One of the most popular buzz terms in gaming right now is “live services,” which is Ubisoft’s new term for its big-budget games. Essentially, live services are games that will continue to be supported long after launch with all sorts of DLC and microtransactions in order to keep revenue coming in for the publisher long after the initial point of purchase. Essentially, the era of games being “finished” when it launches are a thing of the past, as developers can continue to produce updates and new content for their games based on fan feedback and trends in the marketplace. While this has allowed publishers to cut corners in certain cases and release games much earlier than they should have been, it also means that even a bad game can eventually become something special if the right updates are applied. These are the games I want to celebrate today, the ones that may have disappointed us in their original forms at launch, but have since improved significantly thanks to developers taking the time to recognize where they went wrong and make the necessary fixes.
When Middle of Earth: Shadow of War released mid last year there was lots of controversy surrounding the open-world adventure game. Besides the whole ‘Forthog’ issue, fans were pretty displeased to see just how geared the new iteration was for microtransactions. Now it seems that nearly a year later Warner Bros will be going against the microtransaction business model. From May 8th, the ability to purchase gold will be removed, following this Gold, War Chests, and the Market will then be fully removed on July 17.
If I had to describe City of Brass to a skeptical bystander, I’d begin by telling them to stop censoriously waving their finger, and just listen. I mean, even the Sultan listened to Scheherezade, and he was viciously impatient. City of Brass bows in reverence to Arabian Nights, transfiguring its words and illustrations into scorchingly delicious hack and slash action.
Bioware has been subject to lots of controversy over the past year, the once shining Knight in the RPG genre has been reduced to memes, rant videos about facial animations and accusations of chasing money (ahem, Anthem). Fans have attributed this shift in quality to the acquisition of the studio by EA, a massive publisher and development that has been known for squeezing the very lifeforce out of gamers with brick wall microtransactions and DLC.
Far Cry 5 the latest iteration in the Far Cry franchise has been subject to lots of attention in the lead up to the game’s launch. Some gamers were worried that we’d see more of the same Far Cry junk (open-world, liberate, move on blah blah blah), while others had faith in the new changes Ubisoft was bringing to the formulaic game.
I’m not quite sure whether any fox hunters read Gameranx on the regular, but if you happen to be one, Focus Lab Studios has created a game that will send shivers down your spine. Fox Run is a free to play Android game where foxes can run indefinitely, which of course means they’ll never be caught. The bushy tailed beasts can also collect berries and dodge obstacles with a touch less grace than Mary Lou Retton, but let’s not forget their endless running ability. Damn impressive.
That slimy discomfort you get when you’re hiding under the duvet and a mistimed creak fills the room? Yeah, that’s not your imagination. And in psychological horror title The InnerFriend, Canadian indie team Playmind will show you just how real that godforsaken place is.
A researcher from the UK is arguing that Fortnite, Epic Games’ sandbox survival game, isn’t addictive.