This is it, everyone! We made it through 2014 (mostly) intact. Next week I'll be sleeping off the effects of huffing wrapping paper and pine needles while drinking copious eggnog, so I think this is goodbye until the New Year.
And that's fine anyway, if this week's weak news haul is anything to go by. Still, there are a few gaming news gems to polish off the year: Telltale and Mojang team up for a Minecraft adventure game, Nintendo is fascinated by donuts, and a Pac-Man restaurant is opening in Chicago. Let's dig in.
Hate leads to suffering
You might recall controversy surrounding a certain "2edgy4me" game called Hatred a few months back—a game with a main character who quite literally spews the line "My genocide crusade has begun" as if he's locked himself in his bedroom with a battered spiral bound notebook and a death metal album.
It's been a tumultuous week for Hatred though, with Steam first pulling the game's fledgling Greenlight campaign and then reinstating it a day later by direct edict of Gabe Newell. The reason it was pulled? "Based on what we've seen on Greenlight we would not publish Hatred on Steam," Valve spokesman Doug Lombardi told Eurogamer. The reason it was reinstated? An even more vague, "It turns out that it wasn't a good decision [to pull the game], and we'll be putting Hatred back up," from Newell.
I'd wager some really tense "We're Valve and we like to have no management structure at our company" conversations happened behind closed doors.
A Boy and His Creeper
First Telltale made The Walking Dead and it made sense. Then they announced Wolf Among Us and people were kind of skeptical, but hey, Fables is cool. Then they announced Game of Thrones and people were like "Yeah, that sounds about right." Then they announced Tales from the Borderlands and people raised an eyebrow.
And this week Telltale and Mojang announced Minecraft: Story Mode. Yes, Telltale is making one of its standard lots-of-dialogue adventure games to explain the lore behind the Minecraft universe. Like, why is everyone made of blocks? Why do you punch trees?
I bet the kids will love it.
Oh yeah, and just in case you didn't know Minecraft is a huge hit—creator Notch bought a $70 million mansion this week.
I don't even know why I keep writing about this
Guess what? Rockstar teased Red Dead Redemption 2 (or Red Dead Reincarnated or Red Dead Ridiculous or Red Dead Ron Jeremy or whatever they'll eventually call it) again. This time we even got a super-special guarantee: "Stay tuned in 2015 for announcements of what's to come from Rockstar Games."
Oh goody! Meanwhile I'm just over here waiting for Grand Theft Auto V's PC version to come out so I can get to modding. And for the original Red Dead Redemption to somehow fall from a parallel universe onto my computer.
Learn to fly
Microsoft Flight Simulator X hit Steam this week finally, thanks to Train Simulator publisher Dovetail Games. If you're reading this on Friday you've even got a chance to pick it up for the low, low price of $5 thanks to the Steam Holiday Sale. Of course, if Train Simulator's DLC is anything to go by...well, be prepared to buy every single plane you've ever shown even a lick of interest in.
Did you buy Assassin's Creed: Unity's DLC season pass? I'm sorry. As consolation, you can now head to this website and get a game for free. Your choices are Far Cry 4, The Crew, Assassin's Creed IV, Just Dance 2015, Rayman Legends, and Watch Dogs. Three of those games are pretty good. Hopefully you don't own them all.
You've got until March 15 to make your claim.
According to a Japan Times article, Nintendo is teaming up with Sharp to use new "Free-Form Display" technology in its next gaming handheld. These displays can be bent into random shapes, if for some reason you hate the functionality of rectangles.
The article features this sentence: "Nintendo is considering creating a hole at the center of the display, making it doughnut-shaped, one of the sources said."
World of Warcraft still charges a monthly subscription. I know! It's crazy! So many MMORPGs have come and gone over the years, many making the switch to free-to-play before disappearing into obscurity. And yet World of Warcraft still convinces millions of people to pay for the right to play it every month.
According to a post on the Battle.net forums, however, Blizzard is looking at the possibility of letting players exchange in-game items or currency for real-world playtime.
"We’re exploring the possibility of giving players a way to buy tradable game-time tokens for the purpose of exchanging them in-game with other players for gold. Our current thought on this is that it would give players a way to use their surplus gold to cover some of their subscription cost, while giving players who might have less play time an option for acquiring gold from other players through a legit and secure system," writes Blizzard.
Got ten years of gold laying around?
Namco is creating a Pac-Man restaurant/bar/barcade/arcade/bowling alley thing in Chicago, and it sounds pretty incredible (via GameSpot).
I hope Pac-Man Fever is on repeat from the day this place opens until the Earth is eventually invaded by five different colors of ghosts whose only need is to feed on our hopes and dreams.
We're pulling out all the stops before the holiday break. Reviews, reviews, reviews.
- Want to know the best entry-level gaming headsets? We've got them.
- Looking for the best gaming hardware of 2014? That's here.
- Willing to dig into some quirky indie games? Here are 15 you might've missed this year.
- We've also got reviews for music game Cosmic DJ, space sim Starpoint Gemini 2, and the fantastic 4X game Endless Legend.
- Looking forward instead of back, we have previews of Total War: Arena, Evolve, and ambitious SimCity replacement Cities: Skylines.
- Oh, and a little thing called the Steam Holiday Sale is going on this week. And next week. And until I see you again.