: Ben's Week In Review: April 17

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Ben's Week In Review: April 17

Anybody playing the Doom beta this weekend? I want to try the Mirror's Edge Catalyst beta this coming week, too.

So, Uncharted 4 is definitely more open than we thought

I knew Naughty Dog had to avoid the "it's linear so it blows" idiocy that infects this industry like a viral plague, so I expected them to open up the levels in the new Uncharted adventure.

But according to the team's latest livestream, the game certainly sounds a lot more open than I initially believed. It seems we're going to be spending a lot of time in a vehicle - a jeep - and we use it for the majority of the game to travel. It actually reminds me of Mad Max the way they've described it, though I doubt we'll be in the vehicle quite that often. But travel via jeep is definitely a big part of the game, which implies the areas are bigger and more open than we - or maybe just I - anticipated. Sam and Scully will shoot while you drive as well and it's interesting to note that enemies will behave differently when you're in the vehicle, as opposed to when you're on foot. Then, there are multiple ways of approaching a new section; for example, you could try to find a good sniping position, or you could infiltrate stealthily.

Some of these details are even reminiscent of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, if you really think about it. Another game that was said not to be especially open but in fact, freedom was a driving force behind the experience. Now, I'm fine with Naughty Dog's ideas here, provided they don't make the story take a back seat, which is basically what happened in MGSV. I like the idea of having some freedom to maneuver and plan, but it had still better be more linear than open. That's all I'm saying.

So excited for Blood and Wine

If the second expansion for The Witcher 3 really does come out on June 7, I'll be okay with that. It's a little tight but I should still be able to finish Uncharted 4 and Doom before then, though I doubt I'll be done with the new Mirror's Edge (all three of these are coming out next month, by the way). The good news is there really isn't anything I want to play until the end of August when Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is supposed to arrive, so I'll have all summer to handle Catalyst and Blood and Wine. I really think more developers need to take a cue from CD Projekt Red when it comes to crafting single-player downloadable content. I didn't fawn all over the Polish studio for giving us those 16 free pieces of DLC for The Witcher 3 (a few unimpressive new quests and some costumes...yippee), but the expansion plan is just awesome. Hearts of Stone is probably the best piece of add-on content I've ever played.

Yeah, I know, I don't have a ton of experience with DLC. But I do know that very few are as meaty as Hearts of Stone and if Blood and Wine actually is twice as long, that'll be very, very appreciated. Bear in mind that both expansions only cost $25 so essentially, you're paying less than $1/hour (Hearts of Stone was about 10 hours) and for single-player content, that's basically unheard of. Can't wait.

Personal gaming update

I'm not going to be playing anything else until I've had my fill of Ratchet & Clank. Going into it, I was almost a little worried because I wasn't sure how I'd react. I'd never completed an R&C adventure before (though I'd played most of them) and I just wasn't sure if I'd be interested in finally finishing one. Plus, we're talking about the original title, here, remake or not, so...

But all my fears have long since disappeared; I know I love it and I know I'll finish it. It's really one of the most impressive remakes I've ever seen and above all else, I can't remember the last time I enjoyed myself this much. Sure, I adored The Witcher 3 but in a totally different way. It'd be impossible to compare the two games and equally impossible to compare my personal experiences with both. The bottom line is that you really need to play Insomniac's remake because it's just that good.

And yes, only about four more weeks until Uncharted 4. :)

4/16/2016 Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (32 posts)


Temjin001
Saturday, April 16, 2016 @ 9:55:30 PM
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I'm not doing the Doom beta because I'm not too interested in it's multiplayer. I have read some early user-reviews totally blasting it for not being classic arena style FPS.

Uncharted 4 will be great. I read that they liked the success they had from The Last of Us's more open level designs so they decided to lean into that more heavily. All of the PS4's RAM also aided this direction I'm sure. And yea, it would seem AAA and large more open levels are here to stay by gamer preference.

I have too many other games in my gaming log to play so I won't stop and go back to play Witcher DLC.

Ratchet looks great but I'm resolving to stay focused on the games I'm playing in my queue first. Ratchet will be played, just not yet.
However, I will likely stop everything to experience Uncharted 4.

