One on the unquestioned traditions for gamers is preordering. No one asks if you preordered something but where you preordered it. What bonuses did you get, etc… Amazon, GameStop, Best Buy and even Steam will routinely shower gamers with gifts in order to secure those advance sales. Some of the bonuses, like early access to a shotgun, are dumb extras that aren’t worth the effort. Others, like a free copy of a related game, are enough to make you question your own intelligence if you DON’T preorder the game.
But after the disappointment of Assassin’s Creed 3 and the still-ongoing disaster that is SimCity, my question to you is this: why do you preorder? What drives you to spend money before you can use the item that you bought? Is it the aforementioned bonuses? Is it simply a habit now, ingrained in our buying rituals so much that we don’t even question why we are forking over money before we can confirm the game is actually worth it? Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: Why Do You Preorder?
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!
If you’ll do us the kindness of remembering, you’ll recall that GamerSushi does the annual recap a bit differently than most places. Sure, we’ll do our Top 10 Games of 2012 list within the next week, but before that we bring you the Sushis, our roast, celebration and general send-up of the previous year’s highs and lows.
In the 2012 Sushis, we mock the disappointments, high five the best multiplayer experiences and give solos to the unsung heroes of one of the generation’s most interesting years yet.
It’s a sad fact that when you have the highs of a year, there will unfortunately be lows. With so many big name titles getting their next iteration last year (and in some cases, wrapping up a planned trilogy) it was inevitable that gamers at large would be let down by some of them. Not saying that these games were bad across the board, but when you wait fifteen plus years for something, well, expectations tend to be a little inflated.
So, here’s a list of games I’ve put together that generated the most stink during 2012. This isn’t me saying that I think these games are awful, but rather these are the games that critics and players won’t stop bashing. Let’s put it to rest once and for all. What was the biggest disappointment in gaming for 2012?
If you’ve listened to the most recent podcast, then you’ll know that Assassin’s Creed 3 left one of the worst tastes in my mouth in recent gaming history. Not only did the game fall short of previous titles — it was flat out bad, something I rarely even say about a game I played all the way through.
From the controls to the story to the overall bugginess of the title, Assassin’s Creed 3 was a failure on multiple levels, and I pretty much have no qualms about saying that. It was an active step back from the excellence of Brotherhood, and even the good-but-problematic Revelations. The one redeeming spot in the game’s 10 hours or so that I spent with it would have to be the naval battles, which were an absolute joy — even more so when you consider how frustrating everything around them happened to be.
But enough of my ranting about Assassin’s Creed 3. I think one of the reasons I was so thoroughly disgusted by the game, aside from it being kind of crappy, is because of the wasted potential. We were given a new setting, a new character, a chance for resolution with a number of story threads and an actual revolution (pardon the pun) in terms of setting, gameplay elements and the like. And it was all a mess. After Revelations came out last year, I was ready to be done with the AC franchise for awhile, but the promise of AC3 lured me back. I don’t know if I’ll make that mistake again, after seeing all the wasted potential that this game lived up to.
So what about you guys? What’s the biggest recent gaming disappointment you’ve experienced? What’s the biggest disappointment of 2012? What made the game disappointing? Go!
We once again convene our even nerdier Council of Elrond as we return for the 57 episode of The GamerSushi Show. It’s been a few weeks since our last podcast, but when isn’t that the case?
To be fair to us, not a lot has happened between then and now, except for The Walking Dead finishing up its first season, which we cover in the majority of this podcast. In case you’re wondering, we go full spoilers on this one. No holds barred, and all that, so be warned if you’ve yet to finish.
Greetings, Sushians. I hope this fattiest of holiday weeks finds you well. I’m assuming here that our American Thanksgiving holiday is so important that the rest of the world celebrates it, too. Or at the very least, it should. You can take that as official word from the US that it’s OK for you to celebrate Thanksgiving wherever you are tomorrow. It’s simple, really: eat all the things. And then eat them again.
Anyway, I’ll be celebrating the holiday this week by hanging out with family and playing some games. I’m between jobs right now, so I have a small stretch here where I’m getting to finally play some things that have been on my radar lately. Namely, Halo 4, Assassin’s Creed 3, picking XCOM back up and today, Walking Dead Episode 5. I am super excited about that last one.
So what about you guys? What are you playing this week? What are you eating? Go!
