Having trouble keeping up with all the gaming news flying off the RGM news desk? Don’t worry, so am I. To help you stay up to date with the big news stories from throughout the week we have put together a brief re-cap of the stories we know you will want to the news about.
This week’s top topics are:
- Windows 10 Store is Refunding Infinite Warfare Sales – No One is Playing Online
- Does Ubisoft deserve a shot at redemption with Watch Dogs 2?
- HTC Vive Announces $220 wireless headset, sells out in 18 Minutes
- RollerCoaster Tycoon World release date has been announced (and it’s an interesting choice)
- No more classes, Loyalty missions are back! – Game Informer tells all on Mass Effect Andromeda
- My break-up letter to Call of Duty
- This week’s Deals with Gold and Spotlight Sales are in!
- One of the most highly requested games gets added to backwards compatibility on the Xbox One
- Infinite Warfare Can’t Compare with Black Ops 3 Sales
- Kyurinaga’s Revenge review
To begin with we have:
I think someone was on their last day during a part of Infinite Warfare’s production. Some of the decisions that have come from the Activision camp have been a bit off the boil of late.
Gamers who have purchased the most recent Call of Duty game are being issued with refunds as they don’t have anyone to play with online. Why? Because they purchased the game from the Windows 10 store.
Of course, this should have no bearing on your ability to play online. Windows 10 is not its own format, there isn’t a Windows 10 console, it is for PC. The same as if you bought a PS4 copy from GameStop or Wal-Mart. The only difference is Activision telling you that you can only play with people who bought their copy from GameStop! This is essentially what is happening to PC gamers. They are being separated into ‘shopping communities’ (Steam and Windows 10 in this instance).
Overclock 3D have reported that gamers are experiencing few to zero players online in the multiplayer portion of the game, essentially making a whole, for some the only, worthwhile section redundant. Of course, anyone in this situation would want a refund and the Windows 10 store seem happy to oblige.
Of course, refunds are probably not what Activision are wanting to see, especially after the reports that the game is under performing quite substantially.
There does not seem to be any sound reason as to why this practice has occurred, but we hope it isn’t going to become a regular thing, or there will be one less place to buy your games…or there will be a whole community cut off from the others.
Author: Adam Stewart
Ubisoft has a strong love/hate relationship with the gaming public. The reasons for this, at times, vitriolic relationship has been caused by misleading E3 trailers, graphical downgrades, and their tendency to release continuous installments with little innovation. Certainly not the worst offenses by a big gaming company (EA still holds the title for some shady practices in the past), but it’s been certainly damning enough to lose gamer’s powerful levels of trust in their products. There have been multiple videos and articles showing off some examples of Ubisoft’s tendency to show off non-playable games (with Crowbcat’s “Ubisoft Downgrades” video offering a quality number of examples for this misleading practice):
Unlike some companies that purposely market games in a way so that they appear entertaining, but only end up being a means of forcing microtransactions and DLC down players’ throats, Ubisoft at least offers mostly complete games (with Assassin’s Creed Unity being a massive exception). Their game rarely lack content. Even with the ones accused of lacking content, like Siege and The Division, they were games that were designed for a mainly multiplayer experience (although I don’t think there was much that could save The Division in the end). However, with all of this taken into consideration, let’s move on to the topic of today’s discussion: Watch Dogs and whether Ubisoft’s upcoming sequel to WD will be worth trustworthy enough to pick up.
To start the discussion, look at the E3 presentation gameplay from 2012 for Watch Dogs (with playable gameplay on the right side):
Back in 2012, players believed that they were seeing the future of gaming with Watch Dogs. Cutting-edge graphics, great, in-depth gameplay, all mixed within an interesting story that takes on the concept of security and the feeling of no personal information being safe from talented hackers. It truly looked like a game-changer. I was never part of the hype train (I remember randomly watching the 2012 footage and being blown away, but never considering the game much further). Then, after multiple delays, the public expected THE GTA killer. The open world game to take the top spot in the industry. Simply put, this didn’t happen.
