GameSentral Rewind #026: June 18, 2015

Editor’s Note: This is the GameSentral Rewind, a daily recap of the top gaming headlines.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 coming to last-gen consoles

Call of Duty Black Ops 3

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will launch on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, according to publisher Activision, in addition to the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows.

Black Ops 3 “has been designed to harness the full potential of the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC,” but Activision “know[s] that there are still some fans that haven’t made the transition to the new console hardware.”

Developers Beenox and Mercenary Technology will handle the last-gen editions.

Ubisoft asks public to test, give feedback on Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Assassins Creed Syndicate

Ubisoft is taking Assassin’s Creed Syndicate on a “playtest road show” to gather player feedback before the game’s launch this fall.

Participants will get to play Syndicate and “share their feedback directly with the development team, ultimately making an impact on the final game,” according to Ubisoft.

Playtest events will be happening “around the country,” according to the publisher.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will launch on October 23rd for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with a Windows version coming in the fall.

NBA Live 16 has a cover star

Russell Westbrook, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s point guard, will be the cover athlete on NBA Live 16, according to publisher EA Sports.

Westbrook is a player that “plays every game like he has something to prove,” according to the publisher.

2015 Apple Design Awards honor seven games

Crossy Road

Video games accounted for over half of Apple’s 2015 Design Award winners, according to the company, including Frogger-like title Crossy Road and MOBA Vainglory.

Five out of the 10 main winners of the annual awards given during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) were games. Here’s the list of gaming winners:

  • Crossy Road: Hipster Whale
  • Does Not Commute: Mediocre
  • Elementary Minute: Klemens Strasser (student)
  • Jump-O: Gabriel Mathias Rocha, Victor Lappas Gimenez (student)
  • Metamorphabet: Vectorpark
  • Shadowmatic: Triada Studio
  • Vainglory: Super Evil Megacorp

All seven titles are available now on iOS.

PS4 version of Ratchet and Clank is ‘a new game’

Ratchet and Clank

The PlayStation 4 version of Ratchet and Clank was originally revealed at last year’s E3 as a “reimagined” version of the original PlayStation 2 Ratchet and Clank released in 2002. However, at that time we didn’t know how much developer Insomniac Games would borrow from the original.

Ratchet and Clank is a new game that takes elements from the original. What we imagined when we started was a curated first Ratchet experience.”

-Shaun McCabe, Insomniac Games production director

Initially, Insomniac wanted to mix Ratchet and Clank’s original story and world progression with the modern aspects of the Ratchet & Clank Future games released for PlayStation 3.

“As we developed [Ratchet and Clank], it grew, as things do at Insomniac. Nothing we make ever stays small. We ended up adding a ton of stuff.”

-Shaun McCabe

The game includes new planets to explore, new weapons, Clank-focused gameplay that wasn’t in the original Ratchet, as well as a fresh weapon upgrading system.

“What we ended up with was a new game and what we think is a new beginning for Ratchet and Clank.”

-Shaun McCabe

Despite the constant reiterations of Ratchet and Clank being a new thing, it features a level set in the bustling futuristic city of Metropolis, which has been visited many times by the series.

The level features fighting robot dogs and beefy alien henchmen while admiring a cityscape filled with flying cars and floating buildings. It culminates in a fast-paced chase across a train rocketing through the city. These are all building blocks used in the original Ratchet and Clank version of this level, but they’re laid out in a different way.

“This version of Metropolis is really a realization of this dream that we’ve had since the series started. We wanted to provide people with the opportunity to play a feature animated film. We wanted to be able to match the fidelity and sophistication of an animated film visually.”

-Shaun McCade

The game has the “same bones” as the Ratchet and Clank film, according to McCade, but it adds more story and background to fill out the 10-12 hours of expected gameplay.

The game will be told from Captain Qwark’s perspective, a dimwitted superhero idol of Ratchet’s who bounces between helping the namesake duo and sabotaging their best efforts. His point of view will often change film events by embellishing them to provide longer, more action-packed scenarios to fight through.

“More than half of the weapons in this game were not in the PlayStation 2 Ratchet and Clank. They’re either new weapons or weapons from the movie or weapons from the Future series.”

-James Stevenson, Insomniac Games community lead

The Pixelizer is one of the new weapons in Ratchet and Clank, demaking enemies (including bosses) it hits into a pile of NES-like pixels. If they require more than one hit to kill, it will only transform them momentarily, but if you get a killing shot with the gun, they’ll dissolve into a pile of blocks.

