Saturday, 24 November 2012

NEWS: Saturday Roundup

Welcome to the Saturday Roundup, a weekly roundup of all the important news going on in the gaming world. If you’re sick of gaming websites' content turning more and more casual, or trying to pass off a single sentence and a link to a cool picture they saw on deviant art as ‘news,’  you've come to the right place. I aim to consolidate and summarize only the stuff that’s most important to gaming enthusiasts. It’s a mix of hard news, interesting features, and other tidbits that I feel like you guys would enjoy. Let’s see what’s been going on this week:

  • How does Skyrim look with 100 graphical mods running at the same time? Amazing. Blogger 'Unreal' says he uses up to 800 mods for the game, although these screenshots were created with around 100 of those running at once. This kind of graphical fidelity comes at a price though - when the screen is filled with grass the frame rate plummets to 5 frames per second. Still, as hardware improves that number is bound to rise, and in less intensive areas of the game (such as indoors) Unreal boasts a steady 40-60 FPS. It's amazing to know that thanks to modders, PC gamers can constantly re-vitalize and customize their games.
This looks like something from 10 years in the future.
  • Borderlands 2's second major DLC pack has arrived! Mr Torgue's Campaign of Carnage has a question for you, and the question is, EXPLOSIONS? This DLC looks to include the arena mode that Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot introduced into the first Borderlands, as well as a host of new quests, weapons, locations and enemies. If you like muscle-bound shirtless men yelling things at you, check out the trailer, and if that's not enough, Mr Torgue also recently did a reddit AMA in-character. Retails for $9.99 individually or $29.99 as part of the Borderlands 2 season pass.
  • Mirrors Edge 2 is in production. Ben Cousins (no, not that one) today announced that the Stockholm developer DICE was indeed working on a sequel to the free-running action game. The first Mirrors Edge was a game that tried to break out of the tired and true FPS formula, by emphasizing evasion and speed over steam rolling through every area shooting everyone. Despite being praised by critics, it failed to meet sales expectations and fans assumed that the corporate machine would simply sweep this franchise under the rug. Good to see that this is not the case.
Agent 47 is back.
  • Hitman: Absolution was released this week. It's been getting some very mixed reviews, with PC gamer dipping as low as 66/100 and OPN going as high as 9/10. More evidence that review scores are complete and utter rubbish. If you want an actual opinion of the game that doesn't shoehorn it into a generic X out of X template, have a look at Rock-Paper-Shotgun or Total Biscuit's reviews, which talk offer different opinions on how the game succeeds or fails. It's out on Steam now, unless you happen to live in Japan (like me) in which case Eidos have a nice big cup of 'fuck you' for you,  and has told us wait patiently until January 24th.
  • Hide your wallets, the Steam Autumn sale has started! I'm not sure if it's because it detected that I was an Aussie, but calling it the Autumn sale instead of the 'fall sale' is a nice touch. The Autumn sale runs through till November 26th, with new 'daily deals' every day, as well as a plethora of 'flash sales' that are renewed every few hours. There's also a big push for indie games this time around, with many of the biggest name indie titles selling for up to 75% off for the entire duration of the sale.
  • Wonder why we see so few video games with girls as the main character? Because publishers don't support them. Ben Kuchera talks to Geoffrey Zatkin, the Chief Operating Officer of EEDAR as they pour over data and come to the conclusion that publishers, being swayed by the myth of 'public opinion', simply won't support a game with a female playing the lead.

    "Games with only female heroes are given half the marketing budget as games with male heroes. That’s an enormous handicap that cripples their ability to sell well."
  • Aliens: Colonial Marines is a game in which you are a colonial marine and you fight Aliens. Based on the popular Aliens franchise, developers Gearbox this week released a trailer featuring their co-op survival mode. Anyone familiar with the original Aliens vs Predator game (the 1999 version, not the 2010 monstrosity) will know that they did survivor/horde mode right, years before the likes of Gears of War and Left 4 Dead were even concepts, so if they just copy that mode step-for-step into this game, I'll be happy. The game releases on February 12th for pretty much every platform (including the newly released WiiU).
So that’s the news for this week. Be sure to subscribe to my twitter for up-to-date news and blog updates, my youtube channel for gaming videos, check out my new digs over at non-fiction gaming for my regular Wednesday article, and check back here every Saturday for more news!

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