Lucien’s Unpopular Opinion: Video Games Should be More Expensive

This actually is an unpopular opinion among gamers.  But here is where I am coming from on this perspective – games should only be more expensive if it stops microtransactions.  Recent leaked info from EA has it that they are going to start pursuing more and more microtransactions.  After the fiasco with Battlefront II, some people are speculating if Disney is going to pull the license from them.  It took a literal phone call from Disney to get them to take the loot boxes (temporarily) out of the game.  They will be coming back later, it’s almost a guarantee.  Leaked audio from a former EA CEO showed that this is the path they want to follow.  To Hell with the consumer, let’s make video games a money factory that can push their consumers until they squeeze every dime out of them.

I am never buying another EA game.  That’s a fact.  You vote with your wallet, and my wallet is saying that I will NOT give this company my capital when all their games are multiplayer games that can integrate microtransactions.  Nope.  Anyone who gives this company, or Ubisoft, or Capcom your money, this is the mentality that you’re endorsing.  I won’t. I refuse.  For the same reason that I am not spending $60 per episode of an episodic release of the Final Fantasy VII remake.  Nope.  If they won’t sell a game in a complete version and will make me pay a total of $180 to get the entire package, then I’m just not going to buy it.  I’ll wait until a cheap complete version is out that I can get on Amazon.

So some of you may be wondering why I don’t have a problem with games costing more.  All of what is happening right now is indicative of gaming having an issue – it’s too expensive to make games anymore.  Clearly, the market is such that games are now so expensive to make that if there is not some massive influx of capital, the market crashes.  Some people are saying that that’s fine.  Part of me wants to agree.  But I see another option.  The whole deal with microtransactions evolved because the gaming industry has gotten so massive, budgets so bloated, and the hardware so expensive to make.  Everything points to gaming just having gotten too big.  Maybe it’s a sign that we need more AA games that have cheaper budgets, skimp on some of the bells and whistles, and can stand to not be major hits.  That’s another thing.

But I think that we all need to accept that gaming is going to get more and more expensive as time goes on.  Since that’s the case, for a AAA game, I think we need to accept that they need to get more expensive.  If we don’t want microtransactions, which I most authoritatively don’t, then there needs to be something that gives to offset the cost.  To me, that would be a hike on prices of AAA games.  I honestly don’t mind spending an extra $10 or $20 if it means no more of this microtransaction bullshit.  If DLC that isn’t major story expansions can be free.

Look, I get it that people aren’t made of money.  I’m not either.  I have to make hard choices about getting games.  I only get a couple new games a year.  If that.  This year has been pretty quiet, so the only games that I got brand new were Horizon: Zero Dawn and Persona 5.  Both of which were absolutely amazing and showed that AAA games can be single-player only without all the bullshit and still be massively successful.  One of those games is going to be my game of the year.  It’s been pretty cool.  Next year looks to have a lot of major hits, and I am curious to see where it goes from there.

Modern gamers are people in their late-20’s to early-30’s.  We have thin budgets and have to be frugal.  I am not unsympathetic to this.  But AAA gaming is getting more and more expensive.  That’s a fact.  If we are going to avoid all the microtransaction nonsense, then we have to find a way to offset that cost.  Some gamers and game critics argue that the $60 price tag alone is enough.  I know that’s not true.  With the true cost of developing, marketing, and porting games to various platforms, at the end of the day the cost just keeps going up and up.

Now this isn’t a fool-proof solution.  All of this microtransaction stuff also does reek of corporations seeing a new medium to exploit.  There’s no arguing that.  But where you all see anger, I see anger and decisions that have to be made, if gaming is to survive.  There is a crash coming.  It won’t be as bad as some people think.  Gaming is too big for that to happen.  But there will be a crash.  If nothing else of at least the AAA market with companies who are hedging all of their bets on stuff like microtransactions.  These companies all seem to think that they can bilk their consumers more and more of this sort of thing and it won’t have any consequences.  The reality is that gamers are starting to have enough.  EA just had what was supposed to be their high-end release of the winter blow up in their face.  Their stocks took a major hit.  It hurt them.  Disney is now tightening their leash on them because their business and the Star Wars brand could potentially be damaged by their greed.

