My Game Awards thoughts

I’m not going to cover everything that happened but I am going to go over some news breaks, my thoughts on the ceremony as a whole, some announcements we got/ ones we didn’t, and maybe some “entitled gamer rage” just cause I can.

results for the awards here

The Xbox Series X announcement was unexpected but it is a nice jab from Microsoft to get the idea of the console in the minds of people even if it’s just the physical look alongside what I can only assume was supposed to display its power and graphic fidelity. The ball is in Sony’s court, I can’t wait to see what they come up with. I suspect E3 2020 will be when we get something similar to what Microsoft did but maybe even bigger since they’ve had the time to work on it by then.

Let’s stay on Microsoft for a minute cause that Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 trailer was… a trip. If Microsoft keeps this up I’m definitely going to have a difficult choice to make come holiday 2020. The tone and visuals of the trailer as a whole are disturbing and gorgeous all at the same time. I was captivated the entire time and love the more psychological/mythological mesh they’re really diving into. I literally had to go and watch it before I moved on to other topics while writing this.

That shark game Man Eater got another trailer, I am kind of surprised that hasn’t come out yet. Not hyped or anything but I mean it does look like fun the way Untitled Goose Game does. Woooah here she comes (sorry couldn’t help myself).

No More Heroes 3 coming out with the big weird trailer. Seriously I was so intrigued and caught off-guard. Touche Nintendo, every day you bring me closer to getting a Switch. Bastards.

GodFall a self-proclaimed “slasher-looter” action rpg by Gearbox Productions dropped a vague, but beautiful, cinematic teaser. It also subtly drops that it will come to PS5 and PC. This is the first mention/marketing for the PS5 at all, and it’s through a short CGI trailer that tells us nothing. Weird.

Ghost of Tsushima got a great cinematic/ gameplay trailer that was teased at the State of Play event Sony just had. It was entertaining and gorgeous but I need more gameplay, still very interested.

Sons of the Forest This is interesting because it appears to be a very interesting step forward after The Forest’s 2014 release. Definitely leaning into the blend of mysticism and body horror with the new trailer emphasizing on a sexually confusing four-legged woman and several fleshy faceless husks clearly intended to be enemies. I gotta try The Forest especially if this one fulfills the fantastical horror it advertises.

Control not only won Best Art Direction and was nominated for many more awards, but they also dropped new content. Bless. Expeditions are a new repeatable mission type that sends you into a Jukebox (if you’ve played it you’ll bear with me here) where you can get new and high-grade mods as well as an outfit. This requires you to scavenge the world for the coins that get you into the…Jukebox…world place. The rewards seem meager, like what is going to keep me coming once I beat the highest tier and get the outfit? That said, it’s a nice reason to pop Control back in and boy is it nice, even better with the patches that improve performance and finally let the game flow the way it’s supposed to. I wish it was a little deeper and maybe there’s more to it than we know now, but it’s clear that this is supposed to hold players over until the first DLC drops. Not a complaint, more of a matter of fact.

Wolf Among Us 2 was announced…interesting… I guess they really are pushing that whole “TellTale is back” thing huh. We’ll see, they can’t afford to fuck that up. It’s clear this is a tactical move to build hype and get people wanting that game they’ve been wanting since 2013. Why not come back with the one game you know anyone who cares about “TellTale” will, therefore, care about? Makes sense to me, don’t fuck it up new guys.

Where the fuck was my Batman announcement? The Harry Potter rpg that we know is in development? BioMutant, where the hell is that game? There are so many games in development and some even close to release that really could use some shine on a stage like this. Since I’m out to prove a point: Last of Us 2? Marvel’s Avengers? RE3? Dying Light 2? Vampire Masquerade 2? Watch Dogs Legion? Psychonauts 2? Moons of Madness? Digimon Survive? Since we’re so focussed on turning back time (more on that later). OddWorld? Little Nightmares 2? I hope my disgustingly exacerbated point is made, we could’ve had so much more. One or two of any of those games would’ve made it way much better.

