It’s another episode of the podcast that has absolutely zero consistent release schedule. This time I cover the games I’m playing plus some news, so here the notes I take and then use when recording and the podcast itself.

Unmetal

  • Fantastic top-down stealth game inspired by the likes of Metal Gear Solid.
  • Absolutely hilarious.

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

  • Massive and daunting CRPG
  • Love the character building and levelling.
  • Real-time combat a bit messy. Turn-based feels better, but takes a lot longer.

Hotwheels Unleashed

  • My god this is so much better than it has any right to be.
  • Excellent racing and fun drifting.
  • Looks great, even on the Switch.
  • Fun tracks.
  • Awesome cars.

God of War: Ragnarock Reusing Boat Animations, Discuss

  • There was some small contigent of people talking about the recent gameplay we saw of GoW: Ragnarock, focusing on how the boat animation where Kratos pushes a boat into the water was the same as the 2018 game.
  • There’s a really interesting discussion about game development here, but it’s a shame it got brought up in such a dumb manner.

– Any new animation costs time and money, taking away from a developers ability to create brand new animations for new features, cutscenes etc.

  • Even massive triple-A titles with absurd budgets strategically reuse assets to help save time and money.
  • In the case of textures, they were often re-used because loading new textures was slow, meaning games would have to use things like tight spaces to hide those loading times, or just have loading screens.
  • The new hardware isn’t quite so held back, though, because new textures can be loaded in much faster thanks to SSDs. See the likes of Ratchet & Clank on the PS5 as a good example of this.
  • Is there any point making a new animation for something as small as paddling a boat around? How many people would even notice?
  • In an ideal world new animations and assets could be created for anything, but the world isn’t ideal, money is a real thing and games need to come out in a reasonable time frame.
  • Moreover, using this animation as an argument for the sequel being a clone is rather stupid.

GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition

  • After multiple leaks, Rockstar have announced the existence of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition, due out later this year for PC, Playstation and Xbox, with an iOS version to follow in 2022.
  • The package contains GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas. The games will get a graphical upgrade and modern gameplay enhancements, but Rockstar didn’t elaborate on what those updates will be. Nor did they release a trailer or any screenshots.
  • An iOS version does make me a little concerned that this package won’t be pushing the visuals too hard, unless they’re going to strip back the mobile release quite a bit.
  • I’m pretty excited for this.

Crystal Dynamics Teaming up with The Initiative

  • “We are partnering with Crystal Dynamics, the world class team behind character-driven games such as Tomb Raider, to bring this first-person spy thriller to a new generation,” The Initiative tweeted
  • Crystal Dynamics are responsible for the modern Tomb Raider trilogy, and their most recent game was Marvel’s The Avengers.
  • It’s a bit surprising that CD are free enough to co-develop the game. Perhaps they have the bulk of their team working on Avengers, not leaving enough to create a new project from scratch.
  • Crystal Dynamics are also an odd choice for Perfect Dark, considering they’ve never created an FPS before.

Avengers Caused Hulk Rage

  • Speaking of CD, they’ve come under fire for introducing XP boosters into Marvel’s The Avengers, which just launched on Game Pass.
  • They specifically promised they would never do this before the game’s launch, angering fans by going back on their word. These new real-money boosters speed up XP. This comes just months after the XP system was reworked to be much slower after Crystal Dynamics said people were levelling up too quickly and were becoming confused and forgetting to spend skill points.

Microsoft to allow other storefronts onto the windows store

– Microsoft have announced that users will soon be able to download and install other storefronts via the Windows Store, starting with Epic and Amazon.

– It’s hard to consider this move outside of the context of the ongoing Epic vs Apple and Epic vs Google legal battles. One of Epic’s big fighting points has been against the “Walled garden” approach of company’s like Apple.

– Earlier this year Epic allowed something similiar, letting users access the Itcho store via the Epic store.

– That means you can use the Microsoft Store to download and install the Epic store, and then use the Epic store to download and install Itc-ho. All we need now is For Steam to let you install the Windows store and we can have complete store-ception.

