Mon, 18 Feb 2013 20:48:32 +0000 Company of Heroes News - Tournament XXVII After Action Report During the two days that Tournament XXVII was played a total of 126 matches were played! If you give the brackets a quick glance to look for GG's, you might feel overwhelmed by the amount of good players, interesting match ups and surprising results that faces you. But don't fear! This AAR is written to find the gems in this huge mass of games and tell you who fought in them, where you can watch them and why these games are worth your time!
Aimstrong vs Silence Game 1
Aimstrong is easily one of the best players around right now, and after steamrolling through the first 3 rounds of the tournament seemingly without breaking a sweat, he faced purehatred AKA Silence in round 4. Silence is a popular livestreamer as well as an above average player with solid Wehrmacht play, but few would say he have the skill and ability to go 1 on 1 with Aimstrong. In this game however he seems intent to show his skill as a player, taking on Aimstrong on Langres utilizing a huge T1 and several bunkers to springboard to t4, effectively basepinning Aimstrong in the mid-game. After several failed attempts to dislodge Silence's position, Aimstrong rolls the dice with 2 consecutive OMCGs in a last ditch effort to win the game.
Silence solid T1-T4 tech proved a strong obstacle for Aimstrong to overcome
Sandland vs KoreanArmy Game 1
Sandland seemed to be on a proverbial mean streak for Tournament XXVII; Fighting from one of the toughest brackets of the tournament he knocked out Maccaroni 2-0, and followed it up with beating top 4 seed and SNF season 4 winner, Devm, 2-1! His opponent was decided when KoreanArmy beat TitiTwister 2-1 to earn his own spot in the Quarter Finals.
Winning BO3's against extremely skilled opponents didn't seem to fatigue either player though, for when they faced off on Angoville for their first game both players gave it all to win, making it into a definite must-see match! KoreanArmy used his fast nade strategy against Sandland who went with a T1-T3 tech to counter it with early pumas. We see some great flanks from KoreanArmy as well as solid Wehrmacht play from Sandland. The game goes long and both players manages to build up substantial forces, making the end of the match a spectacle to be watched!
Explosions and mayhem was all that could be seen at the end of Sandland VS KoreanArmy g1
Jeep vs Sandland Game 1
After a long, exhausting tournament were both had to fight some of the best the current CoH scene have to offer, Jeep and Sandland face each other in the fight for the third spot. Sandland had gone through Devm and KoreanArmy but lost to Tommy in the semifinals. On the other side of the brackets, Jeep had gone through both Bjarkey and Guderian, but lost versus Aimstrong in the semifinals.
The first match between Jeep and Sandland was played on Semois and it goes back and forth as the will is certainly there in both players, but being robbed of most of their energy from a long and grueling tournament the contenders both lose squads and vehicles trying desperately to give the other a fatal blow. In the beginning of the game there are big infantry battles for the centre of Semois, but as it progresses, Sandland's army turns into a more mechanised one while Jeep uses a strange combined arms US force to try and get the map back under his control. The game goes on pure adrenaline; never stopping and constantly turning back and forth, and whoever you hope will win, you'll with all certainty find something in this game that makes it one of a kind!
Sandlands big t1 army allowed him to push the fight to Jeeps cutoff
Aimstrong vs Tommy Finals
With two of the most famed and skilled current players reaching the finals, the stage was set for epic games. And though fatigued, Tommy and Aimstrong fought hard and had a intense showdown for a second game. Fittingly, so close to the release of Company of Heroes 2, the game was set on Semois, the first 1 versus 1 map for Company of Heroes at its release almost seven years ago. Tommy had trained and improved at a intense pace the last few months before the tournament under the mentorship of Aimstrong, and it could be seen in his games against Symboisis, Noluckystrike and Sandland as he beat them all without chalking up a single loss. Aimstrong had a strong showing too in the other brackets, beating all comers and only losing one game to Inverse in the quarters.
The first game of the series was a quick affair as Tommy tried for a 4 pioneer opening for quick map control and shock value. The shock value of the tactic was lost however, as Aimstrong predicted he would use it and used a 4 engineer build. He used the build to great effect and managed to close the game in under 20 minutes.
Losing the first game of the Best of 5, Tommy gathers his wits for game 2 and, with the factions reversed, he seeks to return the favor. The game almost feel like a sentimental glimpse at what made people love Company of Heroes when it came out 7 years ago; a strong tier 1 build from Aimstrong allows him to hang on to his cutoff in the first few minutes, and then push out step by step until he manages to establish his position, holding the center of Semois. Meanwhile Tommy played a classic 4 rifle build, holding a good portion of the map and constantly harassing Aimstrong's high fuel and position. Transitioning into the late game Tommy rolls the dice with the OMCG, as Aimstrong uses vetted up stugs and a King Tiger to counter it. A quintessential and almost sentimental game for lovers of the Company of Heroes vanilla match up!
