E3 2017 – Part 1 – EA Press Conference

When it comes to the EA press conference, I usually have mixed feelings because they do a lot of sports stuff that really puts me to sleep, but they also have a variety of other games that I would enjoy playing a find them interesting. Usually these come from BioWare, but sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised. I made a lot of predictions for this year’s EA conference, so let’s see how everything played out for their hour + conference.

EA kicked off their press conference with a band to come out and play the drums in order to promote Madden 18’s story mode Long Shot. Seriously, I had thought that Ubisoft was the only one that did this kind of thing each and every year for Just Dance. Guess not. Moving on, EA then went on to do a reveal of some Battlefield 1 content. The team working on Battlefield 1 is still working on it and there will be new maps and a whole new DLC to go with it. That’s cool if you’re a Battlefield player, but if you’re not then it’s really not that interesting. Moving on there was some new information on the FIFA and Madden Championship games where real people play for real glory and all that other stuff. This is about the time of the show when I start to glaze over a little because it seems like the sports stuff is the same each and every year. I know that EA is trying to incorporate some kind of story mode into each and every sports game, but it’s still not drawing in any interest from me and I don’t think it’s drawing in any kind of interest from non-sports playing gamers. Anyway, Men in Blazers came up to do a thing about FIFA and I guess it was a big deal. So I just don’t look like someone who hates sports games, I used to be totally into sports games on my PS2 and even tried playing FIFA once, but it just never worked out for me and since then I’ve given up.

The reveal for Need for Speed Payback was up next. I feel like this was a cool game when it first came out in 1994, but this is one of those franchises that should just give up. Correct me if I’m wrong, because sometimes I am, isn’t this just the same game over and over again? Anyway, what I did notice about this game was that the voice acting was just terrible. Anyone else get tired of the voice acting within the first minute or two of the game demo? Next up was a presentation from EA originals. I have to say I was excited about this because last time we got Unravel and it was awesome. I was excited to hear that the creators of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons have joined EA originals to come up with their next game. I thought this was going to be awesome, but I was soon sadly mistaken. The next game coming from this studio is A Way Out. This is basically a prison break game where you’ll play one of two inmates who for whatever reason don’t want to serve their time and just want to break out. The catch is though that you can only play this in co-op mode and while it does support online co-op it was mostly made for split screen on the couch co-op. This had me groan because seriously who likes split screen co-op? I thought the overall concept of the game was a pretty stale one and the graphics didn’t look all that great anyway. I feel like this studio can do so much more especially after Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons but did a complete 180 and I don’t think it’s going to work for them.

There was also talk of a new SEED team which is basically a research team so that maybe EA can stop getting as much hate as they do. Tall order. Anyway there was some project Scorpio talking from EA about how amazing it is and so and so before the semi-reveal of BioWare’s mysterious new IP dubbed “Project Dylan.” There was about a minute preview of the game along with the reveal of the game title which is Anthem. The minute preview really wasn’t enough to judge the game, but the rest of the game along with gameplay footage would have to wait until the Microsoft conference. There was then some more sports stuff with NBA Live. They showed off some of the mechanics of the game and it had me think that “Wow these games have become complicated.” NBA Live will also have a story mode that still did not get me interested and had me sitting on the edge of my seat. After this we finally get to the good stuff which was Battlefront II. Not a Star Wars fan, I did love Battlefront I and though it was amazing even though it got a lot of hate for having no single player mode. EA has listened to the fans and have added a full story mode for this game along with a more enhanced version of the multiplayer. All of this looks fabulous and what they showed off secured my pre-order. Everything about this game looks amazing and I really can’t wait for it to be released. That being said there is no season pass for this game either. This was surprising because it’s EA we’re talking about here, but any updates done, characters added, maps added, and whatever else will all be free. I had to double check and make sure that this was still the EA conference at this point.

Overall I felt that EA was a little lacking this year and it felt like all they really had was Battlefront II. This was disappointing as I thought some more games would be revealed and the show would be bigger. Starting E3 is a big deal and if you aren’t going to bring it, then you should schedule your conference some other time. I also feel that BioWare was really slapped on the wrist this year for making a mediocre Mass Effect game. Nothing was revealed about upcoming content and they sure as hell didn’t mention anything about the confirmed Dragon Age 4. At this point I’m thinking that BioWare is looking like they’re in a really bad situation at the moment and it’s sad because they really are a great company. Sure they suffer from mistakes and stuff, but so does Bethesda and a bunch of other companies. It just seems like BioWare gets shit on the most. Anyway, I’m thinking that if Anthem doesn’t work out, the studio is done for.

