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 411mania » Games » Columns

411 Games Fact or Fiction 1.09.14: Steam Machines, Titanfall, Telltale, More
Posted by Daniel Anderson on 01.16.2014

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 better week then I have had so far. Having the death flu going around right now is not fun at all. You are even too sick to play video games at times. Hopefully, I continue my upswing and get rid of this bug soon. 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 worried about Titanfall only having 6v6 multiplayer matches.

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Jeremy Thomas - Fiction: Call me the grumpy old misanthrope, but eleven other people in one match is about all I think I would want to stand in Xbox multiplayer. In all seriousness (okay, that was vaguely serious but still), I don't think that's a problem. Going too far beyond that would get rather chaotic quickly. I know as gamers we want all the things and want to get all the world into one single multiplayer fight but it's not all that realistic to expect that. Is twelve players too few? I don't think so. I think that it is probably a good sign toward how much the rest of the game is going to test hardware limits that it is capping the amount of players allowed to be involved. I can see the "but I want more" arguments but I think it'll work out just fine.

Stephen Randle - Fiction: Not so much worried as surprised, given that bigger multiplayer matches seem to be a goal of the new console generation, what with all that talk of 64-person battles and such. And while I am surprised that Titanfall, which seems ripe for massively chaotic battlefields, is limiting itself to 6v6 battles (at least initially), I'm not that worried about it. More people in a match doesn't make it necessarily a better game, and if you can tune a system so that it creates tight, exciting battles at a certain number of players, then you shouldn't feel like you have to cram in more people just because of some perception that the console can probably handle it.

Score: 1 for 1 - From what the developers have said, there will be more than just 12 players on the screen during these matches. We will get to see AI humans and Titans following you around the map as well. At this point, I am going to trust the developers to know what works best with their game.

2.) You will be watching more WWE network on your game console then on your PC, tablet, or phone.

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Jeremy Thomas - Fact: Hooray for a reason to keep the Xbox 360 in regular use! Just kidding, I'm still using it regularly; this just gives me one more reason to use it. I'll be using it on the PC for sure, don't get me wrong; I've always had an affinity for watching things on my desktop. But I generally don't watch stuff on my tablet or phone because a) screen size and b) if I'm in a spot where I want to watch TV or a movie, I am generally within range of a TV anyway. I've used the WWE app on the 360 before and it's fairly user-friendly, so that's a plus. The only way I could see myself sticking primarily with PC would be if the 360 died on me; otherwise watching through a TV is just the way to go.

Stephen Randle - Fact: More than likely (assuming it ever comes to Canada, naturally), because I prefer watching my videos on the biggest screen in the house, and that would be the one hooked up to my PS4, or at the very least, the PS3 in the bedroom. I've never really gone in for watching things on the smaller tablet or phone screens, and if the choice is there, I'm always going to pick the option that lets me use my TV. If I were away from home and just wanted to check out something short I might use another device, but for something like, say, a live PPV, it's going to be streaming from the console into the TV all the way.

Score: 2 for 2 - I would imagine most people who have a console, and get the upcoming network, will be watching a lot of wrestling on their TV's through their consoles instead of limiting themselves to small screens on computers or tablets.

3.) You are surprised Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 will not be coming out on the next gen systems.

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Jeremy Thomas - Fiction: No more surprised than I am that any upcoming game isn't receiving a next-gen version. To be honest, I was more surprised that recently-released games like GTA V and WWE 2K14 aren't getting next-gen versions. And I'm not trying to say that Castlevania isn't a significant or important franchise, but I sorta get where Konami might have wanted to stick with the previous generation for this release instead of trying to spend resources creating a next-gen port, especially considering that company hasn't quite been in fighting shape lately. They're being conservative instead of going all-out, which is probably a good move.

Stephen Randle - Fiction: For a lot of 2014, we're going to see a lot of games still coming out for the PS3/360 generation of consoles, simply because they've been around longer, the companies are more comfortable and had more time to develop for them, and also because some games are for niche audiences and would benefit in sales from being available on the consoles with the much larger current install base. It's why Persona 5 will come out on the PS3 over a year after the next gen consoles have launched, and it's probably what has played in to a similar decision for Castlevania. Plus, it seems like most of Konami's early next-gen development went into Metal Gear Solid V, and you can't really blame them for wanting that to hit those platforms instead of Castlevania.

Score: 3 for 3 - The news initially surprised me, but the more I thought about it, the more I agreed with the logic of Jeremy and Stephen.

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4.) Given recent comments about The Division, you do not expect to see the game until at least 2015.

