After many weeks of studying and checking our calendars, we have finally arrived at finals week. For some students, this quarter may have been a breeze, one where they could kick back and relax. For others, this may have been the hardest quarter of their lives. Regardless, everyone should be proud and happy that they’ve made it to the end of yet another quarter. An excellent reward? Firing up some games, and having some fun. This week was a big deal for the industry. An old gaming giant, Halo was recently announced to be coming to the PC, earning widespread praise throughout the gaming world. Dwarf Fortress, an incredibly in-depth simulation/indie game was announced to be coming to Steam as well. It looks like an excellent year for PC gamers. In less positive news, Anthem players are organizing a blackout in protest of loot box nerfs during the game. All in all, it seems like a pretty excellent week, so let’s just get right into it.
Across the world, regardless of where you are, one just needs to hum the initial tune for at least a couple of people to perk up their ears, and join along with the Gregorian chant that has become synonymous with the once gaming behemoth, Halo. For quite a few years, Halo was the king of the gaming industry. Their titles were bought and adored by millions, and everyone wanted to put on a Spartan helmet and become a hero. PC players, however, were unable to join in on the fun. The Halo titles were rarely if ever ported to PC. The first Halo made its way to computers, and Halo 2 was released solely on Windows Vista. Every title after that was console-exclusive. Well, not anymore. Halo: The Master Chief Collection was announced to be arriving to the PC. An anthology title contained every Halo title including Halo Reach, the announcement excited gamers everywhere. Furthermore, 343 Industries (the developers and “stewards” of Halo) also explained that the PC release would come with PC-standard features, solidifying that this game was no mere “port”, but a fully optimized PC release. The game was also announced to be coming to Steam, a big surprise as Microsoft studios generally only released titles on their own store. Many people were amazed to hear of this news, considering the impact that Halo has had on millions of people across the world. I know that Halo 2 was the first ever game that I ever played, sitting in a room with my cousins and having the time of my life. 343 hasn’t yet announced a release date yet, but you know that the world watches with bated breath, ready to once again pick up their helmets and finish the fight.
In the vein of gaming stalwarts, Dwarf Fortress, a game that has been in production since 2002 was finally announced on Steam with a very fresh coat of paint, including actual graphics, rather than the text-based game that it originally was. The developers, Bay 12 games explained that out of concern due to co-founder Zach’s health, they had to try and push for a release, and bring some added stability to their income. It’s unfortunate that these were the circumstances behind their release, but that does not take away from the brilliance of Dwarf Fortress. An example of a crazy detail that Dwarf Fortress has was that for a while, cats were mysteriously dying. What turned out happening was that they were walking across tavern floors before licking their paws, promptly giving them alcohol poisoning. If that isn’t insane detail, I don’t know what is. Having mastery over Dwarf Fortress is seen as a multiple-year-long endeavor, and the creators behind the game have cited it as their life’s work. The release date on Steam is ironically stated “Time is Subjective”, and I hope that everyone buys the game, and helps support these developers. Because honestly, for an incredible game like Dwarf Fortress, they deserve it.
Thankfully, there wasn’t much to include here. But, it seems like every week I have to include Anthem, as it seems like one of the few only bad things I’m still hearing about in the gaming industry. The players of Anthem are very upset due to developers Bioware studios removing a bug that allowed more loot to drop in the game. Their main cause of annoyance was due to the lack of loot in the base game, not counting the myriad of technical and gameplay issues that have plagued the game since launch. When Bioware immediately took away a bug that players actually enjoyed, it seemed like the final straw for many Anthem gamers. On Reddit, players have begun to organize a blackout in protest, hoping that by speaking with their controllers, they can force Bioware to react. It seems like Bioware really can’t avoid more bad news. I will, however, point out that it is “in fashion” to hate on Anthem. A problem that arises often in media is that when something is generally recognized as bad, media outlets and will publicize even more bad news, swinging even more negative attention for the game. While I have tried the game and also dislike it for various reasons, I’m sure that there are certainly people who enjoy the game, bugs and all. I think everyone isn’t upset, but disappointed. Bioware, The developers of the incredible Mass Effect and Dragon Age have fallen from grace in the gaming world, and we all hope that they can pull themselves back up.
I’ve mentioned Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice before, but as we approach the release date, it’s worth talking about again. From the developers behind the phenomenal Dark Souls series and Bloodborne comes a new IP, thrusting players into the shoes of a 16th-century ninja as he seeks revenge against a clan of samurai. With a revamped combat style more akin to pose and balance rather than whittling away at health as well as stealth elements, Sekiro looks to be an excellent addition to the action-adventure genre. If the bosses remain as difficult as they were in Bloodborne and the Souls games, I’m sure that people will be playing this title for years on end. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice comes to consoles and PC on March 22, 2019.
Not too many high-profile titles other than Sekiro, and other titles that I’ve already talked about like Days Gone, or The Division 2. As we approach more gaming conventions in the middle of the year, I’m sure that more and more games will be shown, teased, or revealed. For now, study hard and crush those finals as they owe you money.
Authors Note: I’m thinking about attaching my column that I write for my college newspaper on medium (It’s this one). I’ve written quite a few, and if people are interested in hearing what I’ve got to say, I’ll attach all of the previous ones that I’ve written so far, and add the ones I’m currently writing.I’ve got a small following here, and I’m wondering if people are interested in having more weekly updates rather than having the sporadic researched pieces that I currently have. Let me know! And of course, also let me know of any news or interesting things that are happening in the gaming world.