: Ben's Week In Review: May 12

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Ben's Week In Review: May 12

It's almost time for Metro: Last Light, and it could be the year's biggest sleeper hit...

Ubisoft says Sony has done their job with the PS4...know why?

We've heard a lot of praise from a lot of developers concerning the PlayStation 4. And of course, that's a good thing. In retrospect, we never heard such praise for any of the previous PlayStations, and that's simply because game makers were petrified of having to deal with that complex new technology. And while many sorta wish Sony had gone the ultra-expensive architecture route, the one that leaves developers in a fog at the start of a generation, I do like the fresh accessibility. And Ubisoft goes and says the PS4 is like a "perfect jewel." Well, all right. But what I'm not quite understanding is this, and bear with me here:

If the PS4 does indeed just use off-the-shelf middle-grade PC components as the naysayers claim, why would developers be excited? I get that they love a more accessible system, and I get that they want to produce top-end games right off the bat (as opposed to spending several years learning wicked complicated new hardware). But designers typically are not interested in outdated technology. They don't get excited by mediocre components just because they're easier to work with. What I think we're seeing with the PS4 is a gaming machine that strikes a nice balance. I'm all about balance in life, anyway. And the PS4 appears to be extremely well-balanced; accessible enough so developers won't feel lost, and powerful enough so they'll still feel excited about the future.

Am I wrong?

I may be bored with the story in inFamous: Second Son

Don't misunderstand, the new inFamous is absolutely tops on my Most Wanted list in terms of launch software for the PS4 (assuming it is indeed a launch title). But do we really need another "I'm so oppressed and I'm gonna fight the 'man'" storyline? According to the early plot details, the protagonist is on the run because the government has set up an oppressive task force to hunt down "his kind," so-to-speak. ...one big fat yawn. Are we at all bored with this story yet? It's everywhere; this "fight the power" theme has been buried down our throats in movies, music, books and now games. As brilliant as Bioshock Infinite was, the idea of a government oppressing people and running amok was a central theme. Hell, it was at the core of all the "X-Men" movies. You just can't get away from it and I'm bored.

This isn't high school sociology. We got it already. Do something new, do something original, do something unique. Come up with a storyline that actually deals with really intriguing concepts, those that revolve around contrasting philosophies and theories, or those that present us with interesting and multi-layered characters. If all Delsin Rowe is going to be doing in Second Son is battling faceless government dudes and unraveling the ultra-cliched story about how "the man" is keeping him down...I'm gonna fall asleep in my chair. Well, hopefully, the action will keep me awake.

Personal gaming update

I'm still slowly working my way through Tomb Raider, searching for every secret and collectible. My girlfriend and I are also right at the end of Portal 2 and I'd say finishing it is quite the achievement. ;) Bear in mind that she almost played no video games before we sat down to try this. I'm looking forward to trying out Metro: Last Light, as I said above, and then there's Fuse at the end of the month. By the way, although the information is embargoed until Tuesday, I was part of a roundtable conference with Insomniac boss Ted Price. He had some really interesting things to say about a variety of topics (in addition to his new game), and I really urge you to play the demo. It may not be quite what you're expecting...that was a common topic of discussion, actually.

Then there's The Last Of Us in June, which should be absolutely stellar. Anything less and I'll be disappointed. Lastly, I have high hopes for Remember Me, although it does concern me that developer DontNod Entertainment is completely unproven... Cross your fingers!

5/11/2013 Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (18 posts)

Saturday, May 11, 2013 @ 10:19:10 PM

Same as the proof of the pudding is in the taste, the proof of the ps4 will be in its games. With so much of developer praise for the ps4 architecture, the onus of raising the bar in game quality falls on the developers' shoulders, not Sony's.

With regards Infamous 2nd Son, I understand ur point Ben, but I think u r being a bit harsh. Infamous is an alternative superhero story. It would be interesting to see what ideas you and the intelligent contributors on this site come up with, if u ask what would be their take on a possible plot for the new Infamous?

I tried the Fuse demo, but wasn't impressed. This game may well be the demise of Insomniac. (I say this even though I am a huge fan of Resistance 3)

Other PGU: Trying to complete games from my PS PLUS Instant Game Collection. Almost done with Sleeping Dogs.
I've rarely preordered games without first seeing a trusted site review like PSXE. However, The Last of Us has been preordered. Naughty Dog have never let me down. My last preorder was Uncharted 3!

