If you want the latest in breaking news, game announcements, industry rumors, and insider reports from anonymous sources, Kotaku is down the hall to the right! But if you want to hear about the stuff that's interesting to potential Pulitzer Prize winner Nick Diamon and occasionally his sidekick Tom Chick, you're in the right place.
Ghost Recon Wildlands’ Special Operation 2 is launching on July 24th. More Ghost War versus multiplayer characters, new maps to fight in, more cosmetic loot to purchase. All fairly standard stuff for multiplayer content. What is notable is the new Ghost Mode coming to the single player and co-op campaign. The new feature enables permadeath, restricts you to one main weapon and one sidearm, disables inventory management unless you’re at a gear station, reloading early loses unspent ammo, and (this is the big one) turns off the AI team. Finally, an end to the garbage squad chatter! Goodbye faux stealth NPC.
The free update addresses a lot of the criticisms we had with the game in its original launch state. Say what you will about Ubisoft’s open world game design, but they’ve shown a willingness to listen to players and support their games for a good stretch of time.
That’s hunky star Nathan Fillion playing Nathan Drake in an Uncharted short film. While it’s an unofficial fan production, this is something fans of the Naughty Dog action game series have wanted to see for a long time. Thankfully, director Allan Ungar did too. Between ABC’s The Rookie going from pilot to series, Fillion was able to squeeze in some time for the passion project.
“This is what we set up to make, what we set out to do when we sat down for vegan Thai food. It’s a fifteen-minute short film. It’s our tribute to the character. For right now, we’re very happy with this just this being what it is.”
Nathan Drake is famously voiced by Nolan North in the games, so it’s a bit coincidental that at about the same time the Uncharted short was hitting the web, Nathan Fillion confirmed that he does not voice Cayde-6 in Destiny 2’s upcoming Forsaken expansion despite voicing the character previously.
“I wasn’t available for this last instalment – it’s not me doing the voice for Cayde-6. In a wonderful, amazing turn of events – it’s actually Nolan North!”
When a door closes, a window opens. Something like that.
Duncan Jones is developing a movie based on the Rogue Trooper property. Rogue Trooper is a British comic character that first appeared in 1981 in the pages of 2000 AD. There’s a videogame relationship in the form of a 1986 Commodore 64 game, a 1990 Amiga game, and a 2006 game from Rebellion which was given the HD teatment with a 2017 Redux Edition. Jones even linked to the Rebellion game’s site in his announcement.
The next big update for Creative Assembly’s Total War: Rome II is a doozy. The Ancestral Update (currently in beta testing) features a host of long-requested additions and tweaks to the almost five year old game. One of the most anticipated changes is the return of family trees. This was a large part of the strategic gameplay in the first Rome, so its absence in the sequel was always puzzling. It’s finally coming! Players will be able to track family fortunes, marry into and out of power and wealth, and piss off sullen teenagers with bad career decisions. War never changes.
I don’t know what’s going on with the mimics wearing Uncle Sam top hats and Asian bamboo hats in this free update for Prey: Mooncrash, but I love it. Bethesda promises more free updates in the future, including one that features the “Typhon Hunter” multiplayer revealed during E3. How long must we wait for the inevitable skins that turn mimics into mudcrabs?
Remember Desperados: Wanted Dead Or Alive? It was 2001 squad tactics game in the vein of Commandos, except set in the rootin’ tootin’ Old West. It’s now compatible with modern PC systems thanks to THQ Nordic. The publisher has updated the game to work with Windows 7, 8, 10 and Macs and Linux! Yeehaw partners! They’ve even restored a “long lost” demo mission to the game.
“A challenging level from back in the old days when some games still had rather difficult demos.”
That’s called shade cowboy, and it’s being thrown in your lily-livered face! Desperados: Wanted Dead Or Alive is available on Steam and GOG.
Warframe’s next content update has hoverboards. Honest-to-gosh trick flip, Back to the Future 2 style decks that float. The Fortuna expansion takes players to Venus and gives them the opportunity to skim over the surface of the planet and even do tricks on a customizable board. Auto-inflating Nike sneakers not included.
Google’s DeepMind artificial intelligence research arm has created bots that have learned to play Quake 3: Arena capture-the-flag. Unlike the gaming bots we’re familiar with which are programmed for specific games and get hidden cheats, DeepMind’s creations learned to play using visual input like humans do and received no information that would not be available to a person. They were actually playing the game and getting better with practice. A mere half-million practice games later, and the bots could beat “strong” human teams 74 percent of the time. Make the bots teabag opponents, scream profanities, and disconnect to avoid losing and we might have something.
