Top 10 Questions About Cyberpunk 2077

I know that I wrote in a post that people shouldn’t get aboard the hype train too much because that’s where insane crunch like the 100 hour work weeks at Rockstar comes from, but I can’t help it!  This game has me on the line, and every piece of news that comes out is magic to me.  I’ve watched the 48 minute gameplay demo 1000 times by now.  I hang on every detail.  I could go on about it for days.  But there are a few things that really catch my eye.  Things that I cannot get out of my head.  Now, I know that I’m some rando WordPress blogger who once aspired to legit journalism, so the chances of getting these answered if virtually nil, but I’m gonna put them out there and see what, if anything, comes back.  Here are my top 10 questions about Cyberpunk 2077.

10. How is shopping with street vendors gonna work?
I couldn’t help but notice all the vendors in this game.  There was a pizza place, a guy selling defective equipment, but there is one in-particular that caught my eye – the dude selling vinyl albums.  Can I buy from that dude?!  How about pizza dude?  How much of the vendor culture am I gonna be able to interact with?  There was a bit where a dude is trying to sell you a camera, and you had the ability to say yes.  Does that mean that all sorts of people selling all sorts of stuff is gonna be open to the player?  Oh, and speaking of the vinyl…

9. Are you gonna be able to have a playlist at home?
Assuming that you can buy some of those vinyl albums, can you make your own music setup at home?  How many kinds of music will be represented?  I wanna make my character a pretentious net-runner, so some electronic or spin on classical would be rad.  Thinking Deadmau5 would go well in this universe, or some ATTLAS for the quieter moments.  Their style seems absolutely perfect for the kind of game that this is.

8. How much of the character’s back-story are you gonna be able to make?
During the intro to the gameplay demo, you saw that there is a personal history section.  In the pen-and-paper RPG days, you could fill in the backstory.  So my question is, since you have made very clear that you are keeping it as loyal to that old-school system and mythos as you can, how much can I put in?  I mean, the options probably have to be limited, since otherwise you’d have games crashing under their own complication, but I want to know.  And while we’re on the topic of the mythos…

7. Will there be an in-game codex for the lore?
I REALLY wanna be able to learn about the history of this game.  One of my favorite things in the Mass Effect games (at least the first three good ones) was the codex.  Anytime I wanted to learn something new about the world, the aliens, the tech, I could look at the codex and study.  Hell, everyone’s favorite part of the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC was reading the random entries about all the characters.  Will I have such a thing in the game itself?  I saw that we have a computer.  Will it be there?  Oh, which is a nice segway to…

6. When will we get to see the computer?
Given the HUD and how stuff all seems to be there, I’m curious how the computer is going to be integrated into the game.  On the touch-screen gizmo on your window, you could check your messages there.  How is this going to work?  Cyberpunk email sounds kinda fun.  Not to mention, give me a place I can go and pour over the codex while listening to my music and you have me all over your game.  No joke, I will learn everything there is to know.

5. How will relationships work in this game?
I saw in the trailer that V wakes up with a rando dude.  Way too much facial hair for my liking, but whatever floats her boat.  I notice that you didn’t seem to set up taking the dude to bed?  Since I am probably gonna have a bi character (true to myself), am I gonna have some sort of way of interacting when I want them to come over for a booty call?  Not to mention, is the game gonna choose for me as this seemed to when that happens, and with whom?  You’ve said that interactions with the people are gonna be broad, but in terms of this, I am looking for some specifics.

4. For those who wanna play quiet, what will the options be?
As previously stated, I wanna be a net-runner, and would prefer to have a play style where I can talk my way out.  Don’t get me wrong, violence is fun, and getting to have crazy weapons to do so sounds great.  In another play-through, I probably will have a character who is all about shooting everything until it’s dead.  But starting out, I wanna be able to play the clever character with tech being my first line of defense.  With that in mind, I am curious to see what the play styles will be and what kinds of upgrades I can do in order to play that way.

3. Is there gonna be some kind of system to keep track of the player’s relationship to the various factions?
You’ve talked about how what you do is going to leave a mark in the various factions of the game.  That’s great!  I loves it.  Get me some Fallout: New Vegas action going on in manipulating allegiances.  But I am curious to know if there will be a system of some kind to keep track of where I stand with various elements of the city, if at all.  Like those creepy Maelstrom gangers and the Corpo pieces of shit that I will be undercutting.  My net-running is gonna be used against them in a big way.  I love the idea that what I do will change the way the world interacts with me, but it would be nice to have some sort of way of knowing where I stand with X group before I have a mission where I have to interact with them.

