As iconic lines go, “standby for Titanfall” took on a bittersweet edge this week. Thanks to the
staggered regional launch
, most of the world was left waiting on Respawn's fantastic men 'n' mechs shooter. Tying game releases to a specific day of the week is an increasingly archaic practice. We live in a fully connected world; we play games on a platform that leads the way in digital distribution, but, for some reason, we're still being arbitrarily held back based on whatever country we happen to physically exist in. At least, in this case, there were no spoilers to dodge, but that isn't really the point. A game's release is an event – and gamers love to run away to join the circus that surrounds it. It's less fun having to queue for that circus, while you watch everyone inside enjoy their, er... clown robots? That metaphor could have been better.
I thought it was a bit of a shame that the
focused so much on triple-A games. Institutional award shows lag behind the times in every medium, but it doesn't feel like games necessarily need to be part of that trend. It's to the credit of Papers, Please and Gone Home that they managed to crack through the panel's preference for The Last of Us and GTA V, but I feel like the industry still struggles to delineate 'quality' and 'production values'. Also, Grand Theft Auto winning the multiplayer award? Really? #robbed #scandal #justicefordota
Dark Souls 2's launch made me sad this week, because we're going to have to
wait more than a month
to join in. Right now console players are busy exploring the new world, dying to new bosses and piecing together the sequel's ambiguous lore. The collective act of discovery when players dive into a new game is valuable. Day-one players are buying into the fantasy of being a pioneer, breaking ground and uncovering secrets. Even though the PC version is getting a few fancy extras, like high-res textures, it's a shame to miss out on the goldrush. By the time we arrive, Drangleic and its vicious inhabitants will have been carefully analysed and categorised by those that have gone before.
GOG.com abandoning its short-lived plan for regional pricing was a bizarre event. I primarily buy games from GOG because of how competitive the pricing is and the lack of a barmy regional UK uptick that demands I pay more for committing the terrible crime (and it is terrible) of being British. The whole thing was a bit silly, and GOG's
ends a mini-saga that didn't need to happen at all.
Peter Molyneux and his studio responded to criticism that their god game, Godus, is comprised almost entirely of clicking – by replacing clicking with dragging. He describes the control change as 'smooth and delicious' as he carves into the landscape. That's fine – and dragging is certainly less RSI-inducing than clicking – but the game's problems run deeper than that. I want Godus to be good, and I have a soft spot for Molyneux, but this focus on the new controls seems to be a distraction from a game with much bigger problems. Prove me wrong, Pete.
Easily the biggest bummer of the week has been The Witcher III's not wholly unexpected
. The combination of vertiginous ambition, as will be revealed in our forthcoming cover feature, with a vague release date (beware of any game which just lists the year you're already in) meant it always felt likely to slip. February 2015 it is then, although the nagging worry remains that CD Projekt may have decided to take inspiration from George R.R. Martin's lackadaisical approach to deadlines. Workshy geniuses, eh?