To say that BioWare 2019 is far from the glory times of the studio at this point is raining in the wet. BioWare’s reputation in 2019 resembles almost nothing even the one in the studio five years ago.
Even in 2014, after Dragon Age II and Mass Effect 3 were heavily criticized – the former for being clearly a hasty job and the latter for the unsatisfactory ending – the Canadian developer still managed to find critical and public success with Dragon Age. : Inquisition, who even won the Game of the Year award in the first edition of The Game Awards.
Even though it was considered a relatively weak year for major releases, with the then new generation of consoles just beginning to mesh, the game still managed to make a good mark, and help restore BioWare’s reputation at the end of the past decade. studio responsible for acclaimed and historical titles such as Baldur’s Gate and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
This is not quite what happened.
In 2017, BioWare Montreal launched Mass Effect: Andromeda, a reboot that planned to re-establish the franchise after all the ME3 issues. The end result was a game marked by an uninteresting and unfocused story, forgettable characters and the terrible and hilarious facial animations, which for the moment buried any interest in the series.
And finally, in 2019, we arrived in Anthem!
Developed by BioWare Edmonton, the company’s original studio and responsible for its classic titles, the project that was later to be called Anthem brought great ambitions for the company, winning even the codename Dylan, in reference to the cultured and influential American musician Bob Dylan.
Anthem, however, can only be compared to Dylan’s decay in the 1980s, or at most to the feeling of fans who felt betrayed when he started using electric instruments.
Following a teaser in 2014 (the year EA showed virtually nothing at E3) and officially unveiled in 2017, Anthem seemed to be Destiny’s equivalent of Electronic Arts, being a game as a multiplayer online science-fiction service. Even in 2018, when it was possible to test the game, the overall reaction was somewhat lukewarm.
And the question was: could a studio known primarily for singleplayer experiences (even if they had StarWare’s BioWare Austin’s help: The Old Republic) be able to release a game with an emphasis on multiplayer, cooperative or competitive?
Anthem was one of the first major releases of 2019, and one of the first major disappointments. Empty, unfocused, with a little interesting gameplay and some activities to do, but none of them particularly special.
singleplayer experiences (even if they had StarWare’s BioWare Austin’s help: The Old Republic) be able to release a game with an emphasis on multiplayer, cooperative or competitive?
Well … no.
Anthem was one of the first major releases of 2019, and one of the first major disappointments. Empty, unfocused, with a little interesting gameplay and some activities to do, but none of them particularly special. It’s amazing, in a way, how much the experience of playing Anthem adds nothing to the player, to the point that it basically faded from my mind until I was reminded when The Enemy’s newsroom planned its list of biggest disappointments.
The negative reception, combined with its own technical problems, essentially annihilated BioWare’s plans for the coming months, and the game roadmap was abandoned shortly thereafter. In April, a report by Jason Schreier to Kotaku revealed more of the game’s troubled development process, which seems to have lost its way following the departure of director Casey Hudson, who had previously successfully headed the KOTOR projects and the Mass trilogy. Effect
Without central coordination, the game soon became unfocused and directed, to the point that shortly before the official announcement, it should be called Beyond, not Anthem. Worse, Schreier’s report indicates that past successes created an undue sense of superiority, with many (especially at the head) hoping that everything would eventually fall into “BioWare Magic,” as was the case with Dragon Age: Inquisition.
In the end, the magic seemed to have been lost somewhere.
Hudson eventually returned to BioWare years later, this time as General Manager of the studios, and after publishing the story promised to work to improve problems within the studio.
At this point, on the eve of early 2020, it is hard to know what to expect from Anthem’s future, although sources say BioWare has not given up on the game yet.
At best, the game will gain a resurgence just like No Man’s Sky. At worst, it will simply fall into oblivion.
Meanwhile, the producer is at its lowest point since its founding. Any confidence generated by the classics of the past has been undermined by the failures of the present.
Not only that, BioWare seems to lose more and more space and relevance when compared to other RPG studios, particularly CD Projekt RED, which a few months after the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition brought the even more acclaimed The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and is about to release one of the most anticipated titles of 2020 with Cyberpunk 2077.
