Ben's Week In Review: August 30
Typically, the great games don't really start to flow until October, but it looks like we might have three as of September 1. Hope you've got some free time on your hands. ;)
Well, if MGSV was anything less than amazing, we'd all be shocked, right?
The accolades have been pouring in over the past week. It started with a few perfect scores from major sources, and then escalated as more reviews lauded the game to high heaven. The game has actually maintained that super high Metacritic average even after 24 counted reviews, which is pretty damn impressive. Konami isn't afraid to say MGSV is a lock for Game of the Year and I'm starting to think it's true; no game in 2015 really has a legitimate shot to dethrone MGSV as the best of the best. I mean, Fallout 4 is bound to be incredible but I'm not sure it's capable of pulling down these kinds of scores, and only The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is close to that 94 (it holds a 92 average). Yeah, the new Metal Gear Solid is indeed the cream of the crop.
I think what surprises me is that for some reason, the hype didn't feel too outlandish for this entry. It's sizzling now but heading into the launch, I'm not sure enough gamers were even aware of its existence. Perhaps it's because MGS still only caters to the hardcore gamer and the casuals simply don't care (and have never cared)? I haven't seen any commercials for it yet, that's for sure. But an extremely well-reviewed title has a way of fueling general word-of-mouth, so...
A few fun, quirky, innovative games to keep an eye on
This week, we saw several new game announcements and while they're of the smaller variety, I think they're all worth following. Siralim is for those who remember the really old-school role-playing days, and are admitted stat whores. It looks like a fantastic throwback that blends old-fashioned appeal with more modern depth and really, it could be a nostalgic-laden blast. Then there's Thief Town which features an extremely simple premise, but one that might just captivate a roomful of people. This could be an excellent party game that will get everyone laughing and hey, local co-op should be supported, anyway. Lastly, I really like the ambitious This War of Mine: The Little Ones, which will task us with caring for both adults and children in a war-torn environment. The decisions we'll be forced to make should take on a whole new dynamic, given the situation and characters.
We shouldn't forget that there are lots of great games out there, and not all of them are super huge blockbusters. And it's that much easier to forget when massive games like MGSV and Mad Max are looming large on the horizon.
Personal gaming update
I really hope I have time to go through Until Dawn again because it's just such a great experience. I almost want to keep playing it instead of focusing all my attention on next week's two huge titles. As I said earlier, I think Supermassive's quality game is in danger of getting a bad rap, simply because of the way many perceive it. I saw two people laughing about it in GameStop the other day; they obviously hadn't played it but they'd "heard" that it was just a stupid teen slasher game that plays like a movie. This is the problem. Most who haven't played it believe this because they read the description somewhere and basically dismissed it out of hand, for the reasons I stated in my editorial. It's also too bad that Sony once again refuses to promote one of their first-party titles. Maybe if they promoted it more, they could clear up these misconceptions...?
At any rate, I'm sure I'll have plenty to do through September. It's actually good that nothing too pressing launches between September 2 and the middle of October; it gives me about six weeks to get things done. And no, I'm not reviewing The Taken King expansion for Destiny. My guess is it doesn't need a review; if you're a fan of the game, you're buying it. If you're not, you're not.
8/29/2015 Ben Dutka