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The announcement that a third Dragon Age game will be upon us come Fall got me feeling bad about never finishing the first game even though I was super excited about it. (I wrote quite a few posts about the game back in 2009.) That’s me, though. Get uber-hyped about something then enjoy it for 2 weeks before moving on.

This time out I decided to play on the PS3. I can say with confidence that there is no good technical reason for doing this. The PS3 version is inferior to the PC version in pretty much every way but one. The game is more expensive on the PS3 (the base game was $20 digitally, though it was on sale for under $10 a few weeks before I bought it. On Steam the “Ultimate Edition” is regularly on sale for less than $10 and it includes all the DLC and the Awakenings expansion), the graphics are much worse and the controls have been stripped down to make playing ‘tactically’ a chore.

The one thing I prefer is that I don’t have to jump through hoops to get it running. As I recall the last time I tried to play DA:O on the PC I really struggled to get DLC unlocked and in the end I think I had to download and run some kind of authentication service, which really bothered me.

But that’s not why I’m playing on the PS3. I’m playing on PS3 because where I am right now in my life, I greatly prefer console games. It’s summer and the office where my PC is gets warm in the afternoon and evenings. Plus after sitting there for 10 hours working (I work from the same office I game in) I just want to get away and be somewhere else.

So even with all the shortcomings of playing on PS3 (and back in 2009 the PS3 was the red-headed stepchild of console-gaming and frequently got shoddy ports; DA:O is one of them, done by Edge of Reality) I’m preferring the experience of playing from the couch. Relaxed (often actually laying down while playing). Under an A/C vent. :)

And I’m loving it! It’s been so long that I don’t remember much more than a vague ‘feeling’ of the game, at least until things happen then I’m like “Oh yeah! I remember this!” Since I’m so comfortable while playing I’ve been taking the time to read every Codex entry and talk to my party members frequently. My mind isn’t in that “Get things done” state that it tends to be when I’m sitting at a computer.

It’s a good thing too, because I’d forgotten how slowly DA:O plays out. I’m maybe 10 hours in and still just getting started, mucking about in Lothering. Already I’m conflicted about who I want in my party since they’re all so interesting.

Hopefully the combat won’t get too bad. My recollection from playing on the PC is that when things got tough you could pause the game, zoom out to survey the battlefield and then give each character specific orders. Go stand here, go do that. You can’t really do that in the PS3 version. You can pause but you have a big menu-wheel on screen when you do. You can’t zoom out. You can give each character ‘attack that mob’ orders but you can’t order them to move. If you take control of one of them and move him, the others follow along (though I may be able to disable that via Tactics/AI). So there’s no positional combat, really. We’ll see how it goes.

I didn’t spring for any of the DLC since it would’ve significantly added to the cost of the game: via the in-game store the DLC would cost me a total of $36 without Awakenings, which is an additional $40. Luckily The Stone Prisoner (which adds the golem Shae) was included. Amazon has Awakenings on disk for $22 and if I’m really hungry for more at the end of Origins maybe I’ll pick that up, but I already own DA II for PS3 and would in theory like to get through that too, before DA 3 comes out.

Actually if I’m hungry for more maybe I’ll just play it through a second time on PC for no additional cost.

I almost never finish Bioware games. (Knights of the Old Republic was the one exception and, pardon the heresy but I didn’t love it.) I’ve tried to get through Mass Effect 1 three times but always drifted away. And the old titles, like Baldur’s Gate or Planescape? Barely scratched the surface. This is my 2nd serious attempt at Dragon Age: Origins. So far it’s holding my attention, but I’m still just getting started. We’ll see if I can make it through this time.

My PR friends have been sharing some cool trailers so I figured it was time to pass them on.

First up is Sproggiwood from Freehold Games. It’s described as “a turn-based tactical roguelike set in a Finnish mythological world.”

Sproggiwood has already been Greenlit at Steam and the devs are aiming for a Fall release. No pricing details are available yet.

