Video: CCP – Welcome to New Eden Pt2

Another developer diary from CCP on Dust 514, part two in fact of the Welcome to New Eden video. This one covers the Mercenary’s doing the actual shooting planet side. For Eve veterans and Dust fans already following the game’s development, the video doesn’t really tell us anything new but it’s worth a watch anyway.

Video: Dust 514 – Welcome to New Eden

I as you may have gathered, I play Eve Online. I also play console games. In the past combining the two usually meant using my PC to look for tips on how to beat the console game I was playing at the time. Well no longer! When Dust 514 comes along, I’ll be able to shoot people in the face on my PS3 and have an influence on things going on in outer space! How? Watch the video…

Blogging from the past.

It’s Friday! Only it’s not. I’m actually blogging from the past because I expect to be a little bit busy on Friday, there’s this game coming out called Mass Effect 3… As this post goes live, I’ll be tucking into the third part of Bioware’s space trilogy, moaning about how they’ve left the stupid Thermal Clip mechanic in the game, and generally Shepard-ing it up aboard the Normandy. That’s after I’ve gone out a bought it that is, something I wouldn’t be doing if it weren’t for Game cancelling my pre-order due to their recent  financial troubles. Anyway, that’s this post done. Not having played the game yet, it’s a bit hard to write anything else besides expect a supplementary entry over the weekend. Till then enjoy Mass Effect 3 if you’ve already got, and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?

See you online.


*EDIT 14/03/12*

I thought long and hard about a second post about Mass effect 3, but decided against it. The reason? I don’t like the game. I’m not making a judgement on the quality of the game, clearly it’s very well made, but I just don’t like it. So rather than making an overly negative entry I’ll just leave it at that, I don’t like it.

And I don’t like the ending either 😛


Would you pay £88 for Call of Duty? Chances are you already do…

I want to take a look at DLC with this post, or more specifically the very clever business model publishers have gotten us used to. Being an older gamer, I can remember a time when the whole game consisted of whatever was on the cartridge/floppy disc. If it was bugged in some way there was no downloadable patch, if it was a multiplayer game and you were bored of the maps/race tracks/whatever you couldn’t download news ones. In short, you gave the publishers one lot of money for the game.

In today’s market, DLC is the norm. On the whole, game prices haven’t really increased in the time I’ve been a gamer, at the time Street Fighter 2 Turbo on the SNES cost  me around £50 for example, so publishers haven’t managed to edge the price of games up for a very long time now. Only they have, very cleverly, with the drip feed of DLC.

For this example I’m going to use Call of Duty: Black Ops on the Xbox 360. This is not a comment on the quality of the game itself, and yes I know you could shop around for points etc… I’m trying to keep this simple. So with that in mind;

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops – Full game £44.99
  • Pack of 5000 Microsoft Points – £42.50
  • DLC Pack 1 – 1st Strike – 1200pts
  • DLC Pack 2 – Escalation – 1200pts
  • DLC Pack 3 – Annihilation – 1200pts
  • DLC Pack 4 – Rezurrection – 1200pts
  • Total Cost for Black Ops and all the DLC: £87.49

So if you bought Black Ops and all the DLC it would cost you just over £87. If I was being particularly awkward, I’d point out that on the Xbox you’re also paying a Live subscription too, so if Black Ops was the only thing you played that’s over £100!

So my question is this Call of Duty fans; If you went into your local game retailer to pick up the latest copy of the series and it had £89.99 on the box, would you still buy it? And for clarity it’s the plain vanilla version and there’s no DLC ever, anything that would have been DLC is already on the disc.

To be honest you could substitute Call of Duty for Dragon Age: Origins (which had a mountain of DLC after launch), or pretty much any other game, my point is none of us buy the latest title happy in the knowledge that it’s going to cost us double the sticker price in the long run. Nobody looks at the box and thinks “this is going to cost me £40 alone in DLC”. So if the latest version of your favourite game had a realistic prices tag on it from day one, if you knew the true cost, would you still buy the game?

Uncharted 3: No such thing as too much awesome?

