Hello, and welcome once again to Entertainium Extra! Our weekly news round-up feature highlighting some of the bigger, interesting, or just plain weird stories from the past week.
This week, Microsoft unveiled the release date for the Xbox One, Namco revealed the details on their forthcoming Dark Souls 2 beta, Hotline Miami 2 makes some concessions regarding its implied sexual assault scene, and Elementary, My Dear Holmes’ Kickstarter is suspended. Let’s get to it.
Xbox One launches November 22
Finally! A release date!
After much anticipation, Microsoft’s Xbox One’s launch date has been announced: November 22. The console will be arriving in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, and New Zealand this year. Countries such as Belgium, Denmark, Finland, and more, however, will have to wait until 2014.
Bit surprised they didn’t attempt to launch before Sony and the PlayStation 4, but then, maybe launching closer to Black Friday will pay off.
Dark Souls 2 beta begins October 12, tickets now available in Europe
I brought this up in passing a couple weeks ago, and the details have finally arrived. Starting this week with Europe (North America and Australia to follow), aspiring beta testers for Dark Souls 2 can jump onto the PlayStation Store and download a ticket that grants them a chance to get in the beta on October 12. Details of what the beta will demo remain unknown (all we know is that it’ll take place in one of the game’s more “dangerous” areas, apparently).
We went hands-on with Dark Souls 2 back at E3, my colleague Eduardo and I both coming away from it with very positive thoughts. What I played there satisfied my need for Dark Souls 2 mostly (trying not to keep up too closely with the game’s preview circuit; the more surprises, the better, after all), but damn if I’m not gonna try and get in on this.
Hotline Miami 2’s much criticized sexual assault scene being reworked, potentially cut altogether
If you’ve been following Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number’s preview coverage at all, chances are you’re aware of the game’s current point of contention: it’s rape scene. Or, implied rape scene, rather.
The story goes that, after slaughtering a building full of armed adversaries, the player comes across a lone, defenseless woman. Upon approaching her, the player’s avatar forces himself on her and drops his trousers. The whole thing is part of some sort of film, though, the director shouting “Cut!” just as the protagonist is about to perform the ugly deed, at which point the game cuts away elsewhere. Previews either lambasted or expressed unease over the scene, prompting the developers at Dennaton Games to cut the scene from the demo while they consider they’re options.
They promise the scene exists for a reason. In an interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, co-creator Dennis Wedin stated: “We didn’t add the scene just to be controversial. “There is a meaning to these two characters. There’s a lot more to them than just this scene. We removed it for the demo. We’re going to work with it, see if we can fix it. You get a bigger picture when you play the whole game, which is lost in the demo, of course.”
I’m conflicted on this. On one hand, yeah, I understand where the concerns are coming from and maybe agree in some respects. But on the other, Hotline Miami managed to make violence gruesome and uncomfortable in spite the fun to be had through play. No doubt Hotline Miami 2 would have done the same here. The game never seemed like the type to use shocking imagery for the sake of controversy. However this all works out, I can only hope they find a solution to convey their intent without causing alienation.
Elementary, My Dear Holmes Kickstarter suspended
Kickstarter has taken action in regards to last week’s reports of suspicious activity for the games Gridiron Thunder and Elementary, My Dear Holmes. Specifically, they’ve suspended one of them – Elementary, to be exact.
The suspension occurred Friday night. As of yet, we do not know what precisely caused the suspension. A sudden rush of first-time backers cast skepticism on the project, but Victory Square Games specifically requested an investigation into said accounts to ensure there wasn’t any tomfoolery going on. Both Amazon and Kickstarter had nothing to add on that matter, though. In light of this, Victory Square Games has begun to seek out private funding, the company determined to make their game be made.
Gridiron Thunder, on the other hand, continues to prosper, despite looking more and more suspicious by the day. Mere hours remain on its Kickstarter, as of this writing, so unless Kickstarter steps in at the last second, it’s likely they’ll receive their funding both from backers and Ouya.