Ben's Week In Review: June 28
Post-E3 and I'm started to see things in a slightly different light. More on that below but first:
You have to applaud Bethesda's decision to reboot Doom 4
I was disappointed when I learned that Doom 4 had been scrapped, and I was hesitant about the new reboot because I had the sneaking suspicion it would take a very long time. New Doom entries don't exactly come out every year.
But when I heard the reasons behind the reboot, I was not only cheered, I was also respectful of the decision. Basically, what they're saying is that Doom 4 was shaping up to be too much like Call of Duty or Battlefield; simply too much like all the other shooters in existence today. On top of which, they acknowledged this shift as a negative thing, as moving away from the core of the franchise. So, they started over to retain that all-important core and make it a Doom game that fans will undoubtedly enjoy and appreciate. I just wonder why more developers can't take this approach. Isn't it only logical?
You just have to stand up and applaud when a designer says, "hmm, maybe my shooter shouldn't play exactly like Call of Duty, especially when I've got a franchise people have loved for very different reasons." That's why I'm excited for Doom and I hope other teams take a page from the developers' playbook.
My hopes are high but I still have lots of questions about Horizon: Zero Dawn
The gameplay Guerrilla showed off during Sony's E3 conference was fantastic and I love the vibe. That being said, I still think we need to see and hear a lot more before we get an accurate picture of what this game will be like.
First, they say it'll be "'comparable' to other open-world games" in terms of size. But you know, that doesn't tell me much. Because just about every new game these days is open-world, there's a lot more variety in that particular structure than ever; there's a big difference between The Witcher 3's open world and the one in Batman: Arkham Knight, for example. It all depends on how that world is presented, how we travel through it, how the story is woven in, etc. And how we play these games can be drastically different; you don't play inFamous: Second Son and Watch Dogs the same way at all, right? So, what to expect in Horizon?
I just hope the mechanics end up matching the incredible technicals. I'll be very disappointed if the game looks incredible but falls shy on the gameplay side.
Personal gaming update
I'm sort of in open-world overload right now (a position in which I'm afraid I'll find myself permanently in the future), but it's hard to complain when the two games are The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and the recently released - and wonderful - Batman: Arkham Knight. I knew the latter would top the former in terms of technical solidarity and reliability, and while I still prefer CD Projekt Red's RPG (it's just more my style), Rocksteady are absolute rock-star developers. There's every chance that Arkham Knight will figure into the end-of-year awards for a lot of leading sources and publications, and that will be well-deserved. I just wish these developers would try something else...
Thankfully, there's really nothing coming out between now and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on September 1. At least, nothing I desperately want to play. However, that being said, I will be very interested to check out Everybody's Gone to the Rapture in August. Looks very promising and cerebral.
One last thing: I'm starting to think we'll never see that Final Fantasy VII Remake. For a lot of reasons, I have a feeling that announcement was more about PR than anything else; Square Enix has proven that they're simply one giant mess when it comes to internal development. The Final Fantasy Versus XIII/Final Fantasy XV saga should be proof enough. 'sigh'
6/27/2015 Ben Dutka