Hello once again NAGukks, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming (especially after that last one, amirite?). This week we have some sexy new Xbox Ones (that you can never have), a little Hearthstone discussion, The Witcher 3 guys talk sex in video games, Bioware teases a new game and a burglar gets done in by a console. There’s also an interesting new addition to Titanfall that isn’t what you think, and another big FPS release is pushed back to next year. All that and the usual stuff, after the jump.
Comic-Con is this week, and as always they have some really cool exclusive stuff. One of the best things to come out of the convention this year are a collection of 20 unique Xbox One consoles, all branded with a different game’s design. The range includes Halo, Titanfall, Sunset Overdrive and others.
They’ll be given away via a competition organised by Microsoft, which of course none of us will be entering as we’re unlikely to be in San Diego this weekend.
Still, they look super duper cool. Check them out:
And yeah, that’s it. Seriously. Consoles are boring and nothing interesting happens with them, apparently. That being said I couldn’t find any (interesting) PC news, either. But hey, we’re all here for the games, right?
As you may have heard, the Hearthstone adventure expansion Curse of Naxxramas is out, not only adding new cards to the meta but also providing a fun, single-player style campaign experience to the addictive digital card game.
If you haven’t given Hearthstone a try yet, you really no longer have an excuse. The game is completely free and will run on practically anything – whatever you’re reading this on can probably run Hearthstone. Best of all, the first leg of the expansion is totally free.
If you’ve been saving it for this weekend and don’t know where to start, why not check out this totally excellent strategy guide from Eurogamer – it’ll not only tell you exactly how to beat the bosses (if you’d rather not figure it out for yourself), it also links a ton of beginner guides for the game if you’re just getting started.
We hear a lot about gaming causing violence, but when last did you hear some politician make a fuss about gaming-prevented violence?
That’s what happened on the 1st of April this year, when a 19-year old scumbag just out of prison decided the best thing to do after missing his parole appointment was to rob someone else.
Unfortunately for him, his interrupted an intense game of Black Ops 2. While he was tying up the residents and demanding cash, the gamer on the other end of the voice chat heard the whole thing – and promptly called the police.
The police arrived a not-so-promptly two hours later and arrested him. He was quickly sent back to the big house for another eight year stretch, where he’ll likely be received with a fair amount of ridicule.
We’re used to the FPS battle that happens around November, where whatever the latest Call of Duty title goes head-to-head with the other big holiday season release; usually a Battlefield game.
That won’t be happening this year, however, as EA has announced that the release of Battlefield Hardline has been pushed back to early 2015.
According to GM of DICE Karl Troedsson, they’ll be polishing the single player’s core features, as well as adding some new ones to “support a deeper crime revenge story experience”. They’ll also be cleaning up the multiplayer and making sure the launch is smooth.
Honestly, I’m kind of impressed. I’m so used to seeing Activision rush out half-assed Call of Duty games in time for Christmas and then desperately try patch it into something playable after release, that skipping the holiday shopping season entirely for the good of the game is refreshing – especially from a company with a history like EA’s.
Sex in video games has stirred a fair bit of controversy in the past few years, with certain news outfits getting somewhat carried away with it all. A brief cutscene in Mass Effect 2, for example, had some people claiming that you could freely “rape any character” in the game. Not exactly accurate, but never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
One game which managed to get away with it was The Witcher 2, the stunning RPG from CD Projekt Red that was the surprise masterpiece of 2011. That game had plenty of sex in it – of which I only saw some since I gave up playing when I was repeatedly murdered by angry spiders.
So what’s their secret to scandal-free sex content? According to level designer Miles Tost, you just have to be tactful about it.
“The key thing is not to overdo it, not to sell your game with sex. As long as you remain tactful in what you do, as long as you have a legitimate reason to put sex in your game, I think it’s quite safe to do so.”
Agree? Disagree? I like their approach, but I do think that if the media gets hold of something what your intentions are or how you’ve portrayed something no longer matter all that much.
Epic Games is still hard at work on their community-driven Unreal Tournament title, and as part of that they’ve been doing a live stream to show off the game’s progress.
In the most recent stream, we got a good look at the potential level design – and it’s pretty damned beautiful. Designer Chris Perna explained his influences: “To me, Unreal–and the entire franchise–has always been, I used to use this term a lot, a Tim Burton Batman-type of caricature of itself.
“And where I’d like to go with the new franchise is more of a Chris Nolan kind of Batman Begins… just something a little more polished, a little more realis[tic], but without going over the top and doing kind of like what we did with Gears [of War] or [Unreal Tournament 3] and making everything dark and grimy and grungy. I think you can still have detailed environments that look amazing, and add color, and have visual clarity–and have your cake and eat it, too, basically.”
Have a look at it in this recording (the level art shows up at around 90 seconds), and tell me what you think in the comments. Personally, I think it looks great.
Respawn Entertainment has just introduced a new “black market” into Titanfall, allowing players to buy Burn Cards and Titan Insignias using Credits, a new in-game currency.
Now I know you’re already rolling your eyes about EA and their microtransactions, but good news – this is purely in-game stuff. Players will earn credits by playing matches and doing daily challenges, which they can then use in the market.
Neat, huh? Extra content you don’t have to pay for. It’s kind of refreshing.
Bioware have been hinting at a new project for the last week now, and just yesterday they finally released a new trailer – which doesn’t show much of anything.
It’s a creepy little live-action bit, and a strong indication that the game will be revealed at Gamescom next month. Some internet detectives have also uncovered that it may have “Shadow Realm” in the name somewhere. Anyways, check it out:
Ubisoft have released the first of many “behind the scenes” looks at Far Cry 4 development, this time covering the creation of the game’s setting in Kryat in Nepal. Have yourself a gander.
Now this is an interesting take on a gaming video – for their new title, Alien Isolation, Sega and Creative Assembly have put together an interview with the original movie cast, who give their thoughts on the game’s interactive environment.
Nvidia have announced their new Shield Tablet, an Android-powered piece of hardware that doubles as both a regular tablet and a full-on gaming device. The new model has improved performance and even allows native Twitch streaming. It’s only 300 dollars, and it looks pretty cool. Have a look:
Last up we have Trine Enchanted Edition, a remake of the original game using the engine of the sequel. If you haven’t played the character-switching platformer, you owe it to yourself to give it a go – it’s a great game. The Enchanted Edition is out now on PC, and will be releasing on Wii U and PS4 in the future. Here’s a trailer to give you an idea of what it’s all about.
Best of NAG
First up in our highlights this week if the much-anticipated (by me especially, I was frantically F5’ing all of Friday) Laptop Buyer’s Guide from hardware guru Mr Wesley Fick. This edition hits the real sweet spot for gaming laptops, the R10K to R19K range. If you’re looking to game on the go, this is where you’ll find your best value.
Then we have Delano’s Throwback Thursday, this time having a look at a lesser known title from the guy who gave us Earthworm Jim. It’s an entertaining trip down memory road, go and check it out.
Next is my column for the week, snuck into third place in the list in the usual optimistic hope that you won’t notice my shameless self-flagellation. This Wednesday was a follow-up to the previous week’s column on things every game needs to have, this time discussing the opposite – things I never want to see in a game, ever.
Finally we have mod and indie king Delano having a run at Portal Prelude, a community-created project that looks at Aperture Science before we trashed it in the original game. The puzzles are insanely hard, the story isn’t bad and it may just be worth your time. Find out more here.