This Week In Gaming

war z

It’s been another long week crawling across the desert, but we’ve made it to the oasis of Saturday. And what would a Saturday be without looking in on what you’ve missed? As usual we’ll be checking out the news highlights of the week we didn’t cover, and some of the eyebrow-raising ones we did. This week we’ll be seeing what’s hot off the rumour mill, going over a ton of console news, a few other odds and ends and wrapping up with the best of NAG. Get yourself caught up after the jump.

Rumour mill

As usual the games industry has been leaking like a tap, and this week brought with it no shortage of rumours, speculation and all things unconfirmed.

The rumour bloodhounds at NeoGAF have discovered a trademark filed by Square Enix attorneys for Deus Ex: Human Defiance, which would seem to point to a sequel to the semi-successful 2011 title Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The publisher is also currently working with CBS on the Deus Ex film, which might mean people finally learn how to pronounce it.

A poster for the alleged next title in the Assassin’s Creed series has been leaked to Kotaku. The game would appear to be titles Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and is said to feature a focus on naval combat and be set in the Caribbean. This new leak is in-line with a couple of unrelated Reddit posts from the last few weeks where two different people spotted people in public areas working on marketing material for the title. So either this is an extremely elaborate troll, or its pretty legit. Here’s an image of the poster:

assassins creed 4 black flag

Another image doing the internet rounds wasn’t so much of a “leak” – since it was posted by Avalanche Studios CEO Christofer Sundberg – and speculation is that it hints at another Just Cause game. Check it out and decide for yourself:

just cause 3 leak

Moving away from games, hardware detectives VGLeaks have allegedly uncovered specs for the next-generation Xbox. The PS4 rival will reportedly run an eight core CPU (spread over two modules) at a speed of 1.6GHz. It will also have 8GB of DDR3 RAM, a D3D11 video card running at 800MHz and a 500GB drive. These specs would appear to be pretty similar to what’s under the hood of the PS4, but again, nothing is confirmed. The device is also rumoured to be officially revealed this April.

Sources: IGN, Kotaku, Joystiq, CVG, NAG 

Console news

Of course the biggest news for the joystick jockeys in the last couple of weeks has been the announcement of the PS4, which was kind of a big deal. In case you somehow haven’t caught up yet, here’s a handy recap video of what Sony is offering with their next generation.

Disappointing news for Diablo III fans (are there any of you left?) – the upcoming console versions of the game will not allow cross-platform play. This means that character accounts on your profile and your PSN profile will also be kept separate. Perhaps more disappointing, the PC game won’t be given support for analog controllers.

Speaking of controllers, Sony reportedly consulted with a number of Playstation owned studios in the development of its Dualshock 4 controller. Game director at Guerilla described it as “a great controller for an FPS” and studio co-founder Hermen Hulst said it’s “a big step forward from what we have [on PS3]”, with no bias whatsoever. According to them, it’s the small changes that make a big difference – such as raised indentations on the analog sticks for greater precision and the inclusion of a microphone port. It is somewhat comforting that the people who actually make games had a say in the device we use to control them.

In the midst of all this next-gen madness, there’s one release some may have overlooked – the Android powered, Kickstarter-funded Ouya console will finally be in players hands on the 28th of March – well, players who helped get it made that is. With the company eyeing June for an official retail launch, those who contributed to the Kickstarter will be getting three months before anyone else. The console will come with a modest price tag of only 100 dollars. With over 500 Android games already available at launch, we can expect some reviews of the device right out of the gates.

ouya console

One device with considerably less than 500 games is the Vita, and things are getting worse before they get better. The highly-anticipated Bioshock Vita is apparently not yet even in development. Even though the game was announced nearly two years ago at e# in June 2011, it’s reportedly still in the “paper design” stage. Irrational Games founder Ken Levine said, “Until somebody starts signing cheques, there’s nothing I can do”, and a little more worryingly, “I’ve got my fingers crossed that that’s going to happen.” Meanwhile, on platforms people actually play, Bioshock Infinite has been confirmed for a March 26th release and Irrational is already working on the DLC.

Japanese inventor Seijiro Tomita is suing Nintendo in the US for stealing his idea for the Nintendo 3DS. According to Tomita, he presented a prototype of the technology to seven Nintendo employees back in 2003, four of whom went on to work on development of the 3DS. Nintendo counters by saying that the 3DS doesn’t use any key aspects of Tomita’s patent, and those same Nintendo officials had had “hundreds” of similar meetings.

Sources: CVG. GameInformer, CVG, Engadget, IGN, CVG

Odds and Ends

Blizzard has released a new Heart of the Swarm trailer, which is awesome because they make literally the best videos ever. Even if you care less about Starcraft 2 than Justin Bieber’s new album, you should check it out anyway:

A slightly less flashy but equally entertaining video worth your time is the latest God of War: Ascension developer diary, focusing on the creation of the Empusa. The game releases on March 15, in the meantime, whet your appetite with this:

After a disastrous launch, The War Z has finally made its way back onto Steam. The game has been shrouded in controversy, with a horrendously bugged initial release missing entire features. It’s also come under criticism for being a blatant cash-in rip-off of ArmA II mod, Day Z. The real question now it’s back is, does anyone still want it?

Sources: Joystiq, CVG, Gamespot

Best of NAG

It was a mixed bag this week, with no one thing dominating the headlines like last week (PS4, of course). One thing you must check out is Nic Simmonds review of indie title The Bridge, which I haven’t had the pleasure of playing yet but looks absolutely insane. Check out the review and mind-bending visuals here.

Another review closer to my heart is Alex Jelagin’s review of the new Gatecrash Event decks for Magic: The Gathering. It’s a game I played a ton in school and in the last couple of years it grabbed my attention again. It has a really vibing casual competitive scene, especially in the larger cities, and these Event Decks are a great and cheap way to get involved (hint: get the Rally and Rout one). Check out the breakdown here.

Closer to home, we have the upcoming launch of Telkom’s VDSL service, offering speeds up to 40mbps. I shouldn’t complain about forward progress, but having to shell out R2K+ for 20mbps uncapped is still a little ridiculous. It might however mean a drop in price for the slower options, so that’ll suit us plebs just fine. For a full breakdown of all the options and costs, go here.

Last (but the very opposite of least), we have a brand new issue of NAG hitting our shelves. The March issue gets inside the long-awaited return of Simcity, puts the best mobile games under the microscope and features a massive Dead Space 3 review. The March issue is available right now, so you have no excuse to be bored this weekend. For optimal shelf-scanning expediency, familiarise yourself with the cover:

0313NAG - Cover

Sources: NAG. NAG. NAG and yup, NAG.