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 411mania » Games » Columns

Four Player Co-op 02.13.13: Dead Space 3, Rayman Legends, Assassin's Creed IV, More
Posted by Stephen Randle on 02.13.2013

Todd Vote has joined the game.
Adam Larck has joined the game.
Mathew Sforcina has joined the game.
Dan Watson has joined the game.

Greetings, and welcome to another episode of Four Player Co-op, the game where everyone shouts opinions, nothing of substance really gets accomplished, and in the end somebody wins for vague and ill-defined reasons. I think if we could get the concept turned into a TV show and sell ourselves as a reality show competition, we'd get higher ratings than Idol. Or at least The Voice.

Start the game!

QUESTION ONE: It's no longer really a shock when somebody finds a glitch in a game, but this one has gotten a little interesting. Apparently there is an area in Dead Space 3 where you can farm resources (used for upgrading things like weapons) essentially forever, because the spot never disappears. The interesting part comes when I tell you that there's another way to get resources in Dead Space 3: micropayments! So, if you can get infinite resources for free, what are the chances that you would pay for them? Personally, I would imagine it's somewhere around "zero", but that doesn't seem to bother EA, who has released a statement which says that the "glitch" is, in fact, completely intentional and was deliberately included in the game. Do you buy that, or is EA in full spin control?

Todd Vote
Seems to me like they are in a bit of spin mode. Why not? Why not play it off as if that was put in there to stop people who may have otherwise complained about the micropayment method? If they did it intentionally, good for them... I have no problem with a game featuring something that is able to be exploited by players, as long as they have the resolve to find it. I guess we will see if EA was serious about including it, if it happens to disappear with an update soon, then we know they are lying evil bastards.

Adam Larck
If there were multiple spots in the game, I'd be willing to buy that it was done on purpose a bit more. However, considering only one spot has been found so far, I'm more willing to say they saw some backlash from the microtransactions and found this to be a good way to solve the problem than to try and take this away from players and annoy them with microtransactions. For those that really hate them, this is a workaround, while others will probably not care either way.

Mathew Sforcina
I suspect that this was a glitch, there's often a glitch like this
in any game with a money based system (Resident Evil 5's Machine Gun farming, for instance) that is just a case of overlooking something. But actually, it wouldn't be a total shock if this was intentional, or at least they're cool with it, as a way to deflate the sails of the haters. Because this glitch requires, as all these sorts of things do, you to do something repetitive and boring over and over again for a small reward. People likely to buy the stuff outright aren't going to be the ones to do this, and those likely to do it aren't going to buy stuff either. This way, everyone can just shut up about it, which I suspect is the point. So, well done EA? That feels wrong to say but here we are...

Dan Watson
This is clearly spin control. When has EA ever given away anything? This is the same company that has pushed the online pass, meaningless DLC, and created the same Madden year after year. They are not in the business of giving away items that are this valuable. Clearly, they screwed up on this and I would bet within the next few weeks or months it "accidentally" goes away in an update and is never seen from again.

I think Sforcina is closest to on the nose here, for 654 points. From what I've read, the spot is far enough in the game so that you've probably already progressed to the point that upgrades become frivolous, and the resource management curve of the game leans towards scarcity in the early part, which is when more people would be likely to utilize the microtransactions. Of course, EA is totally lying about "working as intended", but that's hardly the worst lie they've told this…we'll be generous and say "month".

QUESTION TWO: And in the continuing struggle that is the Wii U, it was announced last week that Rayman Legends, which was originally a Wii U exclusive launch title that got pushed back to this spring, is now neither of those things. It is now a multiplatform title that will be released sometime in late 2013, and by no coincidence, that is when the new Sony and Microsoft consoles are rumoured to be debuting on shelves. In fact, they've already said that the game is done and the shift to console-wide release is exactly why it's being delayed. Oh, but to make it up to Wii U owners, UbiSoft, the developers of Rayman, have said that they'll be releasing a Wii U-exclusive…demo. A bit of a dick move by UbiSoft, wouldn't you say?

