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Greetings NAGellans, and thanks for stopping by for 2015’s first This Week In Gaming. To kick things off this year we have Xbox One DRM drama, a fan-made live-action short for a popular (yet unfinished game), Windows 10 reveals something actually worth having a look at and Sony’s got some good-looking PS4 numbers. Then my number one game for 2015 goes gold, a much-loved studio closes its doors and a mindblowing Easter Egg is uncovered in Dragon Age Inquisition. Then of course there’s the usual batch of videos and NAG highlights – all after the jump.

Console/Other News

Xbox One owners were left frustrated earlier this week when their digital copies of Far Cry 4 stopped working – as a result of the game being delisted on the Xbox Games Store.

While the delisting was a temporary error, this led to a more worrying conclusion – that customers would no longer have access to games that had been delisted. The ever-worrying spectre of unmanageable DRM was looming once again.

Microsoft quickly responded to say that this wasn’t in fact true, and that even delisted games can be redownloaded. As for what exactly happened with Far Cry, no one has really said anything.

If you were victim of this particular bit of panic, here’s something to cheer you up – 14 guesses from Eurogamer at the Far Cry 5 setting.

Dean Hall, creator of DayZ (who has since left the studio), popped his head up onto the internet this week to highlight a live-action short film about the game.

The chances anyone ever actually gets to play the finished version of this game is somewhat slim at this point, so perhaps this is the best we’ll be able to do. Hey, perhaps a group of fans can try and cut the development time down by a decade or two?

Anyway, it’s made by a French group called Eternum Pictures, and it’s actually pretty good. Check it out:

Windows 10 development is well underway, and this week we got a juicy new detail about the upcoming operating system.

It’s ditching Internet Explorer. Yup, the crappy browser that no self-respecting nerd will be caught dead using is finally getting a mercy killing, and being replaced by shiny new replacement, codenamed Spartan.

In order to compete with big dogs Firefox and Chrome, Spartan will reportedly have a number of features the competition doesn’t.

These include the ability to annotate a webpage and send it to another person, as well as integration with Cortana, Microsoft’s voice-enabled digital assistant.

Perhaps unsurprisingly considering the direction Microsoft has been taking recently, the browser is designed to work as a single application that can be used across PC, tablet and phone.

The design is reportedly a “simplified version of Chrome”, designed to look sleek and unbloated. I must say, I’m curious to see how it shakes out – I’d definitely be happy to give it a try at the very least.

Our last bit of console news for the week is some more big numbers for Sony – the PS4 has now sold a global 18,5 million units.

In addition, 11 million of those buyers have signed up for Playstation Plus.

Not too shabby at all – do you, readers, think the Xbox One can catch this runaway train?

I'll give it one thing - it is better looking.

I’ll give it one thing – it is better looking.

Sources: Eurogamer, Eurogamer, Gamespot, CVG 

Gaming News

Evolve has finally gone gold, which means it’s officially ready to be slapped on a disc and shipped.

Of course, a company saying they’ve “completed development” means little in this new world of day-one patches and weeks of post-launch bugfixes; I just hope developer Turtle Rock Studios doesn’t disappoint in that regard and release a game that perhaps was not yet ready to be released.

I’ve been chomping at the bit for this one for quite a while now (largely to exact revenge on Delano), and I don’t have much longer to wait – the game drops February 10th on all platforms. Will you be picking this one up?

Really, you should. It's a blast.

Really, you should. It’s a blast.

On a more disappointing note, Spec Ops and Blacklight Retribution developer Zombie Studios is closing its doors, after 21 years in the industry.

Here’s an excerpt from the official statement: “The owners of Zombie Studios are retiring and wish to thank you, our fans for the years of support you have provided us. It has been awesome working with all the various technology over the years, both hardware and software, growing with the industry and our fans, and producing fun games technology of our own.”

I hope that it is simply a “retirement” and nothing more – I can’t help but feel like a lot of the smaller studios are slowly getting forced out by the bigger publishers with deeper pockets.

Since the days of vinyl records, adolescents and adults alike have been eagerly playing sounds backwards, hoping to find some kind of controversial hidden message lurking beneath the polished, normal exterior.

Well, one fan has done exactly that, in a somewhat more unexpected place – some background whispering in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

I’m going to post the video below, but please be warned – this is apparently some intense end-game spoilerage.

Sources: Gamespot, CVG, IGN

Videos

Excited for Dying Light? Here’s 90 minutes of it!

Remember I said Evolve has gone gold? What I left out was that they marked the occasion with an intro cinematic – enjoy.

Next up is Mighty No 9, the spiritual successor to Mega Man which is, apparently, just about done.

We finish things off with Zombie Army Trilogy, bundling the two Sniper Elite zombie titles along with a third chapter for digital release on Xbox One and PS4 (and Steam). Don’t know what it is? Here’s a trailer:

Best of NAG

CES 2015 was going down this week, and the tireless Wesley Fick has been covering all your juicy hardware news and reveals. If three letter abbreviations ending in U are your thing, check out all the posts here.

Next up is the timesink to end all timesinks – a website that lets you play over 2000 classic DOS games for free, in your browser. Check this out for more info, but be warned – you may lose several hours.

Hey, you like free stuff? Sure you do! If you click this right here, you can win yourself something both free and awesome – what more could you ask for?

Last off, we have my column for the week – a discussion of all the things I didn’t miss while being away from games.

More stuff like this: