Speak of the Devil: So on the topic of Assassin’s Creed patches are flying like they are going out of style with a third patch being announced that will attempt to fix missing skin (like floating eyeballs and teeth) as well as problems with holes in the world that cause Arno to get stuck, so they are still working at it.
In related news though French politicians are denouncing the title as “propaganda” saying it’s trying to misrepresent the revolution and Robbespierre. Jean-Luc Mélenchon a failed presidential candidate and former Minister believes the game is recasting the nobles. First, I don’t believe I have to say this, but it’s a video game. It’s fiction based on history. Second, this game was written and produced in Montreal Quebec, you could not find a group of people more sympathetic to the revolution than Quebecois French. Thirdly and most importantly Robbespierre is a well-documented homicidal maniac and who was in charge of the revolution during a period known as The Reign of Terror (aka The Terror) that lead to a number of deaths of innocents based on political accusations that would make the Salem Witch Trials look like solid instances of justice being served. The entire thing only ended because of an internal revolution where Robbespierre himself was executed after “The Great Terror” where he went even more bananas. Why is it that I know more about French History than a former French presidential candidate?!
Lastly Ethan Levy (a game monetization design consultant) explored the world of Assassin’s Creed: Unity’s micro-transaction (or in the case of the 100 dollar top up macro-trnasaction) system for Kotaku and broke out the system so you don’t have to (in short if you buy the 99 dollar Helix credit you can’t even spend it all). So… yeah, before you spend money on that you may want to check that article out. (Source Joystiq, Ubisoft here and here, Polygon and Kotaku)
Patching a sinking ship: Remember a few weeks back when that indie developer over at Code Avarice decided to issue a death threat against Gabe Newell and then in his resignation letter called pretty much every potential employer a “sweat shop” and “shitty”? Well it appears (shock of shocks) he’s not been able to get a job and has since returned to Code Avarice (since there were only two people running the company and he was one of them that’s not a shock either). They have indicated they will change their policy regarding public statements but it’s hardly surprising that Steam have not been interested in bringing their game back Paranautical Activiy. (Source Joystiq)
World of OOW Craft: This week saw the release of another big title the World of Warcraft expansion Warlords of Draenor, unfortunately things have not gone too smoothly. The first several days have had vicious server queues causing many to complain, in fact one “super fan” the moderator of the largest WoW sub-reddit closed down the sub-reddit until he was able to log in. Once he was able to log in he restored the service but not before launching yet another reddit based controversy. Login issues seem to have resolved themselves which is good because we’ve seen the game top 10 million subscribers for the first time in a while. Additionally there are 10th anniversary celebrations starting this week so if you want a flaming Corgi now’s your time. (Source Blizzard, Polygon, Massively, Joystiq here and here)
About that victory: It would appear that Gamer Gate’s earlier victories are not near as permanent as Baldwin had claimed last week. This week Intel reinstated their advertising on Gamasutra without comment. Gamer Gaters are claiming it’s google ad sense technology pushing it but contacted Intel representatives have simply said they have restarted posting on Gamasutra without further comment. (Source The Telegraph)
Hopefully he’s gone to the place where all their uniforms turn white: Glen A Larson is a name many may not remember but for geeks born in the early 70s he is a figure that shaped our lives. Responsible for creating Battlestar Galactica, The Bionic Man, Magnum P.I., Knight Rider, Buck Rogers and countless other memory laden television shows passed away this week. Twiggy misses you already Glen. (Source The Hollywood Reporter)
Elite Fail: Elite: Dangerous was viewed by many as a counter game to the RSI behemoth Star Citizen, still epic in scope it was to offer many of the same options with components like ground combat coming later as add ons. The core exploration and combat was to be in place with an off line mode to allow for people to handle their own games without relying on a central server. A few weeks before the December 16th launch (and in fact today on the 23rd the game hit Gama as the last step to lead to launch) and last week the creators decided to ditch one of their biggest promises, an offline mode. Many old school gamers view this as critical but the developers Frontier Development indicated that the server side universe generation is required and to maintain the level of experience they want they cannot remove this requirement. A single player mode will still remain but will include a “call home” feature.
To add insult to injury, at first they said there would be no refunds to backers and purchasers who bought based on this feature then they said limited refunds and now after a devastating AMA on reddit they have said they are “reconsidering” and will “reach out” to people regarding their refund. If there is ever a class in how not to handle customer expectations, this would be a prime example. (Source Joystiq here and here, Elite Newsletter and Frontier Forum)
About Time: Destiny released its new patch 1.0.3 which included some much desired functions and features. Bounty expansion is all well and good but Fireteam voice chat is finally here so we can communicate with people we are fighting alongside. The argument of why it wasn’t there is understandable but the reality is, if you’re playing co-op you need to be able to communicate easily and since it’s an MMO without a keyboard that leaves few options. On top of that Bungie released atime limited demo this week letting you take the game for a spin and transfer your progress over to the game should you buy it digitally. Additionally news regarding their first DLC pack has released, if you have bought the pack already you will have received a fancy trick sparrow letting you do some XTREME Mountain Dew class tricks. If that’s not enough to get you interested the trailer leaked a bit early and seems kind of neat if lacking in detail. (Source Polygon, Joystiq here, here and here and Computer and Video Games)
So long world, it was nice knowing you: This week saw the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition the near universally praised title from Bioware (see our earlier coverage of the first six hours here) this has seen a couple of musical launch trailers including a live action one staring internet fiddle sprite Lindsey Stirling:
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In less serious and much more fun news though we have reveals of Easter Eggs in the game including references to Popcap (now EA’s) Bookworm, Bejewled, and Plants vs. Zombies. As well we get a deliciously nugtastic “Lord of the Pies” Easter Egg, redditor killerwok creating a Daenerys look alike, and a great (if spoilery) video showing the first love scene with the Iron Bull. If you plan on romancing the Iron Bull do not watch this because it’s worth saving but if you aren’t watch and enjoy.
