An Open-World Game Draws Near! Command?

New Vegas Melee

Open-world games are hugely popular. Ever since Grand Theft Auto III, it seems most franchises try to take a stab at it at least once, with mixed results. The masters of the genre are the ones that give you so many things to do that you become paralyzed by the freedom of choice. Although sometimes this can be a good thing. If everything is fun, then maybe you just do whatever is nearest to you, until eventually you have done it all.

The point is, there are many ways to approach open-world games. Grand Theft Auto V is drawing close and I will be anxious to see if they are able to give us enough tasks to keep us busy, as they failed to do in GTA IV. I am currently playing Fallout: New Vegas in the meantime and I am taking a slightly different approach to the game than I have in the past. When I play Skyrim, Oblivion or Fallout 3, I tend to avoid the main quest as much as possible, doing all the side tasks that I can until I am suddenly weary of the game and then I race through the main story as fast as possible before the game drives me insane. Continue reading An Open-World Game Draws Near! Command?

Today’s WTF: Obsidian Regrets New Vegas Bugs

Obsidian

Seriously, Obsidian?

I’m not trying to be a troll or anything, but this one really gave me a combination of laughs and head-scratching. You remember all of that fuss last year, back when Fallout: New Vegas had its buggy launch? Well, so does Obsidian, and they are none too pleased, thank you very much.

Here’s what Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart had to say about his company’s reputation for releasing buggy games in a recent article with Play Magazine.

I think it’s fair and unfair at the same time, because in the same conversation that I hear how buggy KOTOR and Alpha Protocol were, I also hear how great they were… Now in the case of Fallout: New Vegas, we made a gigantic game, and I’m proud with what we were able to do but I wish it wasn’t as glitchy when it came out. The criticisms people had are fair but it’s difficult to get a game the size of New Vegas bug free. But that’s an excuse and it doesn’t matter when someone’s paid $60 for a game. It’s something we need to work on.

He goes on to pump their new game Dungeon Siege III, but that was the meat of it. Maybe I’m reaching a bit here, but in my mind, if you’re the CEO, why don’t you do something to ensure that the games don’t go out the door with so many bugs? You’re in charge, last I checked. Delay the game if you have to, or work with your managers to get a better schedule for release so your developers aren’t cramming like crazy. On the flip side, it really is nice to see a CEO being open and honest about this kind of criticism, rather than just brushing it aside. So kudos for that.

What do you guys think? Fair or foul here? Go!

Source – NowGamer

How I Ruined RPGs with the Internet

Gamers come in all sorts of different flavors, and I’m not just talking about casual and hardcore. There are some who don’t play single player, some who only play single player, and then there are the kinds that give game designers of any type nightmares. I think I’m probably in the last category, specifically when it comes to Western RPGs. Given that games in those genres these days have branching stories, multiple conversation outcomes and more hidden bonuses than you can shake a stick it, it tends to drive OCD completionists with a lot of time on their hands (e.g. me) crazy.

That’s when I turn to the most forbidden of texts, the horrible tome know as the “FAQ”. Deep within the dark recesses of the Internet, I find my brethren, people who restart dungeons because they missed one chest after defeating whatever horrible creature inhabits that cave. These are the people who don’t play RPGs for the story or the characters or the experience, but rather to accrue every possible trinket and stat bonus the game has to offer. We can leave no stone unturned, no party companion un-romanced, and we do so by exploiting the game to its maximum. Not through exploration or discovery though, but by distilling it down to the most bare bones, no frills, maximum return type of experience. This is how I’ve come to destroy any Western RPG I’ve played.
Continue reading How I Ruined RPGs with the Internet

Ruling the Open Gaming World

Fable 3

Howdy, gents. I hope that this post finds all of you starting the holiday gaming extravaganza that this time of year is typically known for. As I said, we’re mostly taking it easy for the next couple of weeks, but because I like you all, I thought I’d share a post with you that I found.

Over at the Moving Pixels blog at Pop Matters (one of my favorite gaming blogs), a recent article goes over the idea of owning the open world in single player sandbox games. Taking a look at new games Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Fallout: New Vegas and Fable III, they study the recent trend in game design that pushes players to control major portions of real estate and owning/converting as much of the game world as possible. It’s interesting to think about the idea that in many of these games, the players tend to want to set the main storyline aside in favor of getting invested in the world itself, which I guess is the case with many RPG’s as well, even apart from owning land.

I think this gets to another interesting issue as well: does this mean that the stories in those games aren’t actually all that compelling? If we are willing to set them aside to do everything else but the stories, is there a problem with the design there? In addition, most of these games almost seem to require a fair amount of exploration and sidequest upgrading in order to stand a fair chance in the proper endgames.

So what do you guys think? Do you tend to set aside single player campaigns in favor of sidequests? Do you like the idea of controlling game worlds, or do you just focus on the stories when you play? Go!

Source – Pop Matters

GamerSushi Asks: What Are You Playing?

NBA 2K11

Video games, how I miss thee. Over the last several months, I’ve been swarmed by all kinds of things that have been taking away my gaming time. Some of these distractions fall into the realm of that general nagging living life thing (working, broken down vehicles, etc), and others are chosen (Krav Maga, personal writing).

Needless to say, I’ve been itching to play some games. When I’m not overwhelmed by these non-gaming nuisances, my time is being thrown into the following: Angry Birds and NBA 2K11. A basketball game may seem like an odd choice, but NBA 2K11 has already given me hours of sporty goodness. My brother and I have played countless games against one another, talking trash and throwing down sick jams all the meanwhile. If you’re into sports games at all, I’d suggest picking it up. On my radar are Fallout: New Vegas, Black Ops and Dead Rising 2 in the near future.

What about you guys? What are you playing this weekend and this week? Go!

Review: Fallout: New Vegas

fallout new vegas review

Fallout 3 was probably the best game of 2008, its massive, interactive world allowing players to explore the ruins of an alternate reality Washington DC destroyed by nuclear war. I personally must have spent at least 100 hours roaming the Capital Wasteland, and I’m pretty sure that I still haven’t done everything in the game. The DLC added a lot more to do, but eventually the font of encounters was going to run dry. As good as Fallout 3 was, gamers wanted more.

Bethesda tapped the infamous sequel team Obsidian (known for Knight of the Old Republic 2 and Alpha Protocol) to deliver on a follow up. Their answer is Fallout: New Vegas, which hearkens back to the original games by way of having several members of Fallout 2’s team on staff at Obsidian. Making the trip back to the American West, New Vegas puts players in the boots of the Courier, shot and left for dead in the Mojave by Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry, for those of us who never watched Friends). Was putting Obsidian in charge of the sequel a good gamble considering their previous offerings?
Continue reading Review: Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas Dev Diary 4 Introduces You to the Factions

I kind of love these Fallout: New Vegas developer diaries that have been appearing recently. I know that we’ve been humming and hawing about Obsidian and their track record (which is strange, considering that Knights of the Old Republic 2 was like crack to me), but these videos show me that they have a really good understanding of Fallout and what people expect from it. This makes sense considering that Chris Avellone (Senior Designer at Obsidian) worked on Fallout 2 back in the day. Check out the video to get your run down on the three main factions you can side with in New Vegas:

It’s a nice option being able to choose sides, especially considering in Fallout 3 your options were basically “join the Brotherhood of Steel or not”. Personally, I’m leaning towards the New California Republic with Mr. House in a close second. Fallout: New Vegas comes out really soon, October 19, so you’ve got a little bit of time to plan out whether you’ll support once faction or go for total anarchy.