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Crytek's Ryse: Son of Rome bores reviewers

Crytek's Ryse: Son of Rome bores reviewers

Thu 21 Nov 2013 11:45am GMT / 6:45am EST / 3:45am PST
MediaPublishing

Critical Consensus: Forza 5, Killer Instinct, Ryse, Crimson Dragon and Dead Rising 3 pulled apart by critics

If it's true that exclusive games are the key influencer behind console purchase decisions then Microsoft's Xbox One should be on stronger ground than Sony's PlayStation 4. This is a system launching with a few more exclusives than Sony's disappointing three titles - not least Turn 10's Forza Motorsport 5, a racing game that can sit in pole position by default now that Evolution's Driveclub has been delayed from launch.

As the embargoes lift on those launch titles ahead of the console's global release on Friday, we'll focus on the reaction from the games media and those all important scores.

Ryse: Son of Rome

Crytek's Ryse: Son of Rome started out a Kinect exclusive for the Xbox 360, before the development team at Crytek decided to add physical controls and upgrade it to an Xbox One launch title.

"Nasty, brutish and short, Ryse: Son of Rome has emerged from a seven-year development hell as a visually resplendent, preternaturally dumb action game that exhibits a galling, monotonous bloodlust," begins Eurogamer's 5/10 review.

Writer Oli Welsh isn't that bothered by Crytek's take on history - "in which the Celtic queen Boudica rides a war elephant, England looks like Middle-Earth, Scotland looks like Transylvania, the Colosseum is a kind of clockwork Holodeck and someone has invented exploding barrels" - but more so that the developer has approached the gameplay so po-faced.

"Nasty, brutish and short, Ryse: Son of Rome has emerged from a seven-year development hell as a visually resplendent, preternaturally dumb action game"

"It's just a shame the game has to take itself so seriously, adopting that air of grim cynicism that's so fashionable these days, when a little camp might have gone a long way," he writes. "Worse, it dulls the refreshing effect of its setting by reaching far too often for the video game copybook of cut-and-paste set-pieces."

Graphically, Ryse is pushing the Xbox One, according to Welsh. "For sheer in-your-face splendour, Ryse can stand toe-to-toe with Guerrilla's PS4 game, and it ought to silence a lot of sceptics of Xbox One's capabilities," but the repetitive gameplay brings up a word that's used by other publication's when reviewing Ryse - "boring".

Repetition is the heart of the problem for Polygon, where violent finishing moves rapidly lose their novelty appeal. "Ryse is determined to bore you," notes Phillip Kollar, throwing around words like "dull", "mundane" and "hollow" in his 6/10 review.

He also takes issue with the portrayal of homosexuality in the game, pointing to feminine traits being used as a sign of weakness, and worse. "Ryse hides an uncomfortable approach to demonizing its villains. The game's bad guys are consistently portrayed as feminine and, as the game progresses, sexually deviant. Worse, Ryse ties those traits in with heavily implied homosexuality, later adding bestiality into the mix as well.

"There is some historical precedent for feminine traits being seen as negative in this time period, but most sources point to homosexuality being a common and accepted extension of male sexuality - not something that the citizenry would be driven to mock. Moreover, even if there was a historical basis for it, Ryse uses those traits to frame your enemies as unlikable and worth killing. It's a cheap and frankly gross tactic."

The only real stand out for Kollar is the attention to detail in the visuals. "It's a gorgeous, dark and bloody tableau. But all that visual beauty and dramatic gravitas goes to waste with an aimless plot and a monotonous combat system. Ryse has all the guts of next-gen - often quite literally - but none of the glory."

6

Ryse: Son of Rome.

Xav de Matos at Joystiq finds the same faults with the game as other critics - it's joyless.

"If Crytek's Xbox One action game is to be believed, the history books have it all wrong. The reason for Rome's fall wasn't decadence, economic problems or social division; it was sheer boredom," he writes in a 2.5/5 review.

For de Matos that boredom continues in the co-op and multiplayer modes, and becomes combined with a lack of polish. "Playing online with another player doesn't add much flair to the experience, unfortunately. It's still the same combat system, save for the ability to perform combo executions.

"The multiplayer is extraordinarily rough around the edges," he adds. "Perhaps because of the ever moving and changing maps, enemies get stuck on geometry. Invisible walls may neglect to deactivate and keep you from completing objectives. Artificial intelligence is dialed back to zero in some instances, like a moment where I tricked an enemy to run right toward me to his doom, through a set of spinning blades.

