The Best Video Game News This Week: Black Mesa, mind-flayers, and a BAFTA fellowship

The Best Video Game News This Week: Black Mesa, mind-flayers, and a BAFTA fellowship
Imogen Donovan Updated on by

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It’s Friday! Or is it? Time is a social construct, so I could tell you it’s Wednesday today, and how could you prove me wrong? It’s Friday because it’s the fifth day this week, but when did this week start? Can’t prove that either, I’m afraid. Well, the calendar in the bottom right corner of the monitor says it’s Friday. Who told the computer that it’s Friday? Anyone could change that display in the settings. What I can say, for certain, is that events occurred and news transpired in this indefinable time period, and it’s been turned into bite-size chunks, here in the round-up…

Earth got a new moon! It’s named 2020 CD3, and it’s actually been orbiting the planet for about three years now. Looping its loop once every 47 days, 2020 CD3 is theorised to be 1.9 and 3.5 metres across, or the size of a car, ish. When I tell people, “Earth’s got a new moon!” then add how big the mini-moon is, they reply, “Hogwash! That doesn’t count! It’s too tiny!” They are correct. It is a little chunk of space rock, when compared to the massive Moon. Four thousand 2020 CD3s could be lined up end-to-end along the circumference of the Moon. 

Yet, isn’t it exciting that we’ve got a new moon? And we should enjoy its presence while we are able to, because it’s said that it will leave its orbit in April, to spin infinitely into the inky recesses of space. Maybe this momentary mini-moon will lead to a change of perspective on our celestial neighbour. In video games, the Moon is either evil, empty, or crawling with evil things empty of compassion. This isn’t that representative of all the things the Moon does for us. It influences the tides, and it acts as a big ol’ rocky cushion to protect us from asteroids pitching towards Earth. It is also thought to be responsible for our climate and seasons because the Earth’s tilt is kept in check by the Moon’s orbit. Now that we’ve got a new moon and we’ll see it go before we’ve really got to know it, I hope the old Moon gets a better rep in games from now on. Here’s the news.

EA is developing a new Star Wars game as well as a Fallen Order sequel, alleges report

Be aware that this is only a rumour at the moment, and we know the publisher’s track record with these games. But, Fallen Order could be the one to change its stars. Cal Kestis’s gallivanting across the galaxy did well for Respawn Entertainment and EA, and the game seems to be stretching out for a sequel to refine its influences to a polished point. It’s a cake walk. The second game is said to be a “smaller, more unusual project” that will be directed by Motive Games. 

Phil Spencer confirms Xbox Series X 12 teraflops GPU and DirectX raytracing

“Whether it’s empowering amazing creators at our 15 Xbox Game Studios, fueling game discovery with Xbox Game Pass, or expanding what and where you can play with Project xCloud, Team Xbox stands for frictionless pathways between players and the best experiences our remarkable art form has to offer,” said Xbox boss Phil Spencer. “Xbox Series X represents that same commitment for players who want immediate immersion in games that also look and feel better than ever.” The console will use a 12 teraflops GPU, DirectX raytracing, variable rate shading, an SSD, and dynamic latency input. All of this and more will ensure the Xbox Series X will be “a true generational leap in processing and graphics power.”

Black Mesa launches on March 5, after more than a decade in development

Crowbar Collective has been working on its own remake of Half-Life since 2004. Arising from a collaboration between two volunteer projects, the game revamps the original’s textures, models, and NPCs, adds narrative content introduced in the sequel, and makes over the alien world of Xen. “Through luck, hard work, and maybe a bit of ignorance we didn’t shy away from our goal of bringing this game to completion. We are proud of what we built. We think this upcoming 1.0 release is the best, most polished, and most fun version of the game yet. The anticipation and excitement around our project is beyond flattering,” said developer Adam Engels in a post published to Black Mesa’s Steam page. “It will never be a perfect game. This is not to downplay, or make excuses, but… we are super excited to have Black Mesa be ‘complete’, but acknowledge it is not perfect and won’t ever be perfect.”

