Tag Archives: Ghost Recon

A path retaken

We all tend to do it for all kinds of reasons, gamers do it to redo that achievement feeling, or just to feel awake and superior, for me Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, the Russia airport scene does it every time, 18 kills, 16 headshots, 100% accuracy; those virtual Spetsnaz kids had no idea who they were messing with (a nerd with a joystick), but hey, I digress.

I got to playing God of War again, it had been three years and when I played it there was no PS5 and that game became even more magical than it originally was. This time around I played the easy version, I wanted to enjoy all the views and I had forgotten just how perfect that game was. The soundtrack by Bear McCreary, the narration, the smooth graphics, especially the witch in the woods (censored identity), she looks as gorgeous on the PS5 screen as she does in real life. The game is all kinds of perfect, and I had actually forgotten just how perfect it is. It leaves little doubt why the game was rated between 94% and 100%, perfection seems to do that and from an RPG point of view, walking through Midgard, Alfheim, Helheim and so on looks overwhelming, and now that I am playing it in easy mode, the adrenaline goes down and I get to relax at times, taking in the beauty of the game more seriously than I had done before. 

Even as I never found everything, and there is every chance I will be in that same situation now, I do not feel bothered, the game delivers in so many ways, the idea that I miss a puzzle or two is mere icing on the cake. The game delivers and delivers again, that is excellence! (Ubisoft please take notice).

Even now as I am designing a new RPG, the feelings that I have replaying God of War matter; if you can hold your thoughts to something as perfect as that, you tend to gain ideas, you tend to open the thinking field and that part matters too. There is no need to copy, there is no need to be alike, there is a need to compare to a game of the highest notion and critically analyse the thoughts you are having. Others might use GTA5, or perhaps Horizon Zero Dawn, it doesn’t matter who you compare to, as long as you do. For me the story is everything, and there God of War delivers, in that I need to consider, if Keno Diastima (my TV series) taught me anything is that the field might have special effects taking the limelight, but it makes up for no more than 10%, any more and you are relying on the creation of a popcorn movie and the writer in me abhors that idea, it’s like a Batman story, complete with the kapow, crash, wham, and sploosh but without the graphics, it tires really really fast and that is what the game designer needs to fight, nearly all the time. When an action sided RPG launches, most of us focus on the perfection of form of the characters, and most forget the room they are in, the helmets that fall to the sky when you hit them, and perfect that ‘ding’ sound when an arrow hits a helmet, even as there are no cymbals in that village, there is a much larger setting here and when you revisit the God of War you see it all, the lack of glitches, bugs and weird issues (we are ignoring the blue dwarf in this case). What is a larger setting is the fact we ourselves need to take heed to not put our idea on a platform and if we do (not the worst mistake) we need to be willing to grab the nearest maul and reduce that pedestal to rubble if need be.

It comes with the territory. 

And I am still a little overwhelmed, I wanted to replay a great experience before the sequel is out (optionally in 2022), the amount of thoughts and the stages (some I had actually forgotten) that I am confronted with is more than I expected and my mind is taking notice of a lot of things more seriously now. 

That last part is not entirely due to myself, the option to compare mental notes to released perfection is rather rare, I named 3 titles, two of them had the smallest needs for alteration (if any), three in a stage of hundreds of games. Metacritic has 3 PS4 games that are 95% or higher (same amount for Xbox One), as such you can see just how limited that list is. And we need to take heed, plenty of games had good ideas, some had great ideas and did not follow through, no matter what the reason is. In this Ubisoft is that shining example. When we consider Far Cry 5 with a 70% score whilst Far Cry 3 had a 90% score you might see a first reason, how much money did Ubisoft deny itself? Because the PS3 was superior to the PS4, or because the game maker did not hold that candle up to its own reflection? I am guessing part two, hence the need to compare to something as perfect as possible (and perhaps not rely on repetition as much). 

There are more examples in other places too but you get the drift, we need to aspire to something bigger and get closer to this to be counted and too many do not. You can copy the idea of others, stay on iOS and hope that the micro-transactions do it for you and as money goes, doing that once is not the worst idea, but it does limit your future as what some would call a legendary game maker. I do not pretend to be one, but I hold their example to the light as much as possible, hoping that the ideas I have can be transformed into something that no one has seen before. If I do that and I end up a mere 70% developer, but if I see the verdict “new and unique” I know I am on the right track, the 70% part might be my lack of experience, we all go through that, not doing it because of that reason is just silly.