We’re almost back on track with the podcasts as we return with the 56 episode of our illustrious gaming show. In the edition we see the return on Nick, who regales us with the tale of his journey to the International Beard Competition. Or, maybe we just talk about Halo 4, GTA 5 and Assassin’s Creed 3 like a bunch of nerds.
The podcast opens with some Grand Theft Auto 5 talk, including our misgivings about the three playable characters and the changes that Rockstar needs to make to the formula after 4. Halo 4 is, of course, a big topic, with Anthony and I declaring our love for the game with all of its playable modes. We close out the cast with a final dissection of Assassin’s Creed 3 where I expand on my review a little bit.
I don’t think you need to be told what to do at this point, being 56 shows deep, but I’ll remind you anyways because I’m nice: listen to the podcast, rate the podcast, love the podcast. Wanna meet that podcast.
Well isn’t this just dandy? Just a couple of weeks after the game is released with a mess of glitches and bugs packed right in, Ubisoft has announced the Thanksgiving patch for Assassin’s Creed 3 which, by the looks of it, will remedy almost every misgiving I had with the game engine wise.
As I outlined in my Assassin’s Creed 3 review, this new game in the series is riddled with almost-game-breaking glitches from things that prevent you from accomplishing optional objectives for full synchronization to a final chase that’s so ridiculously bug-ridden that it’s nigh impossible to complete on the first few tries. The fact that this patch is being handed out half a month after the game has launched means that Ubisoft was more than aware of the problems AC3 players would face, but chose to ship the game anyways.
Just take a look at the laundry list of fixes coming in with the Thanskgiving patch. Almost every mission is getting changed to some degree, and that’s before getting to the stability changes that the Anvil Next engine is getting.
If this is how much the game needed fixing after the day one patch, I can only imagine the state it was sent to discs in. How it ever passed certification is beyond me. Since I’ve given up trying not to editorialize, I feel massively ripped off by Assassin’s Creed 3 in a way that I haven’t been by a video game in a long time. I payed full price for a game Ubisoft knew was broken, without any idea that it would be receiving a patch that would fix most of my grievances. While my problems with the mission design and the story still stand, I think the game would have fared better if I didn’t have to fight a legion of bugs.
What do you guys think about this? Am I right to be this indignant? Who’s still holding on to their copy of Assassin’s Creed 3?
The most appealing aspect of the Assassin’s Creed series is the ability to experience different periods of human history through a sci-fi wrapper. Thanks to the prolonged presence of Renaissance Italy’s Ezio Auditore, the need to travel to a different era was reaching a high. Thankfully for Assassin’s Creed 3, Ubisoft moved the clock up a few hundred years, dropping you in Revolutionary America in the moccasins of Connor Kenway (real name Ratonhnhaké:ton) a half-Mohawk, half-British assassin.
With a new setting, a new engine and the possibility of wrapping up the modern day storyline of Desmond Miles, Assassin’s Creed 3 seemed poised to make the same sort of leap that the series did with Assassin’s Creed 2 back in 2009. Did Ubisoft manage to pull it off, and can Connor replace the venerable Ezio? Continue reading Review: Assassin’s Creed 3
It’s been a while, but we’re back. In the month since we’ve been gone a lot has happened, such as Disney buying LucasFilm and a whole bunch of games coming out. We managed to cover a lot of it, leading to what has to be our longest cast in a while.
Nick is absent yet again, but you have the regular crew, albeit with a couple of us fighting off coughing fits at several points. Eddy just plain forgets that he can mute himself, so in a couple spots you’ll hear him coughing or chomping on a cough drop. It’s not too bad, but I’ve decided to christen the cast in his honor.
You know how it goes by now, being veterans of our show. Listen, rate and be excellent to each other. We’ll see you soon!
After being saddled with Desmond the last four games, Ubisoft is looking to bring a bit of finality to his story, and in the words of Masters, “To actually wrap up what you’ve opened and experienced with him”. Traditionally the Desmond segments of the Assassin’s Creed games have always been poorly received, right up from the moment in the first game when we realized that we weren’t technically going to be playing an assassin in the Middle Ages, but were experiencing the genetic memories of some poor kidnapped sod. It’s actually kind of interesting to see the lead designer of AC3 admit that the series did rotate around Desmond for a bit too long, as this part of the interview shows:
“And we wanted you to feel a good sense of progress in what’s going on in the story. A lot of the misdirection and the way we’ve been meandering a little bit has been kind of frustrating as a player and for the audience, so we wanted to make sure there was going to be more substance to get your teeth into.”
