Game Ranter Banter: Rovio, Homefront, Dead Island & Crysis 2

Published 4 years ago by

Game Ranter Banter

Welcome to another edition of the Game Ranter Banter. Five writers take a few minutes out of their busy schedules to give their opinions on some of the most compelling and controversial news stories of the week.

Since its release, the news on Homefront has continued to pile up, and two of our writers have some bones to pick on these happenings. On top of that, a few more buzzworthy console games (Crysis 2Dead Island) are causing a stir and the company behind Angry Birds, one of the most popular mobile titles ever, has some interesting opinions to share.

Our readers are as knowledgeable and opinionated as our own writers, so here is the place for all of you to discuss these stories as well as any others that may have piqued your interest throughout the week.

Jeff Schille

How Important Can a Single Game Be?

Homefront has been on my mind this week. How could it not be? News about the game is absolutely everywhere. Before it ever released, we knew the developer’s thoughts on a sequel; we knew how many copies it must sell in order to be successful; we knew how long the game’s single player campaign would take to complete. Within 24 hours of launch, reports surfaced about the game’s first day sales, about freezing issues, about the proposed length of the yet-to-be-confirmed sequel, and about the game’s price being discounted. For me, it culminated in the news that the stock price of publisher THQ — one of the five largest independent game publishers in the world — took a 20% dive based on the reviews for Homefront. The reviews!

Why is the game so newsworthy? You’d think no other original FPS had ever been released. As the first game in a proposed franchise developed by a largely unproven studio, why would anyone expect the world of Homefront? There is a larger question here that concerns how much news about a game should color the experience of playing that game, and I don’t claim know the answer. To be clear, Game Rant has certainly devoted significant real estate to Homefront coverage, as well we should have — it made news, after all. But remember this: whether or not you play it, whether or not you like it, Homefront is just a game.

Sebastian Gaweda

Defending the Homefront

While I would love to defend Kaos Studios’ right to put out a 4-5 hour campaign, the truth of the matter is that Homefront‘s does indeed feel short. The problem likely stems from the pacing of the story which doesn’t slow down in the right ways or at the right times. And when it does, it literally forces you to walk your way through the game. Kaos missed a lot of opportunity to create real drama and expand on the mythology of the bleak Korean-occupied future that awaits the American people.

Their promotional site, Inside the Occupation, told stories of children being brainwashed, an attack on Salt Lake City and an irradiated Mississippi, but none of these made significant appearances in the game. With Kaos talking about a sequel potentially having a 10-hour campaign, let us hope they use those hours to better expand on the game’s imaginative setting.

Riley Little

Big Words, Bite-Sized Games

Angry Birds has been an extremely successful franchise for Rovio and co., but for the company’s business development lead, Peter Vesterbacka, to suggest that console games are dying just because $0.99 games are selling well is certainly a bit of a stretch. There is absolutely a demographic for casual games – there is no denying that – but there is still a massive market for people who want a title with more depth. People don’t spend $250 on a game console to play something like Angry Birds. They want games with a little more variety, immersiveness and (hopefully) story.

Vesterbacka’s defence is that he’s never heard of “casual movies” so how could there be “casual games.” Well, games are a little different from films, Peter. This is because of the ability to interact and control what’s happening on-screen. Story, content and controls all add depth to a video game, and once in a while, people want something a little deeper than what is available on the App Store.

Trung Bui

Crysis 2 Looks Bad On PS3?

Empirical evidence aside from the complaints regarding the PS3 Crysis 2 demo, it will not be a horrible looking game, no matter what platform its being played on. Yes, running the game on a PC will most likely get your maximum return on graphic investment, but the fact the game looks as good as it does on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is amazing.

Video games are coming up on a level of graphic capability that was only dreamed of years ago, so it’s kind of annoying to see people pull the smallest hairs just to further the console war. When you have multi-platform releases, there’s always the possibility of a 360 version looking better. Why? Developers have had more time to work with the device and optimize an experience. It’s a console that’s easier to program and optimize for. There are some exceptions, but with CryENGINE 3 able to scale performance to hardware, I would find it difficult to believe people wouldn’t buy Crysis 2 for a PS3 if that’s their preferred console. At the end of the day, it’s about the gameplay.

