Tag Archives: Infinity Ward

PlayStation E3 2016 Press Conference Highlights

Sony is the final Press Conference of the year, and like last year they saved the best for last.  There were a few lowlights in the conference, like Skylanders inclusion, so I’ve taken the big moments from the presser and condensed them below for you.  But that’s enough blabbering by me, let’s get started!

1. Kratos is back and in a Norse setting in God of War

Sony opened the press conference with a long and impressive demo for a new God of War game, simply titled God of War.  This demo follows Kratos and a young boy whom calls Kratos his father as they hunt for a deer and are attacked by Trolls.  Kratos no longer wields the Blades of Chaos, instead opting for an axe that is imbued with an ice rune by the look of it.  No release date or window was given for this title.

2. Last Guardian is launching this October!

Finally.  It’s finally happening.  The Last Guardian is actually going to be releasing this October.  Sony dropped a two minute long trailer during the presser and revealed the game will be coming exclusively to PS4 this October 25th.

3. Horizon: Zero Dawn wows with another massive demo

Guerrilla Games showcased a brand new demo of their upcoming action adventure game Horizon with a long extended gameplay demo.  In the demo, Aloy uses her hunter’s vision to determine enemies weak points to find new parts for crafting for her weapons and gadgets.  The demo showcased branching dialogue as well, with Aloy being able to ask a scared villager different questions.  On top of all of that, we saw Aloy tame a wild beast to ride and use in her fight against a Corrupter.  Horizon: Zero Dawn comes out on February 28th.

4. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare looks so much better than could be anticipated

When Infinity Ward announced the futuristic sci-fi setting for Infinite Warfare, they received a lot of flack.  Thankfully, this game looks like it is going to deliver as the team premiered an extended gameplay demo for the game during the Sony press conference.  During the demo, the player character Captain Reyes decided where to travel to with his crew, opting to attack an enemy frigate.  Reyes and his team took to their fighters, the Jackals, and put on an almost Ace Combat style demo.  Following that, we witness some zero-G gunfights that look so much better than I anticipated.  Infinite Warfare is coming to consoles and PC on November 4th.

5. Insomniac is making a Spider-man game!

A new Spider-man game from the creators of Ratchet and Clank and Sunset Overdrive?  I’m so in.  Sony revealed that their long time collaborators at Insomniac have taken the reins on the Webhead and will be making a game that is exclusively on PS4.  No release window was revealed, but one could guess it will be near either the July 2017 release of the film, or when it (presumably) releases on Blu Ray (Holiday 2017).

6. Sony Bend is taking us to the zombie apocalypse with Days Gone

Syphon Filter developers Sony Bend have created a new IP set in the zombie apocalypse with Days Gone.  You will play as a survivor “Deacon St. John, a Drifter and bounty hunter who rides the broken road, fighting to survive while searching for a reason to live.”  Sony Bend describes the game as an emotional tale about survivors and what makes them human.  No release window was spoken of, but below is an extended gameplay demo.

7. PS VR is coming this October with 50 games

Sony took a brief pit stop to talk about the PlayStation VR during the conference and to confirm that it will be launching this October 13th for $399.  It will have 50 games available for it, though they did not confirm how many will be there for launch.  Their defintion of games is also potentially suspect, as two of the games they showcased for it (Star Wars Battlefront: VR Mission and Batman Arkham VR) seem like tech demos rather than full games.  They did show off an internally produced game called Farpoint that did get me excited though.

8. Resident Evil 7 is real, first person, in VR, has a demo out right now, and coming out in January.

Holy crap did Capcom go big with this one.  With an absolutely terrifying trailer, Capcom revealed Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.  Capcom is taking the game into first person, with a photo-realistic art style that can also be played through fully in VR.  The game will follow the events of RE6 “taking place in modern day and revolving around a foreboding, derelict plantation mansion in rural America. Players must explore and survive the horrors within the mysterious, sprawling estate.”  Their is a demo available exclusively for PS+ owners right now on PS4, and the game will be coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC on January 24th.

9. Hideo Kojima reveals his next game: Death Stranding

Hideo Kojima revealed himself at the press conference and showed off a trailer for his upcoming game from Kojima Productions.  What the game is actually about is anyone’s guess, but the trailer does feature a naked Norman Reedus (who is the game’s star) holding a baby fetus that transforms in black blood.  Yea, it looks absolutely bonkers, but I am completely onboard.  The game will be a PS4 exclusive, but do not expect to see this game anytime soon.

