We're concluding our trip in England already -- spending equal time on planes as in another country, at this point -- and will be posting several in-depth content pieces next week. In the meantime, we turn to gaming news for a few interesting remakes on PC, including Master of Orion, AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake), the potential for StarCraft HD, and the new "Pokemon Uranium" game from indie devs.
GN script writer and video editor Keegan Gallick has had some hands-on time with AM2R, and was saddened to learn that the title received orders from Nintendo to remove download links. No official C&D has yet been dispatched, but DMCA notices were issued. Check the video below for more (or the script, if you prefer writing):
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.
Blizzard's Diablo II, the year 2000's best dungeon crawler, has once again been resurrected from the brink of incompatibility. The game just received patch 1.14a, making Diablo II one of the longest-supported video game titles in history, with on-and-off patching for sixteen years; in 2011, Blizzard pushed patch 1.13 for expanded OS & hardware support.
A developer post on the official Blizzard forums (posted by “Classic”) indicates official support for OSX Mac operating systems. Somewhat surprisingly, Blizzard also pointed toward updated cheat-detection and hack-prevention systems. In the official post, Blizzard wrote:
This week's game news looks to the worlds of Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher, Overwatch, Elite: Dangerous, Paragon, and Steam's account theft.
An interview with CD Projekt Red CEO Adam Kicinski went live on Polish site Money.pl, where the CEO – who openly discusses his company's financial efficiency – talks about the White Wolf's future adventures. The company hopes to continue its devotion to the Witcher series, despite initial plans to conclude the story with Wild Hunt. Geralt's story is done, Kicinski told the site, but that doesn't mean The Witcher is. This has been the major delay to Cyberpunk 2077, a game that has internal, unannounced deadlines, but Kicinski said to expect Cyberpunk news in 2016.
Our hardware news recap is over here.
That and all the other week's news items are recapped in the below video:
Forthcoming team shooter Overwatch is Blizzard's first new IP in years, fusing familiar FPS and team-based elements with MOBA-like playable characters. That, at its core, is what we'd call a “team shooter,” a genre that's been popularized most recently by Team Fortress 2.
The game is still going through closed beta testing, with select Battle.net accounts receiving invites to play-test the game over a few weekends. This weekend's test was, according to Overwatch PR Manager Steven Khoo, an attempt at learning “how Overwatch runs on your system” and a reach-out for “technical feedback.” We figured we'd throw ten video cards at the game and see how it does.
Overwatch isn't particularly GPU intensive, but it does make use of some advanced shadow and reflection techniques that can impact FPS. We performed some initial settings analysis – shown further down – to determine top-level performance impact on a per-setting basis. This is the basis of our eventual graphics optimization guide (see: Black Ops equivalent), something we'll finalize at the game's launch. For now, the goal was to provide a foundation upon which to base our GPU test methodology with Overwatch. This graphics card benchmark looks at the best GPUs for Overwatch (beta), testing 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolutions across “Epic” and “Ultra” settings.
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!
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.
Blizzard doesn’t want to be overlooked this week, as they’ve rolled-out the newest hero in their team-based shooter, “Overwatch.” A mix of Ethan Hunt, The Comedian, and Jason Bourne, Soldier: 76 was on old member of Overwatch before they were betrayed and sabotaged, now he’s out to defeat his enemies through stealth and guile -- two things that don’t come through in his skill set.
Following yesterday's release of the Zenyatta gameplay footage, Blizzard Entertainment has released twelve minutes of unedited Overwatch gameplay focused on “Mercy,” a healer / support character. Mercy is at times remniscent of the Medic in certain other team shooter games, but has a few unique powers – like temporary flight, for starters. More below.
It's been a number of months since Blizzard's Pixar-like Overwatch unveil – detailed fully in a previous article – and about two months since our hands-on preview at PAX. Following this hiatus, Blizzard today distributed an eight-minute video of Zenyatta, the monk-like zen warrior, dominating on a Point Capture / Payload map called “King's Row.”
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