Next up is Space Hulk: Deathwing, a FPS set in the Warhammer 40K mythos, and published by Focus Home Interactive and co-produced by Cyanide Studios. The developer is Streum On Studio (who I’m not familiar with). When I first watched this trailer I assumed it was just CGI but they say this is all in-engine.

Space Hulk: Deathwing is coming in 2015 for PC and consoles. Here’s the PR spiel:

Space Hulk®: Deathwing™ is a First-Person Shooter experience of Games Workshop’s classic Space Hulk boardgame set in the universe of Warhammer 40,000, developed on Unreal Engine 4 by Streum On Studio, the team behind E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy. Published by Focus Home Interactive and co-produced by Cyanide Studio, Space Hulk: Deathwing offers players the chance to experience a desperate battle against Genestealers in the claustrophobic tunnels of a Space Hulk, as they will gain skills, new abilities and new equipment thanks to experience earned during perilous missions.

Space Hulks drift along the currents of the Warp, the immaterial dimension of Chaos. Made up of gigantic mangled asteroids, derelict ship wrecks and other spatial debris, they sometimes grow to the size of a moon and often contain treasured and ancient lost technologies. However, they are ripe with danger including infestations of the lethal Genestealers.

Players take on the role of a Space Marine from one of the most secret and most feared Space Marine Companies: the Deathwing from the Dark Angels. Strap on your Terminator armour and equip the emblematic weaponry of the Space Marines to overcome the threats awaiting you in the Space Hulk. As a Librarian, you will also master the destructive powers of the Psykers. Your skills and performance in battle grant you Fervor Points, to spend on 4 skill trees allowing you to improve your abilities, unlock new powers, access powerful relics and devastating new weapons.

Last up for today is Styx: Master of Shadows. Once again Focus Home Interactive is publishing and this time Cyanide Studios is the developer. They call this an “infiltration game” and it looks like it plays a lot like Thief, only with more options. Since you play Styx the goblin you can hide under and inside things, plus you have magic abilities. It’s a long video with commentary that gives a really good feel for the game, I think.

Styx is coming out late this summer for PC, Xbox One and PS4. Quite a surprise for me as I’d either never heard of it or forgotten all about it.

Here again is the PR spiel:

Styx: Master of Shadows is an infiltration game with RPG elements developed by Cyanide Studio for PC.
Styx is a Goblin two centuries old… the very first of all the Goblins, he’s a master in the arts of stealth, theft, and murder. The depths of the miles-high Tower of Akenash, where Humans and Elves hide and protect the Tree, the source of the Amber, are the best chance Styx has of quickly amassing a small fortune and, perhaps, discover more about his true origins along the way.

Battle your way to the top of the lofty Tower of Akenash through immense and vertiginous levels that highlight the vertical perspective. You will complete numerous missions with various objectives as you climb up – murder, information recovery, theft of precious artifacts, etc – and gradually reconstruct the puzzle that provides the key to the mystery of your origins. The levels are open and the objectives can be completed in various ways: you are therefore free to choose the best way to proceed and the most suitable strategy to employ to achieve and complete your mission objectives. But remember you’re a Goblin: if your target is twice your size, or more, you’re better off eliminating them silently. and in the back!

The premises of the Tower of Akenash are protected by many: Humans of course, but also Elves whose science of magic cannot be overlooked, huge Orcs who have been victims of (more or less) successful experiments, but also other, stranger creatures. Guards, soldiers and other protectors of the Tower will adapt their behavior dynamically, depending on your actions: you better keep a low profile and prepare your plan of action beforehand. Study the guard patrols closely, use areas of light and shadow to your advantage, lure your target to a secluded area to assassinate him silently, or arrange “accidents” to remain undetected!

Styx: Master of Shadows also includes game mechanics right out of RPG, so as you gain experience you will unlock new skills, special and impressive moves and new and lethal weapons in 6 talent trees! You will also acquire extraordinary powers from the Amber flowing from the Source Tree which will help you out of a tight spot, make you invisible to the eyes of your enemies and which you can use to generate “disposable” clones of yourself! Explore every inch of the levels and not only will you uncover clues about your past but also, and more importantly, valuable treasure that you can steal from under the noses and beards of the guards in the Tower of Akenash!

