Tag Archives: open world

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst And Quality VS Quantity In AAA Games

Mirror's Edge™ Catalyst_20160619112400

I finally finished Mirror’s Edge Catalyst — I figured I needed to go ahead and clear the space from my SSD. It’s been out for like half a year but I think the game’s strengths and weaknesses are still pretty relevant in discussions about more recent and soon-to-come games. Specifically, it’s another example of what can help or hurt the design of an open-world game, or really any game positioned to be a blockbuster. 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 , , , , , , , , ,

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 , , , , , ,

Exploration So Far In Elite Dangerous

pGXquEXOirqz.878x0.Z-Z96KYq

I just crossed the 60-hour mark in Elite Dangerous and even though I don’t consider myself qualified to fully critique it or games like it, I think it’s time I at least put down some observations and general things I’d like to see Frontier Developments improve or change. If you’re one of those people who are still curious or pessimistic about No Man’s Sky, this post might help better inform your expectations of that game.

Even though I’ve done a few posts in the past on PC space flight games, I’m still not really “in-tune” with that genre. I don’t have a great idea of what fans of the “Fight, Trade, Explore” style space game expect from Elite Dangerous or games like it. I don’t know how it scales up compared to games of the past or similar games being made today. More importantly, I haven’t really interacted with other people playing this game so I don’t know what the common grievances have been. Elite Dangerous feels a lot like what I experienced in Frontier: Elite II but with more accessible controls I guess. Still, after 60 hours I find myself wishing for certain things in Dangerous. Consider this a critique with some suggestions from an average newcomer to the series and genre.

Everything I’m about to say has mainly to do with exploration in Elite Dangerous. I haven’t really done trading or bounty hunting at all so I have no idea how those aspects of the game have turned out. I’ve spent pretty much all my time exploring and scanning star systems, so I’m just critiquing what that experience feels like here. Continue reading

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

Fallout 4’s Early-Game Pacing Is A Huge shift From What Should Be Bethesda’s Forte.

2889263-fallout4_deathclawattack_1434390891

A few hours into Fallout 4 I have one general issue with it that none of the reviews I read touched on. It’s a bit of what I said I was afraid would happen in a previous post. The opening hours of Fallout 4 in my opinion run completely counter to what Bethesda does best and what is most unique to that developer… even if the result isn’t necessarily a bad game.

Basically, Fallout 4’s beginning feels paced like an action game and not like an RPG. I’m not specifically talking about the combat, but rather what you do and encounter when starting out. It feels very odd compared to Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas. In addition to this, how Bethesda has handled Fallout 4’s player character launches it headfirst into the main quest urgency problem so many open-world RPGs have while also hampering player agency a bit. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Linear Or Sandbox Game — Why Not Both?

crysis64_2015_10_30_17_15_22_197

The sentiment I’m starting to sense is that a lot of people are speaking out against the sort of resurgence of open-world games we’ve seen in this new console generation. I believe I already covered how I think we’re just getting too many bad open-world games, but I think another problem is how right now it seems like we have to choose between open-world or super-linear. There used to be a middle-ground that mostly isn’t there anymore. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Witcher 3 Was Almost An Open World Adventure Game

witcher370

The Witcher 3 has pretty much been received as a seminal, almost flawless game in the eyes of many. While I’m inclined to believe it is one of the best crafted video game worlds I’ve seen in recent times, I feel I must talk about one of the few but persistent things that keep it from perfection. One of Witcher 3’s main elements brings it close to a kind of video game I’ve long wanted to see, but falls just shy of the goal. Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Why Doesn’t Content Bloat In Witcher 3 And Metal Gear Solid V Annoy Me?

the-phantom-pain-posters-pf-soldier-africa-location-on-map

Right now I’m trying to juggle two massive games: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and The Witcher 3. While trying to reconfigure my wake/sleep schedule I’m also realizing both of these games do exactly what I’ve hated about open-world games for some time now… but I’m thoroughly enjoying them.

You know those games, usually coming from Ubisoft, that just put icons all over the map for treasure chests and side missions to the point where it all ends up feeling like busywork? Or they throw in a lot of extraneous features like crafting materials and team management simulations? I think MGSV and Witcher 3 figured out how to do those kinds of games properly. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

MGSV And The Changing Hype For Japanese Blockbusters

z6sSjq8

This may or may not be my last blog post before Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain lands so I guess I should finally put words to how unusual the hype for this game has felt for me. It’s one of my most anticipated games of 2015, but my anticipation doesn’t seem to be the same as everyone else’s. I think it’s because as Hideo Kojima ends his involvement with the series it’s starting to become something that’s not quite for the same people who were enamored with the original Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2.

What I feel in anticipation for Phantom Pain isn’t what I felt in anticipation for MGS2, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, or Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The kind of hype I felt back then — akin to the kind of hype people felt in anticipation of Final Fantasy VIII or Final Fantasy X, honestly feels like it’s part of a different era now. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel that same communal mega hype for a boxed Japanese product again. Maybe Zelda, maybe Soul Calibur, but that’s it. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Modding Skyrim’s Very Design Philosophy

maxresdefault

Everybody’s playing The Witcher 3 right now, and that’s great. It’s my most anticipated 2015 game, but unfortunately I won’t be able to buy or start playing it for some time, probably weeks. In the meantime I’m replaying the first two Witcher games and trying to finally get Skyrim off my plate. I’ve already written about my first forays into modding Skyrim, but that was mostly about why I started modding the game. Now I’m starting to like how a handful of light gameplay mods have significantly changed my experience with the game.

Basically, I’ve tried to eradicate the parts of Skyrim that make it what some might call a “GPS game.” Almost every big game these days has some magical GPS indicator in its HUD that tells you exactly where you need to go next in order to progress. People make fun of it by posting fictitious Battlefield box arts that are nothing but a “follow” icon. Developers really want to make sure you never ever get lost. A long time ago I did a blog post about this specifically in relation to Skyrim. 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 TV shows 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.

The Squadron of Shame Squawkbox

I hear you like games. So do we.