My point is if I’m Geoff Keighley and I’m ending one of the biggest broadcasted gaming-related events of the year and it ends with a FAST AND THE FURIOUS GAME? You bet your ass I’m taking however much Google paid for all those bullshit (though entertaining) Stadia commercials and I’m sweetening the pot for Sony, Activision, EA, Ubisoft, Nintendo, WB Montreal, Capcom, literally anyone for an exclusive news drop of some kind. I’m sure any of those studios could’ve been persuaded in the name of publicity and hype and could’ve met/exceeded the excitement levels for a Fast and the Furious game. Fucking pathetic, is this 2009? Did you see those graphics?

Also…Green Day…? Seriously did I wake up in 2009 and no one told me? You have CHVRCHES on stage, you’re handing out awards to bands and composers, you have a full orchestra for more musical numbers than even I’d care for…and you thought Green Day should be the headliner. I understand it was more of a personal choice by Geoff since he’s a big fan but fucking hell go to a show don’t subject us to it.

All in all, this night was pretty underwhelming with some flashes of entertainment strewn throughout. Yes, you have huge moments like Microsoft announcing the Series X, but when those are followed by minutes of Stadia commercials, moments like “Teh ken” and “This is gaming it’s supposed to be free. Free love,” and the myriad of obscure and nothing announcements it really shows that there are just some demons this award show can’t seem to shake. No, I don’t expect full gameplay reveals and walkthroughs but there is a middle ground between twelve-second trailers for new IPs and full-on presentations.

Ikumi Nakamura was there so I’m gonna start demanding she appears at all Game awards/ presentations thank you very much.

edit: all this ranting bullshit and I never mention that in my opinion, I think DMC5 should’ve taken GOTY. I totally understand why Sekiro won because it’s great. It’s deep, beautiful, visceral, rewarding; but so is DMC5. What tipped the scale was how much fun I had playing DMC5 and no Sekiro isn’t for conventional “fun” but I thoroughly enjoyed DMC more and that really is what it boils down to when everything else is so evenly matched.

My Issues with Google Stadia

Google is throwing its hat into the ring of gaming services in a big way. I am however concerned they are doing too much too soon.

The games offered are old, and the ones that aren’t old are available so many other places. Twenty-two games, including Destiny 2 collection, MK11, Rage 2, Red Dead 2, Samurai Showdown, NBA 2k20, Trials Rising, and…Just Dance 2020…? Now you’ll note that some of these games aren’t that old but what isn’t old is surely going to be demanding of the new platform. Can you imagine how frustrating Trials Rising is going to be over a crappy connection? Can you see the crucible full of glitchy rubber-banding guardians all trying to kill one another? Can you taste the salt of MK11 players that lose to lag and dodgy connection? Yes, these things are problems on console and PC but at least you have a back up in the form of connection based lobbies. Nevermind the fact that your PC/console is only on the internet to get the input from the other fighter, not running the entire game from the cloud. Also, can someone please tell me how the fuck you’re gonna play Just Dance on a Google Stadia?

Streaming is clearly shown to work in the form of Xbox Game Pass and PSNow. That said, the libraries, features, and connectivity of these services (Game Pass> PSNow) are still in question to this day and these are gaming companies that know what is necessary.  I’m not saying Google doesn’t but what I am saying is that it doesn’t even appear they’ve taken that into account that most Americans don’t have the internet to handle such a demanding program. The Stadia executive is quoted saying ISPs will adjust data caps of their own volition and without recourse. Is anyone really that stupid, does anyone really believe that?

Have we talked about ownership and what’s going to happen when Google eventually says “Okay, shut it down”? Lets! Google’s service is entirely cloud-based outside of the controller and the chrome/stadia dongle you need to connect. No hardware means no option for physical media, no physical media means no discs, no discs means no ownership. Some people try to avoid the bulk and space absorbing nature of a physical library and I totally get that. With that said, I have to wonder how Google is going to future-proof the purchases of Stadia customers should they back out the way they are notoriously known for.

