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 recent news stories of the game industry. This week on our Canada Day/4th of July long-weekend edition of Banter, we discuss the upcoming Call of Duty convention, Bungie’s Aerospace announcement, thoughts on the future of Halo, 4th of July sales, and the upcoming massive adventure update for Minecraft.
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.
They’re Called Fan Conventions for a Reason
After the Call of Duty fan convention, Call of Duty XP 2011, was announced, many denouncers of the series came out of the woodwork to once again bash on the mega popular franchise. Sure, charging $150 for a chance to check out Modern Warfare 3’s multiplayer sounds like a steep price tag, but considering the amount of activities packed into the event, and the fact that all proceeds go to charity, there will be people who are interested.
And who are those people you might ask? Well, those are the fans of Call of Duty — and there are quite a lot of them. Fan events might not mean anything to gamers uninterested in that particular genre, but for people who have invested time into a franchise they could mean a chance to spend two days immersed in their favorite content. Think what you will about Call of Duty getting a convention, but understand that there most definitely will be gamers lining up with $150 in hand.
To Aerospace, And Beyond!
Those boys and girls over at Bungie really know how to spin a story. With Bungie Day fast approaching, they just couldn’t stay quiet any longer on what was going on behind the doors of Bungie Aerospace. With the announcement that the sub-publisher actually has nothing to do with their upcoming Project Destiny, instead focusing on mobile gaming, well that just made everyone stop and stare.
But when you think about it, whom else would you possibly want on your phone or tablet? Haters can say what they will about the Halo series, yet it’s still one of the most captivating series in gaming in the past decade. That kind of brand publishing and style can only help when put on a grand scale like mobile gaming. With Bungie helping indie developers in their pursuit, the possibilities are endless.
Speaking of developers, the announcement partnership with Harebrained Schemes to launch Bungie Aerospace will be something to pay special attention to. Starting things off right with “Crimson,” how Bungie Aerospace delivers their first title will set the tone for not only the rest of their publishing releases, but also how other indie developers decide to come flocking. It’s going to be an interesting step in Bungie’s future, and one that’s aiming to reach the stars.
Halo, Is It Me You’re Looking For?
It’s taken me a while to sort of formulate my thoughts regarding the latest announcement for Halo 4. Does it make me excited? I know for sure it’s made every other hardcore Halo fan excited. I, for one, still retain a bit of apprehension regarding the sixth Halo title.
I’ve been a relatively passive fan of the Halo series. I enjoyed my online time in Halo 2 for the longest time and thought it to be a pretty great and balanced multiplayer experience. When the multiplayer for Halo 3 came out, I didn’t know how to feel about it. I felt Bungie should have taken a “less is more” sort of approach.
When it came to the campaign, that was a definitely enjoyable aspect of the series and on that end, I do want to see what 343 Industries has in store for Master Chief. But, I think I was certainly OK with the end of the original trilogy. Chief was a superman who had a job to do and he did it, let him get his head down.
By now, what I would really look forward to is the kind of direction 343 Industries wants to take the franchise in. I’ll end up playing the game no matter what, but I only hope that the core gameplay will see some kind of evolution, and not more layers of features disguised as depth.
Steamy Sales Bring the Cost of Gaming into Perspective
This long weekend may mark the birthdays of both Canada and the United States, but who cares about being patriotic when you can acquire a whole bunch of phenomenal games on sale. Companies like EA, OnLive and Valve are currently going all out with an abundance of fabulous deals in an attempt to make you and your wallet happy.
The deals you can find on PC and even iOS are incredible, but one has to wonder why home consoles are left out of the madness. Xbox 360 and PS3 do have weekly deals, but so does Steam and the App Store. Console gamers are shelling out a lot more money for the same game on their console, and even then the experience is often scaled down.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was sent down to $5 yesterday, but anyone who wanted to download it via Xbox 360’s Games on Demand was paying the full price for the same game that supports fewer players online. It’ll be interesting to see if the cost of gaming starts to go down as digital download and streaming services (such as Steam and OnLive) make it more affordable than ever to enjoy gaming.
Less Mining & Crafting, More Adventure
As of this week with the release of the Minecraft 1.7 update, we are one major update away from Notch and the crew at Mojang implementing that big 1.8 “adventure update” we’ve all been waiting for. With 10 million + registered users now having jumped into the world of Minecraftia, it’s about time players are given something to actually do and by that I mean a form objectives (Yes, I know there’s lot to do already).
The achievement system inserted into Minecraft was a bit of a joke and over the last year, there’s been nothing added to the game on the NPC/Dungeon front. Because of this, I don’t log into Minecraft anymore and have zero desire to play the game by myself. My blocky repetitive creativity has expired so let me know when there are castles and cities to explore and plunder for treasure. Oh, and I want to build a multi-user boat for T-Pain and I.
Pistons are cool, but modders made them work months before the official game did, as is the case with quite a few of the additions to the game over the months. What the adventure update will eventually add, and it’ll take a while, we don’t know as it’s shrouded in secrecy at the moment. But whenever the modding API is fully integrated into Minecraft, to allow the genius that is the Mo’ Creatures Mod, Better Than Wolves and countless other user-made mods easily accessible within the game, that’s when the multiplayer fun will kick in. And I’m serious about the boat.