Ben's Week In Review: October 19
October isn't quite so loaded as it could've been but thanks to multiple delays, November is a bear.
Dear Evolution: This is why you needed more solo content for Driveclub
Everyone is well aware of the ongoing server woes facing Driveclub. Yeah, well, newsflash- it often happens in the online world.
It's just another aggravation that I really don't need when I sit down to unwind after a long day. I get that the developers are "working around the clock" and keeping gamers updated. They're struggling to get this right and I've no doubt that many Evolution employees are putting in some very long hours right now (something too many gamers just don't appreciate). However, if they provided us with more solo content, these server issues wouldn't be anywhere near as big of a deal, now would they? If racing fans had more reason to log on and play by themselves - God forbid - then such problems are minor.
But when your game revolves around online social issues, as far as I can tell, this is almost bound to happen. It's just a matter of time and severity. Call of Duty tends to fare well each year, but I think we all remember last year's Battlefield 4 travesty, too. Seriously, just give us more single-player content in such games. It lessens the importance of the multiplayer element.
I'll just play the game the way it was meant to be played, thanks
I remember reading that firmware update 2.20 preview for the PlayStation 4, and thinking: "Who the hell wants to listen to their own music when playing a game? Isn't that what they pay composers and sound design guys for?"
It's part of an ongoing trend, which lets players affect just about every aspect of a game. From amped-up customization to various forms of level editors and now, overriding the in-game audio for your own music. There was a time when developers had to produce a finished, complete product and everyone experienced that product as it was meant to be experienced. If it was bad, it was bad. These days, though, it's almost like inherently "bad" games don't exist anymore, as developers can always issue fixes and additions via updates and patches, and gamers themselves can have a significant impact on the experience.
Not all of us want to be developers, you know. In fact, many of us simply trust developers to do their jobs well, and that's why we reward them.
Personal gaming update
I want to make this abundantly clear: The Evil Within is not a polished game. You can like it all you want; doesn't change the fact that we got a downright archaic third-person control and combat scheme. It actually reminded me a lot of Resident Evil 4, only with more true survival elements. And yeah, RE4 was amazing. But we needed an upgraded version of RE4, not a game that feels very much like RE4 ten years after the fact. The camera sits too close and it often gets seriously screwed up, the AI is dumb, and the basic control is clunky and unreliable. This is when compared to other third-person action games and yes, critics have to make that comparison.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, on the other hand, is a perfect example of a polished, refined mechanic. It doesn't use the FPS mechanics from Half-Life 2. There is a difference, and a significant one. Anyway, I've also got some downloadable games to check out, including Fluster Cluck, which ought to be amusing. Lastly, I've maxed my Crusader at Lv. 70 in Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition and I've got 10 Paragon Ranks now. Just about to tackle Torment difficulty...
10/18/2014 Ben Dutka