Tag Archives: Watchdogs

Enraged two (or too)?

Yes, the previous stage that I gave to you in ‘Rage’ is not done yet. It was more than just a ramble, there was a lot of truth in there, but it was not about the setting, it was about the stage. You see, we have seen movies in that direction. Dutch, Swedish, American, and other nations have given us a movie in that direction, but NONE of them have ever considered a game in that direction. This all started when my mind took a dive into the games I played on the Gamecube and I suddenly remembered ‘Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s requiem’ and my mind took a wander. It dove straight of the deep end. The PS2 gave the people Bully, the Gamecube the game I just mentioned. But none of them gave the people a game about rage, about the insanity of rage.

Consider a game, that plays in a large city, not unlike the cities we see in Watchdogs, but here it is not about being special, it is quite the opposite. You are confronted with rage, a buildup of rage and in the beginning you can make the character play games, play sports and take frustration out in the boxing ring, but it does not work completely and as you are surrounded by elements, the rage buildup is more distinct, more profound. We can focus on the AI of an NPC, but it needs to be more, we need psychological elements to set the game in a direction. I have no illusions, most platforms will not go for this, but PC’s and streamers might. This has never been done before and I like games that were never done before, I like the originality and the effect it will have. Consider that political opposition that it will bring. Blaming games towards violence, whilst their own political ploys are exactly why this is happening. A game that gets the talking going on the ludicrous setting we face in every day life and the consideration that the people are never given. So what happens when you need to blow off steam and you cannot ever be seen doing this? In nations where CCTV is drowning the population (London), in places where social events are the tone setters to injustice (San Francisco/Los Angeles) and that is before we see the impact of population pressure (New York) and you, as a frustrated person needs to keep your sanity or be confined to less nice places where the insanity of rage is total. A game like that has never been made and perhaps it is time to make such a game. Perhaps it is time to introduce the people and the larger audience of the true settings that a lot of people face and the impact it tends to have on the frustration levels of people. I can guarantee you that it will not be a nice game, it will never be a game that gets the larger population across, but it can become a niche for a few million gamers, and that represents millions in revenue and the people are eager to play games, especially games that have never been made before. 

Now consider one of the most hated games Manhunt. A game that sold 1,700,000 copies. It represents well over 51,000,000 and consider that this game required an infusion of less than 15 million, so well over twice that amount was made and when did anyone turn down the option of making 300%+ of their investment? Now, there would be a risk, a game like this always has risk, but when you add elements, when you entice towards something never done before and you appeal to the teenage mind. It makes for an interesting setting and an optional side of revenue that many never considered. A stage I merely show here, so that the indie developers can get to work. Close to half a dozen IP gaming ideas in these blogs and it seems that it will take some time for people to catch on. There is a reason I played the cards in the way I did. My views have been increasingly correct and that should be enough, but it is not merely about what others make, it is a way to show that the age of big brands is ending. We look at Microsoft and Ubisoft, but it is not only them, that list is increasing and the larger players are losing track of where they were, of what they could do and that is one part of the stage that allows the indie developers to take hold and claim their slice of a $200,000,000,000 pie and whilst they grow, those who relied on created hype and spin end up with less, the world of gaming needs progress, actual progress, not what some claim is progress. That is the setting we see. Why do you think that people are going nuts over Elder Ring, Horizons Forbidden West and soon Hogwarts legacy. The gamer recognises a work of love. Some makers think that they can tell others what they should love, but when did that work out that way? Perhaps in 1985 when there were less than 20 games per year. Now that stage differs and we keep on getting more of the same. Even now a game less than 6 months old being sold for $39, a stage now essential to these brands because they could not deliver quality and this is as good as they can get it, so how will we see the next batch of games, the next batch of true original gaming? Sometimes we cannot rely on vanilla games, we need to go dark for someone to see the light and give us a next version of something totally new. Something they have never seen before and that is what Nintendo has done on the N64, Gamecube, Wii, and Switch. So to follow in the footsteps of the original makers they need to rely on thought and creativity, not to rely on the spin of the most powerful console in the world. It got defeated by the weakest console of them all (Nintendo Switch), so creativity is essential and perhaps taking it for a ride on a really dark road is not the worst idea to have. It all depends on the willingness to take a chance.

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Looky looky

It is always nice to go to bed, listen to music and dream away. That is until this flipping brain of mine gets a new idea. In this case it is not new IP, but a new setting for a group of people. You see, during lockdown I got hooked on walk video’s. It was a way to see places I had never visited before, it is one way to get around and weirdly enough, these walk videos are cool. You see more than you usually do (especially in London) most of them are actually quite good, a few need tinkering (like music not so loud) but for the most they are a decent experience. Then I thought what if GoPro makes a change, offering a new stage. That got me going, you see, most walks are on a stick, decent but intense for the filming party. So we can set the movie from a shoulder mount, a chest mount, or helmet mount. Yet what is filmed? So what happens if we have something like Google glasses and the left (or right) eye shows what we see in the film. We get all kind of degrees of filming. And if we want to ignore it, we merely close that eye for a moment. I am surprised that GoPro had not considered it, or perhaps they did. Consider that the filmer now has BOTH hands free and can hold something towards the camera, the filming agent can do more and move more freely. Consider that is works with a holder, but there is a need (in many cases) to have both hands available. And perhaps there is a need for both, the need to use one hand for precision and a gooseneck mount to keep both hands free. The interesting part is that there is no setting to get the image on something like Google Glasses and that is a shame, was I the first to think of it? It seems weird with all the city walks out there on YouTube, but there you have it and in that light, I was considering revisiting the IP I had for a next Watchdogs, one with a difference (every Ip creator will tell you that part), but I reckon that is a stage we will visit again soon enough, it involves Google Glasses and another setting that I will revisit. Just like the stage of combining deeper machine learning to a lens (or google glasses), a camera lens that offer direct translations, and the fun part is we can select if that is pushed through to film, or merely seen by us, now consider filming in Japan with machine learning and deeper machine learning auto translating ANY sign it sees. Languages that we do not know will no longer stop us, it will tell the filmmaker where they are and consider linking that to one lens in google glasses that overlays the map? It that out yet? I never saw it and there are all kinds of needs for that part. What you see is what you know, if you know the language. Just a thought at 01:17. I need a hobby, I really do!

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Ubituary

With not too much sadness and some feeling of achievement it is my joy to announce that Yves Guillemot, former CEO of Ubisoft was murdered on the night of Friday 15th of October, he was allegedly murdered by Antón Castillo dictator of Yara. Insiders claimed that the bug of his wealth vaporising on a daily basis enraged him beyond believe. Insiders investigating this (and the pandora papers) stated that Yves went missing in cloud environments linked to server with processor id CFC1E8CA-1DBB-1DCA5E8-60F8E99BD225, the people at the data centre deny that Yves Guillemot ever visited their firm and they also made claim that this processor number in unknown to them, investigative journalists were unable to track 37 of the 153 data servers, the investigation is seemingly ongoing.

So some will clam that I have no sense of humour, or at least a very sick one. You see, at least I am creative, we want to think that Ubisoft is creative, but from my point of view it is the ability to stack a game with bugs and glitches. When we look around we see SVG giving us ‘THIS FAR CRY 6 BUG HAS PLAYERS LOSING THEIR MINDS’, Sportskeeda comes with ‘How to fix the Maine 15f/158 error code in Far Cry 6’ and they also give us “While many bugs are found in Far Cry 6 itself, Maine 15f/158 seems to be linked to external account sources. So far, there has been no word from Ubisoft about what exactly the Maine 15f/158 error code is or what may be causing it” and the list goes on, yet I would like to add the Washington Post who gives us ‘A glitchfest that’s too big to wrangle’ with mention of “Yara, as a simulation of an island, falls squarely in the uncanny valley. Your enjoyment of the gameplay is likely to hinge on how much this bothers you. My first few hours with the game, as I acquainted myself with the brain-dead virtual denizens of Yara, felt awful. I watched AI drivers, honking, run over their fellow Yarans in the streets. In one mission, all of my opponents marched, single file, past me out of the military base I was sent to infiltrate, leaving it ripe for (an anticlimactic) plundering” the people report glitch after glitch, bug after bug and when a game is somewhere between $79 and $149 (there are a few versions) we need to consider why a company is allowed to release a game that is so broken? The problem is that there are more and more. All whilst some game makers set the stage of a non-disclosure agreement for too close to release. All whilst we see that some games are too big to review and so far the amount of bugs set the stage that consumers should be allowed to get full refunds up to 10 days after purchase. Whilst one sources gives us in May ‘‘Far Cry 6’ dev confirms game will not have “Cyberpunk-style issues”’, most can now confirm that the matter is a lot worse, plenty of gamers would love mere Cyberpunk style issues and it is all over the net and also a larger stage on YouTube. Seeking ‘Far Cry 6 bugs’ and ‘Far Cry 6 glitches’ shows how far Ubisoft has fallen of the beaten track. As far as I can tell, since 29 October 2020 when Watchdogs: Legion was released, we see that it was the only real decent release. I played it, and yes it had a few bugs and glitches, but nothing damaging, the fun for that game did not diminish. 

But Ubisoft did not learn its lesson. AC Valhalla, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the Division 2, all flaws games, too flawed as I personally see it and now Far Cry 6 adds to that list of bungles. So is the state of a Ubituary (pun intended) so far out of bounds?

I know that when I buy an open world game that there will be issues, the bigger the game, the larger the chance of that happening. Yet in all this Ubisoft is seemingly releasing games that should not even be regarded as Beta versions, they are that flawed and as I see it, they are getting away with it and that is even worse. So whilst we get the crying Chihuahua gang (ACCC) with claims like ‘Current powers no match for Google’ (you can see that in two directions) we see Ubisoft clearing the masts of BS as the ACCC is overlooking the larger stage and Ubisoft should be held to a larger mirror, they claim to be an AAA+ developer, then they better prove it, because at present there are plenty of indie developers who show better quality products.

P.S. I apologise for not being able to add colours, I will do that later when WordPress stops fucking up!

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The marker, what is it?

