Potential Spoiler Warning Mass Effect fans!
Toronto's AM640 did a radio interview recently with former BioWare scribe Drew Karpyshyn, in which he chatted about some of the alternate story theories and endings that BioWare tossed around for the Mass Effect series. Eurogamer has the highlights, including the theory that the Reapers were trying to stop organic life because they were somehow making use of "Dark Energy" (an element only mentioned briefly throughout the series) to bring about the end of the universe. "It's very vague and not fleshed out," says Karpyshyn, adding that "it was something we considered but we ended up going in a different direction."
BioWare also played with the idea that Shepard might be an alien at one point, though eventually deemed that too close to the story of Revan in Knights of the Old Republic. Karpyshyn also says BioWare thought about turning Shepard into some combination of organic and cybernetic, a theme that did eventually get generally included in the ending of Mass Effect 3.
But in the end, says Karpyshyn, these ideas were just ideas, and should be judged as such. "It's like vaporware," he says. "Vaporware is always perfect, anytime someone talks about the new greatest game. It's perfect until it comes out." Karpyshyn says that even if fans are disappointed with the story as it is, a story that included these other considered ideas, "whatever we came up with, it probably wouldn't be what people want it to be."
Potential Spoiler Warning Mass Effect fans!
"Our vision around Xbox One and what you can do because of the power of both the architecture of the console, and also the cloud and the Xbox Live service, remains unchanged," Xbox Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten told Joystiq.
When asked why Microsoft would not simply offer an offline mode akin to the one featured on Steam, Whitten said "that's absolutely" what Microsoft is doing.
Whitten listed a host of examples of how cloud computing still exists as part of the Xbox One plan, noting players will "see great games like Titanfall take advantage of the cloud processing power" as well as have the ability to get games from the online marketplace and use them on any console.
"We're going to continue to really invest in how those experiences work," Whitten added.
During E3 2013, Fairfax "Mackey" McCandlish, lead designer on the always-online Titanfall, told Joystiq that cloud computing on the Xbox One allows Respawn to "spin off dedicated servers" whenever it wants. "Instead of having everything prepared ahead of time, or misallocate different areas, or have some places be too slow or too much, we can just say 'cloud, find us the right number of computers,'" he added.
Today, Microsoft reversed this decision.
"Gamestop welcomes today's announcement from Microsoft about changes in functionality for its next-generation console, the Xbox One," Gamestop says. "This is great news for gamers and we applaud Microsoft for understanding consumers and the importance of the pre-owned market."
Gamestop makes the majority of its profit from used game sales, and following reports that the Xbox One wouldn't support used games, GameStop's stock fell 5 percent. Currently, Gamestop's stock is up 2.5 points in after-hours trading, almost 6 percent.
Finally, if you haven't tried out Ron Gilbert's latest adventure, you can pick up The Cave for $7.50.
While we were given a quick description of the cloud computing at work in the Xbox One version of Titanfall, we weren't able to get an in-depth answer. So we took to a back room at E3 and asked Respawn Entertainment's Fairfax "Mackey" McCandlish, lead designer on Titanfall, to elaborate.
Essentially, cloud computing helps matchmaking, allowing dedicated servers to be spun up on a moment's notice to handle multiplayer matches and find you the most local option when searching for a game. McCandlish also answers other burning questions – like what exactly powers these titan mechs.
"We appreciate that folks are displeased that we haven't had any update or any info on Prey 2, but whatever your displeasure is, you can't even be remotely as unhappy about it as us," Hines said. "We spent years and millions of dollars and a ton of effort trying to help [developer] Human Head make a great Prey 2 game. What we said the last time we said anything was that it's not up to our quality standards."
Human Head is rumored to have encountered numerous setbacks during Prey 2's development. Anonymous sources claimed that development stalled in late 2011, and rumors from last month indicated that Dishonored developer Arkane Austin might be taking over the troubled project.
Hines' frank comments during IGN's interview suggest that Prey 2 is either on the verge of cancellation or a major shift in development. "You don't just keep throwing money at something or going down a path that you're not happy about," Hines explained. "You have to make tough choices. Again, when we have more info on it, we'll be happy to talk about it. That's what I can say for now."
"We're excited that our stories will provide a new perspective on the war effort, much like how our critically acclaimed Minvera's Den DLC for BioShock 2 allowed us to present a unique perspective of Rapture," said Morgan Gray, development director at 2K Marin.
The game's pre-order bonus is the "Codebreakers" side mission. In it, Special Agent Carter and his squad must reestablish contact a top-secret government communications facility, eliminate any threats and decrypt the employee's combined lunch order. There are no details about the post-launch DLC, but the first pack "will be available exclusively to Xbox 360 players."