Anthony Taormina

The Vacation’s Over

This week saw the release of three new screens for Dead Island which beg the question: where is that awesome trailer in video game form? Granted, said piece of marketing was carefully crafted by a team other than Techland, but that doesn’t mean the developer couldn’t have put together marketing materials that mirror that emotional journey gamers became so invested in.

While Dead Island is most likely going to go down as a title whose trailer far exceeded its actual presentation, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a good game to be found. Instead of capitalizing on a buzz product that got everybody from big name studio directors to your neighbor down the street talking, Deep Silver let that enthusiasm fizzle out. Now we’re left with the usual screenshots of eerie resort locations, and pining for that magic we felt a month ago.

What are your thoughts on the news this week? Share with us in the comments and on Twitter @GameRant.

TAGS: Angry Birds, Crysis 2, Dead Island, Game Ranter Banter, Homefront, Rovio, THQ

  • Rob Keyes

    Ya, the hype was overboard with Dead Island. Emotional piano solo combined with slow-mo family horror can earn attention but it has less than nothing to do with the actual gameplay and fun of the video game.

    You can’t make a full retail video game in reverse to one song and in slow-motion, lol.

    • Jacob Siegal


      At this point, I’d rather just see that production company make a feature length zombie film. They’re freaking awesome.

  • Andrew Dyce

    First off, I agree that Homefront is just a game, and one property really shouldn’t have as much of an impact on the potential future of a company as it did with THQ. Granted, the shareholders jumping ship may have been just as motivated by their realization that THQ was at its highest point in quite sometime as it was by reviews, but we can’t know for sure.

    My problem with Homefront is, as Sebastian pointed out, it feels short. To finish a game in one sitting, within 4 hours is one thing, but to have it be hyped as a story-driven drama that will more than satisfy makes the experience even more infuriating.

    Honestly, early reviews boasting that the game gives a complete experience and leaves players wanting more of it are misleading, since asking someone to spend 60 bucks on 4 hours of anything is a bit extreme. Half-Life was biggest influence? No, it was Call of Duty, and that’s clear through all of the second half of the game.

    I have doubts that Kaos will up their game and produce a campaign that is three times the length of the original. Making the game you want is one thing, but Kaos didn’t advertise the multiplayer anywhere near as much as the ultimately-throw-away storyline.

  • Andrew Dyce

    Console games are dead? Console games are just about the last hope of inspired gaming as an artistic medium. Do movie directors line up to produce a digital activity that lets people interact with their friends on social networking websites? No, they don’t. Because their passion for their art form is based on bringing a creation to life, an expression of an idea or concept that they want people to see, not just kill time and have fun with.

    It’s the same reason that Guillermo Del Toro is making a console game, not a social one. His desire is to make an artistic expression, not a money-maker that will take advantage of Facebook, or the phone someone is walking around with.

    Of course people will want to say that mobile or social gaming is the future just to grab headlines, but that isn’t the purpose of the hardware. As long as people are willing to walk out and spend $500 on hardware just to play games, that will always be above people who are willing to spend $0-$1 to play something in passing, on a platform they use for entirely different purposes.

    Nice try, Rovio.

    • Riley Little

      Dyce is teh win!

      • Kholdstare89

        I believe I could hug Mr. Dyce. Excellent post. :)

  • Brian Dyce

    Dead Island still looks like it could be AAA title, and we all knew it wouldnt be able to hit home like the teaser trailer did. (just like the GoW 2 mad world video). It just seems like it might be alot more similar to Left for Dead than we had hoped it would be.

    And while the casual gaming industry is booming right now, thats all it is is casual games. With the last 2 years being the way they are for the more “hardcore” games, and the way that ’11 is looking to be, the hardcore gamers dont have anything to worry about, except for the odd casual gamer giving a “real” game a shot and adding another player to the mix.

  • Jorge andres

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