The original Doom series developed by John Carmack and ID Software had a cult following and is still held as one of the best FPS games ever made by its fan base. When word first came that Bethesda and ID Software were working on DOOM 4, the internet roared with cheers, but hopes and dreams were soon thereafter crushed when Bethesda announced that development had ceased on the game.
It appears that things have taken a turn for the better and today Bethesda announced that entry into Doom 4's beta program will be happening soon. There is a catch however, and it involves pre-ordering Bethesda's upcoming Wolfenstein remake which opens up on May 20th of this year. Bethesda says that beta keys will be placed inside boxed copies of the game, and that an open beta is still a possibility, but at the moment, the only sure way to get into Doom 4 Beta is to purchase Wolfenstein.
One of the biggest problems in Battlefield 4 is the pace at which different players rank up their weapons and unlock new ones. Each person unlocks weapons at different rates due to their skill level, time spent in each class, and even their campaign and challenge participation. EA and DICE have just released a new feature for Battlefield 4 that they hope will level the playing field for some players who are new or are falling behind.
Known as Shortcut Kits, these new packs allow players to purchase (free for premium players for a limited time) kits that fill out their Handgun, DMR, Grenade, and Shotgun kits by simply buying the pack from the in-game store. During February and the beginning of March, 4 shortcut packs will be available, with more to come in the coming months.
One of the things that makes the Forza franchise so popular is that the development for each version continues well after the game is introduced. That means that you get new cars and in the case of Forza Motorsport 5, you get new tracks as well.
The first track add-on for Forza Motorsport 5 has been announced. The track is one of the premier facilities in the US and is called Road America. The track is fully integrated into the Forza 5 experience. Players will get to drive the track at events in Career mode.
The player can also drive the virtual track in Career bonus events after the mini-Career series is complete. Players will also be able to play against each other on the track with availably in the Rivals Mode and multiplayer lobbies.
In just under a month from now, Valve will debut its first documentary titled Free to Play to the world. Free to play is a film about the lives of three professional computer gamers who come from very different walks of life from across the world including Asia, North America, and Europe. They may speak different languages in real life, but in Dota 2, the game that unifies them, they all speak the same language.
The documentary focuses on the three players as they prepare to play for the first ever $1 million prize in professional video gaming competition. Valve says that it will hold a public screening of the documentary followed by a Q&A session on March 18th at the Castro Theater in San Francisco, California. While seating is limited, users can register for the even via the event bright link below. Additional information about Free to Play can also be found at the source link below.
Earlier this month we reported that the update for the Xbox One that had been expected in February wouldn't land until March. Microsoft came back and changed that a bit when it made the update available last week. Many Xbox One owners installed the update straight away to get their hands on the new features it brought with it.
The update added in notable new features like a battery level indicator for the controller and the ability to access the device storage and delete things. The Xbox One update bought several other things that gamers will appreciate, but hit some with an issue no one wants.
The update has also resulted in a bug that is affecting some users. The bug manifests by presenting a black screen to the user when they power the console on. Microsoft has acknowledged the issue and has offered a quick fix for the problem.
A couple days ago, we mentioned that the coming video game from Konami called Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes was going to have a higher native resolution on the PS4 than the Xbox One. Konami tipped that on the PS4 the game would have a native resolution of 1080p at 60 fps. Xbox One gamers will have to get by with 720p at 60 fps.
Konami had also announced that the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game would get by with 720p via upscaling and 30fps frame rates. If you wondered at the time what differences would be noticeable between the four versions, Konami has a new video you will like.
The new video has all four of the console versions put up side by side. It's clear from the video that the next generation consoles have much better lighting effects. Konami also notes that the PS4 and Xbox One also have larger texture maps giving extra detail. Objects on the screen in the PS4 and Xbox One version certainly look more realistic and three-dimensional.
A Reddit post in Counter-Strike: Global offensive thread caught many people's attention about Valve's Anti-cheat system. The post came with a screenshot and an explanation which claimed that VAC was collecting browser information and sending it back to Valve's servers. But Gabe Newell of Valve Software immediately made a post in Reddit to dismiss any such claims and set the record straight.
Gabe Newell explained that they do not talk about anti cheating or its counter hacking systems in the open because it creates more opportunities for cheaters to attack the system. But because of the heated discussion in Reddit, he had to make an exception.
