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