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.

Microsoft’s “Epic 2017” includes Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, Tacoma, Cuphead, and more

We’re nearly to the end of February, but Microsoft thought today was a great day to launch their first major game of 2017, Halo Wars 2. To celebrate, the consolemaker turned the spotlight on their “Epic 2017” in a special episode of This Week on Xbox.

Besides delving deeper into the latest addition to the Halo franchise, Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb and friends explore Crackdown 3, Phantom Dust, Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, and several indie games set to launch this year through the ID@Xbox program.

Microsoft’s Chris Charla also confirmed that ID@Xbox developers will have a major presence at GDC 2017, and Microsoft’s Showcase on the show floor will include more than 20 titles. GDC attendees will get a chance to play Ron Gilbert’s Thimbleweed Park, Fullbright’s Tacoma, Studio MDHR’s Cuphead, and many others when the conference kicks off in San Francisco next week.

Finally, Phil “Head of Xbox” Spencer had a few more words to say about Microsoft’s “Epic 2017” on the Xbox Wire, and he also confirmed that a remake of Voodoo Vince will be available for the PC and Xbox One this Spring.

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

Retro-themed brawler Full Metal Furies will be out this year from Cellar Door Games

Cellar Door Games exploded onto the scene in a big way back in 2013 with the release of Rogue Legacy, their roguelike platformer for the PC. In the years since then, they found new fans for Rogue Legacy on the PS3, PS4, Vita, and Xbox One. But they also spent that time working in secret on a new game… Full Metal Furies.

In development for the PC and Xbox One, Full Metal Furies is a retro-themed brawler for up to four players and an RPG-like leveling system. With its unique character classes, Cellar Door believes that Full Metal Furies is “Not Your Typical Brawler,” and they set out to prove it in a new post on Xbox Wire:

  • Tired of button mashing? The game features four unique character classes with their own skills and attacks. Engage from afar as the Sniper, slam up close as the Fighter, or prep turrets in people’s faces with the Engineer.
  • Say goodbye to wonky hit detection. FMF uses complex attack logic to ensure obtuse depth perception is a thing of the past.
  • No more cannon fodder. Fragile Artillerists will stay away and call air strikes from afar, while heavy-duty Minitaurs will charge at you and get up-close and personal. Every enemy is a threat.

    Full Metal Furies is being designed from the ground up for co-op play, but players will also be able to tackle the adventure solo if they so choose. Using a “Quick-Swap System,” players will be able to switch off between two characters as they play… which becomes doubly important because certain enemies can only be damaged by attacks from specific classes.

    To further foster cooperation amongst all your friends, Cellar Door Games will release Full Metal Furies as an Xbox Play Anywhere with Cross Play support on Windows 10 PCs and the Xbox One sometime this year.

    Posted in News, PC, Xbox One | Tagged

    Square Enix tapes Tales producer Hideo Baba to develop Project Prelude Rune

    Square Enix will collaborate with Hideo Baba, one of the driving forces behind Bandai Namco’s Tales series beginning with 2006’s Tales of Destiny, to establish Studio Istolia. Wholly owned by Square Enix, Studio Istolia is hard at work on their first game, an RPG currently known as Project Prelude Rune:

    The project aims to build a new RPG with a new fantasy: unfolding across a vast land teeming with life. Nurtured by the earth, the many peoples of this land dare to dream, fighting for what is just—and this is their tale.

    For now, that’s all Square Enix and Studio Istolia were willing to share about Project Prelude Rune. However, they did reveal that “Istolia” is derived from the Greek for “Story,” adding, “The aim of the studio is to provide unforgettable stories that will inspire players in their own lives, and bring new game experiences to everyone around the world.”

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    Chroma Squad will be available for PS4 and Xbox One this May

    Bandai Namco has announced that Chroma Squad, a tactical RPG inspired by Power Rangers that’s currently available through Steam, will be released for the PS4 and Xbox One in May.

    Developed by Brazilian-based Behold Studios, Chroma Squad features “five high-flying stunt actors who decide to quit their day jobs and create their own Power Rangers TV show.” But somewhere along the way, they stumble into a real alien invasion and make it their job to save the Earth.

    Bandai Namco had previously announced that Chroma Squad was also in development for the Vita, but the portable rendition of the game was officially canceled by the publisher today.

