Posts tagged " video games "

KD Radio Episode 12: Summertime and the Gaming is Easy

August 3rd, 2017 Posted by KD Radio - Your Non-Elitist/Retro Gaming Podcast, Podcasts No Comment yet

Join Shaline and Vendortron for a relaxing summertime chat about Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Fallout 4, tuberculosis, Kesha and more!

The new #KDRChallenge is to replay one of your old favorites on the hardest difficulty setting.Contact us at [email protected]

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KD Radio Episode 12: Summertime and the Gaming is Easy
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KD Radio Episode 3: The LatE3 Episode

July 6th, 2016 Posted by KD Radio - Your Non-Elitist/Retro Gaming Podcast, Podcasts No Comment yet

Tonight’s show is all about E3! Late I know, but we have a lot to say about it. Also we have our top 5 news and then our E3 picks and looking-forwards-too.

yay!

KD Radio Episode 3: The LatE3 Episode
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KD Radio Episode 1: The Games That Changed Us

May 14th, 2016 Posted by KD Radio - Your Non-Elitist/Retro Gaming Podcast, Podcasts No Comment yet

Our first episode of KD Radio and we are going to talk about our firsts: the games that changed our lives. We asked our listeners what games they remember changing them and we got a ton of feed back. Apart from that we have our top 5 video game news stories from the week about Battlefield 1, Call of Duty, Assassins creed and more!

KD Radio Episode 1: The Games That Changed Us
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Fallout Off The Record Episode 35: Reilly’s Rangers

March 13th, 2016 Posted by Fallout Off the Record No Comment yet

The crew at Fallout OTR went on an quest run in the Capital Wasteland with Reilly from Rielly’s Rangers. Apparently her crew went missing so our beloved Rick with the help of Shaline went after them. The audio is riveting as we expirence the tense battles, the gore and the tragedy in this rescue mission. Unfortunately for us the video was confiscated by the local chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel. Enjoy!

Fallout Off The Record Episode 35: Reilly’s Rangers
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Fallout OTR Spoilercast Episode 3: At The End Of It All

January 19th, 2016 Posted by Fallout Off the Record No Comment yet

*SPOILERS* This is our third spoilercast where Shaline and I go over our end game in Fallout 4. We don’t hold back with what we talk about so if you haven’t finished the game you might not want to listen. Shaline continues to be a shining star in the Commonwealth while my story didn’t go exactly as planned. We discuss the different routes we took as well as the choices that led to our final battles; who won, who survived and who has the least amount of regret. After all is said and done we speculate a little on DLC and a few other topics as well. We hope you enjoy the last part of our first journey through the Commonwealth as mush we did….or didn’t.

Fallout OTR Spoilercast Episode 3: At The End Of It All
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Shank’s Spiel: Uncovering My Destiny

July 31st, 2014 Posted by Shank's Spiel, Videos 1 comment

Destiny was perhaps the most confounding puzzle I’ve had to solve in a while. Specifically, I wanted to figure out exactly what Destiny is. Now, Dave will tell you that it’s nothing more than a Defiance clone in his endearingly trollish way, but I don’t subscribe to this.

It took me ages to figure out, but I finally puzzled out just what Destiny truly is. The answer may very well be different to those of you who played the beta over the last week and a half simply because your experience with the game was inherently different to mine. And that’s fine. But for me, I really needed to understand what this game is and crucially, what this game isn’t.

I admit that I was on an emotional roller coaster ride with the beta. And I don’t mean this in the way that The Last Of Us left me emotionally drained (and will do so again after I play through the Remastered edition…possibly next week’s Spiel). I began the beta with excitement, which then quickly deteriorated into disappointment.

I was disappointed by the seemingly repetitive gameplay, the shallow open play spaces, and the frequent and definitely noticeable frame drops. The Crucible, Destiny’s PVP, simply wasn’t compelling enough. I didn’t feel the urge to explore. The honeymoon was over.

It was during this disappointment lull when I realized I would have to tease out what Destiny actually is. This process took the better part of a week, but in the end, my findings were well worth the effort. And perhaps surprisingly, what I found wasn’t all that surprising.

After I made this realization, I began to have fun with the game again. I saw the game for what it was and understood what it wasn’t. Slowly but surely, I became cautiously optimistic for the game again.

