Hello again everybody and welcome back to another installment of This Week In Gaming. If you’ve just joined us, take a seat in the corner – you’re late. It was a somewhat slow week for news as much of the next-gen hype has died down and not enough people said really stupid things. We’ll still be looking at console news, a few scoops on some new games, the biggest fails of this week and the videos you all scroll to the bottom for anyway. Get your fill after the jump.
Pete Hines, Bethesda’s VP of marketing, says that second-hand games are still a major concern in the industry. Speaking to Destructioid, he said, “We have tried to mitigate it by creating games that offer replayability, by supporting them with DLC that’s worth hanging onto the game for, or offering tools that let them take things further.”
That being said, Hines said he understood why people were doing it. “Games are not cheap to buy because they’re expensive to make, and people are looking for ways to keep it affordable,” he said.
Second-hand console games is generally the type of piracy no one talks about, seen by many as more legitimate because they’re simply reselling a commodity they own.
Sony apparently still has “a lot of information yet to give out on Playstation 4”. Speaking to Edge, Worldwide Studios VP Michael Denny said, “The initial announcement phase that we’re in now is just to explain the vision to everybody. Part of that vision is we have created a console absolutely focused on gamers – and we want that to be gamers in the broadest sense as well.”
That last bit is referring to the price point, on which Sony said they have “learnt lessons” from the PS3 launch. They say they “want a system that can reach as broad a gaming audience as possible” – does that mean me, Sony? ‘Cause I’m really poor.
The red-haired stepchild of the console world, the Wii U, is getting a little love from Square Enix. This week they released a new trailer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut, giving some insight into how the game will play out on the Wii U. The game will also apparently feature “overhauled boss fights, refined game balance and combat, improved AI, and striking visual improvements which make this edition the best looking and most immersive Deus Ex experience available”. Blah blah blah, marketing speak. Just watch the trailer instead:
The next-gen consoles have a lot of nifty features they’d like to show off, like motion control, but Battlefield 4 developer DICE says they don’t go for any of that. This is in spite of companies reportedly “throwing money” at them – they’re nothing if not for their integrity.
They say it’s a gimmick that adds no value, and they’re not interesting in things that don’t make the game better. Fair enough, I guess. Would you like motion controls in your games?
A slightly more incognito new release is an in-production Bethesda title –incognito in that for most of this week no one actually knew what the hell it was. Earlier this week, the developer made a blog post saying they were done with Skyrim; thanking fans for the support sand saying they were “moving on to the next project”. The one thing we did know for sure is it’s not a Fallout game – Pete Hines said on Twitter, “Guess again.”
We got the first glimpse at that new project later in the week week, in the form of two obscure teasers released on video-sharing network Vine. They’re pretty obscure and it’s probably best you decide for yourself what exactly is going on. Check ‘em out:
Bethesda finally revealed the game to be The Evil Within, a new survival horror title from Shinji Makami, the man who brought you the Resident Evil series. IGN has the official scoop, and will be revealing more on Monday. Check out the trailer:
Respawn Entertainment, the studio set up by Infinity Ward lead developers Jason West and Vince Zampella after their highly-publicised split from Activision, may have a new game on the way. A sharp-eyed NeoGAF member uncovered a trademark application for the game “Titan”. No word on what exactly it is yet, however, although one would assume it’s some kind of FPS.
Fails of the week
Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat said, and I’m quoting here, “I would suspect that the audience is ready [for always online hardware].”
Really? Are we? Because it seems like the last few weeks have shown that’s exactly not what we’re ready for. Mallat defends his statement by saying that an always online service would have to “provide clear benefits to consumers”. But is that even the issue? I’m sure every always-online thing to date has claimed (fairly enough) to have some kind of benefit, but the problem is that benefit isn’t outweighing the ability to not be able to play the damn thing at all. I’ve been banging this drum forever now, but can’t we just have both? Just include a reduced functionality offline mode, and everyone is happy. Geez.
Speaking of bad decisions, Valve has allegedly refunded a customer due to a complaint regarding a religious theme in the game. The customer in question is Breen Malmberg, who describes himself as a devout Christian who was “unable to proceed” past the point of the game where the player is forced to be baptised.
Now I have no problem with anyone’s religious beliefs – but Valve is setting a dangerous precedent here. Sure, they claim this is an “Exceptional circumstance”, but I can’t help but feel they’re opening the door for people to start trying their luck with all kinds of manufactured excuses. And we all know how much Americans love to litigate.
This one is probably a little undeserving of the sub-heading, but Microsoft is allegedly working on some kind of Xbox Watch. It’s reportedly been in development for over a year, but no one really knows what it does yet. I’m putting in the fails category because you just know it’s going to – when do gimmicks like this ever really take off? It’s like 3D glasses or copper bracelets or anything you buy from Verimark – it never works the way it should, and is all but a memory within a year.
The absolute biggest fail this week (perhaps ever) is popular streamer “zilianOP”, a wheelchair-bound gamer who makes a living off Twitch donations. That is, until he said “brb” and promptly got out of his wheelchair and walked out of the room. Oops.
Twitch has suspended the account of him and his co-conspirator girlfriend, and is going to try and refund everybody who subscribed to his channel. I think the best part of all of this was his response, “I pushed off my chair and ate it.”
No, wait, I think the best response his actually his girlfriend’s, “I was going to say that, I figured you were holding yourself up with your arms.”
Check out this short video, and decide for yourself if Angel Hamilton fell out of his chair. (SPOILER: He didn’t.)
Now let’s be honest, I’ve spoilt you this week. I’ve already sprinkled a bit of video love in this article so far, but here’s a few more for you, just ‘cause I love ‘ya.
Ubisoft have released another action trailer for upcoming title Splinter Cell Blacklist, showing off the different abilities you can utilise in the game. It’s two and a half minutes of stealthy goodness:
If you’re in the mood for something a little more substantial, Insomniac Games has released a 30 minute video of their developers talking you through some of the gameplay mechanics of their upcoming title, Fuse. Fuse releases May 31st.
Finally, a new trailer for The Elder Scrolls Online has surfaced introducing Ogrim, a rather ugly brute who really wants to plant his fist in your face.
Best of NAG
Samsung has gotten themselves into hot water by allegedly making up fake testimonials on their site, getting accused of “evil marketing”. Come on guys, is anyone really surprised by this?
“Chris Kemp is the best writer on NAG, by like, a lot.” – Michelle, Polokwane
See how easy that was? Check out the full story here.
While we’re on the subject of my abuse of power for my own self-promotion, I’m going to use my NAG omnipotence to shamelessly self-plug my column this week. Mostly because it was surprisingly difficult to write, and I have a new respect for the authors of all those books I devoured in Junior School. So if you haven’t already, go on and Choose Your Own Adventure.
Moving onto hardware, NAG’s April guide to system building has moved into more awesome territory with a price point of R10,000 to R15,500. So if you’re feeling particularly flush this month or just want to do a bit of window shopping, check out Wesley Fick’s guide on where to best put your money.
After that Fick starter, I know you’re craving more. Don’t worry; it happens to all of us. For the most comprehensive and informative review you’ve ever clapped your eyes on (including insightful subheadings like ‘“Boom, boom, tsssshhhhhh! *Schlick!* “Grenade!”’), simply click this green text anywhere you like. Oh, it’s for a left-handed Razer Death Adder, if that’s important to you.