5 Conclusions - 06/04/18
A regular look at gaming-related stories from the past week or so whereby conclusions are drawn from anything and everything. These may be incredibly well reasoned based on events from the week. Alternatively, they may be highly speculative, drawn from very little evidence. More likely, they will be somewhere in between.
Conclusion One: The pressure is gone; the valve is released
A few years back Valve turned their hands to hardware initiatives. The intent was to provide the world with Steam machines, using SteamOS as the (Linux-based) operating system of choice to deliver the best possible gaming experience.
The hardware was a platform, effectively, with other companies able to produce their own products based on that platform. It was all very exciting and it even came with a funky controller with touchpads in place of D-pads. It was Valve — so people were understandably excited.
Yet, until recently everyone had forgotten they existed. Everyone except Valve, who have since delisted them from their hardware store. Well, the direct links from the front page have gone, at least. Valve have since told us via their own blog that the whole idea isn’t totally kaput — but they won’t say right now what their plans are. That’s fine, Valve often doesn’t say anything and then stuff just drops. With their hardware it’s clear that some more critical, strategic thinking is required if their vision of the future gaming world is to become reality.
Conclusion two: Loot boxes exit from the shadow of war
We here at Jump Dash Roll have been following the swirl around loot boxes — and microtransactions — globally this calendar year. We perhaps have now the first tangible piece of progress such that it immediately impacts gamers: from May 8th gold will not be available for purchase, and loot boxes therefore will not be obtained by way of microtransactions.
Utterly brilliant. Is this the end? Let’s hope it kickstarts a real change in the way the industry views in-game purchases, random treasures and all the stuff in-between.
Conclusion Three: Somebody, somewhere, always loves dreadful games
I recently played through The 7th Guest, a game I’d wanted to play for 25 years, and found it to be utterly dreadful.
So of course some people who actually like it — love it, even — funded a proper sequel (ignoring the actual sequel The 11th Hour, obviously) a couple of years back and now it’s been made and is readied for release in October 2018.
The 13th Doll will be very much a true sequel, incorporating all the hideously obtuse puzzlers you could ask for, the wonderfully awful acting and even some of the same characters — and in one special case, actor — we know (and love?) from the original.
Some people have very strange tastes.
Conclusion 4: Re-enter The Dragon
If you’re a fan of the original Spyro the Dragon series on Playstation then you may be in for a 20 year anniversary treat. The rumour mill has gone into overdrive about a potential remaster for the PS4, not least thanks to this Amazon Mexico listing which appeared to suggest exactly that. If that wasn’t a big enough clue, another listing on Amazon India also included some possible screenshots. The purple one has never looked so pretty.
An update of the first three games (Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon) would certainly be in keeping with the current trend towards remasters.
As teasers go, Activision aren’t being particularly subtle about it. They’ve already been sending purple eggs to journalists with not-so-cryptic clues, while Activision itself has already stated that the release of Crash Bandicoot: N-Sane Trilogy was a success beyond their wildest expectations so it would make sense for them to ride this particular gravy train to the next destination. This trilogy was widely acclaimed during release, so we’ll be watching with interest to see what kind of touching up will be involved in any potential remaster.
Conclusion 5: Sony enters the Marvel Cinematic Universe on September 7th?
On September 7th 2018, Spider-Man will swing into action in New York City, specifically on Sony PlayStation 4. The game is coming from Insomniac, the developers behind Sony’s previously massive franchise, Resistance.
With the conclusion of Rocksteady’s Batman trilogy in 2015 with Batman: Arkham Knight, there has been a gap in the market for a proper superhero and a really good superhero game. Activision’s attempts at Spidey games in the past were never as strong as you’d expect a spider’s web to be, and hopes here are very high that we’ll get something truly silky and sticky in the palms of our hands.
What’s perhaps more intriguing is the fact that Marvel approached Sony and asked for the game to be made as if it were a first-party title, i.e. with the resources and support that God of War, or Horizon got. Whilst it doesn’t seem to be canon in the MCU, this alongside the way Disney and Marvel are curating their comic book characters really does ramp up the hope that we will get something very special indeed.