: Ben's Week In Review: August 23

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Ben's Week In Review: August 23

Just over a week left until MGSV and Mad Max!

I really think people are falling for CD Projekt Red's misdirection

This has been bugging me for a while: This developer has been standing atop a soapbox, proclaiming their belief in "free DLC" (which is fundamentally illogical to begin with), and all I see is misdirection. And a poorly veiled one at that.

Yes, you released 16 pieces of free downloadable content. But each one was just another little mission or an outfit or something. The last one included New Game+ and kudos on that because it was a much-requested feature from the community. That aside, why are gamers lauding CD Projekt Red as the new messiah of DLC? Why, because they offered a few things free? All I've heard for the past several years are bitter complaints and conspiracy theories about how developers and publishers "hold back" content from games, so they can charge for it later. There's also a widespread theory that basically says, "when I look at this DLC, I can't imagine why this couldn't have been included in the game." And when you schedule one piece of free DLC for 16 weeks, this screams to me that these are basically done well ahead of time.

And are we completely glossing over the two expansions for $25? This is the misdirection I'm talking about. It's as if the team is going, "yeah, our game has paid DLC/expansions like just about every other game on the planet, but look here, we got 16 pieces of free content!" Yeah, mostly insignificant content that does almost nothing; I've seen them all and none really added to the story, nor did I get much in the way of equipment or experience. The big stuff that matters? It'll be in those expansions and you'll have to pay for it, like in every other game with substantial post-release content.

I'm not sure they have any right to stand up and preach. I see very little different here than in any other game that has DLC and expansions. The only difference is that they've separated out a bunch of small pieces to make it look like they're giving a lot away for nothing, when in fact, they're not giving anything away that actually matters. And by the way, they shouldn't apologize for that. Nobody in business should.

Can't imagine where Metal Gear Solid goes from here

The latest trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain really made me think: What's going to happen to this franchise in the future?

With Hideo Kojima and Konami splitting and the MGS creator saying over and over he wants to do other things, I wonder what we should expect. Would Konami simply had it over to another internal - or, God forbid, external - development team? They own the IP, correct? So Kojima has no say at all what happens to the series...? If the publisher could take Kojima's team name off the product, that means MGS is at Konami's mercy, yes? It's far too big of a title to drop, so it's going to have to continue in some capacity; at this point, it'd be like waving goodbye to Mario or Final Fantasy or something. I just can't imagine what the next step would be. This is why I'm hoping The Phantom Pain is an absolute masterpiece, Kojima's final magnum opus and love letter to the fans.

On a different topic, I also wonder about the game's online component, which won't be ready until October. I never played any MGO because I've always considered MGS to be strictly a single-player experience. I just never had the desire to mess with that and yet, I think MGO proved immensely popular with hardcore followers. Not sure why, though...

Personal gaming update

Mostly just waiting for September 1. I'm still playing Grand Theft Auto V and I actually went back and sampled the original Medal of Honor on PlayStation. Man, if you want a shock in regards to the advancement of FPSs and gaming in general, do that. It's still lots of fun but it's pretty amazing how freakin' old it looks and feels. Zombi was surprisingly good - and appropriately freaky - but it's just not what I want to play right now. I do heartily recommend it to survival/horror fanatics, though, because it's right up their alley. Oh, and I've been playing some Madden NFL 16; expect the review this week.

I'm interested to try a few of the downloadable titles I'm seeing pop up on the PlayStation Store for PS4. I might try Volume as well.

8/22/2015 Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (27 posts)


Temjin001
Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 10:17:01 PM
Reply

While I haven't read up on their boasting I do think giving a little away for 'free' is the best approach to fighting the general DLC conspiracy theorists. The same goes for Evolution and Drive Club. Evolution has made a big 180 with gamers compared to the early days. This I believe is in strong part to all the free perks they've kept handing out.
Whether or not the reality of the DLC spamming landscape has changed, with this all being a big ruse to cover up the nature of the DLC profit machine is unknown. Regardless, These efforts are convincing many of a level of altruism that makes gamers cheer for joy anytime they see it. This I believe is all that really matters. If the majority is convinced they're being taken care of with freebies they'll buy right into it. Sorta like 'free' cell phones and phone contracts.

