Hey everyone! THIS IS NOT THE ENDWEEK NEWS! In fact I probably shouldn’t even post this… This was a news post I started work on for the last week in February. It was going to contain an apology for not keeping up with the news, despite my promises to myself and to you guys that I would. Even with the new “Seb’s Top 5” system I haven’t been bothering to write a news article at all. This is something I need to deal with and I am currently looking into the possibility of turning it into a weekly video instead, to try and MAKE myself do it.
ANYWAY. The reason I am actually posting this is because I had all of what is below here written and sorted for about two months and it just didn’t seem quite right to simply delete and throw it all away. However, it IS now two months old and so doesn’t really count as news any more. I just didn’t want what I have to go to waste and so I am posting it anyway. Hopefully it’s still entertaining enough that it might make for a good read.
Aliens Colonial Marines – project infected by Xenomorphs
One of the biggest stories recently, which actually comes from a few weeks ago but still does deserve special mention, was the release of the heavily anticipated Alien’s: Colonial Marines, by Sega and Gearbox Software, and the subsequent outrage by how outstandingly rubbish the game apparently is. This was a big AAA title which has been in the works for over 6 years, was supposed to be a direct sequel to the original Alien film by James Cameron and was, I am led to understand, widely anticipated across the gaming industry. The end result of all this hard work though is being absolutely destroyed by the majority of reviewers and fans of the series alike.
Personally, I can’t help but feel a little, tiny bit smug about this. The few times I mentioned this game I said that I thought it wasn’t going to be particularly good and I cited my experience with the semi-recent Alien’s vs Predator FPS as a reason. I remember that particular game as having a slightly amusing campaign which quickly got boring even with switching between the three different races, a non-existent story and the fact that it was essentially only an FPS and even as a human was not scary or tense in the slightest.
Well fuck me sideways if these exact same problems don’t seem to have cropped up again! My basic reaction to all those people who actually thought this game was going to be good:
On the campaign it seems that everyone agrees that the story is practically a not there, the combat is boring and samey with no tension or fear (which definitely ought to be present), a big gripe is that the AI is colossally stupid and awful and basically the game is just straight-forward bad. It doesn’t even do being a straightforward shooter well. A few people seem to be giving the multiplayer some respect, but I think for the most part everyone is in agreement: this game is bad and Gearbox should feel bad.
Initially I admit I was surprised, my experience with Gearbox has been Borderlands and Borderlands 2 and both of those were pretty outstanding shooters so it confuses me that they could make something this bad. Others might be less surprised because they are also responsible for the disastrous Duke Nukem Forever last year. A post on Reddit, which is currently being backed up by Kotaku, says that the major reason for the game’s failure was that for the most part Gearbox were not actually working on it. Over the years of “working on it” they kept putting it off and working on other games (e.g. Borderlands 2 most recently) instead. As well as this they outsourced a lot of the development to other developers, the majority to a company called TimeGate. However, eventually it appears that TimeGate did not create something Gearbox deemed up to scratch and so with very little time left Gearbox essentially had to rush through a lot of the development process. Don’t feel anger towards TimeGate though, those at fault (if you read the comments from the Reddit thread make this clear) are very much Gearbox. Despite TimeGate doing the work, Gearbox were overseeing every step of the way and had full control at all times of the project and personnel involved.
All of this has led to a great degree of irritation and frustration amongst fans, to have a game you are looking forward to (or have already bought) turn out to be quite so awful would be enough to disappoint anyone. However, the story does not stop there!
It seems that gearbox actually did one of the most reprehensible things you can do as a game studio, something that only Hammerpoint Interactive have done within my recent memory. A while back they revealed in-production gameplay footage from the game with commentary from Randy Pitchford (if that IS his real name). Now I haven’t played the game so I can’t really comment too much on this but judging by the comments on the Youtube video, the Reddit thread and indeed the Kotaku page, this video is actually completely fake and is not representative of what the game contains in any way, shape or form.
Basically what this all means is that Gearbox used false advertising and review embargoes to protect their extremely flawed product so that they would still make money from pre-orders and so on before people finally clued on that they were not getting the product they wanted.
All in all, this is probably the first big gaming shitstorm of the year and boy, is it a doozy!
This all said I would like to add another thing, seconding what the great Yahtzee has already said. People are calling this a betrayal of the series and films and to these people I would like to ask something: “Have you actually seen the original films?” Since the first film the aliens have gotten progressively more screen time, progressively less scary, progressively more numerous and easier to kill. The only tension this franchise has any more is in wondering whether or not they might actually decide to stop milking it.
