Activision confirms a “new, innovative” Call of Duty from Infinity Ward will arrive in 2016

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Activision Blizzard released its quarterly financial report last week, and it didn’t come as too much of a surprise to learn that Infinity Ward will launch a new Call of Duty game this holiday season. Activision did say, however, that this will be a new “ innovative” entry into the long-running franchise – not a word usually associated with Call of Duty.

There’s been a Call of Duty game released every year since Call of Duty 2 in 2005. The development of the titles was split between Infinity Ward and Treyarch on an alternating yearly basis but the franchise moved from a two-year to a three-year development cycle in 2014, with Sledgehammer Games joining the other two studios as a lead developer.

It will be Infinity Ward’s first Call of Duty game since 2013’s CoD: Ghosts, which was the first game in the series to appear on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The developer knows it has a lot to live up to – last year’s entry, Black Ops 3 from Treyarch, was thebest selling game of 2015.

We don’t know what the upcoming game will be about; it could be a new Ghosts or Modern Warfare, but Infinity Ward did post a tweet mentioning “reaching new heights” last month that included a picture of an astronaut. Could this hint that the game will be set in space (like the brief section that appeared in Ghosts)? It could explain why Activision is using the term “innovative.”

Activision reported that its quarterly and yearly sales were down last year. The company’s adjusted revenue for the quarter was $2.12 billion, down from $2.21 billion from the same period a year earlier and below its forecast of $2.15 billion. Total revenue for the year was $4.62 billion, compared to the $4.81 billion it made across all of 2014.

The company said that two of its expected big-earners, Skylanders Superchargers and Guitar Hero Live, performed weaker than it anticipated. Activision blamed this on greater competition in the toys-to-life genre and the “casual audience’s shift to mobile devices.”

Quantum Break on PC requires Windows 10, DirectX 12

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Previously an Xbox One exclusive, the hotly anticipated Quantum Break will also be coming to PC, with both versions set to be released on April 5th. As a nice bonus for people with both systems, Microsoft revealed that anyone who pre-orders the Xbox One version will get the Windows 10 version for free.

Quantum Break, which was announced alongside the Xbox One nearly three years ago, is a third-person action-adventure shooter from Remedy Entertainment and Microsoft Studios, who previously worked on Alan Wake. In the game, players take control of Jack Joyce, who has time manipulation powers that can be used (along with guns) to defeat enemies.

The game has been developed using a new engine called Northlight, which uses DirectX 12’s new capabilities. As such, DirectX 12 is a requirement to play the game on PC, which makes it only compatible with Windows 10; gamers still using Windows 7 will not be able to run the title.

Remedy has revealed the system requirements for Quantum Break, and it’s going to take a fairly beefy system to run the game at its maximum settings.

Recommended Minimum
CPU Intel Core i7 4790 4.0 GHz
AMD “equivalent”
Intel Core i5-4460 2.7 GHz
AMD FX-6300
GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X
6 GB of VRAM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
AMD Radeon R7 260X
2 GB of VRAM
RAM 16 GB 8 GB
OS Windows 10 64-bit. Requires DirectX 12 support.
Storage 55 GB

Quantum Break is a single-player game, so you’ll be able to share saves between the Xbox One and Windows 10 versions, but there is no cross-play support.

Sega classics Jet Set Radio and Golden Axe are free on Steam as part of Make War Not Love promotion

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If, like me, you owned a Dreamcast during the early years of this millennium, you may recall the stunning Jet Set Radio (or Jet Grind Radio, as it was originally titled in the US). Its cel shaded visuals, radio-style soundtrack, and rollerblade mechanics made it one of the most memorable games on Sega’s short-lived console. Now, thanks to its third Make War Not Love promotion, Sega is giving away the classic game, along withGolden Axe and Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit (plus DLC) free on Steam.

This year’s promotion asks Steam users to choose one of Sega’s war games – Company of Heroes 2, Total War: Attila or Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War – and the ‘faction’ that has the most active players by the end of the week is the winner.

All three titles in the competition have been discounted by 75 percent, and the game that comes out on top will receive some free DLC. But Sega is also giving away classics from its back catalogue every 48 hours.

You don’t have to participate in the event to get the free games, simply go to one of their steam pages (you can use a link in this article) and select the ‘Install Game’ option under ‘Packages that include this game.’

