Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Developer Simogo has announced their latest atmospheric adventure. The studio behind Year Walk and Device 6 will now turn their attention to The Sailor's Dream, which is slated to release on iOS later this year.

"When we were making Device 6, we started talking about how it'd be fun to make games in suites of three," reads the announcement post on Simogo's website, "in which Kosmo Spin, Bumpy Road and Beat Sneak Bandit would be the first suite and Year Walk, Device 6 and whatever we would make next could also be considered as a unity of sorts. In some ways The Sailor's Dream is the culmination of ideas and concepts we've had over the past years and projects, and as such it is an exploration of how to tell a story in a new and unique way. It also shares some DNA with Year Walk and Device 6 when it comes to navigation and interactions, the concept of the players piecing together a bigger story from smaller pieces, and just as previous efforts it does include quite a lot of written text. But, as you know it's important for us to have an element of surprise and originality so that's where the similarities end."

Simogo is remaining purposely tight-lipped about the story, because they don't want to reveal any spoilers. The only information about the story is that it surrounds "three hearts united by the wonderful, but unmerciful ocean." The story will feature a non-linear narrative told through Simogo's recognizable use of text and sounds.

Take a first look at The Sailor's Dream in the trailer below.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

The Destiny beta is finished, so now it's time to start discussing what Bungie has lined up next for its upcoming shooter. The developer is already revealing a whole new area not seen in last week's beta, an empty military base known as the Twilight Gap.

"The Twilight Gap is an abandoned military base that's on the outskirts of the last city, so you'll see the traveler in the skybox, the first thing you're going to see in the establishing shot when we first come here," design lead Lars Bakken told IGN. "The city's over there, you'll see the wall off in the distance, you'll see the mountains, and this place is one of the places that humanity has overtaken again and has reclaimed back."

The Twilight Gap, described as a mid-sized map, will be playable across all of Destiny's game modes when it releases on September 9. Check out the map in the two videos below.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Developers Gun Media and Mighty Rabbit Games have seen some success with their debut tactical shooter, Breach & Clear. The 2013 game, produced by ex-Call of Duty strategist Robert Bowling, first released on iOS and later released on Android and PC. Now the two studios are ready to expand Breach & Clear's horizons with a new follow-up called Breach & Clear: DEADline, which will be developed for PC.

DEADline takes place shortly after the events of the first Breach & Clear. Harbor City is under siege by a mysterious race of parasitic worms, which are turning the populace into savage monsters. Players take control of a Special Forces squad commander leading his unit into the heart of the outbreak.

DEADline will retain the series' combat elements, while allowing players to control their entire squads through real-time strategy mechanics like the Command Mode feature. Squad members will level up and gain new abilities, as the game plays out over open world battlefields. Dynamic events will also unfold over the course of the game, potentially altering the battlefield.

Breach & Clear: DEADline is a long way from release, which is why it'll hit Steam Early Access first this fall, in an effort to collect feedback from early adopters. The game will run for $19.99 on PC, Mac, and Linux.

Shacknews - Robert Workman

One of our favorite activities over the weekend at San Diego Comic-Con was the Assassin's Creed Experience, a lofty obstacle course that tied in with the forthcoming release Assassin's Creed Unity. Although we chickened out with the "leap of faith" activity, the company did invite us to chat with Ubisoft Montreal creative director Alex Amancio.

Amancio discussed the new direction for the development of the sequel, as it takes place during one of the bloodiest eras in history, the French Revolution. He also reveals bits and pieces about what to expect from the sequel, which will arrive in late October for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's greatest creation has a new mystery to solve in the upcoming Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishment. The legendary detective is ready to show off all of his eccentricities, with developer Frogwares offering a 20-minute glimpse at the upcoming Unreal Engine 3-built adventure.

The video offers a look into Holmes' homestead, allowing him to change his wardrobe at any time to best suit an undercover excursion. As Holmes investigates crime scenes, he can be seen questioning witnesses with branching dialogue, while keenly observing his surroundings to feed his uncanny powers of deduction. Holmes can also illuminate more suspicious parts of his surroundings to unlock evidence that's not apparent at first glance, unlocking some new dialogue with previous witnesses in the process. Players can also connect evidence and findings through the 'Deduction Space' screen.

You can catch the full spoiler-free playthrough in the video below. Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments is set to release in September on PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. For more, check out the trailer below.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

The Legend of Korra from Platinum received its first real public showing this weekend at Comic-Con, and we were suitably impressed. Not all the news out of SDCC was positive for the show, however, and Nickelodeon's mishandling of one of its most popular shows doesn't bode well for the game.

Just as Comic-Con began, the show's official Tumblr announced that the remainder of the season would be moving to digital formats, no longer in its usual primetime slot. The word was made alongside lots of reassurance from co-creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino that the show isn't being canceled, and the fourth season is still on-track. Even so, this was one more sign of Nick's mismanagement this season, and gives reason for concern.

The third season of The Legend of Korra suffered a bizarre roll-out. Following an apparently accidental leak from a Mexican affiliate, Nick decided to scrap its entire PR plan and rush the episodes to air. While the original plan was to release the third season trailer premiere at San Diego Comic-Con and then have a steady ramp to the premiere, Nick instead put the trailer online quickly and started airing episodes only a week later, two at a time. 

This explains the mystery of the game's odd release timing. When the game was announced, it was said to take place between the second and third seasons. In the context of the original PR blueprint, this makes perfect sense. The game would be a story bridge for the next season just before it hits. Besides that, it would create a multimedia spectacle surrounding the show that would have served as a boon to both formats.