PGU: I finally finished Xenogears. With around 75 hours on the record I can say it's probably the longest jRPG I've played. And I didn't take the completionists route. I was glad to finally play this fan favorite as I know it's close to the heart of many PSX era gamers. I do think if you pride yourself as a classic jRPG gamer this is one game not to pass on, even now.
I've already moved onto FFIV Complete Collection. I never did finish the original SNES version so this is a chance to relive it. And wow. It feels real nice coming from Xenogears, from a presentation perspective. The image looks so clean and vibrant and there's no awful camera and with a nice stable and pleasing look and feel to it all on the Vita. I'm digging it thus far.

I've also been doing Starcraft 2!

Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/22/2015 10:24:59 PM

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Jawknee
Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 10:35:54 PM

I got FFIV complete when it came out for PSP. I never did finish it.

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Temjin001
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 1:23:02 AM

Apparently FFIV is a bit shorter, like 34 hours or so.
Once I finish it I'm moving onto Suikoden II.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 8:22:37 PM

luv drive club

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Jawknee
Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 10:34:51 PM
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I have ZombiU. I do like the atmosphere and the addition of the game pad as your backpack and item management makes that game a little more intense but the sluggish combat killed it for me. It takes forever just to swing that stupid cricket bat. Feels robotic.

Still playing Batman. Counting down the days until MGS5 release. I managed to nab the collectors edition on Amazon. With Prime it will be here on release day. WOOHOO! Only other time I'm this excited for a game is when a new Zelda drops.

Downloaded the BLOPS3 beta. Looks nice but it's just COD....again.

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bigrailer19
Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 11:19:22 PM
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Personally I feel like what CD Projekt is doing is great. Dlc like they are releasing should be free. Expansions however that further the game experience should probably be paid. Of course there's a fine line when it releases the day after the game comes out. Point is, they are handling it well, rather than charging $4.99 for it.

I don't care where MGS goes from here. I love the games as far as anything else it's just an extra bit of enjoyability. To me the core story is finished.

PGU: little bit of ESO, our group has disbanded for the time being as our healer is playing wow at the moment. Luckily ESO has a stellar, gameplay for people who like to play alone too. It almost feels more like a triditional ES game with multiplayer rather than an mmo with solo missions.

I bought Gauntlet Slayer Edition and it's fun. Old school top down dungeon crawling fun. I really wish more of these games as AAA titles would release. Diablo has proven more times than none that it's still an extremely popular genre when done properly. Baldur's gate should be rebooted!

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matt99
Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 11:27:39 PM
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I totally agree about the DLC. While I think it was a neat idea to give gamers a little something fresh to look forward to every week, you can't compare it to giving away a map pack in BF or Dawnguard in Skyrim. Which is sort of what they're acting like (while also releasing $50 worth of DLC themselves).

Oh and I think you mean Mad Max, not Max Payne. ;)

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Nerull
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 12:42:50 AM
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Sure the free dlc was bite-sized, but I'm sure the expansions will be worth the money with the amount of content in the main game.

I finally got the Collect all Gwent trophy, but I'm putting off the 50 crossbow headshots to try out the new game plus.
I'm just heading to Novigrad on Blood and Bones difficulty. It seems the Pesta in a Tower of Mice has a new attack, summoning those swarms of bugs.

My favorite part is not having to collect all those ridiculously rare red mutagens again.

Last edited by Nerull on 8/23/2015 12:45:08 AM

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bmart
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 8:08:20 AM
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Sorry Ben I can't disagree more about the DLC. While I do agree that the free content was really just new costumes and a few short missions thrown in there was no deceit on the part of the developer. They clearly indicated before launch that there was going to be paid DLC as well and are saying it will add around 30 hours of additional content. To me this is more of an expansion than DLC and has the potential of being well worth the money based on the quality of the side quests in the main game.

Now for what is truly bad DLC and marketing lets talk about Arkham Knight. Rocksteady needs to look at what CD Projekt Red did and take notes. The season pass for Arkham Knight has been a complete rip off so far. If you want to bash a developer over DLC start here since $40.00 buys you skins and about 2 hours of "story" content. This is by far the most egregious season pass in quite some time. Unless the upcoming content provides at least 25 hours of story content this long time fan, who trusted Rocksteady, will never buy another Rocksteady pass based on their promise. I also plan to take my frustration one step further and will no longer buy their games on day one and instead will play my backlog or other games until theirs hits the bargain bin with all of the DLC included unless they make it right for Arkham Knight or truly do improve the DLC offerings.

CD Projekt Red has delivered what they promised unlike many other developers and should be commended not called out.

Last edited by bmart on 8/23/2015 8:11:51 AM

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wambo
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 8:26:24 AM

Totally agree with you about The Witcher 3 dlc, also agree with what you say about Batman Arkham Knight dlc, i tbink ben is overreacting a little.

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Snaaaake
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 9:53:55 AM

Holy crap, I forgot about the Arkham Knight pass, now that is a standard for ripping off people.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 10:06:21 AM

I agree The Witcher dlc that is free is usually priced around $5. So it's not as if it's pointless stuff.

Personally the worst dlc I've seen based on price and content is Destiny. Worst developer and publisher collaboration effort thus far. Instead of writing a piece on a developer rewarding consumers maybe it should be focused on those truly taking advantage of the consumer.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 8/23/2015 10:08:52 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 5:17:12 PM

I never said deceit. I said misdirection; two entirely different things.

They believe they're making a statement and they're not. Offering free DLC means nothing when the DLC essentially means nothing, and the only content that does mean anything costs a fee, as it should, and as any other game expansion does.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 6:05:23 PM

So what does that tell us about the developers and publishers charging fees for the same type of dlc that CD Projekt Red is offering for free? I think the statement is clear.

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xenris
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 6:16:30 PM

But Ben, there are a lot of games that have DLC that essentially does nothing and it is .99 to 5 dollars in pricing.

So I still think CDProjekt Red should be commended for what they did. I do admit all of these 16 things could have been ripped from the final game and given back for "free" but still a lot of games do that at least here we aren't paying for it.

Also their "DLC" expansion is massive, so charging 25 bucks for both pieces is a steal compared to what we normally get for similar prices.

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bmart
Monday, August 24, 2015 @ 3:03:20 PM

Sorry Ben I stand corrected in using deceit rather than misdirection however I do stand by the point I was trying to make. There are other developers who should be called out before CD Projekt Red since they are at least giving out some free DLC while also offering paid DLC that sounds like it will actually be worth the asking price while many other developers don't give anything for free and overcharge for what they do offer.

I would also like to add that while you may find the free content to be worth nothing it doesn't mean that others do as well. I personally liked the additional armors and used them early on in the game as well as the costume changes for the various characters. I am also pretty confident when I say that I am not the only one that enjoys different character skins judging by how many games charge for this type of DLC rather than giving it away.

Yes CD Projekt Red is still going to be charging for DLC just like everyone else but unlike everyone else they are offering much more substantial content. For example if what they say is true and the 2 DLC add ons are between 25 and 30 hours long that is roughly $1 an hour. The Batgirl DLC in comparison is only about 90 minutes long and that includes beating the story and finding all of the collectibles or around $5 an hour. It is clear to see who is offering the better value.

Last edited by bmart on 8/24/2015 3:15:08 PM

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 8:46:51 AM
Reply

a week til two new heavy hitters come to market the excitement amung us all is brewing.

yeah okay ben fair point on the free DLC from CD Projekt Red what you have said is quite fair and a good point to consider and yeah i'd be incined to agree with you on this one.

so its just a question of what form MGS takes now then after MGSV comes out next week, now that will be interesting to see what happens.

yes ben there are a few good downloadable titles on the psn store if you know what to look for.

and then on PGU haven't played anymore unity this week as i had some other jobs at home to do. then there was more BO2 zombies and a little mutliplayer. and then there was a lil bit more ANNO 1404 and then just today i have play a bit of hearthstone learning the ropes and all my mates want me to play it with them i have been meaning to try it out for awhile.

and as always have a lovely week and,

happy gaming

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Victor321
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 8:56:16 AM
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We must not forget the historical context to CD Projekt Red's actions regarding TW3.

For the Witcher 2 they released several hours worth of additional content to augment the game's main campaign with context-specific quests. Some were integrated throughout the story, beginning to end (as the game split into different second acts depending on the player's actions). They consisted of side and main quests, with the content leaning more towards the former.

PC owners received the content as a giant free patch while prospective 360 owners simply accessed the content by buying TW2: Enhanced Edition.

The best and perhaps most appealing aspect to TW3's free DLC is that the player doesn't lose out on anything. The game stands on its own as a product if one doesn't download any of the 16 DLCs. Aspects like different character skins and New Game+ definitely liven up the experience but aren't dealbreakers. Using another example, every Tales entry has bucketloads of costume DLCs, whether released very shortly after a Tales game's release or several months after. Yet no one bats an eye about this minute but noticeable practice; the DLC could've easily been naturally included into the game, for the game unlocks costumes in the campaign's main or side quests.

The different audience size/fanbases for Witcher and Tales is besides the point.

With regards to the expansions, the reading I get and that many other gamers get is that CDPR understands the scope of what they're going for towards the expansions' development when they use the terminology "expansions".

Similar to Blizzard with D3: Reaper of Souls, CDPR is aiming to deliver 30 hours of additional content, not 2-3 hour DLC skirmishes such as Bioware's DLCs for DA: Inquisition, for instance. The first expansion is set in Oxenfurt with quests also taking place in Velen, and the second expansion takes place in a new region (Toussaint, located near Nilfguard, far, far south from the primary settings) with returning characters (with one confirmed, who starred in only Witcher 1).

Of course my interpretation of CDPR's use of the word "expansion" is my own. However, through my experience seeing their support for The Witcher 2 during its post-launch years, I don't see any misdirection on their part with regards to their post-launch support.

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Snaaaake
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 9:49:17 AM
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You seriously think free missions and costumes means nothing?
What about games that has missions and costumes DLC that you have to pay for?
Isn't that worse?
I'm sure they have their reasons for charging money for the expansions but let's not forget about the free ones offered for Witcher 2.
I don't know, maybe the cost of Witcher 3 was too much for them not to charge for the expansion.

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Solid Fantasy
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 10:02:42 AM
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IX Days!!! And it will be here! I had to go through Gamestop to find a collectors edition of MGSV. Did know they did doorstep shipping. The last monumental chapter! It's going to be one hell of a Tuesday.

PGU:
Finished The Witcher. Really enjoyed it and wish I had more time to screw around with the sidequest. Also working my way through Chrono Trigger on the Vita. It's like a history class for video games. Am going to get back into Ground Zeros to bone on the Metal Gear controls b/f MGSV

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Solaire
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 12:52:37 PM
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I wonder if MGSV really is Kojima's last magnus opus, because he said after each game he was going to quit. Which never happened.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 3:14:38 PM

I think Konami was pushing a lot. Could say something about their current relationship.

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Bio
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 2:26:31 PM
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Got a Vita this week. Played through the MGS HD Collection, and this weekend I've been playing the FFX Remaster. Not sure how I feel about the changes to the soundtrack.

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Bio
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 8:22:11 PM
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Both IGN and Gamespot have given MGS 5 perfect 10s.

Hell yeah.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 8:22:45 PM

wow

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bmart
Monday, August 24, 2015 @ 3:02:37 PM
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Last edited by bmart on 8/24/2015 3:16:45 PM

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Legendary Minja
Friday, August 28, 2015 @ 11:06:52 AM
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I'll take DLC over microstransactions any day! Nothing like getting a free game for PS+ or XB Gold and the game being a watered down version of the full game that you need to buy stuff to get!

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