The Elder Scrolls Online: Last Beta Starts in a Few Hours

Beta

Bethesda and Zenimax are running The Elder Scrolls Online final beta test this weekend. The event will last two days, from today, March 14th starting at 12pm EDT until Sunday, March 16th 11:59pm EDT. This final stage is nothing less than a stress test. With the release date approaching, ESO’s servers must be totally functional and ready for massive numbers of players. According to Bethesda, this will most likely be the last test before the official release:

Join us in our final scale test event this weekend—more invites are on their way! We’re sending out invites for our final ESO scale test. We need your help to push our systems, so check your email and join us. If you’ve been invited to previous beta events, you’ll be able to participate this weekend, too. This may be your last chance to help us test!

If you took part in previous beta events, then you can freely join this one. If you didn’t have the chance to try ESO yet, then you can get a free key from media sites like Rapt.com. Unlike the other beta events, players don’t need to follow any non-disclosure agreement (NDA) this time. But posting freely without restrictions is not the only reward from Bethesda. This weekend’s participants will unlock a monkey vanity pet for PC/Mac that will be available at launch.

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt: CD Projekt RED is ‘Aiming for Quality’

Projekt RED

CD Projekt RED has recently published an open letter explaining the reasons behind The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt delay. The numerous concerns for quality has forced the company to postpone the release date until February 2015. Now, PR Specialist at CD ProjektRED, Agnieszka Szóstak, has reassured today that quality is undoubtedly the main priority:

@Agnieszka Szóstak: Quality requires time. And quality is what the team is aiming for so don’t worry. 🙂

In a direct answer to a fan, Szóstak also guaranteed that CD ProjektRED will closely deliver the promises made in the open letter:

@Codman89246765: Just promise me that CDPR will be using this time to improve the game, and we’ll be getting a better not worse game next February.

@Agnieszka Szóstak: That’s exactly what the team promised in the open letter. 🙂

Titanfall Huge Disc Install Causing Problems, Is Mostly Audio

Titanfall

The Titanfall madness has already started and unfortunately it’s not all good: we’ve tried to fix Titanfall problems already, but apparently there are even more problems with unexpected causes. One of them is the huge install size of Titanfall on PCs, where the size of the game is a whooping 48GB.

The problem caused by this? Well, there are still people who have data caps or live in more remote regions where download speed is pretty slow, so these people seem to be doomed waiting to download 20 GB of data. Data they might never need, because all this huge size (the PC version is 35GB more than the Xbox One version) is nothing but uncompressed audio data. And this is because you will download EVERY language in the game, even though you will most likely need no more than one.

The community is trying right now to create a petition and have Respawn find a workaround for this – like an option to select the language(s) you want the game to download, but until then, everybody has to download this mammoth set of audio data just because. Not nice.

What do you think? Wouldn’t it be easier if Respawn allowed gamers to select the languages they want audio for instead of downloading all that extra and useless data?

Thief Patch 1.2 Released, Comes to Fix Bugs

Thief

Eidos Montreal has just launched a new patch for Thief, and fortunately they didn’t address the money making glitch that we told you about last week. What they did do, though, was to fix a series of bugs and game breaking problems, so you should definitely make sure that you download the Thief Patch 1.2 and install it as soon as possible.

This patch will be applied by Steam automatically when you next start the game. If your game does not update, please restart the Steam client. Here are the changes brought in by the new Thief patch:

– Fixed an issue where, for some users, controller right stick would not turn the camera and controller hints would not appear.
– Fixed an issue where, for some users, the keyboard mapping menu would immediately map a key and then hang.
– Fixed an issue with the fog when SSAA was enabled that was introduced in v1.1.
– Fixed a crash when the user had 99 saves and tried to access the save menu in game.
– Added an option to the launcher configuration dialog to run the 32-bit version on a 64-bit machine. The 32-bit version has several features disabled causing it to use less memory, providing a smoother experience for users with lower spec machines. The checkbox for this option can be found in the display tab of the launcher options dialogue.
– Update: Deploy additional DLLs with the game to avoid issues with corrupt DLLs on user machines, which could cause the game to not start at all.
– Update: Moved Lockpick and Frame Search helper to the HUD menu and will now also affect mouse/keyboard.
WARNING: Disabling Frame Search helper while playing with mouse/keyboard could make it very hard, if not impossible, to find the button.
– Various performance improvements.
– Various crash fixes.