SCS Software presents Oregon! The Beaver State! The Pacific Northwest is a decidedly different landscape from what players are used to in American Truck Simulator’s current build. According to the devs, the upcoming expansion goes all in on the forest industry that makes up a large part of Oregon’s economy. Despite the prevalence of big rigs loaded with lumber, players won’t be able to recreate the crash from Final Destination 2, but I’m sure you’ll all try anyway.
Some players of Grand Theft Auto V’s online mode have been seeing the above message flash on their screens the past couple of days. It may look official, but it’s not. Rockstar confirmed that the message is a hoax perpetrated by one or more players that have hacked the system to show custom messages to online players. Sanity check! As much as you may want this to be true, Rockstar’s focus through 2019 is going to be on Red Dead Redemption 2.
In related news, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick told GamesIndustry that Red Dead Redemption 2 matching Grand Theft Auto V’s 100 million total unit sales is not a realistic goal.
“It’s hard to expect anything to perform as well as the most profitable entertainment product of all time.”
We’ll get a real Grand Theft Auto 6 announcement someday. It likely won’t come in the form of a text message for in-game players.
That’s Wrecking Ball, the newest playable character coming to Overwatch. The design inspiration is clear. He’s your childhood pet hamster in the plastic exercise ball you rolled around on the floor. In Blizzard’s game the hamster is super-intelligent and bloodthirsty, and his plastic ball is now a combat mech. It makes sense.
The hamster’s name is Hammond and according to the lore he escaped from the same Secret of NIMH type laboratory as Winston before becoming an Overwatch hero. You know what that means! Erotic gorilla-on-hamster fan art coming soon!
Domenico Selvo, Doge of Venice, did not bring the fork from Asia to Western Europe. I point this out because Bosnian newspaper, Dnevni Avaz, recently gave him the erroneous credit for the deed in an article spotted by a Reddit user. According to the paper, Domenico Selvo’s wife Theodora had a couple of the eating utensils given to her as part of her dowry, and Domenico Selvo popularized their use in court dinners of the day. But that’s just not true. Theophanu, Holy Roman Empress Consort of Otto II, brought the fork over a few decades before. Not content with just being wrong, the editors of Dnevni Avaz used a portrait of Domenico Selvo from Crusader Kings II. It’s a nice enough image, but come on Dnevni Avaz! You didn’t even fully crop out the game’s portrait border. Nerds, especially European Crusader Kings nerds, see that stuff.
Tapeworms, sleepwalking, claustrophobia, and the shakes. These are a few of the new negative perks available in Kingdom Come: Deliverance. You’ll need to take at least two of these character handicaps to experience the new Hardcore Mode that’s been added to the game. If the medieval life simulator wasn’t difficult enough for you, playing in the new mode will disable the compass, make healing more difficult, and eliminates fast travel among other restrictions. Get out there and die like a peasant!
The From the Ashes DLC for Kingdom Come: Deliverance launches in July.
Fancy an early look at Fallout 76? Modder SK550 uploaded a cheeky facsimile of Bethesda’s upcoming multiplayer survival game for Fallout 4 that recreates the worst of the preview rumors. It enables random nuke attacks, most campaign characters get deleted, and you’ll get randomly spawning NPCs that act like the jerkiest of human players with “l33t-420” style names to go with them! Experience multiplayer Hell in all its glitchy glory! Fallout 4-76 is available now!
That’s Sir Lora the Squirrel Knight. His story, and an opportunity to gain him as a companion, is a pre-order bonus for the Definitive Edition of Divinity: Original Sin 2. Folks that already have the regular game on PC will just get him and the Definitive Edition for free when it launches.
Other changes and additions to Divinity: Original Sin 2 coming with the Definitive Edition are outlined in this video from Larian Studios. The developers have adjusted 150,000 words in text and recorded 130,000 new spoken bits of dialog. A “story mode” difficulty is being added that combat-averse players should find even easier than the game’s current “explorer mode” option. A new tutorial area will greet novice players. Returning players will see a ton of balance and performance improvements. Finally, there’s Sir Lora and his Great Acorn apocalypse.
Like Divinity: Original Sin’s upgrade, this sequel’s Definitive Edition on PC will be a separate install. PC owners will have the option of playing both versions. The Definitive Edition launches in August.