First-party games and “killer apps” are said to be years off. So why not wait? Why not wait until the infrastructure is there, the tech is up to par? There are so many issues I have with the base concepts Google is putting into practice. These aren’t blind consumers, they’re gamers, they’re gonna see past your bullshit if not on sight, very shortly after purchase. So maybe that’s who this service is for? The people who don’t know what 4k is or honestly cares and just want to play games wherever despite a dodgy connection? Do they know how bad the internet across the entirety of middle America is? Hell, there are cities on either side of the country that would struggle to get enough bandwidth. Now it’s coming out that even if you have literally one of the best up/down rates available, Stadia has a very high chance of not running properly. So again, what audience is this for? How many people can that be like 10,000? 20,000? There are 40 million Nintendo Switches sold, 41 million Xbox Ones, 100 million PS4s with more across the board being sold with Black Friday just passing and the holidays around the corner.

What the hell is the point of Stadia again?

Borderlands 3

Level 50 Zane, 15 Amara.
Minor spoilers ahead


-The worlds you travel to are impressively large even though they’re broken up into smaller sections; the term “smaller” is used very loosely. I may be wrong but these are by far the most areas and largest in the franchise and its kind of impressive. My favorite level is the Lectra City section of Promethea. It’s both organized and maze-like where a gunfight can break out literally around every corner. All the sections are noticeably big and feel unique to the planet or area they represent with that “if it’s on the map there’s probably something there” design that not enough games take advantage of.

-The color pallet is miles better than any previous game in the series. This game can be pretty but its even prettier when everything is blowing up and shit catching fire, particle effects are trying to fuck your eyeballs. The previous games were kind of bland color-wise, the pre-sequel did try and venture out more but this is way above that in my eyes.


-The combat is sublime. I have heard people complain that doesn’t feel much different but I think they are wrong and need to go back and play the less enthralling, less involved combat of the previous games. You didn’t have many options in the first games when firefights broke out and it was dated but distinctly Borderlands. Now that the slide and mantle have been implemented (it’s about time really), combat is faster and players can take advantage of high points and hit cover faster. The slide even has combat implications once you get to the later parts of the story. It’s all very well worked and thought out as opposed to being just thrown in because it’s what shooters do now.

-The guns and gunplay are on par with Destiny, they may even be a little better when you consider how deep the loot is and how the stats visibly and tactically affect the guns they’re applied to. You get one Duke in D2 and you’ve pretty much got them all. Here you can get the same gun to drop and actually see and feel the difference between the stats it rolled with. The distinct differences in the manufacturers have really been leaned into as well. They reworked some of the distinct hallmarks of the makers and improved them to help ramp up the combat. This is minor but I really like how manufacturers will mail you guns the more you use theirs.

-Vehicle controls are muddy as hell and will take a second to get used to. It’s definitely not the best possible setting even after messing with controls for a few minutes. The default kind of forces you to shoot where you’re looking unless you’re standing still, you may want a little more flexibility in your controls which is available. That said, the models and their functionality are varied and cool but I’m honestly surprised they haven’t perfected controls yet.


-The story is decent, wildly better than the actual writing and dialogue itself (which doesn’t say that much) but once you get to the end there are some connection’s made that are interesting and well thought out. Now that I’ve gotten the “good” out of the way. What the fuck is up with all the cutscenes not having our character in them. All events in cutscenes play out like our guy or girl isn’t in the room and can’t affect the events that play out in them. There will be so many times where you yell at the screen as to why your character is never seen/not doing anything in pivotal situations that could use a Vault Hunter. LIKE THE ONE THAT SHOULD BE STANDING RIGHT THERE.

-Troy (male villain) literally says “You were like, ‘My powers boo hoo’!!” which is a Handsome Jack reference. It would be nice and nostalgic if it wasn’t the very first thing that comes out of his mouth when the Twins intercept you at the Dry Dock. Instead, it just seems beyond lazy and proves just how lacking in identity they both are. Tyrene is arguably worse, she just says things and then follows it with “I don’t believe that,” or “ That’s just something people say”. That could show how little she cares and that would be fine if it wasn’t the only thing about her that stood out. They almost do something interesting later in the story where Troy takes center stage but that lasts literally a boss fight. Both of them are just, underwhelming in almost every single way. All seldom the connection they have and how Troy is capable of being a Siren and Tyrene’s seemingly completely unique and powerful abilities.

