Posts Tagged ‘2K’

Battleborn Flopped But Take-Two “Not Counting It Out”

Battleborn [official site] publisher 2K will continue to support the game despite a performance which its parent company described as “below our expectations”. You could also title this article:”I listened to the Take-Two Interactive Q1 2017 earnings conference call so you didn’t have to.”

I was curious as to how the subject of Battleborn would be handled because, although Take-Two Interactive CEO, Strauss Zelnick, said on the call that “the game launched to solid reviews”, mine was not one of those. Audiences on PC didn’t flock to the game either despite all the marketing I saw and it quickly vanished from the top 100 in terms of Steam’s daily player/concurrent player charts. When I put the review up the week after the game’s release it was actually below Gearbox’s four-year-old game, Borderlands 2.

Here are the relevant bits:

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Civilization VI: Four Hours Of Wars And Wonders

Last month I spent four hours playing Civilization VI on a very hot day in central London. I came away wishing I could play for another four hundred hours, and also wishing that I had an ice cream. Mint and choc chip preferably.

Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what Civ VI is doing and how its many systems create a brilliant competitive race through history while also producing some weird tensions around the idea of what a civilization actually is in the context of the game. Are cultures defined by the choices they make, by their surroundings, their neighbours, by determination or by chance? Whatever the answer might be, one thing is sure: Cleopatra hates me.

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Humble 2K Bundle Offers Spec Ops The Line For A Dollar

The latest offering from Humble Bundle is a stack of 2K games, including third-person horrors-of-war shooter, Spec Ops: The Line [official site] in the lowest tier. That’s yours for a dollar or more but (the horror, the HORROR) you’ll have to take a copy of Duke Nukem Forever as well. The Darkness 2 is the much more palatable final third of that one dollar selection. Jumping to the next tier, with a minimum buy-in of $8.37, gets you a copy of Civ V, NBA 2K16, Mafia II and…a Battleborn skin pack. Civ V is decent, even without the expansions, but I’d be tempted to wait until October for the sequel.

Spec Ops is the star here. At that price, it’s close to unmissable.

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Long War Studios Release New XCOM 2 Mods

The Long War is one of the great mods, expanding Firaxis’ XCOM reboot in ways that called back to the campaign of the original game while also building on what was brilliant in the new version. The team behind it formed a studio and are now working on their own aliens vs Earth game, Terra Invicta, as well as Firaxis-approved mods for XCOM 2 [official site]. The first set of mods arrived on launch day and two more appeared a couple of days ago. One of them is good, the other is spectacular.

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Civilization VI Egypt Vid Is Comin’ Atcha

Cleopatra can't even

I made a silent promise to myself that I wouldn’t post every single new leader/civ reveal for Civilization VI [official site] because, really, do you need a video to tell you that France is likely to have some big cultural advantages based around museums, and that Japan might have its own warrior code, and cities that enjoy the benefits that come from island life and seafood? The Egyptian video is a good one though, teasing out some details of the new adjacency bonuses for improvements, and the ways that early game strengths might change through the course of a campaign.

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Sean Bean Narrates The Entire History Of A Civ VI Nation

Civilization VI’s [official site] E3 demo will not only teach you a lot about the game, it also happens to be a fascinating cultural object. Narrated by Sean Bean, it follows a tribe from their first settlement through barbaric battles, early diplomacy and trade, technological development, and into the terror of modern warfare. Then they jump in a rocket and set off into space. The erstwhile Ned Stark/Richard Sharpe provides commentary throughout. It’s as if Sean Bean has transitioned into a career making Let’s Play videos and, by god, I had never known how much I wanted such a thing until now.

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Hands On: Civilization VI Is Exciting, Complex & Aggressive

The barbarians are at the gates. They’re not here to kick the gates down and storm the city though; instead, they retreat, in the direction of the camp that spawned them.

“You might want to send a warrior after those barbarian scouts,” Firaxis’ Pete Murray advises, watching the screen over my shoulder. “They’ll fetch a raiding party if they manage to get home.”

That’s new. It’s the tip of the iceberg as far as changes go, but it’s an illustrative example of what the early stages of this game are all about. Civilization VI [official site], at this stage of its development, is host to the most reactive AI that I can remember in the series’ long history. Lead designer Ed Beach and his team are building a Civ game that they hope will pry long-time players out of their established comfort zones, and a too-brief 60 turns with the game last week showed plenty of evidence that they’ll achieve that goal.

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Civilization VI Releases October: Here’s Every Detail

As if 2016 didn’t already contain a rich enough seam of strategy games, Firaxis announce today that Civilization VI will be released on October 21st. Development duties are in the hands of the team behind Civ V’s expansions, Gods & Kings and Brave New World, and when we spoke to designer Ed Beach and associate producer Sarah Darney last week to learn all the details, they told us that almost every system from the complete Civ V will be included in the sequel: trade routes, religious systems, archaeology…there’ll be no need to wait for expansions, it’s all in the base game.

The game is running on a brand new suite of software, built to be far more mod-friendly than its predecessor, and as well as brand new AI systems, there are a host of new mechanics that will explore and emphasise your relationship with Civ’s greatest character: the map.

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2K Finally Shows Up On GOG, X-COM Included

Very late to the party, yesterday 2K finally showed up on GOG.com with a selection of classic games. And what a selection. What on Earth were they waiting for? Anyway, at last you can now get DRM-free working-on-your-PC versions of Freedom Force and its sequel, all the classic X-COMs bundled together, three Railroad Tycoon games, and the awful Sid Meier’s Pirates remake. It also suggests the possibility that the GTA games could finally make their way to the store, although not yet.

