Dead Rising 4 Removes Campaign Co-op

One is the loneliest number, and the amount of players Dead Rising 4’s campaign will support. Today Capcom revealed that Dead Rising 4 won’t feature campaign co-op but will have a separate mode for four-player co-op, according to a Twitch stream Capcom did with user ExpertZone_Community yesterday.

Gameplay producer David McAnerin said they arrived at this decision to “focus on telling Frank’s story” and that they are “excited to bring him back.”

The separate four-player co-op mode is based off the series’ old Infinity mode. All four players have to survive in a mall for as long as possible as they take on “crazy missions.” Players start and arm themselves in a safe house at the beginning and must make it back to a safehouse at the end of the day. It’s unclear whether or not it has to be the same safehouse and if health will continually deplete like the old Infinity Mode.

This is the second Dead Rising game to not have campaign cooperative play since Dead Rising 2, Off the Record, Case Zero, Case West, and Dead Rising 3 all had story mode co-op.

Dead Rising 4 comes out on Xbox One and PC on December 6 and will also have a season pass, which you can read more about here.

[Source: GameSpot, Twitch]

 

Our Take
I admire Capcom’s decision to separate the co-op mode if it’s in service to the story. Co-op games, for me, usually lose all narrative impact because playing with a friend makes it nearly impossible to focus on cutscenes. The game still has co-op in some regard, but we’ll have to wait until the game’s release to see if it satiates the cooperative urge of disappointed fans.

Beta Test Dead Rising 4 Removes Campaign Co-op

Atlus Delays Persona 5's North American Release To April

Today Atlus announced its highly anticipated RPG Persona 5 is pushing back beyond its most recently stated February 14 release date. 

Fans waiting for the North American and European releases of the PS4/PS3 game must now temper their excitement until April. The game is currently out in Japan, but an Atlus representative told IGN that the due to extremely high expectations for the game the publisher is “redoubling our QA and localization efforts, even returning to the studio to record previously unvoiced lines.”

To soften the blow, today Atlus hosted a livestream of the English version of the game. Fans can try the game themselves for the first time at the PlayStation Experience event coming to Anaheim, CA December 3-4.

A bit later, Atlus released two character trailers as well. 

(Please visit the site to view this media)

(Please visit the site to view this media)

 

Our Take
Considering the game is already content complete and released in Japan, this delay shouldn’t worry fans.  

Beta Test Atlus Delays Persona 5’s North American Release To April

Why We Need A Westworld Game

The HBO television series Westworld explores advanced A.I. in a Wild West theme park, allowing guests to live out their wildest fantasies – whether it’s settling down with a farm girl or robbing a bank and riding off into the sunset. The A.I. is so lifelike you would have a hard time distinguishing who is real or synthetic. – and viewers are left wondering what that distinction truly means. Westworld’s showrunners draw inspiration for their realistic beings from video games with BioShock, Red Dead Redemption, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim being mentioned as influences

What if Westworld went full circle and was adapted into a video game? Advanced A.I. would obviously have to be a showpiece. Could a game deliver an experience worthy of the show’s title? Reiner and I delve deeper.

Jeff: Before we get into this, you’re all caught up on the show, right?

Reiner: Absolutely; it’s my favorite show on TV right now, and the first thing I discuss with coworkers on Monday mornings. 

Jeff: Hey! That’s me! Anyway, one of my favorite things about it is seeing so many elements from video games – NPCs, A.I. routines, quest structures, DLC expansions – brought into the “real” world, or at least something closer to the physical realm. The first few episodes in particular drive home those points, showing characters going about their routines, which we learn are intricately crafted loops. The fun part is how guests – the actual flesh-and-blood humans who pay to visit the park – can manipulate those narratives and shape them as they see fit. Well, “fun” isn’t always the right word for it. Thanks to a new update in the A.I. hosts’ programming, some of these synthetic people are becoming aware of the cycle of brutality that they face as a rotating series of guests come into the park, have their way with its inhabitants, and leave with fun memories of being a hero or an outlaw. Seeing this nightmare play out with actors made me cringe, but at the same time I cackle with glee every time I shoot an NPC in the face during a game’s tutorial section. 

Reiner: I never thought of it that way. We mow down thousands of enemies in any given game, but never think about them as unique characters, per se. They are often the same repeated target that can’t express itself. If they could emote in any way other than opening fire on you, how would you react to them? That’s an interesting question.

