Ben's Week In Review: December 21
The first day of winter and four days until Christmas. Love the cold weather...to an extent.
Gotta respect Rockstar for their dedication to quality
When I wrote that piece about the slew of disappointing, unfinished games in 2014, I meant every word.
However, if we really dive into the nuts and bolts of the situation, I think a lot of that instability is due to rushed deadlines and the belief that a game has to come out at a certain time. The Assassin's Creed issue is a perfect example and we've been seeing similar problems with Call of Duty for years; the only difference is that while AC's difficulties were more often technical, CoD simply suffered from a lack of innovation. Then, with over three years of development, a new team gave us Advanced Warfare. Unfortunately, three years of development didn't give us the same technically sound experience in Assassin's Creed Unity. We needed a freakin' 6.7GB patch, for crying out loud.
And through it all, I continue to admire and even revere Rockstar. I regret writing the headline the way I did this past week because it holds negative insinuations. I don't mean that Rockstar is slow or dismissive of their fans; the fact is, amid publishers striving to put out more and more installments in a popular franchise, Rockstar and Take-Two have stuck to their guns: Spend four, five or even more years making a groundbreaking product and then amaze the world. That's what we've come to expect from those guys and that's why they almost never disappoint us.
The Order: 1886 remains intriguing but I wonder about the direction...
Every time I see a new trailer or a new piece of gameplay footage for The Order: 1886, I wonder if the developers have a concrete, set-in-stone direction for this game. The latest trailer seems to have survival/horror undertones and it's not the first time we've seen such an example. Then there are some of the more historical, atmospheric set pieces that speak to a Bioshock-like alternate reality, standard third-person shooter mechanics, and rumors of in-depth and even innovative melee combat. Toss in these possible horror aspects and it almost seems as if Ready at Dawn is spreading themselves too thin. They were taking a lot of flak for making a game that initially looked like another ho-hum TPS.
But the truth is, The Order is a great deal more. That's a given. I'm just worried if it's too much more. Whenever I play an RPG, I always want to become a master in one particular discipline; I'd rather do that than be a jack-of-all trades. I.e., okay or even good in everything, but not exemplary in any one thing. Get what I mean?
Personal gaming update
Still playing Assassin's Creed Unity. There are a few irritating bugs that still exist, despite all the patches and updates, but I can't seem to stop playing. I actually really loved Tales From the Borderlands: Episode One - Zer0 Sum and I'm hoping Telltale continues their quest to infuse franchises with great artistry and narrative. Their next project is Minecraft and despite not being a fan of Mojang's hit, I think Telltale will produce another surprising gem. Speaking of Mojang and Minecraft, did you see that $70 million mansion Markus "Notch" Persson bought? Insane.
12/20/2014 Ben Dutka