Battle of the GameCops: 2013 Edition!

game cop

It’s been two years since gaming’s finest detectives took their cases, but now they’re back. This time, their beat includes Grand Theft Auto V’s hype (or lack thereof), Richard Garriott’s comments that “most game developers suck” and Hideo Kojima’s newest antics with the Phantom Pain. Naturally, they tackle these with all the integrity and tenacity that you’ve come to expect from your favorite gaming gumshoes.

Since you haven’t seen them in a couple of years, here’s how this feature works: GameCop is a sensible gamer, looking out for your best interests. LameCop is your average forum troll, causing havoc for the lulz, while PsychoCop should be locked up for everyone’s safety.

Here’s how they feel about these issues: Continue reading Battle of the GameCops: 2013 Edition!

Pixel Count: Gaming Trends?

After the last few weeks, it’s been hard for me not to be a bit of a gaming grump when it comes to trends in the video game industry. Sometimes it’s easy to look at all the ways the hobby’s changing, from DRM to microtransactions to the idea of games as a service instead of games as a product… and just feel a bit let down.

But then some great games come out like Bioshock: Infinite and Tomb Raider, and you start to feel a bit more hopeful. Like maybe some teams are out there still thinking about us and trying to make games we’ll enjoy. So in that vein, I thought today’s Pixel Count would focus on the positive: what gaming trends do you love about the industry right now! Tell us why in the comments!

What trend are you most excited about in gaming?

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Would You Rather: 2013 Edition

Welcome, Sushians, to the first Would You Rather of 2013! Actually, this is the first Would You Rather since Spring of 2012, which is a little insane to think about. How were you guys getting your fix of Sophie’s Choice style questions about video games without us? How?!

While you’re reeling over the awesomeness of finally getting a new Would You Rather, you should peruse some of these questions and write your own answers. These questions are inspired by some of the issues we’ve seen in games recently, from Sim City’s DRM to Tomb Raider’s updates and Gears of War Judgment’s lack of a horde mode. Feel free to make your answers as lengthy as you want. You’ll get extra points if you insult one of the other GS writers, too.

Continue reading Would You Rather: 2013 Edition

GamerSushi Asks: Standalone DLC?

Dead Space 3 Awakened

With the release of Dead Space 3’s new DLC Awakened, DLC has been on my mind these days. Publishers use it as a way to increase profits due to lower sales and higher budgets. But there here are more than a few gamers who think all DLC is evil and should have been in the game in the first place. Such a view is ignorant of the realities of game development, as there is a period where a game is finished, but before it has been shipped that allows developers to come up with ideas for DLC. Yes, even Day 1 DLC.

One of the main purposes of DLC is to keep gamers from trading in their games the moment they are done with them. Which doesn’t make sense to me because it’s not like you can get another sale out of that person. But you can get them to buy DLC, which leads me to an idea I had: why not make DLC standalone? By that, I mean don’t force the players to actually own the disc to play DLC. Infamous did this with the Festival of Blood DLC and it was a blast to play. I know I would love to play the upcoming Dishonored DLC, but I already traded that game in. I don’t know if it is cost-prohibitive to do such a thing, but you could even charge more if the disc is not detected. Say $9.99 if you have the game and $12.99 if you don’t. That seems fair and not entirely evil, right?

So that’s my question to you, Sushians: would you prefer if DLC were standalone? Would that make you more likely to buy it? Would you try games that you normally wouldn’t if you could have a taste for a lower cost? Let’s hear it!

Call of Duty “Almost Ruined” a Generation of Gamers, Says Red Orchestra Dev

call of duty ruining gamers

Call of Duty is, without a doubt, the most popular online FPS game of our time. Millions of people have played it and become accustom to the mechanics, so much so to the point where if you want to make a successful shooter, you have to ape the way CoD plays and feels to a certain degree.

Not so with Red Orchestra 2, which has an upcoming expansion in the form of Rising Storm. PC Gamer spoke to Tripwire Interactive President John Gibson about the expansion, but also about how he feels that Call of Duty has “almost ruined” a generation of gamers.

His frustration mostly stems from trying to create “Action Mode”, a blend of Red Orchestra and Call of Duty and not being able to make it work. Call of Duty players were called in to consult on the mode and the mechanics for RO2 just aren’t compatible with the way CoD plays. Continue reading Call of Duty “Almost Ruined” a Generation of Gamers, Says Red Orchestra Dev

Pixel Count: Great Expectations

Between Sim City, and the new announcement of Assassin’s Creed 4, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the way gamers set and manage their own expectations when it comes to new games.

The disappointment for Sim City comes from knowing that a ridiculously good game might be lying beneath the surface of some extremely frustrating mechanical issues. From the servers not working (I was put into a 20 minute queue last night in the middle of a session) to the ancient-feeling social interactions, and some of the really odd rules of gameplay (too-small cities and some unhelpfully helpful Sim guides), I’m disappointed because Sim City might be a masterpiece completely stepping on its own feet.

With Assassin’s Creed 3, I felt a little lured into a game that was ultimately a total bomb. From carefully selected vertical slices of gameplay for hands-on previews to unbelievably cleverly edited trailers, Assassin’s Creed 3 looked set to put the series back to what it was with Brotherhood, while simultaneously striking out in a bold, new direction. What we got instead was a total mess, and it made me evaluate the way I take in my gaming news, which I’m already pretty strict about to begin with. Needless to say, I won’t be excited about AC4 anytime soon.

So I figured for today’s poll I’d ask you guys where you derive most of your expectations for upcoming games. Hit up the poll, and then the comments!

Where do you get expectations for an upcoming game?

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GamerSushi Asks: Sim City’s Launch Woes?

Sim City

So you guys might have heard about this game called Sim City that came out this week. Apparently lots of people are playing it, and everything that EA has done with the launch has been so brilliant that people are throwing parades for it, both in their game’s city streets and in real life. It’s being heralded as the way to do a launch right, and a bastion of hope for how to do an “always online” DRM.

OK, none of that is true. At all. In fact, lots of people can’t even play the game yet.

In what might have been a worse launch disaster than Diablo III, Sim City points to a somewhat grim future for “always online” single player games on the PC. The game’s servers have been so overloaded that people are having trouble playing, saving cities, seeing their friends and more. In fact, EA is having to turn off features that supposedly made “always online” necessary in the first place, just to help people connect. Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: Sim City’s Launch Woes?