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

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Lucien’s Review: Horizon Zero Dawn

As a best foot forward goes, Sony has done a bang-up job.  Sorry this review took so long, but I wanted to get as far into this game as I possibly could before I talked about it.  This is a game that is fun as fuck, and challenging.  It’s a game that eschews all conventions about action shooters in favor of an open world that is beautiful, a world that is a little dry but still fun, and characters who are at the very least fun to talk to.  And the main character voiced by the same actress who did my favorite character from my favorite game of 2015.  Let’s talk about it.

The plot goes that it has been 1,000 years since a cataclysm of unknown origins wiped humanity out.  Now what remains of civilization is bands of tribal societies.  And surrounding all of this is a robotic horde who also has unknown origins.  Our story follows a girl whose origins are also shrouded in mystery.  Hated by the tribe and unsure of where she belongs, her quest begins with a simple mission – find out who her mother is.  It’s a really grim narrative, but one that keeps you enraptured from beginning to end.

First things first – this game is beautiful.  Absolutely gorgeous.  The surprisingly-small open world is incredible to look at.  Making everything pretty compact was a smart decision on the devs part.  So many open world games have a bad habit of there being nothing to do.  In this game, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  There is a ton of stuff to do.  And all of it hinges on how you like to play.

This game has two facets – stealth and action.  Stealth is my preferred method.  I love stealth games.  The next game I am stoked for is just that.  The game gives you tall grass to hide in and ways to sneak around.  In addition to killing robots you have human enemies to fight.  And when you up the difficulty, they are some attentive fuckers.  Once you have the bounty missions, things get a lot more fun.  Then there is action.  This is the harder one.  Weapons in this game are primitive.  You have to be smart when shooting your targets.  You can craft your own ammunition, which you will be doing a lot.  Even the most typical gun-like weapons will suck up your resources.  Add to that the fact that the robots are tough customers and playing loud is a dangerous gambit.

Loot-mining is the biggest thing you will be doing in this game.  Every robot you kill drops a ton of loot.  You craft your own ammo, which I guarantee you will be a LOT of.  Every potion you drink, trap you lay, or specialized arrow you make will be done with stuff you find on every single enemy, in the environment, and what you buy.  In addition, you can buy better weapons and outfits.  However, sometimes you don’t need the best outfit, as all you need is to add mods to your weapons and outfits to make them better.  If there is one thing that this game cannot be accused of, it’s limiting how you play.  Especially because of all the robots.

Speaking of, this game was marketed primarily on having giant robots.  It’s both this game’s best aspect, and sometimes not all of its best.  When it’s at its best is when you are using the tools you have, including the ability to hack the robots, to fight machines who are massive and powerful.  When its at its worst is when you have enemies who have a bad habit of being just like each other, just a little bigger.  There are five robots shaped like pack animals that you can ride.  There are three shaped like giant cats, and two shaped like dinosaurs.  A little variety would have gone a very long way.  As would some more boss fights.  Having specialized machines who you only face once.  This was a fun part of the game, but the tedium of how regular certain enemies got can’t be ignored.  When you are able to use robots against each other and play stealthy, these things are awesome.  When you are forced into a stand-up fight against machines who can easily kick the shit out of you, it kind of sucks.

The other thing about this game is that the missions can get a little repetitive.  My favorites are the ones where you use this fantastic plot-device called the Focus to basically turn into Batman and examine crime scenes and know what everything is.  I would call it an easy out for the game to have the main character be a super genius, but you know what, it’s still fun.  And to the game’s credit, when you are able to put the device to good use, it does feel like being a detective.  Now if only they could have had more effort put into the crime-solving as opposed to the robot-killing.

Make no mistake, there are no shortage of missions.  Whether it being going into the vaults where the machines are coming from, learning bits and pieces about the forces at work in the world which is keeping the mechanical monsters coming, or examining a crime scene to learn what happened, or going into a bandit camp to kill the worst bandit of them all.  There is a TON of stuff to do in this game.  For completionists like me, it’s a dream come true.  But for the casual player, you may find yourself getting bored.

