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Most headlines are filled with Star Citizen lately, especially when Chris Roberts told us exclusively that he "doesn't care about consoles", adding a tease about 8K textures, which seems to have gamers excited. But now we have news of competing space combat game Elite: Dangerous, and an official release date: December 16.
December 16 is a little over a month away, with Frontier Developments putting up a pre-order package of "Elite: Dangerous Mercenary Edition" which gives gamers the full game, ship liveries, Day One decal, and other stuff for $50. Pre-orders receive a $9.99 discount from the final release of the game. Any crowd-funded backer who purchased the Beta, or higher, will receive the Mercenary Pack on December 16.
The rise of eSports might be overlooked in the United States, but is growing rapidly worldwide - and online gambling websites are jumping into the fun. Pinnacle, E-Sport Bets, Datbet, and several others have seen eSports gambling interest increase, with a specific interest in League of Legends and Dota 2 matches.
Here is what Phil Hudson, from the online betting website Pinnacle Sports, recently mentioned to NBC News: "E-sports is definitely our fastest area of growth. It's quite big in Asia and Eastern Europe, but e-sports is really a phenomenon across the world."
eSports has risen to become Pinnacle's eight most popular sport to gamble on, with more than 350,000 bets so far in 2014 - and while that doesn't come close to soccer or American football, the company has seen placed bets double each year since 2011. There are now eight employees dedicated to determining the lines and wagers of eSports.
Skateboard legend Tony Hawk confirmed he's working with Activision on a new skateboarding console game that should be released in 2015. It's unknown if the title will be available for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360, or for next-generation consoles only.
Here is what Hawk confirmed via Twitter: "I'm currently working with Activision on a console game for 2015 (along with a new mobile game). I think fans of THPS series will be hyped."
Additional details will be made available later down the road, and it doesn't appear Activision is ready to spill the beans on exact game details just yet.
After publicly unveiling Overwatch during Blizzcon 2014, the public video demo shows 12 heroes - all with unique skills and fighting styles - battling through multiple environments. The design team wanted "limitless diversity" in the gaming environment, which will continue to need adjustments during internal testing - and when the beta opens up next year.
Here is what Bill Petras, Blizzard Art Director said: "We want to have a world of diversity, so that's something we're really excited about. Looking at all the heroes, there is a lot of iteration back and forth when I work with the heroes."
The Overwatch beta will begin 2015, but interested gamers can now sign up for a test of team-based shooter. Blizzard doesn't have a scheduled release date for the game, and will continue to work to ensure the product is well polished before release.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has been available since last week, and Sledgehammer Games is preparing a patch that will resolve bug problems and fine-tune other issues, based on input from the gaming community. Since launching on November 3, the game was met with mainly positive reviews from game sites and gamers, and Sledgehammer Games wants to continue appeasing customers with fast changes.
The update will address: in-game chat notification location, prestige reset problems, optimize connections, resolve leaderboard stat problems, fix round-based game modes that affect Win/Loss ratios, and other
"Our team has been working hard on improvements to the game," said Michael Condrey, studio head and Sledgehammer Games co-founder. "We've also had our ears to the ground, listening to your feedback. Our commitment to continuing to support the game and community is as strong as ever, and we have the whole team focused on making the experience the best it can be."
Brittany Levasseur's husband has had seven brain surgeries over the last 12 months, where she took to Reddit to post about how their doctor recommended playing Destiny as a form of mental therapy. She wrote: "It's been a joy to watch him. It's been a little over a week, and the game's effect on him has been so strong. Weak for months, he is flourishing in more than just the game world. He has been going out more, doing chores, making jokes. The effect of playing the game on his mood has been almost staggering".
It was shortly after Levasseur's post on Reddit that Bungie's Community Manager got in contact with her, offering her husband a package at the Tower: a one-of-a-kind rifle for Destiny. The Fate Of All Fools isn't in the game yet, unavailable to normal Destiny gamers. This means that this gamer is the only non-Bungie employee in the world to have this gun.
How does Levasseur feel about the gun? His wife said in an email to Kotaku: "He adores the gun. It's his first exotic, and he has been actively enjoying it all day. It seems like my entire night has been on repeat - it's been nothing but 'BANG! God I love this gun. BANG! This is awesome. BANG! Did you see that shot!?'".
