We Should Worry About Anthem’s Future….

What the hell is going on in the gaming community? Over the past few months, developers and publishers have been showing the shady side of the video gaming business, with outrages micro-transactions to releasing beta stage games on release day, the video game community has really shown an ugly side. By now everyone knows about the Fallout fiasco, and how Bethesda pretty much alienate its own game and fans, something Bethesda isn’t known for. Fallout 76 is a broken mess, players are hacking their way through the game and Bethesda is handling this issue poorly, granted Bethesda did release an apology, but it fell on deaf ears. The damage is done and Bethesda will have to repair its relationship with its fans because of it.

The Latest fiasco comes by the way of BioWare’s Anthem, EA is notorious for killing great IP’s and Anthem is another casualty of that. Anthem was high, I mean highly anticipated upon its release. Fans at E3 got a glimpse of what Anthem was going to be, with its beautiful graphics and promise of rich and vibrant world fans jumped on board with BioWare’s next project despite knowing EA’s history of egregious monetization of its games. So, when the beta of Anthem was released fans were not surprised with the games instore item prices, the outrage made EA and BioWare backtrack and promise fans the item prices were subject to change before its final release.

Unfortunately, things got worse for BioWare, Anthem released in beta like state, with limited in-game content and poor customization features. Players quickly called out BioWare and EA for Anthem’s poor content and the game’s sales showed that. BioWare fans were sure EA was going to crack the whip on BioWare and shut the studio down, but Anthem producer Michael Gamble reassure fans a shutdown wasn’t in its future stating “Lots of folks are playing Anthem” also promising support of Anthem will continue over next couple months. While the reassurance was a good start, fans question whether EA was actually behind this.

As a fan I find it hard to believe anything PR related by EA, they have shown clearly, they do not care about its fans. As for BioWare, its extremely disappointing that Anthem was released in such a bad state, past games such as Dragon Age and the beloved Mass Effect franchise are some of the most popular IP’s in the industry. What BioWare does next is going to be crucial to Anthem’s future. In fact, it’s going to play a roll in BioWare’s future despite their recent reassurance.

Personally, I’m not optimistic about Anthem’s future, EA has ruined and shutdown too many developers and its IP’s as of late, put that with EA’s money hungry business tactics the future looks grim for Anthem. But who I ‘am I to say BioWare’s Anthem will fail, I’m just a regular guy giving his opinion.

The Bethesda store kicks off an early weekend sale

Looking to boost up your Bethesda fan apparel? Is that Vault-Tec shirt evading you still? Bethesda is blowing out some of their apparel for an extended weekend sale, given items are about 25-50% off it’s a pretty solid deal for fans of Fallout, Doom, Wolfenstein, Dishonored and more.

Keep in mind it’s only on apparel exclusively so everything else is business as usual.

Source: Bethesda Store

Darkhorse & Bethesda team up for three Art books this May

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We’re pleased to announce that we’ve teamed up with Bethesda to create three incredible art books – “The Art of Wolfenstein: The New Order”, “The Art of The Evil Within” and “Dishonored: The Dunwall Archives”. Each hardcover book, packed with art and game design details, will retail for $39.99.

The first in the collection, “The Art of Wolfenstein: The New Order”, features full-color artwork from MachineGames’ upcoming first-person action-adventure shooter as well as developer commentary from the team. The book spans more than 200 pages and covers all facets of the game’s design, including concept art, character designs, , settings and technology – all of which was inspired by Wolfenstein’s alternate 1960’s setting. Check out sample pages from the book on http://www.bethblog.com.

“The Art of Wolfenstein: The New Order” will available in North America at your local comic retailer on May 14th and your favorite bookseller on May 27th.

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“The Art of The Evil Within” and “Dishonored: The Dunwall Archives” follow, with release dates in August and November respectively.

Wolfenstein: The New Order has not yet been rated by the ESRB. For more information on the game visit: www.wolfenstein.com.

(PC) Skyrim Update 1.6 Includes Mounted Combat

It was not long ago when Bethesda promised fans that Skyrim will add game changing  updates Fans asked for certain things to be implemented in the game, one of those things where Mounted Combat since Oblivion fans wanted it but it never happened. When Skyrim was announced fans thought it would be part of the game already but that didn’t happened until now.

The  Bethblog has mention that mounted combat has been added in the latest beta patch, plyaers can opt in and try in out right now by selecting Skyrim from the beta participation list on the accounts tab on your Steam settings menu

The patch also fixes a few glitches with the recently added ranged and magic kill cams, another feature added in a post-launch patch. We expected a bunch of post-release bug fixes, but these bonus features are a pleasant surprise. Grab a glance at the beta patch notes here.

