Monaco: What's Yours is Mine is a game about pulling off the perfect heist. It's about that giddy feeling you get when you and your buddies work in unison to achieve a shared goal. It's about the joy of chaos when one of said buddies accidentally struts into a room crawling with guards. It's a game that demonstrates the power of planning and patience.
Or at least that's what the critics will tell you.
What I got was a goddamn eye exam.
I spent a good four hours playing Monaco: What's Yours is Mine yesterday and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't make sense of the stage design. For those of you who don't know, Monaco is a stealth, action game played from a top down perspective like Hotline Miami or an early GTA. Now I have no problem with the top down thing, I actually loved Hotline Miami, it's the fact that every single stage in Monaco is cluttered with initially incomprehensible icons and trigger happy guards, all of which are invisible to you unless they are in your characters line of sight.
You may remember that Klei Entertainment used a similar mechanic in their game Mark of the Ninja to great success, but that game was played from a side on perspective meaning you could always differentiate between the walls that were high enough to hide your character from sight, and those that weren't. In Monaco, all walls look exactly the same regardless of height, which makes it frustratingly easy to unintentionally enter an enemies line of sight and mess up the whole heist.
This is how a typical stage looks......... Do you see?
As for the stealth? Well that just goes out the window as soon as you go online. I had heard tales of intricate plans collapsing into frantic dashes for loot with guards in toe, but I had barely gotten out the words "Hey sexy online people, I think we should go this way" before my so called comrades had completely cleared out the stage and were waiting for me by the getaway vehicle. It's only then that they speak to you too, "C'mon you pr**k,....... wait a second....... are you black? ARE YOU BLACK???"
I dunno man, maybe this game just ain't for me. I'm planning on having a few of my best pals over to play on the one big screen tonight. We'll have fizzy pop and everything, maybe I'll start to like it then. Or maybe I'll realize that it's OK not to like the things other people like.......... Nah screw that, I paid 15 euros for this thing.
So Microsoft finally came out and announced that they are set to reveal the successor to the greatest gaming thing of all time, the Xbox 360. The new console, rumored to be titled Xbox 8, will be unveiled at a special press event in Redmond, Washington, on the 21st of May. Now there's been a lot of speculation surrounding next-box, so I'm going to do my very best to sort the reasonable from the implausible and bring you an unbiased and incredibly accurate vision of the future. My predictions for the event are as follows:
1. Kinect 2.0 will be shown.
It's well established that everyone loves Kinect, so why wouldn't Microsoft release an improved version of the popular peripheral? Rumors suggest that Kinect 2.0 will be able to identify race and whether or not you're holding a glass of 7up. It will also likely ship with the console this time instead of being sold separately as everyone will want to use it all the time.
2. The console will actually be there.
Sony took some flak for not actually revealing the PS4 at the BIG PS4 REVEAL, so expect Microsoft to learn from their mistake. The Xbox 8 probably won't be too dissimilar to the 360 in terms of design, but rumors suggest that the face of beloved actor Guy Pearce will be embossed in the side of the console to appeal to the youths.
3. A few games will be shown.
If Microsoft has any plans to reveal a new IP, they'll likely wait until E3 to do so, but I think it's safe to assume we'll see a trailer or two. We'll likely get a glimpse of Halo 5 and possibly a new Gears. Expect some third-party stuff too, like Watch Dogs. Just can't get enough of that Watch Dogs.
4. The console will not require an always-on connection but would prefer it.
I really don't believe Microsoft are stupid enough to impose an always-on restriction on us, especially when Sony have confirmed that they won't. However, I do believe that those of us who are not always-on will be punished by way of an image of Tony Danza flashing up on the screen every two minutes accompanied by the sound of him scolding Angela from Who's the Boss.
5. Like the Xbox 360, the Xbox 8 will feature backwards compatibility, but only for certain games.
The following is a list of Xbox 360 games compatible with the Xbox 8:
6. Microsoft will end the show by resurrecting Peter Falk.
What better way to cement the Xbox 8 in the minds of consumers, than to resurrect legendary actor Peter Falk live on stage? It's been rumored that Microsoft has been experimenting with black magic since early 2011, so I think this is pretty much guaranteed.