The Best Video Game News This Week: Half-Life, Resident Evil 3, and Days Gone 2
It’s Friday! Or is it? Time is a social construct, so I could tell you it’s Wednesday today, and how could you prove me wrong? It’s Friday because it’s the fifth day this week, but when did this week start? Can’t prove that either, I’m afraid. Well, the calendar in the bottom right corner of the monitor says it’s Friday. Who told the computer that it’s Friday? Anyone could change that display in the settings. What I can say, for certain, is that events occurred and news transpired in this indefinable time period, and it’s been turned into bite-size chunks, here in the round up…
I want to be the very best. That’s why I’m very careful with my Pokémon team, and if they’ve proven themselves, then I give them a name. My tanky Pokémon is wonderful and beautiful, and I thought to call him “Yancy”. I plucked that name from some unknowable nook in my mind and wanted to check that Yancy wouldn’t share his name with someone who was big on eugenics or something gross like that. There is a handful of notable Yancys, like Christian pop stars, American football players, and beauty queens, but there is one extremely notable Yancy.
Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff, Senior was born in Bergedorf, Germany, in 1914. He emigrated to Philadelphia and became a typesetter: someone who arranges the stamps of letters and symbols for newspapers and other printed media. Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff, Sr.’s name never came up in conversation until 1938. A court order caught the Philadelphia public’s attention, not due to scandal or salaciousness, but because “Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff, Jr., etc., vs. Yellow Cab Co., petition for compromise settlement granted” is quite difficult to skim over. His name caused a number of logistical and administrative hurdles, but in this instance, it was useful; there was talk that the case was settled because they couldn’t be arsed to pronounce it. Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff Sr.’s insurance company had to write his details out because their computer “stops dead when it comes to any identification beyond 35 letters.” Also, he refused to pay his utility bills until the company spelled his surname correctly and as you could imagine, the staff were very thorough after that ultimatum.
Perhaps the most satisfying element of this story is learning what “Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff” actually means. With “Baker”, “Newport”, or “Ragnarsson”, the derivative is straightforward. So, this special surname translates to: “It tells a story of a wolf-killer, a resident of a stonehouse in a village, whose ancestors were conscientious shepherds whose sheep were well fed and carefully guarded against attack by ferocious enemies and whose ancestors 1,200,000 years before the first earth man, in a space ship made with tungsten and seven iridium motors and using light as a source of power, started a long journey across interstellar space, searching for a star around which was an inhabitable planet where they could establish a new race of intelligent mankind and where they would live long, happy lives and be free from attack by other intelligentsia from the outer space from whence they came.” Yes. Truly. Onto the news this week.
“Oh yeah, it is certainly a passion of ours, and that’s what we’ve always wanted to do,” Sony Bend studio director Chris Reese said at the Golden Joystick Awards 2019. “This is a world that we want to keep breathing more life into, and explore many, many different avenues. So who knows, we’ll see!” The game won Best Storytelling and Best PlayStation Game, eclipsing contenders like Concrete Genie, Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, and MediEvil. We are aware that Sony Bend has started pre-production on a new project, which may or may not be a Days Gone title. Understandably, the developer has kept shtum on what this could be, but it would make a lot of people happy to see Deacon St. John on the road again.
In the Valley of Gods‘ art director Claire Hummel, environment artist Jane Ng, and designer Jake Rodkin have all taken the game out of their Twitter bios. It’s also gone from the studio’s website although the reveal trailer is still online. As a result, people who were hyped for the studio’s upcoming title are worried that it’s been scrapped. Campo Santo was acquired by Valve Corporation and the independent developer assured Firewatch fans that the deal has led to a “mindshare”. “The thing that was going to kill our game wasn’t an overlord. It’s never going to be that. That’s just not what exists here,” co-founder Sean Vanaman said about the acquisition. Still, we don’t know what’s happened to In the Valley of Gods as neither company has acknowledged the disappearance.
