We can breathe for a few days, gamers. The market is having slower release schedule right now following a very busy March and we have a little time to reflect on 2015 so far and look forward to more coming up… until Mortal Kombat X comes out next week that is!
Over the past few months and we’ve had some exceptional games release along with some rather missed opportunities. With the first quarter of 2015 already over we have learned a few things along the way. Here we have a look back on some of the lessons learned in some game releases so far this year while in Part Two, next week, we’ll look ahead to the next quarter of gaming releases that promises some massive games and a huge E3.
Don’t Miss This Week’s MGLMix Video’s!
Console Early-Access Could work
PC gamers are used to titles coming up as Early Access Games and development continuing while people play, plus player feedback really can make an impact here and help the developers create something even more special than originally expected.
Dying Light is an outstanding game that was in the unfortunate position of having a shipment issue and therefore launched digitally a month or so before its official release date. During this time the developers at Techland continued to develop and update the game and by the release of the hard copies the game was really polished and a better package for the player feedback.
If you check out the MGLMix Podcast we talk about this with Techland in an exclusive interview we had back in February and it’s not only something we like, the developers like the idea too. Do you think this is a good idea, register here and drop us a comment.
Next Gen Exclusives will define the PS4 & Xbox One
We’ve already seen a few exclusive games both consoles, the Xbox One released Sunset Overdrive To a Great Reception and then Sony got their turn with the not so fun but visually impressive The Order 1886 and the amazing Bloodborne that has really announced the console on the market.
But these are not necessarily the ONLY Exclusives people are crying out for, Next Gen exclusives are what people really want.
The main issue so far with games has been the need to see them developed to work on both next generation consoles and on the previous generation consoles, which has held back a number of titles and it’s no surprise to see the big upcoming games that we’re all excited about look so impressive and are only on Next Gen.
There are of course a few exceptions: Mortal Kombat X (Previewed on MGL Today) may well be one of them as it shapes up to be a quality experience on all formats. The other notable exception is Metal Gear Solid V which is an interesting one but that’s for Part 2! But for now we need to stop cross development on high end games, we’re over a year into the new console generation it’s simply time to break away. Let people make games for the PS3 and 360 still, but if you are making a next generation game that is really pushing the boundaries, make it for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
HD Remasters May Divide Opinion But They’re Here To Stay
You sit in one boat or the other on this one. Me, I’m a fan and I like to play games I may have missed like with Borderlands: The Handsome Collection and the improvement to DmC: Devil May Cry was impressive. Then of course there are bad ports and games simply re-released to make some quick cash which really goes down badly with gamers and looks bad on other HD Remastered games.
Should someone who really wants to play Batman Arkham Asylum or City need to by a 360 or PS3 if they want to play them? That’s not really fair and some people would want to start at the beginning so it’s not a bad thing to make those games available for people which Rocksteady are apparently doing. But then should we keep paying top money for bad ports and so-so games? Certainly not, of course buying something is a choice but there needs to be levels of measure with these remastered games so people are not just churning them out for quick and easy money OR, more sneakily, to take attention away from a rival game.
For instance, could we see the Uncharted games re-released as a trilogy for PS4 in order to soften the blow of the delay and also have a potential knock-on effect of making Rise of the Tomb Raider less special..? I’d put money on it right now for a reveal at Sony’s E3 conference and while I’ll be the excited Uncharted fan if/when it happens, it’s still a little cheeky.
The larger issues surrounds backwards compatibility for consoles but after Sony’s when the original PS3 console was compatible and software sales for the new console were slow as a result, it’s safe to say that it’s not going to happen and HD Remasters are here to stay.
The same old stuff re-branded is not good enough
Battlefield Hardline has shown that despite its promise, there was not enough here of an actual game to make it succeed to the Battlefield formula. This is not being harsh on the game individually; all games that are in a series now, particularly the games that release annually need to really think about their development plans because gamers expect more.
Using the same game engine with tweaks and changes is not enough anymore, back to Hardline its clear the game is built on the Battlefield 4 design and modified with new modes and concepts. Call of Duty games have done this previously and had very poor response from gamers, even though some critic scores were still high. Advanced Warfare Really Stands out as an Amazing game so let’s hope more series and annual games take the hint.
Indies Are Kicking AAAss!
While most gamers out there are interested in the big name, AAA games it’s pretty clear that the year so far and even Next Gen as a whole has been dominated by quality Indie titles, something that as big supporters of Indie Games here on MGL we are very happy about. But regardless of our views, the creative talent and dedication of independent studios that are willing to do something a bit different with their titles is really making a difference to gaming experience.
The Xbox One and PC adventure Ori and The Blind Forest is one of the best reviewed games this year and is utterly stunning, then we have even more impressive indies on PC with Pillars of Eternity, that goes back to classic isometric, RPG gaming as seen in classic Baulders Gate games all created by Kickstarter funding and determination of a developer with a clear vision.
But that’s not all Cities: Skylines is great and then we have the episodic Life is Strange, Olli Olli 2 and Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number are all in their own ways innovative and great games to play that’s not even going into some of the amazing games we saw and played at EGX Rezzed this Year. With one of the most anticipated games of this year being No Man’s Sky there really is a massive following for Indie Games now and they are bossing the market right now and that looks set to continue.
The PS4 and Xbox One Console War is Getting Closer
The launch of the PlayStation 4 saw it win the early battle, the first year of the PS4 V Xbox One was a smash for Sony’s console but with a lack of definitive exclusives, until the very recent release of Bloodborne and a change in direction for the Xbox One, has seen the two consoles get a lot closer in recent months.
With the announcement of Halo 5: Guardians coming in October there is a huge title for Xbox Gamers to look forward to whereas the monster game in the PlayStation arsenal, Uncharted 4 has been put back until next spring. This leaves Sony with two new games to rival this massive game, the epic No Man’s Sky that looks amazing but might not appeal to everyone and Until Dawn a story driven horror title with an impressive cast and high expectations. The last game like that was Beyond: Two Souls that ultimately disappointed.
The Xbox One has more too with Rise of the Tomb Raider coming up and games like Scalebound and the new Crackdown, whether or not they will make 2015 or not is to be confirmed.
But so far the year and the console war has been a good start with a lot more to come. As ever on My Games Lounge we want your thoughts so please Join the MGL Gamers and comment below. Our use the below social links to get in touch.
Developers & Publishers: 343 Industries, Devolver Digital, DICE, Dontnod Entertainment, EA, Eidos, From Software, Hello Games, Kojima Productions, Konami, Microsoft Studios, Moon Studios, Naughty Dog, NetherRealm, Ready at Dawn, Sony Computer Entertainment, Square Enix, Supermassive Games, Techland, WB Interactive
Gaming Platform: PC Games, PS3, PS4, PS4 Exclusives, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox One Exclusives
Genre: Action Adventure, Fighting, Graphic Adventure, Indie Games, MMO, Multiplayer, Open World, Platform & Puzzle, RPG, Shooter, Survival Horror