Blizzard may have cancelled Titan, but it has just announced Overwatch, a team-based, first-person shooter that is the company's first new IP in quite a few years. Blizzard unveiled the game during BlizzCon 2014, with a pre-rendered video showing off Pixar-like animation, teasing its upcoming shooter.
If you thought Overwatch would be years away, think again, as Blizzard's Chris Metzen has said that Overwatch is coming "sooner than you think". CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, Mike Morhaime said: "Our goal with Overwatch is to create an awesome FPS experience that's more accessible to a much wider audience while delivering the action and depth that shooter fans love". The game world itself is set many years in the future where an "international task force" known as the Overwatch, has brought peace to the world, but this has since finished, with new heroes needing to rise up to the job.
Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer shooter, which is "a game and genre" that Blizzard has wanted to play with for a while. It features cartoon style visuals, similar to other team-based shooters like Team Fortress 2, and RPG-like FPS games like Borderlands. We have some weird and wonderful characters to play with, including Hanzo, a bow-wielding ranger; Winston, the gorilla; Torbjorn, a dwarf engineer; Widowmaker, the sniper; and Bastion, the robot/turret.
Just yesterday, Ubisoft removed some of their biggest upcoming games from Steam. Far Cry 4, Assassin's Creed: Unity and The Crew, three of Ubisoft's soon-to-be big sellers, disappeared from Steam.
In the last couple of hours, these games have returned to Steam. So fear not, you can now purchase Far Cry 4, Assassin's Creed: Unity and The Crew all from Steam, with pre-orders back to where they were. Now we need to ask the question: why did these games return? Did Ubisoft see the light after the massive backlash it received from the PC gaming community? If so, why aren't we seeing a change to this 30FPS scandal, and the dumbing down of the PC versions of its games? Come on Ubisoft, what's going on over there, guys?
Massive Entertainment, the developer behind The Division, recently sat down with Open World Games, talking about its open-world tactical shooter. Martin Hultberg, Head of Communications at Massive, said that the developer will be optimizing The Division for all three platforms: Xbox One, PS4 and PC, instead of optimizing for a single platform.
He added that the game will not be "downgraded" from consoles to the PC, with each version receiving its own attention, utilizing each platform's strengths. With a capable PC, it means that the best version of the game will again be on the PC. Hulberg said: "Downgrading is a weird term to use. Obviously, we want to make a game that looks the best it can on its respective format, so Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. So I think the term downgrade is a bit confusing and weird because we're trying to get the most out of every machine we use. So Xbox gets its attention, PlayStation gets its attention, and PC of course will be able to cram it up a bit more depending on the hardware you have".
Hulberg continued: "We address every console, every platform, as its own version, so we try to stay away from the thing where you go for the least common denominator, and everybody suffers for it". Hulberg added that each version of The Division will be handled individually, with resolutions and frame rates decided on a platform-to-platform basis, instead of pushing one standard across multiple platforms to hit uniformity. He added: "We want to make a good experience on all respective formats". Remember, the last time we heard about The Division was that it was locked at 30FPS, so this is a 180-degree change in direction for Massive and Ubisoft, but it's not confirmation that we should expect over 30FPS, which is what we need to hear most of all.
DICE has been working on something behind the scenes, porting its Frostbite engine over to iOS, the engine that powers its Battlefield games. Kristoffer Benjaminsson, Product Owner for Mobile at Frostbite has talked about the ways of getting Frostbite on iOS on the Frostbite blog.
Parts of Frostbite are already working on iOS, with DICE and its Battlefield 4 Commander app, but the company also showed off Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare on an iPad Air earlier this year at Apple's WWDC event, which is powered by its Frostbite engine. After that, the company wanted to see Battlefield 4 running in iOS, which has been quite the task.
With the Frostbite engine handling dynamic features like destruction or moving light sources in real-time, rendering all of this on a mobile device is extremely hard. But, DICE says that this "puts extra demand on performance to be able to deliver large, highly detailed world's with superb visual quality. We were making great progress feature-wise, but hardware and software limitations forced us to either scale down the number of objects and their complexity to retain visual fidelity, or accept lower visual fidelity to cope with a larger number of objects".