BOFH_UK Comments

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  • So, what do you actually do in No Man's Sky?

  • BOFH_UK 22/01/2015

    As weird as this may sound I'm a bit worried that NMS is just going to be too big. Or maybe unfocused would be a better word.

    Take Elite for example. I've probably sunk more hours into that series than any other over the years and love the sheer size of the game universe. But while there's a ton to do it's at least focused around a core mechanic - fly your ship. Same with Minecraft, you make up the narrative yourself and can do more-or-less anything but even if you're building a working computer it all comes down to punching rocks (punching rocks!... damn you Yahtzee!).

    From all the promo material NMS seems to give you a *lot* of options which could be entire games in themselves. Now while I'd never criticise a game for having that sort of ambition making it all work together without compromising anything gets exponentially harder the more you add in. Maybe the best example would be Spore: immense ambition but each component was hobbled by only being part of the whole. And poor design choices, granted, but that just shows how even the biggest studios can struggle. Fingers crossed NMS avoids all that nonsense and turns out to be a classic!
    Reply +1
  • Untangling Evolve's convoluted DLC plan

  • BOFH_UK 15/01/2015

    @niaccurshi Here's the thing: I have no problem with DLC when it's done well and priced fairly. The problem Evolve was facing before this latest update was neither of those applied. The packages were overly complicated and the prices extortionate. 20 for 4 hunters, $15 for ONE monster... these are not prices designed to engineer a fond reaction from your customers.

    There's also the question of overall value. Evolve already struggles with this offering just three 'tiers' of hunters and three monsters. How will that play out in the release version? Only time will tell but can you at least see why some would be feeling a tad short changed by this?

    As for Phil's comments, while the team may have been saying all this for a while (and I've seen it too, again this is a game I was looking forward to) the attempt at damage control threw all of that under a particularly large bus. By saying they'd have included them for free if they were done and then charging over 30 for the DLC it completely torpedoes the DLC argument. If this was the business plan from day one then they needed to stick to it, not try to weasel around it with an excuse that - even by the standards of the video game industry - just doesn't seem credible.
    Reply +10
  • BOFH_UK 15/01/2015

    @niaccurshi Unfortunately the latest update from Phil Robb suggests that's exactly what's happened. Monsters and characters aren't finished in time so will be released separately as DLC. Or, in other words, they've been effectively pulled from the box. Reply +5
  • BOFH_UK 15/01/2015

    If we thought we could have finished all those monsters and hunters for ship we would have put them in the box
    I see. So, speaking hypothetically here, if you would have included them in the box were they finished in time why would you then not simply release them for free when they were finished?

    Come on, we're not idiots. You clearly want a nice long tail of DLC sales for this game and if that's your business model fair enough. You're likely to catch quite a lot of flack for that business model - and even more for the business model pricing - but so be it. Don't try to turn it around with such a weak excuse as 'oh it's not finished on time but we want to make it so we will... and charge you 20 but that's not important, right?'. Frankly it makes it sound like you'd like your customers to pay for your poor time management and I think the business model excuse is actually both more honest and more palatable than that!
    Reply +16
  • BOFH_UK 15/01/2015

    Was really looking forward to this, to the point of considering a pre-order (based on the betas of course). Now, not a chance in hell. Sorry but for a game that already feels a bit light on content having so many additional characters / monsters taken out of the base package just seems cheap and exploitative. I'd be amazed if there wasn't a 'game of the year' edition coming with all this stuff baked in. Reply +42
  • Xbox One gets tile transparency with new update

  • BOFH_UK 14/01/2015

    @Blastiel Except that while the PS4 may have received more firmware updates you're not exactly comparing apples to apples here. Looking at wikipedia shows 19 updates for the PS4 but only three are major feature updates (1.5, 1.7 and 2.0). 1.6 and 1.75 are minor updates that add one or two new features (headset support and 3D Blu-Ray respectively). The other 14 are all stability improvements.