Trying to sum up my thoughts on Uncharted 3 is a perfect example of why I’m not a professional games writer, I simply cannot objectively judge this game without comparing it to the previous game in the series. Right from the start I want to say this; Uncharted 2 is one of the best games I’ve ever played. It sets a very high bar for its successors and when I compare Uncharted 3 to the previous game I’m comparing it to something exceptional. With that caveat in mind…

So it’s not as good then? Well no, not in my opinion, but the is difference tiny. Oddly, Uncharted 3’s biggest problem is Uncharted 2’s level of near-perfection. Naughty Dog nailed it with the second game, and faced with the fact that they simply couldn’t make the same game again they did what a lot of developers do, take what worked before (which in Uncharted 2’s case was pretty much all of it), and do lots more of it.

Uncharted 2 was a fantastic balanced meal, with Uncharted 3 the portions are larger and the whole meal ends up feeling richer as a result. Instead of being nicely satisfied you end up feeling stuffed having over eaten. Maybe that’s a bit of a tortured metaphor, but it’s the best I can come up with to explain the feeling of “too much” I had whilst playing. I never thought I’d write it, but there’s too much spectacular in this game for my taste.

By no means is Uncharted 3 a bad game, it’s a fantastic game worthy of your time and money, it’s only problem is the game that came before it.

Why I’ll quit gaming.

With my Hall of Fame blog post taking longer to type than I anticipated, I thought I’d better break the post drought with a quick blog. Having a rant about gaming is something that comes easy, so what better way to get going again? The focus of my ire this time round is the increasing use of “Online Pass” codes, and the way that they control what I do with my game.

For those unfamiliar with the dreaded codes, an Online Pass is a code first introduced by EA (and now used by others) that you need to redeem in order to play the online portion of the game. The idea of them is that the publisher makes some money from the second-hand market, with the second buyer having to buy another code to replace the original used by the first owner.

On the face of it, it doesn’t seem that bad but lets examine what happens when you want to share the game with family or friends. Want to take your copy of the latest FIFA round your mates house and play online? Can’t do that unless you mate buys the code. Want to share your copy of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit with you brother who lives in the same house? Can’t do that without your brother buying a code. And lets not forget, you’ve already paid £40+ pounds for this game in the first place!

I may have singled out two EA published games there, but it’s Codemasters apparent use of an online code system on Dirt 3, and my decision to not buy it because of it that’s triggered this post. If this trend continues eventually all games will have some sort of code attached designed to stop me from sharing my game legitimately, and when that time comes I’ll be done with gaming.

Dragon Age 2

Dragon Age 2 is a tough one for me,  I’ve gone back and forth in my head on just whether I like the game and so far managed to come to no conclusion at all. On the one hand I spent a good amount of my play time feeling the game was tedious, and yet on the other something has drawn me in enough to clock up around forty hours and counting on Bioware’s new RPG. My overriding issue with DA2 is that they’ve dumbed the RPG elements down too much, and whilst they got away with doing that with Mass Effect 2, this game doesn’t have the same strong characters or continuity of story to carry it through.

Set almost entirely in Kirkwall, DA2 has you juggling quests for both the various opposing factions in the game, and your companions. All of them come off as extremists and with DA:O’s coercion skill gone it never feels like they’re open to compromise. As a result you spend your time picking sides, with none of the options feeling particularly appealing. Very few of your companions are entirely likeable either, and like the aforementioned factions they’re similarly extreme in their views, similarly closed to compromise, and just as incapable of running their own errands or asking you to do them without whining. All this results in a profound sense of futility, knowing that the end will be the same no matter what you do, and that the only variable is exactly who you chop up on the way there.

On the flip side I’ve spent some time playing this game so it can’t be all bad. Combat is improved, the graphics are better, and having a fully voiced character is a much welcomed addition. It’s just that it feels lacking to me, comparing this game to Dragon Age: Origins highlights just how much of the Role-Playing has been stripped out, and even though Bioware did the same thing from Mass Effect 1 to 2 to end up with a great game, it doesn’t work here. Less isn’t more, it’s less…

Skyrim – New trailer

Already Skyrim is my most wanted game of this year, trailers likes this don’t help with the not getting over excited thing.

Farewell Bizarre Creations

As you probably already know, Bizarre Creations closed it’s doors yesterday. I’ve enjoyed many of their games, the most recent being Blur, so I’d like to say my own “thank you and good luck” to all of the staff at Bizarre.

I’d also like to extend my sincerest fuck you to Bobby Kotick and Activision for shutting them down


Harry Partridge–Skyrim

This pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter…

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