Most Recent: Xbox 360

Telltale teams up with Mojang for Minecraft: Story Mode

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After teasing some kind of “super secret surprise announcement” yesterday, Telltale Games has announced that they’re teaming up with Mojang to produce an episodic game series based on Minecraft. They were right, that is surprising!

The first episode of Minecraft: Story Mode will premiere sometime in 2015 and “introduce new characters” to the world of Minecraft whole exploring “familiar themes.” To that end, Telltale has also confirmed that they plan to enlist prominent members of the Minecraft community to help them craft the game’s story.

“People really like the idea of stories about Minecraft, but forcing a narrative into our core game experience would restrict players’ freedom to view the world in their own unique ways. Instead, letting them explore an alternate interpretation via Minecraft: Story Mode, driven by the proven might of Telltale, seems like a no-brainer,” said Owen Hill, the Chief Word Officer at Mojang. “We’re big fans of Telltale Games at Mojang, and we can’t wait to reveal more details on Story Mode soon.”

Minecraft: Story Mode is currently in development for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC platforms (Windows and Mac), and mobile platforms (iOS and Android).

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Telltale Games teases a “super secret surprise announcement”

telltale-logoTelltale Games has had a very busy year. They completed development on The Walking Dead Season 2 and The Wolf Among Us over the Spring and Summer before moving on to the launch of Tales From the Borderlands and Game of Thrones this Fall. And both of those episodic titles will be completed in 2015 before the developer rolls right into The Walking Dead Season 3. But they’re not done yet.

According to the Job Stauffer, their Director of Public Relations, the company has plans to make a “super secret surprise announcement” as early as today:

Not only that, but Stauffer later said that the announcement isn’t “directly related” with anything they’ve released this year:

So what does Telltale have up their sleeve? Hopefully we’ll find out soon…

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Dontnod’s Life Is Strange Episode 1 will be available on January 30

Dontnod’s upcoming episodic game series, Life Is Strange, could easily be described as Gone Home meets Heavy Rain. Hey, look at that, that’s just what a variety of critics say in the trailer above. But in Life Is Strange, you can rewind time and change the past, which can have disastrous consequences.

The first episode of Life Is Strange will be released on January 30 on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Like most episodic titles, there will be five episodes in all.

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Insert Quarter: How Did 2014 Treat Indie Developers?

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

It is a precarious time to be an indie developer. Steam’s Greenlight and Early Access initiatives are producing just as many misses as hits and discoverability is still a problem on the Xbox Games Store, the PlayStation Store, and mobile storefronts. Matthew Handrahan examined the squeeze that indie developers are feeling from all sides as part of GamesIndustry.biz’s roundup of 2014’s major stories. The picture he paints is one of gloom and doom, but also one that can be overcome with the right level of talent and a genuinely groundbreaking idea:

So are indies heading towards a “mass extinction event”? Overcrowding is certainly a key aspect of the overall picture, but the act of making and releasing a game is only getting easier, and the allure of development as a career choice seems to grow with each passing month. It stands to reason that there will continue to be a huge number of games jostling for position on every single platform – more than even a growing market can sustain – but there’s only so much to be gained from griping about the few remaining gatekeepers. If the days when simply being on Steam or Kickstarter made a commercial difference are gone, and if existing discovery tools still lack the nuance to deal with all of that choice, then it just shifts the focus back to where it really belongs: talent, originality, and a product worth an investment of time and money.

The full article is available for your perusal at GamesIndustry.biz.

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Rockstar will add Heists to Grand Theft Auto Online in early 2015

Grand Theft Auto Online players will feel the Heat next year as Rockstar has announced that they’re finally ready to release the “Heists” update for Grand Theft Auto V‘s multiplayer component. “Heists,” a cooperative mode that requires each player to complete multiple objectives to complete the job, will be available in early 2015:

GTA Online Heists are coming early in 2015 – check out the new trailer for the four-player co-op mode for Grand Theft Auto Online that allows players to plan, prepare and execute multi-tiered Heists across Los Santos and Blaine County. These will require tight communication and coordination, with players taking on specified roles at each point to accomplish multiple objectives on the way to each Heist’s epic finale. Featuring new gameplay, new vehicles, new weapons, new clothing and much more.

Rockstar has been talking about the “Heists” update for a long time and Lead Mission Designer Imran Sarwar sat down with IGN this morning to talk about why the mode has taken a little more time than originally expected.

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Creative Assembly discusses the possibility of Alien: Isolation 2 “daily”

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This article includes MASSIVE SPOILERS for Alien: Isolation.

For a long time, it has felt like a curse has become attached to game adaptations of the Alien franchise… you could say like a facehugger on John Hurt. But it looks like Alien: Isolation has finally lifted the bad juju on the series with acclaim from both critics and the gaming public. Naturally, this has lead to speculation about a sequel, so AvPGalaxy went directly to the source. They recently sat down with Gary Napper, Lead Designer at Creative Assembly, and asked him about his thoughts on Alien: Isolation 2.

Napper responded that the possibility of a sequel is discussed within the walls of Creative Assembly “daily” and that the team has considered taking a prospective sequel in several different directions:

AvPGalaxy – The end of the game is left very open for a sequel. There’s quite a lot of fan speculation about what really happened. Did Amanda get infected in the hive, did she die in space? How much thought has Creative Assembly put into continuing Amanda’s story after the events in Alien: Isolation?

Gary Napper – The plot for a sequel is a daily topic in the studio sometimes. People have their own ideas for where it should go, our writers have some solid concepts and yes, we do have a great opportunity to continue her story. I personally think that Amanda did not get infected in the hive, as when she wakes, the closest egg remains closed…

What do you think happens at the end of Alien: Isolation? And are you excited for a sequel? Hopefully, Sega and Creative Assembly will figure out where they want to take their successful series soon.

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Xbox Store Today: Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, De Blob 2, Battle Academy

xboxgamesstore-logoToday’s Xbox Games Store update adds three new releases to Microsoft’s digital storefront and they are…

  • Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams – Director’s Cut (Xbox One), an updated version of the side-scrolling platformer that was originally released for the PC in 2012 and on the Xbox 360 last year.
  • Battle Academy (Xbox 360), a turn-based strategy game set within the European Theatre of World War II.
  • De Blob 2 (Xbox 360), a colorful platformer originally published by THQ in 2011 is now available to download.

More details about all three games can be found below.

Xbox One Games

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams – Director’s Cut ($14.99)
Dash through tricky levels and transform the whole world at will in this fast-paced award-winning platformer. Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams – Director’s Cut combines graphics that pack a visual punch and tight controls with the challenge of retro era platforming. Fluidly morph between two dynamically different dream worlds to solve puzzles and combat grueling enemies and bosses.

Xbox 360 Games

De Blob 2 ($19.99)
Blob’s origins are mysterious, but he rolled up at the right place and the right time to be the hero that the Color Underground was looking for. Music surrounds him and color energy flows through him; with his touch Blob can literally make the world a better place. Blob represents individuality and determination. Blob is good hearted but lazy. He is often late, but he always comes through.

Battle Academy ($29.99)
The only true World War II turn-based strategy game playable on a console. Battle Academy is a real classic. Approachable, absorbing and with a unique visual approach, it’s a game that pulls you in with its intuitive design and its compelling gameplay. Firepower is only one of the key elements that will allow you to succeed: keeping the morale of your men high, planning on cunning tactics and a fine balance in the use of infantry and armoured units are also vital to win. You will select and take the lead of a number of units across a huge variety of campaigns and nearly 100 scenarios! The countless number of missions ranges from the invasion of France all the way to the what-if Sealion campaign where the German troops try the invasion of England.

Posted in News, Xbox 360, Xbox One |

Insert Quarter: The Rise and Fall of THQ’s Empire

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

Gamers often didn’t know what to make of THQ. The publisher built its empire on the backs of tie-in games based on Nickelodeon and Pixar properties such as SpongeBob SquarePants and The Incredibles. But they also produced intriguing original games such as Saints Row: The Third and Darksiders. They were even the initial driving force behind Evolve, one of 2015’s most anticipated games. But that all changed when the company went bankrupt early last year.

So what happened? Tracey Lien, writing for Polygon, set out to discover the answer by talking to as many former THQ employees as she could including the charismatic (but possibly crazy) Danny Bilson. Her portrait of a publisher in free fall makes you wonder, could anything have been done?

Many blame the company’s fall on the licensed games well drying up. Some pin it on the commercial failure of the company’s uDraw tablet for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Others point to poor management and too many risky bets.

“There isn’t any one, isolated event that killed the company,” says a former THQ executive who asked to not be named. “This was one of the most successful video game businesses in America. We were a billion dollar company. It was complicated.”

THQ suffered a “death by a million spider bites,” the executive says.

The full article is available for your perusal at Polygon.

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