    In comparison the XB1 may have only had 15 updates but 8 are major updates with another 3 being minors and only 4 general stability / system updates. Regardless of whether you personally want a specific feature or not there's almost certainly someone out there who will. It's perhaps not surprising that PS4 owners are feeling a little left out...
    Reply +34
  • Surprise! Rock Band 3 gets new DLC

  • BOFH_UK 13/01/2015

    Y'know... I'd love to see a Rock Band revival. Never got round to 3 but the first two were just superb fun. Only real annoyance beyond storage space was setting everything up and snaking cables around the room. The idea of new games with (hopefully) wireless instruments, improved visuals and a good DLC library is very tempting indeed. Reply +1
  • In Theory: Nintendo's next-gen hardware - and the strategy behind it

  • BOFH_UK 10/01/2015

    While Xbox One and PlayStation 4 struggle to deliver actual next-gen gameplay concepts, Nintendo isn't afraid to push for something truly ambitious on its existing platform
    Oh for the love of Jeff... come on EG, enough is enough. Yes, Nintendo have delivered some truly spectacular games this generation but the vast majority could be the dictionary definition of incremental improvements. And there's nothing at all wrong with that, in fact it's exactly what we should expect from an industry that's over 30 years old and has had hardware 'good enough' since the 360 / PS3 era. This continued insistence that a new generation should bring radical gameplay is so at odds with the reality of gaming in 2014 that it's difficult to believe a respected site like this could be so far off base.

    Anyway, as far as Nintendo is concerned it's certainly going to be interesting seeing where they go next. My slight worry is that 2016/17 could be a truly horrible time for them to launch a console. I'd expect 4k displays to be common by then (at least in new purchases) and wouldn't be shocked to see MS and Sony lining up new consoles to take advantage of that. Frankly I'd expect them to also stick with the standard PC architecture and present their new devices more as a PC upgrade with full XB1 / PS4 compatibility than traditional next gen offerings but that's a theory for another day. No matter how good the games I do wonder if Nintendo will be able to compete in that sort of environment. Fingers crossed they can of course, a gaming world without Nintendo would be a much poorer place.
    Reply +1
  • Hearthstone: Goblins vs Gnomes review

  • BOFH_UK 09/01/2015

    When it comes to Hearthstone I seem to be in the minority for one reason: I don't really care about winning. I'd much rather play a deck with the potential for epic stupidity (like dropping kel'thuzad and a wind fury buff with a taunt wall on the field) than just grind out wins with a netdeck. Played like this it's just ridiculous fun and if I get on a losing streak at least someone else got nice easy wins ;-) Reply +5
  • BOFH_UK 09/01/2015

    @MrPomeroy Having used both I'd say that matches are better on iPad while deck building works best on PC. All comes down to the input method, there's a real satisfaction in physically 'moving' cards in games but the deck building section needs a few too many taps (IMO of course). Runs really well on the Air 2 as well, actually feels smoother than my Surface Pro 3! Reply +4
  • Microsoft reassures Xbox One owners over DRM rights

  • BOFH_UK 09/01/2015

    @grassyknoll Or use the Xbox One's family sharing feature: https://support.xbox.com/en-GB/xbox-one/games/my-home-xbox

    I've gone digital this generation and haven't regretted it for a moment. Price differences are minimal if you're careful about when you buy and I far prefer having my library available immediately on the console. I almost never trade or sell games anyway until I move on from the console at which point they're usually worth pennies anyway.

    Not to say digital is the way to go for everyone but, by the same token, don't dismiss it for everyone else if it doesn't fit your personal preferences...
    Reply +5
  • PS4 Data Bank dock allows huge storage

  • BOFH_UK 07/01/2015

    @Mr-Writer Sorry but I really disagree with that. Yes, the internal drive can be replaced and that's definitely a good thing but it's not an ideal solution. A *lot* of users won't feel comfortable about opening up the console and those that do effectively 'lose' the 500Gb capacity they paid for with the machine.

    In a world that's increasingly digital and with consoles encouraging users to create their own content devices need to be able to expand easily. In this particular case Microsoft has got it right, let users plug in any HDD they like into a USB socket and treat it as system storage. Of course in an ideal world they'd treat it as unified storage so you didn't have to manage anything, maybe one day...

    Replacing the internal drive was the right call for the PS3 era (USB 2 really wasn't fast enough for a system disk) but with USB 3 now pretty much standard external drives can easily match the drives fitted as standard to the current generation of console. External also allows those more paranoid / cash rich owners to back up their data with RAID arrays or (more likely) just pull the entire drive and transfer to another console if they want to.
    Reply +1
  • Is Nvidia Tegra X1 the next big thing for mobile graphics?

  • BOFH_UK 05/01/2015

    The problem with the benchmarks though is they're running on a X1 at 1Ghz. It's almost certain that you won't see that sort of speed in a shipping portable device and, if you do, it'll probably only be in bursts before it has to throttle back. The more relevant test is the power consumption one which shows the GPU being able to match the A8X in performance at around 60% of the power. Even then though caution is required as that's JUST the GPU side of the SoC and if the CPU's aren't as efficient that win will be cancelled out.

