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Daily Scoop: January 30, 2015 – Time for the weekend
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Life Is Strange launches tomorrow… so here’s the launch trailer
Recent Articles: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
If the movies have taught me anything, it’s that you do not mess with John Malkovich. And you especially don’t mess with John Malkovich during a zombie apocalypse, because he will mess you up janitor style. This is all a prelude to saying that John Malkovich will play the world’s most badass janitor ever in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare‘s Exo Zombies co-op mode. Apparently, Neil Flynn was busy.
With the Havoc Map Pack scheduled to launch (on the Xbox One and Xbox 360) in less than a week, Activision has released the first Exo Zombies gameplay trailer and it is marvelous. In addition to Malkovich, Bill Paxton is on hand as an Atlas executive along with Rose McGowan as a dual-wielding security guard. And The Walking Dead‘s Jon Bernthal does his best Jon Bernthal impression in his two seconds of screen time.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is on a roll. After being named the best-selling game for all of last year, the NPD Group also confirmed that it was the best-selling game of December as well. Activision’s latest military shooter also took the top spot in November, during its first month of release.
With the holiday shopping season in full swing, December’s sales chart was dominated by big-name franchises including Grand Theft Auto V (#2), Madden NFL 15 (#3), Super Smash Bros. For Wii U / Super Smash Bros. For 3DS, Minecraft (#6).. really, just the entire top ten.
On the hardware side of things, the Xbox One once again was the best-selling console, besting the PS4 for a second month in a row. The console’s $50 price cut is really working for Microsoft and the company has decided to reinstate the discount beginning today, possibly on a permanent basis.
The full top ten for December 2014 can be found after the break. (more…)
The NPD Group has finished calculating the 2014 game sales in the United States and they’re ready to declare a winner. In 2014, gamers bought more copies of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare than any other game. The franchise actually bookended both ends of the list as Call of Duty: Ghosts tabulated enough 2014 sales to check in at #10. In between those two extremes, the list actually features plenty of familiar faces.
Last year’s best-selling game, Grand Theft Auto V, managed to heist the #4 spot thanks to good sales in the early half of the year and a PS4/Xbox One re-release in the Fall. Sports games occupied three spots in the top ten as Madden NFL 15 (#2), NBA 2K15 (#7), and FIFA 15 (#9) were all popular with players.
Gamers voted with their wallets and both of 2014’s budding megafranchises-in-the-making cracked the top ten. Destiny came in at #3 while Watch Dogs had to settle for the #8 spot.
All told, game software sales were down 13% in 2014 to $5.3 billion. That’s still an impressive chunk of change, but players are increasingly moving over to digital storefronts for the majority of their game purchases. The complete top ten from 2014 can be found after the break. (more…)
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare‘s Havoc Map Pack is less than two weeks away, so Activision has dropped a few new details and a behind-the-scenes trailer to get us all talking about it. The Havoc Map Pack will follow the same “four competitive maps/one co-op map” format that Infinity Ward used for Ghosts. Here’s what players can expect from the four competitive maps:
Core: Deploy to the Gobi desert where the ravaged ruins of a nuclear fusion plant set the stage for a high-octane warzone. Take down enemies through the wreckage in long-range combat or get up-close and personal in the tunnels surrounding the central turbine. Activate decontamination drones using the map-based scorestreak to help clean out the competition.
Urban: Prepare yourself for brutal, high-speed combat in Dallas Ward 3, a future mega structure, funneling players into a close-quarters free-for-all. This modular compound’s verticality unleashes the exoskeleton’s capabilities. Stay focused during the timed event as blast doors alter the map’s flow and sightlines.
Sideshow: In the shadow of Devil’s Tower, Wyoming, this abandoned inn’s open layout amplifies its creep factor. Blast your way through the clown inn with close-quarters battles or use long-range site-lines from the mining facilities and natural terrain. Use the map-based scorestreak to activate the lights, music, and magic of the clown marquee and rain down a barrage of rainbow smoke-trailed cannonballs.
