PS5 exclusive Destruction AllStars is the next generation of car crashing
Destruction AllStars is a game about smashing cars. It’s right there, the first word in the title. It’s also a major milestone for the PS5 — a huge exclusive that’s solely on the next-gen console that isn’t a remake or stretching across generations.
It’s a title that will, by necessity, be used to showcase what kind of games developers can make when given free rein of the PS5’s new features and firepower. But smashing is still the heart of Destruction AllStars: so much so that the seed of the game was a simple idea. “Imagine how awesome we can make damage on PS5,” John McLaughlin, a senior producer at Sony XDev, tells The Verge.
It was a short jump from there to partnering with Lucid Games for development, given the studio’s heritage. Game director Colin Berry had previously worked on Sony’s Wipeout series, while other Lucid members came from other classic car games, like Metropolis Street Racer, Project Gotham Racing, and MotorStorm. “One thing that was for sure was that these guys knew cars,” says McLaughlin. “And then we basically went to those guys with that seed and said ‘We want to do something on PS5, with lots of destruction and cool stuff — what’s your idea, what’s your pitch?’”
The Lucid team returned with a different kind of combat car game. As McLaughlin explains, “They came to us, not so much with Destruction AllStars — the name came later on — but they came with the pitch of a game that featured cars, featured loads of destruction, [and] encouraged destruction. It wasn’t about hiding from the destruction, it was all about smashing and racking as fast as you can, and so on.”
The other goal was to raise the bar for a destruction derby-style game. While older games would cheat at showing damage or debris, hiding behind texture swaps or low-resolution polygons, Destruction AllStars tries to offer a better experience, according to Berry. “Regarding the PlayStation 5 and what we were told about the specs early on, that we could look at doing deformation and damage and the physics in a way that we haven’t done before, and to a level that we haven’t done before. So, the crumpling of the cars, the amount of parts of each car is made up, all of these wrecks, we can really push the bolt on those kinds of things.”
That level of detail in the titular destruction is a big part of why Destruction AllStars is limited to just the PS5 — even when a PS4 port would have opened up the game to more players, a key thing in a game that’s heavily focused on multiplayer modes. A PS4 version just “wouldn’t have performed the same in terms of the damage and the defamation and the physics, actually in the game,” says Berry.
The flip side of that exclusivity, of course, is what happens to Destruction AllStars next. As a free PS5-exclusive title on offer through PlayStation Plus for the next two months, it’ll be virtually guaranteed a huge opening audience, much in the same way that previous PS Plus hits like Rocket League or Fall Guys have achieved. Rocket League went on to become an internet sensation, with massive esports tournaments that are still popular even years after release. Fall Guys, on the other hand, has largely faded into the background, hamstrung by new content that trickled out too slowly to keep most players’ interest after the first few weeks.
“We have a plan, we have a roadmap, not just for the … launch window of the game, but for the first three, four weeks down the line, for a couple of months down the line, for the next year,” says McLaughlin, with new characters, new game modes, and more all planned for free in the future. “We’ve got a plan on a schedule of content over the coming year that I think is going to keep people entertained and engaged and keep them coming back and wonder what they’re dropping this week, and wonder what they’re dropping next week.”
Destruction AllStars is available as a free download for PlayStation Plus subscribers on the PlayStation 5 for the months of February and March.
Published at Tue, 02 Feb 2021 15:00:00 +0000
Cheaters are ruining Call of Duty: Warzone
Cheaters in Call of Duty: Warzone are ruining the game and forcing professional players to abandon it. Game hacks and cheat software are being widely used in the battle royale hit, and it has left the community of millions of players feeling frustrated with the lack of attention from publisher Activision and developer Infinity Ward.
Cheating in some of the world’s top PC games has been getting worse over the past year, and aimbots and wallhacks are now increasingly common in the industry’s most competitive shooters. Aimbots automatically lock onto opponents’ heads, making it easy to wipe out waves of players. Wallhacks expose everyone on a map, so cheaters get a huge advantage by knowing where their opponents are at all times. In battle royale games, which ask players to spend sometimes between 20 to 30 minutes playing a single match, losing to a cheater can be especially frustrating.
Cheating has reached a breaking point for some who primarily play Warzone. YouTuber Vikkstar123 quit the game last week, after a cheater was blatantly using wallhacks and aimbots and streaming to Facebook Gaming.
The cheater was even part of Facebook’s Level Up program, so they were able to freely stream game cheats and actually make money doing so. Facebook has now demonetized the cheater. But since the company did not ban them, the streamer continued with blatant wallhacks enabled just hours ago.
Vikkstar isn’t alone in his frustrations. A $250,000 Warzone tournament was rocked by accusations of cheating last month, when rival high-profile players accused a Canadian player of using an aimbot, which the player denied. It led to a situation where a member of the esports organization 100 Thieves searched through the computer of the accused player live on Twitch, in an attempt to find cheating software.
Prominent Warzone players Nickmercs and YouTuber Drift0r have also both been highly vocal about the rise of cheating in Warzone. This latest round of outcries follows months of issues with hacking in the game, where players have regularly spotted people using aimbots and wallhacks and sharing clips on Reddit and TikTok.
The response from Activision and Infinity Ward has lacked urgency. Activision made it clear it has “zero tolerance” for cheaters in Warzone nearly a year ago, when it moved to ban thousands of players. By October, Infinity Ward revealed it had banned more than 200,000 accounts for cheating across Warzone and Modern Warfare. There’s a vague promise of “additional security updates and added backend enforcement tools,” but many players feel there isn’t enough being done to combat the problem.
Cheating isn’t a problem that’s unique to Warzone. Popular games like PUBG, Destiny 2, Valorant, and many other titles have been experiencing high levels of cheating recently. People are even cheating in games like Fall Guys or Among Us, where aimbots aren’t exactly necessary.
It might seem like this cheating surge is limited to PC gaming, but it also extends to game consoles. Cheaters can purchase specially modded controllers to get an edge in games, improving aim assist, gun recoil, and more. CronusMAX is popular across both PlayStation and Xbox, and it allows players to run millions of scripts, mods, exploits, and macros to automate and improve gameplay.
The biggest problem the industry faces is tackling this collectively. There are a variety of anti-cheat solutions being used by various game developers, but it’s a cat-and-mouse game against the hackers developing the cheats. It’s very much like the malware industry, and game developers have to be on top of detecting new cheats with a sense of urgency.
Game developers are often too slow to respond to blatant cheating, or don’t do enough to communicate with the communities frustrated most by the cheating issues. With hackers able to generate huge sums from selling cheats, it increasingly looks like a problem that will get worse before it gets any better.
Published at Tue, 02 Feb 2021 13:43:02 +0000