  • Mounted Combat – Skyrim now allows you to do melee and ranged combat while riding a horse
  • General stability and memory optimizations
  • General AI pathfinding optimizations and bug fixes
  • Optimizations and crash fixes for data leaks
  • Fixed rare crash with lighting
  • Fixed crashes related to loading and saving games
  • Fixed crash with summoned creatures/NPCs
  • Fixed rare issue where saves would be corrupted
  • Improved logic for when ranged kill cams are played
  • Fixed issue with ranged kill cams while killing a dragon
  • Fixed rare issue with certain ranged kill cams not playing properly
  • Fixed issue with nirnroot lighting not properly cleaning up
  • Fixed issue where bow damage was being calculated incorrectly
  • Fixed rare problem with werewolf kill moves would not finish animating properly
  • In “The Break of Dawn” fixed rare issue where Meridia’s Beacon would disappear from player’s inventory
  • Fixed occasional issue where followers would disappear after player pays off a bounty after committing a crime
  • Fixed issue where certain creatures and NPCs would fail to respawn properly
  • Fixed rare issue with dialogue subtitles not displaying properly
  • Fixed issue with water appearing blurry when loading a saved game after creating a save underwater

 

Bethesda’s Skyrim Getting Kinect Support!

Bethesda has recently announced later this month they will release an update which enables Kinect support for the Xbox 360, with Kinect’s support the game will have more than 200 different Voice Commands. The voice recognition will allow players to perform Dragon Shouts, Hotkey Equipping, Follower Commands and all menu’s with just your voice, new special map functions, hotkey options and the ability to organize items in your inventory by name, weight and Value.

With these new updates Bethesda is taking a great game and improving it even more, fans should enjoy these new updates and with Kinect support Bethesda will have more copies flying out of game store shelves.

 

Skyrim HD, 2K and Normal and ENB round-up

Skyrim has an ongoing list of super mods available, users are able to modify so many aspects of the game it’s almost crazy. We’re not going that far into the exploration just yet, instead we’re focusing on the visual engine and how many tweaks are just waiting to get used out there. Before jumping into that I’ll go over the hardware used in the testing and the software we used.

Test system:

  • AMD Phenom 9750 (Stock)
  • Jetway 790GX ComboL
  • 4GB Crucial DDR2 PC6400
  • ASUS EAH6850 DirectCU (950 core / 1100 memory)
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtrememusic

Software:

  • Windows 7 x64
  • 2K Texture pack for Skyrim Version 1.4
  • ENB Series mod (ENBPM 2.03 Beta)
  • Fraps (monitoring FPS and screen caps)
  • ATI Catalyst 12.2

Settings:

  • Resolution: 1920×1200
  • FXAA: On | SSAO: On (slow) | AA: Off

Skyrim is no doubt amazing to look at from a distance, the textures at their worst come off with clarity and drive home the sense of fantasy. Up close though… that’s really a different story, the textures look blocky and blurry upon closer examination (walking over them). One of the first moves from the community to restore the immersion was the 2K texture mod, a project completely revising the look of the game textures. Recently Bethesda tried their own hand at releasing a full HD kit of their own to update the PC version. The question now is, what gets it done the best and that’s what we’re looking at now.

Outdoor comparison:

 
Normal Textures – (Left: no ENB | Right: ENB on)

 
2K Texture Pack – (Left: no ENB | Right: ENB on)

 
HD Texture DLC – (Left: no ENB | Right: ENB on)

Biggest thing to take out of the outdoor shots? 2K demolishes both without hesitation, in fact it’s a huge difference walking through the world and over land masses. Sure if you fast travel everywhere it doesn’t matter as much but that’s not exactly for everyone and after a while you need to explore to find those extra hidden areas in the map. ENB manages to help polish up all 3 options as well, you can be on normal and get an entirely new sense of depth to Skyrim thanks to the ENB mods being made.

Where does the HD DLC really kick in then? It’s actually indoors that I noticed the biggest kick, with the 2K kit establishing a large lead I left the next comparisons down to the normal and DLC textures instead.

Indoor comparison:

 
Normal Textures – (Left: no ENB | Right: ENB on)

 
HD Texture DLC – (Left: no ENB | Right: ENB on)

Here we see the HD pack shine, it adds definition to the sheets for threads and revises the chest completely, floor textures like the rugs and coverings all get a revamp for higher clarity. While the outdoor scenes may not show it, tighter spaces make heavy use of the revised HD textures. The primary difference to the 2K pack is the illusion of bump mapping and depth to the textures in the 2K pack for more realistic walls and added depth to tables. This all comes at a cost as we’ll see in the performance section. Before going there, we’ll take a close up with character models and the HD pack update to clothing and overall design.