In summary, it's a game that has failed to capture the imagination of the reviewers, and fallen well short of the expectations of a console launch title. As de Matos states: "Ryse: Son of Rome falls into the trap of your typical launch game: it does well to show off the power of the system, but it's slim on substance. Production value aside, Ryse is short, easy and lacks the punch of other action games. For all of it's pomp and flash, Ryse: Son of Rome is a shallow bore."

Forza Motorsport 5

Could Forza 5 be the highest rated launch game for either of the two new consoles? There's a good portion of 9s and high 8s in the first batch of reviews from Destructoid, Videogamer, Polygon and GameSpot, with a handful of lower 7s from Eurogamer and CVG.

Although Arthur Gies at Polygon doesn't drive or care about cars, he gets the passion that goes into making a game like Forza. "Forza 5 isn't a dry, library-like collection of cars, observed in clinical detail with rubber gloves. Developers Turn 10 and their collaborators from the BBC's Top Gear want you to get your hands, and your car, dirty," he writes in his 9/10 review. "They seem to want you to love cars and car culture as much as they do."

"Turn 10 has charted a course for the future of the series and created the Xbox One's first must-own game"

Polygon

And for Gies, the franchise has leapt forward thanks to not only the visual upgrade the new Xbox One allows, but also the advancements in AI and control technology. "It's Forza 5's AI and controls that feel like the biggest step forward from Forza's past. Microsoft's impulse triggers offer effective force feedback for the new controller. They often create the sensation that the triggers themselves are fighting you."

The painfully named 'Drivatar' system that records your driving skills and drops an AI profile into friends' games is central to this new release, leading Gies to conclude that "pretty much everyone that plays Forza drives like an asshole." It's a big change from previous Forza games, something that may not be to everyone's taste: "This was something of a double-edged sword. On the plus side, it forced me to think on my feet more than Forza has in the past," he notes. "Previous Forzas always felt oriented on driving a perfect line after getting past the initial pack, and that's not the case at all in Forza 5."

For Polygon, Forza 5 is the stand out release on Microsoft's new-gen console. "With the introduction of aggressive, convincing AI that makes every offline race feel like a multiplayer competition, Turn 10 has charted a course for the future of the series - and created the Xbox One's first must-own game."

GameSpot is similarly gushing with its review, calling Forza 5 "a game that expertly captures the bond between car and driver, improving on a world-class racing simulation with just as much human touch as technical wizardry." Reviewer Shaun McInnes also picks up on the use of feedback in the controller and the Drivatar system, and is forgiving of the lower car count, although new courses "don't remove the sting from the modest track count."

His opinion is shared with Destructoid's Dale North, who finds no fault with the content and is blown away from the visual upgrade the Xbox One brings to the series. "Forget racers. This is one of the best looking videogames I've ever laid eyes on," he says in a 9/10 review. "Both the Forza and Gran Turismo franchises have histories of bringing high quality car models to their games, but nothing we've seen before even comes close to what Forza 5 brings."

So it's left to the British sites to dish out the lukewarm reviews. Acknowledging that Forza is a beauty, CVG finds fault in the lack of "vitality, speed and exhileration."

"Forza 4 itself could be criticised for being too sterile, but it looks outright rebellious when compared to the series' next-gen debut," begins the 7/10 review, before suggesting the Drivatar system isn't quite up to scratch. "It sounds great, but in practice it's flawed," writes Justin Towell.

"These simulated drivers make believable mistakes and lunges, but they also brake in unlikely places and drive off-road onto grass for no obvious reason. They're bound to improve, but they're not quite there yet."

The game leaves a cold impression on Towell, who suggests a handful of alternative racing games on current gen systems over Turn 10's latest. "Forza 5 is not a racing game. Not really. It's a driving simulation that features races. Despite all the quality of the production, these chases aren't as thrilling as those of Forza 4, let alone GRID or F1 2013. So unless you're convinced the remarkable graphics and attention to automotive detail are absolutely worth your money, there are other racing games that play much better."

4

Forza Motorsport 5.

Martin Robinson at Eurogamer expresses disappointment in the title too, but he does point out one of the real highlights: "It's that controller and its implementation in Forza Motorsport 5 that sells the next-gen experience better than anything on Microsoft's new console right now," he says in a 7/10 review.

