Hello once again NAGilliuns, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This time around we have Xbox going deeper on backwards compatibility, Gabe Newell makes a bizarre investment in something nobody wants and a rock band frontman really, really hates Star Wars Battlefront. Then Arkham Knight‘s new PC patch gets put to the test, World of Tanks takes on Hearthstone, Take Two CEO talks the future of Bioshock and some enterprising modders are fully caught up in the Fallout fever. All that, some more news, opinion, videos and highlights from the week, after the jump.
Microsoft is going hard on the backwards compatibility game, and the fans seem to be responding well. Whether or not it will have a significant impact on sales remains to be seen, however.
Considering the emulation technology used to get the job done, people have now started to ask – what about the original Xbox? According to the main man behind the project Mike Ybarra, Phil Spencer got there first.
“Oh boy, you sound like Phil [Spencer, Head of Xbox] talking to me. He tweets quite a bit about original Xbox. I’ll say nothing’s impossible. Right now we are very focused on trying to get as many Xbox 360 games as possible on Xbox One as we can […] We’re not looking at original Xbox games on Xbox One just yet.
“It’s certainly very challenging – getting 360 to work was incredibly challenging, and really a multi-year engineering investment. Going all the way back to the original would certainly challenge the teams, but we’re fortunate enough to have a great back-compat engineering team who loves to take on challenges – and I’m sure that they’d love that one as an opportunity to go look at.”
My question is – what the hell game do people actually want? Maybe some Microsoft fans can enlighten me here.
And now for something completely different – Gabe Newell has invested money in a kitchen peripheral.
No, I don’t mean a kitchen-themed PC peripheral, I’m talking about something that cooks food. Seriously. The “Joule” is an “immersion circulator”, which has something to do with that sous vide thing I see on cooking shows that looks like boiling something in a bag to me but is apparently more complicated than that.
The company came to Gabe’s house and cooked him and his kid a meal, he was super impressed, and threw suitcases full of money at them. Can we get someone over there with an HL3 demo?
If you wear a fedora and drink red cappuccinos with honey, you’ve probably heard of Breaking Benjamin, a British (I think?) rock band that has a hit song once every decade or so.
Anyways, their frontman Benjamin Burley is apparently a huge Star Wars fan, and earlier this week he made headlines when he broke his Star Wars Battlefront disc and posted it on Instagram, calling the game a “piece of shit”. He also said EA wanted to pay him to say good things about, but he couldn’t since he was simply overcome by how insanely awful it is, or something.
It didn’t end there though – in an interview this week, he explains why he hates it so much. It’s not particularly eloquent, but it is relatively amusing. I haven’t played the game, but it sounds a little like he might just be salty ‘cause he’s bad at it. What say you NAG collective? Agree with the sentiments?
Eurogamer has been at the forefront of intensive Arkham Knight testing over the game’s continued struggle on PC. The latest patch promised “improved VRAM management” to deal with all the dodgy framerate problems, as well as some other changes.
Eurogamer took it for a comprehensive test drive to see if there’s been improvement and… there hasn’t. According to them, the game’s core underlying issues are still there, and the 30fps cap on a PC title is still completely unacceptable (and, to be frank, it’s unacceptable on a console title as well).
It’s mostly annoying since it’s only there because the game is a poorly optimised pile that can scarcely crank out decent performance on beastly machines. At this point, you have to wonder if WB shouldn’t just cut their losses and scrap the whole thing; it’s been an unmitigated disaster from the beginning and approaching six months post-release it feels like too little too late.
World of Tanks has grown into an international phenomenon, and now the franchise is expanding its repertoire to take on Hearthstone.
Yup, the tank combat multiplayer title has developed a digital, free-to-play card game. With Hearthstone’s success, you have to wonder how many more of these we’re going to see.
It’s a decent effort as well, with an initial launch of 200 cards spread out over the USA, Germany and USSR. It’s called World of Tanks Generals, and it’s releasing on browser and iOS, with cross-play enabled. Android? No word yet, although I assume it’s on the way.
It’s officially out as of right now, and you can check out the launch trailer right now too.
The closing of Irrational Games was pretty surprising last year – it’s not like the Bioshock franchise was a flop.
Take Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said some time after that the franchise wasn’t dead, however, and would be handed over to someone else. This was reiterated this week in a press conference, where Zelnick spoke about the future of the franchise.
“The franchise is in the hands of 2K,” he said. “They’ll make announcements in due time about any upcoming releases. But BioShock is unquestionably a permanent franchise in our company and one that we do believe in.”
All that being said, we haven’t heard anything about a new development, and one has to wonder if the franchise hasn’t been put on the back burner for now while the publisher focuses on other things. Maybe I’m just so used to seeing new releases of big franchises every year though.
I will never quite get over how much amazing free content the modding community provides. If you go deep into mods, you can play some of your favourite games into infinity. Ask Delano, who still plays mods for the original Doom to this day – several of which are made every month.
In that modder spirit, a group of dedicated coders are recreating Fallout 1 in Fallout: New Vegas. Unfortunately the team doesn’t have the rights to use the original voice acting, and their replacement voice acting is, well, not great.
The goal is to keep the look and feel of the original game while making use of the far more convenient and updated systems that New Vegas offers.
There’s still a fair amount of work to do, but this looks cool. I wish I knew a damned thing about coding and could be involved in something like this. I’ll just have to settle for slipping swearwords into news articles. Shit.
Oh, also, check out this video.
Total War: Warhammer gets a new campaign trailer this week, with a pretty sweet looking map.
Bloodborne‘s new DLC is really hard, apparently. That should satisfy those who felt the original was too easy.
After a pretty long wait, Rainbow Six Siege launches this week. Check out this pretty epic launch trailer.
Star Wars fever is infecting everyone, and it seems even Michael and Trevor from GTA V aren’t immune.
Best of NAG
Dane Remendes introduces a new, possibly regular column. It has my approval, and really that’s all that matters. Check it out here.
I was a bit written out this week, so my column was a collection of some of my favourite gaming videos. Check ’em out.
Then for something completely different, a Fallout 4 spoiler-heavy analysis from Matthew Fick.
Fick Senior, not to be outdone, reviews a steering wheel.
Lastly you’re in for a rare treat – a review from the big boss man himself. Check out his take on Black Ops 3.