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This Week In Gaming 10-30-18

1 post in this topic



Kirk Hamilton's review of Red Dead Redemption 2 focusing on the themes, gameplay, and feel of the final product and how it can be read as a critique of Rockstar's own culture and the human cost of making games. Liz Ryerson on what the "indiepocalypse" panic ignores, Aron Garst tells the story of Square Enix's failed Latin American division, Codex Entry's analysis of the character Futaba in part four of his series on Persona 5, Bethesda's warning of spectacular bugs and issues in Fallout 76 was true, 2B coming to Soulcalibur 6, Tom Phillips speaks to developers about working on Red Dead Redemption 2, Game Score Fanfare on the best minute of Uncharted 4, Level 5 revives formerly cancelled horror project, Alan Wake is back on Steam, and more.


Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)


Fallout 76’s live-action trailer looks like it was made for Fortnite fans


The trailer is clearly intended to show Fallout 76 as a more colourful and friendly game than previous entries in the series – the kind of game that would appeal to Fortnite players, no doubt. To be fair, it probably will be much more varied and silly given that it’s all online and lets people go wild together within its post-apocalyptic world.

What Works (And What Doesn't) In Fallout 76


Kyle and Leo, The Fallout Boys of GI, sit down to share their opinions on the structure of Fallout 76 based on their few hours with the beta so far.

Fallout 76 shows how hell really is other people


People have poked fun at the animation tech that powers the NPCs of Bethesda’s games for the best part of 15 years. Be it the stilted running animations of Skyrim, the practically static faces of Oblivion, or the bumbling citizens of Fallout 4’s Boston wasteland, few have had words of praise when it comes to how characters move in these worlds. And yet, after a couple of hours with Fallout 76, I find myself desperate to see the cardboard marching of a Brotherhood of Steel soldier.

Fallout 76 desperately needs private servers


Fallout 76 is in desperate need of private servers. The time I spent with the beta Tuesday night on Xbox One felt awkward, with other players as well as global events intruding on what has traditionally been a solitary experience. I understand that Bethesda is taking a calculated risk with its next game by trying to add something new to the Fallout series, but if the company isn’t careful, Fallout 76 may diminish the franchise in the eyes of its most dedicated fans.

Fallout 76 Bug Accidentally Deletes Entire 50GB Beta


The Fallout 76 beta starts on PC tonight, but an 11th hour bug in Bethesda’s launcher has had unusually severe repercussions for some affected users.


Battlefield V’s Battle Royale Mode Won't Launch Until 2019



Battlefield V will launch on November 20 without its new battle royale or co-op modes, EA and DICE confirmed today. Instead, these highly-anticipated features, part of the game’s free Tides of War post-launch updates, will land somewhere between January and March, 2019.

Battlefield 5 progression detailed – “real-world money should not enable pay-to-win”


Battlefield V is on the way in less than a month, and as with all EA-published releases in the aftermath of Battlefront II, it faces a substantial amount of skepticism about how its microtransactions and progression system will work. Today, EA and DICE have detailed exactly what to expect from the game’s unlockables, including what you can buy with real-world money.


Level 5's cancelled PSP horror Ushiro is confirmed for Nintendo Switch



Recently, the word on the street was that Level 5 were planning a "revival" of sorts for a cancelled game. Well, the developer has confirmed via Famitsu that said title is cancelled Sony PSP release Ushiro, which is now expected to transition to Nintendo Switch instead.


Lead the resistance against the Nazis in Through the Darkest of Times


Games have let players beat the Nazis in countless ways, from organising the entire Allied advance through Europe to shooting Hitler in the testicles. There has yet to be a game that explores the German people’s own efforts to dismantle the Nazi regime from within, however, and that’s the gap which Through the Darkest of Times aims to fill (presumably with explosives).


Hitman 2 ‘Hitman Perfected’ trailer


Locations, multiplayer modes, upgrades, and more introduced.


One Finger Death Punch 2 due in April, will contain secret cancelled project



The sequel to the brutally simple rhythm game One Finger Death Punch will arrive on PC in April, and will contain hidden versions of both the first game and a secret cancelled project, according to developer Silver Dollar.


New games: Project Hospital takes healthcare management vertical


Being a man of a Certain Age, I have a lot of nostalgia for Bullfrog games – Dungeon Keeper, Black & White, and Theme Hospital all figured into my formative years. That means I also was quickly drawn to this year’s Two Point Hospital, the modern homage to the Bullfrog original. But Two Point Hospital leaned heavily into Bullfrog’s trademark goofiness – and somehow that feels a bit off now when the game’s about something as serious as healthcare.


Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is coming next year



Frozenbyte is bringing back its fairy tale platformer.


God Eater 3 PC release date set for February



God Eater 3 – the latest in the series that may be cynically-but-not-inaccurately described as ‘Monster Hunter but more anime’ – at last has a release date, and PC players won’t even have to wait for it. Bandai Namco has also provided a trailer breaking down the state of the world in this third entry in the series, and it offers a preview of the English voice cast.


Twin Mirror Gameplay Trailer - Paris Games Week


Watch the gameplay trailer and get a closer look into the life of character Sam Hayes ahead of the game's release in 2019 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.


Total War: Warhammer 2 is getting vampire bloodlines - what are they?


On November 8, Total War: Warhammer 2's next free update will add the Vampire Counts' ancient bloodlines. As a vampire player on the tabletop, Rich stole a camera and told it how the bloodlines will work and the lore behind them.


Nier: Automata’s 2B coming to Soulcalibur 6


Soulcalibur 6’s second guest character will be YoRHa No. 2 Type B — aka 2B — from Square Enix’s action role-playing game Nier: Automata. Bandai Namco announced 2B’s guest appearance during a presentation at Paris Games Week today.


Warhammer: Vermintide 2 brings night mode to every map just in time for Halloween



Warhammer: Vermintide 2, like seemingly every game this time of year, is getting into the Halloween spirit. Or, rather, the Geheimnisnacht spirit, as the sun has taken a temporary leave of absence from world of Helmgart. In practical terms, that means every map in the game temporarily plays out in the moonlight for a spooky new look.


The Evil Within 2 adds new difficulty mode and enables cheats



Excellent survival horror sequel The Evil Within 2 has added a new nightmarish difficulty mode and enabled cheats—but only if you have a Bethesda.net account.


Alan Wake is back on Steam, and it’s $3



Tricky music license issues for Alan Wake have meant that Remedy’s shadowy third-person shooter has been unavailable for digital purchase for some time, but those dark days are over – just in time for Halloween. Remedy and Microsoft have navigated those licensing waters and gotten the game restored to a variety of digital storefronts, including Steam. Better yet, it’s dirt cheap in celebration.


Ex-IGDA head Kate Edwards now convinced game devs need unions



Edwards explains what pushed her from being open to the idea of organized labor to believing it needs to happen


Battlefield 5 developer gets banned in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 for – presumably – being too good


Florian Le Bihan, core gameplay designer on Battlefield 5, has taken to Twitter to air his grievances about getting unfairly banned from Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

Le Bihan believes the ban has something to do with his excellent performance in multiplayer. In an effort to prove his innocence, Le Bihan posted a video showing off some of his best kills.


Can a video game prevent domestic violence?



A survey of over 400 children showed how effective the game was and how much children were able to empathise with its characters. Jones reports the game "really was able to make a difference in how young people felt about violence", and has led to not one follow-up title but four.

None In Three was able to secure grants worth £4.6 million to create similar games for other countries, including India, Jamaica, Uganda and the UK. Meanwhile, Jesse is being implemented in schools across a third Caribbean country, St Lucia.


Cracking DRM on games is now legal – in these specific cases



The United States Congress has ruled that it is now legal to circumvent Digital Rights Management (DRM) software in certain circumstances. In a new copyright ruling published today by the Librarian of Congress, customers will be allowed to work around DRM software under the “right to repair.”


China closes last remaining official game licensing process



'Green channel' process reportedly shuttered while companies continue to wait for licensing to re-open


Esports News


Esports Integrity Coalition issues five-year ban to CS:GO cheater



OpTic disbands in wake of Nikhil 'forsaken' Kumawat's ban for cheating in two competitions


Overwatch Contenders League will downsize in 2019



Blizzard is making cutbacks to its Overwatch Contenders League, a competition designed to help Overwatch players and teams reach their professional potential. Seasons are getting longer, but now there are going to be only two seasons each year. The maximum number of teams in each region will be cut down and all non-Academy teams will have to re-qualify if they want a place in 2019 seasons without their Season Three placing taken into account.


Michael Jordan is getting into esports – as an investor



NBA legend and hall of famer Michael Jordan is leading an investor group that is funding Team Liquid parent company aXiomatic Gaming to the tune of $26 million USD.


Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)


Hazelnut Bastille, a 16bit Indie Adventure


Hazelnut Bastille is a topdown, Zelda-like ARPG, presented in a rigorously-period 16 bit style.


Monster Sanctuary - Monster Taming Metroidvania


Collect, train and battle monsters in lovely side-view pixel world


Realms Beyond: Ashes of the Fallen


A classic single-player RPG featuring a party-based character system and tactical turn-based combat evolved from the SRD 3.5e ruleset.


Boyfriend Dungeon’s $272k Kickstarter Postmortem



We’ve already talked about the previous work that went into making Boyfriend Dungeon a success and looked at the social stats from when we first announced, so now it’s time to look at what it all looks like now that it’s finished, look closer at some of the decisions we made, and where we go from here. Keep in mind survivorship bias is still a valid thing to look out for!


Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)


Red Dead Redemption 2: The inside story of the most lifelike video game ever


We go behind the scenes on Rockstar Games' most ambitious project yet: Red Dead Redemption 2


Game Developers Give Advice On How To Make Their Industry a Better Place


Between news about Telltale and Rockstar Games, there's reason to have some pause about buying some games, so we asked some developers what they think.


The human cost of Red Dead Redemption 2



At the start of this week, Rockstar Games' tweet about Red Dead Redemption 2's day one patch details included a special message for its employees - "Thank you to everyone worldwide who helped make #RDR2 happen!" and a link to a newly created staff page, which includes the names of people who have since left the company and therefore missed out on actual in-game credit. ("We never got this on GTA5," one staff member noted to me.) More than 3000 names are listed. 3000 people who worked on Red Dead Redemption 2. Looking down the list I can see many of the people I've spoken to for this article. They are hoping Red Dead Redemption 2 is a huge success, something which pays off all the hard work they have put in. They are hoping things will be better next time around. And why shouldn't they be? Why should games have to be made this way? With the billions of dollars Red Dead Redemption 2 will make Rockstar, I've yet to hear one good reason.


“I've seen sleep disorders, chronic stress fatigue, dissolved relationships, broken marriages..."



“Therein lies one of the greatest obstacles between where we are today, and a future where games companies act on their purported values of treating people like their most important asset: Pride. On the whole, executives in our industry have a grand inability to admit the imperfections of the companies they run.”

Assassin's Creed Odyssey built without 'massive crunch'


“We think it's a false economy to burn out our teams. We risk losing them”


There Are Not “Too Many Games”: What The Indiepocalypse Panic Ignores



Author Steven Wright frames the issue, like many voices in games do, as if it’s a moral crisis to solve with the greatest urgency. The implied perception here for many videogame fans when they hear “too many games” is that storefronts are filled with low-quality cash-grabs, akin to the infamous Videogame crash of 1983. The videogame industry was still young in 1983, and the flood of cheap console clones and samey cash-ins meant to capitalize on the videogame craze at the time had started to alienate the public. This led to a temporary collapse of large portions of the industry — the home console industry, in particular. There is still a fear remaining from that time that today’s flood of PC games will result in a similar catastrophic collapse of the market.

But a massive wave of new creativity has also come along with this flood of games.


The Story Behind Square Enix's Failed Latin America Video Game Division



In the summer of 2013, Square Enix sent a small team of representatives to Latin America for an ambitious business trip. They met with dozens of independent development studios across the region, visiting five countries over the span of a few days. They were looking for developers to partner with Square Enix to create games for the Latin American market.


Reclaiming video games’ queer past before it disappears



The role of video games in queer communities is finally being recognized – but it’s almost too late.


Yakuza 6 Translation


Hitman 2 Developer Talks About Its Painful Breakup With Square Enix



"It's sort of a miracle that we're here today," Mohl said. "We're super happy and excited about that because of course it's been a rough time. It took a long time to find Warner as well."


Marvel's Spider-Man has thought a lot about accessibility



There's something else too. As a disabled gamer, the new trend of triple-A games including accessibility options is extremely important. Gaming should be completely inclusive. Imagine playing Halo Infinite without a fancy gun or Super Mario World without a jump button. Well, that's how it sometimes feels to be a gamer with a disability.


Early Access Means Nothing Anymore



Early access means nothing anymore, if it ever even did mean something. In a world where games are constantly changing, and where even the most polished big-budget AAA games receive a stream of regular patches, the concept is simply obsolete. Maybe the truth is that in 2018, all video games are early access.


How a struggling artist escaped poverty by designing a Warframe scarf



Drowning in debt, Frelling Hazmot had nothing until he started creating cosmetics for Warframe.


