DGB S2E5 SOURCES
A new, very different style of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game is currently in development: an adaptation of The Last Ronin, the 2020 graphic novel that told a grim, futuristic story about the turtles.
Like the comic, The Last Ronin video game adaptation will be a darker, more mature take on the typically colorful Ninja Turtles, according to Doug Rosen, senior vice president for games and emerging media at Paramount Global, the rights holders for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In an interview with Polygon last week, Rosen likened the upcoming third-person action role-playing game to Sony’s recent God of War titles and said it will be authentic to the story of The Last Ronin arc, which is set in a future where only one of the turtles has survived.
While other TMNT games, like last year’s Shredder’s Revenge, are typically about playing as all four turtles (and sometimes their allies Splinter, April O’Neil, and Casey Jones), The Last Ronin will be a primarily a single-character game. Though Rosen posited that other characters could be playable in flashback sequences, similar to how the comic series plays out, the primary action is said to center on the only surviving turtle.
Almost a year after announcing its return, the Entertainment Software Association announced today to its members that this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), has been canceled, IGN can confirm.
Two sources have confirmed to IGN that the organization announced the cancellation via an email sent out to its members today. The email said that while E3 "remains a beloved event and brand" that the 2023 version "simply did not garner the sustained interest necessary to execute it in a way that would showcase the size, strength, and impact of our industry."
The ESA concludes the email by reiterating its commitment to advocacy work. It does not mention undertaking the show again in future years.
According to a new report, Warner Bros. Games has recently canceled multiple in-development video games at its subsidiary developer, TT Games.
As detailed by Nintendolife, multiple sources have confirmed the closure of several projects at the studio. One such title was ‘Project Marley’, a Lego Disney game that would have included worlds such as The Jungle Book, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Winnie the Pooh.
The project, which is claimed to have been canned in 2022, saw the player shifting between an overworld and themed dungeons. While exploring, they would battle to rid the world of a purple corrupting force – a storyline that has since made its way into the successfully released Disney Dreamlight Valley by Gameloft.
Another cancellation mentioned in the report was a Lego Guardians of the Galaxy game developed under the title ‘Project Cosmos’. There was also a shooter called ‘Project Rainbow Road’ which would have mashed together multiple Warner Bros. IPs. Unfortunately, it utilized the Funko license which was then lost to 10:10 Games. Finally, a mobile port of Lego Worlds, originally being developed by Playdemic, has also seemingly been dropped.
It appears that TT Games still aren’t out of the woods, either. The report goes on to note that a Lego Batman game has been put on hold and that a planned story-centric Mandalorian DLC for The Lego Skywalker Saga is currently “in jeopardy” at the studio.
The primary reason for the cancellations and postponements, the report claims, is due to TT Games’ resources being directed toward a much larger project: giving the Skywalker Saga treatment to the Lego Harry Potter series.
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum will launch on PlayStation 5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC on May 25, with the Nintendo Switch version scheduled for sometime later this year.
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum was first announced back in 2019 for a 2021 release date. The original reveal said the game would explore events between Gollum's discovery of the One Ring and the beginning of the events seen in in The Lord of the Rings.
The game has faced several delays en route to its new May release date. IGN saw the game last year, and we weren't super impressed with the hands-off presentation, saying we were, "left with the underwhelming impression of a simple game that would have landed better in the era when Peter Jackson’s trilogy was still in cinemas than it will in 2022."
There's no dancing around it: El Paso, Elsewhere, the new action game from Strange Scaffold, is an unabashed homage to the 2001 seminal pulp-noir action classic Max Payne. It's an obvious influence that writer, director, and voice actor Xalavier Nelson Jr. isn't shying away from, but is hoping to elevate for a modern audience. During my hands-on preview of the game, he told me, "I'm not interested in recreating Max Payne; I'm interested in seeing what Max Payne could be next." And for eclectic developer Strange Scaffold, that means a supernatural neo-noir blood-stained journey through a dimension-shifting motel to stop the world from being overrun by vampires.
