DanWhitehead Comments

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  • EA execs off the hook in Battlefield 4 'you lied to inflate share price' lawsuit

  • DanWhitehead 23/10/2014

    @Shikasama "I don't really blame you, you're an advertising vehicle and you're utterly dependent on the companies that make the stuff you write about.

    It's just irritating when you remember how obnoxiously plastered Battlefield 4 was all over the site."

    Actually, I'm an independent freelancer who has no idea what the advertising plans are for the website when I write my reviews.
    Reply +2
  • DanWhitehead 23/10/2014

    @Shikasama "You wrote a Disaster Report on it after giving it 8/10 you knobbers.

    Pass the Doritos"

    I gave it 8/10 based on the game I played at the review event. Turns out, the game played very differently on live servers with lots of players.

    That incident is why Eurogamer no longer gives scores for online-based games from review events, and only awards a score out of ten after the game has been played under normal conditions.

    Also, at the review event, I stayed in a completely different hotel to the rest of the gaming press, paid for by Eurogamer and not EA, and did not attend any PR-paid meals or related social events. Nor did I accept the Battlefield branded controller that was offered as a gift.

    You're free to agree or disagree with the score, of course, but it was given in good faith. If you think review events stink, guess what? I agree. The way games are released is changing, and so is the way we gain access to them for review. Eurogamer has been at the forefront of openly and honestly reacting to those changes. No Doritos required.
    Reply +3
  • Jade Raymond leaves Ubisoft after a decade

  • DanWhitehead 20/10/2014

    @dirtysteve "A Tony Hawk - style pure-parkour game would be what the sport needs. Has there been one?"

    There was a PS2 game in 2007 called Free Running. It wasn't very good.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/free-running-review
    Reply +3
  • Dead Rising: Watchtower film will be "Indiana Jones with zombies"

  • DanWhitehead 01/10/2014

    "Another very cool element from the game is the zombies remember a little bit about their previous lives. There is something really haunting about seeing a zombie cop randomly firing his gun, or a zombie mum pushing a stroller."

    As with most things zombie-related, Romero did it first.
    Reply +1
  • David Braben says The Outsider "probably is gone for good"

  • DanWhitehead 11/09/2014

    @Ceatlan Not to mention, simply releasing a console game can cost a ton of money. Different certification processes, localisation, plus marketing and PR so that people will find and buy it. Even if the game were finished, QA tested and ready to go, "just release it" isn't as simple as it sounds. It's not just a question of uploading it to the internet and waiting for the money to roll it. Reply +12
  • Sony confirms "reduction in workforce" at inFamous dev Sucker Punch

  • DanWhitehead 20/08/2014

    Seems especially weird given that there's a Sly Cooper movie coming in 2016. Reply +1
  • Sonic Boom has a release date on 3DS and Wii U

  • DanWhitehead 15/08/2014

    @Turbocharge "It looks like they've taken more than a little bit of inspiration from the Ratchet and Clank series - which can only be a good thing."

    Big Red Button was set up by Bob Rafei, one of the original members of the Naughty Dog team. He worked on Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter, so that'll be the influence you're detecting.
    Reply +1
  • Video: Ian's about to tell you all about his favourite game

  • DanWhitehead 04/08/2014

    "Brilliant!" Reply +6
  • Video Games: The Movie review

  • DanWhitehead 04/08/2014

    @Guy.J. "Your use of "many" somewhat nullifies your point; rubbish is rubbish, whenever it was made. In my post, I said "the best of the modern world" not "the average" and certainly not "the worst"."

    Well, my point was actually that rubbish is rubbish, whenever it was made, so it seems we agree? This documentary takes the approach that "good and new" is automatically better than "good and old", and that those old good games existed only to get us to Gears of War and similar.

    "Cavemen once scratched pictures into rocks. You can look at one of those pictures and say it's amazing, and in a way it is, but at the same time it's just a fucking scribble. It's not Monet."

    This is the thinking I have a problem with. By this logic, you could then go on to dismiss Monet by saying "It's not Damien Hirst", which is insane.

