Category Archives: Little Bits of Gaming Main Menu

Blair Witch (The Game Not The Film)

So there’s a new Blair Witch game out. It’s from Polish developers Bloober Team. Not their first foray into the horror game genre as they also had a pretty decent hit with Layers of Fear in 2016 and it’s sequel earlier this year. They were also the same team behind the very overlooked Observer from 2017.

There is one thing all of the above games share in common, the emphasis on psychological horror. So Bloober Team seem to be the perfect developers to make a game set in the Blair Witch universe. Now I’ve never been a fan of the franchise, I thought the first film was utter crap. I was aware of it’s sequel, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 and I watched it… it too was utter crap. I thought that was it for the franchise. Then after playing the game, I thought I’d look into everything Blair Witch and bloody hell, there’s even more utter crap. There are comic books, novels, real and faux documentaries and even other video games that I didn’t know exited other than this one. Even more so… there was another official Blair Witch flick released in 2016 that is a direct sequel to the original and only after playing the game and researching the franchise did I learn that the game is set between the original and the 2016 films. Oh and yes I thought I’d best sit down to watch the film just so I have seen all three of them… and yes, it’s utter crap too. There’s even a T.V. show in the works. I just don’t understand how something so utter crap can be so popular. Mind you, Justin Bieber exists…

Anywhoo, the point is that I really fail to see the appeal of the franchise as everything I’ve experienced with it has been utter crap. Still, I do love me some horror gaming. I enjoyed Bloober Team’s Layers of Fear for what it was and I did start playing Observer and really bloody enjoyed it too, then I got distracted by another thing I’m doing and forgot to get back into it, will do that sometime and see the game through to the end. There’s a lot to appreciate with Team Bloober’s games, they do handle the horror sub-genre really well. Which leads me to Blair Witch (the game not the film). I did approach this one with some trepidation, as I said, I’m not a fan of the films nor the franchise as a whole. But I have enjoyed other titles from the same developers, so I went into this one with an open mind and hoping to really enjoy it.

First I’ll quickly cover the plot.
Set in 199something (I lost interest), you play as Ellis. An ex-soldier and former cop who unofficially joins the search for a missing boy in the famed Black Hills Forest… and that’s about it. You’re looking for a missing boy. Now, I guess there is a bit more to the plot going on in the background, such as Ellis’ PTSD… which makes up for most of the blindingly obvious scares in the game. Ellis is joined by his trusty dog Bullet, who is both the best and worst thing about the game. So you and Bullet go in search of the missing boy and along the way, that darn PTSD mixed with the strange shenanigans of the titular Blair Witch herself sends poor Ellis down a spiral of insanity. Can you find and save the missing boy before you go bat-shit?

Blair Witch Phone

Overall, I just found the game boring. But before I get into that, there are a few elements I enjoyed. I liked the 199something setting as it lends way to some nice retro restrictions that work. For example, Ellis has an old mobile Nokia-like phone which does come into play through the game from receiving texts and calls to even being able to customise the ring tone and screen saver… oh and you can even play classic games on it too. Remember Snake? Yes you can play it on the in game phone, which is just as well as it’s better than Blair Witch.

For the most part, your trusty canine is fun too. You can send him to look for clues, he will (literally) sniff out a path for you to follow, you can praise or scold him… not that it makes any difference to the game itself mind you. He’s a fun little companion. But remember how I said Bullet is both the best and worst part of the game? Well he is. Yeah he’s cute and yeah he’s helpful… but his AI is atrocious. There’s no real combat in the game, but you do occasionally encounter these spindly woodland monsters that you have to defeat by shining a torch at them. This is where Bullet is supposed to come into power has he sniffs out the hard to spot and super fast meanies and points you in the direction they are coming from for you to zap them with the light before they can hit you. That is what he’s supposed to do, but most of the time he runs around aimlessly and by the time he settles down to point out where the forest monster is, it’s already hit you. I even had one point in the game where Bullet just ran around a signpost while I got slaughtered by the undetectable bastards. Fuck that dog.

