There’s a great line in a “Sopranos” episode where Tony confronts his long loved crush, and therapist, with the possibility that she may not have taken the chance to truly get to know him.
Forget the way Tony Soprano makes his way in the world. That’s to feed his children. There’s two Tony Sopranos…you’ve never seen that other one…That’s the one I want to show you
EA and Maxis must be relating to that quote now as it pertains to the new “SimCity,” because there are certainly two sides of the game. One is the game that critics have informed players is a brilliant mix of every great thing the series has become up until this point mixed with exciting new evolutions to the formula leading to a title every inch as great as it could be.
The other though is the one that the rest of the world is seeing. It’s the one that is causing the entire internet to roar in fury over the fact that they haven’t even gotten a chance to play the game yet due to server issues so encompassing, it can only be classified as an epidemic. Even if you’re lucky enough to log on to the game, you’ll most likely be booted in an instant for your audacity.
There is no greater example of this dynamic than the astounding difference between the critic review score (82) and the user review score (1.7) on metacritic.
It’s as if EA flipped the disaster option available in the game on in real life, and the name of the chosen catastrophe is “DRM,” as just like “Diablo III” you must be signed in to the internet at all times, even if playing by yourself, and just like that game, the server congestion this causes in unmanageable.
Companies say its a feture that will one day lead to better security in games, and unique social benefits. So far it has only led to catastrophic server issues that break games like Ivan Drago breaks opponents.
It must be stopped.
There can be no room for debate on this topic. Not for now anyway. Putting aside the absurd notion that a gamer can’t play the game they bought and installed without a high quality internet connection available at all times, the cases of “Diablo III” and “SimCity” show that any potential benefits this atrocity of an idea may yield are in no way able to be implemented safely yet.
Actually, let’s not put aside the absurd notion of the idea. Let’s hit it on the head, throw it in a bag, chain the bag, put the bag in the car, and drive the car in the ocean and never speak of it again. It’s a terrible concept that becomes insulting when you consider that the only real explanation of its current existence is that gamers will eventually get used to it.
Yeah well you get used to having your hand on a stove eventually, but you’ve still done permanent damage.
That’s what it boils down to. Even though gamers will one day be able to actually play the game they eagerly waited for and quickly snatched up, much like “Diablo III” and its sales records, “SimCity” will be a game forever tarnished by this incident, that no amount of figures or good will gestures will aid.
At the end of the day gamers just want to play this game, and EA and Maxis (oh who are we kidding, EA) have done the one thing that could prevent them from doing that, and seemingly did it knowingly, as there is no way they could not have seen something like this coming, considering the massive amount of pre-sale orders.
It’s a sick joke that a game years in development and all about effective planning, management, and creation, should be affected by problems that exhibit none of those ideas, and leaves what should be a world of thriving metropolises, into a nothing more than a large ghost town.
If Only They’d Known How Appropriate This Video Would Be
In what is simply a video game news story too bizarre not to report (in other words, sorry mom), French sex toy store Absoloo has a very special promotion going on for any ladies (in France, at least) who lost their boyfriends’ attention due to spending more time with “Diablo III” than them.
This is how it works: You simply post a photo of yourself on the company’s Facebook page holding a copy of “Diablo III,” and they send you a private message with a code that lets you get a free… let’s say it’s a special vibrating magic staff, from their website.
Here is Absoloo’s own (poorly translated) take on the offer:
Your man has not left his computer since the release yesterday of Diablo III?
Still a long time before you find yourself in his arms during a romantic evening …
You yearn … You feel abandoned … Abandoned …
The situation is so, you must admit, your man would rather go in search of magical jewels, gloves sorcerers, and other heavy war clubs to get XP points rather than engaging in the research of your G-spot and gain sexual experience.
So what to do?
Do not despair over! We decided to help you!
Find the force and the attention you need naturally, but with a new friend …
Some people are crying foul that this promotion is sexist against women that play “Diablo III” as the implication is that only men would play the game. To this I say, complaining about it just blinds female gamers from a free toy with purchase of video game promotion that puts all happy meal pack-ins to great blushing shame.
Personally, I think that all available gamers should take the company up on their offer and then send every one of the toys over to Blizzard so that they can go #*%! themselves for all the botches in “Diablo III’s” launch.
Although its actual development time was considerably shorter, in the minds of most fans, “Diablo III” has been no less than 12 years in the making. That’s how long it’s been since the release of “Diablo II,” and that’s how long it’s been since gamers have been craving a true follow up. 12 years.
And after just two days of release, some gamers are already more excited about “Diablo IV.”
