: Ben's Week In Review: May 15

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Ben's Week In Review: May 15

Still feels very strange to come in here after a week's absence, but it also feels a little like coming home. :)

Watch Dogs 2? Eh...I don't know...

I saw Ubisoft's quote about the sequel having a new tone and I'm not sure I care, one way or the other. I really liked Watch Dogs but as I look back, I realize it's one of those games that didn't stick with me. The "tone" wasn't really a problem; it just didn't grab me, you know? I think they could definitely put a heavier emphasis on the story in the follow-up, though. That element wasn't developed enough and it has massive potential.

Okay, so it's not a horror game. It's still Kojima

I was annoyed when Silent Hills bit the dust, too. Not only because the game could've been fantastic, and I'm not necessarily a big horror fan, but because the Kojima/Del Toro collaboration would've been epic. That being said, when I heard Kojima's new game wouldn't be a horror adventure, I just shrugged my shoulders. So what? This is Hideo Kojima we're talking about! My only concern is if his legendary ambition and perfectionist mentality makes his new endeavor last like 10 years. Before, he was always under the gun as Konami would put pressure on him to deliver in a certain span of time but on his own, well...

Battlefield 1 could be pretty awesome

I don't really care about Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, simply because I'm not a big fan of futuristic settings and as always, I'm just not into multiplayer. But though I haven't played a Battlefield I really enjoyed in a while, Battlefield 1 could be pretty freakin' sweet. We're finally going back to one of the classic World Wars, huh? I think DICE could do an amazing job with it, and the footage I've seen so far is just sick. I don't see why anybody is surprised about the presence of microtransactions, though. Of course it'll have them. Every game with a hefty online presence will. And the developer will always say it's "not play-to-win." Predictable, we get it.

Uncharted 4 is totally incredible

I'm only on Chapter 8 (I'm busy and I'm also trying to savor this one) but it's already the most impressive game of the generation by a wide margin. Somehow, someway, Naughty Dog consistently produces games that are simply head-and-shoulders above the rest of the industry. Every time I play a new ND game, be it a new Uncharted or The Last Of Us, I always say to myself- "This is another level. It just is." And I've been saying that since the moment this unbelievable adventure kicked off. I also laughed so hard at the scene where Drake plays the original Crash Bandicoot with Elena watching. The nostalgia factor, from the panning of the camera to take in the original grey PlayStation and that intro loading sound, to the hysterical commentary...it was just remarkably enjoyable. Can't wait to play more.

And yes, I'll try and get a review done at some point.

Other...

In addition to setting new professional goals, I have several new personal goals, one of which is fitness-related. Over the past year or so, via a 6-times-per-week regiment that alternates cardio (rowing) and lifting, I dropped 45 pounds. I've long since been at my ideal weight (just under 180); my body fat percentage is now under 10 percent, my heart rate has dropped into the low 50s, and my new best time for the 10K on the rower is 43:57. Before year is out, I want to break 40 minutes and get into some of the better recorded times. :)

5/14/2016 Ben Dutka

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Comments (33 posts)

tes37
Saturday, May 14, 2016 @ 9:33:58 PM
Reply

I think Watchdogs could've been so much better had they worked on it 6 months to a year longer.

I haven't bought Uncharted 4 yet, but I plan to soon. This is one game I refuse to watch on youtube or watch anyone stream. I want to play it without knowing anything about it beforehand.

Good luck hitting that 40 minute mark.

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Temjin001
Saturday, May 14, 2016 @ 9:49:06 PM
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I look forward to seeing more Battlefield 1 because that trailer looked way cool. The visual style sorta reminded me of Killzone 2 ... at times.

PGU: Been loving Uncharted 4 as well. I'm only on Chapter 11. I have to say the story is probably the series best. And this is not exactly for the treasure plot itself but for how it's being told.

Another thing that I'm really liking is how it still feels like an Uncharted game. Even the African jeep riding level they showed off a month ago, or so, still felt fitting and kept pace with the prior levels I've played.

I have noticed some things that feel different. The game has really leaned heavy into the platforming aspects of design. And sometimes some stretches felt just a bit drawn out between good dialogue, and maybe that's because I'm eager to watch more of the story develop.