A lot of things need to happen, and I would love to have a discussion about whether or not the path I am on is the right one.  However, if we can get companies like EA to stop with this nonsense by being willing to pay a little more for AAA games, I don’t think that is too dear a price to pay.  And maybe this can have Square Enix not wanting to sell their most-anticipated remake ever as a stupid episodic game where each episode is sixty fucking dollars.  That’s madness.

Until next time, a quote,

Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” – Edward Abbey

Peace out,

Maverick

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If Single Player Games Die, I’m Done

That’s not hyperbole.  Some people say shit like, “I hate this company!  I’m never buying another one of their products again!” even though you know deep-down that they are.  Like every idiot who says “I’m never eating at McDonald’s again!”  Bullshit!  You already debase yourself by eating there.  You’re going again.  Don’t lie to us.  However, for me, this isn’t just some design decision.  This is a personal issue that I refuse to be a part of.

I got into gaming because of how lonely I was, growing up.  I didn’t have many friends, and escaping to fiction was better than real life of being all by myself all the time.  Some of my favorite stories, growing up, were told in video games.  I got lost in the fantasy world of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.  I felt myself captivated by tragic and beautiful narrative in Final Fantasy X.  My youth was all about my best friends and I escaping into fiction.  Later on in my life it was me and my cat.  Her name is Lizzy.  She is extremely old and it’s pretty clear her health is declining.  The parents keep talking about her losing her mind, and while I shrug it off, part of me does wonder.  When I had my big chair, my kitty would sit on the arm.  I’d play games and watch movies and she was always with me.  A loyal friend, whose idea of perishing fills me with genuine pain.

In college, I played the Mass Effect trilogy so many times that I know most of my favorite character’s dialogue by heart!  I got through some unbelievably painful personal moments with those games.  Does this make me sound pathetic?  It wasn’t just games.  My favorite movies, books, TV shows, long walks where I get to look at beautiful things, it all helped me get through horribly difficult times in my life.  But gaming is a big one.

So when I see articles talking about how single-player gaming is going the way of the dodo, it genuinely fills me with a pit inside that I cannot describe.  Here’s the thing – I will NEVER be into multiplayer games.  Moreover, I’ll never be into MMOs.  Why?  Because I game for stories.  Guess what kind of story Destiny had – a shit one.  How about Destiny 2?  That story was shit too.  What about The Division?  Shit.  Or how about all the Call of Duty games?  The last time I enjoyed a narrative from them was Modern Warfare 2.  Hell, even the Assassin’s Creed games are trying to make themselves multiplayer.  It kills me inside.

Now, plenty of people have pointed out all the fantastic single-player only games that have come out lately.  This year has had some real standout examples of the genre.  My favorite game thus far has been Persona 5.  To see a AAA JRPG is something I NEVER believed I’d see in my lifetime.  It’s incredible that such a thing now exists, and it was a massive hit.  All the dates it was pushed back clearly was the right call, because it got everything right.  There was also Horizon: Zero Dawn.  While it has its flaws, it is a unique concept that really put forth the effort to make a different experience.  We also got a truly fantastic remake of Doom, where the biggest lesson the developers got to take away is that people loved it beyond words for the singe player, while hating its multiplayer components.  So there may be hope.

But it does seem like more and more AAA developers wants to move away from that kind of game.  We also have microtransactions seeping their way into single-player games.  This disheartens me for a lot of reasons.  For starters, just think of all the great visions that will be stifled by companies who only want to cater to markets where they can make as much money as they can, all the time.  What kind of gaming market is that setting up?  That’s simple – one that isn’s sustainable.  After all, people move on from games.  How many of the servers for the old CoD games still run?  Are there any servers for EA’s shit-tastic remake of Sim City?  Oh, right, they patched single player in because everyone hated their half-assed excuse for multiplayer.

Part of me thinks that all of this talk is indicative of a medium that can’t sustain itself anymore.  The cost of game development has just gotten so huge that unless they make games that are money-factories, they lose money on making games.  Because after all, you gotta make the most cutting-edge properties all the time, right?  Middle-tier games that may not have the best visuals or maybe have some funky controls or what-have-you, where devs can find ways to experiment and try new things?  Nope!  Can’t have that.  That might involved having the guts to sink money into something and not get it all back.  Because Hollywood refuses to take risks, so why should we?