Even smaller developers such as Divinity’s Larian Studios and Disco Elysium’s ZA / UM are proving to offer more to the public. No wonder the first is working on Baldur’s Gate III, the new game in the series that put BioWare on the map. We already know that a new Dragon Age is in production, and apparently there are plans to develop a new Mass Effect, but it is clear that these titles have to be sure hits to ensure the relevance – and even survival – of the studio.
On the downside, at least The Old Republic still has a dedicated audience, with MMORPG approaching $ 1 billion in revenue since its launch in 2011. It is certainly not as impressive as more than The $ 9 billion that Blizzard raised from World of Warcraft by 2017, but in a year with so many negatives, is still little consolation.
Ninja gets skin on Fortnite in new update
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins will have his own skin in Fortnite. The streamer made the announcement on Wednesday morning (15) on a broadcast on his Mixer channel. The item is part of the Icon Series, which already has the Marshmello and Major Lazer skins. According to the player, the news comes to the game on Thursday (16), along with the 11.4 update, the first of 2020 at Epic Games Battle Royale. Nevertheless, the skin is only available for three days, leaving the game catalog as early as the 19th.
The character’s look was praised by the streamer. The skin features spiky hair, a blue jacket and hood, and black pants. “(The skin) looks like me,” commented Ninja during the broadcast. Other news involving the player has also come to Battle Royale: an emote, a blingback and a pick are available to the player who purchases the item. You can even vary between four skin customizations.
The title developer plans to release more such items, bringing real-world personalities into the game. Loserfruit and TheGrefg, for example, are also confirmed by Epic Games.
We're bringing the artistic vision, personality and attitude of our top creators to Fortnite with the Icon series, starting with @Ninja!
This is just the beginning of gaming, music, film, and fashion colliding in Fortnite.
Read more here: https://t.co/iIV9SHq3zM
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) January 15, 2020
Fortnite Update 11.4 also features a new weapon side rank feature. In non-competitive matches, the player may “set aside” the assault rifle as a heavy assault rifle, which returns in this patch. Now it will also be possible to upgrade the rarity of weapons early in the game. New items have also been added, such as the Flint-Knock pistol and the Shockwave and Impulse grenades.
Funds are already nearing the end of Fortnite’s first season, Chapter 2, which began in October last year. The next one is scheduled to start in February, and should bring news such as map changes, battle pass and new item releases.
How to get Ninja skin in Fortnite?
Ninja’s skin will be in store for a limited time, however, and availability will cease once it is removed. The skin will be removed three days later, on January 19.
Ninja’s partnership is part of a new Icons series in which Epic Games collaborates with musicians, artists, movies, fashion and more to bring themed experiences to Fortnite. Past collaborations included Marshmello and Major Lazer. Epic has also confirmed that YouTube creators Loserfruit and The Grefg are future collaborations of the Icons series.
Most anticipated games of 2020: The Last of Us Part II
Talking about the most anticipated games of 2020 and not quoting The Last of Us Part II doesn’t really match. The sequel produced by Naughty Dog is one of the most anticipated titles for those who played the first The Last of Us in 2013 – and I dare say, maybe even for those who didn’t play it either.
It seems that Naughty Dog will use its best weapon, that is, an emotionally drawn narrative and attention-grabbing multidimensional characters to deliver the desired sequence. After all, everything the producer has presented about the game so far focuses on these aspects.
This time, the deuteragonist of the first game, Ellie, is the one that gets the most prominence. And her personal journey for revenge will possibly help her discover more about her own origins – or so the community has been speculating for months.
Of course Joel, the protagonist of the first game, is also back, but the spotlight seems to rest on the young woman in the sequence. And in addition to a very emotional and cinematic storyline, The Last of Us Part II will feature new gameplay.
It will be possible to jump between small spans, dodge threats and even block some attacks. Crawling to escape the enemy’s field of view is also new. Ellie will also be able to focus on three different types of skills (Survival, Manufacturing and Stealth) and listening, the mechanics of the first game, is back in continuation.
