It's not all fun and, err, games in video game land - sometimes you'll get something systematically designed to give a swift kick in the feels, as is the case with Valiant Hearts, a World War I game in which you play as a dog, out this week. Get those tear-stained tissues at the ready for another edition of Tuesday Game Room!
What have you been playing this week?
Man, I just can't shake off the Destiny Alpha. It's been a very, very long time since there was a game that enchanted me so much that it actively soured me on anything else I was playing - perhaps Halo 3, appropriate as they're both Bungie games - but I can't bring myself to play anything else lately. I've tried a few games of Shogun 2 Total War, mere distractions. A little Pokémon X, but probably about half an hour of futzing around. Watch_Dogs is going unplayed since the bit I played on release. I got as far as the menu of FFXIV before closing it. All I keep thinking about is the siren call of Destiny's Beta.
I can hold out for two weeks. Just about. Maybe. Send Help.
Holy shit there's actually so many video games out this week! Which is weird, considering how it still feels like there's nothing coming, but that's really just the monumentally big stuff. This week is about plenty of smaller, still exciting titles. And disappointment! Let's kick off with that, with the release of Transformers: Rise of The Dark Spark, a mashup of the 'Cybertron' Transformers games from High Moon Studios (yaaaaay) and the universe of the Michael Bay movies (BOOOO) - out on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC, 3DS and Wii U. Phew!
But that's not all. As mentioned up top, Valiant Hearts: The Great War makes its way to PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC this week, Blazblue: Chrono Phantasma hits the Vita, RBI Baseball '14 makes its way to PS4 and Xbox One, GRID Autosport goes to PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, and Shovel Knight hits the Wii U and 3DS eShops, as well as PC. We're still not done though, with a bunch of titles hitting a plethora of Playstation platforms all at once too - there's Xblaze Code: Embryo (PS3, Vita), Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3, Vita), The Swapper (PS3, PS4 and Vita), Z-Run (Vita), Blue Estate (PS4), End of Serenity (PSP - what the what!? - and Vita), and finally, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon hits PS3s as a PS2 classic. As a European Atlus fan, please excuse me while I go quietly weep in a corner.
And now, the News
Once again it's time for a few select picks from the last week of Gaming news, via Eurogamer:
- Crytek denies allegations of financial troubles - There's growing concern this week over the fate over Crysis developer Crytek, amid plenty of rumours coming out of deals gone sour, that staff aren't getting paid, and the company is on the brink of financial collapse. Crytek have vehemently denied the rumours, but sources reporting to both Kotaku and Eurogamer has revealed that staff across the company, including Crytek UK, the studio built from the foundations of the legendary Timesplitters developers Free Radical that recently revealed the new Homefront game, are leaving the company en masse. Losing Crytek would be a massive blow to PC gamers, thanks to their unflinching resolve to pushing hardware to the max, as well as the industry at large thanks to their work on the ever popular Cryengine software. It sounds bad though.
- Microsoft Promises more games from Rare - Another MS exec interview, another promise that Rare's glory days aren't over yet. Sorry for the skepticism, but considering Microsoft have trotted this line out again and again and again as Rare continues to flounder as either Avatar developers or Kinect motion game creators, Phil Harrison's latest promise that Rare might have some new games on the way does little to inspire. Considering that a big E3 rumour would be a brand new Rare game turned out to be the addition of Conker as a character in Project Spark, I'm still doubtful - but hey, who knows. Maybe we'll see a new Perfect Dark or Banjo game in this new 'Games Games Games' ethos for the Xbox One. I hope so!
- EA and DICE reiterate plans to avoid a Battlefield 4-esque launch disaster ever again - Battlefield 4, which only very recently got patched into being a semi-fuctional video game, despite releasing last October, has been a huge black mark on EA and DICE this year, amidst concerns that EA are trying to churn out too many games too quickly in the bid for annualised megafranchises. Considering that the publisher had hardly anything to show at E3 this year, maybe they have learned about giving games the development time they need, but we'll see if they've learned their lesson later this year with the release of Battlefield Hardline, and to a lesser extent, Dragon Age: Inquistion.
- World of Warcraft player hits Level Cap without picking a faction - Well, this one's a bit of a weird one. Unlike every other race in WoW, the Pandaren are accessible to both the Alliance and the Horde, and in the story Pandaren players begin neutral, before eventually accepting an invitation to the faction of their choice around Level 10... that is, unless you're Doubleagent the Pandaren Shaman, who's just finished the quest to reach Level 90 in the game whilst staying Neutral. This meant Doubleagent had to spend the equivalent of 173 days in-game over the last two years stuck in the Pandaren starting area, without access to a bank, the auction house, or even all his class skills, farming low level herbs to gain a pittance of EXP points. Congratulations, Doubleagent! What an obscure passion you've nurtured.
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!