A final reflection on the games of 2019. It’s a bit late to talk about last year but I filmed this a month ago and it needs to be seen. Consider this a preamble to the HMG redemption arc.
That’s right, 2019 was awesome, I hated it. As of right now, YouTube sucks so I’m going to be sticking with Facebook Watch or any other non-YT video hosting platform. Plus, the FB page is where all the memes are at, so follow the video to my page and SMASH THAT LIKE.
In a move I think everyone can universally agree we weren’t expecting, the Battlefield V announcement brought some crazy plot twist. This year, for the first time in almost a decade Battlefield & Call of Duty are very different games. Outside of both being First Person Shooters, the majority of the ways the games will play out. I’ll do a full on comparison but for now let’s talk about whats going on.
First, and foremost, Battlefield V is coming to a home console, i.e. not the Switch, near you on October 19th, 2018.
That gives us all plenty of time to get ready. And get ready we need to because the guys at Dice are doing it big again. Contrary to popular ridiculous belief, single player campaigns are going no where and Battlefield is more proof. Much like the way the campaign played out in the recent Battlefield 1, Battlefield V will spotlight lesser known battles during WWII. The campaign will also feature stories about small rebel soldiers protecting their hometowns alongside the soldier stories.
A new game mode was announced and it’s not Battle Royale!
Combined Arms is a four player squad mode with infiltration missions. You and your team are paratroopers dropped to go in behind enemy lines, do some crazy missions, and be out without being detected. The nice thing is you can also play this alone. Yup, taking shots at the lack of campaign in Black Ops 4 still.
But there is still a Battle Royale, sort of. If you play Battlefield, congratulations, you may recognize a sweet little mode called Grand Operations. Well not really a game mode more like a match type. Anyway, if you’re familiar with Grand Operations incredible match types, you’re in for a crazy surprise. Instead of a full fledged mode, Grand Operations will now have an additional round called Last Stand. All remaining players fight till the one winner is left. The Battlefield spin; the more time you spend in squads the more ammo and health you get to pick up. So how long can you trust the people you’re with?
The final piece of big news from the announcement is the end of the premium pass. Going forward all major post release content will be available for free. Of course there will probably still be other paid DLC, we’ll have to wait and see.
There you have it folks. Battlefield , available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on October 19th 2018. Pre-Order today to get access to the beta and other cool in game stuff.
As time moves forward people are moved on. This week we honor a man who was at the forefront of the gaming industry. Rest in peace Mr. Ted Dabney, co-founder of Atari, who passed away after a battle with cancer at age 86. We must also express ou feelings for John Bain, aka TotalBiscuit, whom also died from cancer at age 33. The HardModeGamers, the Lucky Gamer Recap, and so much would potentially not exist without your contributions. Now this week’s Lucky Gamer Recap:
1. PGA touring with… not EA
It seems those eager for more golfing games may be in a bad place. EA has lost the license to PGA Tour. The news came as Canadian developer, HB Studios, announced the addition of the tour to its upcoming title The Golf Club 2019. Rory McIlroy took the helm of EA’s PGA Tour series after they ended their partnership with Tiger Woods. And that game didn’t do well critically or commercially. Now, EA has lost the license completely but both sides claim the split was amicable. Meanwhile HB Studios is boasting that this validates they have the number one golf game on the market. Cool brag guys.
2. Remember the Garbage Pail Kids?
Well, they’re getting a video game. That’s right the Garbage Pail Kids game was officially announced. Do you want to know more? Word, so it’s going to be a free-to-play card-battle RPG. There will be original characters as well as newer cards thrown in the mix. Developed by Jago Studios in collaboration with The Topps Company, the game is currently in Private beta. There is no official launch date but it is planned to be release on both iOS and Android markets. It seems like things from the 80’s really are making the strongest comeback ever. Shout out to Stranger Things and Hipsters for that one.
3. Japan Exclusive: Dock-less Switch!
In a surprising turn of events, Nintendo has announced a dock-less Switch bundle coming exclusively to Japan. As most of us know, Japan is super heavy on mobile gaming. This move makes perfect sense in the idea of providing what the consumer wants. On the flip side it is definitely pretty self destructive considering they own the #1 portable console on the market. However, as far as I’m concerned this is confirmation of a Pokemon Switch game coming out this fall. Why else would they be so willing to ditch a core component of their hybrid console? No dock means it’s just a portable game console.
4. And there may be a new challenger… maybe.
During a recent interview with Bloomberg John Kodera, the new Playstation bossman, said he wants the company to continue thinking about portable gaming. He stated very clearly they are not discussing hardware specifics yet but they were carrying out experiments in the department. Could the next Playstation console be a hybrid like the Nintendo Switch? Quite possibly because this is also the same interview that sent the internet into a frenzy. A statement about the PS4 nearing the end of it’s lifecycle made everyone panic. Until they realized he was speaking from a sales of product perspective. The Vita is already dead, with physical game support and free Playstation Plus games already seeing an end.
