E3 2018 Round-Up

Greetings Travelers!!

It’s our favorite time of year, E3!!!  For those who don’t know, E3 is the largest video game conference in the world, were each year the major developers get together to show off their future releases.  In this post I will highlight the major titles announced this year with my thoughts in 3 sentences or less.  Keep checking back as I will update this daily until the end of E3!

Update:  So I watched the  rest of E3 and there wasn’t to much of note besides the new Smash Bros.  So for now I will leave this post as is with more content coming soon and some in depth analysis of several of the games I’m particularly interested once they ahve some more gameplay.

Strange Brigade – Do you like Payday and the Mummy?  If so you will enjoy this fun, goofy, coop shooter were you play as a group of explorers fighting through evil magic to get the treasure.

Sports Game 2019 – Like playing the same sports games every year with little to no changes?  Great!!  This is the obligatory annual release of FIFA, NBA, Madden, and more…

Battlefield V – The latest in the Battlefield franchise, with little promise.  Battlefield 1 was a great game, but it failed to impress and hold my attention.  This new installment to the series shows little improvement.

Command & Conquer Rivals – Where do all games go to die?  Mobile Devices!!!!  EA reboots the classic RTS franchise, butchered it and sent it to mobile.

Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order – The latest Star Wars game coming from EA’s Respawn Entertainment, the developers of Titanfall.  I have high hopes and expectations for this upcoming single-player game, and I’m sure Respawn will give us a quality game unlike EA.

Anthem – Ever wanted to play an EA version of Destiny?  Anthem is shrouded in mystery and show little promise coming from EA and looking like a Destiny clone.

Days Gone – The upcoming zombie survival for PS4 looks interesting, but is not a new concept.  I want to see some more comprehensive gameplay before rendering a verdict.

Hitman 2 – The latest Hitman game shows much promise and looks like it will continue where the last Hitman game left off.  I have no qualms with this series and this is a great time to start playing the franchise.

Fear the Wolves – Really another battle royale game in a post-apocalyptic Russia.  I will be staying far away from this game as it shows nothing we haven’t already seen.

Generation Zero – What the hell did I just watch?  Swedes fighting robots in the 80s?  So many questions with no answers…

The Walking Dead – This game looks very interesting, almost like Left for Dead, but made by the developers behind Payday.  Want to see more, but very interested in the game.

Code Vein – An anime, vampire dark souls game.  Watching gameplay looks exactly like Dark Souls with some small differences, definitely be purchasing this game.

Phantom Doctrine – A cold war era strategy game in the spirit of XCOM.  This turn-based tactical RTS looks to be a very interesting and fun game I will be purchasing.

Total War 3 Kingdoms – The latest game in the historical RTS franchise from Creative Assembly.  I have been a big fan of this series since Empire, but the series has really flat-lined and grown stale since Rome 2.

Halo Infinite – Microsoft has made the right decision, Halo is coming to PC!!!!  Otherwise nothing significant was announced or shown about this game.

Sekiro Shadows Die Twice – The latest in the demon souls line from From Software.  The trailer shows in a kind of Feudal Japan, with new elements to Dark Souls like a grappling hook and more free roam.  I will definitely be investing in this game.

Crackdown 3 – The latest game in the Crackdown series and long over due.  Another exciting development is that this will also be coming to PC.  Gameplay looks just like Crackdown 2 which should mean this will be a great game.

Metro Exodus – The latest in the Metro series, which looks like I will be bringing more of the same.  Looking forward to seeing more gameplay, but so far I am not interested.

Kingdom Hearts 3 – I haven’t played Kingdom Hearts since the first game, and I look forward to returning to the series with this fun and beautiful looking game.

The Division 2 – Probably the worst MMO I have played returns with the much not needed sequel.  I had high hopes for the original, but low expectations for the second.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider – The latest edition in the exciting Tomb Raider series.  Having played and enjoyed the last two games, I am looking forward to seeing what new content Shadow will bring to the Tomb Raider series.

Dying Light 2 – Another zombie survival game.  I thought the first one was bland and repetitive, and I hope this game will breath some life into the title.

Just Cause 4 – Another Just Cause game, no surprise there after the success of the 3rd game.  But, the series needs some spice, something to mix up series before it becomes too repetitive.

Gears of War 5 – WHY????  The series rapped up so nicely and the multiplayer was excellent in Gears 3.  Please end things before Gears turns into a Call of Duty.

Rage 2 – The original Rage was an interesting and exciting game, and the sequel is long overdue.  I look forward to seeing more detailed gameplay and acquiring this game.

DOOM Eternal – No one was surprised to see another Doom, but the series sure as hell is fun.  Looking forward to seeing some gameplay in the near future.

Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset – Why are they still developing this game and who is still playing it??  We all wished for an Elder Scrolls MMO and we got this garbage.

Skyrim: Very Special Edition – STOP………RE…..RELEASING…………MORE………..SKYRIM!!!!

Fallout 76 – The newest segment of Fallout bringing into the MMO verse.  Fallout 4 wasn’t completely terrible but, ESO was horrible and I hope that 76 doesn’t follow ESO down its dark path of misery.

Starfield – Looks and sounds like Fallout in space which I can’t complain about.  Really excited to see gameplay and you might have guessed at BH Interactive we really love space.

Elder Scrolls 6 – About fucking time.

Skull and Bones – Liked sailing a pirate ship in Assassin’s Creed Black Flag?  Wanted to play a whole game on a pirate ship?  Now you can in this exciting new game from Ubisoft.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas – A new and very interesting concept from Ubisoft.  This space dog-fighting game looks like a combination of No Man’s Sky and Elite Dangerous.  Definitely a series I will keep my eye on and would like to acquire if it turns out well.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – I thoroughly enjoyed Origins, and liked the RPG direction that Ubisoft is taking the series.  I’m a little disappointed they returned with a new game so quickly, but am not disappointed by the chosen setting.  I look at Odyssey as an expansion to Origins.

Satisfactory – Minecraft meets Space Engineers meets Factorio.  What an interesting and exciting looking game.  Alpha sign-up are available and I look forward to bringing you content soon!!

Mavericks: Proving Grounds – PLEASE STOP WITH THE BATTLE ROYALE GAMES!!!!!!!

Star Citizen – It’s like waiting for Elder Scrolls 6 to come out, except we can play a small portion of the sci-fi space MMO.

Anno 1800 – I really enjoyed Anno 2070, but not 2205.  I hope 1800 returns to what really made Anno the successful city builder/RTS it was in 2070.  I have high hopes for this game and definitely want to play it.

Last of Us Part 2 – The exciting sequel to one of the most popular story-driven zombie survival games ever made.  I really look forward to playing this game and the original when I acquire a PS4 this fall.

Ghost of Tsushima – Ever since Total War Shogun 2 I have had a deep love for Feudal Japan.  This game looks to be extremely, fun and deep with brutal and dynamic combat.  Another PS4 exclusive I plan to acquire.

Death Stranding – We all eagerly wait to really figure out what this game is.  But coming from Kojima, I have no doubt it is going to be an amazing single-player experience.

Nioh 2 – A Dark Souls-esque game based on Feudal Japan.  the first game was a lot of fun, and extremely difficult, I’m sure the second game will love up to the standards set by the first.

Spider-Man – Another exciting exclusive coming to the PS4.  I really hope this game turns out great but, so far I am worried as all the action looks like quick time events.  Hopefully we will get a better grasp of the game before release.

Keep checking back for more E3 updates and related content all week!!  And I look forward to bringing gameplay from many of these titles as they release.


DEV-Talk 2.6 – DLC

Welcome back Travelers, to continue reading this post please pay $4.99!


Just kidding, this post is actually completely free!!  But, don’t you hate it when your favorite game releases new content that you need in order to keep playing the game normally, and the developer charges you for it?? cough EA cough cough….  The best example of this is seen in Battlefield DLC, that without purchasing DLC, your gameplay experience becomes severely restricted as game modes and server playlists all require DLC to play.

This unfortunately has further evolved into developers creating DLC roadmaps before even developing the game.  Where the plan their game around DLC, often taking the base game, cutting it down, selling 60% with the other 40% available as DLC.  This is not acceptable.  I recognize that this is probably the best business practice in terms of making money, which is the goal of any business.  But, you also want to provide your customers with a product that they want to buy, otherwise you will lose all your sales.  And this is the problem gamers face with the industry, that we would rather overpay or purchase unnecessary DLC for games because we want the game, rather than forgo purchasing it in order to send a message to the developer.

