Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I recently went to show off my Playstation 4 to very close friends this New Year. As hardcore gamers with children I knew I would get some opinions that would be unique. The adults weighed in with their comparisons of past console launches insert [grumble grumble]. The new younger aged gamers instantly said “the games look way clearer”. I found myself almost to the point of defending the Console against my peers. The word that I used the most was ‘Networking’. For myself that is what this next jump over the crest of Next-Gen waves is all about “the Network”.

Thinking about the network of the next huge installments of Triple-A titles; we are being promised some heavy improvements. From witnessing Battlefield 4’s 64-man servers with 2 tablet players as commanders I personally was impressed. From the instantaneously swapping between an online game to a live stream is a breakthrough in my eyes. Now the deepening of the pool of online user experiences is just a few months away from our controller gripping hands. The big 3 I have in mind that will soon connect our living rooms are all nearly a baby’s birth away.

“Watch Dogs promises a seamless integration of multiplayer into your single player campaign.”[tagline//orange font] From the multiple presentations of the game from past E3’s, its campaigned marketing, and its final push back to quarter 1 of this year. The community has a lot to digest when it comes to this Chicago city based hunt for a Jason Bourne mixed with Edward Snowden lead.

The numerous multiplayer showcases were demo’d behind closed doors. However the take away from such reports is that multiplayer/co-op just layers over the existing campaign. So as you freely adventure through your story progress friends can willingly aid Aiden Pierce or I as I expect sabotage your efforts. The power of this feature is a great showcase of network blending. This level of player to player interaction hopefully is also facilitated through the use of tablets and smartphones. More and more I find the ease of a quick tablet round more enjoyable on busy days.

We expect the campaign to play over a fair sized Chicago metropolitan. Injecting another player into your cityscape playground with no restrictions should showcase some real power. My only hope is that this is not limited to just one extra player. I hope that Ubisoft pushes for a least a handful of frienemies to invade my quest to hack and back-slash the government to its knees.

Hopefully the time Watch Dogs spends back under the developers’ knife is more than just cosmetic polishing. A harmonized stable connection to peers would do great for Ubisoft. It will give Ubisoft the footing they need to stay at the front of the Next-Gen pack. The game boasted about tablet/smartphone integration so hopefully that went under fine tuning and a boost in users accessibility is seen.  
Ubisoft's Watch Dogs is rumored for release on Friday March 21 for Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC (as well as Xbox 360/PS3)
Springing out of the EA box of wonders comes Titanfall. EA’s last and final chance to secure their place among hardcore gamers. I’ll leave the controversy of their practices and ethics for another time. I’ll give Respawn Entertainment their chance to show their former masters how misconduct motivated them to take them out of the thrown.
I can respect Respawn’s biggest decision in the development process; which was forgoing a single player campaign and going straight to where the heart is Multiplayer. When crafting a game for the Esports scene we all know its about the online competition. I hope there isn't an single player Esports category. Predestining a multiplayer-centric game is the direction I wish various franchises took. Fortunately Respawn forged a brand new I.P. to bring the numbers to show this vision can prove more than profitable. No sway from fans of an existing franchise will fluctuate the bottom line of sales. New company, new I.P., and new direction make Titanfall all around original.

The details of this twitch shooter reveal that the combat will be 6 vs 6. With monstrous Titans on the battlegrounds. No news on exactly how many players can control Titans at a certain time. My expectations would be a max of Four Titans on the field at any given time. Hopefully with the lowered player count of 12 total players; Respawn can deliver a limitless count of Titans. Also seeing that there are varied Titans we could hope for the mayhem of 12 Titans. Promo videos showcase The Atlas Titan, The Ogre and a lighter variant named the Stryder Titan.
Of course the complaints of this shooter are that its just COD with jetpacks. I’d say that if you are going to make a twitch shooter why not add the elements of increased vertical mobility. If this was just Call of Duty with jet packs to you. I'd ask did you not see the addition of the Titans? Did you not hear the announcement from the devs to eliminate mindless sniping for better gun mechanics? Did you not hear about the riddance of single player campaign for a more rounded multiplayer?

From the media I have seen of Titanfall this is where I can give the game play proper recognition. Some of the transitions of the player entering the Titan’s chassis were brilliant. They really got rid of the [press “A” to enter vehicle]. While most will not find that impressive; in one exhibit as the player was trying frantically to enter the Titan they were killed. This gives me a relief that entering the hulking mecha is not just shielded animation, but rather a networked interaction. Kudos to Respawn for that level of detail it is much needed for the future of gaming.
The only direction that I can say that fans of FPS’s and Respawn are not agreeing on are the server issues. The server debate is one that can go on the rest of my life so i’ll spare you the years of your time. My only advice is that Respawn needs to get smart and put up the money for the higher end dedicated servers. That simple luxury will either bring in the flocks they crave, and the lack of will drive away those same numbers. Respawn that ball is in your court and you already know the demand from the community. Choosing to go console/pc on this title opened you up to this issue. PC users are usually requested to have high-end graphics cards so they expect high-end servers from you and your publisher Respawn team. Do us all a solid and go for the higher-end dedicated servers.
Electronic Arts/Respawn's Titanfall is scheduled for release on Friday March 14th for Xbox One and PC (as well as Xbox 360)
A well paced development cycle for Destiny could prove the true winner for the veterans of Bungie. As much as most of us were sadden by not having a concrete release date when new consoles launched. I think that this new expected September release will provide all the time for Bungie to align the stars for this space thriller.  

How Bungie plans to twist and weave the adventures of your squadron missions; along with open world multiplayer events. This brave braid is their magical formulas mixed altogether. Great co-op story lines blended with set pieced firefights. I do not think Bungie fans will be let down by this adventure at least from a game play perspective. 

I praise Bungie for going with the smaller fire teams of three players. From a PvP perspective I can see this choice benefiting the multiplayer scene. That is if they keep the main PvP mode fashioned after 3v3. I like this idea because when it comes to balancing classes the smaller the teams the easier it becomes to fine tune weapons and abilities. Throwing in any higher number of players and the variables become much larger. No doubt Bungie will have some type of free for all mode. However I would put my money on the main dish of player vs player entertainment being a intimate 3 man vs 3 man.

Activision/Bungie's Destiny is scheduled for release on Tuesday September 9th for Xbox One and PS4 (as well as Xbox 360/PS3) 


No comments

Post a Comment

Newer Older