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As if the whole brouhaha about Mafia 3’s 30fps cap wasn’t enough of a terrible portent, there’s an issue that’s affected many purchasers of the game, including me — one that means we can’t even play the game we paid for. In the physical Deluxe editions, it seems like the majority have not included any Steam keys, making the product a glorified paperweight.

The Amazon page for this version of the game is full of one-star reviews from people who had the same problem, along with one smug asshole who actually did get a code and should probably go buy a lottery ticket. There are multiple threads on the Steam forums about this as well (the second one there featuring a 2K rep sticking his head in, followed by him doing this at the realization of what was happening), as well as Best Buy’s forum and *shudder* reddit. There’s also an anecdotal story floating around that a Gamestop received 25 copies total, and 17 of them were missing inserts.

The cool thing is that retailers won’t take refunds for PC games, and 2K has zero interest in either rectifying this or even admitting that it’s an issue. Amazon and Best Buy have removed the game from sale, but 2K has yet to issue any kind of response to this, opting for complete radio silence instead. When I contacted them to see if there was anything they could do about this, even offering to provide photographic proof that I bought the game, I got this response:

Thank you for contacting 2K support. I’m sorry to hear that you are missing your Key, I know how frustrating it can be when your game doesn’t come complete.

Sadly, as this was a physical copy of the game, you will have to contact your retailer for more information about your key.

We are however trying to gather information, so if you don’t mind, could you provide the following information:

  • Which retailer did you use to purchase your copy of Mafia III?

  • Which region of the world do you live in?

A big fat “fuck off,” more or less. So now we’re all stuck here with a bunch of useless discs until somewhere, someone at 2K gets their head out of their ass and sends out some goddamn codes.

 

[UPDATE: Once this started showing up on news outlets, 2K decided maybe they should actually do something, and are in the process of sending codes. Finally.]

The opening to the above trailer really “gets it” when it comes to the quality of the Sonic franchise. Speeding through Sonic’s history, it eventually hits a point where everything begins to rewind, and an admission that things haven’t been so great flashes up on the screen. In an odd moment of sobriety, SEGA realizes that what made the Sonic games so iconic are locked up in the 90s.

So here’s Sonic Mania, which appears to be taking a page from Mega Man 9 and 10’s book, and that kind of announcement is coming at what may be the most crucial time for this franchise. Generations was a hit, and Colors did well for SEGA, but the goodwill earned by those two titles was quickly undone by Lost Worlds and Sonic Boom. The latter of which marked a record low in sales for the franchise. If Sonic wasn’t on life support before, that certainly put him there.

Mania shows promise, though many could cite the “Sonic Cycle” as being in full effect here. However, Christian Whitehead, who spearheaded the HD remake of Sonic CD and the iphone ports of Sonic 1 and 2 appears to be closely tied to the project, and that’s the key element that might just set this thing apart. Sonic CD was incredibly well handled, and what was even more impressive about it was that Whitehead essentially had to remake the original physics engine from the ground up. While I haven’t played the iphone versions of Sonic 1 and 2, they are also held in high regard. Whitehead tried to remake a cut level and additional final boss stage for CD, but his efforts were shot down. He later got his chance to make a brand new level in an official capacity in the form of Hidden Palace Zone for the iphone release of Sonic 2. It looks like now he’s going to be able to do a whole lot more, as Sonic Mania will not only feature remixed versions of classic levels, but will have brand new levels with original assets. Even Sonic’s sprite has undergone a redesign of sort, though it retains just enough of the charm that made the original 90s design of the character work.

Sonic Mania will release in Spring 2017 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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Telltale has released a few screenshots of their upcoming Batman game, along with information on the game’s cast.

Troy Baker will be taking on the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne, alongside Laura Bailey as Catwoman/Selina Kyle, Travis Willingham as Harvey Dent, Erin Yvette as Vicki Vale, Enn Reitel as Alfred, Murphey Guyer as James Gordon, and Richard McGonagle as Carmine Falcone.

That cast is oddly similar to Year One, though there’s no confirmation on whether not Telltale’s take on Batman will pull any influence from Frank Miller’s story. They do however seem to be talking up the fractured nature of Bruce’s psyche, and that players can choose to go through some sections of the game as either Bruce Wayne or Batman.

Here’s hoping the playerbase doesn’t fall as quickly as the first game, which was narrowly beaten for our 2014 Best Multiplayer Golden Gizmo by some weird semi-browser game full of bugs and insanity. You have George (and the aforementioned exodus of players) to thank for that one.

No date is given in this very short, unsubstantial teaser, but it’s prooobably safe to say that it’ll be late this year or early next year. It does mention a “worldwide reveal” on June 12th, because I guess this trailer isn’t a reveal, and the internet isn’t worldwide. Man, what have I been doing all this time?

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I feel like I’ve been hearing about No Man’s Sky for years and years now, but on June 21st, I might actually get to play it. That is, of course, if the game is not *~delayed further into 2016~*.

No Man’s Sky will apparently retail for a whopping 60$, and I’m not quite sold on that price. If you’re a crazy person, you can drop a fat stack (roughly 150$) for the Explorer’s edition, which will include a hand-painted cast metal display of the Atlas ship in 1:35 scale. It even comes with some decals to make it your very own. The CE will also come with a special mystery item to be revealed at a later date. The mystery item could be anything!