    Then of course there's the elephant in the room. The A8X is available now in the iPad Air 2. The Tegra X1 has only been announced today and likely won't make it to market until the summer at best. Really the X1 will end up competing with the A9X which may be running a Series7XT if they can integrate it in time.

    Ultimately the X1 is a very interesting move from Nvidia but the announcement today is more for device makers than consumers. We won't know how well it really stacks up until it's available in shipping products and those might take long enough to arrive for the competition to also go through a cycle.
    Reply +14
  • North America gets $15-a-month PlayStation Now subscription service

  • BOFH_UK 05/01/2015

    The price feels about right to be honest considering that a service like boomerang charges 15.99 for two games at a time with unlimited rentals. The problem is going to be the catalog which if this list is right is pretty poor. Some decent titles on there but a lot of filler and, of course, no PS4 titles.

    As soon as they add decent PS4 titles to the service it starts to become very interesting indeed but right now it looks light for the cash. Never thought I'd say this but... Sony could do a lot worse than copying EA here!
    Reply -5
  • Digital Foundry: Hands-on with the Halo 5 beta

  • BOFH_UK 03/01/2015

    @pleshy As do I... when they're in any way relevant. Almost a year from launch on an engine that's clearly not optimised likely running maps that will see significant changes before release and only offering a fraction of what'll be available in a retail product... what's the point?

    Trust is lost when a publication either does or appears to have a motive other than producing the best content possible. In this case the comments about next gen gameplay simply make no sense. Even leaving aside that a 'generational leap' in gameplay is extremely unlikely owing to the mature nature of gaming hardware in consoles / PC's why on earth would you expect to see such changes in the 7th major title in one of the biggest franchises on the planet? Evolution not revolution is surely the common sense approach for Halo 5.

    The GTA5 example may be in rare company but it proves the point. All of the *mechanics* of the game are present and correct on older hardware, the newer consoles allow it to run properly. Even then those mechanics are evolutions of what came earlier. The new experiences are games like Minecraft that aren't enabled by hardware but by distribution methods and changes to the underlying systems behind the hardware.

    And there is my problem with EG at the moment. They've been banging this drum that we're not seeing next gen games but it's utter nonsense. Games in 2014/15 are evolutionary and it has nothing to do with ambition or hardware. It's a natural result of the gaming industry being thirty+ years old and having hardware that, ever since the PS3/360 era, hasn't really been a barrier to development. The most frustrating thing of all though is that they clearly know this. Mario Kart 8 is a superb game, deserving of its GOTY place, but it's the result of evolution not revolution. Yet when it comes to the XB1 and PS4 they're held to this arbitrary standard purely (IMO) for the purposes of generating page views.
    Reply +8
  • BOFH_UK 03/01/2015

    Am I alone in being utterly fed up of the whinging from the tech media about this generation? Why on earth would you expect a Halo game to be anything other than... well, Halo, especially in multiplayer? If you're going to build a whole new multiplayer FPS you're hardly going to do so with one of the franchise players on the console. For that matter why are the XB1 / PS4 suddenly expected to deliver anything other than a graphical leap? Sure previous generations have enabled gameplay changes but that's largely because the hardware was developing so quickly. By-and-large the gaming industry is now mature (at least from a tech standpoint) and the hardware isn't really the limiting factor it once was. Just look at GTA5 on 360/ps3 for a prime example of that.

    On a similar note, why bother doing a tech-breakdown article on a beta that's almost a year from launch? It's almost certain that the final product will bear little resemblance to this in terms of engine performance so what's the point in analysing them (other than hits to the site of course)?

    Sorry for being so grumpy but this is something I've seen a *lot* in the last year or so and it's starting to make me a bit uncomfortable with sites like Eurogamer that I used to trust. Doubly so when so many clear examples of double standards are floating around. Though, to be clear, I'm not for one moment suggesting bias or any of that nonsense, just that there's a bit too much determination to stick to a narrative (which just happens to fuel comments sections) for comfort...
    Reply +16
  • CVG to close

  • BOFH_UK 19/12/2014

    Wow.. hadn't thought about the mag for at least a decade but the link in Ultra Combo's tweet brought back so many memories. Can even remember the smell of both mag and the occasional freebie. Reply 0
  • Assassin's Creed Unity season pass owners can now claim their free game

  • BOFH_UK 18/12/2014

    @Gahro I know they flagged that as a potential problem but got mine on the 26th (after the announcement, thanks Game and your usual half-arsed efforts at managing your web site!) and it all went through without a hitch. Reply 0
  • Last-gen revisited: Far Cry 4

  • BOFH_UK 18/12/2014

    @Boycie86 Actually I think it's more a case of hitting diminishing returns. Compare, say, Call of Duty 2 to Advanced Warfare. That's a huge jump but the starting point was pretty poor. Now compare Advanced Warfare on 360 to the PC version. Vast amount more power but improving over the 360 version in massive, attention grabbing ways gets harder and harder.

