Train-Wrecks and Laughing Bystanders: Gaming’s end of year report card

I thought, rather hoped, that last year’s small trend of releasing broken and untested schlock would follow through with a well deserved death. Such releases that deserved this were The Master Chief Collection with it’s STILL broken online multiplayer component, and Assassin’s Creed Unity became a laughing stock for how incredibly broken it was. Performance issues, numerous bugs, and my childhood nightmare come to life of floating faces on characters. No heads at all!

It seems unpolished fecal releases are have not died off yet in terms of game releases this year. PC ports seemed to be more prominent for this plague, and their cases were terminal for their success on the platform. This year, WB Games has been especially guilty of this. Batman: Arkham Knight had working copies on the Xbox One and PS4, while it’s PC port saw a turbulent time. Released, found to be broken, taken down to be fixed, and then re-released only found to still be broken except if you had extreme hardware specs. Mortal Kombat X had performance issues for it’s PC version, which at time of writing appear to have been patched out according to community reports.

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round released in an unfinished state on Steam, missing its online component. Just Cause 3 was released this month, and it’s already been reported that there are numerous engine and frame-rate issues. Lastly, Fallout 4 launched with numerous issues ranging from objects and items becoming invisible, to bugged quests, and crashes. People always say that QA testing is a way to get your foot in the door for this industry. In my eyes, you better lean towards independent developers for this, because it doesn’t even seem like AAA studios and publishers even dabble with this anymore.

2015 was not good to some games, as we also saw plenty of titles released that were short on content to keep players around. For the good amount of multiplayer only games that released this year, this is effectively a death sentence. It was so far one game by the name Evolve. An ambitious asymmetrical 4 vs. 1 multiplayer game. After the game’s two beta periods and it’s release, it found it’s player base dwindling dramatically, as most of the game had to offer was already seen, and nothing kept them coming back. Star Wars Battlefront seems to be heading into this territory as well, with prominent YouTube gaming personalities like TotalBiscuit and Dunkey, as well as various community players reporting that the game only has 2-3 worthwhile modes, and there’s a good chance you will find boredom after 5 hours of playing. I hope for fans of the new game, Rainbow Six Siege, will have plenty of content to have them not regret their purchase. However, as it just released at the beginning of this month, it is too early to tell.

That’s not to say slim amounts of content are limited to multiplayer games. The Order: 1886 was designed to be a movie in game clothing. Gameplay cutscenes with less interactivity than Visual Novels, the inability to do anything but what the game deems okay, and a length of total play time that just leaves you disappointed. It’s just like a lot of cinema releases as of late, so they achieved their goal. I’m not sure if it was worth it.

Not to say the whole year was negative, as there were plenty of good releases this year too. Metal Gear Solid V was a solid experience, despite the cut content and after release actions of it’s publisher Konami. Splatoon was a surprise juggernaut hit, with over 2 million sales since it’s release in May, and is getting regular updates of content. Dying Light was released by the same developers of Dead Island, and while they are similar titles, Dying Light is a lot more refined than it’s few years old cousin. Rocket League created a new e-sport shortly after it’s release, and is just as enjoyable to watch as it is to play. Super Mario Maker gave people the ability to make their own Super Mario Bros stages without needing knowledge of rom hacking. Mad Max was an immersive game of awesome car combat, and bland Arkham-style ground combat. Vermintide is an excellent L4D clone that is different enough to stand on it’s own merits, and does it well since many of the issues I reported were fixed.

To conclude this report, a small disclaimer. Any game you did not see in this report, I either do not have sufficient information to base an opinion, or I have not played it. This goes for many indie games, which are piling up on steam as of late. That said, for the year in general gaming: Indie titles have prospered where they can, and AAA releases for the most part have imitated my cousins dog on the carpet. If you buy games digitally, don’t pre-order. Wait until release to see if a game is like the dog, and save yourself from parting with your money for something you will regret.



GRADE:                                C- : More effort required in project work

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Cody Poirier

Cody Poirier is an Entrepreneurship major, and is the Lifestyle section editor, business manager and a critic for the University Chronicle. He wastes his time so you don't have to.

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