Video Game Roundup: April
Dark Souls III (Apr. 12) – Xbox, PlayStation:
The the long awaited RPG and third entry in the “Souls” series, “Dark Souls III,” sticks closely to the gameplay of the previous title, “Dark Souls II.” The player’s character has access to a variety of both long and close range weapons. There’s a standard attack and a charged attack that’s slower but more powerful, and additionally, attacks can be evaded with dodge-rolling and the player can target-lock enemies. The player can also perform spells through the use of their magic. The player’s character also belongs to a certain class and has certain attributes. Collect souls to upgrade your character. The environment is sprawling and complex, with many paths to explore and enemies to encounter. Bonfires serve as checkpoints, but the game is still difficult since the player’s maximum health will diminish with each death.
Ratchet & Clank (April 12) – PlayStation:
This reboot of the classic “Ratchet & Clank” game is inspired by the new animated movie. It’s considered a reboot for the series and mostly covers the same plot as the original game with the addition of some of the movie’s cut scenes. The gameplay remains largely unchanged from the series’s previous titles. The game is a third-person shooter with platforming and puzzle solving elements. The weapons are creative and featur: a Disco Ball which causes all enemies (even tanks) to dance, a gun which “pixelizes” enemies, a gun which turns enemies into sheep and many more. Ammo and health can be collected throughout the levels, along with bolts and Raritanium, which a player can use to purchase new weapons, weapon upgrades and collectables. Besides the boost in graphics and changes in plot, other noticeable differences between this game and the previous titles are the addition of new characters and boss fights and an update to Ratchet’s personality (i.e. He is less of a jerk to Clank).
Star Fox Zero (Apr. 22) – Wii U:
“Star Fox Zero” is the latest game in Nintendo’s “Star Fox” series and comes bundled with a smaller tower defense game “Star Fox Guard.” Many are classifying “Star Fox Zero” as a reboot, as it is clearly meant to welcome new players into the Star Fox universe and is neither a prequel nor a sequel. The game follows Fox McCloud as he pilots his Arwing craft through the sky and space. Gameplay is that of a scrolling 3D aerial shooter and uses the Wii U GamePad controller for craft maneuver and aim. It also displays a “cockpit view” on the GamePad’s screen. Some aircrafts can transform into land walkers or drop smaller robots. The game graphics are notably better than classic “Star Fox 64” ’s and the game is designed with branching paths in order to increase its replayability. Players can scan in related amiibos figures to unlock new Arwing crafts. All the familiar characters are there like Peppy, Falco and Slippy. And don’t forget to do a barrel roll.
DC Universe (Rerelease) (Apr. 29) – Xbox:
“DC Universe” was finally brought to the Xbox console this April. “DC Universe Online” is a free-to-play combat MMO game. The game features a player created character who interacts with the heroes and villains of the DC Comic universe. Choose your character’s alliance (hero or villain), as well as their gender, body type, personality, movement, weapon and power. Fight your way through obstacles and enemies, increase your character’s skill level and become a member of the Justice League or The Society.
GTA Developer Sues Rockstar and Take-Two, Rockstar Sues Back (Apr. 12):
Leslie Benzies, one of the developers behind the “Grand Theft Auto” series, is suing the company he used to work for. In the lawsuit he accuses the company of withholding royalties of up to $150 million. He also specifically calls out Sam Houser, who he has worked with before, for orchestrating his forced removal from the company. He states that after taking a year-long sabbatical he tried to return to work only he “was turned away by the building's office manager.” He implies it was not his decision not to return and not given a reason for his removal, despite the studio’s statement that it was his choice to leave. Since then, Take-Two has responded with a statement saying that Benzies is owed nothing because his choice to leave allowed him none of these royalties. They also have filed a counter-suit against Benzies.
GameStop to Publish Games as GameTrust (Apr. 18):
The game distributor GameStop announced that they will be opening a division of their company that will act as a game publisher. The new publisher will be called GameTrust and will be focuses on smaller, non-AAA titles. Similar to the way Valve both produces games and distributes them via Steam, and GameStop’s Vice President, Mark Stanley, hopes GameTrust will act invisibly. He hopes to avoid a conflict of interest and plans to avoid GameTrust games sharing a release date with bigger AAA games. He also addresses VR accessibility and a focus on console gaming. GameStop also will not be involved in the creative process and will instead leave the control entirely up to their partner developers.
eSports Cheating Ring Scandal, Arrests Made (Apr. 22):
A cheating ring scandal has been exposed in “Starcraft II” in which there has been multiple indictments, banning the players from professional gaming and at least eight criminal arrests, as well as, one person (a financial backer) left on the run from the law. Those indicted include two of the games top players Lee “Life” Seung Hyun and Bung “Bbyong” Woo Yong. The South Korean pro-players fixed match and bet illegally through a gambling website. Apparently, the players and programmers responsible for the match fixing were approached by financial backers from gambling websites who promised payments for the thrown games. This illegal gambling and fixing is something the South Korean authorities are continuing to look into, especially since over million dollars more of the Prize Money from “StarCraft II” has been awarded to teams from South Korea.