This week in gaming: Half-life returns with a new adventure, Amy Hennig heads up a new studio, Microsoft denies making Project xCloud exclusives, and more!
In the spirit of keeping our readers up to date with what’s happening in the video game industry, the Doublejump Digest is a brief collection of the major news stories from the past week. Keep an eye out for the Digest every Sunday night, and head on into the archive for news from weeks gone by!
The “new full-length game” is titled Half-life: Alyx, and Valve is developing the title exclusively as a SteamVR title for compatible virtual reality headsets including the Valve Index, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality. Valve has announced March 2020 release and has cast new actors for both titular character Alyx Vance (Ozioma Akagha) and her father Eli Vance (James Moses Black).
The game takes place between the events of Half-life and Half-life 2, and will pit players in a first-person struggle against the Combine and its growing occupation of City 17. Speaking with PC Gamer, Designer Greg Coomer also explained that playing as Alyx will mean that players will finally get to step into the shoes of a non-silent protagonist for the first time in a mainline Half-life game.
Amy Hennig heads up new studio with Skydance Media:
Amy Hennig, the lead writer and director of the original Uncharted trilogy and the cancelled Visceral Games Star Wars game, has announced to VentureBeat that she has partnered with Skydance Media to “explore new frontiers in interactive storytelling”. Skydance is best known for producing the most recent MIssion Impossible and Terminator films and has delved into gaming previously with a virtual reality titles named Archangel.
Microsoft denies planning exclusives for Project xCloud:
A Microsoft spokesperson has told Gamasutra that, despite Project xCloud CVP Kareem Choudhry previously revealing that the company was talking to studios regarding exclusive streaming games, the software giant is actually not planning any exclusive titles for its Project xCloud streaming initiative.
“We’re very early in the multi-year journey for Project xCloud, which is currently in public preview. We are investigating a variety of new capabilities made possible by the cloud,” the person said. “However, we remain committed to an approach with game streaming that is complementary to console and have no plans for cloud-exclusive content at this time.”
A new patent filing shows off possible PlayStation 5 controller design:
Sony has filed a new patent in Japan (via GameSpot) for what could become the PlayStation 5’s controller. The drawings included point to smaller analogue sticks, larger triggers, a USB Type-C charging point, and – most notably – the lack of a light bar. Sony has not comment on the patented design as of this writing.
Here are the nominees for The Game Awards 2019:
The Game Awards Host and Producer Geoff Keighley has announced the nominees for this year’s event, which is scheduled to go live at 11.30am AEST on December 13.
NOTABLE GAME RELEASES
Narcos: Rise of the Cartels (PC & PS4)
Shenmue III (PC & PS4)
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI (PS4 & Xbox One)
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts (PC)
VIDEOS AND TRAILERS
Shenmue III – Launch Trailer – The Story Goes On:
Ryo’s back, and he seems to have brought 2001 with him.
BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal – Release Trailer:
Isn’t heavy always the best kind?
Xbox Wireless Controller – Sport Blue Special Edition:
Eiffel 65 must be looking forward to this one.
Gran Turismo Sport – Lewis Hamilton Time Trial Challenge:
It’s “Hammer Time” for Gran Turismo fans!
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts – Launch Trailer:
It’s Hitman meets Sniper: Ghost Warrior.
Elective Mode is coming back in Diablo IV: GamesRadar
Borderlands 3’s Good Juju weapon is a tongue-in-cheek homage to a Destiny classic: Eurogamer
Audible and Ubisoft are working together on a radio drama based on Assassin’s Creed: DualShockers
Viveport President Rikard Steiber is leaving the company after four years: GamesIndustry.biz
State of Decay 2’s multiplayer is heading to Steam next year: Polygon
Echtra Games is pushing Torchlight Frontiers to 2020: GameSpot
Aaryn Flynn talks about the difficulties of working with Frostbite during his time at BioWare: GamesIndustry.biz
Mario Kart Tour players can now switch between drifting and steering on-the-fly: GameSpot
Rust’s upcoming premium update will include new musical instruments: Eurogamer
One of the main creators of EverQuest passes away: ArsTechnica