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back to article Bioshock Infinite, Devil May Cry, SimCity

The first few months of the year are, as ever, a time for the public and publishers alike to draw breath after the Christmas frenzy. Only a handful of full-price games launch, giving gamers time to catch a breath and ponder what they’ll spend their money on in the year to come. That said, this period is already clocking up …

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SimCity

The only problem with SimCity is that you have to be online to play it.

There has been many forum posts wanting it to be an off-line game like previous SimCities and not be at the mercy of EA when they decide to turn off the servers.

It's the type of game that you would play if there wasnt an internet connection available.

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Re: SimCity

Yep. Online only means I won't be buying it, which is a shame as I have fond memories of the earlier games. Unleashing Godzilla was always a favourite...

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FAIL

Re: SimCity

I'm in agreement. What exactly is wrong with playing a game that doesn't need to be connected to the internet?

No, I feel I will be playing Sim City 2000 and Sim City 4 alternately instead of the new Sim City.

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JDX
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Re: SimCity

Unless you've played the beta, how do you know an offline mode makes sense? It's presumably a new game, not just a rehash with newer graphics - since SC2000 the audience has changed massively - literally a whole generation of new gamers have been born and reached an age to buy games.

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Devil

Re: "It's presumably a new game, not just a rehash with newer graphics"

Your expectations of the game industry at the moment are clearly higher than mine....

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Re: SimCity

I'm guessing you'll have to have the massive sack of shit that is EA's Origin - a Steam clone that was much improved last month when EA managed to break the store for a few days.

That said, I am looking forward to SImCity

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Re: SimCity

I've played the beta, and when you mix in Region and global play, you can see how the online only policy makes sense... There still should be a standalone mode IMO (for a private one player region), but its not the points feature some make it out to be.

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Re: SimCity

"The only problem with SimCity is that you have to be online to play it."

And the ridiculously small maximum map size? is that not a problem?

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Re: SimCity

As somebody who put a lot of time and effort into bug-reporting during the recent closed beta, I'd question how much time the article author spent playing it...

During the three days of beta, EA's servers were knocked offline for 24 hours, meaning that nobody could play at all during that time. At other times there was an arcane lobby system in place, which would only allow a login check once every 15 minutes to decide whether or not we would get the privilege of playing.

Even once you managed to get into the game, if the servers went AWOL then the game didn't handle it very gracefully. At best, the user would just notice some weird in-game behaviour (it wasn't possible to put buildings anywhere on land, because the game thought that all of the land was water). At worst, there was an "Error connecting to Origin" message, with a solitary Quit button, and all progress was lost.

In short: Online games have their place, but forcing online connectivity for a solo gameplay experience is maddening. Also, expect Diablo III-esque failures on release day.

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Saints Row 2 vs GTA 4

I played through SR 2 more than once.

I gave up on GTA 4 after a few hours. Too serious for its own good, and far too much of a grind, whereas SR 2 was a whole lot of fun. SR 3 got a bit silly though.

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Re: Saints Row 2 vs GTA 4

Saints Row is (or was) just a poor man's GTA in my view. Each to their own, though. I enjoyed the fully immersive and sometimes intense experience of GTA. It was like being in a movie that lasted for several weeks, and changed depending on what I did. But you're right about it being a grind; definitely not a game to bring out if you want a quick blast and don't have a few hours spare to develop the story.

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Re: Saints Row 2 vs GTA 4

I enjoyed GTA4, and have played through the story a couple of times, but having just gone back to San Andreas I have to agree that 4 is missing some of the fun element. In 4, once I'd finished the story that was pretty much it - I couldn't really be bothered with with the extras/side missions. With San Andreas I've long since finished the story, and I'm still firing it up for a blast pretty much every weekend.

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Re: Saints Row 2 vs GTA 4

I suppose SR really is a "poor man's GTA". I paid $7.50 for GTA 4 and half that for SR 2...

Yes the SR games are "GTA clones" (GTAlike?), but IMO the GTA franchise went backwards with 4 while the SR franchise picked up steam with 2.

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jai
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Re: Saints Row 2 vs GTA 4

did you play the Episodes From expansions to GTA4? they seemed a lot more fun.

the characters and the missions were a bit more outrageous than those in the main game.

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Re: San Andreas

Ha ha, I've been playing GTA San Andreas on the PS2 recently since my kids took over every other machine in the house. There's still tons of stuff I haven't finished, and I never managed to finish the casino mission as the girlfriend mission is bugged; she's never home!

Nothing more fun than cruising round stealing cars, apart from flying the harrier!

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Re: Saints Row 2 vs GTA 4

Ah yes, the good old Ballad of Gay Tony. I'd forgotten about that, that was fun to play through.

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Re: San Andreas

> I never managed to finish the casino mission as the girlfriend mission is bugged; she's never home!

Apparently if you hang around the area for a few ingame days she reappears. Bit of a ballache, but probably worth it - the mission where you do the actual casino heist is fantastic.

