I still can’t believe it what I just wrote, that the’re trying to make a Gears of War movie. You have shitting me again. First I hear they’re making another CoD game and now I hear they’re trying to make a Gear of War movie. And this isn’t a new thing; they’ve been trying to do this for 10 years now! The chances of this becoming a box office hit are slim (though not non existent), so I don’t why they so intent on making a movie that, more likely than not, is going to fail. Especially since universal, one of the major film studios, is possibly backing it now! You would think after years of iffy movie rating that they would (movie producers) would wise up? But no, they’re as stubborn as ever, apparently.
They’re not even doing with a especially good franchise, story wise. If you don’t already know what the Gears franchise is story wise, your pretty much screaming and shooting everything that moves for 5 games (probably more to to come) as you do progressively gorier and more visceral execution animations with each addition to the franchise. The story gets progressively dumbed down with each iteration until you really can’t care less.
Now, I’m not saying the Gears series is by any means a shit franchise, it’s actual quite good, just that story telling isn’t a strong point. And some video games make quite good movies, but a Gears movie shouldn’t that list.
People have been obsessed about virtual reality, or VR for short. For anyone any who doesn’t know what this is, (I doubt you haven’t ) it’s wear you, in short, put your head in one strange contraptions and, well, experience virtual reality. The concept is your supposed to be become completely immersed in what ever it is your doing, like, for example, playing games with it. Sony has already came out with the PS4 VR headset, the first console VR. The reception has seen startling numbers relative to its competitors. While in term of raw numbers it gets dwarfed by the actual consoles, probably because it (PS VR) costs as much as a new console ($399 USD), it does show that this might be a new gaming trend somewhere we’ll see more of in the near future.
But what’s the actual in owning a VR, a pricy gaming one at that? Well first some general remarks:
It doesn’t track your eyes so the result is a somewhat shaky experience. your head tends to wander some so your eyes compensate. The Headset can only track your head so it results shaky VR experience
You can´t really move too far for obvious reasons, and unless you want to cough up the extra cash for a VR omni treadmill, it can be very disorientating to learn how to move in virtual reality. You have to use either your hands, or ¨walk in place¨ which can be tedious
VR sickness. It’s like motion sickness except you not physically moving, you just feel like you are; the same symptoms of nausea, dizziness, vomiting and so forth
VR’s are meant for closed cinematic-like things. Its not mean’t for open world RPG’s, which happen to be my favorite genre
I don’t have a problem with VR headsets, as long as they remain niche, something that is optional not a requirement for mainstream games. I don’t want games to be just like real life. Realistic and real life are two different things and I want them to stay that way for at least the foreseeable future.
Whenever you buy AAA, yearly release game or a free to play mobile game, you can bet they’ll have microtransactions. For those who don’t know what a microtransaction exactly is, its after you purchase a game, you have the option ( I use the term loosely since it pretty much attempts to ransom off the rest of the game if you happened to pay for it) to pay for additional content that usually only costs $1 or $2 most of the time. s they only ever spend a few dollars on games you pay for. I’m more focused on free to play titles, which happen to be mobile games; “freemium” games. That doesn’t mean I’m not blaming non-freemium games either, because I am. There at just as much fault as the freemium games. Any game that has pointless microtransactions, free to play to play or not, is violating the trust between players and developers.
So, first off, what are you obtaining when you make a micro-transaction in a game? That depends on the game; if its clash of clans, it gems (the in-game currency), if its FIFA its new skins, the same for mass effect 2 and 3. In Mobile Strike, it’s power-ups and speed boosts to get things like missiles ready faster ( I’ve never played mobile strike myself so I’m not quite sure what those micro-transactions are used for.) Freemium games generally have you pay to speed up progression; the player with who has paid the most will be most likely to succeed in whatever the games final objective is, which is most likely an ongoing objective (build, expand, conquer, repeat.) There exceptions to this rule of micro-transactions, however. Sid Meyer’s civilization revolution is has no microtransactions, just a small fee to purchase the games (it’s probably because this was PC/ console.)
