E3 has produced a huge amount of news, and we're starting some of our recap coverage with Bethesda. Bethesda's major news items included a remastered version of Skyrim – a “Special Edition” or “Remastered Edition,” as it were – and the existence of Elder Scrolls 6, with a brief hint of two unnamed, large projects.
Skyrim Remastered will ship to PlayStation, Xbox, and PC owners and primarily deliver updated visuals and a new, integrated mod system. Bethesda is fully refreshing Skyrim – something the company hasn't done with previous TES games – and may be doing so as its “The Elder Scrolls VI” title is still some ways out.
Update: We have received the following statement from EA Games:
"I checked with our dev team they confirmed that Origin for PC and Mac allows players to activate EA games (including Star Wars Battlefront) five times a day. If you’ve activated a game five times that day, you’ll be able to activate the game again 24 hours after your first activation of the day. This includes installs on new machines and new hardware configurations. If you are encountering something different I’m happy to put you in touch with a dev to remedy the roadblock." (Angella Wong, EA Games Integrated Communications Manager).
Our 24-hour window should tick-over soon and allow us to validate this. If this is the case, the Denuvo DRM limitation on hardware changes would largely be a non-issue -- as stated in the original piece (below), no normal user would be feverishly switching hardware 4-5 times in 24 hours. We will test and report back. Original content follows.
As an aside, here's our Mirror's Edge Catalyst GPU benchmark, now finalized.
EA's new Mirror's Edge Catalyst uses DRM to impose activation limits on the game, restricting total hardware configuration changes to four. That means that, over your life of ownership, you may have to buy the game multiple times if hoping to return in several years from now. We discovered this previously with Star Wars: Battlefront – another EA Origin title – and actually ended up buying it multiple times just to test GPUs.
We've gotten through four video cards in our GPU suite (which spans more than 10 total devices) and have already encountered the dreaded “We're Sorry. An error has occurred. Too many computers have accessed this account's version of Mirror's Edge Catalyst.”
We've talked about Paragon a lot lately. It's got impressive visuals and promising gameplay; we're curious about how it'll do against other MOBAs in the (overly) saturated market. The first free open beta is near closing – it ends on the 30th – and for some of us, the first open beta wasn't enough. There's a paid early access for those people, granting more access to the TPS-MOBA-action-twitch-shooter amalgam. Starting on May 31st, early access buyers will be granted control over the next playable character: “Riktor,” the 17th hero to join the cast.
Total War: Warhammer launched May 24th -- and it’s been a massive commercial success. In just three days, the latest Total War title has broken the sales records for all the franchise’s prior launches. Within a week of launch, Total Warhammer has already hit half a million sales, making it “the fastest selling Total War title on Steam.”
iBUYPOWER is once again empowering eSports. Now, the system integrator is teaming up with TBS to bring eSports to national television. This is a major move into the mainstream for eSports, with traditional broadcasters now expressing interest and posturing themselves as frontrunners for the emerging entertainment sector. When the new “ELeague” division of Turner Broadcast begins May 24th, it will be powered by iBUYPOWER's Revolt 2. The 24 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams competing in ELeague will all be using the rigs for training and competition, which will be hosted on stages and online.
Epic’s Paragon is getting ready for a free beta weekend later this month -- from May 26th to the 30th. Anyone interested can sign-up here to participate, but you must sign up before the 25th.
Paragon is Epic’s take on the MOBA genre; however, the gameplay in Paragon is more like a third-person shooter than a traditional MOBA game. Also unlike other MOBAs, Paragon’s visuals are nothing to smirk at -- nVidia even brought Epic CEO Tim Sweeney out to their recent media event to use Paragon to show off the GTX 1080.
Recapping last week's game news -- following our DOOM benchmark and review -- mostly looks at major Overwatch playerbase announcements, future Star Wars titles (and an RTS, maybe?), and Ubisoft's plans through March, 2017.
Overwatch announced a major achievement in its acquisition of 9.7 million active players during its beta weekend, Respawn Entertainment teased its work on a new Star Wars title, as did EA, and Blizzard is making moves toward an eSports media network.
Video below, script below that.
For 25 years, the Civilization franchise has been a keystone in the PC gaming world and helped establish the 4X genre in video games. Each title in the franchise built on the next, solidifying and improving the core gameplay set up in the first game. Except Beyond Earth, but that was an outlier. It’s now time for the next game in the series -- Civilization VI. It’s been six years since the last title in the main Civilization line, and two years since Civilization: Beyond Earth.
Id software today announced Doom's native support of the Vulkan API, recently ratified to its 1.0 specification by the Khronos group. This move makes id one of the earliest adopters of the Vulkan API (along with Croteam), and continues the company's legacy of early OpenGL support.
EA and Dice seem to be having trouble counting. Yesterday, EA launched a campaign blitz for the next Battlefield title -- “Battlefield 1.” Presumably, the title refers to the game’s setting which was previously confirmed World War One. The newly released trailer, as well as the two-hour livestream celebrating the franchise, finalize the setting that had been accidently leaked months ago through NeoGaf.