News Blast for the Week: 18/05 - HighrezGaming

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News Blast for the Week: 18/05 / 25th of May 2015

Unfortunately, whilst we’ve all withdrawn into the comfort of our dilapidated chambers to escape the harsh reality of life with The Witcher 3 and Farming Simulator 15, the gaming industry has ceased to notice our diminished interest and continued to press on, unabated. Realising that there are probably others out there who are just like us (though hopefully not too many), we dragged ourselves out of our darkened rooms to compile this little look back at some of the key gaming related news items from the last seven days.

Doom 4 is coming, and whilst yes, we all knew this to be the case, Bethesda and id have finally released a gameplay trailer, well, sort of. In this last week, a teaser trailer finally descended upon us mere mortals to remind us that the gods of first-person shooting had not entirely forgotten us, and that publisher, Bethesda, would feature a full gameplay reveal at their upcoming E3 press briefing on Monday 15th of June. Excited? You should be.

Back in September of last year, Arrowhead Game Studios, the chaps behind the PS4’s excellent, Helldivers, unleashed a reboot of the Atari classic Gauntlet, and whilst reviews certainly weren’t as kind to it as ours was to the team’s latest effort, it was by no means a bad game, yet earlier this week, the team announced via their website that plans were afoot to make it even better. Now, whilst no specific changes were discussed, the team’s creative director, Emil Englund claimed that they were “never fully satisfied with how Gauntlet turned out”, and that “rather than just fixing little things here and there, we have been working on the core of the game to turn it into what we originally envisioned”. So, for those that have had the pleasure of experiencing Helldivers, you’ll probably find this little titbit as exciting as us, we’ll bring more news on this free update as and when it surfaces.

On the topic of reboots, Bandai Namco Studios Vancouver, along with Hipster Whale, are working on a brand new Pac-Man game for mobile devices, cleverly known as Pac-Man 256. In the original arcade release, the players with savant-like skills enough to reach level 256, would see half of the screen dissolve into an abhorrent mess of pixels, and this well-known glitch is what forms the foundation of this latest release. In Pac-Man 256, the iconic character will be chased by the glitch through an endless maze, which means that – to us anyway – it’s likely to recall the developer’s previous release, Crossy Road, which was something of a homage to the road crossing, Konami classic, Frogger. The team’s director, Matthew Hall, said in a statement that “Pac-Man 256 takes the infamous ‘glitch’ level of Pac-Man and builds upon this to become a unique game that retains the retro spirit of the original”. Right, now we just need a new version of Championship Edition to make the transition to the Xbox One and PS4, come on now Namco, how about it?

Looking forward to Uncharted 4? I’m sure you are, which is why this last piece of news might just tickle your fancy. In a recent interview with GamesTM, Naughty Dog’s Josh Scherr and Ricky Cambier discussed to vast improvements that the team have made in regards to their ability to properly render and animate faces, and it sounds, well, astounding really. In The Last of Us, characters were brought to life with models that housed just 90-100 bones in each face (well, for the principal characters anyway), but Uncharted 4 will severely up the ante, with somewhere in the region of 300-500 bones per face, allowing for an unprecedented level of expression, aided – in no small part - by Naught Dog’s ability to record their animations at a much smoother 30fps (previous games sampled at around 10-15fps due to memory limitations). So, what does this mean? Well, it may just be the case that PS4 consoles are to be graced with the most important step in the evolution of facial animation since Half Life 2, that’s all, but then, I’m pretty sure that Remedy Entertainment might have something to say about that…

Right, that’s your lot. Go on, clear off, it’s time for us to skulk back into the shadows from whence we came, after all, The Witcher 3 isn’t going to finish itself, now is it?

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