Happy Valentine’s Day NAGupids, and thanks for spending it with me. I know you’re shy to ask but yes, I will be your valentine. This week we have a tragic story of broken dreams and broken promises, a TV show that tackles GamerGate (and fails, horribly) and Apple introduces a new App Store feature we can all get behind. Then we have Titanfall 2 news, a legendary platformer is getting a sequel (of sorts) and Ubisoft gives me another reason to be angry. Then there’s a whole lot of cool videos, some highlights from the week and a sprinking of my unwanted opinion. When you’re finished doing your romantic duties (or crying into your companion pillow), hit the jump.
It’s pretty easy to forget things in the media. Stuff happens, we read about it, we comment, we get outraged or excited and then it kind of fades away and we forget about it. There’s always something new and distracting coming along, and old news is easily forgotten.
Old news, like Bryan Henderson. Ring a faint bell? Henderson was the 18-year-old from Scotland who tapped the last brick in Peter Molyneux’s “game” Curiosity.
You may recall Molyneux’s constant hyping of what was inside the Curiosity cube, a prize given to only one individual that he described as “life-changing”. He said “life-changing” multiple times, in fact.
That prize turned out to be taking the role of God in Molyneux’s next game, Godus, and sharing in that game’s profits.
Now, 18 months later, all the poor kid from Scotland has is a t-shirt. In a lengthy interview with Eurogamer, Henderson describes a very unprofessional Molyneux (and his studio, 22Cans), who he says simply never communicated with him. He’s lost hope.
In a follow-up interview with Molyneux himself, he has a lot to say – mostly excuses. The gist of it is that Godus sounds like it’s in a bad place, and at this point Molyneux can’t even guarantee that multiplayer functionality (and hence, Bryan’s role as God of Gods) will ever make it into the game. Perhaps most stingingly, most of the developers at the studio are working on a new game.
The story does come with a twist in the tale, however. Upon reading Bryan’s story in this Eurogamer article, Hotline Miami developer Devolver Digital decided to fulfil Molyneux’s promise themselves – by making Bryan a God in their upcoming platformer Not A Hero.
He’s essentially an NPC and won’t have any actual control in the game, but it’s still pretty cool of them – and a helluva insult to Molyneux, really.
But, as one commenter so perfectly puts it, “other developers have been delivering on Molyneux’s broken promises for a good decade now”.
OUCH. Still, one can’t help but wonder when Molyneux’s legacy as a legendary game designer will be usurped by his current position as an aging spindoctor who hasn’t strung together an original or well-made title in years.
So popular US TV series Law and Order: SVU took on GamerGate the other night, and the results were predictably awful.
In a clear nod to real-life events, a fictional female developer on the show gets doxxed, swatted and harassed online, while the writers of the show try in vain to pretend they know something about a subculture they clearly have no experience with.
It features some of the most horrifically cheesy lines delivered by the always-classy Ice-T, and even includes FPS perspective camera shots. Seriously.
Moving on to less depressing news, Apple has introduced something pretty awesome to the App Store – games with no microtransactions now have their own category – “Pay Once & Play”.
This means that if your game has any microtransactions whatsoever, it won’t be allowed in this section. It’s a pretty good idea in a market that’s increasingly becoming saturated by games that are borderline unplayable without putting more money into them.
At least this with these, you have full peace of mind that you’re playing the game exactly as it was designed to be played, with no hidden costs. Some such games to make the list are Minecraft, GTA San Andreas and Bastion.
A new indie called Playtonic Games has announced that they’re working in a “spiritual successor” to classic platformer Banjo Kazooie. Which makes sense, since the people working there are all veterans from Rare.
At the moment it’s simply called “Project Ukelele”, and will apparently be coming to both PC and consoles – although which consoles we don’t know just yet.
The team is only six strong, but the studio bragged that they have “the bloke who programmed Donkey Kong Country, the character designer behind Banjo and Kazooie, and the artist who made your console fit to burst with lavish environments across a decade’s worth of adventure games.”
I’m excited; I’m ready for another good platformer.
Speaking of good games, EA talked Titanfall 2 this week. According to CFO Blake Jorgensen, a sequel is “probable”, and won’t be an Xbox One exclusive this time.
That being said, this does mean that there’s no current plans for the game. EA has their hands full with annual Battlefield releases, as well as Star Wars: Battlefront dropping later this year.
Meanwhile, Respawn Entertainment, the devs behind Titanfall, have said they don’t yet know what their next project will be.
I’m pretty excited to see what they do next, to be honest – the sequel can wait. Titanfall was a flawed game (most noticeably, its single-player campaign was laughable) but it was still original and interesting, with really solid gameplay. It’s a talented team, and I think we can expect some great things from them in the future.
Something not so solid was Assassin’s Creed Unity, the widely criticised buggy mess that Ubisoft attempted to pass off as a AAA title.
However, CEO Yves Guillemot says that your pain and suffering and wasted money will be used towards improving games in the future. So there’s that, I suppose.
He said, “With this game, a few things were not perfect when it launched and it’s going to help the brand shine in the future. It’s steps we have to take regularly so we can innovate. Those steps are sometimes painful, but they allow us to improve the overall quality of the brand.”
Can I just call BS on this whole thing? The game “wasn’t perfect” when it launched (massive understatement), but that didn’t stop them launching it anyway. Why don’t you work out all the bugs and difficulties in recoding the engine BEFORE you release the game?
It’s crappy business practises like this that just makes me despise big publishing companies in gaming – it doesn’t matter what you put out, as long as it sells. Gross.
Since it’s February 14th, let’s start things off with this Until Dawn Valentine’s Day. Although if it’s romance you’re looking for, you may want to look elsewhere.
Then we have this OlliOlli2 developer video, which shows off the game’s pretty sick new features.
Have you been playing Evolve? Are you terrible? Then chek out this survival guide.
Lastly, Eurogamer gives a rundown on what they’d most likely to see in Just Cause 3, heavily rumoured to be releasing this year.
Best of NAG
Let’s kick things off with hardware guru Wesley Fick’s Laptop Buyer’s Guide, this one focusing on the more affordable R2000 – R9000 range. What the hell can you buy for R2K? Find out here.
Then we move on to indie master and pun enthusiast Delano, who showcased a new game this week – surprise, surprise, it’s an indie. It’s called Qbeh-1: The Atlas Cube, and it’s totally worth your time.
Then we have a new Humble Bundle; but it’s likely not what you would expect. All I can really tell you about this is that Rick de Klerk messaged me personally to tell me how much I would enjoy it. Head over here and see if you agree.
Lastly, you can slum it with an article from the talentless hack Chris Kemp. This week he’s rambling on about games we need more of or something. Moron.
If you’d like to talk to/insult me directly you can do so in the comments or on Twitter @BananaSub, and if you’d like to ask NAG to fire me with immediate effect you can reach them @nagcoza.