I will never want to play games for multiplayer.  It doesn’t matter what bullshit the desiccated husks at Bioware put out, I still don’t want it.  EA decided to shit-can Visceral Games and turn their latest Star Wars project into a new Destiny game.  Because why try to make an interesting game when you can make a cash cow that the Star Wars fanboys will cum in their pants for because of the license.  I swear, it’s the only reason EA’s new Battlefront game made any money at all.  Same with why the second will make money.  Because if they can shove the name in your face enough, it’s gotta be good…right..?

So when I say that if single-player in games dies, I’m done, I mean it.  I’ll just collect all the games I loved and will just die off in nostalgia, because what the fuck would I want to play the latest MMO sandbox game?  That’s not why I game.  It will NEVER be why I game.  Desperately hoping I’m not alone in this thought.

Until next time, a quote,

“Words are how we think; stories are how we link.” – Christina Baldwin

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Single Player Microtransactions

I don’t know who to blame for this.  I suppose I could blame the dumb-shit gamers who actually made this happen.  After all, it truly is their fault.  They had every opportunity to not support this kind of behavior.  Back when games had them paying for stupid shit like custom skins or weapon packs.  Maybe it could have been when games started having Season Passes.  Maybe then?  Yeah, that seems like a good fucking point to have stopped.  I know!  Maybe it was when you had games start becoming pay-to-win multiplayer experiences?  Yeah, that seems like a great point to stop.  But nope, people too stupid to vote with their wallets enabled this.  You all are a bunch of enablers, allowing game companies to gouge you without any real effort to stem the tide.  I guess it isn’t just fools and their money who are parted.  It’s gamers too.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War has single-player microtransactions.  What’s more, it is genuinely pay-to-win.  If you aren’t willing to grind to insane degrees, you are going to shell out a frankly absurd amount of money to get the true ending to the game.  It’s insulting.  It’s legalized gambling in the gaming sphere.  After all, players are shelling out money to game companies with no guarantee of what the return is going to be.  None.  If you’re spending money without knowing what you’re getting in the hopes of getting something good, you know what I call that – a gamble.  Gaming companies have made gambling a part of their pay-to-win formula.  It’s disgusting.  It’s insulting.  Why aren’t more people outraged by this?!

You know that Battlefront II game you’re so hyped for?!  Guess what, it’s entirely pay-to-win!  And they use the same formula!  Loot boxes that you have no guarantee of what they will give you.  Whether it be something good or complete shit.  If you want to get better weapons, then you will shell out an insane amount of money to get enough boxes in order to get the amount of spare parts you need.  This game all the stupid fucking Star Wars fanboys are going to cum in their pants over is screwing you.  No joke, it’s fucking screwing you.  You people are the reason I am done with Star Wars.  All the fanboys who cried when Episode VII’s trailer was released.  Did nobody notice what a fucking rip-off of the original that was?!  Did anyone notice how this new game is basically just a re-skin of Empire Strikes Back?  Maybe it’s the walkers attacking a rebel base with a small group of defenders coming out in low-altitude vehicles that gave it away?  Oh, and our hero is off on a planet alone with an old Jedi learning the ways of the Force, and it seems to be pointing to it ending with them being tempted by the Dark Side.  Sound, fucking, familiar?!

Part of me is genuinely worried that this practice is going to become commonplace.  Soon studios who are known for quality content are going to decide, “why not?” and do it themselves.  After all, it’s not like the gamers are actually doing something to stop it.  I am.  I refuse to participate in it.  I won’t be paying game companies for DLC that is on the fucking disc!  I won’t be buying a game where I have to pay to be able to win it the way it wants.  I especially won’t be buying a game where you are having to fucking gamble to win.  That’s insulting to a sickening degree.

Here’s where I turn it over to you – why are you?  What could possibly compel you to play a game where you have to gamble and pay obscene amounts of your money in order to win?  “But Lucien, look at the gameplay!  It looks so cool!”  Is that really enough?  Does it having cool factor give you the confidence to spend your fucking money on it?!

