‘Call of Duty’ Returns to Roots

If you grew up with video games in the last decade or so then ‘Call of Duty’ has been a staple of your world. In fact the series, which is often shortened to just COD, has been on an almost yearly release for awhile now — always pushing the envelope in terms of multiplayer scope. Now we are seeing the legendary series return back to its roots: WWII. The announcement was recently made that Call of Duty will be turning away from the modern warfare that we are used to, no pun intended, in order to focus on the Golden Era — the men and women who risked all to prevent the greatest evil the world has ever known from overcoming us all.

 

Many folks are going to raise an eyebrow over Activision’s decision to roll back the clock and return to WWII. In fact, the cynical among us will even call their decision a ploy for nostalgia — recalling CoD 2 and the days of laying down sniper fire in France. We’re okay with the decision, even if it is a ploy to pull on the greatest real life drama that the world has ever seen. We’re ready to return to Normandy and storm the beaches. We’re ready to go back to Europe and see a war front first hand that has never been replicated, and hopefully never will.

 

We suppose the biggest risk that Activision is taking is that they could be treading the same ground that we’ve run over, over and over again. How can Call of Duty, a series which was built on the Golden Generation, return once again and come up with something fresh? Well, Activision’s response seems genuine and simple: they are going to focus on the mortality and vulnerability of the soldiers who fought in that war. Nowadays, it is easy to get lost in the almost super-human characters that have populated the CoD landscape. We’re too used to high tech weapony, super muscle bound dudes, and seemingly super human feats of strength in the face of hordes of enemies. For our taste, we’re ready to go back to the days where a single determined sniper could keep you planted in your spot. We’re ready to experience that feat in the newest installment of Call of Duty.

 

Is the Netflix of Video Games Coming?

Let’s take a moment to go back in time, at least in our minds. Can you remember what it was like before Netflix was pioneering the online streaming world? It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? There used to be a time when you couldn’t expect to have a huge library of new and old movies at your fingertips awaiting the click of a button. You used to have to actually go to a rental store in order to get what you wanted to watch that night. Now, let’s flash back forward to the present. Phil Spencer, the head chief of Xbox, is looking at that business model and pondering — where is our option for video games?

 

Phil Spencer is a former video game developer himself who has been tasked with heading one of the largest video game enterprises on the planet. As the chief of Xbox, Spencer has a very serious and specific focal point for his work: “We put the gamer at the center of everything” and that phrase is more than just a string of words. Spencer knows that you need quality content to keep gamers happy, but you also need innovation. Innovation for Spencer could lead to a Netflix-lite for video game enthusiasts.

 

Now before you scar yourself scratching your head, yes this is a new concept. Right now we do have some measure of ‘on demand’ video game service with streamlined DLC packs, constant online updates, and even games-on-demand via Xbox Live. This still isn’t there and it still isn’t quite the mark that Spencer wants to hit on. Spencer is actually surprisingly, or non surprisingly depending on your view of Xbox, in tune with the current trends and problems that plague the gaming experience.

 

For example, Spencer knows that multi-player games that rely on ‘season packs’ and DLC are currently the rage. In fact, these games are such the rage that single player experiences with a definitive end are dying as a medium. He believe that a digital and on demand service, much like Netflix, could be the cure to these woes. He’s kicking around the idea, at least publicly, where the future of gaming could survive around a subscription service not unlike what Netflix is offering for the world of TV and movies. Will it work? Who knows.

 

Zelda: Breath of the Wild Tears up Marketplace

If you are a fna of gaming then you are intimately familiar with Nintendo and their star franchise, ‘Zelda’. The story of ‘Zelda’ has been told for years, across generations and consoles, with fans begging for a new entry every step of the way. With the recent release of the Nintendo Switch fans were able to jump back into the world of Hyrule with ‘Zelda: Breath of the Wild’. For fans worried that franchise fatigue may be finally setting in we may have some good news: it isn’t. Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ is currently outselling the Nintendo Switch console itself. Yes, the game is outselling the console!

