written by Fyren
Deep Mind AI wins Starcraft 2
Google’s DeepMind AI project has learned a new trick. The AI trained itself to play the absurdly complex strategy game Starcraft 2 by playing years worth of matches in the span of a few weeks. This is what sets the AI apart from the ‘bots’ that we are used to facing in games. The AI learned from its experiences and adjusted its strategies on the fly based on the results. Essentially, learning through trial and error at a ludicrous speed. After the short training phase, DeepMind went into an exhibition match against some of the top Starcraft 2 professional players under its codename, AlphaStar. It proceeded to beat both human opponents in a clean sweep, 5 to 0 against each. So, not only are the robot overlords coming for our jobs, they are also coming for our games.
Fallout 76 not going free to play
Despite rumors floating about that due to poor sales and a rapidly dwindling player base Fallout 76 would be going free to play, that seems to not be the case. Bethesda came out and dispelled those rumors via Twitter saying only that there was no truth to the rumors. A very short response that is obviously expected. A company never admits to going F2P until they are ready to make the transition because they want to continue selling any copies of the game they can manage up until the last second. Fallout 76 does fit the profile of a F2P game though with plenty of potential for monetization and micro-transactions already present in the game.
Anthem’s press build is solid
Early reviews are out from Anthem’s press release build of the game, which is nothing more that a beefy demo build. The expected comparison’s to Destiny and Warframe are being made immediately. Unfortunately, in this early build nearly all details of the progression system are obfuscated, including the all-important end game. The full game isn’t due out until February 22nd, and it is likely that the full picture will not be available until then. Another question that continues to go unanswered is what form the in game micro-transactions will take. One glowing point from the glorified demo is the effort put in to the story. The cutscenes and voice acting look and sound absolutely marvelous, though I did notice some odd facial animation that were a bit reminiscent of Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Two game delays were announced this week. First, Planetside Arena has been delayed by at least 2 more months to continue work on critical systems that are central to the game. Of all the attempts at other franchises making a Battle Royale spinoff, I think the Planetside franchise is uniquely positioned to make something special out of it. Secondly, Metroid Prime 4 has not only been delayed but has been scrapped completely and restarted from scratch. Nintendo said that the project just wasn’t turning out as intended and needed to be done over entirely in order to deliver a quality game. This is why delays always give me conflicting emotions. On one hand it sucks to have to wait for something that promises to be great. On the other, a delay usually means that the finished project is going to be even better. Either the game had some serious issues or needs a fair bit of polish when a delay occurs and its nice to see a company committing to not releasing a substandard product. Too often we see rushed games that release too early and in a pretty sorry state.