I don’t know how to stop this.  The only truly effective method to stopping this is to not buy this stuff.  But I know that’s a fool’s errand.  Dumb-shit Star Wars fanboys will cum in their pants and buy it.  And fans of Shadow of Mordor will shell out their money because the first game was so good.  This is how they seem to do it.  Make a good first game, or in Battlefront’s case a decent first game, and then make a sequel that looks cooler so you can con them into this shit.  We have to vote with our wallets, people!  We cannot pay money into this!  Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way.  Please!  Unless people start voting with their wallets, it’s only going to get worse.

The thing I fear most is when games like The Last of Us, Part 2 and Insomniac’s Spider-Man start doing this stuff.  When I see games outside of the broken AAA market that is full of greedy corporations who now have a reputation for screwing their consumers left and right without their consumers ever giving enough of a shit to try and stop them.  And make no mistake, the more people do this, the worse it’s going to get.  Mark my fucking words.

Mark them.

Until next time, a quote,

“What would your favorite author say, Captain?  ‘Let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings’?” – Gen Chang, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Star Wars Battlefront II Reveal Trailer

EA’s Battlefront sucked.  I am pretty sure that this game will suck too.  I have no intention of playing it.  But here’s the thing I want to talk about – why I think this game could have had potential.  Because it really could have.  For a little while there I am actually invested in what’s happening.  I don’t get how a trailer can go from engaging to bullshit in seconds.  Maybe it’s because Disney decided to fuck the Expanded Universe.  I don’t know.  Whatever the case, this game goes from looking really cool to looking really dumb in seconds, and that’s amazing.  Let’s take a look at this trailer.

You know what I miss – the Rogue Squadron games.  Those were awesome.  I keep hoping that EA will do something with that license, but they would probably fuck that up anyway.  I bring this up for a reason.  There was this incredible animated short that was done in the style of Gundam where you have Imperial fighters duking it out with the Rebels and kicking their ass.  I have always really wanted to know what the Empire’s story is.  I mean, all we ever see of them is them being evil.  In the old Tie Fighter games, you get to play as an Imperial pilot.  It would have been kinda cool to see things from their point of view.  I mean, when you think about it, the Rebels are some hardcore terrorists.  How many innocent people got killed when they blew up the original Death Star?  They condemned the Ewoks to obliteration when they blew up the second one.  The Rebels are all about peace and justice, but you really do have to wonder how many innocent people’s deaths are on their hands.

So this game has you in the role of an elite stormtrooper.  Cool!  We get to see the war from the Empire’s side!  And especially after the fall of the Emperor.  Awesome!  So is it like a civil war?  Is the Empire collapsing and you get to see from the side of a lost soldier who can’t leave her duty behind?  That’s kinda neat.  We even get to see the Rebels getting their shit messed up.  Really did remind me of that animated short.  Wanna watch that again.  You all should too.

But then the trailer decides to fuck all that cool build-up and go into the stupid.  Every time I see Emo Vader’s stupid lightsaber design I laugh.  The most impractical weapon ever, and they still want us to think that it’s cool.  They are trying WAY too hard.  We also get to reenact the battle with Darth Maul?  Like, from Episode I?  The second-worst film in the entire franchise? (I argue that Episode II is the worst.  The cringe level was so much worse than Episode I) Okay?  Hell, can we PLEASE get some of the cool characters from Cartoon Network’s show?  I’d love to get to play as Cad Bane, who is one of my favorite anti-heroes.  Or maybe a cool General Grievous like in Clone Wars.  Maybe some Ventress action?  Oh, right, that would be cool.  And if it’s cool, it’s not in this game.  Instead, we have Emo Vader and Boring Girl who is played by an actress who can’t act (not even going to see Episode VIII) doing stuff.

If the story of this game is what I think, and you get to play as the Empire on the losing side of the war with the Rebellion, this game could have at least some potential.  But this is EA and DICE.  How much hope do you really have that this game won’t suck?

Initial Verdict
6 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Bad PR 109: Manveer Heir Hates White People (and wants you to know)

Something not many of you may know is that the bulk of the creative team at BioWare jumped ship after Mass Effect 3.  People blamed them solely for what happened, without realizing that it wasn’t their fault entirely.  EA as some of the blame.  They rushed the development cycle by a whole year, so BioWare had to cut corners.  I think we all know where the worst of it was.  That ending ruined this franchise for me.  When they saw the writing on the wall, so much of the creativity there get off like rats leaving a sinking ship.  Smart people.