Co-op, Optimization, and Performance

– Co-op will go from fluid and fantastic to laggy and rubber banding at the drop of a mag and it’s as frustrating as it is thrilling as hell. It’s strange what situations will slow things down and what runs smooth as hell. We had four people on one internet connection and everything ran really well. One day my friend and I tried with just us on Promethea and the session was so fucked I actually couldn’t see or fire my guns at one point and I had to back out and come back to get them functioning again. There are definitely more patches coming but for a game boasting online co-op, it should be better. I will say though, level balancing is amazing and can even be quite useful if you want guns to drop at level no matter where you are in the game.

People have been complaining about the UI and I totally understand, I don’t mind the design, what I do mind is how obnoxious the input lag is. Oh and the weird glitch where as you scroll your inventory, the pictures of the items toward the bottom copy to rows above them. It’s easy to fix in-game but…why is it even a thing?

How have they not fixed that glitch where your FFYL timer just drops off despite still having time on the meter. It’s happened since borderlands 1 maybe there’s a certain amount of damage you can take before the timer doesn’t matter anymore? I genuinely don’t understand it and on boss fights, it’s infuriating to lose money when you could’ve gotten a kill for your second wind.

-Of course, the first patch they put out isn’t to fix the performance issues but to kill the Loot Tink farm on at the Jakob estates. A farm you can still do offline fyi 😉 A billion guns and you mad people getting a slightly higher chance at getting the guns they’re just gonna get anyway. WHY

-The trinkets are cute but useless, why not put a minor stat buff on them to actually give them reason? They’re so small they almost don’t exist to me.

-Also, that end credits song is absolutely terribly chosen. The end sequence, in general, is just strange and seemed a little forced. Not how they presented it but what exactly they showed because as perplexing as it was to see what I did, I was just more upset I didn’t get the development of those scenarios to see how we reached the outcome. I’m trying not to spoil things but it’s difficult so I’ll just be quiet. I’m not even sure of what I saw but I do know what it looked like. I just wish there was more background given since our character gets literally none.

-REALLY weird cameos. Like, really strange.

tl;dr BL3 is an 8.5 for me which flys in the face of my many criticisms but I can’t deny how fantastic the gameplay is on top of the absolute wealth of content delivered, all without the modern monetization bullshit. The story is meh, writing meh, but god damn if it isn’t rewarding in its gameplay. IF you like BL as a whole there’s no reason not to play unless you’re waiting for the Steam release. An Endgame post is in the works.

Control review

I have been looking forward to Control for a while now, it was a very mysterious game before the non-existent marketing campaign. So going in blind was a great experience that is pretty rare these days in gaming. I’m gonna break Control down into its essential parts and talk about my view of them. Spoilers lie ahead.

The Good

The voice acting is pretty well done across the cast, the main character Jesse is especially well-acted (though not well written, more on that later). The setting of the Oldest House drips with atmosphere and a sense of eerie familiarity that comes with being in an office building. Only this office, though appearing to be a skyscraper in Manhattan, has layers and moving hallways as well as much more lurking in its depths. The Metroidvania style of learning abilities to access new areas really does a great job of shining in this context.

Some of these side-missions are some of the best I’ve played this year. I thought the fridge was just a “Weeping Angel” kind of thing where you died if you didn’t look at it (there’s a cool touch in that room that I like). Upon taking the side mission though it’s short and simple it did a great job of subverting my expectation and throwing an unexpected boss fight at you. The Mold Monster, The Anchor, all interesting side quests that do a great job of supplementing the experience.

When things do smooth out, combat is hot shit like it’s Chronicle the game. The debris and destruction effects are everything you’ve heard and really give that feel of next-gen that some games really could use. Ever play Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy (2004)? It’s that turned up to fucking twenty.

The lore is some of the best I’ve come across, I actually sat down and read as much as I possibly could. Yes, some people don’t like how it can break up gameplay but I saw it as a chance to dive deeper and actually understand what little I can before continuing. The redacted information is a great touch and I do get the sense that the reader is meant to fill in the blanks. That said, it can be a real middle finger at times when all you want is answers.

