Ben's Week In Review: November 18
Well, we can no longer say the holiday games are "just around the corner," 'cuz they're already here. Several awesome titles have already hit in November, and of course, there's always more news to talk about.
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you...
Yep, the PS3 turned one year old on November 16, and it's hard to believe. I remember getting lucky enough to put down $100 on my pre-ordered PS3 at the local EB; I was one of only 12 pre-orders they could hand out that day. Furthermore, because I was #5, I was even luckier because they only got half the scheduled shipment on launch day. But because of that, I was able to bring you the full "unsheathing" and first impressions of the system, which resulted in more than a half-dozen top-notch features for us. I ended up handing out my PS3 launch report card, and in looking back, I have to say I think I was right on the money for most of my initial analysis. Now that it's one year later, the games are starting to flow, and I can't wait for the big-name exclusives next year (Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Gran Turismo 5, and maybe Final Fantasy XIII). Heck, we've already got some great ones.
Despite its slow start, I do believe the PS3 is on the right track. I won't go into the details, but thus far, I remain pleased with the system. There was an unfortunate lack of software through most of 2007, but that drought is over, as far as I'm concerned. Can't wait for the future!
Insomniac doesn't get enough credit
Lest we forget, these guys have already delivered the two best PS3 exclusives to date in Resistance: Fall of Man and Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. So when they say the PS3 is capable of far better graphics, I'm inclined to believe them. Most developers have been saying something similar for most of the year, of course, but Insomniac's statement holds a lot more clout because of what they've already been able to do with the PS3. I can't wait to hear more about Resistance 2, and at this point, I really think too many people are overlooking Insomniac. I was a little worried at first, when I heard they were making a FPS, but they nailed Resistance; it was the PS3's best launch game by a long shot. And they didn't let anybody down with R&C - well, maybe GameSpot, but we'll just imagine that review doesn't count - so we should pay closer attention to their projects. I don't know if they have something besides Resistance 2 in the pipeline, but if they do, I wanna know about it. They're proving to be an accomplished and ultra-capable developer this generation.
In so doing, they keep sticking it to the whiners who complain incessantly about the PS3's complex architecture. I love to see that. :)
Yes, Assassin's Creed is really that good
Granted, there is a lot of repetition involved (it's the primary complaint you'll hear), but I honestly don't care in the slightest. It wouldn't matter if I scaled a view point a million times or saved a citizen two million times; it would never get old and it would never stop being fun. The size and scope of the game is impressive, but it's the immersion and the sensation of playing God on rooftops that brings me into the game. The story is decent, but I spend so much time playing, I hardly notice. I think combat is still too easy, as are most tasks you attempt in the game, but again, I don't care. It's fun. It's gorgeous to behold and I play a character I've always to play. Assassin's Creed may have some flaws - including those freezing issues we've all encountered - but none of them hamper my enjoyment of the game. And if anyone complains incessantly, I believe it's because they're going out of their way to find things to dislike. I despise when critics do that. Ever heard of "you're innocent until proven guilty?" Yeah, maybe some reviewers should adopt that creed...pun intended.
It's a must-play. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Personal gaming update
Obviously, it's all about Assassin's Creed at this time, but I don't want it to end too quickly. I'd rather savor it and mix in some Warhawk here and there, which is easy enough to do. Unfortunately, I've already entered into the "too many games, too little time mode," so my Christmas list is gonna be lengthy. I know I'm getting Mass Effect next week, but I also want Uncharted: Drake's Fortune because it looks fantastic, and I also want to play Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Arnold's review was enough to convince me of that, but because I really don't play online all that often, it remains a 5-hour game for $60. ...that's why it goes on the wish list for the holidays. I'm pretty sure I also want The Orange Box (for the Xbox 360, if need be), Unreal Tournament 3 (provided it arrives this year) and Haze. Yeah, that's a lot of FPSs, but that's what they're giving us these days. Besides, chances are, they'll be sweet as hell, and I enjoy playing them.
For now, I'll just revel in AC and be happy. :)
11/17/2007 Ben Dutka