Glory, Games, and Gossip

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EMILY MOZZONE • THE SPECTATOR

Intent is Everything


We’re now settling fully into spring quarter, with more homework and tests being thrown at us as we tread the last stretch before yet another summer. As we approach the midpoint of spring, making sure one is able to relax by doing some leisure activities (such as gaming) becomes more important than ever. Thus, it’ll be useful to know what’s been going on in the gaming world for this week. After the tragic loss of the Notre-Dame in Paris, Ubisoft has won favor in the gaming industry, as they have offered their France-based game, “Assassin’s Creed Unity” for free and donated $500,000 towards the Notre Dame’s restoration. “Cuphead,” an indie game that won the hearts of millions has come up with another update that has added story content and some new secret boss routes. Fortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any bad news this week for the gaming industry, other than a debacle over upcoming fighting game, “Mortal Kombat 11.” Without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

EMILY MOZZONE • THE SPECTATOR
EMILY MOZZONE • THE SPECTATOR

The Good

Ubisoft studios has been an excellent comeback story for the gaming industry. A company that was once bashed by critics worldwide for unfinished, buggy, and downgraded games has clawed its reputation back with hard work and dedication to their games. “Rainbow Six: Siege,” “The Division,” and the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise are testaments to Ubisoft’s determination and vision to making good games despite rocky starts. Furthermore, as of a couple days ago, Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed Unity” is now the most realistic depiction of Notre Dame, as the original cathedral unfortunately suffered serious damage on the evening of 15 April 2019. Ubisoft has kindly donated half a million pounds towards the restoration of the Paris landmark, and has made the game free-to-play, in order to “give everyone the chance to experience the majesty and beauty of the Notre-Dame.” The gaming industry was quick to praise the actions of Ubisoft, with audiences quickly flocking to drop positive reviews on Steam. It’s incredible to think that a video game now has the best representation of a once beautiful landmark, but it is a testament to how meticulous the developers were when they created “Unity.” In fact, the modeling for Notre-Dame done for “Unity” may actually prove helpful as the French government moves to rebuild it. Regardless, Ubisoft’s actions have won them quite a few brownie points, and they are fast becoming a model organization in the gaming world.

Next on the list for good gaming decisions, “Cuphead,” developed by StudioMDHR and released in 2017 has come up with another update to their already critically acclaimed title. Fully animated cutscenes, The ability to play as Mugman as well as some other unannounced pieces of content. The support for “Cuphead” is admirable given that for titles of this genre, most companies would only support the game for a year at most. The indie game genre has gained in popularity over the last few years, and who can blame them? If all indie games are on the caliber of “Cuphead,” I welcome our new indie overlords.

Who’s Next?/The Bad

I figured it might be easier if I lumped both categories together for this column, as “Mortal Kombat 11” is both coming up next, as well as the only source of bad news I’ve seen this week so far. The game itself releases April 23, and from trailers looks like an excellent addition to the storied franchise. The last trailer incorporated the classic “Test your might” theme song to the delight of fans everywhere. However, Leaks for the game have unveiled a microtransaction system that has polarized gamers before the title has officially launched. Netherrealm Studios, those behind the “Mortal Kombat” series were previously criticized for their microtransaction system in “Injustice 2,” many players citing frustration with the unnecessarily long grind. If they hadn’t learnt from their previous mistakes, the reaction may not go over well.

Despite this, the game does not look bad. Developers have been unveiling characters week over week, and their graphical and gameplay improvements have been apparent from day 1. Netherrealm has also gone on record to explain that their monetary systems would not affect gameplay, only cosmetic changes. There are multiple attitudes to this situation, some of them indecisive, some indifferent, some indignant. Personally, as a long-time fan and player of the “Mortal Kombat” series, I’m upset, but I have faith that the game will still be great. “Mortal Kombat 11” releases on April 23, 2019 on all consoles, as well as the Nintendo Switch.

And that is about it! This week was a positive one for gaming, and as we approach more and more video game releases, like “Days Gone” and more, The potential of the gaming world looks better and better.

The editor may be reached at
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