*Flails around wildly* It's almost here, it's almost here! Sure, there's some video games out this week, but at least for me, there's something else to look forward to: A return ticket to Old Russia in Destiny's PS4 Beta. Guardians, suit up - It's time for Tuesday Game Room!
What have you been playing this week?
Looking ahead to the barren, awful days where I won't have either the Destiny Beta or the full game to satiate me, I decided to pick up Divinity: Original Sin on the cheap on GoG.com the other day, as something to tide me over in August. I've never really been an 'old-school' CRPG player, the kind of person that would salivate over Original Sin - they were always the sorts of games I would watch my brother play when we were younger, your Baldur's Gates and your Icewind Dales, your Planescape Torments and your whatnots. And despite Original Sins loveletter to that old-school style - its unrelenting difficulty, its at times deliberately obfuscating mechanics, its out right refusal to hold your hand in absolutely any regard - that I'm not particularly in love with myself, I'm really enjoying it.
It looks gorgeous, it's got a great sense of humour in its writing, and despite the fact that it is royally kicking my ass - I had to reload the very first non-tutorial fight about 5 times because my Cleric and Ranger team kept getting absolutely hosed - I'm really enjoying going through the learning experience of a genre that I can't say I'm wholly familiar with. I've only really dipped my toes into it so far, but the little I've played makes me excited to give it some time over the rest of summer and dive in.
It's been a rough few weeks for games, and that trend continues here - a mere 3 games are out, none of them retail. Abyss Odyssey hits the PC, PS3 and XBLA, Magic 2015: Duels of the Planeswalkers comes to the PC, and finally, Strike Force Foxx arrives on the 3DS eShop.
But have no fear, Guardians. Be Brave, for there are pathways out of the darkness: Starting this Thursday on PS3 and PS4, the Destiny Beta takes you on a wild ride to Bungie's latest sci-fi universe - if you preordered, that is. Annoyingly if you own an Xbox One or Xbox 360, you'll have to wait until next week to start playing.
And now, the News
Once again it's time for a few select picks from the last week of Gaming news, via Eurogamer:
- Together We Ride! Lucina, Robin and Captain Falcon make their way to the new Super Smash Bros. - Hooray for more Fire Emblem characters! It's bizarre to think that it was only two Smashes ago that Nintendo were adding in Roy and Marth to test Western waters for their popularity, and now we're seeing 4 characters from the esteemed SRPG series in the roster. And hooray for Captain Falcon!
- Valve's VR specialist quits, turns on VR technology - This is an odd turn for the books. Fabian Giesen has been working with Valve since 2012 on potential VR products, but he's quit over concerns that the technology could be used to enthrall gamers - particularly MMO players - in Virtual reality, at the expense of, well... actual reality. It's a potentially legitimate concern, a trope that's been played with constantly in sci-fi dystopias for years, but with the technology still in its infancy, it seems bizarre for Giesen to suddenly want out after working on it off and on for the past two years.
- Neversoft Studios says farewell in the most Neversoft way possible - Dammit all. Neversoft, the beloved developers behind the massively popular Tony Hawk Pro Skater series, shut their doors this week ahead of a complete merger into Infinity Ward, another Activision studio succumbing to the Call of Duty work cycle. They went out celebrating though, by shooting flaming arrows into an effigy of their infamous impaled eyeball logo, and then giving every employee a massive bowie knife with the company's logo embossed into the blade. That's pretty goddamn extreme.
- Blizzard's Mike Morhaime urges the company to create more diverse heroes - Responding to a World of Warcraft player's letter concerned about the lack of diversity in the companies games, Morhaime has called for the company to challenge itself and create a wider, diverse cast of characters. Looking at Warcraft alone, they really need to up their game: There are powerful female characters in Azeroth, from Jaina Proudmoore to Sylvanas Windrunner but they're vastly outnumbered by men, and the few prominent female characters are not exactly shining figures of female representation (Sylvanas is perhaps the closest one, but even then she's running around in skimpy battle panties) - Jaina, Tyrande and Aggra, perhaps the biggest three, all have become woefully subservient to the men in their lives (hell, a recent Warcraft novel, Tides of War, ended with Thrall talking down Jaina from destroying Orgrimmar in a fit of rage by basically telling her to calm her tits and go get herself a man! THE MOST POWERFUL MAGE IN AZEROTH! AND IT WORKED!), instead of the independent, interesting characters they used to be. Blizzard can do so much better. Lets hope they can face up to this self-set challenge.
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!