411 Games Fact or Fiction: Evolve, Quantum Break, Asassin's Creed: Unity, More
Posted by Daniel Anderson on 08.21.2014
Are we disappointed that Evolve is being delayed until next year? Are we worried about microtransactions in Assassin's Creed: Unity? Did we like Quantum Break's gameplay footage? 411ís Sean Garmer and Stephen Randle 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. I realized this column is going to go live on my birthday. I am much older then I want to admit, but I was able to get Destiny preordered as a birthday gift. Other than that, I get to celebrate by working. Joys of real life right? Anyway this week we have 411's Sean Garmer going against Stephen Randle. Let's see what they have to say, shall we?
1.) You are worried at the news that Assassin's Creed: Unity will have microtransactions.
Sean Garmer - Fact: After Mass Effect 3 took the plunge, you knew other publishers would take note. I really don't like this idea of putting microtransactions in big AAA games because where is it going to stop? I get that they need money any way they can, but games are already $60, why do we need to monetize them even more? I'm more worried about what this does to the future of gaming, than because it is AC Unity. I probably won't be playing AC Unity, but I could easily see in the next Tomb Raider you can buy all of the items you can't find, with real money. Square-Enix will start giving you bundles of potions and phoenix downs for real money, and so on and so forth. I'm sorry for being cynical, but this is no way is a good thing for consumers. If you need to make your game easier for casual players to beat, then you have done something wrong.
Stephen Randle - Fact: I have no problems with free-to-play games having microtransactions. I figure if you pay nothing for the game, microtransactions and the like are there for you to, in a way, pay what you think the game is worth, sort of a donation/thank you to the developers. When a game like Unity comes along and wants to charge me 60 bucks for a game, plus have microtransactions, that's just plain greedy. I can tolerate it if these are just cosmetic upgrades that don't really affect gameplay, but anything beyond that is just a sick money grab that will somehow still manage to work.
Score: 1 for 1 - I really, really hope that we are not getting to the point where gamers have to pay $60 for a game, and then have pay more to get power ups or extra equipment to beat the game. Put them in there if they are optional if you want (the chance to fight that has passed), but don't make me pay to beat a game I already paid $60 for.
2.) You feel confident that the new Silent Hill will be successful given the people behind the game.
Sean Garmer - Fact: I am loving every minute of Del Toro's The Strain right now and I love every one of his movies as well. Not to mention, you have one of the greatest of all time in Hideo Kojima working on the game as well? I just can't see how this will go wrong. Del Toro knows how to deliver scary and create the gruesome looking characters the Silent Hill franchise is known for, plus Kojima will great that sneaky sixth sense that perhaps we haven't seen in a Silent Hill game before. This seems to be a match made in hell that will work out just fine.
Stephen Randle - Fact: If you haven't played or watched a video of P.T., you should, because it will give you all the confidence you need in Silent Hills. The Fox Engine apparently has the power to create just some amazing graphics. The crazy thing is that Kojima has said that they lowered the graphical quality of the demo so that people would think it was an indie game done by a small team...and it still looks great. Kojima might be insane, and the Metal Gear series definitely is, but you can't argue with his level of success, and pairing with an A-list director like Del Toro can't help but make for what looks like will be an amazing, cinematic, incredibly scary game.
Score: 2 for 2 - I am optimistic, but reserved. A game can have a great story, but with subpar gameplay, it ends up not being good. I really, really want to see a good Silent Hill game, but there has to be good gameplay (and please no hiding in cardboard boxes) to go along with a good story.
3.) You agree with Phil Spencer when he says, "So if you ask me, is Tomb Raider going to ship on another platform, I actually can't give you an answer because I'm not the developer of the game."
Sean Garmer - Fiction: Has there ever been a game that was open to all consoles and then went exclusive with their second game? I can't recall one. Phil Spencer is right in that he isn't the developer of the game, but I don't see how Crystal Dynamics and Square-Enix (who are always complaining about money it seems) would agree to a total exclusive deal with Microsoft. It is a timed exclusive and will eventually come out on Playstation systems because Square had to see they could make more money that way.
Stephen Randle - Fact: Okay, I agree with the first part, because it would be insanity of the first degree to make Tomb Raider, a game that Square-Enix claimed had "disappointing" sales until it hit 4 million units, a single platform game, thus limiting the number of potential buys, especially eschewing the PC which has never been affected by console exclusivity in the past. What I disagree with is the idea that Phil Fucking Spencer has no idea how long the console exclusivity will be for the AAA title that his company just dumped a truckload of money into to secure said rights. He's in charge of the goddamned gaming division, if he doesn't know exactly how long Tomb Raider is going to be his property, then he's either an idiot, or very bad at his job, and all jokes aside, I don't think either of those is true.
Score: 2 for 3 - Microsoft, I'm sure, paid a lot of money to help develop the game, and get (semi) exclusive rights to the sequel. I do not know when (or if) it will reach other consoles, but that would be the job of Crystal Dynamics to announce that, not Microsoft.