Last edited by Dukemz_UK on 5/11/2013 10:23:10 PM

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Saturday, May 11, 2013 @ 10:40:29 PM

Ben while the PS4 may use pc components the way they're interconnected with each other isn't typical of conventional PC desktop design. A determent about PC development over the last many years involves the Direct X api MS uses for Windows platforms. Microsoft SIGNIFICANTLY restricts the memory and resource usage of hardware in an Windows environment. AMD has commented about this in the past. That their advanced hardware is shackled by the Windows OS. MS does this because they put certain 'walls' in place to preemptively protect the OS from low level resource access that could cause OS instability issues(in the wrong hands) because of all the many others things general purpose PC's perform.
The PS4 represents a dream scenario for developers. They finally get an architecture they're familiar with and something designed virtually free of resource and memory bottlenecks.

The concern over the loss of Sony's presence in pushing their more sophisticated hardware designs is that it cements the stagnation of any real growth and processing breakthroughs concerning the future of mainstream consumer CPU's. Sony isn't the only one who's attempted to derail x86 dominance. It's not that we don't have powerful x86 processors, we do, it's just strides in CPU innovations have been heavily repressed due to the industry's preference for x86 design. Essentially, the x86 design has had mass marketing advantages in cost-production yields.

PGU: Platinum-ed Jak and Daxter today. BOOYAA! Take that you sucka's ;)
I also completed Ghost of Sparda this week. It was good. I liked it way better than CoO. I can't say it's better at any one thing than other GoW's. I was thinking about how some GoW games have the 'best of' elements respective to their own title. Ascension owns the best combat. GoW3 owns the most consistently memorable boss fights. GoW2 is the most balanced and solid offering the series has seen. I'd also probably go with the original GoW story as best. Basically, if I could have an amalagmation of GoW as one game. It would be GoW's story. GoW 2's design, length, and puzzles. GoW 3's bosses. And GoW Ascension's graphics, combat and game play mechanics (refinements in platforming related stuff etc. plus that end boss sequence is off-the-hook awesome. that would need to be added as well.. oh and the first giant level boss ;)
There you have it. My favorite GoW experience.
Other than that I've been playing Rage. I'm at the 3rd settlement area so I think I'm pretty deep in.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/11/2013 10:42:58 PM

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Saturday, May 11, 2013 @ 10:59:11 PM

I agree about the government oppression bit, however I'm hoping that is just a backdrop for an actual story in Second Son. That can only be done with memorable characters and a plot inside that stereotypical structure. Fighting faceless govt forces is what Prototype games became so yeah I don't think we need more in Second Son. I think there's room there and Sucker Punch's storytelling got amped up a notch from inFamous to inFamous 2 with the help of Naughty Dog.

I'm playing FC3: Blood Dragon and it's such a blast from the past. Somehow they married Escape from NY, Terminator, Robocop, Commando, Predator, and half a dozen other 80's movies into a great homage game. Love the synthesizer music.

It really makes you think about how we used to look toward our future amidst the ultraviolence and drugs of the time as a dystopian and depressing crime-ridden blood-bath where man and machine come together in a grotesque utilitarian way at great expense to mankind.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 @ 1:24:19 AM

how does it leave developers in a fog at the start?
they have had SEVEN freaking years getting use to the cell architecture!
they have spent SEVEN freaking years building tools and engines for it, adjusting their code base to suit the system.
and now its all out the window, start again!
at best its unity for third party developers, but there still wasting and throwing away all the stuff they have created over this gen.
at worst, and this is where im worried it will really hurt, is the first party devs who really learned how to make the system hum.
there really had the rug pulled from under them now.

