Ben's Week In Review: April 7
Wow...it's so weird to look at the site and see articles I didn't put there. But it's also a very nice feeling, I think. ;)
"Cross-generation" games are a complex subject
It happened quite a bit going into the current generation. There were many titles that developers created for both the PS2 and PS3, which of course makes perfect sense. You want to support the new hardware but at the same time, there's almost no user base and hence, very little in the way of sales potential.
That's only part of the thorny issue, though. When CD Projekt Red said they're only focusing on the next generation, that immediately generates several questions concerning those "cross-generation" titles like Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Watch Dogs and Destiny. Firstly, were those games designed around the new hardware and then simply scaled back? Secondly, did the developers all know they'd be making a version for each machine when they started the development phase? Thirdly, how much of a difference is there between the two versions? Will gamers really be disappointed with the lesser iteration?
Thing is, it's not easy for consumers. They're caught thinking that if they want the best version of something, they'll have to spring for the new consoles. The hardcore have no desire to play something that is significantly inferior, but when it's a matter of money, it can be a forced reality. Not everyone wants to jump instantaneously into the new generation and indeed, not everyone can. So they see all these multiplatform cross-generation titles and they're going, "Well damn, I almost have to find a way to pay for the new console." It isn't an easy situation, certainly.
Some developers realize that single-player is still critical
In an age where some game makers are treating multiplayer as the be-all end-all, as something that absolutely positively has to be in a game, it's nice to see a developer stand up and say- "No, not every game needs it and especially not ours." Eidos Montreal said that in regards to the Thief reboot, and I wanted to stand up and applaud. They want to deliver the very best campaign experience they can, and they fully understand that Thief does not need a multiplayer component. They're considering something small but it'll hardly be a critical part of the production. Awesome. If you look at the best games of this year, it's obvious that single-player is far from dead, which I'm quite happy to see.
Tomb Raider and God of War: Ascension had multiplayer but neither needed it and in the end, they weren't necessarily praised for those elements. Bioshock Infinite and DmC: Devil May Cry didn't have multipllayer at all, and they're two of the highest-rated games of 2013 so far. Thief has always been about the solo experience. If you want to stay true to the franchise's roots, it has to stay that way. And I'm just very glad the designers are willing to embrace that "old-fashioned" concept wholeheartedly.
Personal gaming update
Bioshock Infinite is just so fantastic; love that game. I've also started playing a bit of Defiance but I have to admit, it really isn't my thing. I just hate MMOs in most any capacity and I'd say that definitely qualifies, but I'll try to issue an accurate and unbiased review, as I always do. Then there's the upcoming Dead Island Riptide, which could be very good. I didn't really get into the first one, though, so we'll have to see if the upgrades and tweaks make the sequel more appealing overall. Beyond that, it's nice to have a bit of gap between now and June; I can finally play some catch-up.
And as I said above, I'm happy to see new work on PSXE. The contributors are going to be a great help, I'm sure, and you're already seeing increased content and different types of news articles and points of view. You may also notice my brother participating as well; he just did an in-depth hands-on DUST 514 beta, which you might want to check out. And more things will be on the way that I could never get to before. :)
4/6/2013 Ben Dutka