Tag: future

Destiny 2, and the Fall of Bungie

Destiny 2, and the Fall of Bungie

Introduction

I remember the first time I came across Bungie. It was many years ago when I found  Halo 2 at garage sale. That iconic cover art, with Master Chief holding his dual-wielding SMGs with burning city behind him and the Halo 2 title above him. It lured me into the franchise, and I fell in love with it after the first shootout. While it’s first-person shooter mechanics were amazing and revolutionary for the time, the main thing I quickly became a huge fan of was the story. This series is very famous for it’s compelling story, and rightfully so.

Right after finishing this masterpiece, I went to GameStop and bought a copy of Halo: Combat Evolved, and from then onward, I fell in love with the Halo Franchise. This series was made by developers who cared and who wanted to make a fantastic universe. Great writers, great composers, great programmers, and phenomenal artists. This company was on a highway to success, and I was proud to be a part of it. I’ve been a fan of Bungie for years, and I’ve seen them grow and develop with their titles. Then they left Microsoft, and everything changed.

When Destiny came out back in 2014, it was the first sign of trouble for Bungie. When the writer left the project early and several aspects of the story were missing. There was also the issue of there being no end game, and when they started wrapping things up with Destiny 1, there’s just no reason to continue playing. There were many problems with Destiny 1, and Destiny 2 was supposed to be the game that fixed everything. It was supposed to be the one game that made Destiny a better and brighter franchise, and it was supposed to the game that would bring everyone back.

It came out last year … and was somehow WORSE than Destiny 2. The story was worse, the writing was worse, mechanics from the first game were gone, Eververse became even more greedy than it was in D1, and much of the fantastic lore that was in D1 was practically retconned. It was a disaster, and as the DLC’s rolled out, it got worse, and worse. I’ve told you guys that I would be making my final post about Destiny 2 when the DLC II dropped, and that I would be giving my thoughts on it.

I was hoping to give you guys good news, but you and I both where this is unfortunately going. The DLC II was terrible, and Destiny 2 is no longer worth my time. I’m done with the Destiny Franchise. I’m done with Bungie, and this is my final goodbye to them.

Copy & Paste

That’s what this DLC was. It was a copy and paste of the shit that we’ve been seeing over and over again throughout the entire life cycle of Destiny 2. Same bullshit Hive that we’ve fought before, but this time, they’re covered in fucking snow. Wonderful. How original Bungie. Oh, wait hold on, there are new enemies there’s … Hive Knights that have a shield now … that you can break. Oh oh, and there’s Hive Acolytes with snipers … that are basically Hobgoblins from the Vex … oh, and … all the other “new enemies” are basically the same old Hive … just named differently.

Also, apparently this “species of Hive” is rare … and only exists on the Polar Ice Cap of Mars … for … some reason. This is never explained why. At least for not as far as I got before I gave up and deleted the game.

Another thing that’s copied & pasted is what I’d like to call “The Destiny Campaign Level Formula”, and it goes as follows. Step 1, player cut scene and briefly introduce characters and plot. Step 2, spawn player in visually breath taking environment. Step 3, when player spawns, play more dialogue that explains what the player needs to do. Step 4, after less than two minutes of walking down a boring path, introduce the players to the “new enemy” type by creating a combat scenario. Step 5, more dialogue after the combat scenario. Step 6, have the player face one/more than one big boss with many mobs the player has to defeat. Step 7, dialogue/cut scene before finishing mission. That was the entirety of the first mission, and it was fucking boring.

This has been every mission ever in every Destiny game … E V E R.

The “A C T I N G”

Sucks. It’s god awful. Whoever they hired to voice Anastasia Bray is the absolute worst at acting. She sounds like she’s fourteen using an iPhone 5 to record her lines. She doesn’t sound convincing in any words she says. The beginning part of this game actually made me quit. Nothing hooked me in. Which is the one thing you NEED to have with every story you write. You need to have a good HOOK, and Bungie, you fucked up bad on this one … again!

Zavala also is in this one … oof, his acting. His acting is similar to everyone else’s acting in the entire game … they’re all terrible. Nobody sounds convincing in any words they say or any actions they do. The only character I like (and everyone will agree) is Cayde-6. He at least sounds real in his words. The writing for his character is well done. However, everyone else sounds either cliché or forced in their dialogue.

Everything Wrong With Eververse

It’s greedy. It’s manipulative. There’s nothing more to be said. You wish to hear more about it, simply go look it up. The only real thing to discuss is the new system they added to make it more … “fair” for players who wish to play the game in order to earn rewards with paying money. I say “fair” in quotations because they can only earn one thing, once a week, and can only earn more … by spending more money. It’s fucking dumb.

