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Ben’s Week In Review: December 21

The first day of winter and four days until Christmas. Love the cold weather…to an extent.

Gotta respect Rockstar for their dedication to quality

When I wrote that piece about the slew of disappointing, unfinished games in 2014 , I meant every word.

However, if we really dive into the nuts and bolts of the situation, I think a lot of that instability is due to rushed deadlines and the belief that a game has to come out at a certain time. The Assassin's Creed issue is a perfect example and we've been seeing similar problems with Call of Duty for years; the only difference is that while AC's difficulties were more often technical, CoD simply suffered from a lack of innovation. Then, with over three years of development, a new team gave us Advanced Warfare . Unfortunately, three years of development didn't give us the same technically sound experience in Assassin's Creed Unity . We needed a freakin' 6.7GB patch , for crying out loud.

And through it all, I continue to admire and even revere Rockstar. I regret writing the headline the way I did this past week because it holds negative insinuations . I don't mean that Rockstar is slow or dismissive of their fans; the fact is, amid publishers striving to put out more and more installments in a popular franchise, Rockstar and Take-Two have stuck to their guns: Spend four, five or even more years making a groundbreaking product and then amaze the world. That's what we've come to expect from those guys and that's why they almost never disappoint us.

The Order: 1886 remains intriguing but I wonder about the direction…

Every time I see a new trailer or a new piece of gameplay footage for The Order: 1886 , I wonder if the developers have a concrete, set-in-stone direction for this game. The latest trailer seems to have survival/horror undertones and it's not the first time we've seen such an example. Then there are some of the more historical, atmospheric set pieces that speak to a Bioshock -like alternate reality, standard third-person shooter mechanics, and rumors of in-depth and even innovative melee combat. Toss in these possible horror aspects and it almost seems as if Ready at Dawn is spreading themselves too thin. They were taking a lot of flak for making a game that initially looked like another ho-hum TPS.

But the truth is, The Order is a great deal more. That's a given. I'm just worried if it's too much more. Whenever I play an RPG, I always want to become a master in one particular discipline; I'd rather do that than be a jack-of-all trades. I.e., okay or even good in everything, but not exemplary in any one thing. Get what I mean?

Personal gaming update

Still playing Assassin's Creed Unity . There are a few irritating bugs that still exist, despite all the patches and updates, but I can't seem to stop playing. I actually really loved Tales From the Borderlands: Episode One – Zer0 Sum and I'm hoping Telltale continues their quest to infuse franchises with great artistry and narrative. Their next project is Minecraft and despite not being a fan of Mojang's hit, I think Telltale will produce another surprising gem. Speaking of Mojang and Minecraft , did you see that $70 million mansion Markus "Notch" Persson bought? Insane.

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9 years ago

Hey Ben, Halo collection had 21gb patch on its first day. The ACU patch is baby in comparison. But its totally true, if somethings not finished don't release it. Unity could have been better gameplay wise (I still think the story is garbage) but instead it felt rushed out the door. RIP Medal Of Honor.

That Minecraft thing confused me at first. I thought it was a joke because…Minecraft…story? But I think telltale has what it takes. It'll definitely be hilarious more than anything.

You make a point there Ben. Going for something in all genre's is risky. Becoming a master of one or two pieces is a much easier road. ND did try it with TLOU and no matter what people say, it was a survival/horror/adventure/action game. Order's going to be great.

I used to think Square didn't understand my pain and suffering seeing my beloved Final Fantasy take such a dark turn…But giving me the FF7 PC edition for ps4 and thinking about bringing the FF13 trilogy to the ps4 as well! They DO understand! Taking legendary characters and giving them a sex change? Fantastic! Giving out limited FFXV demo's? The best!
We all should thank Square for Christmas by sending them a burnt Lightning doll. With Christmas decorations of course.

Played GTAV and DAI all week. Cannot believe I was getting bored of DAI when it turned out I wasn't even out of the damn tutorial. I'm running around doing all these side quests and in the first few areas and now theres like 11. It's definitely re-won me over. And GTAV has turned me into a hardened criminal. I am now a sociopath, a murderer and a thief who does nothing but break the law all day.

Last post from me in awhile. Hope everyone has a great christmas and new year. Stay safe, be nice to the family you don't like, don't do lines of candycanes, and most of all, don't stop gaming.

Happy Holidays everyone.

9 years ago

What worries me about the order is that the critics and masses of idiots who think that human beings move like well-greased cameras won't understand the weighty feel of the controls a la Killzone 2. I know I'll like it but it could hurt the reception.

I hope it does have a direction otherwise it'll end up like The Evil Within, which went everywhere.