Do you enjoy playing the game so far? Let us know by commenting below!

Dragon Age Inquisition: Fourth Companion Revealed

Dragon Age

Discover the Dragon Age, the latest Dragon Age Inquisition environmental video released by BioWare reveals a new unidentified companion. One of the many scenes in this video displays the Inquisitor along with Varric, Cassandra and a male elf running through a noble hall. Now, the question arises: who is this new companion?

The fourth Inquisition companion to be unveiled is a male elf with magic powers. Yes, he is a definitely a mage, judging by the staff on his back. His barefoot-shoes, that look like Fenris’ and Merril’s indicate that he is most likely from a poor family, something more than common among elves in this universe. It’s hard to make further assumptions since the only visual we have is his back.

Dragon Age Inquisition Companion

Officially, this character doesn’t exist since it hasn’t been announced yet. But that doesn’t mean he’s not a reality.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Delayed Until 2015

Wild Hunt

In an open letter from CD Projekt Red’s board, they announced that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt would be delayed until February 2015. The following are excerpts from the letter, detailing exactly why they have delayed the game.

“Ever since we started working on the third installment in The Witcher franchise, it has been our aim to produce a title that would take our 11 years of experience in creating RPGs and distill them into a quintessence, into a game that would effectively crown those years. At the same time, we have wanted The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to expand creative boundaries, set new benchmarks, develop the genre as a whole. Ultimately, you, the players, must get an unforgettable adventure to experience in a vast, open world – and that’s most important.”

It’s an admirable goal and CD Projekt seems very genuine in their concern for quality. The Witcher has always been a unique franchise with a lot of potential, and Wild Hunt seems to be doing things the right way.

witcher 3d

“We’ve created a story that flows naturally, cinematically, rendered it in amazing sound and visuals, while preserving full freedom of choice – all for you. We knew this to be an ambitious plan, but believed we could achieve it by bringing together our team with its creative energies and current gaming platforms with their technical capabilities. A project this vast and complex would inevitably require special care in its final stages, manual fine-tuning of many details, thorough testing time and again.”

They bring up a good point with the size of this game. When Wild Hunt was announced, they suggested that one single landmass was larger than all of Skyrim, so a task as detailed as this seems no easy feat, especially for a slightly smaller developer like CD Projekt.

“We recently reexamined what we had achieved thus far, and faced a choice about the game’s final release date. The decision we made was difficult, thoroughly considered, and ultimately clear and obvious. We could have released the game towards the end of this year as we had initially planned. Yet we concluded that a few additional months will let us achieve the quality that will satisfy us, the quality gamers expect from us. Consequently, we have set the release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for February 2015.”

It’s very refreshing to see that at least one studio is willing to delay their game to make sure the quality is there. I’m looking at you EA.

Witcher 3a

“Dear gamers – we know many of you would have liked to play The Witcher 3 sooner, as soon as possible, even. We’re sorry to make you wait longer than you, or we, initially assumed you would. At the same time, we believe the game will prove to be worth the wait and meet the expectations you have of us. We believe The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be an exceptional RPG, one of the best, providing many hours of wonderful entertainment.”

It’s nice that they took the time to address us as well. If the trailers are any indication of the final product, Wild Hunt is a game to keep your eye on.

“Dear shareholders – we are aware of the responsibility that rests with us and thank you for the trust you have granted us thus far. We firmly believe that quality – more than any other factor – determines a game’s success, and that the decision we have made is thus equally valid in business terms.”

They finally go on to address the shareholders directly. We often forget on this end, but the amount of investing in the games we play is shocking.

Witcher 3b

Overall, it’s slightly disappointing to see Wild Hunt delayed, but I’d much rather a polished experience than a broken mess of a game like Battlefield 4.

