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The PlayStation Store is about to get a little more epic this week as a handful of big games are now available to download on the PS4, PS3, and PS Vita.
First up, the Titanfall franchise will make its PS4 debut this week with the launch of Titanfall 2. The second collaboration between EA and Respawn will add new Titans, new weapons, new multiplayer options, and an expansive new single-player campaign to the series.
Also available this week is World of Final Fantasy, Square Enix’s reimagining of the Final Fantasy franchise for younger players. Designed using the “chibi” art style, World of Final Fantasy will merge together many of the greatest heroes and villains from the franchise’s lengthy history in an RPG that’s now available to download for the PS4 and PS Vita.
And speaking of epic RPGs, Bethesda will bring The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition to the PS4 this week. In addition to the main game and all its expansion, the Skyrim Special Edition will include support for mods and additional technical wizardry that adds “remastered art and effects, volumetric god rays, dynamic depth of field, screen-space reflections, and more” to the game.
PS4 and PS3 owners will also be able to launch into some epic dance moves with the release of Just Dance 2017.
Finally, a pair of episodic games will receive new chapters this week on the PS4 and PS3. Batman: The Telltale Series will reach the halfway point with Episode 3: New World Order. And The Odd Gentlemen will bring the King’s Quest reboot to a close with Chapter 5: The Good Knight.
More information on all of these games (and a big batch of other new releases) can be found after the break. And, as always, the PlayStation Blog has a complete rundown of this week’s new add-ons and discounts. (more…)
Batman: The Telltale Series continues to roll on with today’s release of the next episode in the series, New World Order. In a new trailer for Episode 3, we’ve learned that the aftermath of the attack by the Children of Arkham has left Gotham City, and The Batman, shaken to the core. Meanwhile, Harvey Dent is going through his own identity crisis:
In Episode 3, Penguin’s brutal attack broadcast on live TV has left Gotham City reeling. As Bruce and Batman, you’ll dig deeper into the web of intrigue surrounding the newly revealed Children of Arkham. Meanwhile, behind closed doors, the mysterious Selina Kyle reveals more of herself to Bruce. And in the aftermath of the attack, Bruce’s friend and Gotham’s new mayor, Harvey Dent, is a deeply changed man. Who can be trusted when the future of Bruce Wayne – and the Batman – could be determined by the flip of a coin?
Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 3: New World Order is now available to download for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One. It’ll also be released for the PS3, Xbox 360, and mobile devices at a later date.
EA and Respawn Entertainment will storm their way into stores this week with Titanfall 2 for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One. In addition to expanded multiplayer options, Titanfall 2 will include a single-player campaign for the first time. We can finally say it… Your Titanfall sequel is ready.
Also available this week is World of Final Fantasy, a new “chibi” RPG from Square Enix that celebrates the grand history of the Final Fantasy franchise. Designed primarily for a younger audience, PS4 and Vita players will still need to save the world from an evil mastermind. Thankfully, they’ll be aided by dozens of heroes from previous games in the series.
If you’d rather skip all the fighting and just dance, Ubisoft has you covered with the launch of Just Dance 2017 on the PC, PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Just Dance 2017 includes dozens of songs, and the new Just Dance Machine mode, which will throw an assortment of different dance styles at players.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition will make its PC, PS4, and Xbox One debut this week, as Bethesda plans to relaunch their epic RPG on a new generation of platforms. And Telltale will bring together Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure on a single disc for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
Finally this week, one of my favorite puzzlers of the year, Tumblestone, will receive a retail release on the PS4 and Wii U.
A complete list of this week’s new retail releases can be found after the break. (more…)
SAG-AFTRA, a union representing voice actors and stunt performers, authorized a strike against game developers that began this morning. As part of the process, the union has published a list of projects that members are no longer allowed to work on, and it includes several unannounced games.
It wasn’t much of a shock to learn that EA Sports is already hard at work on Madden NFL 18 and NHL 18, but listings for Lego Marvel 2 and Brothers in Arms were a bit more surprising (though not unexpected). While WB Games has yet to make any noise about a new Lego Marvel game, Gearbox confirmed the existence of a fourth Brothers in Arms game last year.
A large number of mobile games also make up a large part of the list, as well as a few games that are denoted only by codenames. For example, Take-Two is working on something called “Alligator,” while EA is developing games under monikers as diverse as “Odin,” “Fearless,” “Scorpion,” and “Timbits.” We may never know what these codenames refer to (they may even belong to games that have already been released), but one of the union’s major demands is for developers to be more transparent during the hiring process and to use a game’s actual title when contracting with vocal/stunt performers.
Finally, several highly-anticipated 2017 titles will be affected by the strike including Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue, Injustice 2, and Crash Bandicoot Remastered. So hopefully the two sides can reach an equitable agreement soon.