I was somewhat hoping the brawling stuff would be better fleshed out, as they tried with 3, but instead it's feels a bit more chaotic and mashy.

Fleshing out the stealth gameplay to accommodate the more open design is a welcome addition, even if these elements aren't nearly as fleshed out as a full-on stealth action experience, like MGS or Splinter Cell. And not that it really needs to. It's just once they crossed that line with AI awareness level indicators it drew itself closer for comparisons.

One way or another, I'm very much entertained by it all.
So far it feels like a winning way to end things.

And I said all of THAT without even mentioning the graphics. And they look damn good. When I think of the game, in my minds eye, I see real locations and real people. The visuals are that good.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/14/2016 9:52:27 PM

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Temjin001
Saturday, May 14, 2016 @ 10:32:06 PM

I forgot to mention my excitement for Doom's release.
I am going to attempt to hold off playing it though.
I want to save the experience as the first game I play on a Geforce GTX 1070 I plan to get sometime later this year.
That, and Doom has just always felt like home to me on a PC.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/14/2016 10:34:01 PM

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Victor321
Sunday, May 15, 2016 @ 8:57:54 PM

I can't upvote your posts enough. Keep on it sir.

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smileys_007
Saturday, May 14, 2016 @ 10:21:07 PM
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@Ben Dutka: it's nice to see you Ben still posting your week in review posts. I hope you'll continue to post your week in reviews in a weekly basis. ^_^

I haven't started the story campaign on Uncharted 4. I'm still playing its multiplayer mode in which I'm trying to get the multiplayer trophies. I'll also savor the game until Star Ocean 5 arrives in June.

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bigrailer19
Saturday, May 14, 2016 @ 10:30:47 PM
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Glad you are thinking about doing a review for Uncharted. Although Id understand not doing one either.

I love Uncharted 4. I'm only on Chapter 8 as well but it's hitting home with me. My buddy was explaining the Jeep part and my heart sunk as he was explaining it. It's not what I want from Uncharted but I'll hold of any reservation until I get to that point. So far best game I've played in a few years.

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mk ultra
Sunday, May 15, 2016 @ 12:13:59 AM

I loved the Jeep chapter, along with another section I won't spoil a couple chapters later. It felt new and familiar at the same time and actually made me feel like I was exploring some exotic locale.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, May 15, 2016 @ 12:56:14 AM

Well I'm anxious for it for sure. Im glad to hear it's only for one chapter though. Im happy with the larger areas to explore but I want it to remain linear in nature. It sounds like they've accomplished that.

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mk ultra
Sunday, May 15, 2016 @ 1:48:20 AM

Yeah I think they achieved a nice balance between openess and direction. I definitely didn't want it to get anymore open than it did. How they did it was really smart.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, May 15, 2016 @ 2:46:41 AM

I'm in the middle of the Jeep part and it's way different than what was reported and even than what my buddy explained.

It reminded me of the jet skis in Uncharted Drakes Fortune. Of course it being a little bigger in scale.

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xenris
Saturday, May 14, 2016 @ 11:25:19 PM
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I Don't really know what Kojima means with his wording. We wont think its that amazing but then when we play it we will? Either way I'm interested to learn more.

PGU:

Playing UC4 a lot when I get the chance. I just got to the part after the introduction scene. My only complaint about the game so far is some of the plot/story elements seem a little...off to me, same with some motivations.

But that is only a small complaint, the acting is great, the characters are fun and the gameplay is fantastic.

I love the emphasis on platforming this time around.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, May 15, 2016 @ 12:53:52 AM

The story at the start feels similiar to how the story was being told in UC3. But that quickly changes right around chapter 4 and the story starts to take off...

Yeah the platforming and puzzles are finally back in full form. Super happy about that.

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xenris
Sunday, May 15, 2016 @ 10:36:05 AM

Another thing I like is how the gun fight sections don't feel so massive in scale. I'm not fighting off 50 enemies anymore. The numbers so far are smaller with the largest forced gun fight having around 15 guys.

I only wish enemies cared for their lives a little bit more. Something uncharted has always been guilty of is these mercenaries will do anything to kill you, even if the house is burning down around them(UC3).