2. How is the katana gonna work?!
I couldn’t help but notice that when you go into the armory in the game, one of the slots that is available is for a goddamn katana!  Wants!  But that got me to thinking – since this is a first-person game, how is it going to work with that?  Genuinely curious.  First-person blade weapons has been a HUGE area of hit-or-miss throughout the years.  I’m more than a little curious what your take is going to be.  Not to mention, can we upgrade the blade?  Make it all electric like Raiden’s from Metal Gear Rising?  Since I wanna be a net-runner, with a focus on being quiet and stealthy, big guns don’t do much for me.  But this caught my eye.

1. When am I gonna be able to download that song by Johnny Silverhand?!
Please, for the love of Groj, tell me that some of the music in this game is coming to iTunes.  It would genuinely disappoint me if it wasn’t.  That song featured in the trailer is part of the reason I am hooked.  I wanna let my inner punk go nuts to that!  I get the feeling that Johnny Silverhand might be my “Personal Hero” character, though Blackhand is in the running.  I know who those characters represented are.  I’ve been doing my research on the source material.  So yeah, when can I get my hands on that song?!

So yeah, those are my questions.  Gonna send these over to CD Projekt RED and Cyberpunk 2077‘s Twitter pages and see if I can get a response.  Not holding my breath, but you never know.  I got Focus Home Interactive to respond to me with my First Take on their new game, A Plague Tale: Innocence.  So maybe I can with these guys too.  I’m a firm believer in the rumor that the game is coming out in 2019, with all they’ve said about making sure it’s optimized with current consoles, it would have to.  2020 is gonna be the beginning of a new generation.  What are your questions?  Let me know in the comments.  If I can get a response from them, I will definitely keep you posted.

Until next time, a quote,

“Got the chrome in the bloodstream
Got a hot red metal soul,
I’m out looking for action,
Guess I’m on a roll.” – Johnny Silverhand, Cyberpunk 2077

Peace out,

Maverick

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Lucien’s Unpopular Opinion: Gaming Culture Needs to Change, for the Devs’ Sake

I’m sure you all read the stories that came out about how Rockstar has been working their staff to verifiably insane degrees.  100 hour work weeks is ridiculous.  A 60 hour work week is already bananas, but now add another full work week to that.  No rational person can handle that.  But the worst part is that this is nothing new.  Horror stories coming out of EA are old news by this point.  Same with Ubisoft.  In fact, it is a known fact within the gaming industry that there are very few companies that don’t engage in this sort of behavior.  It’s a tragedy, really.  And it’s because of this that I think there needs to be some changes

It bugs me when I see in the comments on these articles that devs shouldn’t complain.  After all, they make big money, right?  So what if they are a little inconvenienced?  The rationale of people who have never had that level of crunch before.  I used to work retail.  At Target.  The management there was shit, so at the end of EVERY SINGLE DAY, we were out late.  Why?  Because we would have to work overtime in order to get all the shit that needed to be finished done.  All because management didn’t know how to handle people.  It sucked the life out of us when each and every night we are getting out almost an hour late.  It’s long about midnight when we are heading home.  Now I imagine that feeling, seven days a week, where you work 16 hour days.  No sane person can live that way.

But why does gaming culture need to change?  What did we do?  I mean, isn’t this a thing where the people involved need to unionize or the government needs to have stricter regulations?  Sure, those things do need to happen.  However, there is a deeper cause that people aren’t seeming to see.  It is a problem that goes beyond the gamers who are part of it.  There is a corporate problem.  So don’t think I’m pointing the fingers at gamers specifically.  The entire industry needs a shift, and soon.

This problem comes from the hype cycle.  The yearly release cycle.  Gamers get so rabid for new released.  I’m guilty of this as well.  I have been hanging on every piece of news that comes out about Cyberpunk 2077.  I am one of the people who believes the theory going around that the game is going to be released in 2019.  Especially since the devs say they have worked overtime to optimize the game to current consoles.  They have made very clear that as amazing as that gameplay trailer looked, it did so on tech that current consoles can handle.  It was a huge news story where they said they aren’t shooting for a next-gen release.  That and some of the bits about leaked info, I am reasonably certain.