Which brings me to the acting in this game.  Bless the girl who voiced the main character’s heart.  She clearly put her all into this.  However, for as hard as she tries, the rest of the acting in this game ranges from wooden to overacting.  I can’t be nice about this.  The cruel reality is that not one of these character aside from Aloy sounds even remotely realistic.  A couple do pretty well, but I could almost see the rest of the cast reading from a script.  That is a very unfortunate deal.  The roles who do stand out truly do.  No joke, a couple performances actually made me get invested.  But for the rest this was a paycheck.  Still, main character was great.  This woman clearly has a talent for this, and I hope she is in more games to come.

All in all, Sony definitely brought their a-game to the table.  While everyone is all about Nintendo’s latest under-powered console, I still have a ton of stuff to do in this game, and that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon.

Final Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2017

While 2016 was a bit of a slow year, 2017 is looking to be trying some new stuff.  This is a year full of IPs, sequels to games that weren’t super successful, and games that haven’t been confirmed for 2017, but I am reasonably confident will be coming out this coming year.  Call it gut instinct.  Wish I could put The Last of Us: Part 2 or Death Stranding on this list, but I know for a fact that they aren’t coming out this year.  Some of these are games that were pushed back from last year, and some of them are games that nobody saw coming.  I am excited to see what happens this year, so let’s not waste any time.

What Remains of Edith Finch10. What Remains of Edith Finch
Yes, we’re about to have your moment where you groan – I am a fan of Indie games.  That’s right, I like games that are typically not liked by the normal gaming scene.  The company who made this game, Giant Sparrow, made one of my Indie games – The Unfinished Swan.  A game about a fairytale telling a tragic story about a boy who loses his mother.  This game is keeping a similar storybook style, but this time telling the story of Edith Finch, who is returning to her family home to unravel the mystery of why the family always dies in their enormous house.  Gameplay segments have shown flying a kite, playing as a baby in a bathtub, and even a cat climbing a tree.  This game will have a dark edge, and I can’t wait to see more.

Yooka-Laylee9. Yooka-Laylee
After a year with things being pretty quiet, we finally got to see some gameplay that isn’t alpha stuff.  This little Kickstarter-funded passion project by the dejected devs who worked on Banjo Kazooie just looks better and better.  Like an homage to past games, they even have the cute little language that they used in the original games.  I am so excited to see what stages they come up with.  If it’s anything like that casino in the newest trailer, then this game will be a call-back to the best that the medium has to offer.

Kingdom Hearts 2.88. Kingdom Hearts 2.8: The Final Chapter Prologue
The final piece of the plot before the final game is revealed, this game brings forth the remastered version of Dream Drop Distance, which I have been DYING to play.  We also get a very cool intro to the gameplay style of Kingdom Hearts III with a segment where you play as Aqua, traveling the Realm of Darkness.  Of course, there is also a third segment that is literally nothing but cutscenes.  That will undoubtedly bug me, but it’s all going to be worth it for the first two.  The newest trailer has my mouth watering at the worlds you will explore with Aqua.  If that’s the kind of visuals that we can expect in the newest game, you cannot begin to understand how excited I am.  We desperately need a new trailer for the final game, along with an intro into some of the worlds.

persona-57. Persona 5
A game that was supposed to come out in 2016, it got pushed back.  Unlike some people, I am all for that.  I am glad when they have games pushed back, in order to get everything right.  New gameplay has shown that this game is all about using spirit creatures as proxies to fight.  Reminds me Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch in that regard.  Fine by me.  The game has a colorful style, beautiful character design, a world that looks fun to explore, and on top of that, combat that looks active and vibrant.  There has been a woeful gap in truly stand-out JRPGs in the last couple years, and I want that to change.  Hopefully this game will be leading the charge!

styx-shards-of-darkness6. Styx: Shards of Darkness
You know what I miss?  Stealth games?  You know I also miss? Stealth games with a protagonist who is fun, unlike all the gruff heroes who can do the stealth thing, but got no problem killing everyone when that doesn’t work.  When I played Styx: Master of Shadows, I thought two things.  First, this game’s loading screens are bugging the fuck out of me.  For a game that is all about trial and error, having to sit through those loading screens was more than a little frustrating.  Second, finally, a stealth game that is true to the name!  So many people were bitching that you couldn’t fight.  Well yeah!  You play as a little goblin-man!  He’s half the size of everyone else.  Of course he is kind of fucked if he gets busted.  But it wasn’t just that.  Styx was a fun character.  He was foul-mouthed, vulgar, and actually enjoyed being a thief.  Plus, the world had such interesting lore.  The original game wasn’t perfect, but with the stealth genre dead, I am so glad that we have a series coming up to bring it back to its roots.  Can’t wait to see what happens next.

