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Rock Band survey hints at modern console sequel

Following the recent release of the series’ first new DLC in nearly two years, it appears that Harmonix might be gearing up for a new entry in its Rock Band series, if an online survey is anything to go by.

“Hello friends! You should fill out this i…
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District 9 Director Neill Blomkamp Shows Off Art From Abandoned Alien Sequel

Last night, the world learned that District 9 director Neill Blomkamp was involved in film project in the Alien universe. We didn’t hear this via press release or an exclusive story in a trade publication. No, Blomkamp shared these himself, which doesn’t bode well for the project.

“Was working on this,” he writes. “Don't think I am anymore. Love it though.” The message includes a link to an Instagram gallery featuring a number of images, including Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley and Michael Biehn’s Corporal Dwayne Hicks (with some nasty scars).

Not much information is available, of course, but it looks like Blomkamp’s take on the Alien-verse would have introduced some changes to the Xenomorph. One of the images shows a change in the Facehuggers and their eggs. 

There’s also a look at Ripley’s face as part of a Xenomorph. She’s been cloned before (see: Alien: Resurrection), and this might be another replica of the original, deceased Ellen Ripley (though the presence of Hicks suggests it would have been slotted after Aliens).

Unfortunately, we may never know what Blomkamp was planning for his take on the franchise. For now, we do have some exciting images that set our minds spinning about the possibilities. 

[Source: Neil Blomkamp on Twitter, Instagram]

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Bravely Default sequel lights up Japan in April 2015

Bravely Second is flying fairly to Japan on April 23, 2015, though there still isn’t word on a Western release. The Bravely Default sequel was due on Japan’s retail shelves this winter, but perhaps the publisher thought releasing it prematurely was u…
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Destiny progress will carry over to sequel, Bungie says

Player progress in Destiny will transfer to the sequel, Bungie Community Manager David Dague confirmed to IGN. Bungie has 10 years to fulfill its promises for the Destiny franchise, and it’s laying out some of the groundwork now.

“It’s been no secre…
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German fantasy epic Blackguards spawns sequel in January

Developer Daedalic Entertainment will return to the dark fantasy world of German pen and paper hit The Dark Eye for a sequel to 2013′s Blackguards to be released on January 20, 2015.

Fans of the first game will be pleased to hear that several Blackg…
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Don’t expect a Blood Dragon sequel from Ubisoft

Despite its status as a critic and fan-favorite, Ubisoft has no plans to develop a follow up to the first-person spoof of 1980s-era action films known as Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.

Ubisoft Montreal creative director Alex Hutchinson broke the sad news…
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Survival horror sequel Outlast 2 in development

Independent developer Red Barrels delivers terrifying news just in time for Halloween, announcing that it is developing a sequel to its first-person survival horror game Outlast.

“After shipping the [Xbox One] version of Outlast, we took some time…
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Where’s My Sequel? – L.A. Noire

Just because a game isn’t an aged classic doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve a sequel. While a lot of our Where’s My Sequel features focus on titles from far earlier console generations, this one pines after the open-world detective game, L.A. Noire.

What It Is:

Built like an open-world shooter, L.A. Noire is a sleuth-y take on the genre with investigative mechanics and a hard-boiled story. Players control Cole Phelps, a war hero-turned-Los Angeles beat cop as he rises through the ranks by solving a series of increasingly high-profile crimes. Along the way, players survey crime scenes scattered across an open-world recreation of 1947 Los Angeles and discover evidence to build a case against their suspects. Once they collect enough evidence, players enter an interrogation mode in which they study suspects’ facial expressions and body language to gauge the truth behind their words.

L.A. Noire is the first (and currently only) game to utilize MotionScan, a process created by developer Team Bondi. MotionScan captures a 1:1 model of a real-life face and transplants it onto an in-game character model. The technology is crucial to L.A. Noire’s gameplay; the realistic facial animations allow players to spot tells on a suspect’s face during a heated interrogation. It’s that intuitive application of technology to gameplay that gives L.A. Noire a unique edge when held up against other open-world games.

When It Stopped:

L.A. Noire released in May 2011 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It was developed by Team Bondi with the help and publishing prowess of Rockstar Games. Some DLC missions and outfit packs dropped in the months after its original release, resulting in L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition (including the game and all of its DLC—the whole shebang), which came on consoles and PC on November 15th of the same year.

After the game’s release, a series of accusations concerning Team Bondi’s managerial conduct precipitated a Rockstar/Team Bondi split – Rockstar went on to publish last year’s Grand Theft Auto V and Bondi’s currently developing its second title, The Whore of the Orient. In the wake of the breakup, Rockstar retained the rights to the L.A. Noire franchise and has played coy about expanding on it.

What Comes Next:

L.A. Noire’s story wrapped up pretty tidily, but that doesn’t choke all sequel potential — there are more places to go, people to meet, and stories to follow in the Noire universe. For example, take the dedication to its aesthetic. Even if the game world feels a little barren, L.A. Noire nails the 1940s atmosphere. In fact, it’s one of the game’s greatest strengths, arguably making it as much a period piece as it is a video game. Not only would an era shift give us something great to look at, it could also drastically impact gameplay. Depending on when it’s set, a sequel could incorporate mechanics based on forensic and investigative techniques available at that point in history. For example, if the game is set in the 1990s, we might get mechanics based on DNA profiling or criminal databases. The ‘70s saw the rise of closed-circuit surveillance cameras. Voice recordings came into the investigative apparatus in the ‘60s. The sequel’s mechanics would be dictated by its historical setting.

Now that Rockstar has the reins of the franchise, it can inject some new blood into L.A. Noire’s veins. The talent at Rockstar has the ability to craft excellent stories on top of solid gameplay basics (Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3 are ample evidence). L.A. Noire’s story had some truly gritty moments and gruesome scenarios that stood in stark but dramatic contrast to the muted ‘40s color palate. The tale only got better as it got blacker, and Rockstar could make a sequel pitch black in tone.

If gamers took one thing away from seeing MotionScan in action in L.A. Noire, it’s that it produces a unique experience with visible seams. It failed to keep the game out of the uncanny valley, ultimately backfiring and making some animations straight-up creepy. After the Bondi split, Rockstar took MotionScan with it and hasn’t used the technology since. But Rockstar’s has a pretty good pedigree for hand-crafted facial animations and pushing the limits of its tools (just play Grand Theft Auto V to get a feel for what I’m talking about). With the new console generation finally finding a foothold, just think of what Rockstar could cook up with a sequel built from the pavement up using new-gen tech.

In retrospect, L.A. Noire is a strange game that’s even more fun to remember than it is to play. It was on the cusp of something truly groundbreaking, but some of Team Bondi’s design choices kept it from achieving perfection. The Bondi/Rockstar fallout appears to have left a sequel hanging in the balance, but I think it deserves a second chance. I know Rockstar would deliver an impressive sequel that would feel as unique as the original.

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Dementium series developer obtains sequel rights

Developer Renegade Kid has reacquired control of its Dementium series, a horror-focused intellectual property that birthed two frightening games on the Nintendo DS. Renegade Kid co-founder Jools Watsham took to Twitter to announce the deal:

I am…
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Legend of Grimrock iOS port announced, sequel enters beta

Finnish developer Almost Human Ltd. has two pieces of great news for fans of its classically-styled first-person dungeon crawl Legend of Grimrock: Not only has the game’s sequel reached beta testing, but the original Legend of Grimrock is now coming…
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