Halo 6 creative director Tim Longo leaves 343 Industries after six years, a move that could possibly impacting Halo 6's release date, build quality, campaign vision, and much more.
After six years with 343 Industries, Tim Longo departs the studio as Halo 6 enters its last year of development. The next big Halo game is due out Holiday 2020 alongside Microsoft's next-gen Project Scarlett, and is a tremendous proving ground for the console and 343i. With Halo: Infinite, aka Halo 6, the studio hopes to re-capture the magic of the first game with a spiritual reboot--but that overall vision could change with Longo's departure.
343i is making some changes Halo 6's dev team. Longo, who served as creative director on both Halo 5: Guardians and Halo: Infinite (known as Halo 6), just left the studio. Infinite's campaign team also got a new boss with studio vet Mary Olson, who will now lead the campaign experience. Here's what Microsoft told Kotaku: "Our Executive Producer, Mary Olson will now take charge of the Campaign team on Halo Infinite as the Lead Producer, utilizing her many years of experience at 343 to help craft a great campaign for fans."
The Epic Games Store is slowly but surely morphing into a more competent storefront, complete with features consumers enjoy on Steam.
When it's all said and done, the Epic Games Store should closely resemble Steam. The fledgling marketplace is just now getting more meat on its bones, complete with wide cloud save support across its games. There's still things missing like mods and a shopping cart, but the store is getting a lot better. In a recent update, Epic reveals that more games are supporting cloud saves and the storefront is getting some stylish improvements. 17 new games now support cloud saves, including the free titles Epic gave away this month.
Now the Epic Store sort of resembles a place I'd buy games from. Sure it needs lots of work, but devs now have more tools to make their game's pages look less ramshackle. Presentation is incredibly important, especially when you're trying to convince someone to buy your game without any prior exposure.
Bungie's learned a lot from Destiny and Destiny 2 over the years, and many of these hard lessons will be used to fuel Destiny 3.
Photo: Joseph Biwald, Bungie
Destiny 2 has changed a lot since 2017. We've seen Bungie add more content than ever before and deliver a consistent slate of new updates, tweaks, and innovations across the sequel, all of which helped successfully monetize and engage millions of players. But all that work took a considerable toll on the team. The annual pass required lots of crunch and intense live game management, which culminated in what Destiny 2 game director Luke Smith calls an "unsustainable development cycle."
So what's Bungie to do? Find a more streamlined and standardized alternative that carries Destiny 2 into Year 3 and beyond. The way Bungie talks about this makes me think this new methodology will be the foundation for Destiny 3. That's not really a surprise considering all devs constantly iterate on their previous mistakes and successes. Once Bungie finds a healthy way to juggle all these spinning plates, they'll have unlocked one of the most valuable lessons in live gaming and it'll carry them well into the future.
Bungie recently detailed some pretty big changes to Destiny 2's armor system, which is centered around a vast sea of RNG possibilities.
Photo: Joseph Biwald, Bungie
Destiny 2's loot has come a long, long way. At the beginning, all the weapons and armors had fixed stats. Now with the game's upcoming Armor 2.0 update, there's a galaxy of potential rolls. Bungie is significantly overhauling the armor system with a massive level of customization, progression, and randomness to feed a bigger focus on RPG elements.
Every piece of armor will soon have three randomized points: stats (which now include old-school stats like intellect, discipline, strength, alongside mobility, resilience, and recovery), elemental affinities like solar, arc, and void , and a raw energy level. Players can boost up the energy level with crafting resources--a clever hook to keep you playing and engaged--but the elemental affinities and stats are fixed via RNG rolls. You can't change those.
Cold Iron Studios just went on a hiring spree to bolster development of its new Aliens game, and positions are starting to fill up.
The last time we checked on Cold Iron, the studio was hiring 22 people to help on its new Aliens massive-multiplayer online shooter. Now that number has shrunken to 15, showing some progress has been made. The game has been in development since 2018 or thereabouts after FoxNext bought Cold Iron, but no details have been revealed. Based on the current job listings that call for higher positions like a Senior Producer, a Senior Character Artist, and a Senior Concept Artist, I'd say the game is still far away from release.
The new Aliens game is being built with Unreal Engine 4, it might be a Destiny-like MMO-FPS, and it's due out for consoles and PC--that's really all we know at this point. But there are some clues. FoxNext has been following a distinct formulaic approach to Alien games. Continuing off of Alien: Isolation, the company released Alien: Blackout, a standalone mobile game starring Isolation's Ellen Ripley. It's clear FoxNext wants to keep the post-movie storyline going, and we could see Cold Iron's new shooter push even farther with a loose action-based Isolation sequel.