However almost all games do this so it isn't a fault exclusive to Uncharted games.

Anyone else wish AI would react like that? You would think if there were say 15 of you and 2 guys killed 12 or 13 of your squad, that the last 2 or 3 would say screw this and retreat.

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TrueAssassin86x
Sunday, May 15, 2016 @ 7:07:05 AM
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Cant wait to play Watch Dogs 2 but with my Summer-Fall being so busy i might not get a chance to play it till sometime next year.

What ever kojima comes up with i'm sure it will be 100 times better then the crap Konmai puts out lol. Hopefully we see some more information at E3.

Battlefield 1 looks awsome but can it live up to the hype? And no seems to mind the micro-transactions in battlefield 1 or Uncharted 4 for that matter thought gamers hated micro-transactions? Oh well me personally i'm gonna grab both Battlefield 1 and Infinite Warfare and Infinite Warfare for Infinite Warfare not just for a nine year old crappy remaster of Call OF Duty 4: Modern Warfare because i got my Ps4 for new games not for some 9 year old game.

PGU On Chapter 6 of Uncharted 4 myself. I cant believe some people played and beat the game to platinum aready i guess thoses people have no lives outside videogames. Hell i'm still enjoying Fallout 4 and i know people have beaten that too.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, May 15, 2016 @ 2:33:58 PM
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Never fell for Watch Dogs so don't Care. Nice to have you back Ben, it'd be great to have you do the UC4 review. Saves me the trouble in these troubled times.

I'm also blown away by Uncharted 4, it's on another level and anybody who says its some Sony fanboy shiz hasn't touched it and is fooling themselves. This is forward thinking gaming here folks.

I finally saw Deadpool, which was awesome, long after I reviewed the Deadpool game, which was okay, so I bought the Deadpool game for PS4, which is just for fun cuz Nolan North makes that character hilarious.

Next! I'm working on DOOM. It is a new take on the old favorite and as bold as it is, it also feels a little old fashioned, I like it and I think I'll love it when I figure it the hell out. Right now I'm having some trouble with basics though. Could be because I'm sick and drank all the cold medicine.

My mentoring with a group of at risk teens ended this week and I won't be able to come back with the new job challenges. I'm all emotional. I'm gonna miss em so much. I cried like a dummy; I thought I was a hero and would help without being changed. But they changed me.

As Ben moves on to a new career path, so do I. Sadness exists, but we must also not dwell on it and take stock before looking forward. I hope everyone likes what I've been able to produce for the site so far. With my mentoring done I'll have more time to donate.

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Solid Fantasy
Sunday, May 15, 2016 @ 6:10:10 PM
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If Watchdogs 2 turns out well or not it's still nice to know the cyber punk genre is getting some depth to it this gen. Mankind Divided, Cyberpunk 2077, and Watchdogs.

U4 is yet another top tear example of what gaming has to offer. I'm already looking forward to my second play through and I'm not done with the 1st!

Ben,
Best of luck with rowing. It's up there with the most physically demanding sports. Up there with XC skiing or ultra marathon running. 50s are pretty low. I've been an endurance athlete for about 15 years now and mine tends to bottom out at sub 40s during certain parts of the year. Not so much in the off season though.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, May 15, 2016 @ 8:54:56 PM

I always thought of myself more as a sprinter than an endurance athlete but as I've gotten older, I think I'm better suited to the latter. :)

I love rowing. It gives me a complete body and almost zero-impact workout, which is great.

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Oxvial
Sunday, May 15, 2016 @ 7:01:10 PM
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Ben remember when you said Uncharted 4 was going to be blasted by critics just like The Order? well you were wrong xD

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, May 15, 2016 @ 8:53:28 PM

I said it would be blasted IF certain things did and didn't happen.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, May 15, 2016 @ 9:58:03 PM

The game was very cut scene heavy in the beginning. By the way can we consider these cut scenes? Where's the cut? ;)

I'm actually fine with that though as I felt it helped bring players into the story. But beyond chapter 4 it's heavily favoring gameplay which is the big difference for Uncharted. As always they used the gameplay to progress the story and vise versa rather than trying to use one or the other as an anchor to project it. Only ND does it as good as its being done in Uncharted 4.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 5/15/2016 9:58:49 PM

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Oxvial
Monday, May 16, 2016 @ 7:51:56 AM

http://www.psxextreme.com/ps4-news/4961.html

That's the article , maybe it was the choice of words you used that time (inevitable, I can unfortunately guarantee.) , fortunately it didn't happen.

