Delayed Video Games: It’s Not the End of the World

Video game delay announcements. It’s something we, as gamers, all hate hearing about – especially if it’s a game we’re really looking forward too, but I’ve never understood why some people act like it’s the end of the world. A number of people may argue that a delay can be a good thing. If a development team need that extra time to polish and turn a game from a six to a nine, thus creating a more compelling story, smoother game play and a better game in general, then so be it.

Personally, as much as it can be an annoyance at times, I welcome delays with a general understanding and acceptance although many may not. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has seen three delays now, with the most recent postpone coming in order to deliver on the studio’s ambitious vision for the games ending. When Neil Druckmann states that;

This’ll make for a smooth worldwide launch. Thanks for your patience… It’ll be worth it at the end. Promise

When Druckmann makes a promise on behalf of the famous Naughty Dog studio, the ones responsible for bringing us a slew of incredible games in the past, I’m well inclined to believe him and trust his judgement that the game just wasn’t ready and that this delay will invoke a more spectacular finished product.

2886491-uncharted-4_drake-sam-survived

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is shaping up to be a spectacular finale to the series.

We see a magnitude of games follow the same suit. In relation to the header image, Persona 5 was originally due to be released in 2014 on the PS3, now, after a number of changes and a different platform release we see it’s next upcoming release date to be June of 2016 and it’s radio silent on Atlus’ behalf with only a couple of month to go. This isn’t the end of the world thought, I’d rather they work on the game than focus on PR and marketing. There are many different games and other activities to occupy our time. Although some people happen to think otherwise…

comment

It’s quite disheartening seeing a vulgar response like this, but sadly these things still happen. I mean, it’s not as if the team at ATLUS want their audience to wait as long as possible to play their games. The amount of pressure the developers already face in the first place is immense, never mind inpatient individuals screaming down their necks about the game not releasing when they want it too.

If a game is held back they aren’t doing it to purposefully annoy people, they’re only harming themselves anyway and not on purpose either, but can some games really recover from development hell or a vast number of delays and setbacks? The Last Guardian has been in development since 2007 and has had it’s fair share of development hell, to the point of where many thought the project had been cancelled all together until it resurfaced in 2015.

Journalists have expressed their concern as to whether the game would even be such a landmark title as initially seen. In many ways, the landscape of gaming has greatly changed since the release of The Shadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian already has big boots to fill with that in mind. I’d be very much surprised if the game can clinch anything back and if it would well be worth the wait.

the-last-guardian-screen-06-ps4-eu-16jun15

The Last Guardian looks beautiful, but will it be able to hit as hard as SOTC did?

The likes of Final Fantasy XV share a similar story. Originally announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, a PS3 exclusive spin off, it soon became apparent that the title wasn’t going in the direction that they first hoped. With a transition to the eighth-generation hardware, a change of name, new director, a different story and essentially a totally different change of game. After ten long years of development and more than likely thousands of pounds put into resources, Final Fantasy XV is nearing its release date this year. But will the wait really be worth it?

Why do studios release these dates and then don’t adhere to them without knowing that they’ll definitely meet their deadline? Why do they give a release date in the first place if they just can’t meet it? Well, it’s more than likely pressure from the publishing side of things, the sooner they get a release date out the sooner they can start marketing the game and making money from pre-orders and merchandise. Why not just take a leaf out of Bethesda’s book and release in a similar way Fallout 4 did, with a ton of info, trailers, game play, and a solid release date that was only a number of months away from annoucment, as opposed to years.

Fallout4_graph01-1200x675

Fallout 4 was released just a few months after it’s announcement.

I think we’d all love to see games released that way. I would love too. I believe it’s the best way for all parties – publishers, studio and consumers. That can’t always be the case thought. Some games just don’t have the stature or an audience as big as Fallout so they aren’t able to draw a big enough audience in a short space of time, they need to build up their public relations over an extended period.

Sometimes delays just can’t be helped and it’s certainly not the end of the world when they happen. I think the overreactions to when these incidents happen needs to stop. No one ever wants a delay. Not the consumers, publishers or studio working on the title. There’s a ton of other games out there and when your favorite game has a setback, just remember – patience is the best policy. If a game is going to fall into development hell then it’s the studio/publisher that is affected and not you. At the end of the day, there’s no point crying over spilt milk.

Welcome to Vault 111

The first episode of my Fallout 4 let’s play is now LIVE! After GAME’s frustrating cock up, resulting in myself and many others receiving the game late, and then having a couple of sleepless nights in order to perfect my Let’s Play setup and to learn Sony Vegas – the video has already been through a lot. It’s all been worth it though and I’m pleased with the end result. I’ve put a lot of time and effort into this video, in order to perfect it, as I never want to put things out that are just “half arsed’ so to speak, hopefully you can see that from the vide and appriciate the fact that a lot of passion and care has gone into it.

I’ve always wanted to share my first reactions to a series that means so much to me, not just for others to view, but for something to look back on in years to come. I’m aiming to get 3 videos up a week, as well as maintaining my blog and live streaming on Twitch. Part 2 will be up wednesday night (18th Nov, 7.30pm GMT) so please drop me a sub if you haven’t already. It’s gonna be hard work to stick to this schedule, but I really love what I do so it’s all worth it, hopefully you guys think so to. I won’t be spamming my blog with these videos, but I just wanted to make you guys aware I’d finally started my first let’s play series of Fallout 4. Thanks again for the continued support and enjoy!

 

For more episodes head on over to my youtube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW5Haq1I9rtjSxDybDxeZRw

Do you remember why you started playing video games?