So, you may be asking why do developers put micro-transactions in their games? The publishers, who usually pay for the games development and market it to consumers like me. I’m not saying all publishers are like this. Smaller publishers, for the most part, aren’t guilty of this. I’m talking more about the big, AAA publishers like Sony, EA and Ubisoft. They’ll suck game devs veins dry and crack open their bones to get at the marrow inside, metaphorically speaking (I think). The worst part is that people still buy their (publishers) games. A lot of the time they even pre-order it because of some tacky item they get, like in my case, a new Nomad skin that you can only get if you pre-order Mass Effect Andromeda. You’re paying so that you can have the honor to pay again… and again. Of course you’ll eventually get something out of it, some recompense for what you payed for with your (parents) hard earned currency.
What’s the result? It’s, well, nothing. No one’s taking action because 1.) no one important seems to care about it enough to take actual, meaningful action and 2.) if we don’t want this shit then why are we still buying it? No one’s forcing the average consumer to get these games at gunpoint, freemium or otherwise, and making us purchase microtransactions against our wishes. We, as consumers in a free (mostly) market, are making these decisions of our own free will. No “hostage at gunpoint” type situation needed. we can needlessly max out our parents credit cards on our own, thank you very much.
So why do we put ourselves though all this? Well I don’t really know. I don’t think I’ve ever made a microtransaction in my life, so I don’t quite know what the appeal is to other consumers. Maybe they (consumers) think if they if they pay enough, the game will somehow get better. It doesn’t, by the way, if you thought that it did. It’s comparable to a big pit where dump your all your money into to never see again. Freemium games don’t look that good. I can guarantee it will be a boring top-down, turn-based or RTS (real time stategy.) And they’ll be constantly bating you, enticing you with you with to spend a few cents, dollars and before you know it, you’ve spent a 100 or so dollars, perhaps even more on some shitty game your playing for no reason at all.
You can make the argument that, especially paid-for AAA games that the major publishers, well, publish, that you’re missing out content, not playing the “whole game” if you didn’t purchase the additional content. That’s been the case for at least one franchise I know. Mass Effect 3 had the DLC From The Ashes that released the same time as the base game did, so arguably it is part of the base game that the publishers decided they were going to ransom off this part of the game as DLC. It cost about $10 when they released it, so it’s not really a microtransaction, but much of the same principle applies. I’ve never heard of a microtransaction that gives a “part of the game” as a reward. Its superficial things like skins, power ups, or “in game” (fake) currency, Ultimately meaningless items. DLC’s are different from microtransactions in that they offer real, tangible content that usually last for a few hour. I feel we need more of those (DLC’s) in games and less microtransactions. And some games are already doing this, like The Witcher 3 are already doing just that. They’ve proven its not impossible, it just needs some discipline. The game industry is constantly changing, so how about we change it for the better this time around.
What is it with franchises that seem to live past due? The Call Of Duty franchise (often shortened to the acronym COD) has set a timer set to a countdown with a graphic and the text “Call Of Duty WW2” in big, bold letters right next to it. And what’s the first that comes to my mind, you might ask? What the fuck, really? I mean really, you’re just shitting? Because I don’t find it that amusing.
COD is really past its sell by date, in my humble opinion. like actual cod, it’s left out of for a few metaphorical day’s and has began to smell, for a lack of better word, fishy (once again metorphorically speaking. At least, I think so.) Why have do I think is so overally ripe and ought to be thrown out? A few reasons.
First, they’ve lost touch with a large swath of their fan, which is young, predomintatly male, console owners. As they’ve matured, the COD franchise hasn’t “matured” along with them. They’ve fallen out with their target audience. When Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2 came out (turn of the last decade) is when people were enthusiastic about the COD franchise. when people like me were young and foolish and had access to their parents bank accounts. But
now as we approach the turn of the next decade, I would say COD needs to do some rethinking about what it’s target now is.
Second, the COD franchise has for a long time attempted to gloss a lot of thing over instead of trying to make any real change to the game formula. They’re were a few changes to the game formula over the years, but it didn’t make up for when they made some key bumbles over the years, like in COD Ghosts (more specifically the infamous “remote control dog.”- the moment I started to rethink why I’m still playing this.) I wouldn’t make such a big $60 every year for recycled, rebranded piece of shit garbage games. Well me and a good number of other players did for years. But no more. I’ve had enough of this this Parasitic relationship. It’s taken my money and time and in exchange its given me a few hours of campaign gameplay and a few (amusing) wallpapers. I have had enough!
