Xbox One S FIFA 17 Bundles Announced

At Gamescom Microsoft has announced two Xbox One S/FIFA 17 bundles (500GB or 1TB hard drives), complete with a few FIFA Ultimate Team extras.

Both bundles come out in U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand beginning on September 22 for $299 (500GB) or $349 (1TB) (prices vary per region), and include a download of FIFA 17, three Ultimate Loan legends, and one month of EA Acesss. The 1TB version also comes with an Ultimate Team rare player pack.

[Source: Xbox Wire]

 

Our Take
This isn’t the first time that Xbox and FIFA have teamed up, although I’m not sure it’s going to be a gamechanger for Microsoft in particular given PlayStation’s historical dominance on the continent.

Beta Test Xbox One S FIFA 17 Bundles Announced

Supergirl Is Coming To Lego Dimensions, But Only As A PS4 Starter Pack Bonus

Lego Dimensions is getting a couple of new DC heroes in its second year. We already know that Green Arrow is a limited edition convention exclusive and giveaway item. Now we know how you can get Supergirl.

One of Krypton’s last survivors, Kara Zor-El’s minifigure isn’t going to be quite as elusive as the emerald archer’s. She’s won’t be sold normally, though.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

If you want Supergirl, you’ll need to pick up a PlayStation 4 Lego Dimensions starter kit starting in late September and for a limited time only. There’s no word yet if she’ll be sold separately, though we’ve inquired and will follow-up when we visit WB’s booth here at Gamescom if we haven’t heard back before. Thankfully, the video above closes with a line that suggests that this is a timed exclusive and she may be available in other ways later.

Supergirl features similar abilities to Superman (who is sold in a “fun pack” with a vehicle). She can fly, use X-ray vision, and shoot heat beams from her eyes. 

Additionally, Supergirl can transform into a Red Lantern version of herself. This allows her to use Red Lantern constructs and fire energy bolts and beams from her ring.

If you don’t get your hands on the minifigure, you can still play as Supergirl using Lego Dimensions’ Rent-a-Hero feature. This allows you to use characters for a limited time.

Lego Dimensions won’t be getting a new starter pack this year, other than this pack-in. Instead, you’ll be able to purchase new sets that work with your existing disk and gateway. The first of year two’s four waves arrives on September 27, with another wave slated for November 18.

For more Lego Dimensions, check out our coverage from E3.

 

Our Take
As a Lego Dimensions player and collector, this feels a bit unfriendly to fans who were along for the ride throughout year one. Hopefully, we’ll find out that there will be other ways for existing fans to get their hands on Supergirl.

Beta Test Supergirl Is Coming To Lego Dimensions, But Only As A PS4 Starter Pack Bonus

Mafia III Heist Trailer Almost Goes Off Without A Hitch

When you try to pull a heist of the local branch of the Federal Reserve, it’s not just a simple smash and grab. And if you do get that money, there’s also the matter of dividing it up. The latest Mafia III trailer to celebrate this week’s Gamescom convention in Germany, shows you that in a job of this magnitude, there’s always bound to be some problems.

You need help for a job of this size, and the higher up the help, the more complicated things get.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Mafia III is slated to release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 7.

For more on some of the game’s characters, check out the trailers for ClayVitoCassandra and Thomas. Also check out stories from our cover story hub by clicking on the banner below.

Beta Test Mafia III Heist Trailer Almost Goes Off Without A Hitch

Reader Discussion: What Do You Think About The Final Fantasy XV Delay?

Following a wave of rumors and leaks over the weekend, Square Enix confirmed that Final Fantasy XV has been delayed two months, with a new release date of November 29. After waiting so long for this game, does this latest push make a difference to you?

Delays are inevitable in the video game industry, and they aren’t necessarily a bad thing. However, in the case of Final Fantasy XV, the project has been in development for 10 years, so finally getting a solid release date felt a bit more serious than your typical announcement. Are you disappointed? Optimistic? Do you have faith in the team to deliver to use the time well and deliver a quality product?

What are your thoughts? Share them in the comments below! 

Beta Test Reader Discussion: What Do You Think About The Final Fantasy XV Delay?

Watch Atlus Unbox The King Of Fighters XIV

The latest installment in the long-running King of Fighters series is releasing next week. If you can’t wait to hold the game in your hands, maybe you’ll settle for seeing someone else hold it in their hands?

Publisher Atlus rounded up a couple employees to highlight the contents of the package players will be buying next week, including the standard edition and the “Burn to Fight” premium edition.

See the bounty for yourself in the video below. It has some goofy bits, but still does a good job showing off what you get for your money.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For more King of Fighters, check out trailers for some of the characters here and here.