Todd Vote
I would say it is not a dick move. Companies these days are really just handcuffing themselves with console exclusives. Let's just pitch some random numbers here. For the sake of this point, it is now midway through 2015, the Wii U, the new Xbox and the PS4 are all out in full swing. Again, for arguments sake, let's say that all three consoles are dead even in units sold, leaving each with 3 million consoles in homes across the world. As a game developer, I may get an additional chunk of change for making a game for only one of these consoles, but is that money going to make it worth it to miss out on the potential to sell an additional 6 million units by releasing the game across multiple consoles? I think Ubisoft is doing smart business. It would be a dick move if they abandoned the Wii U version in favor of the other two, but the Wii U gamers aren't losing anything, so what is the problem?

Adam Larck
This move really doesn't make sense at all. You have a game that's finished that could be released to make money now, but you hold it back for seven months to draw money away by releasing the same game on three systems at once. Do they not realize people may buy on multiple systems to play with friends if they really like the first version? In addition, the demo seems like a slap in the face, considering there's already an exclusive demo out for the game now. Seems like Ubisoft is trying to backpedal from their early Wii U support with this move.

Mathew Sforcina
I suspect that my dislike of the Wii U and my complete disconnect with the Rayman series is clouding my judgement here, but I do see both sides. This isn't exactly like the Ghostbusters thing where Sony came in and stopped Ghostbusters being released on Xbox in Australia just because they could, giving themselves a 6 month exclusivity period in one region and then not being man enough to own up to it. There's consistency here, they want all gamers to have equal access, which is an understandable idea. But then again, yeah, it's a dick move. Just a dick move I have no emotional attachment to, given that I don't own a Wii U nor do I care about the franchise. So... Yeah. Dick Move, but I don't care.

Dan Watson
Wow, that's an asshole way to help a console out. Ubisoft seemed to be one of the few supporters of Wii and maybe they are tired of not selling much so they go multi-platform. Whatever their reason this really screws over WiiU owners. I doubt any of them were buying the console just for this game, but with any launch and the following months, the more titles the better. I'm also assuming that the Wii-tablet thing won't be used much if it is going multiplatform.

Adam gets the 1643 points for exactly why this is a complete dick move: the game is finished. They could release it for Wii U tomorrow. So, who drove the dump truck full of money up to UbiSoft and got them to wait until the fall, Sony or Microsoft? My vote is on "both".

QUESTION THREE: Fear not, you few remaining Zynga supporters, they have a new idea that will definitely help them bounce back after a disastrous 2012! Word is that they're working on…an animated Farmville television series! And it gets better, because the man associated with the product is none other than Brett "I Nearly Killed The X-Men Movie Franchise" Ratner! Oh, and Zynga also announced that they lost over 200 million dollars in 2012, and closed down three more of their franchises, including the barely months-old CityVille 2. Which has better odds of happening first: the TV show hits the airwaves, or Zynga implodes spectacularly in ways THQ only dreamed of?

Todd Vote
Well, clearly the way to save a games company is to branch out to TV. If only THQ had TV shows for some of the games they made... Licensed products like Spongebob and the like... Oh wait... Seriously, Zynga, go home, you are obviously drunk.

Adam Larck
I think Farmville's success has passed. It's not nearly as big as what it used to be. I think once they start getting into production and see the costs that pop up the company will be in a lot more trouble than they already are in. Hopefully I'm wrong, because seeing a company go under is never good. However, things don't see to be looking good for Zynga.

Mathew Sforcina
... I dunno, I've been sucked into Zynga games before, so I can see how they appeal to investors and business people, so I don't see them dying like THQ. Worst comes to worst, Zynga just shuts down everything other than Farmville and survives. THQ didn't have that option. I suspect that the show will eventuate. And it will suck. Hey, maybe it'll be part of a double act with the Angry Birds TV show. Wouldn't that be keen?

... What the fuck? Farmville gets a TV show, and Monkey Island gets nothing? WHAT THE FUCK PEOPLE?!?

Dan Watson
I'll go with option two here, Quizmaster. It doesn't seem too far off that we will see this company shut down. Part of the reasoning, I would contend, is that Facebook doesn't seem to be as popular as it was previously. I remember when people would check their farms on the hour or play Mafia Wars non-stop. Now, tablets offer better gaming experiences and Zynga just hasn't caught up to these other companies. The appeal originally was to play with friends through Facebook but that has gone away.

Zynga, don't let Todd bring you down. You're holding it together, man, you could totally finish that bottle and be cool to drive.

