Hello once again NAGellians, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This week we have a special announcement from EA, a console pricing scandal sets the internet rage ablaze and Sony does something unique for the Playstation’s 20th birthday. Then Bungie discusses raid matchmaking, Ubisoft confirms their next Assassin’s Creed title following a leak, inXile teases a new RPG and the Smash Bros. creator has an announcement to make (again). Then of course there’s the usual videos and NAG highlights, as well my unwanted opinion shoehorned into everything. What’s not to like? Hit the jump.
Expect a lot of announcements this weekend, as The Game Awards takes place on Saturday with a whole lot of devs promising to use the event for a bit of publicity.
According to EA CEO Peter Moore, the publisher will be making one such “special announcement” on Friday night – which means by the time you read this, we should know what that announcement is. Exciting stuff.
Host of the event Geoff Keighley has also teased “more than a dozen world premieres”, including Kojima’s reveal of Metal Gear Online and updates on Bloodborne and The Order: !886.
Oh, and it’s an awards show – so there’s that too. My money is on Hatoful Boyfriend to take down the whole thing.
Moving on to a bit of internet drama, the outrage of choice this week was digital pricing on the PS4 vs Xbox One. Apparently, Sony fans are having to pay a fair bit more for their games than their green counterparts – specifically, Telltale Games’ Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones series.
It’s not a small difference either – the Game of Thrones Season 1 Pass is 25 pounds on the PS4 and only 16 pounds on the Xbox One. That’s R160 difference – quite a hefty chunk.
Predictably, PS4 owners were none too happy about this, calling the pricing a “rip-off” and lamenting the lack of parity across platforms.
So what’s going on? We don’t know – at the time I’m writing this, neither Sony nor Microsoft has responded. There’s a chance Microsoft have simply cut a deal to undercut the PS4, but you have to wonder whether this would be enough to sway anyone over to their side.
In celebration of their 20th anniversary, Sony released a super cool looking PS4 designed to match the look of the original Playstation.
Continuing with the festivities, Sony have now released a free theme for PS4, PS3 and Vita owners, to give their console the sounds of the original.
If you’re interested in dose of nostalgia and a bit of retro flavour, the new theme is included in the latest firmware update. You can hear some of the new sounds in this video:
A lot of Destiny players have been calling for raid matchmaking, allowing individuals to link up with other gamers with similar goals.
According to lead designer Luke Smith, the team has noticed “voracity in the fanbase for content that challenges them in some different ways”.
Unfortunately, he also said, “We have absolutely no plans to do raid matchmaking at this time.”
Smith elaborates, “I think rather than say ‘Yeah, we’re going to make matchmaking for raids,’ the way I’m thinking about this problem is how we’re going to create that kind of content and create those kinds of emotions in matchmade activities. I think that’s the challenge. It’s not how do we change the raid-design philosophy to allow for matchmaking.”
If you were one of the players hankering after this feature, apologies for the bad news.
You know what nobody needs right now? Another Assassin’s Creed game. With the release of two AC titles in the same year, with Unity being riddled with bugs and possessing a general lack of polish, one can’t help but feel they’re being forced out the door far too quickly.
Still, 2015 is a new year, which means a new Assassin’s Creed title must be delivered. According to leaked assets which have now been confirmed by Ubisoft, the next entry into the franchise will be titled Victory, and set in Victorian London.
That being said, the publisher was less than happy about the leak. They had this to say:
“It is always unfortunate when internal assets, not intended for public consumption, are leaked.
“And, while we certainly welcome anticipation for all of our upcoming titles, we’re disappointed for our fans, and our development team, that this conceptual asset is now public.
“The team in our Quebec studio has been hard at work on the particular game in question for the past few years, and we’re excited to officially unveil what the studio has been working on at a later date. In the meantime, our number one priority is enhancing the experience of Assassin’s Creed Unity for players.”
In an atypically savvy PR move, Ubisoft makes sure to nip the potential shitstorm right in the bud – the idea that Ubisoft is focusing on a new title while their current one is suffering from a host of problems. Maybe they’re learning something after all.
While we’re on the topic of games in development, Wasteland 2 developer inXile has teased that they have begun work on a “passionately demanded” RPG – no word on what that RPG is, however.
Best guesses put it as being either another Torment or Wasteland title, or a sequel to 2004 RPG The Bard’s Tale. Personally, I’d be lying if I said I was particularly familiar with the dev’s work, so what say you, NAG readers? Any guesses?
Creator and director of Super Smash Bros., Masahiro Sakurai, has said that the Wii U version of the franchise will be the last he works on.
He does say that this doesn’t necessarily mean that the franchise will end with this iteration, but he is adamant that his involvement will.
I’m sure you’re wondering, “Why?” According to Sakurai, the personal investment and stress has just been too great.
“In terms of scope, and in terms of sheer number of characters, we went beyond our limits long ago.
“And yet, if we cut the number of fighters or modes in a future game, I’m sure there would be complaints.”
This, you must admit, is more than likely the truth. But he elaborates:
“You could say that all the effort in the past to stretch out, keep pushing myself, and provide all these extra merits wound up tightening the noose around my neck in the future.
“That may seem like it contradicts my personal desire to keep giving gamers as much as I can, but I don’t see any easy answer for it. And yet, despite that, I also have trouble picturing someone else taking my place and providing all this value-added content without me.”
It’s important to remember that this isn’t the first time Sakurai has sworn off the franchise, only to be reeled back in by Nintendo. Perhaps after a cooling off period, he may be tempted back once again.
We kick things off with a little madness – the Saints Row Gat Out of Hell Musical Trailer. Honestly, it’s exactly what it sounds like it is.
Then we get a little more serious with this new Rainbow Six Siege video, focusing on the games cover and navigation mechanics.
Aaaand we’re back to madness, with the announcement of a new PS4 title, Rocket League, which apparently has cars playing football. Seriously.
Then we finish strong with Evolve, the highly-anticipated asymmetrical FPS that has a team of four humans battle a giant monster. The video below shows off two brand new monsters for players to attempt to violently murder. Nice!
Best of NAG
Next up is a column from Mr Rick de Klerk, discussing the issues with Early Access. It’s everything I wished I could say quite so eloquently in my rage-fueled podcast rants, and it’s a must-read for any gamer who makes digital purchases.
Then we have my own, far inferior opinion piece for the week – a look at six of the most overused themes in modern gaming. Does your favourite game fit one of these moulds? Probably.
Finally, we end things off with Fick Senior, writing his own rant about the release of Ubisoft’s The Crew. He doesn’t put down his SSDs to rant all that often, but when he does, it’s great. Beware the calm ones.