nioh5. Nioh
What do you get when you combine the difficulty of Dark Souls with the weapons and aesthetic of the Samurai and monsters that take from Japanese mythology?  You get one badass-looking game!  Everything about this game screams that it will fit right in in the pantheon of games loved for their brutal combat and their rich lore.  I will say that the fact that the protagonist looks so much like Geralt is a little weird, but I am willing to give it a chance.  This is a game that seems to be flying under the radar with people, and I’m not sure why.  Maybe because of the people who say that it’s a Dark Souls knock-off?  They don’t know what they’re talking about.  However, the proof will be when we get to see the game for ourselves.

uncharted-the-lost-legacy4: Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
After the end of Uncharted 3, part of me was kind of wondering what Chloe was up to.  You see in the newest game that she invites Nate out on a treasure hunt, but he says “no way.”  In what is probably the most gorgeous reveal I have ever seen, we see our girl is back in form.  This time, she has teamed up from the rather affable mercenary from the last game.  Sure, we wanted to kick Nadine’s ass, but she wasn’t all bad.  Just a merc trying to get by.  Now that her whole endeavor has fallen apart, she’s out to get rich quick.  The two girls are now out to find their own fortune.  Is this a DLC or a full-blown game?  Not sure, but either way, I am excited to see what Naughty Dog is going to tide us over with until The Last of Us: Part 2.

Horizon Zero Dawn3. Horizon: Zero Dawn
It got delayed quite a bit, but you know what, if the goal is to make the game as complete as possible, I am all there!  Originally debuted a couple years ago, we finally have a release date for it.  Won’t have to wait long.  I am all about this game.  A post-apocalyptic game about a redheaded huntress who is stalking the wastelands for parts by the mechanical beasts who roam the world.  There is a story behind all of this madness, and it’s clear from the trailers that this girl is out on a mission to go figure out that story and get the truth behind her ancestry.  With the same girl who did the voice of Chloe Price in Life is Strange, I am so excited to see what happens with the narrative of this game.  The gameplay has been pretty flushed out, so now I want to know where the story goes.  Traveling around, scavenging parts from robots is fun and all, but I want to get to know this world, and the people in it.  We’ve seen that conversation options are a thing, a la Mass Effect, but I’m not complaining.  There is also the fact that there are ancient machines with untold dark powers and dark purpose.  What does it all mean?  Where did the people go?  So many questions, few answers.  Can’t wait.

god-of-war2. God of War
This game was just announced, and I have no reason to expect that it will be released this year, but call it a hunch.  Something about the reveal and how far they are into it gave me the impression that the game isn’t that far down the rabbit hole.  A soft reboot of the God of War franchise, this game is a continuation of the story.  I am dying to know what happened to Kratos after the end of the third game.  How did he get into a land of Norse mythology?  Who is this kid who is clearly not his biological son, but whom he is treating with all the love and compassion that a Spartan would his son?  They make it sound like he had been fighting in this land for some time.  Why?  What purpose guides Kratos?  He says that the boy and him are going to be fighting together against the Gods.  What new gods has our favorite god-killer gone and pissed off this time?  Lots of questions, few answers.  As I said, no confirmation, but a gut instinct that the game is coming out this year.

And the game I am most excited for this year is…

detroit-become-human1. Detroit: Become Human
Another game that I have no confirmation that it will be coming out this year, but call it a decent hunch.  Announced two years ago, we first got to see the breath-taking spectacle of the world of this game.  Centered in the city of Detroit, it seems to follow the stories of a series of androids living in a world where they are treated as second-class citizens.  The first trailer showed an android who has learned how to hide what she is.  The newest one shows an android created specifically to be used in hostage negotiations.  At first, his mission is an outright failure, but the trailer shows that you can go about it other ways.  By taking in clues, you can tailor your negotiation to best deal with the deranged android.  It also shows that there are plenty of ways to save the little girl’s life.  The very best way shows that even when you do everything right and she is saved, the police still kill the android.  He calls you a traitor.  The last game by Quantic Dream was my second-favorite game of 2013.  I have nothing but high hopes for this one.  Let’s see what it’s got.

