We’re keeping it short this week because, well, Doom is great and I want to go back to playing.
This week in games: The Assassin’s Creed film gets a trailer, Diablo gets a postmortem, and Lionhead employees recount the time Peter Molyneux told his team “The hero has a dog and it dies” and then disappeared for two weeks during Fable II development.
That crazy Peter Molyneux.
Suns out, guns out
Both ends of the first-person shooter spectrum are free on Steam this weekend. If you’re a run ‘n’ gun type, Call of Duty: Black Ops III‘s multiplayer is free from now until 1 p.m. on Monday.
But also free for the weekend is Call of Duty’s antithesis, the “crawl forty minutes in the mud just to die” thrill ride that is Arma 3. It’s free until 1 p.m. Sunday. Choices, choices.
(Or you could just buy and play Doom.)
Fight them on the beaches
Stellaris, Paradox’s space-faring grand strategy game, just released earlier this week. And it’s pretty good.
But lest ye forget, there’s another Paradox grand strategy game mere weeks away—Hearts of Iron IV is due to release on June 6, D-Day. Take a look:
Behind the curtain at EA
We’re still a few weeks out from E3/EA Play but that didn’t stop the publisher from announcing a bevy of release dates this week. The bad news? Most of them are in 2017.
The recently-announced Battlefield 1 will share the fall with Titanfall 2 this year, so those who don’t want to play World War I trenchfoot simulator can jump into mechs and run across walls and whatever.
But Mass Effect Andromeda has slipped its release date and is now due to arrive in Q1 2017. And also due to arrive in 2017: Another Need for Speed game and a second Star Wars Battlefront. Hopefully both will be better than their predecessors.
Breaking down Diablo
You might be mostly familiar with the Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) because it means a rash of news and previews in March, but the best part is actually about games from our past. Each year, GDC holds a number of “Classic Game Postmortems,” where developers come talk about the process of creating some of your favorite games.
And this year? Diablo was featured. If you’ve ever wanted to take a behind-the-scenes look at Blizzard’s ARPG, you can now watch David Brevik’s full talk on YouTube:
Every time we reach a new milestone with the Assassin’s Creed movie, I’m a little more shocked—it’s really real. And this week, that milestone is the world premiere trailer, which uh…well, mostly focuses on the goofy future-timeline, with a side helping of throat slitting.
Taming the Lion
It’s a long read, but Eurogamer published an incredible feature about Lionhead and the demise of Lionhead this week. It’s full of anecdotes, like this one about the cancellation of the weird Milo demo for Kinect:
“A lot of people were hoping you would go into the imagination world,” Jon Askew says. “There was an advert on the TV at the time that fit it quite well. Some kids jump on a sofa, and suddenly this sofa is their pirate ship, and they’re on this pirate ship firing cannons. That was the kind of thing we wanted it to be. You’d step out from the realism and go into his imagination, which was fitting because you were effectively his imaginary friend.
“But what it actually turned out to be is you would tidy his room and other such exciting things while his parents argued in the background. It just wasn’t fun. No-one wants to do that.”
Or this one about Fable II:
“We had a meeting,” McCormack recalls. “We’d not seen him in weeks because he had other things on. He opened the door, walked in and goes, the hero has a dog, and it dies. And then he left and we didn’t see him again for another month. We were like, what the fuck? That was it. That was the direction.”
It’s well worth reading, for the Molyneux shenanigans alone—let alone the total quagmire that was Fable: Legends. Oh, and it reveals what Fable 4 would have been if Microsoft wasn’t so obsessed with making a free-to-play game. Alas. Read it!