The follow-up to the popular show Avatar: The Last Airbender had a strong start in its first season, and was still going strong last year. This year's premiere was the lowest rated yet, but that's no surprise. By ditching its promotional plan, Nickelodeon all but assured that this year would slump. Now that it has, it appears ready to cut bait on the show. Season four might still be coming, but who can say in what format? Nickelodeon seems to be ignoring its own mistakes and is holding the show itself responsible.

Will that same disinterest from the network hurt the game? The botched release schedule already threatens to make the game dangerously isolated, disconnected from a story that has already moved well past it and far from a season that won't even have visibility on television anymore. Whatever promotion Nickelodeon had planned is likely to be pared down as well. We certainly won't see TV commercials running alongside new episodes, which alone would account for potentially millions of eyes on the game.

If our first look is any indication, Platinum is putting the same attention to detail into Korra as it does for its own original properties. It could certainly shape up to be something special, and word-of-mouth goes a long way in the gaming community. None of this mismanagement means the game will be an utter failure, but the network is certainly hobbling its chances to be a breakout hit. 

Shacknews - Robert Workman

We're all going to see the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie this week, right? Right. Before you do, however, Zen Studios has a little something to offer to both Zen Pinball 2 and Pinball FX 2 subscribers. A new table is on the way!

The team announced the Guardians of the Galaxy pinball table this weekend during the Marvel Video Games panel, and we've included the trailer below. It includes Star-Lord, Drax, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon and Groot all in the heat of action, while you shoot for skill shots and other goodies on the board.

The table will release this week for Pinball FX 2 and Zen Pinball 2 on platforms across the board, as well as Marvel Pinball. It'll only set you back $2.99.

Shacknews - Robert Workman

Disney surprised the comic book industry this past week by announcing a new Guardians of the Galaxy playset for Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes, which will be arriving in September. We've posted our first impressions from the set here, but we decided to go the extra mile and get the inside details on the forthcoming set straight from the source, senior producer Ryan Rothenberger.

Rothenberger goes into great detail about what to expect from the forthcoming playset, which features Star-Lord and Gamora, and the ability to use secondary characters like Drax, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon.

The movie drops this Friday, but you'll have to wait until September to get this Guardians of the Galaxy set, along with the main game.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

A lot of attention is focused on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, as owners of Nintendo's console anxiously await their chance to pick up their GameCube controllers once more. However, there's another Smash Bros. coming up first and that's the handheld Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. Unlike its console big brother, the 3DS version of Smash Bros. will feature an extra game mode: Smash Run. To see how it played, I took a moment to go hands-on with it during this year's San Diego Comic-Con.

Smash Run is the 3DS-exclusive game mode that sees players running through a course filled with enemies from across each fighter's respective world. The idea is to run the gauntlet and defeat enemies, collecting stickers to help bolster their stats for an eventual two-minute Melee battle. As players make their Smash Run, they can see the progress the other players are making on the bottom screen and will receive alerts if any of their opponents have been KO'd.

While the course designs feel uninspired, the combat is a novelty throwback to some of the sequences from Smash Bros. Melee's Adventure mode and Brawl's Subspace Emissary. The difference is that a lot of these enemies feel slightly more skilled than before. For example, Kid Icarus' Reaper will hit hard with his sickle, while Kremlings will unleash tornado punches and Mega Man's helmetted Met foes will hide underneath their hard hats waiting for an opening to attack. Enemies can be found sprinkled across the course or in designated Battlefield areas that can be found in certain locations.

Even though there's nothing particularly special about the way courses are designed, there are some hidden surprises to be found, such as treasure chests containing special trophies and extra power-ups. They're often worth hunting down and adds some much-needed variety, because the adventure's five minutes can feel somewhat draining.

After the five minutes are up, it's time to go into the special melee mode. Each of the four fighters are beefed up with the power-ups they collected over the course of the Smash Run, leading to some especially hard hits over the course of the next two minutes. KOs come frequently, thanks to additional attack power and speed stats and it's pretty fun to play through. Unfortunately, the two minutes feel like they breeze by all-too-quickly, especially compared to the five-minute preparation warm-up phase.

On a slight tangent, there's one very important aspect of Smash Bros. that may bother long-time veterans of the series. I've always been the type of player that's relied on the 'C-sticking' tactic to carry me through matches, but the 3DS clearly does not have a second analog stick option, meaning quick sweeps and the like must be executed manually with the Circle Pad. This absence especially hurts during the course of Smash Run, because I was left with a "phantom limb" feeling every time I tried to reach for a second analog stick for crowd control.

Smash Run in its current state doesn't quite feel like a perfect replacement for a formal campaign. However, taking out lesser enemies is still a good introduction to the ins-and-outs of Smash Bros. combat. The length may feel a bit off-putting, but it should serve as a good distraction from the main four-player combat that Smash Bros. has to offer.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Times have been tough for Crytek, with studio sources citing financial difficulties back in June. The makers of Crysis have now stepped forward to assert their studio's stability. However, they added that they will begin shifting their focus towards self-published free-to-play games, a move that was foreshadowed by last month's rumored cancellation of four prototypes, including a sequel to Ryse: Son of Rome.

"Our evolution from a development studio to an online publisher has required us to refocus our strategies," a Crytek rep told Polygon. "These challenges go along with an increased demand for capital, which we have secured."

Previous reports had stated that Crytek employees were not being paid and that a significant number had exited the company. Crytek has admitted a lack of communication and attributes it to being unable to discuss future plans in public.

Crytek is currently working on Homefront: The Revolution in conjunction with Deep Silver, as well as free-to-play shooter, Warface. The studio's American branch recently announced Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age at E3.