If you were to ask this question 20 years ago, you might well get a completely different answer from today’s generation. It’s absolutely mind-blowing how much video game content we have on hand these days. There are constantly active social feeds going off at all times around the globe, each displaying various information on the next upcoming trend – whether it’s a new game, news, reviews, leaks etc. Even if you choose not to follow, this information still seeps through the cracks, whether it be from sponsored links, ads tailored to your search engine entries, YouTube/TV ads or even posts liked by your social circle that just so happen to appear in your news feed.

The video game industry has blown up since the dawn of the Internet and the psychical world still holds its own too. Now this may be true with nearly every form of entertainment. But the way we consume video games and their media never used to be anywhere near the magnitude it is today.

blogheadE3

Rather than bringing us together, gamers can tear each other apart because of what their platform of choice is. Why? Not everyone likes the same things.

It’s not just video game media that’s changed though, video games themselves have massively spiked in popularity, and they’re now a commercial phenomenon, appealing to the most casual audiences with characters and consoles becoming household names. The industry consists of multi million dollar projects, which make up an impressive $90 billion dollar industry, as of 2015. Video Games as a medium now share a close likeness to film – due to the sheer jump in visuals, writing and game play we’ve seen in the last 20 years.

The medium is one of the fastest growing forms of entertainment. Which barely even existed 30 years ago. Can you remember when gaming was a relatively underground activity? When games existed in just a 2D pixel based format, the evolution in terms of time has been drastic. As the medium grows so rapidly, so does the selection that comes with it, with each company wanting to get a piece of the pie, which they then in turn can feed to us consumers to make a substantial profit.

fallout_4_e3_2015_13

Fallout 4 seems to be a huge contender for GOTY, but still has to fight off an astounding amount of competition.

I’ve recently created a list of all the games I’m hoping to get my hands on in the coming months. Two of those titles sit high upon my wish list perch – Fallout 4 and Star Wars: Battlefront. Although I may not want the many others as much as these two, the others that sit beneath it still call out for my attention through a vast form of media. With my recent trip to EGX I got a reminder of just how many games I have my eye on going into Q4 – Uncharted Collection, Assassins Creed Syndicate; which seems to have made a triumphant return in terms of reviews and from what I’ve played.

Call of Duty Black Ops 3 also makes its way onto the list along with Rainbow Six: Siege and Just Cause 3. Each game cleverly marketed to draw my attention – mostly through nostalgia I’ve noticed. Call of Duty with its throwback to Nuketown and emphasis on Zombies, Battlefront with its authenticity of the original trilogy and Fallout 4 with the expansion on all of the good points from Fallout 3, moulded into something even better.

large

 Companies often like to hone in on our Nostalgia. Nuketown is a firm favourite amongst COD fans.

Now I know I’m not the only one who would love to pick every single one these titles. The media I consume each day insists that I have them all. I’d love to play the majority and each one has been fighting for my attention through adverts, promotions, etc. But when does it all just become too much? How much time do you really have? How are you expected to keep up with everything, not just with the games but also with the media that comes with it?

Do you ever get that feeling like you’ve missed out on something you should have played way back, but at the time there was just too much choice and now it’s come back to bite you in the arse. For example Mass Effect is a series I always wanted to try out, but due to the already overflowing market I never ended up picking it up. Maybe it was financial constraints due to blowing my budget on other games that were released around that time, or maybe due to already devoting a lot of time trying to get through other games.

mass-effect-andromeda-ea-e3-2015-stream-01-2560x1440

The new Mass Effect trailer looks outstanding, but with all of these other games on offer I really don’t know if I’d find the time to play through the series.

When Andromeda was previewed the media and gaming community went crazy for it, yet I feel as though I missed out on everything that came before it and feel like an outsider looking in on something I don’t feel part of, but should, even becoming scrutinized by certain folk because I was never part of the series in the early days. I’ve also seen this happen to others on Twitter most recently with the likes of the Fallout series.

It’s not just the consumers that can sometimes suffer, companies can also feel the squeeze in such a saturated market. People pay with their wallets and its survival of the fittest. But is it really too saturated? Do we have too much choice as gamers? Is that a better thing, which then in turn equals more competition?

Do you just pick and choose, hoping the game you want doesn’t flop after spending your hard-earned cash on it, while others that may not have been as appealing end up rising in popularity after you’ve already laid down your moolah elsewhere. It’s so brutal out there, for both seller and consumer at times.

If games don’t sell the prices take a massive cut too. With so many on the market you can end up picking up new games for half of their retail price, just a few weeks after release as the companies fight to keep themselves and their games afloat. It really is that cutthroat. People complain that games are too expensive, even though they’re the cheapest they’ve ever been. If your game isn’t pulling in an audience then the price won’t stay as high as its initial release. Games like GTA V can remain at their first price because of how popular they are while others take a nosedive in order to sell the copies that remain.

gta-v-ps4-release-date1

Not many games can stack up against GTA V in terms of popularity.

Trying to keep up with all of the latest gaming trends, what’s hot, what’s not, what you should be playing, what you shouldn’t be, who’s streaming what, the most popular YouTube video doing the rounds, FPS this and 1080p that, all the different types of memes and gifs, hateful comments, Gamer Gate etc, etc, etc. JUST STOP, ARGH! It all just gets a little too much at times, doesn’t it?

The way everything is extremely scrutinized, the cutthroat market, the endless choice, marketing that reveals every minute detail about a game it ships, the uninviting media, the annoying YouTubers, the swatted twitch players, micro transactions, season passes, pre-order bonuses and DLC. Remember simpler times, when none of this even existed?

Thinking back to when I was a child I was allowed one game for Christmas, maybe two if I was very lucky. The deciding factor would come from a few screenshots on the back of a box or the cover artwork on the front. That experience of buying a new game, travelling home, reading the cover front to back, actually reading through the instruction manual. All of that now just a distant memory often thought back too in a flicker of video game nostalgia. I’d play the games I had over and over, numerous times, I’d know the ins and outs of every part.

