Murder! Money! Collector’s Editions! It’s my pick of the games news from the past week. Please feel free to not read it, but know that you will never be welcome here again.
GOTTA GET DOWN ON FRIDAY
Horror fans can rejoice, as the intriguing Friday the 13th: The Game has met its Kickstarter goal of $700,000. The game, developed by Gun Media and Illfonic, is an asymetrical multiplayer game in which one lucky, bloodthirsty player takes the reins of the iconic, towering slasher Jason, who must strut around the movies’ location of Camp Crystal Lake to brutally dismember a group of teenagers controlled by the other players, and not, as the mask would suggest, have a friendly game of hockey.
Further stretch goals in the campaign include additional kills from the various movies and a separate single-player mode for a whopping $1.625 million, though these seem unlikely to be funded by the end date of 14th November.
Considering the game is made by people who love the franchise, alongside Friday the 13th creator Sean Cunningham, fans seem to be pretty excited for it. My worry, however, is that the type of gameplay they have gone for just might not work. There have always been problems implementing multiplayer in horror games; often the presence of other players takes away the fear factor. Titles such as Dead Space 3 and F.3.A.R. both attempted to incorporate multiplayer into their horror-based gameplay and, while both were fun to play, neither scared me one bit when played with a partner.
Another potential problem is the players themselves. Is Jason really terrifying if he’s running around in circles, jumping up and down, or teabagging his latest victim? Probably not. Lastly there’s the question of balance. A similar type of multiplayer gameplay was utilised by Evolve earlier this year, a game about a group of hunters trying to kill a single, giant beast. Although I haven’t played it, I am assured that it just didn’t work in the way its developers had hoped, and promptly died on its monstrous arse.
All this said, Friday the 13th: The Game could be interesting, especially in the way that the victims will be encouraged to interact or not interact with each other. Will helping each other out be beneficial, or will the players be tempted to act as right dicks, screwing each other over and only looking out for themselves? With such a dedicated team behind it, it’s definitely one to keep an eye on.
HEY BIG SPENDER
Star Citizen is an ambitious upcoming space simulation game by Cloud Imperium Games, which currently lets players support its development by putting down cold, hard cash for in-game items, spaceships and various privileges. This model has been very successful, with keen pilots spending vast sums on the unreleased title they are certain will become their dream game.
Now, a man who goes by Ozy311 has topped them all, throwing $30,000 (£19,700) at the game, and he’s planning on spending more.
Of course, we all read this and immediately think him a madman. ‘Surely no one in their right mind would spend so much money on things that aren’t even real’! But why not? If you’re earning a lot of money, why not spend it on something you enjoy?
“I literally have everything and, even then, multiples of everything, many times. I have the highest package in the game, which is called ‘The Completionist with the Million Mile High Club’, which is a base package that’s $15,000. It didn’t start out that way, though. When I started getting into the game years ago, it was this and that, and this and that. And then after I started to see the product mature, I was convinced it was what I also dreamed of, and was hooked. I went in deep.” – Ozy311, from an interview with PC Gamer.
The man, who is more boringly known as Chris in the real world, works for a big computer operations company, though his Star Citizen money was raised from other jobs he has. He clearly works very hard, unlike some of you slobs, and if he has enough money to comfortably spend $30,000 on something he really loves, I don’t think that’s mad at all.
“Some people buy real boats; I buy pixel boats. I guess I’ve just grown up my entire life thinking that where you acquire your entertainment from is your choice and should not be judged by the world as a whole.”
Those are some surprisingly meaningful words from Chris, which should be reassuring to anyone who has ever been criticised for playing games. Do what you love doing – there are far worse things to spend your money on, like hard drugs, Club Penguin, or slaves. As for the game itself, Chris was keen to big up the community aspect:
“I really truly think that this game is more of a community and social aspect than it is just a game, and everybody that I’ve met so far… are some of the most mature, respectful, and great people to be around that I’ve met anywhere. It’s not a bunch of kids sitting around ‘pew pewing’ about Call of Duty.”
Star Citizen will be released on PC in 2016. If you want to be in the news and have $40,000 spare, you know what to do.
I’D SELL MY SOUL FOR THAT
If there’s one thing I love, it’s onion bhajis. If there’s another thing, it’s Dark Souls.
I talked a bit about why I love Dark Souls so much here, but essentially it’s the way the game perfectly combines masterful storytelling and stunning art design with compelling and rewarding gameplay, and if I could adopt it as a child, I probably would. Its sequel Dark Souls II perhaps isn’t as well realised, though its current-gen remaster Scholar of the First Sin addressed many of the vanilla game’s issues and is definitely one of the best games I’ve played. Its spiritual successor, the PS4-exclusive Bloodborne, is just as brilliant, refining and redifining the series’ gameplay and further proving that Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki is one of gaming’s greatest visionaries. One of my regrets is that I never got to experience the PS3 originator of the series, Demon’s Souls, though hopefully that will change in the future (PS4 remaster please, Miyazaki!).
Anyway, it goes without saying that I am hugely anticipating the release of Dark Souls III next April, especially now that Miyazaki has returned to direct, after serving as producer on Dark Souls II. I’m lapping up all the information I can find about it like a thirsty dog trapped in a hot car, and it appears that the official release date has been leaked by Middle Eastern retailer Geekay Games, along with details about two Collector’s Editions filled with awesome stuff (read: tat for nerds).
The Collector Edition, priced at around 499 AED/$136/£89, includes a shiny, glorious copy of my future obsession in a lovely metal case, alongside some iron-on patches, a cloth game map, the game’s soundtrack, a beautiful-looking hardback artbook for sad people like myself to drool over and a 25 cm statue of Dark Souls III’s protagonist, the Red Knight, doing an epic pose. All of this is housed in a slick collector’s box and will apparently be released alongside the standard version on 12th April 2016.
The Prestige edition, which will take you back a considerably more damaging 1,799 AED/$490/£321, contains all the same sick loot but replaces the Red Knight with a hefty 40 cm Lord of Cinder statue. Souls sadcases (read: utter legends) will be familiar with the character of Gwyn, Lord of Cinder, who was the final boss of Dark Souls, though this character is one of a new set of Lords from many different ages who are all being resurrected due to the apocalyptic events of this third installment. Fans have also noticed that this particular cinderous lord resembles the Giant Lord from Dark Souls II, which raises all sorts of unanswerable questions and will likely result in much hair loss prior to April 2016.
Many Collectors Editions are shameless money-grabs that include all sorts of rubbish that no one will take a second look at, but both of these are very swanky indeed, with a cool statue to display with pride and a map that would look amazing on any nerd’s wall. The Prestige Edition is probably a bit too pricey for me (unless I can use my soul as currency), but I can definitely see myself forking out for the Collector Edition, considering how much I care about the series.
And so I leave you with one of my favourite quotes, from the man himself:
What you see is often of far less importance to that which remains veiled.
— Hidetaka Miyazaki (@HidetakaMiyazak) March 14, 2014
And thus endeth the Word of Tom.