That being said, if Cyberpunk 2077 did come out in 2020, as much as that would be a bit of a bummer for me, I’d be okay with it.  If it means that the devs could have a working life that doesn’t push them to these extremes, I would be perfectly fine with it.  In fact, when I get news that a game I want is being pushed back, that generally makes me happy, because it means the devs are doing their best to make sure everything is done well and it is the best it can be.

A sentiment that cannot be seen among the rest of gaming culture.  For example, if Rockstar had come out and said that Red Dead Redemption II had to be delayed for months or even longer in order to not have to crunch like this, what do you think the reaction would be?  It would be outrage.  Fan rage would be everywhere.  Shit-posts left and right.  People saying that the devs shouldn’t complain so much.  You know I’m right.

When I started this, I said that gamers aren’t the only ones to blame for this, and I wasn’t lying.  The truth is that the publishers are too.  Not only do huge corporations set hard deadlines that push people, but they also make the hype culture go out of control.  A lot of people blame Bioware for the end of Mass Effect 3 being as bad as it is, but the reality is that that had less to do with them and more to do with EA setting a hard deadline to when the game had to be released.  So they just cut corners and used the first draft of the ending written by some rando dude.  This story isn’t new.

There is something to be said for how Bethesda does thing. Typically, they don’t even announce games until they are almost ready, and when they are reasonably certain that this is when they will be ready.  It’s a good strategy.  Instead of dragging the hype cycle out, they can concentrate it into something that is damn-near orgasmic.  It’s impressive, to say the least.  Even if I don’t like all their game, their strategy of giving devs time to work without taxing them, waiting until they know it’s gonna be ready in time, that’s the right approach.

But these companies also like to get the hype train rolling too. They want to get gamers salivating and putting in those pre-orders.  That’s how the money gets made.  It works.  It really does.  I have been guilty of buying into it myself.  I like to think that I’m more stable about this stuff now, but like I said, I hang on all the news that comes out about Cyberpunk 2077.  It’s addicting.  Especially when I know that the developer has a pedigree for quality that I can tell they aren’t shying away from now.

All of this being said, there does need to be a change.  Gaming culture is becoming unsustainable.  We need to start treating these developers like human beings and having human expectations for them.  I guarantee, it would see the industry be better for it, even if games took longer to make.  We can afford for them to take the time.

Until next time, a quote,

“Got the chrome in the bloodstream
Got a hot red metal soul,
I’m out looking for action,
Guess I’m on a roll.” – Johnny Silverhand, Cyberpunk 2077

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Final Fantasy XV (Platinum Demo)

It’s finally happened!  There’s been a release date given to a game that has been ten years in the making.  Now we got a demo!  I decided to try out the feature on my share feature on my PS4 to see if I could make a video showcasing it.  The lag quality in this is off the chart.  It’s borderline a slide-show.  Sorry about that.  But, for those of you who don’t mind, here is my first take on this demo.  It’s free to download, so I recommend seeing it for yourself.

Hopefully you all are as stoked for this as I am.  Let me know what you think down in the comments, and it’s a good day to be a gamer!

Initial Verdict
9 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONL: #UncoveredFFXV

It’s finally happening!  This is it!  After ten long years of waiting and hoping and dreaming, we finally have a release date for this game.  You all have no idea how excited I am.  They just showed the newest trailer and it has got me more than a little emotional.  It starts out making you think it’s just another stupid epic fantasy game, but then they flip the script.  See for yourself.

I can’t think of a better song for this film.  I honestly can’t.  “Stand by Me” is not only one of the songs the set the tone for a generation, but it was also a film that told the best coming-of-age stories of all time.  That’s what this game is.  It is a game all about a road trip adventure with four guys, who are having to grow up in a world that is not especially kind to them.

But did you see how enjoyable this was?  You have them broken down by the side of the road.  They are having to push their car along.  That’s hilarious!  But the biggest thing is the friendship between these characters.  Every moment of this trailer was all about capturing how they are not just traveling companions.  It is so much bromance, and I couldn’t be more excited.  Plus, we get to see more gameplay.  There is some chocobo riding, which looks like fun.  The game looks so fucking gorgeous!  Everything about this is going to be unfathomably exceptional.  It also shows that mini-games are back!  You can play pinball and poker!  That’s just what we’ve seen so far.  It’s like this game learned its lesson from all the failures that have come before it, and now we are getting the best product that we possibly can.  But there’s more!

