Author: John Scalzo

John Scalzo is Warp Zoned's Editor-In-Chief and resident retro gaming expert. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at john AT warpzoned DOT com.

Learn everything you ever wanted to know about Far Cry: Primal’s world in this trailer

Far Cry: Primal is just a few weeks away, but Ubisoft wants to adequately prepare players for the harsh environments and savage enemies they’ll face with this new introductory trailer.

You are Takkar, a seasoned warrior of the Winja tribe known as “The Beast Master.” To survive, you must embark on a savage adventure filled with brutal weapons, warring tribes, and mystical journeys. Takkar and his people are at the very bottom of the food chain, threatened by man and beast alike. To overcome his many foes, Takkar has powerful weaponry at his disposal.

The five-minute trailer puts a lot of emphasis on the weapons Takkar will be able to wield in the game including a “Bee Bomb” and an an owl companion who is always by his side. Takkar can also “tame and command wild beasts” including badgers, tigers, and elephants (oh my)! But the trailer also expands outward to focus on rival tribes and the many horrors of day-to-day life in the Stone Age.

If you’re up to the challenge, Far Cry: Primal will be released for the PS4 and Xbox One on February 23. The PC edition will launch a week later on March 1.

Posted in News, PC, PS4, Xbox One | Tagged

Ubisoft will host a Tom Clancy’s The Division Open Beta from February 18 – February 21

After the successful completion of last month’s Closed Beta, Ubisoft has announced plans to offer an Open Beta for Tom Clancy’s The Division beginning on Thursday, February 18 (for Xbox One owners) or Friday, February 19 (for PC and PS4 owners). Regardless of which platform you pledge allegiance to, the beta will close up shop on Sunday, February 21.

The Tom Clancy’s The Division Open Beta will include all of the content from the Closed Beta, as well as an all new story mission. Everyone who participates in the Open Beta will receive a special in-game reward that’ll be unlockable in the full game. The Open Beta is now available to pre-load on all three platforms, and you can check out the trailer embedded above to learn more about the game’s factions.

Tom Clancy’s The Division is a team-based shooter that takes place in New York City during the aftermath of a viral attack on Black Friday. It’ll be available for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One on March 8.

Posted in News, PC, PS4, Xbox One | Tagged

Amazon launches Lumberyard, a free-to-use game development engine for PC and consoles

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Amazon has been trying to break into the video game industry for years. First with their Fire Tablet, and then later with the Fire TV and the formation of Amazon Game Studios. But today the web retailer is going one step further with the launch of Lumberyard, a free-to-use 3D game engine that will attempt to compete with Unreal Engine 4 and Unity. Amazon also gave the green light to GameLift today, a paid service that offers assistance with “deploying, operating, and scaling session-based multiplayer games.”

Lumberyard is currently compatible with PC and console game development, and Amazon hopes to add support for mobile games and virtual reality experiences in a future update. In addition to a development environment that includes easy access to Amazon Web Services, the engine will be closely integrated with Twitch, the world-famous game streaming service that also happens to be owned by Amazon.

Some of Lumberyard’s other features include:

Create the Highest-Quality Games — Amazon Lumberyard helps developers build rich, engaging, world-class games—from a full-featured editor, to native code performance and stunning visuals, and hundreds of other features like performant networking, cloth physics, character and animation editors, particle editor, UI editor, audio tools, weather effects, vehicle systems, flocking AI, perception handling, camera frameworks, path finding, and more. Developers also have full access to Amazon Lumberyard source code, making it easy to customize the technology to create differentiated gameplay.

Build Live, Online Features in Minutes — Live, online games enjoy higher engagement and retention than offline games. Amazon Lumberyard’s visual scripting tool, with its drag-and-drop graphical user interface, makes it easy to build connected game features that access AWS, such as DynamoDB, Lambda, and S3. In minutes, game designers can create features such as granting a daily gift or sending in-game notifications without having to write a single line of code. Amazon Lumberyard also comes integrated with AWS’s C++ SDK to provide developers access to dozens of AWS services through native C++ code, the most common language used to make games.

Reach and Engage Fans on Twitch — Amazon Lumberyard is integrated with Twitch so that developers can build gameplay features that engage the more than 1.7 million monthly broadcasters, and more than 100 million monthly viewers on Twitch. With Amazon Lumberyard’s Twitch ChatPlay, developers can use a drag-and-drop visual scripting interface to create gameplay features that let Twitch viewers use chat to directly impact the game they are watching in real-time. For example, with Twitch ChatPlay within Amazon Lumberyard, a developer could build a game that lets viewers on Twitch control a character or vote on game outcomes using chat commands like “up,” “down,” “live,” or “die.” And, the Twitch JoinIn feature within Amazon Lumberyard helps developers build games that allow Twitch broadcasters to instantly invite their live audiences to join them side-by-side in the game, with a single click, while others continue to watch.

More information about Lumberyard and GameLift can be found at Amazon.com.