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wackazoa
Monday, May 16, 2016 @ 11:19:12 AM
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I havent played Uncharted only watched it a bit. The gameplay seems a bit repetitive to me. Climb a bunch of stuff, then fight people, climb a bunch of more stuff then fight people, cutscene, on rails chase scene, cutscene, back to climbing.

Also the story is just kind of blah. When the stuff they are searching for is right out, kind of in the open (the characters even mention it a few times, self deprecation?). Not to mention when for example, latter they go on some islands they "find" but so do the bad guys, they have to fight their way in to the plot device, and then fight out. From a story perspective if the bad guys are in front of you why dont THEY find what you are looking for. Just small stuuf like that that makes me shake my head.


But the game is GORGEOUS.

Last edited by wackazoa on 5/16/2016 11:19:45 AM

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bigrailer19
Monday, May 16, 2016 @ 12:22:38 PM

For not playing it you seem to have it all figured out. However you are way off base.

The gameplay is far from repetitive but actually does the series a service by bringing back more puzzles and platforming in between the fighting, other gameplay and cutscenes. Something missing from even Uncharted 2 was the more in depth puzzles.

And this story is very well written. If you had played the game you would realise the enemies are at times ahead because of circumstances that happened prior. Secondly the enemies are looking for the treasure as well but they don't have the knowledge Drake does to figure aspects out. So when you as the player show up at a place they already are, why would they just let you walk on through? This is standard stuff here. They are the enemy.

Your complaints are funny. Again because you havnt even played it.

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wackazoa
Monday, May 16, 2016 @ 1:22:17 PM

I have seen it played though. So I have seen the game in actual action. I dont know how me controlling the controller would have changed it in anyway. The sequences are still the same. You still have to play the game as ND wants you too.

Case in point, in the driving sequence where you are driving/following/jumping from truck to truck, there is a point where you are in fact driving. However in all three games I saw there is a point where Naughty Dog WANTS/MAKES a dude jump on your hood. The game would not let the players steer or accelerate to remove that part.

You have a grappling hook. But instead of using to climb a rock face instead of handholds you can only use it to swing. Instead of having multiple ways to get from point A to point D it instead is you go to B & C first. Even when I can see and or otherwise logically should be able to reach D from A. (I have a damn grappling hook for God's sakes, but not wooden crane part to swing from.)

Also the idea that the enemies are smart enough to figure out where to go, but not what to do when they get there is stupid. Especially when Rafe is supposed to be in the same idea as Nate. I dont buy your argument at all there.

All these things I can see without ever picking up the controller. So your idea that you havent PLAYED, so therefore cant criticize is absolutely asinine.

*Edit: Also the puzzles are bit straight forward. In fact in 2 of the play throughs I saw the players kind of figured out them without any kind of hesitation. Case in point when they are in the islands, one player saw the arrows before going to the tower and remarked that they will probably have to follow them before long. The ships wheel thing was done in another before Sam even had time to get halfway through his conversation, the player had seen it before earlier in the game.

So yes, a bit repetitive wrapped in a beautiful shell.

Last edited by wackazoa on 5/16/2016 1:30:50 PM

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bigrailer19
Monday, May 16, 2016 @ 4:11:35 PM

Because you havnt played it you are missing out on pretty much the whole point of video games. Clearly what you are watching is completely different from what people are playing considering you are in the minority. I think it's completely justifiable that you not actually playing it, or just your disdain lack of interest is fueling your very subjective opinion here.

Every point I made from the enemies knowing where to go, to the "on rails" sequences relies on the player actually playing the game to understand what's actually going on and how it plays out and why it does. But you wouldn't know that. Furthermore you are acting like this should be an open world game with all your disregard toward ND actually wanting you to progress in the story as planned. Yeah its a story driven linear adventure.

