So the new Call of Duty trailer and release date of is out, and, not surprisingly, I’m not impressed. I doesn’t take five seconds to realize Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is going to be, by far, the most grandiose of all of the CoD game to date. With empowering exoskeleton suits, fancy ship cloaking and—let’s not forget—House of Cards’ Kevin Spacey, this new installment to the franchise is gearing up to be a “testosterone filled, action-pumped joy ride to the extreme”.
The DreamCast team has yet to discuss the trailer, but the rest of the guys have never been much for loving this particular gaming series, if anything I’ve been the most supportive of it with a couple of random purchases here and there. There’s no denying that the CoD games are good—great single-player and addictive multi-player tend to do that for a game. The issues stand in the multi-player experience. Many players, including myself, claim that the multi-player side of the game is a rehash installment by installment, logically, issues have arisen as Activision releases one on a yearly basis, but here’s the thing, I don’t blame them.
The FPS genre doesn’t really allow for a huge level of diversity, it always come down to “Have this gun, now go kill something.” Also, the fact is they’re making money, any smart business would continue to milk this as long as there’s a profit involved. Quite frankly I also agree with what the CoD fans that say “if you don’t like it, then don’t buy it.” It really all comes down to preference, CoD is going to keep doing what it does well, shooting stuff and making players rage, and, though I’m not going to dish out $60 for an experience I’ve already had plenty of times, anybody else is welcome to do whatever they want with their money this November 4th, free country and all.
Recently I’ve developed a fear. I’ve been playing video games for a long time and I grew up in a scene where single player and split-screen multiplayer was the go-to experience—presently, it’s not quite like that. Since the advent of the internet the gaming world has changed—admittedly, for the better—and we’ve reached the point where I start to worry, thanks to the Prevalence of MMOs.
MMO’s have been around for a long time (since the 70s to be more precise) and they’ve been a great source of entertainment for many players around the world, and I personally have enjoyed playing them, but MMOs themselves are not the cause of my concern. What has become a problem is major developers turning their unique and amazing singleplayer experiences into a mish mashed MMO shit-storm. One of the most recent examples is The Elder Scroll Online (ESO).
We had a chance to play ESO in two of the recent betas, and we’ll have a lot to say about that later (Let’s just say it was good and bad) and excluding our critique, the game is a perfect example of my particular fear. Now that “Bethesdimax” has turned our beloved Elder Scrolls series into an MMO, will we still see single player games? Will we get to visit the provinces of Tamriel in all of its glory instead of the dumbed down experience MMOs have proven to be? My assumption is, no. Think about it, how could it be good for business?
ESO is supposed to encompass ALL of the world of Tamriel, if Bethesda releases another installment it would basically be saying “I know that ESO is doing great, and is providing a grand scale Elder Scrolls world, but let’s release a much better single player experience” as a long running fan I would simply cut my monthly subscription, and dedicate the next few hundred hours of my life to this game, and sure it’s a temporary loss, but temporary in millions is still “Not good for business”.
Another great example was the disappointment that Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) was. Now, I didn’t quite play this to its finishing point so I can’t say how good or bad it was, but Broseph did and, well, here’s a quote from an upcoming article.
“There was nothing in the game that made me feel accomplished with my character’s advancement. I didn’t feel like an awesome ass Sith Lord, All I felt like was a dual lightsaber wielding lackey going around and doing favors for random people.”
The previous being a sentiment that players of the original Knights of The Old Republic would never share.
I believe that this series would have done better had they taken the single player direction. SWTOR is games were you could strip the multiplayer out and would still be an entirely playable game, albeit a crappy one.
But speaking of a more personal experience, to me the immediate definition of a “Dumbed down single player experience for the sake of multiplayer” is Neverwinter. I played both of the Neverwinter Nights series previous installments (Including an exorbitant amount of mods) and they were amazing top-down RPG games that required strategy, know-how and dedication to triumph over the challenges the game threw at you. Neverwinter, the MMO iteration of the game, is literally a hack-and-slash 3rd person game that as far as I read (I couldn’t bear playing another minute of it without risking permanent life indignation) is entirely soloable, a prospect that only the mad would attempt in the previous entries (especially the second one.)
This is why, fair readers, I am afraid. I believe there will be a time where almost every game will incorporate some form of multiplayer, but this is something that I see in the future, where there’s people with better ideas and the tech necessary so that games don’t require getting intensely dumbed down. My greatest hope is that I’m wrong, and that ESO will be an amazing game worthy of the Elders Scrolls name, but quite frankly, I doubt it.
I’ll be honest with you, I suffer from the above mentioned almost on a daily basis, but if you still aren’t sure what I’m referring to, have you ever asked yourself “What the hell am I going to play today?” and had a wall of video games sitting in front of you? It’s the equivalent of a girl with a closet full of clothes going “I don’t have anything to wear tonight!” (Gamer with options = Prissy pretty little girls who don’t know what to wear).