Last night I finished Bioshock Infinite. I have to thank the folks I know who played it long before I did and opted not to spoil it for me. The last 25-30% of the game totally won me over and I went from feeling somewhat ambivalent about the game to absolutely loving it. I’m so glad I played through it.

I’m going to continue the not-spoiling tradition, so that’s all I’m going to say about Bioshock Infinite for now. But as I sat there — kind of slack-jawed — watching the credits roll, it got me thinking about the different reasons people play games.

In my social networking circles, single player games have fallen out of favor. Most of the people I associate with don’t play them, or if they do they never finish them. They get bored without having other people around. I’m very much the opposite: when I’m playing a good single player game I just lose myself in it and escape to another world. I can’t really do that when I’m also talking to other people. Maybe there’s some deeper meaning there about my level of happiness with ‘real life’ and why I’m so drawn to escaping it for awhile, but we’ll leave that question for the next time I’m on Dr. Phil.

When talking about narrative-driven games in particular (my favorite kind of single player game) there’s a faction of gamers who off-handedly dismiss them by saying something like “If I want a movie I’ll watch a movie.” Most narrative-driven games are fairly linear; it’s really hard to give the player many significant choices and still keep a strong narrative going.

I can understand that push-back; I like sandbox games because they let you generate your own narrative. But there’s something about a strong narrative-driven game (think Red Dead Redemption, think The Last of Us, and yeah, think Bioshock Infinite) that just enthralls me in a way that few movies really can. I think it has to do with having to “work” to push the story forward. I’m sure there’s some psychological term for how we appreciate things more when we work for them, but I don’t know what it is. Suffice to say that few movies have the kind of impact on me that a strong narrative-driven single player game can.

And speaking of working (while running down a tangent), I really didn’t like the first part of Bioshock Infinite. I didn’t hate it, but I found aspects of it pretty annoying (you can read my post from last week for a recap of why). I’m now really glad I stuck it out, which in turn makes me think of all the times I’ve said, or friends have said, or journalists have said “If a game doesn’t grab me in the first 10 minutes I just move on.”

I wonder how many wonderful experiences we cheat ourselves out of by not being a little more patient and giving the designers some time to set the stage.

If you haven’t, and if you like narrative-driven games at all, I suggest you play Bioshock Infinite. I played it at the ‘normal’ setting and it wasn’t very hard at all (and I’m not a very skilled gamer). On easy mode it must be a complete cake-walk (to the point of not being enjoyable, I suspect…there’s a point where a lack of difficulty turns gameplay into a repetitive chore) and if you play games for their challenge definitely play it on hard.

I hope this post is somewhat cohesive; I shouldn’t start writing stuff like this when I only have 15 minutes before work starts!

I typically am not a fan of Achievements or Trophies. In fact I’ve ranted about my issues with Achievements in the past. But finally I’ve found a reason for them and a way for them to add to my enjoyment of a game.

I’m still working my way through Bioshock Infinite. My feelings haven’t changed substantially; it’s an interesting world, interesting story, Elizabeth is one of the best ‘companion characters’ I’ve seen in a game (almost as good as Ellie in The Last of Us), but the minute-to-minute gameplay tends to be fairly mundane. There’s way too much time spent searching corpses and crates for supplies, and (I can’t believe I’m saying this) not enough combat.

And of the combat there is, lots of it is just mowing down cannon fodder until you get to some kind of hero or mini-boss character that’ll put up an interesting fight. Early on I settled on just carrying a machinegun and RPG and found little reason to use anything else. And god was I bored.

Which is when I started looking at the Trophy list (I’m playing on PS3). There are a bunch of Trophies for killing X bad guys with Y weapon (I assume it’s the same on Xbox, just subbing in Achievements for Trophies). I decided to start working towards these, which caused me to switch up my weapon selection, which in turn caused me to want more $$ to upgrade different weapons, and suddenly I felt invested in the game again.

