I don’t know why it is, but I have a terribly tough time being a bad guy in games. In games like inFamous, for example, I always, always choose the side that aligns with good karma. Same for something like Mass Effect, where it took me three playthrough to finally start going for the renegade options. Darryn on the other hand almost always chooses the path that allows him to kick kittens and eat babies.
While everyone seems to be hung up on games like Titanfall, Watch Dogs and Destiny being disappointments – lets turn it around and look at the flipside. Games that ended up being rather pleasant surprises.
I have always been proud to call myself a gamer. Even before it was “cool” to play games, way before the mainstream push – back when gamers were stereotyped as unwashed basement dwellers wholly devoid of social skills. I’m still proud to call myself a gamer - but my once resolute stance has very much been shaken.
I’m not sure if any of you were tempted enough to watch that 35 minute-long Witcher 3 gameplay video – but there’s one thing that stands out over everything else; how incredible the game’s music is. When Geralt enters a battle, the music builds to a crescendo, amplifying and heightening the experience.
Competition is good. Competition is something that can lead to rivals from across various fields actually making an effort to have you invest in their product, instead of taking advantage of supply and demand. Unfortunately, this can also have negative effects, with the playing field tipped sometimes way too far in the favour of one side at the expense of the other.
I’m not sure there’s a more acerbic, vociferous bunch of people than gamers who have internet access. While it’s obviously not something that affects everybody who’s ever picked up a controller or used office equipment for pixel-perfect headshots, there’s a rather large proportion of gamers who it seems, feel that the $60 they spend on a game entitles them to developers’ first born children.
You may have noticed the dearth of noteworthy games being released this month, or indeed next month. We’re in that slump. That changes a bit in September with the local release of the Xbox One, and of course, Destiny. Then in October, everything goes balmy. Just about every game you’re waiting for this year is out in that one little month. With the price of games and the time investment, we’re all going to be forced to ignore a few for now. Which ones will be taking the backseat?
In last week’s FFD, somebody brought up a classic game; Altered Beast. Amongst older gamers, Altered Beast is infamous. It’s highly regarded as an arcade classic and it’s something most of us spent way too many 20c pieces on because we could turn into goddamned werewolves and flying dragons and that is awesome. Pity the game is actually pretty terrible. I played it relatively recently, and it’s a short, broken, janky mess - yet it’s still almost universally adored. Altered Beast has been given a free pass.
The first year or so of a new console generation almost always completely fails to be impressive. Sure, things look a little shinier, run a little smoother and integrate more features but there’s almost nothing that blows minds, or melts eyeballs. Is that the same in this eighth generation of consoles?
This week, I realised I’m inundated with games. I’m not complaining; It’s just that I’m juggling far too many games at the moment. I seem to have so many games that I start them all, and then jump around instead of focusing on just the one.
We know, from recent data, that the median age of the game-playing human being is 31. In fact, a pretty small percentage of gamers are the sort of people who don;t have daily responsibilities thanks to that horrible thing that keeps getting in the way: life.
Collectibles have been a staple in games for a long time, but it was really the first Assassin’s Creed in the last generation, with its flag finding, that had people hunting to collect things for no real reason other than completionism. Sure, Crackdown had its orbs before then – but at least collecting them actually had benefits; you powered up the more of those addictive orbs you collected.
There are thousands of games released every year, and I’m pretty sure we’ve all got backlogs of games that we keep meaning to start playing but never actually get around to. Instead, there are games we keep coming back to instead.
The gaming industry seems to work in cycles. Whatever the soup du jour is at the moment won’t be popular in a few years, with something else taking its places at the most popular genre years later. Only to be usurped later still by something else. Since the advent of the last generation of consoles, the online multiplayer shooter has been king of the hill, with the result being that just about every game in every genre has had tacked-on shoe-horned multiplayer. Lately though, more and more games are eschewing multiplayer in favour of more meaningful single player experiences.