Tag Archives: Watch Dogs

#420 A Response to “Are We Becoming Too Critical Of Video Games?”

For today’s post it is another response to one of Gamemoir’s Question of the Day posts from earlier this week. The post (found right HERE) talks about the abnormal amount of cynical criticism videogame players have with recently released AAA games when it comes to user reviews on meta-critic, using the Watch_Dogs backlash as the example.

I should get a frequent flyer card for how many responses I made because of them

I should get a frequent flyer card for how many responses I made because of them

Well you know where this one post is going, I am not going to be dedicating an entire blog post to echo someone else’s opinions, when it comes to the recent game releases we as consumers should never demand less our the amount of critical comments from ourselves, in fact I think we need all the critical observations we have right now and more so to ensure that only the best gets recognized.

Many – if not all – of complaints of Watch_Dogs spawned from Ubisoft’s over-promising features on their next big new IP game and under-delivering. From the launch of Watch_dogs we saw Ubisoft made the executive decision to hack off Week One DLC, create console specific and exclusive DLC, gimp the graphics on the PC version of the game and shoehorning in an unstable DRM service…ALL while advertising Watch_Dogs as a next great next gen game.

a next gen system that was released on the previous console as well.....hmmmmm

a next gen system that was released on the previous console as well…..hmmmmm

On the flip side there is hardly any criticisms towards games that simply told you exactly what it was going do and delivered it in spades.Just compare what promises given from Nintendo when they announced their most recent Mario Wii U game to the promises and designs from Ubisoft’s Watch_Dog reveal.

That is not the say that every game ever released by anyone should be held up the gaming standard of the cream of the crop, just like movies titles can be released two different -although VERY simplified- categories;

The first one is the fun to watch but stays in the comfort zone of slight immaturity, like what we see from Kirby titles and the over the top silliness of the Deadpool game. Or continuing with the movie parallel, the Die Hard series or any major summer action blockbuster movies It is there just to satisfy that itch in our brains of seeing stuff explode and have mindless fun.

The other category is the more appealing release for both consumers and gaming developers desires, the academy award winning titles that pushes the envelope of what it means to be a part of that media, the Spec Ops: the Line, the Walking Dead seasons, or the effects caused within the gaming world with the release of coveted, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

The reason Zelda OoT was so big was because it was the first time there was such a big paradigm shift a series. Going from a top down 2d to a full 3d third person open world game.

The reason Zelda OoT was so big was because it was the first time there was such a big paradigm shift a series. Going from a top down 2d to a full 3d third person open world game.

 

The problem with a perceived too much criticisms of games is when a company advertise a new release claiming it to win awards and show the true powers of what it means to be a game in the advertisements and lead up and gives us a run of the mill open world game with nothing new to offer. It is like going in to see Gravity in 3D IMAX and end up watching it in one of the smallest non-3D screens, it is still the same movie but the expected experience is completely different from the what we got.

There will always be people who constantly act as the nitpickers in movies, comics, music, and games but it is important not to let their complaints of not entering every house in an open world game drown out the legit critical claims of the game and the industry.

As patrons of this of a field of arts that is still just developing, we also need to be hyper critical of executive policies that would hurt the medium on the whole, like say rehashing franchises, excessive sequels, shoehorned in product placements, and practices that are only in place to line the higher up’s wallets instead of furthering the advancement of the media as a whole.


tmnt2014

 

 

But I want to know what you think, after reading the question from Gamemoir and my response here, where do you side with the about of criticisms in the gaming world?

 


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#383 When Can We Move Away from the Last Gen?

This past few weeks we have seen some impressive modern game releases in the gaming world. Ubisoft’s Watch_Dogs went live and the newest games from the Far Cry  and Lego Batman series were just announced. As expected all of these games are for the current Xbox One and PlayStation 4, generation, but these newest games will also receive a port for the last generation consoles as well. Watch_Dogs was suppose to be a system seller for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, how can Ubisoft do that if people can still buy it on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360?

I believe I have said everything I needed to say about Watch_Dogs. The Lego game now there is a series that has the potential for many more blog posts in the future

I believe I have said everything I needed to say about Watch_Dogs. The Lego game now there is a series that has the potential for many more blog posts in the future

 

I understand that gaming companies do this to get the non-converted players too but It would help the industry more of they ignored the old system and perfected the games on the newer, current systems. Right now we are still in that awkward transitioning phrase where the console gaming community, and by extent the gaming industry, are moving from gaming or making games on one set of systems to another system. As a PC gamer I do not want to bring up the mantra that consoles are hold back the gaming industry but it looks like consoles are holding back themselves. Despite what you personally think of the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One’s hardware components we can all agree that the hardware are miles a head than the computer parts used to make the consoles that came out almost ten years ago.

How much content had to be cut to make Watch_Dogs fit on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360? or another way to ask the question is, ‘how much more of the game could have been added if Ubisoft made the game only for the current generation?’ The same question could be asked with the most recent installments of Call of Duty, BattleField or the Lego games. E3 is coming up in less than two weeks and with all events and companies who have waited months to finally announce their latest games, how many of those new titles that will be slated for 2014 and 2015 release date will also be on the last generation? More importantly will the next Skyrim and Fallout, two Bethesda game that are known for their open world exploration, be forced to cut down potential content just so it could be sold to the people who still  have not  upgraded in the next few years? If this trend continues when will we have our first real wave of next-gen games?

At PAX East I heard how the developers pushed the Xbox 360 and PS3 to the limit to make this huge open ended game work on the consoles. Could they do that again on the same systems while trying to raise the bar above Skyrim?

At PAX East I heard how the developers pushed the Xbox 360 and PS3 to the limit to make this huge open-ended game work on the consoles. Could they do that again on the same systems while trying outdo themselves for the next Elder Scrolls game?