Negotiations between game developers and the voice actors and stunt performers represented by the SAG-AFTRA union began in February 2015, but after more than 18 months of discussions, the two sides appear no closer to an agreement. Because of the impasse, and to protest against a contract they believe is decades out of date, the members of the union went on strike this morning.
“SAG-AFTRA has gone to the negotiations table with serious concerns affecting voiceover and stunt performers,” said Ray Rodriguez, the Chief Contracts Officer for SAG-AFTRA. “It’s time for video game employers to take our concerns seriously and negotiate a modern contract based on actor safety, industry precedent and best practices.”
This strike won’t affect all developers, and currently only applies to games that went into production after February 17, 2015 at Activision, Electronic Arts, Insomniac Games, Take-Two Interactive, and WB Games. However, the strike also extends to several independent vocal production studios that do a lot of contract work with the big publishers.
The game developers are offering an immediate 9% salary hike for all performers, and “additional compensation” depending on the number of recording sessions. However, the union’s demands for better working conditions went unmentioned in a statement from the Chief Negotiator for the game developers.
The SAG-AFTRA union plans to push the game developers for a better deal over the next few weeks, and their first order of business is encouraging all members to join a picket line in front of EA’s headquarters this Monday, October 24.
Football season is in full swing, and the NBA season is getting ready to tip-off this weekend, so it’s a great time to check out this year’s newest sports simulations. Gamers definitely agreed, as four sports titles were at the top of September 2016’s sales report from The NPD Group.
2K’s NBA 2K17 was #1, and it was followed by three from EA Sports: Madden NFL 17 (#2), FIFA 17 (#3), and NHL 17 (#4). Shooters dominated the rest of the list with BioShock: The Collection rounding out the Top 5, and Destiny: The Collection (#6), Overwatch (#8), and Call of Duty: Black Ops III (#10) all in the Top 10.
Believe it or not, Minecraft failed to find a place in the Top 10 for the first time in nearly a year. Perhaps this is why hardware, software, and accessory sales totaled $838.2 million last month, which is down from September 2015’s $1.09 billion tally. But the NPD is pinning the blame on the PS4 Slim and Xbox One S.
“Spending on software, hardware, and accessories declined by 23% compared to this time last year,” NPD Analyst Sam Naji told GamesIndustry.biz. “The release of the PS4 Slim and the second month of the Xbox One S was not enough to stimulate total hardware spending and this month’s new software releases could not compete with last year’s stronger slate of new games.”
The full Top 10 from September 2016 can be found after the break. (more…)
Atlus has released a new Persona 5 trailer introducing fans to “The Protagonist,” the leader of the Phantom Thieves and the RPG’s main character. To go along with this reveal, the publisher has also announced a portion of the game’s English voice cast:
Persona 5 Voice Cast
- Xander Mobus as The Protagonist
- Cassandra Morris as Morgana
- Max Mittelman as Ryuji Sakamoto
- Erika Harlacher as Ann Takamaki
- Matt Mercer as Yusuke Kitagawa
- Cherami Leigh as Makoto Niijima
- Erica Lindbeck as Futaba Sakura
- Xanthe Huynh as Haru Okumura
- Robbie Daymond as Goro Akechi
“We at Atlus USA take pride in the quality and care we put into casting and dubbing for our games, and Persona 5 is no exception,” said Yu Namba, Persona 5’s Project Lead and Recording Supervisor. “This is a completely new cast of characters, so we started with a blank slate in bringing life to them with our stellar cast of voice actors. It’s hard saying goodbye to the cast of previous Persona games, but we hope to bring an entirely new tone with a new set of actors for this game.”
Persona 5 will be released for the PS4 and PS3 on February 14, 2017. But in the meantime, you can find a Q&A video with the actor behind The Protagonist, Xander Mobus, after the break. (more…)
“Come on, boys!” EA and DICE are heading back to the frontlines in Battlefield 1, which launches this week for the PS4. The game will be available to download this Friday, but PS4 owners can get it early if they’re willing to spring for the Early Enlister Edition, which includes bonus downloadable content, or the Ultimate Edition, which comes bundled with the post-launch Premium Pass.
Also available to download this week is a pair of re-releases that will give PS4 players a chance to relive two of WBIE’s PS3-era successes. Batman: Return to Arkham will collect Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City as a single package with “fully remastered and updated visuals” and all previously-released downloadable content. And the Lego Harry Potter Collection brings together Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 with newly redone graphics.
Over on the PS3 side of the PlayStation Store, players will be able to continue Batman: The Telltale Series with this week’s launch of Episode 2: Children of Arkham.
Finally this week, Harmonix will launch the Rivals expansion for Rock Band 4. Players will be able to tackle a brand new campaign mode known as “Rockudrama,” and battle it out with others online in “Rivals Mode.”
More information on all of these games (and a few other new releases) can be found after the break. And a complete listing of this week’s new add-ons and discounts can be found at the PlayStation Blog. (more…)