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Stephen Randle - Fact: UbiSoft is clearly having some trouble with their next-gen development, as they've delayed pretty much everything that was set to come out. Hell, if Assassin's Creed IV hadn't started life as an expansion for AC3, there is some question as to whether UbiSoft would have had anything for the PS4 or 360 in time for launch. Rumours can be wrong quite easily, but I think it's telling that we've seen absolutely nothing about The Division since its initial announcement. If the game were going to come out in 2014, you'd have to believe that we'd know something more by now.

Jeremy Thomas - Fiction: The truth is I don't have any expectations about the game's release date at this point. Yes, there is a source within the company who claims that the game will be out later and that may well bear fruit. And Ubisoft's lack of comment doesn't do the release date any favors. Maybe its my cynicism regarding anonymous sources thanks to sites like Latino Review, but I tend to take them with several grains of salt. "Late 2014" appears to be Ubisoft's last comment on the matter and that is a date that could go either way. So I'm not going to pin my hopes on any more specific date at this point.

Score: 3 for 4 - I can't help but think that with all the recent delays and other news coming out of Ubisoft, this has the ring of truth to it. It will be interesting to see, but I wonder if Ubisoft is going to have a disappointing 2014.

5.) You would like seeing a Telltale James Bond game.

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Stephen Randle - Fact: Frankly, you could have appended any franchise to "you would like seeing a Telltale game" and probably gotten the same response. It seems like that company has really found their niche with story-driven adventure games, and I am in love with pretty much everything they are doing. My only caveat is that any more new games had better not delay The Wolf Among Us or whatever they're doing with the Game of Thrones license.

Jeremy Thomas - Fact: I would like seeing a Telltale game of anything at this point. The Walking Dead was fantastic, The Wolf Among Us is equally bad-ass and they've got Game of Thrones in the works too, which has me deeply excited. The company has figured out a great format for interactive storytelling games that works like a charm and there are so many franchises I would like to see them tackle. The 007 franchise hasn't seen a great game since GoldenEye and I wouldn't at all mind seeing these guys take a crack at it.

Score: 4 for 5 - Does anyone not want Telltale making a game in a popular franchise? They are on a hot streak and I hope it continues.

6.) You do not see the various Steam Machines being a competitor for PS4 or Xbox One.

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Stephen Randle - Fact: I'm still curious who the target demographic is for the Steam Machine. People who want something with the "ease of use" of a console compared to a PC probably aren't going to drop the bundle of cash it's apparently going to cost for a Steam Box compared to a PS4, XBOne, or Wii U. People who are hugely into having big, powerful boxes to run their games at the highest settings probably already have a PC, which can already run Steam on a TV through Big Picture. I mean, sure, the controller looks neat, and I'm interested in their dream of making it possible to play something that traditionally requires KBAM support (like DOTA) using one, but as for the box itself, I just don't see it being something that could be anything more than a niche product. Some people will probably be huge supporters of it, but at best it will likely finish far behind the cheaper and more well-known consoles.

Jeremy Thomas - Fact: Not a chance in hell. The prices are ludicrous and the Steam Machine was always going to be something that appealed to hardcore gamers at best. Your average casual player won't buy one because they can just play Steam stuff on the PC, and many of the price points are so over-the-top insane that no gamer in their right mind will pay out for them. There are a couple which are competitive with the current-generation consoles that might sell okay, but in no way, shape or form will they even come close to competing with the big boys of the console market.

Score: 5 for 6 - A console that is more expensive then the competitor's and is digital only, where I have heard this one before? Seriously though, the costs are way too much to justify spending on a console, especially when you can buy a computer that will have the same power for less money.

Bonus Question: Was the feedback from 411's GOTY Awards what you expected?

Stephen Randle - I was more than pleasantly surprised by the feedback we got, because believe me, some people on staff were sure we would get crucified for giving Game of the Year to Tomb Raider over some other very strong choices. The fact that we got a fair amount of praise for making the pick showed just how good that game actually was, and I'm glad it got the recognition it did. I was a little curious where all the sudden backlash for Last of Us came from, because while it wasn't a game for everyone, I was pretty sure it had near-universal acclaim purely for its accomplishments and contributions to the medium. I guess that might just be the price of being such a hugely successful achievement. At any rate, the discussion was civilized and intelligent for the most part, so kudos to everyone who took the time to give their thoughts on our GOTY Awards. We worked hard, and it's nice to see that they were appreciated.

Jeremy Thomas - It was about right. It was surprisingly more positive than I thought, which is always nice to see. I expected people to be a bit upset about Tomb Raider being over The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V and there was some of that, but outside of one guy they were very constructive. That says a lot about where the course of discussion in our comments section has gone over the past couple years, which makes me very happy.

That wraps up this week's edition of Fact or Fiction. Stephen and Jeremy went 5 for 6 falling one question short of a perfect score. I hope everyone has a good week, and until next week, happy gaming.


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