Hello once again NAGunnits, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This time around we’ve got some Rift news for those who are still interested, some minimum requirements drop for Bethesda’s next big title and a Ubisoft is so impressed with one of their games they’re giving the team another project. Then we hear from the Triad Wars developer on how their free-to-play model won’t be gouging gamers, a Nintendo classic releases in Japan but not on Western shores and Valve is offering the greatest bundle deal in the history of anything ever. Then we also have the usual collection of video releases, highlights from the week and other stuff I forgot to type up here/didn’t forget but frankly couldn’t muster the effort. Check all that out, after the jump.
We kick things off with some Oculus Rift news this week, of which it seems everyone has an opinion.
Next in line to offer their sentiments is Jesse Schell, a so-called VR veteran who had this to say:
“It’s really funny, because when the specs for the Rift were announced, I realized, ‘Oh, my God’, these were the same specs we had at Disney in 1995: the only thing is, this unit costs $300, and ours cost $300,000.”
He also had some complimentary things to say about the Rift’s hardware:
“One of the things that’s so genius about the Rift is using the GPU to compensate for the deficiencies of the lenses, which was a thing. It was always like, ‘you could do this, but you need $600 lenses’, and that’s just, ‘What the hell are you gonna do?’. But no. Now, you have cheap-ass plastic lenses and correct for it in software, which is absolutely genius.
“OLED is really important, because it gives a really fast latency. So it’s like a number of things have converged so that this is the right time.”
Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on some “cheap-ass plastic lenses”.
More Rift news, the hardware will be getting its very own kind of App Store later this year, except everything will be free.
The store is there to support the Samsung-Oculus collaboration, Gear VR, which will launch before the end of the year.
This isn’t an act of charity, however, a payment mechanism just won’t be developed in time. So you may not pay now, but expect to pay in the future.
I can’t help but wonder what kind of a Wild West that store is going to be to start; I imagine a lot of porn, a lot of really crappy games and a lot of morally corrupt sexual exploitation titles. Maybe I’m just a pessimist, but I doubt it’s going to be all Angry Birds and virtual nature tours.
Bethesda’s The Evil Within has finally “gone gold”, which means the recommended specs have been dropped into the public space.
These are a kind of hybrid between recommended and minimum – according to the developer, this is what you’ll need to play “optimally”. Reading between the lines, I assume that means that less power than this might run the game, but it will look like boiled ass. You’ve been warned.
The gist of it is: 4GB of RAM, a GeForce GTX 670 (or something equivalent with 4GB of VRAM), a quad-core i7 CPU and 50GB of space.
Time for an upgrade?
Ubisoft Montreal’s digital-only, RPG platformer Child of Light got an extremely warm critical reception this year, and the studio is so happy with how things turned out that they’ve made the people behind it a core development team, who’ll be working on a new project.
The developer’s VP of Creative, Lionel Raynaud, had this to say: “The team learned a lot about RPG mechanics during development and this has resulted in us creating a core team. The people who made this game now want to work together again, whether it’s on a small game or not.
“This dynamic has incredible value in the industry and it’s what we want to do: we want to create core teams that want to make great games.”
It’s quite refreshing to see a big developer/publisher like Ubisoft putting out something smaller-scale and original, and I hope that the next project the team works on has a similar tone to it.
Let’s kick things off with a super awesome deal (for PC gamers, obviously, we get all the best digital deals). Right now on Steam you can get the Valve “Complete Pack” for 75% off, keeping in that it’s already heavily discounted.
Basically, the games individually amount to $285, if you buy the pack it’s just $99, and if you buy the pack before 1 October, it’s a ridonculous $25 for the lot.
That’s about 250 bucks for every Half-Life game ever made, every Counter-Strike, every Left 4 Dead, Day of Defeat, Portal and Team Fortress. Yeah, that’s kind of insanely good value.
Next up we have more news on Triad Wars, the Sleeping Dogs spinoff developed by United Front Games and published, of course, by Square Enix.
If you hadn’t heard, the game is using a free-to-play model, but uFG says they won’t be implementing a pay-to-win or “pay-to-have-fun” mechanic for the game.
“Our guiding principle is that gamers should be having fun, first and foremost,” said producer Justin Bullard. “We live and die by that at United Front Games.
“We aren’t interested in nickel and diming people, but instead want to build a game that players will keep coming back to, because they love it.
“How we monetise is something we’ll be testing and tuning based on what we learn in our beta tests. Our guiding principle is that you shouldn’t ever have to pay in order to enjoy the game.”
Fatal Frame for the Wii U drops this Saturday in Japan, continuing the survival horror series that has become a cult classic to Nintendo fans.
But here’s the bad news – there is, as of yet, no confirmed Western release. Which means us lowly South African folk may never get our hands on this game, no doubt quite a blow to fans of the original – of which there are many, and they’re pretty serious about it.
To twist the knife a little more, a new video has surfaced showing off the first thirty minutes of the game. Check it out, if you can handle the heartbreak.
First up is a new Far Cry 4 trailer, featuring the charming yet not quite sane Pagan Min, the so called “King of Kyrat”. There’s a bit of rather bonkers action, too.
Sony have announced a sequel to the rather successful indie skater title OlliOlli, named OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood. Try say that ten times fast. The Roll7 developed game will build on the features that made the original a success, and adding new gameplay elements such as ramps, jumps and “epic hills”. The title will be exclusive for six months to the PS4 and Vita.
Next is yet another somewhat terrifying Alien Isolation video, the next instalment in the “How Will You Survive?” series where the protagonist tends to, well, not. Check it out:
We end things on a lighter note with Saints Row: Gat out of Hell, the standalone expansion which will be dropping on all major platforms early next year. In the meantime, Deep Silver have put out this five minute gameplay video for your enjoyment.
Best of NAG
Mr Delano took another oldie-but-goodie for a spin this week in his Throwback Thursday series, this time looking under the hood of a lesser-known Bullfrog racer called Hi-Octane. You can get your intravenous hit of nostalgia right over here.
Then we have a soul-crushed Wesley Fick take on the most evil Podcast Challenge yet, take on an insanely difficult, modded Doom 2 – issued by the usually kind-hearted Delano. Did he manage to slog his way through the depths of hell and avoid wearing the Hat of Shame to rAge 2014? Find out here.
Speaking of rAge 2014, already you may have seen news about the expo popping up on the site, with a lot more coming in the week leading up to the greatest gaming weekend of the year. Keep up to date by following the official tag, which you can find by clicking this green text.
We end on a high note with NAG Online’s eagerly-anticipated Destiny review, handled by the illustrious Miklós Szecsei. It’s the only Destiny review that really matters, and you can find out what this wise, exotic-named jewel of a man thought of it right here.