 

With a full month of sales behind it we can finally get an idea as to where the Nintendo Switch and its various games are sitting at. ‘Breath of the Wild’ opened up with over 2.75 million copies sold through the 31st of March — according to Nintendo. These sale figures are gigantic and they are representative of both digital and physical copies. If you have decided to avoid jumping to the Nintendo Switch then you can still enjoy this new entry into the Zelda franchise by playing on the Wii U — which sold an additional 1.08 million units around the world. According to all of these wild statistics, ‘Breath of the Wild’ is the fastest selling launch title in the history of the company as well as the quickest selling entry into the Zelda franchise.

 

We know that sale statistics can be misleading when it comes to the quality of a title, but that isn’t the case here. ‘Breath of the Wild’ has been released to almost unanimously positive reviews. The game currently spots a perfect 10/10 rating on IGN and fans are mirroring that sentiment with gusto. ‘Breath of the Wild’ is a return to the roots of the series, giving fans the chance to roam through an almost apocalyptic Hyrule. The game world is vast, unforgiving, colorful and alluring. We’ve got all of the nostalgia of Zelda games from years gone by with a new coating of modern technology over the top. If you’ve been holding out from jumping into the next generation, for whatever reason, now should be your chance to get in on the action.

 

Computers and Games Might Be Closer and More Distant at the Same Time

There’s an old saying that the more things change the more they stay the same. It’s hard not to reflect on that while reading a recent article about computers and gaming moving to a more streaming based architecture. The article begins by discussing methods by which one can play video games without even having them running on a local system. The details get more complex as the discussion progresses. But right from the start anyone who’s familiar with the history of gaming will recognize a pattern.

 

Video games have been in the home so long that most people consider that the norm. But before home gaming was a reality there were arcades. And shortly before that period there was a mix of the two. And that mix has a lot in common with the cutting edge of today.

 

The earliest video games made use of a client server model. These tended to focus on dungeon crawling computer role playing games. When people think of these early games they tend to assume that they were similar to a modern MMORPG. It’s true that some of them did have extensive multiplayer functionality. But it was more common, especially at the start, for the games to focus on a single user experience. The player would simply sit down at a very under powered computer that would connect to a far more powerful one. The powerful computer, a server, would essentially run the game. The text and graphical output would then be sent to the player’s computer.

 

Today this concept is being used by services such as Shadow. For a small monthly fee a customer can sign up to essentially rent out a powerful Windows based computer. They’ll never actually see this computer in person. But they can use a windows or mobile app to connect to the system’s video display. From there the user will essentially be using this very powerful computer from their much more humble home setup. It makes it possible to essentially play even the most demanding Windows games from one’s phone or under powered non-gaming laptop. Though there’s even more interesting ways to tie this into one’s setup.

 

Adding cloud technologies will mean that someone can integrate file sharing with home systems. This can be an easy way to share files between a home computer, a powerful computer accessed through the Shadow service, and other instances of a particular game. Such as one might be able to play at a friend’s house. It’s a whole new era of streaming games. But at the same time one can easily see where it all began.

 

Xbox One: Backwards Compatible Titles Hit Market!

The further we get away from the original Xbox, the more things seem to change — while still staying the same. There used to be a time when we just assumed that there would be some level of backwards compatibility between sequel-systems. For awhile the Xbox One seemed to nail that concept shut but a much needed upgrade came along. Now you can play some of your favorite Xbox 360 titles on the Xbox One simply by downloading them through the online store via your Xbox dashboard. Today we’re jumping into announce six of the newest titles to get released with backwards compatibility.

 

If you’re a fan for atmospheric, science fiction themed horror games then you need to get ready to jump back into the world of ‘Dead Space’. This past week we saw both ‘Dead Space 2’ and ‘Dead Space 3’ join the backwards compatible crowd, joining the original entry in the series. If you’ve never experienced any of the ‘Dead Space’ games this is probably the perfect chance to get in on the horror action — especially with ‘Alien: Covenant’ coming out here soon. While ‘Dead Space’ and ‘Alien’ share only a genre and theme, they make perfect companions to one another. Besides, who doesn’t love the thrill of fear that only space creatures can bring?

 

Looking past ‘Dead Space’ we see that Cabela is getting in on the action. Cabela’s famous hunting series just dumped seemingly its entire library onto the backwards compatible store: ‘Hunting Expeditions’, ‘Alaskan Adventures’, ‘Dangerous Hunts 2013’, and ‘Survival: Shadows of Katmai’. While we can’t personally attest to the quality of these games, they are there for you if you need them. What we appreciate most about the Cabela dump is that it shows that developers are alright catering to niche audiences, which means your favorite game might be joining the compatible list in the near future.

