Cell-Shade Tinted Glasses
After a (hopefully) wonderful spring break, a new quarter has arrived. With it comes new classes, challenges, opportunities, and of course, more games to binge. Now that finals week is a semi-distant memory, there’s never been a better time to find more games to play. Quite an eventful few weeks for the gaming industry, with another gaming juggernaut playing its hand. Gearbox studios have announced another entry in the Borderlands series, Borderlands 3. Interestingly enough, Borderlands may actually come under both the good and the bad categories, for various reasons. In other news, the game that everyone loves to hate on, Anthem has once again come under fire. An article written by reporter Jason Schreier has detailed just how Bioware’s newest and attempted IP failed so badly. There is another zombie game coming out, based on the book/movie World War Z. Without further fanfare, it’s time to get into it.
If you played any looter-shooters over the past few years, it’s nigh impossible to have not across the Borderlands series. With Borderlands 1 and 2 releasing in 2009 and 2012, the series has received critical acclaim for their role-playing, loot, and open world gameplay, not to mention multiple unique aspects like the cell-shaded graphics and hilarious story. Needless to say, gamers around the world have been eagerly waiting for a sequel. While there was another Borderlands title, Borderlands:The Pre-Sequel, the game was not a “true” sequel in audiences eyes. So when Borderlands 3 was announced with a trailer just a few days ago, the internet went wild. Incorporating characters from every entry in the series, the game looks to be yet another mayhem fueled adventure. From the trailer, it seems like Borderlands 3 will involve multiple worlds for the first time in the series, and the cell-shaded graphics look as incredible as ever. With a release date of 13 September 2019, it’s time to dust off the old vault hunter gloves.
Unfortunately, It can’t all be praise for Gearbox’s new title. Borderlands 3 has already come under fire for being an Epic Game Store exclusive. Metro: Exodus had taken quite a lot of flack from this debacle, and Borderlands is no exception. The same people who were excited over the new announcement were incensed by the exclusivity, and have taken to review-bombing the previous Borderlands titles on Steam. There are many reasons why the exclusivity of the Epic Store has gamers upset. For starters, the Epic Store has been shown many times to be a security risk,with major bugs on the Epic Store giving hackers access to millions of player accounts just a few months ago. Furthermore, the Epic Store lacks a lot of features that Steam has possessed for years, including but not just limited to social features, cloud saving, controller supports, achievements, and much more. Finally, the exclusivity is just not consumer friendly. The Master Chief Collection received great praise for their decision to put the PC port on Steam, and for years now, it’s been generally accepted that for the majority of PC games, it’ll be on Steam. My thoughts on the issue are about the same. I don’t really find an issue that Gearbox has decided to put the game on the Epic Games Store. It’s better for their profits, and they felt that doing this was best for their bottom line. However, I do concur that it’s consumer unfriendly, and that the Epic Games Store is worse than Steam at best, and a massive security risk at worst.
Bioware just can’t catch a win these days. Jason Shreier, a semi-famous and very reliable reporter for Kotaku has released an article that attempts to identify how Bioware Studio’s looter-shooter Anthem went so wrong. The article cites many factors, but one that jumps out the most seems to be the massive lack of direction that the developers had when producing the game. Another red flag was that some Bioware had believed in “Bioware Magic”, a period where their employees crunched and somehow just have everything “magically” come together. With two large scale failures in Mass Effect: Andromeda, and now Anthem, Bioware has to really take a step back and look inwards. Once the article dropped, the company had apparently sent staff-wide emails with a simple message “Don’t talk to the press.” Bioware has released an official response, but it’s been widely panned as a corporate response. It’s truly a shame to see that the developers of once incredible titles like the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series have fallen so far. Shreier has further added that Bioware GM Casey Hudson will host an all-hands meeting for the company in the weeks to come. Here’s hoping that Bioware can get back to their old glory.
As we troop closer to E3, more and more studios have deigned to drop some teasers. I’ve already mentioned Borderlands 3, but World War Z, a zombie shooter that is based on the movie (not the book), has once again popped up on the radar. In what seems like a modern Left 4 Dead, players take control of characters as they fight zombies throughout cities across the world. Zombies in World War Z are numerous and deadly, looking like a swarm of ants rather than slow ambling horrors. A new gameplay trailer unveiled some of the various aspects of the game, including a progression system that allows players to improve their guns and characters. The game looks really promising, but has quite a lot of competition in the form of Days Gone. We’ll have to wait and see to find out who ends up winning the zombie-game fight. World War Z releases on the PC, PS4, and XBOX One on April 16 2019.
And that’s about it for gaming news this week. Other than some new game announcements, we’ve reached a relative quiet as we wait for games to start being announced or released. Till then, stay safe, keep your energy levels high, and be prepared for anything that spring quarter throws your way.
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