Now there is a new creative director and a very new team working on the latest worthless entry into a franchise that already jumped the shark with the God Kid.  For real, I had no intentions of playing this game after how the last one ended.  Now I just have a better reason.  Because one of the important creative designers for the Mass Effect: Andromeda has some opinions about white people.  And he’s taken to Twitter to let you all know.

Let me first say that I’m glad that I chose to accept Ian Miles Cheong’s apology about his time within the SJW community.  He got back on the straight and narrow and has become a better journalist because of it.  His latest article (linked here) details some of the wonderful racism of Manveer that he was so stupid enough to impart over the SJW echo chamber – Twitter.  Little nuggets like, “I just don’t like all the white people.”  Or “Getting to mess with white people by scaring them with my brown skin is my reparations for all the racism after 9/11.”  How’s about “Some people think America’s past-time is baseball, but it’s actually protecting white fragility”?  That’s a classic.  Then there’s my personal favorite – him posing with the “White Tears” mug.  This guy makes no secret of his overt racism, and this ties in to an older PR lesson.

For those who followed the drama surrounding Mighty No. 9 in it’s early days (a refresher for those who want some context), Dina decided that she was going to go on a personal crusade to shit all over the fans and backers based on her personal vendetta.  The fact that she wasn’t fired is purely nepotism for the reason she got that job.  Watch the link I posted at the top of the paragraph.  It’s eye-opening.  Her tirades for the cause of social justice began a domino effect that had backers asking for their money back.

Manveer is on the same path.  See, he’s part of a new mentality that tell us that it’s okay to be a racist bigot, so long as the ethnic group you hate are white.  It’s fine to hate white people for no other reason than their race.  Just like it’s cool to hate men for no other reason than their gender.  And it’s cool to hate straight men for no other reason than their sexual orientation.  Combine all three and you have a wonderful trifecta of bigotry that is culturally-acceptable.  Manveer even said that he was going through his Twitter followers and blocking those who are white men.  He said that if they have a problem, blame their ethnicity.  I sure do hope that this guy doesn’t work for a company that sells products whose success can be easily destroyed when you piss off the people who are supposed to partake of said product.  That sure would be bad, wouldn’t it?  I suppose we could ask Paul Feig what that’s like.  After all, he went so far out of his way to insult the fans of the original Ghostbusters movie, and also to make sure they know how awful they are for being fans of that movie.  Now we have a game designer whose Twitter account has archived posts about how much he hates white people and doesn’t care if they don’t like it.  If this guy were selling a product that needs buyer confidence, he sure would look dumb right about now.

There’s this great joke in YMS’ review of Ghost Rider, when Eva Mendez’s character asks a waiter if he thinks she’s pretty, and the guy just shrugs.  “He doesn’t work for tips.”  When you do a job that requires you to be on good terms with the public to inspire them to partake in it, then what kind of idiot do you have to be to have your public Twitter page be a litany of blatant racism?  What’s more, it makes BioWare look bad because if this guy had been saying stuff like this against ANY other ethnic group, he would have been fired ages ago.  This isn’t even stuff you have to dig for.  We don’t have to pull an SJW tactic of shaming this guy and sending it to his boss.  This guy is representing BioWare with his social media.  He lists himself as a BioWare employee in his Twitter handle.

What’s more, thanks to this guy being part of the racist SJW circlejerk, it’s pretty much guaranteed that the bulk of the corrupt games media is going to drown this game in praise.  Regardless of how good in quality it is…or isn’t.  Hell, the games media was attacking the fans for hating the end of the last game, so I guess this should be no shock.  But this isn’t even about this game.  It’s about this mentality and the harm it’s doing to the gaming community.

During the days that Anita Sarkeesian was Kickstarting a video series about sexism in video games, sellouts like Jim Sterling and buffoons like Movie Bob were saying that these kinds of people were never going to influence games.  They were just going to be commenting on them, and they’ll disappear if we don’t listen to them.  Well, here we are, four years later, and now we have people like Manveer, who are openly bigoted and gets no repercussions because he is racist against the group that it’s trendy to hate.  Naturally.  BioWare should think long and hard if this is the image that they want associated with their company, who requires people to want to play their games.

