Hello again NAGurians, and I hope you all had a Happy Halloween. It’s the only day of the year you can give sweets to strange children without legal ramifications and dress up like a video game character without social judgment, so what’s not to like? This week saw the next-gen marketing teams working overtime to gloss over their flaws while loudly proclaiming their merits, a down-on-its-luck game franchise looking to revive itself on your cellphone, a competition to take fake pictures in a fake world with fake background action, gameplay videos, a Roman nudity festival produced by Microsoft and some fresh NAG Online blood for you to put through the meat grinder. Most importantly, however, I discover a powerful sorcerer masquerading as a human. It’s controversy, consoles, an exclusive reveal and naked Romans, all after the jump.
Sony released a comprehensive FAQ this week, detailing everything you might want to know about their upcoming console release.
It covers everything from the console’s hardware, software support, controller and every one of its launch titles.
One interesting bit of info to come out of it is the claim that the PS4 has the potential processing power of ten times the speed of its older brother. It’ll also, according to Sony, be quieter as well.
I’ve never really been one for all that marketing speak, ten times the processing power sounds impressive and all, but it has little real world meaning in terms of your gaming experience.
I did however, through my extensive journalistic research, manager to uncover a previously unknown fact which I’m telling you now as a NAG Online exclusive. John Carmack is a wizard.
Yes, the legendary creator of Doom has been masquerading as a human this entire time, when in actual fact he’s a time-travelling sorcerer. In an interview with Eurogamer in 2011, Carmack said that the PS4 will be “ten times faster than the PS3”. Wait, wait, it gets better. He also casually stated that the next-gen consoles will “be here in a couple of years”. A couple being two. This interview taking place two years ago. All in the face of Sony’s maintaining that they weren’t planning on anything of the sort. Please, hold your applause.
I just wish he’d been able to go ahead a couple of years and see he was wasting his time with Rage.
In spite of all the PS4 plugging that’s been going on, there’s been a lot of bad news this week too. Like the console’s ‘Share controller’ and ‘suspend mode’, which won’t be available at launch. Video sharing and streaming features also won’t be supporting YouTube at launch. And those of you with more money than sense won’t be able to watch Blu-Rays on your 4K television either.
But perhaps you’re a peasant like me and just want to play some good old fashioned CDs or mp3s. No, sorry, can’t do that either. It also can’t stream media from a PC. What the hell can it do?
Well, it sure as hell can play games, if it’s 22-strong launch line-up is anything to go on.
Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer had plenty to say about the Xbox One’s launch line-up as well, saying that he isn’t worried about Titanfall not being a part of it.
According to Spencer, Microsoft believes they’re going to sell as many consoles as they can build. And honestly, it’s hard to imagine they’re wrong. The next-gen console releases aren’t like the new iPhone or the latest handheld, this is what every console gamer has been waiting for, and I sincerely doubt either of the two big dogs is going to have any trouble selling whatever they have.
Spencer also spoke about the Xbox 360’s flagship IP, Gears of War, and the possibility of bringing it to next-gen. The Microsoft exec believes that the series would need to be overhauled, and mentioned that the most recent instalment, Gears of War: Judgment, didn’t live up to its predecessors.
“I want to find a great Gears game. And I thought we did a good job with Judgment, but I don’t think it hit the level of quality that we saw in the previous games,” he said. “I think review scores showed that, sales showed that.
“I really think we’d need to take a step back with Epic and think about, I wouldn’t call it a reboot because I think that’s an overused term, but think about where that franchise goes and how to expand what it was. I’d love to have that conversation.”
I’ve never really been a fan of the series, so I’ll leave it up to you – how would you like to see Gears brought to the Xbox One?
Hey, remember the Tony Hawk Pro Skater games? They started out awesome, and then descended deeper and deeper into a black pit of confused mediocrity.
Well the man himself spoke this week, saying that he’d like to see his games make a comeback in the mobile market.
“You just have to adapt and you have to realize where people are going to actually play their games,” said Hawk.
“It used to just be Nintendo and PlayStation, and now it’s all kind of devices. So you’ve got to learn to adapt what you know from the technology into those areas. I’ve been wanting to do a mobile game for a long time.”
