411 Games Fact or Fiction 12.19.13: Diablo 3, November NPD, Assassin's Creed IV DLC, More
Posted by Daniel Anderson on 12.19.2013
Are we going to get the new DLC pack for Assassin's Creed IV? Are we surprised that the Diablo III expansion's beta doesn't have an NPD? Are we interested in WildStar? 411ís Stephen Randle and Jeremy Thomas debate these topics and more!
Hello everyone and welcome to this week's edition of Fact or Fiction. As always, I am Daniel Anderson, and I hope everyone has had a good week. There will only be six days left to shop for Christmas presents when this goes up, so I hope everyone has completed all the shopping they need to. Anyway, this week we have 411's Jeremy Thomas going up against Stephen Randle. Let's see what they have to say, shall we?
1.) You are surprised that Rainbow Six: Patriots had to be restarted from scratch.
Jeremy Thomas - Fact: If I'm being honest (and I am), I don't think a whole lot about the Rainbow Six franchise as a whole. It's not that I dislike the franchise, but it's just never been one that's really gripped me the way that some other franchises have. That being said, I think that when any game has to be scrapped and totally started over it is a surprise. Ubisoft generally knows what they're doing and the idea that they had to dump everything they'd done and begin anew is anomalous for them. However, I'm also glad that they did so because it means that they're committed to really getting the best game they can out there for fans. A lot of companies would just say "screw it, let's just shovel it out there and make the next one better." So good on Ubisoft.
Stephen Randle - Fact: Although perhaps I shouldn't be, given the delay and potentially ominous rumours about the problems with Watch_Dogs. I guess what I'm surprised about is the fact that they went all the way back to the drawing board. Given the money that's invested in game development, throwing out the entire thing and starting over is something that is generally reserved for the most broken of games (hello, NBA Elite). I'm not saying it's time to panic, but that's now three UbiSoft games that have undergone big delays recently, and given how they looked for most of 2013, that's disconcerting to say the least.
Score: 1 for 1 - I think this news, along with Watch Dogs and South Park being delayed, is a troubling sign for Ubisoft.
2.) You are surprised the closed beta for Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls has no NDA.
Jeremy Thomas - Fact: Again, it's a pleasant surprise. Blizzard has to be confident in the expansion for them not to be worried about the internet complaining about bugs and such. Because...well, we've all been in closed betas at one time or another, right? We all know that betas are buggy as a rule and we've all seen people who hop into the betas expecting a full, playable game only to whine and moan when--surprise, surprise--it's not a complete and polished game. Blizzard is no stranger to this so I have to assume that this is some kind of PR move for transparency or the like. And that's something I can be down with; it just surprises me when any game doesn't have an NDA for their betas.
Stephen Randle - Fiction: I'm not saying NDA's are useless, because they have their place in the industry, but it's the expansion for a Diablo game, there really aren't any massive secrets. Spoiler alert, you click on things until they die, then pick up the loot that explodes from their corpses. Also, Blizzard betas, especially Diablo ones, have traditionally not shown any actual story-related content anyway, focusing instead on looking for skll-related bugs and working on server load. And frankly, the Diablo franchise needs any good early hype for the expansion they can dig up.
Score: 1 for 2 - I think this is a way to get people excited about the expansion while, at the same time, making sure there are not any game-ruining bugs lurking in the code. The NDA just means people can freely talk about the game. A win-win for Blizzard.
3.) You expected NPD results of PS4 selling more consoles, but Xbox One selling consoles faster.
Jeremy Thomas - Fiction: I say this as an Xbox One owner, but I expected the PS4 to take the lead in both aspects simply by virtue of the fact that they released earlier and thus probably would have had the market on those people who wanted both consoles but only enough money for one. I have no doubt that this is because of Sony's inventory issues; a friend of mine had a particular trevail getting a PS4 within the last couple of weeks and every time that she would go to a store, they would say "No, we don't have any PS4's; would you like an Xbox One?" The moral of the story: there are plenty of Microsoft's consoles on the shelves and not so many of Sony's. That has to be the reason why. The second moral of the story: both consoles are doing just fine and the war over next-gen isn't won or lost by a long shot on either side.