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I had a rough start this morning

it started with Reuters giving me ‘Ubisoft delays 2020 releases as Ghost Recon Breakpoint underperforms‘ I had to go read that a second time before it sank in. Now, I did not meet that news with ‘hurrah’ and some form that I was right. I am not a FPS fan, so the floor was not waxed for me; I am not a glutton for punishment, so I read it twice and decided to ponder it over. I remember the IGN review about a week ago (it had been out for a week) saying: “Ubisoft’s latest tale of Ghosts is an overly familiar romp with too many pieces that don’t work together for an ultimately disjointed“, it is something that I adhere to, yet I will consider that this reviewer has the same castside feeling about some games, hence there might be some conflicting reviews. Conflicting that they would be the same thing! (yes, you read hat correctly)

This gives rise to an explanation; I am an RPG player, an explorer. So there is beauty in Far Cry 5, there is beauty in Far Cry Primal, but there are issues too. You can see some of the issues in the video ‘Ghost Recon Breakpoint Free Roam – Part 56‘ (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3R7FQSNic0), there are several points in the game where most FPS people would back down, the arcade player wanted something more realistic, the simulator lover, wanted something more realistic, they all wanted something more realistic, which beckons the question, what was Ubisoft thinking? Oh and the coloured schemes dropped loot, so that the player knows where he or she is running to, is just too freaky, yet questions should be asked, but who to ask them too?

The Article also gives us: “The profit warning resulted from a “sharp downward revision in the revenues expected from Ghost Recon Breakpoint and, to a lesser extent, The Division 2,” Ubisoft said” I cannot vouch for Division two, merely for the reason that two beats down part One and that has clearly been achieved. It could be that the beat down is clearly on Breakpoint and the The Division 2 has met the target, it was not a primal target and as such it goes hit as well. This would explain the “We have not capitalized on the potential of our latest two AAA releases” it merely would not be great for the Division 2, especially as Breakpoint is showing to be an over the hilltop kind of game. So the traverse of conversation this morning is “critical reception and sales during the game’s first weeks were very disappointing, Ubisoft’s CEO, Yves Guillemot, said in a statement” that whilst YouTubers give out ‘Ghost Recon Breakpoint Free Roam – Part 56‘ and ‘Ghost Recon Breakpoint Free Roam – Part 49‘, where you are treated to all kind of visuals and sounds warning you of enemy combatants, taking away the insertion and extraction part of any mission. Further, I would have loved some noises to war me of enemy combatants in the field, not that this is awesome, but it allows me to survive in real life. War as a videogame and not a realistic one, that is what Ubisoft promises and it is setting gamers in some unsettled mode. Some of the reviews out there call it a ‘fun shooter game world‘ which is exactly what these Ubisoft games are turning into, taking the nerves out of the combat, the video’s I saw inclined it, but I wanted to see more evidence. It reminded me of the Conversation between two characters in Red DawnI wish I was at home playing Call of Duty 4” to which the reply comes “We are playing Call for Duty 4 for real and it sucks“. That is the feeling that a war and a game have, here you feel the war in light of an urban center and it is not that great. It is overwhelming how some seem it to be underwhelming in the game, did that make sense?

Ubisoft took the feeling of war away from the feeling of warfare, that part is clear and it is a larger failing that Ubisoft has heralded into its titles. It is fun but it took me a while to put my finger on the cause of it, so it was a decently done job, but war is finite, even now when we look at the latest warpath, Saudi Arabia versus Iran, you can be for neither, which is fine, but at some point you will be drawn into one of the two camps and that is the point of your equilibrium. We all have a point where we have no input, then we get to have a point of view, it is how it is, only those of an unnatural shape have the inkling to be drawn to both sides, it is an unnatural point of existence and the game does that, You feel nothing as you pivot from one side to the other side. That is the unnatural feeling that Ubisoft leaves behind.

That is the larger flaw in the game called Breakpoint. It is the flaw and everything surrounds that game is there for flawed. As we are now treated to “Ubisoft decided to increase development time for its Gods & Monsters, Rainbow Six Quarantine and WatchDogs Legion games, postponing their releases to fiscal year 2020-21” I have to wonder how much interaction there is between the games, We are given at the end “Jefferies’ analysts added that the combined profit guidance for fiscal-year 2020 and 2021 is “not simply shifting profit” but an overall guidance cut, according to its calculations“, yet I myself wonder if the actions and the reactions database is covered in other games, if Breakpoint has the covering of an element shown in breakpoint (like the cover seeking agents), we will see a larger flaw soon enough, if that is not the case, we will see some failing, but not the failing to the largest degree, it seems to me that there is a flaw in the creation of games by the expertise that Ubisoft analysts are showing, they have no expertise.

My point will be seen soon enough by all the other investors soon enough, a template for war can be maintained, but its evidentiary failing can only become monumental from game to game. So when we are offered: “This delay leads to five blockbuster games now scheduled for release in fiscal year 2020-21, Ubisoft said, targeting net bookings of 2.60 billion euros“, we get that one subroutine has an impact, but that several will slide the boat. All in all, there is an impact to be felt, and that impact might be hitting Ubisoft a lot sooner than we all anticipated.

Ubisoft should have known better!

What is adamant is he checking and the controlling factors that are set beyond any cypher, it is in the games that we play and when we get this mass wave of recognition from game to game that is where we see that the game by Ubisoft was faltering and now it falters for two years until certain recognitions are no longer available. Try finding the maps and try finding the considerations that are within the games of Ubisoft that is where you’ll see the mapping error. Police officers will not go into cover the way mercenaries do, that has always been a snatch, furthermore they do not fight in similar shapes, they take cover in different ways, and mercenaries are always alone, even when they are not. A police officer is different, he is part of a unit, relies of others that is shown in every fight. I believe that Ubisoft is failing this part, they are so concerned by looking good, basically that beyond the graphics they are finishing it off with a larger paint stroke. Some of the reviews are pointing into that direction. Am I wrong? I hope I am, because Ubisoft is banking on a real whopping downfall if they do, yet the lager failings seen in Wildlands, now seen in Breakpoint point in that direction, Watchdogs Legion is implied due to its setback, but is it such a large leap from the ‘One Assassins Creed every year’ herald that Ubisoft announce with a clarion call almost four years ago?

I leave you to ponder that thought and in support of that choice, consider the actions by anyone who posted: ‘Taking out a Level 150 Wolf Camp!’ several kills, then ‘kill witnessed’ as well as ‘dead body found’, you tell me where the Intel was that prompted those responses that would give me such an angle in real life? And as for the entire setting towards Level 150? In the Middle East there were soldiers, who were better than me, and there were soldiers who wanted to be as good as me, there are no levels, there are those who live and those who will not make it, it is that simple. Ubisoft made warfare some kind of steeple chase that is set around equipment that you can have and that equipment is the leveler for life. Equipment is not like that, Ubisoft is making a world that is dependent on micro transactions and generic reality that everyone adheres to. I remember the first time I was shot at, I was freaking losing it and that has always instilled in me a sense of caution, everyone reacts different, that much is a given and we are always taking different styles of warfare, so the Breakpoint game might sound nice and funny, but the entire game of FPS is taking on an arcade style, a style that is not regarded as funny, yes these are games, but we are not in some arcade, and that is where Ubisoft got it wrong. We look at what we know, we know that there is a down strung level of realism and that feeling is gone when we play Breakpoint, that part is now out in the open and the dozens of Breakpoint videos are just some kind of instillers of whatever they are supposed to be.

Where is the reality?

That is what some question about it and there are more who question the scenic approach that Ubisoft has untangled in front of us. The first is what was before, it does not matter how it was experienced, it is about how the game is surpassed that matters in my personal choice. Watchdogs 2 is better than the first and I do hope that Watchdogs Legion is better than the first two, it is seemingly so, Yes it comes down to that, yet if the project is imbued with the flaws of a previous game, optionally not the same game, we get a game that has a downtrodden approach, that is the reality that we’re faced with.

How real it is? That is something that needs to be tested for, so we will see about that part of the equation soon enough.

 

 

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Story about a game!

This all started with a video blog. It can be found at Gamespot and it is given by Danny O’Dwyer in a segment called ‘the point’ (at http://www.gamespot.com/videos/the-point-is-marketing-killing-the-wonder-of-games/2300-6420070/).

He hit an interesting snare with the topic of over marketing and I agree. When I started to think this through, I also got to the point that it is not all about the marketing side of that caper, but another side to the ‘lack of wonder’ as he put it in gaming. He was talking to someone from an upcoming game called ‘No man’s sky‘, the man is a Minecraft fan, which pretty much had my attention from the very beginning.

You see, gaming has become too much about getting to the end of the track with an added need to get achievements. Too many games are a chase. Minecraft is all about just having fun. It is virtual LEGO at its very finest; this awakens the creators in us, which is always a great thing. The issue ‘missed’ (which might be the wrong term) is that one side in the lack of gaming wonder (as I see it) is an off-set between freedom and storyline. It is the combination that has always drawn me to gaming, which makes me a sucker for any decent RPG.

