Posts Tagged ‘halo’

Is Splitscreen Dying?

Remember the time when almost every game had a splitscreen option? Some even had bots to play against so you and a friend could either run over all the bots or get smashed, there wasn’t really an inbetween for difficulties!

 

Splitscreen gaming is something most gamers who experienced the original Xbox and Playstation 2 and all consoles prior. There were some games that were splitscreen on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, but they were more like afterthoughts in an online dominated era. There are actually very few decent split screen co-op games, you could only really find online co-op games, particularly towards the end of the Xbox 360/Playstation 3 era.

Halo has classically been known as a splitscreen game, there has always been at least 2 player splitscreen available on every game and 4 player splitscreen multiplayer. Your friends could even play as a guest online via splitscreen, this was how I got into online gaming with Halo 2. Halo 5: Guardians has been announced as having no splitscreen in any mode at all! This goes against all Halo FPS tradition, but, at least there is an option for online co-op and online multiplayer will as always be included, just don’t expect to bring your guests along like you would normally.

There will still be some games with decent splitscreen co-op, the new Gears of War games show no signs of not having local co-op and there will no doubt be some indie developers who will notice the gap in the market developing for local co-op games. As has been discovered many times before, the indie developers know how to make great games as they are normally avid gamers themselves. I have faith in the community. I don’t place faith in the world of graphics over gameplay any more though. I’d rather a game be amazing to play rather than amazing to look at, sacrificing splitscreen is not the way forward in gaming.

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Previous Blog: Graphics vs Gameplay

Graphics vs Gameplay

The emphasis of graphics has come to almost overshadow any part of gameplay recently, at least prior to launch, many gamers are roped into a game because it looks incredible, only to find that the game is quite weak at heart.

Graphics are important to a game, but they are not the be all and end all of a game. The first thing anyone will see of a game is graphics, so obviously they do carry some importance to gaining interest, although the amount of games that use non game play trailers is extortionate and creates a false view of the game.

Game play is king when it comes to a game, that’s why games like Pacman and Tetris still get played today! There are probably very few people who have turned around and said, “I wish Pacman looked better”, or “I don’t like Pacman because it looks old”, Pacman works because its an ingenious simple idea that is addictive and fun, like what mobile games have attempted to be, but fail by adding micro transactions. Simple graphics plus effective gameplay make for great games, the most recent example would be Minecraft, its a simple building game, but it captures everyone’s imagination in some way as there is no right or wrong way to play Minecraft. No one cares that the graphics are poor, it creates its own charm, and that is what a lot of games are missing out on now, their own charm, everything wants to look ‘real’.

Just to finish though, I understand that some games basically require nice graphics to immerse you properly, I’m thinking down that lines of Elder Scrolls games where you become a part of the world that you’re in and you feel at home, worse graphics wouldn’t help as its part and parcel with the graphics. Some games like competitive FPS games do not need good graphics, gameplay is king in FPS, for example Counter Strike and Halo 1 and 2 in the Master Chief Collection play brilliantly and don’t look fantastic.

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Previous Blog: Microsoft’s E3

Day One Patch

Day one patches… a relatively new development in the world of gaming, we certainly never saw any of these of the Nintendo 64, games couldn’t even be patched! The introduction of games having online capabilities and consoles having internet connection may be one of the best and worst things that has happened to the gaming industry. Here’s why.

“Back in the day” games consoles didn’t even feature any form of online capabilities, this only really became standard on the PS3 and Xbox 360, although the Original Xbox did carry some update capabilities, it wasn’t fully utilised as most users did not have the internet to support it well and it wasn’t a necessity at the time.

The introduction of consistent updates and patches really started with the Xbox 360 and the generation of consoles that came with it. Online gaming became the norm, and with more people being online for gaming, the more developers could tweak and patch their games through gamer feedback, very good! It works because all games will carry a bug here and there that can now be ironed out, whereas this was not possible in the past.

For multiplayer games I think updates are required to perfect the balance in the game. Weapons are meant to be created equal, but one weapon always seems to be more equal than the rest, balancing games makes them much more fun! No one likes the “cheap” weapons that always pop up in games. (unless you use them)

Day one updates frustrate me a little, though I realise there use, the idea that a game needs a patch day one always worries me. It screams that the developers discovered an issue between production and release, and what do the people who don’t have internet do?

The reason this blog has come to mind is due to Evolve having around a 3gb update (varies for each platform) on day one, its slightly better that this game is online only so no one can miss it anyway and some of it was added through community feedback from the beta so thats a big thumbs up. But should it be acceptable that a game is releasing with stability issues? They may be instantly fixed, but Halo Master Chief Collection is showing that updates don’t always fix issues. My trust in games has been affected badly by Halo MCC, it’s a great game when it works, but it doesn’t work often, I have played a handful of matchmade games and that is it! Day one patches are okay, as long as the patch FIXES the issue.

I just want developers to release games that work from day one and not rely on patching it up as consumers find errors. But if patching on day one is what is required, if this is the best way to have the best experience, I can deal with it, I’d just like to see it less

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Previous Blog: Broken Games

 

 

Broken Releases

The current gen/ next gen, whatever its called now days, is supposed to be leading innovation with better, faster games, but there has been a number of games that have had calamity releases and made many gamers very frustrated.

Broken games should not happen, and considering its 2015 there is no excuse for not testing your games. Battlefield 4 seemed to start the trend off, even after a beta! The game crashed, lagged, you would struggle to join games, you could never join with friends in a squad it was generally pretty damn screwed up. To make it worse they took multiple updates (small and large) to get the game to state that worked efficiently. The amount of time and man power this took meant that premium members did not get what they signed up for as map packs were delayed due to more of the team fixing the game rather than expanding it. Dice have done themselves no favours with fans and shareholders, getting in trouble for launching the game too early.

Halo Master Chief Collection is the game of which the developers didn’t need to do too much, yet still managed to screw it up pretty well. Four months down the line and the game is still not fixed, matchmaking is inconsistent and joining friends can still be a mild nightmare. This has been pretty frustrating, I have still only played a handful of matchmade games on halo due to the process being full on broken. Its a shame that Halo messed up, its a great series that has been very tarnished due to the poor launch and attempted fixes on a REMAKE of old games.

Most recently is the developers of Dying Light, “TechLand”, having a “manufacturing issue” with the game and therefore only North America have gotten hard copies of the game. Yeah sure the game is available for digital download, but a lot of gamers prefer to collect their games and have a physical copy. Whats more, the hard copy is delayed a whole month, yeah you read that right, a month to produce more discs… I think Techland need to have a serious look at their manufacturing process because that is piss poor. On the lighter note, Techland have issued all of the buyers who have had their copy delayed all the DLC for free which is a nice gesture.

Developers seems to consistently be screwing up in different phases of creating a game, and to make it worse, it seems to hit more triple A developers rather than indie developers. I have thought that big game developers have based their games around money rather than making great games, ubisoft are great at pumping out the same stuff and they still screwed up massively with AC: Unity (a 40gb update didn’t fix it fully). I must stop now, its been too much of a rant.

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Previous Blog: Evolve Beta Thoughts

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