PC Gaming & Tech News – March 23, 2016

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Hyper Light Drifter trailer & release date, more Wii U emulator footage, Overwatch animated short & beta dates, a new VR game from the creators of Darksiders, and more…

New Hyper Light Drifter Trailer / Release Date Announced [ March 31st ]

Hyper Light Drifter is a 2D Action RPG that was successfully Kickstarted back in late 2013 for $645K, over 23 times its original ask. Naturally such an amount massively expanded the game’s scope, both in terms of content and platforms. The release date has finally been announced for March 31st, 2016, a whole two years after Heart Machine’s original intent of mid-2014.

The brand new trailer linked above shows more of the amazing color palettes we’d seen previously, as well as an eye-wateringly gorgeous piano track with an odd retro distortion that creeps in as it morphs into something ominous. Said music is likely by Disasterpeace, and the trailer overall isn’t too far off from the one released in 2015. Beautiful art direction and sound design only gets you so far, so hopefully the gameplay is engaging and feels as good is the flashy dashing and slashing looks. I’m worried about certain technical aspects surrounding their choice in GameMaker and some odd statements from the developer, but we’ll see soon enough… The game is available for pre-order now or will be very shortly for ~$18 from Steam, GOG (DRM-Free), and the Humble Store (Steam Key, may also include DRM-Free build). PS4 and Xbox One releases to follow later in the year, with Wii U and/or Vita tentatively beyond that.

More Real-Time CEMU 1.4.0 Wii U Emulation Footage

Following the Mario 3D World clip yesterday that hinted at tremendous progress in Wii U emulation, we now have dozens of new videos. Aside from some missing text, Super Mario Maker is essentially completely playable at a solid 60FPS.

Super Mario 3D World is playable as well at pretty high framerates, but shows that some work needs to be done with the shaders and portions of the audio engine.

You can find a slew of new examples on channels like John GodGames and GameDev1909, showcasing Mario Kart 8, Legend of Zelda Wind Waker HD, Xenoblade Chronicles, Splatoon, and more. CEMU 1.4.0 should be available to the public soon, otherwise the team is asking for support on their Patreon.

Overwatch Animated Short – “Recall” / Open Beta Dates

The first (second if you count the announcement cinematic) of many Pixar-esque 3D animated shorts to come from Blizzard. It has been said that they have chosen to present the backstory and lore of Overwatch outside of the game, as to not infringe on gameplay in any way with a tacked on campaign or anything like that. Considering the ludicrous quality of these cinematics and the extreme focus on competitive play, it’s likely the best way to go about it. Here’s the new short, exclusive to the Xbox YouTube channel because of course it is…

The free open beta will last 5 days [ May 5th – 9th ], with those who pre-order any version of the game receiving an additional 2 days for themselves and a friend, just before [ May 3rd – 4th ], along with a Windowmarker Noir Skin. Overwatch is slated for launch on May 24th, 2016, and comes in three sizes:

  • Base Game [$40] – (Digital Only, PC Only)
  • Origins Edition [$60] – adding 5 presumably exclusive skins for $60 – (Digital & Physical, All Platforms)
  • Collector’s Edition [$130] – adding the soundtrack, an artbook and a statue  of the most generic character in their entire line-up, for some reason… for $80 – (Physical Only, All Platforms)

Chronos – New Trailer for Darksiders creator’s VR RPG

Gunfire Games are crafting a launch title for the Oculus Rift that look’s shockingly like the Dark Souls series. The new trailer below might not make it clear, but this other recent footage (which seems to be be more of a raw capture of the render sent to the HMD) shows of combat that looks just like the Souls series, with a shortened Bloodborne dash, and a static camera position for each room.

My impression is that they are intent on releasing only for the Oculus, but seemingly all of the footage I can find makes it seem like it hardly justifies VR at all. I’ve seen countless VR experiences where they instantly and clearly present the mechanics that are only possible in VR, getting your mind to run through all the crazy possibilities; while Chronos doesn’t seem to do that at all. The Tested guys covered the game recently at Oculus Game Days, and again, I saw absolutely nothing that wasn’t feasible for no tracking with mouse look, or soft tracking with right analog adjustment (almost exactly like Rocket League’s camera). I get the whole VR rush, but for such a standard title, it would be immensely foolish to not put in the minuscule amount of effort required to sell it outside of VR.

Dark Souls III – Japanese Launch Trailer [ SPOILERS ] / Tons of New Footage

The game has released in Japan, and along with it we also have the end of a few embargoes and a launch trailer. While relatively boring and reminiscent of the original Dark Souls intro cutscene for two minutes, it explodes into a variety of new bosses, attacks, weapons, regions, and weather effects that most likely haven’t seen, in the final 30 seconds. It’s only a few glimpses of a tiny portion of the game, but those hoping to go in blind should avoid watching as some of the reveals seem quite major.

It’s 30FPS console footage, but from a number of players we also have a wealth of 60FPS footage in 1080 and even 4K, and almost all of the Souls-centered streamers are playing the game live on Twitch and will be for the foreseeable future. BR34K has three dozen clips, while Oroboro and MrIwont4get have started their playthroughs.

For full disclosure, I have no stake in any of the games or companies mentioned and the opinions shared are entirely my own.

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