And yes some puzzles are easy. Apparently your lack of playtime has left you with only a couple examples of that though. Up to that point with the arrows there's approximately 5-7 other puzzles much more difficult than that one which is essentially following a map. I'm just glad they made puzzles a focal point of the gameplay again regardless of difficulty.

However you've obviously made up your mind, and unfortunately I've sat here trying to conversate with someone who hasn't even played it but watched others play it.

I don't mind that you get a bad taste. And even maybe the videos have persuaded you to not play it. I'd just recommend playing it first before forming an opinion.



Last edited by bigrailer19 on 5/16/2016 4:15:13 PM

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mk ultra
Monday, May 16, 2016 @ 5:39:18 PM

You watched the game in it's entirety on the internet? Why not just play it yourself? Pick it up used from Gamestop and rent it for free for a week.

I'm halfway through my second play through and the story's always made sense to me. Rafe was always looking in Scotland so his guys were there. Everywhere else they were following Drake and Sams lead and only knew to go there because they figured it out for them. They get there first because theres hundreds of them with more resources.

They don't touch the stuff because Rafe and boss lady aren't there yet and they're just clearing the area. If you scope them out before attacking they answer that a lot. Rafe is nowhere near as knowledgeable as the Drakes. They mention in the beginning he's only involved because he has the money and forced himself upon them. If you pay attention they answer everything your complaining about.

It's ironic you say you can see all these things without ever picking up a controller, when the reality is, it's the things your missing that's not making it make sense to you. I've always looked at these games as character driven games anyway. So splitting hairs on the treasure side and logistics of the story seems like a waste to me.

Also complaining that you have to play exactly how ND tells you to, and you can't skip scripted action scenes, or free climb exactly how you want is silly. You have to play by the rules the game mechanics tell you in like every video game ever.

That way of thinking is what Ben was concerned about in that article a little bit ago. That some people are just incapable of appreciating solidly crafted story driven linear games anymore. It's not about making choices or changing anything that happens, it's about sitting back and going on this crazy adventure. Like someone telling stories around a campfire, sure maybe it's even exaggerated a bit. (Loved Sams escape story)

And it's easy to say a puzzle is straight forward if you just watch someone else do it. How do you know you would have looked/seen/did exactly what the person playing did if left to your own devices, or if it really was their first time playing it? None of the puzzles were hard, just saying it's impossible to determine the difficulty of a test unless your taking it with absolutely no outside influence.

Sorry, didn't mean to be so long winded, but I thought your comments were just too far off.

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mk ultra
Monday, May 16, 2016 @ 5:48:04 PM

At work and had my page up for awhile I guess. Lol. Didn't see your last post until I submitted mine Bigrailer, and it's not giving me an edit option, weird.

Edit: I also probably should have put a minor spoiler warning before that post, sorry.

Last edited by mk ultra on 5/16/2016 5:58:33 PM

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bigrailer19
Monday, May 16, 2016 @ 9:34:42 PM

Mk - oh no worries. I'm glad I read your second post first haha, where you mentioned the spoiler alert. I am on Chapter 11 or 12 I think and I'm totally taking it all in.

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mk ultra
Thursday, May 19, 2016 @ 12:55:55 AM

Funny too. After replaying that section, the arrows don't appear till you go to the tower. So you just watched someone else play it, and then assumed something to help you make up a lie to talk shit. Do you have an agenda. Lol

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Banky A
Monday, May 16, 2016 @ 8:22:44 PM
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Haha omg have you guys gotten a whiff of this?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/wp/2016/05/12/uncharted-4-a-thiefs-end-review-this-four-part-series-should-have-ended-after-part-one/

It sucks that's his opinion. Guess the world has to respect it. Outlier took a whole 1 point off the meta.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, May 16, 2016 @ 8:44:37 PM

Dumb.

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Oxvial
Monday, May 16, 2016 @ 9:18:19 PM

He disliked it for dumb reasons lol, Jim Sterling also did something similar, those are the critics that need to be banned from the barometer of Meta.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, May 17, 2016 @ 10:43:00 AM

shot be drug out into the street and shot

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