News Blast for the Week: 03/07 - HighrezGaming

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Shenmue 3
News Blast for the Week: 03/07 / 3rd of July 2015

As we now count the days until Gamescom is upon us, and another fresh round of game announcements and first looks descend upon us like tumbling autumn leaves, we instead turn our attention towards the myriad bite-sized pieces of gaming news that keep emerging. And whilst they may not be quite as exciting as getting a sneaky peek at the latest Crackdown, there may just be some hidden gems among them to make you glad that you took the time to read this. And now that the obligatory waffle is out of the way, it’s on with the news!

First of all, Rocksteady’s Arkham Knight has been having more than its fair share of problems on PC, so much so that its publisher, Warner Interactive Entertainment, have actually pulled the game from sale on the format. They have, however, now released a patch to correct some of the numerous performance issues, these are:

  • Fixed a crash that users experienced upon quitting the game.

  • Fixed a bug that prevented rain and ambient occlusion effects.

  • Fixed an issue that prompted Steam to re-download the game when verifying the validity of the game cache.

  • Fixed a bug that caused the game to crash when deactivating motion blur in BmSystemSettings.ini.

Of course, compared to the rest of the issues that the game suffers from, this really does amount to little more than a drop in the ocean, but Warner have assured          
fans that they intend to take their time to make sure that every problem is addressed. They have identified key areas that they plan to tackle, and I imagine that most PC gamers will be delighted to learn that this list is as follows:

  • Support for frame rates above 30fps.

  • A fix for a low texture resolution bug.

  • Improvements to overall performance levels.

  • More options for the graphics settings menu.

  • A fix for a full screen resolution bug on gaming laptops.

  • Improvements to both VRAM and system memory usage.

  • The enabling of AMD Crossfire.

  • Fixes to NVIDIA SLI issues.

  • AMD and NVIDIA driver updates.

NVIDIA have already offered their support to help make these fixes a reality, so expect them to arrive sooner rather than later.

On the topic of games with issues, Battlefield 4 was a bit of a mess when it launched in 2013, but developer, DICE, will be hoping that the same cannot be said of their latest effort, Star Wars Battlefront 3. To this end, the team have started taking applications for an Alpha test, this can be done through the official game website, but don’t worry if you don’t get in (I didn’t), EA have said that more places will be made available as we go forward towards the November 17th launch date.

After the Destiny: The Taken King debacle that saw new, although grossly unnecessary additions, being added exclusively to the limited edition version of the expansion, the team have announced that this supplementary content - a whopping three dancing emotes and a couple of class items - will now be sold separately as a pack for an outrageous $20. Now, we were hardly taken with Destiny when it launched with a rather poor selection of repetitive missions, and it would seem that the developer still isn’t doing enough to make the game an attractive proposition to the budget conscious gamer who is either unable or unwilling to spend a literal fortune on DLC. Given that the expansion itself costs £40 in the UK ($40 in the US), it’s likely that this emote pack will sell for £20, and to put that in perspective, Xbox 360 owners could instead buy themselves a selection of far superior gaming experiences, from such delights such as Rez HD (£6), Ikaruga (£6), Shadow Complex (£10) or Pacman: Championship Edition DX (£6). To further highlight the game’s shoddy economics, Digital Extremes have also announced that a whole range of new emotes are being added to their free-to-play game, Warframe, for, you’ve guessed it, free! Hopefully, one day, all studios will stop trying to exploit gamers, one day…

Now, onto the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter campaign; this has not only come under quite a bit of flack in the media of late, but it has also had a great deal of additional stretch goals added, with yet more to come, so, after smashing its initial goal of just $2 million, Yu Suzuki and his Ys Net team are now setting targets as high as $11 million. After getting off to a truly blistering, and record breaking start, the campaign has inevitably hit the middle slump, and needs a severe spike in interest if gamers are to enjoy the full Shenmue experience that they know and love. Details are still a tad light on the full extent of Sony’s involvement in the project (they won’t receive a penny of any Kickstarter investment though), but with Yu Suzuki having already stated his desire to take the game to Microsoft’s Xbox One console - and I may be stating the obvious here - but should such a version be announced as an additional stretch goal, further willing investors will obviously be found. Oh, and it would also please existing fans a great deal to know if Corey Marshall is being brought back in as the English voice actor for Ryo Hazuki, he is, after all, synonymous with the role, and such a move would be greatly appreciated by all (including the man himself). He has played an active role within the #SaveShenmue Twitter campaign, and has always give up his own time to converse with the series’ many ardent fans, so to say that he deserves it would be something of an understatement. Now, on a personal note, I would also like to add that I hope that the development team manage to get the brilliant Yuzo Koshiro back on soundtrack duties, the man is a legend. So, Suzuki-san, you know what to do. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the campaign’s progress over the next three weeks, so expect additional updates to follow soon.

Now, some good news for both console and PC gamers, Bethesda have confirmed that Fallout 4 will run at 1080p/30fps on both Xbox One and PS4, whilst the PC version will not be retrained at all. In an interview with Gamespot, Todd Howard also confirmed that the game’s first-person shooting mechanics had been entirely rebuilt, so gamers should hopefully be able to expect a more visceral and rewarding experience. Of course, every Fallout fan has been dreaming about the recently announced £100 special edition of the game as it comes with a wearable Pip-Boy that holds the user’s phone, allowing them to run the companion app when playing the game. Recently though, Bethesda confirmed that the device would not support all phone models, with larger devices such as the Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6+, and there’s still no word thus far on the possibility of the app heading to Windows Phone, or if they will simply employ SmartGlass functionality in its stead. Here’s a hint for you Bethesda, do so, and make it snappy!

Anyway, that’s it for this week’s shenanigrams (thanks, Manborg), Gordon will return next week to keep you all up to speed on the latest developments within the game industry, so for now, farewell.
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