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What makes multiplayer good? The game or the people?

This topic has been on my mind for the past couple weeks as I’ve been finding it harder than usual to actually enjoy a game that has multiplayer, specifically a game that has multiplayer separate from the actual game itself. This made me wonder, was the multiplayer in a game good because it was just good and super addictive, or was it good because of the people I was playing with. There are a bunch of games with multiplayer outside of the single player that I just for some reason cannot get into, for example there’s Call of Duty, Watch_Dogs, some Uncharted games, and Grand Theft Auto just to name a few. Then on the other hand there are games that have multiplayer outside of the actual game that I can totally get into and spend hours upon hours playing. For example my biggest one is probably Mass Effect 3. I thought this would continue with the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda, but it hasn’t actually and it’s been quite the opposite which brought this question up in the first place.

Before having my established group for Mass Effect 3 multiplayer I would say that I probably spent around 4-5 hours a day playing the multiplayer depending on how it was going. Were most of the matches a win with full extraction? Were the random people I was playing with any good? Was I happy with the overall quality of experience I was having? Don’t get me wrong, the multiplayer for this game was good, I mean I was spending quite a bit of time playing it, but I was also dividing up my time playing the single player which of course was my favorite. Then things kind of changed when I found a group of people to play with.

When I found a group of people to play with my game time went from about 4-5 hours a day up to 8-10 hours per day. Crazy right? While we didn’t always have a group of 4 people, there were always about 2-3 of us playing at one time and then with some random person filling the missing void, who probably thought were absolutely insane, that would come and go as they please. This was totally fine with us. There obviously had to be some correlation between playing alone and then playing with a group of people right? I mean look how much my playtime went up and basically doubled.

Cut to five years later with the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda and I’ve barely scratched the surface of the multiplayer. As you can probably already tell, my group has disbursed to where there’s just one or two of us left. Not to mention that the overall gameplay of the multiplayer has changed drastically. There are a lot of things that come in the play with his new game as I’ve spent maybe a total of 10 hours outside of the single player playing the multiplayer. Not yet having the chance to play with my little group that’s left, I really don’t know if my obvious lack of interest in the multiplayer is because of the fact that I don’t like playing with the random people that I’ve encountered or that the game itself really isn’t that great.

In conclusion, I’ve kind of come to the realization that even though the multiplayer for Mass Effect: Andromeda isn’t what I was expecting, which was something much similar to Mass Effect 3. I mean if you think about it, the multiplayer for Mass Effect 3 was a huge success so they didn’t have to reinvent the wheel as much as they did. I think that what’s holding me off from playing as much Mass Effect: Andromeda multiplayer is a combination of both actually. I do miss my group of friends that I always played with, and the game itself just changed way too much to even be similar to the previous game. When it comes down to it I think that for a multiplayer game that’s outside of the single player game to be good it has to have a combination of both. You need a group of people who you actually like playing with and the game itself needs to be decent.

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Proper Etiquette When Joining Another Persons Game

As you might already know, as of late I’ve been playing some Dead Island – Definitive Edition on my PS4. If you frequent this blog you also know that I’m not really a fan of multiplayer games, I’ve had some bad experiences, but for some reason killing zombies alone isn’t all that fun. Anyway, I’ve been leaving my game room open, letting anyone who wants to join me on my zombie slaying missions come along. While this has mostly been fine, it also lead me to write this blog.

So there I was a couple of Saturday’s ago running around killing some zombies for a side mission when some random dude, who won’t be named, entered my game. Happy to have a partner I went on my way until I realized that this random dude just changed my mission from the side mission to the main mission. What the hell dude? Not only did he change the mission, but he actually went along and did the main story mission. WITHOUT ME. Seriously?

This made me think. Is there a proper etiquette when entering someone’s game? Some “rules” maybe that should be followed when YOU enter someone’s room? I like to think so. If you’re entering someone’s room it’s really not up to you what mission gets done, it’s up to the person who was already there. Don’t go into someone’s room and do what you want to do it doesn’t work like that. Think of it as going over to someone’s house and demanding to be player one. That’s not how it works. The room owner is always player one while the person entering is player two.

Playing Dead Island isn’t the first time this has happened either, it’s happened in Borderlands as well. Every time it happens I always think dude what the hell. Then I think about what I do when I’m that random person entering someone’s room, granted this doesn’t happen often, but when it does I follow the leader. Want to do side missions? I’m game. Want to work on story related missions only? Whatever man it’s your room.

