“Working From Shadows”
The week is over and another slew of eventful news leading into the busy fall season has come to a close. Jason Voorhies returns with Friday the 13th: The Game, EA announced Star Wars Battlefront’s controversial season pass, Silent Hills Cancellation ‘Makes No Sense’ to Guillermo del Toro, and new NX details emerge. Here’s everything everything noteworthy from this week in games.
Friday the 13th: The Game Revealed
What You Need To Know: Gun Media alongside developer Illfonic have officially announced Friday the 13th: The Game, formally known as Slasher Vol. 1: Summer Camp. Unveiled via a Kickstarter campaign earlier this week, the third-person, asymmetrical multiplayer game will pit one powerful killer against a group of counselors residing in a lakeside camp. Scheduled for release in Fall 2016, Friday the 13th will put players in the shoes of the relentless Jason Voorhees or a helpless camper, on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
My Take: When Slasher Vol. 1: Summer Camp was originally announced last year, it sounded like a great idea with a lot of potential. Rebranding the project to Friday the 13th sounds even better, as standing behind one of the most prominent horror license can give this game the legs it needs to make its way into the mainstream. The Kickstarter is nearing $430,000 pledged of the $700,000 goal, with just under a week of being live on the site. Stalking the grounds of Camp Crystal Lake in multiplayer centric horror title is a fresh idea and one I’d love to see to come to fruition. Early this year, Evolve, Turtle Rock’s 5v1 first-person shooter attempted a similar approach, and while it didn’t fully reach its potential, its ideas remain original and ripe for the picking. I’m optimistic that Friday the 13th will have what it takes to strike that tough balance of evening the odds, yet only time will tell if Jason Voorhees’ rightful return to video games is one worth celebrating.
Star Wars Battlefront Season Pass
What You Need To Know: Following the successful open beta for EA’s upcoming Star Wars Battlefront, the company has revealed an Ultimate Edition for the game listed at $120 and a Season Pass that will run $50. Battlefront’s Ultimate Edition will include everything from the Deluxe Edition such as emotes and early unlocks, along with the Season Pass. The Season Pass’ contents have yet to be specified in detail, yet what is known is the four expansions will include new content that will take players to new locations across the galaxy.
My Take: EA’s controversial announcement of their longterm plan to “support” Battlefront is a greedy and lackluster sales pitch that overtly jumped the gun. Not only does this premature advancement come across as completely anti-consumer, but EA isn’t doing themselves any favors in terms of public perception. Though maintaining a praiseworthy image is something EA’s clearly not striving for, Battlefront’s additional content available for purchase starting with the Deluxe Edition is doing more than hurting just one company’s reputation. The current climate for games is cluttered enough as is, with nonsensical add-ons and microtransactions, and the seemingly never ending barrage of season passes is not helping the cause. EA is no stranger to season passes in their games, and while some have adequately delivered what was promised, others have fallen flat. By now taking a stance against this movement seems almost helpless, for each justifiable uprising is determined on a case-by-case basis. Season passes will continue to be a prominent part of the industry whether you’re in favor of them or not, and the best thing to do is speak with your wallet.
Guillermo del Toro: Silent Hills Cancellation ‘Makes No Sense’
What You Need To Know: In an interview with Bloody Disgusting, creative filmmaker Guillermo del Toro weighed in with his take on Silent Hills and the unexpected cancellation of horror game, which Del Toro thought would have been “remarkable.”
“We had a great experience and had great story sessions with hundreds upon hundreds of designs. Some of the stuff that we were designing for Silent Hills I’ve seen in games that came after, like The Last of Us, which makes me think we were not wrong, we were going in the right direction, The thing with Kojima and Silent Hills is that I thought we would do a really remarkable game and really go for the jugular. We were hoping to actually create some sort of panic with some of the devices we were talking about and it is really a shame that it’s not happening. When you as about how things operate, that makes no f**king sense at all that the game is not happening. Makes no f**king sense at all.”
My Take: The Silent Hills cancellation along with the still developing Konami catastrophe remains easily the most interesting collection news stories of the year. The brilliance of P.T. took everyone by storm last year, acting as a teaser leading into a new Silent Hills project still in the embryonic stage developed with del Toro and Kojima. The now defunct collaboration has lead to a lot of controversy surrounding Konami, Kojima, and the license in general. Del Toro’s recent comments are particularly interesting, for I’m curious what aspects of the project might have mirrored elements from The Last of Us. The whole ordeal is unfortunate, as P.T. indicated that the final product would be nothing less than superb.
New NX Details Emerge
What You Need To Know: According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo has began sending out software development kits for its upcoming platform, known as the NX. Supposedly kits are on the way to unspecified third-party developers in order for teams to modify existing games or create new ones, set to release on the upcoming platform. The NX is still fairly under wraps, as the specific nature and possible functionality of the console remain unclear. The Wall Street Journal’s sources claim the console will have “industry-leading chips” that can compete with PS4 and Xbox One, in hopes of drawing back third-parties. Also, WSJ states a “mobile unit that could either be used in conjunction with the console or taken on the road for separate use” is in the realm of possibility.
My Take: The more rumors starting up around the NX, the more I can’t help but grow excited. Nintendo has a lot of ground to cover after the middling performance of the Wii U, and I’m hopeful the NX will be just what Nintendo needs to right themselves in the competition. If the NX just so happens to act as both a console and a portable handheld, Nintendo might finally be able to accomplish their vision of creating a truly hybrid gaming experience. For me the biggest thing I can hope for with the NX, is the support for games at launch. Embracing the vast virtual library, along with recent releases exclusive to the Wii U, such as Mario Maker, are going to be the biggest deciding factor if this system is going to be able to get on its feet, or if it will lose steam quickly, as did its predecessor.
To keep up with my thoughts on all things video games, along with plenty of other nonsense, follow me on Twitter @BraxHaugen.