Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene is in an unenviable position at the moment. His namesake game, PlayerUnknown's BattleGrounds was the surprise hit of 2017, going from being an obscure work-in-progress game in Steam's Early Access section to racking up over $60 million in sales in mere months, averaging 2 million daily players on PC and getting a console port via the Xbox One -- all before it hit version 1.0. By all accounts, it looked like the game's continued success was guaranteed. Then Fortnite: Battle Royale happened. This week, Fortnite developer Epic Games announced that in just nine months time, its free-to-play spin on battle royale had accrued 125 million players. (Weeks earlier, PUBG's parent company sued Epic for alleged copyright violations.)
But Fortnite isn't the only competition for PUBG. Giants of the FPS world like Call of Duty and Battlefield have announced they're joining the fray, and others will surely follow.
Greene couldn't talk about the pending lawsuit, for obvious legal reasons, but when I spoke to him at E3 this week he was candid about the competition and his team's plans to differentiate PUBG from everyone else. Oh and to get this out of the way up front, don't expect PUBG to go free-to-play any time soon. Greene said that the team hadn't discussed it "at all."
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Our oceans are in trouble. Climate change, plastic waste and overfishing are all causing tremendous damage to underwater life around the world. Inspired by the BBC's Blue Planet II series, developer E-Line Media is making a video game that focuses on the scientists who are trying to understand our impact. It's called Beyond Blue and will put you in charge of a research team with stunning technology designed to unlock new insights about the sea. Your task is simply to gather information and learn what you can about these fast-changing, human-made threats to the sea.
Wow, those intestines are really pretty.
I never expected that particular phrase to pass through my mind, but it definitely did during my playthrough of the new Resident Evil 2 remake -- and more than once. Twenty years after its launch on the original PlayStation, RE2 has been essentially rebuilt from the ground up for modern platforms and it's nearly unrecognizable, at least from a visual standpoint. Gameplay-wise, however, it feels just like RE2.
With the rise of games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite, headsets have become essential gear. Like any other personal audio purchase, there are a range of options, offering loads of features and levels of sound quality -- depending on how much you're willing to pay. At E3, Turtle Beach announced two new wired headsets that offer solid audio and decent features without breaking the bank.
Source: Turtle Beach (1), (2)
Naughty Dog's E3 trailer for The Last of Us: Part II gave us a good idea what combat as lead character Ellie would be like, but the story is still largely a mystery. But during a panel earlier this week, game director Neil Druckmann dropped a tantalizing hint about how the game might be structured. It sounds like it won't be the totally linear affair found in the first game. Instead, the narrative may move between two different times, much the way that Left Behind (a three-hour, Ellie-focused add-on to The Last of Us) jumped between two points in time.
Like other platforms and websites, Steam recently rolled out policy and product changes to comply with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As part of those updates, it has also launched a new portal that puts all your data in one place -- and yes, it includes a list of all your games, including the ones you blindly purchased during sales that still sit unplayed and untouched in your library. It shows your subscriptions, the fund sources you used, tournament registrations and even the profiles you've reported over the years. You can also see your and your friends' activity feeds, your inventory, trades, uploaded content, broadcasts and chat messages.
Via: Gamasutra, Rock Paper Shotgun
Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.
We're close to wrapping up our reports from E3 2018, but in between the games, we have an update on a new challenger in the EV race and The Boring Company's big opportunity in Chicago.
Call of Duty is no stranger to the PC. Previous versions of the game have been available on the platform before this year's Black Ops 4, but Treyarch is putting way more energy behind the PC edition than it has in the past. That means a much larger team is working on this version of the game. There's much more attention to detail, customization and other features specifically for the PC faithful.
With its third season of The Walking Dead, game developer Telltale took a risk. The team moved the spotlight away from Clementine and onto a new batch of survivors led by former baseball star Javier Garcia. "People just wanted more Clementine," Kent Mudle, creative director on Telltale's The Walking Dead said. "They liked the Clementine stuff that was there, and she was playable in the flashbacks and that kind of thing. But that's what people have been demanding since season two, basically." So for the fourth and final season, the studio is putting the focus back on Lee's beloved "sweet pea."
Titles by FromSoftware, like Dark Souls, Bloodborne (and most probably the incoming Sekiro) are exhausting games to play. Incredible and rewarding, yes, but harrowing too. Perhaps Déraciné is as much a break for FromSoftware's staff as it is for players. The new PlayStation VR game reunites Japan Studio, FromSoftware and director Hidetaka Miyazaki, and centers around gentle environmental puzzle-solving. No swords, no violence and no pride-damaging difficulty -- just some head scratching. Intrigued?
Keita Takahashi is an unusual video game designer. His breakout hit, Katamari Damacy, was about picking up objects with an increasingly large, sticky ball. He then made Noby Noby Boy, a game about a colorful, worm-like creature that can stretch around animals, houses and planets. Now, the artist is working on Wattam, a light-hearted puzzle game about a little green mayor and his quest to find a group of long-lost friends. It's a wonderfully weird experience that doesn't fall into any conventional game genre — and that's just fine by me.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (SotN) is one of the most influential games ever made. First released for the original PlayStation in 1997, the game has since been ported to nearly every platform under the sun. It perfected the series' core design conceit where players could explore gigantic 2D environments at will, collecting new abilities that unlocked hidden-in-plain-sight secrets in previously traversed areas. It also iterated on the superb Super Metroid released for the SNES three years prior.
That framework was so well-done that it spawned its own genre ("Metroidvania") and countless games have used it since. Koji Igarashi, SotN's co-creator, has finally brought his crowdfunded (and SotN spiritual successor) Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night to E3. How does it play? Pretty close to the original.
Donkey Kong, the arcade trailblazer responsible for helping to catapult Nintendo into the spotlight, has been re-released on the Nintendo Switch. That's not all -- it will soon be accompanied by the lesser known Sky Skipper.
Yesterday I learned that I'm no John Wick. Honestly, I'm not sure I could defend myself from a sufficiently motivated Kato at this point. I played through a mission of Hitman 2, the latest iteration of the venerated assassination sandbox franchise, at E3 on Wednesday, and my long-held fantasies of retiring from journalism and taking up work as a professional killer were immediately dashed. Who would have thought that carrying out targeted assassinations would be so demanding?
While I may be a rather incompetent assassin, it turns out that I'm not a half-bad secret agent man. At E3 on Thursday, I was afforded the opportunity to don an Oculus headset and play through a level of Twisted Pixel's upcoming espionage simulator, Defector. I only blew my own cover twice!
It's generally quiet on the hardware front at E3 2018, cardboard arcade cabinets aside. There are always people shopping for controllers, however, and 8Bitdo is adding to its generally excellent third-party Bluetooth controllers with the Zero 2, a retro-styled controller with motion controls, glossy color options and even a slot for your keychain. And it's actually small enough to warrant attaching it to something.
Justin Roiland absentmindedly twirls the faces of the Rubik's Cube in his hands as we finish setting up the camera equipment. "I'm playing Shadows of Mordor... I just got the Oculus Go so I'm like messing around with bunch of stuff on [that]," he mentions. "I'm playing on the Switch, I'm playing ... god, too many things at once. I have too many games right now that I'm sort of bouncing around, you know?"