Greetings NAGintus, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This time around we have the best 20th birthday present to Quake ever, the dangers of selling your PS4 are brutally realised, Vince Zampella had a warning for Activision’s CoD4 Remaster, and I take a look at everything known about the PS4 Neo so far. Then it’s all the details on Overwatch Competitive Play, a girl so good at Overwatch she forced two people to quit the pro scene and we get an update on Until Dawn 2. All that, some videos and highlights from the week, after the jump.
MachineGames celebrates Quake birthday with a gift for fans
This is so cool. MachineGames, the people behind the totally excellent Wolfenstein: The New Order congratulated Id Software on Twitter for Quake’s 20th birthday – and released an all new episode for the game that they created themselves (for free).
This is something I love about older PC games that feels like it may sadly remain a thing of the past, as game engines in general become more closed and less open to this kind of modding/community development.
The level is reportedly really rather good, which is to be expected since it’s been created by pros. If you want to give it a go you can get a copy of Quake off GOG (still a sweet LAN game, by the way) and download the episode here.
To install it, just extract the archive into your directory and run the batch file. Easy peasy.
Man sells PS4, gets shot
As if we needed any more proof that the PS4K Neo (or whatever the hell they’re calling it now) is ruining all our lives, an 18-year-old Georgia woman has been handed a 40 year sentence after shooting and killing a man whose ad they responded to on Craigslist.
Ok yes the crime happened in 2014 and thus he clearly wasn’t selling his console to upgrade to the newest one, but my awful, in-poor-taste joke doesn’t work otherwise so let’s just suspend disbelief for a moment.
The 40 year sentence was a plea deal, which makes me wonder what the alternative was – presumably a turn in the electric chair. The man was apparently a semi-professional gamer, and a documentary is currently being filmed about the aftermath of his death.
Gumtree and the like is a popular choice in South Africa; this serves as a reminder of taking the necessary precautions when making a deal with a stranger.
Original Modern Warfare dev tells Activision not to “f**k up” the remaster
Call of Duty 4 is, quite arguably, the greatest military shooter ever made. It certainly shook up the genre and catapulted the IP into the billion dollar stratosphere, and changed a young man’s life forever (mine).
As soon as he heard about the remaster Vince Zampella, one of the big dogs at Infinity Ward back in 2007, called up Activision and issued a warning. “I told them – don’t f**k it up. That’s my on the record response. I rang them up and said, honestly, don’t f**k it up. It’s a huge part of people’s gaming memories.”
It’s a pity I’ll likely never play the remaster, since Activision is pulling the ultimate dick move and gating it behind some premium edition of Call of Duty: Infinite Crapfest. Right now I still think EA is getting my money this year.
Everything known about the PS4 Neo
So Sony has given out a decent amount of detail on the Neo at this point, I’m going to try go through it without getting all Wesley Fick on you.
In terms of the CPU, both the original PS4 and Neo come with eight Jaguar cores, but the Neo’s are boosted from 1.6GHz to 2.1GHz.
On the GPU front, original PS4 sports 18 GCN units at 800MHz while the Neo doubles that with 36, and improves the speed to 911MHz. This is an increase of 2.3x FLOPS, apparently.
Finally, both consoles sport 8GB of GDDR5 memory, but the Neo ups the bandwidth from 176GB/s to 218GB/s, and has 512mb more usable memory.
Oh man, that was exhausting. The big story here is the GPU upgrade, but how does all this compare to Microsoft’s upcoming Project Scorpio? Not too well, actually. According to the spec information released by Microsoft thus far, Scorpio actually looks to quite seriously outperform the PS4 Neo.
It looks to be an interesting battle, with Microsoft taking back the performance crown from Sony in a move that could seriously change the course of the console race going forward. That being said, the Neo is due out at the end of this year or early 2017, while the Scorpio will only hit retail towards the end of next year. Exciting times ahead folks; here’s a video recap with a bit more detail.
Overwatch Competitive Play launches soon, but many changes are planned
Blizzard is taking their new darling Overwatch pretty seriously, which is unsurprising since the game is successful as hell and has a long life of microtransactions ahead of it.
A fledgling e-sport with the potential for the big stage, Blizzard has been fine tuning their Competitive Play options for some time now. That being said, game director Jeff Kaplan says they’re not really satisfied yet, but don’t want to delay it any further.
Speaking of a whole load of planned changes, Kaplan said, “While we think they’re good changes to make, we don’t feel that holding back Competitive Play until the Fall is the right thing for the game right now. Instead, our goal is to release Competitive Play in our next content patch and kick-off our Summer season with the current ruleset.”
I like this idea, since the best way to test a system of rules like this is to get everyone on playing on them and see what works and what doesn’t. Kaplan admits that it will likely take “a few seasons” for the team to get Competitive to “where we want to be”. One thing they’ve done already is shorten your time to accomplish the first objective from five minutes to four, and the Sudden Death Timer has been reduced from 2:00 to 1:45. The whole Sudden Death debacle is something Blizzard is looking at closely, and may remove altogether in Competitive Play in the future.
It’s encouraging to see Blizzard taking this seriously, and looking ahead to the long-term. I’ve just recently picked up Overwatch and I have to say – I’m having a blast.
Teenage girl so good at Overwatch she has to prove she’s legit
A 17-year-old girl from the Mecca of e-sports, South Korea, is apparently so frikken good at playing Zarya (rocking a 6.31 K/D and an 80% win rate) that nobody believed she wasn’t a dirty hacker.
After she owned a bunch of people at the Nexus Cup, two of her opponents said they would quit e-sports if she proved she wasn’t cheating. So, she did. Blizzard cleared her themselves, but she took things into her own hands by taking to the stage and playing for an hour for all to see.
It’s all in Korean, but the gist of it is that she kicks everybody’s ass until they start shouting out safe words. Hilariously, the two gamers who accused her followed through on their promise and quit the team. Back to school, kids.
Until Dawn 2? Not anytime soon
Until Dawn arrived pretty quietly on PS4 without much fanfare or hype, but the game was apparently a big success according to developer Supermassive, who say sales surpassed expectations.
In spite of that, Until Dawn 2 is apparently not in the pipeline. “There’s a lot of speculation about what we’re doing and what we’re working on right now,” said studio director Pete Samuels.
“We’re not working on Until Dawn 2 at the moment. We’re working on other things.” This includes Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, the VR spin-off. It seems kind of weird to not capitalise on the success of the first game, especially since a poll on GamesRadar has 85% people clamouring for a follow-up.