The mod system on the surface is a good idea, I have to give them points for at least trying. Some mods are so good you get them and it is instantly slotted. One that drops from a secret objective grants you 100% ammo reduction on hit. Excuse me while I boot up the game to go get that real quick yeahthanks.

Little cute cosmetic things like outfits come from…wait for it…playing the game!! WAAAAT

The Bad

The mod system, though having its gems, is mostly dirty lumps of Black Rock. So many, and I mean so many mods are going to be deleted for scrap to help upgrade your gun or the mods you can get a chance to randomly drop.

What the hell is The City, it’s capitalized in the subtitles and many lore entries and there was not so much as a reference or explanation or anything. In addition, a lot of the redacted documents still draw me in but it is frustrating when so much is left out in a world that already begs so many questions. Would it have killed the writers for a little clarity?

As satisfying as the side missions can be, there are a number of them that boil down to straight-up bitch missions. Kill x amount of enemies here, destroy x things there, all this in a game where I can fly and shoot a sentient gun and throw shit with my mind. Ya couldn’t come up with anything else?

The Metroidvania element is a great idea, but it isn’t implemented quite as well as I would’ve liked. It’s just a little grating when more often than not it’s not a lack of an ability but the number on your access card not being high enough. Lame.

The ending is a little insulting, the fake-out got me so mad I actually said out loud “Oh well at least the real ending won’t upset me like that.” Wrong, wow holy fuck was I wrong. The final fight is another gauntlet, shocker, and it’s not even really all that difficult because The Board supposedly…buffs your strength? That is never really explained either. Cool. You beat the same enemies you’ve been kicking around for hours now only to find Dylan suspended in air, you purify him or whatever. Roll credits. Go fuck yourself. Regardless of whether or not DLC is coming and there is, that ending is pathetic on so many levels after a game I spent around 15 hours being pretty impressed by.

The Ugly

What’s ugly about Control nears unforgivable. I mean it, if you’re sensitive to performance issues to the point where things can chug to a near halt: then just wait and keep your ear to the ground for patch notes and updates for when things get fixed. For the record, I distinctly remember playing New Vegas on my 360 and the absolute shit show that was. So I do believe that experience gave me the strength to persevere through it. Beefy PCs will be fine as well as Xbox One X, but base systems and even in some cases with the PS4 Pro really need some attention when it comes to hotfixes**. Combat will kick off and get heated, only for frames to drop as low as the tens and single digits according to Digital Foundry. On top of it all, it would be one thing if it was momentary and fleeting but essentially from the first moment of gameplay; it’s guaranteed to get worse as your powers grow and destruction becomes more and more prevalent.

No new game plus, and level selecting after completion overwrites your save file and did I mention there’s only one save file? Remedy… you know its 2019 right? I feel like that was a no brainer.

As fun as the combat loop is, how did we not get the full selection of gun forms or at least more than two? Too often am I pausing to switch out a form when I should be able to hold three forms to at least mitigate how many times I’m going into the menu. On top of that, combat scenarios are just gauntlets and there aren’t much varying in situations outside of taking advantage of the different architecture The Oldest House has. It’s just wave after wave with nothing really different between them.

In summation…

Control is fun, intriguing and (most of the time) absolutely gorgeous. It’s very clear that Control is the culmination of both Alan Wake and Quantum Break. To me, it is the best parts of both with Alan Wake’s aesthetic and tone with the high octane Quantum Break action. If that sounds like your kind of thing, I say its worth it, maybe wait until a sale comes around or when they do whatever they need to ease the performance issues. This is a single-player game that offers an interesting experience that may not be backed up by story but is held up by lore and environments that really shine in modern gaming. Yes, it’s SCP the game but in a lot of ways, it isn’t.

I give Control a 7.5/10 with performance issues on launch being one of the biggest detractors. I’d rate it a little higher now that a lot of the issues have been patched but I believe games need to be reviewed on the state they shipped in.

