Week In Review: 5/30/2014 – The Order 1886 Delayed and The Phantom Painful to Watch
Welcome to the Week in Review, a feature where Dan Oravasaari and Alex Osborn will break down what happened over the last week and discuss what it means to the industry as a whole, and to you the gamer.
Dan: As much as it sucks that we won’t be able to play through The Order this year, I think this could be a smart move by Sony for multiple reasons. The first being that if the game needs more polish, give it to it. The Order is quickly becoming a flagship for the PS4 and should not launch before it is ready. The second, with Microsoft still set to announce some release dates for their upcoming lineup, Sony would be smart to stick a big hitter early Fall to take on whatever they stick in that slot – which I predict will be Gears of War next.
Alex: First off, there’s no way we’ll be getting a new Gears of War before 2016. Black Tusk literally just started working on that title, and there’s no way it’ll be done in a year and a half. That said, Halo 5: Guardians will be releasing next year, and likely in that “early fall” window, though, The Order will probably hit store shelves before then—I’m thinking it’ll have a launch similar to Second Son. Console warring aside, the delay of The Order certainly doesn’t bode well for Sony’s holiday lineup for PS4. With the only known exclusive being Driveclub, which, mind you, was supposed to be out at launch, fall 2014 isn’t looking all that exciting.
Dan: A guy can hope can’t he? I just want Gears OK.
Alex: Kojima has a bad habit of stirring up unnecessary drama around his projects. From the crazy reveal of The Phantom Pain to all of the controversy around Ground Zeroes, it’s clear that Kojipro is looking to shake things up with Metal Gear Solid V. While calling attention to something potentially controversial before it even has the chance to elevate into a controversy is Kojima’s way of fueling the hype train. Can I fault him for it? Absolutely not. I was already hyped for the new MGSV trailer that will be aired during E3, and the fact that it is allegedly tough to watch has me all the more intrigued. I assume the same is true for you too, Dan?
Dan: Yeah, up to a point it has gotten me a bit more curious. But, I think I am slowly getting tired of the hyperbole that pops up before an MGS game and actually many games now. So, I think it will be interesting, but I am already tempering my expectations for Phantom Pain. After Ground Zeroes released, I realized that I am slowly getting out of the Metal Gear camp and would like nothing more to go back in, but I so far nothing has brought me back just yet.
Dan: I have been a fan of the LEGO games for some time, but sadly have never really jumped on the Batman series, as I didn’t grow up with DC. But, after trying to make it through LEGO The Hobbit, I think it will be time for me to return to something that is more similar to my favorite in the series, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes.
Alex: While I loved Batman as a youngster, my interest in DC superheroes has waned over the years, and what little love I had for LEGO is virtually non-existent at this point. As such, it’s safe to say that there’s all that much that could possibly draw me into a new LEGO Batman game. That said, Traveler’s Tales is good at what they do (at least that what I hear) so I’m sure Beyond Gotham will be a great game that delivers exactly what fans of the franchise want and have come to expect.
Alex: Seeing as how Battlefield 4 has proven to be a complete disaster for EA thanks to a whole host of technical issues, there’s no doubt that the franchise has an uphill battle ahead of it. As such, it doesn’t surprise me Electronic Arts is taking a different approach with its next entry in the series. From what little I’ve heard, Hardline won’t be like any traditional Battlefield game that has come before it. In many ways, is sounds like it’s the company’s way of launching a new IP under the Battlefield banner. But I haven’t been following the leaks surrounding this game very closely, as I’m not a huge fan of the series. However, you enjoy some Battlefield from time to time, don’t you, Dan? What are your thoughts on this new game?
Dan: I have had a feeling that something like this was in the works for the Battlefield 4 follow up. After the Bad Company series ended last generation, it only makes sense that EA brings on something else that can follow up with something in-between the gaps from BF4 and BF5. I think Hardline will be an interesting title, but I honestly have lost a ton of faith in the series and their developer. But, on the other end I still put in hundreds of hours into a broken game simply because it was that fun. So, do I have high expectations? No. Will I pick it up? probably.
Dan: This is one of those releases that was destined to set the internet on fire and even more so given how the game released. Watch_Dogs has been on everyone’s mind for some time and became a product of great speculation after it saw a delay from last year. Now, after review scores go up, gamers are thrown into a flurry as they see their latest hopeful release get put through the ringer. But, after having put in a decent number of hours into the game, I can say that the game isn’t bad, but is a far cry from being the well polished AAA product we hoped it would have been.
Alex: For whatever reason, I was never bitten by the Watch Dogs bug. Its big reveal a couple of years ago at E3 had gamers salivating all over themselves in delight, but I couldn’t have more disinterested. Maybe it has to do with my distaste for open-world games. Maybe it’s because I’ve become a cynical grump that just doesn’t get excited about over ambitious tech demos. Either way, the release of Watch Dogs hasn’t moved the needle for me one way or the other. It’s a new IP that’s trying to find its footing much like the original Assassin’s Creed when it launched on PS3 and Xbox 360 many years ago. The game has broken sales records for Ubi, so we’ll certainly see a sequel. Here’s to hoping Watch Dogs 2 will be what Assassin’s Creed II was to its respective franchise.
This was an OK week, besides the fact that we are losing The Order 1886 until next year, we saw the release of one of the most anticipated titles we have been hearing about since last year’s E3 and got news of a new LEGO Batman title. With E3 rounding the corner, it is hard to not get excited about what the possibilities might be, but that also means that we are going to have to wade through the rumor mills just to get through this calm before the storm.
Overall Score: 5.5