It’s time for another week of news and videos here on The Rhodes Review!
Dragon Age III: Inquisition
Batman: Arkham Origins: Cold, Cold Heart
The Elder Scrolls Online
Dragon Age III: Inquisition
I don’t know about y’all, but I was in Dragon Age heaven this week! Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it was still an exciting week! I’ll really be in Dragon Age heaven on October 7th. That’s the release date for North America, by the way. Start your countdowns. That’s 164 days and counting! Along with that news on Tuesday, Bioware released the first real trailer for Dragon Age III: Inquisition. Should I keep putting the III on there? It is the third in the series, it is a sequel, but they don’t call it that. I guess it doesn’t really matter. Anyway, new trailer. Watch it now, if you haven’t watched it already. If you’ve already seen it, watch it again! It’s Dragon Age!
Inquisition looks so good. Everything about it. Not that I’m surprised. I would have been surprised if it looked bad. I can’t wait to form up my Inquisition.
Here’s the official press release regarding all of Tuesday’s news:
“EDMONTON, Alberta–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BioWare™, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), today announced that the highly-anticipated, epic role-playing game, Dragon Age™: Inquisition will be available in stores and for digital download on October 7 in North America and October 10 in Europe. In Dragon Age: Inquisition, the expansive, beautiful world of Thedas is being torn apart by a massive, mysterious breach in the sky. Players must assume the role of the Inquisitor and lead a team of legendary heroes to uncover the truth behind the impending devastation.
Discover all-new gameplay from Dragon Age: Inquisition in “The Inquisitor” trailer: http://youtu.be/uO2h4qUNJ60.
“Our goal with Dragon Age: Inquisition is to usher in the next generation of role playing games,” said Aaryn Flynn, General Manager of BioWare Edmonton and Montreal. “Players will experience the rich storylines and characters that they’ve come to expect from BioWare, in an expansive world with large open environments just begging to be explored.”
Players can pre-order* Dragon Age: Inquisition to get special bonus content. Visit the Dragon Age website for more information on editions, including the Deluxe Edition available for pre-order and the upcoming Inquisitor’s Edition.
You might have noticed in that press release that the game is already available for pre-order and there are two editions available. There’s the Standard Edition and the Digital Deluxe Edition. The Inquisitor Edition isn’t for sale yet. The standard version is just the game, obviously, and costs $60. I haven’t seen any news about the Inquisitor’s Edition, but that will likely come with all sorts of Inquisition goodies. The edition that I pre-ordered on Tuesday was the Digital Deluxe Edition, which costs $70, and is detailed below on the Dragon Age website.
“Live the ultimate Dragon Age: Inquisition experience with the Digital Deluxe Edition! This limited offering includes:
• Skyhold Throne – Every ruler should sit in a place of high honor, but as the Inquisitor you will have the greatest of all, fashioned from an ancient dragon skull.
• Red Hart Halla – Traverse the perilous, living world atop this great-horned beast.
• Bog Unicorn – Once belonging to an evil marauder, this unique mount has returned to inspire fear into those who would oppose you.
• Bring the world of Thedas wherever you go with the Dragon Age: Inquisition digital soundtrack • Bonus digital content – to be announced
The Digital Deluxe Edition also includes the mighty Flames of the Inquisition gear!• Multi-class Weapons: Smite your enemies with the Flames of the Inquisition weapons arsenal. Whether staff or daggers, greatsword or war hammer, these weapons will make short work of your foes.
• Inquisitor Armor: Protect yourself against the onslaught of enemy attacks by suiting up in the Flames of the Inquisition Armor.
• Armored Mount: Flames of the Inquisition gear also includes a valiant steed, complete with its own set of Inquisition Armor forged from the flames of battle.”
I’m pretty excited about pre-ordering the Digital Deluxe Edition, but I’ll be keeping my eye on the Inquisitor’s Edition. If it’s cool enough and cheap enough, I might upgrade to that one instead. Only for a Bioware game would I order an ultimate edition!
I’ve also got some cover art and screenshots to share with y’all. The PS4 Digital Deluxe Edition cover can be seen above, but the general cover art can be seen below.
Notice that in the cover art, the Inquisitor is gender-neutral. Cool move there, Bioware. I think they’re catching on. I’d much rather have a gender-neutral Inquistor on there, instead of having an alternate cover for the Femquisitor. I guess it’s also race-neutral too now that I think of it, which is even better. They’re acknowledging that it’s not just us white males playing their games and they’re telling us all to make the Inquisitor our own. That’s very cool and I hope that the next Mass Effect takes a similar approach!
One other quick Bioware video. They put up a PAX East 2014 recap video. It’s a nice little video for all of us who didn’t attend. Check it out:
What do y’all think of the new trailer? Which edition do you all plan on buying?
Ubisoft released three new Watch_Dogs videos this week. The first is the “Life of the Hacker” trailer:
The second video is an “8-minute multiplayer walkthrough”:
The last video is an unboxing of the ultimate edition:
Honestly, I didn’t watch any of these videos, though I’m sure they’re all great. The fact is that they have already won me over. I’ve got the game pre-order for the PS4. I’m just ready to play the game.
Batman: Arkham Origins: Cold, Cold Heart
The story DLC for Batman: Arkham Origins: Cold, Cold Heart came out on Tuesday and WB Games had a launch trailer to share:
I still hope to review this DLC, but I’m waiting to see if I’m going to be able to get a hold of a review code. If not, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to review it. I guess we’ll see!
The Elder Scrolls Online
I know that’s not much, but I thought I would share it anyway.
The PlayStation Plus lineup for May was announced this week. The list from the PlayStation Blog is as follows: Stick it to the Man! (PS4), Puppeteer (PS3), Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 (PS3), Skullgirls Encore (PS3), Surge Deluxe (PS Vita), and Limbo (PS Vita).
The lineup trailer:
Once again it’s a lineup with not a game to interest me. Outlast was the last one that I was interested in that I didn’t already own. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t good games. They could all be great games, for all I know. But what I do know is that they’re just not the sort of games that I like to play. I guess they can’t please everyone! Maybe next month!
Earlier today, Disney and Lucasfilm officially announced that the Expanded Universe was not canon. The only canon that counts so far comes from the six movies and the Clone Wars TV show. Going forward, their creative teams will make sure anything and everything Star Wars is approved and interconnected and (I assume) canon.
Here’s the full story/press release from Star Wars:
“For over 35 years, the Expanded Universe has enriched the Star Wars experience for fans seeking to continue the adventure beyond what is seen on the screen. When he created Star Wars, George Lucas built a universe that sparked the imagination, and inspired others to create. He opened up that universe to be a creative space for other people to tell their own tales. This became the Expanded Universe, or EU, of comics, novels, videogames, and more.
While Lucasfilm always strived to keep the stories created for the EU consistent with our film and television content as well as internally consistent, Lucas always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU. He set the films he created as the canon. This includes the six Star Wars episodes, and the many hours of content he developed and produced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. These stories are the immovable objects of Star Wars history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align.
Now, with an exciting future filled with new cinematic installments of Star Wars, all aspects ofStar Wars storytelling moving forward will be connected. Under Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy’s direction, the company for the first time ever has formed a story group to oversee and coordinate all Star Wars creative development.
“We have an unprecedented slate of new Star Wars entertainment on the horizon,” said Kennedy. “We’re set to bring Star Wars back to the big screen, and continue the adventure through games, books, comics, and new formats that are just emerging. This future of interconnected storytelling will allow fans to explore this galaxy in deeper ways than ever before.”
In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe. While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded. Creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe. For example, elements of the EU are included in Star Wars Rebels. The Inquisitor, the Imperial Security Bureau, and Sienar Fleet Systems are story elements in the new animated series, and all these ideas find their origins in roleplaying game material published in the 1980s.
Demand for past tales of the Expanded Universe will keep them in print, presented under the new Legends banner.
On the screen, the first new canon to appear will be Star Wars Rebels. In print, the first new books to come from this creative collaboration include novels from Del Rey Books. First to be announced, John Jackson Miller is writing a novel that precedes the events of Star Wars Rebels and offers insight into a key character’s backstory, with input directly from executive producers Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, and Greg Weisman.
And this is just the beginning of a creatively aligned program of Star Wars storytelling created by the collaboration of incredibly talented people united by their love of that galaxy far, far away….
StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.”
Star Wars also had some further news about the previously mentioned upcoming book series (aka first of the new canon):
“Following today’s announcement of Lucasfilm’s new unified storytelling approach, Disney Publishing Worldwide is proud to announce their first step into that larger world, beginning with Del Rey Books. The publishing program will feature new adult fiction novels set in the beloved galaxy far, far away, and will be closely connected to the cinematic entertainment currently in development at Lucasfilm.
Star Wars novels consistently rank on the New York Times Bestseller lists — from the very first tie-in novel, an adaptation of Star Wars: A New Hope released by Del Rey in 1976, to the recently published Star Wars: Kenobi — and dozens of titles in between. With over 75 million copies sold worldwide, these books have captured the imaginations and creativity of authors who have enriched the Star Wars experience for fans around the globe.
Going forward, Lucasfilm has begun mapping out the narrative future of Star Wars storytelling that will appear on film and television and in other media so that all projects will benefit from real-time collaboration and alignment. The future Star Wars novels from Disney Publishing Worldwide and Del Rey Books will now be part of the official Star Wars canon as reflected on upcoming TV and movie screens.
“With the establishment of the Lucasfilm Story Group and our even greater focus on unified storytelling, we expect our entire publishing program to be stronger and more meaningful than ever before,” said Jeanne Mosure, senior vice president and group publisher, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “We’re extremely excited to kick off this new strategy with Del Rey Books.”
The first novel to benefit from this deeper collaboration is Star Wars: A New Dawn, by bestselling author John Jackson Miller. Set prior to the events of the forthcoming animated series Star Wars Rebels, this novel tells the story of how two of the lead characters of the series, Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla, came to cross paths. To tell this important backstory, Miller benefited from contact with series executive producers Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg and Greg Weisman, who together ensured this tale will be part of the Star Wars canon of storytelling going forward. It is scheduled for hardcover and eBook release on September 2, 2014.
“We’re extremely proud of the hundreds of amazing Star Wars books we’ve published at Del Rey,” said Scott Shannon, SVP, publisher, Del Rey and Digital Content, “And now we’re excited to finally be able to call our upcoming novels true canon — a single, cohesive Star Wars storyline — all while keeping the amazing backlist of Star Wars Legends content in print.”
Following Star Wars: A New Dawn, the all-new Star Wars fiction line will continue with the following 2014/2015 titles:
STAR WARS: TARKIN
STAR WARS: HEIR TO THE JEDI
STAR WARS: LORDS OF THE SITH
In years past, the storylines that would appear in print and on screen were developed separately, resulting in an “Expanded Universe” that differed in ways large and small from the filmmaker’s “canon.” These rich stories provide a treasure trove of characters to fall in love with — and deep worlds to explore and will live on in both physical and digital editions, newly-branded as Star Wars Legends.
For more information and for looks at the covers of all four new titles announced above, please visit the Del Rey Star Wars Books Facebook page at Facebook.com/StarWarsBooks.
StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.”
I can’t say that I’m surprised or upset. I liked some of the expanded universe, but the only story I am particularly attached to is Shadows of the Empire. I know that lots of people take offense to this, but I don’t see what the big deal is. You can think of the expanded universe as an alternate series of events. I’d much rather get more new movies, games, etc. That’s my opinion, at least.
What did you all think of my stories for this week? Did I miss any big news that interested you all this week?
What are y’all playing this weekend?
I’m playing three games right now: Star Wars The Old Republic (near the end of chapter 3), Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword (near the middle), and Final Fantasy XIII-2 (just started). I’ve had some trouble getting through those games all the way straight through this time, so I’m rotating to keep it fresh. I’ve been working on TOR for months now. It’s fun, but it can be a grind at times. Skyward Sword is fun in the beginning and the end, but the middle part of the game really drags. I’m really liking FF XIII-2, though. I didn’t love or even finish FF XIII (my first FF game), but I liked it enough to continue in the series. I’m glad that I did, because I think they made a lot of improvements in this sequel. I’m also enjoying it more because I’m playing on easy.
Upcoming Reviews in April
Comic Reviews: None
Game Reviews: Octodad: Dadliest Catch (probably not), Daylight (maybe), and Batman Arkham Origins: Cold, Cold Heart (not sure)
Features: April Recommendations
This month’s poll is all about one of my favorite video game series of all time (the number one favorite 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. This is the last week of the poll, so be sure to get your vote in, if you want to, and I’ll post the results next week.