Arkham Knight is set to be the final game in the Arkham series, and we're eager to see what Rocksteady will do for the finale once it releases in October. There's plenty to read while we wait however, including news of Amy Hennig's departure from Naughty Dog, a preview of Watch Dogs and a review of South Park: The Stick of Truth. We've rounded up those stories and more for you in this week's edition of the Joystiq Weekly.
- Developer Rocksteady is gearing up to swoop down on PS4, Xbox One and PC audiences on October 14 with Batman: Arkham Knight. The game is set a year after the events of Batman: Arkham City and will use a map five times larger than that of Rocksteady's previous Arkham game.
- PC users, prepare to die – Dark Souls 2 publisher Bandai Namco announced an April 25 release date for its brutally punishing RPG this week. That puts it a month behind the March 11 release for PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, which isn't too long of a wait for getting decimated by traps and cunning monsters.
- Amy Hennig, writer and creative director of the Uncharted series, departed from developer Naughty Dog this week. It's not clear why Hennig left the studio, but Naughty Dog has dismissed early reports suggesting she was "forced out" of the studio by The Last Of Us directors Neil Druckman and Bruce Straley.
- Sony Computer Entertainment America President and CEO Jack Tretton announced his departure from the console manufacturer this week, ending a 19-year career with the company. Tretton's departure was said to be a mutual agreement between himself and SCEA. So long, Jack; we'll always have the mic drop to remember you by.
- The sales battle between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 reached a new milestone this week, as Sony's PS4 surpassed six million sales globally. For perspective, the Xbox One cleared 3 million sales in January, around when the PS4 cleared the 4.2 million mark. We imagine plenty of people are preparing for the upcoming Titanfall Xbox One bundle, so this race should stay interesting in the coming months.
- After a delay from a November launch, Watch Dogs has called in a May 27 date for all previous and current-generation consoles - other than the Wii U. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot explained in February that the Wii U version would be delayed to allow Ubisoft to focus resources where they would have the "broadest possible benefit" to the company and its customers.
- Remember 1994's celebrity-branded fighting game, Shaq Fu? Remember how badly you wanted a sequel? ... No? Well, too bad, because an Indiegogo campaign has launched for Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn, a combo-driven, beat-em-up brawler successor. The reveal was paired with a conceptual trailer filled with an overly-buff Shaq fighting ninjas and giving slam dunk one-liners.
- Naughty Dog's The Last Of Us was pretty cinematic, but if you're holding out for a literal adaption of the adjective, it seems like a theater-worthy project is in the works. The movie's script will reportedly be written by the game's creative director, Neil Druckmann, with game director Bruce Straley and Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra overseeing the film's creative vision.
- Unfortunately, the high-profile departures of Amy Hennig and Jack Tretton weren't the only staffing changes announced this week. Layoffs at Disney Interactive affected 700 employees, and their announcement was joined with Disney's plans to scale back game development by "as much as 50 percent." Thief developer Eidos Montreal also let go 27 employees.
- Clementine's fight for survival continues in "A House Divided," the newest episode in season two of Telltale's The Walking Dead. Senior Reporter Jess Conditt endured the threats to Clementine in the narrative-driven adventure set in a zombie-ridden world, remarking that the cast's interactions offered more tension than its "ho-hum zombie killing."
- South Park fans have been waiting for a solid interactive tribute for a while, and South Park: The Stick of Truth might suit diehard followers just fine. Weekend Editor Sam Prell had himself a time as the new kid in the crude town, noting that avid fans who can "forgive the repetitive nature of combat and some uninspired quests" should get plenty of enjoyment out of the "hilarious, disgusting adventure."
- Just because a game is bad doesn't mean it can't be entertaining - Contributing Editor Danny Cowan slogged through Magus, a third-person adventure absent of engaging dialogue, characters or combat. Danny found the buggy, monotonous experience to be a "work of unintentional comic genius," but didn't find much to praise beyond that.
- The rest of us may have to wait until May 27 to play Watch Dogs, but Feature Content Director Xav De Matos has spent time hacking computers and staying off the grid as the game's protagonist, Aiden Pearce. Xav detailed his stint as a law-abiding citizen and also spoke with Dominic Guay, Watch Dogs' senior producer.
- Game development is often a stressful, demanding line of work, but calls for long hours doesn't stop some developers' four-legged friends from giving them company. Cassidee Moser profiled the pets of some developers, highlighting their role in the work environment and, in some cases, how they've made their way into the works of their owners.
- On this week's edition of the Super Joystiq Podcast, Sam and Community Manager Anthony John Agnello laugh at each other's South Park references while discussing The Stick of Truth, Jess looks back on a wonderfully depressing time with The Walking Dead's "A House Divided," and Xav talks about the distractions a vigilante like Aiden Pearce faces - such as AR games where you shoot aliens - in Watch Dogs. Meanwhile, Editor-in-Chief Ludwig Kietzmann goes on a bloody rampage against Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2's befuddling plot.