Westworld has made me think about A.I. in games a lot over the last seven weeks, and it’s an area of games that should be explored further. When I think of Westworld being adapted as a game, my mind mashes together The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Peter Molyneux’s canceled Milo project, which was trying to bring realistic human emotion to a game character. Elder Scrolls’ characters were programmed to have lives and routines, but mostly couldn’t be interacted with. The Westworld game would have to allow that interaction.

Jeff: One of my favorite things to do in a game is to explore, but that rarely – if ever, really – extends beyond a game’s physical location. Even the most sophisticated A.I. companions don’t offer anything beyond scripted dialogue, and your own in-game interactions are typically limited to punching, pushing, or shooting other characters. Even if Milo was a big plume of smoke, it was a tantalizing idea. What if developers made a breakthrough that allowed for a fully interactive NPC, who could react appropriately to whatever the player threw at it? And then take that a step further: What if a game world was filled with these deeply realized characters, each of whom had their own interests, desires, and motivations? Right now, I don’t feel guilty or weirded out for shooting at a clown car filled with bad guys. But what if I was able to have a convincingly real conversation with these characters before deciding to open fire? Would I pull the trigger? I’m not convinced that I would.

Reiner: One of the most brilliant touches in Westworld is pairing a character who treats the synthetics like toys with someone who is trying to believe them as real. We see just how different these experiences can be. Sandbox gaming allows for a high level of freedom, but mostly with tools that the player can wield. I would like to see an experience that isn’t defined by what you are holding. Most games can’t get over that. Progress is gaining new guns or powers. What if progress was manipulating a character to open a different path? The problem comes from interaction. How do you vocalize intent with a controller? The input device limits what we can do, and I don’t see virtual reality opening that door further. We need to be able to walk through the open world, and explore. The conversation tree would have to be extensive, as would interaction options. Our concept of gaming interaction is too limited.

Jeff: Even though Westworld’s A.I. is leagues beyond what we’re seeing in games, they have shown us a few little slices of how it works. Remember when Maeve was talking to the butchers, and one of them showed her dialogue choices forming in real time on a tablet? Obviously, different character archetypes are going to draw from their own predetermined vocabularies; a prospector is probably going to have his own way of using language that’s different from a bartender or the publisher of the local paper.

Reiner: How would you interact with them? 

Jeff: Personally, I like using your voice. It works well with Siri and on Android devices, and it’s probably the most natural way for most of us to interact with people – artificial as they may be. Of course, I’m not the guy who has to come up with a million permutations of “I don’t understand,” or “Could you please repeat that for me, pardner?” I think even if we approached that early model gunslinger host Bill that Ford keeps around, I’d be happy.

Reiner: Having those parameters would keep the story in check to a degree. The challenge is designing a game that reacts to player chaos and choice. If someone enters a saloon and decides to mow down all of the patrons, how does the world react? The beautiful thing about the show is the narrative is on a loop. No matter what happens, it always resets to square one at some point. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask explored that idea, and I think it worked well. Just picture that type of story with a mind-boggling number of branching paths.

Jeff: Different people want different things from their entertainment, which is one of the things that Westworld has been exploring. As you mentioned, we saw two of the show’s guests take wildly different paths, with one character ending up on an exciting train shootout and the other… getting beaten up and abandoned? Even with today’s comparatively primitive games, people create their own stories and share them with friends. If a game could anticipate and reward player interactions on a grand scale, it would be hard to put it down. I remember when Ultima Online was still in development, they made a big deal out of how you could be the town baker. You know what? I bet that sucked. But being able to do that if you’re so inclined, and having the game support your weird interpretation of what’s fun, is what we need to see more of moving forward.

Reiner: Games have a long way to go to create fantasies like this. I remember talking to Bungie about Halo’s sniper A.I., and they said they could only move forward, back, and shoot. That was it. I hope we someday have A.I. characters that are fascinating as their worlds. Few things break immersion more than an N.P.C. repeating the exact same dialogue you just heard. Westworld gives us a tantalizing blueprint for advanced A.I. concepts. I hope game developers are as intrigued by its prospects as we are. 

Beta Test Why We Need A Westworld Game

Organizers Reveal EVO 2017 Date And Location

The biggest fighting game tournament of the world is heading back to Las Vegas next year from July 14-16.

