Witcher 3. Half-Life 3. Civilization: Beyond Earth. World of Warcraft. Call of Duty. Some of PC gaming's biggest games were making headlines this week, for matters ranging from awesome to utterly bizarre. Let's dive in!
How do you measure a year?
A famous musical says we should measure time in "love." Seeing as that makes no sense, I'm sticking to my current method of measuring time with NPD sales data—specifically, the fact that the PlayStation 4 has now outsold the Xbox One for nine months straight.
Three-hundred ninety-four thousand, four-hundred sixty-two minutes.
Make war, not love
In anticipation of its upcoming November 13 expansion Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard is currently selling a bundle that includes the base World of WarCraft game plus all four expansions for $20. In terms of "dollars per hours of content," that might be one of the best deals ever. On the other hand, I have no idea how it feels to play content from something like the nearly eight-year-old expansion The Burning Crusade by yourself these days.
Also in anticipation of the expansion we're seeing some familiar news: World of WarCraft added 600,000 subscribers since June.
I almost see something
Look! It's a picture of an empty field!
Apparently we'll get to see The Witcher 3's opening cinematic next week, and to whet our appetites we get this picture. Of an empty field. With some fancy letterboxing.
You know what? I'll just go ahead and repost The Witcher 2's opening cinematic instead because it's fantastic:
If you want to speak out, speak out
It turns out Rudy Giuliani has some very strong opinions regarding former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, who is currently suing Giuliani's client Activision regarding use of his image in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.
Opinions like (as quoted by The Hollywood Reporter):
"If creative rights have to be sacrificed, they shouldn't be sacrificed for someone like Noriega, nor should anyone have to send millions of dollars down to a Panamanian jail because this madman is making absurd claims."
"I think a man that engaged in selling $200 million of cocaine in the United States, who knows how many children he killed, a man who was a dictator of his country in which he tortured people for nine years, a man who laundered money in France, a man who chopped the head off of one of his allies and then was convicted in three countries, who is sitting in jail in Panama, trying to recover because he is a minor, minor figure in a very excellent game, Call of Duty by Activision, is an outrage."
Two things: 1) I find it a little disturbing that Giuliani used the words "If creative rights have to be sacrificed," as if there will come a time when we'd need to do that and 2) Do you think Giuliani ever played "Call of Duty by Activision"?
Side note: "Call of Duty by Activision" would be a great Doritos-scented cologne.
Speaking of creative rights
Remember back in 2003 when Postal 2 was released and people lost their collective minds because of its over-the-top violence? Someone apparently forgot that game had already been made and decided to make it again, except this time give it the even-less-creative name of Hatred. Here's the trailer, which features such Angsty-Dude-In-A-Trenchcoat gems as "And I will put in the grave as many as I can," and "My genocide crusade begins here." So edgy. (Warning: The video below is exceptionally violent.)
If you sat through that last garbage trailer you deserve a reward. How about the opening cinematic to next week's Civilization: Beyond Earth?
Fast forward six months
If you've been waiting anxiously for the release of Projects CARS, too bad. Slightly Mad Studios confirmed this week that the game will miss its November launch and instead release on March 20, 2015.
That gives them five whole months to switch the name before it becomes part of humanity's eternal legacy. Come on, Slightly Mad Studios. I believe in you.
The next game from the Surgeon Simulator team? It's "The beautiful story of one slice of bread's epic and emotional journey as it embarks upon a quest to become toasted."
A beautiful dream
There's now an Indiegogo campaign designed to "force" Valve into releasing Half-Life 3. Highlight: If the campaign reaches $45,000 in funding, the campaign promises "A bunch of Gabe Newells besieging Valve's doorstep wearing 'We Want HL3' t-shirts. Who knows, maybe they will sneak into a strategic meeting and release Half-Life 3 themselves."
After two days the campaign has already raised a massive total of $457 so, you know, they're well on their way.
I can't help but feel like this campaign is akin to everyone at a concert screaming "Encore!" when you already know the band is coming back out because the lights haven't turned on yet.
If you're reading this on Friday, know that you still have two days to take advantage of Steam's biggest free weekend ever—these games will last until Sunday at 1pm Pacific.
And since reviews season is in full swing, we've got three this week (and counting): loot-driven shooter Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, mystery adventure game The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, and Harmonix's rhythm-based bullet-hell game A City Sleeps. None are bad; the latter two are great.