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Nintendo's trifecta of 30th anniversary Legend of Zelda amiibos launched today: 8-bit Link, Ocarina of Time Link, Wind Waker Zelda, and a second Toon Link based on his Wind Waker incarnation.
"Each will offer random items you can use in the game when used with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," Nintendo wrote on its Tumblr. "Legend has it, you may even receive a treasure chest with a rare item if you’re lucky?!"
You can see how all four rewards materialize in-game by visiting Nintendo's Tumblr page.
This week, in honor of a weird spin-off game that went underground and emerged as Final Fantasy XV, we're talking about games that changed significantly between their announcement and release.
Read on to see what the Shacknews editorial staff and Chatty community had to say about games that underwent near-total metamorphoses by the time they hit shelves.
John Romero's Daikatana is a storied title for several reasons. It was originally meant to contain a ridiculous amount of content that would be squeezed into seven months. This was...not what happened in the end. Deadline changes, engine switches, and a massive amount of hype contributed to the game's lukewarm reception when it finally did release, though the controversial marketing campaign didn't do the game any favors, either.
After the entire development team booked it to form their own company (Gathering of Developers), in fact, the team had to switch from one engine to another following that, missing several other deadlines and much less of what the game originally had promised players. With frustrating sidekicks (part of what were storied to make the game a success), poor AI, lackluster design decisions and other missteps, everything combined to turn Daikatana from what sounded like a serviceable shooter into something massively, completely different in the end.
Much like a teenager goes through phases, Fuse evolved from one game to another seemingly overnight. Originally announced as Overstrike, Fuse was a third-person cooperative shooter starring a ragtag group of agents working together to thwart an evil plot. They exchanged quips, had distinct personalities, and a distinctive style to boot.
When it released, Overstrike emerged as Fuse, a completely re-worked four-person cooperative shooter without the style, humor, or personality of its former self. Whether studio input or internal decisions were to blame, it was ultimately for the worse. Especially because you can see threads of the more fun experience in the finished product.
The beloved BioShock may be a critical and commercial success, but it wasn't always the game it ended up as. In the beginning the main character was set as "cult deprogrammer" Carlos Cuello, looking to rescue a character who had been trapped within the confines of a cult in the past. It was meant to be set aboard a space station with bizarre monsters as well, but obviously the BioShock we know and love didn't turn out that way.
Good thing it hadn't, as it gave us an interesting and memorable narrative that would end up shaping the landscape of first-person shooters and adventures for years to come.
If I remember, the first announcement of Bioshock talked about how it was about discovering an abandoned Nazi bunker where they were experimenting with genetic mutations. The enemy NPCs had a caste system and looked and behaved more like insects, with workers, soldiers, etc. and wouldn't bother the player until the player became a threat. -BlackCat9
As evidenced by this list, plenty of games go through radical changes in mechanics or tone or visual style. Halo is likely the only one that completely changed genres, keeping only its world intact. Bungie has stated that it went from real-time strategy game to a shooter, and even then it was originally a third-person shooter. It also was meant to launch on Windows and Mac OS simultaneously, thanks in part to a high-profile announcement at 1999's MacWorld meant to show off Apple's gaming might.
Once Microsoft acquired Bungie Studios, Halo became an Xbox exclusive, first-person shooter. In doing so, Bungie helped define the language of FPS on consoles, all as the result of a game that was never going to be a shooter, or on consoles, at all.
From X-COM: Enemy Unknown to XCOM, to The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, the X-COM game from 2K Marin undertook three name changes and many design changes during its nearly seven-year development period. The Bureau was originally envisioned as a turn-based strategy in the vein of its predecessors using the Freedom Force engine.
Eventually, 2K Marin decided their X-COM game would be a first-person shooter set in the 1950's. The original 2010 pitch went under the name X-COM: Enemy Unknown internally, but by the time development was announced the name had been changed to XCOM. Although the time period of XCOM carried over to The Bureau, the gameplay was far different. The game's core mechanic was to research. You would photograph and retrieve alien technology and bring them back to your base.
Due to confused game design decisions, including enemies lacking faces. Development stalled. Staff left and were moved around and eventually the decision was made to switch the game to a third-person perspective. As time went on 2K Marin decided that a creative reboot was for the best, and as deadline, after the deadline were missed, attrition set in. The base mechanics were removed, and XCOM went from centering around stealth and suspense to a more generic third-person tactical shooter. It also goes one final name change from XCOM to The Bureau: XCOM Declassified.