What about you?  What games are you most excited for?  Let me know in the comments

Until next time, a quote,

“It’s up to you how this story ends.” – Connor, Detroit: Become Human

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2016

2015 has been a wonderful year for me in the world of gaming.  The PS4 (the current console that I have.  Whatever to you PC master race people) has come into its own in a big way.  It had some truly amazing exclusives, like Until Dawn, and one of the best games that I have gotten to play in a long time – Bloodborne.  There was also an episodic game that has consumed my life in a big way.  Another game where, if it weren’t for crashing and burning right at the end, would be high on my list of favorite games.  This has been a fantastic year (save Arkham Knight.  Fuck that game) for gaming, and next year is looking to be even better.  So many great games, this was actually a hard list to pick out.  Kills me how little save space the PS4 has.  If it didn’t, then this would be a lot easier.  I wouldn’t have to wonder which game I’m going to have to uninstall to make room for new ones.  Frustrating.  But it’s always something, isn’t it?  The list was hard to make, but I think that we did it.  Here are my picks.  For those who have read this site for a long time, my top pick might already be known to you.  Let’s do this.

Kingdom Hearts 2.810. Kingdom Hearts 2.8: The Final Chapter Prologue
With Kingdom Hearts III in development and looking better and better with each new trailer, I am so stoked to finally get my hands on this.  Part of the problem with what will be the final game has been the fact that the plot of this series has grown so big that trying to summarize it would be a disaster.  With roughly six games between II and III, there’s a lot of plot to fill in.  The HD collections have been really great for that.  I’ve been able to catch up, and get some new stuff.  II.5 ReMIX is one of the best games I’ve ever played, packed to the brim with content.  Here, I get to finally see what happens in Dream Drop Distance, and there is some new material that shows us what happens after the events of Birth by Sleep, where Aqua is wandering in the realm of darkness.  III can’t come soon enough, but this will tide me over until then.

The Witness9. The Witness
A game that was nearly declared vaporware by people, the creator of Braid has been teasing this first-person puzzle game for years.  Now, we get to see what it was all leading to.  I, for one, am stoked.  This game looks absolutely fantastic.  The puzzle mechanics also look really cool.  Reminds me of an app game on my phone – Free Flow.  But the environments are the thing that sells me.  This is a quiet and contemplative game, that clearly is going to make a lot of use of just the environmental noise and peaceful imagery.  It’s not a bombastic game, but that is fine with me.  A puzzle game on a vibrant island will do me fine.  I don’t know much about the plot of this game yet, but I am itching to find out.

Mirror's Edge Catalyst8. Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst
It is so cool that a cult classic game is going to be getting a new entry into the series.  Though, it seems that this isn’t a sequel or a prequel.  It’s being marketed as a reboot.  This game would be a lot closer to the top, if it weren’t for the fact that it’s being made by EA and DICE.  Two companies that are known for their skull-duggary of gamers.  Look at what happened with Star Wars: Battlefield.  However, this game looks absolutely amazing, and while I will be waiting to see what the reviews say, if it does measure up, I am on it like stink on cheese!  The parkour awesomeness of this franchise has needed this for ages.  Maybe not a reboot, but at least some more entries into it.  Guess we’ll see what happens.

What Remains of Edith Finch7. What Remains of Edith Finch
Okay, how did I not hear about this game until recently?!  Made by the same people who made the fascinating and beautiful The Unfinished Swan, this game no longer has us throwing paint, but instead going through a series of short stories where we learn about the family, life, and emotional undoing of a girl named Edith Finch.  The visuals of this game looks AMAZING!  What’s more, there are clues that the gameplay will be all over the place.  Whether it be the girl, a baby, or even a cat climbing a tree.  A lot of this game is hidden, but you know what, I am stoked to see where it goes.  This game can only impress, because this studio has shown their chops.  Let’s see where things go next.  Another of the exclusive games that Sony is coming out with that is a cut above.