There isn’t a day that goes by were I don’t get precisely this dilemma. My steam account? Not good enough; the gaming console sitting right in front of my TV screen? Won’t cut it. Now, why exactly does this happen? My “theory” is that we’ve become spoiled.
I’ve been playing video games for upwards of 15 years now, and I can still remember the days of my childhood were I would obsess over a single title, and would simply not give up until that one game was beaten, even if I had other games to choose from. Now I look at my Steam library and I can say, with confidence, that half of those games not only have I not played in a while, but are sitting in the last chapter of their story simply because I refuse to play them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the type to leave it hanging forever, but they’re sure as hell going to get postponed until I feel like giving a jolly damn about them.
And it’s all due to a single quality –I have played too many games, and now I appreciate them for their singular qualities. Ironic isn’t it? I’ve played so many games that I can easily classify them, categorize them, and know what game to play for that exact gameplay element I’m looking for. This has become something I call “Daily cravings”. One day I feel like a stealth game, but hey, I don’t have any of those, but wait! I have Witcher 2 and Warframe, but I’m not feeling “Story Driven” or “Competitive” today. Another day I feel like a thrill so I’ll play Team Fortress 2 or Left for Dead, but one too many losses or deaths, and the craving changes entirely, instead for something more relaxed and cooperative. This all eventually devolves into a sort of happy medium that has Minecraft on one monitor screen and You Tube on the other (Multi tasking seems to scratch any itch lately.)
Now, I can’t plainly state that it’s that simple, as I’m aware that a bunch of factors could be involved (Game Preferences, amounts of games owned, game availability, stress tolerance, boredom threshold, economic dispositions, peer preference, etc.) but this is the most general way I could approach the subject without having to don a monocle, and end up writing a thesis about it.
All in all, It’s this kind of situation that has driven me to literally force myself to play the first game that I see, and pressure myself to make notable progress (Even if it’s Dark Souls and I didn’t feel like crying that particular day.)
As a gamer I’ve been allowed choices, and the mere fact that I have these choices have spoiled me into neglecting what is sitting right in front of me. I guess, it’s true what they say “It’s a natural cycle to eventually take for granted the things you love the most” and boy, do I really love Video Games.
Yes, GTA V was a fun game, and it did make quite a selling, but be honest with yourself, did GTA V REALLY deserve to win the Game of The Year Award? If you’re like me you probably don’t only disagree with the decision, but you’re also quite furious with it. So here I am to discuss with you the 2 main GTA V did NOT deserve the GOTY Award:
I. Bioshock Infinite
II. The Last of Us
And that is exactly why GTA V did not deserve to win the GOTY Award. This was Dooker, hope you have a fantastic evening, goodnight.
Note: Dooker described it as this before I could read it and ready it for publishing “A rousing argument with strong foundations about why GTA V didn’t deserve to win the GOTY award.”
The first time that I heard of the Steam Machine, Valve’s new quasi-gaming PC, the only thing I thought was “Why? Who the hell is this even for?”
The concept of the damn thing daunted my mind. It was breaking the rules. There’s PC and there’s consoles. It’s how it’s always been; it’s how I thought it would always be. But now there’s this weird apparatus that’s trying to be a little bit of both.
It was later on, only about a week ago actually, that I fully grasped the concept of Steam Machine and what it was trying to do. It might have seemed obvious to some, but I’m so use to being the target of companies trying to sell me things I don’t really need, I only thought of me and why I would want a Steam Machine.
I realized this thing isn’t meant for PC gamers, it’s meant for console gamers. Now again, that might have seemed pretty obvious to most, but me, being the dense motherfucker that I am, I simply couldn’t process it for a while.
Then I realized, it’s genius, it truly is. Think of any debate in the history of EVER between a PC gamer and a console gamer, and all of the reasons why a console gamer will tell you he’s not into PC gaming. All of these “problems” are immediately “fixed” by the Steam Machine. Seriously, just let me give you a few examples.
Reason #1: PC gaming is too expensive. The solution: Starting price for a Steam Machine is 500$
Reason#2: It’s too much of a hassle. The solution: Its modular, meaning that upgrading is extremely simplified.
Reason#3: I don’t like using mouse and keyboard. The solution: it uses a controller. One that looks like my sound woofer had a threesome with a PS3 controller and a GameCube controller and then had some sort of kinky bastard child. But it’s a controller none the less.
Reason#4: I like sitting on a couch and playing on a big TV. The solution: The Steam Machine is pretty much meant to be played like a console.
I can’t think of any more reasons at the moment, but I can assure you reader, that any that you might have thought of as well, are also fixed by this miraculous machine.
I really do hope this new machine is successful. It’s revolutionary in its attempt to breach the gap between PC gamers and console gamers. I could imagine a foreseeable future in which consoles are not technically “destroyed” by these new PC/Console hybrid babies, but more so replaced and they would be the new “consoles”. The beauty of the Steam Machine is that it’s not solely built by Valve, other companies such as Alienware are building their own versions of the Steam Machine. So many people are getting into this. So what’s to stop Sony or Microsoft eventually getting into this and making their own version of it?