As much as the last seventeen or so games sucked, I’d be willing to give it a try.
Moving onto games that don’t suck, GTA V is running a hilarious contest which continues through this weekend – who can come up with the best photobomb. Using the in-game camera you’ll have to compose the most hilarious thing you can and send it through by Monday for a shot at winning a special prize package.
If you’re looking for ideas, here’s the brief from the official website: “Whether it be a unexpectedly volatile pedestrian coming to clobber you, a scantily clad Trevor running amok in the middle of your self-satisfied selfie or a rival player causing an explosive disturbance while you calmly attempt to snap your sweet Los Santos Custom-ized hot rod – we’ll pick out five of our favorite awesomely amusing and artfully composed iFruit camera pics that fit the bill and will share the winning shots here at the Newswire.”
It’s crazy to think of how far we’ve come in the gaming world. I was listening to a podcast recently which spoke about players in the GTA V Online world discovering the podcasters in the game and recognising them, then attempting to take selfies with them while they were afk. And now, we have photobombs.
If you’re interested in entering, you can check out all the details here.
Arma 3, the world’s slowest developed game, has released the first chapter of its single-player campaign as free DLC.
It isn’t just the campaign either; it also brings in new “building blocks” for the platform such as weapons, animations, 3D objects and scripted modules. Oh, did I mention there’s a video?
No new game announcements this week, but I do have the next best thing – a cancellation of an unannounced game!
Eidos Montreal has murdered another faceless game, bringing their victim count up to three. Secret informants to Kotaku broke the news of a brand new IP which will now never see the light of day. We don’t actually know anything about it, except that it allegedly had ties to the Japanese Square Enix office.
Now I’m no expert, but the smart money is on a Final Fantasy-themed Deus Ex reboot, with some Disney characters ported in from Kingdom Hearts. You heard it here first.
Some new gameplay footage was released by Nintendo this week for upcoming 3DS Zelda title A Link Between Worlds, showing off the dungeon areas of the game. It features the new gameplay mechanic of blending into walls to make it out the dungeon alive.
One game which really impressed me at rAge this year was South Park RPG The Stick of Truth. The bad news is the game has been delayed until March next year, the good news is I have a seven-minute gameplay clip to show you! Creators of the show, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, jokingly said, “Getting the game up to the crappy standards of the show has been a real challenge and we’re excited to say it’s taken way longer than we thought it would.”
Keeping in line with the not-so-serious, WWE 2K14 released this week, the first WWE game to be developed by veteran sport sim studio 2K Sports. Worth giving a shot? Check out the launch trailer and decide for yourself.
To promote their next-gen exclusive Ryse: Son of Rome, Microsoft is launching a four-part live action series through Machinima. It tells a story through the game’s protagonist, Marius Titus, and has been rated M for blood and gore, intense violence, partial nudity, sexual content and strong language. You had me at nudity. Check out the trailer:
Best of NAG
NAG Online has been in the Halloween spirit all week, which explains this creepy piece from Rick de Klerk for a trip down the darker side of memory lane as he revisits all those childhood horror titles we were too scared to play with the lights off.
With next-gen consoles on the way, you may be getting all hot and bothered about destroying your bank accounts for sheer gaming bliss. Temper your lack of self-control with the Hardware Grinch himself Wesley Fick, who’ll tell you all the reasons you might be disappointed when you plug in your Christmas present.
Resident game review expert Rogan Louwrens took an interesting Steam title for a spin this week – The Wolf Among Us. This episodic game series takes the classic fairytale and moves it to seedy, grimy New York. It sounds awesome, but is it? Head over here to find out.
Lastly, we have a healthy dose of controversy. Fresh blood Rick de Klerk tackles this one too; issues of racism in indie title The Stanley Parable. Are the concerns legitimate, or is the internet overreacting? (it wouldn’t be the first time) Read Rick’s breakdown and see what you think.
Ha! You thought I’d actually managed to not plug myself this week, didn’t you? As if. My column this week was interesting one to write, and hopefully just as intriguing to read too. It’s an in-depth look at the tricks and strategies free-to-play game developers use to keep you playing and keep you spending. Self-promotion aside, I highly recommend you check it out.