Hello once again NAGgicks, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This time around Microsoft is promising to make PC gaming a priority, the Xbone has a newer, beefed up console and 2K Games is doing something pretty crazy with the next NBA game. The we look at the biggest tournament in the history of e-sports, Call of Duty devs discuss how they’re changing things up for Black Ops 3, Blizzard puts a brand new feature into Hearthstone (that you have to pay for) and the worst game in the world get’s a sequel. All that, more news, more videos and more highlights from the week than you can shake a Wiimote at, after the jump.
Score one for the home team: Microsoft exec Phil Spencer has said with the launch of Windows 10, the company is going to be giving PC gamers all kinds of love.
“We weren’t fully committed as a company, and I’ve said that before,” he told PC Gamer. “We made commitments to developers and consumers that I don’t feel we lived up to. The key difference now is that the Xbox team is driving the Windows and console gaming efforts as one connected ecosystem.
“I can tell you definitively that our team has never committed more resources to making Windows better for game developers and gamers, and that means any gamer on Windows 10, regardless of storefront or device.”
They might just need an Xbox One backup plan, since they’re currently getting thumped in the console race.
While we’re on the subject of Xbone, Amazon is listing a new, beefier console as part of a bundle – with a 1TB hard drive. We’ve technically seen this before on the limited edition Call of Duty one, but this bundle sweetens the pot with the new controller.
Okay, new controller may have been a bit of an oversell – they’ve added a 3.5mm headphone jack. Yes, that’s it. Sorry.
Well here’s something pretty different – NBA2K16 will feature a “story mode” unlike any we’ve seen in a sports sim before – this one is written and “directed” by motherfreakin’ Spike Lee.
Veteran filmmaker Lee will be trying to punch up the game’s MyCareer Mode, and add some actual plot and drama to it – pretty unusual for a game like NBA2K. According to Lee, we “will follow a kid through the trials and tribulations of being a top high school player and the decisions he has to make.”
2K’s spokesman Ryan Peters explained the hire: “We added MyCareer in 2012, and we’ve always been trying to make it more and more of a real story, like a film with drama.
“We just told Spike, ‘You transform the narrative, and we’ll change that into digital polygons.’ And he did that, bringing a protagonist and antagonist to the story.”
Honestly, it sounds pretty awesome. Nice to see such an established genre pushing the envelope a little.
DotA 2’s annual major tournament, The International, is set to have the biggest prize pool in the history of e-sports.
Due to Valve’s ingenious compendium system, microtransactions in the game dictate how big the pool right be. Right now, Valve has chucked in an initial $1.6 million, with players having added more than $10 million on top of that.
It’s a particularly great idea since only 25% of those sales are going to the prize pool; Valve is scooping up the other 75 to spend on things that aren’t Half-Life 3. Still, great for e-sports which continue to see enormous growth year-on-year.
Right, let’s talk Call of Duty. It’s Treyarch’s turn, and ever since Infinity Ward lost half its members they’ve undoubtedly been the best of the CoD studios. And hey, they are the ones who basically invented the now mainstay zombie mode.
I like them because they seem to try a little harder, and they’re promising to try and inject more innovation into Black Ops 3, which they’re saying will encourage players to work through the campaign more than once.
Director Jason Blundell explains: “You may have one character who you see in a certain way. But then, as you come to believe something else about the story, you may listen to a line of their dialogue again and slap your forehead thinking ‘why did I hear it so wrong the first time? Why didn’t I understand that nuance?’ We expect people to be passionate, to be furious with each other about what they believe happened, or what the purpose of a level was. We’ve written it so the facts support multiple interpretations.”
The campaign on CoD titles usually feels like somewhat of a throwaway, so I quite like this approach.
Hearthstone addicts will be pleased to hear Blizzard has found a new way to give them money – new heroes.
Keep in mind these aren’t new heroes with different skills etc., but rather a change in portrait, animation and taunts of a hero.
First up is Magni Bronzebeard, a dwarf with a bad attitude and a large hammer. He can be yours for the princely sum of $9,99 – pretty pricey for something that changes the look and not much else. Here’s his video though, if you need convincing.
Much to Matt Fick’s delight, a sequel to Hatoful Boyfriend has been announced. He messaged me just earlier today gushing about which breed of bird he plans on seducing first (spoiler: it’s a lesser-spotted tit).
It’s called Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star, and it looks every bit as awful as the original. Here’s the official blurb:
“Hatoful Boyfriend fans will travel to fantastically styled worlds, meet interesting new chickadees, find romance in elegantly designed winter wonderlands and a new mysterious watercolor world.”
They did just say “chickadees” right? That wasn’t a shared delusion?
Please don’t buy this. Let’s put an end to this madness.
We Happy Few has generated a lot of buzz for it’s creepy, dystopian feel and 60’s backdrop. Here’s 15 minutes of “pre-alpha” gameplay.
Can never go wrong with another Overwatch video, this one showing off the turret-style gameplay. This game is looking so sick.
While we’re doing fast-paced shooters, let’s have a look at Battleborn, Gearbox’s new offering. This is their E3 trailer.
We’ll finish up with the first in-engine footage The Bard’s Tale IV, a Kickstarted RPG that’s getting a lot of attention.
Best of NAG
We’ll kick off things with a little Dragon Age: Inquisition action; more particularly, why playing a Qunari is the absolute worst.
If your RPG obsession is fixated on The Witcher 3 at the moment, then you can check out Matthew Vice’s review on it. Spoiler: he thinks it’s not so bad.
Then there’s my weekly rant (sigh, I really TRIED to be happy this week guys), all about why you always hear people say modern gaming blows.
Lastly, check out what you can find in the penultimate issue of NAG. Yup, that means second last. 🙁