"The individual feedback in each of the Xbox One pad's triggers is something of a revelation: go too strong entering into a corner and you'll feel the front wheels locking at your fingertips, while you can feel the rears light up upon an overenthusiastic exit. Not since Gran Turismo's first dalliance with the rumbling DualShock on the PlayStation has there been such an advance in the way we play racing games on a pad."

However, he has issues with the game's tie-in with the BBC's Top Gear show, noting that "the laddish melodrama of Clarkson and company is served up in unskippable chunks before each set of events, and like the programme, the noisy style covers up a lack of substance."

But the biggest problem for Robinson appears to be the lack of content in the final package. "So much has been lost from previous iterations of Forza Motorsport," he writes, noting that tracks and the career mode are part of the underwhelming offering. "So little is spread out so thin across a career that doesn't make much of an effort to engage."

"With Forza Motorsport 5, Turn 10's created a driving experience both accessible and beautiful - but it's been stripped back to make Xbox One's launch, and augmented with a host of ugly extras that only serve Microsoft's bid to make a few dollars more."

Dead Rising 3

Capcom's latest zombie killer has a brief window to make a good impression with critics and consumers, but according to Eurogamer's 7/10 review, the game doesn't do a good job straight out the gate. "The first minutes of the game are some of its worst, as pixels crawl along the jagged edges of road signs while canned shots of the surroundings strain to set the scene against the weight of slowdown," says editor in chief Tom Bramwell. "You never escape Dead Rising 3's technical shortcomings, particularly the slowdown, but once you make it out of this freeway tunnel and into Los Perdidos proper, at least you do stop worrying about them."

"You never escape Dead Rising 3's technical shortcomings, particularly the slowdown... but at least you do stop worrying about them"

Eurogamer

From there gameplay is "dumb fun" as in previous Dead Rising games, where players carve through the undead with increasingly outlandish weapons. As fun as that is, Bramwell finds the humour lacking and the frat house gags tiresome, but he also has bigger issues with the lack of surprises. "Dead Rising 3 isn't as funny, then, and it also feels like there's less to discover... survivors send you on rote fetch quests, there are little high-score rampages to go on, and you feel directed by duty rather than curiosity."

US site Polygon may score Dead Rising with something similar to Eurogamer, opting for 7.5 out of 10, but it seems to be seeing a different game. "Dead Rising 3 is an impressive technical achievement for the brand-new Xbox One," it begins. "Dead Rising 3's core technology is astounding - hundreds of enemy characters are onscreen at once, itching to eat your face. And the game performs well in most situations, save for the odd texture glitch. But load times were often ponderous"

Writer Danielle Riendeau acknowledges that the game is problematic as much as it is fun, stating: "Playing Dead Rising 3 can be a schizophrenic experience - I was angry at the game whenever it required precision from me - precision that the controls just wouldn't support. But I was thoroughly enjoying myself whenever it let me run amok and get creative with weapons and vehicles. It's a game with great ideas and intermittently poor execution."

There are also issues raised with stereotypes in the game - the days are long gone where reviewers will ignore the immature, crude and offensive characters poorly written by childish developers.

1

Dead Rising 3.

Destructoid was the site with the most gushing of reviews for Dead Rising 3, awarding it a 9/10 score, with writer Chris Carter claiming, "Dead Rising 3 is the first game I've seen that really harnesses the power of next-gen consoles. Oh, and it's also a phenomenal game as well."

"For a second, I thought it was a cutscene, but then the game gave me control and expected me to make my way through a giant sea of zombies to reach the first objective. It was completely unreal, and I was sold on the engine almost immediately. For the first time in a videogame, I really felt like I was in a zombie apocalypse."

Carter doesn't have a problem with the writing in the game either, "the cast is a bit more well rounded this time around, as there's a good mix of walking campy caricatures, and actual characters," and he finds a lot of fun in the co-op gameplay, before summing the whole experience up as "a hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title."

Killer Instinct

You can't get much more hardcore than a one-on-one fighting game, and you won't find a subject matter that raises temperatures amongst the gaming community as quickly as micro-transactions. Killer Instinct is both, so this game really is an outlier for a new business model on a brand new games console.

