: Ben's Week In Review: July 19

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Ben's Week In Review: July 19

Summer break! From a deluge of high-profile games, I mean. Gotta get to Rogue Galaxy at some point...

Mirror's Edge: Catalyst should be great...I hope

Firstly, let me say that I really like the idea of building an open-world environment that opens up by degrees. It's honestly one of the biggest reasons I love The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Some will say I'm intimidated by gigantic worlds that are entirely and immediately accessible but that isn't true at all. I love Grand Theft Auto V, for instance, and the only reason I never really took to The Elder Scrolls games is because those worlds always seemed artificially huge to me. What I mean is that they were always massive but they always felt much too empty; it's like the developers just dropped in as many trees and mountains as they could, but forgot that wandering aimlessly gets a little boring. I know people who see such games in an entirely different light, but that's just what I feel when playing.

No, it's more that I like the feeling of progression, of earning something. I like unlocking things, and that includes new areas. It gives the game a more goal-oriented setup in my opinion, and it leaves a little something to the imagination; not knowing what was at Skellige, for instance, drove me forward in The Witcher 3. So, DICE adopting a similar style for the new Mirror's Edge (which is undoubtedly a reboot) is fine with me. I just worry about the necessity to appeal to a wider, more casual audience. They're talking about easing off on the difficulty and really, I don't remember the original title being all that tough. The main challenge was simply figuring out how to reach your goal; it was half-puzzle in that way, and I get the sneaking suspicion DICE is doing away with that element.

Hellblade could end up being one of the most important games of the generation

I have a soft spot for Ninja Theory, anyway (they absolutely didn't get their just due with Heavenly Sword and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West), and I love what I'm seeing and hearing concerning their new IP, Hellblade. I especially like what they said about taking creative risks. This tells me I can expect something ambitious and fresh and provided the gameplay is top-notch, the game could end up being a memorable experience.

The idea of having a mentally troubled protagonist is incredibly intriguing, even though I'm not sure it'll feel much different than having a possessed character. It seems similar in the footage, at any rate. Plus, the one-on-one combat idea, while potentially problematic, is a great one. The industry has had an obsession with countless, faceless enemies and I'd really like to play a game that focuses strongly on each encounter. As a Celtic warrior, each battle could feel special; you have to take advantage of every aspect of your skill set. On top of which, when every confrontation is potentially deadly, it adds that much more urgency and tension to any adventure. I just hope Ninja Theory achieves on the highest possible level for this one.

Personal gaming update

I could say I'm still playing Godzilla because I'm a masochist, but it wouldn't be true. I keep thinking some developer will make a decent game featuring the iconic Japanese thunder lizard, but it may never happen. I just can't imagine anyone, even hardcore Godzilla fans, having any fun at all with that mess. So, it's back to doing as much as I can in The Witcher 3 (and I do hope other teams take cues from CD Projekt Red in terms of female characterization). I'm at the end; I'm just trying to finish everything on the map, and I also want that Wolf Armor, which came with one of the free DLC sets.

I just can't believe Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will be here in less than six weeks.

7/18/2015 Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (18 posts)

Saturday, July 18, 2015 @ 10:04:12 PM

The new Mirror's Edge looks cool. I think the open world direction fits. Though I'm pretty burnt out on huge open world experiences right now, with rails or without. And really, many open world games have had locked out regions until you hit milestones, like Bloodborne, Witcher, or Infamous games for example. Come to think of it, even Fallout 3 was like that, though with more degrees of freedom before hitting those walls.

I'm not sure what to think of Hellblade yet. It seems the team is very small and I get the feeling it won't be some AAA game production like Heavenly Sword. But i dunno. Wait and see.

PGU: I've played some Destiny, some TTT2, and Geometry Wars 3 this week. I played through the Dark Below story missions. All of which weren't particularly special. I also played the first story mission from the Queen expansion. Nothing there impressed me either. No matter what, the game nigh always feels like you should be playing with multiple players, even during the story. That just bugs me. The whole dialogue chatter in your ear detailing all of the events while you play is out dated.
The game needs to add matchmaking for every mission. Anyway, I've actually been having good fun with TTT2. I love my fighting games. I've had somewhat of a fighting game break over the last few months because my night time internet goes to complete crap (usually). But in about a month that will change and I'll be amped up for competitive play again.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 7/18/2015 10:05:08 PM

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Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 4:23:39 PM

My wheel showed up! I can finally drive poorly in Driveclub the way it's meant to be. That is a top notch game.

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Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 11:57:56 AM

Nice. I'm glad you like.

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Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 12:05:27 AM

Open world make everything great, its a fact.

Hellblade look like another great game from ninja theory, i always love the art style in every n.theory game, they never disappoint me...

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Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 1:52:08 AM

Are you talking strictly about Mirrors Edge or in general?
Because if it's the later, then I disagree completly. Not all games should be open world. I.e as a big MGS fan, I have concerns about MGS5 and it's open world. I always liked the linear structure of it.
Or would open world make TLoU better? I don't think so...

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Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 3:00:08 AM

I'm talking about open world game in general, it's the future of gaming. I always wanted to explore tlou world but unable to do that because of the linear design, And I'm so glad Mgs5 go open world, it's best decision ever made by Kojima...

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Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 1:48:09 AM

Never played ME, but I might get into it as it looks really nice. The graphics looks like real thing.
PGU: Playing Batman:AK, when time allows me. This game keeps geting better and better the further I am into story. The night/rain/atmosphere is just superb and the visuals... just WOW!
Aslo played some Destiny as I got it on sale earlier. Reached lvl 12 and I think that's it - the game is boring already, so I don't think I will be comming back to it.