The game released on August 20, 2013, to average to negative reviews, and was a far different product in name and substance than what 2K Marin began work on in 2006.
The game went from survival horror, to tactical shooter, to Mass Effect-alike throughout its hype stage. Once X-Com: Enemy Unknown released it became a sad throwaway as the brand nostalgia was used up on the more faithful spritual successor. -TraptNSuit
It has combat like a lite version of Mass Effect and some nifty XCOM lore. That was enough for me to enjoy it. But yeah, compared to the original design vision, it's a totally different and unambitious product. -Volatris
Bungie's first independent project after the massively successful Halo series does bear a lot in common with its predecessor, but it underwent a late-breaking overhaul that still has repercussions on the game environment. A preview build of the game was reportedly unpopular with Bungie's management team, which found it linear. The concept of Destiny was a shooter inspired by MMOs, after all, so it was important to let the player have more freedom of movement.
The mission structure was massively altered, removing the linear elements in favor of free-roaming mission hubs. This also meant players would revisit the hubs repeatedly, which impacted its reception among players who felt it didn't have enough environmental variety.
The nail-firing, Shambler-spawning frag fest that id Software released in 1996 stands as a fast and frenetic successor to Doom. However, Quake was envisioned as something much different. John Carmack, John Romero, and their co-founders at id Software wanted to make Quake: The Fight for Justice an exploration-based game with few battles. A combination of internal politics and fatigue after cranking out Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Doom II caused id to go back to the fast-paced-shooter well.
Deciding to create another FPS of the type they had popularized didn't end id's internal disputes. Some developers crafted medieval castles and fortresses in the vein of H.P. Lovecraft. Others gave their maps a sci-fi bent. The result is a jumble of levels that don't mesh well, but when has that ever mattered in a classic id game? Most maps are a blast to play through, and Quake isn't remembered so fondly for its campaign anyway.
Borderlands was revealed to the public in 2007 with a trailer that showed a much different visual style than the bright cel-shaded Pandora that we came to know. Instead, the game had more of a generic, gritty sci-fi look.
Apparently, the change in visual tone for Borderlands can be traced back to internal testing in October 2008. Fallout 3 and Rage had just hit the market, and focus groups were stating that the brown, earthy pallet of Borderlands was remarkably similar to those two games. In contrast, the gameplay was much faster, and much more exaggerated that either Fallout 3 or Rage, which belied it's depressing and realistic visual language.
With the game 75% finished and time running out, Gearbox chief creative officer Brian Martel, quickly went back to the drawing board and came up with the exaggerated comic styling that Borderlands is famous for. In turn that styling influenced gameplay, with many "boring" elements being scrapped and replaced with more over the top abilities.
Borderlands released on October 20, 2009, to critical fanfare, a great deal of which was due to its cel-shaded styling and over-the-top cast. Without Gearbox's will to go against the mold stylistically, we might have had a much more run of the mill game.
3D Realms announced the fourth Duke game in 1997, one year after Duke Nukem 3D became the first real contender to Doom's throne. By the time it came out in 2011, most of the core team members had left for greener pastures, and Duke was met with a cold reception from critics and even a huge portion of the Duke3D faithful.
What happened? A better question: what didn't? The abridged version: Key personnel chased new engines, causing months or years of work to be scrapped and reimagined; developers joined the team only to leave following months or years of inactivity; certain design decisions, such as limiting Duke to two guns instead nearly a dozen, felt too far removed from what had made Duke3D great; the pace was glacial; the level design hit or miss; and Duke's personality, put on ice since 1997 and a defining characteristic of his last great romp, went over like a lead balloon.
Gearbox owns the Duke Nukem franchise, and finds itself between a rock and a hard place: risk crafting a new game that fails to meld new and old conceits successfully, the way id Software's Doom circa 2016 did, or abandon the fallen king, and leave the taste of Duke Nukem forever in fans' mouths forevermore.
Early in its development, Team Fortress 2 was planned as a strategy game set against the backdrop of a modern war. Over the course of its life, it was scrapped and re-done multiple times before going silent and appearing dormant for some time. When it finally re-emerged, it took the form of the cartoonish class-based shooter millions continue to play today.
