Ben's Week In Review: February 8
Not much longer before I'm playing The Order: 1886! 'crosses fingers'
BioWare is right
I mean, in regards to their analysis as to why Dragon Age: Inquisition met with such widespread acclaim.
The game isn't perfect but the bottom line is that it's an example of a developer listening to fans and producing what we all wanted with Dragon Age II. It's a combination of righting past wrongs and building on consumer feedback; it's a blend of returning to a developer's successful roots and embracing modern-day trends (in this case, an open-world format). That's why Inquisition has earned countless accolades, including Game of the Year at this past week's D.I.C.E. Awards and here at PSXE (winning multiple end-of-year awards). Some were disappointed in that the game didn't have a strong enough set of characters and there were too many fetch quests, but the bottom line is that BioWare listened.
In an industry and especially in a genre where fans are particularly passionate and vocal, this is critical. BioWare gave us what we wanted and that's that. Could it have been better? Sure. But we're willing to overlook such drawbacks for the simple fact that all strides taken appear to be forward. As for the fetch quests, if you're not a fan, you love what CD Projekt Red said this past week...looks like we won't have many such missions in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Speaking of which, I think Sledgehammer deserves a bit more credit
Now, many were quick to laugh at Sledgehammer boss Glen Schofield's Twitter statement pertaining to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare not winning any D.I.C.E. awards. They basically say CoD is a decent game but not worthy of industry-wide accolades. But I'm not so sure.
The game was a definite step in the right direction and again, there was a lot of evidence of designers listening to gamers. Besides, after years of complaints, you'd think gamers would be at least somewhat appreciative of the effort, rather than resorting to the "meh, it's just another shooter" argument. Then again, I've long since concluded that unfortunately, gamers are often some of the most entitled, spoiled, egotistical individuals on the planet, and that often comes through in such situations. I really don't think Activision or any CoD developer could satisfy such people; it doesn't matter what Treyarch does this year, does it? The entire franchise has already been written off by so many.
And despite all that, Sledgehammer Games did a damn good job with Advanced Warfare. At the very least, gamers could acknowledge this, and I do think the game was worthy of at least one of those D.I.C.E. awards.
Personal gaming update
I'm not going to play any more of Dying Light as it's just not refined enough or entertaining enough to hold my attention. I'm pretty much done playing around with Super Mega Baseball and Grim Fandango Remastered, too, so it's back to Assassin's Creed Unity and Grand Theft Auto V, two games that will occupy most of my time for the next few months (especially GTAV). The Order: 1886 will interrupt me for a while but as a linear adventure, I'm sure it won't take more than 15 hours or so. I'm really hoping that one turns out to be a gem, mostly because PlayStation 4 really needs a top-tier AAA exclusive, but also because I could use a great linear quest. These open-world games are really starting to wear on me.
I'm also mildly interested in Evolve, which I suppose could end up surprising a lot of people. I really hated the Left 4 Dead games, though, so Turtle Rock doesn't exactly have my confidence. We'll see.
2/7/2015 Ben Dutka