Nintendo has recently released their update model of the Nintendo Switch system, that system has now been tested and its new battery life has been measured.
The old Nintendo Switch model was HAC-001, and to give a good battery life time expectation, Nintendo estimated that if you played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild it would last three hours. On the new Nintendo Switch model which is model HAC-001(-01), Nintendo expects that you will achieve 5.5 hours on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, quite a nice improvement.
Of course battery drainage really depends on what game you are playing, so thanks to Tom's Guide we can get another battery life expectation result, but this time in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Tom's Guide ran an endless 8-player CPU battle in Smash Ultimate on both systems, the AI was turned up to the max, items were enabled and the brightness was cranked to the max. Their results were the following: New Nintendo Switch model achieved 4 hours and 50 minutes of life before the battery died and the old only got 2 hours and 45 minutes. Meaning the new model almost doubled battery life, quite the achievement!
Not to long ago Bethesda released their trilogy of classic DOOM games back on consoles out of nowhere. While this was a fantastic surprise some players were confused with the Bethesda account sign in requirement.
Update on our new classic DOOM releases:— Bethesda (@bethesda) July 27, 2019
The BethesdaNet login requirement was included for the Slayers Club, to reward members for playing the classic DOOM games.
The login should be optional, and we are working on changing the requirement to optional now.
While you would firstly think that this was happy occasion as the DOOM games are classic and culturally solidified in gaming history as some of the best games ever created, it was sadly not for some players. Some players decided to fire back at Bethesda for the requirement of having players sign into their Bethesda.net account to play DOOM and DOOM II, even if they were offline.
Bethesda quickly recognized the dissatisfaction with the login and now has since added an option to bypass players having to enter their email address and password every time they want to play the game. I'd imagine many DOOM players are going to be extremely happy with the quality of life update, as now they can continue their blood-stained slaying much faster than they were previously.
The controversy surrounding Nintendo's newest addition to the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's roster is rife with toxicity, as both sides of the argumentative fence have been going at each other since the characters release.
After some deliberation we've decided to ban Hero from SASC tournaments (as of 14 August).— South Australia Smash Central (@SASmashCentral) August 15, 2019
Please read the twitlonger for more information as to why https://t.co/uFQ5qAfrcd
Since Hero's release in version 4.0.0 the character has had a microscope placed over him as many players (mostly competitive) believe that the character is unfit for professional competition due to his random-number-generated (RNG) moves/abilities. The South Australian Smash Central believes that this is the case and has officially banned Hero from competitive matches, they announced this news via their Twitter account.
South Australia's Smash community have said that they aren't banning Hero because he is "too strong", but more so because he is "anti-competitive" due to some of his moves (magic burst, zoom & critical strikes) having next to no counter-play. It was also argued that since Hero has many abilities/moves that rely on RNG, that the character is too dependent on the randomness which ultimately takes away from competitive skill.
The Nintendo World Championships that have already happened at set to be streamed at the end of this month, and if you were planning on tuning in to the action you can on CBS.
The Nintendo World Championships occurred back on June 8th, but if you happened to miss the livestream then, CBS has partnered up with television show ELeague to bring the competition back to the big screen. On August 25th, CBS will be showcase Super Mario Maker 2, Splatoon 2 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players fighting it out for top place.
If you don't want to wait for the CBS livestream you can just check out the full livestream above as it has been uploaded to Nintendo's YouTube Channel. In other news about Nintendo games, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate just got a massive update, many of the fighters have been tweaked and there is a new addition to the fighting roster - Dragon Quest's 'The Hero', more on that here.
Respawn Entertainment recently launched the new Iron Crown Collection event for Apex Legends, with a new super-legendary cosmetic item that costs a huge $170 -- as well as a new Solos mode for the game.
Solos is meant to be 1v1 solo matches, where it's a battle to the last death between 60 Apex Legends players. It's already been quickly reported that there's an issue with the new solo mode, where players that queue at the same time will usually get put into the same match. They can easily meet up and then dominate other players as a team of 2v1.
This isn't exclusive to Apex Legends as it happens in other battle royale titles including PUBG, but the developer there allowed potential chicken dinner winners to report people they saw congregating in groups longer than they should, if at all.
Respawn will need to act quick to squash this issue, and even if they were to troll people by putting a huge spotlight onto them in the match if they're in a 10-20m radius of each other for too long. It would force other Apex players to hunt them down to punish them, with Respawn able to go as far as offering more XP or loot if they take out people who gang up in Solos mode.