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Battleborn Open Beta Date Revealed Plus A Closer Look At Story Mode

Gearbox’s character-centric shooter Battleborn’s [official site] open beta will begin on PC on 13 April, including access to two of the game’s story episodes, the multiplayer modes “Incursion” and “Meltdown” and all the characters, loot, gear and progression systems.

I’ve written about Incursion before but let’s talk about story mode – here’s what it is, how it’s referencing episodic TV and some more about how it works:

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What Is A ‘Bioshock Collection’ And Do You Want It?

And now on Vague, Possibly-Nothing News Hour, it’s the apparent leak of something called The BioShock Collection, which appears to comprise BioShock 1, BioShock 2 and BioShock: Infinite Art Budget. Which isn’t super-interesting in itself, given we’ve all been able to pick up said bundle or the components thereof for absurdly low prices in various Steam sales. What is twisting my Plasmids, man, is that the leak claims this pack is coming out for Xbone and PS4 in addition to PC. Which might meant that we’re in for a – oh lord, save me from the buzzwords – next-gen spit’n’polish of the series.

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XCOM 2 Anarchy’s Children DLC Out Today

Happy Saint Paddy’s Day one and all! A day for dressing up in garish green hats, novelty glasses, and orange wigs. Which is what I assume we’ll be able to do in the latest XCOM 2 [official site] expansion, Anarchy’s Children, which promises “100 new exotic customization options for your soldiers, including new hair styles, face paints, armor, lower face props, decals, helmets, masks and more.” I guess we’ll find out either way when it launches later today. Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, Advent soldiers.

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Interview: Firaxis’ Jake Solomon On What Went Right And Wrong With XCOM 2

In which Adam and I sit down with XCOM 2 lead designer Jake Solomon to dissect the strategy sequel. We discuss what it does well and some of the complaints levelled at it, hear about ideas tried and discarded during development, why story had more of a focus this time around and the continued importance of the original X-COM games.

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Learning To Love Failure In XCOM 2 & Darkest Dungeon

The year is young but we’ve already had the pleasure of welcoming two gruelling tactical slaughterfests into the world: XCOM 2 [official site] and Darkest Dungeon [official site]. We’ve written a great deal about Firaxis’ latest already and our ongoing diary has just hit the point where the alien threat starts to chip away at our beloved squadmates. Darkest Dungeon is more obviously punishing, every element built to communicate a sense of hopelessness and despair.

But how do the games compare, in their treatment of failure and death, both mechanically and thematically?

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From Parts Unknown: WWE 2K16 Coming To PC March

I still don’t understand why WWE 2K15 [official site] came to PC so many months after the initial console release and, well, here we are again. The latest entry in the pro wrestling series will arrive on PC March 11th, having landed on consoles at the end of October last year. We’ll get all of the DLC, and the PC version will be equivalent to the current-gen console release. That’s good, because if we were getting the cut-down PS3/360 version, I’d have taken it as confirmation of a 2K heel turn.

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Dogs, Timesavers And Katanas: The Best XCOM 2 Mods

It’s been 20 years since the events of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and while you’re sat there wondering where it all went wrong, the alien occupation of the world as we know it is A Thing now. I saved the world the last time round, did I not? I hear you mumble under your breath. No, no one did and that’s the end of it. Get it over it, man.

The aliens are here, they’re up to no good, and now it’s time to get rid of them. This list is the best mods XCOM 2 [official site] has to offer so far and should help you achieve that goal, or at least help you to fail (again) in style. This list is also best served alongside Alec’s XCOM 2 Guide: How To Survive And Thrive.

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What Is XCOM 2? An Alice And Pip Chat

Pip has never been a fan of turn-based strategy games but Alice is knee-deep in XCOM 2 [official site]. She keeps sending Pip videos of surprisingly competent psychic attacks on aliens and, despite herself, Pip is now not sure whether to try again with the series. Alice attempts to offer a useful primer. The text contains spoilers for some enemy types:

Pip: ALICE

Alice: Philippa.

Pip: Alice, I don’t get XCOM. Please help me to get XCOM! I feel left out.

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XCOM 2’s Day One Mods Reviewed

XCOM 2 [official site] isn’t just a big pile of tactical brilliance, it’s also a big mod-friendly pile of tactical brilliance. Theoretically, that means someone will iron out the things that annoy you and build on the things you love. It also means we can expect anything from an increase in moustache variety to a revamped campaign or series of total conversions.

To kick things off, Firaxis commissioned the clever folks who made the Long War mod for Enemy Unknown to produce three day-one mods for XCOM 2. They are neat additions but, more than that, they’re signposts toward an exciting future.

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What Should XCOM 2’s First Expansion Be?

I visited Firaxis in 2014 to see Civilization: Beyond Earth and it was impossible not to wonder which closed doors were hiding the XCOM 2 [official site] team. The game hadn’t been announced but surely somebody was working on a sequel. Would it follow the path of the original games and take to the Lovecraftian depths? Would it reach toward the stars and a battle on various alien homeworlds? Would it take risks or rest comfortably on well-earned laurels?

The answer, as we now know, didn’t quite fit any of the above. These are happy times for the XCOM devotee but I’m hoping for an apocalyptic future. Here are a few ideas and hopes for what the game’s first expansion might be.

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Wot I Think: XCOM 2

In 2012, Firaxis took on the seemingly impossible task of reviving one of the most beloved PC games ever made. The original X-COM is widely considered to be one of the masterpieces of the nineties golden age, and since its release there have been sequels, spin-offs and unofficial revivals, but Firaxis’ XCOM was a complete, licensed reinterpretation. It was also rather good. Now, with XCOM 2 [official site] ready for release, Firaxis aim to improve on the formula that made Enemy Unknown such a triumph. Here’s wot I think.

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