The second round of free games will arrive tomorrow, and it includes Streets of Rage 2, Binary Domain, and the brilliant first-person horror title Condemned: Criminal Origins. The competition ends on February 20th. At the moment, Dawn of War is just ahead of Attila. If it stays this way, the Tau Commander DLC pack will be given away to owners of the game.

‘Super Russian Roulette’ is a modern party game for the NES

The idea of creating a new game for a console that’s well over 30 years old may seem ludicrous to some but electrical engineer Andrew Reitano is proof that it certainly can be done. His game, Super Russian Roulette for the Nintendo Entertainment System, has already blown past its funding goal of $20,000 and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Super Russian Roulette is a party game designed to be played with the NES Zapper and a group of friends. It features a loud-mouth cowboy that guides players through the high-risk game of chance. The title is far from the family-friendly themes typically associated with the NES but that’s part of the fun.

To really understand what the game is about, I’d suggest watching the Kickstarter promo clip above.

On the subject of its “sensitive” nature, Reitano told Polygon that he never intended to associate the game with the real life horror and desperation of taking one’s own life. It’s a dark game of chance, he added, but it’s never played alone and always played voluntarily. Reitano said he would never want to upset anyone.

Those interested in backing the game will need to pledge at least $55 to guarantee a standard (grey) copy of Super Russian Roulette. For a bit more scratch, you can reserve a limited edition black game cartridge complete with alternate label. These are numbered carts (only 100 are being made) that are forecasted to arrive by December of this year.

Reitano also offers a couple of high-end tiers, one of which allows you to be the cowboy in the game and record your own audio.

New trademark filing suggests that full Alan Wake sequel could be on its way

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2010 survival horror game Alan Wake was one of those titles that people seemed to either love or hate (I personally loved it). If you fall into the former camp, then here’s some potentially good news: Remedy Entertainment, the studio behind the games, has filed a trademark application for ‘Alan Wake’s Return.’

The listing was spotted on the European Union Trademark Database by a NeoGAF user, who also pointed out that the domain was registered last year “via the same proxy as other Remedy domains.”

Remedy has had its hands full recently with the upcoming Quantum Break, its third-person shooter, but the company’s creative director, Sam Lake, expressed his desire to return to the Twin Peaks-inspired franchise in April last year.

“For Alan Wake, from the get-go, we assumed there was going to be a sequel and we mapped things further out when it came to character, story, details and focus changes,” said Lake. “We knew we would have to iterate and refine, but there was always a rough road map there.”

It’s worth remembering, of course, that despite Remedy Entertainment being listed as the owner of the trademark, this could be a hoax. Gamers were disappointed several years ago when a ‘Half-Life 3’ trademark submission turned out to be a fake.

Another indication that a new Alan Wake may be on its way is the fact that Microsoft is offering the original game for free through backward compatibility with every copy of Quantum Break. Anyone pre-ordering will also get the equally entertaining spin-off title American Nightmare, which was originally sold as a downloadable follow-up to the first game.

A new Alan Wake designed for today’s modern hardware is certainly an appealing prospect. Hopefully, the trademark will prove genuine, and we’ll get to return to this dark, brilliant world.

A multiplayer-only version Call of Duty: Black Ops III is available on Steam for a limited period

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If you’ve ever wanted to experience the immensely popular multiplayer element of the recent Call of Duty games but have no interest in the single-player section, Activision has a deal that you may find interesting. Up until February 29, a special Starter Kit will be available on Steam for $14.99 that does away with the campaign and gives limited access to Call of Duty: Black Ops III’s multiplayer portion.

With the Multiplayer Starter Pack, you’ll get access to public ranked multiplayer matches, the weapon paint shop, gunsmith, the emblem editor, arena and freerun modes, theater and the black market.

In addition to the absence of the campaign, the pack also removes the Zombie mode, the ability to play in custom matches, access to Dead Ops arcade II and Nightmares mode, and the ability to Fresh Start your profile. Moreover, levels will be capped at 55, and there’s no option to Prestige.

The pack will also restrict access to mod tools or modded content and the unranked server browser when they roll out.

If you do buy the pack and decide you enjoy it enough to warrant purchasing the full game, the $14.99 will be deducted from its $60 price (or $85, if you opt for the Digital Delux Edition).

This isn’t the first instance of a multiplayer-only Black Ops III; due to the technical limitations of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the game was released on the last-gen consoles without the single-player campaign.

Sky Fortress is the first ‘Just Cause 3’ DLC, check out the trailer here

The first expansion pack for Just Cause 3 is just around the bend and if you thought the game was pretty wild as-is, just wait until you get a load of what’s to come.