Fan-favorites from later games include the Groovitron, a disco ball that forces enemies to dance when thrown. Every game enemy will have dance animations to go along with the weapon, including bosses. Deadly robot companion Mr. Zurkon will also return.

“The original Ratchet and Clank was not modern. You couldn’t aim. You couldn’t strafe. We did not want to just remake Ratchet and Clank. This was about creating a whole new beginning, the ultimate beginning.”

-James Stevenson

The PS4 Ratchet and Clank controls similarly to its PS3 counterparts, with strafing, side-to-side jumping, and free aiming.

“I don’t think [the reboot] invalidates anything that’s happened in later Ratchet and Clank games. The rough outline is still the same. Ratchet meets Clank, and they go on this adventure, and Chairman Drek is still the bad guy. It just gives people a new entry point, and the film also acts as a new entry point for the series. They really complement each other. We’re so focused on this part of it, but I’m not too worried about what happens next.

There probably will always be more Ratchet adventures down the line.”

-James Stevenson

Hearthstone’s Tavern Brawl mode adds rotating weekly challenges

Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft

After teasing a new mode on Twitter, developer Blizzard Entertainment has announced what Hearhstone’s latest addition actually is: tavern brawl, a new mode that will mix regular gameplay and decks currently available.

Tavern brawl pits players against each other using special challenges, new rules, or custom decks. Sometimes a tavern brawl will force players to use a specific deck, while other times it will task players with putting together a new deck based on certain guidelines.

A new tavern brawl will be offered every Wednesday-Sunday. The mode will be unavailable on Mondays and Tuesdays, until the next event launches.

Tavern brawl will be “free to enter when the new mode becomes available,” according to Blizzard. Players will earn a new card pack for winning their first brawl every week “during the launch period,” according to the developer.

Tavern brawl will come in Hearthstone patch 2.7, which also will introduce purchasable cosmetic hero options and the ability to tie your decks to specific card backs you’ve unlocked. The mode will be available in mid-June, according to Blizzard.

The Witcher 3 gets console patch, new free DLC

The-Witcher-3-Wild-Hunt-4

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has received two updates from developer CD Projekt Red: patch 1.04 for current-gen consoles and some free downloadable content that includes the Fool’s Gold quest and a neutral set of Gwent cards known as Ballad Heroes, according to the series’ Facebook page.

Patch 1.04 closes exploits, rebalances the price of maps and fixes crashes.

Halo 5 will need Xbox Live Gold for co-op: 343 Industries

halo-5-beta-spartan

Online cooperative play in Halo 5: Guardians’ campaign will require an Xbox Live Gold subscription, according to developer 343 Industries.

“I misspoke during the [Game Informer] interview when stating that online co-op campaign would be supported with an Xbox Live Silver account. Co-op campaign will require Xbox Live Gold to play.

“It is important to us that fans have the opportunity to play the full co-op campaign experience and we are doing this by providing a 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial with Halo 5: Guardians.”

-Josh Holmes, 343 Industries executive producer

Magic: The Gathering card sells for $14,900 on eBay, half goes to charity

Magic The Gathering Tarmogoyf

A Tarmogoyf Magic: The Gathering card was sold for $14,900 on eBay, according to the item’s listing, and the seller will donate 50% of its’ proceeds (after eBay takes their cut) to charity.

“You are bidding for a piece of Magic: The Gathering history. I opened this Foil Modern Masters 2015 Tarmogoyf Grand Prix Vegas Stamped in the Top 8 and it created a huge story in the community, which you can probably find on the internet via #GoyfGate #FoilGoyf #MakeMagicHistory.”

-Pascal Maynard, Tarmogoyf owner/seller, in the item’s eBay description

Maynard drew the card in the Grand Prix Las Vegas event last month.

“The card is Near-Mint, it’s fresh out of the pack and sleeved as soon as I could. It’s got two minor scratches on the top left border, probably caused by booster packaging. I offer to sign the card or the sleeve for authenticity.

“I’m eager to see how much it can sell for and I’m even more excited to announce that I will donate 50% [after eBay’s cut] of the proceeds to the Gamers Helping Gamers charity. This pro player needs money to travel, but more importantly, some young Magic players might be unable to afford college. I hope we can change that!”

-Pascal Maynard

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