The Explorer’s edition will only be available thorugh iam8bit, and only contains a code for the PC version of the game, though. PS4 owners can snag a special edition of their own, however, which includes a art book, a “starter pack” of various ship upgrades and weapons, comic book, and comes packaged in a steelbook case all for a cool 80$.

Which is kind of funny, because if you’ve played a Firaxis game at launch, you could probably discern it would be on face value alone.

Speaking with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Jake Solomon (lead designer on XCOM 2) expressed that Firaxis had NO IDEA their game could be shipping in such a janky state, claiming “I can honestly say that we didn’t know it would be this way […] I didn’t see these issues. We didn’t catch this stuff in compatibility testing.” Those issues include: missing animations, frequent framerate issues, corrupted saves, an issue dealing with flanked enemies providing no flanking bonus, hanging during “alien activity” phases, and – hell – how about just taking a gander at this thread on Reddit that thoroughly details issues with the game.

While I personally find it a bit questionable that that apparently none of these many issues popped up during play testing, I guess we’re just going to have to take Firaxis’s word on it. The developer is taking ownership of the bugs and intends to roll out patches over time that aim to resolve them. Without drawing specific comparisons to other troubled PC games, I’m just going to wait and see how far Firaxis is willing to go with their fixes before calling it a D-A-Y.

Konami has been totally silence about MGO3 on the PC, saying nothing more than “eh that’ll probably be coming sometime in January.” Well that sometime is tonight at 10pm (PT) according to Metal Gear Online community manager Robert Peeler, who announced in a twitch stream that the totally unnecessary and tacked on multiplayer mode for 2015’s game of the year will launch on PC in the form of a “small beta.” In order to take part in the beta, you’ll have to opt in via MGSV. But if you’re already playing MGSV, maybe just enjoy that game for what it is and don’t muck up the experience by delving deep into the world of Metal Gear Online.

Or do, I’m not your mother.

UPDATE 1/13/16: Aaaaand it’s gone. The beta was pulled earlier today after Konami discovered an exploit that allowed users to gain free MB Coins (MGSV’s form of microtransaction currency.) There’s no word yet on when the beta will return to Steam.

Even my character looks fucking done with this game a scant 10 minutes in.

Even my character looks fucking done with this game a scant 10 minutes in.

Fallout 4 is the latest game the Internet seems to be blowing its collective load over, and I find that baffling, cause it ain’t a good game.
If you don’t want to read several paragraphs where I get mad about Fallout 4, then let me sum things up for you right out of the gate: there’s an overabundance of content, and approximately zero soul. Basically, it’s every major RPG Bethesda has released since Oblivion, and while content over quality is something that may have worked in, say, 2008 when Fallout 3 was brand new, it shouldn’t get a pass now.
But I have more to say about that, so why not hit that little “read more” button and watch me lose my damn mind about this video game.

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Oh hey, would you look at that. Arkham Knight, previously pulled from Steam for being a fat load of broken garbage, is now back on the marketplace. Furthermore, it appears some of the game’s more glaring issues have been patched, including missing effects, stuttering, and a capped framerate. Hooray!

Ok, maybe celebrating is a bit premature, as it appears the latest version of the game has a host of problems all its own. Here are the big ones to watch out for:

  • Hard drive paging issues, which force users to restart the game periodically. This seems to mostly affect users running Windows 7…
  • 12GBs of suggested RAM for computers running Windows 10 in order to ensure a smoother performance and prevent similar paging issues to those experienced by Windows 7 users. (This was put out by Warner Bros but at the time of this writing is not reflected on the game’s steam page.)
  • No SLI support because what year did you think this was?
  • Although not reported by Warner Bros. directly, there are reports of others experiencing stuttering during cutscenes, the game failing to launch, and in general continuing to be kind of a mess.

The icing on the cake: reviews dated before the 28th of October on the Steam page for Arkham Knight are now being listed as “pre-release” reviews, even though the game totally released prior to now. At this time, it’s not clear exactly who is tagging these reviews as being for a pre-release title, or whether or not it’s the byproduct of the game being delisted and then returning. All things considered, though, it’s patently erroneous. (Update: it looks like these tags are now being removed, although if you still want your sweet delicious icing, you can read this Digital Foundry report that states nothing about Arkham Knight has been improved since the September interim patch.)

If you’re wondering what our review score is for the PC version of Arkham Knight, it’s a 1/10, with zero bloodstained crowbars out of a possible 5 for a combined total of Burn This Game in a Garbage Heap.

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I don’t have an image to represent that, so this’ll have to do.

 

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If you’re like me and you wanted to go and buy someone a copy of Bad Rats their morning, only to find that the Steam storefront was down, well, here’s the reason why.

Last week, a vulnerability allowed others access to your account provided they had your username. This was done from a loophole in the password request system. It’s since been fixed (hence the downtime earlier), but the exploit may have been available since the 21st.

There is some good news. Valve seems to be able to detect who may have been effected, and will be issuing password resets to those impacted. Also, if you had Steam Guard enabled, then you should be fine, as it’s a two-step process based on hardware. Still, that would only impact someone’s ability to log in, and passwords for those with Steam Guard may have been modified.