Monday, March 17, 2014

Updates, Release Dates, and a date that will live in infamy... (Warframe, Watch_Dogs, inFamous 2nd Son)

Another busy two weeks in video-game world, some of which I already hinted at, and will now wrap up next to some not-so-new news:

Warframe on PS4 got an update. I mentioned that, somewhere. Now, with Warframe, Updates are always a bit of a celebration, since the already intolerable community, as behooves a game community, always wants everything, right now, and then a lot more of that. And Warframe has that little problem of its PC version getting more frequent updates, and those a lot sooner. Nobody cares why, but they bitch like there's no tomorrow.

Okay. Update 12. Updates on Warframe usually bring content. New Frames, new Weapons, new game modes, and maybe a new event. This one had it all, but that's not really the point. My point. You can read all about what it brought on the official release notes of the update here. The subtle changes are the stars here. And those stars are shiny. When Warframe debuted on the PS4, it was fun. Complicated, buggy and pretty weird, yes, but fun. It wasn't pretty, though.
Now, it is. Digital Extremes have added a lot of polish in this latest update, textures, effects, even new animations. Along with a revamped HUD (I still have to get used to), something akin a game manual that is actually in the game, hugely improved resource management and mod-"crafting" system, it's an overall improvement in User Convenience that is quite astonishing, really. And very welcome. Sure, there are still some frame-rate dips, but less so than you might expect with dialed up graphics. That did introduce an almost constant but mostly negligible screen tearing issue, though.

But even with those issues, it's a tremendous update to push Warframe out of its obvious Beta state on PS4 and into a game that could very well tide you over until Destiny arrives.

Look and See (but make sure to click the HD button on the bottom right):

Next up, Watch_Dogs. As in, yes, it's coming. There is a Date! Do you remember Watch_Dogs? That game where Smartphones take over the world? Well, Chicago, but still. A man and his Phone fighting injustice. With a lot of hacking, some guns, a baton, cars and streetlights. It was supposed to release even before the next-gen launch, but delayed, until some days ago, indefinitely. Now, the wait is... not over, exactly, but the end is in sight: May 27th 2014. In that respect, as a little reminder, here`s the recent story trailer to freshen up your Watch_Dogs frenzy:

Now, you noticed, didn't you? The graphics? Kinda... meh. And not really as "Wow" as last year`s E3 gameplay demos. As it happens, you're not the only one. The internet, especially neogaf, went completely bonkers - that`s a British medical term for shit-fuck-crazy, by the way. "Downgraded graphics" was the phrase of the day.

Maybe in response, maybe in expectation, there was a Live Stream Interview Q&A with the devs on Twitch two days later, on March 7th. Which, unsurprisingly, was instantly audio- and chat-hacked. The first 30 seconds of sound were looped, combined with the audio of a, presumably Canadian since French, Volkswagen commercial, and hundreds of "people" asked in the chat what Ubisoft's problems with Transvestite Girls is.

The chat-free and clean-audio version you can watch here in full (be warned, though, there's no gameplay beyond what can be seen in trailer above; but you will notice how they start over), but to sum it up, this is what happened during the delay (or not):
  • The graphics have not changed or suffered. The story trailer was simply to show the story, not the graphics. However that makes sense.
  • The systemic environment got an overhaul to really get working as flawless as possible. Watch_Dogs boasts a complete systemic environment, where everything you do effects the world around you, and those effects ripple through the complete game world.
  • Hacking on the move and targeting got an overhaul, to make it easier and more intuitive to interact with your environment even in high-pressure situations.
  • There was no additional content added during the delay - except maybe a few costumes and little animations. The main objective for Ubisoft Montreal was to make the experience they promised.

Some more interesting points:
  • The Multiplayer, where people can enter your game to hack-steal some data from you, is not about killing each other. It's about observation, hacking, hide-and-seek and escape.
  • You can play completely offline if the "I think someone's watching me" Multiplayer is too much for you.
  • The windy city has weather that people, objects and the player character will react to naturally and coherently.
  • That Canadian chief designer sure is a kidder.
  • You cannot make friends with crowd NPCs - or do some sexting (that`s hot-and-heavy texting, you know). You can use hacked personal info to distract enemies with inappropriate messages, though.
  • It will release on May 27th, for all major platforms. That's not the Wii-U.

And, lastly, with the impending release of the highly anticipated inFamous: Second Son, IGN had a 3 hour live-stream with gameplay from the game. And there's really no need for words with three hours of the game present. Well, okay.
The Dude runs weird. And the guy playing is not that good. But overall, it looks amazing. The in-game Seattle looks huge, and the claim is, as always in inFamous games, that everything you see you can reach, climb and jump down from.

But enough words, for now. Here's where the video does the talking (and the people talking on the video).

For all your PS4 or Xbox One needs, especially the European needs, head over to Amazon UK - best deals in Europe (mostly). For TV or Movie Streaming needs, as well. Yes, I do buy there myself. Exclusively. Unless I find a better deal, elsewhere...

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