Multiplayer games are arguably the most popular games out right now. Playing games is more fun social, but with multiplayer only games, there’s plenty of backlash against developers for not including a single-player campaign.

For Honor

Following on from last week, we’re talking more about For Honor. Now that it’s been out, one of the biggest problems that the game faces is it’s netcode. Using a P2P method, it’s open to attacks, cheating and hacking as seen in multiple videos on YouTube. Connectivity problems when players leave the game and exploiting the games online functions are causing a wide array of problems.

Besides that, the best parts of the game are it’s honorable encounters in 1v1 and 2v2 game modes. Players have had more fun and entertainment through these modes rather than the clusterfuck that is the Dominion. There’s a clear split in the community between the core game mode and the death matches.

Do Multiplayer Games need Singleplayer?

Which leads us on to the singleplayer campaign. It’s a mode in the game that can be described as a glorified tutorial. Featuring vignettes in the style of Battlefield 1 of an ongoing battle against an evil Warrior God. The campaign is weak and uninteresting and just plain forgettable.

We discuss how For Honor’s tacked on singleplayer campaign is weak and a waste of time and money. Where the budget was wasted on this, could’ve been better spent on dedicated servers for the multiplayer, enabling the core game to have a much better experience.

Singleplayer focused games have also had tacked on multiplayer. Where some have been pretty good in all fairness, however most are utter trash.

In this episode we discuss Pewdiepie and his response to the media hit pieces against him. We’ve also been playing the Ghost Recon: Wildlands Open Beta and give our thoughts on the game’s current state.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands Open Beta

Brian and Sid have been playing the Ghost Recon: Wildlands Open Beta. It’s a massive open world, set in Bolivia, where you play a co-operative campaign to fight the Santa Blanca drug cartel. Unlike The Division, Ubisoft have taken a different approach. Instead of bullet-sponge loot drop mechanics, this game opts for a more tactical co-operative gameplay. Focusing heavily on co-op, Ubisoft proves again that they are leading in the co-operative space.

Criticisms of the game include it’s awful vehicle mechanics. The vehicles in the game are incredibly floaty and have no weight to them. Impossible to handle and work against the player rather than being more akin to Watchdogs_2’s driving. For a game that has an open world of this magnitude, vehicle travel is an incredibly important part of the gameplay and something that needs to be fixed.

Aside from that, the game is incredibly fun with friends. Playing in a 2/3/4 person group changes the dynamics of the game entirely. It’s clear that this was the focus. Playing solo, you’ll be given 3 AI buddies who are pretty much braindead at this point. If you have friends to play with, we’d recommend picking it up.

Pewdiepie

Following the recent media hit piece by the Wall Street Journal against Pewdiepie, we discuss the old media and their decline. Felix Kjellberg, commonly known as Pewdiepie, has been taking a lot of media backlash following his videos. With claims that his videos promote Anti-Semitism, it’s been gaining a lot of attention.

The Wall Street Journal published an article and video (behind a paywall) saying that his use of Nazi imagery and his anti-semitic posts were unacceptable. As the number one subscribed YouTuber with over 53 million subscribers, he has a huge audience. A number of people have come out in the middle and said that his huge audience means that he should be more responsible about what he does.

Following this, Felix released a response video apologising and call the media out on their maliciousness. As he continues with his daily uploads, he’s become more and more savage. This includes turning the Wall Street Journal and the authors into memes for mockery.

Upon closer inspection, one of the three journalists behind the original piece happened to be making the exact same anti-semitic and racist jokes in their twitter history too. This in turn prompted a massive backlash on the hypocrisy.

In our first Thursday episode as part of our new efforts to double down on content, we’re discussing Bethesda’s latest news. That and what on earth is that convention smell?

Fallout 4 in VR

In a recent interview, Todd Howard discussed the progress on Fallout 4 VR. With claims that the entire game is playable in it’s entirety inside of virtual reality. This news comes hotly after Zenimax, Bethesda’s parent company, won half a billion dollars in a suit against Oculus. As one of the most popular gaming franchises, it was only a matter of time before Fallout would get the VR treatment. It’s highly possible that this could be the game that pushes VR into the mainstream.

However, we’re sceptical as usual. As far as VR goes, we’re still not sold. With such a high price point and very limiting movement, VR still appears to be a gimmick that’s not picking up steam. One of our biggest concern is movement and combat in VR. Fallout 4 is a game where you move and shoot in a very FPS style. With VR hardware very much invested in room scale and using proprietary control systems, how do these games fit in to this ecosystem? Will players be forced to fight enemies by pointing where they want to teleport around them? This has already proven to be a very unsatisfactory method of play for long term play sessions.

 

Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is due to be released on March 3rd. But it appears that some people have already got their hands on Nintendo’s new console. With reports coming in, including photos and videos of the device being unboxed and turned on. One thing of note is that Nintendo appears to have put together a User Interface, fairly reminiscent of Android. However it looks much more usable than their previous efforts.

Nintendo’s interfaces for the Wii, Wii U and it’s other consoles have always been lacking. Never having the polish of their counterparts. Both Playstation and XBox have offered much better UI and UX on their consoles.

Following this, we think this is yet another hype piece to get Nintendo some free press before the launch of the console. It’s a standard tactic used to get any kind of news in front of potential customers and what’s better than some manufactured shenanigans?

Another piece of news that’s come to light is that purchases made in the e-Shop will be attached to accounts rather than devices. This comes as a sigh of relief for Nintendo fans, as the company hasn’t always been the most consumer friendly in this regard. Now that Nintendo are following suit and allowing users to own games regardless of device, it makes the process of owning digital games a lot easier.

Pokemon GO Update

In more Nintendo news, Niantic appears to gotten their shit together. Finally they’re now releasing 80 new Pokemon for it’s playerbase. After half a year of dodgy servers and an unprecedented influx of users across the world, it’s now releasing the next updates that’ll make the game a lot more enjoyable for it’s users.

I’m Just Playin’ News

Joseph’s back and he’s taking names! After a false letter was sent into the team in the previous episode, he’s come to clear his name. However the letter in Episode 023 appeared to be strangely prophetic.

We’re doing some changes to the podcast’s format following some great feedback that we’ve been getting from our listeners. All of us here are commuters and podcasts are our favourite pastime, as are some of our listeners. So to make it all a lot easy for the commute, we’re cutting our 3-hour long episodes in half. Everything’s a lot more structured and on top of that, we’re releasing two episodes a week!

For Honor

The For Honor Beta is out and Sid’s been trying to play as much as he can with a migraine the size of his library. There’s been no video that does the game justice. It’s combat mechanics are well and finely tuned a very skill based competitive mode. Sid describes a number of duels where he’s fended off enemies out of sheer luck before being slaughtered. However the intensity and visceral nature of the fight make it such an incredibly engrossing game.

It also seems that Ubisoft have found their feet when it comes to releases. With a number of Beta’s being used to showcase the game and allowing players to try it. They’re also keeping the same progression and customisation options they introduced with Rainbow Six Seige.

Our only concern is if the player numbers will grow or become stagnant after a point. When playing in the Open Beta, if you haven’t devoted as much time as some of the people you’re playing against, you’ll find yourself outmatched and underpowered. It’s worth noting that a new player joining will probably find themselves in difficulty trying to play against anyone who’s mastered any of the heroes.

It’s clear that the game has been designed with longevity in mind. Ubisoft are showcasing their best here. It’s a beautiful game which is very well optimised at present. The controls are tight and the gameplay is challenging.

Sid is very tempted to pick it up and break his “Buy No More Games” ruling.

Steam

In a recent sit down with PC Gamer, the team at Valve discussed a number of things that they have planned. They’re currently working on 3 VR games that they’ll be releasing. We’re not particularly optimistic because, well, we don’t really believe it. After the Zenimax-Oculus situation, it’s hard to see a bright future for VR outside of the mobile space. However, if Valve are going to release some quality first-party games for the Vive, this could be an interesting move by them. You also have to consider that Valve aren’t exactly known for bringing out a product on time though.

