ps4

Destiny: $500 million revenue can’t guarantee a good story.

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Like a large part of the PS4 owners, I’ve been busy shooting aliens and saving Earth in Bungie’s record-breaking new first-person shooter Destiny. Trying themselves at a RPG shooter a la Borderlands, Bungie sure knew how to turn on the hype machine, generating more than $500 million revenue on release day. Being already the most pre-ordered game in the history of video games, this number is not surprising, but still impressive.

I’ve contributed my part to that ridiculous revenue, and I would be lying if I would tell you I haven’t enjoyed myself so far. Destiny is, without a doubt, a very entertaining shooter with a dash of MMORPG loot and grind. Controls are smooth, the game looks absolutely stunning and the gameplay itself is more than a good foundation for future expansions. Regarding those aspects, I don’t regret spending $60 on the game. However, there is one thing that just bugs me.

You see, the game is made by Bungie, the studio that has created the award-winning, genre-defining Halo series. Next to reviving the shooter genre on consoles and giving us the amusing Red vs. Blue show, Halo is still known for its gripping story, interesting characters and overall great writing (especially when compared with other FPS). It’s not in my Top 5 of best games I’ve ever played, but Halo 2 is one of my favorite shooters ever and that’s not just because I could stick grenades to my friend’s faces. No, Halo 2 had a thrilling story, which was supported by the individual missions you went through and that kept you wanting more. When the game ended with one of the most gruesome cliffhangers since pixels learned how to move, I was both enraged and satisfied, demanding another helping of such excellent storytelling.

Destiny just hasn’t given me this experience yet. I’ve finished all the story missions, and to be honest with you…they are boring. The writers show us all these interesting story hooks and then decide to not do anything with them! That Warmind Rasputin? Mentioned, but it never plays a role in the story. That badass queen and her Fallen bodyguards? Oh, they look sweet and all in the cutscene, but they won’t be back until Bungie runs her event. The actual motivations of any of the enemy factions? What, they try to destroy Earth! Isn’t that all you need?!

Of course, certain hooks hopefully remain unused so they can play a role in some DLC or expansion. However, not giving a single faction any motivation beyond “they want to kill humanity / the Traveler / both” is just unsatisfying and lame. If I’m going to fight something, I want to know what it’s planning and how that affects me. Why did the Fallen ever attack Earth? Why aren’t we exploring that in the missions in Old Russia? Is there any other reason for them to fight the Vex on Venus beyond “the Vex are more evil than all the other evil in the universe”? So far, all we get is some vague info during cutscenes and on some Grimoire cards, but that just is not enough. For a game that calls itself the most expensive video game production ever, I feel like just a nickel and a dime went to the writing department.

All I can hope for Destiny is that future content gives us some more information on the actual universe and what everything does there. Grinding faction reputation to get that sweet weapon can only keep me busy for so long. Once I have that weapon, I want to bust some aliens, and I want to know why I should bust them.

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Tomb Raider – an unexpected nice snack from my gaming buffet

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I recall this statistic that the majority of gamers don’t finish most of the games they buy. Sadly, I have to face the fact that I belong to that part of the community. With all these sweet titles coming out, it’s hard to finish one before the next one is begging for your attention. To me, it feels like paying for a meal I won’t finish, because someone was so kind to order another, even better looking plate for me. Well, I should just accept my gaming life has turned into a running buffet, and I shouldn’t wait finishing my plate when I can just throw something else good-looking on it. Following that philosophy, I decided to get myself a helping of Tomb Raider. How was it? Better than expected.

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The Chin’s opinion about the PS4 in bullet points

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Okay, okay, I know what I said. I know I told you guys I wouldn’t jump on the next-gen bandwagon so fast. I know how I wrote about my launch issues paranoia and the lack of titles, and I still support everything I said. However, when the opportunity to get one arose (and trust me, it’s pretty hard right now to get one in Europe without having to wait for a month), I grabbed my purse, threw some money at the console and am now the proud owner of a PS4, two controllers and two games. Well, am I really a proud owner? Well…

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Why I’m not getting a Playstation 4 at launch

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As usual, Europe experienced its launch of the Playstation 4 today, about a week after its launch in the States. Also, as usual, shops could barely keep up with the demand, leaving many fans of the next generation with empty hands. Sony is of course doing their best to fulfill everyone’s wish for that little black box, and I’m sure that during the Christmas days most of Europe’s die-hard gamers can enjoy the console. As much as I’m interested in that little piece of technology, I haven’t even tried getting a pre-order. Not because I’m a quarter pessimist (the rest of me is carefully optimistic), but because I have reasons. Yes, I have very serious reasons.

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Wow.

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Really, Microsoft? Really? That was your reveal? That’s what you had us waiting for? That’s what will innovate gaming, according to your marketing machine? Wow. Just wow.

Really, I hate to be cynical here, especially since people might call me a fanboy because of my more positive opinion about the PS4, but I just can’t hold myself. I’ll admit, features like the voice and Kinect control give the console a futuristic, somewhat cool feeling. However, if you want to impress the general gamer, don’t base your game reveals around almost only sports titles. If you do that, you might as well call your console the Brobox and ship it with a free six-pack of Budweiser and some cups to play beer pong in between Forza races.

Do I sound disappointed? That’s because I am. When Sony decided to put the bar not all that high, I was hoping that Microsoft would take the chance to re-ignite the console war. This excuse for a successor to the Xbox 360 barely touches the bar.

As I said, I hate to be the grumpy hater, and my lack of arguments for my disappointment makes this piece of text not much better than your run-off-the-mill angry forum post, but I just have to put this somewhere. Maybe it’s not you, Microsoft, but me? We might work it out somehow.

Oh well, let’s wait for E3. Maybe Microsoft is holding back some great reveal, which will force Sony to step up their game. Please, allow me some wishful thinking after this boring reveal…

P.S.: I call dibs on designing the Brobox. Should it fist-bump the players at the start of every gaming session, or call them “dude” every five seconds?

I didn’t want to write about this

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“Playstation 4 Concept Final” by Artificialproduction

No, I really did not. Actually, my plan was to write about Game of Thrones Ascent, the first Facebook game I bother with since that one where you run your own farm and annoy your friends with stupid requests. But I can’t. There are two reasons for that.

First of all, the current state of Ascent makes it nigh impossible to play. Loading times are bizarre, some of your clicks don’t register at all and it seems in general that this game should have stayed in Closed Beta for a few more weeks. But I don’t want to talk trash about it too much, because it might be all better in a few days. No, my second reason is far more important.

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