Posted in News, PC, PS4, Wii U, Xbox One |

Blizzard celebrates their 25th anniversary with a message from co-founders Mike Morhaime and Frank Pearce

In 1991, Mike Morhaime and Frank Pearce launched Silicon & Synapse, a game development studio that would go on to obtain global recognition under its current name, Blizzard Entertainment. Morhaime and Pearce (along with Allen Adham, who is no longer with the company) started small, developing puzzle platformer The Lost Vikings and racing game Rock N Roll Racing before moving on to the first game in the Warcraft series, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.

Blizzard’s take on the real-time strategy genre helped shape the future of the company (and the video game industry as a whole) in ways that no one could have imagined. You can draw a direct line between that game and all of Blizzard’s subsequent projects including Diablo, StarCraft, World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, and Hearthstone.

So to celebrate all of the monumental things the company has done in the last 25 years, Morhaime and Pearce recently sat down to narrate a thank you to their fans. They reminisce about the past, they’re proud of the present, and they look to the future and the next 25 years.

Blizzard’s next game, the hero shooter Overwatch, will be released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One this Spring. The developer will also release World of Warcraft’s sixth expansion, World of Warcraft: Legion, sometime this Summer.

Posted in News, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged




Dark Souls III’s Opening Cinematic is appropriately dark and somber

From Software’s Dark Souls franchise has a deep and engrossing backstory that I am woefully unequipped to discuss in any depth. However, that didn’t stop the developer from releasing the Opening Cinematic for the upcoming Dark Souls III. And even without any knowledge of the nuts and bolts of the series, I can still see the beauty in the dark and somber short film.

Dark Souls III will be released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One on April 12.

Posted in News, PC, PS4, Xbox One | Tagged

N++ is in development for Steam and Metanet is “looking at other platforms” as well

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Metanet Software’s Raigan Burns recently put in an appearance at NeoGAF to confirm that N++ will be available for the PC (through Steam) very soon. According to the developer, there’s still “a few more months of work” to be done before the devilish clever platformer can be released for the PC, but the team is also “looking at other platforms” (presumably the Xbox One) too:

The good news: we’ve found a new programmer, and they’ve been working on porting N++ to Steam for the past month or so. There are still a few more months of work — we want to add all of the planned post-launch-update stuff that got put on hold when our team imploded — but we will definitely be bringing N++ to Steam. We’re still looking at other platforms too.

Anyway, thanks for your continued support…

N++ originally launched for the PS4 last Summer, and it was honored in our 2015 Golden Pixel Awards with a place on “The Apocalypse List” as “[one of] the games we’d keep playing if we had all the time in the world…”

Posted in News, PC, PS4, Xbox One | Tagged

Insert Quarter: A Brief History of Platinum Games

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Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

Platinum Games plans to release Star Fox Zero, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, and Nier: Automata in 2016. That’s a lot of games for one studio to handle, but after celebrating their tenth anniversary this year, they’ve clearly earned our trust.

Eurogamer’s Rich Stanton goes a step further and makes the case that Platinum Games might be the best Japanese developer working today. He believes the company’s unbroken string of classics (including MadWorld, Vanquish, Bayonetta, and The Wonderful 101) is nearly unmatched and that their fierce independent streak will always produce interesting results. You gotta admit, it’s kind of hard to argue with him:

[I]n recent years, Platinum Games has positioned itself as a standard-bearer for the Japanese industry, adopting the slogan: “Taking on the World as the Representative of Japan.” President and CEO Tatsuya Minami unpacked this, in a post to celebrate 10 years of Platinum Games. “Japan used to lead the worldwide video game industry, but we can’t help but feel that it has lost some of its vitality in recent years. Yet we are using this state of affairs to motivate and inspire ourselves […] We will keep up our fighting stance.”

The full article is available for your perusal at the Eurogamer.

Posted in DS, Insert Quarter, PC, PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One |

Return of The Dragon… Bruce Lee has been added to EA Sports UFC 2

easportsufc2-bruceleeEA Sports has announced that Bruce Lee will return to the Octagon this March as a competitor in EA Sports UFC 2. According to the sequel’s official website, players can use their fists of fury to unlock “The Dragon,” or they can skip all that work so long as they own a copy of the original EA Sports UFC:

Three Ways To Unlock Bruce Lee

1. Get EA Sports UFC
Fans who own EA Sports UFC and purchase EA Sports UFC 2 will get Day One access to Bruce Lee for FREE. Play as the martial arts legend in the Welterweight, Bantamweight, Featherweight, and Lightweight divisions.

2. Beat Career Mode
Fire up your copy of EA Sports UFC 2 and start fighting! Complete Career Mode and get inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame to unlock the martial arts legend for play in the Flyweight, Bantamweight, Featherweight and Lightweight divisions. Beating Career Mode also unlocks legends Mike Tyson, Bas Rutten, and Kazushi Sakuraba.

3. Subscribe to EA Access
Don’t own EA Sports UFC but want access to Bruce Lee when you pick up EA Sports UFC 2 starting on March 15? Subscribe to EA Access, download EA Sports UFC from The Vault and you’ll qualify to get Bruce Lee in EA Sports UFC 2.

EA Sports UFC 2 will be released for the PS4 and Xbox One on March 15.

Posted in News, PS4, Xbox One | Tagged