Andy Kelly: Park life
Although I agree with pretty much everything in Pip's review about its limitations, I like Jurassic World Evolution a lot. It's one of the most chill park-builders I've played and I love watching those gorgeous dinosaurs roam. My issue, however, is the lack of customisation.
Now, I know Frontier has it in them. Planet Coaster is an astonishingly customisable game, giving players the tools to make stuff as wildly complex and creative as this Aliens ride. Which makes the lack of objects to place around your park in Jurassic World a major disappointment, because—basic layout aside—all your creations end up looking vaguely the same. There aren’t even any decorative objects to give your park a glimmer of personality.
I wonder if this is a limitation of working with such a successful and I presume carefully guarded movie licence. Universal doesn't want players using these tools to cover their coveted dinosaur park in, I dunno, giant neon dicks. But it does feel a bit creatively stifling as a result. I'm still playing the game and loving it, but I feel like there's a huge amount of untapped potential here that I hope is addressed in future updates or (hopefully free) DLC.
Tom Senior: Dark web
There’s trouble brewing in the European Union as the EU prepares to vote through sharing restrictions that critics say will break the internet as we know it. Under article 11 services linking to a news story will have to obtain a license from the news source to post the link, and under article 13 services will have to algorithmically scan text and images and match them against a database of copyrighted material before the post can be published.
It’s widely noted that this could be the end of memes, but more importantly it affects the free flow of information that defines the internet project. That’s even before you dig into the logistical problems. How does the system cope with false copyright claims within the database? How are platform-holders supposed to regulate the reams of false positives the algorithm will inevitably produce? What recourse is there for those whose posts are incorrectly flagged?
The EFF reports that plans have drawn criticism from more than 70 internet luminaries, including the inventor of the Internet, Tim Berners-Lee. Hopefully the European parliament take notice before the big vote on July 4.
Wes Fenlon: Cyberpunk scams
I suppose it's appropriately cyberpunk for bots to be scamming people out of their money, but this is my low for the week nonetheless. After Cyberpunk 2077's flashy debut at E3, there have unsurprisingly been quite a few people interested in buying the Cyberpunk 2020 roleplaying book to check out the tabletop game. That's cool! Except Amazon booksellers (likely bots) were jacking the prices up as high as $450 for new copies… and you can buy new books, directly from the publisher, for $30. So if you're interested in Cyberpunk? We'd recommend the $30 option. Don't get scammed!
Jon Bolding: Litigation kills
Not a great week for the internet, gaming, and the law. Aside what Tom spoke about above, we’re also looking at more expensive online purchases in the US and Dutch authorities cracking down on loot boxes. (Okay, that second one could be good or bad.)
Really, though, I’m most worried about the lawsuits and shenanigans that individuals and companies are getting up to that might hurt games in the long run. A dispute between creators of the original movie has killed Friday the 13th stone dead, forever. It’s not a great look for a game that was not only pretty good, but had future upgrade potential and employed a lot of developers at IllFonic and Gun Media who now have to scramble for another project.
We’ve also got Bethesda and Warner Bros at each others’ throats over similarities between Fallout Shelter and the Westworld mobile game. The lawsuit alleges that some code was copied between the games by developer Behaviour Interactive, but the thing that worries me is the allegations of similar visual design and use of perspective. Quite literally alleging that models and visuals were used in similar way. While game mechanics are a well-trod area in the US—you can’t copyright them—at what point does the visual design of the game become a principal mechanic? Should we next expect Bethesda to go after the developers of Oxygen Not Included or Lobotomy Corporation for using the same perspective?
James Davenport: Dick statues
This one is self-explanatory. I played through Lust for Darkness this week, a bad horror game about sex that doesn’t know what sex is. Like 75-percent of horror games, it uses Lovecraft’s eldritch lore as a backdrop, but instead of scares it leverages the horrors of the fourth dimension for boobs and statues of penises with legs. It’s one of the worst games I’ve ever played, and not in a so-bad-it’s-good way either. I figure if you’ve never seen yourself with your pants off, it might surprise you, but otherwise I’d let it come and go.
Joe Donnelly: Dark mood
So, as noted in my high over the page, I've really enjoyed my time revisiting Lordran in Dark Souls Remastered. But after downing Gwyn, I didn't really feel like starting New Game Plus. Instead, I fired up Notaprofi's New Game Plus Infinite—a mod for Dark Souls' Prepare to Die Edition that I discovered earlier this week.
Listen. It's a great mod, right. But starting a new game at NG+7? Nope. Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. I thought, given the amount of times I've finished Dark Souls, that I'd have git gud by now. I haven't. And you can "even go to NG+12 immediately", assuming you've got an old save ready to go? Na. I'm done. I need a lie down. Thank Christ I've got Monday off. Give me dishonest, theatrical football players any day of the week.