Yooka-Laylee6. Yooka-Laylee
You know what I miss – the cartoon-y and brilliant platforming of Banjo Kazooie.  Don’t tell me about Nuts and Bolts.  That never happened.  Fuck that game.  Several Rare developers left the studio and came together, wanting to go back to their roots.  After going to Kickstarter, showing off a game that was in form of Banjo Kazooie.  The visuals are cute and cuddly.  The gameplay looks familiar and fun.  The world looks like it will be really enjoyable to explore.  The gaming crowd spoke, and we are clearly getting what we paid for.  With so many ho-hum or outright-terrible Kickstarter games being made, it will be nice to see a success story.  Everything shown of this game makes it clear that these devs have put their heart and soul into this.  I can’t wait to finally get my hands on it.

Uncharted 45. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
After the ending of Uncharted 3, I was pretty cool with where they left things.  It was on a positive note, having gone through a story where we see Drake learn a lot about himself and what kind of man he is.  There didn’t seem to be a need for a sequel.  But after seeing the gameplay footage for this game, and learning more about the story, it’s clear that this final chapter in Nate’s story is gonna be up to the standards that Naughty Dog is known for.  Add to that the fun mechanics, and the branching areas like how you can choose where to go when you’re in the driving sections, and there is so much potential here.  This game looks to be nine kinds of fun, and I can’t wait to see how Nate will end his life as an insatiable thief and archaeological grave-robber.

Rise of the Tomb Raider4. Rise of the Tomb Raider
Why is it on this list?  Because fuck Microsoft, that’s why.  I have heard nothing but good things about this game, and you have no idea how frustrating it is that I have to wait until the holiday season of 2016 to get it.  Hopefully Sony will find some way to improve upon the game, just to stick it to Microsoft for their greed.  Kills me that the cruel reality is that even though this game has everything going for it, because of what has happened with Microsoft, it is likely never going to get a sequel.  That just pisses me off.  I want to see this franchise build upon the new life it was given.  When I do finally get my hands on this game, and review it, I’ll tell you all about it, and hopefully I can be one of a chorus of voices who tells Square Enix not to abandon this franchise just because of their stupid business decision.

Hitman3. Hitman
You know what’s awesome?  Hitman.  The last entry in the franchise was definitely more action over substance.  Not to mention a story that is pants-on-the-head retarded.  This game is going back to form.  The latest trailer shows off the game’s world, where we get to see how awesome it looks.  There are beautiful locales, a ton of ways to kill a target, and outfits that you can wear to sneak into a place.  Everything about this game looks better.  As reboots go, they want to go back to where this game was.  Hopefully they capture the difficulty that the old games have.  Where one mistake could end up costing you everything.  After how ho-hum the previous game was, Square Enix has learned their lesson, and they are showing that they want to make the most of this new game.  Can’t wait.

Horizon Zero Dawn2. Horizon: Zero Dawn
You know what else is awesome?  Robo-dinosaurs!  Oh, and a post-apocalyptic world where you hunt them, with action-RPG mechanics.  This game looks fucking amazing!  Since E3, this game has just been looking more and more amazing.  The more we see and the more we learn, the more I want this game to be out right now.  From the people who made the Killzone franchise, we are in a third-person perspective following a time period from what seems like centuries after humanity is dead.  The world is now ruled by robo-dinosaurs, and you have to survive in it.  The devs have talked about how there are mechanics of building relationships and interacting with the various societies in the game.  Everything about this has me on the edge of my seat.  Sony is bringing the house down with their exclusives, and this game would be at the top, were it not for the fact that something I have been longing for for so long will finally be here…

As I said, some of you might have seen this coming.  It’s been too fucking long…

Final Fantasy XV1. Final Fantasy XV
Finally!  About fucking time!  A release date has been set – sometime in 2016.  It will have been ten years, since this game was announced.  Ten years, and unlike the last game that had that reputation, this one appears to have made the most of its time.  It’s traded hands from one big developer at Square Enix, to another, but that appears to have worked in its favor.  Telling a bro-tastic story about bros on a road trip, with hints of Hamlet and political power games like in Game of Thrones, this game will set a place as the most ambitious of the games in the Final Fantasy series.  This IP has gotten more than a little stale in the last few years.  This game is either going to bring it back, or bury it.  No pressure or anything.  But everything I’ve seen tells me that it will be worth it.  The amazing visuals.  The awesome combat.  The epic boss fights.  The fun bro characters and their bromancing.  I haven’t seen an RPG like this game, and I cannot WAIT to finally get my hands on it.  I may be annoyed at Square for making us wait this long, but it will happen.  Most likely around the holidays, because of course.  It’s Square Enix, after all.  Gotta fuck with us.  Hopefully all of you are as excited as me.