Blair Witch Dog

For the most part of the game, you just walk around the woods and get poorly thought out and obvious jump scares… just like the film then. There’s some well integrated use of a camcorder (remember those kids?) as you find special tapes you can play and manipulate your surroundings with if you rewind and pause the tapes at the right time. Example: there’s a locked door you can’t open, you find one of these tapes that shows someone unlocking and opening the door. You go back to where the door was, play the tape to the point the door is opened, pause the tape and the door will be open in your game. It’s a nice idea… but that’s it, it’s one puzzle that keeps popping up over and over in the game. The exact same puzzle solved the exact same way just with a slightly different hat. Oh look a tree has fallen and is blocking your path, oh look a tape that shows said tree falling down. Oh look, some rubble blocking a doorway, oh look a tape showing the rubble fall. Oh look…

Blair Witch also suffers from some serious technical issues too. I played it on my Xbox One X… “the world’s most powerful console” as Microsoft like to brag. Even so, I kept encountering slowdown and terrible pop-up scenery along with numerous other bugs and glitches. I can play Red Dead Redemption II with it’s huge and sprawling open world, gorgeous scenery and dozens of on screen characters going about their daily lives no problem… but Blair Witch with it’s single character (for the most part) and a dog in a very restrictive forest area with little to no variation and mostly in the dark… that’s a struggle to run is it? Yeah, yeah I know that Bloober Team are not as big and don’t have the resources that Rockstar Games have… but Blair Witch is not a big or expansive game in comparison.

Blair Witch Camp

Even outside of the technical issues (I had Bullet trapped in a wall at one point), it’s just not a very good game… it’s dull. The scares are way too obvious and telegraphed leaving no surprise. I mean the main guy has PTSD from his soldering days… I don’t need to carry on here do I? Whatever scares you have in mind right now, they are in the game (flashbacks to his soldier days, check. Suggestion he killed his comrades, check. Jump scareds of being shot at, check…) It’s just too obvious. The continual walking around the forest gets tedious quick as the same jump scares pop up. You’ve seen it all before. The game claims to to track your behaviour in order to learn what scares you and use that to frighten the player… I didn’t experience any of that during my play through, I just kept getting the same and easy to see from a mile off jump scares. It got to a point where it just stopped being scary, that’s if Blair Witch could even be considered ‘scary’ to begin with (it’s not).

You want to see PTSD done well in a game? Go play Spec Ops: The Line. I wasn’t a big fan of the game itself, but the way they depicted PTSD was amazing. Subtlety and creativity are the key, not jump scares.

This could’ve been great, it could’ve been genuinely scary and got into the players head if it had been more cerebral. But it just doesn’t bother. Instead it relies on horror game and movie cliches that you’ve seen over and over and over again.

Now to be fair, the game does get very slightly interesting in the final act when you finally find the house where the not at all scary Blair Witch lives. The game gets really creative with it’s engine and use of the camcorder. Quite honestly, it’s great… but it goes and ruins the whole atmosphere by just needlessly dragging it out for too long. You get the same asinine puzzles again, the same jump scares again, the same shit over and over. At first, it’s like a breath of fresh air after all that traipsing around in a dark forest, it’s nice to see something ‘different’. The finale should have lasted 15 minutes or so, but it goes on and on for an hour, maybe longer. At that point, you just want the damn game to end before you fall asleep.

Blair Witch House

It’s not even a big game with a 4, maybe 5 hour playtime from start to end. There are multiple endings but to be honest, after a single play through, I have no intention of going back to find the other endings. There is little point in multiple endings when the game is so boring the first time.

I really wanted to like this despite not being s fan of the franchise. I really wanted a good and scary horror game. I set the right environment too. Played it alone, in the dark, late at night and wearing headphones. But it’s just too damn dull to be scary. I’m going back to Bloober Team’s Observer.

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Tarantino Video Games, Why Aren’t There More?

Still really looking forward to going to see the new QT flick this weekend. After my article looking at my favourite scenes in Tarantino movies, I began to wonder why there haven’t been many games based on his movies. Seriously, some of QT’s pictures would make really interesting games, you’d think there’d be loads of them. Yet name three games based on his flicks… you can’t can you?

Now, there was a game based on one of his movies. Reservoir Dogs, released in 2006. But I wanted to look into why more of his films haven’t had the video game treatment, offer a few suggestions and even uncover some interesting tit-bits. But before all of that, I guess I’d better take a look at that previously mentioned Reservoir Dogs game.

Reservoir Dogs Game

Developed by Volatile Games and published by Eidos Interactive. The game follows the same plot as the film with a rag-tag group of criminals carrying out a diamond heist that goes wrong. The gameplay mixes up third person action with drivings sections. Now, the film didn’t actually show the heist go down, nor did it show most of the aftermath of the heist. But what gaps are in the film are filled in via the game. As an example, Mr Blonde turning psycho and going on a killing spree is mentioned in the film but we never see it. Well in the game, you not only see what was left to our imagination in the film, you get to play it.

