Our gaming lives can often mirror our life in the wider sense. As most of us age, we (usually) gather responsibilities, like spawning our replacements or increased demand from a chosen career path. This can, unfortunately, leave less time for gaming. It’s an incredible realisation for me that young and sprightly gamers who were setting out in the first MMO’s are now knocking on the door of middle age. Hey, we all know how gaming works, no sooner has one 'must play' blockbuster come along, than the next is waiting in the wings. Yet, when an MMO we spent many years playing finally shuts its doors, there is a certain doelfulness that comes with it.
This week we saw the sad news that Carbine Studios are being closed and with it, we will also finally say goodbye to Wildstar. This bold MMO was first announced in 2011 and was a front-runner for the game that would finally take on the ageing World of Warcraft. Its checklist of features had many MMO fans chomping at the bit: exciting combat, a new take on PVP, ultra customisable housing and hardcore raiding that would worry the hardest of tanks. It really did seem like Wildstar had everything and I remember attending the VIP Wildstar launch party at Gamescom feeling like this was the start of something big.
After a few months player numbers were tanking, servers were being merged and for reasons, I still don’t fully understand; Wildstar was on the ropes. Maybe those old raiding guilds really had been smothered by kids and careers? Was it possible that the MMO scene had moved on? Or could it be that gaming itself was now a changed beast and gamers were getting their fixes in other ways? It wasn’t long after player numbers bombed that the man in the chair, Jeremy Gaffney, jumped ship and soon after so did the face of Wildstar; Stephan Frost. Since those early days, the game went through something of a relaunch, this time adopting a free-to-play model: for a few months players numbers spiked but ultimately the numbers dwindled again. One guy who did stick around was the games creative writer, Chad Moore (Pappy), who now, it looks like, will be the one to take Wildstar through its final days. If I can find the time I will write a longer article regarding the rise and fall of Wildstar. As for now, I would like to thank the team at Carbine (both past and present) for Wildstar and I hope all the staff members affected find work as soon as possible.
So the big news this month is that Rigged for Epic will be attending the EGX gaming conference in Birmingham (UK) from Thursday the 20th of September until Sunday the 23rd. I have been given a full press pass and so will be able to (hopefully) get some great coverage and hands-on with games you guys want to know more about. As an Assassins Creed addict, you could say I'm a little bit excited about getting hands-on with Odyssey and seeing how its more beefy RPG elements work. I am also ridiculously excited to try Metro Exodus and Hitman 2. There are also literally hundreds of indie games at the show and I intend to try them all. I do have a fairly bad ingrown toenail which is being operated on next week, so if you see a big dude with a beard hobbling past you, that’s probably me.
In terms of gaming, I have just finished my review of Monster Hunter World, which took a few weeks due to the sheer size of this game. Even now with sixty plus hours I still feel like I have only scratched the surface. There is also plenty of post-launch content in the pipeline for PC gamers, you can check out my thoughts here.
While away with the family this weekend I was sent my Shadow of the Tomb Raider review code. This is obviously a little later than I had planned but I’m going to focus on getting this beat before Thursday and then work on the PC review in between demos and interviews at EGX. I should have my final review up on the site no later than Sunday so if you have been holding off for a second opinion on the PC version, maybe check that out. Last on my gaming rota has been the amazing (it really is) Spider-Man, which I am still chipping away at. There has been a lot of praise for the games traversal systems and combat (which are all top-notch) but the part I have enjoyed the most so far is the story. They have given us some genuinely three-dimensional characters, sure some of the villains over-egg the cliche factor but Aunt May and Peter really stand out. They have also worked very hard to give the games main villain (who I shall not name) a compelling backstory. It’s times like this I wish I reviewed console games.
So that’s all for now folks. I will, of course, be reporting on what I find at EGX and if you want daily updates please follow my Twitter feed @riggedforepic This is where you can also catch all my content updates and reviews. If you do happen to see my ramblings on social media, a like and re-tweet are always appreciated.