Greetings NAGullins, did you think I’d forgotten about you? Dane drew me into his web of corruption and sex this weekend, and as such I’ve been away from my PC – humblest apologies. Better late than never, here’s the news we missed from last week, complete with videos and highlights from the site.
Counter-Strike event organiser bans team for porn association
Team YP has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons – their association with site-I’ve-never-visited YouPorn, rather than their ability to play Counter-Strike (honestly, they’re not very good).
Still, I was a little annoyed when I read this week that the Electronic Sports League has chosen to ban them from their events, saying that the partners they work with have strict “no drugs, no alcohol, no pornography” rules.
Team YP had done everything they can to mitigate the effect of their controversial sponsor – with zero YouPorn branding or advertising, nothing untoward on their social media and even going so far as to drop the “YP” name entirely.
I’m kind of amazed that porn is still considered so taboo that corporate sponsors won’t allow even the most tenuous association to come near a video game tournament. Ironically, I bet those same sponsors wouldn’t let me peruse their search history.
Alicia Vikander to play Lara Croft in new Tomb Raider flick
Now don’t be ashamed if you don’t know who Alicia Vikander is – I didn’t. Probably because she just skyrocketed to fame after winning an Oscar for The Danish Girl, which I haven’t watched because I find Eddie Redmayne insufferable, like the red-headed stepchild of Daniel Day-Lewis.
You may have also spotted Vikander in Ex Machina, where she played the robot. That’s a movie I have seen, and would recommend.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing Jolie scraped off the carpet for another round, but I think she considers herself more of a srs bsness actress these days. Oh well.
Cyberpunk 2077 is much “more ambitious” than Witcher
After The Witcher 2’s critical acclaim, The Witcher 3 arrived on a tidal wave of hype and delivered a massive payday for CD Project RED, selling in excess of 10 million copies.
This means that for their next game, Cyberpunk 2077, the studio can go much bigger. According to CEO Marcin Iwinski, this game will be “more ambitious on every single front, in the development and on the marketing side”.
This isn’t the first time this game’s been talked up – back in March another studio member, Adam Badowski, said Cyberpunk 2077 would be “even better, even bigger, even more revolutionary” than The Witcher franchise.
Money’s good, but according to Iwinski they’re taking the Rockstar approach – do it right, and the sales will follow.
“For us, it’s never about money. Yes, we deliver results, but we always explain to our investors that we have a long-term perspective. They shouldn’t expect us to annualise, or suddenly start releasing games just because there’s a business opportunity. Fundamentally, The Witcher 3 has proven that… and right now, we have a lot of credit, so we should use that and take the time to make Cyberpunk something really meaningful for the whole industry. It has to reach the next quality bar, and I’m not talking just for us, but for the market.
“If we look at our role models, what Rockstar is doing is amazing. It’s not like, ‘We have to ship a game or we may not hit our financial goals.’ It’s, ‘Here’s GTA V, and by the way, it’s the best game ever made.’ We’re all looking forward to Red Dead Redemption 2, because you know they’ll show something and you’ll be like, ‘Oh my god.'”
With GTA V continuing to rake in all of the monies, it’s not a bad horse for CDPR to hitch their cart to.
Doom’s highest difficulty is so hard the people who made the game can’t beat it
Fans of the original Doom will know – Nightmare was a bitch. Everything swatted you like a mosquito, and everything you did manage to kill came back to life again. Beating the game on Nightmare was like a badge of honour you wore with the pride of a grizzled veteran – even if you left out the part where you had to play the final stage on Hurt Me Plenty.
For the reboot, the developers have busted out something entirely new – Ultra-Nightmare, which takes the batshit-crazy levels of difficulty of Nightmare and combines it with permadeath – which means if you die, you go back to the beginning of the game. Ouch. The feeling of despair I can imagine losing to the final boss on that mode is palpable.
One feature I think is brilliant, however, is the ability to compete with your friends. It’s really clever, read producer Marty Stratton’s description of how it works:
“When you die, it drops a helmet, a Doom marine helmet, in the world and your friends will see those and you’ll see them,” he explained. “So you can always try and get a little bit further than where you see that collection of helmets early in the game.”
I’m in love with the idea of entering a boss arena and seeing a pile of helmets from your fallen comrades, and just knowing this probably isn’t going to go well for you. So cool.
Network programming guru thinks there’s no hope for solving The Division cheaters
Since the open beta, The Division on PC has been plagued with cheaters; people editing game files and utilising cheat engines to do things that would make superheroes jealous.
Ubisoft responded by saying that server-side checks were to be implemented for launch, but that launch was a while ago and the cheating hasn’t stopped. According to Sony and Respawn’s former lead network programmer, Glenn Fielder, the fact that memory-editing cheat engines are working is “super bad news”.
“This indicates that The Division is most likely using a trusted client network model. I sincerely hope this is not the case, because if it is true, my opinion of can this be fixed is basically no. Not on PC. Not without a complete rewrite.”
Fiedler explains the dilemma as follows: “In top-tier competitive FPS games, the server never trusts what the client is saying—what happens server-side is gospel. The server runs client-side player inputs through the ‘real game’ on the server. The result is then seen and experienced by everyone.”
What Fiedler suspects is actually happening is a trusted client model, which means that the server runs checks on what’s coming from the client to see if anything looks suspicious, but ultimately uses the client’s input. It’s easy to see how this method could be more problematic, as the server then has to know what to look for.
Fiedler ends on a grim note: “I hope they have something up their sleeves. I hope they have a valid networking approach based around server-side checks that can address this issue in some way… But unfortunately, so far, all signs point to no.”
I’d say a “complete rewrite” is about as likely Dane missing his daily visit to his sordid sex dungeon, so it looks like PC gamers are screwed again. Lucky for me I swore to never buy a Ubisoft game on PC again several years ago, and so far it’s going swimmingly.
Veteran studio Lionhead closed down on Friday
The studio Peter Molyneux founded back in 1996 has sung its swan song, which was unfortunately a cancellation of Fable Legends.
Microsoft reportedly shopped around for buyers, but didn’t get any interest. The staff at nothing but good things to say on leaving, with many taking to social media to shower praises on their co-workers.
So there you have it – another good thing ruined by Peter Molyneux.
PSN takes in more revenue than the entirety of Nintendo
Oh how the mighty have fallen. In a very depressing observation made by a Twitter user, the last financial year shows that Sony’s revenue from Playstation Network alone was greater than Nintendo – all of Nintendo, the entire company.
Sony has the massive 40 million PS4s sold to thank, while Nintendo probably has the shocking Wii U sales figures of 12.8 million to thank. There’s also no subscription fee bolstering things there, either.
The Nintendo needs a win for the upcoming NX, or they could be in pretty serious trouble. As for Sony, they’re sitting pretty with $785m of PS4 profit, and are estimated to be outselling the Xbox One at 2:1. Feels good to be the king.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst targets 60fps on consoles, but how well do the various platforms pull this off? Check out this comparison.
The team behind Playstation exclusive Nioh have done something pretty interesting – they’ve allowed you to choose to run the game at 60fps and 720p, or 30fps and 1080p. I know which one I’d pick.
The new DOOM game has a really cool series of secrets throughout – check out this snippet of the campaign to see how much has changed in 25 years.
We’ll finish with this confusing leaked teaser for the new Call of Duty game, which seems to be titled “Infinite Warfare“. Original.
Best of NAG
Let’s kick things off with a review double header – starting with Democracy 3: Africa, where Rick de Klerk builds himself his own despotic paradise.
Then it’s the much loved, much hated Dark Souls III. Can Matthew Vice make it through without wanting to harm a loved one?
Then I’ll punt my own column for the week, a discussion on why I think console upgrades are lazy and bad.
I wasn’t the only one who discussed the console upgrades this week however; get some balance in your life and read Neo Sibeko arguing the exact opposite.