Hello again NAGinanas, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This week we hear comforting news about the future of Xbox, surprising news from Bethesda regarding Oculus, Apple makes a music star into a billionaire, a new MK may be coming soon, Visceral Games responds to the Hardline leak, Bethesda announces a new game and The Order 1886‘s game director has some creative excuses for the game’s low framerate. Then there’s videos, NAG highlights and my unwanted opinion. What more could you want? Hit the jump.
Ever since news broke that Ballmer was out as Microsoft CEO and Satya Nadella was in, there’s been widespread speculation that the new captain of the ship would look to pitch the Xbox division overboard ASAP.
Fortunately, Nadella said this week that he has no plans on touching the green machine.
Or, more specifically, he has “no intent to do anything different with Xbox than we are doing today.”
Now that that’s settled, let’s talk Nintendo. In honour of their Super Smash Bros. Invitational tournament, the Wii U is getting a special GameCube adaptor, which will allow you to connect up to four of the aging console’s controllers to the Wii U.
There’s no word yet on whether the controller can be used for other games, but it’d be a little disappointing if it can’t.
One of the companies that showed early interest in making games that could utilise Oculus Rift technology is Bethesda, the dev behind the Elder Scrolls series.
Things got a little awkward, however, when Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax Media sued Oculus Rift for stealing their technology.
That is, unless you believe Bethesda’s PR and marketing VP Pete Hines, who thinks it isn’t a problem whatsoever.
“I don’t think that [the lawsuit] is an incentive or a deterrent [to make Rift games]. I mean, that situation is what it is.
“We have and will continue to make decisions that we think are in the best interests of our games and our audience.”
That sounds nice in theory, but I have to imagine it’s the people signing the cheques who have the final say.
Not exactly console news, but after much rumour and speculation Apple is officially acquiring Beats, Dr Dre’s headphone company, for $3 billion.
This will give the company the headphone and speaker business, as well as the recently launched streaming service Beats Music. Dr Dre, on the other hand, will get enough money to live on an island paradise for the rest of his life and light his cigars with $100 bills.
Apple claims it will keep the brand intact; beyond that, we don’t know.
One thing we can be sure of is that Dr Dre is one savvy businessman. He’s just one of many hip-hop stars who have proven themselves to be even better at being entrepreneurs than rappers; a lot of the big names have made their fortunes through ventures aside from their music.
Dr Dre has Beats, 50 Cent has Vitamin Water and P. Diddy has… well, everything.
It seems almost certain at this point that Mortal Kombat 10 Is about to be unveiled. Following the leak of a new poster, series co-creator Ed Boon took to Twitter and said, without much subtlety, “I don’t suppose there’s anything I can do to make you think we still MIGHT be announcing Injustice 2 in #five days is there?”
There’s been plenty of teasing of an announcement for weeks, and the irony in Boon’s tweet wold suggest it’s almost certainly a new MK game. NAG Online will, of course, keep you updated.
Game leaks are the bane of developers everywhere – especially when it’s actual gameplay footage and not a half-rolled poster. The first time you see their new game they want it dolled up in makeup and high heels, not rolling out of bed with messy hair and smudged mascara.
That’s pretty much what happened with Battlefield Hardline, this year’s franchise entry which features a cops and robbers feel instead of soldiers and soviets.
EA scrambled to have the leaked gameplay video taken down ASAP, but thousands of people managed to watch it before YouTube could spring into action.
Heading to Twitter for damage control, Visceral Games GM Steve Papoutsis had this to say:
“Video that’s out there was for an internal meeting. It’s 6 months old now and team has been cranking since then. See the real deal at E3.”
So then, if you were feeling a little let down by what you saw, fear not – E3 promises a younger-looking, sexier and all-over improved version of this year’s Call of Duty competitor.
A slightly more oddball FPS title to get announced this week was Bethesda’s foray into free-to-play multiplayer Battlecry, developed by Texas-based crew Battlecry Studios.
With some impressive talent, including Viktor Antonov (Half-Life 2, Dishonored) on art direction and former Bioware Austin head Rich Vogel taking the lead, BattleCry is set in a world where gunpowder has been banned following a massive world war at the beginning of the 20th century.
Crossbows, melee weapons and other tools of murder are all fair game though. It’s more Hunger Games than Call of Duty, and promises “fun and accessible multiplayer” for up to 32 players.
Bethesda handling a free-to-play multiplayer FPS is pretty intriguing to say the least, and the premise is even more curious. The good news is, this one will be at E3 as well.
The Order 1886 is a pretty game, and as such, can only run at 30 frames per second.
Oh no nevermind it isn’t that, it runs at 30fps because the devs want a “cinematic look”. According to game director Dana Jan, 60fps looks like “something on the Discovery Channel”, and not that moviehouse feel they’re really going for.
I’ve heard a lot of spin-doctoring in my time, but this is easily some of the best. To Jan’s credit though, she does follow that up with a bit of actual honesty:
“We don’t have a game where you’re just outside in sunlight, so there’s one light. We have candles flickering, fires, then characters have lights on them. So [to make] all those lights [work] with this fidelity means, I think, until the end of this system most people won’t have any clue how to make that run 60 and look like this.”
So, in short, the game runs at 30fps because the graphics can’t handle 60fps. Same way things have always been. Cool. Can we leave out the crap about a “cinematic feel” then?
Upcoming title Enemy Front releases on all old-gen platforms come June 13 – but is it worth your time? Check out this trailer and decide if this CryEngine 3-powered stealthy romp through World War 2 is worth your time.
Crowd-funded PC title Tangiers is looking creepier and creepier all the time, having players explore “broken cities and landscapes”, according to creator Alex Harvey. Have a look at the unsettling world in this new trailer.
Remedy Entertainment’s long-awaited new IP Quantum Break has been confirmed for a 2015 release, after we got our first look at it at the Xbox One reveal back in 2013. The game will be officially unveiled at Gamescom, but in the meantime there’s this sneak peek of gameplay footage.
The gaming world is slowly becoming saturated with MOBA titles, with varying degrees of success. The latest entry into the genre is Magicka: Wizard Wars, a 4v4 battleground of cheeky, spellcasting wizards. It’s got an amusing flair to it and actually looks pretty fun. Best of all, it’s in open beta. Have a look:
Best of NAG
Did you see the Watch Dogs marketing disaster this week? In case you didn’t, here’s some spoilers: it involves locked safes, terrified Australians and the bomb squad. Real all about it here.
Speaking of Watch Dogs, how about some free stuff? Watch Dogs free stuff, such as a hoodie, t-shirt, keyring, USB wristband, pen, cap and notebook (of the writing persuasion). All you have to do is drop a comment right here.
The Watch Dogs PR fail from this week was just one of many ill-fated gaming marketing campaigns. So then, it’s somewhat appropriate that my column this week was spent recounting 6 of the best. Check it out over here, and then tell me which ones I missed.
It’s the beginning of a new month, which means that NAG magazine is hitting the shelves of every store worth your time and money. This month we tackle Destiny – the $500 million Bungie title that could be the biggest game of the year, or the biggest flop. There’s also a whole lot of reviews, previews and a laptop that will take on your gaming rig. Find out more right here.