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New Dying Light Novel Explains How The Outbreak Begins

A new book set in the Dying Light universe, entitled Nightmare Row, was released today. The novel was penned by author Raymond Benson and details the initial outbreak of the deadly infection.

Nightmare Row serves as the prequel to the events of Dying Light,  and stars an 18-year-old named Mel Wyatt. Wyatt is one of the many foreign nationals stranded in the city of Harran after the 2015 Global Athletic Games, and must find a way to survive the viral outbreak and escape the city.

Author Raymond Benson is no stranger to the video game industry, having written works based on the Splinter Cell, Metal Gear Solid, and Hitman franchises. He has also penned several original James Bond novels. Nightmare Row is now available in hard copy and digitally through Amazon.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Nintendo Explains Why SNES Games Will Only Run On New 3DS

Last week, we reported on Nintendo’s announcement that some Super NES games were finally coming to the 3DS, and further discussed our disappointment that older units aren’t in line to receive the new feature. We reached out to Nintendo regarding the decision to only include the New 3DS in the SNES experience, and today Nintendo provided us additional details.

“As previously announced, New Nintendo 3DS has an improved CPU, which enables Super NES games to run on the system with quality results,” Game Informer was told by a Nintendo representative. “The Super NES games also include Perfect-Pixel mode, which allows players to see their games in their original TV resolution and aspect resolution.”

The clarification indicates that older 3DS units aren’t up to the task of rendering Super NES games at an appropriate quality level for Nintendo’s standards. That clarification is still likely to trouble the millions of players who don’t own one of the newer units, but hunger to play older games like Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, and Super Metroid.

This article includes additional reporting by Brian Shea.

 

Our Take
The cynical view in this instance is that Nintendo is trying to drive purchases of its New 3DS unit through this new functionality, and that the company is purposefully withholding the functionality on older devices. It’s a possibility, but it’s worth noting that we know next to nothing about the process of enacting backwards compatibility on the 3DS hardware, and emulation can be a significant challenge on any given platform. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Street Fighter X GI Joe Scribe Explains How World Warriors Meet Real American Heroes

When publisher IDW asked wrestling aficionado and podcaster
Aubrey Sitterson to pen a crossover between GI Joe and Street Fighter, the
first thing he thought about was what makes the two franchises tick.

"It comes down to one thing," Sitterson says.
"Fights."

Sure, the scale of the fights are different. Street Fighter
is about two super-powered competitors duking it out one-on-one, while GI Joe
is all about large-scale military combat, but the core values, according to
Sitterson, are the same.

"The meat of it, what people really want, isn't a lot
of jibber jabber and a lot of yammering. They want fights," he says. 

That's why the upcoming six-part miniseries is structured as
a tournament set up by the all-star pairing of Destro and M. Bison, who have some sinister plans in store for the competitors. After a
brief introduction, the fights kick off on page two and don't stop until the
back cover.


Crimson Viper battles Snake Eyes in the first fight of the series. 

"It's all killer, no filler," Sitterson says.

According to Sitterson, the fun of watching two larger-than-life characters
clash doesn't have to come at the expense of storytelling. It's not about paring characters down to power levels and stat
sheets and just debating who would come out on top. Instead, Sitterson tells
us, it's about watching two huge personalities meet in the ring and fleshing
out the conflict through combat and competition rather than dialogue and
dramatics.

"Whether we're talking about comics, or movies, or
video games, whatever, fights too often come down to something that's kind of
boring and uninteresting," Sitterson says. "That's two people just
hitting each other until one of them hits the hardest. To me, what makes these
fights interesting is the same thing that makes wrestling interesting, the same
thing that makes Dragonball Z fights interesting, the same thing that makes
kung-fu movies interesting. These characters are not just a list of stats and
abilities. They have personalities. That comes through in the actual fights
themselves."


Sitterson told us he has a "soft spot" for Rufus. 

With so much of the storytelling in Street Fighter X GI Joe
based on physicality, a large portion of the work falls on the artist's
shoulders. Sitterson is confident series' penciler Emilio Laso is up to the
task. "He's not just positioning action figures," Sitterson says. "It feels real and it
feels visceral, which was something I wanted going into it. He's able to imbue
every panel with not just what's happening, but why it's happening, what the
combatants are thinking about when they're throwing that punch."

"One of the most amazing things about old Capcom games
is their aesthetic," Sitterson says. "Emilo has really captured that Capcom
feel without ever feeling derivative."