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




    Get a quick glimpse at Tom Savini’s “Custom Jason” in Friday the 13th: The Game

    Friday the 13th: The Game will feature several incarnations of Jason Voorhees (including “Burlap Sack Jason” from Part 2, “Original Hockey Mask Jason” from Part 3, and “Zombie Jason” from Jason Lives), but fans who pre-order the game will also receive access to a “Custom Jason” created by special effects wizard Tom Savini.

    The trailer for Savini’s “Custom Jason” doesn’t reveal much about the character’s redesign, but the glowing eyes are fairly terrifying. As is the way his tattered costume seems show a ridgeline of spikes across his shoulders and the claw-like design of his hands. The master at work, ladies and gentlemen.

    Savini is best known as the make-up artist behind the original Friday the 13th, as well as Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. As one of the most in-demand names in the business in the 70s and 80s, he also contributed gory make-up effects to Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Creepshow, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, and many others.

    If you’re interested in playing as Savini’s “Custom Jason” in Friday the 13th: The Game, you’ll need to pre-order it now from the game’s official website.

    Friday the 13th: The Game will be released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One sometime in the Winter/Spring portion of the 2017 calendar. But if you can’t wait that long, developers from Gun Media and Illfonic will host a panel at this year’s PAX East convention that’ll contain “brutal kills, massive reveals, and an in-depth Q/A session.”

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

    Bethesda’s Todd Howard said the developer has SEVEN projects in the works

    Bethesda has always been one of the busiest studios in the business. In addition to producing multiple games at the same time, Bethesda is well known for producing each sprawling entry in the Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises. But they’ve taken things up a notch with their current workload.

    Speaking to IGN, Director Todd Howard has confirmed the company is currently working on seven different projects, though some of these games have been discussed before.

    Howard specifically cited the upcoming Switch launch of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4 VR as two projects that were previously announced. The developer was extremely excited about Fallout 4 VR, adding that the game is playable “start to finish in VR” and is shaping up nicely:

    “There’s no content that we removed or changed [for VR],” Howard explained, noting that the current work being done on it is related to how players actually interact with the experience.

    “It’s interface work, it’s other things,” he said. “There are issues with locomotion, how you traverse that much space, and we’re hoping to support as many modes as possible… It’s not done yet, there’s work to do, but the parts that are there, I’m biased but it’s pretty incredible.”

    Betehsda’s Director also reiterated the company is working on another mobile title that “would follow in the successful footsteps of Fallout Shelter,” though he didn’t say if it would be an original title or based on an existing franchise.

    The seventh project remained a mystery, but with a final flourish, Howard told IGN that Bethesda’s two “big and crazy” projects announced during the 2016 DICE Summit are still in development, as is The Elder Scrolls VI, which was first mentioned at E3 2016 as being “a very long way off.”

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

    Uncharted 4 wins “Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing” from WGA

    The Writers Guild of America continued their love affair with Naughty Dog last night, picking the developer as the recipient of a Writers Guild Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing” for their work on Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

    The credited writers on Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End are Neil Druckmann, Josh Scherr, Tom Bissell, and Ryan James, and each can stake a claim on the treasure that is this Writers Guild Award.

    This is the fourth Writers Guild Award for the narrative team at Naughty Dog. The developer also came out on top of the “Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing” category in 2015 (The Last of Us: Left Behind), 2014 (2014 The Last of Us), and 2012 (Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception).

    Naughty Dog triumphed over three other highly-qualified nominees this year including Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Ubisoft’s Far Cry: Primal, and Night School Studio’s Mr. Robot: 1.51exfiltratiOn.

    Posted in News, PS4 | Tagged

    Weekly Warp-Up: T-Minus 12 Days from the Launch of the Nintendo Switch

    No, that’s not a typo. Welcome to the Weekly Warp-Up, your weekly wrap-up of the biggest and the best articles posted at Warp Zoned this week…

    We are T-Minus 12 days from the launch of the Nintendo Switch, so now is a good time as any to ask Is Nintendo Marketing the Switch to the Wrong Audience? For a company so closely liked with the childlike wonder that video games can create, we’ve noticed there’s been a distinct lack of kids in the Switch’s marketing materials.

    But, of course, video games aren’t just for kids. And no where is there more evident than in latest Kickstart This! selection, a game adaptation of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.

    Finally this week, our Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time series looked at the simplicity of Space Invaders. Drop down, increase speed, and reverse direction!

    You can find more news from this past week, including a recap of NIS America’s 2017 Press Event and a lost “Pac-Man” parody from Weird Al Yankovic, after the break. (more…)

    Posted in News |