There was an interesting mechanic in the game were you could act professional, not kill people and keep damage to a minimum or you could go full psycho and kill anyone you saw. Taking hostages was a key element as you could force the police to drop their weapons so you don’t have to kill them. You get the general idea. Depending on how you played, professional or psycho, the game’s ending would change.

On paper, Reservoir Dogs was a great idea. To take the film’s plot and expand on it, showing events we only hear about in the flick. But to be honest, it was a dog to play. Stiff controls, bland levels and highly repetitive. The game received mostly average reviews at the time and it was hard to argue against them. The game is very, very average. A great idea just poorly executed.

And you know what, that’s just about it for Quentin Tarantino movie based games… well okay, there is one more. Released in 2017 was yet another game based on the same movie. Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days.

Where as the previous game was directly based on the film, this one is more ‘inspired by’ the movie and takes a lot of creative license. I’ve not played it so can’t really comment, but it hasn’t had very good reviews. From the trailer, it looks a bit bland to me. A top-down shooter with some kind of rewind feature.

So that’s it, only two games based on his movies and they were both Reservoir Dogs too. Officially anyway, there are several fan-made games that exist based on other QT’s flicks. See, this got me thinking, why have there not been more Tarantino movie based games? Most people seem to think it’s because his flicks are dialogue heavy so wouldn’t translate to a game very well. I’d just like to go back to the first Reservoir Dogs game, based on a movie that is 90% dialogue. But it worked, okay so the gameplay was a little stale, but as I said, on paper it was a great idea. In the hands of a better and more experienced development team the Reservoir Dogs game could’ve been brilliant. Imagine if Rockstar had made it? I mean, look at what they did with The Warriors game from 2005, it was amazing.

Anyway, my point is that with a little effort and imagination, a dialogue heavy movie could work as a game. So with that in mind, I’m going to pitch a few QT movie game ideas. Reservoir Dogs has been done (twice), so I don’t feel the need to cover that one, but what about his other flicks?

Pulp Fiction

I didn’t see this one as an action game but more of a graphic adventure one. I was thinking something along the lines of the now defunct Telltale Games type of titles. Imagine a slower paced adventure where the choices you make change and affect the story. What if Vincent didn’t mange to save Mia from the overdose and Marsellus came after him? What if Jules decided not to leave the life of a hitman? If Butch didn’t go back to stop Marsellus from being raped?

You could play through the game following the plot as in the film, or you could stray from the script and see alternate scenes and dialogue. Make your own Pulp Fiction.

Jackie Brown

Okay so I don’t have much for this one. It’s a tricky one to turn into a game really. The best I could come up with was a prequel telling the story of Ordell Robbie and Louis Gara’s relationship. It is mentioned in the flick that Louis had just gotten out of jail after serving time for armed robbery. There are a few references that he and Ordell use to be close friends and got up to some criminal activities together before Ordell got into gun-running.

Jackie Brown Ordell

So there could be something there. Perhaps a third person cover/shooter game following the criminal lives of a younger Ordell and Louis? Could even be co-op, think something along the lines of Army Of Two or Kane & Lynch… only good.

Kill Bill

Come on, how is Kill Bill not a game already? It’s basically a video game in film format. You controlling ‘The Bride’ going on her rip-roaring rampage of revenge travelling the world as she tracks down those who killed her unborn baby. This is perfect game fodder. A mix of shooter and swordplay, see the Shadow Warrior games as a great example of how to do it.

Well here’s the thing, there very nearly was a Kill Bill game. It was in development but ended up being cancelled around 2005-ish. It was being developed by Black Label Games and an early demo even existed showing some basic moves from the game…

There’s enough material in Kill Bill to make an epic title. You don’t even have to be bound by the movie only. How about a game that follows the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad before the events of the film? An origin story of Bill himself and his falling out with Hattori Hanzō? It could be a huge, expansive game that builds on what is already in the films as well as incorporate the flick’s main story.

Death Proof

A game about driving American muscle cars really fast and killing people? This could be amazing. Again, you don’t have to be bound by the story of the game and could explore Stuntman Mike’s obsession with killing beautiful women with his car, how/why did he began doing it. I was thinking it could even have an online element. An asymmetrical multiplayer game where one person plays as Stuntman Mike with the others as his victims trying to escape. Think Friday the 13th: The Game but with fast cars.

