News: 04/05/14-04/11/14

Another week of news here on The Rhodes Review! Here are all of the stories and videos that caught my eye this week:

Transistor

Wolfenstein: The New Order

The Elder Scrolls Online

The Last of Us: Remastered

Dragon Age III: Inquisition

Star Wars: Rebel Heist #1

News/Videos

Transistor

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My top story this week is that Transistor finally has a release date set for May 20th! I’ve been interested in this one since it was revealed at E3 last year and I hope to play it on the PS4 and review it when it comes out.

For more info on the game, check out the PlayStation Blog or Super Giant Games!

Wolfenstein: The New Order

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Wolfenstein: The New Order has a new trailer for y’all to watch. This trailer is called, “Nowhere to Run”.

I think this is going to be an awesome FPS. I’m really looking forward to it.

P.S. I just got a review copy of The Art of Wolfenstein: The New Order. I’m not sure that I’ll look at it before I play the game, but assuming I review the game, I will review the art book!

The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online Other Logo

The Elder Scrolls Online is getting it’s first adventure zone later this month. The zone is called Craglorn and Bethesda released a trailer to preview it!

The Last of Us: Remastered

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(PlayStation Blog)

There had been rumor and speculation for quite a while that The Last of Us would be coming to the PS4 and it was confirmed earlier this week. It will be called The Last of Us: Remastered and will release this summer.

Here’s some info from Naughty Dog on the PlayStation Blog:

“Well, it’s no secret that we have been working night and day at the studio to bring The Last of Us to PS4.

We’re calling it The Last of Us Remastered.

Moving our efforts to the PS4 has allowed us to remaster an already phenomenal looking The Last of Us in 1080p with a list of upgrades including higher resolution character models, improved shadows and lighting, upgraded textures, along with even more improvements. We love setting challenging technical hurdles for us when working on each game – and this is no different. We’ve been working hard on The Last of Us Remastered to release a next-gen evolution worthy of the 200+ Game of the Year awards, not to mention the acclaim and expectations of our fans. We will be revealing more detailed information about the upgrades for the PS4 version in the coming months.

In addition to all the technical updates, we’re also including an exclusive director’s commentary for all in-game cinematics featuring Creative Director and Writer, Neil Druckmann; Voice Actor, Troy Baker, who plays Joel; and BAFTA Award winning Voice Actress, Ashley Johnson, who plays Ellie.

We’ve released a ton of additional content since The Last of Us launched in June 2013, including our first ever single player expansion, Left Behind. We’re happy to say that the major content releases will be included with The Last of Us Remastered:

  • Left Behind single player expansion
  • Abandoned Territories multiplayer map pack
  • Reclaimed Territories pack – details will be coming soon on exactly what is included

Whether you are new to The Last of Us or have played it already on the PS3, we hope you are all looking forward to this release. We are!

You can preorder The Last of Us Remastered for PS4 right now from many of your favorite retailers and receive these preorder bonuses:

  • 100 Supply Points (XP) for use in Factions mode
  • Two special bonus skins for Joel and Ellie which will be unlocked after your complete the single player campaign
  • Increased Crafting Speed for use in the Single Player Campaign
  • Increased Healing Speed for use in the Single Player Campaign
  • 9mm Reload Speed Increase Upgrade for use in the Single Player Campaign
  • Rifle Clip Capacity Increase Upgrade for use in the Single Player Campaign

If you preorder on the PlayStation Store, you will receive three extra preorder bonuses to unlocks in Factions multiplayer:

  • Early Access to the Brawler Survival Skill in Factions Mode
  • Early Access to additional Loadout Points for use in Factions mode
  • Early Access to the Jeep Cap and Surgical Mask for use in Factions mode

Now that we’ve finally gotten the official announcement out of the way, we’ll be keeping you updated regularly aboutThe Last of Us Remastered until it releases Summer 2014.”

And here’s the announcement trailer:

This remastered PS4 edition should look pretty amazing, since the original PS3 version looked so good. I would definitely buy it, though I’ll certain that I will wait for a lower price someday down the road.

Dragon Age III: Inquisition

Dragon Age III Logo

Bioware has revealed some information about Dragon Age III: Inquisition on their blog this week. The focus is on The Exalted Plains.

The first post:

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(Bioware Blog)

“The Exalted Plains of the Dales are characterized by equal measures of beauty and strife. It was here, centuries ago, that the elven nation met its bitter end. On these fields, the holdouts of the elven army faced the forces of the human Chantry and died, defending their promised land to the last breath. This legacy of conflict has endured, and battle once again rages in the Dales.

