, burdens, and bond on the road to his destiny.
  • Tabata said the team wants players to enjoy driving the Regalia. While driving, players can change the point of view. They can view the car in third-person, watching scenery go by or focusing on the tail end of the car, or they watch the drive from the point of view of one of the boys or the driver. Driving can be set to manual or auto, and in auto, players can auto park the car in designated parking spots in areas.
  • You’ll be able to customize the car and will have to service it when it breaks down. Gas is a resource, and you’ll need to stop at gas stations to get some. If you run out of gas while on the road, the boys get out and push the car.
  • Speaking of transportation, players will be able to ride boats to other continents within Final Fantasy XV’s world. This is a big change from what Tabata said earlier this year about the world being one connected mass. Players won’t be able to directly control these boats, but wherever they go, they will take the car with them.

Tabata promised we’d hear more information on Final Fantasy XV turning Tokyo Game Show next month, including a deeper look at the character Lunafreya Nox Fleuret.

Final Fantasy 15 Launch Date to be Announced in March

Square Enix will hold off on announcing a release date for long-awaited role-playing game Final Fantasy XV until March 2016, it was announced today.

During a panel at PAX Prime in Seattle, Washington, developers revealed they will share the game’s specific launch date during a special event to be held in spring.

Final Fantasy XV was first announced at E3 2006 at Final Fantasy Versus XIII. The developer team is aiming for a simultaneous worldwide release in 2016.

The King’s Bird Gameplay Demo – The MIX at PAX 2015

Mary talks with The King’s Bird developers about their fairytale platformer game at PAX Prime 2015.