A recent Game Developers Conference poll has something interesting to say about the state of Nintendo's Wii U console, with the poll revealing that just 4% of developers plan to release their next game on the Wii U.
Comparing this against the competition, the PS4 has 20% of developers behind it, while the Xbox One has 17%. The one saving grace here is that the poll was for US-based game developers, where 2,600 of them were surveyed. Most of the development of games is being aimed toward PC, smartphones and tablets - where there are many, many more customers.
The Thief reboot arrives on February 25, but it looks like the PlayStation 4 will be the console of choice for the stealth title. The PS4 will run it at 1080p, while its competitor, the Xbox One, will only run Thief at 900p.
Square Enix recently sat down with Eurogamer, where it explained that the difference between the two versions isn't that big of a deal. Thief director, Nicolas Cantin, said: "You really need good eyes to see the difference". Cantin added that the Xbox One version of Thief "is as good as the PS4 version".
Cantin did explain that the big difference here is between the new consoles, and the previous generation units, he explains: "We put more detail in, more special effects. But at the same time, we kept the same gameplay experience with the current-gen and the next-gen versions".
In a weird turn of event's, the developer behind the Bioshock franchise has abruptly closed up shop and dissolved the company. Irrational Games has been around for almost two decades, and as of today, the company is no more. It's parent company, Take Two Interactive will form a new team around Irrational Games founder, Ken Levine, which will focus on a new genera of gaming with a much smaller development team.
"While I'm deeply proud of what we've accomplished together, my passion has turned to making a different kind of game than we've done before. To meet the challenge ahead, I need to refocus my energy on a smaller team with a flatter structure and a more direct relationship with gamers," said Levine. "In many ways, it will be a return to how we started: a small team making games for the core gaming audience."
Bioshock fans need not worry though, as Levine says that Irrational Games will release a the final DLC for Bioshock Infinite titled "Burial At Sea," but Levine will sever all ties with the Irrational team. Take Two says that those laid off from Irrational will have the opportunity to take on new opportunities within Take Two Interactive, and that Levine will aid in helping staff find jobs at other companies.
If you are a fan of music games, you probably played Rock Band at one time or another. This game was a competitor to Guitar Hero and added in drums and vocals on top of the guitar rhythm play. Rock Band isn't particularly popular any more.
Way back in 2010 Viacom sold off Harmonix and we haven't heard much form them in a while. Harmonix has now announced that it is working on a new video game. Like the other games that the company is known for, it will be music based.
The new game won't have instruments that let you play as Rock Band did. Oddly, the new game is described as a musical FPS title. The game is called Chroma and it is being produced in cooperation with Hidden Path. If you are familiar with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, you are familiar with Hidden Path's work.
When it came to sales numbers for the last generation of consoles, the PS3 was typically outsold by the Xbox 360. Things are looking much different for the latest generation of game consoles with the PS4 outselling the Xbox One. Not all has been perfect in the PS4 launch story though.
Some users had issues with their PS4 hardware early on and supply was so limited, they had to wait until 2014 to get replacement hardware. Sony PS4 developers are also having success with games for the PS4 console flying off the shelves with over 9.7 million games sold as of January.
Sony is taking the time to officially brag about the sales of the PS4. Sony has now sold over 5.3 million units globally. That number came in early February even though the console is not available in Japan yet. Japanese gamers have been waiting to get their hands on the console and that launch will certainly help sales.
One of the most anticipated games of 2014 is Titanfall . We mentioned late last month that the demo for the game was coming to the PS4, Xbox One, and PC gamers giving us all a chance to check to the game before the official launch.
The game beta is available now and some gamer geeks have already set about data mining the demo code looking for hints at what goodies we can expect in the final production version of the game. Among the details that data miner dug up are the names of all 13 maps the game will offer and a bunch of power ups.
The new maps include Boneyard, Smugglers Cove, Airbase, Colony, Corporate, Lagoon, Nexus, O2, Outpost 207, Overlook, Relic, Rise, and Training Ground. We also know a few of the game modes that will come in the full version, or at least we think we know. The game modes were in the form of abbreviations in the beta code and some educated guesses were made on what those abbreviations mean.
The next generation console wars are raging with the PS4 and Xbox One gathering diehard fans to each side. If you are a fan of the Metal Gear Solid franchise that likes high-resolution graphics, you probably want to get the coming title Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes on the PS4. Ground Zeroes is the prologue to the game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which is said to be much larger than Ground Zeroes.
Konami recently offered up some details on the Ground Zeroes games that will be available on game consoles. The publisher confirmed that Ground Zeroes would run natively at 1080p and 60 frames per second on the PS4.
Xbox One gamers on the other hand will be limited to a native resolution of 720p at 60 fps. Ground Zeroes will be offered on the Xbox 360 and PS3 as well with each of those versions running at 720p using internal scaling. However, the older consoles will only support 30 fps frame rates.
Many people will only know the infamous Kim Dotcom for his trouble with law enforcement over the file sharing website, MegaUpload, but Dotcom is actually most famous for being the best Call of Duty player in the world. For the past few years, Dotcom has dominated the world leader boards in several CoD games including Black Ops II as well as the recent title; Call of Duty: Ghosts, but all good things must come to an end.
Today Dotcom announced that he would be retiring from the Call of Duty franchise after becoming the first person in the world to reach 100,000 kills in Free-For-All mode in Call of Duty Ghost. A score of 5,000,000 accompany's that achievement, and to really put things into perspective, Dotcom managed to kill 100,000 players with only dying about 31,000 times himself, meaning for every time he died, he killed almost 3.5 people.
Dotcom's next goal is to become the best Titanfall player in the world, and with the game being developed by two past COD developers, there are a lot of similarities, making this the perfect game for Dotcom to dominate. With Betas active now, and the game officially releasing in March, we wont have very long to wait until we find out just how good Dotcom is at Titanfall either!
Another patch for Battlefield 4 on the PC is being pushed out from EA DICE, which should improve general stability, Mantle performance, and the usual bug fixes.
The latest patch for the game will fix a few problems gamers were having with gunner seat changes in an IFV/MBT that would cause the game to crash, a bomb carrier would be permanently spotted in Defuse mode, missing grass physics and an incorrectly placed invisible wall on the map Zavod 311. The PC version is being patched up first, with console versions receiving the update in the near future.
The Titanfall beta is now live for some, where I've been lucky enough to receive an invite to Titanfall's next-generation first-person shooter. The beta can be downloaded through EA's digital distribution service, Origin.
For those wondering about just how big Titanfall will be, the beta weighs in at 12.3GB - which is quite hefty for something that won't be anywhere near the full product. I have a slow Internet connection here Down Under, so expect my first impressions of the first-person shooter over the weekend.
The week just gone in the gaming world was quite hot for news, with some big stories breaking over the past week - something we cover in Podcast #12.
Lots happened in the gaming world over the past week, with EA coming out and calling Battlefield 4 an "exceedingly successful product", Flappy Bird coming in and out of our lives, over 15 million copies of Diablo 3 have now been sold, Titanfall beta registrations opening up, and a new police-themed Battlefield title is reportedly in development with Visceral Games.
EA Sports has teased a possible sequel to NBA Jam, a long-running fan favorite basketball title. NBA Jam made a return back in 2010, where it landed on the Nintendo Wii, and later on it jumped over to the Xbox 360 and PS3.
In 2011, an enhanced downloadable version was released called NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, which offered gamers gameplay improvements and new features. EA hasn't announced an NBA Jam sequel yet, but it is teasing it through Twitter, which is an interesting way of doing things, especially for Electronic Arts.
Total consumer spending in the gaming market reached $15.39 billion in 2013, signaling a 1 percent improvement over 2012, according to The NPD Group. Full-game downloads and downloadable content saw especially strong growth, in addition to more people embracing mobile gaming.
Both gaming hardware and software, in addition to downloadable content, should increase as cost-effective next-generation hardware becomes available.
"The bottom line is that the overall games market is growing," said Liam Callahan, NPD Group analyst, in a press statement. "NPD reported declines in content and hardware spending in both 2011 and 2012, so the growth in 2013 is a positive indicator for future market growth as we enter the first full year with all three new consoles on the market."
The gaming industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry and is an indicator on the health of the overall consumer technology market.
If you want to signup for the Titanfall beta, your time has come: Respawn Entertainment and EA have just opened up registrations for the beta - on both the PC and Xbox One.
Registering for the beta doesn't guarantee you a spot, but it gets you in the running. EA will e-mail those who made it into the beta "no later than 11:59 PM PST on Feb 17th". We don't know what to expect from the beta, but we should see a couple of maps and game modes to play with. You can sign up right here.