the central theme, yea probably.
but that does not mean you cant have allot more with it allong the way.
i hope SP go back to the brilliant twists and turns of infamous, it was such a brilliantly thought out story!
one thing i HATE about almost every game story these days is allot of things are not explained, or just coincidences.
infamous everything happened for a reason, everything was there for a reason.
no coincidences, nothing assumed, everything was explained.
it was so cool how it branched out so far, not only current times but also in the past with kessler and odin.
no games really bother with that, its just the current story with the current main character, no back story and so many coincidences and assumptions.
i really dont care what the main theme of second son is, as long as everything feels so well placed and intricately placed and thought out.
no coincidences, no assumptions, each puzzle piece slowly placed into its place and explained.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 @ 10:06:56 AM

I've commented before that I felt bad for some of the people (actual people not companies) that spent the past seven years, really trying to get their minds around the cell. Those individuals may have become sort of the go-to people in their workplace/studio/industry - "when all else fails go ask the 'cell master'". Now their specialised talents are suddenly not as valuable as the might have been - sure they may have learned some tricks that can be applied to different architecture, but it won't be the same as what they've accomplished with the cell.

Mark Cerny stated that he started going out and visiting with developers in 2007 (a year after the PS3 launch) to ask them what they'd like to see in the next-generation console. This was all still at a time when, arguably, developers were still trying to figure out (with time and money) the PS3's cell architecture. I do believe that had the PS4 gone with a modified/improved/"bigger" cell chip, developers would not have faced as much of a struggle or learning curve with the PS4 as they faced with the PS3.

Having said all that, I do recognise that the more prevalent and common x86 architecture will make it easier for developers this generation. I may also allow for some smaller or existing PC developers and other companies (that may have overlooked a "foreign" architecture) make games or other useful applications for the PS4.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 @ 10:13:12 AM

of course they wouldent have, there already use to it they have had 7 freaking years!
it has helped SOME third party developers, but was it worth it?
there are a few studios who only released their games on 360 and PC because the ps3 was too alien for them.
but there in the minority, the 3 out of hundreds of developers.
was it really worth abandoning the legacy of playstation, and screwing first party studios, for the sake of those 3 developers who were unable to bring their games to ps3 because of the cell?
of course not!
as the saying goes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
$onys done the opposite, this time they have gone with the needs of the few.

there is ONE reason why the ps4 is x86 and ONE reason ONLY!
if $ony was to bring cell to the ps4, like they did the ps3, they would of had to make a considerable loss on the system.
and in the financial state they are in, that would of meant bye bye playstation, and possibly bye bye $ony!
they could not afford the extra cost, so they cheeped out.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 @ 10:07:49 AM

WTFs happening with the last of us demo too?
was originally suppose to release 2 weeks before release, but now when i boot up GOWA and go to the demo page the countdown timer says 19 days, which pegs it as releasing on the 31 which is 5 days before release!
sigh, 5 days before release is "early access" is it?
gotta love it how $ony announces demos availability in feb, but dont release it till the end of may and 6 days before release!

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 @ 4:03:46 PM

The Last of Us comes out June 14.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 @ 6:58:19 PM

June 14th? :o That's my birthday!

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 @ 1:12:50 PM

I played the Fuse demo and honestly, it was alright. You can see the inspiration they take from Uncharted, in the way that the character moves & all the cinematic touches. I think I saw that the sub-title to the level was 'No Honour Among Thieves' at one point too, cool reference. The control felt a little loose and there was a certain 'genericness' about the setting, characters and design - not the first time I've climbed through a ventilation outlet to shoot my way through a military compound as a big burly I-feel-no-pain juggernaught, that's for damn sure lol - but it was good fun to play.

Looks like it might be a bit of a dark horse...

Incase anyone was wondering, I haven't commented for awhile because some annoying stuff happening recently. First, I'm suspended from PSN. I can't access my stuff but it's okay because it's already on my system to access. But then second, my PS3 completely corrupts and I lose everrythinnggg. Every - Last - Kilobyte - gone. So after getting over this, I come to realise I can't access & redownload any of my stuff because I'm suspended. Life is f*cking brilliant sometimes xD

But it's probably a blessing in disguise, as I have exams comming up next week. Speaking of which, I was wondering if I could get some feedback from you guys about a project I'm doing for Music Tech. We had to create a Dubstep track using Adele -'Rolling in the deep' as the stimulus. Consdering this is the first time I've composed, I found it hard to say the least lol. But I'd be interested in any feedback: http://soundcloud.com/ludicrouslyliam/adele-rolling-in-the-deep-dubstep

Last edited by Ludicrous_Liam on 5/12/2013 1:15:26 PM

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 @ 1:21:04 PM

God...I really do suck when it comes to links. Typing LudicrouslyLiam into Soundcloud should work if anyone wants a listein.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 @ 7:22:06 PM

why did u get banned?