And this is where you come in. You want to know what I puzzled out. My findings are multifaceted, so let’s explore them thusly. First and foremost, Destiny is absolutely not a “next gen” experience, nor did I ever take it for one. The term “next gen” is pretty much meaningless simply because I own a PC that is quite literally 3.5x more powerful than my PS4. Even on my older PC build from 2011, I was already enjoying “next gen” with the likes of Battlefield 3 with components more powerful than my PS4…in 2011.

Destiny is not some groundbreaking new experience that wasn’t available before. Sure, it may not have been possible on previous consoles, but this type of game has existed for years and years on the PC. Just because this type of experience wasn’t available on consoles does not make it “next gen.” It’s just “catching up” to PCs.

As a brief aside, what I experienced in The Crew beta truly blew me away. That is an experience I haven’t seen on consoles nor PCs. Even though an experience like this could have been done on PCs for years, the fact is it never was. While the visuals were average, a truly seamless open world United States on such a titanic scale is something I have never experienced before. Because of that, The Crew looks to be one of those upcoming titles that will provide a truly new experience.

Destiny is not an open world game either, despite the misleading marketing implying the game’s open world nature. The play spaces are too small to provide for truly rewarding exploration, with random “missions”…if you can even call them that…scattered throughout the world.

These missions are so banal and derivative that one wonders what Bungie actually intended to accomplish with the structure of these Explore missions. They are half-assed, weak, and provide no incentive to actually complete them. This Explore mechanic is by far and away Destiny’s weakest component.

Bungie should have either ditched these missions entirely and focused only on the story missions and multiplayer Crucible, or, they should have created a true open world where you really can travel to the distant horizons shown off by the skyboxes. The fact that Bungie failed to do either is an absolute travesty of what should have been.

But no, these useless asinine Explore missions are not why I am cautiously optimistic about this game.

The greatest realization I made about Destiny, the one realization that liberated me from my cavernous disappointment, is this: Destiny is simply Bungie’s next evolution of Halo. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Bungie learned a lot with Halo. You can see this learning throughout the games they worked on. Combat got tighter, movement more fluid, and story more epic. The culmination of a decade’s worth of development and learning is brought to the forefront in Destiny.

Even though I was exposed to a short sliver of the campaign during the beta, there is clearly something larger at stake, and understandably so, as Bungie wouldn’t have wished to reveal substantial plot points during the beta.

The gunplay, movement, enemy AI, gorgeous soundtrack, sound design, and skybox all scream Halo. The Crucible multiplayer, which is what you’re watching now, is quintessential Halo. Even reloading the shotgun feels so very classic Halo.

This isn’t a bad thing at all. I absolutely love Halo. Even though Bungie is near the bottom of my list of developers who push tech, they are near the top for art, storytelling prowess, and gameplay mechanics. In this regard, I can really appreciate what they’ve done in Destiny.

And this was the piece that took me so long to figure out. Destiny felt familiar while simultaneously seeping cognitive dissonance into my experience, thus leading me to my disappointed phase. The art and storytelling was compelling enough, but the the utterly disappointing Explore missions and overall free roaming experience left me puzzled and frustrated.

But then I began to take a closer look. Destiny is unquestionably Halo. What Bungie have done is retain what made Halo great, that is, retain the epic scope, art design, compelling multiplayer, and shooting mechanics, while introducing RPG elements wrapped in a newly crafted story.

That is Destiny.

To many, this is a bad thing and entirely unattractive. To me, however, this is great. Is this a “next gen” experience? Absolutely not. Is this this something that’s never been done before? No. Is this a revolutionary new experience? Certainly not.

Destiny is none of those things. What Destiny is, however, is Bungie’s spiritual successor to Halo. And this, more than anything else, has me cautiously optimistic about this unbelievably over-hyped game (IGN).

Now, you all know my stance on preordering. I don’t preorder anything unless I implicitly trust the developers and publishers and I believe in their product. They need to earn my trust. On top of that, I absolutely do not support the segmenting of content only to be repackaged and sold to the consumer as “Day 1 Edition.” Destiny has not earned my trust yet, and neither has Activision. This is a game I will not preorder.

