With the annual Gamescom trade fair unfolding in Germany this week, there’s been all manner of new video game news and footage hitting the web, so I’m gathering some of the more intriguing tidbits here in one handy-dandy package! First up: the rather badass footage from Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall up above. If you’re a multiplayer game junkie and you’ve always wished your favorite FPS would let you climb inside an agile and deadly mech, Titanfall should be right up your alley.
Titanfall is the first game from Respawn Entertainment, the game studio founded by Call of Duty vets Jason West and Vince Zampella. They’ve taken their strengths — crafting unforgettable game moments and top-notch multiplayer — and combined them, while seemingly ejecting the singleplayer campaign that many die-hard Call of Duty players never messed with in the first place. Titanfall unfolds during a future conflict where players can choose from, or mix together, two different types of gameplay: you can either stay on foot as an agile, free-running “pilot” armed with jump kits that allow you to leap great distances and never take damage from falling, or you can call down a heavily armed, surprisingly maneuverable mech — excuse me, “Titan.” Amazon currently has Titanfall slated for a June 1, 2014 release on Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC.
Another game that’s been getting a ton of hype at Gamescom, and E3 before it, is Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs. It casts players as Aiden Pearce, a vigilante hacker who is operating in an alternate version of Chicago where the city has established a supercomputer called CtOS (Central Operating System) to manage pretty much all the technology within the city. After some sort of family tragedy, Aiden sets out to take vengeance by using his skills to hack damn near anything — security cameras, phones, traffic lights, power grids, databases, you name it. Watch Dogs isn’t even due out until later this year, but Sony and New Regency have already partnered with Ubisoft to turn it into a movie. The game looks great, so hopefully they’ll handle the movie right. If nothing else, it’s certainly timely in this age of NSA surveillance, whistleblowers, and ever-diminishing privacy.
In spite of a ton of video game adaptations being in the works at any given time, one that hasn’t been heard from in a long while is a Metroid movie. Way back in 2003, John Woo grabbed the movie rights to Nintendo’s iconic science fiction game franchise with an eye toward making a live-action movie. And then…nothing. Presumably it became inescapably mired in development hell, there to remain until somebody else gains interest and picks up the rights.
Well, while it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting an official Metroid movie anytime soon, we might be getting a rather pricey fan film instead…assuming it reaches its rather ambitious Kickstarter goal. Metroid: Enemies Within is the brainchild of writer/director Christian Cardona. He’s a working visual effects vet with experience on films such as Black Swan, Lost, and the Wachowskis’ Speed Racer movie. He’s seeking $90,000 to create Enemies Within, a 10-minute Metroid short film. With 17 days to go, they’ve so far only reached just under $18,000, so it’s going to need a serious push by Metroid fans to make it happen, or at least a couple of them with deep pockets. You can read the synopsis and watch the Kickstarter vid below.
Samus Aran, a bounty hunter for the Galactic Federation, wakes up on an unknown ship after being rendered unconscious in a battle with a powerful being named the Gorea. She discovers she is being held hostage on the ship of a rival bounty hunter named Sylux, and learns of his plot to destroy the Federation while implicating her in the process. Samus fights to escape in order to save herself and the Federation before it’s too late.
Angry Birds: Star Wars mashed up the popular mobile game and George Lucas’ venerable franchise last year. Now the game is coming to consoles. It strikes me that Angry Birds is really one of those games best played on a phone or tablet, but then I’ve never been interested enough to play it, so what do I know? Angry Birds Star Wars will be available for consoles on November 1.
And speaking of things I don’t understand the appeal of, PlayStation Home is getting a Star Trek upgrade. Home is the virtual social hangout that lets you create an avatar, interact with other players, play mini-games, and redecorate your virtual crib. Or, in my experience, create an avatar, wander around for 10 minutes, then lose interest and never go back. At any rate, if you do still hang around in PS Home, you can now dress your avatar up as a Starfleet officer, a Klingon, or a Borg and go…do whatever it is you do in PlayStation Home.