phantom pain

Greetings NAGuxolons, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. It’s been a while since I’ve seen you friends, so stay awhile and listen. This time around we have Valve not exactly delivering on a VR promised made months ago, Nintendo stirs drama with their latest Amiibo, Xbox One edges closer to PS4 in performance and a new video game movie is in the works. Then Double Fine has a new platformer to show off, Fable Legends gets a controversial release, Witcher 3 Wild Hunt breaks records and the Five Nights at Freddy’s creator discusses revealing the franchise’s secrets. Then there’s a bunch of new videos from the week, some highlights from the site itself and a sprinkling of my opinion that nobody asked for. Hit that jump!

Console/Other News

Valve hit the ground running in the VR headset game, promising potential customers access to their Vive headset in 2015.

As it turns out, its efforts to beat Morpheus and Oculus to launch have not come entirely to fruition, as the company is now reporting that they’ll be releasing the hardware in a “limited quantity” before shipping the rest of it in 2016.

This all points to it not being the standard stock shortage we often see in sought-after hardware at release – the fact that they’re acknowledging it now points to a complete lack of any sort of widespread availability.

It seems the “2015 launch” was a bit of a smoke and mirrors effort on their part, and the HTC-manufactured offering will be accessible to average slobs like me and you at the same time as the other big players.

This means that competition will be fierce in the unnecessary, nausea-inducing hardware market early next year, and the Vive has the unfortunate quality of being the most expensive of the lot.

Nintendo’s Amiibo range has given the company’s flagging console market a bit of life, even going some ways towards resurrecting the Wii U. People like to collect figurines, and having it unlock content in-game just pushes people towards your hardware. Smart.

Now this week we see Nintendo take a new approach, with the first indie-inspired Amiibo – Shovel Knight.



The platform darling is the first indie title to get the coveted figurine treatment, and all evidence points to it not being the last either.

It unlocks the usual kind of stuff like customisable gear and some exclusive changes, but the somewhat more controversial unlock is a co-op mode for the Wii U.

Putting something like co-op behind a paywall (a figurine paywall, no less) has the interwebs all kinds of upset, which is par for the course really. Entitlement runs deep in the digital world.

Xbox One gamers have no doubt gotten bored of the hardware comparisons that come with every big release, which inevitably put the PS4 ahead in performance figures.

But it seems that the green machine may be closing the gap, with the Xbox One version of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain reportedly matching the PS4 in frames.

This does come at the cost of resolution, however (900p vs 1080p), but an independent technical analyst has described the difference as negligible, saying that the Xbone’s resolution is “no longer a tangible limiting factor”.

Unfortunately for Microsoft’s PR, they’re still having to work with an upscaled image and on raw performance the PS4 is unlikely to be overtaken – the hardware just isn’t there.

The takeaway here, however, is that for the MGS V prequel, Ground Zeroes, the Xbox One was pushing out a lowly 720p in comparison to PS4’s 1080p. It may not be able to take down the top dog in terms of performance, but if its numbers are close enough it could try win on other fronts.

Honestly, I’m just happy both games run at 60fps – no “cinematic” graphics here.

Our last bit of “other” news is that Lionsgate is planning on butchering a Borderlands movie.

I probably shouldn’t be quite so pessimistic, but in my mind video game movies have yet to prove their worth – perhaps Fassbender’s Assassin’s Creed can change that.

Still, they’ve got some big name producers on board, which means they’re willing to throw some money at this one. The studio’s heads promise the same “in-your-face attitude” that the game had, which makes me want to make like the guy on the poster and shoot myself in the face.

Gearbox tried to warn us all along.

Gearbox tried to warn us all along.

This movie’s gonna suck, isn’t it.

Sources: Gamesindustry, Eurogamer, Gamespot, Eurogamer

Gaming News

Double Fine continues to do what they do best – oddball titles with tight gameplay that try to do things nobody else is doing.

For the most part, they seem to be succeeding. This week saw another reveal from the quirky studio, a retro-futuristic (whatever that means) 2D Metroidvania which has you sailing around as a disembodied head attaching onto various humans and animals.