 
Normal Textures – (Left: no ENB | Right: ENB on)

 
HD Texture DLC – (Left: no ENB | Right: ENB on)

Huge shift in the shirt is the first thing I picked up, clothing gets a massive overhaul to give actual definition to the characters. Faces, hair and other items also take up a boost but that shirt… it’s like it’s from a different game. Odd enough if you’re running ENB you’re able to potentially mask some of the horror in the blurry textures thanks to the post processing effects masking it with heavier shadows and blur.

It’s amazing what can be done with just a revamp, but these do come with their own damage. Lets take a look at the Memory and FPS hit running these mods.

Memory in GB (1.46GB before starting Skyrim):

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FPS:

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Memory wise it’s almost confusing why Skyrim HD DLC takes up nearly as much memory as the 2K pack given how it performs outdoors, it seems likely the bulk of it focuses on armor, models and structural spaces more than anything. The 2K pack is the clear winner for overhaul sake but it also does require a large amount of memory and it has the biggest performance hit out of the list. When using heavier ENB mods like ENBPM you’ll drop FPS in half if not worse which is a gamble unless you have the hardware to back it up. Either way they both work to leave the stock pack of textures in the dust and it should be a clear recommendation to at least get the HD pack if you have the memory to spare. For those more adventurous there are users also combining the two for an ultra texture mod of traditional art and the 2K pack.

For those wondering if ENB always takes that much power away, no. It’s strictly on a case by case basis and many of the mods don’t induce that hard of a performance hit but finding the perfect one for your setup may require investing some time in tweaking the configuration yourself.

Thanks for tuning in with us and if you have questions feel free to ask in the comments.

Downloads: 2K Texture Pack (Skyrim Nexus) | ENB Series Presets | ENBPM 2.03 beta | ENBPM Feedback

Skyrim Content Creation Kit goes live, packs High Resolution Textures too!

It’s on now, the race to convert files over to handy packages for the content creation kit. On top of that, Bethesda has gone forward with their own texture mod for the game given that your system can tolerate it. I’m currently running the 2K texture pack but I’ll remove that and do a comparison gallery of all 3 to give you guys an impression of what it all looks like in the end.

I’d give you a link to the update but all you need to do is let Steam do it for you. For any additional details check out the official Skyrim website for more.

*Update: Changed out video, Bethesda direct feed keeps dumping errors

Bethesda reveals Content Creation Kit video for Skyrim

So you’ve worked through Skyrim and you’re hoping for easier ways to get mods or even create your own? Today Bethesda releases their first teaser on the Content Creation Kit for Skyrim, it will be arriving soon via Steam as a freebie to work with. Still we lack a hard date on the release but it’s still good news for the community to have some official tools to work with and a great level of mod ability outside of just the graphic packs. Time to get to work on all of those new stories and worlds!

Check out the video below for the teaser. We’ll keep you posted when it breaks.

Bethesda releases Skyrim 1.3 Patch to PC

So Bethesda broke the game for a moment there but now it’s fixed or at least they’re hoping it’s all fixed again with today’s 1.3 patch for Skyrim. Xbox and Playstation users will need to hold out an extra few days as Sony and Microsoft run the patch through their approval systems, kind of a pain but it’s always that way for those platforms. PC users will notice it already loading over Steam as a game update and everything should be fine from there.

The total changelog is here:

Update 1.3 Notes (all platforms unless specified)

  • General stability improvements
  • Optimize performance for Core 2 Duo CPUs (PC)
  • Fixed Radiant Story incorrectly filling certain roles
  • Fixed magic resistances not calculating properly
  • Fixed issue with placing books on bookshelves inside player purchased homes
  • Fixed dragon animation issues with saving and loading
  • Fixed Y-look input to scale correctly with framerate

The team also plans to address 4GB memory spaces officially, users having issues can already download a patch from Skyrim Nexus to attack this directly.

Source: BethBlog

Skyrim PC 1.2 issues? There’s a fix for it

So you downloaded the 1.2 patch for Skyrim or Steam shoveled it down your PC’s throat and now your resistance is gone and Dragons are moonwalking in the sky. Instead of waiting on Bethesda to get a patch approved and out for the masses you can skip all that nonsense and grab the SKSE mod by an independent team to fix this and get your game playable. We love Bethesda but seriously, releasing a game breaking patch is a hell of a thing.

Download: SKSE Mod 1.02

You’ll also need WinRAR, Ultimate Zip or 7zip to open the file.

Credit to the community at large and The Black Horse Courier for keeping everyone in the loop