Steam Greenlight is soon to be gone. Replacing it will be Steam Direct which will involve developers being a lot more professional. Their aim is to combat the popularity contest scam that Greenlight became and having developers pay a recoupable fee. This will close the gates to developers who are trying to minimise “development costs” by asset flipping and trying to sell shit games. It’s an interesting take, but may hurt indie developers with no budget.

Steam is also bringing back paid mods in some capacity, so there’s something to laugh about.

This week’s episode of I’m Just Playin’, we discuss Gamestop’s Circle of Life program and Oculus paying out $500 million. As far as news goes, it’s safe to say the early year news drought is over as things are starting to pick up.

Gamestop’s Circle of Life

Gamestop are under fire as they’ve been encouraging employees to lie to customers asking for new games. With higher profits coming from used games, Gamestop wants their employees to make up for selling a new game by increasingly pushing their used games selection. Due to the fact that stores decide on the prices of used games and sell them for double what they pay for when a customer brings one in. It’s a shady move that numerous employees of stores across America have been reporting.

The program, called “Circle of Life,” gives each GameStop store different percentage quotas for 1) pre-orders; 2) reward card subscriptions; 3) used game sales; and 4) game trade-ins. Each of these quotas is based on the store’s total transactions. Pre-orders and reward cards subscriptions are based on the number of transactions, while used game sales and trade-ins are based on the total dollar value of transactions. If a store’s quota for used game sales is 30%, and the store sells $1,000 worth of merchandise, GameStop expects at least $300 of that merchandise to be pre-owned.

Oculus Pays out $500million to Zenimax

A judge has ruled that Oculus is to pay out $500 million for the the breaking on an NDA. Zenimax media is pursuing a lawsuit to stop the sale of Oculus Rifts. This all comes from John Carmack leaving Zenimax and taking trade secrets with him when moving to Oculus. In awarding ZeniMax $500 million, the jury also said that Oculus did not misappropriate trade secrets as contended by ZeniMax.

Of the $500 million, Oculus is paying out $200 million for breaking the NDA and $50 million for copyright infringement. Oculus and Luckey each have to pay $50 million for false designation. And former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has to pay $150 million for the same, final count.

 

It’s been an interesting week for gaming news. This week’s hit list includes Mass Effect Andromeda, the partnership between Marvel and Square Enix and a solid roasting.

Enter The Gungeon released the new Supply Drop Update and Joe’s been testing that out. Devolver Digital have proven again that their devotion to delivering quality games is second to none. Enter The Gungeon is a gun-themed rogue-like in the style of Binding of Isaac but not. A difficult, but well optimised and skill based dungeon-crawling challenge.

We’d love to get your feedback on the show. If you have a few minutes to give us your thoughts, we’d really appreciate it.

Take Survery

In this week’s news:

Everywhere

Leslie Benzies, after departing from Rockstar, has formed Square Peg Games who are developing a new title called Everywhere. It claims to be “A video game that simulates and fuses the real world with the virtual. Live your own stories as you live in ours.” Which basically means nothing at this point. In comparison, games like Death Stranding are similar in their vague marketing, attempting to generate hype through confusion. Needless to say this didn’t work out the last time with No Man’s Sky. However, we’re more than happy to wait and see.

Apocalypse Now

For some reason, Apocalypse Now is being adapted into a video game. It comes with the blessing of Director of the original film, Francis Ford Coppola. Apocalypse Now is being crowdfunded on Kickstarter, it’s a wonder why anyone would be interested in such a game. The original Heart of Darkness, the inspiration behind Apocalypse Now, has already been adapted into the controversial Spec Ops: The Line. A game that provided a strong counter point at the height of the Modern Military Shooter genre. Currently the game has yet to reach it’s crowdfunding goal.

