Today's all about sleeping off a turkey-induced coma, eating too many leftovers, avoiding relatives, and catching up on the week's gaming news. I can't help with the first three, but the last? Yeah, I've got you covered.
This week was surprisingly full of game announcements, plus a documentary on Grand Theft Auto V's ocean life and a man slicing a pumpkin in half with a sword.
Assassin's Creed leaves alpha
The third patch for Assassin's Creed: Unity went live this week and featured over three hundred fixes. Many of said fixes involve frame rate issues and crashes, meaning the game might finally be on its way to "playable" status.
But more importantly, it leaves you wondering how the hell this game ever hit shelves. Three hundred fixes, many of them for major, game-breaking bugs. There's also a fourth major patch in the works already. Props to Ubisoft for fixing a massively broken game, but what a nightmare.
Holding my breath
Continuing in that vein, we also won't have a review for The Crew prior to release thanks to the MMO-like features in Ubisoft's open-world racing game. Ubisoft isn't handing out review copies prior to launch.
"The Crew was built from the beginning to be a living playground full of driving fans, so it’s only possible to assess our game in its entirety with other real players in the world. And by other, we mean thousands and thousands and thousands of players—something that can’t be simulated with a handful of devs playing alongside the press," writes Ubisoft.
That's all well and good, but in the wake of Assassin's Creed: Unity's post-release embargo and the lack of Far Cry 4 PC review codes prior to release, it's been an especially interesting year for Ubisoft's PC fans wondering whether they should splurge for a full-price game at launch. That goes doubly so after the revelation that Far Cry 4 refuses to work with dual-core processors whatsoever.
Our recommendation? Don't be the guinea pig. Hold off on buying The Crew until reviewers and other gamers get a feel for the game and let you know if it's borked or beautiful.
Attila is coming
The Creative Assembly announced this week that Total War: Attila is much closer than anticipated—the Huns are coming on February 27, 2015.
They're also trying to tempt you into preordering by giving you the first expansion for free. The Viking Forefathers pack adds three new playable factions to the game: the Danes, Jutes, and Geats. I'm not going to tell you to avoid preordering, but... well, maybe keep in mind what a disaster Rome II was before you hit that "Buy" button. If you don't preorder and instead hold off for reviews, the Viking Forefathers pack will cost you $8 standalone.
Just add garlic
That crazy Kickstarter project that sucks your blood every time you get shot in a video game? Suspended. Apparently Kickstarter is anti-vampire or anti-fun or just anti-death. I don't know which. Regardless, it doesn't really matter since the project had only raised $4,000 of its $250,000 goal.
Time for the project to head off to the utter anarchy of Indiegogo, I guess.
The Xbox One's designer Carl Ledbetter responded this week to criticisms that the console is too chunky. "The reality is that there are very real issues around cooling when you’re pushing some number of watts in the processor, therefore the thing has to have some size to it. There’s always an interesting dynamic between engineering and design, and constraints around performance," Ledbetter told MCV.
It's a decent explanation, but doesn't explain why both the PlayStation 4 and Alienware Alpha are smaller.
Dark Souls II is getting a rerelease, subtitled Scholar of the First Sin, which will add DirectX 11 support and a bunch of new content to the game on PC, plus package in all three pieces of DLC. If you own the old version of the game you'll get the new content, though not the DLC or the graphical bump.
However, it's worth noting that there are also community mods that improve the graphics in Dark Souls II already, so the jump to DirectX 11 might not be as noticeable if you just seek out those mods and stick with the original version of the game.
Jack, the Pumpkin King
I'd fallen out of watching Man at Arms for a while. If you don't know, Man at Arms is a YouTube series where video game weapons and armor are recreated in real life.
GameSpot rekindled my love this week with this video of Majora's Mask's Fierce Deity Sword, wherein a guy keeps Earth safe by chopping a pumpkin in half:
While there, however, I also spotted this scary-as-hell recreation of Assassin's Creed: Unity's Phantom Blade. Meanwhile, I tried to put together some IKEA furniture and messed it up.
YouTube's 8-Bit-Bastard channel unveiled a new Grand Theft Auto V documentary this week, which dives under the surface of the ocean surrounding Los Santos and explores the mysterious depths while faux-David Attenborough talks over top.
It's pretty incredible.
Short week, thanks to every turkey's favorite holiday.
- Ubisoft apologized for Assassin's Creed: Unity's launch woes.
- Steam launched its "Exploration Sale."
- Sony is giving refunds to Vita owners over deceptive advertising.
- Nvidia's beefing up its GRID streaming service.
- And we have reviews for the Alienware Alpha, Far Cry 4, and Randal's Monday this week.