The young woman will primarily use a bow and arrow, but may use heavier knives and firearms as well. And besides, there will be new enemies.
So far, we know that Jackson County in Wyoming and Hillcrest in Seattle are among the settings of The Last of Us Part II. However, the question remains: will we ride in various areas and cross the United States, as in the first game?
So far, only Ellie’s purpose has been publicized, and it’s basically a revenge that will unleash an unbridled trail of blood of violence – something that will even force Joel to try to help her, for better or for worse.
However, what or who exactly causes this uncontrollable thirst for revenge on Ellie? What about your relationship with Joel after the end of the first The Last of Us? Are they on good terms?
What will Ellie discover by chasing the group of fanatics known as the Seraphites? There are a lot of questions and, it seems, the game will stir the players’ emotions again.
What do I look forward to most in The Last of Us Part II? Multifaceted and captivating characters (either positively or negatively); social, political and even environmental issues; and a narrative full of conflicts and reflections along the way.
At the same time, other than a replay of the first game, Naughty Dog seems to be whimsically experimenting with new mechanics, enemies and locations – and who knows what else the producer is hiding up its sleeve…?
What to expect from Xbox in 2020?
If you need to recognize something about Microsoft in recent years, it’s that they worked hard. The current generation of consoles has been dominated by the PlayStation 4, which has taken advantage of the public’s rejection of the initial Xbox One concept and has emerged as the market leader, selling over 100 million units in about 6 years.
There are no official Xbox One sales figures, but the console is thought to have roughly half of its main rival’s sales – not necessarily a bad figure, but still below its predecessor, the Xbox 360.
But it must be admitted that, in a difficult situation, Microsoft’s gaming division, which was now headed by Phil Spencer, did not stand still, making several decisions not only reactive to what Sony was doing, but making its own. proposals and concepts to expand and revitalize the brand.
In the console area itself, Microsoft has reiterated and improved Xbox One with several new versions, including a significantly more powerful Xbox One X. For example, unlike the management of their predecessor, Don Mattrick, Spencer and their team worked to implement a backward compatible system for Xbox One, capable of running not only Xbox 360 games and the original Xbox.
Xbox has also firmly embraced the policy of offering services to its consumers, with its big asset being the Xbox Game Pass, which allows subscribers to access a revolving catalog full of great games (most recently including GTA V), plus discounts for anyone who wants to. buy the game before it is removed from the program.
Game Pass also serves as a showcase for its main titles, making its great exclusive available to the program’s subscribers. And considering the company’s major studio acquisitions in recent years, including Playground Games (Forza Horizon), Ninja Theory (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice) and Obsidian Entertainment (The Outer Worlds), this showcase should only get more flashy going forward.
Microsoft also seems to want to “decentralize” the Xbox public association as just a console: for a few years now, Microsoft has come back to value the PC market. Game Pass has its own desktop version, and exclusives like Gears 5 and Halo: Reach (part of the Master Chief Collection) are in its catalog.
More than that, in some cases, Xbox has made occasional alliances with potential rivals to expand its brand, such as selling its games on Steam and even porting titles like Ori and the Blind Forest and Cuphead for the Nintendo Switch.
It wasn’t a perfect way – Scalebound’s cancellation still hurts many people’s hearts – but Microsoft has prepared significant ground for the future. And by 2020, there is a chance to make a big splash in the competition.
The power of the new console is still officially unknown, but the trailer above gives us an idea of what can be done with a platform compatible graphics engine, and they are downright impressive. Microsoft has also indicated that it will be backwards compatible with generations past its release, and it seems that it will even run more than one game at a time.
The Xbox Series X arrives in late 2020, and will have as its flagship product Halo Infinite, whose mission is to revitalize the franchise after the warm reception of Halo 4 and Halo 5. But the game will also be available for Xbox One. and for PC, stressing that the name “Xbox” is not limited to one machine.
In addition, a classic franchise, Flight Simulator, will also return in style for all three platforms.
It is expected that Microsoft is hiding some cards up its sleeve, which should be revealed (expected) during E3 2020, but at this point, considering all the work of the games division, it is quite possible to imagine that Xbox end the year in a promising way.