Greetings NAGultons, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming, once again in it’s voluptuously complete state. This time around we have exciting news those on team Xbox One, Sony talks VR and money, an Overwatch streamer pulls off the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in a game, a South African studio gets a big project, Battlefield 1 manages to find something new to do in a campaign while the multiplayer deals with some issues and some UK unionists are up in arms over Mafia 3. All that, some videos, highlights from the week and the proverbial packet of potato chips, after the jump.
Xbox One takes down PS4 for third month in a row
After playing second fiddle for quite some time, Microsoft’s not-so-little-console-that-could has gotten over its disastrous launch and made the console race interesting again.
Fresh NPD data shows that for the third month in a row, the Xbone has emptied more shelves than Sony’s workhorse. This comes at the same time as Sony releases their PS4 Slim, although gamers with any amount of patience will surely be holding out for the Pro at this point, which may have stunted sales.
That being said, Sony isn’t in a position to make excuses anymore. Three months isn’t a hiccup, it’s a pattern, and with Microsoft’s Scorpio set to wrest the performance crown away from Sony for the first time this generation, things may continue along this trend for quite some time.
Sony sells VR at a profit
Meanwhile, Sony is making some serious inroads into the VR marketplace their Playstation-ready headset, easily the most popular stand at rAge 2016.
While the company has been known to take losses on their hardware sales in exchange for market share and future software sales, the company has come out and said the VR units are being sold for a tidy profit.
It’s not exactly cheap either, coming in at $400, or $500 if you want the camera. This means Sony have actively decided not to lower the price to entice consumers, which means they clearly believe in VR’s ability to sell itself.
Or perhaps not. Perhaps this is simply version 1.0 and they’re not looking to have a VR in every home – yet. The reviews so far have been a little lukewarm, with many pointing out the obvious that while VR is cool, it’s currently lacking a distinct amount of polish.
The sales of Sony’s device, the most accessible of the gaming VR headsets, will be a good barometer of the future of VR in mainstream gaming.
Overwatch streamer plays Winston using bananas
This one is a little hard to explain, mostly cause I have no idea what the actual f**k is going on. An Overwatch streamer managed to get a 5 kill streak on Winston, using bananas.
No, I’m not talking about a mod. I’m not even being metaphorical. I’m saying instead of operating a mouse and keyboard, this dude is gently caressing bananas.
I couldn’t just dump this is in the video section because then I wouldn’t be able to explain what’s going on. Except I still can’t explain what’s going on, so maybe just watch the video.
South African indie studio working on digital adaptation of popular boardgame
Flash Point: Fire Rescue is a popular co-operative boardgame that has players act the hero and put out fires, saving lives.
Or failing miserably and watching everything go up in flames while you reflect on your own personal failings and figure out which one of the group screwed everything up.
It’s a game that’s not as popular as big-dog Pandemic, but it’s a great family co-op that continues to make it onto tables across the world. Which means having an SA company handle the digital adaptation is kind of a big deal.
The studio in question is Cape Town’s RetroEpic, who have not as yet announced a release date. The game will allow for solo play or online with friends, and promises “beautiful artwork and animation”. The boardgame revolution is coming friends.
Battlefield 1 draws inspiration from Hatoful Boyfriend
Have you ever played Hatoful Boyfriend and thought to yourself, “Man, instead of trying to have weird disgusting sex with these anthropomorphised birds, I wish I could actually be one.”
If you answered yes to that question, then you’re a filthy pervert and should seek professional help. This is true if you’ve just played Hatoful Boyfriend.
Anyway, at one point in the Battlefield 1 campaign you get to heroically fly a pigeon to carry a message, because G-Mail was mostly down in 1912.
It’s a cool moment though, and fits into the narrative of Battlefield 1 having an absolutely kickass campaign, which is the word on the street. You can check out a whole bunch of campaign gameplay below, and you’ll find the pigeon heroics around 42 minutes.
Battlefield 1 has hackers – already
You know what else is good about a campaign? There aren’t any insecure narcissists who have to boost their shattered egos by cheating in an online game for false validation from internet strangers.
Hackers, I’m talking about hackers. Which is an overly kind term, really, since no “hacking” is really required at all. It’s been the scourge of FPS titles since time immemorial, and it’s already reared its unwelcome head in Battlefield 1 for those enjoying the Origin early access.
This isn’t the first time, either – it was a reported issue since the open beta. It’s expected, and it’s presumably controlled, but it needs to be reported so that EA can stay on top of it. Big FPS titles have been ruined in the past by uncontrolled hacking.
It’s an issue that can be tolerated in small amounts, but dedicated work is required from EA’s technical team to make sure it doesn’t become game-ruining.
Unionists are pretty pissed off about Mafia 3
A ban has been called for Mafia 3 as it apparently “glorifies” IRA bombing.
The big deal is due to a mission in the game in which players are tasked with stealing cars to be used by bombers in Belfast. This is a side mission called IRA Don’t Ask, and has a character delivering three cars to IRA connections to be used by “heavyweights” in Belfast.
A politician in Northern Island has called for the removal of the game from shelves, saying that it could harm “impressionable minds”. He further turns the screws with this: “I invite the makers of this game to come to Northern Ireland and meet some of the innocent victims of the IRA and then consider whether the contents are appropriate. I hope they can be persuaded to withdraw the game and think again.”
It’s a difficult issue. I hear the argument on it being possibly upsetting for people affected by the war, but who decides where the line is drawn? It’s okay to make games based on the Vietnam War, but not IRA terrorism? Is there a timeline for this?
I’m of the opinion that if someone finds the content of a game offensive, they’re welcome to not play it. Maybe that makes me insensitive, but everything offends someone – I don’t think a game can be faulted for historical accuracy.
I’ve got six words for you: tram hitting hundred people in GTA V. Crap, was that 7? The really important number is 100 anyway.
You’ve heard of Farming Simulator 17, but you have no idea if you actually want to play it, don’t you. This video might help you decide.
Farabel is a turn-based tactics game, and it looks really interesting. Check it out:
With the console war heating up, this video puts Rise of the Tomb Raider on PS4 head-to-head with the Xbox One version.
Best of NAG
It’s all rAge all the time this week. To see all the sweet rAge stuff, click this. But here’s a few goodies:
Tank Muller straps everything he can find to his face, and he used that incredibly weird fetish to thoroughly test the VR options at rAge.
Steep is a game I hadn’t heard of before seeing the giant signs at rAge, so it must be a big deal. Have a look what Matthew Fick thinks.
Tank’s back, and this time he’s talking about our less-than-stellar performance in Cuphead. Sweet game though.
Finally, you can read my incredibly excellent boardgame breakdown of everything at rAge. I know none of you care, but when the revolution comes you’re all going to come back and find this article with newfound appreciation for it’s thorough and thoughtful recommendations. You’ll see. YOU’LL ALL SEE.