Square Enix states it isn’t making next-gen exclusives for a while

“The next-generation consoles will have backward compatibility, so we plan for the time being to make our new titles available for both current and next-generation consoles. It will therefore be somewhat farther down the road that we release titles exclusively for the next-generation consoles,” said Square Enix, in its most recent financial briefing. The choice is a sensible one. Lots of publishers do watch from the sidelines upon the next generation of hardware, and see where these consoles fall before committing to exclusives. The Xbox Series X will not have exclusives as soon as launch, because “gamers want to go and play games with their friends regardless of what device those friends are on, people want to have the largest selection of games open to them, and developers want to make use of the best technology that’s available.”

Temtem is planning to add a battle pass and nuzlocke mode

Developer Crema shared what’s in store for the massively multiplayer game, as it approaches its launch. In the short-term, 50 more Temtem will be released into the Archipelago, and ranked matchmaking experiments will award testers with pansuns. Spectator mode and in-game chat are in the works as well, and players will be able to own and decorate a house on Atoll Row. Achievements will be implemented for all platforms, and Crema expects that the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch ports of Temtem should launch with the 1.0 launch on PC. In the long-term, there will be Dojo Wars, which are like Gyms in Pokémon Go, with clubs able to attack and conquer Dojos on a weekly basis. A battle pass will offer time-limited cosmetics for fulfilling objectives during the season, and an endgame island will be perfect for the most tenacious of Temtem tamers with tough PvE challenges. A nuzlocke server is the most exciting addition, and will restrict trading but permit PvP battles for a twist on the established rules.

Hideo Kojima to be awarded a BAFTA Fellowship for his creative contribution to games

For his “outstanding and exceptional contribution” to the medium, the Metal Gear director will be given the award on April 2. “Thank you very much for this precious BAFTA Fellowship award. I am very honored, and would like to take this moment to reflect on the many predecessors that came before me, as I deeply respect their contributions to entertainment, whether in movies, television, or games. I would also like to thank those who have supported me over the years and I will continue my commitment to creating new and innovative ways that will push the world of ‘play’ entertainment forward,” said Kojima in a statement. The nominations for the 2020 BAFTA Games Awards will be announced on March 3.

Platinum Games founds new division in Tokyo to be its “first true development hub”

First, The Wonderful 101: Remastered, second, Project G.G., next, the world. Just joking. The third announcement to be made by Platinum Games was its new Tokyo location, planned to become the company’s “first true development hub.” President and CEO Kenichi Sato enthused on the possibilities that this second studio opens up for the future of Platinum Games. “Between our capital alliance with Tencent, the new PlatinumGames Tokyo, and more changes to come, 2020 is shaping up to be a very big year for us. That’s why we consider it something of a ‘re-establishment’ year,” elaborated Sato. “Our driving philosophy going into this second phase is that at PlatinumGames, everyone’s a creator.” The Tokyo hub is seeking recruits to pitch in on its upcoming game Project G.G., which is in its very early stages of development. “Where Viewtiful Joe is Kamen Rider-esque in that one guy transforms into a hero, and The Wonderful 101 is more like a group of people transforming into heroes, Project G.G. is a giant hero-esque title,” said director Hideki Kamiya, who hopes the game concludes his “hero” trilogy of games. 

Baldur’s Gate 3 gameplay is a dizzying dive into the Forgotten Realms

The leaked screenshots of the anticipated game showed that Larian Studios + Dungeons & Dragons = something that looks a lot like a Dragon Age: Origins remaster. Now that the gameplay has been revealed, we know that the original games’ real-time-with-pauses combat has been replaced with turn-based combat, like Divinity: Original Sin. This, combined with the close-up camera during dialogue, will make Baldur’s Gate 3 feel like a faithful replication of the tabletop game. Additionally, the turn-based structure can be started before a battle occurs, so that players may line up their party strategically. Imaginably, this could become crucial to attaining the upper hand, as rolling an actual die on screen is implemented for all skill checks—conversations and combat alike. Finally, the environments of the Forgotten Realms are beautiful and intensely detailed, and there’s an Early Access period coming later this year.