This Week In Gaming

doom 2016

Hello once again NAGgittians, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This time around we have the future possibility of a beefed up PS4, Fallout takes their balls-to-the-wall marketing to new heights with a new product tie-in, and Payday 2 developer responds to the criticism over microtransactions (kind of).

Then Fallout causes a bit of drama with their PC installation, Bungie gets a little (or a lot of) help on their Destiny sequel from a different developer, Doom gets a totally sick multiplayer gameplay video ahead of the closed Alpha and we look at an in-depth performance analysis of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.

Console News

Sony VP Masayasu Ito was asked this week if there might one day be a “high-performance” model of the PS4.

According to the exec, maybe. He admitted that it is something they’ve considered, but there’s really nothing planned at the moment.

The reason it’s a question at all is that the PS4 uses a pretty standard x86 architecture, unlike its predecessor (which used a Cell processor). This means that upgrading the hardware wasn’t really possible on the PS3, but would be a very easy thing to do indeed on the PS4 – especially considering how quickly CPU tech advances and how quickly the price drops on old iterations.

With the old generation we saw a bunch of PS3 re-releases, with bigger hard drives, smaller form factors, better heat management, energy use etc.

Different technical abilities could be tricky though. After all, games would have to be designed with the older tech in mind, and since frame rates are generally locked it would mean what, less frame drops? Drops that should be unacceptable anyway. Maybe they’ll just stick with the bigger drives.

Bethesda seems to have gone absolutely insane with the Fallout marketing, from viral ad campaigns to massively successful mobile games, they’re clearly pulling out all the stops to reinvigorate the franchise and make this the biggest Fallout game to date.

Enter Fallout beer. Partnering with beer-maker Carlsberg, Bethesda is releasing an actual Fallout-branded, easy-drinking pilsner.

Personally, I'd prefer an IPA.
Personally, I’d prefer an IPA.

If anything, this speaks to the fact that video games today are predominantly played by adults – a good thing for those who think a “gamer” is a spotty teenager playing Super Mario.

It’s unfortunately only available in the UK, unless a couple of enterprising bars import it for us. It’s also pretty damn expensive, which seems silly since it’s really just ordinary beer with a different label.

After a great big old internet shitstorm last week, Payday 2 has made a slight adjustment to their microtransaction system.

Instead of having to buy “drills” to open safes, you can now get the drills randomly dropped. Yay? The rage over the microtransactions wasn’t really due to their nature, but rather that developer Overkill basically promised they’d never put them in the game.

I can’t imagine this doing much to appease fans but, you know, money.

Sources: Gamespot, PC Gamer, IGN

Gaming News

MGS V caused a bit of a stink when the only thing to be found on the disc was a single Steam install file. Now Bethesda has said that Fallout 4 for PC “won’t have all the game files”.

This might seem like not too big of a deal considering we live in the era of enormous day one patches anyway, but what irked people was Pete Hines reason – piracy.

He wasn’t fazed by the dissenters though, saying that “they’ve done it this way for 10 years” and “lots of people bought Skyrim etc”.

It’s just a tad offensive to imply that people didn’t steal your game because all the install files weren’t on the disc. It’s also crappy logic, it’s a false attribution. There’s no evidence that one is a direct result of the other, we might as well say that a lot of people bought Skyrim because it released during a full moon.

"Plaaaaaaay... SKyyyyriiiiiim...."
“Plaaaaaaay… SKyyyyriiiiiim….”

Next up, Destiny’s sequel will apparently be getting a fair bit of help from High Moon Studios, one of Activision’s studios.

Apparently they’ll be covering the entire “Martian public space”, which I’m sure means something to somebody. From what I can gather, it’s essentially half the game.

I’m sure Bungie will have significant input, but I wouldn’t be too thrilled about having a big chunk of development being handled by the people who have only really made those crappy Transformers games. Oh well, not like it’s going to be on PC anyway!

Whenever there’s a big new release, the folks over at Eurogamer do a performance analysis, to let you know how game runs, if it’s riddled with bugs or plagued with frame drops, etc.

They recently took Assassin’s Creed Syndicate through its paces, and the results are a somewhat lukewarm “it’s fine”.

It’s a lot better than Unity (which isn’t saying a lot), but not as good as the likes of Black Flag. The game isn’t perfectly stable, but it isn’t ruined by a whole lot of bugs and glitches messing with your gameplay.

They also indicate that the frame rates, while not being on Black Flag level, are good enough – it seems Ubisoft learnt a lesson from Unity and focused on a proper gameplay experience rather than being overly ambitious.

We finish strong with a new gameplay video for Doom, showing off the title’s multiplayer (still in Alpha stages). Some people are lucky enough to be playing the Alpha this weekend, the rest of us have to be content with the video.

I’ll be honest – it looks sick. It has that classic id Software feel, and the graphics and gameplay are looking top notch. The nostalgia is strong with this one, and it looks like the devs are delivering on what they promised – an authentic, updated Doom experience.

Sources: PC Gamer, IGN, Eurogamer, Eurogamer


VR competition is heating up, and this week we got a tech demo for Valiant, a medieval swordfighting affair that uses the HTC Vive.

Descent is a nostalgic childhood favourite for me, and it’s Kickstarted reboot Descent: Underground has just arrived in Early Access. Check out the trailer:

Warhammer: Vermintide is kind of an interesting game in the franchise, and a lot better than many expected. The release trailer is pretty fun too.

We end off with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, which gave Jacob his very own launch trailer. Awww.

Best of NAG

Matthew Fick did a few other things at rAge aside from getting destroyed by me at Versus System, and one of those things was giving Rise of the Tomb Raider the old hands-on.

Our overlord and saviour Dane Remendes stepped off his iron throne for a few minutes this week to furiously hammer out a review of a pretty bitching laptop – the MSI GS60 6QE Ghost Pro.

Star Wars fever has gripped the nerd world, and Wesley Fick this week compiled the ten best reactions to it, which you can find here.

Finally, yours truly asked a question in my column this week – will anybody actually buy the Nintendo NX?

HyperBlaster Turbo Z’s launch trailer is much more impressive than the actual game