    Art doesn't exist on a neat timeline that curves ever upwards and is constantly narrowing in on the perfect realisation of form. Today's US blockbusters are not the inevitable evolution of the early arcade games. They are one possible development of some of the core systems of those games. It's not a peak and it's not an end point. That's the part of Video Games: The Movie I have a problem with - the way its stupidly broad scope and pointlessly narrow vision combine to erase so much valuable stuff from the debate.
    Reply +3
  • DanWhitehead 04/08/2014

    @vert1go Farty the Warthog gets it. Reply +2
  • DanWhitehead 04/08/2014

    @Guy.J.

    "However, I can't help but wince a little when the article starts romanticising old games like they should be revered or something. It reminds me of when CDs came out and some people said vinyl is better. It isn't. By all means recognise older works as being important/impressive in their time, but please don't act like they should be taught in history class and certainly don't act like they can magically hold their own against the best of the modern world."

    I don't think old games should be "revered" but I do think they should be respected, and not treated as footnotes that have now been overwritten.

    The vinyl/CD argument doesn't really make sense because those are formats, not content. A more comparable argument would be to say that a music documentary should only reference The Beatles as the template that would evolve into One Direction. Or that we can skip past Kurosawa to get to Michael Bay.

    Old games are still absolutely relevant. Not all old games are good, but nor are new games. Personally, I'd rather spend an afternoon playing Pac-Man or Legend of Zelda or Atic Atac than many modern games, because they're still amazing games, made up of tight, focused gameplay systems. The mistake Video Games: The Movie makes is to become so wedded to its timeline that it sees everything as building to a small subset of what games are today. It's a form of apophenia, the tendency to impose patterns and meaning on otherwise random data.

    In time, tastes will move on again and we'll come to look at today's over-stuffed, feature-heavy yet gameplay-shallow blockbusters in much the same way we look at epic 29-minute prog rock tracks now. A capsule of tastes at a certain time, but not the end of the journey by any means.
    Reply +9
  • Somewhere in the multiverse exists a timeline where Mr Do! is as iconic as Mario

  • DanWhitehead 03/08/2014

    @kentmonkey "Do correct me if I'm wrong but if it was a ROM collection you played, have you just written an article based on playing pirated games?"

    Not necessarily. Lots of arcade companies put out generic cabinets that could play multiple games. It allowed arcades with limited space to get more return per cabinet. Nintendo's PlayChoice-10 is the obvious example.
    Reply +9
  • Video: Let's Play Nekro

  • DanWhitehead 11/07/2014

    For future reference, the easy way to tell a bull from a cow is that one has a winky and the other has a foo-foo. Reply +2
  • Sniper Elite 3 review

  • DanWhitehead 26/06/2014

    @SteveV "Eight missions or not, how long does it take to play through first time is what I'd like to know?"

    Took me just over 11 hours to complete first time through, and that left quite a lot of secrets and bonus objectives still to find. Completion was 47%.
    Reply +7
  • Crytek UK exodus sparks concern over Homefront: The Revolution

  • DanWhitehead 24/06/2014

    @asphaltcowboy "30 staff leaving since 2011 is not big news"

    Depends who the staff are, though. You'd expect a certain amount of churn in junior positions, but as the story says, "the list includes staff who held key positions in art, design and programming."

    That amount of staff turnover at a team leader level or higher could wreak havoc on development.
    Reply +3
  • Video: Enemy Front live stream

  • DanWhitehead 16/06/2014

    It will, if nothing else, make for a hilarious video. Me and my son were in hysterics playing it yesterday. Reply +2
  • Head-swapping roguelike FranknJohn is now on Kickstarter

  • DanWhitehead 04/06/2014

    I'd prefer to see more games go to Kickstarter this deep into development. Being able to play a demo and see the shape of the finished game is really important. Too many game projects on there now are just "We've got this pie in the sky idea - give us some money so we can kick it around a bit and see if it'll work". Reply +2
  • Microsoft's free Xbox One Games with Gold promotion starts today

  • DanWhitehead 04/06/2014

    @Sapporodan "Just a thought but is there a chance this will damage the games retail industry? If we have so many free games every month why would people bother to go out and purchase anything."