We are always in a stage where it is about the price, as such the title ‘are video games too expensive?’ In the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/games/2021/feb/08/are-video-games-too-expensive-assassins-creed-cyberpunk-2077) had my attention, I wonder what they are throwing at us this time, they being Luke Holland. He throws “With new consoles from Sony and Microsoft expected, a raft of video game publishers announced that the RRP of their new releases would increase for the first time since the mid-00s” at us and that seems fine. There is also the fact that most game dealers tend to lower that price off the bat, the makers have there day one discounts and it goes on. I get it. Luke is not wrong and through the article he gives a decent point of view, but some issues remain. It is not given with “While an extra £20 won’t break the bank for some, games might already be stretching what little disposable income many people have, particularly when twinned with the £250-£450 cost of the shiny new console on which to play them”, it is a fact, but there is more (there always is). He touches on it with “the cost of producing an AAA game – big-budget, big-studio, tentpole titles – is now akin to that of making a Hollywood blockbuster. Grand Theft Auto V, released in 2013, cost £195m in development and marketing” yet he dances around it by dangling Cyberpunks and the bugs in our faces, whilst he ignores the massive bug list that AC Valhalla had (the very first image in the story). So whilst we get “A Martin Scorsese film lumbers in at three hours long. Most narrative-led games clock in at 15-or-so hours – five whole Scorseses; a hundred quid’s worth of Marty”, yes but there we see it, the quality, quality is what separates them, Scorsese hands us sheer perfection, Ubisoft products have not done this for the better part of a decade, in addition a game like Cyberpunk is showing us innovation to a much larger degree even (if for now) it has bugs. Ubisoft has been treating us to more of the same for years and they still can’t get it right. That is the part that is missing in this. And the gem is given at the very last “Yes, £70 is a lot. But choose wisely and you’ll never, ever feel short-changed”, yes we agree, but the ‘choose wisely’ part has become tainted. Consider that IGN gave us ‘Update 1.1.0 will fix over 30 Quest, World Event, and Side Activity issues, many that would prevent players from proceeding due to glitches and problems’, they gave this TWO MONTHS after the game was released, so how come that we see scores (metacritic: 80-85) depending on what system, a game with that many bugs is given 70+? And when we see that per source Gamepro (65) to PC gamer (92), we should have issues with the ‘choose wisely part’, in opposition there is Watchdogs: Legion, they did get that part right and when we see metacritic reviews (66-74) we need to sit down and consider that we all have different tastes and the settings are not equally pressed, which is unfair to Ubisoft as well. 

This is where the shoes become an issue, we might think that £20  is not too big an issue, when you are in a stage where you might buy a lemon £20 is a lot, really it is. 

As we try to set a value per time range, we need to consider that art is not easily categorised, and a true video game is still a work of art, which is why I have been slapping Ubisoft all I can, as I feel that they forgot that part. They got parts right they got games right. Even now, I still see in my mind the sunrise in AC Origins, perhaps because it was the first real 4K game, perhaps it was the setting, but they got that part right, pretty much all of it, which is why I am so angry about AC Valhalla. I stayed away from it and until the price is set to below £10 I continue to do so. I got AC Odyssey at £10 at some point, and I still regret it, so I might not fall for that this time around, in this I have serious settings on finding a way to officially remove Ubisoft from the AAA developers list, but then I remember, they got Watchdogs: Legion right, they might pull it off again. 

In this we need to make one more sidestep, Luke gives us “December’s Cyberpunk 2077 – despite being unfinished, riddled with bugs and, on consoles, uglier than a pooing pug”, which is interesting as he did not give us that setting for AC Valhalla, did he? I get it, we all have style of games we like, as I was in the 70’s addicted to the original William Gibson’s Neuromancer, I remain faithful to the game, I keep it on my shelf and I wait until the fixes have come in to play beyond the introduction. We also seem to forget that Cyberpunk 2077 had grossed well over $600 million in digital sales alone as of the end of 2020. He can have that view, I never liked GTA5, I did not like GTA4, so I stayed away from the sequel, I get it plenty like it, but it is not for me, just like Skyrim is not the game for a lot of them. We all have different tastes. 

Yet the title of the article remains in my mind, it still does, you see the part that Luke skated away from is that Immortals Fenyx Rising is $39 in the US, the same game is $50 in Europe, $77 in Australia and $45 in the UK (all PS4 prices). And this has been going on for years, all whilst the prices are even worse when you buy a digital format game, it also impacts the value of the art but we do not see that here, or in Luke’s defence with “a hundred quid’s worth of Marty”, when a game is not set to a level stage we see the issues, especially when the Xbox store charges more for a digital copy than a store would for a physical one, even an Australian store. This has been going on for at least 5 years. Games are judged by markers, but the reviewers are using different markers on different stages and they all refer to them as ‘markers’, as such people are walking away because they can no longer tell the difference. In this the final remark (which is still wise) “But choose wisely and you’ll never, ever feel short-changed” loses ground. An overhaul of what reviews and what should be reviewed is set to corners that are blatantly disregarded and it required an overhaul for well over a decade, I know because in the beginning (1988-1999) I was a reviewer. I might never have been the best, but I was always fair on the games I reviewed and I kept to the games I liked. When you get 2 pages a month, you want to spend them on the games you like, nothing else. A flaw? Optionally, but I had to make the space count so I did it on the games I likes and other reviewers on the games they liked. 

And I will admit, reviewing has become a lot more complex. A game that was on the CBM64, Atari ST or PC286 does not compare what is out today, so in that consider Watchdogs: Legion (at https://www.bworldonline.com/it-could-have-been-transcendent-arts/), I for the most agree with the review and the 85% score is decent and well earned and the one issue that I have is seen in “perhaps due to the weight of its pledges, it never gets to reach its projected dazzling heights. It never stops being enjoyable, but the most demanding players will be bothered by a nagging feeling that it could have been not just better, but transcendent — that it’s just a few steps shy of greatness”, it sums up the failing of Ubisoft, games that could have been beyond ‘WOW!’ are merely ‘Nice!’ And many reviewers do not do half as good a job on reviews as Alexander O. Cuaycong and Anthony L. Cuaycong did. So whilst we give attention to ‘choose wisely’ we forget that gamers are getting overloaded with reviews on all kinds of digital formats, and they often can no longer separate the critical reviewer from the unquestioning followers and the blind hater, which is an actual problem that makes any gamer like they are getting played and suddenly that £20 makes a whole lot of difference. 