Dragon Age is just too lame to put more time into, there's no adventure, no quest, no story to affect, nobody worth caring about, no interesting missions, nothing that happens after a mission is done. I quit for now. I'm going to Japanese games for unique plots.

I bought Slender on sale, it's definately low budget but the few minutes I had to begin it was intriguing. It always amazes me how minimalism and a lack of being told exactly what to do and where to go next can make a game so much better than what devs always do in AAA horror games like throwing in violin scratches, gore, jump scares, lots of zombified enemies and tropes. They just overdo it like Hollywood and don't understand that letting the mind fill in the blanks is the way to go.

Kinda disappointed in PS4 as Christmas approaches. I'm getting 3 games and they are all PS3. I can't believe we are this far into the generation and there are still no next gen only games worth having. No wonder it's all cross gen and remakes, there's nothing. It's pathetic.

9 years ago

I don't know my HDD is full of current gen games… I have a backlog right now. I think your just being picky on one hand and disappointed on the other, for instance with DA. 😉

9 years ago

name me a must experience PS4-only game. The closest you can get is Second Son, and even that was inFamous Lite watered down version.

9 years ago

The majority of bugs in games need to be squashed before release.

I'm reading multiple reports filled with doubt and negativity concerning the Order. I look forward to it regardless.

I powered through the story missions in AC Unity and finished it tonight. The side missions I played felt like more AC style bloat I don't desire to play through annually anymore. The franchise asks a lot from gamers who try to stay current with it's leading titles.
It's a cool game though. While I can't put myself in the position of those who played it patchless, I think it's better than it's rep.
Unity doesn't seem to compare to the breadth of Black Flag's offering, in terms of all the many different forms of play found within, but Unity takes the core of AC and reboots it's foundation with next-gen processing. It's the sort of franchise that I feel benefits a lot from more power and memory. It's astonishingly immense in level scale and complexity. How I can go from an outside busy street filled with hundreds of people and seamlessly infiltrate mansions, or a temple that is multi-floored and densely populated wtih people and interior craftsmanship is incredible. It re-writes the framework for how these games can be built and it's reassuring of the capability of what future large scale projects hold.

Anyhow, I've also been doing more artwork. I applied some digital inks to my pencil work from months past.
I really love how black and white line art can really contrast and pop. Balancing black space and white space is fun with this sort of stuff.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 12/21/2014 1:51:50 AM

9 years ago

Yeah I respect R* for never rushing projects. However they are also the worst at communicating with their fans. But I'm disappointed in GTAV compared to GTA4 and RDR as far as development quality goes. GTAO remains a hindrance in my opinion and GTA is the first game I've had literally just stop working and return me to the home screen to report an error, right in the middle of a save. Weird.

I personally feel like developers just need to take their time. Things will be much better then.

I'm excited for The Order. I'm looking forward to it for sure. I checked out the latest trailer and it looks like solid fun. It got a alot of E3 awards too so that's promising.

I'm also excited for Bloodborne. Probably more than I should be because I know I'm going through at least 2 controllers. But it looks rewarding and I like that.

PGU: Just playing GTA and GTAO gearing up for the heists. I'm trying to finish the main story line so I can move on to Shadow of Mordor. I think I'm skipping DA for awhile because I want to get the Telltale games: Game of Thrones and Borderlands. I'd also like to finish The Walking Dead but I want to finish them on PS4 which means I have to repurchase them. Oh well.

Merry Christmas everyone!

9 years ago

Ya that mansion he bought for 70 mil had some sweet cars n apparently James deans motorcycle in the living room n they hoped to get 85 mil he outbid jay-z and Beyonce to by it lol how much is the tax on that in Cali haha

9 years ago

Loving Dragon Age Inquisition but I certainly get what people are saying. It's a sloooooww burner and that's coming from me.

Just marathoned Wolf Among Us and I believe it's worth echoing what Ben has said. TellTale has really brought something sorely needed into the industry.

Gaming should be designed to be an experience, the industry has evolved so much and yet has devolved in so many ways to serve the highest common denominator that it can often be difficult to identify where meaningful progress has been made.

Games shouldn't be observed as a simply static art. It can at times allow you to actively participate in the creation of something unique to you, get involved with a character's choices and watch how events play out and at the end of it all say 'My God, I played a part in all of this.'

Gaming's separation from other forms of entertainment is far from a weakness. It's a strength that has yet to show it's full potential, but for now at least let me say My God is it good to be a gamer!

Merry Christmas everyone.
Hold your loved ones close and…Don't worry, Be Happy (Bob Marley starts to play in your head)

You're welcome 😉

9 years ago

so i think 2014 will be remebered as the the year of disappoint and broken games as a whole, as for the order it this looks like a good game but its overall direction is still a bit up in the air

happy gaming

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