 

We also want to post a heads up to gamers on the Xbox One. If you subscribe to Xbox Live then you are granted the ability to download multiple games per month for free through the ‘Games With Gold’ service. Two XB1 options are available as well as an Xbox 360 option. These games are only playable while your subscription to Xbox Gold is in tact.

 

Ken Levine Stays Silent About New Game

Ken Levine made a substantial following thanks to BioShock and BioShock Infinite. His next task remains a mystery, it is only known that he is focused on the “narrative LEGOs“.

 

He intends to stay in silence for a while, as they want to prevent people from generating high expectations and that everything ends up being as the case of No Man’s Sky, He stated that they really will not be talking about this publicly until they have a high degree of certainty about how the game will look and how it will feel.

 

And this seems like it will be going on for a long period of time. As Levine said in an interview with Eurogamer, they are putting in the time to attain their objective. He stated that he feels grateful since they do not have a launch date, and although 2K will not release the game, they are still part of Take-Two.

 

Ken says that Take-Two are really generous with them by offering space and time. He also states that they need to have an entrepreneurial spirit about what are the restrictions that they are giving and ‘when will this game end?’ And they truly aim to do that, because things have the tendency to turn in a different way if it they don’t set constraints.

 

For now, Levine’s job is focused on the narrative LEGOs, where the designer looks for the characters to have requirements and desires. It is a total game system. As he stated throughout the BioShock Infinite launch, Levine is not pleased with working on a game for 5 years for the gamer to complete it in a weekend. A lot of video games are now developed to keep a long relationship with the gamer.

 

The task of Ghost Story and Levine will take some time. The designer also described that his game will have a high level of difficulty.

 

 

‘We Happy Few’ to Get Movie Treatment

Video games have served as a basis for several movies, with an erratic success rate at the box office. While the storied franchise of “Resident Evil” video games has given birth to fourteen years of films within a parallel universe to its own gaming universe, other contenders like “Assassin’s Creed” have failed to bring in notable profits. Despite the shaky odds that game-based film adaptations have fostered, some studios remain hopeful.

 

At least one of these impending video game adaptations greatly differs a great deal from its forebears; the survivor-horror title “We Happy Few” is up for a film adaptation. Beyond the source material’s rather distinct setting, aesthetic and premise, the We Happy Few film differs from previous game adaptations by being derived from an independent title, rather than a game produced by a major studio or belonging to an established franchise. The basic setting of the source material is a small ’60s English town whose populace is pacified by chemicals. The game’s premise is one of dark humor, paranoia, madness and survival as the player’s character struggles to escape without alerting suspicions.

 

While the video game was produced by Compulsion Games, We Happy Few’s film will be handled by dj2 Entertainment and Gold Circle Entertainment. Its production team consists of Gold Circle’s Paul Brooks and dj2’s Dmitri M. Johnson and Dan Jevons. Stephan Bugaj, also from dj2, will serve as the film’s executive producer. Gold Circle’s cinematic body of work includes “Pitch Perfect” and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” As things currently stand, there has been no announcement of a screenwriter or director for the project.

 

News that We Happy Few is getting a film treatment should bring joy to fans of video games and horror. It is also heartening to learn that even indie games can garner enough attention that studios want to bring it to the silver screen, possibly bringing even more attention to the titles produced beyond the influence of major game studios. That being said, We Happy Few’s film is still very young and much could happen between now and the time of its completion.

 

Power Rangers now Available in Minecraft

Fans of the old school version of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers that play the video game Minecraft are in for a special treat. There has been recently released downloadable content for the wildly popular Minecraft that features all five of the original Power Rangers as playable characters. In addition, the downloadable content pack also comes with playable versions of the Bulk, Rita, and Skull characters.

 

Minecraft was originally released in 2011 and would quickly go on to become one of the best-selling video games of all time. The popularity behind Minecraft comes from the freedom that a player has to create their own virtual world.

