Brand management is important and sometimes trademarking terms or phrases, even seemingly silly ones, to make people associate those words with your product is key. At least that’s what I imagine is going on with Square Enix trademarking the phrase “HD-2D,” a marketing descriptor for last year’s Octopath Traveler.
The words were first used in a Nintendo Direct, where Square Enix described the art style of Octopath Traveler’s mix of 2D and 3D. Now Square Enix seeks ownership of this phrase. It is important to note, they’re only looking to own the term “HD-2D,” not the actual art style. Most courts have ruled that you can’t actually trademark an art style, so they’d be out of luck there if they actually tried.
It does, however, mean that Square Enix is likely interested in doing more with Octopath Traveler’s art style in the future and wants to employ the same term for marketing use again. This could end up being a sequel, a new project by Acquire, or perhaps a remake of older classics using the traditional though modern style Octopath employed. Last year, the company told us that Square Enix is dedicated a division primarily for Switch games, which would dovetail nicely with this idea.
You can read our review of Octopath Traveler right here.
It feels odd to actually be so close to a new Bioware release, as I remember literally counting down days and seeding the ground with my college professors to fake sick in the days leading up to Mass Effect 2’s release. Before we get Anthem next month, though, we’ll have a demo to play through so players can get a feeling for the multiplayer game before release. The demo you play will be a little different from the final game, though.
In a series of tweets, Anthem producer Mark Darrah talked a bit about how you can expect the demo to not just be the first few hours of the game.
So how’s the Anthem demo different from the game?
– we start you in the middle
– no tutorials
– no pilot picker
– balance is super different
– economy is completely different
– 6 weeks less bug fixes
— Mark Darrah (@BioMarkDarrah) January 19, 2019
In later tweets, Darrah says the PC controls will be less nuanced, there will only be one story arc, some things have been renamed for the final release, the mission/stronghold/free play balance will be off a bit, and outright says that the demo is easier than the final release. The demo’s contents were locked weeks ago and Bioware has not been sitting on its laurels in the meantime, continuing to work on and tinker with the game, which means things like these get changed.
If you pre-ordered the game or you’re subscribed to EA Access, you can play the demo in a few days on January 25 through January 27. For everyone else, you can access it on February 1 through February 3, just be aware that neither demo is 100 percent identical to the final game.
It’s January, so the cold weather is biting at your heels no matter how hard you try to escape it. It’s the perfect time to stay at home and play some new content for some of your favorite games. Thankfully, IO Interactive has you covered with a new winter event for Hitman 2, putting Agent 47 in the cold terrain of Hokkaido from the last game. Moreover, it’s totally free whether you own Hitman 2 or have never touched a Hitman game.
Titled the Snow Festival, the time-limited event brings 47 back to the Japanese hospital in pursuit of an abusive factory owner named Dmitri Fedorov. You can unlock the snow festival suit and the ice pick during the event and have them permanently unlocked for the rest of the game, as well. This is available today for Hitman 2 owners who have the legacy pack through February 12.
Players who don’t own Hitman 2 or don’t have the legacy pack can still participate. Starting tomorrow, January 22, they can download the Snow Festival event and play through it as much as they want until February 12. The save file can carry over to Hitman 2, so you don’t lose anything by trying it out.
Alongside this, IO has also introduced new DLC content for the game in the form of a winter sports item pack for Agent 47. From their blog post:
- Winter Sports Suit: A tight-fitting, multi-colored thin sweater with matching dark grey cargo pants featuring reinforced knees. Neoprene-laced gloves and a matching canteen ensures you will fit right in at any ski-themed event.
- Snowball: A ball made of snow. Can be thrown at anyone to really annoy them.
- Piton: Metal spike used for climbing. Sharp enough to use as a lethal weapon.
- Quickdraw: Climbing gear which can double as a fiber wire in tight situations.
- Arctic Tool Box: A toolbox for arctic climate. Can be used to hide illegal items.
All of this can be accessed now if you have the necessary Hitman 2 content, but you only have to wait until tomorrow if you don’t.
Hitman 2 is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. You can find our review of the game here.
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Gun Media has released a new trailer for Layers of Fear 2, and it’s narrated by Tony Todd, who played the titular killer in the early 90s horror film Candyman.
As with the last trailer for the game, Layers of Fear 2 focuses on fleshing out the fears of an actor. Todd’s narration is succinct, implying the player character wanted to be an actor so they wouldn’t have be themselves. Of course, this being a horror game, you can expect some of the genre staples: Coffins, poorly-lit rooms, and doors that close by themselves. You can watch the trailer below.
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