At first it was just going to be an update of the original game, but then they scrapped what they had been working on and came out with a different art style. It was much better than the original design in every way. -Thresher
I miss some of the ideas from the TF2 that was originally shown. Requiring teamwork to have a player feed bullets into a heavy machine gun that another player was firing was a pretty novel idea. And integrated voice chat that made the characters' mouths move, in that South Park way that the first Half-Life engine was capable of, was really impressive. -BlackCat9
Duke Nukem is as colorful a character as you'll meet in the colorful world of video games. In an era when most protagonists were family-friendly plumbers or space marines fluent in grunt, Duke Nukem 3D's leading man kicked ass, chewed bubble gum when it was handy, and dished out taunts as explosive as his pipe bombs.
Without Stephen Hornback, prolific videogame artist who passed away on Saturday, November 26, of a heart attack at age 62, Duke might have only kicked ass in the figurative sense of the word.
"He was the first artist ever hired by Apogee internally, and moved to our Dallas-area offices," Apogee founder Scott Miller told me. "Before being hired, we worked with him as a contractor on numerous games, like Duke Nukem 2 and Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure. In fact, I think it was Stephen who first suggested the name Cosmo, which I think was perfect for our cute green kid alien with suction cup hands."
Before making games, Hornback sold clip art as shareware. His distribution model caught Miller's eye: Miller had applied the very same software delivery model to video games with aplomb, putting Apogee on the map. Following completion of contractual work, Hornback became Apogee's fourth salaried developer.
Like most artists working in the industry during the early 1990s, Hornback had to make do with rudimentary tools.
"He worked with us when Deluxe Paint—also called Dpaint, thanks to the name of its .exe file— by Electronic Arts was the industry standard for creating game art," Miller continued. "By today's standards this was a primitive art tool and made working on art so much harder and more tedious relative to today's tools. Such were the times as the industry matured. One thing is for sure, his art did not suffer due to these older tools. And he went on to make much of the key art seen in Rise of the Triad and Duke Nukem 3D, among many other games. In fact, Duke's mighty kick was actually made by Stephen who digitally photographed his own leg, and then colorized it so that it became Duke's leg—the same leg that's kicked the ass of millions of pig cops."
Hornback's beefy limb is only one example of his artistic talent that Apogee put front and center. When the company committed to its 3D Realms DBA, Hornback designed the iconic, three-dimensional logo that fans see when the likes of Duke Nukem 3D and Shadow Warrior boot up.
"He was a talented artist and really helped 3D Realms attain high quality. Nice guy, too," recalled id Software co-founder John Romero on Facebook.
Work and play blended seamlessly at Apogee. Hornback could be as ornery as any of his coworkers, but his assiduous work ethic set a model example to which others strived.
"He was the anchor for the group. Older, more mature then the rest of us noobs," artist Chuck Jones, who worked with Hornback on Rise of the Triad and Duke Nukem 3D, told me. "He had an old school approach but he got the job done consistently. He had an explosive laugh. Quiet one minute, then the guffaw."
Tom Hall immediately recalled Hornback's trademark laugh as well. "I remember Hornback smoking like a chimney, having a hearty laugh and good humor, and working hard busting out art," he said. "He was a good guy."
The Apogee crew worked long hours that strengthened rather than stretched their bonds. Apogee Jack-of-all-trades Joe Siegler—designer, programmer, producer, QA analyst, PR rep, or customer support agent depending on the time of day—knew Hornback well enough to push the right buttons at precisely the right time.
"One thing I remember well from my days of working with him was how much fun it was to needle each other," Siegler shared on Facebook. "One of the games he worked on was Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure. Steve liked the game, but the one thing he utterly hated was the music that would play in Level 1. If you knew Cosmo, you knew what I was talking about. We had offices across the hall from each other, and when it was my turn to needle him, I would play this music. Which usually would warrant a 'SIEGLER!' being screamed from across the hallway. So in that vein, go listen to a few seconds of this link, and scream at me from wherever you are."
Although most well-known for the indelible marks he left on Apogee/3DR titles—many in the shape of a boot—Stephen Hornback poured his passion for art into games made elsewhere as well. "He was also instrumental in the development of American McGee's Alice for Rogue Entertainment," wrote fellow artist Rich Fleider in a Facebook post shared by 3D Realms.