 

Fans of the original television show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers will be happy to know that both the Green and White Ranger are included within the downloadable content. The Minecraft Power Rangers Skin Pack was released on March 27th, 2017 and it features a download size of only 10.09MB. You can find more information about the Minecraft Power Rangers Skin Pack by viewing it at the Microsoft Store, which you can get to by clicking here.

 

Currently, this downloadable content has a five-star rating, based on 20 reviewers, and looks to be very popular. The ESRB has rated this downloadable content as Everyone 10+, meaning that it is suitable for persons aged 10 and older.

 

The Power Rangers downloadable content is available for Minecraft releases on PC, mobile, and console versions of this game. The entire Power Rangers pack is available to download for $3. The release of the Power Rangers in Minecraft comes hot on the heels of the upcoming release of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers feature-length film. It looks like a new generation might be seeing more of the Power Rangers, as there is already talk of a sequel to the original film being in the works for these superheroes.

 

British Gaming Companies Considering Brexit-Inspired Relocation

Two-fifths of British gaming companies have commented on plans to relocate all or a portion of their business endeavors after the wake of Brexit and its economic aftershocks. These companies have commented on how the UK’s withdrawal from the EU resulted in the loss of talent and funding. Industry firm Ukie surveyed 75 of the 2,000 plus game companies in the UK, most of which focused on the development of games.

 

The UK government commented that it sought to continue attracting global talent. A DCMS spokesperson remarked that UK’s creative industries are among the nation’s biggest success and that the government wants to maintain the UK’s status as a global leader in the field of video games. Britain is currently assessing its creative industries.

 

Ukie said that it sought to work with the government in order to shape the landscape so that it continually fosters business pertinent to interactive entertainment and gaming. The sale of UK games in 2016 contributed nearly £3 billion, positioning it above video or music entertainment. The firm consulted extensively with companies between the months of September and February, discerning that their main issue with Brexit was the lost of access to skilled talent; nearly three-fifths of these companies employed EU staff. Nearly all of the survey’s respondents stated that properly skilled EU nationals should have a default opportunity to live and worth within the UK.

 

Ukie reported that the competitive nature of the gaming industry necessitates the ability to draw diverse talent. Without access to that talent, many firms would likely relocate, depriving the UK of tax revenue. Another common worry from the Ukie survey was the disparity in data legislation between the UK and the EU. More than three-fifths of all respondents claimed that separating data held by UK customers could significantly cost firms, with one firm commenting that it would compensate for the issue by ending its publishing efforts within the UK. Other concerns included the possibility of cutting the UK off from EU-based programs like “Creative Europe.” 60 percent of all games companies experienced growth this year, declining from four-fifths last year.

 

Build Your Own Empire in Urban Empire

The Urban Empire game is a new kind of a game that let users create their own political empire of in own in their mind. Urban Empire lets the game players explore the ideas of establishing political strongholds. For example Sim city enables you to take over the powers of a nascent city, however, it will come with many limitations particularly when it comes to making decisions that the gamer can wild. The Urban Empire shakes the gamer a bit however it also gives them of what the reality is like. As the leader of the city, the gamer can seek to pass the legislation about the women right or even abolish the child labor laws, however, the as leader the gamer is always against the city councils.

 

 

Once the game has started the gamer will have immense power that allows him/her to take control of a political family with the blessing from the emperor of Swarelia a fictional country. One great advantage about this game for the gamer is that they can’t be removed from the office and will never lack money. Whenever the leader is out of money, they can seek the help of the emperor in in term of financial bailout though the gamer will lose some political mileage. Apart from that, the gamer is free to support any movement or projects of their preference. While doing so the gamer will be making an important decision that will affect the future of their generations, for example taking their children to boarding school.

 

 

The Urban Empire is an amazing game that lets the gamer alter the organizing as well as a zoning new district as well as making a decision about the type of technologies that they can introduce to the city. As the leadership progress, the gamer can decide to unblock the sewage, electricity as well as different types of roads and so much more, it is amazing.

 

 

Each new district will have enough finance to build the required infrastructure as well as the monthly maintenance that will enable the leader to manage more services. The game is thrilling, the tension that arises between expenses of different services and the infrastructure upgrades, the gamers’ goals, and the unpredictability of the council members makes the game exerting.