In conclusion, when entering a random room, show some kind of politeness and do what the other person wants since it is their game. If you want to do something else maybe get on your mic and ASK if the mission could be changed or send a quick message. Just don’t be that guy or girl who goes off and does whatever the hell you want and ruin someone’s game session.

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What to Expect at E3…Maybe Part 3

Since I’ve already covered the EA conference, the Microsoft conference, and the Bethesda conference the only two conferences to cover now are the Ubisoft conference and Sony conference. Both conferences promise to be equally exciting as they normally are, but of course I’ll be looking forward to the Sony conference the most because of the PlayStation fan girl that I am. Now let’s take a look and see what I’m expecting at both conferences.

Ubisoft Conference

• First of all I’m expecting something on the new Assassin’s Creed game since it’s already been leaked everywhere so there’s no doubt my mind that they’re going to be promoting it somehow even though I’m not expecting it to come out until at least late 2018.
• As usual I’m also expecting some Tom Clancy stuff whether it be something to add to The Division or Ghost Recon or any of the other Tom Clancy franchises this is always at the conference so there’s no doubt in my mind that this will be at the conference again this year.
• As usual I’m sure they’ll do some big thing for Just Dance that will be equally as boring as it is every single year and make me roll my eyes and groan.
• Since it’s already been leaked, I’m also expecting to see more on this Far Cry 5. I’ve been an on again off again fan of this series so I’m interested to see where this game will be going.
• Because it’s been at, I don’t know, like two or three E3’s is now that they’ve been promoting this new South Park game, I’m expecting this game to have some more footage since it does have a finalized release date. I swear though if the date changes again then I’m going to completely loose hope with this game.

SURPRISES!

While I’m not really expecting any news on this front I would be completely surprised if they announced anything for Watch_Dogs. What would surprise me the most is if they announced that they finally had a stable server for For Honor.

Sony Conference

• Because they’ve been promoting it so much and they spent so much money on it they’ll definitely have something for Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Maybe some more gameplay and some more details about it since it does come out in August.
• Since not everyone has adapted to the new PlayStation VR I’m expecting they’ll do something spectacular for it try to get more people to buy it.
• I’m definitely expecting a release date for the new God of War game as well as The Last of Us 2. I’m thinking that God of War will come out probably holiday time this year while the Last of Us 2 will get an early 2018 release date. While we’re talking about release dates I’m hoping at least that they give some kind of release date or release time frame for Detroit: Become Human since they’ve been promoting it for the last two E3’s and there’s been nothing to come out of it.
• As always I’m sure they’ll be some PlayStation exclusive’s that will, like usual, compete with the Microsoft exclusive’s that they show at their press conference.
• I’m also expecting another weird ass promo for Death Stranding because everything surrounding that game just seems weird along with Day’s Gone, but I’m not expecting them to come out anytime soon.
• Finally with the success of Horizon Zero Dawn, I’m fully expecting them to announce their plans for either an expansion or just some DLC.

SURPRISES!

While I don’t think this is really going to happen, I would be really surprised if they announce the PlayStation 5. I still think it’s way too soon for this but they might just want to put it out there since Microsoft will probably be debuting the new Xbox Scorpio.

And that’s it. That’s everything I’m expecting to come out of this year’s E3. Agree with me? Disagree with me? Let me know in the comments section below and as always I will be having my full review of each and every conference after E3 is over.

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What to Expect at E3…Maybe Part 2

Because yesterday’s blog was getting way too long, I decided to break up the conferences and let you see what I think is going to possibly happen at this years E3. Today I’ll be looking at the Microsoft and Bethesda conference. If you want, click here to see what I’m expecting to see at EA’s conference.

Microsoft Conference

• I totally expect to see a bunch of Microsoft exclusives that will make me completely jealous and bitter about not having an Xbox. The game that will make me the most jealous? Sea of Thieves.
• Then I expect some Forza stuff because they have that every year right?
• Finally I expect that the Xbox Scorpio to have a huge spot on this conference. I don’t think it will be released this year or even next year, because I think that would be too soon. I’m thinking this will be the holiday gift of 2019.

Not being that huge into Xbox that’s basically what I’ll be looking for, but I’m open to being completely surprised.

Bethesda Conference

• I’m really surprised that Bethesda is having a conference this year, but I’m expecting the announcement of the next Doom game. (I had to add that in there because my buddy, mm, is a huge Doom fan and thinks a new game will be announced this year.)
• I’m expecting some updates to ESO that I probably won’t be interested in, since I can’t seem to get back into that game no matter how hard I try.
• I’m sure there will be some talk about Fallout Shelter which has become surprisingly addictive for me as of late since it made the move to PC. (Don’t tell my PS4 I’ve been cheating on it with my PC!)
• Since they’ve decided to hold a conference, I’m thinking the next Elder Scrolls game will get some sort of announcement but won’t be released until 2019.

SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT!
A huge surprise would be the remaster of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas as a package deal.

Other than that I’m not sure what else they could announce besides some DLC for Prey.

That’s basically what I’m expecting out of those two conferences. Agree? Disagree? Have your own ideas of what will be happening at these two conferences? Let me know in the comments section and come back to tomorrow to see what I’ll be expecting from the Ubisoft conference and the Sony conference.

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What to expect at E3…Maybe Part 1

E3 is less than a month away and as you can probably tell, I’m super excited about it. I love just about everything at E3. Especially the conferences. I usually have pretty high expectations, and I usually come away pretty hyped for the upcoming gaming year. Keep reading to see what I’m expecting at this years E3 starting with the EA conference.

EA Conference

Let’s start with the EA conference since they will be kicking off the E3 conference line up. What I’m expecting from them is the following:

• More information on Star Wars Battlefront 2. More information on the game itself as well as more information on the actual story mode that has been previewed.
• The new BioWare IP announcement even though it won’t be released until 2019. It’ll be big, and I really think BioWare will have a big presence at the EA conference this year.
• Since we’re already talking about BioWare it goes without saying that there will definitely something Mass Effect: Andromeda related will be announced and I’m thinking it will be the first major DLC for the game. I know EA said they were holding off on Mass Effect stuff, but I still think there will be DLC for this game. At this point it might not be much, but it’ll be something since there was a ton of build up especially towards the end of the game.
• I’m also thinking on the BioWare front there will be a very small peek at the next Dragon Age which probably won’t be released until 2018.
• One last BioWare item will probably be something to do with Star Wars: The New Republic.
• Moving away from BioWare, I’m sure the next Battlefield will be announced.
• I’m also expecting something PvZ related or Peggle related.
• Then I’m expecting a little bit of a snooze fest as we get into the sports stuff.

SURPRISES!
I’m expecting some surprises from this conference as well. Something that would be a surprise would be the announcement of another Titanfall. And then something that would also be surprising, but most welcomed would be the announcement of the Mass Effect trilogy being remastered for the Xbox One and PS4. Why am I thinking this? Because the famous N7 day falls on a Tuesday this year and it would kind of make the whole day since this has been something that has been asked for.

That’s what I’m expecting out of the EA conference. Agree with me? Disagree with me? Expecting something entirely different? Let me know in the comments section and come back tomorrow to see what I’ll be expecting from the Microsoft and Bethesda conference.

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Mass Effect: Andromeda – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Mass Effect: Andromeda has to probably be one of my most anticipated games ever. It’s one of those games that I’ve been waiting for since the last Mass Effect and was super excited once it was announced. I even stayed excited as I waited for it to be released as I tried to gather every little piece of information about the game as I could. Then the early release reviews started coming out and it kind of felt like the ending to Mass Effect 3 all over again. Wanting to play the game for myself though, I subdued my excitement a little until I could play for myself. Even though I haven’t completed the game to 100%, I have completely finished my first playthough, before the game was patched, and figured I could give some honest opinions about the game. Just as a side not though, while I have played the multiplayer for this game, I haven’t played enough to actually comment on it so multiplayer will not be mentioned in this post.

Side Note: When I had originally wrote this blog, sometime last week, there was no news of a patch or anything, but since then a patch has been released that addressed a lot of the issues that I had with the game. To be fair, even though I had to sit through an unpatched game that had some annoying moments, I have excluded the gripes that I had prior to the patch.

The Good

The one good thing about this game is that it’s still Mass Effect. It still has all the core principles that made me fall in love with the Mass Effect series to begin with. This time around though it’s a new galaxy, a new main character, a new crew, and a new story. Even though I’ll admit to still missing Shepard and her crew, Ryder has started to grow on me along with the rest of her crew. Then there’s the story. The story is massive and there are so many aspects to it that it’s almost impossible to find something about it that you won’t enjoy. The main story of finding out who the Kett are, trying to make nice with the Angara, and trying to find the missing Arks are all deeply engaging and will draw you in. The new main character is a complete 180 from Shepard. Mostly because Ryder is new to all of this. She’s not a seasoned solider, she’s learning as she goes and the game shows this. The game shows the progression of her character as the game goes on and is really developing the character into something more. Sure, she has her awkward moments, but haven’t we all? I guess that makes her a little more relatable when you think about it because it shows that she’s human. Then there’s the crew. While there are little aspects of each crew member that make them resemble past crew members, they are each new characters. Sure it’s easy to say that Cora is the new Miranda as they both have some obvious daddy issues and so on, but these characters are new and each have their own individual stories and purposes for traveling 600 years away from the Milky Way. Each character is well crafted and if you take the time on ship and off ship in docking areas to interact with them they’ll quickly grow on you. Let’s not forget about the fact that this is a completely new galaxy. There are a ton of different planets to learn about and explore not to mention the ones that you can actually land on and find out more about. Each planet that you can actually land on is beautiful in its own way. The graphics for the landscaping of the planets is top notch and you can tell a lot of time went into making each planet feel like it was alive. I don’t know how many times I’ve stopped playing just to admire the scenery around Ryder and take in each new planet. This all comes to a head when you first go to your new planet which usually isn’t ideal and has something wrong with it, but then when you “fix” the planet, the subtle differences that you see are beautiful in their own way.

The Bad

With good always comes bad, and yes there are some bad things that come along with this game. It’s almost obvious to see that this game wasn’t properly QA tested as there are certain aspects of the game that just don’t work right. This is probably the worst part of it all. Missing dialogue, invisible objects, invisible people popping out of nowhere, glitched animations, combat lag, and mission stalling. All of these are part of the bad that come along with Mass Effect: Andromeda. If you’re a BioWare fan and have played some or all of their games you know that this happens for each and every game. This is in no way an excuse for them and you would think that with a new engine they would be fixed, but obviously they aren’t. Moving forward this isn’t good, and that doesn’t excuse the fact that the game should not have been released with these problems to begin with. Moving away from obvious glitches in the game, the game itself isn’t perfect. A lot of games have this problem with finding the proper balance of story missions and side missions and this game is one of them. This game already has enough content to keep you going for hours, but add in the horde of side quests and you’ll be tearing your hair out at the amount of fetch and come back quests that are in the game. Sure you don’t have to complete them, but you’ll be left with a bunch of exclamation marks on your screen if you don’t. Then there’s all the driving. There is so much driving in this game until you unlock the proper fast travel stations on each planet that it’s unbelievable. While it wasn’t meant for the Nomad to be the Mako version 2.0 it truly is as you’ll struggle to drive around each different landscape the planets have to offer. Driving around isn’t as carefree and awesome as they promised and it makes me groan every time I have to go into the Nomad to drive somewhere knowing that I’ll probably get stuck in a patch of dirt or not switch to the six wheels at the right time and will be unable to go over the smallest little hill. Looking back, I would take the Mako over the Nomad any day.

Good…but also Bad

A good thing is that each planet that you can explore is huge! A bad thing is that each planet you can explore is huge! It’s great to explore and find new things, but sometimes it just gets to be too much. I understand that the new normal in video games are these unfiltered words that seem to have no boundaries, but sometimes you need boundaries especially when it takes away from the actual game itself. BioWare is known for the stories that they create not the environments and exploration. They should have kept it this way and focused more on what they’re good at instead of trying to get into these huge open world type games. Another good thing, your Ryder isn’t alone. You have an already made family for you consisting of your dad and brother/sister depending on which Ryder you decide to play. The bad thing is that you’ll care about this family as much as you cared about your family in Fallout 4. Which, if you’re like me, when the bomb dropped in Fallout 4 you were already out the door running for the vault with your husband or wife screaming behind you that they had Shaun. Who’s Shaun? Oh that’s right the kid that you had. The family aspect only works if there is some way to for the player to form an emotional connection to them and this game lacks that. Then there’s the combat system which is new and different from previous Mass Effect games, this is also one of those good and bad type things. It’s good that it’s new, but also has that familiarity to it. You’ll know how to play if you’ve played the previous games and if you’re new you’ll find it easy to get used to. The bad is that this was one of the things that Mass Effect didn’t need to change. The combat system was fine just the way that it was in the previous games. I hate being limited to only using three different powers at a time. It’s annoying when you want your full arsenal of combat, biotic, or tech powers at your fingertips, but you can only use three at a time unless you want to constantly be switching profiles which isn’t as seamless as you would think especially in the middle of combat.

