GWJ Conference Call Episode 567

>observer_, Sonic Mania, Agents of Mayhem, Lawbreakers, Path of Exile, Subsurface Circular, A.I Pushing More Into Our Games?, Your Emails and More!

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This week Shawn, Elysium and Amanda are joined by Spawn on Me's Shareef Jackson!

To contact us, email [email protected]! Send us your thoughts on the show, pressing issues you want to talk about or whatever else is on your mind.

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Amity (Hy Bound's Horrorville Mix) - BigBot Audio Drop - SGX - http://sgxmusic.com/ - 45:07

And All That Between (Game Edit) - BigBot Audio Drop - SGX - http://sgxmusic.com/ -1:03:12

Comments

00:01:22 Sonic Mania
00:09:39 Agents of Mayhem
00:20:12 Lawbreakers
00:26:06 >observer_
00:38:36 Subsurface Circular
00:45:07 A.I Pushing More Into Our Games
01:03:12 Your Emails

I'm partway through the part of the podcast where they talk about Agents of Mayhem.

I'm 10 hours in, or so, and while it took a little while to get going I'm enjoying it immensely. It controls well, I love the characters and the variety they bring to the table. Also, if you haven't done any loyalty missions, I heartily recommend them. Gameplay-wise they're a little repetitive (go here, kill these guys, go somewhere else, kill more guys and maybe hack something, then go a third place and fight a bullet sponge or destroy something large while also fighting a swarm of enemies) but the banter is outstanding, and every character has some interesting backstory that plays out.

Spoiler:

like the relationship between Braddock and Friday

Or Oni's family story.

Or Johnny Gat training and then murdering an army of police robots.

Honestly, I'm not sure why it's getting such a lukewarm reception. It does everything that people say they want in games, and does it well. I guess there's no pleasing people.

First Sonic game I've played since Sonic 3. Loving it!

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

I'm partway through the part of the podcast where they talk about Agents of Mayhem.

I'm 10 hours in, or so, and while it took a little while to get going I'm enjoying it immensely. It controls well, I love the characters and the variety they bring to the table. Also, if you haven't done any loyalty missions, I heartily recommend them. Gameplay-wise they're a little repetitive (go here, kill these guys, go somewhere else, kill more guys and maybe hack something, then go a third place and fight a bullet sponge or destroy something large while also fighting a swarm of enemies) but the banter is outstanding, and every character has some interesting backstory that plays out.

Spoiler:

like the relationship between Braddock and Friday

Or Oni's family story.

Or Johnny Gat training and then murdering an army of police robots.

Honestly, I'm not sure why it's getting such a lukewarm reception. It does everything that people say they want in games, and does it well. I guess there's no pleasing people. :)

With so many games out, it's hard to stick with a game that doesn't grab me immediately. I don't think Agents is bad but it does seem like a slow burn. I'm one of the few that eventually enjoyed Andromeda but the first 10 or so hours were brutal. Nowadays, games need to front load a little and give me a reason to stick around (besides hope that it can improve).

ShareefJackson wrote:
doubtingthomas396 wrote:

I'm partway through the part of the podcast where they talk about Agents of Mayhem.

I'm 10 hours in, or so, and while it took a little while to get going I'm enjoying it immensely. It controls well, I love the characters and the variety they bring to the table. Also, if you haven't done any loyalty missions, I heartily recommend them. Gameplay-wise they're a little repetitive (go here, kill these guys, go somewhere else, kill more guys and maybe hack something, then go a third place and fight a bullet sponge or destroy something large while also fighting a swarm of enemies) but the banter is outstanding, and every character has some interesting backstory that plays out.

Spoiler:

like the relationship between Braddock and Friday

Or Oni's family story.

Or Johnny Gat training and then murdering an army of police robots.

Honestly, I'm not sure why it's getting such a lukewarm reception. It does everything that people say they want in games, and does it well. I guess there's no pleasing people. :)

With so many games out, it's hard to stick with a game that doesn't grab me immediately. I don't think Agents is bad but it does seem like a slow burn. I'm one of the few that eventually enjoyed Andromeda but the first 10 or so hours were brutal. Nowadays, games need to front load a little and give me a reason to stick around (besides hope that it can improve).

That makes sense, it's just frustrating to see something that does almost-literally everything that reviewers have been asking for over the past few years (New IP in a triple-A game, tries something new with game mechanics, great cast diversity , repeatedly passes the Bechdel test, and it's well-polished to boot!) getting slagged in reviews by the same people who complain about how boring and formulaic anything released by EA, Activision and Ubisoft is.

It's Mirror's Edge all over again (new IP, new mechanics, not-your-standard bro-tagonist character, and got a crappy reception)

I'm afraid that the lesson big publishers are taking from this kind of thing is "gamers say they want us to try new things but they don't really mean it. Let's release another Mass Effect instead."

That makes sense, it's just frustrating to see something that does almost-literally everything that reviewers have been asking for over the past few years (New IP in a triple-A game, tries something new with game mechanics, great cast diversity , repeatedly passes the Bechdel test, and it's well-polished to boot!) getting slagged in reviews by the same people who complain about how boring and formulaic anything released by EA, Activision and Ubisoft is.

It's Mirror's Edge all over again (new IP, new mechanics, not-your-standard bro-tagonist character, and got a crappy reception)

I'm afraid that the lesson big publishers are taking from this kind of thing is "gamers say they want us to try new things but they don't really mean it. Let's release another Mass Effect instead."

I haven't played the game, so I won't speak on Agents of Mayhem specifically, but my general feeling is that your game also needs to be good regardless of whether it checks certain boxes. Mass Effect Andromeda is a great example of failure to execute even though they checked off the boxes according to what we should 'want' from an ME game. Execution is everything.

Again, haven't played AoM, but based on the content of reviews I've read the issues seem to be more about the fundamentals and depth of their game design. I don't think being part of a huge franchise protects you a ton if you can't execute.

Certis wrote:
That makes sense, it's just frustrating to see something that does almost-literally everything that reviewers have been asking for over the past few years (New IP in a triple-A game, tries something new with game mechanics, great cast diversity , repeatedly passes the Bechdel test, and it's well-polished to boot!) getting slagged in reviews by the same people who complain about how boring and formulaic anything released by EA, Activision and Ubisoft is.

It's Mirror's Edge all over again (new IP, new mechanics, not-your-standard bro-tagonist character, and got a crappy reception)

I'm afraid that the lesson big publishers are taking from this kind of thing is "gamers say they want us to try new things but they don't really mean it. Let's release another Mass Effect instead."

I haven't played the game, so I won't speak on Agents of Mayhem specifically, but my general feeling is that your game also needs to be good regardless of whether it checks certain boxes. Mass Effect Andromeda is a great example of failure to execute even though they checked off the boxes according to what we should 'want' from an ME game. Execution is everything.

Again, haven't played AoM, but based on the content of reviews I've read the issues seem to be more about the fundamentals and depth of their game design. I don't think being part of a huge franchise protects you a ton if you can't execute.

Also fair enough.

I happen to think Agents of Mayhem is good, but given my track record I'm not exactly a reliable narrator.

So whose dog was shaking in the background a couple times?

As a SR fan I was always very interested in AoM so lukewarm previews and early reviews are saddening. Almost everything I've heard suggests it starts to get very good once you start getting more characters and by around hour 5 it's much better, but coming from a developer with a history of amazing game openings a slow start is disappointing.

As for Thomas Was Alone, it's an insanely charming little game, but unfortunately charm only goes so far when it's a type of game (puzzle platformer) that I just don't grok. I got about 2 hours in, looked up how far I had to go, and uninstalled it. Subsurface Circular sounds way more interesting as a game. Bithell's charm without the aggravating mechanics sounds like a winner.

Rat Boy wrote:

So whose dog was shaking in the background a couple times?

That might have actually been Reef's dog, it sounded WAY bigger than either of the puppers!

So many dogs and I'm not able to pet ANY OF THEM

Special conference call where the dogs do the reviews?

Need to come back to this episode to hear your thoughts on >observer!