Ben's Week In Review: January 17
It's hard waiting for April when I can finally get my hands on Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and the Ratchet and Clank remake.
Maybe all PlayStation VR needs is the software and price edge
Games and affordability. These are critical factors when it comes to any new piece of gaming hardware, and this is why PlayStation VR might be perfectly situated to make an even bigger push in 2016 than early reports indicate.
GameStop CEO Paul Raines says the aforementioned Project Morpheus also has the software edge and if Sony's VR device really does retail for around $400 (a good $200 cheaper than Oculus Rift), then the unit's accessibility will be obvious. It's a little funny to be talking about things like "affordability" in regards to new Sony hardware, though, isn't it? Sure, PlayStation 4 launched with a very agreeable price tag but I don't think anyone has gotten over the sticker shock of the PS3 ($600 at launch), and we also remember the lack of support for that system. Sony has since learned their lesson, putting a massive emphasis on launch software, and rightly so. Now, if PlayStation VR manages to launch with more games and a more attractive price tag than any other virtual reality competitor, well...
Hey, with over 100 titles in development, one has to be excited for the future. We have no idea how these games will fare, of course, nor are we sure of the launch lineups for any of the VR competitors, but things are definitely leaning Sony's way, wouldn't you say?
CD Projekt Red knows how to make expansions, period
No, I wasn't one of many gamers who kissed this studio's feet for releasing those 16 pieces of free extra content for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Yeah, we got a few new missions and I always appreciate more stuff for free but for the most part, I saw it as little more than a publicity stunt. What better way to prove you're not into DLC for the money? The real expansions, you still had to pay for, as you should. But I really loved the Hearts of Stone add-on and I'm hearing such good things about Blood and Wine. Plus, for only $25, we get two expansions that will total over 30 hours of additional gameplay, and I have difficulty naming any other Season Pass that gets you that much extra content. Yeah, you can't judge the actual amount of gameplay new multiplayer maps get you but either way, single-player DLC is too few and far between in the first place.
If Blood and Wine is indeed twice the length of Hearts of Stone and the studio is at the top of their game, I have no doubt I'll love it. And hey, The Witcher 3 just got another Game of the Year award.
Personal gaming update
I was really disappointed with Amplitude. I thought it would replace Rock Band Blitz as my rainy day old-school-type rhythm game, but I just can't stand the music. I knew there was going to be a techno/electronica focus but I didn't realize the entire soundtrack was going to be so one-dimensional. I'm hardly the only critic to say that, either. And it goes well beyond subjectivity because as the gameplay here is rhythm-based, having so many similar tracks means the gameplay gets very repetitive very quickly. The only thing Harmonix really could do to switch things up is drastically alter the speed from song to song, and that's just artificial depth as far as I'm concerned.
Unfortunately, I was also disappointed with Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India, which had all the promise in the world but fell well shy. Any game that blends AC and Prince of Persia-like gameplay in a 2.5D action-adventure has my attention, and it should be awesome. But this just didn't cut it. And it made me realize how much I really do miss PoP; Sands of Time on Xbox remains one of my favorite games of all time, and the first effort on PS3 was fantastic. We got a halfhearted entry back in 2010 (The Forgotten Sands) but since then, nothing. Somebody needs to bring this back!
1/16/2016 Ben Dutka