If enough people say that it is not a marker, it is a coffee stick. We will see that at some point some will stir their coffee with it, no matter where it was before. 

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An optional ignored path

It happens, we sometimes overlook it and it is not a bad thing, or an evil thing, it just happens. In the last week I have seen so many stories on Cyberpunk 2077 and the bugs that I wonder (after laughing on some of the Tik Tok issues), did we forget something? Some other articles made mention of this, as such, I am not alone, but for me this morning started when I looked into the Cyberpunk 2077 art book and saw what most forget, or optionally ignore.

Cyberpunk is a massive achievement. Yes, CDPR (CD Project Red) needs to be scolded for the bugs, but they did something incredible. They created a world, a world that only existed in the mind of William Gibson, who created cyberpunk with Neuromancer. The book is filled with game advertisements that set the tone “Real Water, only 99E$ /Gallon” with really small print disclaimers, yet the foundation is there, Cyberpunk is more than merely a game, it is close to a real sandbox where we see a new level of quality gaming (without the bugs), the art shows the people, the weapons, the ammo, the transports, it is more than nextgen, it is actual newgen, it is an attempt (so far not completed, or achieved) that sets Cyberpunk 2077 apart from all others and with the choices you make, you will be able to play, play again and play again, never being bored, because there are so many outcomes, options and choices to make. A game any developer could be proud of. The car brands, all new, but founded on brands and brand approaches to cars we see now, Herrera (Jaguar), Thorton (Tesla), a dozen brands all linking to what was, giving us what might be and the art never stops amazing, that is what we see and CDPR almost succeeded, so when the patch comes that changes it all, those who let go of their game will not be happy, I get it, they feel unhappy and they have every right to be, but I saw more, I will never let go of this game, it shows a world that William Gibson dreamed of and now the PS4/PS5 and its Microsoft equivalent get to show what could never be shown before. When the game is finally done, it ill be the greatest race towards VR that any game had ever achieved and then some. I just went through 192 pages of art, cyber advertisements and I see that CDPR did something wholly amazing and unequalled, when they get it right, they will surpass Witcher 3 by a fair amount and I never expected that to be possible. A (sort of) sandbox game that sets a new stage, because you can select stages to focus on, making the missions and optionally the outcome a different one, Net Running, Edge Running, Thuggery, corporate tools, the options are there and we limit or open to selections, something Bethesda never achieved (not their fault), so even as I understand ‘CD Projekt May Face Class Action Lawsuit From Investors’, where we learn that the attorney looking into the lawsuit is also an investor, we see a different stage, here we accept that CDPR is not proven innocent and that they might face issues, yet what all the shouters around the non-success at present fail to see is that this game is so much bigger than anyone saw coming, I wonder what would take the setting to be a successful one. In the first, just like I slapped Ubisoft, CDPR should not have released the game in this form, I will hold onto it, but I understand that others might not and that is a choice we all need to make, but the art book (I have the hint guide as well) shows that this game is more than some path walker, the makers tried to make something never seen before and if they fix the issues, they will do that and Cyberpunk 2077 will get a new narrative that ill hold for years and others will try to get close to this achievement, optionally forever failing. The difference with Ubisoft is that Ubisoft makes a new iteration (Breakpoint, AC Unity, AC Odyssey, AC Valhalla) and blows it, CDPR did something we had never seen before and blows it too, but the premise is already different. Ubisoft merely made version X, CDPR made version 0.8 and it is so much more than anything we had ever seen.

Yes, not ignoring the bugs, but beyond that is something new, something beautiful, beyond Ubisoft was merely more of the same and I expect that they will make the same mistake in FarCry 6. Yet when we see the Malorian Arms in Cyberpunk, we see something Heckler & Koch wishes that they had designed it. And all this and more is all over Night City, which is massively big. No matter how we slice it, and some will focus on the bugs, and I get it, they are there, what is also there is a diamond in the rough, a diamond unlike we have ever seen before, I just hope that enough will see that soon enough (after the new patches) to turn the tide around for CDPR, as fr as I can tell, even as I am happy to present, they might have been better off announcing a delay until February 2021. It might have been the best course of action for them at present.

One thing, and they might do it to make up to the gamers (if William Gibson agrees), get one of his stories, for example Neuromancer, or Johnny Mnemonic into the game and each chapter the gamer finds will opt for some skill enhancement, just an idea.

So at present, I merely did the intro, because I want to avoid the bugs and I am happy to wait, what I have seen clearly shows pure greatness (well the bug free edition anyway), it is a path some are ignoring and that is not their fault, or their shortcoming, it is their choice, and the bugs as they are makes whatever choice they make a valid one, I recognise that, yet after so much gaming mediocrity, I prefer to wait until there is a final version. As I see it definitely beats another iteration of Assassins Creed or Far Cry, yet not Watch Dogs, that one, apart from some glitches, they really got right.