These achievements also offered short-term goals when the game wasn’t really giving me any, which I also appreciated.

Now to some extent I could’ve done this without Trophies. I could have just opted to use different weapons without being incentivized to do so; it just never really occurred to me. Stick with what works, right? So the Trophies also acted as a suggestion mechanism.

So yay Trophies.

All of this has kind of opened my eyes to why people enjoy Achievements and why I generally don’t. I can see how Trophies can help you extend your time with a game. If I wanted to play through Bioshock Infinite a second time I could do so with an eye on getting Trophies I’d missed and that would nudge me towards playing through the game in a different way. I can see the appeal from that point.

But I very, very rarely play through a game twice, and I’m almost always relieved to finish a game; most games go on too long for my tastes. This in turn is a result, probably, of just buying too many games for the amount of playing time I have. I always want to finish the game I’m playing so I can get started on the next one.

If, on the other hand, I could only afford a couple of games every year, I’d want to squeeze as much enjoyment as possible out of them, and Achievements/Trophies would help me do that.

So yeah, after years of ignoring Trophies and Achievements, I finally ‘get’ why people like them.

[Use of the term 'cheevos' in the title is a shout-out to my buddy Scott. I hope he appreciates it because he knows how much I hate the term! :) ]

I know everyone played Bioshock Infinite long ago and haven’t thought much about it since, but I’m new to it. I got it as a Playstation Plus freebie and downloaded it, and now my PS3 hard drive is getting full so I need to work through some backlog on the last-gen machine. BI seemed like a good place to start.

(Oh, there’ll be some early-game spoilers in this post since I figure I’m the last person to play it.)

And y’know at first I LOVED it. I loved the aesthetics and the weird slice of Americana that you’re first introduced to. Y’know, before you win the contest to throw the first baseball at the mixed-race couple that are going to be stoned to death (via baseballs) for polluting the purity of the white race.

Then as you learn more you get really comfortable with remorselessly destroying everything and everyone that keeps this twisted society going. So that’s fun. It’s like shooting Nazis or something. Hardly anyone ever feels remorse about shooting make-believe Nazis in a video game.

But as I played I started to feel really bogged down until now I’m just not enjoying myself any more. Why?

Searching containers.

As you move through the world of Bioshock Infinite you encounter about 10 containers/minute. Exaggerating? Well let’s see, that’s 1 every six seconds and yeah, that sounds about right. And if you’re OCD like me you will HAVE to search every one. They hold things like money, ammo, health and mana (here called salt) and sometimes lockpicks. Or they hold nothing. In addition to containers there’s plenty of junk just laying around that you’ll want to pick up, particularly Silver Eagles (money). But you don’t vacuum these up, oh no. Just in case you decide you’re much too rich and want to pass them by, the game makes you aim at each one and press the Square button to pick them up. Same with ammo, health and mana (though in the last two cases there might be times when you’d rather leave it for now). Oh yeah, and when you kill a bad guy, you have to search his corpse. too.

When you’re not going through trash cans for a Sandwich (+health) and a few Silver Eagles (because the people of this world often throw money away) you’re picking up voxophones (audio recordings), watching kinetoscopes (short old-fashioned movies) or peering through telescopes to be a sight seer.

I just feel like all this constant searching and collecting is really bogging the game down. Plus it makes me a little ill, literally. Since I’m always whipping the camera around checking every corner for a crate or a barrel or a trash can to be searched, I can only play a short time before I get woozy from simulation sickness. So that’s my gripe with Bioshock Infinite, and I’m kind of ashamed of myself for griping about it.

You know, it must suck to make games. Irrational built this huge beautiful world for gamers to explore and play in, and here comes some dork like me whining that he has to search too many containers.

I admit I’m being an ass about this! But I can’t help feeling the way I feel. I’m so sick of opening containers and having to “aim” at something to pick it up that I might just quit, and really I’ve barely gotten started (I just got Shock Jock from Slade).

