The Crew 2 – a bad start but can it recover?

The morning Inbox discusses parents using video games as a free babysitter, as one reader suggests Nintendo buy the 007 licence.

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Second chance

So it seems pretty obvious that The Crew 2 has been a complete flop, which seem pretty unusual for Ubisoft who have been running a tight ship lately in terms of quality and success. But it made me think what happens when a game that big fails. Thousands of people must’ve worked on it (Ubisoft always seems to have the biggest credit screens) and I guess there’s probably a good chance that the developer will now be shut down, especially if there’s no demand for a sequel.

Like most of Ubisoft’s games, heck like most everyone’s at the moment, it’s a game as a service title which means that they must’ve been hoping for lots of money afterwards. Which means they might actually keep it going for longer than usual? Rainbow Six Siege wasn’t a flop when it started but it wasn’t a great game and it took it at least six months for people to really like it.

I guess what I’m saying is that games may have found a way out of the problem of if they’re not a hit in the first week or so they’re doomed. We’ve all seen games being cut in price just weeks after release but I’m going to bet that won’t happen with The Crew 2 and Ubisoft will just try and ride it out until the game gets good.

A lot of people are wary of games as a service, and I understand why, but in this case at least it seems like a built-in second chance, and I think that’s a good thing. No need to give up straight away, not with so many people’s jobs on the line and a potentially cool idea that just hasn’t been fully realised yet.


All-new retro

Only played a couple of hours so far but Octopath Traveler is a pretty gorgeous looking game for something that’s so purposefully retro. I love the ‘HD-2D’ look and the animation on the little characters is super cute. I haven’t had many battles yet but the first one I think I got the gist of it and it seems pretty interesting. Got killed very quickly by the first boss and then on my second try beat him fairly easily, so I think that shows there is something to it and you have to think about it pretty carefully.

Can’t say anything definitive about it yet, given how little I’ve played it, but I’ll say it already looks 10 times more interesting than I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear. I hope that Square Enix give a lot of support to these guys as I really liked Bravely Default too and it’s obvious to me that this is the team that is doing the best retro style role-players around at the moment.

I also hope they continue to do original games too. I’ve seen a lot of people saying they should remake Final Fantasy VI or do a sequel but that seems like such a waste. If they’ve got a B-team or something then sure, I guess, but I’d rather see new games. Just because it’s retro styled doesn’t mean I don’t want to be surprised.


Licence to port

Me and some friends were arguing about whether Nintendo should make their own first person shooter. The obvious thing to do is another Perfect Dark, but since they can’t maybe the next best thing would be another James Bond game? As was mentioned recently nobody seems to own the Bond licence anymore so they could step in to get and then making they’re own brand new shooter.

Naturally I’d be imagining them making it a lot like GoldenEye 007 but updated, but I think that’s perfectly fine. It’d be like a spiritual sequel. There’s a whole bunch of reasons they probably wouldn’t, including this being Daniel Craig’s last outing and them probably wanting to own all their own properties 100%.

Because of course if you don’t you get into the position we’re in now where nobody cane re-release or update GoldenEye. But wouldn’t Nintendo buying the licence smooth that out as well?

GC: There’s nothing stopping Nintendo buying the James Bond licence, but the source code for GoldenEye 007 still belongs to Rare/Microsoft so that would mean they only own two of three parts of the puzzle.


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Beautiful diversion

I haven’t played many Assassin’s Creed games before origins (Assassin’s Creed III, Black Flag, Rogue, and some Unity) and I loved Origins. Yet it didn’t feel quite like an Assassin’s Creed game. I just bought the rest of the series – Assassin’s Creed I, Ezio collection, and Syndicate – just played through the first one, playing the second one now, halfway through Brotherhood.

Odyssey would have come out (I’ll play that until Fallout 76, and that until Just Cause 4) but when I go back to my save in Origins I get confused with the combat system, and free-running is completely different. It feels less of a sneaky assassin game and more of a gun-ho juggernaut kill-all-else game.

