Folks and friends and pals and most importantly strangers on the internet! It’s Monday and that means I’m trying to kickstart these ageing, spluttering synapses by smushing my forehead into the keyboard and hoping some words about THE WORLD OF GAMING are somehow entered into this Google Doc. Imagine if that actually worked that would be wild.
Yes this week’s Recap in… 5 features, of course, a couple of stabs about those new consoles because New Console Excitement has reached unsustainable levels. And by excitement I of course mean Children Are Being Mean to Each Other On The Internet About A Thing. The console war, as it is for some reason known, is in full swing. Though certainly, trawling through the news and through trying to interpret the vague trends that pass through my tired brain on a daily basis; it seems like there’s just more talk about the Xbox and its path toward existence right now. For all of Sony’s promise (and don’t get me wrong I think there’s loads) the best article I could find was that there’s a rumoured black controller on the way, and that firmware updates can change the fan speed. Seriously? That news is not sexy news, Sony. No one’s taking their shirt off and flailing about at that sort of revelation are they. And that’s what we want. Shirt-Removingly Exciting News. Anyway, before I go off down this path of inevitably getting banned from the internet again, let’s just get on with this shall we. We shall.
The Series X Doesn’t ‘Feel’ Like a Console
Apparently. I have SEEN one, over Zoom; held in a single hand no less. I suppose the hand could have been massive – but it definitely looked a bit smaller there than it has done in other shots that are making their way out into the wild. Perspective is everything when you’re a cuboidal box of gaming dreams, it seems. Anyway, Eurogamer have reported that it doesn’t ‘feel’ like a ‘console’. I’m guessing they’re not talking about how it is to the touch, although that has got me considering a sort of fluffy Series X and I’m intrigued. What they’re instead talking about it seems is its ability to jump between games pretty seamlessly. While that means a lot to me personally because the game I play most on PS4 is always the one that is suspended and only takes seconds to get into, rather than the one I actually want to play; while that all makes sense to me, it doesn’t really strike me as a particularly PC thing? They do caveat this notion with a ‘it needs to be tried to be understood’ sort of line.
What does impress me about MS’ new-fangled approach is just that. It’s a new fangled approach. It’s rolling the dice on something that kind of sort of hasn’t ever really been done before. Instead of being literally obsessed with unit sales, it just wants people in the eco-system, through Game Pass, or dirt cheap new consoles, or maybe even X Cloud. I’m erring toward a Playstation, because I have a PC and game pass so? But Microsoft’s head-first leap into Doing Something Different is definitely keeping me on the edge of my seat.
Korn are in World of Tanks! (Thanks to me, thanks Rob)
I mean you’ve got to do some self promotion right? KoRn are still a thing, and that will be a surprise to some of you I know, and maybe what will be more of a surprise is that they’re still smashing out absolutely awesome records and getting their hands dirty in all sorts of creative projects. Oh, and Jonathan Davis is a massive gamer. He has a huge fold out rigg that he takes on tour, complete with telly, Playstation, Xbox, power, all in one box. That made the band pretty much perfect for pairing up with World of Tanks when they wanted to do something amazing with their Halloween event. You can get stuck into this right now by a) the video below, and b) the game itself, which is free to play, and when you jump in, you’ll see all sorts of things to do that tie WoT and Korn’s worlds together. So go have yourself a see.
Blops Cold War Beta Is (Probably) a Roaring Success
The inevitable next Call of Duty is in beta, and it might seem like everybody is playing it. Which is naturally because they are. What’s weird to me, after giving it a little blast the other day, is how different it feels to Modern Warfare. I can’t lie to you, I haven’t owned a CoD since Modern Warfare II back in 2008 or something, up until this year’s edition of course, and I’ve never owned a Black Ops. So maybe this isn’t a revelation to the seasoned players at all. But there’s something a bit more rigid about the core mechanics that really surprised me. I’d always considered Call of Duty to be a bit of a copy paste job, but it does make a lot of sense that at least the two distinct series have a distinct feel. Which one is better probably boils down to what you’re used to though, and since the beta is now OPEN and on until 20th October at 6pm UK, it’s probably worth having a go yourself, if you’re that way inclined of course. The game itself is out on 13th November.
There’s a Porsche 911 in Cyberpunk 2077
I’ve missed most of the Night City Wire episodes so far. If you have too, then you may wish to know that it’s a sort of dev log / glossy We’re Still Alive reminder that’s streamed out on Twitch every so, all in the hopes of getting us salivating over CDPR’s next epic tome Cyberpunk 2077. There’s an awful lot of controversy surrounding the developer these days, and the shining beacon in the dark that they always seemed throughout the Witcher 3 campaign has been thrown into question in some circles. Still, I can’t help but feel totally enraptured when I hear something new about this game, and it’s been a good while since I’ve really had that about any release.
This week’s Night City Wire then was all about CARS. I knew vehicles would feature in the game somewhat, but this, well, not what I imagined. It looked like Forza Horizon 2077. Helped along by the lovingly recreated 1977 (see what they did there) Porsche 911, and the swathes of detail about the type of vehicles you’ll find, the handling, the nuances between not just makes and models, but between individual vehicles themselves. It’s pretty common that vehicles are kind of tacked on in RPGs; means to get you somewhere in the case of most, means to get your controller out of the window in Mass Effect 1. But it looks like CDPR are going all in on the driving bits for Cyberpunk, which is edging ever near and out on the 19th November.
Bethesda / MS Won’t Need Sony Sales
And lastly for our round up, Microsoft’s wanton purchase of Bethesda, a purchase presumably made with the air and flamboyance of Jeff Bezos booting large stacks of money into a wood chipper because he wants to see it snow, has naturally raised a few questions. Questions that Phil Spencer has been answering, while discreetly pouring gasoline on the flames of certain internet discussion websites. We don’t need to ship games on the Playstation 5, if we don’t fucking feel like it, he exclaimed at the top of his voice, stood on a table in the Ritz with his trousers down.
Okay not really, but it could have been right? Spencer did say: “this deal was not done to take games away from another player base like that. Nowhere in the documentation that we put together was: ‘How do we keep other players from playing these games?’ We want more people to be able to play games, not fewer people to be able to go play games.’
But went onto allude that that goal will in fact be feasibly attained within Microsoft’s own ecosystem.
“we have xCloud and PC and Game Pass and our console base, I don’t have to go ship those games on any other platform other than the platforms that we support in order to kind of make the deal work for us.”
Big words for a company that just spent SEVEN POINT FIVE BILLION DOLLARS on their new toy. But, he’s right. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t even own an Xbox, but I have game pass for PC and will still be very much a part of their world through that virtue. It’s this surprisingly radical approach that makes you think maybe MS have really nailed it. Maybe. Still, the headline here is, Elder Scrolls VI: Probably Not on Playstation.
That’s it from me and for Recap, I’ll be back next week and maybe before cause I have a Valorant article to post, if you’re craving yet more disappointment.