Bungie Doesn’t Care Anymore

From what I’ve heard from many people still playing Destiny 2, this is just the same song and dance we’ve seen and heard before, but this time, with a different texture. At this point, I firmly believe that this company doesn’t care about Destiny, nor do they care about the fans who wanted to see this game grow and develop. It’s sad, but I’m afraid this is the reality. The Bungie I knew from my childhood would’ve NEVER allowed this kind of insanity to happen. They would’ve started from scratch again and again until they truly got it right.

I believe that many things happened after they left Microsoft. I believe several key developers left or were fired during the transition to Activision, and these new corporate folks came in and took over. When that happened, everything began on a quick and swift decline. The Destiny series went from bad to worse with Destiny 2, and instead of addressing the problem and being transparent with their consumers, Bungie continued doing sketchy stuff. Throttling XP gains, retconning the many great back stories of the Destiny Lore.

They don’t care anymore.

Goodbye

I’ve all but given up at this point. Destiny 2 has been on a slow decline ever since launch, and well deserved if you ask me. This is a complete repeat of what happened to Destiny 1, and we know what’s going to happen after DLC 2. There’s going to be a “massive DLC” that’ll “bring everybody back” and “fix everything”. I’m sorry, Bungie, but when Activision even considers you’re game a failure, I think it’s time to either start doing your job properly, or don’t do it at all. You’re running out of time, Bungie.

Gamers are moving on to bigger and better things. Warframe is a masterpiece compared to anything you’re doing, and Fortnite and PUBG have taken gaming by storm. There are better games out now. The only thing I’ll hold near and dear to my heart, is the Destiny Lore. The one thing that I loved about the series. Minus the lore of Destiny 2 … that … that lore was shit. So after giving them numerous chances, I’m finally done. This is my final goodbye to Destiny and to Bungie.

Of course, I will continue to observe this from afar and see what happens, but I will no longer interact Destiny with either of their games, because at this point, there is no longer any point to it.

Goodbye, Bungie. It was a good run, but you have truly fallen from grace.

 

 

The ESRB is Out of Touch with Reality

The ESRB is Out of Touch with Reality

Introduction

I don’t believe the ESRB realizes nor comprehends the reality of the situation they’ve recently gotten themselves into. As we speak, legislators from the United States are working with Representative Chris Lee to find a way to regulate loot boxes in video games, and the ESRB truly believes that loot boxes aren’t gambling. Also, there’s apparently “no evidence” to support the claims of loot boxes and gambling. Even though there’s mountains of evidence to prove otherwise. The many stories of kids spending thousands of dollars on in-game loot boxes, expressing the high/excitement they get from opening a box, and the insane prices weapon skins can cost.

This is the reality, ESRB. This is the truth behind loot boxes. It has affected children with addictive tendencies. It has even affected adults who have addictive personalities. This has been getting out of control since they were first discovered in the Fifa Franchise. It’s affecting the Gaming Industry in the absolute worst way possible. Loot Boxes aren’t “a fun way for people to purchase in-game items”. Loot Boxes aren’t “player choice” when they’re advertised in your face every time you get on. They are a problem, they are gambling, and they are getting worse with every game,. Something needs to change.

If the ESRB continues to ignore the problem, well, it won’t be long before Uncle Sam busts the doors down on the Gaming Industry. They’ve allowed the industry to go private for years, and now their pushing it too far. If the ESRB won’t find a solution, the Government will. Whether we want it or not. Let’s talk about this.

How are Loot Boxes a Form of Gambling?

I’ll give you an example, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. One of the more popular games know for it’s gambling practices. Weapon Skins are the main thing everyone on CSGO is buying right now. They can range anywhere from $0.01 – $60,000.00 depending on the rarity of the skin. No, that isn’t an exaggeration, that is an actual real price of a skin that was actually bought by somebody off of the Steam Community. I wish I was kidding, but this is fact. Moving on. Crates (depending on the rarity and value) can range between $1.00 – $5.00 and Keys (which you need to open the crates) range between $3.00 – $4.00. So after spending roughly $10.00 on a crate, you then have a random chance at getting a skin from the many different rarities.

The rarities include Common, Uncommon, Rare, Mythical, Legendary, Ancient, Exceedingly Rare, and Immortal. Of course, the rarer the item, the more valuable it becomes. So, yes, if I can spend real money on a Crate & Key and I get a highly rare skin from said crate, and then I can take the rare skin I got, cash it out for real money, then YES, that is considered gambling. You are paying real world money on a digital item that you then cash out for real world money. It’s no different than a slot machine.

You pay real world money to gamble on earning cash, which you then take a ticket to the counter to cash out the money you just won.

Why do we need Government Regulation?

I never wanted there to be government regulation. For the longest time, I had hoped and prayed that the Gaming Industry would learn from it’s mistakes and from all the backlash to stop these disgusting practices and find a better way. Clearly, I was a very naïve individual. At this point, I’m afraid we have no choice. When Chris Lee started this campaign against Loot Boxes, he came in with the intent to try and scare the industry into changing their ways without government intervention. Since AAA companies refuse to listen to legislators and consumers, they’re giving Chris no other option.

If we are going to see any change, the government is going to have intervene. When that day comes, I believe then (and only then) the Gaming Industry will finally realize the gravity of the situation, and change their ways for good. No matter how many times gaming companies try making excuses as to why Loot Boxes exist, the fact is games can be made without them. Monster Hunter World was released with no Loot Boxes and it’s a major success. Cup Head was released with no Loot Boxes, also a major success. It can be done, but companies are far too greedy.

Quantity over quality. They would much rather have a shit game that’ll make them more money in the long run, than a good game that’ll make them more money in the short run. That’s what this has all come down to.

In Conclusion

The Gaming Industry has only one option at this point; change your ways or the government will. We’ve given you one chance too many at this point. We’ve turned you into the $36 Billion Industry you are today, and you just want more. You couldn’t handle wanting more, and now its come to bite you in the ass. Do the right thing, ESRB. Call out Loot Boxes for what they are. PROPERLY regulate them to keep them out of the reach of children. Prove Chris Lee wrong and show him you actually care. Otherwise, well, he’ll just get them regulated himself.

Your move, ESRB.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nightdive Studios is in Trouble

Nightdive Studios is in Trouble

Introduction

I learned about System Shock after watching SomeOrdinaryGamers play the second game on YouTube. I got curious and decided to purchase System Shock 2 on Steam. It was $10 so I thought why not, and I’m so glad I bought it. It instantly had me hooked when I awoke from cryo-sleep. The graphics aren’t anything to write home about, but the bad graphics are what make this game more terrifying. It adds to the creep factor. This survival horror game helped inspire games like Bioshock, Prey, and even Deus Ex.

It has a good mix of RPG elements and horror. You’ve got skills to level up, weapons to maintain, chemicals you can study, tech you can hack, enemies you can learn about, lore you can listen to, and secret loot caches you can find. This game literally has it all, and it’s amazing what this game has to offer for being made in 1999. It was one of the greatest survival horror games of the old generation. It was right up there with Resident Evil and Silent Hill, and when news broke out about Nightdive Studios wanting to remake the first System Shock of the next generation, the internet freaked out.

Everything was going smoothly. The game had a successful Kickstarter (making over $1.3 Million), they released a pre-alpha demo of the game’s first mission which was also praised by critics and gamers, and there was a sense of trust between the developers and the gamers. However, something changed. Something that sent this Kickstarter on a collision course for disaster.

What happened?

During the development of the game, Nightdive had apparently switched the game’s engine from Unity to Unreal. This decision was believed to be the beginning of the end of this game’s development. After the switch, the game no longer had it’s classic gritty, horror atmosphere from the pre-alpha demo. The graphics were sharp and realistic, but that’s not what System Shock fans wanted. They wanted good graphics, but they wanted the atmosphere to stay true to the original. That clearly wasn’t happening, and it didn’t help when the developers weren’t really listening to the backers.

Things went from bad to worse, when the developers made clear that there would be gameplay changes that would meet the standards of gamers in today’s generation. Its more news fans didn’t want to hear, and by this point, red flags quickly began popping up left and right. All the developers were showing was concept art and screenshots, but nothing on the progress of the game’s development. Which is all the backers wanted to see, and yet their requests were left unanswered.

Finally, on February 16th, their worst fears had been realized. The developers made an update on their Kickstarter page stating that they would be taking a hiatus on the project. It was the worst news possible to hear, and now all we know is that the game is supposedly coming out this year. No month or day, just 2018. We haven’t heard anything from them since. Three backers of the campaign had spent $10,000 on this project, and had hope that this project would go great. I can only imagine just how horrible these backers feel.

Is there hope?

Yes, kind of. Do I feel like this Kickstarter campaign is worse than Mighty No. 9’s campaign? No, but it’s pretty damn close to being that bad. We’re talking about a classic survival horror game that’s cherished by many gamers, and to see it being remade in this state is just sad. Does Nightdive have a chance to recover from this? Yes, and here’s why. They did the right thing and stopped development so they could regroup, reorganize, and come back when they were ready. They admitted that they were moving away from their original plan. They took responsibility for their mistakes, and agreed that releasing the game now would be worse than delaying it until it was ready. This is something the developers of Mighty No. 9 would’ve never done.