This is mostly due to Blizzard’s controversial decision to have gamers log-in to its servers in order to play the game. What’s irksome is that it doesn’t matter if you’re playing single player or multiplayer; you have to be online. Ideally, this allows for a range of features that should allow the gamer to be in a constantly networked world where gamers can aid each other in their quest, and friends can drop in at any time to do battle by your side, as you smote your enemies with joyful ease.
In reality though, the servers have been having nothing but trouble since launch. The battle.net network has appeared so far to be insufficiently capable of handling the mass numbers of users “Diablo III” has added without doing that annoying crashing thing and rendering the game unplayable in any form. It’s almost as if Blizzard didn’t anticipate that the sequel to one of the greatest selling and most acclaimed games of all time might actually sell a few copies itself, and that a mandatory online account coupled with that could lead to serious server problems.
Of course, the conclusion that just about everyone who isn’t a Blizzard employee has come to is that the game shouldn’t require a mandatory online account. It’s so ludicrously unnecessary, in fact, that as I was booting up the single player for the first time and it asked me to create an account, I couldn’t help but think of the Kramer line from Seinfeld. “Why does Radioshack need your phone number when you buy batteries?”
After sitting through far too many rounds of the NFL Draft over the weekend, I got to thinking: If sports reporters can analyze players that haven’t gone pro yet, why not try to make an assessment of games that haven’t gone live yet? So here is my scouting report on some big releases of May, including just how I think they will fare when they hit the big time.
Max Payne 3
The wait for this game has had many fans feel what it’s like to be stuck in Max’s signature slowdown bullet time mode. Original developer Remedy did an amazing job with the first “Max Payne” when it came to capturing that particular brand of Hong Kong cinema gunplay, popularized by the likes of “Hard Boiled” and “The Killer“, while infusing it with some old fashioned American film noir style. It resulted in one of the most revolutionary and unique shooters ever made. For the sequel, “Max Payne 2“, they managed to blow nearly everyone’s expectations away by retaining the essentially the same gameplay of the first, but then smothering the entire experience with unbelievable amount of style, emphasized by some of the best level design ever in a game and some perfect ragdoll physics, to create what is one of my personal favorite games of all time.
But now it’s Rockstar’s turn to take the reins (and why not as that iconic R logo on the first two led many to believe it was one of their developments anyway), as they attempt to bring Max back into the limelight. So far, from the numerous preview trailers, it looks like the emphasis is on refinement of the system and not starting a revolution….as least in the single player. Yes for the first time ever, Max is going multiplayer in what Rockstar is hoping is going to be a unique attempt at that eternal question. How do you make bullet time work in multiplayer?
I have zero doubt this game is going to be good. I have some questions though on whether or not it will be great.
It’s obvious from everything we’ve seen so far that Rockstar is not looking to stray from the established gameplay of the first two, and merely tweak it with some very welcome additions (mostly cosmetic). But at this point, many fans want the game to be more than “just fun”, and to pull that off, Rockstar is going to have to match the numerous little X-factors that Remedy populated the first two games with. As this installment is moving away from its previous Noir style roots, they’re going to have to find a way to make the new “Man on Fire”-style world and plot shine as bright and feel as unique. Failing that, it’s going to come down to the multiplayer to be what makes this game stand out in a busy market (even for a returning legend).
I’ve been on the lookout for a new distraction for quite some time now, but none of the major game releases in the past several months have really captured my attention. Skyrim was good for a time, but while I’m sure I’ll go back to that world on occasion, there’s only so much that I feel truly compelled to do in the game. The Old Republic was an absolute flop for me. Even the DotA 2 beta feels a little lackluster of late. That’s mostly due to the losing streak I’m currently wading through, but also because not all of my gaming buddies have the title and the hero pool remains a bit limited.
I’m not expecting Diablo III to change the gaming industry as we know it. I’m not expecting it to be the best game of 2012. I’m not really expecting anything, which is why I think I will probably enjoy it. Dungeon slashers aren’t particularly interesting games, but they’re usually a lot of fun. I especially like the features of Diablo III aimed at more fun, instead of just min-maxing a character for damage (although that can be a pretty good time, too).
A few videos have recently popped up (like the one above) showing off the effects of different runes on class spells. Though some are a little uninspired (zombie becomes zombie with poison cloud), a lot of the rune effects make significant changes to the way a character feels, which I think is awesome. Personally, I’m most interested in the witch doctor, but the monk is a close second. I’m sure at some point I’ll get into the wizard – I just couldn’t stay away from the sorceress in Diablo II – but I’m guessing that’s a ways off.