Greetings NAGineens, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This time around we have Mirror’s Edge changes that people are not very happy about, Oculus software gets hacked, Activision squeezes out another horrible-looking movie tie-in, Atari proves Early Access is the worst thing ever, GTA Online makes a boatload of money and Rockstar gets sued, an Uncharted 4 voice actor ruins things for everyone and Pokemon commemorates their 20th anniversary in the most disturbing way possible.
Mirror’s Edge has you parkour like a noob till you grind out some levels
Now that Catalyst is out in the wild (to a certain extent), angry fans have noticed that certain taken-for-granted abilities (like lifting up your legs) are gated behind XP upgrades, which means you’ll have to grind up levels before you have access to all of Faith’s actions.
This is in direct contrast to the original Mirror’s Edge, which gave you access to everything from the start – a variety of controls which some found daunting to start off with.
Still, the idea was that you as a player would have to learn to best harness Faith’s movements, rather than the character herself having to learn. Despite the outrage, most of the previews so far have been overwhelmingly positive. Although, Eurogamer notes that the build they got their hands on had everything unlocked already, so perhaps it’s not entirely representative of the end-user experience.
I’m not a die-hard fan of the franchise, but I’m also not a fan of the change. The RPG nature of it feels a bit shoehorned in, and appears at odds with the free-movement feel that made the original game such a hit. Games like this feel more like they should be about you mastering their complexities, rather than having to unlock them.
What are your thoughts, NAG collective?
Hacker makes Rift exclusives run on Vive, Oculus isn’t happy
As the competition for the VR space gets well underway, companies are forced to compete not only on the hardware itself, but on what kind of software they’re making available with it.
Much like console exclusives, this is a net negative for customers who just want to be able to do whatever they want. Enter the Robin Hoods of the digital age, the benevolent hacker. In a post on Reddit, a user called CrossVR detailed his guide on how to make Rift exclusives run on the HTC Vive.
Right now he’s only offering advice for Lucky’s Tale and Oculus Dreamdeck (a platformer and assortment of VR gimmicks, respectively), but noted that in theory it could work for any game. Keep in mind this isn’t piracy – you actually have to own the games for this to work.
Oculus responded saying it is a “hack” and they “don’t condone it”, adding that users should expect it “won’t work indefinitely”, as they plan on breaking it with updates.
CrossVR responded to the post saying it is a “perfectly fine reaction”, but didn’t exactly back down either, implying that he would try to keep the hack going in spite of any pesky updates. I can only imagine most of the userbase will be utilising this in order to have access to the most expansive porn database.
There’s a new Ghostbusters game coming, and nobody seems thrilled about it
Activision isn’t exactly known for their movie tie-in videogames. Rather, they are known for them, but for all the wrong reasons. They’re generally rushed-out-the-door piles of steaming garbage that attempt to cash in on a franchise name without trying too hard to be a game people want to play.
That legacy was apparently turned around somewhat by Platinum Games, who supposedly did a bang-up job with Transformers: Devastation. So what does that mean for this new Ghostbusters release? Nothing, Platinum aren’t developing it.
There’s also a trailer, which looks like ass, and doesn’t actually have any of the Ghostbusters in it. It just feels so lacking in passion or innovation that it’s hard to imagine the soul-destroying job of actually creating it. Here’s the trailer, ready yourself for disappointment.
Atari has heard how much you hate Rollercoaster Tycoon World, are planning on fixing it
This, this just annoys the crap out of me. I know I get mad about Early Access games just about every week, but I just find the whole concept so stupid and broken.
Especially for a game like RCTW, where it just seems like the crappiest business model. For games like Rust or DayZ it kind of makes a little more sense, as those are games that are completely open-ended with a pretty generic base experience that can be built on over time.
But this is a game that needs to be polished and complete when you put it out there. Hey Atari, one feature I don’t like is the one where everything glitches out horribly and nothing works, that wasn’t great.
Atari literally said in a statement this week, “We have spent a considerable amount of time testing the game, but at this point it is inevitable you’ll be running into some issues as you build your parks.” In a simulation game where everything has to work together seamlessly, dropping a buggy mess under the banner of Early Access and calling it a game is asinine.
There’s a lot of other stuff here about how much they’ve been listening and how they take responsibility and yadda yadda, but I just can’t be bothered with any of it. You knew it was a pile of crap when you put it out, why did you bother? And for all the people who voted it “Mostly Negative” on Steam, what the hell did you think you were going to get when you opted in for “Early Access”?
Just nuke this whole business model from orbit and let’s go back to accountability and not giving people money for broken things.
Pokemon celebrates 20th anniversary with lingerie
In their bid to affirm their place at the top of gross sexual deviancies, Japan has launched a Pokemon line of lingerie, which defies the general trend of lingerie by being A. Not sexy and B. Deeply disturbing.
Can we take a moment to remind ourselves that this is a show about children training pets to duel each other? Gross Japan. Just gross.
GTA Online rakes in more money than a Kim Kardashian sex tape
Rockstar has made so much money from the GTA franchise that I’m starting to wonder if they’re not just running a hilariously ironic money laundering cover for actual gang activity.
GTA V alone has sold more than 60 million copies to date, and in the paperwork of the latest lawsuit filed against them publisher Take-Two Interactive has revealed that GTA Online has loaded the coffers with another cool $500 million in microtransactions.
Which, due to the nature of microtransactions, they describe as “nearly 100% profit”. Speaking of those sales figures, between August 2015 and February 2016, the game was still selling a million copies a month – despite coming out in 2013.
As for the lawsuit itself, a former Rockstar North big cheese is suing for $150 million, saying that the company forced him out after he came back from a sabbatical. That should be no problem though, that’s just a couple of months of microtransactions after all.
Uncharted 4 cut out a big chunk of game to ship in time
After three delays, the Uncharted 4 team decided enough was enough and had to sacrifice a big set piece that didn’t have the kinks worked out in order to ship in time.
One of the voice actors, Troy Baker, gave this inside scoop: “Games are a very of an iterative process. There was a huge set piece in Uncharted 4 that I was massively in love with that had to get cut. Because it was either the game shipped broken and that scene is in there, or we put out a better game and that scene isn’t in there. And no one will ever miss what they didn’t know.”
Here’s the problem Troy, you asshole, now everybody DOES know and they want that scene. There seems to be very little gain in telling this piece of information to the public, since it just creates a feelbad experience.
I’m torn between praising the dev team for prioritising a smooth gaming experience and berating them for not getting their shit together for the third time in a row. But mostly I think I’m annoyed with Baker, who likes to pretend he’s a developer when really he’s a voice actor for a non-leading role and has to dole out pieces of unwanted information to deal with his own inferiority complex.
Sieges are different in Total War: Warhammer apparently. Very different. Check it out:
Gears of War 4‘s multiplayer is finally available for public consumption – here’s IGN’s impressions.
It doesn’t surprise me that somebody redid GoldenEye 007 in Doom, it just surprises me it took this long.
The Banner Saga 2 releases this month, and the folks had Eurogamer got to have a go at the gameplay ahead of time.
Best of NAG
Overclocking is something I know very little about, and thus haven’t tried in fear of setting something on fire. Luckily, there are smart people like Neo Sibeko to show me how to do it.
Newcomer Devin Rigotti put up a passionate column this week, calling on local gamers to support local content.
Loadshedding is coming for us all, and this week I went deep on the underappreciated hobby of boardgaming – check it out for a primer on where to start.
Time for a new PC? Limited budget? Wesley Fick has you covered with the System Builder’s Guide, this time looking at the R5,000 to R10,000 range.