Ben's Week In Review: November 15
Another ridiculously busy week but at least now, there isn't much left for 2015.
The Witcher 3 as GotY? Raises another important question
Firstly, as most of you know, I love The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Despite the fact that it received a sub-9 score, it's undeniably my favorite game of 2015. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is second on the list and Assassin's Creed Syndicate is right behind. And it's important to note that the Hearts of Stone expansion for The Witcher 3 got a review score that reflected the huge strides that game took since May.
However, I'm not sure I agree with the idea of The Witcher 3 as a true GotY candidate. When I saw that it led the Game Awards 2015 nominations, I came to only one conclusion: Either the jury flat-out ignored the insane amount of bugs and technical problems CD Projekt Red's game had upon launch, or they're saying that because those issues were fixed within the same calendar year, the title deserves all those nods. The latter is a possible theory: It's still 2015 and as the team made The Witcher 3 a lot better, perhaps we should view the product as it stands when the year is out. On the other hand, I still say this is like giving a pass to the team that produced a shoddy product. And there's really no better descriptive word for that game when it first released.
I'm no stickler when it comes to minor issues, either. So it says something when I have to drop a score significantly because the game is such a mess. Yeah, I think it's better than Batman: Arkham Knight and even a little better than Bloodborne, but the latter games were perfectly rock solid. As was MGSV and, believe it or not, Syndicate. So, shouldn't that mean something?
I like Bethesda's approach to DLC for Fallout 4
While I don't care for the game myself, I know millions do and they're going to be very interested in any extra content that arrives for it. And I like what the developers are doing: They want to see what the fans want before deciding on expansion content for Fallout 4. Unfortunately, that does mean they can't tell us what's included in that $30 Season Pass - which could make for a difficult sale when the consumer has no idea what he's buying - but it's the right thing to do. In the long run, I think you'll generate more interest in that DLC because you got that feedback. On top of which, it effectively eliminates all the conspiracy theories about Bethesda holding content back to sell it as DLC. If they're waiting to see what players want, they couldn't possibly have created anything yet, right? Hence, it couldn't have been included in the main game. It's not only good for gamers, it's also a shrewd move, in my opinion.
I've said it before but no, I don't believe most developers "hold back content" that could've been included in the original game. The instant that whole Capcom fiasco happened, the community went overboard as they always do and simply assumed that all developers were doing the same thing. Yeah, well, they're not. If you actually follow some studios closely, you'll see that employees are working that much harder and that much longer to deliver this extra content. And they used to get a lot of time off after launching a new game...not so much, anymore. So stop with the accusations; they don't appreciate the unwarranted abuse.
Personal gaming update
As you all know by now, Fallout 4 isn't for me. Still a great game, though, and I think I've thoroughly explained why a game can still get a 9 even if I don't like it (and it's really not a complicated concept). I also played enough of Call of Duty: Black Ops III and I'm pretty much done with it. I usually only play through the campaigns and do enough of the multiplayer to write up a review, and then I move on. So, it's back to Syndicate for a brief time until I dive into Star Wars: Battlefront this week. I played the beta, which wasn't bad but a little bare-bones, and I'm pretty sure I know what to expect from the final product. Then, I have to deal with Just Cause 3 and Rainbow Six Siege in December.
Not quite done with the blitz yet...
11/14/2015 Ben Dutka