One of Ubisoft's big reveals at E3 this summer was the pirate naval warfare game Skull & Bones. We played it at E3 and came away generally impressed. And on a recent trip to developer Ubisoft Singapore's studio we had the opportunity to speak with creative director Justin Farren, who worked on Gears of War and Madden before joining Ubisoft. He also produced Assassin's Creed Unity, Black Flag, and Syndicate in Singapore. Our conversation covers a number of topics, including why Skull & Bones is a new IP instead of an Assassin's Creed game, the possibility of a Switch version, and how the game uses the power of the Xbox One X. Farren also told us there will be loot boxes, but the game will take steps to avoid a pay-to-win scenario. Additionally, we asked about the mysterious single-player mode, and Farren confirmed the game will offer ... something for fans in this department, though it's still unclear how this may work. Our interview, condensed and edited for clarity, follows … [Read more...] about Skull And Bones Dev Talks Single-Player, Loot Boxes, And Why It’s Not An Assassin’s Creed Game
Type quick game
The "games as service" concept isn't new, but 2017 is the year that it has really taken hold. Instead of jumping straight from sequel to sequel, developers across the industry seem to have shifted more to creating updates for their games and extending the time you spend with each title to its absolute maximum. And few companies take advantage of that system better than Blizzard. Famously, Blizzard doesn't move on to sequels quickly. Diablo III launched five years ago. Starcraft II started ten years ago. And World of Warcraft began back in 2004. But while the online modes for Blizzard's big franchises get constant updates, and there's a new expansion for the other games almost every year, why have we yet to see games like Diablo 4 or World of Warcraft 2? At Blizzcon 2017, I was able to talk to representatives from almost every Blizzard game about sequels. For some games, a follow-up obviously doesn't make sense. An Overwatch 2 or a Hearthstone 2 would run contrary to experiences those … [Read more...] about Why Haven’t We Seen Sequels To Blizzard’s Biggest Games?
There are two types of gaming laptop in this world. Those with gorgeous, so-good-I-want-to-lick-them OLED screens and those without. Happily, Dell’s Alienware 13 is one of the former, and by god is it beautiful. If the paltry, washed-out screen on Dell’s Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming laptop was like a banged up Ford Fiesta from the mid 90s, the Alienware 13 is a modern day super car, its OLED panel and oozing luxury from each and every pixel. OLED screens aren’t new, of course. Mobile phones and TVs have been using them for years, but it’s rare to see one on a laptop. Indeed, going back to a regular LED screen now, even one as finely calibrated as my own AOC Q2770PQU monitor, just makes everything seem drab, dreary and dull by comparison. So what makes OLED so special? Unlike a normal LED screen, it doesn’t require a backlight to be spread across the entire screen. Instead, each pixel is self-emissive, capable of creating its own light when needed. This … [Read more...] about Dell Alienware 13 (Late 2017) review: A flawed gaming laptop I love to bits
Four days from today, Nintendo's latest console will go on sale. A little over four years since the launch of Wii U, a little over four months since Nintendo announced Switch, and to many, the system seems like a breath of fresh air — a game console Transformer full of potential with a steady stream of software to back it up. To some, though, the system seems incomplete. From early reports of controllers that don't properly sync to a limited launch lineup, a lack of non-game apps like Netflix, a missing Virtual Console library and lingering questions about the online service, there's a simplicity to Switch's launch that recalls the '90s — Zelda is Mario 64, and if you don't want that or a few other games, you might not need the system right away. In time, Nintendo will address those issues. Yet more than most consoles, Switch remains a bit of a mystery at launch. Are motion controls going to be a big part of it? What type of player will Switch developers cater to? And will … [Read more...] about What the game industry thinks of Nintendo’s Switch
The story of Riot Games is a list of things that shouldn’t have been possible. It’s the tale of an extremely difficult, user-unfriendly game reaching untold heights of success. It’s the story of a company that has remained committed to listening to and interacting with its fans even as it at has grown exponentially. More than anything, it’s the story of two best friends who liked playing video games and decided one day to make their own. Riot is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, but to really know how one of the world’s biggest development studios got started, you need to go back to Los Angeles in the early aughts. You need to find two University of Southern California business students who formed a bond unrelated to their studies. When Marc Merrill and Brandon Beck first met at USC, they were taking classes that led them to careers at banks and investment firms. But that wasn’t what they bonded over. For them, their real passion was video … [Read more...] about The past, present and future of League of Legends studio Riot Games