Manveer Heir White TearsChoose wisely.

Until next time, a quote,

“If Manveer Heir expressed any of these views about any other race or ethnicity, there is no question that he would’ve long ago been taken to task for bigotry and racism.” – Ian Miles Cheong

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: A Battlefront Sequel Already in Development?

I called it!  I fucking called it!  I knew that this would happen.  Everything that I saw about the development of the new Battlefront told me that this was going to be another flagship series.  I bet that EA was singing when they got the rights to this game.  The corporate pieces of shit who run that company must have known that this was the best thing that could have possibly happened to them.  So they released a game that was stripped down to the bare necessities.  So they could sell you the stuff that was already supposed to be in the game as DLC.  I fucking knew it!  It’s too easy to not see it coming from a mile away.  What’s more, it is taking what could have eventually become something special and ruining it.

EA just announced that a sequel to Battlefront is already in development.  You know, when they haven’t even finished the game that is already out.  Of course.  Because if we don’t make this into another yearly franchise, then what’s the point?  Am I right?  Just like Ubsioft and Activision have done.  Here it is, happening again.  I guess that everyone should have seen it coming.  Because if there is a fandom whose nostalgia can be exploited, then you know that these companies are going to be all over it, just like the greedy sacks of shit that they are.

What is it about these companies?  Why do they have to take things that have potential and promise and ruin them like this?  Why do they have to take all the heart and soul in games that have it in droves, and dash it against the wall this way?  I genuinely don’t understand.  I watched it happen with Assassin’s Creed.  A game about exploring parts of history and going through various cultures.  A game about experiencing worlds and parkouring around.  It wasn’t that hard a concept.  But because Ubisoft is a bunch of greedy cunts, they had to make sure that we sucked on their money-grubbing tits.  Naturally.

The thing that gets to me is – is this a sign of the industry?  Are companies unable to survive unless they are making yearly sequels?  Is the gaming industry so hard-pressed for cash that games that they have to have giant cash-grabs every year, the companies are unable to be financially solvent?  That worries me.  That worries me a lot.  Why?  Because this can’t be sustainable.  All of these games have microtransactions.  All of the sequels to Star Wars: Battlefield will have a Season’s Pass, and probably microtransactions as well.  What is going on in the industry?  I am genuinely worried that the industry is going to have a major collapse.  This can’t be healthy.  This can’t be good for consumers.

And get this – none of the sequels to this mediocre boredom will tie into the new films.  At all.  Why, that would require some kind of story mode!  Can’t have that!  Then this game couldn’t be cranked out every fucking year!  Fucking EA and DICE!  But I guess none of us should be surprised.  This is their MO.  This has been their business model forever.  Each and every one of these yearly-cranked sequels will have a Season’s Pass, and little ways for them to nickel and dime you.  So maybe people won’t notice that these games are a waste of the license that they were given, made with the thought – let’s make money!  Lots and lots of money!

When will gamers stop settling for this?  When will we do the only thing that we realistically can do – vote with our wallets.  Do NOT buy these games!  If you must, buy them used, so EA and DICE don’t get anymore money than they absolutely must.  Don’t buy the DLC.  Don’t buy the Season’s Pass.  Do not give these people money for releasing mediocre, unfinished games!  Don’t do it!  We need to stand together on this!  Because something has to be done.  A message must be sent.

Pretty much every review I saw acknowledges that Star Wars: Battlefield was not up to the standards of the predecessor that I refuse to name (they don’t belong in the same article).  They all try and desperately separate themselves from it.  Even then, the game had so little content that it is something you can get through in an hour or two.  No campaign.  No space battles.  No features.  It’s all such a joke.  But it looks and sounds like Star Wars, so it’s okay.  Right?  Wrong!  This is bullshit, and should not be tolerated.  Unfinished games are wrong!

EA has the rights to an awesome IP.  They could have turned this into something spectacular.  Something special.  Something that would keep people coming back for years.  But no, they know that people won’t be coming back, so they are making this into a yearly cash-grab, until the nostalgia has finally dried up, and just like Call of Duty, everyone is wondering why they bother.