Or how about a game where you play as Stuntman Mike just doing stunts? There already have been stuntman games with Stuntman and Stuntman: Ignition and they were pretty damn good too. So how about playing as Stuntman Mike before he turned homicidal and just worked as a stuntman making T.V. shows and movies?

The film has the greatest car chase caught on film, I’m sure a game could be made based off the last chase alone.

Inglourious Basterds

How a game based on the idea of a bunch of crazy World War II soldiers trying to kill loads of Nazi’s and Hitler does not exist is beyond me. Yeah I know there already are plenty of WW II based games… but none based on QT’s flick.

Inglourious Basterds Aldo

Could be a team based thing where you play alone or with friends controlling the various ‘basterds’ each with differing strengths, weaknesses and skill sets. Doesn’t have to be based solely on the flick either, I’m sure the basterds have been on several other missions through the war. Get some creative licence in here and there could be a great WW II game blending fiction with fact to create an alternate universe where the Inglourious Basterds stopped the war.

Django Unchained

Red Dead Redemption is one of my all time favourite games and it’s definitely my favourite game released in the last decade. Being a cowboy has never been so damn awesome. I want more cowboy games and yet they are pretty thin on the ground.

Why not a game inspired by Django Unchained? I don’t think we need one that follows the plot of the film, but how about a sequel game that tells what Django got up to after the film’s credits rolled? He’s a freed ex-slave turned bounty hunter . Yeah I’d love to play a Western (or Southern as QT calls it) bounty hunter game. Some kind of open world thing where you travel from town to town taking on bounties and having to bring them in dead or alive. Of course the game doesn’t have to be solely about being a bounty hunter and could explore Django’s relationship with his wife and how he becomes a descendant to the black private dick that’s a sex machine to all the chicks… Shaft!… cos QT has said that this is the case.

Django Unchained Django

Throw in other gameplay elements and build the story. Basically what I’m proposing is Red Dead Django.

The Hateful Eight

Okay I admit, I got nothing for this one. Despite the fact The Hateful Eight is basically Reservoir Dogs wearing a cowboy hat with it’s minimal cast and locales. It’s story based on tension and deception… I still have nothing. You can’t really do a retread of the Reservoir Dogs game because that used the idea of the heist as it’s basis, but there is no heist in The Hateful Eight. What you have in this flick is several people taking to each other and no one trusting the next guy… and coffee drinking.

Maybe you could make an action game exploring the Domergue gang before Daisy was captured? I dunno, that’s all I got here.

So this is where I originally ended the article, but as I read through it, I realised I forgot a film that would make an awesome game…

From Dusk Till Dawn

Now I know he didn’t direct this one, but he did write and star in it. As with previous suggestions, there are multiple games that could be made here. A prequel looking at the Gecko brother’s criminal career. One directly based on the events in the film itself with all hell breaking loose at the Titty Twister, an OTT vampire game. But instead of ending like the film does with Seth leaving for El Wray, he stays on and explores the temple under the bar to end the vampires for good. I was thinking something along the lines of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver with a large, expansive locale to explore while killing numerous vampires in all sorts of gruesome and ingenious way, using the scenery, etc.

From Dusk Till Dawn Seth


So that’s it, my suggestions on how Quentin Tarantino movies could be turned into games… but there’s more. See, as I researched this I found something interesting. QT himself has a bit of a history with video games. I’m sure many of you remember the whole CD-ROM revolution of the 90s. There was a period fairly early on in the decade when CDs became the got to format for games when there was an influx of FMV games. These titles were often pretty poor excuses for games that held little to zero gameplay and just showcased full motion video (FMV). Horrendous titles like The Daedalous Encounter, the Make My Video trilogy and of course I can’t help but mention Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties.

Well a certain film writer/director got in on the CD-ROM/FMV video game craze in the 90s and made his own game. No not Tarantino but Steven Spielberg with his effort called: Steven Spielberg’s Director’s Chair released in 1996. It was a bare basic ‘game’ where you are given a load of film clips and have to edit them together, choose camera angles, etc to make a ‘film’. So what does this have to do with Quentin Tarantino?

