Don’t let a relatively calm week for games in terms of major releases lull you into a false sense of security; this is just the calm before the storm. Both The Evil Within and Borderlands: The Pre Sequel were released in the past week to good reviews ensuring you guys have plenty of games to get through or add to your Christmas list for Santa. Again, our writers have featured some of the news from the past week which has caught their eye. So read on, let the games commence.
Sarkeesian forced to cancel university talk due to death threats
Yet again this week brings more unfortunate news of abuse targeted at women in the gaming community. This time, it was Feminist Frequency speaker Anita Sarkeesian in the firing line. Sarkeesian is no stranger to receiving abuse for her political views; having been a popular target for misogynists in the past, after setting up a kickstarter for her YouTube series: Tropes vs Women in Video-games. Since then, Sarkeesian had seemingly been taken off the radar for a while, until last week when she was forced to cancel a talk she was hosting at the Utah State University. Allegedly, the director of the university’s Center for Women and Gender had received an email threatening a ‘massacre style attack’ if the talk took place. However, Sarkeesian commented that she hadn’t cancelled the talk because of the email itself, but rather because of Utah’s gun regulation laws which do not allow police to conduct firearm searches. According to Sarkeesian, members of the Gamergate community may have been responsible for the threat, but Gamergate users continue to deny their involvement.
Details of Playstation 4 Firmware 2.0 announced
Initially announced at Gamescom in August, the details of firmware update 2.0 for the Playstation 4 have been comprehensively detailed. Although no release date has been given, the update is confirmed to include the long-awaited Share Play feature where players can temporarily pass control of their game session to another person via the internet. Other features include a YouTube app with the ability to upload directly from the console; theme support; a USB music player; the ability to back-up via USB and numerous enhancements to the social features. This is one of the most significant and highly-anticipated firmware updates since the console’s release last year.
Kerbal Space Program enters ‘beta’ development
Developer Squad has announced the next update will take the game out of alpha, as it has been since first released on 24th June 2011, and begin a new stage of development. With the next version being referred to as ‘0.90.0’, new updates from now on will focus on game content rather than back-end frameworks, so we can expect future updates to bring many new parts and optimisations to the game, as well as improving on the content currently available.
Gran Turismo 7 set for 2015 or 2016
The creator of the Gran Turismo series has said that the seventh installment of the popular racing game is coming sooner than many expected. Kazunori Yamauchi said that it is much easier to make a game on the PS4, compared to the PS3, meaning the game can be made quicker. However, many games in the series have suffered setbacks to release, especially Gran Turismo 5, so fans should take the news with a pinch of salt.
Last Week’s Releases (13/10/14):
The Evil Within: 14/10/14
With October set to be a suitably horror-filled month of gaming, and with Alien Isolation already out, The Evil Within arrives this week from the developers of Fallout 3. A survival horror, the game will feature supplies scavenging which ensures that players will never be in their comfort zone. Those who are easily scared might want to avoid this game which will have gruesome enemies galore.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel: 17/10/14
Announced earlier this year strangely only for last-gen systems as well as PC and Mac, this game is set to develop upon the already great gameplay of the extremely popular Borderlands 2. Set between the events of the first and second game, this is sure to be enjoyed by existing fans of the series and may even attract new fans due to it merging elements of roleplaying games and first person shooters, as seen in previous instalments and more recently in Destiny.
Games released this week:
Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth: 24/10/14
As the first Civilization game is set in the future, the latest addition to the franchise from Firaxis brings a variety of new gameplay elements into a setting familiar to Civilization 5 allowing greater freedom and customisation in gameplay than ever before. Lead your colonists from Earth to explore new worlds, and choose how you respond to others trying to do the same. With beautiful new terrain, a non-linear technology tree, and reactive alien AI system, you can expect hours of diverse gameplay ahead.
Bayonetta 2: 24/10/14
Amongst the Wii U’s increasingly sparse release calendar, there emerges a shining light: a sequel to 2009’s Bayonetta. This is an arcade combat game that is extremely popular in Japan where it was developed. Fans of gameplay, where combos and special moves are core, will be sure to love this game. Bayonetta 2 has already been out for over a month in Japan and has received extremely positive reviews across the board. Owners of a Wii U may want to pick up this game as an addition to their library.
Just Dance 2015: 24/10/14
Likely appealing more to casual gamers due to its easily accessible gameplay, the Just Dance series returns for another outing. Featuring new songs from the last year, including artists such as Maroon 5, Calvin Harris and Pharrell Williams, Just Dance 2015 also incorporates a ‘Community Remix’ mode whereby players can optionally submit recordings of themselves dancing to Ubisoft which other players can then dance along to when playing the game. Just Dance 2015 is the first of the series to be released on next-gen systems and is sure to continue the success already achieved.