Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Dec 072018

Last night was The Game Awards 2018. While I couldn’t watch the whole thing live, I caught up on it later.

The show’s structure puzzles me. It’s devoted to the Game Awards, yet some awards aren’t announced in the show itself… and this year, the pre-show included some award announcements and world premieres?

Despite the blurry line between pre-show and actual show (and my disappointment when I checked the full list afterwards and saw that The Missing didn’t win), this was definitely one of the better years. So let’s take a look at the announcements that were personal highlights for me.

I was somewhat intrigued by Journey to the Savage Planet, although now that I’ve looked into it more, it sounds like it won’t emphasize its story too much. I’ll keep my eye on it, but I’m not sure it’s for me.

A little while later, another premiere revealed The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe. I loved The Stanley Parable. It was one of my top games of 2013. This new version will have new endings and choices, and it’s planned for both PC and consoles. The trailer was great, and I’ll definitely get this when it comes out.

Supergiant Games has a new game coming out called Hades. Well… actually it’s out now in Early Access, but I’d rather wait for the full release. This also reminded me that I should play Transistor eventually…

And now, of course, there’s the announcement I already showed in the page image, the one with the most credible rumors, Crash Team Racing! Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled is a remake (remaster?) coming to the PS4, Xbox One, and Switch and it looks beautiful.

(It also appears to confirm split-screen multiplayer, even though they haven’t specifically mentioned it.)

Moving on, Obsidian announced its new game, a single-player RPG called The Outer Worlds. It’s described as having a “player-driven story,” and the world shown in the trailer gave me some Borderlands vibes. I’ll be keeping my eye on it.

The Last Campfire also looks cute.

Another rumor came true with the tease of the next Dragon Age game. While it’s just a tiny teaser that basically shows nothing, it does confirm the one thing I wanted… it will follow the plot set up in Inquisition!

(So, is this game going to be called Dragon Age: The Dread Wolf Rises, or is that just the tagline? Because I took it as a tagline until I saw people using the hashtag like it’s the name of the game.)

Now let’s hope that when we do get something more substantial about it, it looks like a good game with a good story.

A new game called The Pathless was revealed, and it looks like it could be interesting.

And at last, we we got a full trailer for Psychonauts 2! I’ve been a little nervous about this game since I love Psychonauts so much and because Broken Age left me a little disillusioned with Double Fine, but the trailer looks great.

Finally, in the surprise announcement of the night, Joker from Persona 5 was announced for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a DLC character, which I definitely never saw coming.

I was disappointed that we didn’t get any Bayonetta 3 footage, and I wasn’t too invested in the awards themselves since I haven’t played most of them yet, but on the other hand, I’m excited for Crash Team Racing, Psychonauts is looking great, I have hope for Dragon Age, and several interesting games were announced.

What did you think of The Game Awards 2018 and its announcements? And don’t forget, while it was the big night for announcements, we have Yakuza news coming tomorrow!

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Nov 302018

Not only do we have Yakuza and/or Project Judge news coming soon, but it sounds like Dragon Age news is planned for December as well.

BioWare’s November update post includes a tease of upcoming Dragon Age news:

Dragon Age is an incredibly important franchise in our studio, and we’re excited to continue its legacy. Look for more on this in the coming month (though I won’t tell you where to look…)”

That sounds like it might not be something as obvious as a trailer, maybe more like a quiet hint about the next game. On the other hand, it could just be to keep it more mysterious.

I’ve enjoyed all three Dragon Age games, but Dragon Age Inquisition left me conflicted due to the separation of its main plot and exploration, as well as its weak villain. I hope the next Dragon Age game has stronger storytelling.

(Although since Mass Effect: Andromeda also left me conflicted and had an even worse villain, I’m not as hyped for a new BioWare game as I used to be.)

The post also makes a brief mention of Mass Effect, basically just to say they have future plans for the series.

Some people think they might announce a fourth Dragon Age in December, while a lot of other fans think it might be something different, like a remaster of Dragon Age: Origins.

While I did have some issues with Inquisition, I enjoyed it in general and thought it set up a sequel pretty well. If they do announce the next game, I hope it continues the story that began in Inquisition (even if it isn’t an “Inquisition 2”) rather than picking up somewhere else.

Where do you think the Dragon Age series is going from here? What are you hoping for?

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Jan 262018

I’m a Dragon Age fan.

I loved Dragon Age: Origins and I found Dragon Age 2 and Inquisition to be enjoyable, despite flaws I saw in each.

Although I felt Inquisition had a split personality and some disappointing story elements, the Trespasser DLC left me intrigued about where the story might go next.

So I was excited when a report surfaced that BioWare is hard at work on the next Dragon Age game… and wary when Kotaku’s recent article on Anthem mentioned that their sources say development on the next Dragon Age game was rebooted “to implement more ‘live’ elements into the game.”

“Live” elements? What does that mean?

The whole thing sounded disturbingly similiar to EA’s explanation about shutting down Visceral Games and changing direction for their Star Wars game because the market doesn’t want linear, single-player games.

Dragon Age: Inquisition already suffered (in my opinion) from all of its open world elements, and Mass Effect: Andromeda handled it even worse. Watching Dragon Age drift even further in another direction doesn’t appeal to me.

Fortunately, it might not be that bad. BioWare’s Casey Hudson responded to fans by saying the next Dragon Age will still be focused on its story and characters, and that the “live” elements are part of “designing a game for continued storytelling after the main story.”

At first, this just sounds like DLC, but that doesn’t make sense. The previous Dragon Age games continued their stories with post-game DLC. You wouldn’t need to reboot development to allow for post-game DLC, and that’s not a “live” element.

And if it’s continuing the story, it doesn’t sound like multiplayer, either.

After thinking about it, this sounds to me more like the sort of in-game events from MMORPGs brought to a single-player game, like how Final Fantasy XV had the “Assassin’s Festival” event. (That specific event was a crossover, but others wouldn’t have to be.) It’s a story addition added to the game at a certain time, and then it disappears at a certain time. To me, that sounds like a “live” way the story continues.

However, if that’s what they have in mind for Dragon Age, I’m not sure I like it. I didn’t play the Assassin’s Festival event in Final Fantasy XV, but it still bothers me that a story event was added to a single-player game and will be taken away at the end of this month.

But who knows? What do you think the “live” elements in the next Dragon Age game will be like? How do you think they will affect the game?

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