You just can't beat flying around causing havoc, though my weapon of choice is the Apache-style chopper rather than the plane - great for doing the Vigilante missions too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Saints Row 2 vs GTA 4

> I gave up on GTA 4 after a few hours. Too serious for its own good, and far too much of a grind, whereas SR 2 was a whole lot of fun. SR 3 got a bit silly though.

Part of the fun of GTA was punting the mission and just dicking about blowing stuff up; GTA4 seemed to forget that. I spent a couple of hours being a glorified taxi driver and was left deeply bored (and with a burning hatred for Nico's cousin).

SR3 managed a much better doing stuff / dicking around balance and I found it a far more entertaining game.

My favourite of the batch was Just Cause 2, which takes the dicking around and turns it into a core game mechanic. You just have to get past the fact that the story is ludicrous (wtf, ninjas?!) and the main character is apparently voiced by Pepe the Prawn...

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Re: Saints Row 2 vs GTA 4

As someone who likes fun I am getting far more enjoyment out of sr2 than gta4

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The first Sim City was the best

>Kept failing and did not know why

That's a rather tidy summary of your contributions to the El Reg forums.

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JDX
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Re: The first Sim City was the best

It's probably just his rather limited brain.

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Joke

Re: The first Sim City was the best

"Kept failing and did not know why"

Surprised you didn't try and blame Windows 8 for that as well

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FAIL

Simcopter reports heavy internet trafic!

Simcopter reports heavy internet trafic!

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Re: Simcopter reports heavy internet trafic!

Reticulating splines!

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Ah, Elizabeth...

Really looking forward to Bioshock Infinite and am already in love with Elizabeth. The gameplay videos on the BI website are amazing - hope it turns out better than Bioshock 2!

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Saints Row 3 is much better than GTA 4

I dunno I think some people have rose tinted glasses on when the play GTA 4. The mission (especially early game) were boring to the point of depression. Pick up a girl and take her home, then go pick her up and take her bowling. All stuff you could be doing in real life faithfully recreated in a game. Saints row 3 might of been outrageous and silly but it was a LOT of fun to play. It had a much better story line than GTA4 with ability to do crazy side missions. There is no contest, SR3 = Full, GTA 4 = Mundane.

Bored with people complaining about the always online bit about Sim City, if it bothers you that much don't buy it. If it bothered enough people that it affects sales then I'm sure EA would do something. However we all know these people will buy the game so EA don't care. My only fear for Sim City is will it be a nickle and dime game like Sims 3?. When you buy Sims 3 (for those who haven't played it) you buy some of the game, with lots of extra content for sim points. Ofc. sim points cost real money. You get 1 map to play on for free, the other 5 or 6 cost money.. It's all designed to get you hooked and then empty your wallet. :/

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Meh

Re: Saints Row 3 is much better than GTA 4

What I don't like about SR3 is the driving model, GTA4's isn't perfect but you can actually drive around the city, take corners at speed in a semi-realistic manner.

In SR3 I find it's just way to sensitive, braking stops the car instantly etc. and there are lots of glitches where you try a run up to a jump and you end up getting thrown up in the air by some tiny glitch in the scenery.

And what with the top speed of about 50mph in SR3?

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These aren't new games.

They are remakes of old ones that I already own.

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title

I am waiting for bioshock - infinite. Looks good.

Crysis 3 and Deadspace are a must have for me but the Origin EULA means I will not be going near them. I just don't want to have some EA scumbag trawling MY PC.

...Shame really.

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South Park

I was looking forward to playing South Park. But now hearing ubisoft has it, will it be full of DRM?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: South Park

It's an online MMO, right? Hint.

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I like this monthly round up of games format, as opposed to three pages about a single game. It is good you have given us a general heads-up of interesting titles- which if they interest us can be more deeply researched elsewhere.

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Anonymous Coward

Sorry, no time to check these out

I'm still working my way through all the games I bought during the last Steam sale. If I get a move on, I may finish in time for the next Steam sale.

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Angel

Re: Sorry, no time to check these out

I used to think that.

Now I know better.

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Re: Sorry, no time to check these out

Hell, I'm still working through the last couple of relatively ancient games I bought from gog.com. On the rare occasions when I fire up a console, I'm still working through games for the original Playstation (though now I use a PS2 I got for free from a neighbor).

Mind you, I'm glad there are folks who rush out to buy the latest games - they subsidize development, which does occasionally lead to something new and interesting (and which I may get to before I perish from old age and/or heroically paying the ultimate price while defeating a world-dominating villain). If everyone bought games the way I do, there wouldn't be any commercial development.

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Pint

Bioshock Infinite and GTA5

Looking forward to Bioshock Infinite with some reservations.

Part of the charm of 1&2 was the gorgeous art-deco underwater city. An early 20th century floating city might not have the same atmosphere (excuse the pun).

Hopefully they haven't turned it into yet another brainless pointlessly violent bang-bang-saw-saw FPS, hopefully there is still a story.

Also this year, looking forward to GTA5. Only problem will be the Skyrim problem, in which I wont get enough spare hours to properly play it!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bioshock Infinite and GTA5

> Hopefully they haven't turned it into yet another brainless pointlessly violent bang-bang-saw-saw FPS, hopefully there is still a story.

Bioshock was a massive step backwards in this department and the sequel by all accounts is worse. It doesn't bode well for Infinite.

/Sigh. The System Shock form is dead, insect....

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I'm off this online lark.

I bought a physical copy of Mass Effect 3 last month. It was cheaper than the download version, and I figured it would be standalone. I was wrong. When I got home and tried installing it, the first thing it tried when I plugged in the serial was ónline activation'. Unfortunately for me, the EA/Origin servers were out, and the game install would not complete.

At this point I had two options : either keep trying untill EA got their ass in gear, or download an illegal exe replacement allowing me to play without registering.

Why doe these companies insist on alienating their paying audience ?

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Unhappy

I miss space combat.

I too loved xwing and tie fighter. There was also Freespace 1 & 2 and Starlancer and Freelancer. Oh and the wing commander games.

They don't make these kind of games any more. It's a lot of FPS's now.

Starting to hope FPS's get banned by Governments, not because I think it will have any effect on gun crime. Just that we might get some more interesting games at the end of it.

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Happy

Re: I miss space combat.

Me too.

Happily, as mentioned in the article, there is hope coming in the form of Elite:Dangerous (and surely the success of that Kickstarter campaign should tell the industry there is still a demand out there). That's a way off, in the meantime I've been finding Wing Commander Saga pretty entertaining, which for the bargain price of free may interest you....

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Happy

Re: I miss space combat.

I have been playing Galaxy on Fire 2 on IOS - pretty similar to Elite.

Trade, Mine, Kill pirates etc.

Pretty good graphics - even on the iPad mini.

Anyone remember Space Race on the spectrum??

Meena.......mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm - just me then?

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Re: I miss space combat.

Happily, as mentioned in the article, there is hope coming in the form of Elite:Dangerous (and surely the success of that Kickstarter campaign should tell the industry there is still a demand out there).

More importantly, what about the massive success of Star Citizen (the new game by Chris "Wing Commander" Roberts) on Kickstarter? From memory he raised 6 million quid (although he also has a number of private backers, so definitely has the money to produce a proper AAA title).

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Re: I miss space combat.

There's also Egosoft's latest; only online download unfortunately, but X lives on!

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Re: I miss space combat.

There might also be 'Destiny', the upcoming game from Bungie. Details are scant, but it might include some space combat and exploration, as well as "shooting aliens in the face". They have posted a job advert for a 'economy designer'. One gets the impression that they too have grown bored of pure FPS games.

One level of Halo: Reach (the last Halo title to be developed by Bungie) one level was space combat- though X-Wing it wasn't.

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Go

Re: I miss space combat too.

I too, miss space combat. A LOT. And I don't even care if they go for Newtonian Physics or WW II style dogfighting.

There is even some mix of it with online FPS via mod for Half-Life, on the same Steam. It is totally free, being a mod, if you have HL2, called Eternal Silence. On this, you can literally engage "Newtonian Physics" and let the ship fly straight without powered engines, while turning to shoot your enemies, like a Chicago gangster drive-by shooting.

I remember Freespace (or Descent Freespace) to be quite nice, except for the targeting system that was WAY too complex - "target your target's target" actually describes one of the keybinds,

I heard of Eve Online being about ships in outerspace, but I don't know how closely related to the genre it is, since I never played it.

The first two occasionally force me to dust my old joystick...

On WW 2 style, we may have in the near future World of Warplanes, that would be a spinoff of World of Tanks, that broke the record for the "Game with the most simultaneous players online". It is expected to be a Freemium release, which means you can literally "pay to win" upgrades and new planes at your disposal. Being russian, and never having played World of Tanks, I don't know what to expect either.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I miss space combat.

"6 million quid (although he also has a number of private backers, so definitely has the money to produce a proper AAA title)"

He'd better have a lot of private backers, then, because that six million will barely pay for the offices, equipment, infrastructure, legal, and ancillary staff let alone an actual dev team, marketing, QA, etc etc etc...

Business is a hell of a lot more expensive than people think. I run an absolutely tiny manufacturing business, in the US, where things are fairly cheap, and for a fairly small building and 10 people, the costs for payroll, taxes, electricity, maintenance, etc, hit around $40,000 a month. If we were going to make a product in 20 months, it'd cost us ~$1m just to sit idle in an empty building.

And we don't even have to pay for the building!

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Happy

Re: I miss space combat.

"Dogfighter" isn't a space sim but it is loads of fun. Available on steam and probably elsewhere.

Biplanes with hellfire missiles and rail-guns!

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