Same old Blood: Wolfenstein

After picking it up a few weeks ago I finished off Wolfenstein: The Old Blood on Xbox One. Prior to selling my Xbox the first time around I had played through Wolfenstein: The New Order and found it just OK. The story was novel, reminded me a little of Resistance on PS3 for some reason, but it was again suffered the FPS grind of non-stop shooting… stuff. Wolfenstein has become synonymous with violent graphical content during its cut scenes, which New Order certainly didn’t fall short of and Old Blood doesn’t step out of this trend with torture, dismemberment and other unpleasantries.

I’m sure it isn’t a case of getting older – I found the entire Dead Space franchise dull as a result of its 80s ultra-violence chique, Wolfenstein The Old Blood was kinda lame. The only reason it took me more than a day to finish this edition was because I couldn’t be patient in the more stealthy sections failing to see the value in not killing everyone, I mean, why would your character, a sole-surviving American Soldier want to spare the lives of a few Nazi troops, or not dismantle the numerous killing machines littered throughout the map?

So far 2015 has had a piss poor release schedule for Xbox One, Ori And The Blind Forest being the only game to have come out this year that has stunned me with how challenging and great I found it, and with Project Cars feeling like a long time to produce something inaccessible to most with it’s twitchy handling, excessive menus and load times and claim to be ‘for the simulation enthusiasts’, I’m starting to once again feel like console gaming has hit a rough patch. We’re now into the second year of the current generation consoles and sales are continuing to grow in their millions, but what is there to offer? The service my Xbox One still provides me more than anything else is access to Youtube with a great autoplay feature on my subscriptions, Netflix, and other television apps.

I’d say we’re swinging back towards the original intention of the Xbox One team of it being the single black box in your living room and if there was a way to receive Virgin media cable TV straight into it without the need for the receiver box it would quite possibly serve that purpose in my household.

What happened to game demos?

With the latest generation of consoles comes a new paradigm to encouraging software sales for the Xbox One and PS4 and it involves hoping owners will purchase all games based on the limited library to-date.

I don’t really remember what PSN Store looked like back when I managed to get a PS3 in exchange for a mobile phone contract. The console had been out a while by that point, and I went straight out and bought Uncharted which had only just been released. But what I do remember is that almost every game that was available on the high-street had a demo available through the store.

Since trading my Xbox One in and trading up (or down, yet to be confirmed) I have noticed that there are virtually no demos or trial versions available for new releases. This is a format that even app developers for IOS have worked out – you’re more likely to convert a customer if they can at least see if they like your game.

So how come Sony’s new console is still only showing demo’s for launch title games released last November?

The other thing I have noticed about the PS4’s PSN Store is that it is using a subtle trick of showing ‘content’ in the catalogue by displaying titles available to PS3 and PS Vita. This makes bugger all sense. Yes, there has been a way to transfer games to Vita via he PS3, but the best way has always been to download direct to the device, and as for PS3 titles, well they can’t be played or viewed in any way on PS4 so why are you showing me this?

The Xbox One without Kinect from an owner

In a whirlwind of madness, last year I pre-ordered an Xbox One, something I wrote a lot about at the time.  The whole furor over the always on idea of the Kinect last summer forced Microsoft to do a complete 180 on their entire product, whether they admit to it or not, the backlash they received meant the entire business model changed seemingly overnight.

When the team entered the stage to announce the machine its mission was to make the Xbox One the sole device under the TV, replacing your PVR, and all other multimedia devices and become the singular entertainment centre in your home. Within 48hrs always on technology was dropped and Microsoft realised they had failed their core audience – gamers. Continue reading The Xbox One without Kinect from an owner

Infamous 2

I’ve just finished Infamous 2 on PS3 courtesy of the PSN Plus instant game collection.

As with the first game in the series, the comic book stylings and plot appealed to me but it was marred with shoddy controls.

Same as with the Assassins Creed series, the free to running aspects just don’t work without serious amounts of frustration being passed onto the controller. Regularly our hero Cole jumps and floats around ladders, overshoots a tram line or falls 100 stories instead of grabbing the next ledge down.

In spite of this, I have still enjoyed it, but I would have put more time and exploration into it if I it weren’t for the controls. All the way through both games I couldn’t work out whether projectiles or hand to hand combat was meant to be the optimum attack mechanism. Until you’ve dented a fair bit of side missioning (how you unlock upgrades) your projectiles are pretty weak but with everyone shooting bullets at you getting in close enough for some rough and tumble proves equally as hard.

The second instalment was certainly a vast improvement on the first (Which I have to say I gave up on 2/3rds in) and the art direction was considerably better.

Another feature which I completely ignored was that of playing a mission created by other players. A trend that has been around a long time now I just don’t get it. If I wanted to play half baked ideas from the guy in the flat next door I’d ask him what he’s released on XBLA and buy his junk. It’s a theme in games of late that I would like to see go because it dilutes the quality of the content for me.