22 November, 2015

This Week In Videogames – 22/11/2015

Compressed ghosts, big explosions, and ‘Gouache’ – whatever the hell that is – it’s Sunday again which means it’s time for our weekly roundup of videogame news stories. Upon reflection I seem to have gathered an alarming volume of old games to talk about, but don’t let that put you off, we’ve got pornographic charts too!

This Week In Videogames 22/11/2015 banner

Nothing Is Scarier Than A Tinny Ghost

One surprise announcement concerning two last-generation games was issued by Quantic Dreams this week. The studio is one of Sony’s first party developers, currently working on the recently revealed title Detroit: Become Human. Their last two games, Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, will be ported to the PlayStation 4, both will be released digitally.

beyond two souls ellen page ps4 remaster

Beyond: Two Souls is coming first on November 24th, 2015, that’s in just two days’ time. It’ll cost $29.99 and feature the following enhancements, as listed on the PlayStation Blog:
  • Enhanced 1080p graphics including motion blur, bloom and depth of field effects, as well as improved lighting and shadows. The game also makes use of the DualShock 4 speaker to improve immersion when playing as the Entity.
  • Decisions are highlighted at the end of each scene and compared with those made by other players.
  • You can now play the game in chronological order right from the start – a much requested feature in the PS3 version!
  • Increased difficulty in certain fight scene, combined with improved controls for action sequences.
  • Includes the “Enhanced Experiments” DLC.
Heavy Rain will arrive next year on March 1st, a price wasn’t disclosed, but it will be discounted for those who pick up the remastered Beyond: Two Souls.

Quantic Dream’s games have always fascinated me; they have never failed to divide the critics and I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to experience both – I mean clearly the DualShock 4 speaker integration is the twist I’ve been awaiting these past years.

Our Anime Future Just Got More Painterly

Also on the PlayStation front, Sega is bringing its Valkyria titles old and new to the PS4 next year, in Japan at least. A remaster of the original Valkyria Chronicles, a strategy-RPG, will land February 10th, 2016. While the new game titled Valkyria: Azure Revolution, is slated for winter 2016, again this is all in Japan as reported by Famitsu, the Japanese magazine.

ps4 Valkyria: Azure Revolution protagonists

In an interview with Famitsu game director Takeshi Ozawa and chief producer Youichi Simosato, discussed Azure Revolution’s origins and setup.
(Ozawa) “We wanted to do something new using Valkyria, and one of the things we’re putting in is a real-time system. Initially, we were considering real-time strategy, but we went with an RPG because we think that’s what more users will want to play.” 
(Ozawa) “It’s completely different [from Valkyria Chronicles]. This time, the key item known as Ragnite is not just used as an energy resource, but also has magical aspects. Valkyria are supernatural compared to humans, beings considered close to gods.” 
(Shimosato) “As there are beings that transform into tanks, there are also weapons that imitate living things.” 
(Shimosato) “We can’t announce it yet, but we’re commissioning music from a famous name.”
(Click to enlarge).

ps4 Valkyria: Azure Revolution gouache legion engine slash
ps4 Valkyria: Azure Revolution gouache legion engine mechps4 Valkyria: Azure Revolution gouache legion engine soldiers

Valkyria: Azure Revolution runs on the ‘Gouache’ Drawing Engine, which as you can see from the image above, looks gorgeous and positively vibrant. It also uses the ‘LeGION’ Battle System, offering real-time action-RPG combat with “simulation elements”, though beyond that not much is known. However, a demo for Azure Revolution will be included with the Valkyria Chronicles PS4 remaster.  Below you can catch the announcement trailer.

(Via Gematsu [1] [2]).

You Probably Didn’t Ask For This

Mankind somehow managed to patch itself back together long enough to push Deus Ex: Mankind Divided from its February release date, back into fall. Square Enix has delayed Adam Jensen’s return until August 23rd, 2016. As with all release date slips the feeling is bitter sweet; the game should be better for it, but it means another six months of waiting.

David Anfossi, studio head of Eidos-Montreal said this in a post on their official site:
“We’re confident and proud of the game so far. However, as we are now playing through the game in full we can see that it will require more time in post-production for tuning, iterations, and refinement to meet our high standards. In order to achieve this, we need to move the release of the game to August 23rd, 2016.”

