Hello once again NAGurts, and happy holidays to the lot of you. This time around on This Week In Gaming we have the PS4 getting hacked, the most dangerous game of Fallout 4 ever played, more hackers attack more things, and a long-awaited South African launch may be happening soon. Then it’s a whole lot of Hideo Kojima related news, Ken Levine talks about taking his new game in a different direction, a crop of videos showcase gameplay, trailers and teasers, and I highlight some NAG Online goodness you may have missed.
The PS4 has been “hacked” – sort of. Using some kind of fancy exploit involving the console’s WebKit browser, a hacker named CTurt has managed to gain Kernel-level access. I don’t know much about anything, but I do know Kernel-level is the highest.
Still, the experts say that in spite of gaining total access to the PS4’s system RAM, this isn’t necessarily a disaster – yet. It’s using an older firmware, and even if it wasn’t there are other layers of security to get through. Basically, this isn’t a free-for-all on pirated games just yet.
That being said, it should still concern Sony’s engineers, who will need to monitor carefully what this means and how further exploitation can be avoided.
Switching focus to one Ben Rose: a gamer who was far more unlucky than Sony this week. Ben was enjoying a relaxed Sunday playing Fallout 4 when a car crashed through his wall and into him, fracturing some vertebra and slicing his Achilles tendon – ouch.
“You play in a wasteland and then your apartment turns into a wasteland,” said Rose. “Cars versus people don’t really end up well. So I really thought it was over.”
Okay it’s not the most profound quote ever, but the dude’s just been hit by a car let’s cut him some slack. According to Rose, having a chair with wheels is what saved his life.
“The chair is what saved me, without a doubt. That took the impact. It pushed me out of the way. It kept me from going under the car,” explains Rose.
So there you have it folks, the conservative crazies were right all along – video games really do lead to violence.
Some of you may remember around Christmas last year hacker group Lizard Squad took down Xbox Live and PSN services using a DDOS attack, in a benevolent attempt to get everybody to put down the controllers and spend time with their families.
Just kidding, they’re just assholes like that. Now a different hacker group, Phantom Squad, is attempting to carry the torch with a similar disruption on Xbox Live services yesterday (Friday, 18 December). According to the group, they’ll be hitting PSN next.
The issue with these DDOS attacks is that they’re seemingly incredibly difficult to stop or protect oneself from, which may mean a miserable gaming Christmas in 2015. That being said, multiple Lizard Squad members were arrested shortly after last year’s attacks, so these guys may want to exercise caution.
This isn’t exactly gaming news, but it is exciting – Netflix is reportedly launching in South Africa within the next five weeks. Early this year the company made some big claims about hitting 200 countries before the end of next year, and promised it had its sights set on South Africa.
The news comes via “industry sources” who apparently “know what’s up” (okay that last quote was mine), so this one should be taken with a pinch of salt. Still, it’d be nice to have an alternative to ShowMax, which by all accounts I’ve heard is kind of terrible. Licensing issues may prevent Netflix from being as good as we all want it to be, but that remains to be seen. Of course, it’s possible already to get Netflix here going the semi-legal route of VPN or DNS workarounds, but using something legitimately is always a better experience (unless it’s a Ubisoft game).
In a pretty shocking, although probably unsurprising turn of events, Konami is now actively recruiting staff for the development of “New Metal Gear”. According to the job listing, the controversial studio is “now recruiting a wide range of highly-skilled game development professionals who wish to work with us on the creation of “New Metal Gear‘”.
The publisher mentioned back in March that it would be continuing the franchise, but doing so without Kojima seems sacrilegious. Although, Konami clearly isn’t worried about stepping on any toes at this point, what with them preventing the MGS developer from accepting an award, and cutting his name from the box art until the backlash became too great.
I imagine two things will come with this: a bunch of enraged gamers will state that they will never buy it out of loyalty to Kojima, and that if the game ends up being any good then everyone will buy it anyway. Such is the nature of gamer morality.
It’s basically all Kojima news this week, as the dev did an insightful interview with The New Yorker. Comparing the creation of a game to childbirth, he said, “Every time I create a game, I think it’s going to be the last time,” saying he wanted to disappear to a deserted island for a year after finishing MGS V.
This appears to be tied to a difficult creative process at Konami, where he was closely monitored and micro-managed and maximising turnover was the primary focus.
“If you’re only focused on the profits immediately in front of you, the times will leave you behind,” he said, adding that his newfound independent development will allow him to work faster and make it more personal.
As for the vacation, he was dissuaded by a friend who told him it’s his duty to fans to keep doing what he does. “Hearing that affirmed to me, that my role in this world is to keep on making big games for as long as I can. That is the mission I’ve been given in life.”
Damn, I must have been in the bathroom when the life missions were getting handed out. (What if going to the bathroom WAS your mission? – Ed)
Bioshock creator Ken Levine has said that his new game will feature a “small-scale open world”. According to Levine, “AAA, single-player narrative games [are] starting to disappear”, which means he needed to adapt and provide a game with more replay value.
The obvious answer for this shift in tastes is the price of games – we recently saw games climb over the R1,000 mark, and Levine acknowledges that the budgets for games (and cost to consumers) mean that players forking out that kind of money want to have more than 10-12 hours of entertainment.
According to Levine, the question his game will attempt to answer is “How do you make your content so it feels like the quality of the content you’ve made in games before but reacts to the players’ agency and then allows the player to do something in one playthrough and something very different in another playthrough?”
Trine 3 has reportedly dropped for PS4. The third installment in an excellent franchise, it came under harsh criticism for being only four hours long. Here’s the announcement trailer to pique your interest.
Brutal Doom is a favourite of indie and vintage specialist Delano, and it looks like it’s getting even better.
Firewatch caused a buzz with it’s unique premise and intriguing gameplay, and now this week we got 17 whole minutes of gameplay. Nice.
Telltale’s Minecraft Story Mode is getting it’s last installment, here’s a trailer.
Best of NAG
Let’s start off strong, with Wesley Fick’s Laptop Buyer’s Guide. This one is the sweet spot: the R12,000 to R20,000 range.
It’s a Fick double-feature, with the younger Matt Fick taking on the daunting task of reviewing Star Wars, sans spoilers.
Now that you’re all on holiday, check out Dane’s list of cool games you can play with family this festive season.
Finally, let Miklós teach you how you do a game properly, squeezing an impressive 110 hours out of The Witcher 3.