Nintendo has completely reversed its stance with its new handheld-console Switch hybrid: instead of being closed off and incredibly difficult for third-party devs, the Switch is flexible, easy to use, and supports modern APIs and engines. As a result tons of third-party developers have pledged games for the Switch--and most of them have praised the system's programmer-friendly toolset.
Games-maker Nicalis is the latest developer to praise the Nintendo Switch's open and accessible development environment, saying that the system's incredibly easy tools have drastically accelerated the porting of games like Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ and 1001 Spikes. We've heard big players like Ubisoft and EA favorably discuss the Switch, but indie developers will benefit from the system as well.
"The Switch is, by far the easiest and most programmer friendly [Nintendo console] so far," Nicalis president Tyrone Rodriguez said in a recent interview with Polygon. "I know this sounds like lip service to Nintendo, but it's actually not. If this wasn't true, we wouldn't be able to get these games up and running as quickly as we have, and we wouldn't be able to have a launch title."
One of my principal worries about Mass Effect: Andromeda is quantity over quality. I look at BioWare's track record with Dragon Age: Inquisition, whose grindy scope really turned me off eventually, and I see this carrying forward with the new Mass Effect. But BioWare says that the quests have been carefully tailored to be more meaningful--not unlike CD Projekt RED's magnum opus RPG.
"We are approaching the completionist aspect very differently [in Mass Effect: Andromeda], because we've done and learned a lot from Inquisition," BioWare's Patrice Condominas told PC Gamer in a recent interview.
In fact, BioWare has been inspired by games like The Witcher 3 in terms of impact, depth, and overall resonating experiences. As a result the new Mass Effect should have more meat on its bones than grindy fetch quests and the like. "We've also observed what other games have been doing, like The Witcher. it was very important for us that the quantity of scope doesn't downgrade the quality of whatever your are doing there."
Nioh's boss fights get progressively more difficult and then you come across Nue, a brutal chimera that summons devastating lightning from the heavens and creates tons of Yokai Realm pools to wreck your day (and your ki). But he's far from invincible, and he can actually be beaten quite efficiently with a simple method. We'll teach you that method here today.
Defeating bosses often requires abstract thought and the ability to use your surroundings to your advantage. In pure Ninja Gaiden style, Nue's boss fight really forces you to use your environment to take out your quarry. This particular battle really opened my eyes on how to approach enemies in Nioh, and taught me a newfound respect for the game: it's not just about perfect timing, strikes, caution and general mastery of fluid combat, but a total big picture focus--using strategy when you can, where you can.
Nue killed me about 8 times before I tried this method, and I was able to kill the mythical beast in my second try. The method is rather simple and revolves around one concept: creating a protective cage for yourself in the level's porches and striking slow, steady, and consistently.
Hitman developer IO Interactive is apparently working on a fresh new IP that will be based in Unreal Engine, not its new next-gen Glacier 2 Engine that was used to make the latest Hitman game. This interesting move may mean IOI's new IP will be on Nintendo's fresh Switch console-handheld hybrid.
According to a recent job listing posted by IO Interactive, the devs are working on a new IP outside of any current series or franchises. "The team is currently working on a new unannounced IP and is responsible for prototyping different mechanics for the Hitman team. We are looking for a programmer to help the team drive the project forward," reads the listing, which has now been altered and scrubbed clean of any mention of the IP. "You will work closely with a small team of designers to prototype gameplay mechanics in Unreal Engine"
The position is for a "Gameplay Programmer for Incubation/R&D," which is exactly what it sounds like: a programmer who works on early (incubated) design concepts for new Hitman content updates and the new IP. So where does the Nintendo Switch tie in here? Epic Games Japan manager Takayuki Kawasaki says that the Nintendo Switch will get lots of Unreal Engine 4 games, and Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto has already confirmed the company's devs have "mastered" Unreal Engine.
I love Castlevania. These old-school sidescrollers taught me the meaning of true skill before the Souls series dropped. I've beaten all the Castlevanias I own including Castlevania I-III, Dracula X, Super Castlevania IV, and Symphony of the Night. So when I heard Netflix is going to make a violent, gritty and dark anime miniseries based in the series, I was on the brink of forgiving Konami for it's transgressions. Yes, that's how excited I am for this project.
The new Castlevania mini-series won't have any annoying real-life nonsense: it's a fully-fledged anime. I've long thought this is the only real way to capture the macabre mystique of the franchise. The project is an "R-rated as f*ck" ultraviolent anime adaptation of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, and Netflix confirmed the first episode will launch this year. The first season will be a mini-series with four 30 minute episodes. Netflix says the series will follow "the last surviving member of the disgraced Belmont clan, trying to save Eastern Europe from extinction at the hand of Vlad Dracula Tepe himself." A second season will come in 2018.