And looking at Odyssey, I haven’t seen any aspect of stealth, just being a bloody Spartan, who are know for being extremely violent. For me, the series has taken a turn for the worse with Origins. Although the beautiful game it is, it doesn’t belong in this franchise.


Family tested

RE: Dramer and kid-friendly games. Nathan Baseley has already mentioned some great games here and I agree with all of them. I would also add some other titles to the list, if they haven’t been played already.

My boys are 11 and five and play, amongst others, Rocket League, Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime, Overcooked! (already mentioned), SpeedRunners, Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 1 and 2, Grow Up and Grow Home, Burnout Paradise Remastered, and SteamWorld Dig. These are all either PEGI 3 or PEGI 7 from recollection. Sonic Mania and Rayman Legends are also well worth a look.


Secret fans

So I came across this story about how Star Citizen has stopped allowing refunds and that just seemed to confirm to me what I’d always assumed: that the ‘game’ is nothing but an elaborate con. Except when I looked into it a bit more a lot of players seem to pretty happy with how things have turned out and are saying the game (or the ‘modules’ I should say, since it’s not a complete game yet) are a lot of fun.

It’s shocking to me to see how many millions of dollars the game has attracted in crowdfunding, the sort of money that makes Shenmue III look like nothing. And yet you never hear anyone talking about it and I don’t even know anyone that particularly likes Wing Commander, that they would have such unwavering faith in a crowdfunded game that’s been in the works for years and still shows no sign of being anywhere near finished.

Does anyone on the Inbox play it or have given any money towards it? The idea of a do-everything space combat simulator that’s like a less serious version of Elite seems great but the whole thing seems daunting and risky.


Tell me a story

I think all games should have a story and a talking protagonist. I hate games with no story.

I really hate online games because of that and they are all the same. If it is an online game and you can play co-op on two TVs in the same house, instead of split-screen, it’s fine. As long as it is a story driven game then it’s great.


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Interactive babysitter

I want to say first of all that I do believe parents have the right to let their children do and play whatever they like, and so in that sense age ratings are just a guidance. But I think we all know, without even reading that story, that the majority of parents are just using games as an unpaid babysitter and actively avoid knowing anything about the games they’re playing just so they can remain blissfully ignorant.

While there might have been excuses a few decades ago, every parent today has grown up knowing what video games are and probably playing them themselves. The ‘I had no idea they were so violent’ excuse just does not wash unless you not only completely avoid every video game ever but also all TV and newspaper coverage of them, every friend that is ever likely to talk to them, and every kid that has bent your ear about them.

But you can see from the stats that it’s not ignorance that’s the problem it’s a lack of responsibility. I’m sure there’s lots of good parents reading this who let their kids play 18-rated games and lots of equally good ones who have decided they’re not ready for them. Both of those are fine because it’s part of a considered opinion.

As much as some people might want to pretend it’s ‘only a game’ and ‘not real’ these are experiences a kid can be playing four or more hours a day more or less every day. Of course it’s going to have an effect on them, and acting shocked when it’s one you don’t like doesn’t suddenly make it not your fault.


Inbox also-rans

When will you be reviewing Jurassic World Evolution? As it’s now out on all formats.

GC: We reviewed it last month?

Oh, hey it looks like Duncan Jones is making a Rogue Trooper movie! Must be one of the things the Rebllion boss was talking about last time you interviewed him.


This week’s Hot Topic

Since we’re now halfway through the year, the subject for this weekend’s Hot Topic is what do you think of the last six months in gaming and what has been your favourite game so far?

2017 was lauded as one of the best ever for video games, so how is 2018 doing in comparison? What new games, that were released for the first time this year, have you enjoyed the most and do you feel any of them are all-time classics?

You can see our top 10 of the year so far here, but how does it compare to yours? If you haven’t bought many new games this year what have you been playing and what are you intending to get in the second half of the year?

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