Thursday, 17 December 2015

The 2015 Wrap Up

Here we are again, with 2015 almost gone. I generally think this year has been a great year for gaming in general, with some really good games being released this year. For me, it saw a big change in how I approach games too. Trying not to buy into the hype of big games has been a great choice for me, as I generally feel more positive about games in general because of it because I don't get let down by an over hyped game.

It seems that I like to start with the bad and end on a high note however, so let's dive into some of the muck from this year. To start, the PC release of Batman Arkham Knight was so buggy that it was pulled from sale to be fixed. And when WB finally re-released it, it was still a steaming pile of bugs that meant they had to continue to offer refunds from all outlets. At the time, I called out WBIE for handing off the PC port to Iron Galaxy Studios, but news came out later than they knew about the issues well before the release, leading them to delay the release twice. WB has since said they are "modifying the internal review process for all of our games". I tell you what WB, I'll do it for you for free: if you know the game doesn't work, don't release it. Modification done.

I played Battlefront during the beta, and was left feeling underwhelmed by it. People have been saying it's just a Battlefield 4 re-skin, but that couldn't be further from the truth and if it was just BF4 with a Star Wars them, I would probably enjoy it a lot more. From an audio visual standpoint, the game is perfect, especially the audio. From a gameplay standpoint however, it feels like it's lacking something to really make it stand out. All of the blasters have a randomized element that negates a little bit of skill, and while the cards and unlock system makes it a little more balanced, I actually prefer the Battlefield style of unlocks. But the biggest thing stopping me from buying it is the outrageous price EA is asking for it. At $90, it feels like a poor deal for what is on offer, especially when you then have to buy a season pass for $60 to keep up with all the DLC maps that will be added to the game. I genuinely think that if the game was $40 for the base and $30 for the season pass, I'd probably have bought it at launch but for what you get, $150 does not feel worth it.

On to far more positive things. This year also saw Steam add a refund option. All I can say about this is that it was about time. For far too long developers had been able to drop any old broken, buggy, non-functioning piles of crap they called games onto steam and if you bought it, you were then stuck with this non functioning game. Going back to the Arkham games, Arkham Origins was released buggy too, and when asked if they were going to fix it, WB responded by saying they were "working hard on the upcoming story DLC" and that there were no plans to release another patch to address the issues players were reporting. With Arkham Knight, WB were quick to remove it from sale to stop the flood of refunds they were no doubt experiencing. I don't want to praise Steam too much for adding refunds, because it should have been there from the start, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.

The standout surprise in 2015 for me has without a doubt been Rocket League. I heard nothing about the game until a day before release when a streamer I follow on Twitch was playing it. The idea of the game really impressed me, and it looked fun to play, so I bought it and gave it a go. For a game that I knew basically nothing about until I was actually playing it, Rocket League has really impressed me. As I mentioned in my top 10 list, I'm also really impressed by Psyonix and how they are releasing DLC, with only cars and cosmetics locked behind the paywall. All in all, Rocket League is brilliant game.

2015 has generally been great, and I've loved most of the game I played this year. But all good things come to an end, and I really hope that 2016 can be as good as 2015 has been. Roll on the new year!

As always,


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