So we had a barrage of new game announcements and gameplay reveals but in the absence of E3, was it actually Summer Game Fest or something else? Perhaps it was actually E3’s Force ghost, brought into being by the sheer force of will of the games industry? Whichever you slice it, it’s now over and in this week’s DF Direct Weekly, the team sits down to talk about the last reveal – Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth – while raking over the coals of the prior weeks’ festivities. Was there actually a ‘game of the show’ as such? Did Starfield, Modern Warfare 2 and Forza Motorsport make the kind of impact we were hoping for?
From a personal perspective, I believe that it’s Turn 10’s Forza Motorsport reveal that was the highlight of the various shows we saw. First of all, while there was some (actually, quite a bit) of confusion about what we were actually seeing, the main ‘talkthrough’ trailer is nothing short of a masterpiece. First of all, the scripting and story-telling via a single camera sweeping over a single circuit was beautiful, effortlessly showcasing all of the various new features the revised game had to offer. Secondly, the content was first class: ray tracing in-game is an achievement in itself but working in combination with dynamic, real-time time of day transitions and weather on all tracks is another big achievement. Deformation on the car models via realistic crashing? Nice. Subsequent to the reveal, A to B comparisons of the Maple Valley circuit also show a vast increase in detail too. I’ll leave it to Alex to explain how we think Turn 10 has achieved this, but beyond the technical analysis, I’m just really excited to see what this studio has been up to since the 2017 release of Forza Motorsport 7.
However, it’s the confusion about what we were seeing and the general notion of transparency in game media that remains slightly frustrating. Forza Motorsport was revealed with two assets – the ‘talkthrough’ was ‘in-game 4K’ and there was discussion over how the power of Xbox Series consoles makes it possible… yet the asset itself was taken from the PC build, a fact we only learned later on. Meanwhile, a second ‘sizzle’ teaser looked even better – and it turns out that this was running with replay cameras, where higher fidelity ray tracing – and RT global illumination – was added. And yet, it carried the same ‘in-game 4K’ label – so will we ever see the game look this good? On PC perhaps? I really hope that Microsoft/Summer Games Fest/other publishers can take a leaf out of Sony’s book. Its most recent State of Play stuck to PS5 footage, with explainers on all non-gameplay assets. And just generally, I honestly think that practically every title released these days looks good enough to work for games capture without the need of CG trailers, offline rendering etc.
- 00:00:00 Introduction: John, Rich and Alex make their presence known
- 00:00:58 News 1: Square reveals FF7 Rebirth and Crisis Core remake
- 00:13:56 News 2: “E3” Aftermath and thoughts
- 00:32:16 News 3: PS1 Classics are proper NTSC in the US
- 00:34:55 News 4: Jak and Daxter reverse engineered
- 00:41:28 News 5: Could Alex’s #StutterStruggle soon be over?
- 00:55:45 DF Supporter Q1: How long has Forza Motorsport been in development?
- 01:04:43 DF Supporter Q2: What could be the unique selling point of Switch 2?
- 01:08:13 DF Supporter Q3: Do you think 4K gaming is relevant? Is it worth the effort?
- 01:12:37 DF Supporter Q4: Are you guys aware of the RGB-Pi?
- 01:13:36 DF Supporter Q5: 60 fps w/ DLSS quality or 90-120 w/ DLSS performance?
- 01:15:19 DF Supporter Q6: What type of milk do you all like in your tea?
- 01:16:48 DF Supporter Q7: What country would you guys like to visit soon?
Beyond that, the team shares its excitement about the Jak and Daxter decompilation project – essentially a rebuilding of the original code, opening the door to the game running on multiple modern platforms with the scope for a multitude of improvements, while John shares good news about the US launch of the PlayStation Plus classic line-up – while still problematic in some ways, it’s at least free of PAL 50Hz titles. The status of the UK/EU offering remains to be seen, but we’ll find out later this week and will report back on it.
Meanwhile, Alex also shares news of his key concerns about Unreal Engine being tackled by the developers at Epic. As you may know, there’s a big stuttering problem in PC titles at the moment, with UE4 games showing the biggest issues. The good news is that Epic is aware of the problem and is looking to sort improve the situation. We’ll keep you posted!
As usual, the show ends with our supporter Q+A section, where backers of the DF Supporter Program offer up their comments and queries. This week, everything from the development schedule of Forza Motorsport and the potential ‘gimmicks’ of Nintendo’s next generation hardware are discussed. On a more personal level, we share our post-pandemic travel plans and even what kind of milk we like in our tea! We’re really proud of our community, so do consider joining us! Oh – and if you missed our Xbox Showcase DF Direct Special last week, do check that out!