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.

EGX 2015 – Saturday: Need for Speed, Shuhei Yoshida, Naughty Dog and More

This morning went along the same lines as yesterday, except this time it paid off. As soon as it hit 10am the gates opened and we shuffled forward like a heard of cattle out of the waiting hall, once we finally reached the main entrance of the show floor everyone quickly became 100 metre sprinters and pushed their way to the game they wanted to play most.

File 26-09-2015, 22 07 25

The Tatooine Survival level – playable at EGX.

Considering my first destination yesterday was for the 40 player Hoth Multiplayer Map battle on Star Wars Battlefront, I thought the wise choice would be to head straight for the survival game on Tatooine, hoping this time I’d be able to avoid the queues and today it paid off, unlike yesterday.

We got on the game within about 20 minutes and the queue behind us soon looked to be never-ending. I really enjoyed this game mode, it was offline split screen and proved to be a lot of fun and it seemed as thought it would definitely appeal to those who didn’t care much for the Online aspect of the game.

File 26-09-2015, 22 09 02

This showed off the offline portion of the game, I can see it being a lot of fun for couch co-op folk.

Once we’d finished the game we headed on over to the Need for Speed booth. The game looked great, but didn’t look as good as what I’d seen in the gameplay reveals earlier in the year. It was still a lot of fun. The game we played was a rep attack which pitted eight players against each other, we had to score as many points as we could by drifting, near missing, racing into oncoming traffic etc. the winner of the match up won a free t-shirt – sadly it wasn’t me.

File 26-09-2015, 22 10 33

The Need for Speed setup showed off this amazing Nissan Skyline.

From there we began to queue for the 20 Years of Play developer Sessions given by Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios for Sony Computer Entertainment. He’s been there since PlayStation started and has played a huge role in making it what it is today, which is dearly beloved by many.

File 26-09-2015, 22 11 47

A fantastic insight into PlayStations last 20 years.

He was also involved in some amazing titles such as Crash Bandicoot, Wipeout, Ape Escape, Twisted Metal and many more. We managed to get to the queue point one hour and a half early, thankfully done so as the session soon filled up and those hoping to attend by just turning up at 12pm when it was due to start were bitterly disappointed. The talk was absolutely fantastic and quite inspiring, hearing an insight into the last 20 years of Playstation, from the man himself was something special.

File 26-09-2015, 22 13 26

The man himself – Shuhei Yoshida.

Before the session, the guys from GeekSleepRinseRepeat.com managed to spot the bright red shirts and we got together for a picture after the developer session. GSRR focuses on all aspects of geek culture, not just gaming but films, TV, Comics, Sport and more. They really do put a lot of work into the site and are two really great lads, so go and check out their site.

File 26-09-2015, 22 14 45

Myself and the guys from Geek. Sleep. Rinse. Repeat.

Afterwards I fancied my chances on Destiny: The Taken King. I’ve given Destiny a bad rap in the past, it’s not that I don’t like the game, but that It could have been so much more. The Taken King looks a lot more appealing and from what I played of the game at EGX, it’s made me want to open the doors back upon Destiny.

File 26-09-2015, 22 17 23

Destiny: The Taken King actually looks pretty good, considering my original feelings on the series. I’ll be sure to check it out once I’m home.

I also played a crucible match up and the winning team took away a free t-shirt, £5 voucher and blacksmith shader code. The game was an intense and very close rift battle, our team just managed to edge it towards the end and took home the prize.

File 26-09-2015, 22 18 27

Taking home the prize – My goodies from being part of the winning team on crucible.

I luckily managed to notice the Uncharted Collection, which was tucked away around from Destiny, I was very surprised to see how good it looked running on PS4. I was also pleased to hear that it didn’t contain any multiplayer, as I’ve always thought the Uncharted series hasn’t needed it, the single player can easily stand on it’s own, ten times over.

File 26-09-2015, 22 19 19

The Uncharted collection looked beautiful on PS4.

As the end of the day neared we decided to head back over to the developer sessions theatre where we were able to attended a talk with Arne Meyer of Naughty Dog. Arne gave a talk on “Uncharted Retrospective – Greatness from Small Beginnings” in which he was able to share anecdotes from a decade of development of the Uncharted series – in which he revealed why it actually took 2 years to create the infamous train level in Uncharted 2 and how the desert scene in Uncharted 3 only took 2 weeks to create. It was an exceptional session and it was brilliant to get to hear a little behind such a huge game series.

File 26-09-2015, 22 22 15

EGX Developer Session with Naughty Dog’s Arne Meyer.

Tomorrow I’ll hopefully manage to get to play and let you guys know about The Division, so don’t forget to come back tomorrow to read all about that.

/ CR

My Most Anticipated Games of 2015

Well it seems that this year is set to be a brilliant one for Video games. A lot of fantastic titles are set to release within the next twelve months and I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about some many new and upcoming releases. So without further ado I’d like to list my most anticipated titles of 2015.

Due to there been so many games I’m going to pick my top five rather than try to list every one. Again this has seemed harder than I first thought due to the sheer number on my wish list for this year. As of now some of the games in my list may have been more anticipated than others at one point, but at this current date, my most wanted is as these top five stand

I don’t want to go into too much details about the games themselves, if you’re looking for info on them it’s probably best to read up on them after reading this blog. This is just my thoughts and reasons why they are MY most anticipated of the year. Hopefully I can keep it short and sweet.. (or not).

aefjbmp

#5  Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End


Ahh, Uncharted 4, back to the life of Nathan Drake. Uncharted: Drake Fortune was one of the best games I’ve ever played and got even better in Uncharted 2. The flow and of the story as well as the game its self is down right fun, the adventures you get sent on are always unforgettable and the action feels non stop. The pace of the games are incredible, it never seems to feel stale or boring, tying in puzzle segments and cinematic story events with cornered down dog fights. So another Uncharted title is always going to be on my list.

