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Turn back time with Underworld Ascension

Posted by Karen Jacobson On Wednesday 2 July 20141 Comment

That’s the logo done. Time for a break.

It’s a case of out with the new and in with the old, with Otherside Entertainment forming with the aim of rebooting classic franchises. The studio will begin by revisiting the Ultima Underworld series from the early 90s. With EA owning the Ultima brand, the new game will be known as Underworld Ascension.

Otherside will apparently be doing much more than adding an HD coat of paint and watching on as our yearning for these games increases its bank balance. According to studio founder Paul Neurath, the team is aiming to go “right back to innovating” and “make the franchise more vital than ever.”

It’s no wonder that the company is starting with a title from its own founder’s back catalogue. Earlier this year we saw a revival of his renowned Thief series.

Many of us will be fantasising about the possibility of a precious gem from our gaming past seeing the light of day again. Which franchise should Otherside Entertainment reboot next?

Oculus takes control

Posted by Matthew Hewson On Tuesday 1 July 2014No Comments

The Oculus Rift headset in its current form.

It seems that Oculus VR has already started spending some of that fat Zuckerberg cash. It didn’t have much time to burn a hole in their pocket as they have agreed to purchase the Carbon Design Group. Who are Carbon Design you ask? Well making the fairly safe assumption that you are a gamer there is a fair chance you have one or more of their products laying around the house. Perhaps their most notable design is for the Xbox 360 controller, but they also had their hand in Kinect, various gaming mice and a wide range of home stereos.

It is probably a smart move by Oculus to bring these talented designers into the fold, after all the early Rift models aren’t exactly streamlined and stylish. What it also says is that Oculus is possibly getting close to bedding down the technology inside the Rift and is moving onto to the “prettying up” phase of development. From their impressive resume it seems that Carbon Design are just the folk to turn the Rift from a bulky nerd toy into the sleek must have gadget of the future. Let’s just hope it isn’t designed in “Facebook Blue”.

Robot values toxic players… or does it? (probably not)

Posted by Erin Marcon On Monday 30 June 2014No Comments

Dude… it’s just a game.

The studio responsible for the forthcoming Orcs Must Die: Unchained has clarified the remarks of one of its employees.

In a recent interview with Polygon, Robot Entertainment designer Jerome K. Jones suggested that players perceived as overly aggressive are “not going to go away” and “honestly I don’t think you want them to.” According to Jones, these players are actually “driving the game” and “giving it longevity”. Jones acknowledged that studios do need to “deal with” such players “in whatever manner seems to work the best.”

Shortly after the publication of the interview, Robot Entertainment issued a statement implying that Jones had been (you guessed it) taken out of context. “In the full interview, we acknowledged that toxic players are an unfortunate facet of multiplayer gaming. We made clear that we want to hear from all players no matter how passionate they may be. Passionate but not toxic. We have an active community management team in place that will address toxic players quickly and decisively.”

Currently in beta, Orcs Must Die: Unchained adds MOBA elements to the franchise’s traditional blend of third person action and tower defence.

Solo Titanfall campaign not on the cards

Posted by Erin Marcon On Sunday 29 June 2014No Comments

“Let me tell you a story…”

Only the most avid of Titanfall enthusiasts would argue that the game’s campaign mode was anything more than an afterthought. The story was relegated to melodramatic audio snatches layered over multiplayer sessions featuring the same maps and modes found elsewhere in the game. No, this was a multiplayer focused experience through and through.

Would developer Respawn Entertainment consider crafting a genuine single player mode for potential future instalments in the series? In a recent interview with CVG, key figures at Respawn Entertainment poured cold water on that very notion. According to studio cofounder Vince Zampella, there is “nothing wrong with a single-player experience”, but “doing one with this feels almost like taking a step backwards.”

It seems that Respawn will continue to look for ways to weave narrative content into multiplayer-centric action. “I think we want to hit whatever part of the brain it is that triggers that feeling of a single-player campaign,” Zampella said.