Protesting to protect the integrity of VIDEOGAME JOURNALISM
Some fine young patriots are planning to save games journalism with a protest at PAX Prime this year. I am disappointed I will not be able to be there in person to chronicle their ground breaking protest, which involves using web 2.0 (“social media,” to lay persons) “hash tags” such as, “#gamesjournalism or…whatever other hashtag that spawns as this whole mess goes viral.”
I just hope some of you will be there to lend support. Perhaps stock up on milk at local grocer’s. These historically oppressed folks, brave as they are in speaking out, will likely see major opposition from the authorities (and other equality/diversity agenda havers). Expect to lather them good in layers of cow product to counter the teargas.
Stay safe, record everything.
Here’s last week’s post. Let’s begin anew.
[We post a lot of articles here at Destructoid. The endless, ouroboros news cycle has us burning the snake at both ends, which will ultimately push big news, thoughtful original pieces, and all sorts of other great content off of the front page. Check here every Saturday for my attempt to rectify that.]
You guys might not know this, but some of us here at Destructoid are big fans of videogames. For a change of pace, we’d like to share that interest with you all and fill you in on some of the games we’re playing right now.
Unlike last month’s Mario Kart 8 fervor, just about everyone is playing something different, thanks to the merciful summer game “drought.” Until our lives are ruined by a month or two of multiple big games a week. Next year looks even scarier.
World exclusive Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare preview – Kyle MacGregor
Activision is upset with us, you know. As it turns out, publishers love revealing things. So when someone leaks something before a publisher intends on tipping its hand, well, it gets angry. And you aren’t going to like a publisher when it gets angry. That’s when certain invites to certain preview events start getting “lost in the mail.”
Missing out on a hot ticket like that sucks, but it’s not really the end of the world. Everyone’s played Call of Duty. And lord knows we’ve done a preview or two in our time. Hm… Actually, you know what? With a little imagination and some assumption of false optimism, I think we can make this work. You’re going to get a damn Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare preview, dammit!
Even if it’s a totally fake one.
A lot of people seemed disappointed when Sony closed its gamescom press conference without much mention of the PlayStation Vita. And it isn’t difficult to understand why.
Outside of cursory mentions, Sony’s show was all about PS4. And why not? It’s the newer and more successful system. Sony allocated its airtime wisely, highlighting its breadwinner, rather than choosing to fight an uphill battle. It made perfect sense, too, given Microsoft’s strong showing earlier in the day.
That’s a rational outlook, though. Sadly for Sony, humans aren’t always rational creatures. Vita owners felt spurned, and they made sure Sony heard about it.
Here are Destructoid’s top ten games from gamescom – Dale North and Brett Makedonski
Gamescom is the largest videogame trade show in the world. Sound like a big deal? It absolutely is. Hundreds of thousands of people cram together in a convention center that’s massive, but doesn’t feel even close to huge enough. Need a frame of reference? This is the crowd in the main hall on Thursday — what’s supposedly the least busy of the three days it’s open to the public.
Reciprocating the scale of the event is the size of the games that publishers have on display. That was the theme at gamescom 2014: Big. All the biggest titles are here, and given how close we are to the holiday launch season, they’re looking the most polished that we’ve seen them yet.
In no particular order, these were Destructoid’s top ten games of gamescom 2014, as explained by Dale North and myself.
Outrage culture is pretty silly – Jonathan Holmes
Outrage can be inspired by anything – game endings, games being too popular, games not being popular enough, games going down, games going up, games having DLC, games not having DLC, games having sexual themes, games having their sexual themes toned down — it doesn’t matter. Anything is on the table for potential group disgust. It’s even more common for this outrage to be directed at individuals in the game industry. Developers may wake up one morning to feel attacked from all sides for being a feminist, a hentai enthusiast, because of their tone, because of their sex life, or just because of their personal tastes.
That rage may fan out to studios or publishers, who are inevitably treated as though they are singular entities and not groups made up of multitudes. A game console may not have a feature, or it may have too many features. Outrage at the entire console ensues. A games reporter will take notice that some people are sometimes a certain way. Outrage at the entire website. A game developer says something. Outrage at them and every game they’ve ever made.
Destructoid is teaming up with Square Enix Montréal and Unity to throw a Hitman: Sniper PAX Prime 2014 party!
You’ll have a chance to play Hitman: Sniper before its release and compete in a high score contest where the grand prize winner will get to have their face and name added into the game as a villain for Agent 47 to eliminate. Yup, you can win a part in an actual videogame!
Life is Strange is a world you’ll want to lose yourself in – Brett Makedonski
It’s tough to pinpoint what it is exactly about Life is Strange that makes it so promising. The exploration aspect is definitely alluring, especially with the time mechanic bolstering it. The plot is interesting, even if claims of dynamic story-telling rarely play out as advertised. But, it might be the atmosphere that Dontnod’s cultivated that’s the real draw, if not the centerpiece that ties the entire game together. Even if you haven’t lived similar circumstances, it’ll evoke some sort of adolescent memories. When it does, it’ll be easy to care about what Max and Chloe care about so much. It might not make sense looking from the outside in, but it will when viewed from the inside out.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is shaping up to be a glorious return to most of what made Origins so great. The jury is still out on whether or not BioWare can keep that greatness up throughout the course of the entire adventure, but from what I’ve played so far, I’m pretty satisfied, and most of my fears have been quelled. There’s more Inquisition coverage on the way later this month, including a big announcement that I can’t wait to share.