And that was the massive Sony presser for E3 2016, and I even left out the awesome Detroit Become Human trailer.  What was your favorite moment of the press conference?  How do you think their show stacked up with Microsoft or other publishers?  Let me know in the comments below!

by, Bobby Marquardt

 

Infinity Ward and Neversoft are merging into one “super studio”

Call-of-Duty-Ghosts-

Giant Bomb has obtained word that Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward is merging with fellow developer Neversoft, who has previously worked on Tony Hawk, Guitar Hero, and Call of Duty titles.  The new studio will take the name Infinity Ward, with the Neversoft name and logo being retired as a result.  Eric Hirshberg, Activision’s CEO of publishing, announced the new in an internal memo.

“As you know, Neversoft and Infinity Ward teamed up for the development of Call of Duty: Ghosts,” wrote Hirshberg. “And through that process, it became clear that the two studios have very complementary skill sets. Between these two excellent studios, it seemed like a single ‘super-studio’ could emerge.

“As already mentioned, we are merging these two very talented teams and obviously had to choose a name for the combined studio. Since the Infinity Ward brand is indelibly tied to the Call of Duty franchise, it is the sensible choice. While it will be strange to not see the Neversoft logo on future games, the important things–which are the Neversoft team’s talent, creativity, professionalism and commitment to creative excellence–all remain unchanged as part of this new chapter.”

Infinity Ward logoMajor shakeups are happening at each studio as a result.  Neversoft Studio director Scott Pease and Studio Head Joel Jewett “have made the difficult decision to retire” from games.  These two have been with the Neversoft through it’s entire lifespan, with Jewett being one of the studios three founders.  Dave Stohl, Activision’s current executive VP of worldwide studios, has been assigned to lead the new super studio.  According to Giantbomb, Stohl helped lead Infinity Ward through it’s previous dramatic changes as well.

This is not the first time a studio has been merged with another by Activision.  In 2005, after shipping the Call of Duty expansion United Fronts, Grey Matter Interactive was merged with Treyarch.  That merger, arguably, worked out for the best, as the quality of Treyarch’s titles continued to rise afterward.  No game was mentioned, but with the new three year Call of Duty development cycle, it’s assumed they will be making 2016’s Call of Duty title.

This reporter’s opinion:  This is surprising and a little sad.  Infinity Ward has been in trouble ever since the mass exodus in 2010, with studio heads Jason West and Vince Zampella being forced out.  Since then, Infinity Ward has had to rely on studios like Neversoft, Raven Software, and Sledgehammer Games to complete their previous two titles (Ghosts and Modern Warfare 3).  This move will hopefully allow for the quality of the games to rise, as Ghosts was arguably the worst game in the franchises’ history.  I will certainly miss seeing Neversoft’s sweet logo animations though, and wish those effected by the merger all best with the transition.

by, Bobby Marquardt

 

Sledgehammer Games is developing 2014’s Call of Duty title.

Sledgehammer gamesDuring today’s investor conference call, Activision announced that 2014 will have a Call of Duty game, and it will be developed by Sledgehammer Games.  This will mark the first Call of Duty game not developed with collaboration of Infinity Ward or Treyarch.  Activision also announced that Call of Duty will now be on a three year development cycle.  Regarding this announcement Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said “This will give our designers more time to envision and innovate for each title. Simultaneously, it will give our content creators more focus on DLC and micro-DLC which, as you know, have become large and high-margin opportunities and significant engagement drivers.”  Continuing he spoke on how it would allow for the best experience each year for their players.

Sledgehammer Games was founded in 2009, and has only worked on one game thus far: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.  Modern Warfare 3 was a collaboration with Infinity Ward, and the game broke sales records at the time, hitting 1 billion in sales in a quicker time then the box office smash Avatar.  Where Sledgehammer will take the franchise is anyone’s guess, but they will presumably be followed by the next Treyarch game in 2015, and Infinity Ward returning to the fold in 2016.  The move to give devs a three year development cycle could have been a result of this years lukewarm critical reception to Call of Duty: Ghosts, though these plans have likely been in motion for many years.

by, Bobby Marquardt

Source: Joystiq and Forbes

 

Infinity Ward’s Mark Rubin: No one specific reason caused the resolution gap

image credit: Official Playstation Magazine UK

image credit: Official Playstation Magazine UK

Call of Duty Ghosts’ executive producer Mark Rubin spoke with Eurogamer today about why the Xbox One version of Call of Duty: Ghosts will run at 720p, compared to the PS4’s 1080p.  Rubin said “I don’t know if I can point to one particular cause.” when asked what specifically caused the lack of 1080p.

Rubin said that the developer has had a a theoretical version of each new console for quite some time now.  Though things changed frequently, creating a nightmare for the engineers, especially in when Microsoft and Sony engineers change items how much the engine uses.

“One of the greatest challenges the engineers have to deal with is memory management, or thread management. There are X number of threads in your CPUs. Where in those threads is the stuff that’s Microsoft or Sony? Where does it fall? How does it work? We don’t have the SDKs for those features yet, and then they come in and you go, okay, well it needs 3MB of RAM – oh, crap, we only allocated two! You can’t just take a MB from anywhere. It’s not like there’s just tonnes of it just laying there. You have to pull it from something else. And now you have to balance that somewhere.”  He continued saying that the Engineers needed to change things on the fly depending on what the engineers at Microsoft or Sony would want to allocate to the OS.

Rubin went contunied saying that their was no one single item taking up tpp much information, “oh, well, the VO chat on Xbox took up so much resources that we couldn’t do 1080p native. There’s no definitive one to one per se cause and effect. It’s just an overall thing. We took each system individually and said, ‘okay, let’s make the best game for each system.'”  

The call to make the game 720p was also only made about a month ago.   “And it wasn’t a lack of effort.” assured Rubin, who said it’s very possible that future games will run at 1080p natively.  “Look at Call of Duty 2 versus COD 4. It was a massive leap forward in graphics, and that’s just because it takes time to get through this.”

This reporter’s opinion: I commend Mark Rubin for coming out and answering questions on such a sensitive issue right now for both Infinity Ward and Xbox One.  His answer is the exact one I anticipated though, as it really shows that the Xbox One may just be a bit more challenging at first for devs.

by, Bobby Marquardt

Call of Duty Ghosts is getting a broadcaster mode!

cod ghosts

Infinity Ward has announced today that Call of Duty Ghosts will be receieving a broadcaster mode!  The announcement came in the form of a vine with the title “Yes, it’s happening #CODeSports”  This tweet was followed by confirmation from Infinity Ward’s Community Coordinator Candice Capen saying that Broadcaster mode will be added with a title update, and not cost players anything.  This is great news for the Esports community, and hopefully means more developer support from Infinity Ward.

Call of Duty Black Ops II’s has had great support from developer Treyarch, and featured a great focus on Esports.  The competitive side of Call of Duty has flourished during this past year, with additions like League Play and Shoutcasting, and many have been worried about how Infinity Ward would treat the competitive community.  In previous years, Infinity Ward was notorious for a lack of support for competitive gametypes, lack of broadcaseter support and being quite slow on weapon fixes.  It seems things may be turning around for the developer now, and if they keep this up, the Esports scene will continue to flourish during Call of Duty Ghosts.

by, Bobby Marquardt

The whole battlefield is turned upside down on Call of Duty’s Freefall map

Freefall is the free downloadable bonus maps for those who buy Call of Duty Ghost new.    Activision’s official description of Freefall reads as follows “Free Fall’s close-quarters combat and frenetic action are thrown into overdrive as the ruined skyscraper continues to fall throughout the match, an example of Call of Duty: Ghosts’ new dynamic multiplayer events. With every drop, the accompanying shockwaves cause further destruction, disrupting sightlines and constantly evolving paths and chokepoints as the map changes in real-time.”

It seems like Activision will release a free map for Call of Duty with each new game’s launch, as a substitute for the online pass.  This is fine by me, but then again, I was even ok with online passes for the most part.  Players who buy Call of Duty Ghosts sometime next week can also look forward a Double XP weekend from November 8th through the 11th.  Look for Call of Duty Ghosts on November 5th.

by, Bobby Marquardt

Live action trailer for Call of Duty features Frank Sinatra, Megan Fox, and gun fights in space!

Call of Duty is just a few short days away, and Activision’s marketing push is in full swing with many new trailers in the past few weeks.  Today, we see this year’s live action trailer, which shows what many of us use Call of Duty to do: have a great time with friends.  The trailer also seems to feature a certain amount of satire on the average gamer as well (and I’ll let you guess which part it is).  I have to say though, the inclusion of Frank Sinatra, and just the overall fun mood of the trailer has made it one of my favorite trailers in recent memories.

Look for Call of Duty Ghosts on Xbox 360, PC, Wii U and PS3 this Tuesday, November 5th.  The Xbox One version will launch on Friday, November 22nd, and the PS4 version will release on Friday November 15th.

by, Bobby Marquardt