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Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 3:21:16 AM

Yeah Batman Arkham Knight is great. Rocksteady Batman is the best example of open world game done right...

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Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 2:52:26 AM

I agree about slowly opening up an environment by degrees. It's not like you can explore the whole region at once. Omnipresence is an impossible feat.

I'm interested in Hellblade, but, I don't particularly like the overly sharp look to the game and the fact that the lead character sounds a lot like Kai.

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Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 12:46:10 PM

I'm not sure how anyone could feel like The Elder Scrolls games are empty. The fact that in just a few min of traveling across the map you can run into towns, dungeons, camps, people, dragons, all the while collecting loot, missions and experience, among other things. Those games have the largest maps with the largest amount of content. "Artificial" is a disservice to them as they always try to provide the player with content in many varieties.

ESO is the same way. It's open you can travel wherever once you get out to the world map. But essentially they have sections for different levels of players. This is a good way to set up an mmo. It let's players explore but keeps the game grounded.

I'm excited to see what Ninja Theory does... I always expect them go deliver for some reason and I've only ever played Heavenly Sword.

PGU: ESO. Only leveled 3 times this past week. So i got some work to do.

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Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 3:46:38 PM

"Artificially huge"???....Dear god, that assessment could easily be applied to any open world game. But to label Elders Scroll as such is quite unfair and pretty shocking. Funny enough, walking around "aimlessly" in Elders Scroll is part of its charm, but as you said, it does get boring. Again, that can be applied to any open world game. But exploration is part of the story and usually it pays off in extraordinary way. Exploration in Witcher 3 is pretty weak in comparison, but the story telling makes up for it in spades.

Open world done right does do wonders though. I mean Batman AK was freaking the better for it. But Watch Dogs, not so much.

Haha at the Godzilla game though.

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Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 6:02:29 PM

The difference is calling The Elder Scrolls "artifically huge" isn't the least bit accurate. It could however be said for other games for sure. As I described above you can't travel by foot for more than a few min. Without encountering something.

Before you know it you've gotten completely side tracked, collected 200 more gold, found a sweet new sword and helmet, picked a few flowers and herbs to create a health potion, opened up a new cave, fought countless amounts of varying enemies, added 4 more side quests to your journal, joined the thieves guild, leveled up twice, added 2% to your physical striking, created a new enchantment at an enchanting station at one of the new towns you've walked into...

Nothing else like it...

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 7/19/2015 6:05:01 PM

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Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 8:53:55 PM

Trust me big...I read it and "liked it". Fallout and Elder Scroll really are different types of open world games because something is always going on. And true, you always find some new exciting equipment. Loved every game. These games are worth exploring unlike every other sandbox styled game outside of GTAV.

I'm playing Witcher 3 and the exploration factor is lacking indeed in comparison.

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Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 9:56:13 PM

Yeah no kidding. There's not many games that offer the type of exploration The Elder Scrolls and Fallout provide.

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Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 4:34:08 PM

I'm gonna hit my backlog during the release of all these mainstream open world games. Kinda had my fill. Opening things up is a good way, like in FFVII we had to escape Midgar, survive a trip that u needed a chocobo for, then Costa Del Sol on a new continent opened up and the Golden Saucer ride up then the north pole. All open but opened.

I'll get whatever Ninja Theory makes, but a journey through hell was supposed to be Nariko's next game. Sony and NT need to get back together.

As I told Temjin above I finally got a PS4 wheel which makes Driveclub awesome. More people should get the game.

The Old Blood is basically the same as The New Order but there is some nice artistry going on in the environs of Castle Wolfenstein which is appreciated, just remember to slow down and look around.

Reviewing The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and that game isn't kidding, it won't help you at all.

When I'm not writing I find myself playing the Tomb Raider games. I needed a break from Omega Quintet because it was about to be a huge grind time.

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Solid Fantasy
Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 7:28:22 PM

Wonder if The Old Blood would ever show up on PS+. I'm sure it will cheapen up sooner or later. Would like to have a quick run through at some point down the road.

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Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 8:34:58 AM

well its a winter break where i am and it ain't warm at all by any stretch of the imagination.

secondly i hope so too ben i really do i'd like to be pleasantly surprise for once in awhile. rather than more brocken game cos its gottan a bit rediculious.

third yeah i think that hellblade is a definately a risk that might indeed pay off big time it could definately be a really important game for sure.

and then on the personal gaming update i played a little bit of dawn of war soulstorm with my mates which was nice. then it was my birthday on the 18th and i had some friends over for dinner which was really nice i enjoyed that.

also got to meet some cousins the day before from a family dinner function and they were pritty cool nice family played a bit of a madnation on ps3 with them and then i had another catch up with some other friends on sunday afternoon, which was also nice so i've have a pritty good week.

it was just another case that reminded me that with all things conisdered i'm still very best and its funny it takes a birthday to reflect on life and be like well its actually pritty good and i can't really complain.

so you guys have a really sweet week and i wish you all the very best

and as always

happy gaming

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015 @ 3:54:14 PM

Some games benefit from being open world. I don't like everything being wide open from the start unless it makes sense to the game. Like, you shouldn't be able to fully explore an enemy protected area before you infiltrate it, according to the story, "for the first time ever".

I did have to laugh in Assassin's Creed when I broke into and explored an enemy camp 5 minutes before being required to do the same thing, while being told that it "had never been breached before".

I'm with world... most games would be better if it was a gradual opening, like in FFVII.

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