You play as James Savage, a folklore researcher and drug addict on the hunt for his ex-girlfriend, Draculae, who has shacked up in a motel where she plans a ritual to destroy the world. That doesn't sound like your typical noir story, but all the pillars are there: a stoic and flawed protagonist spouting out fourth-wall-breaking quips in poetic prose; a femme fatale at the center of melodramatic plot of love, loss, and betrayal; and lots and lots of gun shells, violence, and substance abuse. "We're trying to adapt those pulp sensibilities for a modern audience," Xalavier told me, with an emphasis on shifting it into neo-noir.
I'm a hardcore fan of the first two Max Payne games, and if there's one thing El Paso, Elsewhere nailed, it's the familiar feel of its movement and shooting. The way James Savage was front-and-center in frame; the slightly elevated camera angle; and the flow and motion of his trenchcoat as I strafed through guns blazing--these are small details, but their subtle nuances were represented in a way that satisfied me as a Max Payne enthusiast. I sprinted through the halls of a maze-like motel that twisted and transformed around every corner, making it feel more like something out of an evolving nightmare. I followed a blood trail into a bathroom stall door that opened into a blood-soaked industrial kitchen. A hall transformed into a graveyard, bathed in green and purple neon lighting. I was able to explore these spaces while rolling, diving, and jumping through the air in slow-motion, firing off guns akimbo at werewolves and vampires to the pulsating beats of a horror hip-hop soundtrack. The controls were intuitive to me because of my intimacy with Max Payne; I knew if I hit the Tab key, I'd take painkillers to restore my health, or if I right-clicked, I'd go into a bullet-time dodge through the air.
It feels like Strange Scaffold is playing to the beat of its own gunfire with El Paso, Elsewhere. We'll have to wait and see how it all jams out when it releases in Fall 2023 for PC and Xbox Series X|S.
EA debuted a new trailer for Star Wars Jedi: Survivor on Monday that gives some hints about the game’s story and a preview of some of the action and puzzles you can expect from the final release.
Survivor, the sequel to 2019’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, once again stars Jedi Cal Kestis and takes place five years after the events of the previous game. “The dark times are closing in as Cal Kestis seeks out a safe haven far from the reach of the Empire,” according to the trailer’s description. “Follow Cal and his crew’s increasingly desperate fight as the galaxy descends further into darkness.”
The game is set to launch on April 28th on Xbox Series X / S, PS5, and PC following a short delay.
Electronic Arts has become the latest tech-related company to make significant cuts to its workforce, as it announced today that it is laying off roughly six percent of its workforce.
As usual, the layoffs come amidst what sounds like a pretty solid situation for the company.
"Even amidst macro uncertainty, EA is operating from a position of strength," Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson said. "Our business is gaining momentum as we continue to deliver high quality games and amazing content across some of the largest, most beloved franchises in the world."
Citing the continued success and growth of games including FIFA 23, Apex Legends, and The Sims, Wilson said Electronic Arts "are leaders in a dynamic industry with new audiences, new technology, and new media trends fundamentally reshaping the world around us."
But success comes with a price, and in this case that price is the jobs of several hundred people who work at EA.
"As we drive greater focus across our portfolio, we are moving away from projects that do not contribute to our strategy, reviewing our real estate footprint, and restructuring some of our teams," Wilson said. "These decisions are expected to impact approximately six percent of our company’s workforce. This is the most difficult part, and we are working through the process with the utmost care and respect."
Electronic Arts didn't say how many people were being put out of work, but the company employed approximately 12,900 people as of March 31, 2022, according to an SEC filing. Assuming that figure hasn't changed dramatically over the intervening year, that puts the number of lost jobs at around 774. It has changed at least slightly, though: According to a Kotaku report, EA laid off more than 200 quality assurance testers in February.
Valve is notoriously stingy with sequels, but hit multiplayer shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is finally getting one. Counter-Strike 2 is set to come out sometime this summer as a free update to the existing game, with a limited player test that starts Wednesday. The Steam maker is calling it the “largest technical leap forward in Counter-Strike’s history.”
What kinds of radical new enhancements and game-changing upgrades will the sequel have? Valve isn’t saying, at least not yet. “All of the game’s new features will be revealed when it officially launches this summer, but the road to Counter-Strike 2 begins today as a Limited Test for select CS:GO players,” the company wrote on the game’s website. “During this testing period, we’ll be evaluating a subset of features to shake out any issues before the worldwide release.”