I love what I’ve seen of it so far and Drake and the game itself seem to take on a much darker and less humorous role as Drake takes on, more than likely his last adventure. I think this is a great turn for the series and hopefully we do see Drake take on a much more sinister role as opposed to his goofy persona shown in previous titles.

Water_street_view_web_100155

#4  Tom Clancy’s: The Division


When this game was shown during Ubisoft’s E3 2013 press conference, it instantly became my most anticipated title on the next generation consoles. Since then a few more titles have taken my fancy and not much more has been shown about The Division, but it’s sure to shoot right back up my list once hype starts building again.

Traversing a disease ridden run down New York City with all of my friends in the open world third-person shooter, going against other teams of people playing online, really appeals to me. I can’t wait to see how this role-playing survival MMOG pans out. Hopefully it’s what I’m expecting and have envisioned in my mind. I’d like to see them put a lot of focus into the survival element of the game.

Having to scavenge for food, medical supplies, ammo etc. is something I’d like to see featured hugely in the game. If you were running around like a force to be reckoned with then what would the point of the survival element be? If I have to get through a bullet riddled war zone full of nasty surprises for a half an eaten chicken bone, just to keep my health up.. then please, sign me up. Fingers crossed Ubisoft execute this in an appealing way.

neweridu

#3  No Mans Sky


I’ve followed Hello Games since the start of the company back in 2009. I absolutely loved Joe Danger, the art style being somewhat of the main thing that drew me in. And since the first showing of No Man’s Sky the games industry were left picking their jaws off the ground, what’s not to love about the procedurally generated open universe that Sean Murray and the team are in the process of creating. The Art direction again is something that has just left me blown away.

Seeing a planet sat on the edge of the horizon and knowing you can jump in your spaceship and head straight for it, explore it and find what hidden wonder it may hold all at my own pace. Potentially has the biggest world/universe to ever appear in a game, but also holding similarities to Journey – in the sense that you don’t really know what to expect and the beautiful environments in the game. This is what games should be about, creating something new and exciting rather than regurgitating the same thing every year *cough* COD *cough*.

521030

Discover all sorts of different creatures and planets

I love the imagination and creativity that Murray oozes, when listening to him speak in interviews you can see the passion he holds for this title. With players being free to explore and upgrade their character and it’s starship in a never-ending universe that begs to be explored how could you turn up your nose at this one.

R2MvQxc

#2  Star Wars: Battlefront


The nostalgia feels in this one is what shoots this right into the top-tier of my list. The Battlefront series is something that is very dear to me. I have a lot of very fond memories of playing hours on end with friends over local co-op against a series of bots. In them days, when online multiplayer was very rarely heard of that’s all you had. Personally I never had the chance to connect my PS2 to the internet and neither did I have any friends who’d done so either, so this was the best you could get and boy was it great!

It’s had a bumpy ride so far. After seeing the game being rumoured for years, it was finally announced before the door was slammed shut on any info once again. Then rumours came about that it’d be an MMO, then again another change of design and now it’s in DICE’s hands, personally, I think, looking better than ever after seeing the current in game engine being shown in the video below.

Early in game engine footage of BF:III

I really hope that the guys at DICE take their time with this latest instalment. I really do hope it’s not just a re-skin of battlefield with a star wars paint job. I’d love nothing more than to relive those infamous battles I had with my friends way back when, but this time at 1080p, at hopefully a locked 60fps and all online… *Begins to Drool*.

025

#1  Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain


It seems that Hideo Kojima may have done it again. Now I don’t know if this is due to the nostalgic feels or down to the love I have for the Metal Gear Solid series and the legend that is Hideo Kojima but The Phantom Pain has had me hooked since seeing that breathtaking open world gameplay at E3 2013. Personally I think Metal Gear Solid is like a fine wine, it just gets better with age. Going from a side scroller, Metal Gear, to a living, breathing open world in MGS V. The story in itself is one of the best I’ve ever been part of and I always love finding out more about the characters and story of Metal Gear.

The Phantom Pain gameplay demo – Breathtaking. 

Ground Zeros just wet my appetite even more, I’ve sunk so many hours into that game and Kojima promises that The Phantom Pain will be 200 times bigger than GZ’s. Each time more information or a new trailer is shown I can’t explain the feeling it gives me. The latest trailer showcasing Metal Gear Online also seems to give the game even more of a reason to pick up.

MGSV-The-Phantom-Pain-E3-2014-Screen-Village

Choose the way you want to play – All guns blazing or stick to the shadows.

I think if you haven’t even delved into the series, firstly where on earth have you been hiding? secondly, do not miss this game! It starts earlier in the timeline so don’t worry about knowing too much of the story. The MGS series is something that you can play over and over at any part of the story and still find out new things you missed first time round.


So, that’s my most anticipated list of 2015. It was a tight one and may even change depending on what this year brings. A few titles that didn’t make the list but I still can’t wait for are The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Blood borne, Rainbow: Siege, Ratchet & Clank, The Elder Scrolls online, The Order: 1886, Evolve, Dying Light, Dead Island 2, Batman: Arkham Knight, Tearaway and many more. I really could be here all day. 2015 really is shaping up to be an amazing one.

/ CR