The morning Inbox considers Peter Molyneux’s legacy, and the death of the 4 vs. 1 multiplayer game.
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Like many I’ve been play a lot of The Division today and so far I’m quite enjoying it. Since there are no professional reviews yet I thought I’d take a look at the user reviews on Metacritic and Steam and… oh boy.
The PlayStation 4 version is currently at 6.8 on Metacritic and Steam is ‘Mixed’. OK, fair enough you might think. I just admitted I’ve only played it for a few hours. But… so has everyone else. Considering all the complaints are about repetition and server problems I have a lot of trouble believing these are serious issues. I’ve not experienced any trouble with the servers at all, which at launch is almost unheard of nowadays.
Now repetition is the big worry about the game, as GC pointed out in their pre-review, but I don’t see how anyone can have written it off already.
Just as others were saying with Street Fighter V, there’s a certain type of gamer that seems to enjoy complaining and stamping their feet far more than they do actually playing games. To the point where I wonder how many of these people have actually played the game. Now, The Division may turn out to be a disappointment, but I cannot believe it’s an actively bad game based on what I’ve already played. So why all the grief and what causes these trolls to turn on one game but not another?
So, I’ve been playing The Division for a few hours now and generally I’m impressed. The graphics are really good, the action is decent, and the loot system is pretty addictive. But already the biggest problems seem to be the one developers can never do anything about: people.
The second I walked into the safehouse all I saw was idiots dancing and getting in the way. I don’t like to think I’m a killjoy, but that’s all they were doing for the five minutes I was in there. Call me silly but isn’t there better things to be doing with your time and money than triggering the same three dance animations on an endless loop. Like, there was nothing these people could find to do for £40 that was more entertaining than that? Including, you know, playing the game.
And then of course there was the hilarity of blocking the door so that nobody could get in or out. What fun! Presumably these were just kids, but who knows. Whoever they were they seem determined to make everyone else’s time as miserable as their own.
Since everyone is talking about Peter Molyneux and Fable I think some may have missed the other big victim of Microsoft closing down Lionhead: 4 vs. 1 games. That all seemed to be a big new thing a year ago, with Evolve, Fable Legends, and Shadow Realms all featuring the same basic idea.
And what happened? Evolve was a flop and the other two were both cancelled. Does that count as the shortest fad in video game history?
It seems a shame as the basic idea seems like a lot of fun, but Evolve got old in just a few goes and I never liked the look of the others anyway. I would like someone else to come along and give it another go though. Maybe an extra mode in the next Call Of Duty or Battlefield?
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I don’t want to dog pile on Peter Molyneux but I’ve never understood why he’s even famous. Even ignoring whether they’re your types of game or not I don’t see that any game he’s been involved with has ever been considered any kind of classic. Populous, his first one, seems to be the closest you get but compared to SimCity, which was released around the same time and helped to make the term ‘God Game’ a thing it’s almost unplayable now.
I’m not really having a go at the guy but it seems to me he’s not really very good at making games. He’s just good at coming up with basic ideas and then seems to fail in the execution. It’s not much different than me and my mates just sitting around in the pub throwing ideas around. Except we never pretend ours are actual sensible or good ones.
It’s a shame to see Lionhead go under. They must’ve been one of the UK’s biggest developers, but I can’t believe anyone is really going to be that sad to see Fable go. It never lived up to Molyneux’s many promises and I think Microsoft realised that.
RE: Total War: Warhammer. That is the first time I’ve ever heard a publisher using reviews as an excuse for delaying a game. Is that a new one on you GC? And does that mean you’ve already got a copy in now?
I am looking forward to the game, as a Warhammer fan and Total War fan, but since I know the series I also know that I should probably wait a good few months until the bugs are fixed and everything is sorted out.
People say there should be more PC exclusives, but I think they forget just how bug-ridden they tend to be, making the average console game look pristine by comparison. The end result is usually worth it, but day one with a PC game is rarely much fun.
GC: Like we said, we’re going to see a preview of it today. But we haven’t had a review copy through yet.
Call of duty
To the anonymous reader he wrote in about The Division and said it was more enjoyable than they anticipated: what are you doing pre-ordering a £40 video game you didn’t anticipate enjoying? Do you have money to burn or is this an example of what the other reader was talking about? That if a game has a big enough marketing budget people will just buy it regardless.
I think some people just get into a mindset where they seem almost honour bound to buy the latest big release as soon as possible (what’s the rush?) and that’s why all the smaller, more interesting games get ignored.
It’s been happening since video games began of course, but the modern pre-order culture just seems to have made things even more regimented.
I agree with the reader who suggested that Nintendo’s games would be hugely popular if they were multiplatform. I always felt that Nintendo would be sitting on a gold mine if their consoles didn’t sell. Distributing iconic characters and games amongst the masses would surely rake it in.
I’d never wish for a console/company to go under, but every cloud!
Normally I scoff at pre-ordering. I haven’t pre-ordered a game since Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, but I’ve just pre-ordered the Hitman Intro Pack. My excuse to myself is that as a fan I was always going to buy the game and I definitely want to try it this weekend.
I figured even in its partially complete state the game might take ages to download.
Seeing the game slowly install on my Xbox One before release day is weird. An analogy could be catching a glimpse of your presents before you’re allowed to open them.
I still can’t decide whether the game’s staggered release is a good or bad thing. I was going to ask how you could review a piece of a game before the rest of it. Then I remembered all the episodic content you’ve reviewed previously.
Throughout the Hitman series there have been some great levels and a few not so great ones. It seems a novel concept to review a Hitman game in segments, a few levels at a time.
Do you know how many missions there will be in total and how soon they will be coming out?
GC: We think it’s five new locations and a number of other smaller updates throughout the course of the year, so quite similar to the Telltale Games and Life Is Strange. We’ll review the intro pack this week, which is basically what we saw at the most recent preview.
Have you seen these beauties yet, GC? Very fetching they are. Obligatory admission: I’ve played Xenoblade Chronicles X for a gargantuan 162 hours now, and Monolith Soft’s tour de force still has an immeasurable capacity to repeatedly transfix!
GC: We have not, and now we want one.
I just received a code for a Hazmat Gear Set for The Division on PlayStation 4, which I’m not using since I’m not buying the game. Not sure if anyone wants it, but please pass it on if someone does.
Trailbreaker83 (PSN ID)
GC: We’re sure someone will, thanks very much.
This week’s Hot Topic
With the debate over DLC and season passes still raging, this weekend’s Inbox asks what is the best and worst DLC you’ve ever paid for?
Regardless of what you think of the concept in general what do you consider the best DLC, in terms of its quality, what it adds to the game, and its value for money? And what DLC was the worst, and why?
What’s the best and worst season passes you’ve paid for, and why? How do you decide on which DLC or season passes to buy and have you ever bought any in advance, without knowing what they were?
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