**On September 4th it was reported that the team is focussed on performance issues for consoles in addition to the two expansions titles “Foundation” and “AWE” as well as non-narrative content.

Control early thoughts

+ There is little to no bullshit before gameplay starts and you’re wandering The Oldest House. Powers have good and unique haptic feedback that makes you feel it when you rip concrete out of the wall or pull marble from the floor to provide cover.

+ Remedy and the writing team really try hard to work all the strange and unfamiliar supernatural aspects into real-world phenomena that happen every day. There’s just as much a sense of power as there is a sense of powerlessness. I don’t normally do this but I’ve been burning through every lore entry and document I can find just to understand what the hell is going on here. I’m like Charlie in the mailroom I want answers dammit!

+ This game is not afraid to get creepy as hell at the drop of a hat. It’ll go from psychological horror to the more conventional “nope” that comes from strangely voiced puppets on a tv screen i.e. Threshold Kids (minor spoilers).
Even in said creepiness, they manage to slip some black humor in there as well, who wrote this game? Why did they decide it was going to find a way to be both funny and unnerving all at the same time? It’s actually kind of impressive.

+ Destruction physics are the word-for-word dictionary definition of “chef kiss sound”. The density of the rooms combat takes place in really make it feel like you’re tearing up this strange industrial office space. The meticulousness of the host of object you can blow up, toss, and quantifiably alter is impressive as well.
+ Jesse is incredibly well voice-acted (Courtney Hope) and the facial capture is really impressive across the entire cast you interact with.

+/- I like the idea of an omnitool type gun that does a little bit of everything. However, I do hope I get a third form slot because two is just a little restraining. Why not minimize the time I spend going into a menu mid-fight to switch out a form?

+/- The heavy red aesthetic in Hiss infected areas can go from gorgeous and tone-setting to frustratingly vision-obscuring when you’re in the middle of a firefight.

+/- This is one of the weirder mod systems I’ve come across. Mods come in tiers that go from 1-4 from worst to best. There isn’t anything amazing or spectacular about the mods which I found a little disappointing considering the atmosphere of the game. I did, however, find that the game can be pretty generous with the higher class mods; they just might not be for the gun form or skill you want. This seems to almost push the player into trying new ways of plays merely because the buff it gives is so good. In a weird way, I like that because halfway through the game, they’re practically falling from the sky. Thankfully dismantling mods gives you a form of currency that can be spent alongside other collectibles in the world to upgrade your guns as well as powers. There’s this randomized mod generator you can just throw materials into in the hopes of a better or different mod, that can be upgraded to improve the mod quality as well. Again, it’s weird, it makes sense but it does feel like it could be better.

– I wish the shooting was just a little tighter, I realize that is something options can fix but should it even have to be? So many games have mastered the third person responsiveness that aiming and shooting should have. The Division, Warframe, Gears, MGSPP, and even Uncharted 4 all just have that tight sense of Control (eh?…eh?) without too much sensitivity from the start and by now I hoped Remedy had too. The guns overall can feel a little weak, certain mode like the shotgun and rail gun have a crazy kick and sense of power but it doesn’t feel like the main form and others were honed as well.

– Though she is well-acted, Jesse as a character is milk-toast as hell. She has next to no personality outside of “find my brother” and “I have a voice in my head”. I really wanted Jesse to be the next badass female protagonist and she is, but she’s also not very fleshed out, unfortunately.

– Base PS4 is seeing some performance issues. Frame skipping and stuttering can and almost will happen when there’s too much destruction on screen. This is compounded when the moment you start destruction only ramps up so it becomes pretty prominent pretty quickly.

? Jesse can straight-up force push from the moment you enter the building and gameplay starts, it’s never explained. That gave me a little chuckle.

? For a game that immediately introduces you to the janitor of all people, this place needs desperate cleaning.

? After finding out the old director is voiced by the original Max Payne, I’m officially proposing that Trench is Max undercover and this is apart of the same world. You can’t prove I’m wrong so…I’m right…?

tl;dr Overall I’m enjoying myself and just taking in the world as I go along. I like that around every corner is a “what the fuck is that” moment and as much as I’m learning, there’s still a lot more to understand. The powers are great, the shooting is serviceable, the mod system is…strange. That said, it’s fun and I think it may be a sleeper hit of the year depending on how things pan out. Full review upon finishing

My Splinter Cell concept

It was recently reported that Facebook is looking to bring Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell into the fold of their Oculus VR titles.