Beta Test Watch Atlus Unbox The King Of Fighters XIV

Where is Final Fantasy XV?

Many gamers are looking ahead to the next generation for exciting games, but for one of Square Enix’s most anticipated upcoming titles, we have to look backward. Final Fantasy Versus XIII was unveiled in 2006, but remained seldom-seen and mysterious until it reappeared as Final Fantasy XV. Even then, concrete answers about the game’s status are rare, so we’ve assembled this timeline of its progress, major appearances, and related comments from original director Tetsuya Nomura, current director Hajime Tabata, producer Yoshinori Kitase, and brand director Shinji Hashimoto.

Update 8/15/16: New entries added to reflect the continued developments, as well as the game’s delay to November 29, 2016.

May 2006 
At E3, Final Fantasy Versus XIII is announced as part of Fabula Nova Crystalis, as is Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Agito XIII. Along with Final Fantasy XIII, it is revealed as a PS3 exclusive. 

January 2007 
Nomura says Versus XIII will feature some kind of unique support for the PlayStation 3’s Sixaxis controller.

July 2007 
Versus XIII is absent from E3.

September 2007 
Versus XIII is absent from the Tokyo Game Show.

December 2007 
Square Enix releases a new video adding more content to the original reveal trailer, showing a stylish fight and more of the protagonist’s powers in action. 

June 2008 
Nomura says Versus XIII is on hold while the team helps complete Final Fantasy XIII. Square Enix later denies this, attributing Nomura’s statement to mistranslation.

July 2008 
Square Enix announces that Final Fantasy XIII is going multiplatform at E3. The company claims it has no plans to change the PS3 exclusivity of Versus XIII, which is otherwise absent from the show.

August 2008
A new trailer debuts at a Square Enix fan event, showing a new female character battling the protagonist.

October 2008
At the Tokyo Game Show, the protagonist’s name is revealed to be Noctis, and the woman he was fighting in the previous trailer is named Stella. The first in-game footage is revealed in the form of a conversation between Noctis and Stella. The video shows no exploration or combat.

June 2009 
Versus XIII is absent from E3.

September 2009 
Gameplay footage in a closed theater at the Tokyo Game Show depicts Noctis running around in various environments, but no combat is shown.

December 2009 
Final Fantasy XIII (now multiplatform) releases in Japan. The North American release follows three months later.

March 2010 
Nomura reveals via Twitter that players can navigate the world of Versus XIII with an airship.

June 2010 
Versus XIII is absent from E3. Nomura claims that the game’s storyline, character designs, and clothing designs are finished.

August 2010
Voice casting begins in Japan. Yoshinori Kitase says that Versus XIII might not release in 2011.

September 2010
Nomura affirms via Twitter that Versus XIII is being developed exclusively for PlayStation 3, saying: “The debate over porting is decided by the management based off the current market and the costs. All I can say right now as a developer is that Versus is being developed specifically for the PlayStation 3.”

What Else Has Happened Since Versus XIII’s Announcement?
  • All three Mass Effect games released
  • The entire Assassin’s Creed franchise
  • The rise and fall of music games
  • Five other main Final Fantasy titles:  XII, XIII, XIII-2, Lightning Returns, and XIV
  • BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite released
  • Every Call of Duty game after Call of Duty 2, including World at War, Ghosts, Black Ops 1 and 2, and all three Modern Warfare titles released
  • The PlayStation 3’s entire life
  • The Wii craze
  • Sony and Microsoft introducing/releasing their own motion controllers
  • Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo each designed and released a new generation of hardware
  • Duke Nukem Forever released

October 2010 
Listings for battle planner and level design plannerpositions appears on the recruitment page on Square Enix’s website.

January 2011
Square Enix releases a six-minute trailer highlighting the story, new characters, and the battle system in action. Nomura confirms that Versus XIII will not release in 2011.

June 2011
Versus XIII is absent from E3.

July 2011
Versus XIII is still in the pre-production phase, though Nomura says that  the team is making preparations to screenshots are shown to selected press, but are not published or otherwise released to the public.

August 2011 
Square Enix files a new trademark application for Final Fantasy Versus XIII, indicating that the company still intends to move forward with the game under its current name (rather than dropping the XIII, as many had speculated).

September 2011
Versus XIII is absent from the Tokyo Game Show. Yoshinori Kitase confirms that the game has entered full production.

October 2011 
Final Fantasy Agito XIII (the second of the three announced Final Fantasy XIII titles) releases in Japan under the new name Final Fantasy Type 0. No North American release plans are announced (though a renewed trademark keeps hope alive).