The Ugly

If you’ve read anything about Mass Effect then you already know what this section is going to be about. This game has the most ugliest characters and facial animations that I have ever seen in a game and I’ve played some pretty crappy games. For a AAA game that took 40 million dollars to make, these are not the facial animations that you would expect. There are games that came out years ago that have better looking characters than this game. With all of the advancements in technology this is something that cannot be overlooked and I can understand why people are so upset about this. These characters just look like really bad Sim characters as everything looks plastic and fake. There is nothing real about any of these facial animations or the way the characters behave. I understand the whole thing about using algorithms when it came to doing the facial animation stuff, but seriously no one picked up on the fact that this did not look good. Seriously though, who said “wow this looks amazing! Cutting edge technology here!”? Someone had to say that in order for this to pass and clearly that person didn’t know what they were talking about. When it comes to the characters and facial animations this game has become one huge meme and it’s really sad.

Side Note Since the latest patch, I have seen some improvements to certain cinematic scenes. The characters look a little different than they did when the game launched, but it hasn’t fixed everything. That being said, I’m not sure how many patches it’s going to take to actually fix all of this or if there will be a time when BioWare just gives up and says the characters and facial animations are what they are, but this is just something that should have been fixed way before launch.

Without making any kind of excuses and being blunt, this game isn’t perfect in anyway and could have probably used another 5-10 months of polishing in order to make it the worthy successor of the Mass Effect trilogy. At the moment, it seems a little unworthy of carrying the Mass Effect title. There seems to be this equal balance of something good, something bad, and something ugly, but that’s not what you want. You want an outstanding number of good things and then some bad things that can’t be helped, not to mention you want to stay away from the ugly. While patches may make all of my points irrelevant in the future, the fact of the matter is that they exist now while not only myself, but tons of other people are trying to play this game. That being said, this is still a BioWare game and it still excels at telling a story which is what BioWare is great at doing, but at the moment the bad and the ugly are kind of overtaking it. I can find myself playing for hours and enjoying myself until something bad comes along, another glitch that can’t be ignored, another awkward facial animation that cannot be overlooked. It’s my hope that by the time I truly finish the game, get all of the trophies, and publish my final review, that a lot of these things have changed in order to make this the game that it deserve to be.

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Does Horizon Zero Dawn need DLC?

Horizon Zero Dawn

With Horizon Zero Dawn already selling over 2.6 million units in the first two weeks of release, it’s really no surprise that Guerilla Game’s is working on an expansion on this game to further the story. While DLC is common, I mean come on even LEGO games have them now. This raises the question that even though developers can make as much DLC as they want does the game, specifically Horizon Zero Dawn, need it?

SPOILER ALERT! There will be some minor or major spoilers in this blog so if you haven’t played and want to see how things go for yourself, then I suggest stop reading. If you’ve competed the game or just don’t care, read on.

If you’ve played and finished the game, you know that our main character Aloy is on the search for not only her mother, but also a way to stop Hades. Hades is your main bad guy in the game as he’s released into the world thinking that it isn’t perfected and that it needs to come to an end in order for GAIA to start all over again. Hades was basically the failsafe if GAIA messed up so bad the first time around that things would have to start again. The thing is, everything that was once GAIA is kind of destroyed so if Hades succeeds then the world is basically done for. Being the hero that Aloy is, she defeats Hades, or at least she thinks she does because she doesn’t know that he’s captured again by Sylens, and basically finds her mother. This is a great ending, it takes all of the games questions and answers them and gives closure to Aloy. So why is there DLC on the way?

This is one of those games that I felt had so much closure and a little twist at the end that I would really hate to see more DLC for it. The ending was perfect and alluded to a sequel that doesn’t have to involve Aloy. At the end of the game I felt that her journey was completed. She did what she wanted to by bringing people together and finding out what happened to her mother and how she was created. As much as she was a great character, I just felt like her story didn’t need to be continued. Aloy’s story had that closure that not a lot of game characters get. She’s young enough that there could be 5 or 6 of these games to see her character develop from a young adult into actual adulthood, but there’s no need for it. Her story was perfect and should be left at that.

Saying that, that doesn’t mean that I’m not open to a sequel for this game. With Sylens capturing Hades at the end of the game, it’s pretty obvious that the Horizon story is far from over. That being said though, I would like to play as a new character the next time around only to keep this franchise from falling into the same faults as Mass Effect and Uncharted. It’s a proven fact that using the same character over and over again gets the player attached to that particular character and not want to see a change. It works for some games as God of War keeps pumping out game after game with you playing as Kratos, but some games don’t want that. I really feel that Aloy’s story is over and would like to see the next game take place in another part of the world with someone as unique as Aloy.

