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.
We’re launching or video content non-stop but don’t worry, our written stuff hasn’t been forgoten.
In the meantime, enjoy the sultry company of our voices.
This time Deadly goes down memory lane as he shares his “+” of Cave Story.
Watch Deadly and Broseph put their gaming knowledge together as they undo their horrible mistakes and — considerably later– play the game.
This is Deadly’s and Broseph’s first venture into video as a team, so any comments and/or advice is more than welcome.
Thanks for watching!
Here at the DreamCast we love our indie tittles, and boy do we love them when they have unique game mechanics. But there was one in particular that we heard about in sort of a passing rumor: The Novelist.
We took it upon ourselves to play it out of gamer’s curiosity, and now we have a brand new experience for our readers.
If you’ve ever wanted to hear TumblerPiston’s soothing baritone voice and Brosephs incessant rage towards all things, well, here’s your chance.
To inaugurate our Youtube channel, we give you, The Novelist.
Any comments or advice is welcome. This IS our first foray into Videos, so let us know were we can improve.
I recently realized that it’s been almost three years since one of my favorite games came out, and even further realized that “Holy shit, I’m still playing this game”.
I’m talking about no other than The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I know this may not come as a surprise to some, but it does come as a surprise to me.
As much as I love the game I have never consistently kept up or gone back to a game like this unless it was an MMO, and MMOs require to much effort in my mind, so that’s debatable. On the other hand Skyrim has pulled me back EVERY time, and to me it all has to do with immersion.
I’ve been a long running fan of the series and I have to say that this franchise, by far, is my favorite open world environment. To me, no develper has ever achieved the perfect balance between immersion and RPG elements like Bethesda has. The fact that everything that you do feels natural and with purpose is something that I truly admire.
In the previous entry, Oblivion, Leveling up was a little intrusive. It required you to go to bed then pick which stats to level up, and to boot they’d level up depending on which schools/skills leveled up ( I literally had to youtube that, it’s been WAY too long.) This is highly intrusive because you had to constantly be aware of what schools NOT to use so that you could maximize your stat increase –this was a particular annoyance to people who like to branch out their playing style. Skyrim did us a One-UP by scaling down the level up process to two steps: Stat level up –which only three instead of eight– and Perk choosing. This in turn gave it a much better sense of progression and we could stop being concerned about leveling and in turn be concerned with the roads that lie ahead.
But enough about technicalities, let’s get to the fun stuff. The major reason why I still play Skyrim, and many of you will agree, is MODS. Every combination of mods makes the game a totally different experience adding to the immersion factor. My most recent combination is precisely aimed at immersion. It’s a world where you have to protect yourself from the chilling cold and the blinding snowstorms by hunting, and creating capes and pelts that serve as a flimsy second skin; a place were mere bandits are no longer sword fodder, but rather people hardened by the wild and ready to mercilessly eviscerate you in combat; a domain were every step you take is calculated, and were you take every advantage that you can so that you may avoid meeting your demise at the hands of traps or the marauders that lurk around the corner.
All in all I’ve created my own Skyrim experience, something that I can say I’m proud of and I still look for excuses to go back and play as often as I can. Bethesda made one hell of a game, and though it wasn’t perfect, this series has a large enough community of dedicated modders and players to make a it a new experience every time.
And even though we here at the DreamCast aren’t very exited for The Elder Scrolls Online, like Broseph said in his article “Only time will tell.” Maybe ESO is truly the multiplier experience we’ve all been yearning for?
What about you? Is there any one game in particular that after years you’re still not able to let go? What’s the experience like looking back to when you first played it?