May 2012 
When asked about Versus XIII in an interview, Nomura tells Game Informer: “We would like to ask for your patience on an official announcement for this title. It always takes time when tackling the challenge of doing something completely new, but we are doing our best to bring information to the fans as quickly as we can. Your patience is greatly appreciated.”

June 2012 
Versus XIII is absent from E3. Square Enix gives Game Informer the following comment: “We appreciate the excitement for this title, but at this time, we do not have any new information to share on its development. We are extremely thankful for the continued support for the Final Fantasy franchise and Final Fantasy Versus XIII.”

July 2012
On Twitter, Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada denies rumors of Versus XIII’s cancellation, explaining that he was recently in a regularly scheduled meeting for the game and that the visuals of the city are particularly impressive.

February 2013
Shinji Hashimoto says that a new Final Fantasy entry is coming to the PlayStation 4. He is not specific, leading to speculation that the title is related to the next-gen Final Fantasy tech demo (shown below).

(Please visit the site to view this media)

April 2013
Nomura describes the development of Final Fantasy Versus XIII as “a delicate situation within the company” on a podcast. He says that the date has been set for the next big reveal.

June 2013
E3 2013 brings with it the most substantial news since the game’s unveiling. At Sony’s press conference, Square Enix reveals that Final Fantasy Versus XIII is now Final Fantasy XV. In addition, the game drops the PS3 and goes next-gen multiplatform, now coming exclusively to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. No specific release date is given, but it is not soon, whatever it is.

June 2013
Shortly after the re-reveal, Square Enix provides new art and character info.

September 2013
Apart from a very familiar trailer, Final Fantasy XV has no significant presence at the Tokyo Game Show.

February 2014
In an interview, Kitase says Final Fantasy XV is “quite far into development now and it is being given a very high priority within the company itself.” He also says that it is not competing with Kingdom Hearts 3 for resources, implying that KH3 is further out on the release schedule.

April 2014
Official product pages for Final Fantasy XV describe how it has been “designed as an action game,” highlighting stylized combat over traditional turn-based mechanics.

June 2014
A year after the announcement of the name change, fans were hoping to see the game reappear at E3. That didn’t happen, with Hashimoto explaining that fans will have to wait until after E3 for more information.

September 2014
During the Tokyo Game Show, Square Enix made two important announcements regarding the status of FF XV. The first was the changing of the director role; Hajime Tabata took over for Tetsuya Nomura as the head of the project. The second piece of news was that a Final Fantasy XV demo entitled Episode Duscae is scheduled to release in 2015. 

December 2014
A new trailer and Q&A with director Hajime Tabata comes out of Jump Festa.

February 2015
Square Enix releases new screens for the upcoming demo. 

March 2015
Gamers get some hands-on time with Episode Duscae at PAX East. For the first time, we get some solid, playable proof that this game is moving along toward release.  

March 2015
As promised at the previous TGS, the Episode Duscae demo is released with Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. After so many years, the public has its first playable taste of Final Fantasy XV.

May 2015
Square Enix announces plans to release a substantial update to Episode Duscae, adding new combat options and quests.

June 2015
Final Fantasy XV does not have a presence at E3, but the updated Duscae demo releases. Tabata reveals that the previous heroine and love interest, Stella, was dropped from the story. In her place, the plans for the character were reforged and she was renamed Luna.

August 2015
Gamescom brings with it new story details, along with a new trailer entitled “Dawn” that paints a picture of the characters’ lives 15 years prior to the events of Final Fantasy XV.

August 2015
At a PAX Prime panel, Square Enix confirms that Final Fantasy XV will launch in 2016.

September 2015
Square Enix releases a new, shorter “Dawn 2.0” trailer.

January 2016
On the game’s official forums, lead game designer Takizawa Masashi discusses how the two battle settings – one active and one more relaxed – are essentially the equivalent of difficulty settings.

January 2016
During an Active Time Report development update, Tabata confirms that an official event will be held in March to announce Final Fantasy XV’s release date. In addition, he shares that a free tech demo separate from Episode Duscae will be released.

March 2016
At the Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV event, Square Enix reveals an array of new information, including a September 30 2016 release date, the Platinum Demo, a full-length CG movie, a short anime series, a mobile game, a new trailer. 

April 2016
We here at Game Informer launch a month of in-depth features from when we visited Square Enix’s Tokyo headquarters for our Final Fantasy XV cover story. Highlights include interviews, character insights, and hands-on impressions.

May 2016
What are the birthdays of Noctis and his buddies? Now you know.

June 2016
Square Enix brings Final Fantasy XV to E3 in force, with multiple trailers and a stage presentation during Microsoft’s press conference. The presentation had some technical errors, but felt much better when we played it ourselves.

August 2016
Square Enix details its DLC plans for Final Fantasy XV, giving players a general idea of what to expect from the season pass, as well as various pre-order bonuses.

August 2016
With a little over a month until the announced release, Square Enix confirms rumors that the game has been delayed to November 29, 2016. The explanation revolves around the desire to avoid a substantial day-one patch, instead putting all of those critical updates on the disc.

 

A portion of this feature originally appeared in issue 232 of Game Informer.

Beta Test Where is Final Fantasy XV?

New Street Fighter V Update Hits Rage-Quitters Hard

Victory is sweet, and being robbed of that satisfaction by sore losers is disappointing. The August update for Capcom’s flagship fighter puts new measures in place to keep players from leaving an online match before it has concluded.

The update is scheduled to be applied on August 16 during server maintenance. After that, new consequences will be applied for players that try to unfairly avoid a loss by quitting. “We are aware of the Rage Quitting issue, and this update will continue our efforts toward resolving it,” reads an update on Capcom-Unity. “We will make a second update to the existing Rage Quitting system with stricter guidelines for players who disconnect before the match is over. Players who are penalized will lose League Points and be locked out of online matching for a set time.”

This is Capcom’s latest (but not the first) step toward rectifying the rage-quitting epidemic, which was especially bad closer to launch.

[Source: Capcom-Unity]


Our Take
Rage-quitting is a terrible behavior in any game, but the heart of Street Fighter V is online competition. If Capcom can’t police that environment and make it rewarding for hardcore players, that’s a serious problem. Thankfully, the steps the company is taking seem to be having an effect – though they probably won’t stop the practice completely.  

Beta Test New Street Fighter V Update Hits Rage-Quitters Hard

Battlefield 1 Open Beta Starts August 31

Fans hoping to get their hands on Battlefield 1 before October are in luck, as the game will host an open beta across all available platforms at the end of the month. You can also get a taste of what will be included in the beta with a brand new trailer.

The open beta for Battlefield 1 begins on August 31 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC players. Early access will be awarded to those who sign up for the game’s insider newsletter, on the official website. Additionally, the Gamescom trailer introduces a brand new map, classes, and vehicles. See these features in action for yourself below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Featured in the trailer, the Sinai Desert  map serves to introduce players in the beta to horses, swords, and the armored train that can be used in battle. The beta will support 64-player matches in Conquest and Rush modes. Battlefield 1 will be playable at Gamescom this week, and streamed on the official Battlefield Twitch channel

Battlefield 1 hits PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 21. For more on the game, get familiar with the available weapons, and the changes it offers.

Beta Test Battlefield 1 Open Beta Starts August 31

The Sports Desk – Behind The Wheel Of Motorsport Manager

In racing games we’re all used to bombing down the straights and hanging on for the turns, but that’s not the only way to experience the thrills of the track. This week I highlight Sega’s Motorsport Manager by developer Playsport Games. Similar to the acclaimed Football Manager series (check this out for a flavor), Motorsport Manager puts you in control of a racing team and tasks you with the action in numerous areas. Recently I played a preview build of the September title and came away impressed. 

You start by choosing which of three racing tiers you want to start in (Europe, Asia, World Motorsport) of various difficulty, and from there you also pick a team. Naturally the expectations are different for each, but you can be hired and fired in mid-season, so there’s nothing wrong in bouncing around to find the right fit for your abilities and ambitions.

In terms of controlling your team, there’s a lot to consider, driver morale (you have two main drivers and one reserve driver), managing finances, building up your facilities, scouting, and giving interviews are just a few examples of things you can control. One of the interesting aspects in the game is a political system: Get enough influence with the powers that be in the racing federation and you can have a say in which tracks, for example, are run on the schedule. This means you could drop those circuits that aren’t suited to your setup. You can also try bending the rules in the manufacture of your R&D parts to try and give you an edge on the track. That is, of course, if the race officials don’t find out about it in the post-race inspection and fine you for it.

Managing your staff is also a concern. Drivers have contracts to renegotiate, competitive relationships with your other drivers (everyone wants the best parts), a relationship with your mechanic that gets better the more time they race together, and even random events like getting sick. These affect the racing stats of the drivers and those around them.

An important part of a driver’s ability is the amount and quality of feedback they give when they’re out on the track. The better it is, the better you can setup the car for success, which makes practice fun. Making changes to the car is easy. You can dial down into all the little numbers if you want, but a handy slider system for the tightness of your suspension, for instance, makes universal changes across the car deliver the desired effect. Get the car in the visual sweet spot over these tuning categories – which is where good driver feedback and a handy mechanic are important – and you’ll roll out of the garage with a formidable hot rod.

Controlling the car in real-time during practice, qualifying, and races is a matter or managing your risk and how much your nerves can handle. Aggressive racing affects your tire wear and fuel consumption, and you also have to worry about parts on the car breaking and needing repair in the pits. I liked checking out the weather forecast from lap to lap to anticipate what kind of tires I might have to put on in a future pit stop. Speaking of pit stops, you can also dial up your risk on these too. Being aggressive can shave off precious time, but also invite costly mistakes.

The game’s HUD during races is easy to use, including options to pause the action at any point (it automatically happens when you bring up the pull-down menus to make decisions), as well as speed up time.

During my play time I felt I was in control during races, but not having to micro-manage tons of details to get a good finish. I also felt like I was making smart decisions that made a difference – including being more aggressive or conservative depending on my drivers’ positioning, and where the pit window was. Just make sure to correctly calculate how much gas you put in, otherwise you’ll run out.

I didn’t get to manage my organization over the long run, but Sam White, co-founder and art director of developer Playsport, says the game’s not a herculean task only for the hardcore. “We often talk about how we all like to play the game quite different,” he told us. “[Christian West, co-founder and CTO] – he’ll spend a lot of time in practice. He’ll be the one that is tweaking all those setup values to try and get that extra split second on race day. While me, I’ll be like, ‘I don’t need to worry about that, I’m just going to buy a better driver who’ll make up that.’ I’m wheeling and dealing while he’s trying to perfect his setup. Whereas [Rob Pearson, design director], he’s all about the political system. He’s all about trying to find ways to bend the rules for next season to benefit his team. There is a bit for everyone, and you’re not forced to do everything.” 

Going forward, it will be interesting to see how different the game feels race to race, how competitive and smart the A.I. is on the track, and how easy it is to manage your team. So far, I have a very good impression of the title, and look forward to its September release.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Missed some of the previous Sports Desk entries? Take a look at the past installments via our Hub page by clicking on the banner below.

Have a suggestion or comment? Put it in the comments section below, send me an email, or reach me on twitter at @mattkato.

    NEW FIFA 17 CAREER MODE DETAILS TO FEAST UPON

    Developer EA Canada has revealed new club concerns for FIFA 17’s career mode. First of all, there are five categories for success depending on the size, ambition, and expectations of your club: domestic success, continental success, brand exposure, financial, and youth development. There are changing objectives tied into these categories such as signing a big name in the transfer window or making lots of dough overseas – it depends on your club. Overall, your finances are broken down more minutely, down to per-match revenue, money from loans, merchandise, stadium revenue, and more.

    I welcome these changes to the mode, but I hope the objectives are fair enough and make sense. In past years, the standings objectives for managers were too black and white. Tasked to come in third, and a fourth-place finish would automatically mean you were out. Given the added objectives and categories for success, it will be interesting to see how the game balances them all out.

    As for the more detailed financial concerns, EA Canada didn’t address how much of a hand you’ll have in controlling these. Are there sliders for concession prices? Can you upgrade your stadium?

    RELEASE LIST

    F1 2016 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) August 19
    Madden NFL 17
    (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360) August 23
    Assetto Corsa
    (PlayStation 4, Xbox One) August 30

    THE TICKER
    A quick rundown of some of the sports news from the week.

    See NBA 2K17’s Dream Teams In Action

    EA Sports Starts NHL Rewards Program

    NHL 17 Franchise Trailer

    Why Isn’t There a Sim Olympic Game This Year For The Rio Summer Games?
    It’s a question I’ve got recently a few times, and the folk over at Operation Sports tackle an answer.

    Beta Test The Sports Desk – Behind The Wheel Of Motorsport Manager

Become Batman In Newest Trailer For Batman: Arkham VR

Get your mask and cape ready, because in the latest trailer for Batman: Arkham VR we get a tease of what a first-person experience as Batman will feel like.

In the first Dark Knight virtual reality experience you will descend into the Batcave, equip Batman’s gear, and then experience Gotham City and Wayne Manor from Batman’s eyes. Along with some new footage, the trailer seen below includes some players’ reactions to the experience during the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con. After putting on the mask, one player states a mirror appears and as you glance into its reflection, Batman stares back at you. “That’s when you like, really feel it,” he says.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Batman: Arkham VR is coming exclusively to PlayStation VR on October 1. It was one of our stand-out VR experiences from E3 2016, and we even got some in-depth hands-on time with the experience where we learned that it plays much like a DC Comics visual novel

Beta Test Become Batman In Newest Trailer For Batman: Arkham VR