Well one of the clips you can edit…

Yup, that’s QT himself ‘acting’ in a clip from a shitty FMV game. The game was released in 1996 but apparently the footage was filmed in the early 90s before Quentin hit it big with Reservoir Dogs. He did this (along with selling film scripts) to help raise funds for his first film.

And yes, that is Jennifer Aniston too.

 

Fuck Off Trump

I’m not a political kind of person, I never vote as I personally believe all politicians are lying, cheating bastards. But I am the kind of person to defend their own beliefs and opinions. Over the weekend a 21 year old cunt (I never use these cunt’s names, I refuse to acknowledge them) walked into a Walmart in El Paso, Texas and murdered twenty two innocent people, including children with an assault rifle. That was only one of two mass shootings in less than 24 hours. The other one was in Dayton, Ohio where nine more innocent people were shot and killed. That’s thirty one people shot and killed.

Now I have spoken out about America’s problem with mass shootings and guns here before… and it is a problem that is continually ignored. But when you have the POS… sorry I mean the POTUS calling out violent video games as the reason for these shootings, I just have to speak out. After the shooting, Trump had this to say…

“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this, and it has to begin immediately.”

Ban video games that are not real, but say nothing about the actual tools used to carry out these heinous crimes, the guns themselves?

So it really has nothing to do with the stupidly lax gun controls in America then? It’s just violent video games that is to blame here? Well allow me to counterpoint. Mass shootings have been around for years now, decades and certainly long before video games existed. Just to add on, guns have been easily purchasable in America just as long as mass shootings have been around… coincidence?

If anyone is going to blame video games on mass shootings, how about some actual proof? Crazy idea I know to ask for proof. You know there have been several studies covering this very subject and no link between video games and violent acts has ever been proven… ever. But let’s just ignore that fact eh Don?

But let me further this point. Video games sell in millions, multiples of millions all over the world. Let me pick the lowest hanging fruit as an example, Grand Theft Auto. The latest in the long running franchise, GTA V is the biggest selling game of all time knocking up impressive sales of a hundred and ten million copies around the world… a hundred and ten million. So if violent games are to blame, then why are there not at least a hundred and ten million mass shootings around the globe due to the GTA V sales?

GTA V is chock full of violent acts and yet the sales of the game do not seem to add up to the mass shootings if Trump’s theory is to be believed. Also note, these mass shootings are mostly always in America? So why is that that this world wide popular pastime of violent video games does not seem to effect the globe in the same way it does America?

I grew up playing violent video games, I’ve played hundreds of them and yet I’ve never felt the urge to go out and commit mass murder. Does Trump have an answer as to why that is ? In short, Trump is talking complete shit. The simple fact is that America still lives by and believes in a piece of paper written centuries ago. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution was written in 1791, almost two hundred and thirty years ago. Times have changed since then and yet gun fanatics of America still think it’s relevant when it’s not. When the Founding Fathers wrote The Second Amendment, they were talking about simple single-fire, inaccurate and slow to reload rifles and muskets. They could never imagine the guns of today spitting out dozens of rounds of ammo within seconds. They would never think that someone would walk into a public place and just start murdering innocent people. How and why America still think anything from almost three hundred years ago is still relevant by today’s standards I have no idea.

The reason these mass shootings continue is because of the stupid gun culture bred into Americans, because guns are way too easy to get hold of with not enough checks on the person buying them are carried out. Because rules and laws change from state to state. How can it be the UNITED States when they are anything but ‘united?’

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I’m not stupid, of course gun crime will never be 100% eradicated, but that doesn’t mean things can’t change or that the problem can’t be stemmed. Of course criminals will ignore the law, that’s what they do. But choosing to do nothing because criminals will be criminals is asinine, that’s like saying paedophiles will rape children anyway, so just leave them to it.

In other countries that have stricter gun laws, there is less gun crime and pretty much zero mass shootings. So why can’t America fix what other countries all over the world have already done? Why is America this blind to the issue?

I’m going off on a bit of a tangent here as this was meant to be aimed at Trump and his idiotic claims that violent video games are to blame. So here’s an interesting Tweet that looks at just that issue…

As I already pointed out earlier with GTA V, the sales of games to the level in gun crime and mass shootings does not add up. So where Trump is getting his view of violent games being to blame for mass shootings I have no idea. It’s utter bollocks, there has been an overwhelming amount of research done on this very subject and no link between games and real life violence has ever been made. Seeing my hobby, my pastime that I have spent decades doing being (no pun) shot down like this by a clueless imbecile is just really fucking annoying. The problem is not games, it’s America and it’s blind ignorance, it’s misguided belief in an ancient piece of paper.