“Anthem Next” is the total reboot of Anthem that BioWare has been beavering away on for months now. According to industry insiders, the studio is “trying to integrate the disparate parts of the game together” by employing the teams at Austin, Texas, and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to address Anthem’s “core issues”. The game’s loot, quests, social features, difficulty, progression system, and world will be overhauled on an undetermined timeline, and those who have Anthem would enjoy a discount on the Next update. “We spent a few months just tearing it down and figuring out what needed to change fundamentally (a lot),” said an anonymous source. “And we’ve been rebuilding for another few months since.” Neither EA nor BioWare commented on Kotaku’s story, so we’ll have to wait and see if “Anthem Next” comes to fruition.
The visual representation of Valve announcing Half-Life: Alyx would be a bucket balanced on a door. The bucket is labelled “VR Half-Life game” and the person walking through the door is labelled “Half-Life 3”. This game will be set between Half-Life and Half-Life 2 and follows Alyx Vance and her father Eli as they fight back against the Combine. “It was really clear that Half-Life suited VR,” said Half-Life: Alyx programmer Robin Walker. “We thought we had something playtesters would finish in 15 minutes, and instead, players spent 45 minutes exploring it, and didn’t want to stop.” Releasing in March 2020, the game will work with all VR headset on the market right now and is available for pre-order for $59.99. It will be shown off at Geoff Keighley’s The Game Awards on December 12, too.
Brass Lion Entertainment is a new studio founded by former Fallout 3, Mass Effect 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Sleeping Dogs developers. With its debut Corner Wolves, Brass Lion Entertainment hopes to create “original fictional universes that center on Black and Brown characters, cultures, and stories, something we feel is sorely lacking right now.” It follows the story of Jacinte, a young Afro-Latina teenager in Harlem in the 1990s. And, Corner Wolves will be coming to “multiple media”, delivering interactive elements and linear conventions to take the first steps into its universe. “Properties like Black Panther show that you can authentically center Black and Brown characters and creatives and still reach a global audience,” co-founder Manveer Heir said.
When the credits roll on Shenmue 3, the letter from creator Yu Suzuki expresses his gratitude to the game’s backers in a personal letter: “This project would not exist without your love, support, and the connections we’ve made along the way.” He said he was floored by the reception of the game, and that he hopes its “Shenmue charm” resonates with players. Suzuki isn’t one to rest on his laurels, and already has ambitions for Shenmue 4. “For as long as there are those who wish to see Shenmue live on, I will never give up on my own personal journey to complete its story,” he said. “I sincerely hope that, together, we can continue to spin the tale of Ryo and his adventures in Shenmue 4.” However, this would be dependent on the partners he could secure for a sequel and whether Shenmue 3 does well.
Woahwoahwoahwoahwoaohohohhoo. In PlayStation’s new It’s Time to Play advert, a collective of characters from its first and third-party video games appear in the real world. Crash, Coco, and Dr. N. Cortex zoom around a multi-storey car park, and fans have sighted a never-before-seen mask floating behind Crash. And, there’s a new character model for Crash that’s been seen on the side of buses in the UK for the same advert. Sources say that “Crash Bandicoot Worlds” is the newest title in the series, and is set to launch in 2020. It would have a semi-open world and feature three new masks; apparently one of these matches the mask in the advert. Activision hasn’t motioned towards a new Crash game, but a Toys for Bob artist has been much more forthcoming about the possibility.
Wasn’t Capcom saying that it’s interested in reviving “dormant intellectual properties” only very recently? A coincidence, I’m certain. After all, Project Resistance is the latest and greatest Resident Evil entry, even though some weren’t thrilled to see an online multiplayer game. They were hoping for a Resident Evil 3 remake, especially as there’s an easter egg in Resident Evil 2 that directly references the events of that game. Capcom had been cagey about the possibility in the past, explaining that it would be down to fan demand. However, YouTuber Spawn Wave is pretty confident that a Resident Evil 3: Nemesis remake will arrive in 2020 and VGC’s sources corroborate this. Of course, it’s unconfirmed so we’ll have to wait and see if an announcement is coming our way.