Mass Effect Andromeda

Next in the Mass Effect series, following the incredibly successful original Trilogy is Andromeda. Powered by the Frostbyte engine, developed by Bioware with a whole new cast of characters in a new galaxy. However, it appears and feels like no-one really cares that the game is coming out. Historically, the game series has been one of the pinnacle points in storytelling in video games. It’s a huge cultural phenomenon and it’s ending lives in infamy. Joseph speculates that the hype train disaster left by No Man’s Sky has finally made players more cautious about what they invest themselves into.

The Avengers Project

Square Enix have teamed up with Marvel and announced that they’ll be releasing a series of games on The Avengers. With development being pulled in from Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal, it’s interesting to speculate as to what kind of game they’ll be developing. With Tomb Raider and Deus Ex as their flagship titles, the two development studios may go for the same formula. Something cinematic, linear and action orientated. However, Sid speculates that this may be an opportunity to take the Overwatch gameplay mechanics and apply it to a property, like the Avengers, and compete directly in that space.

 

In this episode of I’m Just Playin’ we take on the difficult topic of Steam Support and it’s utter abysmal system.

As always, we begin our episode with the games that we’re playing this week. After a long time of waiting, Sid’s anticipation for the newly released Urban Empire became a massive disappointment. It’s themes, ideas, mechanics and fidelity are great. However, when all combined, it is an extremely dull and unrewarding experience where you’re sitting around waiting for things to happen.

We’d love to get your feedback on the show. If you have a few minutes to give us your thoughts, we’d really appreciate it.

Take Survery

Joe’s been playing Broforce whilst he’s been ill. Easily one of the best platformers in recent history. Taking the best parts of nostalgia, classic platforming and then bringing it into the modern era. Excellent humour, intense gameplay and a never ending barage of explosions and ridiculousness, Broforce is one of Devolver Digital’s best.

Brian’s been continuing his ongoing challenge and actually played Alien: Isolation. A game which the other hosts absolutely refuse to play anymore. An incredible game that truly captures the spirit and ideas behind the Alien franchise. Now that Brian’s done his mandatory time with the game, he too will never return.

And then comes the bulk of the discussion. Steam is under fire, this time from ESPN and a very strange article about the CSGO gambling problem that young people have been encountering. With interviews from young players who have developed an addition to gambling on these sites. The article paints a surprisingly positive light on CSGO Lotto owners Trevor Martin and Tom Cassell. Furthermore, Valve appear to be taking most of the blame in this editorial.

Which leads us to Steam and their absymal support system. We discuss the pitfalls and the impossibility of Valve creating a system that inherently fits their culture as a company and how they operate but still provides a solid support system to the players.

Following the livestream, the boys are back together to discuss the announced features and imminent release of the Nintendo Switch. As one of the pinnacle moments of 2017 looms ahead, we discuss everything from pricing to the games.

We start the show as usual, with all the games that we’ve been playing. Brian’s continuing his epic challenge. With eight games down and another eight hundred and something more, it’s nice to know he’s doing more than one a day. This week’s special is Alice: Madness Returns. A dark and twisted take on the novel by Lewis Carroll, the game play is a satisfactory and violent romp through Wonderland. Joseph’s been practising his drifting skills in Absolute Drift. Growing more and more envious as the day’s go by as he watches people much better than him in replays. Sid’s moaning about how he hates platformers, yet again.

The Nintendo Switch

And to the meat of the discussion. The Nintendo Switch was announced a couple of months back and is set to release in March 2017. Preorders are already sold out in classic Nintendo fashion. Mainly through the use of artificially creating demand through not allowing units to be sold. But no matter, they reveal the cool, new features that this hybrid console has to offer.

Everything about the console, from it’s battery life, pricing and lineup is just okay. There’s nothing inherently extremely good or extremely bad about the device and what it comes with. The pricing for it’s accessories and games is egregious. Naturally, Joseph is overly excited and hyped for the release regardless. Brian won’t be purchasing at all. Sid’s on the fence. There’s no real reason for him to buy it. And no real reason not to buy it.