This Week In Gaming

Overwatch header

Hello again everybody and welcome back to This Week In Gaming. We have some really exciting news this week coming out of Blizzcon – a brand new Blizzard IP, in a genre I’m betting you wouldn’t expect. Then there’s a lot of new Hearthstone cards on show as well, with a brand new expansion on the way. Otherwise we have a US gamer setting a world record, Activision pisses off PS4 gamers, Battlefield 4 running on an iPad and Just Cause 3 causes a stir on the interwebs. There’s some more news, a bunch of videos and all the usual jazz too; but really you should come for the Blizzard reveal. Man, oh man it does look good. Hit the jump.

Console/Other News

William Cruz, a 23 year old from Utah, set a new absurd record this week, proving once again that anyone can have a Guinness World record as long as you come up with something weird enough that no one has ever done it.

Personally, I’m training up for my most strawberries eaten while riding a unicycle record that I’m hoping to break later this year. The current record is 0.

Anyways, Cruz spent 79 minutes playing Far Cry 4 at an altitude of 5,660 meters. He achieved this after winning a Ubisoft competition which sent a fan to the Himalayas in which the game is set – and let them play the game early, of course.

So Cruz now holds the record for “Highest Altitude Videogame Session”. I bet his parents are super proud.

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare was just released, and surprise surprise, Activision has already pissed some gamers off.

Sony’s Share Play feature, which was launched earlier this year, allows a gamer to share access to his/her games with a second player for sixty minute sessions. Except, of course, if that player is trying share Advanced Warfare.

The functionality has an option for developers to block particular scenes to avoid spoilers, which Activision have used to block the entire game. Nice. Sony hasn’t been clear whether all publishers were comfortable with the Share Play functionality, but I guess that question has been answered.

So what say you, readers? Is this something that you feel is fully in a publisher’s rights to shut off, or is this a particularly douchey move from Kotick and co?

Mr Spacey is displeased.
Mr Spacey is displeased.

The guys working on the Frostbite engine have been trying diligently to get Battlefield 4 to run on iOS, a goal they’ve had for some time. And, according to them, they’re getting close.

“There is still much to do, but we’re very happy with the results so far,” said product manager Kristoffer Benjaminsson. “It’s a great feeling porting a system, get it running, and discover that there’s actually performance left. Even though we have much room for performance improvements on our end, we’re pleasantly surprised of the performance we’re getting from the hardware.”

For those hoping to jam BF4 on their iPads, don’t get your hopes up – this is strictly a tech demo project, never intended for commercial release.

Besides, you might get something awful like the Bioshock port anyway, and I think we’ve had about as many crappy ports as we can handle at this point.

Sources: IGN, CVG, Eurogamer

Gaming News

There was a bit of an internet stir yesterday when alleged leaked Just Cause 3 screenshots surfaced, which seemed to hint at a free-to-play model with microtransactions.

The outrage was predictable, but developer Avalanche Studios quickly stepped in to reassure everyone that they only have one free-to-play game (The Hunter).

Boss Christofer Sundberg went on to say that everyone “has nothing to worry about. Promise.”

So there you go everyone – pack away the pitchforks, Avalanche pinky swears it’s all going to be okay. Of course, the game may still have microtransactions – it just won’t be free, apparently.

Yay, I guess?

It's images like this one that have everyone up in arms.
It’s images like this one that has everyone up in arms.

So, another Call of Duty game, another host of multiplayer issues at launch. Reports are coming in from all across the interwebs of lag, packet loss, dropped games and disconnects.

This is affecting all platforms, but seems to be worst on the PC and PS4. Activision is currently giving the standard “we are aware of the issues and are investigating them” response.

Now I don’t want to outright say we never had these issues on PC with ranked, dedicated servers and no peer-to-peer matchmaking but…

Yeah nevermind, that’s exactly what I’m saying.

