Hello again NAGucks and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This time around we’ve got a hint we’ll be seeing something from Oculus this year, an official response from Konami on the Kojima situation, YouTube’s master plan to take down the mighty Twitch and someone sets a Hearthstone world record. Then Kojima gets a premature job offer, Atari has a couple of big announcements and a new reveal and the Mad Max game is looking pretty damn good in a hands-on. All that, some videos and highlights from the week, after the jump.
We’ve seen a lot of this and that from Oculus, but not much in the way of things we can actually get our hands on.
Well, if a few teasers thrown out at a Facebook developer conference are to be believed, we could be getting something a little more retail this year.
According to chief scientist Michael Abrash, we will be seeing “something shipped by Oculus” – which is a little noncommittal; it may or may not be an actual headset?
Abrash said some other stuff too, like quoting Morpheus from The Matrix and more interestingly, discussed the possibility of mapping your surroundings in VR. This means you’d be able to find and pick up your coffee cup, for example, without removing the headset.
I’m curious though, NAG Online readers, how are you feeling about the Oculus Rift? Still excited, or have you gone pretty lukewarm at this point?
There’s been a lot of back and forth rumours going around this week about Hideo Kojima’s position at Konami, after his name was seemingly removed from Metal Gear Solid 5 packaging.
Konami officially responded to the rumours this week, but it was a little vague to say the least. Talking on Twitter, they waffled on about corporate structures and forefronting the company’s name.
The publisher was however quick to assure fans that Kojima was still tied to The Phantom Pain. “Naturally director Kojima is playing the game, checking all the small details and giving directions to the staff as the title continues to completion. Bringing the thoughts and ideas of director Kojima in an open world game of the size of TPP is incredibly difficult, the director and the team that’s been there from the start are coming together as one as they aim to finish the game, so please give them the support they need.”
So, what does this all mean? Honestly, I have no idea. It’s one of those “statements” that doesn’t really clarify anything at all; although in this case not saying anything might really be saying everything.
You may remember last year that YouTube tried to acquire Twitch (and failed), with Amazon eventually stepping in to take the sale.
Now it seems, failing to acquire the biggest games streaming service simply means competing with it directly. According to the classic “anonymous sources”, the web giant is looking to relaunch their YouTube Live service with a team double the size it was previously.
Good news for us, these same sources report that the main focus of the service will be “gaming and esports”. Which makes sense, to be honest – Google is a smart company, and that’s exactly where the big viewers are.
Its great news for gamers, as the continually growing esports scene is only going to get bigger. Competition is good for consumers, and I can’t wait to see what Google comes up with.
We have more than a few Hearthstone fans who read this site, so some of you may be interested to hear that a record was recently broken – the longest turn.
You may know that a Hearthstone turn lasts 90 seconds, so this seems like it could be kind of lame record – but the game will continue to play all the animations till they’re done.
In this case, those animations took 1 day, 21 hours and 18 minutes, achieved by streamer “Mamytwink”. How did he do it? Here’s a full explanation:
“In Hearthstone, each turn is usually limited to a minute and a half long. If a card’s animation is still running, however, it will remain on that player’s turn until the animation is complete. The player, Mamytwink, exploited this concept to its fullest potential through some cardsharing trickery. He filled the hand of one player with nine copies of a card called Arcane Missiles that deals three damage by firing three slow moving missiles, and then used 206 copies of a card called Velen’s Chosen which increases spell damage by one, increasing the number of missiles fired. Finally, he filled the board with seven copies of a minion called Prophet Velen that doubles spell damage, doubling the 209 missiles the Arcane Missiles card would fire seven times, and causing each card to shoot not three missiles, but 26,752 missiles. One at a time. For 40 hours.
Don’t try this at home, kids.
While we’re on the topic of Hideo Kojima leaving Konami, there is one company who’s happy to take him on – Lords of the Fallen developer Deck 13 Interactive.
The studio tweeted on Thursday, “Dear Mr. Hideo Kojima, in case you are currently searching, we have an open position as Head of Game Design @ Deck13. Please get in touch”
Anyone think there’s a chance? No offense to Deck13, but I doubt Kojima is going to be short on job offers, and may go for something a little more established.
A while back Atari made the big reveal that they were rebooting a bunch of old titles, including the likes of Asteroids. Nobody knew at the time what exactly this would look like (old-school Asteroids, while fun, doesn’t exactly match up to today’s standards).
We got our first look at what they had in mind with the currently-in-beta Alone in the Dark: Illumination, but now this week we got our first proper look at Early Access title Asteroids: Outpost.
Unlike its predecessor, this one is an open world survival sandbox shooter which tasks player with harvesting a fortune whilst battling thieves. You can check out the video below:
That’s not all either – Atari also said in a statement they have a bunch of other classic reboots in mind:
“Asteroids is the first of a long series of re-births, and we are considering doing the same for our other iconic games such as Warlords, Adventure, Tempest, Missile Command and many more.”
So, which one would you like most to see next?
We finish up with a look at the Mad Max videogame currently in development, which of course is a tie-in to the movie reboot. In a new issue of GamesMaster magazine, they describe how the game isn’t all running and gunning – creative approaches to situations are often required.
“Our still-rusty car, only packing a V6 engine right out of Chumbucket’s garage, just couldn’t cope with the crazy number of boarders that leapt onto its sides.”
“The shotgun could make quick and devastating work of a few of these, but ammunition for it is in startlingly scarce supply, and even so, we could only carry three rounds at a time. Another example of how deliberate limitations inspire creative approaches to combat. Back in the garage we fitted the Opus up with boarder spikes: vulgar jutting metal points that impale anyone foolhardy enough to try to clamber onto our car. One defeated convoy (and a whole lot of tasty scrap) later, you might as well have unpacked the cigars, it felt that empowering.”
Another awesome feature is a first-person view which can be initiated in vehicles, which GM describes as “devastatingly cinematic”.
“There are bodies and charred bits of flaming metal flying everywhere, while the ludicrous suspension jiggles you about like you’re driving on a bouncy castle.”
Sounds pretty damned sweet to me.
We have a couple of massive Killing Floor fans who write for this site, so I’ll know they’ll be excited to see this hands-on with Killing Floor 2.
Have you heard of Renegade X? It’s a fan-made remake of C&C: Renegade, the FPS based on the classic RTS series. Check out the game’s latest trailer, and take note it’s currently in Open Beta.
The “Make Arma Not War” competition has ended, and an impressive R3,5 million has been awarded to the best Arma 3 mod. Check out the winners, and remember these are all free to download.
Let’s finish off with a look at Sword Coast Legends, an isometric dungeon crawler created by a team of Dragon Age: Origins devs. Check out the single-player and multiplayer, respectively.
Best of NAG
The very first episode the NAG HQ Podcast has just dropped, coming to you directly from NAG Online’s base of operations in the middle of a mountain in Siberia. Check it out.
Then we have Mr Wesley Fick, lamenting the downsides of running pre-release software. You get the feeling he’s talking from experience.
Then we have resident idiot Chris Kemp, as he gives some horrible tips of alternative ways of playing awesome games.
Finally, and most importantly, the new issue of the NAG Magazine is out! Check out the cover and what you can expect to find inside right here.