Just when you think the summer lull will never end, July get's a shot in the arm with a veritable cavalcade of game releases - as well as the expansion of the Destiny Beta. Whether you're roaming the Wild, exploring for lost crowns, or looking for something New n' Tasty, come talk about it in this week's Tuesday Game Room!
What have you been playing this week?
A lot - oh god, a lot - of my time this week has been spent playing Destiny's PS4 Beta, and I'm continuing to love every minute of it. I've been working on a more extensive impressions post that'll cover a few more of my thoughts, but I've been waiting for the Xbox One/Xbox 360 rollout to start before publishing it on the off hand that Bungie's teases of more to come in the beta mean offering some extra content to play. A new Strike would be lovely... or a trip to the Moon! Pretty pretty please Bungie?
While the Beta's been down for maintenance though, I've been playing and loving something entirely unexpected. A, err... Facebook game?
Doctor Who Legacy's been out for a while now on mobile devices, but it came to Facebook over the weekend - and considering I am an old man trapped inside a young man's body, I don't actually have a new enough smart phone to play it on, so it coming to a platform I can actually use it's nice. And it's surprisingly not shite!
It's essentially puzzle quest but Doctor Who - a match-three game crossed with RPG mechanics and levelling up a party. My intrepid lot of the Eighth Doctor, Sarah Jane, Rory, Vastra, Jenny and an Adipose (don't knock the little bugger, he's surprisingly my 'tank' of the group with a huge health pool contribution, and pretty decent damage!) can be seen above. It's a bit simple, sure, but oddly satisfying and a welcome distraction with the absence of Destiny in my life.
Video games are coming! There's plenty of big releases this week, even if all of them are digital titles. Side scrolling skate game OlliOlli makes its way to PS3, PS4 and Vita this week, joined by another timed console exclusive in the form of Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty, a HD remake of the classic Abe's Oddysee, on PS4. Meanwhile The Walking Dead Season 2 continues to shuffle on as Clementine faces even more struggles in Episode 4: Amid The Ruins, on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, and Dark Souls II starts off its trilogy of DLC content with The Crown of the Sunken King on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 too.
Nintendo platforms get a quad of new digital downloads, with the bulk going to Wii U: Wii U Sports Club, Master Reboot and Wooden Sen'SeY hitting the eShop, and Siesta Fiesta on 3DS.
Finally, the Destiny Beta makes landfall on Xbox One and Xbox 360 as of 10AM PDT tomorrow, along with the return of service for PS4 and PS3 users, until the end of July 27th.
And now, the News
Once again it's time for a few select picks from the last week of Gaming news, via Eurogamer:
- The International's biggest prize pool in eSports history has been claimed - The International 4 came to a close this weekend, with the mahoosive DOTA 2 tournament's $5,000,000+ first place prize going to chinese team Newbee after weeks of frantic Moba action. Newbee aren't the only one's to have profited from the tournament though, with the full prizepool of 10.93 million dollars spread out across the Top 8 teams... and of course Valve, who profited massively off of the back of Compendium sales to DOTA 2 players in the runup to the tournament: bearing in mind that only $2.50 of each $10 Compendium sale went into the prizepool, Mr. Newell and company have made a pretty penny getting into eSports.
- The dark side of Kickstarter rears its head again, as Yogscast's game project collapses spectacularly - Hoo boy. I've not really been a Kickstarter supporter since Broken Age catapulted the idea of crowdfunded games into the mainstream, and whilst there have been plenty of success stories - FTL, Shadowrun, Broken Age itself, to name a few - it's disasters like this, happening steadily more often, that keep me away. Yogsventure, a game based around the popular Minecraft Youtube channel Yogscast, made over half a million dollars on Kickstarter a few years ago, and seemingly all of that has gone up in smoke - amid allegations from Yogscast that developer WinterKewl weren't delivering on their promise, retorts in turn that Yogscast themselves squirrelled away funds for backer rewards that never materialised, it's a pretty big mess, and a potent reminder that Kickstarter success stories are never guaranteed.
- Microsoft shuts the doors on Xbox Entertainment Studios - for all the progress Microsoft have made since the Xbox One's disastrous unveiling last year, it feels like the bad news just doesn't stop. Part of a much larger swathe of job losses, totalling around 18,000 across the company, Xbox Entertainment Studios, the team behind the Xbox One's big push for integrated TV at the reveal and also behind both TV series based on Halo and upcoming Remedy title Quantum Break (both of which will seemingly continue without the Studio), was shuttered earlier this week - and with that, just over a year after its unveiling, the Xbox One is practically a completely different machine now to when it was first shown off. I think the only two constants have been that it's still called the Xbox One and that it's still a black plastic box. It's for the best, considering the toxic initial response to Microsoft's always online DRM and its hardware issues, but at the same time it paints a disconcerting picture that the company has little thought for what they want the Xbox One to be any more - the first E3 under Phil Spencer's control at the head of the Xbox division said all the right things with the promise of games games games, but as far as a new mission statement for the system itself, we've yet to see anything solid.
- The ethics and legality of Youtube's growing Video Game coverage - Simon Parkin delves into the seedy world of advertorials and paid promotion in this extensive piece on the disconcerting growth of video game companies using Youtubers to influence their subscriber base. It's a fascinating insight into some of the problems that video game coverage, both old media and new media alike, are still struggling with, and the ethics of professionally covering games.
We'll be back this time next Tuesday for more gaming discussion, but for now, sound off in the comments with the games you've been playing, and what you're looking forward to this week - and don't forget to join us on Steam!