All the DLC all the time
There has been a few new bits and pieces of DLC announced for Dishonored and Mass Effect 3 in the last month and a bit. The previous DLC for Dishonored (which I have not tried), the Dunwall City Trials was apparently a bunch of map-based challenges. However, now, due to a leak from playstation trophies, it is clear that there is a new story-based DLC pack incoming for magical assassination game. Called “The Other Side of the Coin” the game will introduce at least two new main locations: the Rothwild Slaughterhouse and the estate of Thalia Timish (don’t worry, I don’t know the name either) and like the main campaign will have achievements for completing the quests without killing or alerting anyone. As a fan of the game and of story-based DLC this is something I might well get!
The DLC, which is now due to my massive lateness in posting actually available, for Mass Effect 3 is also story based DLC but along with the quests and usual variety of new locations and temporary squad-mates which comes hand in hand with DLC for Mass Effect 3 this time the DLC also comes with a side-order of feels. You see this is actually the last story-based DLC for Mass Effect 3 and was released to (approximately) coincide with the 1-year anniversary of Mass Effect 3’s release. And with the fact in mind that this is the final [story-based] DLC for Mass Effect 3 that also means that this is the final adventure we will have with Commander Shepard. The last few missions we will have with the legend who made our lives so awesome for half a decade. Even if you don’t actually buy the content, it’s still a rather sobering thought that we won’t be seeing him again.
Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag – A pirate game pirated
Aaaah, god bless those guys at Ubisoft… Every single year around the beginning of Q2 of the fiscal year, and I do mean every year, some security breach leads to the details of the next Assassin’s Creed game being leaked onto the internet. Sometimes it involves Ubisoft purchasing a domain, sometimes it involves an internal security breach, THIS year it apparently involved (amongst other things) a passenger on a plane behind a Ubisoft higher-up seeing the name AC4: Black Flag on the slides of a Powerpoint presentation. Now I know it’s possibly a coincidence and that a great many people would do many nefarious things to find out about the next Assassin’s Creed. But seriously Ubisoft? It gets leaked EVERY year… Hire a new head of security… Or stop being so obvious about deliberately leaking information… Anyway, the point is that a few details for the next Assassin’s Creed game WERE leaked onto the internet which was followed by hasty confirmation by Ubisoft to keep the public’s interest.
Well, with the aim of wanting to interest people then… GREAT BLOODY SUCCESS!
One of the biggest issues with AC3 which, I personally think, prevented it getting the acclaim I believe it deserved was the fact that Connor Kenway, the Native American Assassin, was just not a relatable or really likable character. Well, Ubisoft have solved that right off the bat for Assassin’s Creed 4. Not only is Edward Kenway (the father of Hatham Kenway and grandfather of Connor) British, which instantly means I approve of him, but he is also a bloody pirate… And everyone knows, EVERYONE like pirates.
Edward Kenway will be British, a privateer and “occasional pirate” and the game will be set in the 18th century Caribbean (1715 apparently). As well as this there is already official artwork – see top of post (which was leaked first), a release date of the 29th of October (leaked) and a new cinematic trailer (leaked – I MEAN COME ON! SERIOUSLY?!?!). There are more details as per the official reveal but I feel you might be better off getting them first hand.
Other than this not much more is known but I think it’s fairly easy to make a few fairly decent speculations about the content of the game. I imagine there will definitely be more focus on the naval side of the game, including more ship-to-ship combat. The game might also have a more light-hearted feel than “We fight for freedom. And our families. And our homes. And… EHRMAGERD I AM SO SERIOUS ALL THE TIME!” with, we hope, more focus on the stabbing!
The cinematic trailer goes a fair way to confirming some of these suspicions. But beyond that, it actually goes a REALLY long way to remove the doubts I had about this game. My concern was that Assassin’s Creed was becoming too franchise-y. Too many games with too little change and honestly I was expecting an Assassin’s Creed 3.2 to simply beat more cash out of the cow. Watching the trailer though changed my mind considerably, and I would like to quote Tim here: “[it] looks legit. [I] haven’t been this excited about assassins creed since the first one”.
And he has a fair point. It looks absolutely awesome. I’m sorry cynical readers and gamers but I’m not ready to give up on Assassin’s Creed any more. My body is ready for Assassin’s Creed 4: The Curse of the Black Pearl (see what I did there?).
P.s. Dat top comment… Says what we all think: “Edward doesn’t speak at all in this trailer and he already has more of a personality than Connor”. Well said.