    This was the industry's concern back when Spectrum mags were giving away cover tapes containing free games - often seven or more. The big difference then was that the 8 bit computer era was on its last legs, and there were literally thousands of games to give away. Seeing the same mentality creeping in at the start of a hardware generation is very odd - though it's more about selling subscriptions than shifting units these days.
    Reply +6
  • The making of Match Day

  • DanWhitehead 01/06/2014

    Bear Bovver was my first ever Spectrum game! Reply +1
  • Video: Let's Replay Spy Hunter

  • DanWhitehead 28/04/2014

    I played this for about six hours straight on the Spectrum one Saturday afternoon, convinced that I'd reach the end eventually. My mum made me switch it off so she could watch Cliff Richard or something. Oh, how I raged. Reply +1
  • Psychedelic space shooter Futuridium headed to PS4

  • DanWhitehead 09/04/2014

    @Gambit1977 This basically is an updated version of Uridium, but done in 3D. The iOS version tips its hat to Andrew Braybrook in the credits. Reply +1
  • Game jam reality show cancelled as indies wouldn't put up with its s***

  • DanWhitehead 01/04/2014

    @DwarfyP @MrDurandPierre @The_B Jared Rosen did an epic write up over at Indie Statik, and from the timeline described there it seems that the contracts weren't even seen until the developers had arrived in LA, some of them having flown in from hundreds of miles away. Walking off under those circumstances is a big deal - I certainly don't blame them for sticking around and trying to make it work. Reply +7
  • Alien Isolation: "I didn't expect smiling and laughing"

  • DanWhitehead 28/03/2014

    @vert1go That would be the game mentioned at the end of the feature. Reply +1
  • Rampage review

  • DanWhitehead 26/03/2014

    You actually only get points for sets of coloured civilians.
    Racist.
    Reply +22
  • Betrayer review

  • DanWhitehead 25/03/2014

    @spekkeh "edit: wait, there's no end goal?"

    There is an end goal, but it's not spelled out. It's more an ongoing realisation of what's happened/happening than a "Do this to save the world" scenario.
    Reply +6
  • Out There review

  • DanWhitehead 14/03/2014

    @poobob Definitely. The alien language aspect seems to be a direct reference to Captain Blood. Reply +4
  • Heroes of Dragon Age review

  • DanWhitehead 03/03/2014

    @Widge "I'd be intrigued to hear how the F2P done right games fare in terms of revenue. I fear that what we deem as F2P done right may not actually earn the companies any money."

    League of Legends made $624m in 2013. World of Tanks made $372m. Neither has a reputation for gouging players, and both have enormous and dedicated player bases. It can be done.
    Reply +16
  • Video: Let's Replay Crash Team Racing

  • DanWhitehead 02/03/2014

    This reminded me I need to download CTR onto my Vita. Which I am now doing.

    Crash Team Racing had a better arena mode and better track design than Mario Kart (at that time). It also had a fun single player mode with an open hub area rather than selecting tracks through a menu.

    Also, let the record show that if you'd invited me to take part in this video I would have CRUSHED YOU BOTH.

    Just saying.
    Reply +20
  • Rovers Return: reinventing the ARG with Extrasolar

  • DanWhitehead 24/02/2014

    @jellyBelly "The first thing we do is reject you"... Reply +3
  • CandySwipe dev: King "taking the food out of my family's mouth"

  • DanWhitehead 13/02/2014

    @ShiftyGeezer "This isn't entirely King's fault. The IP system is like that - use it or lose it. If you don't defend a trademark, you lose the rights to it, which means the system requires companies to bully each other."

    This is certainly true, and explains the "Saga" claim.

    What has happened here is rather different though. CandySwipe predates Candy Crush, so King bought the rights to an even older game that happened to have "candy" in the title - Candy Crusher - purely for the purpose of nailing this indie developer. King can now claim it has prior rights to the "candy" name, even though it had nothing to do with the making of Candy Crusher.

    It's gaming the system, in a pretty vindictive way, using King's wealth to retroactively invalidate CandySwipe's trademark. It's petty disgusting behaviour, directed at a tiny indie developer that posed no real threat to their business.
    Reply +6
  • Controversy over Bluetooth ZX Spectrum keyboard

  • DanWhitehead 03/02/2014

    @TrevHead Lords of Midnight is already out on iOS - not through Elite - and Doomdark's Revenge is coming soon. Reply 0
  • DanWhitehead 03/02/2014

    @X201 It now belongs to Sky, which bought Amstrad. There's some confusion as to whether Elite has the rights to the design, as the Kickstarter pitch rather notably doesn't name the licensor it's struck a deal with. Reply +4
  • First shots of the Sly Cooper film due 2016

  • DanWhitehead 28/01/2014

    Rainmaker Entertainment, the studio behind this, is best known for the absolutely wretched CGI Barbie direct-to-DVD movies, which feature some of the worst animation I've seen. Reply +6
  • Wintry survival sim Midwinter is getting a remake in 2015

  • DanWhitehead 09/01/2014

    @Maturin Cable cars are already in the game and working. Combat/sniping is still being designed, but the plan is to include everything from the original - where relevant - and more. Reply +6
  • DanWhitehead 09/01/2014

    Absolutely no plans to dumb down. If anything, we're going to be going deeper with the strategy aspects, character swapping etc. There's a lot that couldn't be done on the Amiga that we can do today. Reply +12
  • DanWhitehead 09/01/2014

    Do you have any idea how hard it is to freeze the whole of America as a viral marketing stunt? I'm knackered. Reply +25
  • Is 2014 the year of virtual reality?

  • DanWhitehead 04/01/2014

    @Spong " Not to mention it'll be no fun to watch as a spectator."

    Not true. Watching someone play Dreadhalls is just as much fun as playing it yourself. People take turns to ride Rift rollercoasters, and part of the appeal is seeing your friends freak out while sitting in a chair. Just look at the popularity of Rift gameplay videos on YouTube.

    To clarify, I'm not saying that VR is going to replace "normal" games or anything like that. Just that, right now, it's a far more interesting and exciting experience than waiting to see what the 2014 Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty games will be.
    Reply +5
  • Republique: Episode 1 review

  • DanWhitehead 20/12/2013

    @poobob He actually makes his living now as a pretty hardcore right wing talk radio star, which makes his role as a propagandist in this dystopian tale rather...interesting. Reply +3
  • Minecraft out on PS3 this week

  • DanWhitehead 17/12/2013

    @J.C Inevitably, someone has modded the PC version to run in Oculus Rift: https://share.oculusvr.com/app/minecrift Reply 0
  • Activision is "exploring ways" to resurrect Crash Bandicoot

  • DanWhitehead 25/11/2013

    I still expect him to turn up as a Skylander. Reply 0
  • Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW! review

  • DanWhitehead 15/11/2013

    @Olemak "I find it hard to understand how a review including the sequence of words "a remake of four-player coin-op classic Gauntlet" could end up with a 4, but them's the breaks I guess."

    Imagine a remake of Gauntlet with less than ten enemies on-screen at any time. That's how.
    Reply 0
  • Rockstar hopes new GTA Online patch out today

  • DanWhitehead 01/10/2013

    The update is live now. Reply +1
  • Warning! Don't stand your Xbox One vertically

  • DanWhitehead 20/09/2013

    They're worried that if you stand it vertically, prehistoric monkeys will touch it, learn how to kill each other with bones and the next thing you know, mankind is on a mission to Jupiter. Reply +189
  • Retrospective: Grand Theft Auto 4

  • DanWhitehead 08/09/2013

    @menage "So narrative disconnect is a positive now?"

    I wouldn't say that disconnect itself is a positive, but it is an inevitable by-product of Rockstar trying to tell a more interesting emotional story in a genre driven by mayhem and excess, and I think that striving to create a more meaningful and dramatic experience using these tools is absolutely a positive step, even if it means a few noisy gear changes along the way.
    Reply +40
  • DanWhitehead 08/09/2013

    @MarketZero Ray Stantz? Reply +37
  • Disney Infinity review

  • DanWhitehead 23/08/2013

    @ZuluHero My little girl is 6, and currently crazy about The Incredibles, so she really enjoyed just running around as Elastigirl. That's about it though - she enjoyed running around in one section of the game.

    She wasn't much bothered with doing any of the missions, and lost interest in the Toy Box creation stuff almost immediately. She didn't want to play Pirates of the Caribbean at all, and quite liked Monsters University until she said "This is the same as The Incredibles but without The Incredibles" and we had to switch back.

    So I think kids will enjoy it, because there's a baseline "running around" level of fun inherent in the concept, but I'm not convinced kids will LOVE Infinity. It's more that they'll love some of the brands that are included in Infinity, so the game gets carried along on existing passion rather than creating any of its own.
    Reply +23
  • The Drowning review

  • DanWhitehead 08/08/2013

    @The_Asking

    "I would have liked this review to be more clear that it's not saying "micro-transactions are bad" but rather it's saying "the micro-transactions in this game are overpriced/intrusive etc".

    You mean like perhaps pointing out that the game has a level that's impossible to beat without a certain weapon that it then tries to sell you after you fail? And maybe taking a screenshot of that intrusive micro-transaction to illustrate the point?
    Reply +11
  • DanWhitehead 08/08/2013

    @The_Asking

    "Adding in a level that you have to pay to beat seems reasonable. It means that everything up to that level is like a demo at the end of which you pay to continue."

    No. No no no. Nope.

    A demo which reached a certain point and then asked you to pay to unlock the rest of the game would be fine. That's how Doom worked, and it worked brilliantly. You know what you're paying for - the rest of the game.

    That's not what happens in The Drowning. There's a level - very early on in the game - which is impossible to beat when you first play it. You're running around, shooting enemies to no effect, unaware that the game has no intention of letting you succeed at this point, no matter how well you play. That it's the set up for a very crude prod in the wallet - the vendor screenshot in the review is exactly what you see after you've failed that level - just makes it despicable, in my opinion.

    And the problem with IAP like this is that it's not finite. It's a constant drip feed of resources running low, of progress being drawn out, not so that you'll pay once but so you will keep on paying. You don't know what you're paying for. How long until there's another level designed to cockblock the player, forcing them to fail so they spend more money?

    How long before the currency systems are tweaked so that each IAP has less actual value than the one before? How long before getting four stars on a level is pitched just hard enough to make it impossible for X per cent of players? How long before the so-called "rare" items needed to progress increase in number and scarcity? It never ends. Once you've told the player that the experience can and will be made patently unfair just to try and sell you a sniper rifle, the contract is broken. There are dozens of ways in which The Drowning's gameplay and structure can be used to drive the player towards payment, not through choice but coercion.

    That's the greediness that IAP encourage. Suddenly, the customer isn't just on the hook for the price of a game but, potentially, primed to pay far more than they ever would normally. That's when the gameplay design bends to accommodate the payment model. Why charge the player 69p a time to unlock ten levels, when you can design those levels so they end up paying much more, theoretically without end? It's gross.

    "If you download a game like this, you should do so expecting to and being ok with paying for some micro-transactions, and if you review it you should review it in the context of what it is."

    I don't mind paying for in-game content as long as I feel like it's my choice and that it enhances the experience. When it's blatant "you will keep losing or grinding until you buy something" pressure tactics then that, to me, is obscene and an abuse of the relationship between player and game.

    The line about "all roads lead to micro-transactions" needs to be taken in the context of the whole review which, I think makes it quite clear that the model being used here is an unpleasant one.
    Reply +14
  • DanWhitehead 08/08/2013

    @The_Asking

    "That's why even with normal console games a review will tell you if it feels over priced or good value for money."

    A review really shouldn't do this, though, as the price is not part of the creative work being reviewed. Sometimes it's hard to avoid, but in the case of F2P titles like this, the cost of the game is inextricably tied to the gameplay - in fact the gameplay is designed around it.

    "this review makes that sounds like that's not the case-it makes it sound like, no matter how fun or is, it will always loose marks it you can't avoid the micro-transactions, which I don't think I'd fair as that's this games only source of income."

    Just because a game is free doesn't mean that anything the developer/publisher decides to do to make money from it is acceptable. If The Drowning was free, but asked you to pay to unlock each new area when you reached it, I wouldn't have a problem with that. When a game introduces a level that is literally impossible for the player to beat, just to goad them into spending money, that's wrong.

    This is the problem with bad F2P - it dictates the game design. It means progress is tied to finite resources that must be constantly topped up, and players are limited as to how far they can get through their own skill, because the system demands that they be held back in order to make paying seem more attractive. There are ways that F2P can work but these "spend 69.99 on expendable meaningless in-game currency" mechanics are poisonous.
    Reply +11
  • Gone Home arrives at your home in a fortnight

  • DanWhitehead 02/08/2013

    @Rogueywon How did Fullbright not attending a show censor a panel they weren't involved with? That makes no sense. Reply +13