"Clearly it's nothing that wouldn't have been possible on older technology. In fact, strip away the particles and there's little to Killer Instinct that feels new"

Edge Online

Edge goes straight in with a 7/10 score, noting that this is a fighter with a well-designed mechanic. "Yet as thoughtfully put together as the combo system is, clearly it's nothing that wouldn't have been possible on older technology. In fact, strip away the particles and there's little to Killer Instinct that feels new."

"Sure, it runs at 60fps, but so do its 360 and PS3 equivalents, and it does so only in 720p. Character models whiff of the previous generation - Jago's hairdo is supposed to be spiky, but not jaggy - and stage backgrounds similarly fail to make a compelling case for Xbox One's processing power. One mountain range backdrop looks disappointingly flat, but even the more enclosed stages are let down by drab, low-detail scenery," writes the reviewer.

Although IGN notes that the game has "only six characters - it's hard not to feel a bit limited by that," it rolls out an 8.4 score and is impressed by the attention Double Helix has heaped on the game, making a tough genre accessible to noobs.

2

Killer Instinct.

"The sad truth about fighting games is that much of what makes playing them against others interesting is usually kept obscured," writes Vince Ingenito. "Killer Instinct succeeds enormously at exposing all of that information to players of all skill levels.

"Not only is its combat system flashy and well thought out, it's well explained too, thanks to its powerful training tools, and what is easily the most complete guide to terminology and tactics ever assembled in a fighting game. Though it lacks an arcade mode or a full-sized character roster, Killer Instinct delivers where it counts."

Joystiq's review of Killer Instinct highlights the problems with reviewing a game that isn't finished yet, let alone one where different price points get you different levels of access to content. "Right now, there's little else aside from training, survival and online modes. There isn't a story mode or an arcade mode, though the latter is promised for the future," writes David Hinkle in his ⅗ review.

"As it stands, Killer Instinct is a streamlined fighter designed as a far-reaching modular experience, which highlights one of its key problems: a dearth of content."

But like IGN's review, Hinkle points to the accessibility of the game overriding the lack of content. "This makes Killer Instinct a delight to play and a uniquely enticing proposition to fighting aficionados and genre novices alike. And even though it's mostly about big, flashy combos, Killer Instinct doesn't make you feel helpless when you're the one being pummeled," he says.

If the rest of the unreleased game is this good and the developer holds out on the delivery promise, Killer Instinct may grow to be much better received.

Crimson Dragon

On-rails shooter Crimson Dragon is as close to Panzer Dragoon or Child of Eden as 2013 gets, but it has an unwelcome addition of micro-transactions that don't sit well with OXM reviewer Jon Blyth.

"In an unexpected, and entirely unwelcome move, Crimson Dragon seems to have taken a lot of design leads from free-to-play games," he writes in a 6/10 review. "You pay credits to perform tougher missions, a counter-intuitive form of employment that's crying out for a Dragon Riders Union strike ballot. It's also a little too reminiscent of F2P 'energy' mechanics for our liking."

"In an unexpected, and entirely unwelcome move, Crimson Dragon seems to have taken a lot of design leads from free-to-play games"

OXM

The game is fun when it lets the player indulge in the power fantasy, but when it feels unnessarily unfair and then dangles the ability to buy your way to end of a level, it leaves a nasty taste, says Blyth. "When you're beset, besieged, and bullied by streams of incoming missiles, you feel cheated rather than challenged, and the beckoning gem shop makes the process feel dirty."

Ben Reeves at GameInformer also has problems with Crimson Dragon, mainly because it tries to innovate in a genre that barely any developers have given any care or attention to in the past ten years, and had fudged controls that were originally designed for Kinect.

"Crimson Dragon tries to mix up the repetitive shooting with sequences where you collect gold beacons, but these moments are about as exciting as flying through a series of rings," he writes in a 6/10 review.

"Levels occasionally open up and allow you to fly around the environment, but I constantly felt like I was fighting the camera throughout these sequences, and the dragons are so sluggish that there is no thrill to flying. I was actually happy every time the game limited my controls to the rails."

Reeves says he's a fan of the original Panzer Dragoon series, but even he admits that after the nostalgia "it doesn't hold a candle to its precursors that came out decades ago."

3

Crimson Dragon.

Chris Carter of Destructoid highlights the in-game micro-transactions, but although he doesn't like the idea of them, he also doesn't have a problem with the way they're implemented in Crimson Dragon.

"Like Ryse and Powershot Golf, Crimson Dragon unfortunately employs a micro-transaction option to buy more currency. But! It's mostly inoffensive, because you can just buy everything through gameplay," he writes in an 8/10 review.

"I don't like that this system is in place in the slightest, but I never once felt like I had to pay money. Instead, I was inspired to level up my dragons through normal gameplay, and simply improve my skills."

And despite the uncomfortable micro-transactions, Carter is happy with the end gaming result. "As a massive fan of the Panzer series, I was worried that this wouldn't quite honor it, but thre's plenty here for gamers who have been longing for an entry since 2003's Orta," he says. "There are some mechanical problems, but any old-school rail shooter fan will be able to handle them."

37 Comments

Is this becoming a code phrase for poor launches:
[Ars Technica writes about Wii-U launch], "...the launch games I've seen so far don't do a great job showing that off."
[1UP writes bout Wii-U launch], "...If you haven't bought a Wii U yet, relax and take a breath: You're not missing out..."
Can we now expect the same kind of 'hidden' comments about XBone launch?

Posted:4 months ago

#1

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,199 317 0.3
To be fair, some had similar comments for Xbox 360 and PS2, that did not effect long term success too much, whilst the original Xbox had Halo and Project Gothem Racing, and despite that didn't break hardware sales records.

Posted:4 months ago

#2

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,203 816 0.7
Popular Comment
One thing that does ruin games for me is micro transactions and ingame purchases. Before you used to unlock fighters and differant outfits, through gameplay, now you have to buy them? Or if you want to get better upgrades or weapons, some games allow you to do it through gameplay, but its rediculously hard or the requirments are greately exagerated, while pay for them nets you the upgrade instantly. To me these methods only handicap gaming to a point were the gamer with most cash $$$ gets an advantage as seen in MAss Effect3 Multiplayer.

Posted:4 months ago

#3

Peter Dwyer
Games Designer/Developer

458 254 0.6
Popular Comment
Micro transactions in games that we are expected to pay 50 odd quid for...Are they having a F$%king laugh! I'm talking about Ryse here. If reviewers don't universally pan that title on principal alone then I'm going to loose what little respect I have remaining for the majority of them.

Posted:4 months ago

#4

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,371 1,017 0.7
Joystiq's review of Killer Instinct highlights the problems with reviewing a game that isn't finished yet
Ahhh. I remember the days when that would've been called a preview. /sarcasm

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 18th November 2013 9:11pm

Posted:4 months ago

#5

Jeff Kleist
Writer, Marketing, Licensing

208 85 0.4
You're not paying 50 quid for these games. I believe they're 15 GBP.
This is more of a "pay to succeed" thing where you can either earn the items, or drop $10-$20 to unlock them without all the effort.

Obviously a good design will balance pay to win with play to win, and a poor one will let them run roughshod all over you. One thing rarely brought up in these pieces is how low the completion rate is on a lot of games. So many are abandoned in the middle, so maybe the suits love the extra cash, but the designers are going along with it in hopes more people will see the back 40 of their hard work. Just a thought.

Posted:4 months ago

#6
Popular Comment
A day in the real microtransaction life: Soon we can buy clothes with no belt, socks or below knee clothing, including zip off shirts with no option for undergarments coming to a reality near you. oh and that budweiser doesnt have any bud. you have to pay extra for the real thing....

Posted:4 months ago

#7

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,992 900 0.5
OK, Dr.C. - I'm renting you a stage somewhere so you can do your act. I was reading this in the library and trying not to bust out laughing at the thought of real people dressed by paid-for clothing content as you've noted...

Anyway, UGH. Why not make games that are FULL games but have extra buy-in content? A console game isn't a damn mobile experience and treating it as such destroys what a good console experience is (at least to me). What's next? A role-playing game where you pay for NPCs to give you quests? Or where you pay for NPC's otherwise the game world is empty? Of course, that's probably already happening, but I don't get out much these days...

