5 Conclusions - 18/05/18
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: Pokemon Go will be usurped by another RPG?
Since the summer of 2016 the world has been Pokemon Go Mad. Now, let’s be clear, a lot of people on Earth have been mad for Pikachu and company for a great many years, since 1996 and the first game in the massively successful gaming franchise — did you know it’s the third–highest selling series in history behind Mario and Super Mario (yes, Nintendo does have the top three highest selling game series ever — get over it)?
Pokemon Go was the phenomenon’s first foray into mobile gaming and meant that for days and weeks (and in many cases still now, years later) people were walking around the real world finding and catching Pokemon, facing off against others and generally trying to catch ‘em all. In many ways it was a true RPG, with people taking on the role of Pokemon hunter in the real world. It was glorious to see something so enshrined in gaming history take over the real world, and real lives. Pretty much everyone was at it.
It’s probably then no surprise that Pokemon is coming to the Nintendo Switch, likely in two colours and perhaps with its own accessory. This will be a Pokemon RPG and is going to be announced at E3 officially, by all accounts. Personally I’m hoping for a chance to build my squad as Pikachu, the fabulous leader, and lead them all to some form of glory a la Shepard and Geralt. Could you imagine?
Conclusion Two: If I could turn back time…
...if I could find a way
I’d take back those lines of code that hurt you
And you’d work
Clearly various employees of Google are blasting out their karaoke versions of Cher’s mega-hit because a recent update to Google Chrome totally broke various browser-based games, leading to them rolling back to an older version of the leading browser software.
In a really good move, Google want to stop videos autoplaying as soon as you go to a website. This is a fantastic idea for a megaton of reasons. Unfortunately, when you don’t follow an idea through to all the resultant outcomes, you then hit a snag, in this case, where games became unplayable as a result of the great idea (in theory).
Google will make this change again in the future according to an update from a Google product manager working on Chrome, but after they’ve given devs time to make changes such that it won’t cause their delightful web-based titles to fail big time.
Conclusion Three: The Pillars of Eternity do not last forever
Recently folks got the chance to get hold of and play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, a title which those of us at Jump Dash Roll were super excited by and enjoyed a great deal as you can see from our recent review.
The game’s title however is somewhat misleading. I know this because one supremely skilled gamer has completed the game in an astounding twenty–six minutes.
Speedrunning is a thing which always drops my jaw and here, when the game has been out just a short while and is meant to take anything up to fifty or so hours, it does so with extreme velocity. Yes Onin, the speedrunner in question here, may have picked a particular route and utilised some help along the way (Blessings enabled quicker collection of gold), but that’s how speedrunning works. Find a way to beat the game as quickly as possible. In competition there might be different groups of speedruns, where one is an any percentage completion, others with all bosses beaten and so on, but glitches and utilisation of any help available is totally allowed.
It’s obvious that our reviewer has a lot to learn about how to actually, you know, git gud, at Pillars II. (Bite me - Ed).
Conclusion Four: It IS Black Ops IIII
So Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII was announced this week, via a lovely little video which can be seen below:
We have learnt a few things from this. First of all it is Black Ops IIII, utilising the alternative Roman numeral system as detailed by Eurogamer a few months back when people first saw a teaser and wondered quite what Activision were doing. Secondly there is no single-player game because apparently Black Ops players don’t play it for that — average ones, at least.
There are a bunch of zombie modes because that is still the most obvious thing you expect to find in a Call of Duty game about Black Ops but perhaps most unsurprisingly of all we have Blackout mode, which is a Battle Royale. So basically Activision have decided to copy Fortnite, PUBG and so on because they’re concerned the fourth largest game series ever might struggle otherwise. Those guys are flattered, I’m sure.
Conclusion Five: Ubisoft will release games at any time now
Ubisoft’s 17–18 financial results were released this week. Overall they posted impressive numbers with total sales up 18.6% to €1.731 billion, according to Daniel Ahmad.
Some other highlights from the results and the corresponding conference call to investors and suchlike (shared by @ZhugeEX) included the following juicy pieces of information:
- Assassin’s Creed: Origins had record performance for an AC game in its release quarter
- Far Cry 5 is Ubi’s second biggest release ever
- Before end April 19 we will see The Division 2, The Crew 2 and an unannounced title which we will here more about at E3 in June
- Ubisoft are working to take advantage of the Battle Royale trend (like everyone else, then)
Perhaps the most exciting piece of info shared, and again relayed by Daniel Ahmad, is the fact that Ubisoft have recognised the industry is changing and games released at previously unusual times of the year have done well — they will now not be afraid to delay a game’s release ahead of ensuring its quality, even if that means its release will be outside of a traditional big window.