This is Button Mashing, Grizzly Bomb’s video game news headquarters. Previews, interviews, rumors and all the latest stories relating to the biggest games, all in one place. Here are the most important things you need to know for the week of May 28, 2012:
‘Diablo III’ Updates Coming This Week – (Battle.net)
It would be an understatement to say that Diablo III had some technical issues upon its release, but Blizzard has certainly been working hard to iron out the kinks and get their game fully operational and optimized. These fixes, patches and tweaks continue with the game’s latest design update, which has been outlined on Blizzard’s own community site, Battle.net. The update plans to balance out all kinds of idiosyncrasies that haven’t quite met Blizzard’s standards, which I imagine means adjusting all kinds of knobs and dials, and turning a large wooden crank in a dusty old room somewhere underground.
Suffice it to say that you may notice some slight changes to the effectiveness of your characters’ attacks, as well as the damage output of NPC’s, particularly on higher difficulties. Blizzard is very clear that they want all classes to feel equally capable, and hope no single attack, rune or character will inevitably trump all others.
‘Far Cry 3′ Gets Trippy
Far Cry 2 certainly didn’t play well with the vast majority of gamers, but there were a few here and there that responded positively to the game’s ambitiously open world. Among them was one of my favorite industry people, Hey Ash Watcha Playin’ co-creator and current Gearbox Software employee, Anthony Burch. And while I didn’t take to the game as easily as he did, I definitely felt it had a lot of potential, and didn’t deserve to be dismissed to the extent it did.
Far Cry 3 looks like it’s trying to find a middle ground between becoming more accessible to the majority of players, and maintaining its unique take on the FPS genre. There clearly appears to be more of a linear story this time around, with a voiced character who seems to interact a lot more, a defined character/narrative arc and seemingly some scripted gameplay moments, but these all look to be interesting enough that it isn’t necessarily turning me away. It certainly helps that the graphics look fantastic. This particular trailer for the game showcases some of Far Cry 3‘s more guided moments, an interaction with the island’s resident doctor:
I’m really looking forward to seeing more at E3.
Metro: Last Light Points the FPS in the Right Direction – (IGN)
I never played Metro 2033. I hear it was very intriguing, but fundamentally, too flawed to garner huge praise. With this article by IGN, I can certainly believe that first part; Metro: Last Light looks like it might, along with Far Cry 3 above, convince me not to abandon the FPS genre for good.
“Moscow [...] is bleak and surrounded by collapsed buildings, but it’s not the type of setting you might find in Fallout 3 or Rage. Metro’s world is one of horror, where psychic visions drive the few people still alive completely insane. And air isn’t the only thing that’s scarce. In addition to looking for new air filters, you’ll always be searching for light, bullets, battery chargers and even other people as you explore what’s left of Moscow.“
“Exploration is Metro’s greatest strength. Moving through the tunnels of Moscow’s underground subway system, you’ll use a lighter to see where you’re going (or a flashlight if you’re fortunate enough to find a charge). There’s a real sense of terror moving through the dark, never knowing what you’ll find around each corner. If you’re lucky, you’ll come across some supplies, maybe a shotgun. If you’re not, you’ll find mutant spiders bursting out of a corpse.“
I can do without the ‘psychic visions’ and mutated enemies. Those are tropes that I’m not particularly fond of (as I mentioned in my ‘Last of Us’ article the other day), but the environment described and showcased in the above clip looks promising. This might be the first time I’ve ever cared about an FPS setting.
‘Heavy Rain’ Developer Might Unveil Next Project at E3 – (Side Mission)
A “trusted” source claims that Quantic Dream have two new projects under way, and one or both might be revealed at E3 2012. Quantic Dream’s debut title Heavy Rain was one of Sony’s biggest stories when it was released in 2010, and though I found it to be a fundamentally flawed experience, it was an ambitious and interesting direction to take interactive storytelling.
The team released a tech demo earlier this year that showcased the gorgeous visuals and emotional range they’re able to create in studio:
There’s no telling what direction Quantic Dream will take with their impressive development tools, but if they can create an experience more conducive to the interactive medium of a video game, it may well be the next step in the industry’s evolution.
‘Dead Space 3′ Unofficially Announced – (IGN)
Sources indicate that Dead Space 3 is on the horizon, though it’s not exactly a shock considering this is an industry that hands trilogies out like beads at Mardi Gras. There are however some interesting tidbits to note regarding the supposed new chapter:
Isaac Clarke, Unlucky Space Engineer Extraordinaire, reportedly crash lands onto Tau Volantis, a frozen planet which serves as the game’s new setting:
“Isaac believes he’s the only survivor and begins heading to an abandoned waystation. He soon finds that others are still alive, including Ellie from Dead Space 2 and a new character named Jennifer. The report adds that the enemies will be known as The Hive Mind. “
Additionally IGN has heard rumors that Dead Space 3 will feature drop in/drop out co-op, a feature that I imagine must work against the horror game’s atmosphere of isolation and helplessness, but nonetheless:
“Isaac Clarke will, if players choose, fight alongside a man with a gnarly scar on his face, an engineering RIG of his own, and glowing red eyes peering from his helmet. During single-player, this character acts as Isaac’s guide.
The cooperative mode mirrors the single-player campaign, but Isaac’s story changes to accommodate it. At one point in Dead Space 3, Isaac and his counterpart stumble, wounded, bloody, and missing chunks of armor, out of burnt wreckage together. In single-player, the same scene happens without the other character. While Isaac may have a psychological breakdown and experience hallucinations on his own, certain traumatic events don’t occur with someone by his side.
Players will also work together (using telekinesis, for instance) to interact with pieces of the environment. In addition, you’ll be able to share ammo with and heal your co-op partner, although there is no revive system — once someone’s down and dead, both players reload the last checkpoint.”
I can’t imagine how this will change the game but co-operative campaigns are always more satisfying and entertaining than competitive multiplayer. From what I understand, Dead Space‘s foray into PvP didn’t exactly pan out, so hopefully players take more to the new feature.
That’s it for this week’s Button Mashing! E3 is fast approaching so stay tuned – we’ll be keeping on top of all the major stories.