Home Editorial Xiant has questions, you’ve got answers

Pardon my absence so far in May, and my apologies for it. I’ve not been playing games that bear discussion, and I’m at an impasse as to where to turn next. We’re Top Tier Tactics, yet I’ve a dearth or actual “tactics” to present to you, due in large part to me playing games that require very little strategy. Rather than stumping myself on what to do, I thought I’d turn to the T3 community for their thoughts on where I should go.

Splinter Cell?

Having seen the trailer for Mercs vs. Spies and Splinter Cell: Blacklist, I’m intrigued. Ubisoft haven’t failed to deliver a mindbending multiplayer experience yet (to my knowledge), and I’m interested in trying my hand in subterfuge and death. The questions I have here are twofold.

1. I know at least one of you has a long history with the series, and as the game nears release, I’ll be watching carefully to see how complex the mechanics become. Do you all think Blacklist has the potential for real depth of play and wide ranging strategies?

2. If the above answer is “Yes,” do you all want to see Blacklist coverage, strategies and otherwise humorous attempts at murder?

Shooter Season 2013?

Back when, I posted a few Battlefield 3 articles, and they got a pretty good viewing and response. BF4’s got a pre-order up with no real multiplayer footage, and I learned about a minute ago that the first DLC is a pre-order incentive. The problem with BF3 was the sheer amount of people covering it, and explaining a map with text is somehow less effective than making a video about it. Plus, the overall strategy is “shoot people, stand in one place for a few minutes, move, repeat.” Not a ton of depth.

Then of course there’s Call of Duty, which I play but don’t talk about here because I don’t see a point. Run a round and shoot people, call in airstrikes, succeed. Or don’t.

All that said, however, I need to ask if there are those among you who want to see anything from me about the fall rush of AAA games (new consoles notwithstanding). If you do want to see coverage, what do you want it to be about? Maps, guns, vehicle tactics, flank routes? I can do any and all of the above, since I’ll certainly be playing more than my fair share of Battlefield 4. And regrettably, CoD Ghosts as well.

What’s on your radar?

I’ve only mentioned shooters so far, and short of playing League or Minecraft again (both still options), I haven’t been keeping tabs on what’s coming out that might be any more complicated than “I haz gun. Where people to shoot?” I’m leaving future Assassin’s Creed games in WiNG’s capable, murderous hands, but anything else you guys have in mind is certainly something I’ll look into.

I’m especially curious if there are any indie titles out or releasing soon that might qualify for serious dissection. I’d love to do some quick reviews or minute-strategies for games people may or may not have heard of.

Would you guys also like to see ending analyses, like for Mass Effect 3 or Bioshock Infinite (which I’ll be writing when I finish it)? Reviews are passe and everyone does them, but breaking down and looking close at how a game’s story ends is something few sites do.* To that end, would you guys be amenable to something like that, and from which games do you want them? I can do old games and new, provided they’re on PC and run on Windows 7.

Thanks in advance for your advice, and I’ll be back soon with more stuff.


*My minutes of research turned very little up at least.

10 replies to this post
  1. “Ubisoft haven’t failed to deliver a mindbending multiplayer experience yet.”
    Haaa haa ha haa ha ha.
    ~Everyone who played AC3 ever.

    In all seriousness though, it certainly looks to have potential. I personally would kill for a series about Xiant plus Wingman stab some mercenaries.

    Not really interested in Spunkgargleweewee, but if there turn out to be some deep strategies, go for it. Same goes for ending analyses, though perhaps rather of less public games which don’t have the premise of “We’re so f’ing awesome, we’ll just slap down a story that even a twelve year old could best in half an hour of effort and then let the fans connect the scraps (because calling it out on plot holes would be like calling Sweden out on trees) by themselves, because actual writing requires money!” like certain other AAA games who shan’t be named despite their shocking appearances.

    As for indie game strategy, go for it as hard as you can. FTL, Don’t Starve, whatever you find on your hard drive, I’m sure people will like guidance into games which actually have tactics behind them.

    • I see someone is a fan of Zero Punctuation. Always becoming a better person, Toraka, always.

      Anyways, for ending analyses, I’d be doing games with depth, like KOTOR 1 and 2, Bioshock, Far Cry 3, Spec Ops: The Line. The difference between games like those and CoD stories is like comparing a Dan Brown novel to Cormac McCarthy. The first is good only for entertainment, the second for real introspection. I’d rather dig deep into the introspection.

      I’ve been curious about FTL and Don’t Starve, but I feel they’ve been out a bit too long for new strats to be viable. That said, I’ve been wrong before. I’ll keep an eye on the Steam indie section, where there’s already a couple I’m curious about.

      • That’s the wonderful thing about Indies; Tactical depth is a standard rather than a rarity which you’d put on the front of the box.

        I think that FTL especially has some depth which could still make people benefit from more guides and tips, such as “Shoot the momma ship’s individual weapon rooms!”

        How glad am I that Infinite isn’t in that list… you probably meant that, didn’t you. Anyhow. I believe that the best story is that which presents itself during gameplay or at least seems so, but has enough depth to still give discussions about it some purpose. Games which have such stories, go ahead and cover them.

  2. “Ubisoft haven’t failed to deliver a mindbending multiplayer experience yet.”
    The premise of your argument is right! The Multiplayer modes they created were always fun and innovative.
    The personal problem that I have with Ubisoft is everything surrounding these multiplayer experiences.

    I guess you meant me when you said ” I know at least one of you has a long history with the series” and I would say it WAS a long history, as I haven’t been following SC after the release of Double Agent:

    Ubisoft was never really invested in the Multiplayer modes for their games. This is the first time I see a trailer for it!
    SC (and AC) were always focused on the single player experience, and no marketing was being done to draw players in to the multiplayer mode.
    Also, a lot of small decisions ubisoft made lead to the multiplayer being lackluster, before you even joined a match:

    1) Menues: In Pandora Tomorrow, you had a seperate .exe File to start the Multiplayer. Later, when they added UPLAY Launchers to everything, instead of putting a button next to “Play Now” saying “Multiplayer”, they decided that you’d had to start the game first, then click on Multiplayer in the main menu of the SP, and THEN it would start a 2nd .exe.

    2) Ranking and Lobbies.
    SC had most problems with the ranking and lobby systems.
    My partner and I rarely played a game – we were too busy finding a Lobby that we didn’t emediately get kicked from, or create one were people actually stayed.
    Our rankings were simply too high.
    A %No. in brackets showed your win/loss ratio, and we both had 99%… Noone wanted to play with us.
    This whole lobby system then got scrapped in AC – and I hope that SC:B will be Lobby and Matchmaking, not just one of the two.

    3) Community feedback
    Ubisoft didn’t care! It took ages for a patch to arrive, as the community was very small, and most of the patches didn’t do much to adress problems expressed on the forums.
    The best Patch of Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow was called “Chaos Theory” and cost me 50€.

    4) Legacy continuum
    The reason I stopped playing, was because Ubisoft, after announcing Double Agent, decided to overhaul the entire Multiplayer: What do you do when you have but a small fanbase on old systems that love a particular style of gameplay?
    You change it to high graphics fidelity, which most of the machines couldn’t run, and change the 2v2 formula to 3v3, take away most abilities or supplement them.
    Most hardcore players like myself didn’t want to invest in a new computer just to keep playing a game that, for all we knew, would’t take off and get popular just like the last 2.

    I sincerely hope Ubisoft has learned from all this, because me and my partner (or rather partners, as it’s probably going ot be 4v4 this time) are alreay discussing wether or not we will participate.

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