I might be dreaming too big and hoping for too much, but the implications of that would be amazing. If consoles were replaced and everyone was basing themselves around the same OS, literally everyone, all gamers, could play together. Fuck the console wars, fuck the stupid debates. We could all just chill out as gamers.
Now, I’m no rocket scientist but looking at the ongoing console war I’d say that we’ve reached a new level of pathetic. The current console war between Microsoft and Sony can be easily described as two dudes hitting each other over the head with sticks and everyone who’s watching arguing over why their favorite dude is better at sticking it to the other. Now as a wise man once said “it’s not the stick you’ve got but rather how long can you keep hitting someone with the stick before it breaks.” Those are some pretty smart words I wonder who said that. OH YEAH, ME.
At this point both sticks have broken in two but Microsoft and Sony are nothing if not relentless so they keep finding new and more bizarre ways to hit each other with the stick. There was Sony’s famous move of switching their large ended stick that might as well been an actual tree with a piece of twig, Microsoft covering it’s stick with barbed wire in the hopes of creating enough friction to better hold the stick with, and who could forget the one time someone stole Sony’s stick and they had to wait in the time out bin until somebody got it back.
The battle has become so boring that Sony and Microsoft have resorted to bringing out the next generation of consoles which supply such little change than the previous consoles that it’s almost laughably sad. I really don’t think my gaming experience would be any better if my PS4 could accurately process every cell on Solid Snake’s ass, why yes Kojima I would like an extreme close up of that, or by how well I can see the dirt on my penis – I mean gun. I feel like a new race is being held, one that’s far more interesting and far more innovative than the one being handled by the big boys in the shower room.
Handhelds seem to be where all the cool kids are at and who could blame them when the 3DS and the PSP vita are boasting such powerful titles on such small machines. Okay maybe not the PS vita, maybe just the 3DS. Yes PS vita we’re all very impressed by how you can run Mortal Kombat and Uncharted on your very well sized screen but I don’t think you understand why people like to play hand held video games.
The 3DS seems to be a little more focused then the PS vita given that the 3DS tries to be its own thing and the PS vita tries to be like Big Brother PS3. There’s also backwards compatibility; thank you Nintendo for acknowledging that some of us would like to play some of your older games even if it is the only thing keeping you afloat. I’M LOOKING AT YOU NEW SUPER MARIO BROS 364. Now Nintendos frantic desire to remind you of the good old days “no really they were just like this we swear” I feel like the 3DS is taking a step in the right direction, particularly the one that doesn’t lead to a spike pit.
So the 3DS manages to keep itself afloat with a few steady releases from trustworthy IPs such as; Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, Pokémon, Donkey Kong Country, Luigi’s mansion, and that one game I can’t remember. The hand held world of gaming is putting enough of a hefty fight that I could argue that they’re doing a thousand times better than the home consoles. No I’m serious. Stop laughing.
See, the thing about the hand held consoles is that they have one thing that Sony and Microsoft’s cardboard monoliths don’t. What is that you might ask? Why are you asking me this? You could have literally waited five seconds for me to say it instead of interrupting me. Now you’ve derailed me entirely and it’s taken me longer to get to the point, LOOK AT WHAT YOU’VE DONE!
Okay so the biggest advantage hand held gaming has is cheapness. No I don’t mean the kind of cheapness that’s bad I mean the kind of cheapness that’s good. Particularly the kind that’s easy on your wallet and lets you feel like you’ve made a wise purchase. Now I myself was surprised when I discovered that the 3DS was only 170 dollars and even less when buying off of someone on the internet. Now that seems like a very reasonable price for a 3DS but what really floored me was that the games for it were less than 40 dollars. 40 fucking dollars for a brand new fucking game do you know how mind blowing that is to people like me?
Now, despite having recently switched to PC gaming I’m still used to the ludicrous prices of regular console gaming. In fact even in PC gaming brand new games are usually worth the same amount despite including special deals. Who could forget that one time that pre ordering Bioshock Infinite got you THREE FUCKING GAMES? DID YOU FORGET? CAUSE I FUCKING DIDN’T. But seriously, 40 dollars for a game is something I can’t get behind. It’s not just 40 dollars for a game either it’s usually 40 dollars for a good game. We all know how well the 3DS’s games have been as of late. Can we say the same for the PS3 and the 360? No, shut up, Grand Theft Auto doesn’t count.
Another massive advantage I see in hand held gaming would be exclusivity because many of the bestselling games for home consoles are out for ALL home consoles, except for the WiiU because the WiiU don’t give a shit about your gun shooters. You know, now that I think about it. The Wii and the WiiU are very similar to hand held consoles. Nintendo keeps making their hand helds bigger and bigger and the WiiU practically comes with a handheld for you to play with.
Oh my god they’re trying to fuse Hand Held consoles with House Hold consoles. QUICK SOMEBODY CALL THE POLICE BEFORE THEY MAKE ANOTHER VIRTUAL BOY!