I want to love it, but when you have a backlog that, were it not digital, would fill your apartment with game disks, it’s so easy to just say “Naaa” and bail on a game. And yet I feel bad for doing so since I know a team of hard working people crafted this world for my enjoyment. I’m such an ingrate. But I need to tip my hate to Irrational for making such an amazing game.

[This post is an elaboration on a tweet I posted earlier today.]

So the World Cup has started. For most of the rest of the world, where soccer/football is much more popular than it is here in the US, this is a big deal as it only happens once every 4 years. This time around it’s a bigger deal in the US than it has been in the recent past due to soccer becoming somewhat more popular and the fact that it’s being held in Brazil so it is ‘time zone friendly’ for US audiences.

Anyway, so now the World Cup is everywhere including in our social networks. Most of the folk in my social networks are gamers and a lot of them seem bemused by this onslaught of World Cup propaganda. If I took all the reactions, and simmered them down into a cohesive thought I think it’d be basically “I don’t get why people enjoy watching sports.”

In years past I’d totally get that because gamers play games while sports fans (hereafter known as sportsers) watch sports. Play vs Watch. Active vs Passive. I just figured gamers were doers and sportsers were watchers.

But that was before Twitch.

Twitch changes everything because it is extremely popular among gamers, and it turns gaming into something passive, so my old theory has fallen apart. A lot of the people who are puzzled by the popularity of the World Cup (or more generally, sports) are also fans of Twitch, and that in turn makes me puzzled.

It’s curious to me that a person who enjoys watching a MOBA match, or watching a guild take down a raid boss, or just watching someone play any game can’t understand how a sportster could enjoy watching a soccer match or a football game. And then there are the ‘between’ things like poker. I LOVE watching poker, but is it a game or a sport?

Now just to be clear, I’m NOT saying everyone should enjoy sports; not at all. Nor do I mean to come across as ‘scolding’ or anything. It’s just a curiosity for me. I’m questioning why the concept of watching sports is so foreign to someone who is so comfortable with the concept of watching games being played, since at their core sports ARE games.

The funny thing about sportsters is they’d be considered complete geeks if there weren’t so damned many of them. Have you ever heard two baseball fans get into an argument about who is the better player based on the approximately 50,000 different stats (might be an exaggeration) tracked for each player? These sportster nerds have that shit MEMORIZED, trust me. It’s totally geekdom! Except since it’s main stream, it isn’t. But it is. Or should be.

I consider myself a gamer but not really a sportster. I’ll watch American football and I have a team to root for, and as I said I love watching poker, but neither is something I do regularly. Lately I’ve started watching cricket. This has been really fun for me because I had zero understanding of the game. It just all looked like a bunch of people basically standing around to me. Then I learned the rules and it got a little more interesting. And as I watched more I started to get the strategy involved and really started enjoying it. Strategy, I like. In days gone by I was into wargames because again, strategy! I think that’s why I like American football. Football is like (more or less) civilized warfare and I love the battle of the coaches as much as, if not more than, the actions of the players themselves.

Anyway when I first started watching cricket my confusion felt familiar and I finally realized when I’d felt the same way: when I’d tuned into a League of Legends match. Since I’d never played LoL I had NO CLUE what was going on and it just seemed like random chaos with no strategy at all. Sadly I never got past that point, and now I think I might want to so I can appreciate watching LoL the same way I now appreciate watching cricket.

I’m still working on finding the appeal of watching someone running around randomly in WoW or Rift or Wildstar; there must be some appeal since so many people stream this kind of content so there must be an audience for it. I’ll put that on my list after I’m done learning to appreciate LoL. But right now I have to go see if I can catch the end of the Chile vs Australia match! It turns out that soccer is pretty interesting to watch too. Guess the rest of the world knew something I didn’t!

warlock_webI’ll be the first to admit I’ve been excited about Destiny, Bungie’s new game, so keep that in mind as you read the following happy thoughts. I got into the Alpha this evening (I guess everyone who applied did) and got to spend an hour or two playing. For some reason they start you at level 3 and I got to level 5.