Missile Mounts Confirmed

Here’s Just Causes 3’s latest, semi-CGI trailer featuring Kasabian. What’s remarkable is not its use of Kasabian’s Fire – which admittedly fits better than Muse’s Knights of Cydonia ever did with Halo 5. Nor even the cinematic CGI part that sees Rico bail from a speeding car off the side of a cliff, attach to the underside of a helicopter, and fire a rocket at a tank. No, that stuff was good, but it’s the snippets of gameplay that followed that I found most impressive – the missile punching was particularly thrilling!

I Want My Jaggies Back

To celebrate Star War’s recent resurgence and let’s be clear, to rake in hot tie-in cash, Sony and Disney launched a PS4 bundle containing the new Star Wars: Battlefront and a handful of classic titles, including Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter and Star Wars: Bounty Hunter – even I have to admit ‘classic’ is a bit of stretch but hey. Anyway Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry did the technical digging they’re famous for and revealed that rather than being actual ports to the PS4, the console is actually emulating the PS2.  This is obviously a huge deal, with the PS2 boasting one of the most extensive, and while totally subjective, best libraries of games.

Speaking to Wired, Sony confirmed that they were indeed working on the emulation technology:
“We are working on utilizing PS2 emulation technology to bring PS2 games forward to the current generation…”
But they failed to elaborate further. Why Sony chose to keep such developments under wraps is anyone’s guess. My two completely uninformed theories are as follows; either Sony planned to announce the technology at an event like next month’s PlayStation Experience, or getting the emulation to run acceptably is too much work to be offered on a wider basis. We’ll have to wait and see, naturally I hope for the former or something equally positive, because Onimusha on a DualShock 4 is something I need to experience in this life – what if the Oni spoke through the DualShock’s speaker, what then?!

(Click to enlarge).

Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter PS2 versus PS4 emulation

The image above shows the PS4 version of Jedi Starfighter on the left and the original PS2 version on the right. Check out Digital Foundry’s article below for a comprehensive breakdown of the emulation and upscaling of the Star Wars classics.

(Via Digital Foundry, Wired).       

There’s A Whole Galaxy Out There

Electronic Arts the people who bring you the Madden and the Fifa, among other titles, had a few things to say at the UBS Global Technology Conference this week. CFO Blake Jorgensen said this about the company’s Star Wars-tied future:
“We struck a licensing deal with Disney a few years back that's almost ten years in length. The game that comes out tomorrow, Star Wars Battlefront, is a traditional first-person style shooter game. Our goal is to make future Battlefront games as well as other style games around the Star Wars franchise, both on mobile as well as console and PC. It's a huge opportunity for us.”
Did someone say more Battlefront? Check out my review of the first Battlefront – or indeed sixth, as one might argue – right here.

Additionally, a little more light was shed on the newly formed studio Motive, the team being headed up by ex-Ubisoft producer Jade Raymond. Jorgensen revealed this: 
"That's the Assassin's Creed-style games; more open-world, more single-play versus multiplayer. It's not been an area that we've operated in. We recently hired Jade Raymond, who was behind the Assassin's Creed franchise for Ubisoft and she will be building an action genre for us through a studio we're building out in Montreal right now. So a lot of excitement around the action genre."
At the time Raymond’s involvement with EA was originally announced, she explained that Motive would be working closely with Bioware Montreal (developing Mass Effect: Andromeda), in addition to ‘incubating’ a new IP. Raymond was also set to oversee Visceral’s California studio, who are working on a Star Wars project with Amy Hennig (previously of the Uncharted series). The Visceral connection can still be found listed on Motive’s page of the EA site.

(Via Destructoid [1] [2], Motive’s Official Site). 

Rads Can Effect Anyone

I considered embedding the launch trailer of My Virtual Gay Boyfriend to close out this week, but it’s really not as exciting as I had hoped it would be. Instead we’ll talk about porn and how Bethesda’s release of Fallout 4 rattled the online industry. 

fallout 4 launch effect on porn hub traffic graph

Courtesy of Destructoid, the graph above illustrates Pornhub’s severe drop in ‘gamer’ traffic in the US surrounding Fallout’s release. Pornhub brakes it down even further on their ‘Insights’ site, linked below, don’t worry it’s completely safe for work and really quite interesting.

(Via Destructoid, Pornhub). 

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