Posted:4 months ago

#8

Christian Keichel
Journalist

410 558 1.4
Why not make games that are FULL games but have extra buy-in content?
Because publishers asked for more potential hardware for ages now, totally ignoring, that they can't cope their costs with development costs on the rise again and an install base close to 0 compared to the "old" consoles?
As I see it, publishers have the alternative to try to enforce higher retail prices ($/80) or go with microtransactions. If you ask me, it won't work, but then I have my doubts the "new" generation will work at all.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Christian Keichel on 19th November 2013 7:53am

Posted:4 months ago

#9

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,992 900 0.5
@Christian: Well, ONE smart solution is to offer a CHOICE. Sell a full version game for full retail or sell the content in chunks with the buy in options. This way, the core gamers can get a "complete" game (sans any DLC expansions) while those who want the chopped up versions that play like those mobile games can pay by the piece. I bet you'd see both versions sell to gamers who understand each version.

Yes, the cut up one will cost MORE for those players, but it seems like people who play games that way don't care because that's what they know from mobile gaming. Me, I'm old school, so seeing (for example), a fighter chopped into "buy me!" bits is quite annoying. Hell, I can whip out a bunch of older import fighters with upwards of 20 characters ON the damn disc with the purpose of players trying them out on their own time and finding favorites through good old trial and error.

Posted:4 months ago

#10

matthew bennion
Web Development

24 8 0.3
It won't be long before game characters come naked as standard in new games, at which point you'll be required to use micro transactions to dress them

Posted:4 months ago

#11

Kevin Clark-Patterson
Lecturer in Games Development

288 23 0.1
@ matthew I am sure if characters came dressed and you could pay to have them naked that would be a much more profitable idea!

Posted:4 months ago

#12
Orrrr, you base model comes so bland and normal, you will be given one facet free change to a nose, cheek or jawline extension. everything else is optional sans EasyJet

Posted:4 months ago

#13

John Bye
Senior Game Designer

477 434 0.9
If it's true that exclusive games are the key influencer behind console purchase decisions then Microsoft's Xbox One should be on stronger ground than Sony's PlayStation 4...
7/10
7/10
6/10
Let's face it, neither console is exactly shining on launch exclusives, but that's hardly unusual. Resogun on PS4 seems to be scoring well, and I'd expect Forza to do better than the other launch titles on Xbox One. But on current evidence I suspect it's going to be the big cross platform games leading the pack at launch, at least until bigger exclusives arrive in the Spring.

Posted:4 months ago

#14

Craig Burkey
Software Engineer

148 105 0.7
I don't understand the hate for Microtransactions when playing the game will get you enough credits naturally, Dead Space 3 was the same, you in no way needed to spend a single penny on MT's but it got so much bad press.
Some people like the grind, just look at what some people consider to be one of the greatest games ever, "Final Fantasy VII" to level up your materia and characters up enough to battle the Weapons was an epic challenge that a lot of people enjoyed including myself, but trying to do it again I just don't have the time anymore. Whats the harm in allowing people to speed it up if they want to?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Craig Burkey on 19th November 2013 10:36am

Posted:4 months ago

#15

Christian Keichel
Journalist

410 558 1.4
@ Greg

I see your point, but from what we hear about development costs of next gen games (Tim Sweeney: They will ONLY double with UE4), it seems to me, that the "full package" of a game would have to be as expensive as the "pay lots to play everthing package" to be profitable.
Rising development costs on the PS3/360 already have made many projects unprofitable, with a new generation, higher costs for development (this high resolution textures simply take more man power to create, these particle effects don't code themself and this high poly count worlds need somebody to fill them with high poly count models) will make many more games unprofitable, especially during the first years of the cycle, when the install base of the new generation is tiny and every game has to be ported to half a dozen platforms, because the old consoles won't go away soon. The industry is stuck between a rock and a hard place here, obviously nobody in the industry thinks, that enough people are willing to pay more money for games, then they already do, but on the other side, it is necessary to charge all players more for their games, to break even on games not as big as GTA or CoD. An alternative would be to drastically reduce the number of titles, if publishers stick to sequels of their big holiday hits and drop everything else, people probably would buy these games in bigger numbers. I don't know how the industry can overcome this dilemma, but with the trend to AAA+ games and the ongoing complaining about the length of the console cycle, they dug the hole they are in themself.

Posted:4 months ago

#16
I really hope micro-transactions in full price games don't ruin the next generation.

I understand the argument for them however I would have preferred if they simply charged a subscription for online multiplayer games and/or decreased the amount of games made which are the two main reasons why single player games aren't profitable now.

Ironically the model may suit me as I don't play as much as I used to but it still seems wrong.

