Ben's Week In Review: May 5
I wonder what Sony is going to do to keep the PS4 excitement high after Microsoft announces the new Xbox this month...
One detail about Grand Theft Auto V is concerning me
There's no doubt that Grand Theft Auto is one of my all-time favorite franchises. I'm not sure how many total hours I invested into GTAIII, Vice City, San Andreas and GTAIV, but it's easily over 300 hours.
And one of the reasons I've always loved it is because you're this lone wolf, this one man army with an entire city as your playground. You don't ever worry about anyone else because it's just you. So when I heard that we'd be hiring AI squad mates for heists in GTAV, I was immediately irritated. I really can't stand RTS games and while GTAV certainly isn't a strategy title, outfitting units and commanding them in the field sounds suspiciously like Rainbow Six or something. I'm sorry, I just have no interest in working with others or - as a consequence - worrying about others when I'm playing GTA.
I know some gamers really think it's a great addition, and it adds dimension and depth. I'm not arguing that. But I think we've already gotten plenty realistic enough, haven't we? I loved GTAIV but a part of me missed the crazy over-the-top action from previous titles, and now GTAV is sounding more and more like a big, sprawling crime simulator of some kind. I don't care about squad mates; I don't want help. I want to take down everything all by my lonesome; that's the point of GTA! I just have to hope this hiring allies crap is optional, and that I can do every heist on my own if I want.
They say they made no compromises with Watch Dogs PS4, but...
Well, it's a nice thing to say. Until you turn it around and consider it from the other angle: If you're calling the PlayStation 4 version of Watch Dogs a "truly no compromises experience," then isn't it safe to assume that the PS3 version does make some compromises? I mean, of course it would have to as the older system isn't as powerful as the new machine. I get that. But is that really the message you want to be sending? I think the biggest issue people are going to have with cross-generational titles is that they'll kinda feel coerced. It's almost like saying- "If you want what is by far the best version of this game, you have to buy expensive new hardware." It's hard to convince hardcore gamers to "settle," you know? They want the best of the best, and it almost sounds like Watch Dogs absolutely has to be played on next-gen platforms.
Of course, it makes you wonder about the other cross-gen games like Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Call of Duty: Ghosts. There's nothing saying the games won't be great on the PS3/360, but those who don't spring for the new consoles immediately might feel a little left out. They might feel as if they're playing the "secondary" version, or something like that. I love that so many big titles will be available on current and next-gen consoles, but some gamers might say, "Okay, they're forcing my hand."
Personal gaming update
I can definitively say I will not be playing any more of Star Trek: The Video Game. One word- junk. Besides, I'm taking my time with Tomb Raider. I want to get all the collectibles this time around, and I really want to savor the experience, as I did with Bioshock Infinite. I think I'm well positioned to remain caught up throughout the summer, as the only game I really desperately want is The Last Of Us. Metro: Last Light and Fuse could be great, but I can't see either taking up a huge amount of play time. I still wish Insomnaic was doing a new Resistance (can't hold out much hope for a reboot on the PS4, as the series never sold well), but Fuse has promise. That villains trailer was worth seeing.
By the way, don't sleep in the new Metro. That could be a definite diamond in the rough; just ask those who played and enjoyed Metro 2033.
5/4/2013 Ben Dutka