Hornback went on to work at Ritual Entertainment, where he contributed to fan-favorite titles such as Sin Episodes and Star Trek: Elite Forces II. In 2011, he launched Soldak Entertainment and guided the creative direction of games such as Drox Operative.
Stephen Hornback is gone, but will never be forgotten. Not only will he live on in the thoughts and memories of those who knew him best, each and every title listed on his prodigious gameography cements his legacy.
"All of us who worked with you will miss you, Stephen," Scott Miller said. "You always kicked ass."
A special 'thank you' to Scott Miller, Joe Siegler, Chuck Jones, and Tom Hall for sharing their memories with the author.
Ubisoft's open-world sports romp Steep lets you compete in snowboarding, skiing, wingsuit, and paragliding. Not to brag or anything, but we've done them all. Live vicariously through our intrepid editors, who will go anywhere, do anything, climb any mountain and then jump off of it, for a story.
Star Wars: Battlefront has one more expansion set to release before it fades away into the Force. And for those that have followed the grand plan for the Star Wars saga, it's going to look quite familiar. The theatrical release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story arrives two weeks from today and the final Battlefront expansion will tie in thematically with the new film, putting the Rebel and Imperial teams in the heart of the tropical planet Scarif. Shacknews recently had an opportunity to try out what's coming down the pipe, including the Rogue One: X-Wing VR mission.
The biggest addition to Scarif is a whole new game mode called Infiltration. The idea of this mode is to tie into the theme of Rogue One, which involves infiltrating an Imperial base and absconding with intelligence to bring back to the Rebels. This will mean a mixture of space battles and ground skirmishes, in which the Rebels must complete each stage of the fight in order to win the game. If the Imperials can hold their enemies off, they will be the victors.
The first stage takes place along the Shield Gate above Scarif. This is an escort mission for the Rebels, as the idea is to safely ensure passage of the new U-Wing starfighters through the Imperial gate. The Imperial side must shoot down every U-Wing fighter that comes along, not allowing a single one to get through the gate. As time passes, more U-Wings will come out of hyperspace, making it a more frantic fight for both sides. The Shield Gate area is also filled with asteroids and debris, creating a hazardous battlefield.
Once the fighting hits Scarif's surface, things start to feel a little different from the normal Battlefront session. The objective upon hitting Scarif Jungle is to plant explosives on one of two Imperial cargo ships. If a bomb is planted, the Imperial side only gets so much time to defuse it. This time was mostly memorable for getting blasted repeatedly with the new U-Wing bomber pickup. Players lucky enough to get control of one of these vessels will strafe across the map slowly, zooming in on any hapless Imperials below and blowing them away with crisp precision. The Empire will get its own vehicle with the swift TIE Striker, but during my time with the DLC, the U-Wing was a persistent terror.
New Heroes will also get involved in the fray. Jyn Erso will join the Rebel side, with the ability to quickly switch between her pistol and A-180 blaster rifle. Her flashbangs will also reduce enemy armor, leaving those hit to momentarily stagger around with blurry vision. This sets them up for a deadly melee strike, which can dispatch both troopers and Heroes effectively. Officer Orson Krennic will join the Imperial side and he'll be accompanied by a helper droid that can unleash gas or raise a shield to protect friendlies. His DT-29 blaster pistol carries armor-reducing blaster rounds and, in fact, there were a couple of players that dealt heavy damage with the Imperial officer, managing to last entire sessions without being taken down.
The weapons will also be available as individual unlocks, which should please anyone looking for efficient kills. The A-180, in particular, is a monstrous piece of work, capable of utilizing three different settings: Blaster, Sniper, and Ion Launcher. The downside is that anyone wielding the A-180 will not be able to equip cards. But while not having a Jump Pack or Thermal Detonator may sound like a downside, the A-180 hits extremely hard, capable of one-hit kills from long distances and from point-blank range.
The final stage of Infiltration sees the Rebel side attempting to escort Imperial intelligence to an extraction point on the other side of Scarif Beach. This can be tough for the Rebels if a skilled Imperial team can cover each route, using trees for cover and camouflage. But the game does end the moment a Rebel player carrying the intel touches the U-Wing fighter, which is notable, because despite two Imperial players being right underneath the extraction point, one Rebel player was able to Jump Pack right on top of the ship, ending the game in mid-firefight.
