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 411mania » Games » Columns

Four Player Co-op 5.07.14: Call of Duty, #Driveclub, Horror Games, More
Posted by Stephen Randle on 05.07.2014

Mathew Sforcina has joined the game.
Todd Vote has joined the game.
Cara Alex Brown has joined the game.

Quizmaster Greetings, and welcome to another edition of Four Player Co-op, the increasingly inaccurately named column masquerading as a really, really weird game show. And I've seen weird game shows. No, not all of them were Japanese, don't make assumptions.

Start the game!

QUESTION ONE: Hey, bro, they announced the title for the next Call of Duty! It's CoD: Advanced Warfare! And Kevin Spacey is doing a voice for one of the characters! I'm sure you'll agree, this is the most important addition to Call of Duty since the dog they added in Ghosts! It's coming in November, just like every other Call of Duty game! Aren't you hyped, bro?

But seriously, does Kevin Spacey really sell you on the next CoD?

Mathew Sforcina - Hey, first off, I want to congratulate Kevin Spacey on the success of House of Cards. Although I've been a fan of his for a while, his work as Frank Underwood on House of Cards has been stellar. I am a huge fan of the original British mini-series, and especially Ian Richardson's work as Francis Urquhart, but Spacey has totally nailed it in the US version. I'm sure he's totally reading this, so congrats Sir.


What, you're expecting me to talk about COD? I'm not a first person shooter fan, and thusly I've played maybe 30 minutes of all the COD games combined. I won't buy it or play it, but I don't begrudge its existence. Clearly many, many, MANY people like it, and so I hope they enjoy it. And that Mr. Spacey makes a lot of money from it. But just having Kev in it isn't enough.

Todd Vote - If he was playing Frank Underwood, hell yes he would. I would follow Frank Underwood anywhere. Seriously, I'm not to excited about the next game. But, it is nothing against Call of Duty, or the great Kevin Spacey. I don't expect the wheel to be reinvented every time out like most gamers seem to do. I just happen to still be completely burned out on the whole FPS genre. While it would be nice to see Call of Duty get a rebuild with a more advanced gaming engine, I can't fault them for sticking to what is working. (interesting side note, I have a buddy who is just completely pissed about this game because in the trailer, there is wall running, and super jumping. Those are the exact reasons he loves Titanfall so much.)

Cara Alex Brown - I saw CoD, I lost interest. That game needs to die, end of.

Quizmaster - I tried to watch House of Cards, but while I recognize it's very good, I'm not really into watching a show about corrupt politicians. Hell, if I wanted to watch that, I'm sure the local news will have something about Rob Ford tonight. Or tomorrow. Or the next day. You get the picture. Todd gets 436 points for most accurately representing my general feeling on FPS's. I know it's hard to innovate that sort of genre, but Titanfall has shown that it is indeed still possible.

QUESTION TWO: So, you may have heard that former PS4 launch title #Driveclub (all hail the hashtag!) has a new release date of October 2014, which would set it for about a year after it was originally scheduled to come out. Would you like to know what has caused this long delay? Well, apparently the menu system for the game wasn't working the way they wanted it to. Yes, they're making a racing game about highly detailed, incredibly fast cars and it turns out, they over-reached on the UI! Allegedly, the menu system will be dynamic, changing in real time, and interact seamlessly with planned phone apps. Are you buying this as the real reason for #Driveclub's delay?

Mathew Sforcina - Hey, first off, I want to congratulate the hashtag, taking a page out of the rise and rise of the @ symbol from obscure bookkeeping relic to communication giant, the hashtag has taking social media over. I may not like the dominance it currently wields, but it serves a purpose, and it has won the day. Congrats.


What, you're expecting me to talk about a game I've never heard of on a platform I don't own being delayed?

*checks contract*

Oh. Well, it seems a silly reason, obviously, but the game is selling itself on the cross over social media app business, so that has to work perfectly or else you don't have a hook to hang anything on. If the biggest selling point of your game that differentiates your product from competitors doesn't work, then damn right you delay it until it does. That's just common sense.

Todd Vote - I don't see why not. If the UI is going to be as important to phone apps and everything that they expect, not having it ready would be a solid reason not to release the game on the original launch date. Look, I'm just glad these developers are learning from past mistakes. If a game isn't ready to go, it's not ready to go. I would rather it gets delayed a couple times then have an unfinished product released that is going to drive everybody batshit insane. As long as the delays we have to deal with aren't those of the Duke Nukem variety, I am perfectly okay with this. Quality over quantity.

Cara Alex Brown - I could buy it given that since I work in animation, I've seen people balls up on more ridiculous stuff. They could easily have focussed too hard on the actual animating aspects of the game and then well under estimated the time they needed for what they want to do. And, given what it's meant to do, it's no wonder if they did overshoot their time because of it.

Quizmaster - Sforcina loses all points that he might have gotten in any future answers for trying to piggyback off my ironic love of the hashtag. Seriously, we get it, Twitter is a thing now. You don't have to force it into everything. I'm also looking at you, TV show Friends With Better Lives, or as you apparently want to be called for some reason, #FWBL.

QUESTION THREE: Last week, a small town in Massachusetts just voted...barely...to overturn a 32-year-old ban on...arcade games. Attempts to lift the ban had already been defeated twice over that period. Want to know why arcade games were banned? Here's a quote from advocates of the ban when it came around in 1983: "The games are said to be addictive to youth, who will skip school and spend unreasonable sums of money to play them at a quarter and sometimes 50 cents a pop." Also, there was apparently some worry about increased drug use and gambling. Hey, remember when arcade games only cost a quarter? Also, would you help me welcome Marshfield, Massachusetts into the year 2014?