Nvidia Streaming Leak

  • Nvidia’s Geforce NOW streaming service has had a massive dataleak, revealing a plethora of interesting games. The news came via Ighor July, a Ukranian developer who likes to reverse engineer anything and everything.
  • To keep a longish story short, Ighor wound up playing around in the backend of Geforce NOW and unearthed a list of games and apps available on the service, but that aren’t visible to the public.
  • The first game that caught Ighor’s eye was God of War 2018. According to the game page, it’s linked to Steam, potentially indicating a planned Steam release. Given Sony’s PC push, myself and many others have speculated that God of War would be a likely PC release.
  • Ighor then discovered Dolpin Emulator, a program designed to allow games to be launched from other platforms.
  • Then he stumbled across something even more baffling: NewSuper Mario Bros., the Wii U exclusive title from Nintendo. Why is this on the service? It does have a small “Nvidia Confidential”
  • Other people have now followed Ighor’s footsteps and the result is an insane list of titles from a variety of publishers and companies, including Sony, Square Enix, Sega and EA.
  • I’m not going to list them all. You can visit the link in the podcast description to get a gander at all of them. Instead, I’ve cherry-picked a few that caught my eye.
  • Remasters of GTA 3, GTA Vice City and San Andreas were spotted. This ties in with the recent rumours that these remasters will be launching this year, according to Kotaku.
  • Also listed for Take-Two were BioShock RTX Remaster, plus BioShock 2022, the game that Ken Levine is working on.
  • EA popped up in the datamine with a mention of a Mirror’s Edge Remaster, something which I’m not personally convinced by. Also mentioned was Titanfall 3, instantly making me orgasm. Respawn have responded by tripping over their own feet. During a Twitch Stream the company’s Community Coordinator Jason Garza was asked about Titanfall 3 and said, “Don’t get your hopes up, man. I’ve said this before. We don’t have anything in [the] works. There’s nothing. There’s nothing there. We’ve got too many other games in the works right now.”
  • The official Respawn Twitter account, however, put out a much more political answer that attempts to kind of tease a possibility of Titanfall 3 while also saying no. “Contrary to what some folks are reporting, Titanfall is the very core of our DNA. Who knows what the future holds…
  • In fairness to Respawn, it would be silly to say a new Titanfall game is never going to happen. That door should certainly be left wide open considering how absurdly good Titanfall 2’s campaign is.
  • Of course, they are indeed a busy studio. They’re doubtless hard at work on a Fallen Order 2 given the huge success of the first game, and continue to support Apex Legends.
  • Also spotted in the datamine was Crysis 4, which makes a lot of sense since Crytek will be releasing all three existing games in a remastered package in October of this year. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a Crysis 4 in 2022.0 A
  • Another one that got me excited and that seems very likely is Destroy All Humans 3. The original game was remade and launched not long ago, and following as leak Destroy All Humans 2 was officially revealed as getting remade as well. To me, remakes like this clearly point to a company building interest before announcing a new game, and I would fucking love to see Destroy All Humans 3. I love the series’ concept of playing a sarcastic alien invading Earth, I love its zany humour, and I think a modern day version with amped up destruction could be awesome. It’d make for a great, mid-tier project.
  • Another cool mention was Injustice 3, which also got the subtitle Gods Will Fall, which sounds not only incredibly badass but also fits in with Injustice 2: Gods Among Us. I think an Injustice 3 is a no-brainer given just how well the first two games have done for Netherealm. It’s for that reason that the mention of another Mortal Kombat game was about as shocking as my little niece declaring that she’s now a dog.
  • Other games that were spotted were a mention were XCOM 3, Half-Life 2 Remastered, Demon Souls, Bayonetta 3, Final Fantasy Tactics Remake, Kingdom Hears 4, Batman: Arkham Knight RTX Remaster, Mario & Rabbids, and many, many more.
  • Now, keep in mind many of these games could be years away or cancelled. However, on the whole this does all seem legitimate and has been verified by numerous people. And the Playstation titles could be for testing purposes since PS NOW is also on PC. Still, for whatever reason, all of these games are listed in Nvidia’s Geforce NOW streaming service.
  • Perhaps the biggest thing of note, at least to me, is the mention of Nintendo titles. I highly doubt there’s anything to it, but even the remotest chance of Nvidia somehow managing to persuade Nintendo to let their games be streamed to PC is incredibly, incredibly exciting. The vast Nintendo catalogue is a drool-worthy prospect.
  • How did Nvidia respond? The expectation is that Nvidia would deny everything, but instead they actually confirmed the list as legit, saying, “NVIDIA is aware of an unauthorized published game list, with both released and/or speculative titles, used only for internal tracking and testing. Inclusion on the list is neither confirmation nor an announcement of any game.

