Greeting NAGuuks, and thanks for coming back for This Week in Gaming. This time around we have an ex-EA CEO talking smack about the Xbone, a new event for Capetonians, the dictionary gets a much-needed update and Rockstar gives their official policy on mods in GTA V.
Then it’s big Witcher 3 news, Arkham Knight rewards season pass holders, Ubisoft announces the Assassin’s Creed for 2015 and Nintendo muscles in on mobile gaming. All that, more news, videos and highlights from the week, after the jump.
Ex-CEO of Electronic Arts John Riccitiello has always had a lot to say about things, and it seems that hasn’t changed since his career change.
Currently heading up Unity Technologies, John spoke at a recent GamesBeat Summit on the console war, saying that the PS4 deserved to be ahead of the Xbox One – or rather, that the PS4 “f**king nailed it”.
“There was a clash of ideas that really separated Sony and Microsoft,” Riccitiello said.[The Xbox One and PS4] actually had very similar architecture that they were trying to bring to the table. But Microsoft focused … a lot on entertainment beyond gaming. Microsoft was trying to [compete against] Apple. They didn’t feel gaming was big enough to justify the pent-up desire … to have the recognition they wanted as an innovator.”
Really Riccitiello is saying what everyone felt – Sony focused on games, and Microsoft completely missed the mark – with their launch, anyway. But one has to wonder if that’s really just an issue of poor marketing, and not reflective of the final product. Yes, Microsoft’s reveal was a PR nightmare, but it’s still a gaming console.
My question then, to those who own these consoles, is is the Xbox One less focused in execution of the actual product?
Every year, Cape Town gamers spend a weekend crying themselves to sleep every night, while the lucky folk up
in Joburg get to have a jam at the rAge expo.
Now it seems the Mother City is attempting its own event, with the Electionics and Gaming Expo happening 29-31 May at the CTICC.
Only a handful of exhibitors have been confirmed at this point so it’s difficult to say what kind of success the debut event will have, but there’ll also be gaming tournaments and other points of interest.
Totally unbiased aside, rAge is the bomb.
Now for something gamers all over SA can be happy about, “Esports” has been officially added to the dictionary.
Perhaps the most significant part of this is that it’s finally settled – unlike “e-mail”, we’re going with the no hyphen for this one. From here on out, “e-sports” is incorrect. Sorry, team hyphen.
Another amusing addition is “permadeath”, something you may have experienced in Diablo 3, or listening to a Kurt Darren album.
Finally, “completionist” has also been added, that OCD species of gamer who needs to have every challenge, achievement and trophy before he/she can declare a game finished. For me, I’m just happy when I actually make it all the way to the end.
Ever since GTA V hit PC, the modding community has been going insane, with several YouTube videos going viral and hundreds of mods hitting the web allowing players to do everything from fire cars from their guns to paralyse their character at will.
However, a recent update breaking a lot of the mods and people reportedly being banned for using them had the PC gaming community anxious that Rockstar was none too happy about having their game messed with.
Fortunately, the developer has come out this week and reassured everybody that they love the modding community as much as ever, and single-player mods are A-okay by them.
They did state, however, that using mods in multiplayer may lead to a ban as it could enable griefing or provide an unfair advantage. Rightly so, to keep GTA Online fun they need to make sure the experience is somewhat consistent – allowing mods in multiplayer would make that environment a complete Wild West within days.
As for the updates – they say it’s totally unintentional. They need to provide updates, and those updates might break the mods, simple as that.
I haven’t bought the game, but I’m relieved. Mods have always been one of the best aspects of PC gaming, and a game like GTA V lends itself incredibly well to them. Being a PC gamer myself, I’m always happy to see the PC versions of games get a little love, and remind developers that it is worth it to bring their games to those wielding keyboard-and-mouse as well.
Remakes and reboots have been pretty good recently – Tomb Raider, Wolfenstein, the ten minutes we got of the shelved Silent Hills game.
Now the rumour mill is turning and we might be getting another one – Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. Originally released in 1997, Turok (and its sequel) were freaking awesome dinosaur-stomping FPSs.
The rumour comes from an interview with a dev called Samuel Villarreal, who worked on Strife, the 1996 FPS that landed on Steam last year. According to him, Turok EX was already in the works, and development is going to resume “later this year”. I am so in.
Perks for season passes, preorders and DLC purchases are becoming the norm for big releases now, much to the ire of most gamers.
Developer Rocksteady stirred up some controversy this week when they announced that buying a season pass for Batman Arkham Knight would get you exclusive access to play as Batgirl.
They also kicked off mass speculation as to who’s under the mask – the identity of Batgirl was not confirmed at the time so gamers and comic book fans alike have been arguing about it.
The matter was put to rest this week on Twitter by one of the devs – It’s Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Gordon’s daughter. Buying the season pass will let you play as Barbara in “Batgirl: A Matter of Family”, which is billed as a “prequel story expansion”.
Mobile gaming is arguably the next frontier of gaming – moneymakers like Candy Crush Saga has shown that it’s certainly no joke.
As we’re reported previously, Nintendo is looking to get into it – albeit a little late to the party. CEO Satoru Iwata said in a financial report yesterday that a producer from Mario Kart will be leading development on the company’s first mobile game – with a look to release five before March 2017.
Honestly, I’m kind of excited to see what they come up with.
Finally, Ubisoft have just announced the next Assassin’s Creed title. Subtitled Syndicate, it moves the setting to Victorian London in the midst of the Industrial Revolution, where a dude named Jacob Frye will battle oppression and stuff. This is all in line with the rumours and leaks last year which spoiled the setting, but said the game was to be called “Victory”.
Ubisoft has said the game world will “have to be seen to be believed”, which I’m guessing means it’ll be super “cinematic”. This is the first AC title to come out of their Quebec studio, so I’ll be curious to see how they manage.
Unfortunately, no trailers as yet to show.
Update: This just in, literally while I’m writing this – The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt has been leaked, two weeks ahead of official release. Apparently some unscrupulous sellers in the UAE (Dubai) have been selling retail copies long before they’re supposed to.
Already, as you can imagine, streams have been going up on Twitch and videos recorded, which is currently being contained – Twitch is shutting down anyone streaming the content.
That being said, there’s still plenty of images roaming free with spoilers in them, so try and avoid them as much as possible if you’re hoping to enjoy The Witcher 3 the way it’s intended to be.
Let’s kick things off with tons of gore. This new Witcher 3 trailer has more death scenes than Game of Thrones, and it ain’t pretty.
In case you’d forgotten, The Elder Scrolls Online is re-releasing as a free-to-play game with the subtitle Tamriel Unlimited, and promising a lot of new things. This trailer looks at the MMORPG’s various features ahead of its release.
Last year’s Spelunky speedrun record has been broken by YouTuber “SpelunkyGod”, which I suppose is a rather appropriate handle. I love pretty much any speedrun, so I’m linking this one below – it takes less than two minutes.
Let’s end off with my favourite GTA V mod to date – cars as bullets.
Best of NAG
Delano took an indie for a spin this week (surprise, surprise), and it was the old-school, 8-bit platformer aptly titled 8BitBoy. It is 100% a Mario clone, but a good one nonetheless.
Next up is columnist Laura Shortridge, who gives her take on why paid mods are a good thing, and how she wishes Steam hadn’t pulled out so early.
Then Wesley Fick reviews a more practical piece of hardware – a wireless mobile mouse. This may not have 12 buttons or it’s own CPU, but it might just be what you’re looking for.
Finally, you can read my piece of easy-reading for the week – a look at five video game puzzles so hard, they had no right ever being in the game in the