Ben's Week In Review: October 12
If I'm being a glass is half-full guy, I'll say this past week was very interesting from a new game perspective. The half-empty guy is somewhat disappointed.
These length estimates are getting less and less accurate
I've been saying for years that you can't really trust length estimates from either developers or journalists.
For the latter, they're often so intent on speeding through a game to get a review posted that they completely forget that nobody plays that way. For the former, given all the flak designers have received for short campaigns, they're always trying to prove their solo action is a lot longer than it really is. They can get away with it, too, because something like co-op gameplay adds an indeterminate amount of time to the experience, and it doesn't fall under the competitive multiplayer banner. Therefore, when BioWare says Dragon Age: Inquisition offers 150-200 hours of gameplay, I know how to interpret that.
They did admit the campaign could be as short as 20 hours for the speed demons, but even 40 hours is a far cry from 200. These open world games are rife with potential and replayability; it just depends on how involved you want to get. On a completely unrelated note, it's nice to see yet another multiplatform title on PS4 outstrip its Xbox One counterpart...again.
Whatever we see next from Naughty Dog better be Uncharted 4 gameplay
Naughty Dog is teasing brand new info for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and this time, it had better be a gameplay sampling.
I'm all for the beauty of wonderfully choreographed CGI and cut-scenes, especially when it comes to this franchise, but we've reached the point where gameplay is required. For screenshot media, members of the press have been using variations from that same teaser video for quite a while. On top of which, it's not like Naughty Dog has anything to prove...we know this game will look amazing. If history is any indication at all, it'll blow everything else in the console world out of the water. Xbox One exclusive software will look dated in comparison, as 360 exclusives looked downright archaic when compared to Uncharted. But that's not what interests me at this point; I'm far more interested in seeing the game in action.
Maybe that's precisely what the developer will show us before the year is out. I'd also like to have a concrete release date, although I'd bet anything they're aiming for a holiday 2015 launch.
Personal gaming update
There's no doubt that the two biggest releases of the week have generated plenty of controversy.
I really wish one of them would've been worthy of an 8+ score. I really do. In fact, both should've scored that high, if the developers had simply focused a bit more on certain aspects of the production. Driveclub needed more solo content to round out the experience (all the more important when the online component doesn't work the way it should). And as far as Alien: Isolation is concerned, they needed to cut that game way down. Yes, that's right, I said it needed to be shorter. They could've maintained the necessary pacing better if the game was about 7 or 8 hours, as opposed to a tedious 15.
Anyway, I've got The Evil Within and that review is coming this week. ...freaky sh**.
10/11/2014 Ben Dutka