Your April Fools' Day 2016 Round-Up

about X hours ago from
Your April Fools' Day 2016 Round-Up

Did someone say your shoes were untied this morning? Did you get into work and find your keyboard's buttons had been rearranged? On the way to work, did someone honk at you and yell that you almost hit their car? Don't worry! Check the date!

They were all just (probably) making hilarious April Fools' Day japes. If you follow the games industry, you know that companies like to have fun today, too, with fake announcements and things that might almost pass for humor if you squint hard enough.

We're rounding up everything we find today, and putting it in one place for you. Be sure to check back throughout the day, because the jokes don't show any signs of letting up.

Test Chamber – Putting Quantum Break's Time Powers To The Test

about X hours ago from
Test Chamber – Putting Quantum Break's Time Powers To The Test

Time waits for no man – except Jack Joyce. In Remedy's latest action shooter, players take control of Jack who has acquired the ability to manipulate time in a series of really cool ways. Here's a look at some of the time-bending firefights you can expect to get into in Quantum Break when the game releases next week.

Earlier in the month, we showed you some of Quantum Break's opening moments, but join Javy Gwaltney and Ben Reeves as they dive further into the game, infiltrate one of Monarch's facilities, and survive a series of epic, time-manipulating firefights. Quantum Break releases on PC and Xbox One on April 5, but you can read our review right here.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

The New Direction Of Final Fantasy

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For decades, Final Fantasy reigned supreme as the primary pillar of the RPG genre. With every console since the NES, it innovated and set new standards for the genre, from the cinematics of Final Fan tasy VII to the fully voiced cutscenes of Final Fantasy X. However, within the last decade, the franchise has started to fall from grace.

[This feature originally appeared in Game Informer issue #276]

Final Fantasy XIII was divisive, and was worse off for being drawn out over a lackluster trilogy. Final Fantasy XIV, an MMORPG, was such a disaster that the game had to be essentially remade and relaunched as A Realm Reborn. Seven years after it had been announced, the long-awaited Final Fantasy Versus XIII morphed into Final Fantasy XV. Fans lost trust, and Square's name no longer held the same weight as it once did. In the meantime, Western RPGs, such as Mass Effect, The Elder Scrolls, and The Witcher were innovating the genre in unique ways while the Japanese market stagnated.

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (March 31, 2016)

about X hours ago from
Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (March 31, 2016)

My cat enjoyed this week's blogs. I swear. He sat on my lap and stared at the monitor the entire time I read each one. Kudos to everyone, and thanks for writing!

Community Blogs For March 24 – March 30:

HowLongToBeat & Co-Optimus: Two Great Gaming Resources Rebekah Lang gives us a look at two very helpful websites. I'm a huge fan of HowLongToBeat, mostly because I have very little time during the week to play a game, and want to see if I can actually beat one or two a month. Co-Optimus is super valuable when it comes to finding a game you can play alongside a buddy on a couch.

An Hour And A Half With Microsoft’s HoloLens

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During Microsoft’s 2016 Build Developer’s conference, I was able to play with Microsoft’s augmented reality headset for an extended period of time.

The Build Developer conference is less focused on the video game and Xbox side of Microsoft and more on showcasing Microsoft’s present and future technologies with classes and resources in place to help developers and programmers get the most out of Microsoft’s suite of products. As a result, my time with the headset was less about showing what it could do, and more about how to make things work for it. I didn’t get to try any of the games that are included with developer version of the hardware, but I got to wear it for an extended period of time, make use of its gesture controls, and get a sense for how some of its capabilities could be applied to video games in the future.

For some examples of games using the headset, head here and here for some of our past impressions.

From Guild Leader to Game Director Part 2: WoW's Cutting Room Floor

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This is part two of a three-part interview with Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan. Find out more about Kaplan's gaming roots and how he began a career at Blizzard in part one here!

GI: As you said, back then (EverQuest) going into a dungeon could be scary and intimidating and the content was not for everybody. That’s really changed in MMO design philosophy over the years. How do you feel about that? Do you think some magic has been lost as MMOs became more accessible and more mainstream?JK:I think it’s something that I’m fascinated with. I look back in hindsight, and you try to catch yourself, and you really ask yourself, “Am I going into ‘the grass is always greener’ mode here?” Meaning do we remember it from a nostalgic standpoint much more fondly than the experience actually was? I do think that there is a danger in video games as they become more mainstream, not just MMOs, to overly streamline experiences. On the other hand, I think if your game is too punishing, and I like to separate the words “punishing” from “hardcore,” I think it goes against the nature of trying to create a fun experience for people. 

Over 80 Images Of Incoming Gear And Goodies From Destiny's April Update

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Today's Destiny live stream revealed a ton of incoming gear, including Taken-themed armor sets, the return of several year-one exotics and legendary weapons, and the all-new chroma.  We've got over 80 new screenshots and images to give you a first look at these in-game goodies in the gallery below.

If you missed the live stream, fear not: We've got an extensive recap of the information posted here. Once you're caught up on the details, check out some of our favorites below, or head here to see all the freshly-minted images. 

The April update is scheduled to land on April 12. Next week, Bungie will offer the final details, including changes to the Crucible and balance updates for certain weapons and subclasses.  

Where is Final Fantasy XV?

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Where is Final Fantasy XV?

Many gamers are looking ahead to the next generation for exciting games, but for one of Square Enix’s most anticipated upcoming titles, we have to look backward. Final Fantasy Versus XIII was unveiled in 2006, but remained seldom-seen and mysterious until it reappeared as Final Fantasy XV. Even then, concrete answers about the game’s status are rare, so we’ve assembled this timeline of its progress, major appearances, and related comments from original director Tetsuya Nomura, current director Hajime Tabata, producer Yoshinori Kitase, and brand director Shinji Hashimoto.

Update 3/30/16: New entries added to reflect the continued developments and updates as the game nears its 2016 release.

May 2006 At E3, Final Fantasy Versus XIII is announced as part of Fabula Nova Crystalis, as is Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Agito XIII. Along with Final Fantasy XIII, it is revealed as a PS3 exclusive. 

Nova Covert Ops Pt.1 Impressions: Fresh Approach, Fading Fun

about X hours ago from
Nova Covert Ops Pt.1 Impressions: Fresh Approach, Fading Fun

I really like the model that Blizzard is using to implement the next StarCraft II “campaign” this year – a series of mission packs centering on everyone’s favorite Ghost, Nova. Nova does a great job at being a badass in the first three missions (available now), and the groundwork is laid for some interesting systems at work, allowing players to customize Nova’s loadout from mission to mission as well as units. The cinematics and cutscenes are top notch, and the types and styles of missions are varied. Sadly, they’re just not that engaging. 

The first mission has us playing Nova in a Solid Snake-style escape mission (there’s a wonderful Easter egg nod to this right when you begin, involving a cardboard box). You do a lot of running around performing stealthy takedowns, rescuing companions, and finding your way out of the ship. The mission then turns into a sort of R-Type style shooter as you fly off, speeder-bike style. It should be a lot of fun, but it ends up feeling mechanical and rather boring, moving up and down and slamming your hotkeys appropriately. I appreciate Blizzard’s willingness in this mission to break away from resource-gathering, unit-building conventions and letting us play around with Nova’s abilities, but it didn’t stimpack my interest level to any appreciable degree.