Take 5: JDR's Gaming Conclusions - 05/07/19

July 5, 2019

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: Speedrunning is bloody brilliant for charity

At Jump Dash Roll we’re big fans of speedrunning. It’s something we probably couldn't do as who’d play all the new games otherwise? But watching those who partake beat the original Super Mario Bros. in very few minutes, or the whole of Dark Souls in less time than most of us managed the character creation screen in, is utterly breathtaking. 

Games Done Quick has various speedrunning events littered throughout the year. We’ve mentioned how brilliant they are before as the purpose of the event is to raise monies for charity. The 2019 Summer event has just finished, and the ‘money raised’ record has been well and truly smashed. For the chosen charity of Doctors Without Borders, $3,003,889 has been raised thanks to people playing games quickly, and others watching them, then doffing their caps — and dipping into their pockets. That’s a stunning number, and blows away the previous best of $2,425,790.

Check out some highlights in the videos below:

Portal 2:

The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

Conclusion Two: It’s basically confirmed that we’re getting Half-Life 3, Portal 3 and Team Fortress 3 at the same time as Source 3!

Oh Gabe, you’re a cheeky one, aren’t you? Gabe Newell, co-founder and President of Valve, often talks about the possibility of a Half-Life 3 coming out. Given the first two games were at the time (and still?) the finest examples of first-person shooters around, and that they made the company — and Steam which launched with Half-Life 2 in 2004 — what it is today (read: a $2.5 billion company by all accounts), it’s no surprise that a new game in the series is teased at every opportunity. If nothing else it keeps the internet community salivating at the prospect of that particular megaton.

According to Techradar Newell has been doing it again. At the launch of the Valve Index VR handset he said the following:

“Milestones aren’t really the end of anything, they’re really the beginning. So Half-Life led to Half-Life 2, Source led to Source 2, the experiments that we did with Team Fortress 2 were what enabled us to build Dota… So, maybe someday the number 2 will lead us to that shiny integer glowing on a mountain someplace… we’ll just have to see.”

Well now. If that doesn’t meant that Source 3 is being developed so Valve can do justice to Gordon Freeman’s next chapter, in VR, followed by some more cake (it’s a lie!) and silly collaborative shooter fun, then I don’t know what it means. 

Conclusion Three: Something is afoot with Pro Evolution Soccer

Every year we get a new Pro Evolution Soccer game from Konami and a new FIFA game from EA. In the past — a long, long time ago — PES used to be the best. Some would argue it still is, but whether you adhere to that or have long-ago moved away entirely to FIFA, what can’t be argued is the commercial success of FIFA compared to PES. It’s gigantic

This year some changes are happening. Firstly it seems that Liverpool FC — Champions of Europe again right now — is now licensed to FIFA, having previously been with PES (this was worked out because Liverpool was a playable team in the FIFA E3 demo, something it wouldn’t be if licenced to PES as well as the very fact that the current CEO is Peter Moore, of ex-EA fame...). Since then Manchester United has been found to have replaced Liverpool as one of the proper teams in Konami’s title, according to Eurogamer.

Perhaps most bizarrely, PES 2019 has been pulled from PS Plus’ July lineup at the eleventh hour, with no explanation from Sony or anyone. I imagine it’s a licensing issue — possibly of the game itself between Konami and Sony but more likely due to the above changes impacting existing games, as well as the forthcoming PES 2020. I suspect once Sony realised their big July game would be radically changed in mere months, somebody got nervous this could lead to consumer concern in due course. Why bother with that when you can just drop in one of your triple-A titles in its stead?

So, in summary, PES licensing is awkward and in a state of flux, and this is playing out in such a way that bad things are happening for Konami, Sony wants no part and EA just chuckles now they it has the European champions on their books. 

N.B. In fact, since writing the above Konami has issued this statement detailing the termination of their contract with Liverpool FC.

Conclusion Four: Chun-Li is utilising her investigative skills in real life

Chun-Li is an investigative officer working for Interpol. Now, she is recruiting cops for the Osaka police force, alongside Ryu. 

Wait, back up a minute. Recruiting police officers?

Yes. You see, according to Capcom Street Fighter, and specifically Chun-Li and Ryu were:

“...Selected for the brand's powerful image, its popularity among a broad range of age groups, and the affinity that esports has with cyberspace, the characters will be featured in investigator recruiting advertisements with the aim of boosting awareness of and the number of investigators specializing in cyber-crime—a field that has seen a conspicuous rise in the number of incidents in recent years...”

So what’s actually happening is that flyers will be handed out and posters placed at Osaka police stations, all with the hopes of engaging candidates who will be well-suited to fighting cyber crime in Japan.

Why is this important, as well as just cool? Well, anything which brings our favourite pastime into the public gaze is good, and when it's in such a positive way as this as opposed to bad news, then how can it be anything else?

Conclusion Five: Cyberpunk 2077 will be incredibly personal

It’s inherent in an RPG that you are able to forge your own path and create your own story; the gameworld and the overarching narrative are merely parts of the framework within which you get to play. 

This can be true to a greater or lesser degree depending on the game, the developer’s vision and of course, the point in the space-time continuum the game was made as humanity continues its inexorable quest for progress. 

When CD Projekt Red is involved, it typically pushes that progress forwards, and it seems Cyberpunk 2077 is revealed daily to have something else which adds to it all. In conversation with Paweł Sasko, the lead quest designer for Cyberpunk 2077, VG247 learnt that there’s even a choice of three prologues to start with.

“The player in Cyberpunk 2077 can create a custom character that has one of three origin stories, that we call lifepaths: you can be Nomad, Corpo or Street Kid. Each of that Lifepaths has a different starting location and story background that are strongly connected with the origin story. Anything more I say can reveal too much from the story, so I will leave it like this.”

So from the moment you first load up the game you can choose one of three divergent paths. Given the size of the game and the customisation options within, the replayability — or opportunity to watch someone else play the game, or hear them talk about playing it — is going to be massive. That’s personal.

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Luciano Howard

I've been gaming for 30+ years on the Commodore VIC-20 to the Nintendo Switch and most things in-between. I enjoy all kinds of games but if I had to pick a couple right now, I'd say I adore Mario and love Dark Souls. I can talk about either ad infinitum...