Hello NAGitions, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. It’s a dark weekend for us down here in the Third World, so I appreciate you spending some of that precious power-time here with me. Alright, enough grovelling. This week we have some new, possibly rare Amiibos that are causing a stir, the Battlefield Hardline beta gets a thorough console performance test and Dying Light has some pretty impressive Easter eggs. Then the developer behind Tropico announces a new hack’n’slash, Activision talks new Call of Duty, Halo 5 has a whole lot of changes after the beta and EA has something surprising to say about their own games. All that and a ton of videos and highlights from the week, just after the jump.
Nintendo has struck gold with their Amiibo figurines, the NFC-enabled collectible models that unlock in-game content on Nintendo devices.
Now a couple of eagle-eyed NeoGAF users have spotted images of what looks like gold and silver Mario Amiibos. The images were found buried somewhere in the Nintendo of America site, and have since been removed. Still, this is the internet, and nothing is forgotten.
Since this is highly unofficial, we know nothing about how they’re going to be released, in what quantity and for what purpose.
Fans are predictably upset by the potential scarcity of the figurines, as a lot of business-savvy sellers have started selling the harder to locate Amiibos above their RRP. You have to admit, these figures just look collectible as hell, and nobody wants to miss out.
I don’t even own a Nintendo console, and I can’t help but want some.
The Battlefield Hardline beta is underway, with many feeling apprehensive about performance issues after the last beta was somewhat of a disaster.
This is a problem in particular on consoles, as players have no way of improving their frame rate if they start experiencing drops. With these people in mind, Eurogamer decided to put the beta through its paces and see what’s what.
It’s a long piece, but these are the highlights: The 720p/900p resolutions on Xbox One and PS4 respectively are disappointing. Performance is overall better than it was in the previous beta. Full 64-player games still produce multiple performance issues on both consoles – but worse on Xbone.
Overall, Eurogamer reports that the performance is nearly on par with Battlefield 4, but for a game releasing 15 months later you’d really want it to outperform its predecessor by a reasonable amount.
I jumped in myself last night on PC, and while the game ran fine I couldn’t help but feel it wasn’t offering much over BF4. Granted I’m not a huge fan of the franchise, but honestly it didn’t feel like much of a different experience.
Techland has just dropped their long-awaited open-world zombie title, Dying Light, and so far people seem to be enjoying it.
One advantage of an expansive open-world title is that there’s plenty of place to hide things, and delighted fans have been coming across more and more Easter eggs – everything from The Last of Us to Super Mario.
They’re both pretty cool, but points to the Mario one for going all out. You can check them both out below.
Developer of Tropico Haemimont Games has revealed a new title they’re working on, a new action RPG entitled Victor Vran.
This is a step outside the comfort zone of dictatorship simulators (if that can be considered a comfort zone), so it’ll be interesting to see what the studio can do with this.
The good news is the game will be including co-operative and competitive multiplayer; the bad news is that it will be utilising Steam Early Access. Blegh.
In the meantime, check out this gameplay trailer:
In the least surprising announcement of the year so far, Activision have confirmed that Treyarch will be releasing a new Call of Duty title this year.
What exactly it is or what it’s called, we don’t know just yet. What we do know is that apparently will be “loaded with innovation”, which is indicative of Activision being fully aware of what fans have been asking for, which is something. Whether or not they’ll deliver, is a different story.
Treyarch hasn’t exactly produced the best of the Call of Duty titles, being responsible for CoD 3, World at War and the Black Ops games.
Still, this is the first Treyarch title that will be using Activision’s new three-year development window, so hopefully they can pull out something special. We saw a little innovation in Advanced Warfare, so hopefully the positive response will make the publisher feel a little more comfortable stretching the tried-and-trusted formula.
Last week saw the D.I.C.E. Summit in Vegas, and EA chief creative officer Richard Hilleman had something interesting to say about his publisher’s games – they’re too hard.
“Our games are actually still too hard to learn. The average player probably spends two hours to learn how to play the most basic game.
“And asking for two hours of somebody’s time–most of our customers, between their normal family lives…to find two contiguous hours to concentrate on learning how to play a video game is a big ask.”
All I want to know is who the hell takes two hours to learn how to play FIFA or Battlefield.
Speaking of complicated games, Shadow of Mordor design director Michael de Plater had the opposite sentiment. According to him, “every game is an RPG”.
“You wouldn’t make a game without progression and levels and XP. And I think every game is going to be a social game…good ideas propagate.”
All I want to know is how EA’s going to turn FIFA into an RPG.
Halo 5 just wrapped up its first beta, under the new leadership of 343 Industries.
Bungie left some pretty big shoes to fill, but 343 is hoping to maintain the franchise legacy by listening to the fans and getting as much feedback as possible.
They got plenty from the beta, and have already laid out a pretty extensive list of changes they plan on making. It’s a bit too exhaustive to lay out here, so if you’re interested just click this text to see the full breakdown over at IGN.
Then we have some shameless self-promotion – why not check out my column on why video game movies will always be terrible?
Last up, we have the Morgan Freeman of the website – Rick de Klerk, who comes in to calm us all down with his rationality and logic when things get a little heated. Like now, when everyone is up in arms over the Dying Light review/PewDiePie/box quote fiasco.