Ben's Week In Review: October 4
Next week is the first expansion for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and a few weeks after that is Assassin's Creed Syndicate, so I'm happy.
Sometimes Sony, I just don't understand you
I've made it plain many times: When it comes to first-party productions, dedicated PlayStation studios are several steps ahead of everyone else. Many of the greatest games I've played in the past 15 years have been exclusive to a PlayStation platform.
On top of which, they remain the only company that seems to want to push the envelope, that doesn't mind trying new things in the face of potential failure. There's a reason you don't see games like Heavy Rain and Until Dawn on other platforms. But it's almost as if Sony says one minute, "yes, we're going to take the chance on 'interactive drama' and try and be a bit more cerebral," and then the next minute, they go quiet. Failure to properly market first-party exclusives has always confused me and it confuses me even more when they've already put a ton of faith into the creation of that project. Then they turn around and say they're "surprised" at the success of Supermassive's solid game and thanks to the positive reception, maybe now they'll start advertising it for the holidays.
I suppose one could argue that Sony doesn't want to waste the advertising dollars on a risky project. Okay, but would it not stand to reason that more ad dollars would result in more sales and wider interest? Wouldn't it behoove you to support the project you've been supporting, right up until the launch and beyond? Sure, they're admitting they have to work harder at bringing exclusives to PS4 but all I've got to say is they had better market a game like Horizon: Zero Dawn. Seriously.
Yes, I will pay more for discs if it comes to that
At the present time, I can't imagine a reason to pay for a digital copy of a game as opposed to a physical copy, as they're almost always the exact same price. The only bonus I can see is "pre-loading" but really, I've got something of a life and I can't conceive of a time when I'd desperately need to play a game at 12:01 a.m. on launch day. And as I have a collection, I want to add to my collection. However, I think we all know that eventually digital media will take the reins and disc-based gaming will begin its inevitable decline. Now, GameStop boss Paul Raines believes there will always be a place for discs, citing the fact that CDs still exist. However, Microsoft's Robbie Bach thinks the next round of consoles won't support physical media. I'm not sure I believe that; if it's true, I'll be annoyed, to say the least.
If it's not true, and they keep discs but charge more - as they probably should - I'm fine with that. I will indeed pay more for something real; yes, I will. Something that doesn't need to be transferred as a file if my system breaks or I buy an upgraded system, something that won't die if the hard drive bites the dust. And I really don't think I'm the only one.
Personal gaming update
NBA 2K16 is an example of a good idea gone bad. Spike Lee writing a storyline for a basketball game makes sense but when that story offers very little in the way of freedom, and is both boring and predictable, the entire MyCareer mode lags big time. The good news is that MyTeam is excellent and the core gameplay is pretty darn good. Even so, I really don't have much interest in sports sims, so I'm done with this one. Unfortunately, I do have to move on to NBA Live 16, which doesn't sound like a promising prospect, considering how awful NBA Live 14 was. I just want to see a sequel to Super Mega Baseball; that's what I want.
Lastly, let me say that I have no problem whatsoever with the confirmed microtransactions in Assassin's Creed Syndicate. Just about all AAA releases have them these days, anyway. And provided they really are "100 percent optional," I don't care. The only thing I care about is if they learned their lesson after last year; do not make Syndicate a game that relies on three or four different types of "connectivity" just so I can get extra equipment and items. They eventually ditched the idea of attaching in-game treasure chests to that ridiculous Companion App for Unity, so I'm assuming they won't make the same mistake twice.
10/3/2015 Ben Dutka