Instead, Destiny is a game that I will wait for reviews for and seek out additional gameplay footage post launch. I still have outstanding questions regarding campaign length, level cap, and story variation. If I like what I see, I will buy it. If not, I won’t. It’s that simple.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to play more Last Of Us. Console Master Race.

Shank’s Spiel: Last Gen Shackles

July 24th, 2014 Posted by Shank's Spiel, Videos 1 comment

Admittedly, I spoke about this topic a few months back, but I find it necessary to revisit. In part, this is due to the influx of games that are still releasing exclusively on last gen machines. More damagingly, however, are the upcoming games that are releasing on current gen and last gen.

This makes me angry. I can’t begin to describe just how frustrated I become when, week after week, we hear of more upcoming titles that will release simultaneously on current gen and last gen. Again, I understand the reasons why these publishers push for continual support and release of games on the last generation of consoles. As Brian bluntly put it on Totally Heroes, there is a lot of money to be had in the last generation machines.

It’s a simple fact that the install base of last gen grossly outweighs the install base of current gen, even though the adoption rate of the new consoles is higher than it was at this same point in time for their predecessors. In other words, generation over generation, adoption rate has increased. This is a good thing. But…this still doesn’t matter when looking at pure margin.

I will be the first to tell you that while I understand the reasons why these big publishers push to develop games for last gen, I simply don’t care. I completely disagree with them. I really only care about one thing in this industry: progress.

“But Shank,” you decry, “I thought all you cared about is graphics.” To that, I submit the notion that graphics are a result of progress. And I don’t mean progress with respect to storytelling, gameplay, etc. I mean pure technological progress. I firmly believe that a narrative as phenomenal as The Last Of Us could have been written in 1998, but there is no chance in hell that it would have been nearly as impactful then. Similarly, there’s no way that the gameplay would have been as intense in 1998.

Why?

The technology simply didn’t exist in 1998 to support the storytelling and gameplay experience that Naughty Dog wanted to bring to life. In other words, storytelling and gameplay can always be improved at almost any point in time. But without the technology to bring them to life, they simply aren’t as impactful nor meaningful.

Still don’t believe me? Ok. Take a look at Final Fantasy VII on the Playstation. It was a great game. Great music, awesome story, and fun gameplay. Now imagine that game running on modern hardware, with all the gorgeous DX11 bells and whistles, while keeping the music, story, and gameplay intact. You can’t tell me that the modern experience wouldn’t be more immersive, fluid, and just more fun. All things equal, better tech will lead to a better, more impactful experience.

And that’s what I care about most. That technological progress.

What does this have anything to do with last gen, you ask? Simply put, by continuing to pander to the lowest common denominator, the industry will continue to be shackled to the technological boundaries presented by last gen hardware. A perfect example of this is the Destiny beta, which is currently underway.

Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry did an analysis on the PS3 and PS4 version of the beta and found that while the gameplay and other elements are pretty much the same across both platforms, the PS3 version looks decidedly worse than the PS4. And before you begin to retort with, “you can’t compare 8 year old hardware to a brand new console”, you are wrong. I absolutely can compare 8 year old hardware to a new console simply because the same game is on both machines.

This is not to say that the PS4 beta is ugly by any means. It’s quite pretty. But just imagine how much better the graphics would be if Destiny released solely on current generation consoles.

And this is exactly my point. These cross generation games are being crippled visually just so they will be able to run on grossly inferior hardware. Surely, the PS3 version of Destiny can’t be the full realization of Bungie’s vision for the game. And simply because the game is running on PS3 and holding back the PS4 version, who’s to say that even the PS4 version meets Bungie’s full vision? It is a catastrophe if developers are compromising their vision for their game just because publishers want margins in the so-called security of last gen install base. It’s a cowardly outlook on the industry.

By the way, console gamers, this frustration you’re feeling now is exactly how we PC gamers have felt for years…but that is an entirely different topic, one which I may cover in the future.

Additionally, by continuing to release cross generation games, the publishers are discouraging gamers from adopting the newer hardware. Why buy a new console if the same game is also releasing on my old console? I’m willing to bet that most consumers won’t dish out $400 just so the same game can look marginally shinier.

Without games exclusive to the newer consoles, these consumers have no incentive to upgrade. For example, upcoming games like Assassin’s Creed Unity are exclusive to the new consoles and PC, however, there are all-but-confirmed rumors that an Assassin’s Creed experience will be coming to last gen machines.

This may discourage those last gen gamers from buying a PS4 or Xbox One, because even though they won’t be able to play AC Unity, they’ll still get an Assassin’s Creed title this year.

This is horrible. It’s such an incredibly backwards mentality that it makes my blood boil. And all because these publishers want return on margin.

I am a gamer first and foremost. I don’t give a damn about margin. All I care about is that my games are the best that they can be. I want to know that my new consoles and PC are being pushed to their absolute limit. I want to get my money’s worth.

In short, I want progress. This poisonous mentality of releasing games for vastly inferior last generation hardware needs to stop. It’s fueled by an industry run by cowards who are too damn scared to take risks and leap into the future. Instead of paving the way forward, they are clinging to shackles of the past.

And that is a pitiful outlook on the industry.

Shank’s Spiel: Early Access On Consoles

July 17th, 2014 Posted by Shank's Spiel, Videos No Comment yet

The industry has never been more divided. I’m not talking about the players – hardware manufacturers, consumer, and mind-numbingly braindead media – rather, I’m talking about the moral and ethical state of the industry. Now, yes, while I do realize the rather presumptuous tone this may suggest – after all, I do run a weekly video blog which borders on self indulgent nihilism – but this industry is sick.

Never have I seen the games industry so decidedly morally bankrupt. That’s not to say there aren’t a few players who are actually doing the right thing. There are, but they are so few and so grossly outnumbered by everyone else who just don’t care about doing the right thing anymore.

Now, I get it. I understand that this industry is a business and that profits have to be made. But…come on. I mean, come on! You can still make a profit and do the right thing. This isn’t a zero sum game here. Just because we win does not mean you have to lose. It just doesn’t work that way. Companies like CD Projekt Red prove this.

What is all this preamble for, exactly?

I’m talking, of course, about Early Access on consoles. This idea isn’t new. In fact, it’s another one of those things that these new consoles are borrowing from PCs (along with, you know, the whole x86 architecture thing, the digital downloads thing, the digital preloading thing…yeah).

In theory, it was meant to be tool by which developers could get their admittedly unfinished game out to the public while receiving feedback, as well as funding, in order to continue development on said game. On paper, this sounds like a good-natured program. No doubt, it started out as one. But, Steam being Steam and terrible people being terrible people, it all went wrong.

Early Access on Steam is a cesspool for the morally corrupt and the ethically vacuous. Developers are charging real people actual money for games that are absolutely broken. When players take displeasure with this and voice feedback and concern on forums, the developer then literally berates the people who paid him actual money and then proceeds to delete any and all negative comments.

Don’t believe me? Simply check out Jim Sterling’s experience with Earth 2066 and Air Control. It’s absolutely disgusting.

Early Access is a system so thoroughly abused, so corrupted and twisted beyond all recognition that it is nigh impossible to wade through all the corrosive flotsam in order to discover good, honest to goodness games worth funding and supporting. It’s simply doing far more bad than good. It’s a failed system that needs to go.

So naturally, then, it’s an environment where industry sadomasochists EA and Ubisoft would thrive. More on this later.

In an interview with Gamasutra, Sony’s Adam Boyes discussed bringing Early Access to consoles. When asked about bringing such a program to the PS4, Boyes replied,

“That’s one of the massive conversations we have internally — that, at what point does [a game meet standards of release]? We still at some point ensure that we’re being mindful of the consumer. We don’t want somebody to stumble across that title and expect a full product, and have a negative experience.”

Let’s stop right here. Pardon me while I pick this apart in a mist of barely contained rage.

Boyes says, “at what point does [a game meet standards of release]?”.

Excuse me? There is a crystal clear difference between releasing an unfinished title with the intent of receiving feedback as a beta, and releasing an unfinished title with the intent of receiving feedback for actual money. The former is at no cost to the consumer, while simultaneously allowing that consumer to help improve the game. If the game fails to materialize, the consumer loses nothing except for his time. No money is lost.

The latter is at a very literal cost to the consumer, while simultaneously allowing that consumer to help improve the game. However, there is no guarantee to the consumer that this game will ever be released. More so, as Early Access on Steam has proven time and time again, there is a very real chance of the developer dismissing any and all criticism and simply taking your money and vanishing.