@Jeff Kleist - There is no balancing that can be done between Pay2Play and Pay2Win. One makes you more money at the expense of gameplay it's that simple unless that's what you mean by balancing.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Owens on 19th November 2013 11:19am

Posted:4 months ago

#17

Mario Tommadich
Technical Requirements & Compliance

32 28 0.9
Looking at how the gaming industry is treating it's most valuable commodities (games and talent) I guess we've reached the point at which the scale tips towards the side where most Execs in gaming (related) companies are non-gamers or don't even "like" games and don't care if or if not they bewilder core gamers with obscenities like F2P mechanics hidden in core games.
I'm not quite ready to play dumbed down, shallow, cheap versions of games that could have been better if the new generation of console players wasn't constantly out of pocket due to their habit of zapping between games like dull TV channels and no longer can afford to buy a full price game.
Mixing and thereby diluting full price titles with F2P mechanics will at some point make it even more difficult to justify the retail price of a full game, ultimately shrinking the size of that cake we all like to share so much. This is a downward spiral that we should try to escape from, as long as we still can.

So far this new generation of consoles makes me feel like I'm in this weird dream where I'm 34 and trying to get on the school bus, but can't because some snot nosed 14 year old bullies won't let me.

Posted:4 months ago

#18

Brian Smith
Artist

193 77 0.4
Reviewers should downmark games with microtransactions if we want it to change. Personally I think it would be valid to do so as they often change the nature of how you can be successful when playing. Even the race games with time saver unlocks to allow folk with less time to unlock all the content without playing the game degrade the experience in my opinion and fleece the customer as part of the process.

On one hand it devalues the effort folk playing the game normally have to put in to make those unlocks happen. In the early days of multiplayer on these titles it can make a big difference on whats available to use online. That makes it unfair.

Or, if unlocking content is ok for folk with less time then why should it cost to do it. Just put in the option and let people do it for free. What justification does a game have to charge 20% more or however much in order to unlock content you already bought. It's very obviously a nice little tax model for publishers since this sort of unlock costs next to zero.

Fighting off these business models is in everyones interest as they are purely a method to secure more from your wallet. The financial spend from all the gamers out there is finite, so more money for some games equals less games in the future. Now theres a worthwhile reason to oppose them alone.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Brian Smith on 19th November 2013 1:26pm

Posted:4 months ago

#19

Lewis Brown
Snr Sourcer/Recruiter

194 41 0.2
Until we have the big guns (Ryse, Forza and next year Titanfall etc...) surely its a bit early to say release titles don't impress?

Posted:4 months ago

#20

Nick Wofford
Hobbyist

90 61 0.7
I think a lot of people seem to be thinking of Killer Instinct as a $60 game. It's not. It's $5 a fighter, or $20 for the lot of them. Yes it's a small roster, but it's also a small price. I feel like MS is just having the same realization that Ubisoft did with Rayman; not all games have to be $60. I love the idea of a $20 launch title.

Posted:4 months ago

#21

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

962 1,160 1.2
@ Nick Most people are aware that having to buy individual fighters for $5 is insanely overpriced. If we, for example, applied the same formula to Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 (which, btw, also has better differentiate characters) that game would cost $250. So, you know, I don't think their scoring is unreasonable.

Posted:4 months ago

#22

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,992 900 0.5
@Nicholas: agreed and how. Some people still bitch about the Horse Armor in Oblivion being a "rip-off", but that bit of spinning rim kit wasn't needed to play the game at all. KI "makes" you buy more fighters by pretending to be Fighting Street or Yie Ar Kung Fu and as someone who owns way too many old fighters on assorted platforms, nothing about that feels right at all in 2013.

Other than playing it for fun post-launch on a friend's system (he got his early, but it's sitting in its shipping box near his TV), I won't touch it because I have plenty of older fighters that are more fun and with much larger rosters on a single disc. Hell, Tobal 2 on the original PlayStation is the king of fighters for me. 210 playable characters (although many are silly and move swapped versions of other characters), 60fps and even a lite RPG packed onto that game disc.

Posted:4 months ago

#23

Michail Mavronas
3D artist

12 2 0.2
Ryse is 44.99 on amazon

Posted:4 months ago

#24

Barrie Tingle
Live Producer

337 102 0.3
Isn't the point of the Drivatar that it takes your friends and uses them as an AI template so would evolve over time. A review before the console comes out to the masses is going to limit what data it has to work with.

