Yeah, I think Call Of Duty might be done now.
Unlike most people I didn’t think the original Titanfall not having a single-player campaign was a particular problem. It tied into the general malaise the game had of not providing anywhere near enough content for players to get their teeth into – the central multiplayer experience, while very finely polished and a lot of fun, was also rather limited — but I don’t feel like Titanfall was crying out for a thrilling narrative-driven tale of conflict between the two generic sides involved in its eternal robot war. What it was crying out for were more game modes, more Titans and more maps, and when these were not forthcoming the game swiftly died out as its playerbase deserted it. I’m fine with games focusing solely on multiplayer as long as they’re up front about it, especially since the requirements of crafting a single-player campaign are often quite at odds with the requirements of a highly-tuned multiplayer game, not to mention being incredibly resource-intensive, and trying to focus on both often means you end up doing neither particularly well1.
It would be fair to say that Mafia 3 has received a bit of a mob beating from the gaming press in the weeks since it was released. Not providing review code ahead of the the release date is a bit of a red rag to a bull where reviewers are concerned, and when combined with the raft of bugs and technical issues present in the game Mafia 3’s critical drubbing was something of a foregone conclusion. Much of the criticism is more than justified; it’s certainly very difficult to peer past those rough edges to get a look at the game within, and even if you manage it it doesn’t appear all that impressive at first glance. However, I’m going to put myself somewhat at odds with the critical consensus by suggesting that there’s enough good bits inside Mafia 3 that it might be worth a second one.
God help me, but I was actually looking forward to Civilization VI. After experiencing both Civilization V and Beyond Earth at launch I really shouldn’t have been; both were eventually patched into a decent state and after two expansions Civ V even went on to surpass its predecessors, but at launch they were flawed, buggy messes with plenty of basic functionality missing. Given Firaxis’s previous track record here it seems foolish to have expected great things from Civilization VI on launch, but after peeking at the development videos I just couldn’t help myself. The lead designer is the guy who pulled Civ V out of the muck. As a headline idea I can’t exactly call unpacking city management onto the world map inspired since Endless Legend got there first, but it’s potentially completely game-changing and Civ VI looked like it was going to explore the concept in far more depth. And in a departure from previous Civs they weren’t going to leave trade, espionage and religion for the expansion packs and instead integrated them into Civ VI as core features, essentially making it a Greatest Hits version of Civ V post-expansions. How could this possibly go wrong?
Little spotty on here recently due to me playing fewer games, also I went on holiday. Things should pick up at the end of the month since there’s something like ten interesting games coming out in the space of about three weeks.
I’ve resisted talking about World of Warcraft on here so far, except in passing. It’s twelve years old now, and my assumption is that by this point you’ve either played it already, or you are absolutely uninterested in hearing anything about it. Everyone’s going to have formed an opinion on it one way or the other and there’s little that’s useful that I can add to that conversation, especially since WoW’s pace of change has historically been somewhat glacial. New mechanics are added in so gradually that you barely notice how the game changes over time; even though a decade of cumulative additions means it’s a completely different game to what it was on launch, there has historically been very little new to be said about the it. This is precisely why I’m making an exception for the recently-released expansion Legion, though, since it goes against the grain of everything I just said by making changes to the endgame that are downright revolutionary when considered in the context of WoW. I can’t remember another expansion that changed the tenor of the game quite to the extent that Legion does — and certainly not in such a positive fashion.
It’s a really good thing for Mankind Divided that Invisible War exists. Otherwise its claim to the title of “Worst Deus Ex game”1 would be completely undisputed, and I think that’d be kind of a shame given how much it tries to improve on Human Revolution.