Assassin's Creed IV, Eve Online Milestone, A Farewell To 1UP
Next Assassin's Creed Game Unveiled
Hey, here's a surprise! Ubisoft is cranking out yet another Assassin's Creed title. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag will have pirates and ships and a caucasian male protagonist. More sailing might seem like a good idea since the ship segments of AC3 constituted the high points of a dreadful game. Then again, leaning so heavily on ship combat with a pirate setting comes across as a remarkably obvious and lazy move. When you absolutely have to make one of these games every single year for no good reason, I guess it's all a matter of taking baby steps.
We look forward to seeing if it's possible to take control of your ship and run it directly into the ground, or if Ubisoft will be reluctant to offer up such an obvious analogy to Assassin's Creed players.
Eve Online Hits 500,000 Subscribers
Nearly ten years after its launch, Eve Online has hit a new milestone. The delightfully complex and groundbreaking space MMO has surpassed the 500,000 subscriber mark for the first time. This is particularly noteworthy in an era where the games press insists that the subscription model has been rendered obsolete by free-to-play.
From what my sources tell me, it's very likely that 499,999 of the subscribers are involved in a massive con that will financially ruin the remaining player. When that happens, look forward to a bunch of articles that include phrases like "I don't want to play the game, but I sure am fascinated by the stories that come out of there!"
So Long, 1UP
Ziff-Davis has decided to destroy 1UP.com yet again, this time being careful to collect all of the scattered pieces and stomp on them until they are no more than dust. 1UP is, in other words, really actually dead.
I've been contributing to the site for a little over a year. Something Awful's own Bob Mackey (1UP editor and the most recent host of the excellent Retronauts podcast) gave me a shot, fulfilling a daydream I've had since the first time I read Electronic Gaming Monthly with Bubsy The Bobcat on the cover. My time with the site was challenging and fun and constantly rewarding. Some of my features I worked on were comedic, some were informative, and a few gave me a chance to write about my favorite games of all time.
1UP obviously hasn't been the behemoth that it was in its heyday, but the shift to week-long themes allowed for all sorts of creative takes on any given topic. Even though the site was short on personnel and in need of a redesign, its editors provided a sharp sense of focus. It was an encouraging atmosphere to work in, and I never felt held back by anything but my own shortcomings as a writer.
In a weird "two weeks til retirement" twist, the site closed as I was poised to tackle my first review. I even put together a high-end PC so I'd be able to play new games at their highest settings. Oops.
Of course, I was just a freelancer. The actual employees who have to find entirely new jobs have it far worse. They face genuine hardships. I'm only facing a few weeks of turning into a human slug while I play Guild Wars 2 and try to find another gaming site that will pay a freelancer to make jokes about Bayonetta's breath.
Goodbye, 1UP, and thanks. Not just for the opportunity you gave me, but for all the entertainment over the years. Especially GFW Radio. Jeff Green and Shawn Elliott set the standard for smart, funny, self-effacing game discussion with a sense of perspective.
You owe it to yourself to dig through the GFW Radio archives. The games that they talked about might be old news by now, but the issues and humor are just as relevant today as they were five years ago.
The most surprisingly quiet launch of recent memory, along with the most pedestrian and forgettable campaign since that other game - the one with the campaign I can't remember right now. 6/10
Not a misogynistic mess that some people feared or the revelatory experience that some had hoped for, but a decent premise undercut by the trappings of a mindless action game. 7/10
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Playing around with the blade in Revengeance is so much fun that your extensive fantasy sword collection might start to seem like a waste of money. 8/10