Blizzcon started just yesterday, which means more juicy details and potential reveals of all kinds of Blizzard goodness.

Gamespot has put together a good summary of what we can expect to see over the weekend.

The first, optimistic discussion is around Warcraft 4 – it’s been 13 years since Warcraft 3, and fans are itching for another RTS in the Warcraft universe. Die-hards will at the very least get some info on upcoming WoW expansion Warlords of Draenor.

Then we may be seeing a new Diablo expansion, along with a new character – likely something along the lines of a Druid or other form of shapeshifter.

Perhaps we can have a new storyline, one that isn't terrible.
Perhaps we can have a new storyline, one that isn’t terrible.

Starcraft’s final expansion, Legacy of the Void will probably get a flashy cinematic, and we may even see some gameplay – although that isn’t certain at this point.

Then the MOBA crew will get some more Heroes of the Storm info, and likely an announcement of a beta test that will allow more players access to the game – it does seem to be taking quite a while, doesn’t it?

Finally, Hearthstone is getting a 100-card expansion, so we’ll likely see some of those cards. I expect more focus will be placed on Hearthstone this time around since the game’s unexpected success. [Update: We did in fact see a bunch of those, 37 to be exact. You can find all of the revealed cards from the Goblins vs Gnomes expansion right here (Thanks, PC Gamer)].

What are you most looking forward to seeing at Blizzcon?

Update: That was all wrong! Okay, mostly it’s probably still right, but the important thing is that Blizzard have just announced a brand new IP called Overwatch.

The most important thing to know about this game? It’s an FPS. Yep, I’ll give you a moment to retrieve your bottom jaw.

It’s a team-based PvP experience, 6 on 6, with different character classes and “Pixar-like graphics”. The easiest comparison to be made is to the likes of Team Fortress 2, although that really doesn’t do the kind of character variety justice. Blizzard is promising their “easy-to-learn, hard-to-master” gameplay, and did I mention this is an FPS?

The game is apparently built on the foundations of Blizzard’s cancelled Titan project, the MMO that was stuck in development hell before being officially cancelled. Overwatch came out of what was left of the PvP portion of that game.

Enough blabbing – check out the trailer!

Sources: Eurogamer, IGN, Gamespot, Kotaku, PC Gamer


You think that’s the only Overwatch trailer I have for you? Please. That was cute and all, but you need to check out this gameplay video immediately to see just how awesome this game is.

Ubisoft have released a brand new trailer for Far Cry 4, alongside the game’s minimum requirements. It’s a helluva lot more sensible than what we saw for AC Unity – 4 gigs of RAM, a reasonable CPU (i5-750) and a GTX 460/Radeon HD5850. And, to show that they really do care about PC gamers after all, here’s a clip talking about all the visual enhancements they made to the game.

Wondering whether to make the jump from PS3 to PS4 for GTA V? Is it worth it? Rockstar has put out a new comparison video to help you make that decision.

Last up, we have Nintendo with Splatoon – or more accurately, the unveiling of Nintendo’s single-player campaign for Splatoon. Rick de Klerk played the multiplayer at rAge and loved it, can the single-player mode impress as well?

Best of NAG

Let’s kick things off with free stuff, because who doesn’t like free stuff? Communists and sociopaths, that’s who. This week’s contest is pretty straightforward – you can win an enormous box of games. Seriously, there’s about 75 in there. I say “about” 75 because anyone trying to count got tired after 6 or 7. Go enter right over here.

Then of course we have the NAG Online podcast, with a brand new format and a more varied set of hosts. I wasn’t on this week’s one, which is an automatic improvement in itself. It’s leaner and less meaner (I know that grammar was poor, but rhymes, you know?), and you can find it over here.

Next up is my column for the week, a list of four bad decisions developers and publishers still make all the time – and the better decisions they could have made instead.

Finally, we have Matthew Vice’s review of the highly anticipated Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Is it the orc’s pyjamas? Find out here.