“There’s nothing as good as being able to share your deepest love with somebody and have them look into the same little obscure glass with 35 years of games industry experience and say ‘I get it.’ ” …
EA is offering up a new On the House game. You can download it entirely free via the Origin app on PC.
The latest giveaway is Westwood Studios’ Nox. Released in 2000, Nox is an action-RPG in which the protagonist is sucked through his television into the eponymous land.
It features three classes, each with their own storyline. You can download it via Origin here.
If you’ve ever seen pictures of my board game closet, it’s filled with complex games with fiddly rules and attractive miniatures. There was a time I didn’t know about this vast world of board games, though. I owe my passion for them to one game: Betrayal at House on the Hill.
After playing it for the first time with wide eyes at what a tabletop game could be, I immediately purchased it for myself. That game has been the one I use to ease friends into the board gaming scene.
Its cooperative playstyle, horror atmosphere, and accessible rules make it easy to grasp. The sudden and inevitable betrayal of one or more of your comrades makes it thrilling.
For those who haven’t played Betrayal, the concept is simple. You explore rooms by walking through doors, drawing tiles, placing them, and then following the instructions on them. Certain tiles have an “omen” icon, and each time one of those cards is drawn, you are more likely to trigger the second phase of the game, the Haunt.
At this point, the betrayer is identified and must read privately from a book containing one-half of a number of scenarios. The heroes then huddle, reading their half. Both sides keep their win conditions secret, though as play unfolds you can start to uncover how the other side operates.
The haunts come with unique rules and challenges, drastically changing the experience from game to game. The result is something with extensive (though not infinite) replay value. There are 50 haunts in the main game, and the fun is not knowing how they work.
A new expansion, titled Widow’s Walk, will be out on October 14. It brings 20 new rooms, 30 new cards, a variety of tokens, and 50 more haunts written in part by celebrity contributors. These include Penny Arcade’s Jerry Holkins, Borderlands writer Mikey Neumann, and Max Temkin and Eli Halpern of Cards Against Humanity.
Widow's Walk adds new ways to move about the mansion, rooms that offer one-time benefits, and haunts that refresh the game for the first time in 12 years. It will be priced at $ 25, though you need the core game in order to make use of it.
The new haunt we played (which I won’t spoil), split the party in two. The betrayer and one other person drafted teams of three, making the fight more than the typical one-versus-many.
With a release due this October (just in time for Halloween), there’s good reason to return to Betrayal at House on the Hill or visit for the first time. It isn’t a perfect game, but regardless of its stumbles, its accessibility and straightforward rules make it a great one to have on hand for parties that might not include those familiar with tabletop.
Earlier this month, Rocket League developer Psyonix teased a new basketball mode or map for its car-soccer game. While not many details were made available from the tease, Psyonix has pulled the curtains back on a few new pieces of information regarding the addition.
The mode (or at least the map housed in the mode) is called Dunk House, and it is currently set to launch this April according to a tweet sent by the official Rocket League Twitter account. In a response to a question from a Twitter user, the Rocket League account also confirmed that the map/mode will be a free update. You can view the tweet, as well as a GIF of Dunk House in action below.
— Rocket League (@RocketLeague) March 29, 2016
Rocket League released on PlayStation 4 and PC last year to widespread critical acclaim. The game launched on Xbox One earlier this year and featured cross-platform play.
[Source: Rocket League on Twitter]
Sony has announced the creation of a new limited liability corporation that brings together the operations responsible for gaming hardware, software, content, and network services. Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC will be officially incorporated on Friday, April 1, 2016.
Andrew House (pictured above), who is currently CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, will lead the new business. Shawn Layden, who is currently head of Sony Computer Entertainment America will handle Worldwide Studios.
This leaves us to ask where this leaves current president of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida. We’ve inquired about his role in the new corporate structure and will update should we receive a response.
In addition to hardware, game software, and PlayStation Network operations, Sony Interactive will also handle PlayStation Vue, PlayStation Now, PlayStation Music, and original content like the show Powers.
