Greetings NAGirrians, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. I’ll be honest – it was a pretty dry week for news. It feels like not very much happened, and the things that did we already covered. So I’ve abandoned the usual format for a more integrated style for the week, so I can highlight the things that were newsworthy without filling up space with crap you don’t care about. No teasers then, dive in after the jump.
Let’s kick off with something a little out of the ordinary. A group of ex-Bioshock and ex-Dead Space developers have created a new game called “Perception”. The name comes from the protagonist – a girl who’s blind. It’s a first person horror adventure, and it looks unusual, but with the kind of pedigree behind it I’d say it’s something to get excited about.
We’ll jump from there into some corporate dealings – EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson has come out and admitted that his studio is often seen as everything that’s wrong with video gaming, the “corporate beast that just wants to take money from people while they play our games”, in his words.
But, he claims, “that’s actually not what we’re trying to do” – in spite of being named the Worst Company in America several times by consumers. This title did have an effect however, with Wilson saying he wants to make things “player-first” now.
He points to EA access as an example of this, with some kind of weird caveman analogy: “For the longest time in civilization, we would spend money as human beings, then we would spend time where we spent our money. That’s reversed now,” he said. “You come in, and play a bunch of games, and ultimately you invest after that.”
Eh, I can’t say I’m entirely convinced. I would have liked him to acknowledge the problems, rather than just acknowledging the perceptions and then denying them.
While we’re on the topic of shitty publishers, ever since Warner royally cocked up Arkham Knight on PC the master race has had their pitchforks at the ready.
The news that Mortal Kombat X’s massive XL DLC won’t be coming to PC has gotten the angry mob riled up once again, with consumers rightly complaining that they’re being abandoned by the publisher.
This means highly anticipated DLC characters like Alien’s Xenomorph will not be available, and fans are pissed. Of course, this means the negative review brigade has taken to Steam, as is custom. It’s not necessarily a fair means of retaliation, but to a powerless consumer who’s already handed over his/her money, it probably feels like one of the only forms of recourse they have.
This isn’t the beginning of the problems however, but more the swan song of MKX on PC. The game initially release on PC riddled with bugs, and while patches resolved most of the issues, a recent netcode improvement patch also skipped the PC.
With this and Arkham Knight, Warner has cemented their position as the enemy of the PC gamer, usurping Ubisoft from the No. 1 spot. Speaking personally, I’ll be staying away from WB games – I’m not interested in a publisher that takes a dump on paying customers with poor platform support, whether it’s my own or not.
Let’s have an intermission for something a little more cheerful, shall we? A massive Minecraft project sees a group of players recreating GTA V’s Los Santos in a faithful 1:1 recreation.
Having never been sucked into Minecraft myself, I’m still kind of amazed at the amount of hours people can sink into stuff like this – it’s like Lego for adults. Just kidding, Lego is still the cat’s knees when you’re an adult.
Anyways, check out this video for the group’s incredible progress so far.
Uncharted 4 might be the most anticipated game of 2016. Subtitled “A Thief’s End”, it will fittingly be the last adventure of protagonist Nathan Drake.
Eurogamer sat down with series creator Neil Druckmann this week to talk about the end, and why it has to be now.
We’ve been with this character for so long…,” explains Druckmann. “He’s at the height of his popularity, so it’s not a good business decision, but I feel like the best way to honour him is to go out on top, to finish his story.
“Whether that’s it for Uncharted? I don’t know. At the end of the day Sony owns Uncharted and they can do whatever they want. But with the end of this story it will be really hard to do a sequel with Nathan Drake. Maybe there’ll be a prequel, maybe it will be a different character – I don’t know. But this is the end for Nathan Drake.”
You have to admire Druckmann acknowledging that there’s still plenty more money to be wrung out of the character, but he’s setting that aside in favour of finishing the story as it should be finished. In the current climate of big-business franchises which are beaten to death with annual releases, this is a breath of fresh air indeed.
As for the “really hard to do a sequel” part, does that mean he’s going to die? Perhaps. Perhaps he’ll just become a lumberjack like Dexter Morgan, and everyone will pretend that makes sense. Whatever it is, I’m sure it’ll be a great ending.
Here’s a couple of trailers to get you excited.
Horror games have risen drastically in popularity in the last five years or so, and are showing no signs of going away. And why would they? They’re awesome.
The next release on the slate is the intriguing Layers of Fear, an Early Access project which will be reaching its final form on February 16th on PS4, Xbox One and PC. No platform is left out of the party, unless we count those that don’t count.
According to developer Bloober Team, they wanted to “bring a new perspective to the horror genre by introducing a lead character whose own world changes around him as he struggles with insanity and loses his grip on reality”.
You take the role of a painter who is obsessed with completing his magnum opus, but is struggling to hang on to his sanity while doing it. You’ll have to navigate his creep ass house, complete with unsettling paintings and doors that don’t stay in the same place.
Love it. Check out this trailer, and don’t play this game at night.
Best of NAG
Then you can check my own list – the most overrated games of 2015.
Finish strong with Mr Wesley Fick’s always-excellent System Builder’s Guide, with the sweet-spot edition – the R13,000 to R20,000 range.