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This morning Activision announced the official launch of the next installment in its Call of Duty franchise. Call of Duty: Ghost is built an all new, next-generation engine and places players in a battle scenario where they are heavily outnumbered and outgunned. This is a first for the series, and Activision is billing it as an "Epic Thrill Ride" that takes the franchise to the next level.
"The launch of Call of Duty has become a pop-cultural event shared by millions around the globe. We consider this a huge honour and it drives us to exceed our fans' expectations each and every time," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing Inc. "Call of Duty: Ghosts delivers on this promise with an epic thrill ride which takes the franchise to new heights on both current and next gen consoles. The teams at Infinity Ward, Raven and Neversoft have poured their hearts and souls into making this the must have gaming experience of the next generation. And of course, none of this would be possible without the most passionate fans in the world. Today is for them."
The game kicks off when the "Orbital Defense Initiative" or ODIN space station launches a strike on the earth after an intense firefight in space lands the weapon in the wrong hands. With your home destroyed, your brother and you come across an elite group of soldiers who are known as the Ghosts. You join up with their group and fight together as a squad to defend what's left of the earth. Our own Simon Hutchinson will have his full review of the game up soon, so stay tuned to TweakTown for the latest on Call of Duty: Ghosts.
According to some tweets from Arkane Studios' HR manager, Ashley Pierce, it looks like the developer of Dishonored is switching from Unreal Engine 3 to the CryEngine for its upcoming title.
Both Arkane and Battlecry Studios are developing with Crytek's infamous engine, which has powered the Crysis games (of course) but also the free-to-play MechWarrior Online. The news is coming thanks to the developer looking for a Tech Artist to "dive deep" into the CryEngine. Pierce was asked if Arkane was indeed using CryEngine, where she responded, "here in Austin we are!"
We know that Call of Duty: Ghosts will be filling up all of those pixels natively on 1080p displays on the PlayStation 4, but it won't be doing so on the Xbox One, a console where Call of Duty sells better this generation, anyway.
We've been all over it in the news, because it's a big problem when a game can't run at 1080p at 60FPS on a next-gen console, especially a game like COD: Ghosts. Well, the developer of the game, Infinity Ward, has come out and explained why their title won't be running at native 1080p on the Xbox One. Infinity Ward head honcho, Mark Rubin, said that they had to sacrifice resolution in order to get the game at a continuous 60 frames per second.
He continued: "It's very possible we can get it to native 1080p [resolution]. I mean I've seen it working at 1080p native. 's just we couldn't get the frame rate in the neighbourhood we wanted it to be. And it wasn't a lack of effort. It wasn't that it was like last minute. We had the theoretical hardware for a long time. That's the thing you get pretty quickly and that doesn't change dramatically. It was more about resource allocation. The resource allocation is different on the consoles. That huge web of tangled resources, whether it's threads-based or if it's GPU threads or if it's memory - whatever it is - optimisation is something that could go theoretically on forever."
Killzone: Shadow Fall will be one of the only next-gen games cranking along at 1080p at 60FPS, with the developer of the game, Guerrilla Games releasing a new "ultra high bitrate" of the game, which you can check out below.
This footage was released because streaming it online just doesn't do it justice, with Michiel van der Leeuw, Technical Director at Guerrilla, writing on the PlayStation Blog that "there are limitations to streamed video on the internet, and many of the clips and trailers we've released thus far aren't being viewed in the best possible fidelity and framerate."
He also stated that in order to see the full potential of the footage, you need to grab this video because details in the footage can be compromised when using web video: "In order to properly demonstrate the framerate and resolution we achieve in Shadow Fall's multiplayer, we've captured and lightly compressed new footage that we're not offering through a video sharing service."
The footage is around one-minute long, clocking in at a 541MB download.
It looks like Activision is going after those testosterone-filled, Pepsi-drinking, Dorito-eating teens with its latest live-action trailer of Call of Duty: Ghosts: it stars Megan Fox of Transformers fame.
