Phil Savage: Falling behind in the space race
released its dogfighting module
this week, and already I'm worried. I've not played it, but I've seen the response, and it's not been overwhelmingly positive. I
played Elite: Dangerous, and—its absurd beta entry price aside—it's shaping up to be something extremely special. The look, the feel, and especially the sound all sell the fantasy of an exciting space adventure. It's even exciting when it's boring, as
Andy revealed in his trading video
The difference is that Elite feels like a whole project, while Star Citizen seems fragmented. The Cloud Imperium team are doing amazing things with the small details, but it's hard to discern how it'll all translate into a full project. It's almost like they can't see the universe for the trees, and, even with nearly $45 million raised, I'm yet to be convinced that they can deliver on the big picture.
Wes Fenlon: The past can be an annoying place to visit
The low point of my week was trying to get a 10-year-old game to run on the Large Pixel Collider for my next
. It wouldn't work, and it took me about half an hour of tinkering to discover some old hardware acceleration simply doesn't work with three monitors hooked up via Nvidia Surround. When I was Googling around for a solution, I found lots of doom and gloom message board posts claiming Nvidia had abandoned development of Surround and left it with lots of issues.
Thankfully that's not true, judging by recent Nvidia drivers, but it's still tricky to get running. On the bright side, Nvidia just updated the GeForce Experience to support Shadowplay capture up to 2560x1440. I just used it to capture
Watch Dogs footage
, and it's so nice not to deal with the framerate hit of FRAPS.
Tim Clark: Craving cards
I'm getting pretty antsy waiting for Hearthstone's Curse of Naraxxmus expansion, which has still only got a vague release date of 'summer'. I suppose I should just be grateful the date isn't listed as 'when the blood moon rises over Blackrock Mountain'. And I get that the drip drip of new cards—oh hai,
—is designed to build anticipation, (and give deck-building savants a chance to dream up evil new constructions), but look… I'm ready to go now, Blizzard. You've already had quite a bit of my money. Prepare to receive some more.
Cory Banks: Doing VR a disservice
It's okay if you don't think the Oculus Rift is a huge deal—the first development kit made me actually vomit—but it's another thing to think the technology behind it is actually negative.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick
told Bloomberg this week that the virtual reality headset is “anti-social technology,” which just feels too dismissive for my taste. Will I want to use the Rift in a crowded room? Probably not, unless my friends are willing to do the same. But virtual reality has the potential to keep people close when they're not in the same place, just like social media does now. Maybe that's why Facebook purchased the company in the first place.
Andy Kelly: All about EVE
is bad news. They say it's on the publishing side of things, and the games won't be affected, but I wonder if there are deeper problems at the company. World of Darkness being canned must have cost them a pretty penny—you can
read the details of its demise here
—and I hope it won't affect their grand vision for the EVE universe, which is the subject of my cover feature in this month's issue of the magazine. Valkyrie is one of the most impressive VR games I've played, and Project Legion is an intriguing sandbox shooter with elements of Borderlands and DayZ (you can read about all this in the mag).
Sam Roberts: Nah nah nah nah, no BATMAN!
Arkham Knight being delayed
is pretty disappointing, meaning this year is left a little thin on big games as they all get pushed back to next year (The Witcher 3, The Division). This is a bigger loss for me, though—I'm a huge fan of the Arkham series and I was looking forward to titting about in a Batmobile that is blatantly too deadly to adhere to the Caped Crusader's moral code about killing people. That still leaves Dragon Age: The Inquisition and Assassin's Creed Unity for this year, along with Battlefield Hardline – but not an awful lot else.
Tom Senior: In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only mild disappointment
Every now and then I revisit Relic's Space Marine. It's a simplistic brawler with an essential twist—it's set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. An adolescent obsession with that fiction has left me with a vivid impression of the neverending wars of the 41st millennium, and it's something games have never come close to capturing. Take Space Marine: Relic nailed the blood-spattered livery of Ultramarine power armour, and the satisfying squelch of an Ork collapsing under a commander's big blue boot, but missed the dark tone and scale that make the universe compelling.
The first mistake is to think of Space Marines as good guys. They're genetically altered interstellar fascists who worship an emperor entombed inside a Giger-esque machine sarcophagus, tended to day and night by an army of half-man, half-machine fanatics who brand their own flesh with litanies to their possibly-dead ruler. Space Marines are monsters bred by humanity to fight the bigger monsters amassing in the dark corners of the universe. I hope to explore that version of the 40k universe, one rendered with the extremes of the fiction intact. I have visions of fighting on a battlefield with thousands of enemies swarming around the feet of walking war machines the size of skyscrapers. Sadly, Space Marine can't deliver. I live in hope that a game will one day, I just don't want to wait until the 41st millenium to play it.