Come on, if they explode in some impressive fashion I'll have at least one easily created question every week for a month or two.

Anyway, Todd gets 2617 points for simultaneously trying to help Zynga while being extremely sarcastic about their poor decisions inside the very same paragraph.

QUESTION FOUR: Well, it shouldn't be a shock to anybody that there will be an Assassin's Creed 4, probably in 2014, and after they pretty much wrapped up the original story in the last game, it also shouldn't be surprising that this game will have a new setting and new protagonist. An early rumour: Pirates! Possibly of the Caribbean, even! Any thoughts on that, or possibly a different historical setting you would like to parkour and stab people in?

Todd Vote
Having not played ACIII yet, I can't really say much about the ending to the story, and I would appreciate a lack of spoilers... But I think an Assassin's Creed game that let you play more in the here and now, as well as mixing in some things from the past would be cool. Like once you get out of the animus, you have to take your "Desmond-esque" character to New York to find something, thus allowing him to parkour skyscrapers and shit... That could be all right.

Adam Larck
The ship system I found fun in the last game, so I wouldn't mind seeing more of that in the next game. If it's not pirates, though, I still wouldn't mind seeing an Assassin's Creed in feudal Japan era, or even something like Egypt. Imagine launching off of a pyramid to take someone out. Could be fun, but not sure how much of a story there is.

Mathew Sforcina
Pirates? The only Pirate game I want made is for Rockstar to do for Pirates what Red Dead did for Cowboys. And maybe a Zack & Wiki sequel. And lots of Monkey Island sequels, as above. Anyway, assuming that the next one isn't "Assassin's Creed: Future Desmond and Skyscrapers now have Footholds", and that we can go backwards, I'd actually like a game that takes us to the other side. We've had it all from the Assassin's side, and given the start of AC3 proving that the Templars have similar skills, how about Assassin's Creed: Templar's Quest or something, set during the late 1700's Revolutionary France? That was a major turning point in world history, and can be shown as what happens when the Assassins win. And how it's not pretty. Yeah, OK, the main character can turn 'good' at the end and hook up with the Assassins if you must, but that would provide cool scenery, a great big story to tell, provide a new perspective on the game... So look for Assassin's Creed 4: Bottle O' Rum any day now...

Dan Watson
I would love to see a current day A.C. Something along the lines of a mercenary or something that travels around the world or even the US. The current gadgets they could use would be great. This sounds a lot like a game that Sony is putting out but who cares as long as it is entertaining. Pirates would be a strong second choice followed by a future world. Maybe a post-apocalyptic world of some kind that we have to take out different villages or towns. Just throwing out ideas here.

I was all interested in AC4: Pirates when Sforcina had to go and come up with an even better idea, because a pirate game done in the Red Dead style would be incredible, thus he get 6526 points. Also, he keeps mentioning Monkey Island, and now I'm distracted by writing letters to Disney demanding that they get Pixar in on a Monkey Island movie. Again. Hey, they were the ones who let the restraining order expire.

BONUS QUESTION: I'm having the kind of rough week you only read about, so it's "free expression bonus question" time again!

Todd Vote
Go watch House of Cards on Netflix... That is all.

Adam Larck
Really not much to talk about this week. Haven't had much gaming time due to wedding planning, although I have been putting more hours in Fire Emblem: Awakening and wrapping up Persona 4: Golden. If you have a 3DS or Vita, both are must have titles for the systems.

Mathew Sforcina
Munchkin is coming to XBLA. This is awesome. I'm just worried that all the expansion packs will be paid DLC, which is bad for me as I'll have to buy them all (again, as I own, I believe, a full set). What I hope is that the expansions are free, but the other full games, Super Munchkin, Munchkin Fu and so on, they are the paid stuff. That would be a nice balance. Please?

Again, I'm gonna end up paying regardless, but still...

Dan Watson
I hear you, boss, these last ten days have been miserable. I am in the process of business expansion and buying a house at the same time. I sound like an asshole complaining about issues that in the long run will help but let me tell you, these processes are miserable and take a huge toll on me personally as well as my relationships. I have been struggling to find time for everything as well as finding my own time. 2013 has been a good year but these last two weeks have beaten me down. Let's hope for a better weekend.

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