Minecraft does not have any story, but it counters this with an amazing amount of freedom and exploration. I am not stating that Minecraft needs a story, but as we get the freedom to explore, discover and do whatever we feel like, the impact of a story is less of a factor. As freedom moves away (like towards a Call of Duty or a Ghost Recon), the story becomes more and more important. Some get it right (the Mass Effect series and The Last of Us), where the story drives us, whilst we get a limited amount of freedom to do whatever we like, or we get added parameters (challenges), many get it decent (Far Cry & Tomb Raider) not to mention, Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriot, which is still one of the best games of its kind, even a whole console generation later. Some lose out a little as I personally see it (Call of Duty & Halo), but these games counter it with another extra, which I will get back to shortly. Against these games are the open games like Oblivion, Fallout, Fallout New Vegas and Skyrim, where there is a decent story, yet the additional openness of the game makes a massive impact.

There are a few that lose massive points, because they got the story kind of right, but then the game-play, linearity and the lack of insight suddenly made what could be a massive hit, but got to be no better than mediocre as I see it. In this category we see games like Thief and Second Son (Infamous3).

Second Son is the strongest in that regard, as I see it; the game was over-hyped and over marketed. The game starts really nice, then after a while the designer gets sloppy. The evidence as I see it? Consider that you cleaned the first Island and as your smoke powers grew, you got decently into the story, at some point you get the 3rd power (video), instead of reopening the first island, adding additional challenges and added missions, perhaps even adding more laser and speed missions (2nd power), maximising the power of video, you continue on the linear path to the conclusion of the game. In addition, instead of actually giving added powers to the concrete power by adding challenges for cleaning the city or removing the concrete power out of the soldiers, the game pretty much ends and the concrete power actually becomes kind of ‘lame’, the one power you coveted the most is the one power you can happily do without.

It is that lack that is also killing the wonder in games and gaming. It is a sloppy side.

I mentioned Halo and Call of Duty. These games survive on the challenge of multi-player and that is fine, but I think that these gamers could get a boost of gaming if the story was something you could get through, or even explore a little, instead of run through to the end. Perhaps that is not what they want, which is fair enough, but the reception that Far Cry 3 got (including from me), gives a little strength to the view I personally have. I admit that not all gamers will agree here. In addition, I will reopen the talks on multi-player. Most gamers who are into this side, love (and demand) a good multi-player side to the game. I have never been a Halo fan, but I hear good things about it, some games have a massive downturn in multi-player gaming. In that regard, it is Assassin’s Creed and Tomb Raider that are the worst of them. You see, I believe that things either are balanced or they get an edge, having neither is a bad thing. With these two games, I have tried several times and when you start as a level 1 person, getting stacked against level 50 people, only to get stuck in a bottle neck with opposing you mini guns, one shot killing bows and people with 2-3 bonus skills, you know that the makers missed out and soon thereafter most will have had enough. In opposition I would like to mention God of War, which had an amazing multi-player mode. I was really impressed. You go 4 against 4 and you might have a weapons edge, or not, the fact that it is about the group achievement, you still get some points and soon thereafter you become an equal and even an asset in the multi-player version. A game like that invites multi-player and entices players to get out and do it multi style, which is how it should be. The last one to mention here is Mass Effect 3, which I consider to be the greatest multi-player game of all time. You go in groups of four, you go against a decent AI (at times an overwhelming one) and you go into maps you might have already seen. The options to improve the skills of the characters, the weapons, and armour by playing and buying upgrades is just too much fun. It is the most addictive multi-player form I have ever experienced. I met some of the best players ever. At one point I reached the top 2% of the multi-players, considering that there are over 1.2 million Mass Effect 3 players is just an AWESOME feeling! In all that time, the multi-player remained true to the story (given is that it is just to kill enemies, how wrong can you go) and true to the atmosphere of the game. In Mass Effect 3, it was NEVER about the multi-player, which makes it all even better.

I feel that gaming could move up a notch, not because of the nextgen in consoles, but because the developers will pay better and more attention to the story they hand out.

Even though we all still enjoy a game of Galaga at times, a game that was never about the story and all about zapping the baddies.Most of us will always love to have at least one game like that. I got Scribble Shooter and it is great fun! It is about the other 24 games we buy and we must consider that the next 5-8 years of all franchises will be about the IP (Intellectual Property), making a better story part of the mix will only bind us stronger to the game of our choice, which is one thing the developer will love.

In the end we the gamer win and through this so will the developer!

 

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