“Live and Let Die”
With Gamescom just days away, the news train has left for Germany, but not before trickling out a few tidbits to heighten the anticipation for next week. Mafia III finally got confirmed, Halo 5: Guardians lost a big feature, the free games for August were revealed and the PlayStation 4 continued to soar in the sales department. Here are a few of the biggest stories this week. Also, one week closer to Fallout 4.
Mafia III Confirmed
After years of rumors and speculation, 2K Games has officially announced Mafia III is real, with a full reveal coming August 5. The tweet that confirmed the game’s existence (below) teases what the title may have to offer.
— Mafia Game (@mafiagame) July 28, 2015
Little insight was given into the project, besides the image and the fact the game is in development at the newly formed Hangar 13. Speculation is abuzz though, as it’s been noted that the four people backlit by headlights from the cars may all be playable, and the game might be set 10 or so years after the events of the fantastic Mafia II. I, for one, hope the game is set somewhere outside of a city, introducing a fresh environment to the open-world crime genre. More information about the upcoming installment in the Mafia series will be announced during Gamescom, with an official reveal trailer dropping August 5 at 5 AM PST.
Halo 5 Dropping Split-Screen Support
Halo 5: Guardians just got a whole lot less exciting. The Halo series has played a pivotal part in my gaming youth, with Halo 3 being one of my first experiences with cooperative play. Gathering around a single screen with friends to forge our way through campaigns and play against each other in multiplayer are some of my fondest gaming memories. Halo 5: Guardians won’t lend those memories to players and that’s disappointing. In a post to Halo Waypoint, executive producer, Josh Holmes explained the decision to drop split-screen wasn’t taken lightly.
“The decision to remove split-screen support from Halo 5: Guardians was one of the most difficult ones we’ve ever had to make as a studio. We know that for many of our fans, Halo has meant playing together with friends in the same room. We all have great memories of past Halo split-screen multiplayer matches. To move Halo’s gameplay forward and deliver a true next-gen experience, tough choices had to be made. Our decision was driven by a desire for scale, fidelity, and focus to ensure that we would deliver the best quality experience possible.”
Since when did more powerful hardware result in the loss of features that made the series shine? Are more pixels and a higher frame rate really worth giving up such an important part of the franchise?Split-Screen is slowly fading away from the AAA space and that’s unfortunate, but it’s a testament to the times. For a lot of gamers, split-screen is completely off their radar, with online play filling any and all multiplayer desires. While I’ll always treasure the countless matches of split-screen the Halo series has provided, I too, have transitioned to the online realm to get my multiplayer fix. Nevertheless, I was looking forward to playing split-screen multiplayer in Halo 5: Guardians and now that’s impossible; a loss for both the series and its fans.
Games With Gold & PS Plus For August Revealed
Who doesn’t like free games? Well good news, because this week the lineup of games both Xbox and PlayStation owners can treat themselves to during the moth of August, have been revealed. Starting with PlayStation, Plus members can pick up Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (PS4), Limbo (PS4), Sound Shapes (PS4, PS3, Vita), Stealth 2 (PS4, PS3, Vita), God of War Ascension (PS3), and CastleStorm (PS3, Vita). Meanwhile, Xbox Live Gold members get MGS: Ground Zeroes (XB1), How To Survive (XB1), Metro 2033 (360), and Metro: Last Light (360). All in all, terrific lineups on both sides, offering plenty of quality games to keep you busy this month.
PS4 Sales Hit 25.3 Million Units Worldwide
The PlayStation 4 continued to steamroll this week in terms of sales, as Sony revealed a new lifetime shipment total for their latest console. It’s been announced that the company has shipped another 3 million PS4 units worldwide during the most recent quarter. The console now sits at a plentiful 25.3 million systems shipped worldwide, rising exponentially from the platform’s previous sales mark of 22.3 million. PlayStation 4 can’t seem to slow down as it continues to dominate the market, outselling it’s competition by a very large margin. It still has quite a ways to go to catch its predecessor, PS3, that boasts over 80 million units worldwide as of late 2013. PlayStation 4 shows no sign of stopping, and is already outselling the PlayStation 3 in the respective time it’s been on the market. Here’s to 25 million more.
To keep up with my thoughts on all things video games, along with plenty of other shenanigans, you can follow me on Twitter @BraxHaugen.