    Ultimately gaming is now a mature market and the easy wins of earlier generations (8 > 16bit, 2d to 3d etc) probably won't be seen again. I wouldn't be at all surprised if we start seeing both MS and Sony release consoles more frequently but sticking with PC components and ensuring backwards compatibility...
    Reply +4
  • Rich Stanton on: GTA's growing pains

  • BOFH_UK 13/12/2014

    Here's the problem that GTA 5 faces: over 35 million copies sold, almost a billion dollars in the first 24 hours of release and the biggest selling game of all time (in the UK at least).

    GTA has always had a bit of a punk rock, anti-authority vibe to it but - like it or not - the GTA series has become the establishment. GTA 5 is effectively a very public face of gaming and will be used as a yardstick to assess the industry and the issues that surround it. Is that fair? Probably not, it's certainly no way to look at a landscape as diverse as video games in 2014. But perception is everything and right now GTA is seen as representative of the industry as a whole.

    Which *is* a problem as GTA 5 has a very old school attitude in many ways. Whether the jokes are funny or not is, of course, completely subjective (and, frankly, irrelevant to this conversation) but the way it deals with some rather sensitive subject areas is... let's be generous and say questionable. That's not a knock on the game (which is possibly the best open world I've ever played) or those that play it, but when you get this big there's a certain level of responsibility that comes packaged with that success.

    Is it a major issue for GTA 5? Probably not, but any potential GTA 6 does need to address at least some of those concerns. Personally I hope they manage to find a way to do so while keeping the vast pile of good things about the series intact.
    Reply +10
  • EA Sports UFC joins EA Access next week

  • BOFH_UK 12/12/2014

    Very glad to see this come to EA Access, bit surprised it's arrived so soon. Having a look at the website seems like they've been adding extra content for free too so fair play to the devs. Looking forward to taking this for a spin and (and weird as this will sound) all credit to EA for delivering such good value for money. Reply +10
  • Assassin's Creed, Diablo, Mordor reduced in Xbox Black Friday sale

  • BOFH_UK 26/11/2014

    @dannyboi3459 Plus an extra 5% off if you like their Facebook page... Sorely tempted even if I have got the PC version but I'm going to bank on Black Flag hitting games with gold at some point...

    Edit Which reminds me, if you're buying digital from the Xbox store you could do worse than topping up on credit from CD Keys. With 50 going for 43.90 (or 41.71 with the 5% discount) you'd be effectively saving another 16% versus buying with a card.
    Reply +3
  • BOFH_UK 26/11/2014

    No idea if it's true or not but there's a 'leaked' screenshot doing the rounds of the X1 deals for the weekend. Highlights would be 50% off Shadow of Mordor (yes please!), Evil Within and Ryse: Son of Rome Legendary Edition and 75%off both a TitanFall bundle and the season pass. Full image here: http://i.imgur.com/pIOsDwd.jpg

    As for the already announced stuff, I'm sorely tempted by Diablo 3 and Defense Grid 2. Only problem is they'd effectively be 'banker' games for when my current backlog runs out. UFC is another one with a surprisingly good deal but I'll wait for it to hit EA Access.
    Reply +5
  • Face-Off: Assassin's Creed Unity

  • BOFH_UK 17/11/2014

    So I have a suggestion for EG when it comes to reviews in this day and age of integrated on-line services and ongoing patches. While I realise you need to get your reviews out as quickly as possible it's become very obvious this year that this doesn't always serve the game buying public as well as it could when issues appear almost immediately after launch. With this in mind - and considering you have DF contributing tech analysis articles on most AAA titles these days - why not hold off on the final score for a week or so?

    Still publish the review as-is just leave that number off the bottom. When the DF article comes out (or the initial week has passed if DF aren't covering that particular game) update the review with a 'one week later' closing section and add the score. That ought to be enough to give people a guide as to whether it's something they're interested in while maybe giving pause for thought as the initial feedback comes through?
    Reply +18
  • Far Cry 4 review

  • BOFH_UK 14/11/2014

    This might sound odd but it just struck me while reading through the review that there's almost no discussion of the core gameplay or performance. Nothing about the gunplay or movement, no comment on vehicle handling, no mention of AI beyond saying you can call them in instead of a co-op partner. In fact (and of course this is just my opinion) there doesn't seem to be anything here that tells you what the game *is* beyond a reskin of Far Cry 3. Similarly surely there should be a basic discussion of performance, even if only a couple of sentences or a 'yep, it all runs fine' confirmation (doubly so considering recent events). Reply +131
  • Assassin's Creed: Unity launch debacle sparks Ubisoft rethink

  • BOFH_UK 13/11/2014

    Except that this is only dealing with the surface issue and both Ubisoft and the gaming media knows that. Yes public betas and *gasp* allowing reviews to be published ahead of launch are helpful steps but with the current culture of pre-orders they don't fix the main problem. There is an expectation that, while a modern game with dozens of interlocking systems and on-line components may have some issues that aren't discovered until it launches, it isn't fundamentally broken.

