Ben's Week In Review: April 26
Good thing I'll have plenty of time for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Not much on the radar over the next few months, with the exception of Batman: Arkham Knight in June.
I have no problem with "non-failure state" games
When the new PlayStation title Submerged was announced, I was immediately intrigued.
First off, I noticed the beauty of the visual presentation. It's not especially impressive in terms of technological capability but then again, it doesn't have to be. This is about a mystical environment that has a certain panache, and I love the artistic ambition. Secondly, I don't have an issue with so-called "non-failure state" games; i.e., you can't die. You might not be able to figure something out, but death isn't something you have to worry about. Now, some purists say it's not a video game. They claim that without any real challenge, without any sense of survival urgency, it's basically just a series of interactive moving pictures. But I guess that depends on your definition of "video game."
One can find satisfaction and contentment in all forms of entertainment; just because I'm not struggling to survive doesn't make it any less of a "video game." Where is the challenge? Well, what about the mystery of exploration and the puzzles? And even if none of that is especially challenging, so what? We're supposed to be enjoying ourselves and interactive enjoyment isn't contingent upon set factors. If I just want to relax and have fun, Submerged sounds perfect.
Black Ops III teaser is awfully reminiscent of Deus Ex
Did you see that Ember teaser trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops III? Retinal implants? Biohacking? It really had a futuristic vibe that is most reminiscent of Deus Ex, I think. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Last year's Advanced Warfare started us down this futuristic path in the CoD franchise and perhaps it's a logical step. Everyone really did get tired of the World War II theme; hence, Modern Warfare exploded onto the scene and blew everyone away. But here's the thing: With three separate development teams involved in the franchise, I think there's a great shot at freshness and innovation. Not all CoD entries have to be futuristic in some way, do they? I like what I'm seeing and hearing concerning Black Ops III and I also liked Advanced Warfare. But with three teams and three different projects, we could feasibly envision a different setting, right? Infinity Ward could move past Modern Warfare, I would think.
And besides, I don't think there's enough of a gap between AW and MW; for this generation, I'd encourage Infinity Ward to find a new CoD identity. In the meantime, the Deus Ex-like BLoPS3 should keep everyone's attention.
Personal gaming update
While it's still a good game, I wasn't as impressed with Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones as I was with the original. And I can't stand being timed in any game that involves puzzle-solving. As for MKX, I'm done with that (not a huge fan of fighters, anyway) and I'm occupying myself with a few smaller games. One is the awesome Axiom Verge and the other is Bastion, which is excellent. I never played it back when it came out in 2011 and now that it's on the PSN - and considering its very high Metacritic average - I just had to try it. I love it; it's one of those games that just keeps you playing. Expect a review soon.
The Witcher 3 is all that matters after this week, I suppose. I expect to see a review copy at some point. I'm not a Batman fan but I have to assume Arkham Knight will be fantastic, especially because Rocksteady is back in the driver's seat. Which game tops your priority list right now?
4/25/2015 Ben Dutka