In a trailer released today, organizers revealed the games that will likely serve as the anchors to the event, including Street Fighter V, Mortal Kombat, Tekken 7, Smash Bros. (both Wii U and Melee) as well as Guilty Gear Xrd. A few are notably absent from this trailer – like Pokken Tournament, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, and Killer Instinct. You can watch the trailer here:

(Please visit the site to view this media)

People travel to this tournament from across the world to brush up on their skills and see amazing comebacks. Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino will serve as the location for the entire event next year. The last tournament took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, with the finals moving to the Mandalay Bay Events Center, so this change isn’t surprising. Over the years EVO has grown into a gigantic event, with big announcements and second event in Japan planned for 2018.

[Source: Shoryuken]

Our Take
EVO is a must for any fighter game fan, as it slowly becomes as much of a convention as it is a tournament. UMVC3’s fate seems uncertain, but I’m a little more upset about Pokken being a no show. Hopefully we’ll see the return of the Catherine side tournament as well.

Beta Test Organizers Reveal EVO 2017 Date And Location

The Last Of Us Movie Stalls In Production

Two years removed from its initial announcement, the film based on Naughty Dog masterpiece The Last of Us has joined Halo and other high-profile game adaptations in production hell. 

While talking to IGN, producer Sam Raimi opened up about the problems, citing infighting between creative director/writer Neil Druckmann and Sony about the film’s direction. “When we went to Neil with Ghost House Pictures we were hoping to get the rights like we do any project, and then we’d take it out and sell it but we’d control the rights.,” he says. “With this one he went to Sony – who I have a very good relationship with – but they have their own plans for it and I think Neil’s plan for it – I’m not trying to be political – Neil’s plan for it is not the same as Sony’s.”

Raimi then followed up by saying he is still attached to the project. “I’m not too sure what that means,” he admitted. “Right now it’s just sitting there. They don’t want to move forward, and it’s not my place to say why, and Neil, I think, is in a slight disagreement with them about how things should go so there’s a standstill. And I don’t have the power to move it.”

To read more about the film’s production problems, head over to IGN. Before you go, you can watch this discussion between our own Ben Hanson and Druckmann about the film.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

 

Our Take
When you get too many cooks in the kitchen for a film, the competing interests often derail these types of transmedia deals. Here’s hoping that Naughty Dog, Sony, and Raimi’s production house can straighten out the problems and move forward.  

Beta Test The Last Of Us Movie Stalls In Production

How Mass Effect 3's Multiplayer Influenced Andromeda's Gameplay

During our trip to BioWare Montreal for our cover story on Mass Effect Andromeda, we saw several hours of gameplay. You can learn our impressions of what we saw by clicking here, or you can watch this interview with Mass Effect Andromeda’s producer Fabrice Condominas to learn more about the philosophy for changing up the gameplay with this new entry. As Condominas points out, it’s been a while since the last Mass Effect game was released and the series’ gameplay needs to adapt to trends in the game industry. In addition to taking influences and cues from the wider industry, the team at BioWare learned a lot about creating fun gameplay encounters from their continued support of Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer.

Watch the video below to learn more about the lessons the team took from Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer and how they aim to keep the RPG depth in Mass Effect Andromeda.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

To learn even more about Mass Effect Andromeda, click on the banner below to enter our hub of exclusive content.

Beta Test How Mass Effect 3’s Multiplayer Influenced Andromeda’s Gameplay

EA Pursuing Development Of An Open-World Game

Electronic Arts is looking to add another genre to its stable of games. While the company is largely known for sports games, shooters, and the BioWare catalog, recent comments by CFO Blake Jorgensen indicate the company may soon join the crowded open-world action genre dominated by games like Grand Theft Auto and Assassin’s Creed.

If this sounds exciting, don’t hold your breath just yet. Jorgensen says the game will be a “unique opportunity to start building a new franchise in action,”
though also cautioned that we wont see it for at least another three years. Montreal-based Motive Studios, headed by original Assassin’s Creed producer Jade Raymond, may be the studio creating this production. Raymond previously mentioned that her studio is making a new IP

EA has made slight forays into the open-world genre in the past with Dragon Age and Mass Effect, though those games weren’t as seamless as other sandbox titles. The experience from the smaller open world sections made with the Frostbite Engine – the engine EA is encouraging most of its studios to adopt – may help speed the development of this game.

[Source:Gamespot]

 

Our Take
EA has a mixed reputation when it comes to game development, but having Raymond on board would certainly help speed up its learning process. Only time will tell if the company will make a robust experience on par with the best of the genre. The competition is steep.

Beta Test EA Pursuing Development Of An Open-World Game

Uncharted 4 Leads The Pack For 2016 "The Game Awards" Nominations

With 2016 coming to a close soon, we’ve officially entered awards season. Today Geoff Keighley’s organization announced the nominees for The Game Awards, the online offshoot of the now defunct Spike VGAs. 

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End currently sits in pole position for the awards, with a crowd-leading eight nominations. Blockbuster shooter Overwatch and two indie darlings, Inside and Firewatch, tied for second with five nominations apiece. You can see the entire list below:

GAME OF THE YEAR
For a game that delivers the absolute best experience across all creative and technical fields.

DOOM (id Software/Bethesda)
Inside (Playdead)
Overwatch (Blizzard)
Titanfall 2 (Respawn/Electronic Arts)
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

BEST GAME DIRECTION 
Recognizing a game studio for outstanding creative vision, game direction and design.

Blizzard (for Overwatch)
DICE (for Battlefield 1)
id Software (for DOOM)
Naughty Dog (for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End)
Respawn (for Titanfall 2)

BEST NARRATIVE
For outstanding storytelling and narrative development in a game.

Firewatch (Campo Santo)
Inside (Playdead)
Mafia III (Hangar 13/2K)
Oxenfree (Night School Studio)
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/SIE)

BEST ART DIRECTION
For outstanding creative and technical achievement in artistic design and animation.

Abzu (Giant Squid/505)
Firewatch (Campo Santo)
Inside (Playdead)
Overwatch (Blizzard)
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/SIE)

BEST MUSIC/SOUND DESIGN
For outstanding audio, inclusive of score, original song, licensed soundtrack and sound design.

Battlefield 1 (DICE/EA)
DOOM (id/Bethesda)
Inside (Playdead)
Rez Infinite (Enhance Games)
Thumper (Drool)

BEST PERFORMANCE
Awarded to an individual for voice-over acting, motion and/or performance capture.

Alex Hernandez as Lincoln Clay, Mafia III
Cissy Jones as Delilah, Firewatch
Emily Rose as Elena, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Nolan North as Nathan Drake, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Rich Summer as Henry, Firewatch
Troy Baker as Sam Drake, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

GAMES FOR IMPACT
Honoring exemplary games that take on real-world issues and advocate for social change.

1979 Revolution (iNK Stories)
Block’hood (Plethora Project/Devolver Digital)
Orwell (Osmotic Studios/Surprise Attack)
Sea Hero Quest (Glitchers)
That Dragon, Cancer (Numinous Games)

BEST INDEPENDENT GAME
For outstanding achievement in a game made outside the traditional publisher system.

Firewatch (Campo Santo)
Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
Inside (Playdead)
Stardew Valley (ConcernedApe/Chucklefish Games)
The Witness (Thelka, Inc.)

BEST MOBILE/HANDHELD
For the best game playable on mobile phones and dedicated gaming handhelds.

Clash Royale (Supercell)
Fire Emblem Fates (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo)
Monster Hunter Generations (Capcom)
Pokemon Go (Niantic)
Severed (DrinkBox Studios)

BEST VR GAME
For the best game experience playable in virtual reality.

Batman: Arkham VR (Rocksteady Studios/WBIE)
EVE: Valkyrie (CCP Games)
Job Simulator (Owlchemy Labs)
Rez Infinite (Enhance Games)
Thumper (Drool)

BEST ACTION GAME
For the best game experience focused around first or third person combat.

Battlefield 1 (DICE/EA)
DOOM (id Software/Bethesda Softworks)
Gears of War 4 (The Coalition/Microsoft Studios)
Overwatch (Blizzard)
Titanfall 2 (Respawn/EA)

BEST ACTION/ADVENTURE GAME
For the best game experience that combines combat with traversal and puzzle solving.

Dishonored 2 (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
Hitman (IO Interactive/Square-Enix)
Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
Ratchet & Clank (Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

BEST RPG
The best game designed for rich player character customization and progression, both offline and online, including massively multiplayer.

Dark Souls 3 (FromSoftware/Bandai Namco Entertainment)
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Eidos Montreal/Square-Enix)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — Blood and Wine (CD Projekt RED)
World of Warcraft: Legion (Blizzard)
Xenoblade Chronicles X (Monolith Soft/Nintendo)

BEST FIGHTING GAME
For a game designed primarily around head-to-head combat.

Killer Instinct Season 3 (Iron Galaxy Studios/Microsoft Studios)
King of Fighters XIV (SNK/Atlus USA)
Pokken Tournament (Bandai Namco Studios/The Pokemon Co.)
Street Fighter V (Capcom)

BEST STRATEGY GAME
Best game focused on real time or turn-based strategy.

Civilization VI (Firaxis Games/2K)
Fire Emblem Fates (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo)
The Banner Saga 2 (Stoic Studio/Versus Evil)
Total War: Warhammer (Creative Assembly/Sega)
XCOM 2 (Firaxis Games/2K)

BEST FAMILY GAME
Best game for family play, including toys-to-life, rhythm/music/dance, and other genres. 

Dragon Quest Builders (Square Enix)
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens (TT Fusion/WBIE)
Pokemon Go (Niantic)
Ratchet & Clank (Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
Skylanders: Imaginators (Toy for Bob/Activision)

BEST SPORTS/RACING
For traditional and non-traditional sports and racing games.

FIFA 17 (EA Canada/EA Sports)
Forza Horizon 3 (Playground Games/Microsoft Studios)
MLB The Show 16 (SCE San Diego Studio/SIE)
NBA 2K17 (Visual Concepts/2K Sports)
Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 (PES Productions/Konami)

BEST MULTIPLAYER
For outstanding online multiplayer gameplay and design, including co-op and massively multiplayer experiences. 

Battlefield 1 (DICE/EA)
Gears of War 4 (The Coalition/Microsoft Studios)
Overcooked (Ghost Town Games/Team 17)
Overwatch (Blizzard)
Titanfall 2 (Respawn/EA)
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

MOST ANTICIPATED GAME
An upcoming game that has shown significant ambition and promise in moving the gaming medium forward.

God of War (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
Horizon: Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
Mass Effect: Andromeda (Bioware/EA)
Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)

TRENDING GAMER
For a notable influencer, online streamer or media personality in 2016.

AngryJoeShow
Boogie2988
Danny O’Dwyer
JackSepticEye
Lirik

BEST FAN CREATION
For fan-created content, such as MODs, fan films, and other player content.

Project A2MR
Pokemon Uranium
Brutal Doom 64
Enderal: The Shards of Order

BEST ESPORTS PLAYER
The eSports player judged to be the most outstanding performer in 2016, irrespective of game.

Faker – Lee Sang-hyeok (SK Telecom T1, League of Legends)
Coldzera – Marcelo David (SK Gaming, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)
ByuN –Hyun Woo (Starcraft 2)
Infiltrator – Lee Seon-woo (Team Razer, Street Fighter V)
Hungrybox – Juan Debiedma (Team Liquid, Super Smash Bros.)

BEST ESPORTS TEAM
The eSports team or organization judged to be the most outstanding for performance in 2016, irrespective of game.

SK Telecom T1 (League of Legends)
Wings Gaming (DOTA2)
SK Gaming
ROX Tigers (League of Legends)
Cloud 9

BEST ESPORTS GAME
The eSports game that has shown creative and technical excellence in 2016 with the best gameplay, community support and content updates.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve)
DOTA2 (Valve)
League of Legends (Riot)
Overwatch (Blizzard)
Street Fighter V (Capcom)

You can watch the show Thursday, December 1 at 9:00 p.m. ET on TheGameAwards.com, Facebook Live, PlayStation Network, Steam, Twitch, Twitter, Xbox Live, or YouTube. You can vote for the fan awards here.

Beta Test Uncharted 4 Leads The Pack For 2016 “The Game Awards” Nominations

Play The Real-Life Legend Of Zelda Event

Nintendo is teaming up with escape room company Scrap for Defenders of the Triforce – a real-world group puzzle/story event being hosted in eight cities around the U.S. starting early next year.

Multiple teams will come together in one area to try and solve various puzzles, get items, and ultimately recover the Triforce from Ganondorf. 

The experience is being held in San Francisco, Phoenix, Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston, and New York.

Check out this official page for more info, including an FAQ.

[Source: Nintendo]

Beta Test Play The Real-Life Legend Of Zelda Event

See Persona 5 In English In Today's Livestream

Atlus is showing off the English translation of Persona 5 today in a livestream. You can tune in to the publisher’s official Twitch channel today at noon Pacific to see the game, as well as hear from some special guests and get a chance to win prizes.

In addition to today’s livestream, Atlus released a new trailer for the game. It shows off what members of the game’s Phantom Thieves do in their off time, which apparently includes fishing, baseball, and eating novelty-sized burgers.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

The game is coming February 14, 2017.

Beta Test See Persona 5 In English In Today’s Livestream