    Looking around at the vast number of issues reported with Unity it's clear that this is a game that needed to be delayed. It's just not finished with full blown crashes, serious performance issues, incomplete character models, horrible LoD problems and a ton of traversal-based bugs including the whole world vanishing. There's no way that Ubisoft didn't know about this before launch yet it went ahead anyway leaving the customer reliant on patches to deliver the game they paid for.

    Again, we're not talking about a few days of on-line play not working or issues with a particular side-quest. While intensely irritating those sorts of problems are almost inevitable given the complexity of todays games. Ubisoft needs to be careful here as this is one of their major marquee titles and there's going to be a lot of unhappy Unity players out there. It's time to ditch the PR speak, hold their hands up and acknowledge that they screwed up big time. A gesture of compensation wouldn't go amiss either, maybe make the DLC free or something. Whatever's done I suspect a great many customers may be a bit more cautious when plunking down the cash the next time...
    Reply +17
  • Assassin's Creed Unity review

  • BOFH_UK 11/11/2014

    @Skyclad To be fair CoD did at least introduce something new this time round with the exosuits. Though I suspect it's more that CoD gets the basic systems more-or-less right. Sure it may be a twitch shooter not to everyone's tastes but if it IS something you're interested in it does that very very well. Unity, on t'other hand, seems to still have issues with the core mechanics (parkour, tailing missions etc) that have been present for a long, long time and with the gameplay shifting back to a city setting they're more of a problem than they were in, say, Black Flag. Reply +1
  • BOFH_UK 11/11/2014

    I normally never comment on editorial decisions but I've got to make an exception here. Reports are coming in from all over the place that Unity is an absolute dog in terms of performance and stability yet the only mention of this in the review is a screenshot caption. Yet we've got a huge article diving into every last detail of Halo: Master Chief Collection from Digital Foundry.

    This strikes me as flat out bizarre. Unity is a multi-platform game where people may base their purchasing decision on performance on one system over another. There's also clearly a story on the tech side to be discussed. Yet EG decide to go with a system exclusive that, lets face it, will sell based on whether you like the franchise rather than on whether a particular game renders at 1080p60 or not...
    Reply +3
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition's EA Access trial detailed

  • BOFH_UK 04/11/2014

    @riz23 Umm... many hours of fun playing games for far less than it'd cost to buy them? Getting new experiences I might have missed if I had to pay for the title? Same way I'm more than happy to pay for Netflix as it gives me access to a ton of media that I'm interested in trying but don't want to own. I've already got more hours of gameplay from that 20 than I've had from any full price title this year so, for me, it's been a very worthwhile purchase.

    Sorry but I've got no interest in owning all my media anymore. I used to - hell I've still got my original Gameboy and Lynx in a drawer along with several games for both - but ultimately all they do is take up space and get played maybe once a year, if that.

    Now this is, of course, just my personal opinion driven by my experiences in gaming, my preferences and my current circumstances. Others, like yourself, will have different views and that's fantastic! The world would be deeply boring if we all agreed on everything after all. But it also doesn't make any one viewpoint *wrong* either... just a thought.
    Reply +3
  • YouTube unlocks 60fps playback

  • BOFH_UK 30/10/2014

    @Davemanz Up to a couple of years ago I'd have agreed but some of the current systems can be incredibly effective. The problem is most manufacturers still default to the most aggressive settings which turns everything into an episode of The Benny Hill Show. Turn 'em down, reign in the excessive processing and you can get a noticeable improvement without sacrificing realism. Reply 0
  • Sony "temporarily holding back" DriveClub's free PlayStation Plus edition

  • BOFH_UK 09/10/2014

    I know that teething problems with on-line titles are sadly all too common these days but this seems a tad farcical. After all this was a title that was intended to be released for free (albeit in limited form) to PS+ subscribers. It's also a major graphical showcase and an exclusive title to the PS4 that's been hyped for over a year.