I like to think of this game as one of those rare complete package games. This means that it doesn’t need DLC, but it does need a sequel. I would rather have Guerilla Games work on the sequel that this game deserves rather than waste their time with DLC after DLC after DLC. Although, when you think about how the game ended then jumped back to a point in time before the game ending, you knew that there had to be DLC coming. It didn’t say it, but it alluded to it. That being said, I’m a sucker for DLC for some games and this will probably be one of them, it’s just my hope that after all of this DLC is released a second game gets the time it needs to be fully developed and with a new hero.

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Upgrading to an 8TB hard drive…was it worth it?

With the release of the newest PS4 firmware update, version 4.5, PS4 gamers were finally able to upgrade using an external hard drive. This is one of those features that I’ve been waiting for. The 500GB that came with the system was never enough. With games becoming larger and larger as technology advances and games just become bigger overall, 500GB can be filled with just a couple of games not to mention patches that come with games along with unrestricted DLC sizes. When it comes to go big or go home, I usually go big and this time I did too by upgrading to the largest size external hard drive that the PS4 allows. But the real question is, was it worth it?

While I could have upgraded to an internal hard drive a long time ago to fit the amount of games that I have, I never felt comfortable doing so. This generated a lot of laughs because “it’s so simple,” and “I thought you knew what you were doing when it came to computers and stuff.” And while I do know what I’m doing when it comes to “computers and stuff,” I never felt comfortable popping open the top of my PS4 and removing the hard drive. For that reason, I lived with the fact that when I wanted to play games I basically had to wait until I finished one in order to remove it or wait until I got tired of not playing a certain game and just start rage deleting a bunch of games in order to fit the game I wanted to play. It was a way of life for me until February.

In February, it was announced that the next big PS4 firmware update would allow the use of an external hard drive. This meant I didn’t have to open up my system and could just connect a hard drive using a USB port and be on my way. Since then I’ve been looking into all of my options and finally decided on one just as version 4.5 was released.

Finally deciding on the Seagate 8TB Expansion, I placed my order and eagerly awaited its arrival. Dreaming of all the games I would finally be able to play, reality struck when I finally got my external hard drive. First of all, the thing is huge. It’s this huge, heavy, rectangular box, that I had to be creative and find a hiding place for. Second of all, there is now this really ugly USB wire sticking out of the front of my PS4 leading down to where I hid the box kind of messing up the ascetics of my gaming setup. And then finally, the thing is so damn noisy. It’s constantly making some kind of clunking type noise that differs depending on if a game is downloading to it, a game is being played off of it, or if it’s just on.

Other than all that though, it was a pretty easy install, even though I had a WTF moment when I first plugged it in and a little message popped up saying that this drive wasn’t supported. While part of my brain knew this meant it had to be formatted, the other part of my brain went into panic mode because this thing was not cheap. Maybe a message change is in order? Instead of saying that the drive isn’t supported maybe it should say that the drive needs to be formatted? Just a suggestion. Since it was blank the format didn’t take all that long and since then I’ve been adding as many games as possible on while my PS4 isn’t in use.

So far I have four disc games on there, Dragon Age: Inquisition (including all of the DLC),Horizon Zero Dawn, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, and Mass Effect: Andromeda along with over 50 downloaded games that range from a couple of hundred MB to almost 40GB each. With all of this, I’m at a capacity of almost 400GB. These aren’t all of my games though and I still have a bunch more, and I do mean a bunch, to add, this isn’t half bad.

Looking at this as a kind of a long term investment, I’m pretty happy with the 8TB. Sure it’s a lot and it might not even see all 8TB be filled up, but I feel like it was worth it. This huge strain has been lifted off of my shoulders as I no longer have to worry about storage space and what the hell is wrong with my PS4 because it won’t go under 25GB. Overlooking the fact that it’s huge, clunky, has a wire sticking out of my PS4 permanently, and is noisy I would say it was totally worth it.

While the 8TB might not be for everyone, I will say that if you’re like me and find it a huge taboo to pop open the top of your PS4 in order to change the internal hard drive, then external is the way to go. If you’re like me and don’t want to worry about storage space ever, then 8TB is the way to go, but if you’re the more casual gamer then I would say that anywhere between 2TB and 4TB would be sufficient enough.

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E3 2016 – Part 3

And now for the big finale. So big that I thought it should have its own blog and not be crammed together with all of the other press conferences that I’ve gone over the past few days. So big that at the end of the show I thought I would be eagerly making up my list of pre-orders and my wish list of games that I want to go on sale during the holidays. Was the Sony press conference everything I thought it would be? Keep reading to find out.

Sony Press Conference

After some technical difficulties, thanks IGN, the press conference is finally able to be viewed and Sony decides to kick it off with…wait for it…wait for it…the next God of War. Yes, I know this series has been completely done and then done again and it should be long dead by now, but it’s getting the full reboot special. There’s a full musical thing and an intro and then actual gameplay footage with someone sitting there and playing. In this preview you see a new Kratos, a more human side of him is shown which has never been seen before and is like a breath of fresh air for this series that has long since gone stale. Kratos is teaching his son, yes he now has another child, to hunt. He’s still the man that he is but he’s trying to be different, more understanding and less, well less Kratos.

Boo! I know, I know. How do I give a Boo to something that was obviously one of the best parts of the Sony press conference? This Boo goes out to the replacement of the original voice actor for Kratos. I really don’t like when this is done, it’s like if BioWare decided that they needed to bring Shepard back and instead used someone other than Jennifer Hale to play FemShep. What’s wrong with using the original voice actor? He was good enough for all of your other games but not this one? Boo, Santa Monica Stuidos, Boo!

Up next, another new game as Sony rolls out trailer after trailer after trailer making it hard to keep up with what’s going on, but this new one is called Day’s Gone. They show a brief trailer that piques my interest but it isn’t until the end of the show when they show actual gameplay and get more into the game that really makes me think wow, this game looks amazing. To tell you the truth though, when the trailer first started I thought it was going to be for The Last of Us 2, but I was glad that it wasn’t.

With no time to really collect my thoughts, another trailer is immediately shown and this time it’s for the much anticipated The Last Guardian. While I’m not all that interested in this game because I can’t really find anything that I like about it, I am happy to announce that after many years this game finally has a release date of 10-25-2016. Moving on to a game that I’m actually really interested in and will probably pre-order shortly, we have Horizon: Zero Dawn. Can I just say that every time I see this game I just fall more and more in love with it? It’s a new concept, looks stunning, and has some nice open world environments. The gameplay and small story that they showed at the press conference was just awesome and I’m really looking forward to playing this game as soon as I can get my hands on it.

Up next, another game that I’ve been waiting to see more of Detroit: Become Human. I’ve been playing games from Quantic Dream since Indigo Prophecy was released on the PS2 and have never been disappointed with any of their games. They’re chock full of story and major decisions that need to be made and can be played a bunch of different ways. This game basically takes the same formula that has worked for them and makes it into something new and exciting as you play as multiple androids who are slowly becoming more human. No release date, but for this one I’ll wait.

Next of course there has to be some VR stuff because it’s what all the cool kids are doing. They show off this creepy Resident Evil game that I barely watched because I kept looking away from the screen as I expected some sort of jump scare in there somewhere. After this there’s a little break to discuss the release date of Playstation VR, which is 10-13-2016, along with the price, which is $399.99. There’s also the announcement that there will be 50 games available at launch. This includes a special VR mission for Star Wars: Battlefront to Batman to Final Fantasy. Playstation is going all out when it comes to VR.

Now for some more trailers, and this one looks like a new space game which kind of looks like Call of Duty in space. To my surprise it is Call of Duty in space. It’s not called Call of Duty in space, but you get what I mean. Anyway it looks like another CoD game which I’ve given up on after Advanced Warfare. Not to mention that after that it’s more CoD with Modern Warfare being remastered. At this point I’ve had enough CoD to last a life time.

With the announcement of the original Crash Bandicoot being remastered, it’s also revealed that he’ll be a new character in Skylanders. I know I play the LEGO games, but this is too much for me because I have to draw the line somewhere and Skylanders is it. Since I mentioned LEGO, it wouldn’t be fit if I didn’t mention that the new Star Wars LEGO game was also shown right after Skylanders. Can I just say that I want a LEGO Mass Effect. Anyone with me on this?

Then for something that I never wanted to see…Norman Reedus naked. Not actually Norman Reedus, but the video game version of him that’s on this creepy beach with oil(?) everywhere, some weird baby, him with a C-Section scar, and dead animals. The game is called Death Stranding and I have no idea what it’s about or when it will be released. Then finally a new Spiderman game for the PS4 because we totally needed one of those.

And that did it for the Sony press conference. This year it felt like a mashup of different trailers all thrown together with really no rhyme or reason. Although I did want to see more trailers, I thought that maybe the games would have some more release dates, something more concreate then just a small demo and trailer. While I was impressed with the games, I really wasn’t impressed with the overall show. For this reason alone, although it pains me to have to do it again, I have to give the E3 award to Microsoft this year. They had an awesome show and they knew it.

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