Friday, 30 August 2013

Critical Rocket's gaming news roundup

Last week I decided to put forward my opinions on some of the weeks gaming news that was most pertinent to myself or at least the most interesting, so thought I would have another go.

Lost Planet 3 came out this week and gave me major flashbacks to Dead Space 3 although the argument over which one inspired which could rage forever.  Either way it has had pretty mixed reviews with Eurogamer being relatively unimpressed with Gametrailers actually enjoying it.  What I found interesting was that Eurogamer completely ignored the games multiplayer in the review while Gametrailers clearly factored some of their score based on the multiplayer and singleplayer.  Overall it looks like one of those games that comes down to personal choice instead of being universally loved or hated by reviewers.  I can't help but feel that the protagonist of the game looks like Daniel Byran though.
Sony continued their stellar PSN work by screwing up the GTA V preload which allowed a number of users to access the game early and spoiling several elements for fans.  I don't know why Sony hasn't yet learnt it's lesson from the hacking debacle last year especially so close to the launch of PS4.  At least this screw up was only egg on their face and not thousands of users personal details being accessed by hackers.

Final Fantasy XIV came back with a bang and then crashed when the servers overloaded with players trying it out.  Whether this a measure of success or merely players old and new checking out the relaunched version of this former train wreck.  I haven't checked it out but my feelings on the MMO genre have been made clear in the past.  Sub based gaming is on it' way out and only the well established or clinically insane will continue down that path.

Speaking of which Bethesda also revealed the subscription plans for their MMO set in the elder scrolls world, imaginatively titled Elder scrolls online.  The name is so boring, it would be like EVE changing it's name to "space flying economy simulator".  Either way this is a major mistake on Bethesda's part much like The Old republic they are trying to trade off the established name of a very popular brand.  Of course Elder Scrolls is popular because of it's open world singleplayer gameplay and not for sharing this world with other players and having to pay every month for the privilege.  I give Elder Scrolls Online about 8 months before they change their subscription plans and begin to change to a free to play model.
"come at me brah....but only for £9 a month"

Skylanders got some serious competition in the form of Disney Infinity.  Infinity is pretty much Skylanders but with Disney characters which will likely draw more fans simply because Jack Sparrow is more recognisable than Spyro.  The similarities are endless but so far Infinity has gotten a pretty positive response from reviewers so the war is on between Activision and Disney Interactive for dominance of this relatively new market in gaming, certainly something to watch for nothing else but the innovation both companies put into the tech used.

2K Marin's tortured shooter The Bureau XCOM Declassified was released to mediocre reviews this week.  A title that has seen many changes both thematically and technically it was bound to fail unfortunately.  I preferred the original idea of it being a semi-horror first person investigation and shooter, but clearly I was in a minority.  The final release is for lack of a better word a Mass Effect clone and not a very good one at that.  It's not that the game is terrible but it doesn't make any lasting impressions.  Still it's one of those titles to buy when it's way cheaper, if nothing else to simply play a prequel of sorts to XCOM enemy Unknown.
XCOM's Sectoids like a bit of shock and tickle S&M
Games for Windows Live or GFWL has gone through several major changes on the PC as the release of xbox one draws ever nearer.  GFWL will eventually shutdown on PC's which has left the playable state of many games unknown while others will simply become unplayable forever more in the case of Age of empires online.  I am glad it's going myself as the software was a nightmare to use properly and compared to the likes of Steam it never held a candle to it. 

Steam's Greenlight project has been celebrating it's one year anniversary.  It has certainly been an interesting little side project for Steam and definitely helps to cement it's position as the #1 distribution platform for indie developers.  It's good to see a major distributor helping to bring these kind of games to the forefront, but you do have to sift through a lot crap before you find the gems in the pile.


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