I just want to make this clear right now so no one gets the wrong idea about this particular post I’m writing. It’s not meant to really change any one’s positions on anything, and if it does, good for you. I just want to express my opinions on the matter of video games proliferating any form: no one gives a shit anymore. Whether or not games cause or somehow contribute to committing violent acts in real life, do you think anyone is going to stop playing video games?
It seem’s (and this is just my opinion, you may not agree) that the mainstream media found the burgeoning game industry a really easy target, probably because they really couldn’t fight back at the time ( I say “at the time” because the gaming industry probably could probably retaliate now if a mainstream media outlet would ever be foolish enough to blame gaming for acts of violence now, that’s why no one does it.)
Games in the modern age, in my eyes, don’t focus on just blindly shooting everything you see. A “good” game usually has to focus on other aspects to succeed, like a semi-engaging story, passable graphical quality, etc. If the story’s non-existent and the graphics are shit, no ones gonna play your game. In my opinion, at least.
As a last note to end on, everything I said is just my opinion, you may feel differently (though you’re probably already on my side, why else would you have clicked here in the first place?)
The upcoming release of Cyberpunk 2077 (2019) has a lot of people hopeful about the future of CD Projekt Red. The release of The Witcher 3 made triple A profits. When you factor in the budget, 81 million dollars (low for a triple A title) to develop and market the game, this was a big deal for CD Projekt at the time. However, that was their first triple A title. Its fair to say their still getting their feet as they enter the mysterious land of triple A games. It’s already happened once when they trademarked “cyberpunk” earlier this week. It does seem odd they choose to trademark “Cyberpunk” and not something more specific like “Cyberpunk 2077.” Maybe because their planning on realising a sequel to this game, I don’t really know and won’t try to speculate. They say they’re not going to try to enforce it aggressively, just defensively so no one steals their IP out from under them.
I do think CD Projekt will be different from most game devs because they kind of publish their own titles (through CD Projekt Red.) It’s not like the strange symbiotic/ parasitic of publishing company EA and the game devs at, say, Bioware. EA only about one thing: turning a profit and that can often lead to game devs selling their souls out to please them. This has led to games released being released far too early, as was the case with Mass Effect: Andromeda. Don’t get me wrong, I think MEA is a great game, it just needed more ironing out than it got because someone needed a gold-plated jet STAT.
Anyway, I just hope CD Projekt takes its time like it always has and doesn’t doesn’t rush the development cycle for the sake of making money fast.
Okay, maybe I lied, maybe the Witcher 3 wasn’t the greatest game EVER made. It was the greatest game I’ve ever played. However, I do think it was trend setting. It raised
our expectation of open world games, as well as games as a whole. I’ve spent 620 hours now in the Witcher 3 (26 days!), Second only to Skyrim, another revolutionary game, where I’ve spent more than 1000 hours (42 days) playing. And the only reason I played Skyrim so much was 1.) it came out 4 years before Witcher 3 and 2.) it was an addictive game (and still is.)
What made the made The Witcher 3 so great wasnt any one thing so much as a fusion of different game elements that came together to
deliver something unique and very good.
Even though it was an open world game, it had incredible graphics. So much so, it often was detremantal to my framerate before I upgraded (I hate running a game at anything below max settings.) Of course you don’t to run the game at max settings. Running it at high or a mix between high and medium (water and foliage textures at medium for example.) High and ultra aren’t that different to be honest, beside the obvious lag in frame rate at higher settings.
On top of it being an open world masterpiece, the story is excellent. Without treading into the land of spoilers, the medieval fantasy game centers around protagonist Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher or professional monster slayer that have underwent mutations to make them superior compared to a human in every way, including living up to 4 times the average life span of most humans, immunity to diseases, ability to change their metabolism and digest chemicals that would prove fatal to humans. The last of a dying breed, Witchers are shunned from society for being “emotionless freaks.” This is based on the book series of the same name written by Andrzej Sapkowski.