4.) You are disappointed hearing that Evolve is being delayed until 2015.
Stephen Randle - Fact: Seriously, did the entire game development world only get the ability to make games for the PS4 and XBOne at the same time as the rest of the planet got to buy the consoles? A few delays are to be expected, but it seems like nearly every big 2014 title had at least a three month delay, pushing most of them into next year. And you know they all have to involve serious issues, because no company is voluntarily going to shove their big budget title past the Christmas season unless it's absolutely necessary. I know, there's still some games coming out, but just think of the list of games that we were supposed to be getting in the fall when 2014 began, and you can't help but be a little disappointed that we won't be able to play a whole lot of them until next year.
Sean Garmer - Fiction: I hate hearing about delays because we want the game sooner, rather than later. Especially one that has received so many awards and plaudits as Evolve has at every conference it appears at. For me, I don't mind because it gives me more time to save money and get a current-gen system, so that I can play Evolve. Knowing who is behind this game, the delay will bear fruit and give us a much better game in the end.
Score: 2 for 4 - I was sorry to hear about the delay, but as Sean said, I am sure it will give us a better developed game in the end.
5.) With Share Play game saves not being saved under the friend's game files, Share Play will only be used to test games and not to complete them.
Stephen Randle - Fact: I assume that was the whole point, allowing people what amounts to time-locked demos of games so they can decide if they want a copy of their own. I mean, we all have that slightly richer friend who gets all the games first while you can only afford to pick one or two, right? And the best way to decide which titles to drop 60 bucks on would be to actually play a bit of the game after release (because demos aren't always indicative of the final product), so yeah, that's what I'd use Share Play for.
Sean Garmer - Fact: Anyone that thinks Sony is dumb enough to allow you to play an entire game for free is kidding themselves. Not to mention, that's a lost sale for that publisher who also will not be ok with a bunch of people playing via share play and then never buying the game. Share play is mainly meant to get people to play the game and then want to go buy it because they enjoyed it so much. It will probably be more like a timed demo of any area in the game, as opposed to a regular demo that you play this specific area they have made for you. We all knew there would be a catch to this, but at least you don't have to pay extra to enjoy it. I'm guessing if there is local co-op, you could still go to a friend's house and play that way?
Score: 3 for 5 - I have a feeling that this feature will be used less than people think. I am not downplaying it, nor am I saying it is a bad feature, but only being able to play for an hour and not having your own saves will probably get annoying after a few tries of games.
6.) You liked the Gamescom gameplay footage of Quantum Break.
Stephen Randle - Fact: It's fine, I suppose, but I'm not really interested in Quantum Break. It seems like an interesting attempt at something inventive, but I worry that they might be biting off a little too much all at once. It's a game that I'm not sure we'll really know what it's actually all about until it gets released, so I'm more than a little wary about everything being thrown around in promotional materials.
Sean Garmer - Fact: Yes I very much did. I'm a big fan of both the Max Payne series and Alan Wake, so when I saw this it reminded me of both those game instantly. I'm actually excited to see how the TV stuff will be involved with the game and how if at all, it relates to the gameplay. The main character being able to use distortions in time to his advantage is intriguing and I'd like to know more about the story as well. Quantum Break is one of the big reasons I'm still undecided between PS4 and Xbox One, because I really want to play that game.
Score: 4 for 6 - I was surprised we got the gameplay footage, simply because there are a several games coming out this year that I figured Microsoft would devote time to before Quantum Break (which will come out next year). What little I saw looked fun, and I cannot wait to see more.
Bonus Question: Since last week we talked about your favorite news from Gamescom, what was your least favorite news coming out of Germany?
Stephen Randle - The fact that we still aren't sure if Tomb Raider is going to be XBOne-exclusive forever probably has to top the list. Like I said, most of my anger comes from the fact that it doesn't make any goddamned sense for a game that had to scratch and claw its way to respectable sales (in the eyes of the parent company, anyway) when it was multi-platform to decide to limit itself to only one console, especially the one that's currently got a much smaller install base. I just can't believe that Microsoft would pony up enough money to make up that much of a difference. But it's not even a Sony-Microsoft thing to me, I have to question the part where they were talking like there wasn't going to be a PC version. Consoles have never tried to keep titles off the PC before, because it's a stupid idea and totally unnecessary, since the PC doesn't affect the console wars one way or the other. Also, the fact that both companies have essentially perverted the term "exclusive" so much that we don't know what it means anymore is annoying as all hell.
Sean Garmer - No Man's Sky has maybe too much in it? It would take five billion years to see all the planets? Good lord.
That wraps up this week's edition of Fact or Fiction. Stephen and Sean went 3 for 6 agreeing as much as they disagreed. Slight change this week since we didn't have a podcast. Randle challenged me to the Ice Bucket Challenge, so, just to prove I answered it, here is the video:
I hope everyone has a good week, and until next week, happy gaming.