Drift: An idyllic ski resort high in the Rocky Mountains is transformed into a festive high-altitude playground, perfect for an all-out firefight. Make your way to the highly contested over watch in the glass observation deck or take a ride on the carousel to deliver 360 degrees of carnage. Players can use the map-altering timed event to their advantage as an avalanche of snow and debris disorients players, intensifying the battle.
Sledgehammer Games is also taking a page from Treyarch as the co-op maps for Advanced Warfare will feature an ever-expanding zombie horde. The first episode of “Exo Zombies,” which stars John Malkovich, Bill Paxton, Rose McGowan, and Jon Bernthal, will be included with the Havoc Map Pack.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare‘s Havoc Map Pack will be available to download on the Xbox One and Xbox 360 on January 27. A PS3, PS4, and PC release will likely follow in February.
Sledgehammer Games is currently hard at work on the first episode of the “Exo Zombies” cooperative mode for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which will be included in the Havoc Map Pack. And now we know which Hollywood heavyweights have been tapped by Activision to star in the downloadable expansion.
John Malkovich (!), Bill Paxton (!!), Rose McGowan (!!!), and Jon Bernthal (apparently he’s on The Walking Dead) will play four “unprepared and untrained” Atlas employees who suddenly find themselves face-to-face with the living dead. You can hear Malkovich monologue about their desperate situation in the trailer above.
Can they work together? Can they survive? Will Bill Paxton get killed in particularly gory fashion, as he is wont to do (and will he yell “game over, man” as it happens)? We’ll all find out together in January. Well, Xbox owners will. If you’re playing Advanced Warfare on the PC or PlayStation, you’ll have to wait until February.
Activision’s Call of Duty franchise continues its reign atop the video game world by capturing the top spot in The NPD Group’s survey of November 2014’s best-selling games. It managed to hold off a strong challenge from Grand Theft Auto V, which received a huge boost from its new-generation re-release.
Nintendo had a very good month as Super Smash Bros. For Wii U and Super Smash Bros. For 3DS managed to sneak into the top three thanks to their combined might (The NPD Group considers them one game for the purposes of the monthly list). Further down the list, Pokemon: Alpha Sapphire shot to #5 while Pokemon: Omega Ruby owned the #7 spot (for some reason, the latest Pokemon release is considered two separate games by The NPD Group).
Ubisoft also had multiple games in the top ten, including Far Cry 4 at #6. Assassin’s Creed: Unity entered the list at #9, and while that’s an impressive achievement, it’s well below the top-three ranking attained by both Assassin’s Creed III and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag during their respective debut months.
Finally, Microsoft has plenty to crow about tonight as they’ve revealed to IGN that that the Xbox One outsold the PS4 for the first time.
The full top ten for November 2014 can be found after the break. (more…)
Last year, Call of Duty: Ghosts included a new episode of “Extinction,” a multi-part mutant-hunting co-op experience, in each one of the its downloadable expansion packs. Beginning next year, Activision and Sledgehammer Games will attempt this strategy all over again with the new “Exo Zombies” co-op mode planned for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
The first “Exo Zombies” episode will be released as part of the Havoc Map Pack, with a new episode scheduled to be included in all four packs. Advanced Warfare includes a brief tease for “Exo Zombies,” but you can check out the newly released trailer above if you’ve yet to unlock it.
The Havoc Map Pack will be available to download through the Xbox Games Store for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 in January. If history is any guide, PC and PlayStation playerts will have to wait about a month to try it out.
Geoff Keighley’s VGX Awards replacement, The Game Awards, got a little more real as the show’s advisory board announced its inaugural list of nominees. Dozens of games were nominated in 16 categories, with six titles (Dark Souls II, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Destiny, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare) notching three nominations apiece. Dark Souls II, Hearthstone, and Shadow of Mordor are all competing in the Game of the Year category against Bayonetta 2 and Dragon Age: Inquisition.
A complete list of nominees can be found after the break. The 2014 Game Awards will take place on December 5 at the AXIS Theater in Las Vegas. (more…)