Greetings NAGijinks, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. In the news this week we have a very early Switch unboxing video, a relatively under-the-radar game sells a bajillion copies, Bethesda talks Switch and Nintendo relations, we get a fresh look at sci-fi zombie RPG The Surge, a well-loved title is getting a sequel, Nintendo makes a long-time-coming change to how it handles digital content and Valve fans get another nail in the coffin for Half-Life content. All that, videos, highlights from the week and Schrodinger’s bag of potato chips, after the jump.
Terraria has sold over 20 million copies
I’ll be honest – I know very little about this game. I’d heard the name bandied about for the last few years now and then, but seeing this title shocked me a little – 20 million copies if quite the feat.
This is no doubt partly due to the game being on pretty much any platform you might own, and more likely due to the fact that developer Re-Logic has been aggressively expanding the game since it’s 2011 release.
To put things in perspective, this 2D sandbox had 250 items, 20 enemies and 3 bosses back in 2011. Now in 2017 it has 3800 items, 350 enemies and 16 bosses – that’s a pretty massive increase in content.
If, like me, you’ve never paid this game much attention, now may be the time to jump in.
Lucky dude gets a Switch early, bares all
Someone’s gonna get fired. A NeoGAF user has posted a video of the Nintendo Switch, showing the sexy turn and boot up action all you dirty bastards have been jonesing for.
It’s a little underwhelming as there isn’t all that much to see – it’s a pretty basic, minimal UI. But then again, flipping through the PS4 menu doesn’t exactly pitch my tent either.
As for how “hiphoptherobot” got hold of the console, he had this to say in his defense: “It isn’t like I grabbed it off the back of a truck or anything, I just happened to get lucky because unnamed store decided to ship early for whatever reason.”
The “back of the truck” meme has been going on so long I wish it would actually happen. Like somebody finds a Scorpio that literally fell tumbled off the back of a poorly secured Microsoft truck. Here’s the vid:
Nintendo wasn’t interested in us till Switch, says Bethesda
Ho, snap. While Nintendo was off hopping mushrooms and turning their noses up at medieval fantasy RPGs, Bethesda was hurting.
Game director Todd Howard said in an interview this week that relationships with the Japanese gaming giant have improved significantly over how they were in the past, saying that they’ve been a “very good partner” in bringing Skyrim to the Switch, but in the past they “were less interested in the types of things that we did or some other groups did”.
Seems he’s happy to let bygones be bygones however, as he’s got nothing but good things to say about Nintendo’s latest experiment. “I think it’s really smart what they’ve done,” Howard said about the Switch and its hybrid nature. “I think it’s the kind of device that only Nintendo could make. It’s exciting to bring Skyrim to the Nintendo audience. I don’t know where it’s gonna go. But I think it’s a really smart platform. We like it a lot.”
Nintendo Switch eShop will link purchases to accounts, not consoles (FINALLY)
Nintendo’s management of digital purchases has been archaic and annoying for a long, long time. Basically, games you buy are linked to a console rather than to your account, which means changing consoles or getting your games transferred was a real pain in the ass. Even worse if your 3DS or similar was simply lost, broken or stolen, getting your games back was even harder.
But no more! Now your purchase history will be linked to your account, and games and DLC can simply be redownloaded. The change was spotted by a Twitter user who saw the new changes detailed in the disclaimer shown in the unboxing video – the one you saw at the top of the article.
New The Surge trailer showcases 15 minutes of gameplay
I’ll be honest, I’m super burnt out on zombies. If the zombie apocalypse happened tomorrow I’d probably just roll my eyes and yawn right before having my eyeballs torn out.
Can The Surge’s sci-fi setting provide enough to make it feel original? Probably not in terms of theme, but the combat system does sound intriguing. Head of game design Adan Hetenyi has this to say about it:
“Combat in The Surge doesn’t use ‘light’ and ‘heavy’ attacks, but rather horizontal and vertical attacks. The reason for that is because we can target specific body parts of our enemies.” The point here is to aim for the bits not covered in metal, with a focus on melee fighting.
If action RPGs are your thing, this one may be worth a look. Check out the new footage below:
Payday 3 is in the works, but it may be a while
Payday 2 has been a massive hit for publisher Starbreeze, catapulting relatively unknown developer Overkill Software into the spotlight after the original Payday failed to generate much excitement.
It isn’t all that surprising then that Payday 3 is in the pipeline, which was confirmed in a financial earnings report. No flashy trailers or much in the way of detail, but if it’s an earnings report you can take it to the bank. Huehue.
“It is with great satisfaction that we also can announce that Payday 3 production is officially initiated and at a full design stage,” said a Starbreeze lackey.
“I’d like to especially clarify, that this project will enjoy as much time as we deem needed. It will be done when it’s done. This is our single most important brand today and the cornerstone of our business and we will treat it accordingly. Updates in the near future might be scares and far between. You simply don’t rush Payday 3.”
Damn, you’d think the fate of the free world is in their hands. Relax guys, it’s a bank-robbing game. Shit.
Half-Life 2 and Portal writer Erik Wolpaw leaves Valve
Man this depresses the ever-loving shit out of me. Writers are dropping out of Valve on the regular, which makes me think they’re getting bored of playing solitaire at their desks all day collecting a paycheque.
I’m trying to tell myself that all the writing on Half-Life 3 and Portal 3 is done so they’re not needed anymore, but that’s not a lie I can sell even to myself.
It’s so bloody upsetting that the creator of some of the most entertaining, original and innovative games of all time are seemingly so hellbent on not fucking making any.
This new Dawn of War 3 trailer doesn’t take itself too seriously. I like that.
I’m all about this new wave of interactive, narrative-driven games that are coming out, and the Canadian Kona looks particularly interesting.
Mass Effect: Andromeda has a new trailer. It’s a Mass Effect game, there’s new stuff to look at. Not much more to say here.
We go way beyond trailers here – this is the first hour of Prey.
Best of NAG
Once you’re feeling suitably bitter, ready your salt-shaker and read my rant on political correctness, over-sensitive shouty folk and the ruination of gaming.
Then Tarryn highlights a bit of local gaming talent with an interview with The Brotherhood, an indie studio out of Cape Town who just got their Kickstarter funded.
Finally, as always, rest those tired eyes with the NAG Online Podcast. You deserve it.