Each battle begins with this Street Fighter-style text, the handiwork of series letterer Robbie Robbins.

IDW’s Street Fighter X GI Joe #1 of 6 hits comic book stores
next week on Feburary 24. You can check out a sneak peek at some of the series' cover art in the gallery below. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Street Fighter X GI Joe Scribe Explains How World Warriors Meet Real American Heroes

When publisher IDW asked wrestling aficionado and podcaster
Aubrey Sitterson to pen a crossover between GI Joe and Street Fighter, the
first thing he thought about was what makes the two franchises tick.

"It comes down to one thing," Sitterson says.
"Fights."

Sure, the scale of the fights are different. Street Fighter
is about two super-powered competitors duking it out one-on-one, while GI Joe
is all about large-scale military combat, but the core values, according to
Sitterson, are the same.

"The meat of it, what people really want, isn't a lot
of jibber jabber and a lot of yammering. They want fights," he says. 

That's why the upcoming six-part miniseries is structured as
a tournament set up by the all-star pairing of Destro and M. Bison, who have some sinister plans in store for the competitors. After a
brief introduction, the fights kick off on page two and don't stop until the
back cover.


Crimson Viper battles Snake Eyes in the first fight of the series. 

"It's all killer, no filler," Sitterson says.

According to Sitterson, the fun of watching two larger-than-life characters
clash doesn't have to come at the expense of storytelling. It's not about paring characters down to power levels and stat
sheets and just debating who would come out on top. Instead, Sitterson tells
us, it's about watching two huge personalities meet in the ring and fleshing
out the conflict through combat and competition rather than dialogue and
dramatics.

"Whether we're talking about comics, or movies, or
video games, whatever, fights too often come down to something that's kind of
boring and uninteresting," Sitterson says. "That's two people just
hitting each other until one of them hits the hardest. To me, what makes these
fights interesting is the same thing that makes wrestling interesting, the same
thing that makes Dragonball Z fights interesting, the same thing that makes
kung-fu movies interesting. These characters are not just a list of stats and
abilities. They have personalities. That comes through in the actual fights
themselves."


Sitterson told us he has a "soft spot" for Rufus. 

With so much of the storytelling in Street Fighter X GI Joe
based on physicality, a large portion of the work falls on the artist's
shoulders. Sitterson is confident series' penciler Emilio Laso is up to the
task. "He's not just positioning action figures," Sitterson says. "It feels real and it
feels visceral, which was something I wanted going into it. He's able to imbue
every panel with not just what's happening, but why it's happening, what the
combatants are thinking about when they're throwing that punch."

"One of the most amazing things about old Capcom games
is their aesthetic," Sitterson says. "Emilo has really captured that Capcom
feel without ever feeling derivative."


Each battle begins with this Street Fighter-style text, the handiwork of series letterer Robbie Robbins.

IDW’s Street Fighter X GI Joe #1 of 6 hits comic book stores
next week on Feburary 24. You can check out a sneak peek at some of the series' cover art in the gallery below. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

EA Explains Why Battlefront Is Unlikely To Have The Force Awakens DLC

In December, the Twitter account for Star Wars Battlefront revealed it was improbable that the game would receive any DLC that was focused on the new film, The Force Awakens. Looks we like we just got a confirmation and answer as to why that's the case from EA itself.

In a recent earnings call, EA's CFO Blake Jorgensen reiterated that there was likely no Episode VII DLC coming to Battlefront and took some time to explain why:

“You can’t make a game in ’Star Wars’ that violates the canon of ‘Star Wars…meaning, you can’t take something from the future and bring it back into the past unless it’s a reference.”

Jorgensen also took time to clarify that future Star Wars titles could have content from the new trilogy, saying that the publisher was trying to stay "tightly connected" to Star Wars and it could tap into "new characters and vehicles and so forth" in future Star Wars games.

[Source: The Wall Street Journal]

 

Our Take
EA toeing the line when it comes to Star Wars canon isn't exactly surprising given Lucasarts attempts to clean house with the expanded universe. And while Joergensen didn't explicitly say that a Battlefront sequel would focus on the new films, it would certainly make sense for it too. Still, as someone who dropped $ 60 on Battlefront and came away disappointed with the lack of content, I'm a bit bummed, especially since none of the DLC revealed for the game looks particularly interesting until summer at the earliest.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Ninja Theory Explains How Hellblade’s Characters Come To Life With Only Two Animators

Hellblade's protagonist, Senua, moves with an impressive level of realism, and the latest developer diary for the game explains how that's possible with only two animators on the team.