Stephen Randle - Fact: Or the reverse. Either way, both consoles were going to find a stat that made it seem like they won the console launch weekends. But also, if you stop and think about it, the respective results make sense. Sony spread their release dates in their major markets over two different weekends (actually three, but Japan has to wait until 2014), so Microsoft sold their inventory faster because they opened in all their currently available markets at once. However, Sony was, quite frankly, a cheaper price, and that seemed like it really played into which console more people were looking to pick up. Also, pre-order numbers seemed to have Sony ahead in total orders, so that seemed to play out as expected.
Score: 1 for 3 - Microsoft decided to focus mostly on the US while Sony went for a worldwide launch. I think, as Jeremy said, the next gen has yet to be won or lost.
4.) You are going to pick up (or already have) the Assassin's Creed IV DLC.
Stephen Randle - Fact: I'm holding off on picking up ACIV until after Christmas, just in case, but rest assured, when I grab it on Boxing Day, the DLC will follow shortly afterwards. Everything about this game has me intrigued in a franchise I had actually given up on, so I'm planning to give it every opportunity to win me back.
Jeremy Thomas - Fact: I don't have it yet, but I have AC IV for the Xbox One so I will be picking it up. The Assassin's Creed DLC has yet to really let me down and I don't expect Freedom Cry to either. Adéwalé is a great character and I'm certainly interested to see more of his story. I just have to finish working my way through the main game before I get to it and then it's Saint-Domingue time for me!
Score: 2 for 4 - I love Assassin's Creed IV and plan on picking up the DLC eventually. I hope it has the same quality as the main game.
5.) Bloodrayne's studio, Terminal Reality, shutting down does not surprise you.
Stephen Randle - Fact: If you're biggest claim to fame in Bloodrayne, then you're not exactly doing well these days. Bloodrayne was a decent series, but when was the last time they released a game in that franchise? Have you even ever heard of any other Terminal Reality games. Development studios are like sharks, if they aren't constantly putting out new and popular products, they die.
Jeremy Thomas - Fact: Terminal Reality has been on a downward spiral for years. They've only released one game a year for the past three years, and what were those games? Def Jam Rapstar in 2010, Kinect Star Wars in 2011 and The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct in 2012. None of those games were succcesses by any definition. I hate to see any independent game studio shut down, but the faact is that with these guys the writing was kind of on the wall. It's a viciously competitive market out there and you can't get by with three years of bad games and expect to survive. Harsh but true.
Score: 3 for 5 - I am always sad to see studios shut down, but this one is not a surprise.
6.) WildStar's recent release and explanation of the character classes has you willing to try out the game upon release.
Stephen Randle - Fiction: I have no idea what this is. Give me a second to look it up.
Ah, it's a cartoon-styled, space-based MMO. Sadly, no, I don't have time to toss more MMOs on my plate, and really, if The Old Republic didn't do it for me, I don't think there's another space MMO out there I'm particularly interested in. It looks great from a graphical standpoint, but I don't have any particular attachment to that license. If it catches on, I might be willing to jump in, but I've got way too many other MMOs ahead of it in line.
Jeremy Thomas - Fiction: Wildstar sounds interesting, don't get me wrong. But my MMORPG days are behind me at this point. I loved the genre during my time with it and I wish NCsoft and Carbine Studios all the success in the world but it just isn't my thing anymore, at least until an MMO is released that changes the game signficantly. From everything I've read, WildStar is not the game that will do so. You never know, I might give it a shot down the line but I don't see it right now.
Score: 4 for 6 - I have hope that this could be a fun RPG, but it will take more than the classes being released to convince me to start getting into another MMO.
Bonus Question: Feel free to talk about what you choose.
Stephen Randle - As NBC Vice President of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming Jack Donaghy once said, Happy Holidays...is what terrorists would say. Merry Christmas, everybody!
Jeremy Thomas - Readers, get ready for end of the year stuff! We've got stuff cooking in all the zones, including the Games Zone and this year it's gonna be a fun one. I don't want to reveal too much and tip the staff's hand at all, but I can say that there will be plenty for you guys to read, praise, complain about and debate as you so love to do. Viva 2013!
That wraps up this week's edition of Fact or Fiction. Stephen and Jeremy went 4 for 6 agreeing more than they disagreed.
I hope everyone has a good week, and until next week, happy gaming.