Thursday, May 07, 2015

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, or OMG WHAT IS DLC?

I consider myself to be part of a waning demographic within the gaming community.  I prefer single-player game experiences, instead of co-op, multi-player, or massively multi-player ones.  I prefer story-driven experiences where the difficulty is not the main focus, rather than incredibly difficult ones with a high skill threshold.  I prefer games with at least a touch of humor in them with gorgeous set pieces and lively virtual worlds, rather than bleak, depressing ones that trigger bouts of depression.  

These days, it feels like I'm in the minority when it comes to that.  

When Wolfenstein: The New Order came out last year and received quite a lot of praise, I was hopeful that a majority of gamers out there still shared in some of my interests.  It was a game that did pretty much everything that has been done before.  It was special, though, because it did them all well.  Everyone already knew that the gun play would be top notch.  It was using the idTech engine, and if there is one thing id knows how to do properly, it's gun play.  Say what you will about Rage:  The actual shooting portion of the gameplay was exquisite, and the same was true for The New Order.  It was also wonderful in so many other ways, though, too.  So many other important ways.  It had everything I wanted in a shooter.  Great set pieces, maps with multiple paths, a likable hero who kicks ass, a bit of dry comedy, a decent story, and plenty of intense moments.

People loved the game, and it gave me hope that perhaps I still lived in a world where that type of game could do well.  Where people weren't so overly obsessed with games innovating, doing something new, or re-inventing the wheel.  But, apparently, that is not the case.  After the reception I am seeing to The Old Blood, it's pretty clear to me that the world merely has the attention span of a gnat and had forgotten what it is that makes a good shooter.  The New Order reminded them of that, and they loved it for it.  But now that the formula is fresh in their minds, any other attempts to maintain that same formula is met with a condescending yawn and a click of the tongue, with comments ranging from "This is the same thing and therefore it's bad" to "This game is the same as this other game that I rated with an 8 therefore since it is exactly the same I will rate it a 6."

With this kind of mentality, I have little hope that the number of games in which I have an interest will not steadily decrease year after year.  It seems inevitable at this point.  The masses just don't like the kind of games that I like any longer.  I only hope that these games end up truly being better, rather than just different.  Innovation is great.  I love it, and I certainly don't wish for it to stop.  But demanding that a game innovate for it to be considered good is a really stupid fucking idea.

All of this, every single point here, has been made without even pointing out that the The Old Blood isn't even a full release game.  It's an expansion.  Back in the days where DLC wasn't a gun, a piece of armor, or a special vehicle, a piece of DLC was actually content.  It was a piece of additional playtime created to give people a little bit more of the game they so loved.  It was to extend the life of that single-player game by adding some new content for it.  That's what The Old Blood is.  People are hating it for doing what it was designed to do.  It's only been a few years, but we already live in a world where gamers have forgotten what DLC is supposed to be.  It's rather difficult to remain optimistic about where the industry is going when gamers cannot tell the difference between a game and an expansion.  It's this kind of ignorant mentality that allows publishers like EA and Ubisoft to further take advantage of their consumers.  Gamers have no one but themselves to blame for this pathetic state of the industry.  You can hate EA all you want, but they are rich with YOUR money.

Monday, May 04, 2015

And We're Back

A little over a year ago, I ceased posting here on this blog and moved to Tumblr.  At the time, my motivations for doing this stemmed  from a desire to have greater visibility.  I wanted people to read what I had to say, and I wanted to see them reading what I had to say.  Tumblr is essentially blogging, but with social networking embedded into it.  It was the perfect solution.  That is, until I finally asked myself one question.


Why do I want more visibility?  Why do I care who is reading my posts?

Once I realized that the answer to both of these questions is "I don't.", it became a lot easier to figure out that the reason why I never blog any longer is because I don't want to put forth the effort into writing for other people.  I merely wish to write for myself, and that has been the case ever since I made my first post here back in 2005.  I sort of lost sight of the fact that a lack of exposure was exactly why I enjoyed writing them.  I could just put my thoughts down in a Google Doc or something like that, but it doesn't have the same kind of organization that I get on a blogging platform.  Call me a narcissist if you'd like.  But you won't, because you're not reading this.  See how it works?

This morning I started looking at more blogging sites, to choose the one that I would like to use to start over.  And then I thought, "Why do I need to start over?"  So, here I am, posting here once more.  It's got a nice familiarity to it.  Even my template with the orange font was still here where I left it, waiting for me to use it again.

And, just in case I forget once again, this blog is a collection of my thoughts and experiences as I go through life.  If you have found your way here, you are more than welcome to read it.  But, I doubt you will find anything extraordinary or interesting.  While it is true that I can be extraordinary and interesting, I am most likely not to very many other people.  There are millions of blogs out there, written by millions of people.  I do not have such delusions of grandeur that I consider the words I'm typing here to be of any significance to anyone but myself or those who love me.

And I am more than okay with that.  


Holy smokes.  The last post I wrote for this blog was on October 18, 2017.  Through the little more than  two years since, this blog has be...