“History Repeats Itself”
As the E3 waters have finally settled, the industry has slipped back into routine operation. Broken games, new releases, morsels of information, outraged fans; same old, same old. Here’s everything worth bringing to the spotlight this week.
Arkham Knight PC Performance
The Caped Crusader may be able to clean the streets of Gotham in Arkham Knight, but taking control of the game’s PC port, is out of Dark Knight’s control. Batman: Arkham Knight, the third and final installment in the Rocksteady trilogy hit shelves this week. Unlike its predecessors, Arkham Knight is exclusive to current gen consoles and PC. The reception has been mostly positive, with fans and critics universally in agreement on both the game’s triumphs and missteps. This is in regards to the console versions; PC is another story. Arkham Knight hadn’t been in the wild long, before numerous reports broke the secret that the PC port of the game was a dreadful mess. Relentless stuttering, audio glitches and a 30 frames-per-second cap, have given Arkham Knight a rocky start on PC. The port was in such bad shape that patching it was out of the question, resulting in Warner Bros. and Rocksteady suspending all sales of the PC version. The move to suspend the game was announced on WB Games official forums.
“We want to apologize to those of you who are experiencing performance issues with Batman: Arkham Knight on PC. We take these issues very seriously and have therefore decided to suspend future game sales of the PC version while we work to address these issues to satisfy our quality standards. We greatly value our customers and know that while there are a significant amount of players who are enjoying the game on PC, we want to do whatever we can to make the experience better for PC players overall.”
The move is without a doubt a drastic and unexpected one, but given the state the game was in, welcome. Mind you, this isn’t something that happens every day, and it’s a severe risk for both Warner Bros. and Rocksteady. The decision to take one the year’s biggest games off the shelf has marked Arkham Knight a spot in history, one that reflects the state of relevant issues swirling around in the industry.
Driveclub PS Plus Edition Arrives
Eight months late is better than never right? Evolution Studios’ racer released back in October, but due to severe network problems at the time of launch, publisher Sony Computer Entertainment decided to push back the free PS Plus Edition of the game. The servers weren’t prepared to hold those who purchased the game at its $60 retail, let alone the masses that would’ve given it a try for free. Months passed with no word on the PS Plus Edition, with whispers circulating that the free trial might never see the light of day. Well, that day is finally here. The PS Plus Edition is free to download on PS4 right now and comes with all of the features and functionality of the retail release, but only includes 15 cars and one location. It’s also missing the full online multiplayer component, as Evolution Studios’ looks to roll things out slowly, in an effort to give the the servers the room they need. It’s surely worth the download for those PS Plus members that missed out on the full version last year with an invested interest in the genre.
Bungie Apologizes to Destiny Fans
In Bungie’s Weekly Update following The Taken King controversy, the developer revealed that Destiny players don’t need to re-purchase the game and its expansions to receive the exclusive items included in the collector’s edition. Players who already own a copy of last years shooter and both expansions, will now be able to pick up the exclusive content by way of a $20 upgrade bundle on September 15. Those who pick up the standalone version or the legendary edition of The Taken King, also have access to the content pack. The whole thing is a bit of a mess, depending on how you look at it. Destiny is a game many were lukewarm on at launch, myself included. Its presentation from the get-go took many by surprise, following a direction that catered to a much more specific audience, than previous company titles. From day one, Destiny has been caught up in the “exclusive this, exclusive that,” marketing scheme and as the game looks toward its future it seems to grow increasingly convoluted from an outside perspective. I put the game down before the release of the two expansions, and have no impulse to return as the rapidly growing pay-gate and leveling system scare me off. The Taken King is currently set for a release date of September 15.
Black Ops 3 Sony Exclusivity Deal
For years now, Call of Duty’s marketing has been synonymous with Microsoft. Yet at E3 this year, Activision debuted the next Call of Duty during Sony’s press conference, with Treyarch returning to the Black Ops series. In an interview with IGN, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg, gave us a bit more insight into the partnership, stating the following.
“The time was right for us to partner up with Sony, they really wanted it. When a first party is really excited and gets behind your games, it makes a really big difference. Sony did a great job with Destiny and helped launch that and make it successful. It’s important to remember that this is a cross-platform game and everyone gets all the content eventually. It’s going to be the best shooter on any platform no matter where you want to play.”
The partnership means PlayStation players will receive add-on content first. Black Ops 3 looks to strike the balance between last year’s Advanced Warfare and Treyarch’s previous Black Ops, in terms of pacing and gameplay. The partnership with Sony will surely bleed over into the marketing as well, though I don’t see this is as a huge win for Sony. By now, everyone that picks up a copy of Call of Duty has a definitive place to play with friends. I doubt the partnership will move units strictly upon the principle that PlayStation will receive DLC content before Xbox. Regardless, Sony is in need of third-party support this fall and Call of Duty will undoubtably give them what they were looking for. Black Ops 3 hits shelves November 6, 2015 on PS4, Xbox One and PC, with PS3 and Xbox 360 versions still up in the air.
To keep up with my thoughts on all things video games and plenty of other shenanigans, you can follow me on Twitter @BraxHaugen