Archive for February, 2019

Activision And Capitalism’s Ugly Face

Posted in Commentary, Gaming these days ..., News with tags , , , on February 15, 2019 by Rabidgames

You might have read that Activision Blizzard is firing people, right? You might have also read they’re firing people despite making hefty profits, in fact Activion’s boss talks about “record revenue” …

Here’s the thing – that shouldn’t surprise us. For years now, the gaming industry has been exactly that – an industry. Those who craft, develop and enjoy games still work there, but usually just as low-level employees. The ones ruling the shots are fucking assholes in suits who treat games like they’d treat cars, materials, or even worse than games, food or medicine: as means to generate shitloads of money so they and their fucking shareholders get richer and richer. At the same time, they don’t give a shit about the company, why would they, after all? After bleeding out one company, they can go bleeding the next one dry. The word enough simply does not exist in the capitalist dictionary.

This kind of shit is regarded as normal in our capitalist world; workers getting fed bread crumbs while parasitic shareholders and their managers in suits feast on golden cakes. And you know, the absurd thing is that those managers in suits primarily answer to those fucking shareholders. If 800 people get fired, lose their jobs, potentially their homes, they don’t give a fuck. But if one shareholder feels 5% profit isn’t enough for the platinum cake he wants to buy, the next “logical” thing will be firing 800 more workers.

This is the fucked up world we live in. If you want games made by gamers for gamers for enjoyment and for the game makers to make a living, indie games are your only choice. With every AAA game you buy, you make sure the artists, developers and other workers get fed, sure. But for each pound they might get, 2 pounds (probably more) go the fucking shareholders.

Rabidgames wonders: What to do? Well, we can buy less AAA games and more indie games. But would that really help? There’s talk about a gaming union in the UK, which would greatly help things, of course. But at the end of the day, it’s simple: Gaming is just as fucked as the rest of the world. It’s not different, it’s just another means for corporations to make money for themselves.

Advertisements

Mass Effect + Destiny + A Hot Mess – Bioware Writing = Anthem

Posted in Commentary, Gaming these days ..., Hands On with tags , , , , on February 3, 2019 by Rabidgames

First of all, Anthem is better than Rabidgames expected. The flying is pretty cool, and the good old Mass Effect primer/detonator combos are back. In its best moments, when there is some flow and your team works together well, it really feels like Mass Effect plus jetpack. And some guy split in three is interesting, well, unless you know Kingdom Hearts where one guy splits himself into 13.

Anyway, sometimes better than expected does not mean anywhere above the line of average. Anthem has some good sides, but the bad sides prevail. By a mile. Shooting bullet sponges has been bad since Destiny (and that was even worse in The Division, where seemingly human bosses survive 5 magazines of lead in their head), and Anthem is as just not food enough here. While you can mix and match flying/gliding and shooting after a bit of practice, it doesn’t make up for the shooting being two leagues below Destiny. You don’t have to like Destiny to admit that they absolutely nailed the shooting …

Furthermore, the gameplay loop is boring: Go there, shoot baddies, upload something, go somewhere else, rinse and repeat, oh look, a boss. Even if the shooting was top-notch (nope), and even if combos were as fluent and intuitive as in Mass Effect (again, nope), it would just be en par with Destiny … at most. But when you end up flying through a mostly empty world for 3 minutes, you get bored quicker than in other games where you walk for ten seconds between shoot-outs. Even worse, the cringe-worthy story told by NPCs that looked ancient 5 years ago … There is no excuse for something that bad from fucking Bioware! Dude gets artefact, smashes it, gets split into three, his worst and dumbest third escapes the city, you get him back, only for the game to freeze in the cutscene that explains it … well done, Bioware.

Speaking of freezing, lags, crashes, connection issues, frame-rate problems and the loss of sound – yes, Anthem has all of this and more. Guys, this is a demo, isn’t it? You want people to convince to buy the game. Instead, hardly anything works as intended. Even worse, Friday was kind of stable, Saturday was less, and hardly anything worked on Sunday. That’s quite poor.

Also, the story. Anthem is like Destiny there – some mysterious stranger, sorry, energy source that can somehow alter reality … Sure, we don’t need all the details now, but after Destiny, mysterious hints are suspicious of a shit show in the story department. Bad dialogues and boring mission design don’t help there either. Absolutely nothing of interest except the guy made threefold happens – so where’s the catch?

Given the utterly idiotic way PS4 gamers will be the last to see the game – and thereby maybe the luckier ones as they’ll know what they’re getting into – we might know soon if the final version of Anthem is indeed ready. But here’s the thing: if, and that’s a big IF, hell, a couple of big IFs, if the game fixes its technical issues, if the story develops into something decent and if Anthem ends up with good content, then it might be a game worth looking at. But the demo does not help – if you judge Anthem by it, it’s a broken mess that is nowhere near Destiny or Warframe.

Rabdigames shakes his weary head: A demo should make people buy the game. In this case, that won’t happen. An unfinished mess with barely any identity is not good enough even though the core gameplay looks somewhat promising. Any hope for Bioware is long gone anyway, but Anthem could be their swansong – after a long decline, it might be soon time EA takes Bioware out into the desert to an unmarked grave full of bodies. If the demo is a sign, Bioware better savours its sorry life as long as it lasts …

Fuck The Fear of Offending Some Fuckers!

Posted in Commentary, Gaming these days ... with tags , , , , on February 2, 2019 by Rabidgames

So, it seems Ubisoft uses some – honestly only semi-funny and admittedly rather poorly timed – joke PR  for The Division 2 mentioning the US government shutdown – and then melts down over it. Wait, what?

come-see-what-a-real-government-shutdown-looks-like-in-41350320

So that’s offensive?

Remember when Ubisoft was insisting it’s not their intention to make “overtly” political games? That might why Far Cry 5 was devoid of any controversy except killing white christian extremists … well, with the help of slightly less radical mostly white christians … And of course there were still some obvious Trump jokes in there …

Anyway. Ubisoft, you’re making a game in Washington. With the name “Tom Clancy” in it. And it’s a post-apocalyptic game. That’s a politics hattrick, for fuck’s sake! But it wasn’t even overtly political nor was it directed at anyone. It was just an edgy joke, nothing more.

But you know what? Fuck your apology and fuck of phobia of being offensive. Fuck being scared of offending someone somewhere on this planet. And fuck you for being offended by anything that is not even directed at you personally.

And from a business perspective – ride out the shitstorm. It’s better PR than seeming to be a bunch of scared headless chicken.That’s just stupid.

Besides, where does it stop? The next person will be offended that Ghost Recon: Wildlands is a right-wing militarist wet dream. Another guy will then claim that Watch Dogs 2 glorifies hacking and godless life in godless San Francisco. And remember that you can slaughter innocent pixanimals in Far Cry 5! And what about all that terribly unchristian fucking everybody and their goats in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (and then taking all choices away at the end of a DLC)?

Rabidgames wonders: What the fuck happened to us? Since when is one guy somewhere always offended about anything, or even worse, thinks that someone else might be offended? Why are we so afraid the shit we say could offend anyone? Except when we do it all the time on social media of course …