You can check out the video below to learn more about the game's motion-capture process, and figure out what is going on in the image above.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Fore more on Hellblade, head here to learn about it mysterious face-capturing technology. Hellblade is coming to PlayStation 4 and PC this year.

[Source: Ninja Theory]

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Michael B. Jordan Explains Call of Duty: Black Ops III To The Tune Of Rolling Stones’ Paint It Black

Call of Duty continues its tradition of live action commercials featuring famous people with the latest Blacks Ops III commercial.

As per usual, you won't find any gameplay, but you will see Johnny Storm himself, Michael B. Jordan, Marshawn Lynch, Cara Delevingne, and some guy named Kevin, who is apparently quite good at the new Call of Duty.

You can check out commercial below. Call of Duty: Black Ops III releases November 6 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The game is also coming to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but it will not include the campaign on those platforms.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

To see a Black Ops III trailer with a little more gameplay in it, head here.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Ninja Thoery Explains, But Doesn’t Show The Secret Face-Scanning Tech Of Hellblade

Developer Ninja Theory contracted a company called 3Lateral to scan the face of its model for Hellblade's protagonist, Senua, and it explains, but does not show the process in a new video.

The company 3Lateral doesn't want to share their secrets, so you won't see the technology, but it is apparently so big, that 3Lateral had to rent an apartment near its studios and use that to build the technology. Melina Juergens, whose face was scanned to represent Senua, explains that getting into the mystery contraption felt like getting into a spaceship, and she had to sign onto Skype while inside in order to communicate with everybody.

As mentioned previously, we don't get to see 3Lateral's mystery face-scanning spaceship machine, but we do get to see the results, and they do impress.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For more on Hellblade, the new game from the creators of Heavenly Sword, Enslaved, and DmC: Devil May Cry, head here and here. Hellblade is coming to PlayStation 4 and PC next year.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Destiny Livestream Explains The Taken King Progression System

As reported yesterday, Bungie is running a livestream today in which the studio plans to detail how leveling, gear, investment, and other progression features will work in Destiny once The Taken King launches. We’ll be watching the stream, and we’ll update this story every few minutes with the new info, adding in our editorial commentary where appropriate.

Enjoy!

(All times noted in Pacific standard time, where Bungie is broadcasting)

11am: Livestream scheduled to begin.

11:10am: Deej has introduced executive producer Mark Noseworthy and senior design lead Tyson Green, and the team is promising details about year 2 progression, including how leveling and rewards are being handled. The team is starting off with a conversation about the Tower, with a walking tour of the familiar social space.

The new character screen shows off that your light level of 34 is now transitioning directly over into your overall character level. Bungie promises that the backend of the game will inspect your character and vault to determine what character level you're at when The Taken King launches. There is no need to have certain items equipped when the switchover occurs. 

Light is now stat connected to all your gear. Defense and attack values are an average of all your gear, including weapons, armor, ghost shell, class item, and the new artifact slot.

11:18am: Intellect, discipline, and strength now have distinct tiers, that show you exactly how long it takes before your cooldown is complete.

We also got a look at the quest page. There are now 16 bounty slots, and they are all trackable as you play. You can also turn in bounties from wherever you are.

You can look at your quest page to determine what you'd like to do in any given night, and note which quests you could make progress on. 

We also saw that some of the existing rewards are being changed up. Some rewards will be a guaranteed upgrade, like a reward titled heavy weapon upgrade.

We also learned about the Spark of Light. One copy of this item is given to every account, and is built to upgrade a character to level 25, as well as get some appropriate gear. This item will be available at the postmaster as soon as you arrive at the Tower for the first time.

11:25am: Bungie has also talked about ways to personalize characters in the tower, including showing off your character's weapon of choice with a press of the button. 

An audience question asked about how players will acquire new ghost shells, and some are available at the Speaker. At the speaker, Bungie showed off the way that class items have a bunch of interesting perks on class items, but the Speaker will also now have rare ghost shells that boost your defense value, and each of them have their own perks. 

New terminals are spread throughout the Tower, in which you can check out your current collections. Bungie showed off the Emblem Collection, and showed off how you can pick up any of the emblems you've acquired. The same process applies to ships and shaders. If you don't have one of these items, it's grayed out in your collection, but tells you how to acquire them.

