Yesterday, gamers were hit hard with the news that EA is closing down Visceral Games, one of the company’s more prominent development studios. The news was a huge blow since the studio had apparently been working on a new Star Wars game (it doesn’t help that the sudden closure of LucasArts and the cancellation of Star Wars: 1313 is still fresh in our minds). Since Visceral Games is winding down production, now’s as good a time as any to look back at the studio’s work and reminisce.
Back when Visceral Games was founded in 1998, it wasn’t known as Visceral Games but EA Redwood Shores; the studio didn’t adopt the Visceral moniker until 2009. EA Redwood Shores’ first title was the top-down shooter Future Cop: L.A.P.D. The game received fairly decent reviews but didn’t sell very well, which might explain why the next several games EA Redwood Shores developed were licensed sports games: CyberTiger, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000 and NASCAR Rumble, all of which received mixed reviews. However, the studio got another chance at a non-licensed game with Road Rash: Jailbreak (gamers might recognize this name because Road Rash was recently rebooted by Pixel Dash Studios as Road Redemption) in 2000. Sadly, Road Rash: Jailbreak didn’t do as well as expected, and EA Redwood Shores went back to making licensed titles. However, something happened over the next few years, because the studio started churning out well-received games based on James Bond and The Lord of the Rings franchises, including the FPS games 007: Agent Under Fire and James Bond 007: From Russia with Love and the turn-based RPG The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age.
After EA Redwood Shores’ well-received stint with James Bond and The Lord of the Rings, the studio made one final licensed sports game in 2006 in the form of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07, which was actually fairly well received. EA Redwood Shores’ next licensed game was 2007’s open-world/GTA-like game based on yet another movie/book franchise: The Godfather. Unlike most licensed video games, The Godfather starred an original character, which let the studio tell its own story within the Godfather world; EA Redwood Shores had already proven it was capable of making games that take place in an existing franchise without rehashing existing material thanks to James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire, James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, and The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age. Like those other games, The Godfather received positive reviews, which sadly cannot be said about its 2009 sequel, The Godfather II. However, between the release of those two games, EA Redwood Shores produced four games: the cutsey simulator game MySims and its sequel MySims Kingdom, the criminally underrated action platformer The Simpsons Game, and 2008’s critically acclaimed survival horror game Dead Space.
While MySims and The Simpsons Game were more cult hits than critical hits, fans and critics were blown away by Dead Space, since the game demonstrated the studio’s raw creative talent and was a culmination of all the lessons EA Redwood Shores had learned. The art and creature designs were novel, the combat system was among the survival horror genre’s best, and the scares were magnificent. After Dead Space (and The Godfather II) EA Redwood Shores changed its name to the Visceral Games we all know and love, and celebrated this change with the on-rails/lightgun shooter Dead Space: Extraction. While the game was a far cry from the original Dead Space, it was still critically acclaimed. The second game under the Visceral Games logo was another title that demonstrated the studio’s ability to create beautiful-yet-disturbing monstrosities: 2010’s Dante’s Inferno. The game received many positive reviews and was considered a solid God of War-like game for gamers who did not own a PlayStation 2 or 3. Visceral Games then went on to help make The Sims 3: Ambitions, which was generally well-received, but gamers would have to wait until 2011 for the follow-up to Dead Space, Dead Space 2. Like the original, Dead Space 2 was met with critical acclaim, and many critics claim the game is superior to Dead Space. However, this was the last game Visceral Games would make that received such high praise.
A mere two years after Dead Space 2, Visceral Games released Dead Space 3, which was the beginning of the end for the studio. While gamers and critics enjoyed the game, many felt it was worse than the prior entries and that it was losing touch with its own identity, a feeling not helped by the inclusion of unnecessary and maligned microtransactions. Dead Space 3 was the final original IP the studio worked on, as the next (and last) three games developed by Visceral games were a piece of DLC for Battlefield 3, the co-op third-person shooter Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel, and 2015’s ambitious but underwhelming Battlefield Hardline. And that’s where Visceral Games’ story ends; it was developing a new Star Wars title but was shuttered before it could finish the game. Sadly, we do not know how much of Visceral’s work will make it into the final product, since the game is being heavily revamped.
Visceral Games is a development studio taken before its time. It had a shaky start, but it quickly learned from its mistakes and went on to produce many fan-favorite video games. The Dead Space franchise is widely considered Visceral Games’ best work and is ranked up there with the quintessential survival horror games, including Silent Hill 2 and Resident Evil 4. While Visceral Games is trying to transfer as many members as possible to other EA-owned game studios, I would not be surprised if several ex-Visceral Games employees band together to create an indie game development studio and start a Kickstarter campaign in the following months. You will be missed, Visceral Games.
5 Reasons You NEED To Play The Final Fantasy VIII Remaster
After many years of fans begging Square Enix to remaster Final Fantasy VII, they finally listened and did just that. There were numerous excuses as to why the game’s re-release had lagged behind the re-releases of both VII and IX, with the most common excuse being that the game’s original code was lost years ago. However, the company made it happen and the game is finally available for modern audiences to play on modern hardware today. We’re going to give you 5 reasons why you should do just that.
First time available on modern hardware
As we’ve already said, this is the first time that the game is available on modern hardware. While the game originally launched for PS1 back in 1999, it later got a PC port in 2000. That means that is has been a whopping 19 years since a new version of the game has been available for purchase, and that wait was a brutal one. However, it is finally over and you can now play this classic game on PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch along with PC. If the lack of modern hardware support was stopping you from checking out, that excuse just got thrown out the window.
The visuals look better than ever
Thankfully, Square Enix did not just slap this port together quickly and throw it out there to shut everyone up. They did a terrific job of putting on a shiny new coat of paint for the game, with the character models in particular looking much better. While things like environment textures didn’t get quite the same amount of attention, this is nevertheless the best that the game has ever looked. It also helps that the game is simply beautiful from a design standpoint, with the game’s world being gorgeous to behold even though we’re dealing with the hardware limitations of 1999.
Quality of life improvements
While those who played the game 20 years ago will still be getting what is essentially the same experience, Square Enix did add some quality of life improvements to put it more in line with current JRPGs. These changes include the likes of increasing battle speed by 3 times, shutting off random encounters completely and even a cheat to give you max HP and limit breaks. While these may seem minor, these will go a long way to ease some of the tedium that many feel after some particularly long gaming sessions. Max HP and Limit Breaks will also make the incredibly tough Ultima and Omega Weapon boss fights a lot easier to deal with.
The Final Fantasy series is known for having its fair share of enticing side quests and mini games, but there isn’t a single one that is as addicting as Triple Triad. The game is essentially a card game that is played on a 3×3 grid, and each card has a certain number on the top, bottom, left and right sides. You need to place your cards in a manner that the numbers on your cards are higher than your opponents, and seeing as your card can be attacked from four different sides this can be tricky. You’re able to challenge many different characters to a match throughout the course of the entire game, and doing so comes with plenty of nice rewards that will make your quest easier.
The game is awesome
While our previous points focused on specific elements of the game, this one is a simple fact that has been true since 1999: the game is awesome. Unfortunately, releasing immediately after Final Fantasy VII (a watershed moment for gaming) put it under a very cruel microscope, with many knee jerk reactions simply saying it “isn’t as good as VII.” However, in the years that have passed people have revisited the game, and the consensus has definitely changed. This adventure that Square created is unlike any other in the series, being host to an ambitious and bizarre plot filled with some of the best characters the series has ever seen. If you’ve played the game before then this is the perfect time to experience this masterpiece all over again, and if you haven’t then what are you waiting for?
10 Huge Games Still Coming In 2019
2019 has been yet another good year for gaming so far, with several games releasing that will be big contenders for game of the year once the curtain closes. However, despite the year already being more than halfway over, there are still some huge titles on the horizon that are sure to make their own dents on the coming best-of lists. This article will list the 10 biggest games that are still coming in 2019.
A new game from Remedy Entertainment is always highly-anticipated, and Control is no different. The game is an action-adventure game in the same style as Alan Wake or Quantum Break, but with a supernatural twist. Players will control Jesse Faden, who possesses a variety of supernatural abilities like telekinesis, levitation and more. She will be using her abilities in order to defeat an enemy known only as the Hiss, which has corrupted reality. Control launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on August 27th.
It has been many years since the last game in the Borderlands series released, but the hiatus is finally coming to an end very soon. Those who have played previous games in the series will feel right at home with this game, as it’s once again a loot-driven FPS. The game will offer more zany characters and a charming and insane world to explore, all while dealing with new antagonists Troy and Tyreen Calypso along with their Children of the Vault cult. Borderlands 3 launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on September 13th, with a Google Stadia port release date being TBA.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series is returning soon with Breakpoint, which will serve as a continuation of previous game Wildlands. The game is set in an open world environment called Aurora, which is a fictional island in the Pacific Ocean. Players will control Lieutenant Colonel Anthony “Nomad” Perryman, who is a special forces operative that was sent to the island to investigate a series of disturbances in the area. Breakpoint launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 4th, with a Google Stadia port coming in November.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Each new installment in the Call of Duty series is always huge, but Modern Warfare’s release marks a first for the long-running franchise. It will be the first game in the series that is reimagining of a previous game in the series, taking 2004’s original game and updating its mechanics and themes to match today’s world. The game will still have some of the beats that the first game had, but will also incorporate lots of surprises to make it a fresh experience. Modern Warfare launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25th.
The Outer Worlds
Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds is one that will be very highly-anticipated for fans of Fallout: New Vegas, as this game serves as a sort of spiritual successor to that game. It will be an open world RPG that allows you to explore many unique areas crawling with plenty of deadly foes. Players will also be able to encounter and recruit NPCs as companions that have their own personal missions and stories to take part in. The Outer Worlds launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25th, with a Switch port also being in the works.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
It seemed very unlikely that Luigi’s Mansion would become a recurring franchise for Nintendo following the original GameCube game, but here we are. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is coming to Switch, which also means it will be the first home console release since the original game back in 2003. This time the game is set in a haunted hotel rather than a mansion, and Luigi has some new tricks up his sleeves to take down all those ghosts. Luigi’s Mansion 3 will launch exclusively for Nintendo Switch on October 31st.
If you’re looking for the most ambitious (and weirdest) game still coming in 2019, then look no further. Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding has perplexed gamers ever since its announcement, and each new trailer that releases just brings more and more questions to the table. It is Kojima’s first game since breaking up with Konami after the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phanton Pain (and the cancellation of Silent Hills), and it looks like Kojima has taken the newfound complete creative control to deliver something truly original. Death Stranding launches exclusively for PS4 on November 8th.
Pokemon Sword & Shield
At this point we all know what to expect from a new Pokemon game, and Sword and Shield seems poised to deliver even more cute creatures for players to capture and battle very soon. What sets Sword and Shield apart from its predecessors is that it will be the first home console release for the series, which is saying something considering the series has been around for over 20 years. Pokemon Sword & Shield launches exclusively for Switch on November 15th.
If you’re a fan of Shenmue then nothing needs to be said for the inclusion of the upcoming third game on this list. Fans of the series have been waiting nearly two decades for a follow-up to the second game, and in just a couple of months that will finally be delivered to them. Brought to life thanks to an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, the game continues the adventure of protagonist Ryo Hazuki as he hunts down his father’s killer. Shenmue III will launch for PS4 and PC on November 19th.
id Software’s DOOM 2016 was one of the best FPS games to come along in years, so it’s a no-brainer that the follow-up would be on this list. Eternal is set to offer yet another intense FPS campaign for players to plunge into, while also offering a multiplayer component that greatly improves upon the last game’s underwhelming multiplayer mode. There will also be twice as many demon types than there was in the last game, meaning that the chaos level just got that much higher. DOOM Eternal launches for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia and PC on November 22nd.
5 Most Exciting Announcements From The Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference
Microsoft’s Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference has officially come to an end, and with it came plenty of big announcements to get excited about. Some new games were announced, whereas previously-announced games got new footage and/or release dates. In this article we’ve narrowed it all down to the 5 most exciting announcements.
New Xbox “Project Scarlett” Coming Holiday 2020
We’ve known for a while now that a new Xbox was in the works, but now we know when to expect it. Microsoft’s fourth console (which hopefully has a better official name than Xbox One did) will be a big step up from the previous console. Things like much faster load times, an AMD Processor that is four times more powerful than the Xbox One X, 8K Resolution and 120 FPS were all mentioned. A price and exact release date weren’t mentioned. It will also be launching with…
Halo Infinite Coming Holiday 2020, Launching On Both Xbox One and Project Scarlett
The wait for the next Halo game has been longer than ever before for series fans, and the announcement at E3 revealed that the wait will continue. Halo Infinite will not be launching until Holiday 2020, meaning it will have been 5 years since the previous game released with Halo 5. It will also be launching on Xbox One and Project Scarlett, meaning the new console will have a big launch title for fans to get pumped about.
Cyberpunk 2077 Coming April 2020, Stars Keanu Reeves
It’s hard to pick a game that people have been more excited about than Cyberpunk 2077, and after Microsoft’s press conference we’re even more excited. Not only is it coming in April of next year, but Keanu Reeves himself will be playing a “key” role in the game. Everything shown from the game has looked great so far, so hopefully it all pans out and we have another classic from CD Projekt RED come April 2020.
FromSoftware and George R.R. Martin Collaboration Elden Ring Announced
This one was actually leaked prior to the presentation, but Dark Souls developer FromSoftware and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin are collaborating on a new game. The game is called Elden Ring, and it will be a departure from the developer’s most recent games as it will be open world. Very little information on the game is known at this point, as it is still in the early stages of development.
Phantasy Star Online 2 Is Coming West
It took a very long time, but the popular MMORPG is finally coming west. The game is coming to Xbox One in a free-to-play form in Spring 2020, so the wait won’t be that much longer. “There will be no limitations on game experiences,”says Sega, because they want to “provide all players with a fair and exciting experience.”
- Gadgets8 years ago
Why the Nexus 7 is still a good tablet in 2015
- Mobile Devices8 years ago
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy Note 5: is there room for improvement?
- Editorials8 years ago
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – How bad updates prevent people from enjoying their phones
- Mobile Devices8 years ago
Nexus 5 2015 and Android M born to be together
- Gaming8 years ago
New Teaser For Five Nights At Freddy’s 4
- Mobile Devices8 years ago
Google not releasing Android M to Nexus 7
- Gadgets9 years ago
Moto G Android 5.0.2 Lollipop still has a memory leak bug
- Mobile Devices8 years ago
Nexus 7 2015: Huawei and Google changing the game