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 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?
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.
Hello Friends! For those of you who have been following, you should be aware that we took a slight “Hiatus” for the past few months to deal with college related things. Well, we’re back. And for those of you who though this article was about the SEGA console, don’t worry, we not so recently got one, and we’re gonna talk about that too. 😉
You can start to expect regular posts form us again and a plethora of new surprises that we’re not ready to get into quite yet, but, as you may have noticed from the previous few art renderings, let’s just say we have an ample amount of talent on our team.
What we CAN talk about is that we now have a (Not) brand new console! And no, it’s not a next gen console, in fact it’s been around for a while. I’m talking about a Dreamcast; that 90’s console that didn’t do so well, but was still awesome.
Now that we have this imposing machine of wonder expect articles related to that. Starting with not other than, Drum roll please!
Many of our team members are having their first experiences with a Dreamcast now, but for this particular game we let one member go down memory lane, it goes without saying there was some excitement involved. This will lead to a new format that involves re-playing old games and seeing them hold up to today’s standard, but most importantly, to our memories. Will it be the splendor and adventure it was the first time through or will it be utter disappointment? Find out when or first Pre-View/Re-View article launches. See you then!
Want to see your favorite Dreamcast game covered? Leave a comment below and we’ll do what we can to get our hands on it and play it with a new perspective, or in the Pre-View/Re-View format from our Dreamcast vets.
So, It’s been a while since any of us have made a post, but do not fret friends, we’ve not left the scene of blogging, rather we have only been momentarily impeded progress by an all too familiar enemy: College.
We’re all college students here and the semester has hit it’s stride this month, and boy has it hit hard. It’s been project after project after presentation and as I’m sure you all know it take a great deal of red bull and all nighters.
Considering all of this we don’t want this blog to seem abandoned so we’ve decided to take a little bit of time to work on some good content that’s in the works and this post here. So, to keep hopes running here’s a little bit of rough art.
Stay tuned friends. We have some big surprises in store.