The Exalted Plains are now a contested battleground in the Orlesian civil war, and soldiers fight and die here in vast numbers. As the boundaries of reality weaken across Thedas, the memory of injustices past and present draws the attention of restless spirits who rise to possess the dead and stalk the living across the blood-steeped earth.”

The second post:

“Within the Dales, the Exalted Plains is a massive stretch of land ravaged by civil war and ripe for exploration in Dragon Age: Inquisition. As each distinct areas of the Exalted Plains has its own complex ecosystem, creating the Plains’ physical space in the game was no easy task.”

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(Bioware Blog)

““The first thing we [did] was try to portray the civil war and the impact it’s having on the environment and the people of that region,” says senior environment artist Andrew Farrell. “In these spaces, we try to provide opportunities for the Inquisition to come in and make its mark on the area. Then the people there rally around that.”

The Inquisition arrives at the Exalted Plains during a ceasefire between two armies at war. The bodies of fallen soldiers mysteriously rose from the dead and have driven the armies back to their respective castles in retreat.

As this is the Dales, one might wonder: what’s become of the Dalish elves?

“They’ve retreated into an area with more security away from all the fighting,” explains Farrell. “Of course, they’ve got a few problems of their own.”

The Crow Fens is one section of the Exalted Plains. In contrast to the sprawling hills elsewhere in the area, the Fens is claustrophobic, creating tension as you wonder what lies in wait for you around the next corner. According to Farrell, the Fens was the perfect playground for his imagination to run wild.”

Dales_WM_001

 

(Bioware Blog)

“Using the power of the Frostbite 3 game engine and next-generation technology, utilizing water in levels is one of the achievements the team is most proud of.

“Interactive water is one of the key things we’ve added to next-gen,” says lead environment artist Ben McGrath. “It’s got realistic reflections, and also realistically ripples and splashes as you walk through it.”

This is all made possible by a technology advancement known as “displacement mapping”. McGrath describes the benefits it adds to the game:

“Displacement mapping adds a new level of realism to the environment. Normal maps [in previous-gen technology] brought great detail to surfaces, but displacement mapping actually pushes those details out so you can see them in the silhouette. The place where it’s probably the most noticeable is on terrain. Pebbles, sand ripples, cobblestones, and other details all pop out from the terrain and make it far more detailed than ever before.”

Once an area is built, its ecosystem brings it to life. While exploring the Exalted Plains, you’re likely to see the halla, birds, and wolves that have made it home. Make your way into the Crow Fens, and you’ll find yourself amidst drakes, dragonlings, and dragonkin.

Don’t let the looming threat of danger deter you from adventuring, however.

“Get off the beaten path!” says Farrell. “Just like exploring in real life, look under all the rocks, under all the bridges, and in all dark corners of the map. Take the path less-traveled and you might something interesting… or surprising.”

As expansive as the Exalted Plains is, Farrell and McGrath agree that you shouldn’t worry too much about missing anything, because you can return to it at any time.

“You won’t be locked out of an area,” Farrell says. “We’ve got a lot of space, so you definitely don’t need to try and see everything on your first playthrough.”

Dragon Age: Inquisition releases this fall on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.”

Some interesting information! They’ve done a really good job at teasing Inquisition, while not spoiling anything. As always, I can’t wait!

Star Wars: Rebel Heist #1

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Dark Horse Comics has released a preview of the first issue of their new mini-series, Star Wars: Rebel Heist #1. I won’t be reviewing it, but I wanted to share the preview with y’all anyway!

SWRebelHeist1

Who doesn’t like Han Solo? The preview was alright, but with a name like “Rebel Heist”, it’s got to be an exciting mini-series.

 

Upcoming Reviews in April

Comic Reviews: The Walking Dead #124The Walking Dead #125The Walking Dead #126The Star Wars #7, and Mass Effect: Foundation #10.

Game Reviews: The Wolf Among Us: Episode Three2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (maybe), Batman Arkham Origins: Cold, Cold Heart (maybe), and possibly others?

April Poll

This month’s poll is all about one of my favorite video game series of all time (the other is Mass Effect): The Legend of Zelda. I want to know which of the Zelda games are y’all’s favorites? Multiple selections are allowed. My two favorites are Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, but I love the others listed as well.

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