    Surely when you put all those together they had to expect that a large percentage of the PS4 user base would all try and grab it at the same time? Considering that they've held back the PS+ version and this is just retail purchases how badly under-spec is the back end infrastructure? For a game that puts the on-line component in its title that's pretty poor...
    Reply +8
  • What next for Minecraft on PlayStation?

  • BOFH_UK 18/09/2014

    Fairly sure MS won't kill Minecraft on other platforms. Doesn't make sense and would likely anger the entire fanbase, plus they're kinda used to publishing on rival platforms at this point. Still wouldn't be surprised to see Minecraft get bundled with every Xbox One (or, indeed, a special edition console) but there's one thing in particular that jumps out as a natural fit for MS: Minecraft Realms.

    For those that don't know Realms is basically a rent-a-server service for Minecraft with decent security services and the ability to import or export maps from/to the standalone game. It's only on PC/Mac at the moment but surely it's not a huge stretch to imagine MS throwing some of its cloud computing services at Realms to bring it to Xbox.

    The other thing that'd be very interesting on the consoles would be Microsoft enabling (albeit likely in limited form) modding, probably as paid DLC. As presumably there's no fee for MS to put content on its own platform allowing a lot of small bits of content wouldn't present an issue and you've got to imagine that stuff like texture packs would find a big following if priced cheaply enough.
    Reply +3
  • Destiny review

  • BOFH_UK 17/09/2014

    For me Destiny is the most frustrating game I've played in years. There are moments - usually while on patrol missions - that everything comes together perfectly. When random players come together to take on a public event, the game systems encourage you to almost subconsciously use decent tactics and something truly spectacular ensues. But those moments are rare and end up lost in a sea of grinding that never feels like it rewards you in a meaningful way.

    Maybe it's down to not yet reaching level 20 so the game 'hasn't started' yet. But surely having to chuck 10 to 20 hours at a game just to get to the good parts point to a failure in the development cycle? What's really strange to me is this is Bungie, they know how to make a ridiculous, overblown sci-fi universe work as a coherent story so why on earth is this so bare bones?

    The really annoying part is you can see the potential shining through everywhere. Maybe the best comparison I can think of is the original Assassin's Creed which clearly had so much potential but never quite delivered on it. Hopefully Bungie can realise that potential but I've got a horrible feeling that if and when they do it'll have a big DLC price tag attached...
    Reply +15
  • Microsoft buys Mojang and Minecraft for $2.5bn

  • BOFH_UK 15/09/2014

    @sid-6581 Random thought but it doesn't have to justify itself in software sales alone. What if, just for example, they bundled it free with the X1 and made it permanently free for existing users? That's a VERY powerful incentive for a huge demographic of gamers (and, if I was being cynical, helps them get away from the Bro image a little). Reply +2
  • BOFH_UK 15/09/2014

    As odd as this will sound... might not be a bad thing in the long run. Pace of updates on the consoles has been slow and if there's one thing MS can bring to bear in spades its resources. And I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss Minecraft as past its prime. Seems like every single kid I know these days is using it and it's (in theory anyway) more or less timeless. Reply +7
  • Need for Speed: Rivals is cruising onto EA Access

  • BOFH_UK 03/09/2014

    Fair play to EA, Access is proving to be exceptional value for money at the moment. Of course I'm sure this thread will soon be full of 'it's the end of the world!' posts but here's a thought: judge based on what you can see, not what you can imagine. Right now EA are doing this right. Access isn't affecting demos, offers money off digital downloads, gives a nice long preview of a game if you want it and has some good titles in the Vault. For 20 a year it's hard to argue that isn't great value for money.

    Now of course this could change over time. All sorts of horrible things could happen and EA could really abuse the service to put a ton of content behind a paywall. Thing is though there's a really simple solution to that: just drop the subscription. Money talks and in this case the absolute worst case would be you've payed 20 the day before the service changed and you decide not to use it any more.

    As for other publishers following suit so what? Hell I hope they do! Would a one stop shop at these prices be better? Of course but there's zero chance of this happening as it wouldn't be economically viable for the publishers. Frankly a 20 yearly sub to play games that are a year or two old doesn't sound like a bad deal at all for the big publishers. Even if you subscribed to, say, EA, Ubisoft and Activision that's still only the retail cost of a single full priced title. Or, to put it another way, you're looking at steam sale prices on consoles.
    Reply +7
  • Amazon acquires Twitch for $970 million

