Game Launch  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Game Launch  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Will Battlefield Ever Have a Smooth Launch? Sat, 05 Nov 2016 14:38:52 -0400 NorthwestGamer

Let me just start off by saying that I am a huge fan of Battlefield 1. I finished the campaign in the first couple days and have actively been playing online since then. There is no denying that the launch of this game has been night and day compared to the horrible launch experience we went through with Battlefield 4 in 2013 (we won't even talk about Battlefield: Hardline).

Having said that, there is still tons of room for improvement. Even playing through the campaign, which should be a lot simpler than the online, there were some pretty major bugs. On a regular basis, most notably in Through Mud and Blood, I was experiencing enemies that could not be shot (they could still be killed by explosives) and other enemies that had issues like a missing torso.

Is It Really a Big Deal?

Those types of issues may sound small, but they can become extremely frustrating when that enemy you can't shoot is the last one you need to kill to advance the mission. These were just a couple examples that became the most game-breaking throughout the story for me.

And let's not forget, that's just the campaign; the multiplayer has it's own set of issues, such as the fact that EA released Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 in back-to-back weeks and the entire Origin servers went down twice.

There are also some random bugs that are more fun than anything, such as this awesome fiery zeppelin twister:

Credit to EA

All in all, the truth is that the state of Battlefield 1 is not that bad. There have been lots of games that have had way less bugs at launch, such as the new Gears of War 4, but those games don't have the scale and complexity that the Battlefield games do.

One thing that I have to give credit to EA for doing, which a lot of people are writing off as a cash grab, is the Early Enlister edition. While this may have seemed like a way to get even more money from the fans, it brought the player base into the game more gradually. By doing this, EA was able to better prepare their servers to handle the load when the game launched to everybody 3 days later.

While the servers did go down twice, they have been relatively stable when they are working. So, even though it may not have been the smooth launch we are waiting for, it was certainly a large improvement from the past.

Are good graphics actually ruining games? Fri, 15 Jan 2016 07:20:48 -0500 Engela Snyman

For the gaming industry, graphics and visuals make a grand statement to the budget and over all production value of a game. It's a status symbol for the PC gamer (look what it can do!) and 'buyer's relief' for the console gamer (thank god it can do this). But is our race for better, smoother graphics and textures slowly suffocating the 'game' part out of gaming?

It's a fair question seeing as most people who play games will eagerly point out “Look at those graphics!” and a lot of us seem to think better graphics equal better games. 

Just mentioning Minecraft, Terraria and Don't Starve hammers the counterpoint home quite effectively, though: graphics aren't everything, but we all knew that of course.

We can't really deny the appeal of a good looking game. It takes our experience to that next level, makes it feel all the more realistic, and draws you into a world you would never be able to see otherwise. Star Wars: Battlefront III has some of the best graphics seen to date in a game and hot digitty damn they're beautiful.

Great graphics encourages PC gamers to upgrade computers and helps to sell consoles to the casual gamer. Selling consoles or upgrades for PCs means more games and more money, which adds up to potentially better games, and yet people are still buying broken games on launch – so, what's the problem?

The problem is that graphics can't carry a game, the gameplay does.

Sadly, Star Wars Battlefront III is our example here.

Star Wars Battlefront was created by Pandemic Studios in 2004. It has been an active online game for over 10 years and has generated a dedicated fanbase. Rightfully, these fans were excited for the chance to play an updated and better Battlefront, what they got instead was a beautiful porcelain ball. Pretty to look at, nice to hold but it had no bounce.

DICE clearly put way too many resources into the look of Star Wars Battlefront III and completely forgot to add the actual game. Players are okay with that, and there in lies another problem: we don't seem to care.


Developers, designers, and publishers are pushing to better the graphics of games every day because that is what we demand. Graphics get dated very quickly and apart from the initial 'oh my gosh' moment when seeing the details and textures for the first time, the appeal very quickly wears off, and we are left with very pretty but broken games.

Arkham Knight from Rock Steady was rushed to the finish line long before it was ready for it.

The game had glaring story issues as well, and the DLC to date has been underwhelming. But if you ask anyone about the graphics, they'll tell you it's great, amazing and 'the best to date in any Batman game' and for some reason, this seems to excuse the developers for releasing a broken game on PC.

They had to entrust the port to another company because they didn't have the time and it shows. Far Cry 4 also had glaring issues, and despite the very popular The Witcher 3 snagging game of the year, it too had terrible bugs, broken quests and other issues still being reported by gamers.

Are these games even being tested beforehand?

Most games go through beta testing, which is a great way to fix many problems a game might have before launch. It offers players the chance to push the boundaries of the game, to make it crack open and let all the ugly bits fall out for the developers to clean up. But clearly these tests aren't being performed as thoroughly as they used to be, and patches aren't helping.

Patches allow publishers to push for earlier release dates. If the game has a problem on launch, they just release a patch. So, even if we turn our focus away from graphics and push for game-play it probably won't fix the buggy launch issues. But it might just ensure better games.