We’ve also asked Sony to clarify if this impacts the current regional structure upon which the PlayStation unit operates. Again, we’ll update once we understand how the new LLC impacts global operations.
The new business is targeting an increase in operating income of five to six percent by the close of fiscal year 2018. The company anticipates sales ranging from ¥1.4 trillion ($ 11.8 billion) to ¥1.6 trillion ($ 13.5 billion) for that same 12-month period.
Sony Interactive Entertainment will be based in San Mateo, California.
Update: Shuhei Yoshida has shared via Twitter that his title, president of worldwide studios, will not be changed. He will now report to Shawn Layden, who appears on the organizational chart above as lead for that area.
This is a significant shake-up for Sony, but one that evidences the power of the company’s gaming operations. Putting everything under one roof will facilitate strategic decisions that consider the wider PlayStation ecosystem. The only questions that remain are about staffing, as there are clearly some adjustments being made at the start of Sony’s next fiscal year on April 1.
Last month, BioWare’s martial arts RPG Jade Empire briefly popped up as a free title on EA’s Origin platform. It disappeared quickly, leaving only a small slice of fans with a shiny new (old) action RPG.
It turns out the trigger was likely just pulled early. The game has cycled into EA’s On the House program, a section of the Origin storefront that features a free game for a limited time.
You can nab it free right now, and there isn't an expiration date yet. It could disappear at any time. Don’t sleep on it, especially if you haven’t played it yet.
Fans have been clamoring for a sequel for ages (you can read our rundown of what we've seen and would like to experience). Give it a go and let us know what you think.
[Source: EA Origin]
The folks at Publishers Clearing House (yes, that Publishers Clearing House) are looking to hire a developer with Unity experience to work on mobile games at the company’s New York offices. …
Thanks to Bloodstained’s Kickstarter success, Unreal Engine 4 will support two more platforms, unofficially. Gamasutra speaks to the studio’s tech director. …
Since its launch in September, Destiny has always encouraged social engagement as the key to full enjoyment of the game. Raids and Nightfall strikes acted as end-game experiences squarely targeted at group play, but demanded you do your own work to form and solidify the teams that would enter those spaces. With House of Wolves, Bungie has doubled down on this strategy, offering two brand new gameplay modes that are a ton of fun, along with some of the most interesting gear and weapons yet seen, but the best of the new content demands a pre-formed group.
House of Wolves opens with several new story missions, taking Guardians into some pitched battles that nonetheless unfold in mostly familiar locales. While several of these missions reuse old areas, it’s often in compelling ways – particularly a memorable descent into the Vault of Glass, this time with different goals than the last time you visited. We also finally get to explore a few long-locked new areas, like Kings’ Watch and the top of the Vex Citadel, both of which made my list a few months back of locations we most wanted to visit in the game. The story mission battles are smartly paced, with some fevered combat encounters against large numbers of Fallen foes, and these encounters are friendly to both lone wolf Guardians and fully formed Fireteams.
After the much decried story of the original game, the story content that unfolds in these House of Wolves missions continues to make strides in the right direction. It’s increasingly apparent that Bungie recognizes the cool elements of the science-fantasy world it’s created, and is capitalizing on the potential through intriguing locations like the Reef and a couple of memorable characters, like Petra and Variks. Even so, House of Wolves still leaves the Destiny player base hanging, with the bulk of the most interesting fiction locked away in out-of-game grimoire cards and rarely fleshed out through the missions themselves. From a storytelling perspective, House of Wolves’ biggest triumph is the way the evil aliens are beginning to interact with each other in surprising ways. This expansion’s big bad, Skolas, recognizes the tremendous power of one of the other races’ technology, and tries to capitalize on it.
The new strike is a worthy addition to the growing catalog of 3-man, match-made experiences. Shadow Thief takes us up onto a Fallen ship for a running fight against a powerful Fallen mercenary. The mid-level tank battle is fun, and I like the opportunity to explore another Fallen spaceship. Especially if you play on PS4, the nine distinct missions now available make the strike playlist experience varied, easy to enjoy with or without friends, and available for a broad swath of levels.
[Next Page: Entering the Crucible, and the new approach to equipment]