It’s been a week full of news, but I’m sorry to say things have been missed. There are only so many hours in the day, and so many typing fingers at work. So, In this Weekly News Round up, I’m bringing you the shocking news. The stuff we should have really covered. You know, like a NASA sim, or the fact that another Call of Duty is on the way. Things that were unexpected, like North Korea causing trouble, or the fact that a Borderlands 2 Level Increase is in the works.
Oh, wait a minute…
Buzz Aldrin in SPAAAACCEEE!
Educational Video Games? Normally they’re ineffective and boring, or involve unnecessarily high levels of dysentery.
But what about Space? What about a Space video game designed by Buzz Aldrin? Yep, that Buzz Aldrin.
“Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager (SPM) is the ultimate game of space exploration. It is the mid 1950s and the biggest nations in the world, in an effort to conquer outer space together, have established the Global Space Agency (GSA). You are in charge. It’s your duty to carefully manage the agency’s budget by opening programs, spending R&D funds on improving the hardware, recruiting personnel and astronauts and launching space missions in this realistic turn based strategy game.
In sandbox mode manage your agency, recruit and train technicians, astronauts, flight controllers, scientists and engineers. Research and develop thousands of components for hundreds of missions, all the time balancing your budget. Then watch your missions launch with thousands of beautiful renders of these amazing spacecraft. In Campaign mode do all this while also dealing with politicians and their short term goals.”
So, when can I get my hands on this? June 15? Oh man…..
It;s no secret, I like Borderlands 2. Those of you might not know that the game caps your level at 50, and unlike the original game, the numerous DLC expansions have not in fact increased this level. Many players feel this is an issue, as the guns can only get so ridiculous when your stuck at level 50.
Well, thanks to a recent interview with Gearbox President Randy Pitchford, we know why this hasn’t been done: Raising the level could potentially break everything:
Some of those things start to become game-breaking. This has actually created a huge problem for us. We designed the skills really well this time, but we did, for better or for worse, make a lot of the decisions with the knowledge that there will be no more skill points available to put into any trees after you reach level 50. We knew the impossible configurations. Some of the design exploits that. Some of the impossible configurations, if they were possible, would break the game. Sometimes very literally. “Oh, that’s gonna blow memory. Your Xbox will crash.”
Well, you know what, I’m actually glad they DIDN’T raise the level cap. Better to have a functional game that has a stopping point (for now), than a game that just keeps on going, but in the process is utterly destroyed.
North Korea, What are you doing?
Say copyright infringement in a group of gamers, and most will get surly. Some will even start in n a socio-political rant about the idea of Intellectual Property and ownership.
While I’d normally join them, today, I’m going to stick up for Copyrights. Because this past week, they did a very good thing; They snubbed North Korea.
On the North Korean Youtube Channel (a hilarious concept), there was a video promoting there’ peaceful’ space program. During this video trailer of their ‘peaceful’ space program, they slipped in a clip from Call of Duty which happens to show New York crumbling. missiles fire, ‘splosions; You know, standard CoD stuff.
‘Peaceful’ Space Program.
Well, Activision figured this out and informed North Korea that they were, in fact, using their footage. A message appeared on the video shortly informing us that Activision had in fact filed something, and shortly after the video was removed entirely.
When someone in the gaming community says “exploit”, it usually is referring to something that is not intended. Being able to farm bear Asses in an MMO infinitely, or make your way around a level using insane terrain jumping defeats the point of many of these games.
Well, surprise, surprise. Dead Space 3 has thought of this, and in fact is encouraging you to grind an exploit to death:
“The resource-earning mechanic in Dead Space 3 is not a glitch. We have no plans to issue a patch to change this aspect of the game. We encourage players to explore the game and discover the areas where resources respawn for free. We’ve deliberately designed Dead Space 3 to allow players to harvest resources by playing through the game. For those that wish to accumulate upgrades instantly, we have enabled an optional system for them to buy the resources at a minimal cost.”
That’s a new one. Doesn’t mean it is particularly unseen, but still, I find it exceedingly interesting that a company is encouraging it.
Finally this week, I bring you the most shocking, most daring, most hard hitting news that wasn’t reported on:
Activision is preparing to release another Call of Duty.
I know: Crazy.
But, in many way and to be fair, Call of Duty is a franchise that Activision can always bank on. Why people will buy a new version of the same game over and over (CoD isn’t nearly as bad as NBA 2k or Madden for this), I’ll never understand….