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 @ 9:48:15 PM

That sucks, man. Hope you get it sorted.

A great case against always connected, though.

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Monday, May 13, 2013 @ 10:30:50 AM

It's a funny story how I got banned. Well, the technical term would be 'suspended' because I gain access again in October.

My sister got a PS3 at christmas and I thought I'd let her go on my PSN to download all my games etc. But as I always have automatically sign in on, I don't even remember my password. And, I don't remember what my date of birth was (this'll be explained later lol).

So I phone Sony up, and I try to be up-straight with them. You have to keep in mind I went through a lot of bull**** trying to figure out the password and date of birth, almost 3 hours of trying. I tell them it's possible I typed in a random date of birth, possibly because I didn't want restricted access (18+ titles etc). He says he needs to speak to a parent or guardian, so naturally I'm like what the fu...okay, whatevs. I ask my dad to sort things out with him, and boom I realize the date of birth that I set was his! So I do this and I think argh great, glad that's sorted. But then I get signed out and when I try to sign back in, I get the error message saying I'm suspended or banned.

I just think **** it, I've had enough. I go to bed. Next day I read my e-mails and it says I've been suspended because I'm a "underage user" and won't gain access until I'm 18 or if my dad sends a form of identification to say he's in control of the account. He was willing to do that so he did, and I get no reply from Sony in 5 months (after 3 attempts). So you'd have to excuse me for thinking Sony are a bunch of f****** corporate d*********, lol...

My new PSN is LudicrouslyLiam by the way.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 @ 4:09:39 PM

Isn't it a little presumptuous to label the story of Infamous: Second Son in such broad, simplistic strokes when you really know nothing about it? And by trying to compare thematic similarities to X-men no less. The role/shape of government in the conversation of privacy and security has been around for quite some time, and, if you're so tired of it, you probably don't have any interesting thoughts on the subject.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, May 12, 2013 @ 4:27:03 PM

Isn't it a little presumptuous to assume I have no interesting thoughts on the subject because I'm bored of it?

I hope inFamous is something more. From what I've read so far, it isn't. I'm allowed to formulate an opinion on that, last I checked. If there is something more than the cliched, stereotypical, yawn-fest that I'm anticipating, I'll happily stand corrected.

And thank you for making my point. This story arc HAS been around for "quite some time." And I'm bored because it's always the exact same story with the exact same moral behind it. If people haven't figured it out by now, they're simply not very bright to begin with.

I've reached the point where if all you're going to do is get on a soapbox and lecture (which I HOPE inFamous won't do), I will conclude that I have better things to do with my time. I seek original thoughts, thank you.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 5/12/2013 4:29:25 PM

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 @ 5:25:32 PM

I didnt think FUSE was that great. It was alright but it really did feel like another TPS.

I honestly would have purchased Overstrike, and indeed it was on my radar. But once they switched it to fuse and changed the tone and the look and well pretty much everything I dunno I really lost all interest.

I'm hoping that it turns out well, but I have a feeling it will underperform and EA will downsize insomniac.

Overstrike just looked so interesting, and I like how it artistically looked like The Incredibles mixed with some Archer. I liked the cartoony spy vibe it had.

As for Infamous well it looks cool. Personally I don't care about the backdrop of the plot and the oppressure government thing. It is more important to me that the characters are awesome and their stories are interesting amidst the back drop of government oppression.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 @ 6:11:26 PM

I have seen very little information on inFamous: Second Son and I guess I should have paid more attention when I watched the videos. If the story is like you say it is Ben, then I feel the same way. I want something original with Second Son. Sucker Punch could take the story in any direction they want so I hope they don't do themselves and gamers a disservice by making it about government oppression.

I haven't been playing anything lately, so I ordered Tomb Raider. I'm sure I'll like the game. I've only heard good things about it apart from a couple of minor complaints that weren't technical issues.

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