0fae8a865e6bdd4a8d1ed91547215dea711add07

I put countless hours into Legend of Zelda: A link to the past, as at one point, it was all I had to play. Attempting tough puzzles and feeling a real sense of achievement once I’d progressed further. Whatever happened to putting in the groundwork?

Games weren’t as accessible as they are now, you’d actually get your money’s worth. You wouldn’t play a game for five minutes, get bored and move on. You wouldn’t buy games in a sale and let them gather dust. You’d dedicate yourself to them. I’m not saying that’s what all gamers are like, but it seems the attention span of many has greatly reduced over the years.

It’s not just the short attention span though; games are just much more accessible these days. I have countless games sat on my shelf, still in the cellophane, in my steam or PlayStation library, all un-played, hoping to see the light of day, but I’m no octopus, I can’t play everything at once. I get a game, play as much as I can, then before I know it, its old news and the media and gaming community are all focused on something else, I then feel like the un-cool kid in the playground who isn’t on board with the new fad and before I know it, new games are out, time moves on and the old stuff, still un-played, gets left behind. The 10-year-old me would have never let that happen.

kids-playing-video-games-793x544

Through the year I’d mainly have to rent games but each rental was decided on my own accord, what I thought looked good, regardless if it was or not, it was ME that made the decision and I felt no marketing or peer pressure in doing so. You’d discover hidden gems and amazing experiences, like getting lost in a library of amazing new worlds. Memory didn’t matter; your handful of MB on your memory card was sufficient enough. You’d play games first hand – mainly knowing nothing about them, apart from a blurb on the back or a paragraph in a magazine – that was it.

Yeah some were lacklustre and not worth your time. But remember the ones that were worth it, the ones you knew hardly anything about, you’d become engrossed in their worlds or get lost in the story, yet you’d essentially go in blind, knowing very little about them as opposed to how much we know of a game, pre-release, now.

Look at No Mans Sky for example – Murray and Hello Games are negatively criticized for not revealing much information about the game. I’m sorry, but that game looks intriguing enough as it is and I’d rather find out about it for myself when I have it in my own hands.

Minecraft_Win10_Beta_-10

Playing Minecraft for the first time, without any idea of what it was, how to play, or what I should do, was such an amazing experience. Something that made me think back to a time when each game I tried was like playing Minecraft for the first time.

Remember when Minecraft wasn’t even a thing, yet when people first jumped into that they knew nothing, no instruction manual, no tutorial – you just played first hand and worked it out for yourself. Just like how it used to be. You’d play games due to how engaging and fun they were. How a game looked, in terms of visuals, just didn’t matter. You’d share a couch with friends, it was a social thing – playing co-op, competitive split screen multiplayer, conducting mini gaming tournaments for FUN or taking turns handing the controller to one another after each turn. That is but a distant memory with most games.

Couch-1-1400x752

The couch never used to be this lonely.

Yet now people are constantly connected, with a camera and microphone in their face, sat on a specialized “gaming” chair, pondering over YouTube or Twitch or arguing in forums over FPS and Display Quality, something that was relatively unheard of. Everything has become so competitive; if you aren’t winning, then you’re a loser.

Some games even offer you the option to skip levels if they’re too hard, what happened to actually putting the effort in and retrying until you got it, you know, when games actually taught you valuable life lessons – not to give up, to always keep at something even if you fail over and over, to put the time, effort and work in, in order to reap the benefits, rather than paying your way out of something, skipping a level, paying to win or progress. It baffles me how anyone would rather chose the latter.

maxresdefault

The fact that the invincibility leaf power up, in Super Mario 3D World, is even a thing makes me weep inside.

Remember when fighting games had hidden characters and you’d have to work your way through the roster in order to obtain them, putting the time in to unlock them, now you can just download them from the store or get them free for pre-ordering. The likes of Black Ops 3 allows you to play every level from the get go. You don’t even have to work your way through the game, you can just go right ahead and play the last level if you so desire, never mind skipping sections if they get too hard, this let’s you skip the whole game, period.

What next? An auto pilot button, that when pressed, just plays the game for you while you watch. Some may argue that this already exists in the form of watching let’s plays – now don’t get me wrong, watching lets plays can be fun, but when you hear people saying they can’t be bothered to play the game and that they’d rather just watch someone else play to see what happens, it really gets to me.

Gaming never used to be like this, or at least this isn’t how I experienced video games when growing up. Even though you are constantly connected with people around the globe and the industry is abundant with all different types of titles, video gaming can, at times, leave you feeling isolated or become very over whelming.

It seems with an ever-growing industry the times, values and reasons people play games have changed dramatically. People play games because of how popular they are, resulting in more views on their latest lets play videos, rather than playing what they really love, regardless of how popular it is. I’m not saying this applies to every gamer, but it applies a lot more today than it did 20 years ago.

Maybe I’m just stuck in my old ways, agitated by a fast paced world, everything moves so fast these days, written media is a dying art form, 8 second vine clips and countless snapchats are all the rage. People don’t have time to play games these days, or so it seems. Hmm. I don’t know, maybe that’s how we’ve evolved as a society, not enough time for anything, but still enough time to keep our social feeds up to date.

Maybe it’s time I stopped trying to adapt to every form of change within the industry and take a step back. Chasing trends and gaming fads will never work. You’ll always feel left behind or out of the loop, even if your first to arrive, the party will be over before you know it and you’ll be left wondering why you even attended in the first place.

Stop feeling like you’re left behind. Play what you love and love what you play, you shouldn’t play games for anyone else but yourself. You didn’t get into games because other people wanted you to play, so why become a puppet on a string to please others?