NVIDIA took immediate action to remove access to the list. No confidential game builds or personal information were exposed.

Sony Get More Studios

  • Remember that little gaffe that Sony Japan made a while back, where they accidentally Tweeted out a bespoke image welcoming Blue Point to the Sony family? Well, it’s official now.
  • Blue Point most recently released the Demon’s Souls remake for Playstation 5, and have built their reputation around remastering and remaking games. In total they’ve launched 11 projects, of which 9 have been for Sony. With such a strong Sony relationship this purchase almost feels like a formality.
  • It seems Bluepoint won’t just be pumping out remasters, stating that they are also working on “original content.” Although that exact choice of wording is interesting.
  • Bluepoint are a strong get for Sony, expanding their already brimming roster.
  • But that wasn’t their only studio announcement this week. Firesprite, who were revealed to have been bought by Sony last month, announced their acquisition of  Fabrik Games. Fabrik Games will now become part of Firesprite, boosting the already massive employee count to 265.
  • It’s not a surprising move, though, because Fabrik were actually created by Firesprite’s managing director, Graeme Ankers, to create Indie games. It’s more like these two entities reabsorbing each other to create one super developer blob. Long live the blob.
  • During their brief time away from the parents Fabrik released a couple of games called The Lost Bear and Filthy Lucre. The Lost Bear is a 2D platformer for PS VR with a 77 score on Metacritic, while Filthy Lucre is a stealthy heist game. I do not know if they found the bear.
  • So, in total that’s 4 studios Sony has gotten its grubby mitts on this year, although I kind of feel like Fabrik doesn’t count.

Sony Add Game Trials, And Kind of Mess it up

  • A brand new feature for the PS5 has appeared which lets users download trial versions of Sony titles! I’ve been arguing for years for getting more demos or trail versions of games so that consumers can make informed decisions. While this new feature only seems to be available in the UK at the moment and only Death Stranding and Sackboy’s Big Adventure support it, it’s nevertheless very exciting. If it goes well, we could see all Sony first-party games get trial versions. ( Biomutant added)
  • Currently, this is only available until October 28th.
  • If you buy the game save data will carry through.
  • In true Sony fashion, though, there are some big caveats with the whole thing. For Death Stranding and Sackboy’s Big Adventure you get 6-hours and 5-hours of trial time respectively. But that countdown begins as soon as you hit the download button on console, or the add to library button on PC.
  • Considering you have to download the full game AND the Playstation Network’s servers can be rather slow, you could be looking at several hours of downloading. Death Stranding is just a smidgen under 70GB, for example, and will let you start playing at 50GB.
  • In my case, my internet connection isn’t amazing, so a 50GB would typically take around 4-6 hours at full speed. And that’s assuming the PSN servers give me full speed. based on that, I could be left with 1-2 hours of actual hands-on time with the game.
  • It’s a baffling choice by Sony. Surely the timer should start when you either start the game? At the very least, it shouldn’t start until the download actually finishes.
  • People have already come up with a workaround which involves making a new account, then hitting the download button on that account. Once it’s downloaded, jump back to your main account and hit download on the trial again. The console will detect the game on your hard-drive as already installed, so you don’t need to download it again.
  • Smart little buggers.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *