John Walker of RockPaperShotgun fame/infamy, depending on who you ask interviewed Peter Molyneux of game industry fame/infamy, depending on who you ask. Likely you’ve heard about the interview by this point. It is a write up of a 75 minute phone conversation that has a whole lot of emotion, but not much useful information for the reader.
Allow me to distill for you the things to be learned from this very large column of text:
The reports about the team size of Godus being decreased in favor of other games is inaccurate, the people working on other projects have a skill set that is more suited to early and pre-development.
Actually that is about it.
I’m mildly thankful for that information, I’ve not followed Godus much. I did read the Eurogamer piece on the guy who won the God of Gods contest, as it seemed an interesting side story to the meta aspect of games, their developers, and how they interact with the world. But this wasn’t a particularly informative interview. It didn’t illuminate anything, other than perhaps providing yet another data set on how emotional inquiries can make people react emotionally, even if they are desiring to be calm. Continue reading →
Rainbow Six Siege is a game in the Rainbow Six series. This much is obvious. So you could look to previous Rainbow Six games to get an idea as to what the new one will be like. This much is apparently not obvious to Rock Paper Shotgun. You know what also isn’t obvious to RPS? What Capture the Flag (CTF) is.
Siege’s E3 demo did leave a bit of a weird taste in some mouths, though, mainly because shoving around a lady in the team-based Hostage Mode like she’s the flag in capture the flag is kind of odd, even if you’re rescuing her.
In the Hostage mode, you play a law enforcement unit of some form breaching a location that has been secured by criminals, who have taken a hostage. Why did they take a hostage? Because they know it will slow down the law enforcement, it will make them hesitate a moment longer before taking a shot, it will decrease the odds of them blind firing into a scenario. The hostage has this effect on law enforcement because of their directive to preserve innocent life. The game mechanic involves a penalty of a loss if the hostage dies, and said hostage must be extracted from danger and secured, as the criminals can recapture that hostage. Continue reading →
Rock Paper Shotgun would like to inform you that Call of Duty getting a third dedicated developer to the annual cycle, meaning each game has a three-year development cycle instead of two, a 50% increase in the scheduling budget, is worth mocking. They posit that this can be used to watch more Roland Emmerich films to do research on making monuments fall over. An interesting attempt at mockery, though I’m hard pressed to think of any scenes regarding a monument outside of Modern Warfare 2 and Modern Warfare 3. It also relies on the idea that the development primarily goes into the single player campaign, but you can commonly find people mocking the single player saying people only buy it for the multiplayer. Which is it?
Three hours earlier, Rock Paper Shotgun wanted to inform you of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive adding stickers. Yes, stickers. To your gun. Like a middle school trapper keeper. These posts were made by the same person, who is apparently severely lacking in self-awareness, or awareness of the games he is posting about.
We have a game that is developed by two (now three) studios, each one with their mechanical differences which shapes the gameplay and molds the audience who have their preferences across the releases. We also have a game that is developed by one studio, still relying on the same primary maps, releasing once in a while with iterative updates. But it has stickers!
It is fine to dislike something, but please, dislike it within the scope of things it actually does wrong. Especially when you are publicly writing about games.
Things the genre has but only this franchise gets criticized for.
Individual release ignorance.
Misunderstandings of marketing schedules.
Double-standards for advertising.
Okay, I guess that is enough. It isn’t that Call of Duty isn’t worthy of critique or even lampooning, it has plenty of issues, its mechanics are far from perfect, its community leaves much to be desired, and it can be samey. But what of this separates it from similar games which get treated much more considerately? Dog puns and fish AI jokes? This is akin to reviewing Full Throttle on the basis of five o’clock shadow rather than the story. Ghosts has a rather different perk system, it has a strike package system, it has contextual leaning and smoother object traversal to keep the player flowing in a fight rather than going through clunky state changes. It has been stated the PC version is receiving higher quality assets than any of the console releases. Your character classes persist as AI while you are offline, earning XP which reduces the grind of the game. The single player abandons all safely established characters from the franchise, and yet none of this ever gets brought up. Instead people point and laugh at the action game having explosions and showing the most cinematic events in the trailer. Continue reading →
Rise of the Triad is being re-made by Interceptor Entertainment using the Unreal Engine. That directly isn’t the point of this post however, but I will include a courtesy embed of their excellent eighteen minute multiplayer trailer:
The point of this post is to comment on the Rock Paper Shotgun newspost about it. I won’t link to it because it is terrible, but also because they open their posts up with long winded attempts at humor to justify a clickthrough for a single video embed or screenshot. What gets me about it in particular though is the commentary. The focus on calling it old school, as if this is an amazing thing. Yes it is old school, it is a remake of a now 18 year old (by Full Version dates) game, of course it is. It is “blindingly, blitzingly, brutally fast” or, you know, normal amounts of fast. The movement speed matches the sub-genre.
Marveling at the capacity of speed in a game aside, the rest of the post is filled with fluff that seems like it could only be steeped in ignorance as to the game and the genre. Comments on the level variety assume that it is a case of silly over the top logic as to why it isn’t one setting. Games typically draw their multiplayer content from a vertical slice of the single player, it saves resources, and it ties the two components together. You see a castle, a military complex, and an underground lava base in the trailer, because the world of ROTT involves a castle being used for advanced paramilitary functions and also involves a lair centered around lava. It is all part of the game world, it isn’t strictly variety for some senseless appeal to “old school” styles.
(Also, first person shooters, be they “old school” or not, do this. As I said earlier, it saves resources and it draws connections – Quake’s deathmatch maps make for an almost pure microcosm of the single player.)
What is with the “DUDESHOOT MANKILL” comment? Have they not heard of a first person shooter before? You shoot, and you shoot things with the intent of killing them. Often the enemies are other humans, typically male, the protagonist is often male (though ROTT has two female characters to play as), and in multiplayer it is common for players to all depict the protagonists, thus you have in most scenarios men attempting to shoot other men in a game. Is RPS unfamiliar with the genre? Or multiplayer?
I think what gets me is the post is rife with padding for what is simply “Here, look at this” content, and it manages to use “old school” and link to an interview, without ever clearly delineating that they know it is a remake, or are particularly familiar with first person shooters. Don’t even get me started on the people who compare its speed to Quake 3 or Unreal Tournament. I enjoy those games, but they are thick molasses next to the early and mid-90’s shooters.