Whatever it may be, we need to remember why we got into gaming in the first place, hopefully for the love of it and the chance to visit amazing new worlds, to get lost in different time periods; whether it’s fiction or non fiction or sharing the love we have for different games and characters.

Forget about all the inconsequential shit and play for your love of playing, as without that, what does that make gaming, but a passive form of media, as we let it pass by in such a fast pace world, watching others experience it, rather than experiencing it for ourselves.

Why don’t you pick up a controller, take an old game from your shelf and remember what made you start playing in the first place.

/ CR

My Top 10 Games of E3 2015

It was over in a blink of an eye it seemed and E3 is now behind us for another year, I wanted to take a look back at what my personal favourites of the show were. It all kicked off with a tremendous bang as Bethesda revealed the games behind the curtain of their first showcase.

I literally never slept a wink afterwards, staying up to watch the live on twitch and Youtube. I was blown away by the Fallout 4 reveal, it’s safe to say that Fallout was the game I was looking forward to most before the event, as most of you may have guessed already. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a reveal like it! Announcement after announcement, revealing all of those amazing features that would take place in the upcoming title. It was incredible!

Going into the rest of the week it seemed the majority of the companies had learnt a lot from last years conferences. Sports games weren’t the highlight this time round, VR was barely mentioned when looking at all conferences combined and there was very little filler in between, especially from Sony; who’s press conference just featured heavy hitters one after the other – they really did come out swinging. Xbox also had a really solid press conference and it was probably the best they’ve had in years, in my opinion.

It was great to see the return of the Nintendo championships. I thought it was a fantastic way for Nintendo to not only provide some thrilling entertainment, in the form of some old fashioned competitive gameplay, but it was also a brilliant way for them to showcase their previous classics and upcoming titles, especially Super Mario Maker.

E3 2015 certainly was a one for games, no doubt. Especially compared to last years Expo, there was barely any mention of the phrase ‘media centre’. After the conferences had ended I thought to myself “hmm, it seemed a little average this year” that was until I sat down to create this post, realising just how hard it was to compose a list of my ten favourite games of the show.

It’s literally took me a week, chopping and changing my mind, reading into these upcoming titles so I could develop a further understanding for them. As hard as it was I was finally able to separate them into a list, ranking them in order, number one being my game of the show.

Now don’t get me wrong, all these games are so close to number one I easily could have listed them all joint top, but that wouldn’t have been much fun. It was so hard to decide what would feature in my list as the contenders this year have been phenomenal, so without further ado, here’s MY personal top ten of E3 2015.

DOOM

#10 DOOM


DOOM was a game that was never on my radar, I’ve played the first one when I went through a phase of revisiting old classics, but this latest instalment has come along way since its predecessors. The game just looked outright fun and seemed a right blast from what we were shown. I thought the introduction to SnapMap, the map/level creation system, was a brilliant addition, making it even easier for fans of the series to create their own maps and what looked to be game modes. It’s assured to be a hit with fans of the series, I can’t wait to see what the community brings to the table in that aspect of the game.

maxresdefault (1)

#9  Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End


Although the demo started with a few hiccups (Drake must have froze once he saw the Sony crowd) the game just looked stunning, what else would you expect from a Naughty Dog game? Although many people may greatly compare the Uncharted series with that of The Last of Us in terms of gameplay, both couldn’t be further apart in terms of storytelling and atmosphere.

The Uncharted series always managed to make you crack a smile with its humorous cast and over the top, fast paced action as opposed to its counter part, The Last of Us, which tells a more darker tale. I can’t wait to see the potential of this next instalment and if your new to PlayStation I strongly advise picking up the Uncharted collection, coming later this year, before you dive into U4. The game’s looking fantastic and just had to feature in my list.

ruliweb_tlgt_ps4_04

#8  The Last Guardian


Ahh, The Last Guardian, a game who’s demo has not only graced this generation with its presence, but also last gen too. I remember seeing this way back at E3 2009, I was blown away, finally a new IP from Team ICO, the studio who brought us Shadow of the Colossus, it was just what I had been waiting for.. but I didn’t expect I’d be waiting nearly a decade for it though.

Since its showing at E3 2009, The last guardian has been through 8 years of development hell, as the game was being worked on since 2007, so it was with great surprise that it made it’s return, back and better than ever, on PS4.

Troubles aside though the game looks stunning and seems like it may take us on an even more emotional journey than Shadow of the Colossus did. I’m curious to see more of this game and was surprised that it wasn’t coming this autumn, instead we’ll not see this until 2016. Let’s up that it stays on track this time.

the-division

#7 Tom Clancy’s The Division


The Division returned with a pre-scripted gameplay video showcasing the sheer gluttony and greed you may come across when playing against your fellow team mates, especially from players who aren’t willing to share their Black Friday deals as the grim, isolated holiday season approaches.

The reason The Division doesn’t feature higher up my list is because I’m still curious to see how they handle the survival element of the game. It seems all we’ve seen is a lot of pre-scripted events and nothing that gets into the true grit of what the game is all about. From what I’ve seen so far it still takes the number seven spot with ease.

773833429130101539

#6 No Man’s Sky


It was a shame that we only got to see a very brief video of No Man’s Sky, again showing us a lot of what we’ve already seen. The game is HUGE! I really don’t understand how Hello Games are able to pull off such an ambitious project. Sean Murray, again, seemed very apprehensive to define what the game is as a whole.

Although this frustrates a lot of people, I ‘m not to worried about it at the minute, just look at Minecraft, no one had a clue what that was when it first released, or what you done in the game for that matter and look how that turned out.

I’m very intrigued though and can’t wait to get my hands on it. Hopefully that becomes a reality at EGX 2015. I’m not fussed about knowing every little detail about the game before it releases and I wrote an article detailing that further; which can be read here. I have a lot of faith in the team but would certainly like to see a release date soon.

Aiming_at_Thunderjaw.0

#5 Horizon Zero Dawn


I was extremely pleased to see Guerrilla Games’ new IP – Horizon Zero Dawn. From the company that brought us the PlayStation Exclusive Killzone series, they now take on a completely different game. Horizon Zero Dawn is a combination of modern, futuristic, dinosaur like mechs battling against an ancient civilisation whom harness technology from these gigantic machines. The game is essentially a highly tactical open world game that will feature RPG elements.

It was hands down my favourite of Sony’s show. I can’t wait to delve deeper into this title, plus it’ll be great to see how Guerrilla Games handle their first open world game, or at least a game that isn’t part of the Killzone series. It’s certainly a one to keep an eye on and one that’ll only be available on PlayStation 4.

cuphead-ozivuje-rozpravky-30-t-image-735

#4 Cuphead


This game was probably my favourite surprise of the show, this wasn’t the first time the game had been announced but somehow I’d managed to miss it whenever it had been previously mentioned. Cuphead is basically a classic run and gun action game that focuses heavily on boss battles. As soon as I saw the game I instantly fell in love with the visual art style, which draws great inspiration from 1930’s cartoons.

Once I investigated into this further I found out that the visuals and audio are all painstakingly created using the same techniques of that era, i.e. traditional cel animations, all hand drawn and hand inked, water colour backgrounds and original jazz recordings featured throughout, The Studio really has seemed to go the whole nine yards when creating Cuphead and Mugman.

If you saw screenshots form this game in the 1930’s I don’t think you’d bat an eye lid, it looks as though it has been plucked straight out of that decade. I was devastated that it wasn’t coming to PlayStation 4, as the game takes the deserved fourth spot in my list. Thankfully this will be available on Steam and also for you lucky Xbox One players.

firewatch-3

#3 Firewatch


It was great to see more light shed on this upcoming game from Campo Santo. If you’ve never heard of it then I suggest you read a post I put up back in January when I first caught a glimpse of what Firewatch was all about. It truly is visually stunning, the art style is beautiful – which is always going to be the case when it involves Olly Moss. The story is so intriguing and compelling and everytime I see the game I’m just left wanting more.

I wrote in my last article that I was going radio silent until the game released. I didn’t want to hear anything more of it or have anything spoilt until I was able to play it for myself, I was already sold on the concept months ago but to hear that the game was finally coming to PS4! Man, I literally jumped with joy.

I was all for getting it on PC but I much prefer my console over my Desktop, mainly due to sitting at a Mac all day as part of my day job, it’s nice to just come in and crash on the Couch. Now being able to do that while playing Firewatch will be even sweeter. I’m sure It’ll be a fantastic addition to the PS4 library and will be a day one purchase for me, without a doubt.

Star_Wars_Battlefront__4-17_A-2040.0

#2 Star Wars: Battlefront


Although EA Games had a shocking press conference, in my opinion it was somewhat saved by the Battlefront gameplay trailer we finally got to see towards the end. I had high expectations and it’s safe to say I wasn’t let down.

The gameplay was beautiful but what blew me away the most was just the sheer sense of scale – looking at the rebels scurrying through the trenches while the AT-AT’s and AT-ST’s rained laser fire down upon them, that historic sound, the chaotic gunfights and then finally that epic dual between Luke and his father, Darth Vader.. It was brilliant.

I was so worried that the gameplay just wouldn’t live up to the sheer beauty of the reveal trailer, which I’ve watched countless times times now. That just wasn’t the case and it’s such a relief to say that. I can’t wait to see what else is in store come mid November.

Fallout4_Trailer_End_1433355589

#1 Fallout 4


Now this game needs no introduction. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game reveal as mind blowing as this one. From start to finish it was just one thing after the other. Reveal, after reveal, after reveal. I couldn’t believe how much we were shown. Being able to customise your own base and shacks and eventually turning them into your very own settlements was an absolute highlight for me. I’ve always wanted a game of Fallout’s caliber that offers a feature like this, but never thought this would be the one to do it.

The fact that survival and scavenging is going to mean so much more in this game, especially compared to previous games in the series, it makes me drool just thinking about it. Todd Howard is an absolute god and I for one could have kissed the man that night. Fallout Shelter was a great addition for the time being, more to come on that one later though. But Fallout 4 hands down won the show for me, November is going to be one hell of a month. Guess I can say goodbye to anything but my PS4 once the fall comes round. If you want to read more on what I thought about the Fallout 4 showcase follow this link.


There were so many games that didn’t make my Top 10 that looked fantastic – For Honor, Super Mario Maker, Just Cause 3, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, KH3, FFVII and many more. It was so hard to choose what deserved a place in the list above and what didn’t. Hopefully the majority of these will be playable at EGX 2015, which I for one cannot wait for. I’d love to hear what your Top 10 of the show were, so comment below and let me know!

/ CR

Fallout 4 has just won E3 2015

Todd Howard steps on stage and I can barely keep my composure, anticipation builds and I feel sick, stomach is all knotted yet I have butterflies at the same time. I’ve literally been waiting for this game for the past seven years. It has been one of my most anticipated games ever.

It was hard to believe the game has been in development since 2009, since right after Fallout 3, and not one iota of detail has leaked or let slip from the Bethesda team. Then for it all to be revealed today and when I say ‘all’, I mean it – Concept art, screenshots, gameplay, features, environments, customisation, limited collectors edition, companion app and even a mobile fallout game and that was Todd Howard’s way of just getting started.

fallout_4_e3_2015_19

This game looks beautiful, all worries of mediocre visuals have disappeared.

The obsession to detail is what really stood out, Howard talks about how the designers have been so meticulous when creating in game assets, as we saw from the different concepts of buttons, light switches etc. which will more than likely go unnoticed by many. The concept art looked absolutely beautiful, I’m really hoping they release some kind of artwork book to showcase all of the visuals shown prior to the Fallout reveal. It was stunning and would be a brilliant edition for someone who who appreciates video game artwork or the Fallout series in general.

We are given a little introduction to Fallout 4, as Howard states that “The game starts before the bombs fall on a beautiful Saturday morning in downtown Boston” we are able to see our protagonist in the mirror and literally select parts of the face to sculpt while your wife looks on at you in the mirror, commenting whether you should have a beard or not.

fallout_4_e3_2015_5

You can easily choose between a Male or Female protagonist; both fully customisable.

You can swap between your wife and husband and from that you can choose between being a male or female character. Although not much was shown, from what we did see the customer creation looks quite extensive and a great step up from in previous games. Vault-Tec, Sugar Bombs and Nuka Cola, all which were seen in the previous games, are referenced straight away as the player opens the fridge for a fresh, ice cold bottle of the latter.

I’m so pleased we’re going to get to see the environment before the bombs drop, being able to experience gameplay in that situation is something I’ve wanted from the Fallout series since I first played it. A Vault-Tec employee knocks on the door to offer you access to the vault, which is 111 in this game as opposed to 101 in Fallout 3.

fallout_4_e3_2015_17

A Vault-Tec employee calls to secure your placement in Vault 111.

From the get go the voice acting is amazing, on a total different level from Fallout 3, with over 13,000 lines of dialogue recorded for each male and female protagonists, resulting in 26,000 lines recorded and that’s just for your main character. It’s crazy considering you didn’t speak a word in Fallout 3.

Breaking news reports on the TV, commenting on how the bomb will be dropping imminently. You and your family then rush off to your secured vault and then… It happens. You reportedly survive the blast and get lowered into the vault, susceptibly before any real damage occurs. You then emerge 200 years later as the sole survivor from vault 111, no details have been revealed on how or why but my guess is the player being cryogenically frozen, or something similar at least.

fallout_4_e3_2015_20

The lighting is stunning and the environments looks a lot more in depth compared to it’s predecessors.

It’s such an Enormous dynamic world, create who you want, go where you want and it all just looks beautiful. Full psychical based rendering, full volumetric lighting and I can’t emphasise just how good it looks. Even better than the reveal trailer. Any concerns people had about the graphics have instantly vanished.

You then meet Codsworth, which was your robot assistance that resided with you before the bomb dropped, the two of you once again become accustomed in your neighbourhood that has been totally destroyed. Humour is passed on between both characters and the voice acting totally shines, I’m left laughing out loud by the comradery both characters exchange. Something that hasn’t ever really been shown in previous games. It’s a great addition to the game and the facial animation is fantastic.

fallout_4_e3_2015_3

A conversation with Codsworth is a lot different in Fallout 4 with a totally revamped dialogue system.

Dialogue is fully dynamic meaning you can react how you want, walk away while talking or even “shoot them in the face mid conversation” as Howard chuckles away to while telling us. You can give the dog commands as well by simply pointing and clicking in the environment. I can’t get over how good this game looks. It’s just crazy.

Weather effects are shown with thick green fogs covering the landscape and violent thunderstorms brewing in the distance. After all that, Howard then states “And now to the cool stuff”as if we haven’t heard or seen enough. I already want to kiss the bloke and he’s not even finished yet.

fallout_4_e3_2015_22

So happy with see weather affects playing a big part in Fallout 4.

We’re then given an intro to the new Pipboy. Featuring a digital animated vault boy, the animations on screen totally come to life, as opposed to it’s static predecessor. It also features a reworked and layered armour system, video game tapes that you can actually play from your pip boy – paying homage to classics like donkey kong and missile command, with a Fallout spin. You can also view weapons in 3D, rotating to see all angles of your new and shiny killing machine.

And… Oh. My. God. Something that I really couldn’t believe. A psychical Pip boy comes as part of the deluxe edition… and that’s not all, it’s wearable and you can be combined with your smart phone, from there you are then able to download an app so that you can use your real life pip boy as a second screen while playing the game. You can actually wear and use the Pip boy on your wrist while playing the game! Madness!

fallout_4_e3_2015_15

The PipBoy that is available as part of the Fallout 4 limited deluxe edition.

As far as stupid gimmicks go, this is the best fucking one I’ve ever seen

– Todd Howard (In relation to the IRL Pipboy, shown above.)

Back when the iphone came out Bethesda fell in love with it and along with creating Fallout they also developed a mobile game which was said to be perfect for touch screen – That game is Fallout Shelter, available for iOS right now (Sadly not for Android).

In Fallout Shelter You get to make create your own vault, you are the overseer, controlling everything in this God sim like game. Inspiration for this game has clearly been taken from X-com, Sim City and XTL. Vault dwellers can be levelled up, items and weapons to be bought and you can send them off into the wasteland to secure resources.

Screenshot_376

The newly released mobile Fallout game, Fallout Shelter – Out Now for iOS.

Howard tells us that the game is Inspired by an odd RPG called project quest. You are able to control resources, food, water, power all within lots of different rooms. You can also build up your vault dwellers stats in which you will be rewarded with lunch boxes full of loot. Accidents can also happen, fires break out and raiders can attack.

Fallout-Shelter-Bethesda-E3-2015-Stream-03-1280x720

Another example of the game running on iPhone.

You can also reproduce in order to get new vault dwellers. It looks amazing and is sure to tie us over until November. The game is free and doesn’t contains no in app pay timers. My god, I could kiss Todd Howard and all of the Bethesda team working on Fallout right now.

Then we are shown the structure building mechanics. Where you can actually build your own settlement! Wow can this game get any better!? Yes! Yes it can! You can build your own structures, bases, houses; whatever you want to call them, use pieces of scrap found amongst the wasteland to build them in real time, literally build your own shack from the ground up with items you scavenge from the wasteland. It looks fantastic!

fallout_4_e3_2015_1

Behemoths are also back for Fallout 4 – looking better than ever.

You are able to decorate your camp any way you want. As your settlement grows people will arrive, you can plant food, create water supplies and power generators, allowing you to create power grids with terminals. It’s like bloody Little Big Planet/Minecraft, but in Fallout.

With this you can set up defence mechanisms like turrets as your settlements will and can get attacked by Raiders. Run Brahmin caravans between settlements to more than likely increase resources between your bases. Its absolutely mental. Its like a combination of The Sims and LBP, but in Fallout!

The game can obviously be played in 3rd and 1st person. The VATS system has been reworked and the way the enemies take damage and literally explode into pieces looks incredible. The reworked VATS system is shown off against another brilliant sound track, harking back to the 1950’s soundtrack that was one of the best components in Fallout 3.

fallout_4_e3_2015_13

Total power armour customisation is present in Fallout 4.

The power armour looks crazy, all totally customisable and in some forms resembles something similar to mech robots. Deathclaws are still terrifying as ever and the protagonist is shown going up against one. You can also call in Vertibirds and use them to attack opponents on the ground, while flying over the waste lands. Power armour jetpacks are also seen in trailer.

fallout_4_e3_2015_11

Weapon customisation looks incredible. Very detailed and extensive.

This crafting system also lets you build your own custom weapons. Literally gather items to build attachments for weapons, which you are then able to combine to create totally unique weapons. Over 50 base weapons are available from the get go and these feature 700 available modification. From the video a laser pistol is literally able to be modded and turned into something completely new. The weapon customization is just so extensive, it’s absolutely mind blowing. This combined with being able to modify your power srmour and settlement. Holy Mother of God!

fallout_4_e3_2015_24

Yao Guai’s are back and looking scarier than ever.

Then the date of November 10th 2015 is given. Wow. Honestly it just felt so surreal sat watching that. It was honestly the best showcase for a game at E3 I’ve ever seen. Man, Todd Howard knows how to make a game and give a demo. I really can’t believe it. I’m shocked at how spoilt we’ve been.

I really can’t see how that can be topped. The rest of E3 may aswell just pack up and go home now. That was so worth staying up for. What a way to kick off E3. This has to be Game of the Show for sure!

/ CR

Update: While writing this the Fallout 4 Pipboy edition went live to pre-order with Game.co.uk The traffic to the site was super crazy but I managed to get through and pre-order this bad boy. So happy!

CHi3EcOWEAAJKx6

Also been invited to join the Fallout 4 Vault Club, which gives you access to lots of exclusive updates and additions for fallout fans. I can’t wait.

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 14.33.22

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 14.57.24

War… War Never Changes.

Wednesday just didn’t seem real to me. When the announcement was made and the count down released I completely lost it. It was finally happening. I’d waited so long for this, and what a trailer it was as well! We were totally spoilt. I honestly thought we would have gotten an image of the logo and maybe a slow pan of that at most – Boy was I wrong. I think I kept my browser open for the majority of the countdown. This was a great move I thought, allowing the hype to build and expectation rise. Which totally paid off when the trailer dropped.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 14.03.28

Literally just over an hour into the countdown and I couldn’t contain my excitement.

I appreciated the honesty of the reveal, because this is the way the final game is going to look, they could have shown us a high rendered trailer that wouldn’t of been anywhere near the likes of what we were going to get in the final release – similar to what a lot of games have done in the last year or so, resulting in a huge graphical downgrade *cough* Watchdogs *cough*.

All of the trailer was created using in game assets, so what we see is more than likely what we’ll get. I didn’t expect a Fallout game to be so colourful either, the environments and visuals looked so vivid and completely popped as opposed to it’s predecessor that consisted of a grayscale with washes of green and blue.

Fallout4_Trailer_Handy_1433355596

It was great to see events before the destruction, I’d love to get to experience what the world was like as an introduction to the game.

I’d like to talk about the trailer for a minute, some good, some bad. There has been a ton of controversy surrounding it and a lot of people are being very negative about the way the game looks visually. Fair enough, it isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing, but that’s not where Bethesda really shines.

The mechanics did seem a little off at first, the way the dog conveyed it’s movements within it’s animations – it all seemed a little sloppy and clunky, it didn’t seem to move naturally within the environment. This is similar to what we may have seen in the likes of Fallout 3 so I can understand people complaining about that aspect.

The models weren’t the best looking and the baby on the bed doesn’t look as natural to me as it may do in other games, to be frank I first thought they were picking a doll out of it’s crib and not a baby.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 14.23.48

Some of the character models do seem a little rigid, hopefully we’ll be able to take a closer look at E3 to see if this concern is rectified. 

But this is Bethesda, their distinctive graphical style is noticed straight away across the likes of the elder scrolls series and fallout. They proudly showcased the jankyness of Fallout in all it’s glory, that weirdness has always been there. The strange reaction you have with some NPC’s as a user.

I mean, imagine what Fallout 3 would have been like without Vats, the game would have been borderline unplayable, especially in the gun mechanic department. I’m not entirely sure what people were expecting? Personally I feel like the game looks a lot better than I thought it was going too. But high fidelity graphics are not the main reason I played, or am going to be playing Fallout for, although personally I think they done a good job.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 14.16.03

Fallout 4 looks to expand on the towns and cities it . It looks as though the communities and urban areas are going to be a lot larger in this instalment.

The gameplay itself was the reason why I fell in love with the Fallout series – exploring the setting, interacting with the eccentric characters that roam the wasteland and getting lost in the post apocalyptic surroundings. I didn’t ever expect to go to Fallout for the graphics, animations and mechanics. It something that it’s always kind of stuttered with.

Fallout4_Trailer_City_1433355574

The way colour and lighting is used throughout the trailer really reminded me of Bioshock in some places, specifically in the image above.

Did people really think Bethesda were going to emphasise the way the game looked after never doing that in the past with the likes of Fallout and their elder scrolls series? those games have always been clunky. It’s not like Fallout 3 was a pretty game and it seems there’s a lot of hyperbole about this game, people are already saying it looks like Fallout 3.

I feel like a lot of people who are saying that couldn’t have possibly played Fallout 3 or New Vegas, If you think that this trailer looks like fallout 3 I advise you to pop the game back into your machine, take a quick gander at it, then re-watch the reveal. The beauty of this trailer is that it’s all in game, it isn’t pre-rendered at all.

Fallout4_Trailer_Wasteland_1433355638

The lighting effects look absolutely stunning. Hopefully we’ll see live weather effects in Fallout 4.

Fallout has never been a game that has ever cut to insanely beautiful cut scenes, everything has always used in game assets to replicate the story and to present the goings on throughout your journey. Personally I was surprised by the negativity, considering how long we’ve been waiting for the game – which is approaching a decade.

I want a pretty game, but I’d rather a game that is fun, interesting and sucks me in – wouldn’t you agree? I want to get lost in that world, not hung up on what things look like, sure I don’t want it to look awful. But it hasn’t kicked that much of a fuss up with me from what I’ve seen so far. 

Fallout4_Trailer_Stadium_1433355624

What seems to be some kind of fort containing a lick of green paint is guarded by raiders of the wasteland.

Speaking out of total speculation, it looks like we may get to see the world of Fallout before it went to pot, although I don’t think this setting will play a key role in the game. It’d be great to at least see a portion of the setting and experience the game before the bomb inevitably drops, similar to how the introduction played out in fallout 3, where you started as a baby and progressed in age until you were cast out of Vault 101 onto the open plains of the wasteland.

We know very little about the game, no features have been confirmed as of yet, we don’t know anything about the characters we can see within the clip and nothing has yet been revealed. There’s a lot of familiar monsters such as what looks like a Deathclaw and ghouls, there’s also Airships and the iconically recognised Brotherhood of Steel. Bobble heads, Nuka-Cola and other familiar brands are still scattered about the wasteland.

Fallout4_Trailer_Deathclaw_1433355581

A Death Claw roams the plains for it’s next victim. Argghhh, Death Claws!!

I was quite surprised of how much of it we got to see, especially compared to the kind of reveal trailers that released when Fallout 3 and New Vegas came. Obviously a whole ton of content will be showcased at the E3 press conference. This is going to be a significant game, what we’re going to find out at E3 is presumably when the game is released.

I suspect we’ll see full gameplay and I still have a strong feeling the release date will be imminent and we’ll be playing the game before the year is out. I think Definitively they will have to have a date reveal at the show, my assumption is that they’ll either have a specific date in 2015 if not then a suspected quarter within 2016.

Fallout4_Trailer_Protectron_1433355614

We see a return of many familiar faces – Human, Monster and Robotic. Although they look such much better at next gen.

So the speculation of Fallout 4 coming to the previous generation (PS3/360) is untrue. Which is a great decision from Bethesda, from my point of view. I know a lot of people haven’t made the transition yet, but if a game is being developed solely for next-gen the developers are then able to harness the power of the new machines and aren’t held back by the old consoles, quite frankly if you are that serious about gaming I can’t understand why you’d haven’t made the jump yet.

A few people are confused as to why Bethesda have chosen to open their mouths about the game just a few weeks before E3. Pete Hines is the head of marketing PR at Bethesda and seem like a very smart guy. He and his team would have realised the chance of this game leaking prior to E3 would have been very strong.

Fallout4_Trailer_Highway_1433355605

A Dog roams the shadows in this brilliantly lit underpass. I really can’t understand the negativity around the visuals of this game.

Announcing Fallout 4 not only allowed Bethesda to own the day, have video game sites go nuts about them, trend on twitter world wide and have their official announcement trailer reach nearly 10 million views in it’s first day, but it created a such a buzz within the gaming community that nearly everyone is going into the expo talking about it beforehand.

I have very high expectations for this game. I seriously cannot wait to see more of it. I can’t wait to step out of Vault 111 and experience this world once again. A few of you may remember the article I wrote about re-visiting Fallout 3 and just how much that game meant to me. It seems like 2015 is shaping up to be one of the finest years for entertainment, especially for me personally.

Fallout4_Trailer_Vault_1433355629

Vault 101 is a distant memory now as we began out new journey from Vault 111.

Most of the films I grew up with are either being reissued or sequels to those series’ are being released – Mad Max, Jurassic World, Terminator: Genisys and not to forget Star Wars, as well as an announcement of a new Ghostbusters. Not only does it feel like one of the best years for films but for games too – Star Wars: Battlefront, Metal Gear Solid V, Fallout 4 and E3 is still around the corner.

Fallout4_Trailer_End_1433355589

“Lets go, pal”.. Did anyone feel a similar vibe to the Star Wars Ep 7 trailer at this point?

I personally can’t think of a better year, that has appealed to me more, for both mediums. And it’s even better to know the majority of the above is still all to come. So bring on E3 I say and lets potentially see what the rest of this year has in store.

/ CR