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I gave them a chance

Yup, at times we have to give others a chance, not because they are nice, not because they are working on it, or even if they are considering moves, sometimes you do it so that you are not the caged junkyard dog released from the chain. It is a civil act, but one that you do merely to please yourself. I am kind of that person. Ubisoft had been in a stage of near death for a time and that was not because of the issues in their firm, it was merely set towards their product. As I see it, before the end of the year Yves Guillemot is lucky to get out, find a nice house in France, bring half a dozen women to please him and I reckon if he does it for $369,000,000 he is lucky. You see at this point the company is worth 10 cents to the dollar. I watched close to a dozen of videos on gameplay on Assassins Creed Valhalla. Some have a sense of humour ‘Odin would be bored here’, ‘continuing mediocrity’ and a few more of those jabs, they are funny. I saw issues with guards running in circles, I saw a guard hit by a row, flying off like Yoshi getting kicked by Mario. And these videos all had different issues and glitches. One had a boat getting stuck on a small branch and the boat went 30 degrees like it was stuck under a stone bridge, the issues go on. Even as Watchdogs: Legion had a few issues, they were nonsensical, small little glitches that do not upset the gameplay (there were a few), but this stuff is what I feared and Ubisoft had their chance, and ever as they went live early this now bites in the other direction. A franchise destroyed by short sightedness, it is too infuriating. I did not like AC3 much, but it was on the mark, even as some bugs showed up that would pester the franchise for at least 3 games, then they released a good game which I still do not regard to be a real AC game, it was Black Flag, after that mediocrity, bugs and shortcomings hit the franchise until AC Origin came and that was on the mark, it was a bulls eye. Yes it had bugs, but none spoiled the game, it had a few issues, yet the larger gameplay was never affected. And that is the end of it, even as some ‘official’ reviewers say that it is the best they ever saw, it seems that I get a clear picture who butters their bread. You only need to search for ‘AC Valhalla rants’, or ‘AC Valhalla issues’ and the videos come streaming. It is hard to stay neutral and focussed, but try it is worth it. Some give us the lack of some parts but in the story it seems to fit and in those days not everyone had a hammer, or a knife. Iron was for the people with money, it led to health. All the people you slaughter and not one had a decent weapon? Chests (in bird planes at times) with resources, books of knowledge (which is actually a good thing). The game has taken leaps in one direction and forfeited looking behind itself, like really properly testing a game. 

The videos show a game with really good moments, an good graphics and some of the glitches tear it down in a rather nasty way, so I reckon that the gamers are promised patches upon patches in a time when the PS5, Xbox series X and PC have 4K capabilities, so these patches will be larger than before (with Breakpoint being the way it was, it will be a speculated nightmare).

Some will also come with positive things and we need to take notice of them too, one gives the right tone rating that this game is not for everyone, if AC Odyssey did not grab you, than this game will not either. I specifically like the mention towards a movie called the 13th warrior, I liked it, it showed a time that seemed pure and it seemed direct, the is a good mention for AC Valhalla, as I stated in the past, I will steer clear of this game, unless it will be for sale on Black Friday at 30% of the price, then I might c consider it. So here we are, Ubisoft, with in my personal opinion one decent hit (Watchdogs: Legion) and one clear fail (the other title). Two fails would mean the end of Ubisoft, now? I reckon they will limp towards what comes next, but if the does not include original IP and a really really good game they are pretty much done for. A carcass for other hungry game studios to poach, because the graphic people are good, the sound people are really good, so they will get poached soon enough. When those seeking a slice of $135 billion revenue cake that is online gaming (2020-2022), they will wise up fast which merely makes the end of Ubisoft sooner, not later. 

Yet at this stage I do not feel righteous, I do not feel superior, and I do not feel happy, I feel sad, because Ubisoft was a giant, it did bring original IP and it did make us happy. Like a junkie I would want to feel like that one more time when a Ubisoft game arrives. I reckon that 2020 was a bad year for a few reasons, I do not think the any gamer will be happy to see the end of Ubisoft, but the is just the way the cake crumbles at times.

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The BS from players

When is a gamer a player? One could argue that many players are gamers, yet not all gamers are players. It is looking at a set of collections with two unknowns, yet the media to a much larger degree will not care. The BBC shows this with ‘Cyberpunk 2077 delayed until December despite developer crunch’, they also give us “A letter from the developers said there would be “many emotions and questions” about another delay, and asked fans to “please accept our humble apologies”” and here we get the first setting: ‘Why?’ My setting is given in a station where we see that their last project was The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, a project that was rated at 100% by some, others gave it ranging between 91%-95%, only the Nintendo Switch version did slightly worse, but the largest range was overwhelmed with the perfection of gaming offered, only GTA-V had a rating on that level. When we look at the best ratings EVER, on the PS4, it is on 13th position, on the Xbox One it is on 10th position, and on PC it got 18th position, so when CD Project Red thinks it needs more time, we should just give it to them, Witcher 3 was so lose to gaming perfection that we should accept it and when we see players like Boss Hunting giving us “Referring to what we’ve filed under “Tweets which have aged like unrefrigerated milk”, CD Projekt Red promised that Cyberpunk 2077 would face no further delays earlier this month. But delayed they have, and now, like an absentee father during the summer holidays, a promise has been broken; and everyone is sitting on the curb with their swimmers on”, so let them sit on the curb, actual gamers will accept that it will be ready when it is ready, the entire BS game of flaming whilst these same players were too often silent when it mattered. 