 

You would think that, as a PC gamer it should not bother me that much about what the people on the console side of gaming is doing base on the fact I can upgrade my system when ever I want. But because the console market is so influential in the gaming industry, I am anxious for every company to hop on board with the newest version of technology so we can see the next jump in gaming that we have all been promised for a while.

 


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#355 The Sin of Exclusive Content in Multiplatform Games

Watch_Dogs, in preparation for launch, released a video of the exclusive content PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 players will receive with their cop of the game. The video in question can be found HERE and it advertises 60 minutes of non-cosmetic content and gameplay. This is one of greatest sins on the console side of the videogame industry. We are out of the mid to late 90’s console war, there is no need to make content exclusive to one console or another.

I swear I don't have a personal vendetta against this game, it is just brings up a lot of problems I have with the videogame world.

After reading by last post about Watch_Dogs (Be MOP #348) one could claim that I am bias about this game. But I swear I don’t have a personal vendetta against this game, it is just brings up a lot of problems I have with the videogame world.

 

 

I discovered this problem with Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Asylum PS3 only Joker DLC, it was continued with the launch of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed IV and peaked with Watch_Dogs. All of these games have content exclusive DLC only for the PlayStation version of those multiplatform games. I was going to write a top ten blog post about the worst videogame sins and this one was going to take the cake  and rightly so because it is holding content back for the highest bidder.

Because I bought this on Steam I will never be able to play as the Joker.

Because I bought this on Steam I will never be able to play as the Joker.

 

I know that back in the day (read as Generation 5 and 6) the specs on the different types of consoles were so different and varied that it made sense to have the few multiplatform games was going be different and varied but when the hardware between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is so similar that there is no reason to hold back content for one console or another.

I am not delusional, I know the importance exclusive gaming franchise like Mario, God of War, and Halo are to a console allure but holding back content on a game that comes out for all systems, from WiiU to the PC, is unacceptable.

Another great example of this is the recent Metal Gear V game and  how the game advertised an exclusive Raiden and Deja Vu campaign of  for both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 respectively.

I could see what they were going with paying homage to the classic PlayStation game but it still doesn't excuse it from happening

I could see what they were going with paying homage to the classic PlayStation game but it still doesn’t excuse it from happening

 

These tactics are done for the sake of marketing, it is holding segments of videogame content hostage from the paying consumer. As a big Batman fan, if I wanted the full Batman Arkham Asylum gaming experience I would be forced to buy a PlayStation 3, neglecting my frankly better PC gaming laptop, to play as the clown prince of crime himself. I feel bad for the hardcore Metal Gear fans because if they wanted the entire MGSV experience I would have to buy two current generation consoles and two separate versions of the same game.

Again, what kills me is that this is all and only done for the sake of marketing and favoritism.  After spending a weekend I could think of no good reason to continue this practice, it is done for the sake of greed and greed alone without a second thought for the consumers who did not luck out on getting the one gaming system with all the exclusive DLC. That is why it is one of my most hated sin in the videogame industry.

 


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#348 Should Bullshots be Illegal?

Some news from the anticipated game Watch_dogs recently hit the web, with the game’s release date, the delayed release of the Wii U version and the game came under criticism for having the in-game engine and environments looking nothing like the previous gaming build that was shown off on stage at E3 two years ago.

Just to preface this post I have no interest or investment in this game. for the longest time I thought that this was a PS4 exclusive from the Watch_Dogs PS4 promotional bundles.

Just to preface this post I have no interest or investment in this game. for the longest time I thought that this was a PS4 exclusive from the Watch_Dogs PS4 promotional bundles.

 

Apparently this technique is called Bullshot. Bullshot, according to Urban Dictionary is a screenshot fabricated by a company to misrepresent the graphics of a game.  While this is not the first time I have seen this happen this is the first time I heard that word being used.

Far Cry 3, Uncharted, Steel Battalion Heavy Armor and most noticeable the flopped Rambo game are all perfect examples of gaming companies modifying their game’s image when releasing first looks screenshots of their games.

And while everyone in the gaming industry uses the Bullshot technique during the first previews and at the various trade shows, the question is should it be considered illegal for false advertising?

On one hand the game companies uses this method to build hype for the game and show the ideal end image of a product that is not completed yet. And I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that some of these graphical touches might have been dropped for the sake of finishing the product, and dealing with the graphical crunch from the limitations of the consoles. At the time Watch_Dogs developers did not have access (or the ability to publicly show off) the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One at 2012’s E3 so they had to resort to using a PC device to run their product.

A comparison shot of the prereleased and finished Forza 5. Source

A comparison shot of the prereleased and finished Forza 5. Source

 

But on the other consumer friendly hand…it could be argued that this is the gaming companies lying and misleading the paying consumers by manipulating the advertised image of a game to look better than the finished product,

A common phrase I use when talking about these issues but this is an issue that videogames have brought up and needs to be set a precedent for rest of the entertainment world, no other media does uses this technique (and if they do they do not do it as obviously and frequently). A few weeks ago Marvel released their first look at their the Guardians of the Galaxy and you can bet your bottom dollar that those clips or the CGI quality of those clips will be used in the movie despite the overall quality of the rest of the movie, same goes with comic books and T.V series.

With that in mind I want to bring this question to you, What do you think about the gaming industry using Bullshot option when showing off their games at trade shows or press releases? Has the bullshot process gone too far that we, the consumers, should lobby for legal action to stop companies from continuing to do this?

And where is should the line of Bullshotting be drawn? Should it include cutscenes? the prerendered videos of the gameplay at the trade shows or should it just be defined as the advertised ‘in game engine’ live game-play that gaming companies show on stage?

Leave a comment down below on what you think, I would love to hear what other people’s opinions about this process.

 


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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