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified will fight the future on August 20 and 23 in North America and internationally, respectively.
Unearthed from a crate thought lost to Hangar XCOM, this gameplay trailer shows how 2K Marin meshes real-time shooting with strategy in The Bureau. Time can be slowed down while players get tactical via a radial menu, from which they can command Special Agent Will Carter and his trusty squadmates.
Also, it shows us that if you're going to see off an extraterrestrial invasion, you may as well do it dressed to the nines - Carter is the definition of dapper in that vid. Independence Day could only have been improved if Jeff Goldblum had boarded that spaceship in a tux.
The fashion of alien warfare aside, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified touches down on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC on August 20.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is ready to fire off its next DLC salvo on July 2 on Xbox Live, with PS3 and PC versions to follow. The Vengeance map pack includes new multiplayer maps Rush, Detour, Cove and Uplink, which a remake of Summit from the original Black Ops.
Buried, a new Zombies mode variant, is included with Vengeance along with the Ray Gun Mark 2 weapon, available exclusively in Zombies mode. No pricing is announced in the video above, though the two previous DLC offerings – Revolution and Uprising – were both priced at 1,200 MS Points ($15) each.
Butcher, being the engineering guy, also gets some time to geek out about the game's lighting and animation.
Technically, it's a complete mess, though I'm sure any fan of Earth Defense Force can tell you the series has never been known for its impeccable graphics or silky smooth action. Despite its rough edges in comparison to the polished Xbox One and PS4 games on display in the very same convention center, EDF 2025 still carries a unique charm.
God of War 2 lead Cory Barlog had reportedly gone to Avalanche Studios in 2010 to work on a Mad Max game, tied to a new movie. "I don't know what [Barlog] worked on before he started working with us," Sundberg told Polygon, "but when we worked together he wasn't on Mad Max."
Sundberg said the team has been in production on this Mad Max game for around 18 months, though it's been at Avalanche in some capacity for years now. "The game has gone through a series of iterations. We've been working for it for a couple years."
Mad Max is due in 2014, for PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. We saw the open-world action game game at E3 and caught up with our old hillbilly pal, Chumbucket.
VIP members can access some new maps in Gears of War: Judgment today, available as part of the Lost Relics DLC pack. Headlining the pack is a new mode called Breakthrough, where one side attempts to move a flag from one point to another while the other team tries to stop them.
Lost Relics includes four multiplayer maps in total: Lost City, Museum, Ward (OverRun only) and Checkout, the same fan-favorite map featured in Gears of War 3. Rounding out the DLC pack are some new weapon and armor skins.
Hit the jump for some flythrough videos of each map – if you like your DLC tours a little more static, then feel free to peruse our gallery of screenshots below.
Sega has preserved that difficulty in the remastered version of the game, as seen on the floor of E3 2013 last week. Sega Studios Australia has teamed up with the original game's creator, Emiko Yamamoto (who still works for Disney in Japan), to recreate the game in 3D and add new elements.
Provinciano's determination to port Grand Theft Auto 3 to NES hardware escalated into a love letter to video games and pop culture. While Provinciano hasn't announced his next project yet, he says we should expect more humorous open-world games.
Developer Remedy has moved on to Quantum Break, but there is the possibility that Mr. Wake's influence will be felt in the upcoming game.
Futatsugi is best known for creating the Panzer Dragoon series, notably the much loved but hard to find RPG, Panzer Dragoon Saga, so the prospect of a Crimson Dragon RPG should be an exciting one for fans.
Right now the team is focused solely on finishing the current game, he said, but the story and atmosphere of Crimson Dragon have been crafted in such a way that it could easily be turned into an RPG. Grounding already has many team members who worked on the likes of Panzer Dragoon Saga and Panzer Dragoon Orta, including Crimson Dragon's programming lead, design lead, art lead and sound team. When the decision was made to bring Crimson Dragon to Xbox One, the team also acquired the art designer from Futatsugi's original Xbox cult classic, Phantom Dust.
Of course, few people have played Panzer Dragoon Saga, and many may not understand what all the fuss is about. The game was released at the end of the Sega Saturn's lifecycle, and only 30,000 copies were produced for North America. I asked Futatsugi if he'd like to see Panzer Dragoon Saga re-released as a downloadable game, especially given Sega's recent retro push with games like Jet Set Radio and Nights.
He would like to see Saga re-released, he said, and the subject comes up from time to time at the Grounding offices. Usually, these discussions end with the team realizing that the game would be very difficult to remake. Still, Futatsugi said he would love to play it again.
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