Also, if it is anything like Forza's previous, if they are braking too early for you, increase the AI difficulty.

Posted:4 months ago

#25

Nick Wofford
Hobbyist

90 61 0.7
@Nicholas
This game is targeting a different audience. It's an arcade title, that's marketed to people like me who think fighting games aren't worth $60.

That's why I mentioned Rayman. Ubisoft is going after people who have gotten used to 2D platformers only costing $15 on PSN/XBL. A lot of people feel that way about fighters. I'll literally never pay $60 for a fighting game, no matter how many characters. $15 to $30 yes, but not $60
KI fits in that bracket nicely.

Posted:4 months ago

#26

Pete Thompson
Owner / Admin

147 63 0.4
Unless the Microtransactions are compulsory then I don't see an issue.. If gamer's are prepared to shell out 40 to 60 for a game and then opt for an easy way to complete the game by paying out again then more fool them... Personally I like to explore the games I play. I've certainly never come across a game that required me to make a compulsory purchase in order to continue playing..
Microtransactions have been a part of games for ages, you've only got to pick up any Need For Speed title to see that you can unlock pretty much everything on day one, same with Dead Space and numerous others.

Not sure how The Elder Scrolls Online will fair if they go for a subscription route, but then again $14.99 is not a "Micro" transaction..

As for Forza 5, I'm loving it...

Edited 5 times. Last edit by Pete Thompson on 21st November 2013 10:56am

Posted:4 months ago

#27

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

962 1,160 1.2
@ Nick What you just posted makes zero sense. If you're looking for a budget fighter, you can buy many fighting games with more than 6 characters for $20 that were released this generation. Heck, Ultimate Marvel itself is now $21.95 on Amazon. Also Rayman Legends is a FULL PRICED title. It costs $60 on Wii U, PS3, and Xbox 360.

Posted:4 months ago

#28

Nick Wofford
Hobbyist

90 61 0.7
That's only after release. I'm talking day one pricing, where a $20 fighter is only a dream. That's like saying every genre is only $.01(plus shipping) because I can get old games on Amazon.

And I was assuming Legends had the same price as Origins. Color me disappointed in that terrible decision.

Posted:4 months ago

#29

Lewis Brown
Snr Sourcer/Recruiter

194 41 0.2
Shame on Ryse it was a title I had a lot of hope for :-(

Posted:4 months ago

#30
So Crytek launched a tech demo that's absolutely gorgeous and also absolutely rubbish in its effort to pass for an actual game... is that supposed to be news? That seems to be the case for everything they release

Posted:4 months ago

#31

Aaron Johnson
Business Planning

19 16 0.8
Play nice Jehferson - Far Cry and the Crysis series prove they have talent. I've not yet played Ryse -

Posted:4 months ago

#32

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,992 900 0.5
Hmm. Hopefully Crytek can "Ryse" above the critical reception on their new game and knock it out of the park with their next game. They can certainly make an FPS worth the time to dive into. Ah well...The late Koei Canada's Warriors: Legends of Troy will be my gratuitous gore fake history go-to game when I need my fix, I guess...

Posted:4 months ago

#33

Patrick Frost
QA Project Monitor

380 170 0.4
Having played Ryse, I can honestly say that I would consider buying the game if I had 5 to waste on it but as a full priced game it's just a no go. I can't parrot the calls of "dull" and "boring" enough and frankly have trouble understanding people that have tried it and still want to buy it.

I genuinely don't understand the redeeming qualities that are mean to be there.

Posted:4 months ago

#34

Tosin Balogun
Studying International Business

23 21 0.9
There is a correlation between game monetization and when Microsoft joined the home video game market. I am no conspiracy theorist but historical evidence points an accusing finger at them being the driver for this push for investors wet-dream. Perhaps it has to do with the philosophy of American business culture vs Japanese business culture

Posted:4 months ago

#35

David Canela
Game Designer

31 32 1.0
@Tosin
As far as I know, microtransactions have been a thing in asia long before they came to the west (c.f. South Korea and China)...

Posted:4 months ago

#36

Eric Leisy
Production Designer

91 72 0.8
I really don't like what micro-transactions are doing to game. :( Is there any hope for the future? Insert Coin to Continue.

Posted:4 months ago

#37

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