When I first saw Syndicate, I foresaw two outcomes on the reception of the game. EIther the FPS reboot of the old pc strategy game would be an underground hit that adds some freshness to a stale FPS genre with interesting sci-fi elements to the traditional shoot-dude-in-face gameplay or it would be a bland shooter with ideas that fail to live up their potential and decried everything that was loved about the original. It was my hope that I would get the former when I bought Syndicate for five dollars on a PCDD Amazon sale, but unfortunately I got the latter. Now I’ve never played the original, so I can’t claim that I was disappointed in the treatment of the long inactive series, but still I can’t help but think that this game begun its development as a brilliant idea but became a copy-cutter shooter over time.
Last week Greg Zeschuk, one of the founders of Bioware who recently retired, made some interesting comments about the super publisher EA. He said this in an interview with Polygon:
“I think one of the reasons that we survived and succeeded within EA was that our company was mature enough and there was enough good people throughout to handle the EA bear hug — something that is well meaning but vigorous. We needed to be strong to survive that and I think we did and you evolve from that as well.”
Many gamers, maybe rightly so, seem to have unbridled hate for EA. EA is blamed for a lot of the gaming world’s woes it seems, including the “broification” of games series they bought, DRM, and the trend of over-milking of series. And while I think that there is a good level of truth to the hate that EA gets, I don’t think that they are the pure-evil corporate headed by Mondus from the new DMC (expect a review soon, Yay!!!)
I think that EA still provides some good to the gaming scene and Zeschuk’s comments kind of confirm that feeling. He said that the “bear hug” from EA comes with good intentions but can consume a developer. I interpreted this to mean that while EA does have a large influence on the developers they publish, they provide the money and marketing power to boost a product. I remember the large amount of marketing and the sharp increase in production values that came with Mass Effect 2 and I’m not sure it would have been the same game without EA swooping it. Now you may not like what ME 2 was compared to 1, but myself and many others liked it more than the first and in part we have EA thank for that. At the same time, I think that EA’s push to get ME 3 and Dragon Age 2 out the door is in part to blame for some of the problems with those games (either that or Casey Hudson took some acid before writing the Mass Effect finale) so I in no way love EA, I just understand them. They’re a company and like any other they want to make as much money as plausible which leads them to push out titles and make them more mainstream to get a wider audience. Still without EA I’m not sure if Dead Space or Crysis, two games I really enjoyed, would have had the same success.
What do you think about the doctor’s comments? How do you feel about EA in general? Let me know below
Sorry for the hiatus (to anyone that cared which we know aren’t many, if any) I was studying for the LSAT and Parker was doing his engineer shenanigans. I promise we’ll update this daily here on in.
Were starting a new series called “Best game of this Generation.” As the title suggest, were going to each day post what our favorite games of this console generation. We tried only include games that began in this generation so this can be a buyer’s guide for anyone who just bought a current console.
Upgrade the TPS formula popularized in RE4, put it in space, and voila, Dead Space. And just like RE4, it’s very fun to play. Using mining tools to dismember necromorphs is always pretty satisfying. But where the series truly shines is its atmosphere. The sound and lighting work that goes into these games is astounding, Visceral even has teams dedicated to shadows and lighting alone. When the first game became a surprise hit,
the sequel delivered more of what made the first great with swarms of a variety of enemies and tense situations, and managed to not screw up the transition from silent protagonist to speech-endowed. You can argue that the “horror” element is being dumbed down (and even more so looking at DS3), but I believe that the games are still fun as hell to play, jump scares and vent surprises all.
The best comparison I’ve seen for the series is this: DS1 is to Alien as DS2 is to Aliens; both enjoyable, but one is clearly more focused on suspense/horror while the other favors action. Let us hope that DS3 will buck this trend, and we don’t have an Alien 3 on our hands.
After watching the show a couple weeks back, here are the grades I would award each of the press conferences. Because assigning arbitrary letter grades, from a regular video game player’s point of view, to a company’s presentation of its product lineup for the benefit of investors is something I like to do. No minus grades because I hate them.
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