Good afternoon all; and welcome to the world of a post-E3 news update! I’m still bruised from when I flopped around the room following the Final Fantasy VII remake announcement…Apologies once again for a serious lack of output recently, but The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt continues to sap time out of my days with remarkable force. Anyway, the news!
Headline Of The Week
It’s been nigh-on impossible to escape the saga that has been the release of Batman: Arkham Knight this week. The final chapter in Rocksteady’s adventures with the Dark Knight has been one of the most anticipated games of the year, and early signs suggested that it was heading to glory with reviews in the highest echelon from several publications. The release of the PC port however has ensured that the game will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
Early reports suggested that users were seeing extreme performance issues even on high-end PC’s, and that the frame rate had been artificially locked to 30fps. Over 2,000 negative reviews were logged on the game’s Steam page as it was revealed that a separate team, Iron Galaxy Studios, had worked on the PC port rather than Rocksteady. After officially tweaking the recommended specifications for the game led to more outrage, the game earned the dubious record of becoming the most refunded product in Steam’s history.
Sales of the PC version were then eventually suspended by Warner Bros on Thursday, with the game director Sefton Hill taking to Twitter to ensure that Rocksteady would be working around the clock to optimize the game ASAP. To top it all off, the leaderboards for the PS4 version of the game are also experiencing technical hiccups. And there’s a spelling mistake on the spine of the official guide.
The end result is that many have been denied the opportunity to ‘Be The Batman’, and the reputation of the Arkham franchise has been tainted – which is a great shame considering how the console versions have been well received. One would expect a firm resolution to the PC situation in the next week or two.
Coming only marginally second this week in terms of pissing off fans has been Activision & Bungie, as they prepare the latest Destiny expansion – The Taken King.
The DLC will retail for an eye-watering 40 quid, and initially if players wanted to access Collectors Edition content, then they would have had to repurchase the base game and the first two add-ons as well. This marketing decision was then rather poorly defended by The Taken King’s creative director Luke Smith in an interview with Eurogamer – where quite frankly he came across as a arrogant t**t.
Bungie has since responded in a blog post that it will make the Collectors Edition content available to purchase separately – but you still have to pay an astonishing $20 for a couple of dance animations and some armor shaders. To put that into perspective, for the same price if you have an Xbox One then you can currently buy FIVE copies of the remastered edition of arguably Bungie’s best work, Halo 3: ODST.
A North America only promotion where players can unlock XP buffs and new quests by drinking cans of Red Bull also came under fire – although it did lead to a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek counter campaign by Dying Light developers Techland who pledged to add new content to its game if people posted pictures of themselves drinking good old H20 (that’s water for all you Chemistry haters out there).
One of the major highlights of E3 2015 was the news that the Xbox One will be getting backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 titles this autumn; since the reveal a poll has been setup on the Xbox Feedback site asking fans which games they most want to see, and over a million votes have now been logged. As of the time of writing, leading the way is Rockstar’s wild west epic Red Dead Redemption (with good reason, as it’s one of the best games ever made) with 59,838 votes closely followed by Call Of Duty Black Ops II, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim & Halo: Reach.
Publishers will have the final say on whether a game will be made backwards compatible, but if they give the go ahead then users will be able to transfer across cloud saves, achievements and any downloaded DLC – the latter was confirmed this week by Xbox Support
In related Xbox news, from 1st July onwards Xbox Live Gold subscribers will be able to pick up two new games for the Xbox One as part of the Games With Gold initiative; this follows a few months where only one title has been rotated alongside Pool Nation FX. Users will be able to download Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag and the puzzle game So Many Me, while Xbox 360 owners can pick up Plants Vs Zombies and Gears Of War 3.
Sony have yet to announce the game’s that will enter July’s PS Plus rotation, but at least the PS Plus edition of DriveClub is finally available to download. Just the year and a half after it was first expected…
Nintendo has reissued a number of its rarer Amiibo figurines in the United Kingdom, with several being limited to one per customer. Models depicting the likes of Captain Falcon, Zero Suit Samus and Ganondorf are currently available on Nintendo’s UK store at the price of £10.99 apiece – but if you do want them be really, really quick about it because as is the way with Amiibo supply, most of them have already sold out entirely.
While the Big N keeps the production lines running, Bethesda has reacted to stock supply shortages in a different way – they will not be making any more collectible replica Pip-Boy’s for Fallout 4 despite huge fan demand. At least Fallout Shelter has gone down well, becoming the most downloaded iOS game in 48 different countries.
Despite only launching less than a month ago, Project CARS already has a sequel announced and in the works.
Project CARS 2 has been scheduled for release on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Steam – no Nintendo version this time, after the original missed its expected deadline for Wii U and will now likely never materialize. It is set to add new racing disciplines including Rallycross and Hillclimbs as well as co-operative gameplay; 200 race courses and over 200 cars have been promised as well.
Slightly Mad Studios is once again looking towards crowdfunding to get the game released, which is a bit disappointing as you would have hoped that sales of the first game would have put some coin in their reserves. You can pledge a donation at the official website.