PGU: This PS4K rumor is seeming more and more real. Not that I doubted Sony had plans to revise the hardware but I did doubt they'd risk dividing their base with a significant upgrade. And to do it in what would seem like such a jerk-like way. Hey, everyone! Pre-Order PSVR for $400!
Months later at E3.
Oh, btw, now that you have your pre-orders in, heh, well, you ought to spend another $400 to upgrade your PS4 to experience VR the way it should be!

Whatever. So lame.

Anyway, been playing FO4 again. Having a great time. Joined the Railroad and thought the chronic liar guy was pretty funny. I know someone personally like that too.

I've also been enjoying the wonderfully fun Super Mario 3D World with my kids. I read a headline here saying that Ratchet made Ben smile. That's what it's like almost all the time in most Wii U games I play.
I really admire Nintendo's consistency in keeping an iconic franchise feeling both true to it's roots and renewed in a meaningful way. Too bad Square-Enix couldn't be as consistent to their fans.






Last edited by Temjin001 on 4/16/2016 10:02:07 PM

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Jawknee
Saturday, April 16, 2016 @ 11:59:03 PM

SM3DW is excellent. One of my top games this gen.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 2:44:35 PM

The Doom multiplayer is generic

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bigrailer19
Saturday, April 16, 2016 @ 10:23:03 PM
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If Uncharted 4 is even remotely similiar in openness to MGS I won't be pleased. I'm not saying the game won't be good or even great, that I have no doubts about. But as a huge fan I have more appreciation for this franchise than any other because of the way they used the story to drive the gameplay. I don't think they would have the same success otherwise. This isn't anything I wanted to hear while waiting for the game to release.

I wouldn't mind an approach similiar to TLoU as I wouldn't consider that open, just more choice in your approach. But traveling via jeep or whatever sounds like a large departure from a story driven linear adventure. My hope is all this is wrong and I'll be playing what I always wanted.

PGU: I'm trying to level in The Division just so I can play a little with some friends before U4 comes out. I also need to get back to FO4.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 4/16/2016 10:31:07 PM

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Bio
Saturday, April 16, 2016 @ 11:01:40 PM
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There's nothing wrong with Uncharted opening up a bit. MGS V opened up a LOT and it is one of the best games in the series. It's not open world that is the problem, it's hack developers doing it for dumb, trend lemming reasons. That is not Naughty Dog.

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bigrailer19
Saturday, April 16, 2016 @ 11:41:57 PM

I think you would find it hard to find a great example of an open world game that tells a story as good as Uncharted. Even MGS suffered in that area where it's always, always been a strong point.

The problem isn't opening the game up and it not being good because of that. The game will be great I'm sure. Like you said this is Naughty Dog here. And you are right it's not open world that's the problem. But Uncharted always tells and relies on the story driving the gameplay and experience.

But if they open it up much like MGS is, that's not going to sit well with me. It's just a personal thing, nothing more. I don't think the game will suffer in the reviews, or the sales. But as a fan of the series, I don't want to travel. I want a linear story driven experience. I'm good with TLoU openness, not with anything more. Give me more choices of approach, less traveling.

This is still all hypothetical and a little premature of course.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 4/16/2016 11:47:31 PM

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Bio
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 12:08:26 AM

I don't think Phantom Pain really suffered narratively, at all. In fact I think it was, in many ways, the best story Kojima's told, if you look at it in the right light.

You defeat Skull Face halfway through the game, and keep going. This was a sore point for many people, who felt the remaining missions were just rehashing the first half. However, Big Boss's dream was war without end, a world where soldiers like him were always needed and glorified, because the world was always in chaos. Phantom Pain gave us that, by giving us the big mission to overcome and then making it clear that the world doesn't work that way. You can defeat the big bad guy but war itself never ends.

Everything about the game, from the story to the gameplay, was geared around this ideal. Even the final mission with Quiet. It was hidden in a side op, and all of a sudden you're in the thick of the actual final fight.

It was a very open story, in a very open world, and I think people who count gameplay to cutscene ratios were kind of missing the point.

