This year I was hoping Microsoft would open with a well thought out apology. They would apologies for all the issues they have had to correct, issues that were of their own doing, the latest of which was selling the Xbox One without Kinect. To my infinite sadness this did not occur. Continue Reading
The end of 2013 may comes as a relief to some in the games industry, the chance to start again with a clean slate and put the past years mishaps behind them. But before we gain any momentum in this new year let us host the customary award ceremony that not only awards games and developers for their achievements in the past year, but also their mishaps, in this regard we shall present the awards in the sandwich method so as to cushion the the blow of those who receive their just desserts and finish off with the usual coveted awards of worst and best game of the year. Continue Reading
If you can believe it, we are now at the tenth iteration of the Call of Duty Franchise. Yes the first person shooter juggernaut is nearing Final Fantasy levels of sequels. Yet the question remains, have we had ten years of good, solid development?
Well, to put it bluntly, no. Infinity Ward have again presented us with a first person shooter that is adequate. The gun play is the same as previous incarnations and again we are presented with a side show campaign and the main meat of multiplayer. Although Treyarch’s turn at the series last year seemed to make some progress in terms of developing the gameplay, Infinity Ward seems to be stuck in a time warp when it comes to their turn at the helm and it is evidently reflected in the game they have produced. Continue Reading
I’m not surprised, at how Microsoft’s little reveal conference played out, as well as being cynical I’m also somewhat pessimistic and after Sony’s reveal my expectations were in negative figures. I’m somewhat concerned how far Microsoft intends to go down this road they have chosen.
It started off well enough, we actually got to see the new console, which was a pleasant surprise after Sony’s mystery box, but then they told us the name, a name so stupid I thought they were joking. They weren’t. The Xbox one as they have called it is apparently the ultimate gaming platform, an EA executive has even been so bold as to claim that both the new Xbox and the PS4 are a generation ahead of the PC, at this point I can’t help but laugh. So how does Microsoft showcase the supposedly amazing abilities of this next-gen power house? with live streaming features and Kinect functionality of course, oh and don’t forget Internet Explorer and Bing, because you know, most people don’t just install Chrome or Firefox rather than use that disaster of a browser combo.If you draw your mind back to E3 last year you may remember some similarities in Microsoft’s objectives during their press conference, a conference where the focus seemed more on Kinect and features then it did on games. Talk about misunderstanding your audience. Continue Reading
I had a dream. I had a dream about an interesting puzzle game where you have to pick up items and put them in certain places to progress but you also need to take a specific item to the exit with you. The puzzle to the game is working out what objects to move and what to leave or how to get back to certain items. I liked the idea of the game from what I saw but it probably would have been better if I had seen more than the tutorial. I hate tutorials.
Do you remember the days where you didn’t have to sit through a long tutorial to learn to play a game?
The game would have been designed to teach you the things you need to know as you progress so there is no need to play through a level that tries to tell you everything.
I have been playing Doom recently and the game designed so that the first level teaches you about killing the bad guys and finding secrets, then over time you learn about the different keys, teleporters, enemies and weapons. You’re probably thinking Doom doesn’t need a tutorial because it’s such a simple game, however if you compare the first level to the last level there is a difference. Doom is easy to play but hard to master, there is no need for a tutorial because you can start playing at any point, but in the later levels you will have a hard time because the levels are designed to be tricky. Also you have to remember this was a lot of people’s first attempt at an FPS ever, perhaps their first ever game and it didn’t have to teach you anything.
Splinter cell has a tutorial but it isn’t as bad since the game has a lot going on and it’s nice to try out all the moves and gadgets in a controlled environment. In Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow and Splinter Cell Chaos Theory the first level is designed to teach you how to play in a semi-controlled environment, you feel like you are playing the game and it feels rewarding despite the fact the level was designed for you to learn exactly what you did. I don’t mind having the text boxes popping up to tell me how to play since they don’t stop the game and they are genuinely useful when you don’t know how to play. If the first three Splinter Cell games managed to teach you how to play in the first level I don’t see why games like Call of Duty need a tutorial.
Why is it that console games go overboard with the tutorials? How many games have a message that pops up to tell the player?
Unless you have a ground breaking new game mechanic you don’t need to teach us anything. “LS to move!” Seriously I don’t need you to tell me how to move! A controller only has a few buttons and if you use your common sense you’re probably going to try the stick first and on top of that LS? You’re not even telling the player it’s the stick on the left, you’re just assuming that they know LS means left stick. Why don’t you assume we’re not retarded?