So, what games are the ones that you are most looking forward to?  Let me know in the Comments.  Maybe we can have us some discussion.  If it’s something obscure, attach a trailer.  Maybe it will get my attention.

Until next time, a quote,

“Who can say?  We mustn’t rush to conclusions.”  – Ignis Scientia, Final Fantasy XV

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Horizon Zero Dawn: E3 2015 Trailer

Meant to get to this earlier, but I’ve been working this new job and it’s been taking up a lot of my free time.  The job is dull as dirt, but it pays the bills.  I live on my own, so I got a lot more to worry about.  But I’m not lamenting the bachelor life.  Not completely, anyway.  A topic for another day.  This year’s E3 was pretty lackluster, in a lot of areas.  Microsoft’s conference was boring.  The games they announced are the games we have come to expect from them.  Aside from the backward-compatibility stuff, there were no surprises.  Don’t get me started on Nintendo.  If that company doesn’t do some MAJOR course corrections, their time in the console market is done.  Though, that might be for the best.  Honestly, if they weren’t trying so hard to make consoles, and just ditch that and went third-party and the handheld market, they could make more money.  But that’s not what we’re here to talk about.

Sony came out swinging, and their conference burned the fucking house down.  From the announcement of the Shenmue III Kickstarter campaign, to the unveiling of a remake (FINALLY!) of Final Fantasy VII, and the exhuming of The Last Guardian from the vaporware graveyard.  Any one of those things would have won it for them.  But they also introduced a new IP.  One that is one of the most gorgeous and unique concepts I’ve seen in a game in a LONG time, and it has got me intrigued, in a way that only Sony marketing can do.  For whatever reason, these people do it right.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  Let’s see the trailer.

For whatever reason, Sony knows how to do their marketing just right.  The first time we hear about a game, it’s done in a teaser.  Something to get people talking.  Then, there is little or nothing said for a year, and the next E3, we get a gameplay trailer.  It isn’t something so huge that it spoils the whole game.  These people aren’t Microsoft or Ubisoft.  We get a couple launch trailers and TV spots, and the game is out.  This formula has been going for a while, and you know what – it works!  When I saw that there was a new Uncharted game coming out, I was less than pleased.  Didn’t they bring that franchise to a nice conclusion?  Why keep it going?  Then they released little snippets of gameplay, and I couldn’t help it – I was hooked.

I vaguely recall hearing the name of this game some time ago, but there was little about what it is.  Horizon Zero Dawn?  Is that a military shooter?  What is this?  Sony decided to pull out the stops, and give us a nice taste of what looks to be a phenomenal fucking game.  Combining Assassin’s Creed style stealth with Tomb Raider platforming and bow mechanics, with a backdrop of a very post-apocalyptic world that is filled with tribal societies and…robot fucking dinosaurs!  Robot dinosaurs.  A game where I can kill robot dinosaurs already has me.  But the cool setting, the AMAZING visuals, and the post-apocalyptic backdrop has me hooked.  Plus, this isn’t one of those games where it’s right after the apocalypse.  It’s understood that whatever happened to us, it’s long since past.  This is generations afterwards, when new societies have grown and live their own way.  None of this “we’ll go back to the way things used to be” nonsense.  I like that.

But the thing that gets me the most – how new and fresh this feels. This game is a breath of fresh air in a time when the industry needs it.  For so long, gamers have been clamoring for games that try new things and take risks.  This game is a definite risk, and it could all be a pile of shit.  But the fact that the first major announcement for this game is a gameplay trailer, with mechanics as slick as this, gives me hope that this gamble will pay off, and I am planning on having my money ready to endorse it.  Let’s hope it’s money well spent, unlike Arkham Knight, which is nothing but wasted potential.

Initial Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick