Ken Levine Leaves Irrational Games

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This morning one of the founders of Irrational Games, Ken Levine announced that they are shutting down the studio as we know it. In a post on the company’s website he talks about the legacy of the studio, and why he came to this decision.


He stated, “I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it. I’ll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor at Take-Two. ” Irrational has officially handed the Bioshock universe over to 2K Games as Levine stated he wants to work on narrative driven games that are highly replayable. He said, “We will focus exclusively on content delivered digitally.”

He explained, “While I’m deeply proud of what we’ve accomplished together, my passion has turned to making a different kind of game than we’ve done before. To meet the challenge ahead, I need to refocus my energy on a smaller team with a flatter structure and a more direct relationship with gamers.”

In his message he also recounted the iconic characters and settings he and his team created. “We built Rapture and Columbia, the Von Braun and The Rickenbacker, the Freedom Fortress and some of the nastiest basements a SWAT team ever set foot into. We created Booker and Elizabeth, the Big Daddy and the Little Sister, MidWives and ManBot.”

 

Pokemon Battle Trozei Announced!

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The last Trozei game was back in 2006 so definitely time for an update! The 3DS game will launch next month on March 20th. It will feature over 700 Pokemon spanning the Pokemon franchise all the way up to X and Y.

 

It is a puzzle game similar to Puzzles and Dragons with both matching and battling. On the bottom screen you’ll need to match Pokemon in groups of 3 or more while you battle on the top screen. Types of Pokemon affect battle outcomes and they have their same weaknesses as in their respective core game.

The game will also feature four player co-op. You can get it exclusively in the eShop next month on the 20th and it will release a week before in Europe and Japan.

 

Cheaper Xbox One Coming 2014?

There have been numerous leaks coming from Microsoft about what is happening with Xbox in 2014 and beyond.


For starters, there was talk of a 1TB White model of Xbox One. The sleek white version was only previously available to Xbox staff members. Another report comes from VG247, who claims a “well-respected source” told them Microsoft has been briefing publishers about a new, cheaper model of Xbox One that is going to be coming out later this year.

Other rumors say this model will not have a disc drive, that it will feature bluetooth technology, and that it is coming in October at price point that will be competitive with the PS4.

There are also rumors from earlier this week that say Halo 2: Anniversary Edition is coming to Xbox One and buying it will give you access to the Halo 5 beta. There is also talk Crackdown 3series is coming in 2016.

 

 

I went to CES 2014!

The 2014 International Consumer Electronic Show took place in Las Vegas once again this year and featured the hottest tech gadgets and inventions on the planet. The focus this year? Robotics, 4K TVs, and wearable technology.

I covered some interesting topics from Steam Machines to Virtual Reality. Check out my videos below!

Me in Gunnar Optiks glasses!

Omni Virtual Reality Gaming

 

MadCatz M.O.J.O. Android Microconsole

 

Tegra K1, Roku TV, and Xbox One Sales

 

Nvidia Shield Overview

 

Gaming Accessories of CES 2014

 

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New Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor Gameplay!

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Warner Bros released a new video showcasing gameplay for their upcoming project being developed by Monolith called Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor.

The game features a protagonist named Talion, a Ranger and guardian of the Black Gates, who is out to take down Sauron and avenge his slaughtered family. The game takes place in between the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings and is an original storyline set in the universe of Middle-Earth. My thoughts on that aside, the gameplay looks pretty awesome.

The walkthrough in the video focuses on the Nemesis System, a gameplay mechanic where enemies remember your previous encounters with them, which is unique to each player. The orc shown in the video is called Ratbag, and is a coward that has faced Talion before, and after being defeated will come under Talion’s power.

He can control other characters like Ratbag by using the mysterious powers he gains from a Wraith. There aren’t details on who the Wraith is and how Talion receives these powers, but they look powerful. Activating the Wraith powers allows him to pursue enemies into Mordor, along with moving between the physical world and the Wraith world. Talion can also spread terror with Wraith powers, controlling characters to scout other enemies that are connected to that particular character.

Players can use information learned to make choices about how they want to carry about specific missions. You can use stealth to sneak into heavily guarded areas, you can run in sword flying, or you can use Wraith powers to take over other characters and make them your minions.

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Come see me at Escapist Expo!

Wow it has been a loooooong time since I posted here. But it was one busy summer so apologies for the delay. In this post you’ll be able to find out my activities for this weekend’s upcoming Escapist Expo 2013! This is the 2nd year for the Expo which takes place in Durham, North Carolina. It runs from Friday Oct. 4th – Sunday Oct. 6th, and yes, you can still buy tickets!

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You can find a complete list of events and activities here: www.escapistexpo.com

But here is where you’ll find me!

Friday October 4th:

3:00-4:00 p.m. – PANEL: The Escapist Q&A in Fletcher Hall @ Carolina Theater

Saturday October 5th:

10:30-11:30 a.m. – PANEL: PS4 vs. Xbox One vs. Wii U – in Fletcher Hall @ Carolina Theater

12:00-1:00 p.m. – PANEL: How to Start a Gaming Channel on Youtube – in Meeting Room 2 @ Durham Convention Center

3:00-4:00 p.m. – PANEL: The Escapist Q&A Day 2 – Fletcher Hall @ The Carolina Theater

6:00-7:00 p.m. – D20 Cosplay Contest Finals! – Carolina Theater

Sunday October 6th:

12:00-1:00 p.m. – PANEL: Game of the Year – Fletcher Hall @ Carolina Theater

3:00-4:00 p.m. – PANEL: Smosh Games Q&A – Meeting Room 2 @ Durham Convention Ctr

I will also be around the Expo Hall all weekend, playing table-top games, catching a match or two of the WCG USA Finals, or maybe even *GASP* cosplaying. Be sure to say hi and hope to see you there!

 

Xbox One: Thoughts about the Reveal

Unless you are living under a rock you heard about the reveal of Microsoft’s new console, the Xbox One. I am hesitant to call it a gaming console because during their reveal event, Microsoft focused on home entertainment as opposed to video games. This has quite a few fans up in arms over what we will truly be able to expect from the device. I spoke at length, on several different shows about my feelings about the new Xbox.

To say I don’t have an opinion, is pretty far off base. But if you are looking for me to drag Microsoft through the mud, best find yourself another blog to read or watch.

First, some details on the device:

GameTrailer’s Bonus Round:

The Bonus Round guests Andrea Rene, Garnett Lee, and Alex Abrecht along with host Geoff Keighley highlight the memorable moments and missteps of the Microsoft Press Conference.

 

Smosh Games Gamer Nation:

I join Lasercorn, The Jovenshire, and Sohinki talking about Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal:

Weekend Confirmed:

Jeff Cannata is a man on an island (a Hawaiian one, that is), which leaves host Garnett Lee to captain the S.S. Weekend Confirmed alone. He’s joined this week by his hardened crew of “Indie” Jeff Mattas, the Escapist’s Andrea Rene, and Double Jump’s Christian Spicer. Their destination: The fabled isle of Xbox One. The team discusses Tuesday’s reveal event, what we know about the new console, and dive into the pile of unknowns and what-if’s. After discussing the hardware, features, and rumors, everyone discusses reader reaction and how the Xbox One will fare against stiff competition from Sony and Nintendo. The show ends with some non-Xbox related Finishing Moves.

 

The bottom line: We won’t know the full picture on Xbox One or PS4 until after E3.

Be sure to subscribe to my new show on The Escapist for all my E3 coverage and for your chance to win a $100 GameStop gift card!

Watch me on Escapist News Now!

Hello everyone!!

I’ve very excited to announced that my new has officially launched on The Escapist Magazine called “Escapist News Now.” I bring you daily news updates Monday – Friday on geek, gaming, and nerd culture.

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Please SUBSCRIBE to not miss any videos and let me know if there are topics you’d like me to cover 🙂

Thanks for all of your continued support!