(Source Hot Hardware, Joystiq, Polygon here, here, here and here)
GTA V Woes: GTA V hit the PC and consoles this week with some first person action (which immediately led to people posting first person prostitution scenes because lowest common denominator) but it’s not gone entirely smoothly. Some PS4 players have noted difficulty downloading and one of the promised features was the game would allow you to carry forward progress from your GTA Online characters within a console platform. There were some issues with that but these have since been resolved. (Source MCV and CVG here and here)
Johnny Rotten is kind of a wanker: So Johnny "Rotten" Lydon did an interview with The Telegraph, I’ve always felt the Pistols were the kind of a prefab boy band of the punk world. Okay, granted many of their beliefs were pretty strongly held but without their master and mistress Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood handling their style and image they probably would never have united and if they had burnt out very quickly. That said, I’m just an arm chair critic and what do I know? One thing though, during this interview Lydon/Rotten discusses how he has spent 10,000 pounds on iOS games and not even good ones:
I wasted – you’re the first to know this – 10,000 f------ pounds in the last two years on apps on my iPad. I got into Game of Thrones, Game of War, Real Racing, and I just wanted to up the ante. And like an idiot I didn’t check myself. I’ve been checked now.
Okay, you may have ditched the drug problems but you are just transferring and while you’ve done some decent charity work if you are buying in to the entire Apple dogma you’re kind of undermining your punk cred. (Source Player Attack and The Telegraph)
Avast: Piracy is a problem within the gaming community, it’s been a problem since the 80s when after school specials were produced showing how the creators of Oils Well would be screwed out of money by pirates. In later years developers have become more creative with hidden messages that will pop for pirates or one of Ubisoft’s favorites, glitching the pirate copies. With Far Cry 4 it turns out if you pirate you don’t get a FoV slider allowing them to catch out pirates complaining on the forums. So, note to pirates, you’re going to do what you’re going to do anyway but maybe don’t complain about technical problems on a game’s official forums? In other Far Cry 4 news companion apps Arena Master and Arcade Poker have been released to up your gaming fun. (Source Joystiq here and here)
Halo Master Grief Collection: Since launch the Halo has suffered from some match making problems but 343 Industries hope they have closed that with an initially delayed but eventually released patch to address the issue of being booted post game and ensuring that rankings are tracked properly. (Source CVG and Joystiq)
Bad Karma: Walmart is a big evil company, sure, but most people working there are working stiffs who deserve a break. Unfortunately some individuals have taken advantage of the now closed price matching loop hole left by Walmart. The company ensured they would match any postings online or print; this led to people placing listings on Amazon for PS4s at 99 dollars. Walmart employees following direction honored these and quickly landed in hot water. Walmart has since closed this loophole but I suspect there’s a few people who are not going to be working Black Friday now. (Source Polygon)
This is the end: Gamestop have been trying to transition in to the digital marketplace for some time, techniques including vendor locked content and retail incentives have helped but despite all this their stock continues to drop even with increased numbers from the recent console launch. Could this be the beginning of end of the much loved and much maligned vendor? (Source Joystiq)
Big Bang: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare released recently to pretty high acclaim from a series that is often considered bland as a defining quality. It seems that the sales of the series reflect this success as well with $10 billion in sales for the franchise to date! No solid numbers on Advanced Warfare have been released but Activision state it’s the “best release yet” how true that is will probably have to wait for the investor call. (Source Joystiq)
About Time: Steam’s early access system has been much maligned and abused since launch with developers failing to bring to market titles as promised and sometimes just dropping off the face of the earth entirely. The most telling comment appears to be the statement "Don’t launch in Early Access if you can’t afford to develop with very few or no sales.” The fact they even have to say this at all says a lot about the system. (Source Giant Bomb and Polygon)
Computer Engineering is Hard: Seriously Mattel? You haven’t learnt ANYTHING since the Math is Hard fiasco?! Mattel has wisely pulled the book Barbie I Can Be A Computer Engineer. Why is this wise? Well it appears in the years since their “Math is Hard” fiasco (lampooned on the Simpsons) this book (written in 2010 by a moron apparently) has a line about how Barbie will need to turn to “Steven and Brian” to turn her idea in to a “real game” and how she can’t handle the programming side. Seriously people, are you even trying?! (Source Polygon)
Geekgasm Achieved: So… you wouldn’t be here without a modicum of geekiness, most of us love the book or TV show Game of Thrones (shameful admission I’ve not had time to really absorb them yet). That said, the new Telltale game looks to change that. We got a trailer that lets us see the cast of the upcoming game and it includes a lot of the TV show’s stars! (Source Polygon)
In Other Legacy Geek News: For the other side of the geek spectrum (of which there is much cross over) we all love Ghost in the Shell right? It’s awesome, one of those anime properties that just seems to transcend the years. Turns out Nexon (who specialize mainly in F2P titles) is making an arena squad based shooter using the IP. Think Team Fortress meets Ghost in the Shell and man does it look DELICIOUS! (Source ScienceFiction.com)