Right, so you may have noticed this column is more than a full day late. You may also notice that it’s a little trimmer than usual (but only a little). My humble apologies dear NAGguts, I was away for the weekend and didn’t manage to poop this out before I left. I tried, but didn’t quite have enough fiber to finish the job. Still, if you hit the jump you’ll find the usual news roundup, videos and NAG Online highlights. Booya!
Here’s a sweet bit of news – Metallica will be playing at Blizzcon this year. And what a fantastic choice that is.
I think CEO Mike Morhaime says it well: “After two full days of epic gaming and intense eSports action, an earth-shaking concert is the perfect sendoff for everyone at the show and watching from home.”
There’s not a self-respecting nerd on the planet who doesn’t appreciate Metallica, making me even more jelly than usual of everyone that will be able to attend the convention.
What would be your pick for live band at Blizzcon?
Right, let’s settle this once and for all – animated GIFs. Quick – say that sentence out loud. Did you say “ghif”, like a normal person, or “jif”, like a sociopathic monster?
While it of course makes no sense to say it any other way, the creators of the format actually pronounce it “jif”. Of course, as we all already know, it makes no difference what they think.
Mashable did a survey, and found that 70% of people pronounce it the correct way, and 30% of people are idiots. There were some other interesting finds as well:
82% of people pronounce “meme”, but there are a select group of savages that actually say “me-me”. Like a kid holding their hand up for free shit.
If any of you monsters are out there, show yourself in the comments so that we may burn you at the stake.
Speaking of monsters, just recently MSI revealed their flagship gaming laptop, the GT72 2QE, which has the best mobile CPU available, 16GB of DDR3 RAM and Nvidia’s beastly GTX 980M – the most powerful laptop GPU ever made.
Before you start reaching for your credit cards, keep in mind this behemoth will set you back a comfortable R40K – that’s probably more than I could get for my car.
Eurogamer took it for a spin, and managed to squeeze out 109 FPS on Bioshock Infinite with the settings cranked to very high. You’ll be hard pressed to drop the GPU’s performance below the 50-60fps range, pretty impressive for a laptop.
But, is that worth R40k to you? Weigh in, NAG Online readers, I’m curious what you think of that kind of price tag.
So, DriveClub. You remember it right, the game with the awful launch and the complete lack of launch for Playstation Plus users?
This week I’m happy to report that they’re still not releasing it. And they still don’t know when. I’m not a sadist, I just love watching a developer’s carefully constructed lying house of cards collapse in a beautiful tragedy.
There was a long post on Facebook but I’ll give you the tl;dr – “We don’t know when it’s coming, we can’t give you any info and we’re totally sorry about that.”
It’s fascinating to me how many games are still destroyed at launch by shitty server support, and how people still haven’t learnt that the extra coin is totally worth it for a stable launch.
Speaking of crappy launches, we all know since last week that The Evil Within is a buggy mess, particularly on PC where the optimization is so poor there’s not a PC on the planet that can actually crank out 60 frames.
With that in mind, Eurogamer highlighted another issue this week – the pre-patch version of the game on console is essentially unplayable. The frame rate dips into the teens at times, with rampant texture pop-ins and stuttering cutscenes.
The interesting thing here is how we all lose our minds when developers threaten us with online requirements, when they’re releasing games that essentially ship unplayable.
The prevalence of day one patches has allowed companies to press unfinished games to disc, and continue working on them even after they’ve “gone gold”. This is particularly problematic for games like The Evil Within that are entirely single-player experiences.
So, what say you, wise NAG Online readers?
Hearthstone has been Blizzard’s big surprise the success, a relatively tiny team has created something pretty incredible, and the online CCG is getting everyone addicted to slinging digital cardboard.
As part of Hearthstone’s multi-phase plan for world dominance, they are slowly released across every platform possible. After a highly successful stint on iPads, Blizzard has now announced the game will be coming to Android tablets before the end of the year.
They’re also targeting a mobile version for next year, something I’m very interested to see how they make work. According to the developer, they’re well on track:
“It’s very important to us that the phone experience for Hearthstone is just as accessible as the tablet and PC versions. One of the biggest challenges with that is revamping the user interface so it feels intuitive and offers the same quality Hearthstone experience, but this time from the palm of your hand.”
Sunset Overdrive released a new video this week. Well, rather, Insomniac released a video, the game didn’t become sentient and start uploading selfies. Anyways, this time around we get a look at the various sweet weapons on offer ahead of the game’s release on the 28th.
Bloodborne is the next big action RPG that has everyone talking, with Sony promising a February 6 release date. In the meantime, they used the Golden Joystick awards ceremony to debut a brand new trailer, have a look.
Not to be outdone, CD Projekt RED threw their own hat into the RPG ring, also choosing the Golden Joystick Awards to promote The Witcher 3, revealing the opening cinematic.
Finally this week we have Super Smash Bros Wii U, which will have, for the first time in the franchise’s history, an eight-player mode. Yup, Nintendo have doubled the carnage in a select few large-scale maps for offline play only – you can check that out below:
Best of NAG
I may be biased because I have a Logitech mouse but, to be fair, it’s kind of the greatest mouse ever. Like every peripheral Logitech makes, basically. At rAge this year, resident hardware guru Wesley Fick sat down for an interview with the company’s Robert Anderson to discuss some of their shiny new offerings.
Next up we have Episode 13 of the NAG Online podcast; a rather lively cast where we get all hot under the collar about shitty ports and 30fps caps in games. Then, once you’re done with that, check out Delano’s completion of the Podcast Challenge – get a killing spree in DotA 2. Did he manage, and with which hero? Find out here.
Next up is a full 16 minutes of gameplay of the highly anticipated Quantum Break, the time-bending action title from Remedy Entertainment. I’ve got to say, it’s looking pretty damned good.
Last and most certainly least is my column for the week, an unusually optimistic look at the current state of gaming, and why I think we may be in for a good year or two. A little less cynicism than you may be used to, so tune in this week where I shall return with my usual dose of sarcastic nihilism.