The other major element of Battlefront's Rogue One offerings includes a PSVR mission (co-created by DICE and Criterion Games) that puts players in the seat of an X-Wing cockpit. Despite what felt like lower resolution graphics, there's a certain joy to be felt over strapping on a headset and looking around to see the instruments of an X-Wing fighter. Players can even turn all the way around to see their astromech droid sitting on the back of the ship. The normal Battlefront HUD that contains button prompts and the player's health meter is neatly placed along the ship's instrument panel.
This mission sees a rookie pilot journey with his three squadmates through hyperspace (another amazing thing that every Star Wars fan should experience at least once) into an asteroid field. The Battlefront controls are intact, so blasting smaller asteroids to clear a path should feel familiar, even if flying in a straight path does take some getting used to. There is a button to calibrate the ship on a straight path and it's definitely a useful tool.
After playing around with the asteroids, the squad is instructed to escort a U-Wing vessel carrying valuable Imperial intelligence (and some familiar characters) safely to Yavin 4. TIE Fighters will swoop in for an attack, offering a first taste of virtual dogfighting. It feels like an objective-based version of Fighter Squadron, with the idea to protect the U-Wing and clear off as many TIE Fighters as possible. Protecting your squadmates is also a priority, as they'll occasionally ask for help against TIEs on their tails. An Imperial Star Destroyer will make things hairier, at which point the idea becomes to disable its cannons. Upon disabling the Star Destroyer, everyone will blast off into hyperspace.
The X-Wing VR experience feels aggravatingly brief, given that it feels like every Star Wars kid's fantasy come to life. Even if it is a little tough to tell sometimes whether you're flying straight or about to hit some debris, the X-Wing experience feels pure, especially as the series' familiar soundtrack blares through the headphones. There's a sense of awe when the Star Destroyer first hits the screen and there's a great satisfaction in blasting a TIE Fighter and watching it hilariously tumble across space before it explodes.
As of now, the Rogue One X-Wing VR mission is the only virtual reality content in the works, but DICE is hopeful for more opportunities in the future. The present developers and myself even shared a mutual hope for a VR TIE Fighter mission someday, but for now, the Rogue One mission should satisfy anyone hoping for a good virtual reality Star Wars experience.
The Star Wars: Battlefront Scarif DLC is set to arrive on December 6. The Rogue One X-Wing VR mission will be out on the same day for all PSVR owners and will be available for free.
Following a copyright snag, last night's Game Awards 2016 is available to watch on YouTube.
The on-demand presentation includes the pre-show and awards ceremony. An audio copyright violation resulted in the video streaming without audio. It's since been resolved, so you can endure the rap concerts the same way those who watched the show live endured them: barely.
Overwatch, Hideo Kojima, Doom, and Uncharted 4 are just some of last night's winners. Overwatch took home Game of the Year, while Kojima received an Industry Icon award from Geoff Keighley.
Shacknews editor-in-chief reviewed Overwatch upon its release this spring, and was among many critics to shower it with praise. "Overwatch is a collection of firsts, but it carries itself with the confidence and proficiency of a veteran. It has plenty of room to grow and expand, but as our first step into this world, it's inviting, competitive, smartly designed, beautiful to look at, and fun to play. You can't ask for much more than that."
Following last night's debut of a new trailer for Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima's new game that included a perfect likeness of film director Guillermo del Toro, the director took to Twitter today and made his feelings toward Konami known.
FUCK KONAMI https://t.co/YRl5uXQlO6— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) December 2, 2016
Del Toro and Hideo Kojima collaborated on Silent Hills while Kojima was still at Konami. The acronym, short for "Playable Teaser," was supposed to be a proof of concept for their Silent Hills reboot.
Konami cancelled Silent Hills after cutting ties with Kojima. The publisher hasn't gone out of its way to mend fences with either Kojima since then, banning him from appearing at last year's Game Awards. That led to Game Awards host Geoff Keighley presenting the Metal Gear creator his overdue Industry Icon award at last night's show.
Del Toro considers Kojima a friend, and wasn't keen on how Konami treated both Kojima and himself.
"Konami cancelling SH after PT is one of the most moronic things I've ever witnessed," del Toro said in a follow-up tweet.
"Thanks to my dearest friend, Guillermo del Toro," Kojima responded. The two directors have discussed working on a project post-Silent Hills. Death Stranding seems the likely candidate.