Mathew Sforcina - Hey, first off, I want to congratulate Marshfield, Massachusetts on giving a good example of why I feel that all laws should have sunset clauses. Any law should have a maximum length of say 30 years, and as the law nears the end, it should be reviewed, examined to see if it worked or not, and then it has to be re-passed or else it automatically runs out. There are a lot of old useless laws cluttering up the books, and having them run out automatically without effort to uphold them, it would save a lot of time and effort in the long run.


Look, honestly, who cares about arcade games outside of Japan any more? I'm glad they overturned a stupid ban, but honestly, as much as the Monopoly collector in me wants to own a Monopoly Arcade machine,(as well as all the good pinball ones) it's not like we're in the arcade gold rush right now. Arcade games are a relic of a past time, and so whatever man. Glad it's overturned but bit late for any good to truly come of it.

Todd Vote - A lot of good it does to lift the ban on arcade games now. I mean aren't arcades, aside from a precious few, pretty much a dead entity? I suppose this finally opens the town up for that Dave and Busters that they have been dying to have bring a franchise into their town. Can you imagine the fit the town council would have thrown if they would have saw some of the arcade games of the mid to late 90's? What would they have done with the controversy that surrounded ones ability to shoot cops in T2: The Arcade Game? How would they have reacted the first time they saw Sub Zero rip someone's spine out of the top of the opponent's neck? I think this town needs a meme... Someone with more skill than I have should get on that.

Cara Alex Brown - ...

What? I didn't even, how, what? This is like people who blame murders
on "the influence of games". Nope.

Seriously, how did they even uphold that for so long. Next you'll tell me they were claiming Pacman could influence people to become cannibals.

Quizmaster - Sforcina would have gotten 2384 points for his explanation of "sunset clauses", but alas. He did intrigue me enough that I went into the 411 rulebook to see what kind of silly laws we still have in effect from the old days.

*flip flip flip*

Hey, apparently we're actually obligated to pretend that there are always two major North American wrestling promotions, no matter how poorly either may be operating, with the penalty for noncompliance being...let's see...torture.


QUESTION FOUR: This one intrigued me. Recently announced survival horror game Uncanny Valley is apparently going to try something different from others in the genre. For starters, it will be very hard to die. I know, that seems the work against the entire concept, but apparently the developers are working on a "consequences system", where failing in the game will not send you back to some save point, but instead will affect your gameplay for the rest of the experience. The reasoning is that being forced to re-run sections of a horror game is detrimental to a players' enjoyment, since it becomes less scary and instead just feels frustrating. What do you think about their approach?

Mathew Sforcina - Hey, first off, I want to congratulate the team behind this crowd-sourcing project to get yet another retro looking game out on Steam for including an Easter Egg option. Certainly the ability to add stuff to the game is a great way to get people to contribute, lords knows that's how many a crowd sourcer has gotten my money (although so far the first one's still not out, Tomorrow forgot to include mine so I got a refund but I'm looking forward to Pier Solar. I'll be the big boss!), and so that's a good choice. And it's an interesting idea, but the problem I see is that this isn't random. It appears that you will have the one story, the one set of monsters and such. And that's all well and good, but not letting you redo and correct mistakes is the wrong way to go, I fear. The save system is not a broken one, and this doesn't look to solve it anyway. You're just making it take longer and be harder if you fail. That's not how difficulty curves work...

Todd Vote - Very, very interested. I am definitely intrigued by the idea. But I have some concerns as well. Yes, it can be very frustrating redoing the same area over and over again in games. As we discussed, last week I think, giving gamers the option to buy their way past these sections is definitely not the answer, so I at least have to give credit to the Uncanny Valley people for attempting something different.

That being said, what sort of consequences are we talking about? For example, if I fall off a ledge, what is the consequence? A broken leg, complete paralysis from the waist down? Will I have to fashion a wheel chair to finish the section of the game? I guess what I am getting at is this: While this is a very interesting idea, they have to be careful. Is it worse to have to replay a section of a game in frustrating anger? Or is it a better option to have my playable character dragging his sorry carcass across the finish of the area because he suffers from two broken legs, an arrow to the knee, and a damn cougar has bitten off his shooting hand? It's going to be a fine line between innovation and another form of frustration in this instance.

Cara Alex Brown - Finally, people are actually trying to make a decent horror game instead of the repeated zombie titles over and over. It interests me anyway, I'd like anything that could make these types of games worth playing again.

Quizmaster - This is where I admit that I'm a giant child and can't even watch other people play horror games. I tried watching a stream of Outlast and had to keep switching to another window. I'm high-strung, all right? On that note, Cara gets 3285 points because...I don't know. Skip to the big finish!

BONUS QUESTION: Look at this. It's instructions for how to make an origami figure of your character from the critically acclaimed game Journey. Isn't it awesome? Someone teach me how to origami.

Mathew Sforcina - Hey, first off, I want to congratulate the Japanese for creating the art form that is known as Origami over a thousand years ago, as well as the various other cultures that developed paper folding art at similar times. People have been doing this for centuries. Suck it up QM, and just follow the damn instructions.

Todd Vote - Wow... This is something that I would never be able to do. Don't have the steady hand for it. My Journey character would end up looking like something that passed through the pods in The Fly 2 (80's references! FTW!!).

Cara Alex Brown - Awesome, origami is good fun. Sorry for the short answers, my deadline is this Friday for my college and I have pretty much 0 time. Took 10 minutes to answer this during a break, back off to work I go.



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