Halo 5: Guardians Announced, Hitting Fall 2015

halo 5 reveal

In what is probably the least exciting Halo game announcement of all time, Bonnie Ross, General Manager of 343 Industries, took over the Xbox Wire to reveal Halo 5: Guardians which will be coming to the Xbox One in the Fall of 2015.

Continuing the story of Master Chief from where we left him in Halo 4, Halo 5: Guardians is being built with a completely new engine and will deliver a 60 frame-per-second performance, a first for the series. A Halo TV series is also teased to be released in a similar time-frame to Halo 5: Guardians.

The Spartan on the top of the box art will apparently be a new character according to series Executive Producer Josh Holmes on Twitter.

Microsoft is certainly getting a lot out of the way for E3. Typically a Halo reveal is a big to-do and Bonnie Ross promises that more will be revealed at E3 this year, but I can’t help but feel a little deflated that a game series that once commanded attention is now relegated to blog post unveilings.

Source – Xbox Wire

Far Cry 4 Coming November 18 2014, Takes Place in the Himalayas

far cry 4 reveal

Do you know what the definition of insanity is? Not getting a sequel to 2012’s stellar hit Far Cry 3. In a surprise leak/announcement today, Ubisoft officially unveiled Far Cry 4 which will be coming to the (deep breath here) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 18, 2014.

Not much is currently known about Far Cry 4, other than that it takes place in a fictional region of the Himalayas called Kyrat and you’ll be fighting the reign of a self-appointed king. You can feast your peepers on the box art for Far Cry 4 by clicking the previous words. Looks more like a Pink King than a Yellow King to me, but maybe we’ll go to Carcosa in Far Cry 5.

Far Cry 3 was one of my favorite games of the last generation and if Ubisoft can turn around some of the less appealing aspects of that game (nonsensical “white savior” story and a rather bland second half) then we’ve got a huge hit on our hands. If the logical progression from flamethrower dubstep is elephant-riding RPG madness, then consider me sold.

Who’s on board for a little more Far Cry when it hits every consoles except the poor Wii U this November?

Source – UbiBlog

Microsoft Shipping a $399 Xbox One Without Kinect in June

Xbox One 399 no Kinect

Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s new head of all things Xbox, posted an update on the Xbox Wire about changes coming to the Xbox One in June, including a new $399 price point without a Kinect in the box and access to popular video apps like Netflix without requiring an Xbox Live Gold subscription.

This is another case of Microsoft backtracking on the Xbox One, which started out with a mandatory Kinect, an always-online Internet connection and aggressive DRM. With this most recent update, just about a year after its announcement, the Xbox One no longer requires any of these things. It’s a win for consumers, certainly, but not for Microsoft’s previous vision for the console.

The most curious aspect of this for me is that this makes the Xbox One cheaper in Canada than the PlayStation 4, which saw a $50 price bump earlier this year. The $399 Xbox One without Kinect will be available on June 9.

What do you guys think about this news? Does this new $399 Xbox One without a Kinect make the console more appealing to you?

Source – Xbox Wire

Valiant Hearts Trailer Brings 2D Adventure to World War One

Built on the same UbiArt engine as the recently released Child of Light, Valiant Hearts is an upcoming 2D adventure game by Ubisoft Montpellier where you control four different characters and their faithful dog through several puzzles set during the first World War.

World War One is not a setting that gets explored a lot in video games, but Valiant Hearts looks like it will use that dark time in history to tell some pretty heart-breaking stories about love and sacrifice. Take a look at the trailer below:

How does this look to you guys? Are you on board? Did you try Child of Light? Valiant Heart releases on June 25 via the PlayStation Network, Xbox LIVE and various PC digital distribution platforms.

Nintendo’s Financial Slump and Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire Announcement

pokemon omega ruby pokemon alpha sapphire

Today is a strange day to be a Nintendo stalwart and a Pokemon fan. Nintendo’s fiscal year ended on March 31, 2014 and the company is not looking good right now. Due to lower than expected sales numbers on both the Wii U and the 3DS, Nintendo has fallen below their projected income for the last fiscal year, and that’s even after taking into account the fact that they lowered their projections back in January of this year. With Nintendo once again skipping E3 and maintaining that they will not be showing off new hardware, one has to wonder what they plan on doing to right the ship.

Of course, if things are looking down a little Pokemon can always give you a nice bump. This morning, Nintendo announced Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, updated versions of the classic Game Boy Advanced titles that released in 2003. Promising an “epic new story” in a “dramatic new world”, both games will be hitting the 3DS/2DS this November. Long-time series fans will recall that the original Ruby and Sapphire games took place in Hoenn, but speculation about the potential Mega Legendaries on the game’s cover art has pointed to the fact that this game might be in a new location.

What do you guys think about this news? Sad for Nintendo? Excited for more Pokemon? Sound off!

Source – GoNintendo, Nintendo, Eurogamer, Pokemon.com

A Kotaku Reader Asks: Who is Samus Aran?

metroid samus aran

Of all of the characters in Nintendo’s stable of properties, there are none as intriguing as Samus Aran, the power-armor wearing space-faring bounty hunter from the Metroid series.

After 25 years it seems that not even the company that created her has a firm grasp on who they want Samus to be. She’s either a tough, no-nonsense ass-kicker or the person we saw in Other M. Kotaku reader InvadingDuck wrote up a decent sized essay on the history to the character and her portrayal from game to game and it’s definitely worth a read if you’re a fan of the series or the character of Samus.

Personally the Samus that always stuck with me was the one from Metroid Prime. As InvadingDuck mentions in his article, you can read Space Pirate data entries on Samus where she’s depicted as a nightmare-figure of sorts, a nearly mythological entity that can rip through their outposts almost unscathed. True, this version of Samus didn’t have much personality but it was certainly more palatable than the way Other M handled her.

So what do you guys think about InvadingDuck’s post? Who is Samus Aran to you?

Source – Kotaku

Bungie’s Destiny Will Cost Activision $500 Million

bungie destiny

According to a story published by Reuters, Bungie’s upcoming sci-fi shooter RPG thing Destiny could wind up costing Activision Blizzard $500 million in development and promotional costs when all is said and done.

The next game out Bungie in their post-Halo days is no doubt a big deal, but I don’t think anyone’s leaning on its potential success quite as hard as Activision. With Call of Duty: Ghosts’ weak showing last year, Activision is no doubt hungry for their next hit shooter. $500 million could wind up making Destiny the most expensive video game in history, which is a significant gamble for a company that often seems like it likes to play it safe.

$500 million is quite an insane number to be spending on development and marketing, but a lot of that is going towards the development of Destiny’s next-gen engine (which is in-house, a tradition for Bungie) and a lot of back end infrastructure costs. I don’t know about you guys, but with $500 million behind it, Destiny’s servers better not crap out on launch day.

What do you guys think? Is Destiny worth this price tag? Are you going to pick up the game on September 9, and for what platform?

Source – Reuters