The series is being put together by Adi Shankar, who is best known for films like Dredd and The Grey. Shankar affirms Castlevania on Netflix will be "America's first animated series for adults" and is extremely confident it'll be a massive hit: "I personally guarantee it will end the streak and be the Western world's first video game adaptation."
The Order: 1886 was one of the better looking games on the PS4, with developer Ready at Dawn now teasing their new game: Deformers.
Deformers is an online multiplayer combat arena game that was meant to be coming out on February 14, but Ready at Dawn delayed it at the last minute. Deformer's Creative Director took to NeoGAF to explain: "Hello everyone! The delay will be short, we just need some more time to properly stress-test the game. We will announce the actual and final 🙂 release date soon".
The post continued: "We are ramping up to do an open beta on Steam, that way we get to test our infrastructure and everyone that wishes to will be able to try it out and discover why we love this game so much".
Nioh's combat system is robust and layered to the point where the game takes on a whole new dimension as you become more skilled. But that very progression hinges entirely on your ability to learn the basics of three key stances, which are the main positions you'll use to dispatch supernatural and samurai foes alike.
The stance system can be a little confusing at first. In a game like Nioh, confusion often leads to death or wasted time, and both are pretty frustrating. In this guide I am to dispel some of that annoyance by clearly outlining how each of the three main pillars to combat are fully balanced and optimized, and give you the tools you need to wreak havoc in demon-ridden feudal Japan.
In many ways Nioh's combat is like a graceful dance of death. There's a fluid harmony in its strikes and dodges that really exemplifies the ancient art of war, while also incorporating key strategic and tactical maneuvers to give creative players an even bigger edge. With this crash course in the basic foundations of stances you'll be on your way to honing that edge to a fine razor-sharp blade to slice and dice yokai everywhere.
We all know who Gabe Newell is, but for those of you living under a rock - Newell is the boss of Valve, the company behind Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, DOTA2, oh - and that little thing called Steam.
Gabe recently said Valve is working on 3 full-length VR games, and these new games won't be small VR demos like The Lab. Newell said that the games will use both Unity and Valve's in-house Source 2 engine to build the new VR games, but Newell also teased that Valve is working on a separate single-player title - something he said in January.
It seems Valve is going down the Nintendo route with the development of what these Valve-built VR games, as Newell had some interesting things to say: "So one of the questions you might ask us is 'Why in the world are we making hardware?' So right now, we're building 3 VR games. And what we can do now is to be designing hardware at the same time that we're designing software. This is something that [Nintendo Representative Director Shigeru] Miyamoto has always had, right?".
Newell continues: "[Miyamoto] has had the ability to think about what the input devices & the design of systems should be like while he's trying to design games. Our sense is that that's going to allow us to actually build much better entertainment experiences for people. So the idea isn't like oh - we suddenly thought we could make more money by building hardware - because hardware's actually traditionally been a lousy low-margin business".
New World Interactive is working on something that might be a surprise with Insurgency: Sandstorm, with the Unreal Engine 4 powered first-person shooter to be more fleshed out than the FPS games we're used to. The developer has been working on new features, which will include:
- Expanded environment scale.
- Light vehicles for transportation and fire support.
- New game modes designed for vehicle gameplay.
- Competitive matchmaking, anti-cheat, and rankings system.
- Improved ballistics system including bullet drop and travel time.
- Interacting with the environment by climbing ladders and door breaching.
Insurgency: Sandstorm will have a very strong single player component, where up to 4 gamers can play together. New World Creative Director Andrew Spearin explains the first-person shooter story modes that plague games now, and how Insurgency: Sandstorm will be different:
We are very excited to venture into the realm of storytelling to offer more depth for Insurgency. Shooters do not have to be about mindless killing, so players can stop and ask questions about the world a game represents, and find answers within the narrative. Historically, the avant garde in many art forms are who disrupt and redefine genres. For a decade Insurgency has been in that position, and we are emerging from indie obscurity to innovate the FPS genre.
Even though Call of Duty is one of the strongest franchises, Activision is aware there are improvements that can be made to the 2017 release of Call of Duty from Sledgehammer Games.
The company said it would be returning to the franchises "roots" with the new COD, something it teased during their recent conference call with investors. Activision COO Thomas Tippl said that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare had "underperformed [Activision's] expectations". This is said to be partly due to Infinite Warfare being a new sub-series, so it's hard to compare it against Black Ops.
Tippl continued: "[I]t's clear that, for a portion of our audience, the space setting just didn't resonate. We have a passionate, experienced studio deeply committed to this direction, and despite the risks we saw, we believe it is important to consider the passions of our game teams in deciding what content to create".