Obviously you can't do this with Uncharted, it doesn't have that kind of narrative flexibility, but you can still open it up and retain a story driven experience. I get why Ben, and others, are a bit wary, but at the end of the day we're talking about maybe the best developer in the business right now working on a finishing moment. They're not just following a trend. They're the kind of developer who SETS the trend.

If anything, I'm looking forward to Uncharted 4 redefining open world gameplay, not worrying that it will become a casualty of industry fashion.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 12:34:04 AM

You might be in the minority regarding the story in MGS. ;)

Yeah there's no way I would sit here and say IF Uncharted 4 were more open it would suffer. As an Uncharted game I think it would, being a fan, but as a game and ND developing it, that automatically makes it appealing. If this were a new ip, I'd have all the excitement in the world.

I just don't want to see Uncharted, which is very story driven, turn into an experience where the story and characters take a backseat. I appreciate what it's always done, and I am really looking forward to a good linear adventure and story.

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FM23
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 12:48:49 AM

MGSV strength has always been featuring heavy stories, but they were always long winded and "japanese writer" over dramatic. Now not saying MGSV had a better narrative, but the story was more concise, streamlined, and to the point. And I really enjoyed it.

None of that codec nonsense that people miss (not me). The gameplay itself is "lightyears" ahead of anything out at the moment.

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Bio
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 1:23:13 AM

That I'm in the minority doesn't mean I'm wrong ;)

Think about the overall story of MGS, and especially Big Boss. It makes sense.

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Bio
Saturday, April 16, 2016 @ 11:16:26 PM
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Anyway, PGU:

I finally got around to Uncharted 3. It's the only one I haven't played and I've been on a huge PS3 bender this past month, so I finally popped it in.

It does not make a good first impression. I'm still pretty early into it, maybe only 2 hours, but the pacing seems all off, and it seems too transparently gamey in a way that Uncharted 1 and 2 never did.

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bigrailer19
Saturday, April 16, 2016 @ 11:58:08 PM

The beginning of Uncharted 3 did some things that made me wonder when the more Uncharted feel would come in. It doesn't take long, you'll get there.

However as a big fan of the series, the storytelling and pacing, while not bad, was my least favorite. The choices the writers made were kind of just not what I expected while playing Uncharted. Gameplay wise, it's just fantastic.

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Bio
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 12:09:29 AM

I've always been a big fan of the series, too, because it always felt organic. Even Golden Abyss, outside of the tacked on Vita stuff, felt solidly Uncharted.

I think Drake's Deception is just taking some time getting going. I'm in Syria now, and it's coming together a bit.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 12:34:56 AM

Yeah you'll get back to that point. It does just take a little bit. Then towards the end if you are like me, you might scratch your head.

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Oxvial
Saturday, April 16, 2016 @ 11:34:25 PM
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MGSV open world was full of boring side mission of the type that you have to return to the same places several times which makes the experience more boring, I had to force myself to finish MGSV and still I took lots of breaks from it ,first time this happens to me in a Metal Gear game.

I really hope Uncharted 4 doesn't become like that.

Last edited by Oxvial on 4/16/2016 11:35:13 PM

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FM23
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 12:51:01 AM

All games feature "boring" side missions. Look at Fallout and its radiant quest system. You don't have to keep doing the side missions. People like having them to keep them busy. I personally one and done them so I can't complain.

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Godslim
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 12:21:29 PM

even alot of the main missions felt like boring side missions or complete on a harder difficulty missions.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 2:45:11 PM

This is how FFXV will be.

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Oxvial
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 5:29:04 PM

Agree Godslim the majority of main missions felt like that and in a way you were forced to side missions if you wanted to get decent gear.

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Vitron
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 7:10:55 AM
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I trust Naughty Dog enough to let them do what they want with Uncharted 4. Unlike some Japanese studios who don't know what they're doing or can't meet the ends of their delusional bosses

PGU: Nearing the end of my first playthrough of Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel. I've gotta say while the graphics are, well, mediocre... The story is really good. Its like its a JRPG story that's true to its roots. It has a lot of clich├ęd characters but it still worked out. I'm looking forward to its second chapter on September.

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Neo
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 8:39:54 AM
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If Scully is in Uncharted 4, I want Mulder too! ;)

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Godslim
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 11:43:29 AM
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Yeh i dont want uncharted to be free roam, I would much prefer for it to be more linear that roam.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 2:51:25 PM
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I don't like that jeep sound. That's filler waste of time waste of space to make things seem bigger. Red lines on a map like Indiana Jones is all we need. If there are random enemy encounters like Far Cry I'm gonna poop myself.

The Doom beta is incredibly generic.

I used DOAX3 Volleyball as a calming solution before a medical procedure and it worked well :) It's just as relaxing as it always was but I've nailed down exactly why it can never come stateside.

LAYERS OF FEAR! I beat it, and it is a work of horror art like none other. In a smaller way it delivers on P.T. If you like horror I would chide you for not buying it and supporting those devs. Put your headphones on and turn off the lights. Then... "FINISH IT!"

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TheHighlander
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 6:18:59 PM

Why is it that it can't come here exactly, too many boobs in their bikini tops?

Let me guess its Marie Rose? Honestly I've never seen such an abhorrent reaction to a game character. It seems that a very many people in the United States equate bra size with age. Because Marie Rose is simultaneously the youngest character and has the smallest bra size, people instantly label her jail-bait and castigate the game. The character is 16 and has the most realistic bust size in the game. Especially when you consider the rather more petite stature of Japanese women compared to women in NA or Europe.

If it's not Marie Rose then it has to be the pole dancing, which will, as we all know, bring down western civilization.

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TheHighlander
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 6:12:20 PM
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Not likingnthis emphasis on openness and this whole jeep thing for Uncharted 4. I am in agreement with BigRailer on this, it's maoing me more worried about the game. It feels like the removal of the previous production team and their replacement with the "Last Of Us" guys is akin to handing over a sacred franchise to JJ "superficial action" Abrams.

Uncharted has always had the feel of a movie serial, or book come to life with a strong emphasis on story telling chapter by chapter. That's part of the game's charm, and part of what makes it Uncharted. Rolling around an open world in a jeep? Yeah, not Uncharted. Naughty Dog, what have you done? Did you thing you could do no wrong and subsequently screw the pooch? I can only hope the fears are unwarranted, but my level of anticipation for this game is plummeting with every new reveal and every new video. I really feel like they are trying to hard to make us like the game before it's even here.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 6:18:48 PM

I'm excited about the idea that this could all be taken out of proportion. But at this point, I'm very upset Hennig is gone and I'm with the majority that were okay with 3 being the last. I'm not at all impressed with what I'm hearing right now. Shame.

But of course the game isn't out yet.

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TheHighlander
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 6:21:04 PM

Agred, I won't make up mymind until the game artives, but announcement after announcement has cause concern about this game for me. Kicking Henning lose was a stupid move IMHO when this is slated to be the last game. Handing it over to someone else changes the artistic and narrative direction abruptly.

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Hexen
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 6:32:37 PM

My counter to that is that Henning did Uncharted 3 and that is considered the worst of the series while Druckmann did Last Of Us and is Naughty Dog's most successful and critically acclaimed game.I'm going to wait and see but I have lots of faith in the current Naughty Dog team.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 9:34:48 PM

Hennig was the best thing to happen to Uncharted. If you ever wondered what the game was going to be before what it is now, I couldn't imagine it having the success it has had, in part due to her writing. Sure 3 may not be as good as 1 and 2 but you'd be mistaken if you considered it a bad game. It's a 9+ game no matter what.

There's also no one that would argue TLOU was a great game. But they are two completely different games in terms of story and writing. Also I would consider Uncharted 2 to be ND'S most critically acclaimed game. I think most would agree. That's a game Hennig hand her hand in.


Last edited by bigrailer19 on 4/17/2016 9:44:21 PM

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Hexen
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 6:21:27 PM
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Not really liking this jeep talk, I'm going to be dissapointed if you spend half the game in the jeep.This reminds me of Arkham Knight which I love but most of the game you're in the batmobile, they couldn't strike a good balance.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 9:56:18 PM

Me either. I'm not a fan of the Jeep already.

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TheHighlander
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 6:21:59 PM
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PGU finallygot some time to spend inEorzea yesterday and was remindedof how damn pretty FFXIV is at 1080p.

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