Each one of these bodies has its own unique abilities, which sets up some interesting gameplay dynamics. No word on a release date yet, other than “2016”. Oh, also, it’s called Headlander. The puns run deep there. Check out the trailer in the meantime:

Fable Legends stirred a bit of buzz when it was revealed that it was a Windows 10 exclusive, but now Microsoft appears to be pushing the envelope a little bit more by making it exclusive to the Windows 10 Store.

The news comes via Lionhead’s social media coordinator, who said the game would not be available on Steam. It’s pretty safe to assume that this means the game won’t be anywhere that isn’t Microsoft’s own sales platform.

Of course, the wider implication of this is the possibility that every Microsoft game which is announced for Windows 10 may in fact be exclusive to the Windows 10 Store.

This is contrary to Microsoft’s previous statement that they are “not intending to compete with Steam” – it would appear that they are very much intending to do just that.

If the reaction to EA Origin exclusives is anything to go by, I can’t imagine people will be all too happy about this. That being said, Origin didn’t exactly put a huge dent in sales, once more illustrating the inexorable truth that gamers will bitch and moan and stamp their feet but the wallets always come out in the end.

Speaking of wallets coming out, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has reportedly sold six million copies in only six weeks.

The unapologetically pure RPG has provided a massive boost for studio CD Projekt, who say that the revenues in videogame development are 7,5 times greater than what they were in The Witcher 2 release period.

The Witcher 3 is the “most profitable enterprise in CD Projekt’s entire history”, according to President Piotr Nielubowicz. That’s great news not only for Witcher fans (who will undoubtedly be seeing more Witcher content in the future), but also for gamers in general – CD Projekt is a great studio, and this boom in business will allow them to spread their wings a little more.

I'd love to see these guys take on an FPS.

I’d love to see these guys take on an FPS.

Fans of Five Nights at Freddy’s will know all about the game’s ability to weave a storied history more confusing than Lost Season 2, and many fans were hoping that the final instalment in the series, FNaF4, would answer those lingering questions.

Creator Scott Cawthon has been maddeningly vague on that front. The final game shows a box that can’t be opened at the end, and players have been sifting through game files trying to find the secret.

Discussing the interest on Steam this week, Cawthon wrote, “But then I released part 4, and somehow … no one, not a single person, found the pieces. The story remains completely hidden. What’s in the box? It’s the pieces put together. But the bigger question is: would the community accept it that way? The fact that the pieces have remained elusive this time strikes me as incredible, and special, a fitting conclusion in some ways.”

So Scott, can we see what’s in the damned box or not?! “I’ve decided that maybe some things are best left forgotten, forever.”

Well, that answers… nothing.

Eurogamer, PC Gamer, PC Gamer, Gamesradar


GTA V mods get better and better, but amongst all the ridiculous and outright hilarious mods, there are a few real gems – like this mod that makes your graphics amazeballs.

DOOM got some more gameplay this week, much to my delight, with Bethesda showing off “glory kills” – ultra-fast melee takedowns that don’t disrupt the pace of the game.

The Transformers movies suck the fat one, but will Transformers: Devastation be a decent fighting game? Judge for yourself in this gameplay trailer.

Here’s something you never knew you wanted – a top-down, Western, co-op shooter. I know right? Take a look at A Fistful of Gun (it kinda reminds me of Crimsonland).

Best of NAG

Miklos provides a double-header this week, writing a sordid loveletter to Hearthstone disguised as tournament coverage and taking a look at a lesser-known title called Skyshine’s Bedlam.

Then Rick de Klerk crawls out of his underground cave long enough to release his review of stealthy third-person title Volume.

Then Neo Sibeko took two motherboards for a spin, the ASUS Rampage V Extreme/U3.1 and the ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6.

Holy crap there’s a lot of content this week. Wesley Fick stops polishing his CPU fans long enough to review F1 2015, and Tarryn van der Byl moonlights over at NAG long enough to check out Trials Fusion‘s Awesome Level Max DLC.

Finally, I wrote a column on my birthday that reads like a drug-fueled rant of a homeless person.

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