Welcome to another edition of the Game Ranter Banter. Five of our writers take a few minutes out of their busy schedules to give their opinions on some of the most compelling and controversial recent news stories of the game industry. This week, the Game Rant team discusses Uwe Boll’s latest disaster, Battlefield 3‘s free Battlelog service, the Nintendo 3DS’ incoming second thumb pad, the bargain bin of discount gaming, and the multiplayer beta for Assassin’s Creed Revelations.
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.
Uwe Boll’s At It Again
This is just unbelievable. Who honestly let Uwe Boll make yet another video game movie? How does he keep convincing people to greenlight his ideas? Does he have connections to the German mafia or something?
First of all, I’m willing to bet good money that 99% of the people reading this have never heard of the game Zombie Massacre. I like how Boll’s slowly been moving towards more obscure titles over the years. He started off with fairly big names like House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, and BloodRayne, before moving to lesser-known titles like In The Name Of The King. It’s almost like he expects to get away with screwing up video game movies, just because they’re more obscure titles. Yeah, nice try. Second, it really doesn’t make much difference that he’s only producing this. It still has his name all over it, and the director has directed a previous film of Boll’s, so if you’re expecting this to somehow be better than his previous work, don’t hold your breath.
I’ve heard people call Boll the Ed Wood of this generation. I honestly can’t think of a bigger insult to direct towards Ed Wood. While Wood’s movies were bad, he at least had good intentions. He tried to make good movies, and honestly loved what he did. Uwe Boll’s just in it for the money. And thanks to exploiting some German tax loophole that I can’t even begin to wrap my head around, he does, no matter how badly his movies do. Uwe Boll is everything wrong with both the film industry and the video game industry, and it’s because of people like him that it’s still hard for the general media to take video games seriously.
The only positive thing I can think of for this movie is the tagline: “There Is No Hope” sums up everything perfectly.
Battlelog Free… But For How Long?
Battlefield 3‘s Battlelog service, where players will be able to track their various stats, performance, and other random factoids that will eventually turn any passive BF3 player into his or her own all-star baseball card. While EA has already come out and said that they will be making the Battlelog service free across the board for all players, the question is how long will they keep that up?
Call of Duty Elite also has a free side of it, but will no doubt see a great deal of CoD fans shell out an additional amount of money in order to get access to all DLC at a cheaper cost. The problem there? Will there be enough DLC to justify people buying year-to-year? That’s a lot of support for a program, but if the demand is matched, it’s justified.
BF3 will get its own fair share of DLC and that could give plenty of incentive to have Battlelog be a pay service as well to create more revenue for EA. Would it be the right move? No, because then EA would become liars. Obviously, we have no idea how much DLC for Battlefield 3 will come out, but if the support is similar to Bad Company 2, then players won’t have to worry about shelling any additional money that they don’t want to.
Running in Circles
Once a company that was at the forefront of gaming innovation — bringing motion control to the casual market in a way that was never expected — Nintendo has now begun its steady fall from grace. After first pulling a bait and switch with the 3DS price drop, the company has now gone back on another element of the 3DS with the unveiling of the circle pad attachment.
Essentially, by unveiling this attachment, Nintendo is acknowledging a flaw in the design of their product — or at least admitting their competition’s design is more accessible. While before the company would stand behind their decisions, Nintendo is now a chicken running around with its head cut off. They are at the whim of the consumer and are showing their naÃ¯vetÃ©.
With these recent changes the question remains: can Nintendo’s loyal fan base learn to trust them again? Or has Nintendo become like Apple — a company that is only one six-month period away from making a drastic change to their products?
Out With The New, In With The Old
It’s nothing new to see more than handful of major games set for a release in the coming two months, with the holiday rush more than a given. But after talking to numerous people who simultaneously voice their excitement for the holiday storm, and lament the long list of games they missed out on, I ask them this: what’s stopping you from looking through the bargain bin?
Sure it’s a big deal to see games like Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, Assassin’s Creed Revelations, or any of the other triple-A games release, but there’s almost always a great game that you wish you had gotten around to. In our current obsession over the “new hotness,” any game not released this month is seen as old news. But I’ve just recently gotten the chance to finish L.A. Noire, start the final sprint of Dragon Age 2, and plan to attempt a completion of Batman: Arkham Asylum before Arkham City‘s release.
So while it may be unthinkable to the many publishers and media outlets of the world, I urge you to step away from the constant stream of details on the upcoming blockbusters, and take a look through your local retailer’s discount bin. Or better yet, take a look at the indie titles populating either Steam, PSN, or Xbox Live Arcade. Trust me, you won’t regret it. And with the coming onslaught of releases, your wallet won’t either.
You Beta Not Get Stabbed!
This week saw the Assassin’s Creed Revelations multiplayer beta open up to the masses. I never spent much time with the online component of Brotherhood, but once I finished the preview for the Revelations beta, I jumped right back in for an hour or so of assassinating. The takeaway from the Revelations multiplayer seems to be that despite the initial shock of how much less content is readily available, the experience is much tighter and more engaging.
The thrill of the hunt provides enough tension to keep players on edge for the entirety of a match, no matter how long or frustrating they can be. You will be killed without warning. You will spawn in front of a lady with a knife whose job it is to kill you. The balance is clear though, and I rarely felt cheated at the end of a match.
We are so accustomed to monotony in multiplayer that we depend on experience points and level up perks to carry the game, but Ubisoft wants to prove otherwise with one of the most odd and unique styles of multiplayer I have ever seen. More developers should take note that not every online component needs headshots.