This is it: 2014 really kicks off right here. The Xbox One gets the game that might even its dwindling odds, whilst the last generation gets one final hurrah. Whether you're strapping into a mech or bearing the mark of the Undead this week, it's a biggie - let's celebrate with another edition of Tuesday Game Room!
What have you been playing this week?
I was going to say a little something on The Walking Dead Season 2's mindblowingly great second episode, A House Divided, which I did play this week, but I actually wanted to say something about the platform I played it on - for the first time since December of last year (to play the first TWD episode) I switched my Xbox 360 on, and it was an impossibly bizarre feeling.
The controller that had been an extension of myself for almost every day for 7 years, across countless games, felt distant, alien and unwieldy to my touch. The dashboard itself, now that my Gold Subscription had lapsed (thankfully buying the season pass for TWD2 meant I could still download episodes without being at the mercy of Microsoft's usual barriers to Silver members), was barren and just as unfamiliar to me, and actually still clad in the Christmas theme I'd put on in December, my lonely little avatar in his Santa hat. After I finished A House Divided, I switched the Christmas stuff out in favour of a Halo 3 theme and the hoodie my avatar got for being in Halo Reach's beta test - there was an almost funereal sense finality to it, despite knowing I'd use the console again to finish The Walking Dead in the future, that I was ending my time with the 360 by dressing it with the beloved franchise that brought me to it. It's a stupid sentimentality, I know, generations come and pass in video games, but the realisation that the 360 wasn't 'my console' any more, that I had moved on not just to another system but another platform... it was oddly sad.
Titanfall, out on PC and Xbox One today, is probably this week's biggest game, given its nature as not only the first (and by far the most anticipated) big post-launch exclusive for the Xbox One, but its nature as something Microsoft are heavily riding on the help even the odds for their young system. Will Titanfall begin to turn the tide? We'll have to wait and see. The last generation isn't quite done yet though, as Dark Souls II sends PS3 and Xbox 360 players to the kingdom of Drangleic in pursuit of souls, monsters and... lots and lots of dying in various punishing manners. PC players will have to wait until the end of April to join in on the fun.
Sony platforms also get exclusives this week in the form of the absurdly titled JRPG Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky on PS3, and Towerfall: Ascension, a local-multiplayer only retro archery arena game (god that's a bit of a mouthful) on PS4 - it's also heading to Steam this week.
Finally, Nintendo fans get something to be excited about too, with the 3DS release of Yoshi's New Island on Friday. Something for everyone this week!
And now, the News
Once again it's time for a few select picks from the last week of Gaming news, via Eurogamer:
- Ubisoft delayed Watch_Dogs to 'deliver on expectations' - Last weeks re-announcement of Watch_Dog's release date brought to an end the months of speculation of just what happened to the highly anticipated title after it disappeared from the launch schedules of the Xbox One and PS4 last year. But just how did this bizarre turn of events go down? Eurogamer's in depth interview with Jonathan Morin looks into what Ubisoft Montreal have been doing to the game in the last 6 months.
- Matt Stone speaks out on South Park: Stick of Truth's EU censorship - This is a really odd story, considering the nature of the decision (it was made by Ubisoft marketing, not Obsidian or Matt Stone and Trey Parker), the extent of the censorship (It's EU and Australia only, and PS3 and Xbox 360 only - PC is unaffected in every region), and... well. It's South Park. Censoring some of its crudeness seems like an odd move to sell the game to an audience expecting the 'shocking' brand of South Park's humour. At least, as per the show's typical nature, they got a few jokes out of it.
- Uncharted writer Amy Hennig leaves Naughty Dog - The veteran writer, who scripted the Uncharted Trilogy as well as the upcoming PS4 sequel, left the studio last week, amid claims that she was 'forced out' by the creative leads behind The Last of Us. Although Hennig's silence has stoked fires that her departure was less than amicable, Naughty Dog very quickly came out to admonish the likes of IGN for 'unprofessionally misreporting' the nature of her departure. It's an intriguing situation, but we probably won't find out more about it in the near future without Hennig herself speaking out.
- Cancel your Halloween plans, Costume Quest 2 is coming - What a wonderful surprise! Although I find it crazy that Double Fine are now working on something like, 5 concurrent titles, more Costume Quest is welcome in my eyes. The first one was short, but the zany backstory, funny characters and simple but thoroughly enjoyable combat mechanics made for a fantastic little RPG experience. Very excited to see more from this IP later this year.
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!