I love Gwent! It’s a card game in the witcher 3 that could be marketed as a card game in real life, and kinda has. Special editions of the witcher 3 came with deck of gwent cards. Without going into to much detail, the objective in each round is to have more points than your opponent. Each player has two life points, each point being spent when the a player loses a round. Each player draw 10 cards at the begging of the game. Those are the only cards you can draw. There are creature cards as buffs and modifiers to make creatures stronger, weaker, etc.
The DLC/ expansion packs are equally just as good, Especially
the Blood and Wine expansion packs. It’s almost a game within itself, with new massive and varied area to explore, people to meet and monsters to slay, as well as new game dynamics to refresh the normal formula
When it comes down to it, The Witcher 3 is what I define as one of the greats in gaming. It raised our expectations what a open world, story driven game can be. It tried to excel in every department of game design and never settled. That’s something that’s very rare in gaming today. There were few caveats, mainly bugs (dumb yet hilarious glitches.)
but that’s overshadowed by what the game did accomplish, which is to create the game of a generation.
Warning, cannot confirm this blog post will be spoiler free.
After 10 days of exploring remnant vaults, destroying kett constructs, exploring the city’s on Aya and Kadara, placing on other worlds, and just generally blowing shit up on theses new worlds, I’d like to report on what else I like about ME:A and what i dislike about it.
First the plus’s:
The new worlds are impressive to explore, with obviously more detail than ME1, released 10 years ago now, with massively improved textures, shaders, mesh’s and antialliasing. The Frostbite engine is still running wonderfully so far.
2. The story’s sped up a lot since I got set loose on my first open world, Eos. There was a good number of side missions on every planet so I’m busy enough. After exploring and reactivating each remnant vault on each of the 7 designated “golden world” and establish an outpost, it’ll open up new questline’s to pursue, most notably an encounter with a remant architect, a massive serpentine robot that has to be sent into orbit to make it safe for your outpost to explore and expand (you can actually find the architect you sent into orbit if you rescan the planet.)
Now let’s talk about the things that I didn’t like, Hated or just ticked me of:
The stiff, rigid facial animations. This is really just when it comes to humans, actually, but still. I mean, seriously, what happened? The animations in ME1 was way superior too what its new progeny is. I’m pretty sure the colonial director, Addison, was breaking the fourth wall when she said, “I’m sorry, my face is tired.” You think Bioware would, with 5 years to create this, would spend a little more time on this. Or maybe thats part of the story , as we’ll find out in one of the upcoming downloadable content packs. Who Knows? Maybe the kett are stealing other races facial expressions. as well as their lives. So either it was a major fail or major boon when it comes to DLC time (if you haven’t already figured it out I’m sarcastic, very sarcastic.)
In Mass Effect: Andromeda, two new alien races are introduced, the militaristic kett and the emotional yet tough angara who the kett are in direct conflict with. The kett follow a military hiearchy that’s sort of like a religion. For example, the Archon (their
leader in each theater of war) they refer to as “the Highest one.”
Next we have the angara. They’re emotional, tough, wary at first of new species and …. well they’re pretty just like humans in a lot of ways, ways that make them extremely uninteresting and boring.
The angara are pretty alike to us in other ways, like their facial structure which resembles humans in many ways (similar bone structure over soft exterior tissue.) There speech patterns match our’s after a translation program has been established and
synced to your omnitool (a universal device and weapon if need be.) There government also appears to match ours with layers of beaucracy and commerce laws to regulate their exceeding small market.
The kett, on the other hand, are somewhat interesting, Mainly because of how military and religion seem mix together. While they don’t believe in any sort of higher power, they worship something called exaltation. Because all kett are sterile, they need to convert other races in order to reproduce, like they’ve been doing with the angara since they’ve arrived in the Heleus Cluster. There are many stages to leading up to exaltation, including gene testing, selection, preparation and entrancement.
while the angara may seem more realistic, there just not as exciting and interesting as the kett are. I think Bioware made a huge bumble in not working more on the angara to make them more alien and therefore more interesting to players.
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