Neither system is perfect. However, one system enables game development. The other encourages consumer abuse.

So when Adam Boyes says something like, “at what point does [a game meet standards of release]?”, I become enraged. This is a classic example of the industry assuming that you, the paying consumer, are stupid. They assume you’re too dimwitted to understand game development, and that to even question the state of a game is ludicrous.

You’re not.

To answer Mr. Boyes, allow me to respond with this. A game “meets the standards of release” when every feature intended for launch is complete, in working order, with core systems and mechanics in place and fully functional, technical aspects are fully functional, and you feel confident enough to charge real people real money for it.

In other words, Mr. Boyes, a game “meets the standards of release” when it’s actually done. What an insane concept.

To do less, to charge real people actual money for a product that is anything but complete is morally bankrupt and ethically toxic.

The second portion of his statement reads, “we don’t want somebody to stumble across that title and expect a full product, and have a negative experience.”

God forbid that me, a consumer who paid you actual money, should be upset when I received an incomplete product. That would be truly ludicrous. The gall, the sheer faced arrogance with which Mr. Boyes says this is truly incredulous. How dare we expect a complete product? How dare we voice our negative opinions on an incomplete product? How dare we question why we are charged actual money for something that should be done through a beta, and not a system wherein actual money is traded for broken and incomplete products?

This doesn’t happen in other industries. Why in the actual hell does it happen here? Would you, Mr. Boyes, permit me to sell you a car on Early Access? It’s ok. I’ll sell you the car, but two of its wheels are missing and the brakes are missing. But hey, you can still drive it! Sort of…right?

How about I sell you this Early Access car and in exchange, you give me your money. And then, I’ll finish the car for you…if I feel like it. If I do decide to complete the car, don’t worry. You can have it, after you give me some more money.

How the hell does this make any sense?! You’re right. It doesn’t. It’s ludicrous and would never happen in a million years. Yet somehow, in our industry, this sort of toxicity is allowed to persist. It’s allowed to perpetuate. It’s allowed to corrupt every remaining fiber of consumers until we are nothing more than burnt out husks, our hands thrust into the air holding wads of unspent cash.

All of this, all of this raping of our dignity and respect will be all the more compounded when they get a hold of the system. Yes, I’m talking about the sadomasachists that are EA and Ubisoft. The damage they’ve already done – ransoming portions of the game for that poisonous preorder DLC, deliberately crippling the visuals of PC games, shoving DRM down our throats – will rise up to join the swell that is Early Access on consoles.

Imagine the toxicity of the industry then. Just think about it for a second. Do you really want this system to exist, because if it does, it is a matter of when, not if, EA and Ubisoft sink their venomous talons into it. Say goodbye to consumer respect. Say goodbye to that tiny shred of morality barely clinging onto the industry.

Early Access on consoles will be toxic. It will be a cesspool of corrosive parties, all congregating and colluding into squeezing every last drop of dignity, respect, and money out of you, the paying consumer. It will completely and utterly rape any last remnant of fun and integrity the industry has left.

It needs to never happen.

Shank’s Spiel: Why Consoles?

July 10th, 2014 Posted by Shank's Spiel, Videos No Comment yet

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, listening to me on the various shows on the network, or watching these Spiels, you may think that the only thing I play is the PC. Of course, this isn’t true. In fact, many of my articles start by stating that I own both last gen consoles, both current gen consoles, and my PC.

However, I do find it odd that people somehow think that because I play the PC and constantly discuss why I’m disappointed by the lack of a true generational leap in these current consoles, that I have no right expressing such disappointment and should not be allowed to comment on them.

To that minority, you are completely wrong. It is precisely because I own and play consoles that I have that right to be frustrated by them. I own them. I play them. Therefore, I can comment them. It really is that straightforward.

So to the rest of you, I get many questions on a weekly basis asking just why do I even play on consoles? After all, my PC is more than three times as powerful as my PS4. You all know that I prioritize graphics above all else. So then, why would I even bother playing on my consoles?

Let’s construct this answer by laying the foundation of context. Consoles have their place in the industry. I will never say that consoles should never exist. There are many economic benefits that consoles have over PCs. Don’t mistake me here, however. If you want the absolute best in graphics processing, you’ll spend a decent chunk of change on a high performance PC. Additionally, games are generally far cheaper on the PC than on consoles. Finally, you can build a mid-range PC today that is more powerful and capable than the PS4 for not much more $550.