The live-action trailer is based in Las Vegas, but also shows off some snow action and some space action. I'm guessing we can expect levels within Ghosts to be based in those locations. The trailer really does nothing for me, as it shows off the action to be epic, but the destruction and physics just cannot compete with Battlefield for me unfortunately.
And Megan Fox? Really? How much did they pay her for that 5-second part?
Battlefield 4 is here, and while I've played an hour or so at the moment, I'm far from a veteran of the game. Well, Battlefield 4's 'Second Assault' DLC is coming, and it will be made up of some of the best BF3 maps re-envisioned in the refreshed Frostbite engine.
These maps include Caspian Border, Operation Metro, Operation Firestorm and Gulf of Oman. Each map will be repainted, including the new "levolution" feature. Second Assault drops on the Xbox One on November 22 as a timed exclusive, and will soon after arrive on the Xbox 360, PS3, PS4 and PC.
You might remember a little old racing title called FlatOut? If so, then you'll know this was developed by Bugbear Entertainment, and their next game is known as Next Car Game.
Next Car Game is due in 2014, but the developer needs $350,000 additional funds to get their game to market. Bugbear has taken to Kickstarter with various goodies you can secure yourself if you pledge some money their way. They have stretch goals lined up, right up to $1.5 million, which if it's hit, we'll see Next Car Game released on the Xbox One or PS4.
Next Car Game is a next-gen racing title that intertwines the worlds of Destruction Derby, FlatOut and even Street Rod (if you're old enough to remember that one!).
Technical Illusions' CastAR augmented reality gaming system now supports AAA game titles such as Skyrim thanks to the integration of the Vireio Perception 2.x drivers. If you are unfamiliar with the Vireio Perception drivers, they are an opensource set of gaming drivers that allow head mounted VR headsets to work with many popular game titles.
"We are pleased to announce that we have got castAR integrated into Vireio Perception 2.x drivers. This will provide you with a great library of games working with VR to run on your castAR! Skyrim looks incredible with these drivers!" said Rick Johnson, Co-Founder of Technical Illusions.
Technical Illusions has just 13 days left to reach their $800,000 stretch goal on Kickstarter. During my recent interview with Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, they expressed their deep appreciation for their backers and stressed that reaching the $800k stretch goal would be pivotal and allow them to hire more engineers to continue innovating on the CastAR system. I backed the project at the Two Player level yesterday and you can back the project as well by visiting its Kickstarter page.
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, the two co-founders of Technical Illusions, the company behind CastAR. Many of you might remember Jeri Ellsworth from her many exploits in the Maker community, or from her time at Valve where she worked alongside Rick Johnson developing the early prototype of CastAR.
I won't go into much detail on CastAR in this post, but you can read my initial report on the next-gen gaming system which I wrote when Technical Illusions launched their Kickstarter campaign. Since its launch on October 14th, the CastAR project has raised over $674,000 and is well on their way to reaching their stretch goal #2 of $700k. The campaign still has 14 days left and a third stretch goal of $800,000 still needs to be met. Head over to the Kickstarter source link below and back the project.
I would like to thank Jeri Ellsworth, and Rick Johnson for taking time out of their busy schedule to sit down with me and wish them the best of luck with Technical Illusions and CastAR. With the gaming innovation we have seen appear in 2013, the future of gaming is here and I feel that Technical Illusions is right at the front of the pack leading the way!
Hellraid has been delayed until next year, "or to be more precise: when it's done," according to Marcin Kruczkiewicz, a Producer over at Techland. The developer has said it requires more time to polish Hellraid, but plans to add in new features, game modes and a reworked magic system.
Kruczkiewicz said: "If we released our game this year we would have to make too many compromises and the final product probably wouldn't meet all our promises and your expectations. For example, we want to redesign the magic system to make it even more powerful and diverse, add new ways of casting spells and a set of new, more visually stunning spells."
If you didn't know, Hellraid is a dark fantasy, hack-and-slash RPG that works in a singleplayer capacity, but also features four-player cooperative play where it would put players against the armies of Hades.