While I don’t hate Desmond as much as some, the cliffhanger at the end of Revelations did feel like the modern-day storyline was starting to wear out its welcome. I’m interested to see where the Assassin’s Creed story will go after three, and whether or not we’ll be saddled with another Desmond-type character to keep the sci-fi conceit going.
What do you guys think about this? Will we actually see Desmond’s story wrap up or is this just a developer telling us what we want to hear? Are we saying goodbye to Desmond for good, or will he be back?
Crow has been the on the menu at GamerSushi HQ this past week, as the demo and subsequent reviews of Resident Evil 6 shattered the hearts and broke the minds of your beloved GS staff. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, finger-pointing, accusations, allegations, recriminations and even a fight club. As the dust cleared and the fires finally faded, we were left with the acrid taste of disappointment that appears when an anticipated game turns out to be a letdown.
Which got me thinking about the future and the next time that this travesty will occur. So I ask you, dear readers, what Triple-A title will be the next to smash the hopes of millions of gamers? Generally, I am thinking of games from established franchises when I ask this, such as Assassin’s Creed 3? Doubtful. Ubisoft has shown a remarkable consistency, which is an achievement considering it has become an annual release. Bioshock Infinite? The delays may be disturbing, but it does point to a concerted effort to get things right. Personally, I don’t know. Some think it might be Halo 4. I certainly hope not, but there is a lot riding on that one, so it could be the one.
What say you? What future game from an existing franchise will be the next Resident Evil 6? GO!
In my eyes, Assassin’s Creed is one of the more notable examples of why publishers shouldn’t be afraid to take great risks on a new franchise. It was an IP that nobody had ever experienced, and now it’s one of the powerhouse releases each year, right alongside Call of Duty and Halo. Anybody that has concerns about whether or not new franchises can enter the scene with the other AAA giants need look no further than Altair, Ezio and their ilk.
But is AAA going to be as big of a factor in the next generation as it has been for the current one? Assassin’s Creed 3 Creative Director Alex Hutchinson doesn’t think so. Because of free to play, the rising costs of AAA development and more, Alex joins the ranks of other people that feel that at some point, there will be a change. Only Alex thinks this is coming rather soon. A quote, from the latest issue of Edge.
We’re the last of the dinosaurs. We’re still the monster triple-A game with very large teams [and] multiple studios helping out on different bits. There are fewer and fewer of these games being made, especially as the middle has fallen out.
So, Alex thinks that AAA games are going the way of the buffalo so quickly that Assassin’s Creed 3 will be one of the last? While I agree that at some point the industry is going to have to change to get in line with the expectations of the consumer, I think this is reaching just a bit. If anything, AAA games are bigger now than ever, and only seem to be ramping up at the moment.
I think sometime in the next gen, we’ll see that fizzle out some, but definitely not on the timetable that Hutchison predicts. What do you guys think? Are we looking down the barrel at the end of AAA games? Do you think the industry will change at all? When? Go!
No fooling, guys, this game just needs to come out. While you shouldn’t take my word on anything Assassin’s Creed related, given that I am a one-man Assassin’s Creed hype machine, you can’t deny that Assassin’s Creed 3 looks like an awesome leap up from 2. And when you consider how much 2 improved over the original, I expect that my mind will be blown, a phrase I don’t toss around lightly.
Ubisoft just put out a trailer for the new engine powering Assassin’s Creed 3, AnvilNext, and it looks hot. Seriously, check it out.
I do like that the music swell early in the trailer is accompanied by shots of people doing menial tasks. Regardless, I’m still high on the hype for this game and I can’t wait to get my grubby mitts on it in October. What do you guys think? Does Assassin’s Creed 3 continue to impress? How do you think AnvilNext will translate on the PC version?
In what’s sure to be a howling good time, Assassin’s Creed 3 will let players team up in teams of two to four assassinos in an effort to take down multiple targets in a “sequence-based” co-op mode called Wolfpack.
Revealed today at San Diego Comic Con (via GameSpot), Wolfpack adds a Horde-ish mode to Assassin’s Creed 3. Players have a limited amount of time to take out assigned NPCs, and when a kill is successfully made, more time is added. Kill enough baddies and you advance to the next sequence.
Since Wolfpack is a co-op mode, you’re not going to be worried about being too stealthy, as only your contracts care about nearby people being stabbed. While you can run around willy nilly, Wolfpack will reward you for completing certain challenges, such as remaining unseen or using poison darts, so there will be some incentive to do a little planning.
I’ve been waiting for a co-op mode for a long time in Assassin’s Creed, and I think Wolfpack will provide players with a lot of fun when the game arrives this fall. What do you guys think? Does Wolfpack look like fun, or is it just a quick add-on? Will you be giving it a shot?
I’m sure I’m breaching some international accord by posting an Independence Day themed “What Are You Playing”, but Canada is no longer directly under the dominion of the British monarchy, so I feel safe (don’t worry, the Commonwealth isn’t contagious).
In the spirit of the holiday, I pose this question to you, kind reader: what are you doing today on the most patriotic of days, aside from shooting off fireworks from eagle-back? Me, I’m at work right now, but I think my evening will consist of The Amazing Spider-Man, Beenox’s latest stab at making a half-decent title about the webslinger. For the most part they succeed, but at the end of the day it’s still a pale imitation of the Arkham style Batman games. That said, it’s loads better than last year’s Edge of Time, so expect an in-depth review for that one when time permits.
I can’t speak for the rest of the GamerSushi editors, but Eddy, Nick and I have been getting in to PC gaming in a big way, and Eddy even picked up the Combined Operation package for Arma 2, so expect some Day Z stuff from us soon.
What about you guys? What is your current gaming fare?
The timing worked out pretty well this year with Episode 50 being both the Drunk Cast and our E3 predictions show and Episode 51 as the book-end for both of those events. Sadly, a lot of our guesses about E3 2012 were off the mark, but that’s all right, I’m sure our next-gen console predictions will come true some day.
We start this cast of with a nice game of Grades, bringing back Anthony’s famous “GAME TIME” clip for the first time in a few shows. We talk about the Big Three conferences and then dip into the various games that we saw and what intrigued us. We fit in a little industry news at the end too, just as a special treat.
I’m sure that you know the drill by now, but listen, rate and enjoy the podcast. Don’t be dicks to each other and we’ll see you soon.
0:00 – 3:10 Intro
3:11 GAME TIME (grades)
3:12 – 15:30 Microsoft
15: 31 – 26:11 Sony
26: 12 – 38:48 Nintendo
38:49 – 43:47 Watch Dogs
43:48 – 47: 22 Star Wars 1313
47:23 – 52:35 Tomb Raider
52:36 – 56:03 Dead Space 3
56:04 – 56:39 Assassin’s Creed 3
56:40 – 57:00 Gearbox Studios
57:01 – 57:20 Need for Speed
57:22 – 57:53 EA are jerks
57:54 – 58:25 New old-school Final Fantasy
58:26 – 1:00:42 Jason Rubin trash-talks Saint’s Row
1:00:43 – 1:02:36 Outo
Franchise fatigue? Ubisoft’s never heard of that, apparently. With Assassin’s Creed 3 on the way, Gamasutra sat down for an interview with Ubisoft North America executive director Laurent Detoc, in which he insisted that the idea that there can be too many sequels simply isn’t true. So does that mean we’ll see Assassin’s Creed 8, 9 and 10?
“I hope we will,” says Detoc. He goes on:
“I also hope we’ll be able to branch out from within the franchise. It’s very simple to me: There’s no such thing as not being able to annualize a franchise. If it’s good, people will come.”
I get that this guy is talking from a business standpoint. Obviously, a game studio head wants to crank out yearly sequels for a profit – but surely, everyone remembers what happened to some of Activision’s franchises recently, yes? People do get fatigued and move on from franchises. We’ve seen it time and time again.
It seems like some of these studios should worry more about how to offer something new and less about how to crank out the same thing every year. The reason some are excited about Assassin’s Creed 3 isn’t because they’re dying to see what happens to Desmond — it’s because the game finally represents a shot in the arm for the franchise, after several years of re-hashing some of the same ground.
What do you guys think? Is this WTF worthy? Or am I just overreacting? Call me crazy. Do it. Go!