Guillermo del Toro wasn't the only Hollywood personality to make an appearance in the Death Stranding trailer, shown during last night's Game Awards event. Mads Mikkelsen, known for his roles in Casino Royale (2006) and NBC's short-lived Hannibal, was prominently featured as well.
Everyone's favorite bird-of-burden is back in Final Fantasy 15. Chocobo's are a prominent part of FFXV's gameplay, and you get to interact with them more than you've got to in a long time. Chocobos are something you want to unlock as quickly as possible in Final Fantasy 15. Other than the Regalia, they're your only means of traveling faster than running speed and unlike the Regalia they have the capacity to transport you offroad.
Unfortunately, you don't start with the ability to call upon your Chocobo friends. Our guide will tell you how to unlock the capacity to ride Chocobo's, where you can ride them, and how to race them! We'll also tell you how to unlock items to customize you, feathered friend.
Although you'll start seeing "Rent-A-Bird" terminals as soon as you get to Hammerhead, you can't rent from them from the outset of the game. In fact, it won't be until after you complete Chapter 2: No Turning Back and pass through the Norduscean Blockade into Duscae.
Once you start Chapter 3: The Open World, Prompto will tell you how much he wants to ride a Chocobo. If you agree to his request, you get the "Friends of a Feather" side quest, which will point you towards Wiz Chocobo Outpost. When you're ready, make your way Southwest towards Wiz Chocobo Post. When you get there, you'll be informed you can't ride the Chocobos due to there being a Behemoth in the area. The Behemoth's name is Deadeye, and the smell of him is making the Chocobos upset, so until you take him down, you're not going to be doing any riding.
To begin the process of taking down Deadeye, make sure you grab the hunt posting for him from Wiz. After you finish talking with Wiz, you should have the “A Behemoth Undertaking” sidequest. Activate the waypoint for it in your menu and it will begin pointing you towards Deadeye the Behemoth.
Before you leave Wiz Chocobo Outpost, make sure to stock up on healing items. When you're ready, follow the quest marker for "A Behemoth Undertaking." You'll encounter some foes on the way, but they shouldn't be anything you can't handle.
Once you get close to the marker, pass into the opening between the rocks. Once you're through a gang of Voretooth will attack you, but you can take them out. When you get past them, you'll see a small passage. Enter it, and you'll get your first up close look at Deadeye.
Continue to follow the marker and jump over the fence. You'll enter a foggy area in which you have to shadow Deadeye without getting too close, or letting him get too far away. Just stay close to the right side of his tail and back off or get closer when and if the game prompts you to. After several minutes Deadeye will jump over the rock wall, and you can pass between the stones after him.
Fire magic is going to be your friend here. There's an easy way to kill Deadeye, and there's a hard way. Which way you have to use depends on just how much of mastery you have over the controls.
As you enter Deadeye's lair, you'll see that there are barrels of oil scattered throughout the arena. The easiest way to kill him is to wait until he's near one of the barrels of oil and hit it with a Fire spell. If you can hit him a few times just right, he'll go down quick.
It's entirely possible to kill Deadeye with brute force alone. If you didn't stock enough Fire spells or you just can't manage to explode one while he's by it, just start pounding on him as hard as you can. When your health depletes warp to Warp Points to restore your HP and MP and get back in the fight.
Make sure to use your ally's skills whenever possible and throw everything you've got at him. As long as your supply of healing items holds out, you can outlast him.
Once Deadeye falls you just have to make your way back to Wiz Chocobo Outpost. Once you get there, you can turn in the "A Behemoth Undertaking" quest for a reward. Most importantly, once you turn in this quest you again the ability to rent Chocobos for 50 Gil a day and you can also participate in Chocobo Racing! Wark!
Now that you have the ability to call on your feathered friends at will, you can race them and customize them. Want to find out how? Check out even more of our Final Fantasy 15 guides!
World of Warcraft loves pets. The Blizzard store is stocked with them. And with the start of Winter Veil (the holiday time in WoW), Blizzard has introduced a new diabolical pet that will probably be more naughty, but offer a nice reward.
Mischief is a new fel kitten available for $10. Blizzard will donate all of the proceeds from the sale of Mischief through December 31 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. And for the first time, Blizzard has also turned the pet into a glow-in-the-dark plushie, available for $25. Make-a-Wish will also benefit from this sale as well, with $14 of each sale going to the charity.