11:30am: Bungie is now discussing changes to faction reputation acquisition. At New Monarchy, a player can accept a faction badge, and that allegiance is set for a full week. Once pledging, you can purchase armor from that faction (once you have the appropriate rep level). Some of the new faction armor has a focus on a particular energy type, like protection from solar damage. This change makes faction armor more important for certain situations, like particular burns.

By donating items like motes of light and heavy ammo synths, players can also move up in reputation with a faction.

11:37am: Faction level-ups offer guaranteed legendaries, and there is now a higher likelihood of getting faction-specific items, like shaders and ships, and less chance for replication of items you've already gotten.

Next, Bungie headed down to visit Shaxx, to discuss PvP quests. Bungie says that these PvP quest lines initially teach how to play Crucible, but PvP quests continue after that as you level.

We also got a look at Shaxx's new PvP bounties. If you do all five of the weekly bounties from Shaxx, you can complete a sixth bounty for nightfall-tier rewards.

Shaxx also has additional ghost shells, with a focus on PvP play, like a perk that adds additional glimmer if you kill a Titan.

Vanguard and Crucible marks are being replaced by legendary marks, and these legendary marks are now account wide, so you can earn on one character, and spend them with another character.

Importantly, we also learned that old Vanguard and Crucible marks will transition over to commendations. Cash them in to gain rep with a faction. 

11:45am: The Crucible Quartermaster also has new bounties, focused on trying out particular weapons. 

Your existing ranks in Crucible reputation do carry over with the launch of The Taken King.

By entering the Hall of Guardians, players can investigate the Exotic Armor and Weapon Blueprints kiosks. If you've collected an exotic at any point, you can go and pay an exotic shard and some glimmer and rebuild that item. 

In year 2, some of the year one exotics are improved over how they were originally. If you've acquired one of those versions, you can build the new and improved version of that item. For these items, there are intrinsic perks right from the start, and there are also new talents available on a lot of these new and improved exotics. To complete this process, you spend legendary marks. Not all year one exotics will have this upgrade option. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

The Chinese Room Explains How A Simple UI Change Can Mess Up Reviews

In our review of Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, we cite the game’s plodding walk speed as a significant detractor. It turns out that the game does have a way to increase movement pace, but a last-minute change kept it hidden from players.

Developer The Chinese Room posted a note on its blog this morning explaining how to access the sprint feature (R2). Because it’s a gradual increase in walking speed to a full run, players won’t notice unless they hold the R2 button down.

The apparent lack of a sprint option popped up in a number of reviews (including our own). The Chinese Room explains how this crucial feature was accidentally left hidden.

A couple of weeks before the game went to final, Santa Monica did a last round of playtesting. At this point, the game included an autosprint. That meant that if you kept moving, you’d gradually ramp up to a run speed, specifically to deal with issues with how long potential back-tracking could take, given the game’s non-linearity. The problem was, playtesters wanted to be able to trigger it themselves. It didn’t matter about the speed, it was the psychology, the choice. 

So together with Santa Monica, we made a late call. We replaced the autosprint with an R2 trigger hold, keeping the gentle ramp up to main speed. This then needed testing, because it potentially threw out all of the pacing we’d been working on for the last year, plus could cause issues with accidentally parkouring into places you couldn’t escape from, creating game-breaking bugs. All this took time.

And then suddenly launch was right on top of us, and something had been missed. The controller icon in the options menu was missing the sprint instruction, and it hadn’t been localised. Localisation takes about 24 hours, but because the UI is build in Flash, it would have to be changed, and that would mean a full round of testing before creating a patch – about 4-5 days through the global QA pipieline, which we’re doing now, but wasn’t ready in time for release. It’s in the online manual, but not at the start of the game.

We probably should have announced the run button before launch, but we didn’t. That was a bad call, and we’ve paid for it in the reviews. But the most important thing is that we get the word out to players, so here we go – although we’d love you to take your time and explore Yaughton at a slow, steady pace, if you need to backtrack or get around more quickly, hold down R2 – it’ll take a few seconds before you are running fully, but it will speed your movement up.

So if you haven’t played Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, keep this in mind. While it certainly wasn’t our only concern about the game, this might help improve the experience for those yet to explore the bucolic post-apocalyptic world The Chinese Room has created.

[Source: The Chinese Room]

 

Our Take
This story is an object lesson in the importance of user interfaces. This shows how minor adjustments can have a profound impact on how players experience a game.

It’s also a warning to other developers. Don’t make changes at the last minute. Something is likely to get missed in the process.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed