PREVIEWSPillars of Eternity Preview
For Obsidian's crowdfunded love letter to Infinity Engine games like Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate, I was impressed by its willingness to pull back the curtain and let me see the machinery behind it.
We've all been there. Everyone remembers that mission. You and your partner are climbing up the mountains in the snow, striving to pull some slick clandestine operation about getting some intel on a bad guy, or something similar (because let's face...
In the period between the end of GDC in San Francisco and E3 in Los Angeles, it's a veritable smorgasbord of rumors swirling about. Some have validity, while some are little more than whispers and mentions.
But even some of these whispers are too good or too juicy of a rumor to pass up, and some of them have even become reality. To keep you up to speed, here's twelve of the juciest rumors floating around that we just couldn't ignore.
They may just be rumors at this very moment, but that doesn't mean you can't break out some sexy sax music for these careless whispers.
A Classic Game Born from Hollywood Gets a Makeover
WayForward games found major success with remasterings of games like A Boy and His Blob and the wildly-popular DuckTales Remastered. According to sources close to the plan, their next remastering promises to be nothing short of monumental.
Sources claim WayForward Technologies will soon announce their latest project, a full remastering of the 1982 iconic classic from the Atari era, tentatively titled E.T. HD. The original holds the record for fastest development time for a game, clocking in at only five and a half weeks, and also was one of the first examples of a movie tie-in in the gaming industry. WayForward plans to completely overhaul the graphics and sound, promising not just better quality, but “quality on the level of an authentic 1982 cinematic experience,” according to leaked documents.
Citing their success with DuckTales Remastered, sources say that while the graphics and audio will be completely overhauled, WayForward had vowed to not touch the gameplay of the classic E.T. Said a source under anonymity, “WayForward recognizes that the reason everyone loves the 1982 classic lies in the excellent gameplay and controls, and they are making it priority one that those elements that drove gamers to the stores en masse in the '80s will be just as excellent in the remake.”
According to anonymous sources at King, the title, code named Candy Crush Avalanche, will set the player in a virtual reality version of the Candy Crush world, with the candies appearing as tangible, slideable objects that players can swipe left or right in the air to move to form chains of three or more. Sources say the experience will be “100% immersive,” with candies piling on top of the player, threatening to crush them into candy dust unless players cough up the money for life-saving microtransactions.
Big Three Coming Together for Summit on Online Gamer Manners, Common Sense
It's not too often that Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo work in conjunction with one of the other major players, let alone both, but according to anonymous sources, the Big Three plans to do just that, as they plan on holding a three-day symposium on common sense and manners in online gaming.
Sources close to the plan reveal that the summit will be planned for a major American city and will delve into the new nature of the online gamer, including studies and findings based on popular axioms such as Wheaton's Law and findings on how not to be a complete and utter douchebag.
Though Sony's and Nintendo's headquarters have been tight-lipped on the rumors, sources close to Microsoft have quoted Xbox executives as saying, “Xbox has the most politest gamers in the entire gamersphere, so we don't really need this, but we're more than happy to show these gay, n00b asshats how it's done.”
Nintendo Hears Fan Pleas to Revive Dormant IP
For some time now, many Nintendo fans have become impatient. With popular but dormant IPs sitting around such as StarFox and F-Zero, and series such as Metroid becoming practically derailed, fans of the commended series are starting to demand the ear of the big N.
According to anonymous sources, the Mario Machine has heard their pleas and are preparing to announce a new title in a Nintendo Direct for an IP that scored well with critics and fans alike, but has long sat quietly on the shelf.
Prepare yourself for the next installment of Nintendcats.
Code named Nintendcats 2: This Time It's Purr-sonal, the new 3DS title splits the cats out of Nintendogs + Cats and gives them their own starring role. Through the console's stereoscopic 3D, gamers can now have a more real feline experience, with cat temperaments, blatant ignoring, midnight yowling and hairball hacking in glorious 3D. Memos leaked from the desk of Reggie Fils-Aime say the announcement will be as strong as the surprise announcement of a playable Cranky Kong in DKC: Tropical Freeze during the VGX Awards.
Arkham Continuing After Knight
Rocksteady may have announced their final Arkham game, Batman: Arkham Knight, but if rumors are to be believed, the Arkham series is long from over, as Rockstar, the force behind the Grand Theft Auto series, has made an undisclosed offer to Rocksteady for rights to the IP. Sources close to the deal say that the deal shines brightly enough for Rocksteady to accept it, and Rockstar already has plans for the next installment, though it may not involve much of the Caped Crusader himself.
Anonymous sources have spilled the beans on Rockstar's plans for the next game in the series, code named Batman: Arkham Nights. Citing pressure from the gaming community, the fifth in the Arkham series will not focus on Batman, but on Barbara Gordon, who, after years of strenuous physical therapy from damage inflicted by the Joker, returns to the guise of Batgirl.
Leaked plot points involve Gordon receiving an anonymous video file featuring billionaire Bruce Wayne hooked up to a Venom trap; the substance isn't actually Venom, but a new concoction with a similar chemical structure to Venom, created from ingredients familiar to both Dr. Pamela Isley (AKA Poison Ivy) and notorious diamond thief Marsha, the Queen of Diamonds. Ending the file, a chilling cackle, one which belongs to Harley Quinn. Gordon dons cape and cowl once again, and as rumor spreads through Gotham City that Batgirl is back, Catwoman tracks and traps Batgirl, forcing her help on her to save Bruce Wayne.
Rockstar already has big plans for the game, according to sources, ready to combine the action and detective work of the first games in the series with a softer, more feminine touch. In the works are several scenes with Batgirl and Catwoman riding together very tightly on Batgirl's motorcycle, numerous emotional pleas from Gordon for Robin to come save her, and a dress-up mini-game for Batgirl where players can make her look totally fab for the Costumed Vigilantes Adult Prom. Rockstar may even be working on an epic boss fight inside a gentleman’s club involving Batgirl and Catwoman against Harley and Ivy in a bra-and-panties match inside a jello wrestling ring.
Quoted the anonymous source, “Rockstar believes in giving the players what they want. I mean, this is what all the girls are whining about, right?”
Daisy to Discuss Sexuality Rumors
Rumors have long surrounded the former ruler of Sarasaland and Mario's brother, Luigi, but according to Toads close to the source, the pair is nothing more than a ruse for the media. In fact, sources say, Princess Daisy may be planning to not only come out as a lesbian but announce to the world the true nature of her “friendship” with polar-opposite frenemy Morrigan Aensland.
Sources talking to TMZ (“Thirty-Mushroom Zone”) are revealing that Daisy has been seen slipping outside the boundaries of the Mushroom Kingdom at night after their weekly “Mario Party” and ripping holes in the fabrics of time and space, entering the very dangerous demon realm Makai, occasionally being met by Aensland herself. Upon her return, sources say she clearly has been in some form of exertion, with disheveled hair, smeared make up, and occasionally holding her heels while barefoot. It is unsure if this comes about by combat or some other form of physical activity.
When she has been questioned on it, Daisy has been notoriously tight-lipped, only once offering that the visits were to discuss punishment for the alien Tatanga in its attempt to control Sarasaland, an event that happened nearly twenty-five years ago. Aensland has mentioned that the meetings are of a “sensitive nature” but that they required “frequent exchanges which are physically and psychologically demanding but ultimately pleasurable,” presumably from the pleasant demeanor of the princess.
Speaking to Makai press, Morrigan has said that many “intense, all-night meetings have been rough, but wind up ending with rest, a good meal, or even drinks at a local bar,” which sources speculate could be Makai's “The Love Mound,” a favorite of local succubi.
Neither Luigi nor gal-pal Princess Peach could be reached for comment, though assistant Toadette today tweeted, “Daisy making big announcement soon. Hold on, let me put on my 'shocked' face. #WhoYouFoolin” The tweet was quickly deleted from the timeline.
Maxis Developing Sim Game Based on Life on the Vegas Strip
Sim games may have fallen out of favor with gamers, but they're still out there, and Maxis, the team behind SimCity, is bound and determined to revive it. According to leaked documents, their next offering will show gamers the highlights and lowlights of Sin City.
Codenamed SimResort, players will start the game in unique fashion—instead of having to build their resort up, they will have the hotel and casino built for them (which they can customize as they please) and the task will be to successfully run the hotel from day one. Players start on the graveyard shift; leveling up requires about a year and a half of grinding. According to documents, players will have to balance room inventory on nights where occupancy tanks from +17 to -7 in the span of twelve hours and be forced to make crucial decisions, such as “stealing which suite from VIP Services will get me less fired” and “Why does God hate me?”
Though the details have yet to be finalized, according to the documents Maxis plans on delivering heat, with scenarios including but not limited to:
1. Casino departments stealing away precious room resources;
2. Late flights combined with front desk understaffing;
3. Fellow managers who couldn't give one iota of a poop if you live or die;
4. Whiny high-tier status guests;
5. Housekeeping and engineering teams running at 25% capacity;
6. The ever-present Union;
7. Drunk partyhounds throwing up on anything around and on your person;
8. And the overwhelming desire to smash your head against the desk, resulting in a Game Over.
Documents also note that both MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment have given their blessing even in the early stages, with MGM stating “A fantastic opportunity to explore the exciting world of working on the Las Vegas Strip” and calling the work “Good, clean fun for everyone, and totally not a life-sucking portal into hell.”
Nintendo Developing More Mature Experiences for Adult Gamers
The Mario Machine has long been criticized as a “child's console” whose bright graphics and chipper music don't appeal to the adult gamer, despite top-notch gameplay and challenging titles. But according to sources, Nintendo is plotting an unexpected move to up their “adult offerings,” so to speak.
Documents have leaked for a Wii U eShop offering from Kirin Entertainment which will serve as a spiritual sequel to their 1994 hit for the 3DO. Tentatively titled Plumbers STILL Don't Wear Ties, the game will be considered a sequel in spirit since Nintendo will be utilizing Mario and Princess Peach in the starring roles of the sex romp. The leaked documents do not say much about a potential plot, except for “they probably get naked and stuff.”
According to sources, the unusual decision to pursue the long-dead IP lay in the fact that “the entire project start-to-finish will probably cost less than what Nintendo of America paid for pizza for the office the other day.”
Zelda to Issue Apology for Her Role in Philips CD-i Games
According to local tabloids, get ready to hear a shocking apology from top-level gaming royalty very soon.
Citing pressure from the small villages of Tolemac and Gamelon, who have jointly retained the services of high-profile trial lawyer Gloria Allred, Hyrulian tabloids report that the one and only Princess Zelda will be holding a press conference in which she personally will apologize for her role in the Philips CD-i games Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon and Zelda's Adventure.
According to leaked copies of the speech, Zelda will attribute her involvement in the flops to “being young, being dumb, experimenting with the mushrooms that Mario and Peach would bring, which definitely do not have the same effect in Hyrule as they do the Mushroom Kingdom.”
Pundits also expect Zelda to apologize for her role in Link: The Faces of Evil, but not for the game itself, since that was “Link's genius idea.”
Carmen Could Continue Criminally Confounding Crimestoppers
Another former fan favorite may be making a comeback as well, though it hasn't enjoyed the same completely flawless bump Maxis may have given the sim game.
Many gamers in the late 1980s and early 1990s still have a bone to pick with the infamous criminal mastermind Carmen Sandiego. Gumshoes have chased her throughout the world, including USA and European crime sprees, as well as through the fabric of Time and Space. Their pursuit of the pilfering pile of pixels took them through computer games, consoles, cartoons, and clever game shows featuring the a capella stylings of Rockapella. Carmen has laid low, but via transactions in the '90s and 2000s, Ubisoft actually has a piece of the pie, and thanks to leaked documents we've uncovered, Carmen's taking the first steps to regaining her V.I.L.E. empire.
But before taking on the world again, or even the USA, Carmen is going to the galleria.
According to leaked documents, Ubisoft is in the early stages of a title designed to reboot the Carmen Sandiego games. Tentatively titled Where in the Mall is Carmen Sandiego?, gumshoes will search for the criminal mastermind as she attempts to shake off the “crime ring rust” in a suburban shopping center, anchored by not one, not two, but three major stores including a prominent department store. Track Carmen's new gang of henchmen including Sandra Sbarro, Walt Enboox, "Hot" Dawg Onnastik, and May Cees throughout the shopping center, including exciting chase scenes in the parking structure up to 6 miles per hour!
Keep the mall safe, and the Chief may promote you through the ranks of the other mall cops all the way up to Senior Mall Cop. Prove yourself to be the best, and there's a parking spot with your name on it (Sunday thru Thursday only), and you shall feast on the spoils of Mrs. Fields.
Half-Life 3 in Development
Your obligitory annual rumor post that no, seriously, Half-Life 3 is in development. Tell everyone you know.
Microsoft Shareholders Contemplating Liquidation Sale to Nintendo
According to sources very close to both Xbox and Microsoft, shareholders allegedly are in final talks to approve a total liquidation of all Xbox-related assets save the actual hardware for Xbox One and Kinect 2.0 to the highest bidder; if this is approved, Nintendo has already expressed interest in a non-hostile takeover of the company.
Requesting anonymity and refusing to disclose numbers, the source says the move to sell comes from both Microsoft and its shareholders being “totally over this bulls**t.” Citing evidence from before E3 2013 at the grand reveal at the Xbox compound, the source quoted shareholders as saying:
"Don't you get it? We're done. We want out of this game crap. Microsoft should only be used for word processing, TV manipulation, and spy technology. We should be making toys for James Bond, not for six-year-olds calling each other fa**ots over Xbox Live."
Microsoft executives were reportedly enthused by the shareholders' talks, citing an unexpected demand by gamers for actual games along with a total and complete “meltdown” in their public relations departments. Nintendo has not commented on the situation, though sources say Satoru Iwata has not been able to wipe that smug smile off his face since internal negotiations began.
Handful of Gamers Fail to Realize Significance of April 1
Finally, sources close to GameRevolution.com have leaked rumors that at least a few people will rant in the comments section, not realizing that this entire article has been one big April Fool's joke.
The source, under anonymity, said that this could either occur due to “a short attention span, not realizing the article is parody, not reading the article in full or skimming important parts, or a combination of any of those reasons or more.” Though fanboys are the most likely to fail in this situation, people who don't “get it” could come from any number of walks of life.
According to leaked documents, the best way to resolve the situation, should a reader find his or her self in this position, is to breathe deeply and enjoy a good laugh. Happy April Fool's Day.