Our Week in Games – Week 115
Gaming can be a funny old world at times. You spend ages developing what you hope will be an amazing game full of potential, only to find player counts drop significantly mere weeks after launch. This is the situation Square Enix/Crystal Dynamix find themselves in with their latest Marvel’s Avengers game.
Recent data suggests the PC-based player-count has dropped below 1000 and has stayed there. This is not a good place to be for a game who’s license alone must have cost a fortune. Uninspired writing, dull combat and repetitive missions gave the game an uphill battle before you even took into account how weird the main characters look, but server issues, badly-broken match making and 1000’s of bugs (yes you read that right the patch list for the first update literally fixed over 1000 issues) doomed the game to failure.
Square Enix/Crystal Dynamix are putting a brave face on things, stating that the next update will add a lot of extra content and give players a great reason to dive back into their universe. But one can’t help feel that any goodwill that was there on day one is gone now. It’s a shame as it’s the kind of universe that should be an absolute blast to play, but treat consumers badly and it’s what you get.
In other ‘game-developers-phoning-it-in’ news, EA, in a move that will surprise precisely no-one, have shown their contempt for Switch owners again with the ‘new’ FIFA 21. The issue stems from FIFA 20 where all platforms, except the switch got an updated version with new modes, new systems and, basically, a new game. Switch owners got the FIFA 19 port- relabelled as FIFA 20, but with updated teams. This was bad and a pretty cynical move, and the reviews reflected that. For FIFA 21 they’ve done it again and it’s not even the FIFA20 game they’ve ported; it’s the FIFA 19 version again with updated teams for 2021. Which is utterly ridiculous and in no circumstances should you buy it, It did though result in this glorious article from IGN where they treated EA to their own medicine with the following:
“Seeing as EA copy and pasted last year’s FIFA onto Switch again this year – once again saying it has the same gameplay “without any new development or significant enhancements” on its store page for the full price of $49.99/£44.99 – I’ve decided to do the same and copy and paste my review of FIFA 20 on Switch below as my review of FIFA 21:”
Intro by Jon.
My week has, again, been devoid of any real gaming. Releasing a big project at work, and getting my apartment ready for sale has wiped me out. It’s so disheartening to work where you live sometimes, especially when your work desk is your gaming desk too.
But a small sliver of joy came with Spyro. All the ads for the new Crash Bandicoot gave me a yearning for some old school fun, and the Spyro remsasters has given me some of that. They remind me of the good old days when games were how they came on the disc and you didn’t have to worry about patches, DLC and season passes. Here’s to the purple one!
This week I’ve found myself nearly 200 miles from my computer, making gaming somewhat difficult even for someone like myself with rather long arms. Before I left however, I returned to Half Life 2: Episode 2 on something of a nostalgia trip.
Half Life 2: Episode 2 features the Little Rocket Man achievement, a notoriously ridiculous trial that requires you to transport a small garden gnome practically the entire length of the game. The only person I know daft enough to complete the challenge is our very own Jon Armer. He once described getting the achievement as the best thing he ever did, including having children, so for this playthrough I thought I’d give it a shot.
Several hours into the game I realised something. Not only did I not have my gnome, but I couldn’t remember the last place I’d even seen it. Somewhere long ago I’d put that ceramic gentleman down and I’d just never picked him up again.
I imagine him now, sat somewhere at the side of the road, his face staring fixedly off into the distance, hoping that I will once day return for him.
No. No I will not.
Aside from living vicariously through Nick as he attempted the ridiculously challenging Little Rocket Man challenge in Half life (which i’ve got). I’ve been playing a lot of Star Wars: Squadrons. My review for which can be found here. I won’t rob you of the joy of discovering the score I gave it here, but suffice to say it’s captured me in a way I didn’t expect. I’m tripping over a couple of scripting bugs in the campaign at the moment, which is a shame, but otherwise I’m still having a blast flying a little starfighter into the side of a capital ship. Which is NOT what I should have done, but it was fun. I’m still giggling about it now. It’s almost as fun as getting the Little Rocket Man challenge, which I don’t know if anyone mentioned it; but that I have.
Another thing that I have (such as the not-mentioned-before Little Rocket Man Achievement in Half Life, which I have by the way) is a burning desire to return to the Hitman franchise. I’d expect some words on that in the near future. There was always a pure thrill in getting the highest stealth rating on each level, the challenge and openness of the maps allowed for some truly imaginative solutions and it was a challenge i’ve only recently realised I’m missing. So time to put on the barcode and challenge myself again. Like the Rocket man challenge…..