The winner of Tournament XXVII was Aimstrong; beating Tommy 3-1 in the finals. As winner, Aimstrong received $120 and a pre purchased copy of Company of Heroes 2. Tommy recieved $60 as runner up, and Sandland won $20 and a copy of Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor as winner of the bronze match. A pre-purchased copy of Company of Heroes 2 was won by VonIvan, as per the contenders lottery described in this post. Some matches of the opening rounds were casted by Greatness & EatDaSheep and can be found on Greatness Twitch.tv channel here. (unfortunately, the rest of the videos disappeared for unknown reasons) and the finals were casted by Fatalsaint and CallMeSarge and can be found on TFN's YouTube channel here. The brackets can be found here
The prospect of a keynote discussion at the DICE Summit between Gabe Newell and J.J. Abrams seemed intriguing enough. After all, the two are some of the biggest names in their respective fields, Newell being the co-founder of Valve and Abrams being one of the most prolific producers and directors in Hollywood over the past decade. The conversation the two had on stage today was interesting enough, but the most noteworthy bit came in the form of a revelation that the two sides could collaborate on a game, as well as a movie based on Portal or Half-Life.
Newell explained that the talk was a rehash of conversations the two have had previously, Gamasutra reports. It centered around the strengths and weaknesses of storytelling in film and games. Because of the linear nature of film and TV, Abrams said that "games in many cases are far better than movies in telling story," although he did later note the problem with game characters who are "empty vessels." Newell, meanwhile, took issue with the lack of agency in movies; he showed a clip of the Abrams-produced film Cloverfield and quipped about how he'd like to be able to put down the camera "and f***ing run." Abrams countered by pointing to the problems that can arise with telling a story when players are free to run around, doing whatever they want.
It is something we see far more often than many of us would like: A game hits it big and the publisher responsible for it proceeds to annualize it or, at the very least, provide each subsequent release with little breathing room before yet another follow-up is released. The short-term rewards for doing so promote a temptation to exploit series in a way that can be harmful to the quality of the games in question and the series as a whole. Not only that, the interest in backing games with this sort of potential can make it more difficult for certain games to be released -- just look at the way Activision dumped games like Brutal Legend and Ghostbusters because they didn't "have the potential to be exploited every year on every platform with clear sequel potential and have the potential to become $100 million dollar franchises."
Ignoring sports games, the franchises that likely come to mind first when thinking of this sort of thing include Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed. The last time we went a year without a Call of Duty game was 2004, and the last year we didn't see a new Assassin's Creed game on consoles was 2008. (It's no coincidence that, in both cases, that year was the gap in between the first and second entries of the series.) Although it probably doesn't jump to the top of your list, Prince of Persia is another series to fall victim to this sort of treatment. Though not as extreme an example as CoD or AC, the Sands of Time reboot for Prince of Persia began a six-and-a-half-year stretch that saw five games released, not counting those released for handhelds or the remake of the original. No matter how you slice it, that's a lot of games for one series to see in a relatively short span of time.
Following rumors that began to circulate yesterday, the news was made official today: Junction Point Studios is the latest game development studio to be shut down. While far from outright shocking, considering the moves its parent company had made in recent years, this does call attention to how quickly things can go south for a developer, even one with a name like Warren Spector at the helm.
Spector, who is best known for his earlier work on games like System Shock and Deus Ex, founded the studio in 2005. It was acquired in 2007, joining the likes of Propaganda Games under the Disney Interactive Studios label. It was responsible for the release of two games: Epic Mickey in 2010 and Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two just last year. The former was a fairly well-received game that sold 1.3 million units in the U.S. during its first month of availability, according to NPD Group numbers reported by the L.A. Times. That was a solid figure for a third-party Wii game released at that point in time. Its flawed sequel, despite being available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii U, in addition to Wii, sold a small fraction of that, moving only 270,000 units in a similar window. Update:Joystiq reports the game ended up selling 529,000 units in the U.S. during November and December, though keep in mind the game was heavily discounted during and after Black Friday.
This spring will mark three years since Respawn Entertainment was established by Jason West and Vince Zampella, the founders of Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward. While you wouldn't expect development to have begun immediately at a brand-new studio, enough time has now passed that it seems reasonable to assume Respawn is fairly deep in development on -- well, whatever it is they're making. Over the past few years, we've gotten almost zero indication of what the studio is at work on. Besides some teaser images, early indications that the game would be on the scale of a "huge, summer blockbuster," and EA's statements that it will be a sci-fi-oriented shooter, there has been nothing of substance to go on. Knowing it's a sci-fi shooter limits the scope of possibilities to a degree, but let's be honest -- neither of those details is specific enough to tell us much beyond the fact that it won't be a historically accurate World War II RPG.
There are a limited number of conclusions we can safely jump to. Given this is an EA-published game and multiplayer is what made Call of Duty into the phenomenon it has become, it's OK to assume Respawn's mystery project will not be a single-player-only affair. Presuming it will be a first-person shooter, considering West and Zampella's past with Call of Duty, and Medal of Honor before it, might be a stretch, though. For all we know, they, along with the many former Infinity Ward employees that followed them to Respawn, are interested in getting away from what they're used to and, as a result, would prefer to make a third-person game. Gears of War might not be as big as Call of Duty or Halo, but it's done very well for itself with that perspective.