Sky Fortress is the first of three DLC packs included in the Just Cause 3: Air, Land & Sea Expansion Pass. Square Enix promises to deliver new missions, challenges, enemy types, gadgets, weapons, unique vehicles and in the case of Sky Fortress, drones… lots of drones.

This particular DLC includes a new Bavarium Wingsuit and Bavarium Splitter assault rifle, among others. Square Enix community manager Lee Williams said players can expect an additional 3-4 hours of gameplay in Sky Fortress.

Williams also posted a teaser of the second DLC pack, Mech Land Assault. That expansion and Bavarium Sea Heist will be released by the end of the summer, he said.

Sky Fortress arrives next month for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Those with Square Enix’s $24.99 season pass will receive each DLC a week before anyone else. If you’d rather go the individual pack route, Sky Fortress will cost you $11.99.

Bethesda is working on three long-term projects different than anything else they’ve done

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During a recent speaking engagement at the D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas, Bethesda executive producer Todd Howard said the company is currently working on three long-term projects that are completely different than anything they’ve put out to date.

Howard, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at next month’s Game Developers Choice Awards, said the games are big and crazy Bethesda-style games. Unfortunately for fans, he declined to elaborate further and instead said the company will talk about them at a future date.

In the meantime, Bethesda has plenty to keep itself – and fans – busy for the foreseeable future.

Earlier this week, the studio published a roadmap detailing the first three expansion packs for the popular action role-playing game. Automatron, Wasteland Workshop and Far Harbor are slated to launch over the next few months and we’re told that additional DLC is also in the pipeline. The extra content prompted Bethesda to increase the price of its season pass from $29.99 to $49.99 although anyone that buys it before March 1 can lock in the cheaper rate.

In related Fallout 4 news, Howard hinted that there’s at least one cool secret in the game that players have yet to find (to the best of his knowledge, anyway). Naturally, Howard didn’t spoil the surprise but did say that it is related to a terminal.

‘Fallout 4’ Survival Mode detailed on Reddit

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Fallout 4 developer Bethesda Game Studios revealed on Twitter earlier this month that it was completely overhauling the game’s Survival mode. The developer specifically mentioned changes in the categories of food, sleep, diseases and danger but didn’t elaborate any further.

Rather than wait for more information, Reddit user rayQuGR dug deep into the game’s files and unearthed a wealth of information regarding Survival mode. One would naturally be skeptical of such claims but in this case, it’s the real deal as Bethesdaconfirmed the findings as legitimate via Twitter.

So, what does Survival mode entail? In short, it makes the game way more difficult.

As outlined in the Reddit post, Survival mode disables manual and quicksaving. In order to save your game, you’ll need to find a bed and sleep for at least an hour. Navigating the map is also going to take a lot longer as Fast Travel is disabled. And now that ammo is weighted, toting around heavier items like rockets and mini-nukes will certainly slow you down.

Combat, meanwhile, is more lethal for everyone involved meaning you can dish out more damage but you’ll also absorb more from foes. Oh, and those enemies will no longer show up on your compass although fortunately, the distance at which locations of interest will appear has been significantly shortened.

For the sake of brevity, I’ll stop there but if you’re interested in the full list of changes, be sure to check out the thread over on Reddit. Bethesda says they’re still tinkering with things so note that some items / features may change by the time the final version arrives.

Capcom: Resident Evil 4, 5 and 6 are heading to next-gen consoles this year

Fans of the Resident Evil franchise have something to cheer about today as Capcomannounced that three popular Resident Evil games are heading to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year.

Resident Evil arrived on the original PlayStation in 1996 and is considered by many to be the defining game in the survival horror genre. There have been numerous sequels, prequels, remakes, comics and full-length movies over the years. As of September 2013, the franchise had sold over 60 million units worldwide.

Last year, we learned that Capcom approved a remake of Resident Evil 2. This, of course, came after the release of the HD remake of the original earlier in the year. And in September, Capcom announced a new physical disc bundle for fans called theOrigins Collection that includes remastered versions of the original game and the Resident Evil 0 prequel.

The fun gets started on March 29 with the arrival of Resident Evil 6 followed by Resident Evil 5 this summer. That leaves Resident Evil 4 to launch in the fall. Interestingly enough, Capcom elected not to release the titles in chronological order but I digress.

Capcom says all three games will be offered digitally for $19.99 each. Those in the Americas will also have the option to buy physical disc versions (people still do that, right?).