  • BOFH_UK 25/08/2014

    @Scopeh Simple answer: Money. Twitch has a huge user base and it's mostly focused on one area - video games. Where Google would have served other people's ads Amazon can just link straight to its own services. Watch a livestream of, say, GTA 5? Here's a link to the game on whatever platform it's being played on, and another to buy the console itself. It could also integrate very well into their Fire range of mobile devices. Reply +6
  • Titanfall and MGS: Ground Zeroes both half price on Xbox One

  • BOFH_UK 14/08/2014

    @obidanshinobi If you've got some experience at SP FPS you'll probably be fine once you wrap your head around the movement system. Nice thing with TF is the small teams, ability to take other routes and (usually) decent respawns tends to prevent the two-seconds-of-life problem other MP FPS can suffer from. Snipers are rare as it's almost impossible to find truly safe locations & everyone moves so quickly anyway. If you find yourself dying against humans go hunt the AI, it still gets your team points and can swing the balance of a match. Or hop in a Titan, stay away from the busier bits and provide long range fire support. Or.. well, you get the idea. Reply +2
  • BOFH_UK 14/08/2014

    Not sure why Titanfall is seen to have a failing community, don't think I've ever had to wait more than a couple of minutes to join a game and it's actually improving recently (though that may be due to the matchmaking changes). As for the game itself it's the FPS that got me back into on-line play for the first time in years! Wonderful movement, rare you get into a die-respawn-die cycle and there's always something you can do to help the team, even if it's just minion hunting.

    Picked up Ground Zeros and initial impressions are very good. Yep it's short but the replay value is obvious from the first time you screw up and get spotted. 12 is probably about right for the amount of content and it's a good way to see if you're going to enjoy the basic mechanics before Phantom Pain comes out. Also must be said it's just gorgeous and a great way of showing how much of a difference a good lighting model can make in a game.
    Reply +12
  • This is how Minecraft looks running on PlayStation Vita

  • BOFH_UK 14/08/2014

    It's not that Minecraft isn't big enough to sell Vita that's the problem, it's that Minecraft is already available on iOS and Android and is massively popular. As such it's very hard to convince people to buy a dedicated handheld for a game the majority can already play if they want (albeit a less developed version). Reply +3
  • Assassin's Creed Unity is more than meets the Eagle's eye

  • BOFH_UK 13/08/2014

    While I'm waiting for reviews on this there's one bit in this article that really gives me hope. Not the redone story or fighting engine but the tailing missions no longer being insta-fails! By far and away the most irritating part of the other games for me and they seemed to be much more common in later installments. Being able to take another option would go a long way towards easing the frustration they caused.

    And the thing is I really hope they nail Unity. AC is a franchise with so much potential but it's only really AC2 and maybe Brotherhood that delivered it. If they've really got rid of the hand-holding and forced approaches to missions this could end up being something very special.
    Reply +3
  • EA Access is now publicly available on Xbox One

  • BOFH_UK 11/08/2014

    @Watkins Yes I remember and while MS made some serious mistakes during the XB1 introduction... there's also some real benefits to going digital. Have a look at the Home Xbox option for XB1 if you have a minute, allows anyone who signs in to that console to play any game you've bought digitally. Or look at the PC market where games have been moving to digital delivery for years now, or the entire mobile phone app industry. It's really only the console market where the loyalty to physical media remains strong... Reply +1
  • BOFH_UK 11/08/2014

    Signed up as, for me, it makes a lot of sense. Yes, the price may / will go up in the long run and there's all sorts of horrible things EA could do to abuse the service. However if they do any of that stuff I'll simply re-evaluate my use and decide whether it's worth keeping the sub. Until that happens I just paid 20 for access to 4 games I want to play and a fiver off at least two titles I'm planning on buying digitally anyway. And yes, before the usual name calling starts, I'm well aware that it's cheaper to buy physical copies but I place value on convenience, don't trade or sell games when they're still worth much and am fed up of having racks of physical media taking up space so have made the decision to go all digital this time round.

    And that's surely what this comes down to, personal choice. If you don't see the value in the service as it is today then that's fair enough. But if it fits your needs then why not? I've got no particular burning desire to play the latest sports games but there are times I enjoy a few games of FIFA or Madden. Peggle 2 has been on the radar for a while and Battlefield has me curious. Great, best value purchase I'll make all year and I've got 12 months to decide if I want to pay to play beyond that.

    As for games as a service, actually I've not got any problems with that if it's done properly. EA Access isn't quite there yet - and I'd be astonished if they went all the way with this for new releases as I'm not sure how that business model would work - but if the alternative is a more publisher-agnostic service at PS Now prices I'd far prefer this. Hell if every big publisher went this route and at these prices you'd have access to a back catalogue of dozens of games for around 60 (say EA, Activision and Ubisoft) or the rrp of ONE new release. Not seeing where the problem is there. Again this can all change in the future but any silly price increases (again, current PS Now prices are a good example) will surely see demand drop like a stone.
    Reply +3
  • Video: Releasing the Kraken in Evolve

  • BOFH_UK 04/08/2014

    @Dizzy To be fair though you'd expect the game to be heavily biased towards the hunters at the start as they're playing a (relatively) familiar FPS. The creature player is going to have to develop a whole new approach to take them on successfully and most journalists just don't have the hands on time to do that yet. Reply +1
  • Titanfall: Frontier's Edge review

  • BOFH_UK 01/08/2014

    Time will tell of course but the Black Market sounds like a very, very good idea. At the moment the game looses a lot of its momentum when you hit the level 50 cap. Sure you can regenerate but you immediately lose access to the bulk of the weapons and upgrades you've worked to unlock, plus the requirements to regen past level 2 can force you to play with stuff you just don't enjoy. Black Market will at least give another option as part of your otherwise wasted XP gets turned into cash. Reply +3
  • Sony says EA Access program isn't "good value"

  • BOFH_UK 30/07/2014

    What utter nonsense. Sorry but this whole "PS+ is up by 200% since PS4 launch because gamers want value" would carry a lot more weight if the PS4 didn't *require* PS+ for on-line gameplay. That's not necessarily criticizing PS+ - it's still a very good value service and I'm happy to be signed up to it - but this ain't comparing like for like.

    As for value, why not let the customer decide? Presumably Sony would have got a cut of whatever subs are sold so they're leaving money on the table and I doubt they'd do that because they're protecting their customers from a bad deal. The cynical part of me may, however, suspect that Sony really doesn't want a PS Now rival on the system at $30 a year when they're currently charging that much for 90 days of access to Final Fntasy XIII-2.

    Of course there's one big, big difference between the two services that goes a long way to explaining that cost. EA are basically just delivering the digital copy of the game to your Xbox whereas Sony are having to run a full server infrastructure and streaming service for every second you're playing. That's likely to make it near-impossible for PS Now to be price competitive if EA keep their prices at this level.
    Reply +5
  • EA Access gives players access to triple-A games for $5 a month

  • BOFH_UK 29/07/2014

    As much as people dislike EA this is a really interesting and potentially consumer-friendly idea. I say potentially as we don't necessarily know all the details yet so let's reserve judgement until it launches but if there's no hidden catches I'll be signing up. $30 (or, let's face it, likely 30) for a year of access to older titles is a really good deal and the 10% discount is nice for those of us who prefer buying digital anyway. Doubly so if, like me, you want to play sports games but don't care about having the latest teams etc.

    What I'm not so keen on is the potential for locking non-subscribers out of demos / trials of new games. Hopefully it splits with demos for all and limited access to a fuller version of games for subscribers. That being said if it does take off it'd mean a decent size pool of players who could effectively stress test games like Battlefield before it goes on public sale so I guess there's upsides there too. It'll be interesting to see if other publishers consider doing something similar...
    Reply +2
  • Bungie reassures fans disappointed that Destiny only has one playable area per planet

  • BOFH_UK 28/07/2014

    Gave the beta a whirl on the weekend and, frankly, was wondering what all the fuss was about. It's a pretty game but the weapons felt weak, the enemies a bit boring, the storyline strangely dull and the character / weapons upgrades didn't seem to be a patch on Borderlands 2. Only four areas to explore seems a bit stingy and my worry is that Destiny will go down to WoW route with a LOT of add-ons post launch.

    All that said it IS only a beta at the end of the day and I'll reserve judgement until the final game is released. Problem is there's a lot of competition in the FPS market right now so Destiny is going to have to do something very special to stand out from the crowd.
    Reply +28
  • Microsoft's PR blunders caused Sony to re-write E3 PlayStation 4 script

  • BOFH_UK 09/07/2014

    You know I still wonder if things would have been different had MS not led with TV. If they'd pitched the X1 as a games machine first (and, let's be honest, they had a decent launch line up) would the backlash have been quite so viscous? Okay, granted, the always-online thing was ludicrous but there were some interesting ideas tucked in there. Reply 0
  • Samsung's Gear VR headset revealed in leaked image

  • BOFH_UK 09/07/2014

    Leaving aside the whole 'strap a phone to your face' part for a moment surely any VR headset needs to arrive with a compelling reason to use it? 3D TV's have already shown just how (un)willing people are to put on lightweight glasses, surely the market for the facephone as a media consumption device is measured in single digits? Reply +5