A new demo is coming out tonight, which will be an introduction to gamers as to how the gameplay will work.  It is set in a dream that Noctis is having as a small child, and you unlock a summon that can go in the actual game!  This is everything I could have asked for an more.  Square Enix’s servers are going down tonight at 12:00 EST.  Count on it!  It will be 9:00 where I’m at.

With the game coming out on September 30th, the wait is almost over.  I’m a child again, seeing a game that I can’t wait for and riding that hype train for all its worth.  Less has definitely been more with this game.  You get to ride a boat, and there is even a way to make your car fly!  So much to explore, and I can’t wait to see what’s coming next.

Let me know what you think down in the comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“It’s been a long time.  Too long.  But not much longer.”  -Noctis Caelum, Final Fantasy XV

Peace out,

Maverick

Is Gaming Hype Wrong? (A response to George Weidman)

Something you all should know about me – I am a HUGE Kingdom Hearts fan.  I know, it’s shocking, what with my two Top 10 lists about worlds and characters I want to see in Kingdom Hearts III.  When me, my cousin Griffin and my girly-mate Mandy got to the end of Kingdom Hearts II, the three of us were excited beyond belief at where the franchise went next.  We talked, long into the night, about what we wanted to see.  What Disney worlds we were eager to see brought to life.  This was when Pixar was in its hayday, so we wanted to see some of their worlds.  Still do, actually.  So much eagerness.  Young passion that was stoked.  Then we waited.  And we waited.  And we waited.  But it never came.  It never was talked about.  There were handheld games after handheld games, but they all felt like something tacked on.  Aside from Birth by Sleep, that is.  Eventually, our hopes kind of faded and we moved on.  Granted, the three of us aren’t a trio anymore.  In fact, my cousin, the brother I never had, is dead to me.  And my girly-mate has kind of gone in her own direction, and I in mine.

However, when I saw a teaser at E3 last year, that finally showed me that Kingdom Hearts III was coming, I was over the moon!  So much excitement!  The franchise I grew up with was back!  And it looked better than ever.  But that was a teaser.  I wasn’t about to get very excited until I saw some gameplay.  At this year’s E3, I saw just that.  And it looks amazing!  The visuals are astounding.  The gameplay looks smooth.  The world looks massive.  I would have liked to see more worlds, but still.  Everything I saw gave me confidence that this game was going to own.  I can’t wait to see what comes next!  That childlike love was back, and I don’t regret that.

Today, I saw a video on a channel that I am subscribed to on YouTube, called Super Bunnyhop.  It is run by a guy named George Weidman.  In it, he lamented this year’s E3, and made a lot of stabs at the industry and those who consume this, like what we are watching is wrong, and our endorsement of what E3 represents is wrong as well.  I think I’ll let him state his case.  That’s only fair.

An interesting case, he makes.  I don’t always agree with George on his opinions.  But that’s a good thing.  It’s good that I can listen to someone I don’t always agree with and at least be open to their opinion.  Unlike the SJW crowd, I don’t live in an echo chamber.  Alternate opinions can give you new perspectives, and that’s a good thing to have in life.  Still, I don’t always agree with his opinions, and in this case, I felt the need to voice my discontent.

Here’s the thing, George, I am with you on a lot of parts of this.  There is a lot of bullshit associated with E3.  The spectacle can take priority over the quality of content.  Gaming companies can spend inordinate amounts of time whoring themselves out to their consumers.  But, that’s kind of the point of this event, isn’t it?  To reach out to consumers and promote your material?  Sure, they could do it in a less gimmicky sort of way, but this entire event is to showcase gaming.  What’s wrong with that?  What’s wrong with an event that promotes video games and allows gamers to come and see what they want to see up close?  Is it because of all the bullshit?  I’d actually get your argument, if it is.  Might even be with you, to a point.  If we could just cut the fat and the grand-standing at E3, that would be excellent.

That doesn’t sound like the argument you’re making, though.  It sounds like you’re getting on gamers for participating in this at all.  Like it is gamers’ fault that we get excited about new games.  Yeah, the teaser for the Final Fantasy VII remake was just a teaser.  Just like the teaser for Kingdom Hearts III was just a teaser last year.  Just like a movie teaser is just a teaser.  These things exist for that purpose – to tease.  To get people talking.  Then, you have a trailer from the game itself, and we get more context.  That gets people talking even more.  It’s called the hype train.  When done well, it gives people enough information to give them a general sense of wonder, yet leaves room for surprises.