Watch Dogs was a financial success and even earned pretty decent critical reviews overall. However, those that stood firmly in the hype train since 2012 were not pleased. The response from those that expected the game to be an industry-standard tore the game apart at every opportunity. Disappointment can be pretty depressing, but in this case, the response was purely aggressive and frustrated. Players recognized the game’s potential at greatness, and since they didn’t see any greatness in the final product, they lashed out at Ubisoft and to other like-minded individuals.
When comparing the E3 footage to the true final gameplay, it’s hard to disagree with their disappointment. I picked up the game when it saw a significant price drop and gave it a shot. Much to my surprise, I had a lot of fun with it. Hacking was entertaining and interesting, taking down enemy warehouses with your tech was engaging, and progressing your skills kept me playing. My first play-through was mainly entertainment with some noticeable flaws, but nothing that held it back too significantly. I was never a part of the hype train for the game, and I didn’t re-check that E3 footage, so I had no measuring stick for quality by comparison. That being said, my second play-through allowed me to be more critical, and I definitely saw flaws I missed before.
Being able to see little snippets about NPC’s while just walking down the street was interesting, but it only masked an otherwise pretty life-less world. Stopping crimes was fun, but they mostly ended up playing out the exact same way every time. The graphics simply weren’t that impressive in the slightest when in action. The hacking itself was also pretty shallow and wasn’t as deep a system as it should’ve been. Also, Aiden was just way too sullen and dull most of the time. I could now see what those disappointed players saw. My excitement for a sequel wasn’t as strong as it had previously been. Then, E3 2016 came along, and a full gameplay demo for Watch Dogs 2 was released.
Upon seeing the footage, it was difficult to not get excited. Right off the bat, it seemed Ubisoft took on many of the main complaints of WD1 and seemed to have fixed them. Previous game world looked gloomy, colorless, and boring? Boom! New locale is California, armed with a vibrant color palette. Not enough things to hack before? How about being able to hack every single NPC, as well as every single car? The game just had an undeniable amount of personality that had previously been missing, and it was difficult not to get swept up in it. Also, for those concerned with the graphics, they certainly looked like a great improvement, but they weren’t industry-defining, which gave me an odd sense of comfort.
They also released a TON of information and gameplay, unlike the original Watch Dogs where they had their pre-determined demo ready to go and that was it. Hacking looked fun, the gun combat looked engaging, and the main character had an interesting backstory and seemed to display what humans would call a “personality.” There was so much to like about what Ubisoft was showing off, with the marketing and art design for the ads being top-notch. It seemed that mostly every fixable problem that came with the original WD was improved or replaced with something better (you can punch pedestrians now!).
My only concern about the game was that it’d get delayed. Many times in Ubisoft’s history, any delay usually ends up with a graphical downgrade that’s clearly evident when there’s new footage released after that delay. Watch Dogs had this, as did The Division and even Rainbow Six Siege. If WD2 had been delayed, I’d have been convinced that another potentially great game would be weakened and made lesser due to either time constraints or potentially even processing power restraints on certain platforms. Delays, for the most part, are greatly beneficial, but there’s something about Ubisoft games and delays that simply don’t mix properly.
Alas, no delays ever came and Watch Dogs 2 will meet its originally-intended release date. It seems that there won’t be any graphical downgrades this time around.
Now, the question remains: at some point should you pick up Watch Dogs 2? Well, that’s, of course, up to you. I am a big fan of open-world games, especially when they have worlds that feel alive and plenty of activities to take part in. One of these days, I will pick up the game. Now, whether or not other players should pick it up on launch day, a couple weeks after, or never at all depends on how the game is received critically. It’ll be important for many consumers to take in all perspectives on the game, study its pros and cons, and then make a final decision. It’s important to remember that a review is good for a means of perspective, but in the end, it’s just someone’s opinion. Plenty of great games have gotten great reviews and plenty of overrated games have gotten excellent scores.
You may not trust Ubisoft quite yet, and it seems that Ubisoft understands that too. Ubisoft has stated that their preorder totals are “less than expected,” so they’re taking notice of players’ lower level of trust. Ubisoft knows that they need to earn that trust back, and I feel that they’re going to do right by players with Watch Dogs 2. For now, we can sit back and see for ourselves if Ubisoft came to play with this sequel, or if they are only interested in more of the same. Let’s all hope it’s not the latter.
What do you guys think about all this? Are you going to pick up Watch Dogs 2? What’s your favorite Ubisoft title? Let us know in the comments!
Author: Kevin McCasland
Moving along to:
Even though many wonder if the VR trend will continue much longer, it’s clear that plenty of people are excited to get their hands on the latest tech at the earliest opportunity. HTC’s latest announcement of their wireless Vive headset prove this statement, as sales numbers skyrocketed within minutes of the announcement. After the announcement of the latest add-on for the Vive that HTC felt would “greatly improve the overall Vive experience without any noticeable difference in latency.” Footage of the newest wireless add-on were released soon after the official announcement:
Also soon after the announcement came the option to pre-order the add-on for $220. HTC then stated that after eighteen minutes, their initial stock of headsets were completely sold out. They weren’t certain when a new amount of headsets would be available, but the potential date is expected to end up sometime next month.
I haven’t had the opportunity to try out the HTC Vive, but through my many years of gaming, I can recognize the importance and joys that come with going wireless when possible. It’s joyous on consoles and it’s got to help with the immersion for HTC Vive gaming experiences. A wireless headset would certainly allow for far more fluid movement and you help avoid the horrifying prospect of getting a wire caught on something, leading to a whiplash-like incident involving the wires for your headset and your now-damaged neck.
This add-on will also come with the “standard” battery for the Vive, although China Regional President Alvin Graylin stated that they have plans for a stronger battery to be packaged later on in development.
What do you think about the HTC Vive? What do you think about VR in general: fad or here to stay? Have you had any fun experiences with virtual reality? Let us know in the comments!
Author: Kevin McCasland
Next up we have:
Having been on Early Access for some time now and dealing with middling Steam reviews, RollerCoaster Tycoon World is now going off of Early Access November 16th. The intriguing aspect regarding this release date is that it just so happens to be one day before the release of Planet Coaster from developer Frontier Developments.
Atari, the publisher of RollerCoaster Tycoon World, announced the date and also gave an update on what will be added to the game now that it has lost its Early Access tag:
“As the newest PC installment of the world-renowned RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise, RollerCoaster Tycoon World will be available for download on Steam following an Early Access period of more than seven months. In addition to general optimization and graphics improvements, several new gameplay features were added during that time—including a piece-by-piece builder, progression system, updated peeps, and a new user interface.”
“In celebration of the launch,” the announcement continues, the price of RCTW will be $34.99, a step down from the current Early Access price of $49.99, though it’s uncertain if that’s a discount just for the launch period or it will remain at that price. I’ve asked for clarification and will update this post when I hear back. Update: I was just told “…the $34.99 price point is for the Standard Edition only, which will go into effect at launch and will be the permanent sale price.”
A price drop can always be appreciated, and with new additions coming to the game, there should be more value than ever. The Steam reviews for the game are certainly divisive, with many people having strong feelings about the game on both sides. However, the decision to set the release date right next to Planet Coaster certainly shows somewhat of a challenge on Atari’s part sent to Frontier Developments. It’s unclear whether Frontier Developments will answer in any definitive way, but if Planet Coaster ends up finding more success, maybe a snappy retort will not be necessary on FD’s part.
The devs for RCTW recently released a video on their Piece-by-Piece feature, which you can check out right here:
Author: Kevin McCasland
To wrap up we finish off with:
For those who were disappointed in the lack of released information regarding Mass Effect Andromeda on N7 Day, do not fret. It seems that the Game Informer special on the game has you covered with some great new information that gives a decent hint at what gameplay will be like.
Starting off, it seems that player classes will be no more. Instead the player selects the Adept, Vanguard, or any other specific class, there will be a more in-depth skill tree for Ryder that’ll incorporate the previously class-exclusive abilities. As the story progresses, players will have an option at multiple points to “reset” their skill tree if they don’t like their choices. This will help players experiment and find their preferences without having to stick with a single class for the entire campaign.
Also, if you were a big fan of Mass Effect 3’s heavy melee omni-blade, then you’re going to enjoy the latest information regarding the addition of weapons like swords and hammers. Whether this will just be another example of the upgrades to the omni-blade or if players will be able to pick up physical swords and weapons in the world remains unclear.
The cover system will be more dynamic than ever with the addition of the jetpack into combat. Players will be able to utilize quick dashes and even be able to hover above enemies that may be behind heavy defenses.
The combat surely sounds more in-depth than ever, but how about the features outside of battle?
Well, there will be no more Paragon/Renegade dialogue options. They will instead be expanded to options like heart, head, professional, and casual. There will also be no “good guy/bad guy” meter to tally up your dialogue choices, so be sure to go wild and have fun with your conversations.
There will supposedly be more romance options than ever, with certain characters that want different kinds of relationships (some want long-term, others not so much).
Ryder’s sibling will NOT be joining your squad, but you will be able to consistently catch up with them and communicate back-and-forth. Dialogue options with companions will also be increased and will be more in-depth than ever. Two squad mates have been named, with the Asari (that’s been in the last couple bits of released footage) that has the nickname “Peebee” and a human squad mate named Liam.
The main antagonists will be the race known as the Kett. Bioware has also stated that anyone who fears the villains will be one-note will be able to empathize with them during certain story moments.
The Mako is back and has a new name: Nomad. Each of the planets that will be available will offer players enemy encounters, puzzles, and potential stories along with boss battles that may not be available at first (a la Dragon Age Inquisition and the dragons).
There is also the Nexus, which will serve as the new Citadel, that’ll be available to explore at any point. In the story, the Nexus made it to the galaxy before the four Arks. There’s a human Ark and the other three consist of three other major races, which potentially could be the Asari, Turians and Salarians.
Another interesting factoid regarding the story was revealed with the statement that Ryder isn’t the original choice for the Pathfinder. Instead, Ryder’s father is the one who is appointed the official Pathfinder, with Ryder taking his place later on (likely implying a grim fate for the gentleman).
The customization options seem to be available for each member of the Ryder family, with the Ryder sibling and father being customisable along with your own selected Ryder. Their customization options are somewhat limited in comparison, but they are still available. Also, as an added incentive for going through the Game Plus mode, you’ll be able to play as the other Ryder sibling if you wish.
Then there’s the multiplayer, which WILL be returning with a heightened version of the four-player horde mode seen in Mass Effect 3. The mode will have a card game system for the in-game items and will have the option to pay for them (although you can gain all unlockables through natural progression). There will also be special events that will change up the map and enemy types for heightened experience and item loadouts.
Finally, Bioware will be bringing back loyalty missions, one of the best aspects from Mass Effect 2, to Andromeda. The difference between these newest loyalty missions is that they’ll be far more optional this time around. In ME2, the loyalty missions were almost essential to that particular squad members survival, but here, Bioware seems to want to allow players to take part in them only if they want to. This is probably for the best, as forcing players to do side activities can remove a lot of the enjoyment from them (see Saints Row The Third).
This is the main information released so far, but Bioware has promised to release additional information as the coming weeks progress, leading up to the (finally) gameplay reveal on December 1st at the Video Game Awards.
Andromeda is looking to be extremely promising and likely has Mass Effect fans chomping at the bit, waiting for more information (or that may be just me).
Author: Kevin McCasland
So, there you have it, a wrap up of some of the interesting items that landed on the RGM news desk this week. While you are here you may also enjoy: