Game Ranter Banter: Assassin's Creed 3, Insomniac's Resistance, Kingdoms of Amalur & The Wii U
Can you feel it? Your wallet trembling? You should, as next week begins the onslaught of new game releases. We had it easy for the first few weeks of January, but soon you'll be knee deep in video game releases thinking to yourself, "if only I had read the Game Ranter Banter and heeded their warning."
This week five of our team discuss the issues surrounding used games, the combat gameplay in Kingdoms of Alamur, the next Assassin's Creed title, the end of Insomniac's Resistance games, and what Nintendo's Wii U could bring to the table. Let's begin.
The Used Game Problem (by Jeff Schille)
Next-generation hardware rumors are more rampant than ever, but nothing has yet grabbed the attention of the gaming public like news that Xbox 720 allegedly won't play used games. Players everywhere are up in arms about the possibility, and with good reason. Like it or not, the used game market is partially responsible for gaming's widespread popularity, and used titles are often the only option for players (and families) on a tight budget.
My opinion is that this scenario will not come to pass -- at least not yet. Microsoft's retail relationship with GameStop would be destroyed, likely to the significant benefit of both Sony and Nintendo. That said, is there anything Microsoft could do to actually make the prospect enticing for customers? Lowering the price of retail games would be a good place to start. An even better option would be to offer both retail and digital versions of every game (asSony is doing with Vita), and sell the digitally distributed versions at a significant (but fair) discount.
Sooner or later, the transition to all digital content is going to make the "used game problem" a moot point. The question is, what happens between now and then?
Kingdoms of Combat (By Trung Bui)
When one of the lead designers on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Ken Rolston, stated that the game's combat would be much better than the combat in Skyrim, it wasn't a stretch. When you put the two games up against one another and measure the combat, yes, Kingdoms' combat seems a lot more fun and engaging than Skyrim's. The problem with making that particular statement is that Big Huge Games was shooting fish in a barrel.
Comparing different RPG games' combat systems can only result in a mixed bag of expectations. Games that have more emphasis on the combat, like Fable, focusing on a fast paced, easy-to-adapt combat system or even Dragon Age: Origins which offered a more tactical experience. Skyrim, like any Elder Scrolls game, focuses much more on the exploration and world-building aspects of the RPG genre. Unfortunately, the combat does indeed suffer from "hit it until it dies" syndrome. There's very little strategy, outside of using potions or poisons.
Publicity for a game is important, but I felt it was in poor taste to take a jab at Bethesda's awarding-winning game of 2011, when Skyrim such a huge and immersive game. That being said, I am definitely looking forward to playing Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
So Long Old Friend (By Anthony MolÃ©)
This is a send off for one of my favorite franchises, Resistance. Earlier this week it was announced that Insomniac Games would not be making anymore Resistance titles. As someone who loves this franchise, this is really heartbreaking, even though I do understand Insomniac's decision.
Without diving into details, things were difficult for me the past couple of years, but what always made it better was being able to hop into games of Resistance: Fall of Man and Resistance 2 and just forget about everything else. Sure, people might say the franchise's earlier games were mediocre, but for me they were consoling. I'll never forget how much fun I had playing 32-player matches on Rooftops, or spending hours on R2's fantastic eight player co-op. I haven't talked about Resistance 3 yet, but that's only because it's such a recent game, one that needless to say, is phenomenal.
These games mean a lot to me, so much so that I own the comics, the graphic novel, both novels, the Resistance 2 Collector's Edition and I'm sure a few other things I'm forgetting. Sure, the franchise will live on through Sony, but Insomniac are the creators of the series. To everyone at Insomniac, I just want to say, thanks for the memories, without you I wouldn't be the gamer I am today.
One if by Land, Two if by Sea… and Three if by Animus? (By Brian Sipple)
Ever since Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, gamers have speculated about the destination of the next Assassin’s Creed like they were drunk-spinning a globe. As more signs begin to converge on an Assassin’s Creed III set before or during the American Revolution, allow me to reiterate our own Andrew Dyce’s colonial testimonial on why the Revolution is ripe for AC III.
Other than the strategy genre, momentous time periods in American history like the Revolution and Civil War have been all but ignored by mainstream games because the word "red dot sight" didn’t exist. That’s not an issue for Assassin’s Creed, which has journeyed as far back the Third Crusade. There would be no shortage of weapons and gadgets to risk treading on the fun combat known to the series.
The American Revolution would also hail the opportunity to come face to face with one General George Washington himself. Contrary to popular belief, GW wasn’t the saintly flat character history can make him out to be, and he often sparred with his own Congress as much as he did the British army. Under the hand of Ubisoft’s master storytellers, I have no doubt they can weave together the lives of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and the appropriate AC characters to create one of finest works of historical fiction gaming has seen in a long time.
My money’s on Franklin introducing the "entertainment."
Wii U Think of the Possibilities (By Riley Little)
The Wii U is Nintendo's next shot at providing hardcore gamers with an experience that they simply weren't able to have on the Wii. Rumors have pegged the console to be twice as powerful as the Xbox 360, and that's great for fans who feel they've been left out to dry when it came to the Wii. With Nintendo seemingly delving into their past to appeal to a new kind of gamer, one can't help but be a little excited.
We still know little to nothing about the Wii U's game lineup, but I find myself simply in awe of what's on the other side of the metaphorical curtain. All we can do is speculate on what Nintendo's next console may or may not do, but if it can offer an online experience that is on par with Xbox Live and PSN, and tap into that elusive third party support once more, than there's a lot to be excited about.
With a confirmed Holiday 2012 launch for the new system, and a brand new Skylanders-esque feature built into the Wii U's controller, we can't help but think of the possibilities.
That's all for this week's Game Ranter Banter. As always, let us know what you think of this week's news in the comments, or on Twitter @GameRant and Facebook.com/GameRant and if you have specific topics you'd like any of the team to cover, don't hesitate to ask.