It's game launch season. This is the busiest time of year for the games industry, and that's apparent to anyone who's followed recent launches – it's been one hit after the next. Black Ops III led into Fallout 4, into Battlefront, into Assassin's Creed Syndicate, and now Blizzard's Overwatch. The intensity of the season makes for plenty of discussion topics in the gaming news space (and for lots of benchmarking), something that GN's newest commentator is eager to discuss.
This week's biggest news items include, perhaps obviously, Assassin's Creed Syndicate & Battlefront launches, the Overwatch beta weekend, and some Star Citizen Alpha 2.0 news. Our loose script / video outline can be found below the news recap!
Lieutenant Commander Steve “Old Man” Colton seems a fitting name for the role assumed by Mark Hamill, best known as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movies. That name, alongside some behind-the-scenes footage of the actor's performance capture, were both released today by Cloud Imperium Games and the Squadron 42 team. To catch up on previous developments for the SQ42 universe, check out our post detailing Star Citizen's Alpha 2.0 and Hollywood cast.
Performance capture is a mix of motion capture, which uses unflattering body suits and sensors to map human movement to digital coordinates, and acting. The Squadron 42 team decided to forgo more traditional games industry “mocap” in favor of voiced acting with 3D coordinate mapping, allowing professional actors – Mark Hamill and Gary Oldman included – to really dig into the material. Across the games industry, it's popular for captured actors to quip about the tight-fitting suits worn, and Hamill's now part of that group.
During CPU and GPU benchmarking for Star Wars Battlefront, a DICE game published by EA, we encountered an additional layer of DRM beyond the EA Origin requirement. Steam, Origin, uPlay, and other proprietary game distribution applications utilize various means of digital rights management, often tied to online user accounts in the modern day, but some games go further.
This week's news cycle was, unsurprisingly, dominated by the two major releases: Fallout 4 and Black Ops III, shipping within a few days of each other. We're anticipating a similar story to be true for next week's blockbuster Battlefront launch.
Big items for the week mostly include Fallout 4's concurrent user record on Steam, alongside its $750 million generated in 24 hours, and Black Ops III's $550 million 72-hour generation, a game which is expected to surpass $1B by the end of the year. Other items, for Battlefield players – not Front, but Field – the “Legacy Operations” DLC will release a free-to-download Dragon Valley remake, updated from Battlefield 2. Outside of the shooter world, Roller Coaster Tycoon World has been delayed into 2016, citing performance and usability/mechanical bugs, and Legacy of the Void has finally shipped to PCs globally.
The video recap, with a bit more detail, is available below:
Last week's game news recap overviewed major No Man's Sky, Star Citizen, and RPG news (including some Fallout 4 discussion). That was our first weekly recap of games industry news and, finding it to be tremendous fun and receiving positive feedback, we've returned with the second episode.
This week was another eventful period for the industry, heralding the arrival of Black Ops III, the Fallout 4 launch trailer, and putting a public spotlight on Valve's advertising during sales. News also erupted surrounding the Warcraft movie trailer, followed shortly by news that The Witcher series has already gone through pre-production for its own movie creation. Granted, the Witcher is technically based on a book – but close enough.
This is one of those “announcements of an announcement” – there's almost no information available at present aside from the fact that “Paragon” exists. That, and a trailer (below).
Epic Games released the below teaser trailer and Play Paragon website earlier today, indicating a 2016 release target for the enigmatic title. From a first glance, it looks as if Paragon is either a team shooter or a MOBA, strictly based on the fact that (1) it's got guns and (2) the characters are being called Heroes.
The video game industry's news output is churning in full capacity as November nears. Our contacts and colleagues in the industry are almost ubiquitously undergoing crunch right now, working longer hours to finalize that last bit of content before “going Gold.” That means a lot of news, so we've decided to start rounding-up weekly game news at the end of the week.
This week, the items to watch have been No Man's Sky for its “I've Seen Things” trailer (and release date), Star Citizen for an updated flight model, GOG's introduction of ancient RPGs to its service, Overwatch beta, and Fallout 4's mod support.
Full news coverage in the video, though I've also posted the script below:
For a game built on Unreal Engine, Rocket League's new decision to add “Mutators” to the game shouldn't come as a surprise. Mutators have been around since the days of Quake and Unreal Tournament, serving as a means for players to modify core gameplay with silly or challenging modifiers. Insta-gib is probably one of the best-known, making all shots a one-hit obliterator in Unreal Tournament.
Rocket League today released a trailer showing off its inbound Mutators patch, due for availability in November as a free update. We've listed the Mutators revealed below, following the patch trailer:
Fallout 4 is one of Bethesda’s most anticipated forthcoming games. We previously covered the Fallout 4 trailer and the follow-up E3 presentation; since then, though, there has been little substantial news. Bethesda did tweet that Fallout 4 has over 111k lines of dialogue, which is more than Fallout 3 and Skyrim combined, but that’s about the most that’s come out.
Just yesterday, Bethesda offered another peek at Fallout by way of Fallout 4’s recommended and minimum system requirements.
The next Far Cry has been unveiled as "Far Cry Primal," Ubisoft's newest endeavor in a gritty, ongoing series of survival games.
Primal feels, at its surface, almost a little like Turok – just without the dinosaurs and 1997 graphics. The game sees a visit to 10,000 BCE, the Stone Age, and places emphasis on the prevalence of “massive beasts” like mammoths and sabertooth tigers. Given Far Cry's history, it seems like a prime opportunity to revitalize integration with HairWorks or other fur-enabling technologies, though there's presently no confirmation of this. We're hoping to visit graphics tech with Ubisoft in short order.