So far, this year has delivered so many excellent titles that it’s been difficult to keep up with. For better or worse, the year isn’t slowing down for anyone as there are even more great titles on the way including games like Star Wars Battlefront 2, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Middle-earth: Shadow of War and countless others. I hope you’ve carved out your time and are saving up for the eventual wave of games.
Still, not everything is as hunky-dory as it seems on the surface. There are a few games arriving soon that really concern me going forward. The three titles listed below are games that I want to see do well, but there’s just something about them that isn’t sitting well with me.
In my opinion, the issues facing these three are fixable, but with time running out, is there enough time to do so?
Agents of Mayhem
I’m a big fan of Volition. The studio has given fans some great franchises over the years like Red Faction and Saints Row. So when I heard the studio was working on a new third-person shooter with a visual flair like the latter Saints Row games, I was interested. Agents of Mayhem looks like an extension of Saints Row. with its cast of colorful characters with over the top personas, a ton of guns and explosions, and what appears to be a vibrant city to explore.
The biggest problem for me is that so far, I have no earthly clue how the game actually plays. This is a massive issue for a game that launches next month. Volition has released a lot of trailers for the game (almost one per week at this point), which is great, but none of them offer glimpses of actual gameplay. I can’t tell if Agents of Mayhem is a game similar to the excellent Saints Row games or if this is something else completely.
At this point, I can’t help but wonder if this is on purpose, almost like the studio or its publisher, Deep Silver, is trying to hide something. I mean, why else wouldn’t any gameplay be posted at this point? I even went to the official site to try and figure out how the game plays and came up empty handed. I read a short synopsis of the story and saw character bios, but still no gameplay details. Is this an open world game or something more linear? Are we able to switch characters on the fly or are we locked into who we pick? Is there a level system and mechanics similar to Saints Row?
Frankly, I’m surprised that I still have so many questions at this point. Hopefully, Volition addresses these issues this month, because the window before launch is quickly closing.
From a gameplay perspective, I’m sold. I got a chance to really dig deep into the game over this past weekend with the PC open beta and I found the game intoxicatingly fun. Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who’s terrible at PC shooters with a keyboard and mouse.
My concern is with the public reception of the game. Prior to the beta, this is a game that wasn’t even on my radar at all, something which can likely be said for a good majority of players. While the beta certainly helped, it seems to me that this is a game that’s flying so far under the radar, it’s in danger of getting passed over. Frankly, I don’t know why. Is it marketing? Is it word of mouth? Are people writing it off as a wannabe Overwatch clone? Is it because it was initially a PC exclusive arena shooter that was only recently announced for the PS4 as well?
I don’t know for sure, but the game does have a lot of good things going for it. The biggest aspect is the discounted price tag. Even though LawBreakers is going for $29.99, it feels like a well-made, full priced shooter you’d see from a big name company like EA, Ubisoft, or Activision. It’s an online-only arena shooter with a lot of game modes, unlockables, and free DLC as well. No doubt, having Cliff Bleszinski leading the studio helps a ton in this regard. Thankfully, this low priced title arrives in August, well before the Fall release storm, so there’s a better chance of people checking it out.
After what I played this weekend, I definitely recommend it.
Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite
Like most, I was extremely happy to see Capcom return to its popular fighting game crossover series. Seeing the return of the Infinity Gems and 2v2 fighting immediately shot me back to my time in the arcades playing some of the classic versus titles like Marvel Super Heroes and even X-Men vs Street Fighter. Needless to say, I was pumped.
Since then however, my enthusiasm has dampened a bit. Based on what I’ve been seeing since E3, it appears I’m not alone. Roster leaks have been one of the big reasons why as outside of a couple of characters, it feels largely the same as Marvel vs Capcom 3 only without the usual mainstays of the X-Men. Rumors have indicated that Capcom is preparing the game to rely heavily on DLC, with new character packs every few months. So fans will eventually get the characters they want over time, though they’ll likely end up paying quite a large sum of money over time for them.
Then there was the story demo. I’ll admit, it was a nice surprise coming out of E3. After playing it however, I was left questioning if MvC:I was even a game I wanted to purchase anymore. First off, the story demo had zero context, it just seemed to throw Capcom and Marvel characters onto a team trying to stop Ultron Sigma. After about half an hour of fighting brain-dead minions, the game finally lets you face Ultron Sigma, but his difficulty and health is increased so much that the demo basically admits that you’re supposed to lose.
Not only that, characters had lipsyncing issues and many character models are just plain ugly. I saw plenty of memes on social media sites highlighting the hulking body and tiny head of Captain America and even how awful poor Chun-Li looks compared to her Street Fighter V model. What’s particularly egregious about this whole thing is that the demo just felt rushed and lacked any sort of polish. When compared to Injustice 2 and even Tekken 7, two games that just recently came out and clearly put a ton of effort into their campaign offerings, the difference was staggering.
While I heard great things about the E3 build, the majority of players were exposed to the lackluster story demo. Ultimately, I want this game to succeed because I’m a longtime fan. Still though, Capcom is going to have to do work to turn the opinions of fans if they want this game to have the staying power it hopes when it launches in September. It’s a tall task when you consider that the company already has a stigma to overcome related to how it handled the launch of Street Fighter V.