So you’re going to tell me, that the only iterations of Sam Fisher we’ve had for the past six years are gonna be a more than likely shitty mobile game, a couple missions in GR Wildlands, an easter egg in Far Cry New Dawn and now this bullshit. How in the fuck have the higher-ups at Ubisoft allowed that? One of their most beloved protagonist from arguably one of their most cherished IP (AC is a close second with Far Cry in third imo) hasn’t seen a full game in far far too long. In the drought, we’ve had six Assassin’s Creed games. Does anyone else find that a little excessive? I think they could really do something special.

Potential Story

An older Sam like we saw in Wildlands with an almost Old Man Logan kind of delivery could really work. I’m referencing the parallel of a very dangerous man potentially approaching the end of his rope. It could literally be a send-off with Sam dying of something or finally deciding to get that midwestern ranch he’s always wanted. This is, unfortunately, going to be the weakest of the sections because as far as storytelling goes I blow hot wet ass at it. My only problem with the whole dying thing is now that RDR2 has come out everyone is going to scream “ ArThUr mOrGAn” and that’s what happens when a game like that comes out. That doesn’t mean that is can’t be done though. The fact of the matter is, canonically the man is getting on in age and his tale has to come to an end somehow. Literally, almost anything is better than Sam Fisher walking off into the night without so much as a goodbye.

Level Design and Gameplay

Open levels (levels, not open-world) that let you take advantage of the environment much like BreakPoint is currently parading. Hide in water, foliage, tree lines, crowds. Really let the player go about these missions how they please with some/most missions requiring stealth with occasional levels where the player can cut loose a little. It would be amazing if they could orchestrate some kind of broad daylight stealth mission where Sam needs to kill in the open while remaining inconspicuous. Throw a little of that schweet Wickian gun-fu with the Execution system and that sounds p compelling to me personally. Even at age 50 I can see Sam still dispensing a gratuitous amount of ass beatings. I’m not saying he has to be yolked to the gills but as a dude who deals in wet work, he could probably still swing for the fences. He isn’t exactly eating twinkies all day. All that unnecessarily said, his age could play a factor in expending energy at a higher rate or having to avoid extended conflict. To compensate, perhaps our boy has a few new tricks up his sleeve like a modular pistol that allows light modifications or maybe some heavier ones if they can fit the SC tone. I’m thinking Cornershot firearms if used sparingly could be a fun touch, suppressed combat shotguns for mildly crowded rooms. Hell, bring back the EMP crossbow thingy from Blacklist. Maybe even another shot at the heavier outdoor combat they tried in Blacklist and Conviction. Yes I know I’m taking from older games but that’s just it; when the history of this franchise is as deep as it is how can you not go back even if it is just to pull from the “greatest hits”. None of that flashback tutorial mid gameplay bullshit I just want the sneaky sneaky and the shooty bang dammit. Save that shit for the cutscenes. It was a decent idea I just think it was executed poorly.

Since Ubisoft loves RPG mechanics so much…

Okay Ubi ya like fisting those RPG mechanics real deep into games that don’t need it, but what if you actually put thought into it and made it work for the game instead of vice versa? What if instead of dumbass damage wicking enemies, a fucking headshot on bare fucking skin is a kill! Do not bloat the gunplay, push the intensity, push the realism. Instead, what if Sam had two or three disciplines or talent trees “First Blood” could be one focussing on “loud” combat which would force players to get in close to avoid alerting everyone in stealthier situations due to them being predominantly ready for firefights. “Chigurh” for a heavy silencer and stealth focus but lack of viability in the same open firefights (less range/ damage cause video games?). “Kingsman” would be the last one (maybe not the best movie parallel) but something more tech and gear focussed that may lead to a more hands-off approach to taking down enemies ie Cornershots, some mild form of smart pistol no Titanfall shit, you get where I’m coming from. You would lock into one of these styles but the reward would be class-specific weaponry and I’m talking the entire arsenal. Each tree would have their own slew of weapons(25-30) that fit the bill of each playstyle and encourage replayability. Maybe you can dabble in up to two but each tier of skills unlocks a number of weapons associated with said classes. Once you beat it one or two times you get the ability to have access to all the trees but having to pick and choose skills and having the entire library of weaponry at your fingertips. Whichever is better. Is the idea really rough around the edges? Sure, but god dammit at least I’m trying. Where you at Yves!!