But we must understand the market for consoles. I don’t think it’s too far of a reach to assume that the average age of a PC gamer is higher than the average age of a console gamer. That is, if you are a parent looking to buy your kid the latest video game machine, chances are you will probably buy an Xbox, Playstation, or Wii rather than a gaming PC, especially if your kid’s friends play on those machines already.

It’s easier and cheaper to spend $400 once for a machine that plays games than spending a bit more on a PC that your kid would want to upgrade later…assuming he even knows how. As a parent, buying a console is a single purchase every five or six years. You buy it, plug it in, and forget about it.

All of this leads nicely into the beautiful simplicity of consoles. They have the “pick up and play” mentality. This is something I greatly respect. As an end user, I do not want to have to think about downloading updates, ensuring drivers work, or make sure my HDMI cord is seated properly.

Admittedly, driver downloads on PC are now easier than ever with the ability to tell your PC to download drivers automatically. With services like Steam and GOG, installing a game is usually relegated to a single click. However, it’s still not as simple as the consoles. This is one area I will always respect about consoles.

In addition to this simplicity, consoles have a much smaller footprint than a PC. And this makes sense because consoles are designed to sit in your entertainment center where free space is at a premium. Yes, you can build small form factor PCs, but I find something intrinsically simple about console design. The PS4 is the most elegant console I have ever owned. The angled edges, dual layer casing, and subtle use of LED lighting all come together to create some truly beautiful design language.

On a more personal note, I find consoles have more childish spark about them. This is perhaps more nostalgia than concrete evidence, but isn’t this why we enjoy games? Gaming is very much an emotional hobby and for me personally, playing on consoles evokes strong emotions from my childhood.

I grew up on the PS1. I remember my dad telling my brother and me that if we read 100 books over the summer, he’d buy us the Playstation. And so, my brother and I read with a determined ferocity. There was actually peace in our house. Finally, my dad took us to Toys R Us and bought us the Playstation.

I will never forget the excitement I had when I first played it. I had earned my right to play on this Playstation and now it was mine! It’s this same sense of childish wonder and excitement I get whenever I play on my consoles today.

These are all many reasons why I buy, play, and love my consoles. In my humble opinion, they are pretty straightforward and perfectly reasonable reasons as to why I will always play consoles.

But ultimately, it’s about the exclusives. Some of my favorite games of all time are exclusive to consoles.  Mario Kart, Smash Bros, Crash Bandicoot, Infamous Second Son, Zelda, Halo, The Last of Us. These are experiences that you simply cannot find on PCs. Yes, PCs have their own slew of exclusives, but as I said earlier, I grew up on consoles. And these are the games I grew up on. These are the games that introduced me to video games. These games are the reason why I am able to speak to you all now.

One exclusive in particular had an unbelievable impact on me. The Last of Us is one of two games that legitimately changed my life. It showed me the power of impeccable story-telling. It reawakened my belief and love for the industry. Perhaps more than anything, it showed the world the sheer power of video games as an entertainment medium.

This is why I buy consoles. This is why I love consoles. This is why I’ll always play consoles.

Shank’s Spiel: Consolification Of PC Ports

June 19th, 2014 Posted by Shank's Spiel, Videos 1 comment

First, an apology. I will be the first to admit that I was wrong…at least partially. In my Watch Dogs First Impressions piece, I spoke about how the final game wasn’t downgraded on PC and in fact, looks better than its first showing at E3 2012. I specifically called out how HBAO+ wasn’t available in 2012 in time for the demo, citing one of the ways the final game looked superior to the E3 demo. While this one piece is true, I was wrong about everything else.

Watch Dogs most definitely was downgraded in visual quality from its E3 2012 demo. This is an absolute travesty and shame. However, this latest blow to the most powerful platform on the planet, the PC, only serves to showcase a systemic corruption that is completely poisoning the triple-A market today. And Ubisoft is leading the charge.

There is an absolutely toxic consolification of PC ports which perpetuates into this current console generation. I honestly thought that because these new consoles are x86 in nature, and therefore share architecture with the PC, that PC versions of cross platform games would finally, finally get their due and look and perform far superior to their console counterparts.

Leave it to the triple-A market to grab that glimmer of hope and twist, corrupt, poison, and eviscerate it beyond the point of recognition, only to return it lying smashed and ruined at the feet of PC gamers.

It’s not as if Ubisoft didn’t have the means or resources to make the game as pretty as you see here. This mod, created by modder TheWorse, simply enables effects that were used during the E3 2012 demo. Meaning, at no point did he inject any new additional effects. These features and effects already existed, deliberately locked away by Ubisoft in the bowels of Watch Dogs’ system files.

For your convenience, and to convey the ridiculous number of features Ubisoft disabled, this mod brings with it changes to the default fog values, Bokeh DoF for the main cameras, stuttering improvements, E3 2012 bloom, performance improvements, enabled headlight shadows, LOD changes, reflection changes, three additional new cameras to the game (closer, normal, further), rain changes (high quality rain drops, properly reacting to light, etc), lens flares, lighting changes, and civilian density changes.

The sheer gravity of insult this plays to PC gamers is inconceivable. I can draw a few conclusions from this fiasco. Either Ubisoft shut off those features, without knowledge that the PC community would tear into the file structure and do what they do best, or, perhaps more realistically and worryingly, Ubisoft deliberately and knowingly crippled the PC version simply to put the final build closer to the PS4.

Now, the first scenario is rather obvious and is almost the easy answer. Given their past history with PC ports, I highly doubt Ubisoft knew what they were doing in giving PC gamers the absolute premium experience they deserve. So, to suggest that they simply didn’t optimize the game is rather straightforward.

However, I believe the second scenario to be far more likely. You see, I simply don’t trust these large triple-A publishers anymore. Dumbing down PC versions of cross platform games is the worst insult they can throw at PC gamers. I am not one to believe that all versions of a cross platform game should be the same – at least on a technical level. Content-wise, yes, there should be parity. But when it comes to visuals and performance, do not dare insult us with your compromised versions of the PC version and sell it to us as such.

If I have a Ferarri, I deserve to drive it at 200 mph. Don’t force me to drive it everywhere at 30 mph, simply because you don’t want to make other drivers in their family sedans feel bad. I’m sorry. Your twisted concept of visual parity has absolutely no place in the industry, and is certainly not welcomed to the table of PC gamers.

I’m fully aware that not every single console player is like this, but I don’t care if console players complain and feel bad if their version of a cross platform game looks and performs worse than the PC version. It is unrealistic and ludicrous for console players to expect the same experience from their static, middle-of-the-road box as a PC that is literally 3.5x more powerful.

I’m sorry, but you don’t get to jealously complain just because your machine is woefully underpowered to play modern games at full 1080p resolution with full effects. You don’t get to dictate and cripple my experience simply so you can point to the PC version and say, “it doesn’t look any better than my PS4.”

You gave up that right the instant you decided to ignorantly claim that PC gaming is dead and cling to the misguided belief that consoles offer the best experience.

As a PC gamer, and as someone who actually owns the Xbox One and PS4, I am thoroughly incensed every time I see half-assed PC ports. My PC is 3.5x more powerful than my PS4. I deserve visuals and performance that reflects this. My PC is simply better. And for this, for having the gall to save money, to patiently build a machine because I want the best, I am punished.

Many of you reading know exactly what I am talking about. If you are a PC gamer, you understand and share my frustration over this consolification of PC ports. You deserve better. You deserve developers and publishers who give a damn about their PC audience because guess what? If you, Ubisoft, actually gave a damn and built competent PC games, then perhaps, just perhaps, you wouldn’t be so thoroughly paranoid that we PC gamers are pirating your games. It’s because of your complete ineptitude and incompetence that your games are pirated. You shouldn’t be rewarded with our money for peddling your utterly horrid ports, filled to the brim with broken DRM, only to pass them off as a competent PC game.

No.

Not every PC gamer has a juggernaut of brute horsepower, but that absolutely does not give developers and publishers the right to deliberately compromise PC versions of games. I don’t care what excuse the likes of Ubisoft come up with. They’re wrong. PC gamers should not have to put up with it. We have the scalable, faster, and more powerful platform. We are completely in the right to expect and deserve better.

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