Patch Notes: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Anthem Might Be Dead & Darksiders 4 At E3

Ladies, gentlemen and highly evolved chimps that have learned how to browse the Internet, welcome back to Patch Notes, the bi-weekly series where I chat about some of the gaming news that’s rocking the world! This time I’m chatting about Sony aiming to make movies based on their games, an exciting new Call of Duty, a Call of Duty in trouble and Darksiders 4.

So let’s get into it, shall we?

Sony Launching New Studio Focused On Game to Film Adaptions
Movies based on video games do not have a very good track record. This doesn’t seem to have bothered Sony, though, who have announced Playstation Productions, a new studio dedicated to making movies and TV shows based off of Playstation exclusive games.

So far there’s no word on what the studios first project might be. The only thing they said was that they’re looking toward the Marvel Cinematic Universe for inspiration, which is a tad worrying. Not everything needs to be a cinematic universe, folks.

Sony does have a catalogue of games that have potential, though. Uncharted, God War and The Last of Us all spring to mind. Until Dawn could also make a fun TV show.

With that said, I’m honestly not very enthused by this announcement. I don’t feel like adapting games to movies or shows makes much sense. Forming a story around gameplay is a unique craft that I don’t think translates very well into movies and TV unless only the very basic outlines of the story are used. And if that’s the case, why bother?

But hey, maybe we’ll get to see Nathan Fillion reprise the role of Nathan Drake after his impressive performance in the Uncharted fan film.

Games Pass Coming To PC
Microsoft have officially announced that theirs Games Pass scheme will be coming to PC with more details to be revealed on June 9th.

If you weren’t already aware Games Pass is a subscription service available on Xbox that lets you access 200+ games for a fixed monthly cost. These games include Xbox exclusives titles which launch on the service at the same time as they launch everywhere else. A good example is Void Bastards which is available right now on Games Pass, though it’s not strictly an Xbox exclusive since you can pick it up on PC as well.

According to Microsoft they’ll be bringing Games Pass to PC with a library of some 100+ games, which is obviously about half of those available on the Xbox. Keep in mind, though, the Xbox version does contain many Xbox 360 games and more which would be tricky to port over to PC. Microsoft say they’ve enlisted the hope of around 75 studios to bring their games to PC as well.

Micirosoft also stated that their Xbox Games Studio exclusives will be coming to stores other than just the Microsoft store, such as Steam.

“Our intent is to make our Xbox Game Studios PC games available in multiple stores, including our own Microsoft Store on Windows, at their launch,” Phil Spencer said. “We believe you should have choice in where you buy your PC games.”

Right now there’s no word on the price of Games Pass on PC, but the wording of Microsoft’s statement suggests that the PC and Xbox versions of the service will be separate and thus you’d have to subscribe to each individually. According to rumours the PC Games Pass will be included as part of the Ultimate Games Pass scheme, though, which wraps Xbox Live Gold and Games Pass up in a slightly cheaper package deal.

I don’t know about you guys but I’m quite excited about this. Despite my initial misgivings I’ve come to really like Games Pass as a service and extending the idea to PC makes a lot of sense. Do keep in mind, though, that Microsoft exclusive games allow you to play them on both PC and Xbox One provided you own the game on one system or the other. If you own Forza Horizon 4 on Xbox, for example, you can download and play it on PC as well without any extra cost.

Is Anthem Dead?

Anthem has been out of the news for a little while, partially because it almost seems dead. Still, there was hope that the new Cataclysm event might finally be the kick up the arse Anthem needs. Now that BioWare have officially revealed Cataclysm, though, it’s hard not to be let down. Again.

Things will kick off with a two week “pre-event” that is meant to set the story of Cataclysm up. Three new story missions will appear complete with “high quality cinematics.” There will also be a selection of new vanity items to play with.

The general gist of the story is that a new faction has turned up and have managed to trigger the cataclysm. That, boys and girls, is why you shouldn’t just randomly press buttons. Who knows what will happen?

Once the “pre-event” is over the six week long Cataclysm event will kickoff proper. Here’s where things start to get a tad confusing, though, so just bear with me. A new section of map will open up and the basic objective will be to defeat the leader of the new faction. This is actually pretty easy, though, so to keep players coming back for more killing of the faction leader will double your squad’s score. That means the aim is to accrue as many points as possible before going into the final fight.

The big catch is that you’re on a time limit: the perpetual cataclysm storm causes a timer to appear, and when that timer reaches zero everyone starts taking heavy damage. To avoid this there are specific arenas around the new map, each of which contains a challenge that will grant points on completion. More of these arenas will appear as the event continues, opening up new paths and challenges. Plus there’ll be secrets scattered around to also help boost score.

On top of that there will be new loot to snag which can be done by completing weekly and/or daily challenges and other things in order to get currency which is then used to buy War Chests. These will contain the new loot, but it seems you’ll be given stuff randomly. BioWare also said the best stuff will likely be held back until toward the end of the event.

To be fair, Cataclysm does sound somewhat interesting, albeit very heavy on repeating a small amount of content over and over again, just like the rest of the game. There’s also going to be some changes to the core game as well.

It’s just too little too late, I reckon. As of last week Microsoft’s most played list doesn’t even have Anthem in the top 50. For comparison The Division 2 is sitting in 20th, while Destiny 2 is in 14th. Hell, Fallout 76 is ranked 30th and everyone hates it. Maybe Anthem can make a comeback, but it’s a tall order at this point.

A New Darksiders Game To Appear At E3
Darksiders 3 was met with some very mixed reviews. My own review revealed my mixed feelings about the game, but I also said that, “part of me wants you to support it simply so we get a Darksiders 4 and then hopefully a Darksiders 5 that finally brings the Horsemen of the Apocalypse together and wraps up the epic tale of Darksiders.”

Well, it looks like my wish will be granted, at least according to an official E3 listing. The E3 Coliseum schedule states that a discussion titled Darksiders: Action Adventure Evolved will coincide with the E3 reveal of “a brand new Darksiders game that takes the franchise in a fresh direction.”

The very same schedule has also stated that we’ll be getting a panel discussing the Marvel’s Avengers game.

Personally I’m quite excited. We got to see Strife in the last game so it would seem to make sense that he’ll be the star of Darksiders 4. But what could the new direction be? It’s impossible to say at this juncture. Perhaps something for narrative focused like God of War? Or given that Strife wields pistols maybe we’ll be getting a shooter.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Announced. Wait, Didn’t We Already Have That One?

Another year another Call of Duty game, but WAIT! This one is actually kind of interesting.

Firstly, it’s confusingly titled Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, a tad odd considering there’s already a game with that same name and two sequels to it. Apparently this new game is some sort of reboot with Infinity Ward saying it doesn’t take place in the same universe as the existing trilogy. This reboot means some familiar faces are coming back, like Captain Price. Well, that’s me fucking sold, then. Price is a legend.

This seems to be a more realistic re imagining of the series with the singleplayer campaign focusing on Russian relations with the West.

“We are creating an emotionally charged experience that’s inspired by the headlines in the world today, where the rules are grey and battle lines are blurred,” Infinity Ward’s Dave Stohl said.

“Players will join a varied cast of international special forces and freedom fighters in gripping and heart-pounding missions through iconic European cities and volatile expanses of the Middle East. It’s intense, it’s exciting, and we can’t wait for our fans to play this October.

The multiplayer is also getting some changes. First, cross-platform play between PC, PS4 and Xbox has already been confirmed, raising questions about how well console owners will be able to compete with mouse and keyboard wielding PC gamers.

Second, there will be no season pass this time around, instead all the new content will be free. Combined with the cross-platform play this should lead to a larger, concentrated player-base rather than having it spread out and separated by who owns the DLC and who doesn’t.

To my amazement I’m actually rather excited about this new Call of Duty. Activision may genuinely be trying to give us a strong campaign to help balance out the multiplayer focused Black Ops 4 of last year. I’m hearing the call this year. Maybe I’ll answer it for the first time since Black Ops 2?

Call of Duty 2020 In Trouble?
According to Jason Schreier over at Kotaku next years Call of Duty game might be in some trouble. Sources apparently told Schreier that Sledgehammer, who were previous leading the game’s development, will no longer be in charge. Instead, Treyarch will be leading the development.

This is significant because for the past 15-years Activision have put out a new Call of Duty every year. In 2012 they developed their current system where Sledgehammer, Treyarch and Activision would each get three years to work on their game, thus a new Call of Duty would launch every year but it would have had three years of work put into it. Throughout this Raven have provided support.

Now, though, things seem to have gone awry. According to Schreier for 2020 Activision decided to put Raven in a leadership role beside Sledgehammer. The new game is rumoured to have been set in the Cold War. Apparently sources informed Schreier that there is tension between Raven and Sledgehammer, and that the project is a, “mess.”

To combat this Activision apparently stepped in and handed control over to Treyarch with both Sledgehammer and Raven being demoted to support. Apparently Sledgehammer and Raven’s campaign will be reworked into a campaign for Black Ops 5 which will also be set in the Cold War. This new game is expected to be a cross-platform title bridging the gap between the Xbox One and PS4 to the new generation of consoles which are rumoured to release late next year.

In all honesty I’m actually quite impressed that Call of Duty managed to go this long without a massive hiccup in production. With a new game launching every year and three studios (four if you count Raven on support duty) working on them it’s kind of amazing that no serious incidents have occurred, at least that we’ve heard of.

We’ll just have to wait until next year to see what sort of impact this turmoil has had.

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