Daily Recap: May 13, 2009
I’d like to apologize to our readers for a late Daily Recap. Our goal is to post these summations of the day’s news in a timely manner, but sometimes that doesn’t always happen. Yesterday a plethora of Windows Update-related problems and a strangely spotty Internet connection got in the way of my non-paying job.
Also, the two-hour season finale of Lost didn’t help much.
Thankfully, it seems, Wednesday was relatively calm as far as news goes: DICE learned from its console prejudices, Blizzard reaffirmed its next MMO is not World of Warcraft: Part Deux and Microsoft bolstered its Platinum Hits collection.
Veteran Battlefield franchise creative director Lars Gustavsson admits that with Battlefield: Bad Company the team treated console gamers “a bit more gently” in crafting content due to DICE‘s PC background. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Gustavsson talks about the company’s natural progression with its Battlefieldgames, moving from basic multiplayer functions in Battlefield 1942 to more advanced matchmaking in Bad Company. Still, Gustavsson emphasizes that although the team created a strong console Battlefield game in Bad Company, they now understand future console versions have to be as complex and tailored to hardcore online players as the PC versions have always been.
It’s certainly an appropriate admission for the studio, as Bad Company–though a superb single-player experience that foreshadowed the quality and attention DICE would put into Mirror’s Edge–just didn’t feel like Battlefield. The online portion was very similar in spirit to Battlefield 2 with class load-outs and various vehicles to utilize, but it was more of the same, albeit less grandiose than the PC games. Admittedly, it’s not that easy to shove 64 players into an Xbox Live multiplayer match.
The question now is if DICE will extend these retrospective revelations to their upcoming sequel to Bad Company–otherwise, it’s all talk. Furthermore, what do Gustavsson’s comments mean for the anticipated (though only rumored) Battlefield 3? Would a hypothetical BF3 become a multi-platform release, a series first for a direct sequel, or will the next core title follow the past trend of PC release first and a stripped-down console counterpart later?
Though rumored in the past and even partially confirmed by the company itself, Blizzard Entertainment has officially expressed that their next massively multiplayer online title currently in-development will not be based on any of their established StarCraft, Diablo or Warcraft franchises.
World of Warcraft is popular. We all know that. And despite the wide variance in personal feelings about the game, it would be wise to give the Blizzard crew credit where credit’s due–they honed their franchises to be the blockbusters they are today through their own capability and craftsmanship. The company completely deserves its praise and sales.
Still, it’s not always a guaranteed good move to release a brand new MMO under a fresh intellectual property, even if you’re Blizzard. If this next game won’t be based on neither their space, mythical nor fantasy efforts, then what could it possibly be about? Maybe a modern-day MMO where players level up through working menial labor tasks at minimum wage.
We’ll call it: World of Wagecraft.
Here’s quite the PSA for budget-conscious gamers: Microsoft has added eight new titles to their Platinum Hits line, including popular titles like Gears of War and Mass Effect. It’s good to see Microsoft is bolstering its $20 to $30 hits line (which, admittedly, is an extremely baffling price difference), but let’s be honest here: Gears of War is a nearly three-year-old title and Mass Effect has been selling at the $20 range for awhile now at Best Buy and other retailers.
However, the Mass Effect repackaging does come with the $5 Bring Down the Sky DLC as a bonus–quite the addition for gamers who’ve yet to add BioWare’s fantastic RPG to their collections.
The full list of the new Platinum Hits games, complete with Metacritic links for the curious, are as follows:
- Gears of War
- Forza Motorsport 2
- Mass Effect
- Viva Piñata
- Army of Two
- Battlefield: Bad Company
- Burnout Paradise
- Fight Night Round 3
Note: Nick pointed out that GameStop stores are offering used copies of Forza Motorsport 2 in a bundle with Marvel: Ultimate Alliance for under $20. That offer is a bit more cost-effective if you don’t mind pre-played games.