Scalebound Delayed to 2017

Scalebound Delayed to 2017

2015 was the year many games got pushed back. As studios spend more time and money to build bigger and more elaborate worlds, it is only inevitable that the tied deadlines they set for themselves may slip. It seems Platinum games are not immune to this, with their Xbox One exclusive Scalebound slipping to 2017.

On an entry on the Platinum games official blog, the developer outlined that “In order to deliver on our ambitious vision and ensure that Scalebound lives up to expectations, we will be launching the game in 2017″

First announced at a Microsoft press conference, the game directed by Hideki Kamiya, known for Devil May Cry, will take players to the world of Draconis where players will take control of Drew, who is accompanied by a dragon called Thuban. Unlike previous Platinum projects, Scalebound will focus on graphics and RPG elements rather than a purely action-based experience. Platinum promises more details about the game to come later in 2016, with a better look at the world, gameplay and overall experience coming then.

This sort of delay is not unheard of, and with such a complex title, it is no surprise they want to take their time to deliver a polished product. With games only getting more complex as time goes on, this trend will continue.

Microsoft E3 2015 Breakdown

Microsoft E3 2015 Breakdown

On Monday, Microsoft had the opportunity to start the day of E3 press conferences and follow up Bethesda’s show from the night prior. What they did for the next hour and a half was nothing short of fantastic.

To start the conference, head of 343 Industries Bonnie Ross stepped up to the stage and presented our first look at the gameplay of Halo V: Guardians. They showed the new Spartans, some new control options, as well as some really impressive visuals. It’s still familiar Halo gameplay, but that’s hardly a bad thing.

After that, head of Xbox Phil Spencer appeared to drop some news on fans:. Xbox One will receive backwards capability. Not much else was said on the matter, but once you pop your disc in, you can install the game just like your Xbox One titles. This announcement reverberated throughout the whole conference, and when Ubisoft took the stage to showcase Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, we were told gamers will receive Rainbow Six Vegas and Rainbow Six Vegas 2 for free with the purchase of the franchise’s latest installment.

We were also treated to a new trailer for Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2. It was a cinematic, but we were teased some new characters, though we didn’t hear anything more until EA’s conference later in the day when we were given a glimpse at the plot and an introduction to the new zombies.

But this was a Microsoft conference, and as such, it focused more on Microsoft than its third party developers. There were announcements for a Rare compilation, Rare Replay, a Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, and an all new addition to the Gears of War franchise, but Microsoft’s real showstopper was their demo for their virtual reality experience, Hololens. Minecraft was chosen to showcase it, and it looks out of this world. Players can zoom in and out of the map, look inside of buildings among other things. It’s really exciting to see what Microsoft plans to do with this, as the technology itself is very promising. We certainly hope to see more from HoloLens soon.

Noticeably missing from this conference was some of their big titles from last year. Quantum Break, Crackdown and Scalebound were all absent from the show. Microsoft acknowledged that saying we’d see more of those properties at Games Con. It kind of sucks that Microsoft didn’t have time for those three games at E3, but at least there is no chance of them getting overshadowed at another convention instead.

These titles would have really made for a truly outstanding showing from Microsoft this year, but even in spite of their absence, tt was still a solid showing from the house of Xbox. It showed what their VR machine was capable of, and had some awesome games to accompany it. The backwards compatibility announcement was a very strong PR move as well. The future looks bright for the Xbox One.

Could Classics Titles Come to Xbox?

Could Classics Titles Come to Xbox?

Since Microsoft entered the console space, people have been heckling them for their weak first party lineup outside of Halo.  They’ve had some success with Gears of War and Fable during the last generation, but both dipped in quality over time. Questionable decisions like putting Rare on the back burner to develop Kinect titles was a head scratcher for fans. Phil Spencer is looking to rectify all the claims that all Microsoft has is Halo and timed exclusives at this year’s E3.

Spencer took to Twitter to answer a burning question from a fan wondering if he’ll see new faces join Microsoft’s ranks at this years E3.  He replied, “We should have new exclusive IP at E3. I’m trying to make this E3 more about 1

st

party than past E3s.”
xbox-e3-2013-1280jpg-a923fd_1280wWhen Spencer took the role as the Head of the Xbox division at Microsoft, there’s been more of an emphasis on games. As it stands right now, they’re beating both Sony and Nintendo in terms of content for the fall with Halo 5: Guardians, Fable Legends, and Rise of the Tomb Raider. Due to the fact that both their biggest games got delayed to 2016(Uncharted 4 and the Legend of Zelda). While they scramble to find something to fill the gaping hole in their lineup, Microsoft looks to spoil fans at E3 with even more content coming to platform.

The company has a lot to show from the titles that were announced at last year’s E3. They managed to squeeze in the revival of Crackdown and Phantom Dust in their briefing, which no one was expecting. Although the rest of them were second and third-party games, they still showed off several new IPs such as Sunset Overdrive and Scalebound. Now with whispers of the revival of Gears of War and franchises like Battletoads, Conker and Banjo Kazooie all making a return, it’s just the tip of the iceberg on what fans can expect at this year’s E3.

Scalebound
Scalebound

To prove that bringing new IPs is a focus for the company, there’s one title that still has a lot of secrets. Scalebound the upcoming exclusive for the platform developed by Platinum Games, have expressed that their game will be unlike anything they have made. For those that crave to be a slayer of dragons and mythical beats, this is the game for you. The protagonist is surprisingly modern in comparison to what he’s up against. What’s interesting is the fact you’ll be able to bond with the dragon throughout your playthrough and that relationship will dictate how effective you are in battle when exterminating all of the mythical beasts of the land right before your eyes.

If Microsoft can pump out more exclusives like Scalebound at this E3 and beyond, they could arguably be on par with exclusives with Sony and Nintendo by generations end.

What do you think Microsoft will announce at E3? Will Microsoft steal the show? Let us know in the comments below.

The Worst of the E3 2014 Conferences

The Worst of the E3 2014 Conferences

OK, so, I may not be in Los Angeles for this year’s E3, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to talk about what’s happening at the press conferences anyway. It’s the digital age, after all, and the miracle of streaming video allows all of us to enjoy the game announcements, scripted demonstrations, and awkward moments that make E3 worth paying attention to in the first place. Without further preamble, here’s a rundown of my least favourite parts of the E3 2014 conferences.

1. Known Quantities

As great as it was to see more gameplay footage from titles like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Assassin’s Creed: Unity, we all knew that these games were getting ready for release before E3 2014 started. One of my favourite parts of the E3 conferences is the excitement that comes with debuting a previously unheard of title in (a definitely unnecessarily) grand fashion. Aside from a handful of exceptions, most of this year’s Expo was dominated by new information regarding known quantities. That’s fine, but I was hoping for a few surprises.

2. Appealing to the Fans

A common refrain, from Microsoft to Electronic Arts, was “we asked the fans what they wanted.” Rather than adhere to an internal vision, many of the industry’s biggest publishers and developers instead sought to defer to customers. While this self-effacing tact was probably to be expected from Microsoft—still looking to come back from the somewhat rough Xbox One launch—it was more disturbing to hear developers making this claim. Bioware, perhaps gunshy after being the target of so much fan backlash in recent years, seems to have lost a degree of confidence in its own artistic goals. The new Mass Effect was revealed not so much as a clearly defined concept, but rather as a work-in-progress that will be designed in accordance with consumer desires. The ultimate game may be better polished or at least closer to what the developer’s most ardent fans want to play, but I’d rather see studios working to fulfill their own unique visions.

3. Too Many Concept Announcements

The EA conference was filled to the brim with videogame “reveals” that were actually little more than the discussion of design concepts. Mirror’s Edge 2 and the new Star Wars: Battlefront and Mass Effect games were given “reveals” that were actually little more than acknowledgements that these titles actually exist. Sony’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End reveal was similarly disappointing, providing a minute of footage, a bit of Nolan North voiceover, and a title card. Even Nintendo, despite devoting the bulk of its pre-recorded conference to gameplay demos, teased a new Zelda without showing much more than a extremely pretty) screenshot and brief cinematic. As much as I enjoy seeing new game announcements, it seems a shame to spend time that could have gone to underexposed titles on what amounts to little more than featuring concepts.

4. Third-Party Exclusives

Recent years have seen third-party exclusives becoming less prominent, likely as a side-effect of Sony and Microsoft allocating more money to hardware development than to buying up rights. This E3 made it clear that this trend is coming to a close, though. Third-party titles like Scalebound and Sunset Overdrive will be exclusive to Xbox One while Dark Souls-successor Bloodborne can only be played by PlayStation 4 owners. Even Nintendo has bought Bayonetta 2, the sequel to a game that was available on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Despite understanding the logic behind third-party exclusives—a few good exclusive games will sell consoles—it doesn’t mean that binding interesting titles to a single system is a practice I like seeing more of.

5. Waiting for 2015

It’s good to know that there are a lot of interesting-looking game releases in the pipeline, but this E3 really drove home the point that 2014 won’t be the year that sees the Wii U, PS4, and Xbox One come into their own. Mario Maker, The Order: 1886, Bloodborne, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Batman: Arkham Knight, Dying Light, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and many, many other promising games have been either delayed into 2015 or given release dates next year. There will still be good titles between now and the new year, but E3 confirmed that the majority of the most interesting games are still a ways out.