These developers made mistakes, and thankfully, their taking full responsibility for their errors. They’re taking a break and they’ll be releasing the game when it’s ready. I continue to hope this game will succeed, but I remain cautiously optimistic. All we can do is wait and see. Please don’t screw this up, Nightdive.

Rumor: EA Might Lose Star Wars…

Rumor: EA Might Lose Star Wars…

Introduction

Well, if these rumors are found to be true, it certainly will not surprise me. According to several sources, Disney is allegedly meeting with other gaming companies like Ubisoft and Activision to give the Star Wars license to. Basically, they believe that EA will soon be losing the rights to Star Wars. This would force EA to cancel all work on any Star Wars projects they’re currently working on, and they won’t be able to make those games ever again. Which would be a pretty hard hit to EA. Not really significant, but it would most likely leave EA shaking.

Now, since these are just rumors, part of me believes it, and part of me doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I want this to happen. Electronic Arts has proven time and time again that they are incapable of being responsible with their licenses. Star Wars got a lot of backlash last year both on the game and the film. They were both equally decent in certain aspects, but they were both equally bad in others. Episode VIII wasn’t the greatest Star Wars film to date, and Battlefront 2 EA certainly didn’t help. Last year wasn’t a good year for Star Wars, and if I was Disney, I would demand that EA keeps micro-transactions out of the game to avoid any further controversy. If they refused, then I would inform them that effective immediately, they would no longer be able to produce anymore Star Wars content.

However, this is the real world. As much as I desperately want this to happen, another part of me doubts it will. Disney is a multi-billion dollar company with a market cap of $160 Billion. They make so much money that they mostly likely are allowing EA ownership of the license just because they get so much revenue through their infamous micro-transactions. Both Fifa and Madden are some of their best selling titles. Especially when it comes to their in-game purchases. So it would really surprise me if Disney told them no more Star Wars.

Let me explain my thoughts in detail.

If EA Lost Star Wars…

It would be a hard blow to EA, and would probably force the company to change their entire “Live Service” Plan. After all, their “Live Service” was the reason why Disney had to step in and demand them to temporarily disable their in-game purchases. This would also allow Disney to recover a bit of the backlash from last year. While it may piss off those who are currently dedicated to Battlefront 2 EA, it would allow other more skilled companies make a Star Wars title.

One of the many dreams of gamers is to see a Star Wars game made by Bethesda. Just the thought of it feels like the perfect game. Bethesda is one of the many gaming companies out there that respects and honors single player games. With Wolfenstein II and Evil Within 2 being successful titles last year, Bethesda would easily be a worthy candidate for the Star Wars license. There’s even CD Projekt Red. While they’ve had their little bit of controversy in previous titles, it’s nothing in comparison to the kind of hot water EA is currently in.

When it comes to their titles, not only are they absolutely breath taking, but they also having great gameplay mechanics. Good RPG elements, great combat, great stories, and again, breath taking visuals. The Witcher III being the most popular of their games. They’d be another great choice for the Star Wars license. The only issue with CD Projekt Red, is that they usual cut it real close when developing their titles. Witcher III for example was so very close to failing, and just barely missed flopping at release. That’s about the only thing that you’d need to worry about.

If EA Kept Star Wars…

While it wouldn’t surprise me if EA lost the rights to Star Wars, it also wouldn’t surprise me if EA kept the rights. They are literally a money printer. As I’ve already said previously, both Fifa and Madden have made millions of dollars off of their in-game purchases. They made $1.3 Million in 2015 from these titles. They’ve also been gaining $650 Million annually from their mobile titles. If Disney only cares about revenue (and they do), they’ll obviously chose the company that’ll make them more money.

Companies care more about the money they make, and less about how their consumers feel about their products. Its the one thing both Disney and EA have in common. Pry the main reason why their allegedly looking at Activision and Ubisoft for other companies to make Star Wars games. While not as bad as EA, they are pretty infamous for their in-game purchases. Activision with their Supply Drops, and Ubisoft with their infamous Season Passes. Better companies, but not really consumer friendly.

Could EA lose Star Wars? If Disney does the right thing, then yes, but it would certainly surprise me if they did. However, I partially don’t believe it’ll happen. EA makes so much money off of in-game purchases both from their mobile and AAA titles. When it comes down to it, Disney will chose the company that’ll make them more money.

Conclusion

All we can now do is wait and see. As far as I’m concerned, neither EA nor Disney has made any remarks on the recent rumors. So for now, nothing can be confirmed nor denied. Take what these sources say with a grain of salt. If it happens, it happens. Will I feel bad? Not really. The only people I’ll feel bad for are the gamers who bought this game and had faith in it’s future. EA fucked up, and they need to own up to it. They owe it to the people who spent $60 of their own money getting the game. No more bullshit. No more lies. No more excuses.

Be transparent, developers!