I will grant you that I was looking forward to playing the game, yet I would much rather wait until late January for a game that is near perfect, than a game that needs the amount of patches Ubisoft treated us to lately. I get it, most do the perfect game does not exist, not games this big, yet we can limit the issues and that is what we see now (at least I hope it is). A YouTuber MrMattyPlays gives a decently good view on the delay (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYU1lv8WqWk), but he does more, as we see the game play on the screen, the driving, the actions, the choices we get to make, we see something that is so much better than anything presently released, yet CD Project Red sees an issue and delays. MrMattyPlays mentions ‘perception’ and that is true, yet anyone having issues is off their rocker (as I see it), the only mistake MrMattyPlays makes (as I personally see it) is the fact that he compares CD Project Red to Ubisoft, CD Project Red is a relatively small player, especially compared to $2 billion Ubisoft with well over 18,000 staff members and over 14 Ubisoft locations. Not to forget the fact that they produced the worst game of 2019 (Breakpoint), I admit that it is not overly fair to have a go at Ubisoft, but we need to accept that CD Project Red at present is the creator of one of the most perfect RPG games ever (in 2015) and that achievement has over the last 5 years not been broken, will it? We will see, but that milestone give es them credibility and we better acknowledge that part in the equation, and it has nothing to do with John Wick being in the game, I’ll take him on with a pencil if need be (the John Wick fans will get this).

Is there an upside? Yup we are only 12 hours away from the official release of Watchdogs: Legion and so far it seems that they made a amazingly good product (Watchdogs: Legion), so I get more time on that (and Pikmin 3 too).

Yet the larger stage is not the makers, it is the media, always hounding for half a sound byte, half a quote, and then when the stage fumbles, play the blame game. We saw this with the non stop hounding of Hello Games and No Man’s Sky, even christian digital media were implying release date knowledge, begging like little bitches for clicks. The media is the larger problem, they want to ‘appease’ the avenues needs of gamers, but cold consideration is not on the table. And as such we get a warped expectation, yet in all this no one will hold the media to account will they? Just like the BS wave of flames around loot boxes, I am no fan of EA, even less now that I cannot buy a physical copy of NHL 21, as my favourite team is on the cover now, so I am in a ‘Fuck EA’ mode, or is that mood? Yet the setting of loot boxes is seemingly misreported, how many free loot boxes can be earned? How many packs a day are given free, how many milestones are rewarded with packs and cards? None of the media reports on this, I had a truckload with NHL 19,  I do not know how it is now, and even as several sites clearly reported on the free packs that FIFA 19 (or FIFA 20) had, I see no reporting on the FIFA 21 part, so will the gamers get an actual real view? I doubt it, it is seemingly not in their interest to cater to EA, but it seems that opposition of EA is catered to, I wonder why. It is the simplest stage of players versus gamers and as I personally see it, a lot of these players have never gamed on any decent level.

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Deadline or death line?

I said it before, and I stick to my view, Ubisoft is in a large stage of near death, they might be denying that part, but their setting is not good, or is that was not? Let’s be clear, today I went through Watchdogs: Legion and I am decently impressed, it is an absolute jump forward from Watchdogs 2, To be fair, this looks really good and after an hour, it still looks good and plays well. As I stated, the next two games define the future of Ubisoft and at present it seems like they got this one right. I saw issues in earlier editions, but as this was before beta, it does not count and I have every intention to take another look. No matter how we try to slice it, a few things show up, first of all, those angry (read: anti) game reviews are not as present as before, some people had plenty to bitch about Watch Dogs 2, yet I enjoyed most of the game (a few weird parts), the story was decent and the intro to WD3 is a lot better than the second one, the game has a few issues as I spotted them in WD3 that is, but it is not a disabling one, some of the conversations are really too unreal, but that could be a US view on British accents, I do not know, but it flaws there, yet two elements, the first is that this is a video game, second any voice can be regarded as flawed, it is how you look at it and does it hinder the game? I think not. One review I liked can be seen (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9kEuTyKufo). It gives a few things away, but not too much. In light of my earlier statement (regarding Ubisoft), it is important to note that this game shows a first sign that Ubisoft is addressing the stupidity we saw in earlier releases. I believe (at present) that AC Origins is still the best game that Ubisoft has released in the near past and this game is making a serious approach to breaking that achievement, something we had not seen for much too long. I might add more on the weekend as I progress through the game, yet so far I have to admit: “Well done Ubisoft”, which in light of my earlier views of other games is important to notice. 

I have nothing on AC Valhalla, What I saw earlier turned me off, yet I will admit that it was an early beta version, so lots to fix and even as some parts seem nice, there is a more apparent stage of addressing, which I believe is flawed, but it is based on incomplete views, as such I am refraining of actual criticism against the game at present.

Even as I still believe that Ubisoft is optionally on its last legs, the fact that the systems that WatchDogs: Legion is released on the big two consoles, with additions to PC and Google Stadia should not be underestimated. At present it indicates that Ubisoft could get its footing back and if the game turns out as good as it seemingly is (I honestly cannot say at present), the fact that a title like this is making it to Google Stadia as well is important. It could end up being a desired taste for EVERY Google Stadia player and that is important to Ubisoft as well. For Google it matters as it is not out on the Apple Arcade (as far as I can tell), and that will matter to Google in this upcoming race. It actually got me to one (small and insignificant) flaw at present, if I am wrong, I will be the first to apologise. When you consider that this game is in London and it was made by Ubisoft Toronto (that village in Canada), it suddenly dawned on me that the game is lacking NPC backpackers. London is filled with them, you know people with backpacks speaking in a Canadian, American and Australian accent (and plenty more dialects), they could have made that into a game achievement ‘Getting around: possessed a backpacker from every commonwealth nation’, just something to consider down the DLC road. Still, the fact that I am thinking of things to add, is important, as I am not thinking of things that required essential fixing. I might be too early in the game, but I have not felt this invigorated since AC Origins and that is a good feeling to have, Ubisoft is seemingly getting it right, if I attack them, I must also acknowledge that they are doing the right thing, it feels important to do that too.

