Today I saw this post from IGN – it’s a video with the latest patch update from Mass Effect: Andromeda, and it shows the before (left) and after (right) graphics comparison.
The patch notes on Bioware’s website clearly state:
- Improved the appearance of eyes for human and asari characters
- Improved lip-sync and facial acting during some conversations, including localized VO
My issue is that it increasingly feels like games are being rushed to market under-developed, with patch releases being the easy option. There’s almost an atmosphere of “just get it out there, we can fix it later”
The most recent high profile example of this comes from Nintendo with both the Nintendo Switch and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild having hardware and framerate issues respectively:
Rushing software to market also hits gamers in the wallet. The first incarnation of Destiny earned the title “Vanilla” after players started realising that the money they forked out for the game on release would eventually give way to years of DLC’s that locked new loot, activities, multiplayer maps, and end-game Raids behind paywalls.
The first instance of the “DLC push” took place on the week of The Dark Below‘s actual launch, when it was revealed that non-DLC owners were locked out of that week’s Weekly Heroic and Nightfall Strikes.
Guardians who didn’t own The Dark Below couldn’t jump into some of Destiny‘s new endgame content, and they were effectively locked out behind a paywall. If you wanted in you had to cough up the $$, or buy the Season Pass to “save money” and get access to another DLC pack later on.
The “smart” thing Bungie did here was allow non-DLC players to be in game with players who had purchased the DLC, forever dangling the carrot in front of them by keeping all new content on show, but agonizingly unreachable until the money was paid.
I myself have paid hundreds of dollars over the past few years forking out money to keep up with Destiny’s DLC packs so I could access all of the new content, only to feel a little cheated by the end of it all as I realised that I’d paid 3 times what the game is actually worth now that we’d seen every release.
Pretty rough considering the announcement from Bungie that everything we’ve grinded so hard for won’t carry over to Destiny 2!
Are we, the consumer, to blame?
Is it our fault that companies feel like they can get away with rushing releases to market or trickling a game’s full content out over the course of DLC’s?
Every DLC from The Dark Below onwards I had to have, caught between watching new areas and loot just out of arms reach and the endless chiding from my Raid team who were streaming ahead in light level and “needed me in the Raid party”..
I was there on launch day for the Nintendo Switch and Legend of Zelda: BOTW knowing full well from pouring over every leak and report that we may be in for a few problems from a rushed console. I knew as I slid the console into the dock that there are frame rate issues when playing LoZ on the TV but hell, I needed to explore this vast new world before anyone else!..
I must say I’m yet to purchase a copy of Mass Effect: Andromeda, but admit it’s not from standing up in protest, but because I need the money for my collector’s edition of Destiny 2..
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