Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Triple A Surprises I did not Expect: Battlefield Hardline and Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae

Only a brief post, as I'll save the rants and raves for proper reviews later if I get around to it....but two games seriously surprised me tonight and have accidentally engendered hope in my gamer heart that Triple A titles may have a better future yet....

First off was Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae, a demo which comes with a new copy of Final Fantasy Type 0 HD. I couldn't tell you much about Type 0 because I've been too buy playing a version of Final Fantasy that takes every single criticism that was leveled at the last few games and then does exactly what we, the gamer audience wanted. Smooth and immersive combat? Check. Vast open environments where you can go as you will? Check. Impressively realistic characters, even if they are a bunch of emo dudes with bad skin conditions? Check and check.

I don't know how else to explain it, but imagine Dragon Age: Inquisition powering a Final Fantasy title. That gets a bit close to how this feels, except with better graphics than DA:I.

Then Battlefield: Hardline came along. I wasn't going to buy this, at least not at day one MSRP. I was convinced it was going to be another screw-up and for all I know the multiplayer is, but at this point I could care less because the single player campaign is absolutely amazing. This is a crime show to the nth degree and it's absolutely a breath of fresh air from all the military shooters. I'm too early in it to say much more, but lets just say the last-second hunch that prompted me to get this is already paying off in spades. No idea if the multiplayer will be worth it (I thought the beta was very "meh" in that regard) but if this single player story lasts longer than The Order: 1886 I'll feel like I got my money's worth.

Even better....the environments I've encountered so far are so rich and detailed I am seriously hoping at some point the game deviates from the formula and lets me as a player go off the rails. If the multiplayer even allows this I'll be even more impressed....I'll provide more info once I've delved deep enough, though. I hate to say "yeah check this out ASAP" just yet....I felt very burned on the glitchy Battlefield 3 and 4 (which I did eventually get back to finishing, grudgingly) and I've never been a fan of the elaborate and time-consuming multiplayer.....but I think Hardline may be a different beast entirely. A good one. We'll see....it's got to go up against open world crime games like GTAV in one sense, but playing a genre like this using a robust FPS engine is a real pleasure.

Okay now back to the regularly scheduled paper and pencil gaming...

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