We’ve got too much news this week! I’ve got too many games to play! Beautiful horizons, a new hero, and Sleeping Dogs bellow.
What was Played
Night in the Woods continues to be fantastic. I feel like I’ve entered the third act but I do plan on playing through again to see different paths. The paths aren’t so much different endings, but more like the social links from modern Persona games. I’ve spent a lot of time with Bea and not so much with Greg, so I’ve gotten more cutscenes in the main story with Bea. I can’t really get into why this game is great in detail because that’d require in-depth discussion of the writing which would spoil some of the best parts of the game. If you feel like this game might be for you I’d highly recommend checking it out.
Night in the Woods, Automata, Mass Effect Andromeda, and Horizon Zero Dawn all came out or are coming out in the same 3-4 week period, and I have to keep my Street Fighter V and Titanfall addictions maintained too with my school life on top of all that. But I managed to get several hours into Horizon Zero Dawn in between wall running and internship searching.
Horizon Zero Dawn is incredible. It’s a third-person Far Cry type game, but with an amount of polish that those games were missing. As open world games got more popular devs and publishers seemed to think that players wanted more content instead of better content. Recently it appears that devs and publishers have shied away from peppering the landscape with dull side missions and collectathons like Assassin’s Creed and moved to putting out more fleshed out side quests, like the Witcher 3. Horizon Zero Dawn continues the new trend of having several missions for you to do, but it isn’t an overwhelming burden. As with the Far Cry games you’ll usually approach a combat encounter stealthily and if things go poorly your way to victory. When hunting machines out in the open you’ll use tall, red grass to approach. If they spot Aloy, your player character, you’ll either have to fight them head on or they’ll stampede away, depending on the machine. Both humans and machines follow standard Assassin’s Creed/Arkham Asylum rules: they’ll investigate suspicious activity and dead bodies, meaning you can easily break the stealth if you find the right hiding spot. Once you find that spot you can easily lure animals and humans over with your whistle. Your whistle only ever draws one enemy at a time, making easy to slowly kill a whole heard just by hiding in the grass and whistling. That aside, both the stealth and open combat are satisfying, with a plethora of weapons that cater to different playstyles. The setting and story are also very intriguing, I haven’t beaten the game so I can’t say if it delivers on its early narrative promises, but it seems like it will. The game looks gorgeous too, from a style and technical perspective.
I played on a standard PS4 and didn’t notice any egregious framerate issues, but there is noticeable detail pop-in around Aloy, but you don’t look down at the ground all that often so it doesn’t distract from the gameplay. All in all Horizon Zero Dawn is a great game that I would recommend checking out, even with Automata, Night in the Woods, Persona 5, and Andromeda all on the…Horizon.
What was Watched
All I watched that was really new to me was more Guilty Crown. Guilty Crown might be the most adorable anime I’ve seen. Not as in “it has adorable characters”, but because it thinks it has all these deep things to say about human interaction and violence. The problem with this show trying to do that is that any character who doesn’t blindly accept the main character, flaws and all, is viewed as being callous and unfeeling. I’ll have more to say when I’ve finished the series but right now when I watch it all I can think of is how Evangelion addressed the same themes with a better artstyle. good characters, and an actual understanding of what is was talking about.
Peter Moore Leaves EA
After nearly 10 years as EA’s chief competition officer, Peter Moore is leaving the video game publisher to be the chief executive officer for the Liverpool Football Club. Peter has held many positions, even being the head of EA sports, so while his departure is unexpected, the fact he is moving to sports isn’t exactly a shock.
ARK Survival Evolved to Pay Modders
ARK: Survival Evolved developer Studio Wildcard has announced that it will pay modders $4,000 a month to finish mods for the game. Each month, 15 mod developers will been given $4,000 as encouragement to finish their mod(s). Each month, the mods will also be evaluated to see if they are worthy of receiving the funding. Wildcard has said that they could expand the program is 15 mods per month serves to be too strict. This is a fascinating way of supporting the mod scene without making customer pay for mods directly, but it is doubtful that larger publishers, like Bethesda, would implement this method. Hopefully there’s a mod that improves the performance of the game.
New Overwatch Hero Revealed: Orisa
Earlier this week, Blizzard revealed Orisa.
Orisa is the first tank to be added post-release and looking at her abilities she seems like a more offensive tank, but she could also be a terror to push against. This leaves “Defense” as the only class with no DLC characters. Orisa is currently on the Overwatch PTR and will be officially released at an unknown date.
Andromeda Multiplayer Tech Test Cancelled
In spite of my cautious excitement for this game, Bioware has cancelled the multiplayer tech test for Mass Effect Andromeda. While the core of this game continues to look very appealing, announcements like this combined with the fact that most of the footage we’ve been shown so far has been on PC makes it seem like this game will have a rocky launch.
Final Fantasy XV was on Thin Ice
At a GDC talk, Tabat recently revealed that if FF XV didn’t sell 5-6 million units, Square Enix was going to put the series down.
It is doubtful that Square would have completely mothballed one of the most recognizable franchises in video games, instead they would have moved forward with more remakes and mobile games and not made any huge, new instalments like FF XV. Tabat also told a heartwarming story about his daughter, and how her wanting to spend more time with him led him to implement a “Family Day” at the office where employees could bring in their families and share their work with them.
Zero Escape Developer Announces New Project
And they only released this image and the name: Project: Psync
The Zero Escape games are classics, even if the final game was a disappointment to many fans. If this game is as good as 999 or Virtue’s Last Reward, fans of Zero Escape may finally have something to scratch that itch.
Sleeping Dogs Movie with Donnie Yen
In delightfully surprising news, we have a Sleeping Dogs movie with Donnie Yen headlining. Sleeping Dogs is a game very much influenced by action films, so it should transition to a screenplay fairly well. Donnie Yen is an excellent pick for this movie, and hopefully if this film is profitable enough we could get a Sleeping Dogs 2 from Square Enix.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War Announced
Continuing to ignore and rely on the Tolkien brand at the same time, Middle Earth: Shadow of War has been announced.
From a pretentious, nerdy perspective, they should just declare these games to just be full-on alternate history for the Middle Earth lore at this point, since they clearly don’t actually care about following Tolkien’s lore or spirit. But from a video game perspective, Shadow of Mordor was blast to play and it’ll be interesting to see how Monolith builds on the hybrid of Assassin’s Creed and Batman/Arkham they made originally. They’ve announced a gameplay reveal for March 8th, with the game releasing on August 22nd, 2017.
Persona 5 Update
Persona 5 still isn’t available in North America.
VA-11 HALL-A Update
VA-11 HALL-A still isn’t out on the Vita.
What’s on the Plate
Due to me really having to buckle down and find an internship and continue to play new games I don’t really have any ambitious plans. I’ll continue with Night in the Woods and Horizon until Automata comes out and then focus on Automata. Hope you have a great weekend and as always, thanks for reading.