Marvel’s Avengers reveal thots

Big Marvel fan here, reporting on the newest addition to what some are calling the MGU (Marvel Gaming Universe) Marvel’s Avengers. We got a look at some GC trailers that definitely alluded to gameplay but didn’t outright reveal anything.

Building Character

I don’t have too many problems with the character models. Personally, I think this is the unforeseen consequences of such a hugely successful movie franchise. People are gonna look at every iteration of these characters from now on and think “huh, that’s a little off”. Thor looks like his Ultimates counterpart with a slightly gaudier trim on the outfit. Hulk is Hulk, can’t fuck that up and I think Troy was an interesting pick for him. Both Tony and Iron Man look good but idk if I would’ve chosen Nolan North to play him. I just don’t get that twang of cockiness. Was Eric Loomis not available? Mick Wingert? Why spend so much on a big name unless it’s to ohhhh.  Anyway, Black Widow looks fine, no character model can replace ScarJo see even I’m doing it. If customization and different costumes are gonna be as big a focus as the devs lead on then it should make up for the models themselves. Seriously go listen to Mick Wingert and Eric Loomis and tell me why they couldn’t be in this game.

Sameplay Gameplay

I am really worried about gameplay being super repetitive and bland across such a myriad of characters. I’m concerned about quick time events *gag* and a lack of interactivity in the environment specific to each character. There’s a moment in the trailer where Hulk jumps a gap, smashes a tank and picks it up. When the man inside the tank falls out, Hulk kicks him aside while still holding up the tank. That. I want that. Many animations and the ability to do two and maybe three things at once would be a big move toward replayability and overall fun factor. Game devs and publishers need to realize “playing with friends” will only take your game but so far. It needs to offer something. I’m talking that X-men Legends 2 shit. I want this to be a AAA Ultimate Alliance experience. Apparently, gameplay was shown and I’m getting mixed responses but I’m very jealous cause the curiosity is crazy high.

Live Service? More like…Contrived Serivce…amirite??

Please, fucking Jesus pole-vaulting Christ do not focus too heavily on the live service aspect of this game. Do not put yourself in an EA position. This game can be plenty lucrative without crazy predatory and obnoxiously in your face monetization. They mentioned everything content based (characters, locations, events, etc) would be free which is good but it does make me wonder just how fucked the market is going to be in order to make up for that. Maybe I’m being cynical but I have no reason to not be. Make monetization an afterthought and players will spend at their leisure, and if everyone or most people are spending a little I’m sure that is gonna add up in their favor.

Too Little Too Late

I’m genuinely concerned that this game is coming a good couple of years too late. Imagine if this came during Civil War or hell even Age of Ultron. I think that this may be how Marvel works the downtime between phases as well as work an entirely new revenue stream obviously. A live service game at that? After the wild success of Spider-man? If I’m being honest, I’m foreseeing a bust despite my vehement hope it will deliver. This needs the love and (arguably) more importantly the polish that Spider-man had. Otherwise, Disney has another Battlefront 2 situation on their hands or something similar to it and I don’t think one out of three is the stat they want to have especially considering how much more popular Marvel is right now comparatively to Star Wars. If this game is good it will be one of the most successful games in years, if it’s not it will kick Marvel back to square one and undo a lot if not all of Spider-man’s praise.

At some point, Square and Crystal are bound to release the footage that was shown at E3. Maybe PAX. Maybe Gamescom. It’s gonna come out at some point especially considering how close the release date is (relatively speaking). This game has so much potential, just don’t let greed get in the way dammit.