"It Was Easier To Do It Than To Not" — Making The Most of The Stanley Parable's Legacy



Stanley was the star of a 2011 Half-Life 2 mod called The Stanley Parable. Walking through office spaces under the direction of a charming British voice actor, Stanley expertly provided comedic commentary of, and deconstructed, video game narrative structures and tropes. When Stanley had his Parable remastered and re-released in 2013, he made his two full-time creators a lot of money, and the industry acclaim to do something with it.


The difference between CRPG and tabletop games comes down to pie, according to one Fallout writer



“You enter a 10×10 room. There’s an orc here. It’s guarding a pie.” This scenario is how Colin McComb begins his answer to how writing for PC games differs from writing for tabletop. McComb is best known for his work on the Planescape setting for Dungeons & Dragons, which led to his position as creative lead on a number of critically acclaimed CRPGs, like Torment: Tides of Numenera – a science fantasy RPG set on Earth around a billion years into the future.


Video Games Can Make You a Better Writer



As writers, we tend to know what we like to read and exactly where to find it. The library, the local bookstore, recommendations from peers and colleagues, and literary magazines are our mainstays for improving our craft and the pure joy of reading. There’s another medium out there though, that I don’t think many of us consider, at least not as a viable means through which we can grow as writers.


Red Dead Redemption 2: The Kotaku Review


It is defiantly slow-paced, exuberantly unfun, and wholly unconcerned with catering to the needs or wants of its players. It is also captivating, poignant, and at times shockingly entertaining. It moves with the clumsy heaviness of a 19th century locomotive, but like that locomotive becomes unstoppable once it builds up a head of steam. Whether intentionally or not, its tale of failure and doom reflects the tribulations of its own creation, as a charismatic and self-deluded leader tries ever more desperately to convince his underlings to follow him off a cliff. Paradise awaits, he promises. Just push a little bit further; sacrifice a little bit more; hang in there a little bit longer.

Red Dead Redemption 2's Puppet-Like NPCs Clash With Its Meticulous World


Red Dead Redemption 2’s excessively detailed world tries to suggest reality. Fall and you get covered in mud; while covered in mud someone might make a coy comment about how they hope it’s not shit. The world is full of little flourishes and behaviors that suggest its NPCs are real people with genuine reactions. But the more I play, the more they feel like puppets putting on a show.

The painted world of Red Dead Redemption 2


Rockstar’s newest game goes beyond other games and movies to find a new variety of visual inspiration



Every morning when I wake up in Red Dead Redemption 2, I do the same thing I do in real life: pour myself a cup of coffee. I roll out of bed, maybe have a shave if I’m looking particularly grizzled, and then wander over to the campfire where a percolator full of coffee is waiting. I pull a metal cup out of my satchel, fill it up, and take that all-important first swig to start the day.


The text of who Arthur Morgan is, the character outside of the choices you can make, is an amazingly open-minded individual.


Why is Red Dead Redemption 2 Still Using Rockstar's Ancient Control Scheme?


We've coasted through Red Dead Redemption 2's honeymoon weekend. Rockstar's latest has landed with critical praise and a divisive community. Some hail it as the game of a generation, one that takes a shot at something unique, like Far Cry 2. Others hate it, calling it slow and boring, a testament to how little Rockstar Games has changed over the years.


Sephiroth and Me: Playing Final Fantasy VII As A Jewish Person



Unless you happen to be Jewish or have a deep interest in religious studies, particularly of the Abrahamic variety, Final Fantasy VII’s ties to Judaism would completely fly over your head. It certainly flew over my head until recently.


The Weight of the World: NieR: Automata and Alienation



Despite being set 9,927 years into the far future, Capitalism in the world of NieR: Automata has, against all odds, managed to survive; the 14th Machine War is a battle for private property, ownership of the Earth itself, overseen by a small ruling class and fought for by their oppressed workers. The 21st century’s forms of oppression and class division still exist, but on a scale much, much larger than it has before, and the economy is now solely focused on the prospect of perpetual war. For both the androids and machine life-forms fighting on the two sides of the conflict, their work-lives are a never-ending series of missions without break; it’s impossible for them to maintain social or private lives, and they have no real collective organisation as a result. During their duties, androids of the YoRHa android special forces (of whom the protagonists are members) are accompanied by Pods, small flying drones that relay messages between their assigned units and Command, constantly monitor their assigned soldiers’ actions for their superiors. There is no choice in whether to work or not.