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Light of creativity

In creativity we normally see a theme, or perhaps better phrased, some (like me)( are thematically driven, it might change per project, but in me there is a drive to think thematically, it is how I set the the stages of Elder Scrolls VII: Restoration, Watchdogs 4: Refugee,  and Far Cry 7: Timing

In this I have spoken about the Elder Scrolls and Watchdogs before, but not too much about Far Cry, in this game the stage is a little bit different. The game has two sides, a day side and a night side, yet that is not really made clear in the beginning, The game is stages in Japan on the Island of Amakusa, the man is in the city as it is today, yet when he falls asleep he becomes the boy or Girl named Sage. For the kid its 1945, for the adult its 2010, and the stage is different, the man learns skills that the boy has when he falls asleep, the kid finds things and places (and avoid US troops) the difference is that this is a game without guns, the US troops have them, but the boy/girl cannot fire them. The man learns to be better and more apt with knifes, and it helps the other one, but is only deadly to animals. The story starts in 2010, the man is evicted, he lost his job in the meltdown, he is making it on his own and when he gets to an abandoned house, he finds an engraved phalange, and as he holds it, he falls asleep. 

At that point it becomes morning 1945 and the boy takes over. 

It is the foundation of the game, in this we see the entire island twice, once as the boy in the midst  of an American occupation, with lose combats against the Imperial army, we see the game starting in one stage in July 1st 1945 and July 1st 2010 in the other stage. The idea of having two stories that intertwine is interesting, the 2010 story sets the stage of what knowledge is gained in 1945. This stage is depending on stealth, that is often not important in 2010, as we try to gain the treasures and rare items to pay the debt, as that unfolds, we see two stories unfold as well as two needs to be scored in a single night, and as the stage unfolds more and more we get to see a WW2 story from a Japanese side, yet the Americans are not shown too evil, but they are scary to a 11 year old child. 

That is merely the beginning of the setting and it took no more than two hours to come up with it. So when we see “a small team at Visceral also worked on a pirate game code named Jamaica. That game wound up being canceled when Ubisoft announced the pirate-themed Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, and EA wound up with a bigger a bigger priority for its “genre” studio: a Star Wars game”, a quote a mere three days old, yet I was able to (semi)create three games in a week, so where is their creativity? I came up with the setting of the game Evolution which was came from an Idea I had when I was playing the game Mercenary on the CBM64 and was based in Amsterdam, The centre of Amsterdam was completely mapped and I came up with a map change which I got from the documentary Zero Hour, as I see it, the lack of creativity from some of these large software houses baffle me, it really does.

Well, its fine as I see it, I came up with 6 games (completely) original in its foundation, as such the entire stage of ‘being canceled when Ubisoft announced the pirate-themed Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag’ passed me by completely. And in that regard, we see that even their version is not that original, Sid Meier set that stage with Pirates, as such I wonder what they will create next, and beyond that, which of them will actually make it to the consoles, because that is another setting.

As we see all over the place ‘Apple clashes with Microsoft, Google, and Facebook over cloud gaming’ no one is asking the question, who will hand us original games? In this the setting that only Sony and Nintendo remains is not the weirdest idea. So as the others are fighting on how to gain the largest slice of pie in the GaaS game, some will focus on originality and make the largest gains. 

So what games will you play and which system will focus on original games? Is that not important too? 

 

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A Congressional Country Club Neighbour

There is a problem when you are the neighbour of the Congressional Country Club. It is not on the CCC mind you, they did nothing wrong. No, it is all about their neighbour Bethesda. Yes, you guessed it; the slamming of software developer Bethesda is just escalating and escalating. The latest one (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJ-kIlMPoYY) gives a rise too blunders on many levels, all made by Bethesda. The tweets are off the wall; Bethesda is in actual problems at this point.

I believe that in part the mockery is deserved, apart from the fact that Fallout 76 was an error, or published way too early, the clarity of failure on how the entire mess was dealt with, the lack of communication, shallow party lines and bad response to an even worse situation is what is strangling Bethesda, and to some degree, deserved or not. It is unfair.

Until Fallout 76 the bulk worshipped Bethesda, consider that a game like Skyrim, released on 11.11.11 is still played today, that requires true vision. Many (like me) became fans of Bethesda as ES: Oblivion was released. There is another view (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kRRYgf54oM) that takes itr into another direction. I believe that he is wrong, but I get the point of view. You see, what we call puzzles are basically locking systems in the game. That locking system was staged in those days and these places were filled with soldiers in those days, so the ‘puzzles’ were actually merely locks for those without keys. It is not a hard core puzzle and should not be seen as such. Yet the same person also makes a point with the Fallout 4 references in RPG, the gutting of the Special perks part. He has a point, there was regression, making it too much like an action game with RPG elements. Was it a mistake? It never bothered me whilst playing Fallout 4 over and over again, but that is just me, the story itself did not suffer to the larger degree, if that was the case, my reaction might have been different.

He makes a good point, New Vegas is actually superior in a few ways and that is a shame, even as we loved the ability to make our place more specific, we lost in other ways and that was a shame. When I decided to design ESVI: Restoration, I added from Oblivion, added to Skyrim and made two additional sidesteps, that is progress; that is game evolution.

So there was additional challenge, new options and additional lines to complete. More important, I realised that not everything is in your hands, so I added a side quest where you can influence, but not control it all, that is a part of life. That question will move like a red line through the entire game and in some cases that project will not be completed by the end of the game, time had become a factor as well, an element often ignored in RPG. In my view, you can influence time in the project, yet the end is almost predetermined as you find the elements.

So how is that better?

The fact that there are several choices and you can only commit to one, is the part that matters, it makes for replayability. Also, the end result will influence the economy in play and more important, ass certain choices were obtained/found the place will also open up another set of NPC’s in the game giving another feel and optionally other quests and optionally another achievement. That is merely one place.

I set the stage for 23 side quests that are not the same, require a choice to be made (to some extent) and in addition, would optionally change the favour you get in return, that is something that had not been done before. Although based on previous games, the entire main storyline is set in the past, in the past you played before (to some degree) making the entire line of ES games a historical part of what had happened, optionally what you had played before, that is a side we have not seen before (as far as I know).

What else could there be?

Well, that was my initial thought when I started Restoration and what if we get to choose? What if it is not as shallow as the legion versus the storm cloaks? What if the choice is a fundamental one? What if we select progress of now versus the return to the old age? That is an RPG, it is your choice, it is something given to us in the very beginning of Oblivion.
This is exactly why I considered what I did and I believe that it has the merit of giving the gamers optionally over a hundred hours of gameplay, more than that, they can replay and get a partially different game out of it all, something a lot more than merely manic versus mania; more than Elf versus Imperial. What if we take this to a new level and realise that the light cannot exist without the dark. When we accept that there are no clean solutions and that we have to live with choices and see the impact around us, that is when vanilla RPG transforms into something we seemingly have not seen before (implied as I never played all the games that there are).

And what happens when this is translated to an entire new level of Fallout later on? My ideas are new and partially unique, but the evolution I have in mind is not something that is unheard of. the question becomes is Bethesda (or any other serious RPG developer) willing to take the gamer into a different direction, adding to the need of a lot more graphics and a lot more changes, but that will in the end entice people to replay a game like that again and again. Skyrim opened many eyes, I am merely offering the part where a place like that becomes your universe and you can actually tinker it through gameplay into something more, it has been seen before, but it is really really rare as it requires the software maker to be truly committed to a product for the long term and those in charge now are all about the full time hit, as fast as possible and make it the next profit treasure. Ubisoft showed us that in Assassins Creed, the Division (version 2 more so), Far Cry and Watchdogs. I need to start with the clarity that this is never about the graphics; the graphics from Ubisoft are close to sublime on all these games they really worked it out. The long term part is missed (especially in the Division) as this is about non-stop action. Now, that part seems natural, but it is not. When you have been in a warzone you will get it. You see, it is about stamina. Not fictive but actual stamina. We might think that this does not apply, but it does. It is so much clearer in Division 2, as we see the game to be a much better game, we see the failure on how a person does what they do with 30 Kg of backpack and weapons and do the stuff they do. Stamina should have intervened to some degree; in addition it was ignored as a reward. When you play more, your character will have a better level of stamina, have you ever run for your life holding onto a 7.62mm FN MAG? I have and trust me it is intense, when stamina leaves you for the moment. Things become a little blurry, motor skills diminish a little and you really need 5 seconds to get a hold of yourself. Now, this is a game and I get that, but it is the ignored element, which is a shame. We see Stamina in Skyrim and there it makes sense, yet Skyrim missed a little as well, not intentionally and perhaps not even noticeable and it does not matter to the degree it might, but the internal blocks have not been addressed in any RPG game as far as I can tell, which is a shame. It does not make the Division (1 and 2) a bad game, not at all. I am not a great fan of online gaming and plenty are, yet there is a side of me that looks at the game and whilst there is nothing to say about the first division (we all have to start somewhere) we see that the second one needs to be a step forward and that is clearly the case. It is a large leap forward, anyone telling you different is merely insincere on it all (not lying, merely not seeing it all correctly) Now, there I might be wrong, even as i am not much of an online player, others are and they hold a much larger candle towards the quality of such a game. They will look at other elements. I merely noticed that Stamina is a missed opportunity in the Division both one and two), but in the end it is merely one element of plenty of elements that might be improved on. Stamina is the most visible one as it equally impacts Assassins Creed, Far Cry and Watchdogs. Consider, when was the last time when you had to climb up a tower with gear, let alone the pyramids?

We see to leap forwards in many areas except debilitation (like Stamina). So what happens when you do need to get from place to place and also rest at spots to regain stamina? We played Fallout 4 and Skyrim, yet how many took time to sleep and eat? What if that becomes the foundation in the game for the character? What if we see that the Khajiit needs sugar and meat at least once a day? What if the High Elf needs little food, but will require fresh clean water every day? What more can we get out of the game when we focus beyond the story and make sure that our time in the elements are properly addressed? I believe that plenty of games will end up with an added level of game play and satisfaction when the elements become actual elements to take heed of. Fallout New Vegas had so much of the added elements in its game that the consideration that Fallout 4 was a step back is not that big a leap and that is such a shame.

It is a shame because future games will be measured in different ways, the growing demand for survival games is showing us that path and RPG’s need to catch up fast, or better stated Bethesda needs to up their game in several ways. They do not have the luxury they had in January 2012 (after the first Skyrim wave). They now need not merely a good game, they need a landslide rating to get the people aboard and enthusiastic again, they dropped the ball that often in the last year alone. If they do not, we will see the RPG community moving to other shores and perhaps that is what Obsidian Entertainment will deliver with the Outer Limits. Time will tell, and the gamer has time to go from game to game, Bethesda no longer has that benefit, they squandered too much of it internally, and externally towards their fans, the gamers and their marketing will need to learn that merchandising is not a solution, it is not a stop gap. Every piece of merchandising is another piece of evidence to hold Bethesda as a company up to scrutiny, did they not realise that?

 

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