Gaming Weekly (8/7-8/14): No Man’s Sky Debuts to Impressive Commercial Response, Unofficial Pokémon Uranium Game Releases, Much More
This week in gaming was home to No Man’s Sky, a high-quality unofficial Pokémon game, and an abundance of news stories and developments. Not bad for the latter portion of the summer gaming drought!
Let’s take a look at the specifics and catch you up with everything newsworthy and related to gaming over the last seven days!
No Man’s Sky Releases to Impressive Fan Reception
After years upon years of eager anticipation, fans can now enjoy No Man’s Sky.
The long-awaited sci-fi exploration title hit store shelves this week—Tuesday, August 9 for the PS4 version and Friday, August 12 for the PC—and was immediately loved by many. Hello Games, the company behind No Man’s Sky, has indicated that sales are strong thus far. They’ve also been hard at work keeping the game’s servers online—something that’s not easy to do, given the massive influx of new players (creator Sean Murray commented on Twitter that over ten million species have been discovered already!).
While there have been some issues, including a tough Steam debut that made playing difficult for some, included in the game’s launch, the fact remains that it’s made a massive splash and that many gamers are taking note of it. And regardless of what you personally think of the game, it’s important to bear in mind just how important this universal notoriety is; countless films and video games have demonstrated that making general audiences aware of a new piece of media is much more beneficial to success than making a smaller audience aware of the idea that a new piece of media is good.
Furthermore, I’ve played No Man’s Sky extensively, and to save your valuable time and make things as easy as possible; I’ll answer your burning question in one word.
Should I buy No Man’s Sky?
In all seriousness, the game is a masterful technical achievement that’s also fun, intriguing, and entirely unique. No Man’s Sky changes the way sci-fi games will be played and made moving forward.
Nordic Games Rebrands as THQ Nordic, Plans to Release New Entries in THQ Games
Based in Austria and responsible for developing a number of high-profile titles, Nordic Games has officially rebranded as THQ Nordic. This move comes after they acquired the rights to several series from the now-defunct THQ, including Darksiders, de Blob, MX vs. ATV, and Red Faction.
The maneuver makes sense, given the recognition of THQ. Still, this recognition alone won’t be enough to turn a profit where the previous studio could not; the Nordic execs have a difficult task in front of them, in finding a way to make a substantial amount of money from titles that require an abundance of resources—related to both labor and finance—to create. Focus too much on quality and development costs will skyrocket; focus too much on profits and quality will suffer (with consumer confidence and sales deteriorating not long after).
Good luck to THQ Nordic—hopefully they’ll be making new games for fans well into the future.
Pokémon Uranium Releases on PC
Pokémon Uranium is an entirely fan-made game that allows players, with respect to beloved Pokémon tradition and elements, to explore a new environment, collect and battle with over 150 entirely unique Pokémon (made originally and specifically for Uranium, in addition to other, already existing Pokémon), trade and battle online, and complete a full-length journey.
I hadn’t read about Uranium before its release and was unaware that it was even being developed. According to the small team behind the title, Uranium has been in the pipe for nine whole years—astonishing, but likely accurate, given the game’s scope. Perhaps the craziest part of the entire situation is that the title is being given away for free, and can be downloaded from any number of sources.
I’m not often impressed by non-official developments of beloved series, but this is one of the exceptions. After watching some Uranium footage and playing a bit of the game on my own PC, I can guarantee two things: The title’s purchase price is worth it, and the title’s developers really, really, really like Pokémon.
Oh, and they should absolutely work on their own game now—one that they’re able to profit from!
Rime, Previously a PS4 Exclusive, May Now Release on Multiple Platforms
Rime is an adventure game that’s obviously similar in style to Ico—based on this alone; it’s garnered quite a following since its announcement in 2013. I actually remember hearing of the game around this time.
Three long years after this initial reveal, Rime notably has yet to release. Fans have been assured of its eminent debut through gameplay, as well as a more substantial general release date of 2017. Now, GameSpot and other sources are reporting that Rime may release on multiple platforms as opposed to just the PS4.
This comes after Tequila Games re-acquired the rights to development from Sony. In other words, they didn’t like the developmental guidance of Sony employees, and they decided to turn down funding to craft the game on their own.
This entire situation is interesting and unordinary, and however it plays out, I’ll be happy when the dust settles, and Rime is available for purchase.
Besides No Man’s Sky, this week in gaming was a bit uneventful. Like always, though, next week will probably be better—we’re close to entering the industry’s most successful time of year.
See you next week, and remember to take it easy on No Man’s Sky (no more than eight hours of play per sitting!).