Mass Effect 4: BioWare Can’t Wait to Get the Series Back

BioWare

BioWare studio director, Yanick Roy, has recently apologized for the lack of information on the next Mass Effect and game master, Aaryn Flynn, ensured that BioWare can’t wait to bring back the Mass Effect universe. Apparently, the information shortage is due to a focus decision, as Roy stated:

@Yanick Roy: I apologize for not having any new info on the next Mass Effect for you. It’s because our focus is on doing it right over doing it fast! 🙂

Quality seems to be BioWare’s priority right now, so it’s natural that basically no information is being released. Until the development process becomes more steady and solid, it’s unlikely that mysterious leaks will come by. Anyhow, one thing is for sure – the next Mass Effect is not forgotten and the will to return is immense:

@Aaryn Flynn: Two years to the day since we launched Mass Effect 3. Time flies. Can’t wait to get everyone back to that universe.

But even if the developing process is going smoothly, you shouldn’t get ahead of yourself because there’s still a lot of work to do and a long period of restless waiting, since the fourth game shouldn’t reach the gaming markets before 2015.

Dragon Age Inquisition: ‘Explore a Vast, Living and Multi-Region Open World’

Dragon Age

BioWare has recently released a new Dragon Age Inquisition environmental video, Discover the Dragon Age, revealing multiple scenarios from the “dramatic world of Thedas”. The upcoming next-gen action RPG will be the vastest and richest game of the DA series and it will feature a multi-region open world. Players will finally be able to explore the most remotely corners of Thedas, as BioWare clarified:

Welcome to Dragon Age: Inquisition, where you will take on the mantle of Inquisitor and lead a team of heroes on a perilous journey through a living, multi-region open world. Discover the dramatic world of Thedas, from war-torn plains to jagged coasts (…).

The video displays an incredible dynamic, immersive and living world, where environmental diversity seems to be the most prominent feature, since the two previous games didn’t have a huge amount of distinctive ecosystems. Inquisition will present a rejuvenated Thedas with more lands to explore and more variety to experience. However, BioWare hasn’t just been investing in quantity; quality is no less than a major priority. And this video is proof of that – quantity and quality are united in a very promising result. Inquisition will ultimately deliver spectacular visuals with stunning effects and a true next-gen definition level.

New Dark Souls II launch trailer gets awkward

Dark Souls

Namco Bandai released a final trailer to promote the launch of Dark Souls II today, and it causes more cognitive dissonance than any other trailer for the Souls series thus far.

Dark Souls is famous for its crushing difficulty and grotesque atmosphere, so it should come as a surprise that the song of choice for this trailer is a Jethro Tull song. It’s jarring that it is placed over over what is potentially the best example of atmosphere in recent memory. Thus, any feeling this game is supposed to evoke has been crushed by such an awkward choice in music… at least, I think? The lyrics match up to everything going on to an almost poetic degree, but the song itself couldn’t feel more out of place in tone and style.

Beyond the song choice however, the trailer is interesting in that it shows off a few new bosses and enemies that until now, we haven’t seen. The actual design possesses a unique, macabre look as usual, and it’s really exciting to see what is beyond the dilapidated bridges of Drangleic.

Will you be picking up Dark Souls II? I regret to inform you that I will be quitting every aspect of my social life for it.

First Tales from the Borderlands Details Revealed

Borderlands

SXSW is a thing that happens, and like all things that happen, it did in fact take place this year. Of all the panels and conferences within SXSW, I am here to grace you with the most important aspect of the event: Tales from the Borderlands.

Key members of both Telltale Games and Gearbox Software sat down to discuss their upcoming collaborative project that takes the narrative, character driven aspects of Telltale’s best work, and Gearbox’s absolutely bananas world and characters to deliver the best of both worlds.

The video below, though quite lengthy, sheds much light on several aspects of Tales from the Borderlands, including its spot in the lore, the types of things you will be taking part in, and much more.

To say that Tales from the Borderlands is promising is to understate how much potential this project actually has. As mentioned at the panel, Telltale has a rich history with comedic games.

The video below, though quite lengthy, sheds much light on several aspects of Tales from the Borderlands, including its spot in the lore, the types of things you will be taking part in, and much more.

Borderlands blessed everyone in 2012 with one of the most hilarious, clever, and self aware games we’ve had in years, so combining that humour with Telltale’s writing prowess has me on the edge of my seat with excitement.