Believe it or not, Supermassive shot and recorded every possible scene and outcome for these branches and endings. They believe that being able to experience your choices adds to the suspense and horror of Until Dawn so they went to the trouble of auditioning 200 actors before getting to their current cast, which includes TV star Hayden Panettiere. They wanted only top actors to fit with the high-definition capture and high volume of voice work required. From what I saw, they’ve done a nice job with both the casting and capture.
Supermassive has come a long way from the campy PS3 Move game they showed here at gamescom two years ago. They went from flashlight scares to a full-fledged PS4 playable horror movie that lets the player decide on its story and outcome. What an overhaul!
Command a tiger that can turn invisible in Far Cry 4 – Hamza Aziz
Far Cry 3 had some pretty wild moments. Like, remember when Vaas was dancing around on the stripper pole? Good stuff. Far Cry 4 will have some crazy segments as well, but these are a little more grounded to the core of the game.
Scattered around Kyrat are hidden tankas that, once discovered, allow the main character to meditate and travel to Shangri-La to relieve the life of a legendary warrior. You’ll be transported to a surreal world with floating islands and you are equipped with only a bow and arrow to take on the enemies of these environments.
Quantum Break piqued my curiosity, but it still has a lot to prove – Brett Makedonski
By the time that the half-hour demonstration was over, we had seen a lot, but maybe came away with more questions than answers. It’s always aggravatingly cliché to say that a game has potential, but that’s exactly what Quantum Break has. Potential to be a fine cinematic experience whose core mechanic leads to larger-than-life sequences. Potential to be the example that the videogame and television mediums can exist in blissful harmony. And, potential to be a linear, disjointed affair whose shoot-’em-up and time-stutter sections never complement one another and are underwhelming on their own. We’ll have to see more of Quantum Break before we get a better idea of how it all comes together, but for now, it has potential.
H1Z1 is a lot more playable, still a ways out – Steven Hansen
H1Z1 isn’t on Early Access yet because it doesn’t have a base level of doneness that the team is happy with, which kind of explains the best reason to choose H1Z1 over its ilk. It has a much less obtuse UI and controls than closest competitor DayZ. What you’re going to get is likely something more polished, more complete, and a bit easier to just play it.
Otherwise, you’re getting a similar open-world zombie survival game, conceptually. It already plays a lot smoother than when Wett Brett checked it out. Its world is also filthy with deer. Like, in herds of 12 plus at times. They’re everywhere. And recipes, which, once unlocked, are basically all you’ll hang onto after death, there’s a recipe that involves mixing a deer’s gallbladder with cloth to give you deer scent. This makes it easier to go up and kill them without needing to craft a bow.
Dead Island 2 isn’t finished — what I played was considered pre-alpha — but it’s looking pretty nice already. Things lagged a bit when the crowds got thick, and there was a weird blur when I spun the camera around. Still, the highly detailed neighborhood was easy to appreciate, and the California sun that drenched the streets was just as I know it to be. The Hollywood sign served as a backdrop to all of this.
Prepare to hate your co-op partner in Project Totem – Brett Makedonski
Press Play has a familiar and relatable experience to draw from with its approach to multiplayer. The lead developers are brothers, naturally putting in a wealth of time in their youth playing games together. As such, and maybe in an effort to recapture that experience, Project Totem will only contain local co-op play — the intimate experience of being next to someone and working through a level together. I asked whether there will be some sort of countdown timer to assist the coordination of maneuvers, a la ‘Splosion Man. I was firmly told that I can just count with my mouth. They were right; it worked flawlessly.
Bloodborne is bleak and unforgiving – Alessandro Fillari
While my time with Bloodborne was brief, I found a lot to like about my trek through a Souls game set in a Victorian era nightmare. Bloodborne’s environments are both haunting and exciting. I’m curious to see what this game has in store for us. While many of the Souls staple oddities are still intact, like the crazy ragdoll for instance, breakable objects are oddly not. While things in the environment are breakable, smaller objects could not be broken for materials like in previous games (chairs, carriages, crates, etc). While it is not a deal breaker, it is a bit weird to say the least.
It’s very surprising to see how close the release date is. With an expected launch sometime in Q1 2015, we can explore the world of Bloodborne sooner than we think. With that said, Sony is still keeping things tightly under wraps, as we’re still in the dark about many details. But that’s likely for the best because if the full game is anything like what I played, then it’s best that we all go in not knowing what will come next.
HOTTEST, SLIMIEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
What the hell did the Pokémon channel just upload?! – Hamza Aziz
Update: Hey look there’s some kind of Slowpoke fishing web game associated with this.
Mighty Gunvolt is a free download if you buy Azure Striker – Chris Carter
Developer Inti Creates has just sent over some great news — anyone who downloads Azure Striker Gunvolt for the first three months of its eShop release will get Mighty Gunvolt for free. The latter is an 8-bit style retro platformer that stars characters from Azure Striker, Mighty No. 9, and GalGun, and is a completely separate project that takes place over five levels.
The latest update from Super Smash Bros boss Sakurai details Samus and her new outfits. Blue and orange shorts and a small top, both of which were seen at the end of Metroid: Fusion andMetroid: Zero Suit, respectively.