WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 4TH – 10TH AUGUST

Headline Of The Week

Casey Hudson, the executive producer at Bioware (who has overseen much loved titles including the Mass Effect series and Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic), is to leave the company after sixteen years of service. Hudson had most recently been involved in a new IP that BioWare have been developing, which is set to be revealed in the coming week at GamesCom in Cologne. In a pre-prepared statement, Hudson had the following to say:

‘After what already feels like a lifetime of extraordinary experiences, I have decided to hit the reset button and move on from BioWare…I’ll take a much needed break, get perspective on what I really want to do with the next phase of my life, and eventually, take on a new set of challenges.’

In additional developer news, there has been yet another high profile exodus from Naughty Dog – Jacob Minkoff & Taylor Kurosaki (lead game designer on Uncharted 3 and narrative design lead respectively) have both left to join Call Of Duty developers Infinity Ward.

In Other News

Football fans rejoice! This week marks the return of domestic football in the UK, and a relatively significant announcement from EA about FIFA 15; for the first time in the history of the series, FIFA 15 will feature all 20 stadiums from the English Premier League, as part of a new deal that will renew EA Sports’ position as the Official Sports Technology Partner of the Premier League until 2019.

Villa Park is the only Premier League stadium I've been to. I sat near that big TV in the background

Villa Park is the only Premier League stadium I’ve been to. I sat near that big TV in the background for the 2012 Community Shield and starting a big ‘WHO ARE YA’ chant at one point

Long time fans will be well aware a selection of the more high profile English stadiums such as Wembley, Old Trafford, the Emirates Stadium and St James Park have been a staple inclusion in past FIFA iterations, but now every team in the league will be able to play at their real home rather than an imitation stadia – including the three newly promoted sides (Leicester City, Burnley and Queens Park Rangers). The game will also feature new 3D scans of over 200 players, along with more authentic crowd recordings and the implementation of FIFA’s goal line technology systems.

I passed on FIFA 14 after feeling the fatigue of buying a new version of the game every year since 2009, but I will admit the itch to waste millions of hours playing football on my TV is pressing hard again…

After a steady slew of leaked updates, Assassins Creed: Rogue has been officially unveiled this week. The PS3 and Xbox 360 only title will be released on November 11th, and will be set during the Seven Years War in the 18th Century. Aiming to complete the North American chapter told throughout AC: III, Liberation & IV: Black Flag, it will also be the first installment of the series where player will be in the shoes of a Templar. You can watch the official trailer below:

Rogue will be (perhaps thankfully for those who see the series growing to COD/FIFA levels of cash-cowness) the last installment of the series released on current generation consoles, and will be handled by a number of Ubisoft studios based around the world including Singapore, Montreal, Quebec, Chengdu, Milan and Bucharest. The primary focus for this year remains on the next-gen title Assassins Creed: Unity, which will launch two weeks before Rogue on October 28th.

The unique 4 vs 1 FPS Evolve, which pits a team of humans against a solitary monster and is being developed by Turtle Rock Studios, has unfortunately joined a long list of games which have been delayed until 2015.

Originally scheduled for release on October 21st, the game will now arrive in February 2015, news which was confirmed during a financial call for Take-Two Interactive. Evolve has already won several critical awards including Best Multiplayer at this years E3, and it now remains to be seen whether or not any anticipated new game will actually make the cut by the end of the calendar year.

Capcom have sprung a surprise by announcing that they are developing a HD remaster of the Resident Evil remake that originally appeared on the Nintendo Gamecube for next-gen consoles. A remaster of a remake? 2014’s originality sinks to new lows…

In any case, the updated version of the original installment in the classic horror franchise is set to be released in early 2015. with 1080p visuals and 5.1 surround sound. Capcom have also said that the game will feature the option to play in the original 4:1 ratio, with two different control schemes available for those who prefer the frightfully wonky controls of the mid-1990s.

In additional HD-update news, as I mentioned a couple of weeks back, Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition has officially been confirmed to be arriving on PC, PS4 & Xbox One on October 10th which will include all previously released DLC packs.

An update to the Steam client which is currently in beta will allow users to select individual games from their library and hide them from view; which is a nice touch for three groups of people – those with a tendency to be compulsively neat and tidy who want to keep the games they’ll never play from Humble Bundles separate (i.e me), those who have opted into lots of F2P titles or betas, and those who thought buying Alien: Colonial Marines was a good idea.

As expected, the visually stunning The Last Of Us: Remastered debuted at the top of the UK Game Sales Charts this week, enjoying then fifth biggest launch of the year so far. I was one of those who purchased the game, and I’m seriously enjoying stopping gameplay mid-fight to take a few pictures in Photo Mode. Elsewhere, it’s business as usual – don’t worry folks, just a few more weeks until Destiny arrives…

Top Ten For Week Ending 2nd August 2014 (from GFK/Chart-Track)

1 – The Last Of Us: Remastered (Naughty Dog)

2 – Watch_Dogs (Ubisoft Montreal)

3 – FIFA 14 (EA Canada)

4 – The Lego Movie Videogame (Traveller’s Tales)

5 – Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition (4J Studios)

6 – Minecraft: PS3 Edition (4J Studios)

7 – Sniper Elite 3 (Rebellion/505 Games)

8 – Call Of Duty: Ghosts (Infinity Ward)

9 – Battlefield 4 (DICE)

10 – Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar North)

And Finally…

The much loved PS2 first person shooter series TimeSplitters had been in the process of a possible resurrection under the helm of Crytek UK, according to an interview conducted with company CEO Cevat Yerli.

Sepaking to Eurogamer, Yerli stated that plans had been in motion to bring the franchise back (Crytek UK used to be known as Free Radical who were responsible for TimeSplitters 1-3 and the sadly ignored Second Sight), but that has gone out of the window following a number of recent well publicized financial troubles, which has resulted in staff being transferred to the newly created Deep Silver Dambuster Studio in Nottingham where they will continue work on a sequel to Homefront. Although Crytek still hold the rights to the TimeSplitters IP, Yerli has reinforced their commitment to three online free-to-play projects – Warface, Hunt & Arena Of Fate.

A fan project called TimeSplitters Rewind using original game assets has been in progress for a few years now. The Monkey Gun is an essential addition

A fan project called TimeSplitters Rewind using original game assets has been in progress for a few years now. The 64 bullets-per-second Monkey Gun would be an essential addition

TimeSplitters 2 & 3 in particular are very fondly remembered games – both among the highest rated shooters of the PS2 era, and universally renowned for their superb multiplayer components which harkened back to the glory days of Goldeneye 007 and Perfect Dark on the N64. Hell, in this era when all old games are being tarted up for a HD generation, I’m sure most people would happily take the original games being re-released in some way or format!

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