Ben's Week In Review: December 6
Did some holiday shopping today and I've got to say, Swarovski crystal isn't exactly cheap. Ah well. 'tis the season. ;)
Don't go messing up Mirror's Edge 2, DICE
I really loved Mirror's Edge, primarily because I think DICE did an excellent job in giving us a relatively unique perspective. Everything really did feel just about right and although I know improvements can be made, I also know the first effort was mighty impressive. I've heard people complain about the trial-and-error gameplay but you know, I've never had a problem with that; in fact, I kind of enjoy it. That might be the reason I like the Splinter Cell games so much... Anyway, hearing EA CEO John Riccitiello talk about the two possible directions DICE could go with a ME sequel, I appreciated the info and came to one quick conclusion: if they turn this into a standard FPS, I'm gonna be irate. That would mean you took a perfectly good, innovative concept and erased it for the sake of wider mainstream appeal. I know EA cares a great deal about the latter but you've already started down one path...don't backtrack.
Really, there's still so much they can do with this idea. It's borderline revolutionary. Look at what they're doing with the game Brink; that "SMART" mechanic essentially builds on the first-person running idea found in ME. DICE, just make the sequel and continue to focus on what you're doing; you can keep the FPS elements you had in the original, but we don't need much else in that category.
I want a GOOD Medal of Honor, for a change
It has been a little depressing to see this franchise go downhill ever since the PlayStation and early PS2 days. I think the last really great installment was Medal of Honor: Frontline, which was always one of my favorite games on the PS2. Then, for whatever reason, each successive entry managed to take yet another step backwards. But I really do have a lot of faith in this new project, and I'll tell you why: EA is doing one of the smartest things imaginable by assigning two separate teams to handle the single-player campaign and multiplayer respectively. I've never liked the idea of focusing too heavily on multiplayer at the obvious sacrifice of a rewarding single-player mode ('cough' Modern Warfare 'cough'), and I believe with two separate teams, we'll get two fully robust modes. Furthermore, I too am tired of the WWII setting and it'll be interesting to see how they approach their own "modern warfare" setting. Using DICE as one of the teams was a good move, too; those guys have Battlefield: Bad Company 2 already on their plate.
I know we don't have a lot of FPS fans around but when a really great one comes along, I typically enjoy playing it. And if MoH lets me down again, that's it for that franchise...one last try, EA.
Personal gaming update
So I'm nearing the end of Assassin's Creed II (I'm in the final section of Venice), and when it's over, back I go to Dragon Age: Origins. I've got nothing else to play until Christmas rolls around, which is when I expect to have several new titles to toy around with; I want Left 4 Dead 2, Resident Evil 5, the God of War Collection, and Halo 3: ODST. I wasn't about to pay $60 for the latter, which is - let's just admit it - a freakin' expansion. But I'll play it if someone gives it to me. ;) After that, I think it's all about Bayonetta in January and then there's White Knight Chronicles in early February. I'm not entirely sold on that just yet - sacrilege, I know - but I've always preferred a slightly more traditional approach to RPGs, and I'm thinking there might be too heavy an emphasis on the multiplayer. I do not, and never will, go online with my RPGs.
Other than that, not much else going on. I'll be headed up to a Sony event in New York on Tuesday; meet up with Arnold and some dude I've known for a while who's flying in for it. I'm looking forward to it because to be honest, there just ain't much happening around here and I need to get out for a day or two. :)
12/5/2009 Ben Dutka