Are Fewer, Longer-Lived AAA Games Really A Bad Thing?

cyekvy6u

News has been coming out that October 2016 was a bit of a disappointment for sales expectations of some blockbuster video games. One narrative trying to explain why suggests that the transition to games-as-a-service is giving some older games longer tails, cannibalizing new ones. If this is what’s happening (there are other explanations), I’m honestly not sure whether it’s a bad thing or a correction I’ve been waiting to see for years.

US retail and UK retail are reporting disappointing numbers for games like Dishonored 2Watch Dogs 2Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, or Titanfall 2, despite critics receiving those games quite positively. There could be a lot of explanations: particular things going on with each individual game (like Titanfall 2 coming out in-between Battlefield 1 and Infinite Warfare), or particular things going on in the UK retail market or the US retail market. A convenient one however has been that the push to present blockbuster games as services people play and pay into for longer periods of time is giving those people less time to play every new big game that comes out. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Black Friday 2016 Was A Surprise For PC Gaming

8-gears-of-war-4-for-pc-windows-10-2

I have to admit video game-related Black Friday sales (Black Week really) seriously caught me off guard this year. I ended up grabbing several high-profile 2016 games I didn’t think I was going to bother buying any time soon. Originally I didn’t have many planned Black Friday targets, but from my perspective this year seems very different from previous years, mainly in regards to sales for PC games. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Infinite Warfare Proves We Need More Air Combat Games

jackal_speed

In my previous post about Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, I said it’s probably the first COD with a truly naval focus. A big part of that is how much flight combat plays into the game, particularly if you decide to do all the side missions.

I think if you just beeline through the main missions the flight combat only shows up in one or two missions, so it’s sort of just one of the many neat distractions that tend to come and go in COD games. Something like half of the the side missions are just air battles though, and that’s where it wore thin for me. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Infinite Warefare Really Is “Call of Duty In Space”

thumb-1920-697024

As each new Call of Duty game is accused of being “more of the same,” I think the lifeblood that keeps the main campaigns of each game worthwhile is their ability to remain fresh and keep surprising the player. After finally finishing up Infinite Warfare, I think it does a sufficient job of this, if only because it repeats a lot of what was in previous games, except in space.

The game that blew up the franchise — Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, has such a good campaign because it feels like a roller coaster. Each mission has scenarios and events that set it apart from the other ones so the game never really gets monotonous. If the game was designed right, you never feel like you’re just repeatedly going through a bunch of kill boxes. I feel this way about most of the COD games: the three Modern Warfare games, Ghosts, and Advanced Warfare.

To keep things fresh with Infinite Warfare, Infinite Ward really leaned hard on the “in space” theme. I’m not sure there’s much about the moment-to-moment action in the end that feels unique other than being set in space, but it turns out being set in space counts for a lot. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Nintendo Wii 10 Years On: What Was And Could Have Been

wii

The original Nintendo Wii turned 10 over the weekend, I haven’t seen many retrospective articles about it but I haven’t really been looking. Maybe they’ll be up this week. In any case I don’t think I’ve ever shared my thoughts here on what the Wii accomplished and why it failed to follow that up. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

In Lea Monde Interview, Ubisoft Hints At Changing Direction

grw_screen7_e3_150615_4pm_pt_1434388158

Apparently last week Le Monde published an interview where Ubisoft outlined how it might be changing how it designs its open-world games in the future. The article is in French but NeoGAF moderator Stumpokapow translated it and offered some main bullet points.

The overall jist seems to be that Ubisoft wants to make its future open-world games even less linear and offer players more freedom, with less focus on the scripted story segments that have run through games like Assassin’s Creed II or Far Cry 3. Personally, I think this is what Ubisoft should have always been doing. If you look back at some previous posts of mine you might see that I’ve had issues with how Ubisoft does open-world games. Many may disagree with me. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

On Modern Open-World UI And World Design

hncndy1

The games I’ve been playing recently have mostly been open-world games or games where you have to find objectives on large maps, and in all of them that has necessitated things like mini maps and waypoints. I’ve posted at least once before about how much I hate waypoints because they can break immersion. Gamasutra however published this past April an excellent article laying out the drawbacks of waypoints and how we got here. I implore you to at least read the first few lines. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Indie Game Radar: Project Wingman

pdjte

I believe there have been a few indie attempts in the past to emulate Namco’s Ace Combat series of jet fighter games, or at least indie aerial combat games that lift elements of the series, but Project Wingman might be the closets or at least the most striking I’ve seen yet. It sort of looks like what Ace Combat would be if Namco kept making it with modern graphics, or perhaps a preview of what the upcoming Ace Combat 7 might look like. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

What Does Dishonored 2 Really Bring To The Table?

3077670-stealth_01__web_1465774205

Dishonored 2 is out and even though I’ve already bough it I probably won’t be able to touch it for a while. It’s one of my most anticipated games for 2016 but I actually haven’t been paying much attention to it. It’s probably because of how the game has been advertised which mostly runs counter to why I’m buying it. How do you advertise parts of a blockbuster game other than combat and deep stories? Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

What Kept Me Interested In Mafia III

Foreword: There’s pretty much no way to get around what happened this week before going into a blog post I already had planned at least a couple weeks ago. I try to keep things on this blog (and my twitter if you haven’t noticed) centered on games and tech with a bit of other entertainment, but pretty much never politics. I do have my own political opinions, I just don’t find social media and blogs to be the best place for me to discuss them. Something did pop up on my friend’s blog however that I think strikes a good point about the recently wrapped-up US Presidential Election centered on writing and journalism.

The basic jist I got out of it is that the media spent a bit too much time chasing scandals and a bit too little time actually going over the policies of each candidate. You could say media took on the easy subjects it thought would attract viewers instead of digging into the details that might have had a better chance of swaying them.

I think that’s about as much as I’m going to say here on that subject. If you’re interested in taking a bit of time off to read about video games, continue.

Real Post: 

2k_mafia3_e3_city_drive1

I probably spent way too much time getting through Mafia III, but I just finished it. Everyone has likely moved on from it, but I had my reasons for sticking with it over the last month. The main thing I want to say about Mafia III is that it has the same overall good points and flawsMafia II had, I think both cases are interesting when it comes to people’s enjoyment and perception of video games. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,
Quest Board

Knowledge, Fun, and Experience Await

Journalism, Journalists and the World

Making the world relevant to journalists

Stephanie Carmichael

Freelance writer and copy editor / games journalist / blogger extraordinaire

Black Millennials

Cultural Empowerment for Black 20somethings

Ackk Studios

There is something a little unusual going on here...

Drowning In Multimedia

From videogames to comic books and everything in between

Gamerly Musings

Where failed pitches go to shine.

Malstrom's Articles News

“The game has changed, ... and the way the game is played has to be changed.” -Iwata

Whitney Rhodes

Writer, videographer, journalist, gamer

Ye Olde Nick Suttner Blogge

Somewhere to keep thoughts on things.

I'm Not Doctor Who

The Third Millennium

The Squadron of Shame Squawkbox

I hear you like games. So do we.