Now let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat. Destiny is a shooter. The basic mechanics of minute-to-minute gameplay will be very familiar. It’s nothing revolutionary in that aspect. It’s more the meta-game that’s interesting. Think of Diablo. The basic mechanics of Diablo are pretty simple right? But people love to play it to level up and gear up their characters. Destiny is like a first person shooter version of Diablo 3 in some ways.

You have two weapon slots but can carry a bunch of weapons (hit the Options button to open your inventory and decide which two are ‘live’). You have regenerating health (that even sounds kind of like Halo’s shield regen). I was playing a Warlock and he also has a grenade ‘spell’ that has a cooldown. There’s also a pretty fierce melee attack. I didn’t find a way to crouch but you can sprint and jump (and my class can do a kind of hover jump…maybe all can).

When you start the alpha you’re on Earth in that part of Russia we’ve seen over and over in previews. As far as I can tell this mission is strictly single player. You need to get to an objective far away and snag something. Along the way you’ll encounter lots of baddies to blast (and be blasted by). You’ll also be in danger of becoming side-tracked. I found an old bunker and when inside, got lost and finally stumbled onto a boss of level ?? (the universal symbol for “You’ve got no chance, kid.”). I liked that; I liked that I could go off the beaten path and find challenging things to do.

Once I finished this mission I was prompted to beam up to my ship and then navigate to The Tower. You don’t actually fly your ship through space…you just pick a destination and off you go. The Tower is the central hub of the game. I saw lots of other players there. I checked my mail. I turned in my quest rewards. I browsed vendors who had upgrades for guns, armor, ships and vehicles (purchased with a variety of currencies). I explored and find some odds and ends that seemed to give me…something (still figuring this all out).

Once I was bored of that I decided to try PvP in The Crucible. The only map they have open is a 6v6 conquest kind of thing, but there are icons for maybe half a dozen competitive game modes. But for now we have conquest. Y’know, occupy check points and gain points based on how long your team holds it. It was as fun as PvP FPS ever is (I’m not a huge competitive FPS player) and I earned some Crucible Points which I could spend on special gear.

When that was over I went back to Earth/Russia to check out the open exploration mode. While you’re roaming around down there killing baddies you can find missions. I captured video of me doing one. I found that there are at least two factions of bad guys and they don’t like each other much more than they like you, and you’ll often come across them fighting each other.

I’d just finished my mission when I noticed a blip on my radar; it was another player! We spent some time fighting together which was a lot of fun. At the time I was level 5 and we were encountering level 9 bad guys that could really soak up damage when trying to take them solo, but with two people flanking them, they went down fast. People who know me know that I LOVE this kind of random organic ‘grouping’ where you encounter another player and can help each other out without drawing up a social contract first.

If you really just want to play alone or with your friends, I believe that option will be in the final game but I didn’t see a switch for it in Alpha. The person I encountered (actually I ran into two) wasn’t on my friends list…it was just a random stranger.

And that was about all I had time for. And stomach for. I haven’t played a shooter in a while and after a couple of hours I was starting to get a little queasy. /blush.

During my time playing I found 4 or 5 new weapons, upgraded my helm, gloves and chest armor, found some “Materials” that I suspect will be used in crafting in the full game. Some of the loot you find is ‘encrypted’ and has to be taken back to the tower to be used. Think of this stuff as Unidentified Items in Diablo. I also unlocked a few new skills for my character.

Bungie has a website for the Alpha and I have a profile on there but I’m not sure how to make it public, or if you can. It’s nice that even though we’re only in Alpha they have their version of the “Armory” where you can check out your characters gear and stuff from the web.

Bungie says the alpha is a ‘tiny slice’ of the whole game, but I really appreciated that they included single player, co-op and PvP missions in it. I’m looking forward to playing more, and to playing with friends. So far I’m really enjoying it.

This is one of those navel gazing posts that no one will really care about but six months from now *I’ll* read it and laugh at my own weirdness.