I’m just curious as to how many more innocent people, including children need to be murdered before America wakes up and says “You know what, maybe guns really are the problem here?”

As the headline for this article says, fuck off Trump.

About That Red Dead Redemption Remake…

So I’ve not written any articles for a while now, been busy writing books. I wrote and published Microbrits: A Tapestry OF The British Gaming Industry in June and my second short story collection just last week. And I’ve already begun work on my third book I aim to publish later this year too. So yeah, I’ve been a bit too busy and not written much for this blog recently. But that is something I’m going to change over the next few months and aim to publish a few more articles this year. A bit of (possible) news got my excitement up and compelled me to write this ere’ article.

Red Dead Redemption is one of the greatest games ever made. Not many games manage to come close to it’s sheer brilliance, not even it’s own sequel (prequel)… which is something I aim to cover for RDR II’s 1 year anniversary in a few months.

Red Dead Redemption II Title.jpg

I have quite honestly lost count of how many times I have played through RDR over the years since it’s release in 2010. And next year marks the game’s 10 year anniversary… and if a recent rumour proves to be true, then we could be playing RDR once more. The epic Wild West game had seen a wonderful 4K update for the Xbox One X and yes, I played through the game… again. But while a nice 4K update is something that was very welcome, us fans really wanted a full on remake. That remake might be happening of you believe certain gaming sites right now.

Now, this all needs to be taken with a huge pinch of salt as nothing had been confirmed. But a rumour is going around that claims a Red Dead Redemption remake is on the cards to mark 10 years since it’s original release. It all began on Reddit where a user claimed they they have a friend who is an environment artist at Rockstar Games and that they have been working on a RDR remake. The remake is said to use the updated RDR II engine and game features:

“All the new features from the new game are going to be imported into RDR 1 plus the map is getting expanded a bit to make it more vast (rdr 2 map is not apart of this because it is not needed in the story, it’s mostly just making the desert bigger.) Rob has came back and recorded new lines of dialogue to help connect the two stories (References to Arthur and events of rdr 2 naturally) it was originally slated for the 10 year anniversary of RDR 1 but bugs have hindered the development a bit so they’ve shifted 2/3 of the Red Dead Online team to the Remake (hence the lack of an update as of yet.) And it’s currently in the timeframe of being released either December 2020- January of 2021.”

Logo.jpg

Sounds amazing. Not just a graphical update, but a complete rebuilding of the game to tie in better with the prequel. Of course RDR fans would lap this up. Just type in Red Dead Redemption remake into Google and you’ll find lots of reputable gaming sites spreading the rumour like butter on toast. I just wonder why people are quick to spread rumours without bothering to do any basic research first. See, I’m not fancy ‘journalist’ working for a popular gaming site, I’m just a guy with his own blog who likes to write stuff. But I like to check and double check info before I post anything. I don’t ways get it right… but I at the very least try.

I just do not see how/why this rumour has spread so much and so fast with zero reliable sources. The whole thing starts with the Reddit user saying that they have a ‘friend’ who works at Rockstar Games… and no one bothered to question that? Plus there was the fact that the post they made making the claim was their first ever post from a new user… and no one bothered to question that?

Long story short, the RDR remake rumours are all bullshit. It’s not happening and never was. The very same person who started the rumour has even admitted as much:

“There is no remake of the first game as far as I know.
This was an experiment I have always wanted to do regarding the spreading of rumors in video game culture. I’ve been thinking about this for a while and wondering how I was going to do it, then I saw red dead online was basically being ignored (most likely not, but the fans are in the dust about it, including me) so this was basically a good starting point for me. So first I thought about here there were a lot of alien references in RDR 2’s story mode, so I started my “leak” on that. I made up a somewhat believable story that my “friend from rockstar” told me. (Real original right?) then I put in small details I thought in my head would make sense such as “Still playing as Arthur”. But I stayed real vague just to build up some speculation. Then I thought of what I wanted out of a story dlc. I wanted a remake of the first game with all of the bells and whistles of the recent game. And the rest is pretty much history, so I expected it to be ignored and the next day I open my reddit and I see the biggest notification list I have ever had! I was simply amazed at how my bullshit rumors could blow up, a couple of hours later I went on the google app, and it has tabs with news, and at the very top was this article by comicbook (who report on every rumor from this subreddit almost) https://comicbook.com/gaming/2019/07/20/red-dead-redemption-remake-ps4-ps5-xbox-scarlett-rockstar-games/ And that’s when things got real, so I let people build more speculation for a couple of days. And sure enough, one of the gaming sites I read on reported on it https://www.gamesradar.com/red-dead-redemption-dlc-aliens-leak/ . Then I was curious of the YouTube videos being made, and sure enough there were! https://youtu.be/fF6pCsZNIf4 this was at the very top! And he drank every sip of my tea, and judging by his comment section, they didn’t! I was wondering if there were videos were people didn’t believe me and sure enough there was one by Fizhy! https://youtu.be/kRmVK_9xXsw . Then I realized I was getting to many peoples hopes up, so I decided to write this post. And through this experiment I learned that some people will believe anything that someone says if it sounds believable. And also that mass media is a powerful tool, over 70k people atleast have seen this fake leak that I wrote, and I’m glad that a majority of people saw through it! From now on the original leak will stay up unless the mods say otherwise but I will link this to clarify it was all fake! Thanks for listening!”

So there you go, there is no RDR remake. It’s just a shame that these people who run these gaming sites don’t bother to think before posting their crap.

Bet seriously @RockstarGames, make a RDR remake… and Bully II.

MICROBRITS: My British Game Developers & Publishers Book Update & Info

I’ve been working hard on getting my book published and was hoping for it to be available to buy for a late July/early August release at the earliest. Sadly that’s not going to happen. Mainly because I finished it ahead of schedule and it’s now available to buy from Amazon.

81681 words, 141 pages, (almost) 40 years of gaming history, 15 game studios, 12 months of research, 1 book.

MICROBRITS: A Tapestry Of The British Gaming Industry is a book looking at the history of the British gaming through the very companies who shaped it. Beginning with Imagine Software in 1982, covering almost four decades of British gaming and ending with Rockstar North in 2019.

Imagine, Ocean, Psygnosis, U.S. Gold, Ultimate Play The Game, Rare, The Bitmap Brothers, Gremlin Graphics, Sensible Software, Team 17, DMA Design and Rockstar North are all covered, looking at each company from the start to the very end, the people behind it and some of the games they produced. The book is designed so you can just jump in a read about any of the studios you wish to. But if you read it cover to cover, then an interesting tapestry of British gaming is revealed as many of these companies all cross paths in one way or another. You can play a good game of six degrees of separation with this book. Yarns of interesting partnerships, back-stabbing buy outs, bitter rivalries, surprising interweaving tales and plenty of fascinating tit-bits along the way.

MICROBRITS: A Tapestry Of The British Gaming Industry is a journey through almost four decades of British gaming and how some of the biggest names in the industry, some still working today began… as well as some pretty spectacular failures. But that’s not all. As when you’re done reading this fascinating story of how the British gaming industry was born, there’s a nice bonus at the end. A special three part look at the most important British game designer ever. An in-depth look at the entire career of a certain Peter Douglas Molyneux. I take you through a journey beginning with Peter as a baked bean salesman to his co-founding Bullfrog Productions, via Lionhead Studios and ending with 22Cans.

MICROBRITS: A Tapestry Of The British Gaming Industry is available as a paperback as well as on Kindle Amazon right now.

Oh as a quick aside. I sent an advance copy to the legendary game designer Peter Molyneux last week and he contacted my today…

Peter

So MICROBRITS: A Tapestry Of The British Gaming Industry is Molyneux approved.
Buy your copy today.

 

EDIT: Quick update: Here’s the first review of my book from over at @stoffelpresents .

Xbox One S All-Digital Console: What Are Microsoft Thinking?

Okay so let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first. The Xbox One S All-Digital or The Xbox One SAD as people have begun calling it. Right now that niggle is out of the way, I have a perfectly reasonable question regarding this new console – what’s the point?

For those not in the know, allow me to give you a quick catch up.
So Microsoft are set to release a new version of their Xbox One S console on the 7th of May. This new version is exactly the same as the previous console except for one detail, it will not have a disc-drive.  Meaning, the new console will be digital only and it comes with a price tag of £199.99, let’s just call it £200. Or $249.00 for our American cousins.

Xbox One S 2

So back to my question, what’s the point?
First let me address that price. £200 for an Xbox One S? Just off a quick interwebs search and I found a few deals on the “normal” Xbox One S with the same sized 1Tb hard-drive for around the £180-190 mark with a game, either Battlefield V or Forza Horizon 4. For a few extra £s you can buy the same console with three games. The new digital only console comes with copies of Minecraft, Sea of Thieves and Forza Horizon 3. Three games can’t be bad… or can it? Well yes as the games are pretty old relatively speaking. I mean Forza Horizon 3 when Forza Horizon 4 is the latest in the franchise? Plus both Minecraft and Sea of Thieves are available via Microsoft’s Game Pass program… along with Forza Horizon 4. 

If you’re going digital only, you’re gonna go with Game Pass because it’s a really cost effective idea. So those three bundled games are meaningless.

There are some great deals on Game Pass as well if you look around. Suddenly the three games don’t seem all that impressive. Add on to the age old point that digital games cost more than physical (currently £60 for the digital version of Red Dead Redemption II or £30 for the physical) and that you can’t trade in digital games, that all equals a very expensive past time in the long run with you paying (sometimes) double for games.

Expensive

Then let’s not forget that Microsoft have removed hardware here, the disc-drive. That means more than just losing the ability of physical gaming as there goes the Blu-ray player too. Less hardware for more money? So when you look at it, you’re really paying more for a console that offers less options and more restrictions. Plus with less hardware – wouldn’t that mean lower production cost… so why isn’t the console cheaper?

Then onto my biggest point. A few days ago and Sony officially announced the PlayStation 5 is on the way. No official release date yet but most people seem to think it’ll be 2020. Surely with Sony already giving the word on their new console, Microsoft can’t be far behind. With the new generation of consoles creeping up on us… who the hell would fork out £200 on a restrictive console that limits your options when they could put that money toward a shiny new PlayStation 5 or Xbox Whatever? But if you really, really, really want to by a Xbox One S right about now, just buy the normal model with the disc drive. At least you’ll have the option of both digital, physical games and a Blu-ray player thrown in.

Xbox One S Bundle

I believe there is a rumour going around that the new Xbox will come in two flavours – one with a disc-drive and one without. So the reason for this new digital only Xbox One S could be to test the waters and see how popular a digital only console could be. But are they not leaving it a tad late? If this console had been released 3-4 years ago, yeah I can see how they may get some great numbers to draw some intel from. But this close to the launch of the next gen?

I seriously do not understand Microsoft’s marketing here, it makes no sense to expect people to pay £200 for a console without the disc-drive when they can buy the same console with one for around the same amount of money that is capable of doing the same job and then some… plus play Blu-rays too. It’s like having the option of buying two cars. One for 35k with everything you’d except being included and then the second car, same make and model also coming in at 35k but without a fuel tank.

If you really want a digital only Xbox One S, then just buy the normal console and don’t use the disc-drive for gaming. It works out about the same price and at least you get a Blu-ray player thrown in too.

You know, that SAD moniker actually makes a lot of sense.

My British Game Developers & Publishers Book Update

So, for those not in the know, I’ve been writing a book covering the British gaming boom of the 80s. How it all began from simple bedroom programmers up to some of the biggest names in the business working today.

The book is split into chapters with each one telling the story of how companies like Imagine Software, Psygnosis, U.S. Gold (who despite the name were British), Rare, Rockstar North and many others – how they started, some of the people behind the companies and even their games all covered from the start to the end. There’s some really interesting stories revealed through the book. From bitter rivalries and back stabbing buy-outs to surprising partnerships and interesting tit-bits on how many of these companies came to be. A tapestry of British gaming is revealed over the years.

I have a very big vision for the book with a specific design in mind. A glorious, hardback, glossy paged tome. But getting the whole thing together as one package is proving more difficult than I originally thought. So, for the moment, the hardback, glossy paged tome is on hold. In the meantime I’m aiming to self-publish a text only paperback version of my book. This is to hopefully get some interest in the project and even more importantly, raise some funds that I can invest into making the hardback, glossy paged tome I envision.

The paperback version is bring worked on feverishly. The first draft is already completed and I’m currently working on adding more info and general tidying up to get it in a publishable state soon.

cluck-trent

I’m aiming for a summer-ish time release, I’m thinking July/August. So anyone who’s interested can buy a copy. Price will depend on how big the book ends up being, it’s currently at over 75, 000 words already. More info to come closer to release date….