Kill Your Past, Remake the World: Dehumanization in The 25th Ward



Grasshopper Manufacture and SUDA 51’s (No More Heroes, Killer7) The 25th Ward is a visual novel originally released for Japanese phones in 2005 and completely remastered with added chapters and proper localization in 2018. Much like its direct predecessor, The Silver Case, it remains almost disturbingly relevant in everything it says and explores.


How Mega Man 11's Levels Do More With Less | Game Maker's Toolkit


After looking at level design in Mario, Donkey Kong, and Rayman, it’s time to see how the blue bomber’s stages work - by taking a look at the levels in Mega Man 11.

Support Game Maker's Toolkit on Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/GameMakersToolkit


Persona 5 Analysis [Part 4]: Futaba Breaks Persona 5 // Codex Entry


Ya'll wanted to hear me talk about Futaba and that's what you got.

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/codexentry


Why Resident Evil 2 Could Become the Perfect REmake


Resident Evil 2's Remake by Capcom is coming in January 2019 and in this video, I explain why I believe it might become the perfect REmake we never asked for.


For Better or Worse: Uncharted 4's Best Minute | Game Score Fanfare


Uncharted has some of the most cinematic and memorable scenes in the history of video games. But my personal favourite Uncharted moment is a quiet, introspective drive through the Madagascan wilderness - thanks in large part to the soundtrack.

Support Game Score Fanfare on Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/gamescorefanfare


Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Revelations | REVIEW/CRITIQUE


Support me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ludocriticism

This essay is an examination of, and comparison of, the Assassin's Creed games Brotherhood and Revelation. It is also a continuation of my video on the first three numbered Assassin's Creed games I made last year. These are frankly pretty perplexing games. They make very little sense. But sorting through them to find what they actually manage to say—and not say—was both frustrating and rewarding.


Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines | The Epitome of the RPG


Today I'm looking at what I consider the epitome of the RPG genre - Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. I go over what makes the game so great, as well as some of it's issues and development troubles of it's developer, Troika Games.


We Know the Devil (Spoilers)


We don't cover enough Visual Novels around here, especially at Halloween time. Let's fix that, won't we? And we'll do so by looking at We Know the Devil, a game about three Summer Scouts learning how good it is to be bad! Well, "bad" in airquotes. It's a metaphorical bad. Look just watch the episode, you'll see!

This episode was made possible by generous support through Patreon! http://www.patreon.com/errantsignal


Japanese-Only Horror Gems Localized by Fans | Punching Weight [SSFF]


Happy All Hallow Spooktober O Ween's Eve! DAMNED Alexander and GRAVE Kramer are here to dive into three of their favorite Japanese horror games that were so innovative they never made it over to the West.

Support us on Patreon! http://bit.ly/SSFFpatreon


The Spiritual Successor to BLACK


00:00 - BLACK
09:04 - Bodycount
17:25 - What Happened
28:20 - Credits

Written, Voiced, and Edited by Lucas Raycevick
Support the Channel at: https://www.patreon.com/raycevick


Nintendo Meets Diabetes Care: The History of the Glucoboy and Didget Blood Glucose Monitors


Whew! This was an incredible video to make with lots of surprises along the way. I’m really happy I got the opportunity to get some interviews in as it helped bridge some gaps in the Glucoboy’s timeline. There’s actually a ton of slightly incorrect information out there (especially in regards to dates) and some confusing info with places reporting about the Glucoboy “coming soon” in the US as early as 2003. Regardless, I did a ton of work researching this so I’m confident in what I’m presenting.

ALSO, I’m very much excited to show off, for the first time, developer builds of Glucoboy in this video! Still hoping to find an actual Glucoboy or completed Glucoboy ROM for preservation, but this is a great start. Both Paul Wessel and Brad Butler are lovely, sincere people who you can tell really cared about this project, so I’m thrilled to share it with the world. Anyways, please enjoy!


The Untold Story Of Guillermo Del Toro's Canceled Game Insane


On this bonus episode of The Game Informer Show podcast, we're telling the full story behind the development of THQ and Volition's collaboration with acclaimed film director Guillermo del Toro. We're joined by three former Volition developers that worked extensively on the game: Insane's art director Matt Flegel, lead writer Steve Jaros (now at Valve), and senior producer/creative director Jacques Hennequet. You'll learn how the ambitious first-person Eldritch horror game with a heavy emphasis on mind-f***s struggled through development and ultimately sank alongside THQ and its uDraw Tablet anchor.


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