The WoW pet chairty push has become a yearly event for Blizzard:
Doom, Wolfenstein, Quake, Shadow Warrior, and Unreal Tournament are all a part of a glorious revival of classic shooter franchises. Doom is a kickass, frenetic shooter with brilliant gunplay and polished graphics, Wolfenstein: The New Order is a solid shooter with fun level design and an engaging story, and Shadow Warrior is a glorious revival of the campy, goofy shooter with a mix of guns and melee weapons. While Quake: Champions and Unreal Tournament haven’t released fully yet, they’re shaping up to be faithful revivals of their predecessors, much like the other games mentioned on this list.
This trend of resurrecting older shooters and reforming them with new mechanics for current expectations is a fun one, reminding us of our roots and what first-person shooters can be beyond smash-and-grab missions in military shooters. In the spirit of keeping this trend moving forward, here are seven classic shooters we’d love to see get their own fresh reboot.
Dinosaurs, weapons, jungles, and commandos. Turok is a glorious, campy patchwork of some of the best aspects of classic arcade shooters, all wrapped up in ‘80s movie ridiculousness. We’re past due for the Dinosaur Hunter to make a return, and being able to hunt prehistoric creatures in high-definition with retooled shooting mechanics sounds like the best return Turok could possibly ask for. Although, maybe this time we approach it with a sliiiight amount of cultural sensitivity. Just a little.
On the Nintendo 64, Perfect Dark challenged GoldenEye 007 as one of the best first-person shooters available on a console. Its sequel Perfect Dark Zero wasn’t quite the masterpiece of the original, and it has definitely been long enough to justify revisiting the exploits of Joanna Dark on modern hardware.
Considering the mechanics SiN is known for, a modern revival has the potential to be fantastic. The original SiN had a massive amount of interactivity, ranging from taking damage on individual body parts to taking different paths in levels that would change the outcome of future levels. It has a lot of the trappings people love about RPGs; branching paths, some light simulation, and approachable-yet-complex mechanics. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to play a new SiN, and now seems like a better time than ever.
Star Wars is back en vogue in a big way, grossing millions and millions in merchandising, video game adaptations, and blockbuster films. Despite this, there’s still a severe lack of new Star Wars games on current machines, and having Kyle Katarn be re-introduced to the canon as a rogue mercenary discovering nefarious imperial dealings across the galaxy would be a nice, much-needed Star Wars: 1313 substitute in the wake of 1313’s cancellation. Plus, it would give us a narrative-driven Star Wars shooter that isn’t a multiplayer-only game.
A hidden gem on the Xbox 360/PS3 and its own reboot of the 1993 game, Syndicate is a tight, well-crafted shooter complete with hacking and multiple options to approach combat encounters. It’s also filled with boss fights, level variety, sharp guns, and an original, sci-fi world populated with characters and personality. Bringing Syndicate back would be a brilliant way to re-introduce the cyberpunk/sci-fi series back into the mainstream.
Heretic strikes a balance between embracing the awesomeness of killing demons in Doom while also taking place in a dark fantasy world with touches of horror throughout. That’s a balance we don’t see a lot of in our current climate, and it has the potential to be a really awesome series today. Due to its fantasy setting, Heretic opens the door to a wide range of different weapons with unique properties, including spells, potions, guns, and--if they wanted--even melee weapons. Mixing genres can be messy fun, and Heretic seems like a great avenue for doing just that.
Plagues, resistance groups, RPG elements, and branching story paths are what make Strife an interesting prospect for a brand new revival. It’s not necessarily a mix we haven’t seen before, but not every game has to create a wildly new set of tools to play with. Instead, Strife could potentially be a game with BioShock-level story twists, and its RPG elements would add a layer of customization.
F.E.A.R. is basically a more realistic version of the Ghostbusters without the quips, gaffes, and marshmallows. Centered on a special forces unit used to contain supernatural entities, it’s a horror game with a lot of relevance and potential for a reboot. A horror first-person shooter also seems like a more enticing deal for major publishers, who tend to shy away from creating more traditional horror games for fear of limited public appeal and sales. Much like Dead Space, F.E.A.R. has the potential to be sold both as an action shooter and a horror game.
For more on classic shooter revivals, check out the Shadow Warrior 2 interview we did with the developers at PAX below.