Marvel’s Avengers Was Missing More than Just Gameplay

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Jun 19, 2019

Filed under: Column 28 comments

My column this week looks at the E3 trailer for the upcoming Marvel’s Avengers and talks about some of the shortcomings. I find this footage really frustrating to look at. In some games you can look at substandard art or unpolished gameplay and assume the team didn’t have the time or budget to make something better. But in the case of Marvel’s Avengers, it looks like the publisher is spending money and that money is somehow not showing up on screen. As far as I can tell, this isn’t a problem with publisher priorities. This is a basic project management problem.

I doubt that the publisher would be foolish enough to ask a developer to make a mid-budget Marvel comics game with a large cast of diverse gameplay modes. That wouldn’t make any sense. But let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that they did. If that’s the case, then why did Developer Crystal Dynamics aim so high with the scope? If they’re in a limited-budget situation, then it makes no sense to make these epic set-piece battles with large scale destruction of real-world locations. It makes even less sense to aim the visuals at this sort of half-assed photorealism rather than throwing a toon shader over the whole thing and making cheaper assets.

These characters look just enough like their MCU counterparts to create expectations that this game can't possibly meet.
These characters look just enough like their MCU counterparts to create expectations that this game can't possibly meet.

On the other hand: If Square Enix is putting up the money for a big-budget superhero ensemble game, then… where is it? Why does everything look so shoddy? Why does it look like there’s no art directorRead the column itself for my analysis on the character designs and proportions.? Why do the visuals look so last-gen?

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Marvel’s Avengers Was Missing More than Just Gameplay”

 


 

E3 2019: Square Enix, PC, Devolver Digital, Uplay+

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Jun 18, 2019

Filed under: Industry Events 104 comments

Our voyage through this orgy of excess and consumerism continues. This entry will cover Square Enix, PC, Devolver Digital, and part of the Ubisoft show. The next entry will wrap everything up. For real this time.

Square Enix – Final Fantasy 7 Remake

I'm not sure I'd want to see the Golden Saucer rendered at this level of fidelity. Feels like it would lose some of the charm.
I'm not sure I'd want to see the Golden Saucer rendered at this level of fidelity. Feels like it would lose some of the charm.

On the podcast last week I joked that Square Enix would chop up the original so that Midgar – the starting city in Final Fantasy 7 – would be an entire game all by itself. It turns out the joke’s on me, because that’s what they’re doing for real.

I should make it clear that I’m not one of the hardcare fans of this game. I played it sometime in 2005 or so, when I was in my mid 30s. Most of the fans played it in 1997 when they were teenagers or young adults. It had an enormous impact on them, and so this is a really big deal for those fans. For me, it was something I really liked, but for a lot of people it was a defining moment in their relationship with the hobby.

The new combat looks a lot like other modern JRPG titles. It runs in realtime, you’re free to move around, and you press the attack button to charge up your abilities. It looks fine to me, but I don’t know how it will go over with the fans.

It’s very pretty.

Most of the rest of the Square Enix presentation was a never-ending chain of JRPGs. This isn’t really my genre, so they all kinda blurred together in my mind. Let’s skip all that and jump right to…

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “E3 2019: Square Enix, PC, Devolver Digital, Uplay+”

 


 

Diecast #261: The Great Mailbag Purge

By Shamus Posted Monday Jun 17, 2019

Filed under: Diecast 92 comments

The mailbag got backed up over the last few weeks while we were talking about… whatever those shows were about. So now we’re finally getting caught up.



Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Show notes: Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Diecast #261: The Great Mailbag Purge”