Luckily, with the big EA Battlefront debacle last year, developers are finally starting to take notice and listen more to players complaints and suggestions.  And with the gaming industry growing exponentially every year and there is more competition in the market, developers are now have to earn our dollars, rather than take them from us cause their is no other alternative for us to play.

After that nice tangent, lets look at probably the best example of DLC, Witcher 3.  What an amazing game, with so much content, depth, time and effort put into the game.  After 100 hours of slogging through the main game, CD Projekt Red gifted us with 2 massive expansions adding dozens of more hours of content.

We have seen the good and the bad all over the gaming industry, but as consumers, you need to remember this important piece of information.

Developers are running a business.  A business’ goal is to make money.  If you aren’t making money you can’t afford to stay in business.

So next time as a consumer, when you get upset at EA for gouging your wallet with their micro-transactions and DLC costs, take a brief second amid your divine hatred, and remember they are a business with obligations to their shareholders.  Then you may resume hating them, because despite having those obligations, good business have similar obligations to their consumers to deliver quality and satisfactory products/experiences.


Who are some developers you think really care about their players?  What are some that couldn’t care less?

Check next week for a new DLC for DEV-Talk 3.0!!  Don’t forget your towels travelers!!

DEV-Talk 2.3 – Loot Boxes

Welcome Back Travelers!!


Seems we were caught in a bit of a wormhole there and this post didn’t get sent out yesterday.  This week we are on Part 2 of our three part discussion and today we are focusing on Loot Boxes!

Lately there has been a lot of bad publicity surrounding the concept of loot boxes, and several countries have considered them to be gambling.  While I believe this is an over-exaggeration, they are kind of right.  For those who don’t understand loot boxes function like slot machines, there are X number of prizes with varying degrees of chance you will receive these rewards.  Now, I have no problem with this concept, until you introduce real money to the equation.  To understand the different types of loot boxes, we will look at 3 prime examples, League of Legends, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CSGO).



We will begin here since Overwatch seems to be garnering the most attention despite there being worse culprits when it comes to loot boxes.  In Overwatch loot boxes contain only cosmetic items, nothing that affects gameplay in anyway which is very important.  If it affected gameplay, it would create the pay to win mechanic we see in too many apps and games.  Next, while you can purchase loot boxes for real money, you do have the ability to earn a significant number just by playing the game.  You get boxes from events/special gamemodes, 3 a week from arcade wins, and a box everytime you level up.  So by just playing a couple hours a week and getting 9 arcade wins, I can usually average about 8-10 boxes a week, and the rarity of loot is distributed pretty well so you get a nice spread of items.  So with all this, I really don’t understand why people and countries are vilifying Overwatch for gambling, as I see no incentive to purchase loot boxes.


League of Legends

League loot boxes are similar in nature to Overwatch, they contain cosmetic items, but they also contain playable characters which is were League differs.  In League you unlock only the characters you wish to play, and you can use in game currency to do this, however its slow, which drives people to spend real money to make those purchases.  Now they cut back on the incentive to spend real money with the edition of loot boxes which are earned through skillful gameplay, good sportsmanship, and a couple other methods, but these loot boxes now contain champions and other purchasable cosmetic items that used to require money.  So they have been a nice new feature to the game, of course you can still buy them with real money, but I don’t find it necessary unless I have some extra RP.  The main difference from Overwatch though is keys, no boxes unless you have a key…  Keys are significantly harder to get than loot boxes, increasing the likelihood players will purchase them.  So League gets a mixed review, some good and some bad.



There isn’t much good to say about CSGO’s loot boxes besides the fact that they are only cosmetic items.  CSGO loot boxes, keys, and skins/stickers actually have real money value and can be bought and sold for a variety of prices in the Steam marketplace.  this has also sparked the creation of CSGO Gambling Websites, yes actual gambling for skins which you can in turn sell for money.  There have even been lawsuits brought against CSGO Gambling Sites, one in particular was run by a prominent YouTuber who promoted one website on his channel and showed videos of him winning big, however never disclosed that he was the owner of the site.  That’s a big no in the eyes of the Federal Government.  Bottom line, stay away from CSGO loot boxes, cause they are actually gambling.


Well we covered a lot in this post, ranging from acceptable to completely unacceptable on the verge of being banned and/or sued for gambling.  I would like to here some of your guys thoughts on loot boxes and check back next week for DEV-Talk 2.6 – DLC!!

See you on the dark side of the moon travelers!!

DEV-Talk 2.0 – Micro-Transactions

Welcome back Travelers!!

Welcome to the first of a 3 part series on Micro-Transactions, Loot-Boxes, and DLC!!


Today we are talking about micro-transactions, the scum of gaming today.  To understand the concept, we must go back to their beginning.  When smart-phones really took off with the launch of the iPhone back in 2007, there was suddenly a new mark of games and applications we refer to as “Apps”.  Many of these apps were free, but how do you make money on something that is free?  Add extras…  the most common example of this that many games using, is in-game currency, you can pay money for more credits, or boosts and other bonuses.

The problem with this kind of micro-transaction is that it alters gameplay, it gives paid players an unfair advantage over non-paid players.  This purposeful imbalance / game design makes players want to spend money or quit.  The other issue with this is that children don’t understand the concept of money let alone micro-transactions, so without some sort of block or restriction, these companies are making millions off of children buying these items with their parents credit cards.

Some of the better, acceptable types of micro-transactions are those that don’t affect gameplay.  The best example of this is League of Legends.  With their in-game currency, you can only purchase cosmetic items, nothing that remotely affects or changes gameplay.  This allows games to be decided on players and their skill rather than whose wallet is bigger.


This is a brief post on Micro-Transactions, something many of us could talk about till we are blue in the face.  Fly by soon for DEV-Talk 2.3 – Loot-Boxes!!

Catch you on the other side Travelers!!

DEV-Talk 1.5 – What can kill your game?

Greetings Travelers!


Welcome back to the second part of our DEV-Talk series on what can make or break your game.  Like last times topic, it is hard to definitively say what can break your game, but it is much clearer.  Usually what really breaks a game are developer decisions that conflict with players desires or goals for the game.  The two best examples of this are DayZ Standalone and No Man’s Sky.  Many of us are familiar with these games and the infamy in which they continue their development.

We will begin by examining DayZ Standalone.  What began as an extremely successful mod for Arma 2, turned south quickly when the developer abandoned the game after receiving millions of dollars in backing through early access (a topic for another DEV-Talks).  While DayZ Standalone had the same concept as the mod, the developer made many critical errors.  We could spend way to much time going over all the issues but, I will highlight the big ones in my opinion.

  • Reinventing the wheel in terms of graphics, environment, ballistics, and physics.
  • Lack of content
  • Hackers, bugs, glitches, FPS, and overall optimization.
  • Extremely slow developer progress

These to me where the main issues, and then the cherry on top was the developer abandoning the game after years of no progress to begin his true vision.  Thankfully, he hasn’t received much funding as many are afraid to go near him with a ten foot because of all the bad blood between gamers and him.


Next we break down the spectacular failure that is No Man’s Sky.  What began as a very promising game, garner much attention following the slow progress of Star Citizen and gamers desires to explore space, burst into flames along with gamers pre-order money.  Now No Man’s Sky faced a different issue and that was a lack of transparency.  They developed the game behind a curtain and revealed little about the game.  Much to gamers surprise and disappointment, then ended up with a whole lot of nothing.  Over the last year and a half they have attempted to update their game making it into what they promised, but updates have been slow and focus on content not needed or content that doesn’t make a difference.


Biggest takeaways when developing your game:

  1. Transparency – Can’t stress this one enough, talk with your players, don’t hide from them, especially if your game is in early access or you participated in crowd funding.
  2. Keep Your Promises – If you don’t, your players certainly will and your sales will reflect it.  Like the timeless saying, don’t make promises you can’t or won’t keep.
  3. Prioritize – While everything is important in your game, don’t prioritize unnecessary things, like DayZ redoing weather over and over while hackers ruin the game and zombies teleport and are a joke.  Or No Man’s Sky adding cars to travel planets while no addressing the core issues, like the game is still empty.

I could list more but these are probably my biggest issues when it comes to bad games.  Above all else, listen to your players if you want them to play your game, but don’t let them corrupt it.


Stay frosty travelers and check back soon for DEV-Talk 2.0 – Micro-Transactions.