Tom Senior: Star Flaws
RIP Visceral’s Star Wars game. This week we learned that Amy Hennig has left EA to set up an indie studio, which is exciting, but it’s a shame to hear further confirmation that the singleplayer Star Wars game she was working on is being reworked. In fact the new thing sounds like it will be completely different to the Visceral game.
I’m impatient for a really good Star Wars game, especially now the new films have pulled the series back into relevance. Time to speculate on what Titanfall creators Respawn Entertainment might be doing with Jedi: Fallen Order. High-octane Star Wars living card game, anyone?
James Davenport: Delayground
Fortnite's Playground mode was meant to launch this week after nearly a month of teases, and it did. Sort of. It came out and was almost immediately pulled due to matchmaking issues. Fair enough. Epic is turning around new modes, weapons, map changes, and more, week after week, so things are going to break on occasion. But Playground was promised again for Wednesday and didn't show.
Epic has since reassured us that it's still on the way, and I can wait, but between the false starts on the missile countdown, the shopping cart moving in and out of play, today's 50v50 problem and quick fix, and the on-going Playground problems, it's time Epic find a better way to test this stuff internally. No doubt Fortnite is a more popular game than their internal QA can handle, but I hope to see the team adapt to make these issues less common. I just so desperately want to practice building without getting sniped by a streamer across the map.
Wes Fenlon: Halo, on TV?
I'm honestly not sure how I feel about this one. Years ago Microsoft was trying to get a Halo movie made, but no one in Hollywood would take on the project (rumor is Microsoft wouldn't give up enough control). It was also shopping around a TV series, and now that's finally happening, years later, with Showtime. And there are some talented people involved! But it sort of feels too late for a Halo TV series to ride the wave of the series' success. Halo peaked long ago, and as someone who's read half a dozen Halo novels, I don't know if I can conjure up much enthusiasm for a TV adaptation. I'm also worried it'll come off mediocre and cheesy, given the high budgets required to do sci-fi well, and how tropey the genre tends to be. Maybe I'm just annoyed that there's still enough of a Halo fan in me to be a little excited by the idea. Please don't make me start reading expanded universe books again, brain.
Tyler Wilde: The badlefield
Not everything about Battlefield 5 made me happy. For one thing, the new ‘bleeding out’ experience is more frustrating and gruesome than fun, and being revived by a non-medic squadmate takes long enough that I just wanted to go to the respawn screen instead. The squad changes didn’t have a huge effect on my team experience, and I found the guns slightly too modern-feeling—I want more period clunkiness and maybe a higher TTK. It’s in alpha, so things can certainly change, but as of now I’m missing the playfulness of the early Battlefield games, especially Battlefield 1942, which comes to mind naturally as this all started in WW2.
Joe Donnelly: There’s a role in my heart
This week I murdered some trophy hunters in the woods in GTA 5 roleplay, and I think I've broken my moral compass. Believe it or not, I never intentionally approach roleplay with malice in mind, despite what my increasingly worrying track record suggests. And yet being deceitful for fake financial gain, taking the law into my own hands, and singing The Proclaimers' I'm Gonna Be (500) at a faux-American Idol audition before starting a riot is among the most fun I've ever had playing games.
Let me put it you, folks: have I taken my in-game personas too far?
Samuel Roberts: Drive hog
The file sizes of games on PC have gotten absurd in the last few years, and even though Shenmue 3 is still ages away, we already know it'll require 100GB of hard drive space. 100GB! Do you know how many 2D platformers I could download with that? More than 1000, probably. That's crazy big. I get why. If it's anything like previous Shenmue games, I expect a ton of audio.
We also know that textures take up a lot of space. Tyler looked into this back in February—game sizes are only going to get bigger, and this shows how quickly it's becoming normal to hit triple figures. Of course, it's also possible that Shenmue 3's requirements will change before release.