Fuck you, EA.  Fuck you, DICE.  This is bullshit.  Money-grubbing bullshit.  I knew it would happen, and it still annoys all the same.  If this is what the industry has become, then maybe it should just collapse already, and let that be that.

Until next time, a quote,

“The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned.  The Drowned God wants them drowned.  Why are all the gods such vicious cunts?”  -Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst: Gameplay Trailer

Something to know about me – I loved the first Mirror’s Edge.  A hardcore adrenaline rush combined with parkour and platforming.  The goal was to get through an area, and do so as fast as you could.  Given the trippy art style and the neat perspective, it was a fun game.  But it wasn’t perfect.  The combat was clunky as fuck, and that never got better.  In fact, it usually got worse.  That said, it was still a good game, and a lot of fun to play.  When I heard that they were making a sequel, I was a little skeptical.  This is EA, after all.  They have a history of fucking things up.

After hearing very little about this game for a long time, they finally decided to get it out there, and have the fans begin to know a lot about it.  They released a gameplay trailer, which is the thing I waited for, because that is the thing that matters.  In a game all about parkour and traversing what I now know to be a much larger cityscape, it all comes down to how smooth this game plays, and how eager I am to dive in.  Let’s take a look.

The first thing I notice about this new game is the color.  The previous game had a very limited color palate, and that was for a reason.  They wanted the player to be able to notice environmental clues that would show where to go next.  Various things you were supposed to interact with in the environment were red.  The rest of the world was typically white.  That was a nice, simple way to let the player know how to progress, while still giving them options.  This new game has a much prettier palate.  No joke, the game looks amazing.  But that means that the player is also challenged to be more noticing of their environment and will have to make on-the-spot decisions about whether or not something is able to be parkoured on.  That’s actually kind of nice.  I liked the previous game’s art style, but there’s something refreshing about a game that respects its audience’s intelligence enough to tell them that they need to actually pay attention and think on the fly.  That sounds like it’ll be cool.

Next, there are the character models.  This is AAA gaming.  It looks fantastic.  I will say that there’s something still cartoon-y about it, but that doesn’t strike me as a bad thing.  Far from it.  It feels right.  Maybe it’s those strange shoes of Faiths that throw me off.  Or that tattoo that is now on her eye.  No joke, they put a tattoo on her eyelid.  Is that even a thing?  Sounds painful, and dangerous.  If anyone knows anything about that, please let me know in the Comments below.  Sounds like a fascinating thing to learn about.

The voice-acting is pretty standard.  It works, but that doesn’t say much.  There aren’t a lot of clues to what the plot of the game is.  Faith is breaking into an agricultural building called Elysium.  Guess she’s gone from a Runner to a full-blown thief now.  Won’t argue with that.  It make her way of getting around that much more interesting.  They did change the voices between games.  Won’t make too much of an issue with that.  The voice acting in the last game wasn’t that great, either.  I will say that the girl who they have doing Faith’s voice makes me think of Chloe Price, from Life is Strange.  Probably just a coincidence.

But there is something that gives me pause.  This game seems to have a lot of focus on hand-to-hand combat.  That makes me worried.  Combat was some of the worst stuff in the last game.  It was clunky, awkward and never felt natural.  If they are going to make that a big part of this game, then they had better have done some tuning to it.  Make it a little more user-friendly.  That said, the way that they integrated the environment into combat looks kind of cool.  I especially like the glass breaking and how real that feels.  Environmental kills is a thing that everyone who plays a good action game likes, and if that comes into this game (so long as the combat is refined), it looks like it will be fun.

So, what do I think?  I am optimistic.  Still going to be reserved.  This is EA, after all.  These people are known for their DLC and releasing games before they are done.  It doesn’t help that this trailer says that this is pre-alpha footage, yet it has a release date of February of 2016.  Then I also remember that EA is a corporate behemoth that forces people to work their asses off and majorly crunch to meet deadlines.  If only this franchise was in the hands of people who have more respect for it.  Oh well.  I guess the only thing I can do now is wait and see.  Here’s hoping it all turns out alright.

Initial Verdct
7 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick