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2012 - the year the best games became downloadable?

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Initial post: 8 Aug 2012 09:22:51 BDT
Just finished off Deadlight, which was great whilst it lasted, but in retrospect was only about a 6-7/10 game. But did make me think that the majority of games I've been excited about this year and that were day one purchases were pretty much dlc games.

This may be in part due to the pretty woeful retail releases so far this year, culminating in the worst ever gaming retail sales a week or so back

Seems to be that the gaming world needs to get away from the endless releases of identikit banality and embrace a bit more of the creativity that's out there making innovative games, such as was the case with Portal 2.

Since January I've greatly enjoyed Quarrel, Double Fine Happy Action Theater, Gotham City Imposters, I Am Alive, Fez, The Walking Dead, Minecraft, Spelunky, Quantum Conundrum and Deadlight. I know others have enjoyed the Alan Wake game, Journey and Trials Evolution.

Other than Mass Effect 3, I've been largely disappointed by the rest of the year's full-price offerings. I know there's some gems (hopefully) to come but seems like if you want to play a genuinely interesting and different game then you need to turn to dlc games.

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 10:10:11 BDT
How does the Walking Dead play out mate? I have only played the first two minutes of the trial.

I completely agree with you.

I have enjoyed the Trial of Deadlight and will be buying that. It reminded me of Alan Wake and Limbo in look, didn't play the same way as you would expect. It also got me thinking about games like Another World and Flash Back.

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 10:16:02 BDT
Looking at the release schedule I think retail games will make a comeback in the last few months of the year but certainly up until now the downloadable games I've bought have been far better than the few new retail games I've bought. I found Lollipop Chainsaw and Spider-man really disappointing (I enjoyed LC initially but the novelty wore off very quickly) but have really enjoyed Journey and Motorstorm RC and have had hours of gaming goodness out of both of these gems. Whilst I don't hold The Walking Dead in the same esteem everyone else seems to, I've found that highly enjoyable too and will be starting the second episode soon.

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 10:17:33 BDT
Really enjoyed Walking Dead, Russ. Emphasis is heavily on storyline, plot and the occasional spot of decision-making rather than gameplay. Pretty much harks back to the days of point and click games. I'd say wait until all the episodes are out though as the month+ wait between episodes means you end up forgetting what went before.

Re: Deadlight. Enjoyable whilst it lasts, but little longevity. 3 hours max probably for a playthrough. I'd suggest waiting for a drop in price or get Shadow Complex, which has similar gameplay.

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 10:21:33 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 Aug 2012 10:22:56 BDT
Sir Rodders says:
Lil, I'm pretty sure next Gen the preferred method of delivering games will be downloadable, including full price games.

I hear what you are saying reagrding the kind of games you have enjoyed this year. The ability to DL games has opened up a new opportunity in the market, one in which people are willing to offer the innovation we so often wish for on this forum.

Smaller independant developers would have previously had barriers to entry in the market i.e. needing a publisher who would commit to the cost of physically making and distributing the game. Smaller independent developers now have the means to deliver their own games opening up a wide style of games that risk averse publishers wouldn't have taken a chance on. It means that smaller teams can deliver a game low on budget and price but one that offers something different to the big budget blockbuster game series we see year on year (Battelfield / MoH, COD, AC, FIFA). I guess their only challenge now is getting it onto Live and PSN (not sure how PC works) but it seems like there is a good amount of support for this which is great for us. Some of the games come with a short life span (Journey and Flower) but then others liek Minecraft have a seemingly infinite amount of playability.

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 10:21:44 BDT
G. Hanks says:
Yeah I'd say Deadlight is very much a Flashback/Abe inspired game. I've played about an hour or so and whilst it's quite enjoyable I'm finding the bugs to be a little too frequent and some of the areas a bit hard to navigate due to occasionally obtuse visuals. Have climbed up a ledge just to have my character fall a few times plus struggled in tight situations to grab a ledge just because I'm not positioned directly under it.

I want to get The Walking Dead but really planning on just waiting for the whole season all at once, like box set TV series I hate waiting and would rather get drawn in to the whole thing at once.

Total agree on the love affair with downloadable titles, Trials Evo has taken a fair amount of my time this year and plan to get Spelunky and Fez at some point. I'm going to have to switch to downloading on PSN though as my 120gb hard drive is nearly full on 360 and I can't be fussed going through the chores of switching over to a bigger hardrive yet again, moving my licenses yadayada.

Do retail figures count boxed titles only?

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Aug 2012 10:28:38 BDT
Thanks mate, good advice on the episode release times. I'll wait until they are all out.

I can't believe I missed Shadow Complex. How long is that game and would you say it's worth it at 1200 points?

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 10:30:01 BDT
"Have climbed up a ledge just to have my character fall a few times plus struggled in tight situations to grab a ledge just because I'm not positioned directly under it."
When you're holding onto a ledge, your blue stamina bar depletes so that might be a possible reason. Overall, I enjoyed the game whilst playing it, but afterwards it seems like it wasn't quite as good as I thought it was. Bit like a McDonalds.

"Do retail figures count boxed titles only?"
Apparently so.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Aug 2012 10:40:56 BDT
Shadow Complex is much longer than Deadlight and at 1200msp was well worth the price. I've seen it at half-price twice so I'd imagine it'll be reduced again in the future. Loads of longevity to it. I need to revisit it as it was a really decent game.

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 11:22:35 BDT
G. Hanks says:
"When you're holding onto a ledge, your blue stamina bar depletes so that might be a possible reason."

Might've been in one case but definitely had a couple of occasions where he climbs up but doesn't move on to the ledge thus drops. Will go back to it, possibly tonight, as I'm enjoying the atmosphere.

Shadow Complex is superb. I'm surprised it's still 1200msp but I'd still say it's great value. A decent sized modern Metroidvania with superb level design and just... well... generally awesome. It's the kind of game I'd happily return to on a regular basis and imagine that when the 360 becomes retro it'd be one of the first games I'd consider playing through.

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 12:36:03 BDT
Thanks guys, I'm going to have to get Shadow Complex.

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 12:43:45 BDT
I have finished the walking dead episode 1 and am now playing number 2 they are really good point and click games and you really do feel like your part of the an actual series. Last night i had to make a really tough choice when dishing out some items and who to give them too as it has affects on your relationships with the characters and whether they like you or not great so far 09/10

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 12:53:25 BDT
Wayne says:
Lill's OP made me think about my gaming in 2012 and I've enjoyed some excellent download only games too. The walking dead is superb and highly recommended. Trials evolution was brilliant and the Alan wake game, American nightmare was excellent too. Really enjoyed virtua fighter too. In fact mass effect 3 and spiderman are the only retail games released this year I've bothered with. All the other full games I've played are older games I've caught up with like dead island and rage.

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 12:58:02 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 Aug 2012 13:08:32 BDT
MF says:
I like the spaced releases of walking dead -- would prefer it if the spaces werent 6 weeks or so apart though ! - I would struggle playing all 5 episodes off the bat as some people are considering - quite frankly it would bore me to tears ... click and point games are only good for me if payed in small doses. This is where walking dead hits the mark at a couple of hours an episode , I would also goi as far as saying that half the pleasure of the walking dead series is the want factor -- waiting for the next episode builds its own hype.

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 12:59:28 BDT
G. Hanks says:
"I would also goi as far as saying that half the pleasure of the walking dead series is the want factor -- waiting for the next episode build its own hype."

I can't handle the want. The yearning is what kills me.

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 13:02:19 BDT
Totally agree with prev post, one episode at a time is enough due to the pacing of the game, i probably wouldn't,t appreciate the game as much if i played it all at once, this way i get to look forward to the next episode and it feels fresh.

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 13:12:18 BDT
MF says:
re walking dead ep 3 -

"Although we can't give you an exact date at this time," Telltale wrote on its official blog, "we can say that episode three will be ready in the middle of August, and that we and our partners will do all that we can to release all platforms and regions as close together as possible"

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 13:20:03 BDT
Nick. says:
I completely agree with your post Lil, but I also implore you to play Journey. It is a beautiful game, and I recommend anyone play it.
Also, I think the one problem downloadable games have is how big a cut Sony/Microsoft take, and if they lowered it to be in line with Steam, they would be much more willing to do so. The main reason they do put them on Sony's/Microsoft's is due to exclusivity agreements/contracts (Sony have That Game Companies games up to now for that reason) and things like Minecraft, or other games where dev's are paid to put games on their systems. I'd like to see an open platform, but I can't imagine it. Progress is being made though, as the first console F2P game launches this year.

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 13:33:57 BDT
Crixus says:
I bought shadow complex about a month ago and finished it the other day, was the longest XBLA game I have played and well worth the money, will definetely be replaying it for the 100% achievements at some point

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 13:34:29 BDT
Hey Lil

Sorry mate I forgot to ask how was India ?

In regards to the walking dead mentioned earlier, do you need to of watched the series to play the game? I mean are there spoilers in the game ? does it carry on the story? Cause I do intend to watch the series just not had chance yet.

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 13:38:27 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 Aug 2012 13:39:50 BDT
MF says:
The game differs from the series -- The characters in the game are not the same ones in the series , its the same time frame etc , just a different story of a bunch of peopl ecaught up in the same mess. There are some references to the series but they are easily missed and does not spoil the series.

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 13:38:55 BDT
Rob says:
Although there is a clear shift to download games, I think there is a number of factors that cause this:

1. As has previously been stated there is more money to be made by the developer/producer as the distributor is cut out.
2. The release of faster and faster internet speeds have made this possible.
3. And this is more in answer to the OP question, we are fast approaching the end of the current generation. As downloadable games are now possible and can generally be shorter and less involved (mainly due to cost), it is easier for Devs to create decent download titles, whereas in order for customers to feel satisfied with a disc purchase usually retailing at 4x the cost there needs to be a larger amount of content. As we are in an end generation phase there will be discussions about AAA titles and whether they should be retained for next generation. There is an arguement that devs will reach a greater number of users by releasing this generation, however due to the length of this generation they are putting their AAA titles at full price up against AAA titles at a quarter of the cost, whereas if they release next generation the competition will be reduced.

I think there is an obvious shift towards to downloadable gaming and the downloadable titles brought out this year have been in general of a higher quality than the disc titles but I do not think this is symptomatic of the end of disco gaming... But that's just my view anyway...

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 13:56:38 BDT
G. Hanks says:
Got to say the Free2Play concept has never appealled to me. Would much rather pay all out for a complete package (hopefully with any dlc being the non-cynical cash-in kind.) I always like to feel like I'm getting the full experience without worrying about paying extra for cars/fighters/armour/weapons/bullets/characters/storyline points etc... Because I like a diverse range of gaming experiences and play a lot I don't want to end up effectively trawling through loads of fancy demos because I don't want to subscribe or pay extra for ammunition when I don't know if the game is going to last long enough to use the ammo before I start the next game.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Aug 2012 14:01:40 BDT
Nick. says:
I agree, but it is a much more effective way for the developer to make money. If you pay for the product at say 10, and you don't need to buy anything more, that restricts what the people who are willing to pay say 30 will pay. Free To play isn't for me, but is a very powerful concept, and likely the future...

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 14:10:29 BDT
Sir Rodders says:
Its been a while since Peter Moores took to the stage to tell us all F2P is the future of consoles, whether we like it or not. It makes financial sense to EA - so it shall be, and we will like it or lump it.
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Participants:  28
Total posts:  155
Initial post:  8 Aug 2012
Latest post:  18 Aug 2012

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