5. Resident Evil Switch is cloudy with a chance of bad.
The good news: Resident Evil 7 is coming to Nintendo Switch. The bad news: Resident Evil 7: Cloud Version is coming to Nintendo Switch. The game that originally released on all the platforms isn’t getting a port. Instead Capcom is releasing something called, Resident Evil 7: Cloud Version, here’s the explanation. This is going to be a streamed game, much like PlayStation Now. Its a small download at only 45MB but obviously needs a constant internet connection to work. As of right now this is only coming to Japan (update: released in Japan May 24th 2018) which makes sense. They have the internet capability to support this, much like they did before with Phantasy Star Online 2. It’ll be really tough for this to ever work in America, but one can dream.
6. Madden NFL 19.
I know the NFL is in really hot water lately because of all the racism protest and stuff but that doesn’t stop the money train from running. EA officially, to no one’s surprise, announced Madden NFL 19 releasing August 10, 2018. The cover athlete honor has blessed, or cursed depending who you ask, incredible Wide Receiver Terrell Owens. There will also be a Hall of Fame edition of the game available for $80. The special edition comes with three days of early access, 12 gold team fantasy packs, an elite legends player, and more. This will definitely have some presence at E3 so if interested for sure tune in.
7. School Shooting Game? Very Bad Idea.
It never make sense to me when people claim that real violence is a product of fictional violence. The reference material for fiction is real life. Such is the case with Active Shooter, a game released on STEAM earlier this week. The game has been under fire for literally being a game about mass shootings. You can play as a civilian, a SWAT officer, or the active shooter. Tons of people were triggered over this. I can absolutely see why, but I still feel like the timing was wrong, the concept not so much. If it’s not for you, it’s not for you. It’s kind of silly for people to feel like if they don’t like something it has to disappear completely. Don’t get me wrong I think it was dumb as hell for this game to release with the school shooter being a playable character. I think it’s worst that the civilian is a character. Either way, I’m hoping to get an interview with the Dev team so we can discuss it in detail.
E3 is around the corner so you know how antsy I’m getting. I’m sure you’re feeling it just as much. I’m here today to hit you with all the bad news this week. It sucks but it is what it is. This one is going to be short so don’t miss it flying by. Behold the most negative LGR to date:
1. Shenmue 3 delayed to 2019!
I think it’s fair to say that I warned everyone reading that this was going to be more of an UnLucky recap. Rip the band-aid off quick and tell you out the gate, Shenmue 3 has been delayed. It was originally planned to come out fall of this year but given the lack of marketing and development progress you would be a fool to be surprised by this. Honestly, I have my doubts that it will even make it to release next year. Call me a pessimist (actually please don’t) but Shenmue 3 is quite a long way out. Good news; we are still getting the remastered versions of 1 and 2 this year.
2. Metro Exodus delayed to 2019.
This delay on the other hand is super unexpected. If you don’t recall, Metro Exodus was the first game to show us a zombie bear in action at E3. It was terrifying. The game looked incredible and I’m pretty sure it had a playable demo as well. THQ Nordic bought Deep Silver which means this delay is most likely to make sure the marketing is labeled and handled properly. In this case I feel like this is more of a winning situation for fans of the series. You know, cause Red Dead Redemption is going to outshine everything this fall.
By now some of you have realized that all these delays come from the same company. If you didn’t, it’s pretty clear now. THQ Nordic buying Deep Silver has put a big shift on the way the game release schedules are working. So the interesting new IP, Bio-Mutant, and the revival of an IP that should never have died, Darksiders 3, are both under revision for release. Fear not, this doesn’t mean these games are going bye bye, it just means they gotta cook in the oven a little longer. Still thinking this is good thing. Also thinking, news about THQ in 2018? Man if I could time travel, the old me would be all messed up.
4. Skull and Bones delayed to at least 2019-2020
Not all dogs go to heaven and not all delays come from THQ. Sometimes they come from ridiculously incredible publishers with a ton of great IP’s. In this case the culprit is Ubisoft. And as much as I love to entertain the idea that this delay is to make room for the more exciting return of Splinter Cell, that’s probably not true. Skull and Bones is essentially the boat parts of Assassin’s Creed. Ubisoft saw how terrible Sea of Thieves release was and they said “Uh oh, maybe we need more.” Boom and that’s how games are delayed, next question. Damn! 2020 though?
5. Okami HD Comes to Switch.
Because we are a small team and I’m terrible at finishing video games we had to pass on reviewing this when it released late last year. It’s okay though, now that it’s officially releasing on Nintendo Switch, Chet can experience with fresh eyes what I played on PS2. This is light news, but it does a little making up for all the delays right? Right? Please, just say yes. Oh and I just remembered a version of Okami came to Wii as well. Look at that. And Okami HD comes to Switch August 9th.
6. Stalking will be cool again starting 2021.
Well, stalking has never actually been cool. It had a brief moment when the classic survival series, S.T.A.L.K.E.R, last title was released in 2009. That didn’t stop the announcement of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 from happening. Well technically happening again because the game was previously announced and then canceled in 2011. When this game releases it’ll officially have been a full decade since the last title. The funny thing about it is, that seems to be working for games pretty well lately. Examples include: Final Fantasy 15 & Last Guardian but not Duke Nukem. Absolutely not Duke Nukem.
7. The Kingdom holding your heart will be yours, soon.
I couldn’t be a complete ass and give you only bad news. Here I saved the best for last. Only the greatest news makes it to the end this week. Are you still with me? Alright here we go. Kingdom Hearts 3 will be officially arriving next month to tell you when it will be releasing for your gaming pleasure. That was fun. Yea so Square decided to indulge in the hype of this game by teasing a day they would provide a release date. Pay attention though folks, this month is May which means next month is June. June is E3. Half-Life 3 confirmed.
A Way Out is a two-player action adventure game developed by Hazelight and published by EA Games. Hazelight is mainly comprised of developers who worked on Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons so it shows that the developers had a knack for working on two-player games. In a world of season passes, games as service, and 80-hour sandboxes, it takes a lot of chutzpah to come out and say you’re going to have a linear, story-focused campaign that has to be played with another person, preferably one sitting right next to you. Indeed it has become a novel experience to play with your friends in person rather than online. With the graphical demand of consoles, some developers have had struggles trying to keep same screen multi-player available, but Hazelight pulled it off. But how is it?
If anything, the game is considerably unpolished. While main characters Vincent and Leo have a lot of detail put into their appearances, that same can’t really be said for the rest of the cast. Plenty of variety is used for the various extraneous characters is in the game, but they just have an amateurish look as if they were generated by one of the customizable protagonist games that have a ‘random’ button. But it’s a small team, and they have limited resources, but it’s clear they did everything they could to keep the game looking good. Despite what you may expect from the footage you’ve seen of this game, there actually is a considerably large amount of different locations the game takes place in. These scenarios are very diverse, from the dreary grey of prison to the bright blues and greens of a tropical locale. There’s that and the visual effects are pretty good, especially the way rain looks when you get inclement weather. It’s very detailed and in-depth, they made sure this game would run well and look decent while not sacrificing too much of either.
There’s a thin line between homage and theft. The plot of the game goes off into this crazy dash through all the beats of more than 10 different movies and sometimes even lifts a scene or two. There really wasn’t much going on that you haven’t seen in another movie, which means that yes, the game features a lot of overused tropes. Usage of familiar tropes isn’t always a bad thing, but it’s very hard to get invested in some of the characters. It’s a tight string of a story, running along from beginning to end without a whole lot of buildup on any characters other than the main characters. You end up with a story that begins and just jumps here and there leading you to a series of several non-climactic moments book-ending every chapter. Does it play the part well? Of course, it does. But the lack of originality and motivation aren’t present.
The game featured a lot of surprisingly bass-heavy orchestral tracks during a lot of the exposition. But if it comes down to memorability, I can’t remember anything about it. The OST seems to have simply gone with a sort of generic template for action/adventure movies and doesn’t seem to keep in line with the mood of the story. But the soundtrack is still very well-mixed and Vincent & Leo’s voice actors gave some pretty good performances, giving the characters life even if they sometimes have bad lines.
Over the course of the game, you will do so many average versions of what would probably be better in a sandbox game. Driving, fighting, QTE’s, shooters, stealth action, and big decisions, you play just a little bit of all those games type as you make your way through the game. When it came to walking through a few mountains, trying to stealthily take out cops was adequate. The shooty bits at the end of the game are adequate. The driving is very arcadish and adequate. There were no big ideas, just focusing mainly on the story, the game tries to make playing with your partner as easy as possible. Nothing ever gets too difficult because the game made sure to have you deal with whatever game mechanic is thrown at you during the chapter you’re in, then poof, it’s gone from the game. It’s on a cruise control that lulls you into quickly knowing what you’re dealing with and doing it. There’s not much more to say, everything works, but nothing is spectacular.
Co-op on the couch is a very rare thing indeed. If it weren’t for the showing at E3 that heavily pushed for playing with a real-life partner, the experience wouldn’t have been whole online. Full disclosure, I played the game with my uh, err, current and formidable life partner, we almost had a fight but never did. Even when she got stuck on a wall FOR THE FOURTEENTH TIME JUST PULL AWAY AAAAAAAAAAAAAA. But the moments of frustration were few and the moments of being heavily engaged in playing were plentiful. Sure, as I’ve said before, not a single thing in the game is unique, but the fact that you’re going through so much game with someone in real life is a special experience that not a lot of games can tout. This game most reminds me of Quantum Break of all games, it’s a completely new experience that while not the best, is a very creative way of getting the player’s attention. And in this case, the company breaks ground by going back to the good ol’ days and having you play together. In real life, preferably.
A Way Out does what it sets out to do: be a solid co-op experience. It unfortunate that the sum of all its parts is still rather low but it still manages to have that special X-factor. If you have someone you know that you want to play an experience game with, you could do worse than this. Looking at you, F.3.A.R.
Actually, now that you mention it, Fear 3 was a pretty mediocre game too. It wasn’t scary, that’s for sure. Also, said partner copy-edited this article and heartily agrees that arguments almost happened.