We need to start reminding the game publishers that at the end of the day that's what they are making, games, not quasi-movies.

But what are the benefits for a game that does not have spectacular visuals? Well for a start, companies will add more to developing a game that is fun which might add to more play time, better variations in items, and maybe even ease out the bugs. But we don't have to drop visuals entirely, there is another way of approaching this.

Instead of focusing on the detail of a game's visual perhaps we could instead focus on the effect that visual has. A lot of graphics today are only stunning or pretty, which is not exactly what we should be going for in games. Graphics should be practical; they should create atmosphere, characters, ambiance and effects that better the experience of the player. This Wars of Mine is a stunning example of simple stylistic graphics that not only create excellent atmosphere but builds the world in the tone it was supposed to be made in.

Immersion has a lot to do with the visual, but it's the smart visuals that pull us in.

It's clear that the graphical aspect of gaming is too far ahead for its coding counterpart. Developers just need to pull on the reigns for a bit. Hold up the graphics so that game design can catch up, having them in sync is much better for gamers and developers alike. There is nothing wrong with letting graphics run a head from time to time, keep pushing those boundaries and make games with excellent graphics - let's just not make that the norm.

Destiny Midnight Launches Do Not Disappoint Tue, 09 Sep 2014 10:18:30 -0400 Venisia Gonzalez

The day every Bungie fan has been waiting for arrived at midnight for the highly anticipated release of Destiny. Yes folks we’ve been waiting quite a long time for Bungie’s latest MMOFPS. We had a taste of the gameplay this summer with the gorgeous beta.

I had the chance to attend the midnight release of Destiny at my local GameStop in Saratoga Springs, NY and 400 Bungie fans swarmed in to grab their copy. I haven't seen a crowd this large since the release of Halo 3. GameStop is no amateur when it comes to midnight launches. The release went smooth and rather quickly I might add. Customers had to have all their goodies paid for by a certain time; and they were assigned to a group by color and number. This made the process a whole lot easier.

Bungie fans were hyped up and excited, eagerly anticipating getting their hands on their goodies like the Ghost Edition and hardcover Limited Edition strategy guide. The Ghost replica is pretty heavy I might add. While in line, I got the chance to speak with some wonderful guys about Destiny.

Oh, before I forget, for all you Destiny players, GameSkinny has got you covered for tips and guides right here thanks to our talented Synzer.

Here's what fans had to say:

What were you most impressed with the Destiny beta?

How well it played, most betas suck. It was very, very smooth. As far as MMO-ish betas go, WoW beta was horrible but looking at that, looking at how Destiny is doing it, is huge, leaps and bound of 10 years.

What was your opinion on the beta, as far as others having an opinion, on Peter Dinklage's voice work as the Ghost?

I thought it was well done. I think they could've edited it a bit more but overall I think they did a fantastic job; and the music scores, just really bring you into it full-life. I don't think they could've done any better on the music and the voice.

I think the game effects on the game voice were well done. I'm a sound guy so I live for that kind of stuff. I think it could be a little more robotic but I think it was good the way it is.

It gave a more, next step course to "Cortana" in Halo. It gave a whole new level.

It made you think about what is going on. In the beta, if you read the Grimoire cards; and figured out what the Ghost and Guardians actually were--it's a very personal thing. The Guardians are dead people resurrected by the Ghosts. You had to dive really far into the beta. That's why they're called Ghosts.

What are you excited for in the game?

Me, personally, I'm looking for the customization of weapons and weapon mods more than anything. Seeing some of what they've already got for power-ups and mods; and abilities, I'm just looking for them to expand that exponentially.

I'm just looking forward to the exploring of everything, the MMO part of it. I just love that whole concept of running around for hours doing whatever you want.

Brings back the love and joy of Skyrim all over again but in a whole new world.

The exploring, that's what I like, not having to do the missions right away, you can do whatever you want and then come back to it. That's what I'm looking for.

This is your first midnight launch. What specifically dragged you out for this particular one?

The fact that they said that this is an expansion of they claim--10years--peaked my interest more than anything. I'm really looking forward to the change, the custom ability, the hugeness of what this is "hopefully" going to be.

I'm looking forward to this being Bungie's new franchise. They did an amazing job with Halo and I'm not very happy with 343 off of Halo 4 trying to go off of Call of Duty. I'm looking forward to the fact that Bungie has consistently put out good games.

Hopefully the Expansions are worth it and they're not generic.

I'm looking forward to 10 years down the road with Destiny.

Some of the guys from the Destiny line. Interviewees requested name anonymity.

Well there you have it folks. Pretty great opinions, impressions and hopes for Destiny that I can agree with. I'm really grateful to these guys who were willing to answer my questions so honestly. They were an amazing and friendly group.

So what do you think of Destiny so far? Let me know in the comments.

Keep it tuned to GameSkinny for all your Destiny news, tips, and guides.