I can hear the counter-argument – but come on!  Look at how many games pretty much spoil everything in their promotion!  Again, I agree with that.  There can be a little too much advertisement.  That’s a hype train not done well.  When gamers know everything to expect from a game.  There are also the ones that give us false expectations.  That was the problem with last year, and the big games like Watch Dogs and Destiny.  There was too much hype, for games that were not bad, but not that great either.  Rather run of the mill.  Though, honestly, if our expectations had been a little lower, do you think we would have been as bothered by that.

The thing I take the most umbrage with as at the end of the video.  When you say that it’s better to just go into something blind.  I disagree with that.  Rather strongly.  This is our money we’re risking.  You don’t think that maybe we should get some idea where our money is going?  I get that AAA companies have no obligation to tell us, but it’s in their best interests.  Do you really want to spend money on a game without having some idea that your money is being well spent.  But I can hear – that’s why reviews are made!  I majored in Journalism and Public Communication, George.  I got my Bachelor’s in it.  Wanna know something – I learned about marketing.  To this day, do you know what the best form of marketing is – word of mouth.  It does more to sell a product than any review will EVER do.  I like watching Angry Joe or even you talk about a game, but the truth is that I often look at a game’s trailer and gameplay footage and judge for myself whether or not I think it will be a good game.

It’s the reason that I am now enamored with the game Life is Strange.  I saw the trailer, and heard people talking about how it was “SJW: The Video Game.”  I got annoyed at that statement, because nobody had even played the game yet.  Later on, the SJWs would actually be annoyed at the game because it is written by men.  Go figure.  But the trailer intrigued, and I wanted to see more.  That’s how the game got me.  And I’m glad that I did see that trailer.  If I hadn’t, then I might never have known.

There’s nothing wrong with getting people interested in a product.  That’s how you sell anything.  If nobody hears about a game, and then somebody sees it on the shelf, do you think they are going to play it?  Or do you think that they will see the trailer, as I did, and then think – I think I might like that game!  If they do, then they tell their friends, and the word of mouth chain grows.

I think the problem that you have is the spectacle.  And I’m with ya.  Really, I am.  There is too damn much of it.  But, I am not about to guilt gamers for loving getting hyped about a product.  Because if we didn’t get excited about gaming, then what the fuck are doing in this hobby?  We do this because we love it?  Right?

Until next time, a quote,

“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.”  – Gloria Steinem

Peace out,

Maverik

SIONL: Final Fantasy XV English Trailer! At Last!

It’s finally here!  Something I’ve been wanting for so fucking long, and it’s finally here.  I cannot begin to tell you how happy this makes me.  For real, this is so freakin’ amazing!  Already, the video is generating controversy.  Some people are saying that this is typical anime voice actors.  I personally am in love with a couple of the roles.  And this isn’t the greatest trailer to showcase these people in, but still.  It is quite something.  I won’t keep you waiting, here is the trailer.

It’s funny, they tell us that this trailer is “unlisted,” asking us to be “considerate when sharing.”  Yeah, because this trailer wasn’t going to go viral.  Nope.  Hand to God and all that.

But yeah, first things first – in LOVE with the voice of the driver.  It’s British, and British people automatically sound better than normal people.  I can’t tell you how much I love it.  Still, everyone is good.  The blond guy is all excitable, which makes sense, given his character.  Noctis sounds all broody and melancholy.  The dude with the giant sword has this kind of boss attitude that is just too cool for school.  I love every single person.

That pegs it – this game is coming out in 2015!  We’re getting an English voice-over trailer, it might as well be in the bag!  I am so unbelievably-stoked for this and all they have to do now is set a date to release and every single fan will be marking their calender.  For real, Square Enix, now is the time!  Get the hype train going!  Make this train leave the station in such a way that we won’t be able to think twice!  There has never been a better time.  The last game show of the year is in four days.  Get the party started!  We’re already biting, so feed us some fucking bait!

With all the shit you’ve done, I have seen a side to you that reminds me that you can do great things.  After playing Kingdom Hearts II.5 ReMIX, I am in love with your company again.  Don’t fuck this up!  Now is the time!  We got your invitation, now show us what you got!

Until next time, a quote,

“Now this is what I call a party!”  -Joker, Batman: Arkham Origins

Peace out,

Maverick