I have a stormy relationship with MMOs. I love them right up until I hate them, at which point I quit them forever, which generally means a couple months at most. By then I will have forgotten that I hate them and remembered that I love them, and I’ll get excited for one and find I’m missing the unpredictability of being in a game with a lot of other people. So back I’ll go.

Over the past few months I’ve been hardcore into MMOs…too many of them. Landmark, ArcheAge, Elder Scrolls Online and Wildstar. I’ve sort of cycled through them, unable to decide which one I wanted to play. Obviously trying to play 4 MMOs is incredibly stupid and something had to give, and it has.

E3 was this week and there are a number of games I’m interested in. But I’ve got a huge backlog of great games on my consoles and on Steam now. And I’m missing the satisfaction of finishing a game, crossing it off my list and then looking forward to the inevitable sequel.

At the same time MMOs have been disappointing me. The last two I’ve been playing (ESO and Wildstar) I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone and really tried to be social and haven’t had much luck. Most of my issues I think have to do with my reluctance to use voice chat. I’m happy to use voice chat for a purpose (a dungeon, a PvP outing) but the idea of jumping on just to ‘chat’ is not something I’m interested in. I don’t really like chatting in-person; I certainly don’t want to do it via VoIP. A lot of gamers SAY they’re introverts but I don’t think they know what that really means. Chatting with a group is exhausting to me and when I finally get done my day and can fire up a game at 9 or 10 PM I’m already pretty tired and the last thing I want to do is chat about cats or listen to dick jokes or whatever the hell people talk about when they’re gaming alone but in voice chat together.

That’s totally my baggage, not anyone else’s. But these two factors (excitement over new non-MMO games, and frustration with social in MMOs) have pushed me back to that ‘hating on MMOs’ place again.

So I’m diving into my backlog of single player and non-MMO MP games again. Tonight I started Bioshock Infinite on the PS3. After that I might try once again to finished Dragon Age: Origins in order to get ready for the new game coming out this fall. We’ll see.

Not that the blog is all that active to begin with, but if I’m playing old single player games I probably won’t have a lot to say here, so the blog will probably go even darker than normal. Though I probably will keep dabbling in Landmark since it is inherently non-social and is almost more a creativity tool than a game anyway.

Of course Destiny beta starts in July and I’m all over that. The nice thing about MP gaming on consoles is that people log in and actually PLAY TOGETHER which makes voice chatting relevant. Hope to see some of my friends in the Destiny beta!

Last December my pal (well at least in my own mind) Dusty Monk shared this fan-film “Croft”:

Yesterday at E3 a new Tomb Raider game, “Rise of the Tomb Raider,” was introduced with this video:

Coincidence? Or was last December’s video a bit of viral marketing?

Sony held its press event last night and man, it was good thing it happened at night because it was definitely rated M for Mature. The old Sony that we used to know and love…the one that brought us a mix of ‘serious’ shooters and quirky, colorful games..that Sony seems to be dying out. The new Sony seems to be targeting a specific audience: one that craves violence and gore. Let’s look at some trailers (and yes I’m cherry picking these and leaving out the few that don’t fit, like the Little Big Planet 3 announcement):

The Order 1886 has werewolves and I has a sad.:

Suda51 is always hyper violent. Here’s Let it Die:

If you loved Demon Souls and Dark Souls, maybe you’ll enjoy the blood-crusted new title from From Software, Bloodborne:

I was pretty surprised that Sony decided Dead Island 2 was press-conference-worthy but I guess they haven’t realized we’re getting sick of zombies:

Then we had Mortal Kombat X, which hit the “jeebus this is too much for me” line. Of course it also got the loudest cheers, reaffirming my suspicion that I’m way outside the mainstream when it comes to gaming

Solid Snake uses the ashes of a fallen soldier as cover-up. Disgusting and disrespectful:

I was disappointed not to see more color during the Sony presser. But I can’t just have a post full of negativity. I have to include one bright spot. Here’s a very cool looking indie title called No Man’s Sky. I can’t WAIT to play this oneL: