Thursday, June 18, 2015
02:30 AM - June 18, 2015. Posted by ChaseB. Written by Glenn Wigmore
The main offering at Microsoft’s E3 booth for sports gamers is Forza 6, which looks to keep moving the needle for this mostly simulation franchise. This wasn’t the most extensive demo, as there were only a couple of options for race types. I chose to try out the night racing and rainy weather racing, both of which were touted as high-level features for this version.
Read More - Forza Motorsport 6 E3 Hands-On (Quick Look)
02:20 AM - June 18, 2015. Posted by ChaseB. Written by Glenn Wigmore
Tucked away at the Sony booth at E3 is the soccer-car craziness that is Rocket League. This PS4 and PC title looks to bring a whole new spin to arena-based car action. The basic idea is that a mix of up to eight human and CPU racers can speed around an arena using customizable cars, all the while trying to knock a crazy-looking soccer ball into the opposing team’s net.
The wrinkle is that while you speed around the course, you can double-tap the cross button to execute end-over-end flips. It’s even possible to ride up the side of the course or fly around if you time your spins right. The team that scores the most goals wins, of course.
Read More - Rocket League E3 Hands-On (Quick Look)
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
01:40 AM - June 17, 2015. Posted by ChaseB. Written by Glenn Wigmore
For now what we'll be doing here at Operation Sports is posting a quick look detailing some of our initial thoughts on sports titles at E3. Once we play more of these games throughout the week we will post more fleshed out hands-on impressions this week and next.
In addition, if you have questions about the game you would like us to ask developers, feel free to post them. We can't guarantee we'll get them answered -- and it's probably better to not get too crazy specific -- but what we do get answered we'll post here on OS as well at some point. The same goes for if you just want to hear more about something we talked about in the article(s). For example, "hey dude, you talked about how the dribbling feels different, can you talk more about that?"
Does EA like Frostbite? Yes they do. And Rory McIlroy PGA Tour looks to bring the company back into the golf conversation with that powerhouse graphical engine. With The Golf Club controlling the narrative right now, EA seems focused on delivering a deep gameplay experience with lots of customization and great looks. This might come at the expense of some golfer and course depth, but they had to (re)start somewhere.
Here are my quick impressions from the demo that is on the E3 show floor:
-I’m really digging the new difficulty of the Tour Pro setting. With the removal of the ability to zoom in down the course, you actually have to use the overhead view to get a sense of your yardages, which change after each shot. The removal of zoom-in and the sensitivity of the analog swing create some challenging holes.
-Speaking of courses, they have all been designed with varying firmness and feel based on the terrain, which aims to create something distinct when moving between locations.
-The course selection seems relatively good, if a little sparse. No Augusta, which isn’t great. I’d like to get some time in with the fantasy courses and fictional “real” courses, as some of those are used in the challenge-based Night Club mode.
-The golfer selection is definitely on the paltry side, but EA seems poised to add many real and novelty swingers via paid DLC.
-Still, they said no “Day 1” DLC.
-Bag and club customization is deep, with 14 clubs and the ability to change heads, shafts and grips on each one.
-Frostbite does look sharp on the golf course. Golfers have some striking detail in the clothing and faces, and many of the fly-ins and intro sequences look spectacular in their mirroring of The Golf Channel’s broadcast.
-The loading times now match that of The Golf Club, with multiple rounds playable on the same course with no loading times. Even when you pause the game, the menu just goes over top of the course geometry, allowing you quick access back into the game. The only loading times occur when you boot up a new course.
-The analog swing meter now visualizes the exact path of your shot, and there’s a pulse meter that represents the timing and pace of your swing.
-This pulse meter is mirrored across all shot types, including putting. Putting seems challenging on Tour Pro, and the new “putt read line” seems helpful while not being quite as automatic as the putt preview of the past. Still, putting is not quite as devious as the stuff found in The Golf Club.
-The hospitality settings seem very robust, with added assists and customization options so that you can set any difficulty and then tweak each setting to what you want.
-Online looks to have daily and weekly tournaments, and up to four players can engage in simultaneous play, with all golfers and equipment represented on the course at the same time. There is a vote system to decide on the next course/challenge as well, which sounds like a smart wrinkle.
Chase Becotte: As the golf noob of the group, I came away thinking Rory McIlroy PGA Tour was a beautiful game I would like to dabble in more when it comes out. It's not something that grabbed me and made me believe I had been missing out on playing golf games these last couple years, but it's something I thought I could immediately turn on for friends to impress them with its visuals before telling them to hop in for a round.
Glenn Wigmore: The customization seems to be there, and the gameplay was challenging in the right ways. While players won’t have the course creator or challenging putting found in The Golf Club, PGA Tour looks to bring some impressive visuals and gameplay depth to the fore.
01:28 AM - June 17, 2015. Posted by ChaseB. Written by Glenn Wigmore
Based on what NHL 15 offered, it’s fair to approach NHL 16 with some caution. The gameplay of NHL 15 generally satisfied, with a few caveats in penalty logic, wacky collision physics and some holdover elements from previous years. The bigger issue was the feature set -- or lack thereof. While the new hardware generation resets the bar somewhat, it doesn’t allow for the jarring lack of modes and features that NHL 15 displayed. The good news is that things can only go up.
Read More: NHL 16 E3 Hands-On Impressions (Quick Look) - (Written by Glenn Wigmore)
01:26 AM - June 17, 2015. Posted by ChaseB. Written by Glenn Wigmore
The folks at EA and Ghost Games are very confident in their latest incarnation of the Need for Speed franchise, which they have allowed to stand on its own (i.e. no subtitle). The game features the kitchen-sink approach to game design, with footholds for casual and hardcore players alike. This is a “reboot” -- in the exact words of the developers.
Read More: Need For Speed E3 Hands-On (Quick Look) - (Written by Glenn Wigmore)
Friday, June 12, 2015
09:57 AM - June 12, 2015. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Glenn WigmoreWe can always count on E3 to bring us all sorts of surprises and reveals, even if some of them end up getting leaked weeks or months in advance. All of the big hardware manufacturers and publishers want to wow the media and fans with a balance of new and exciting offerings as well as some properties that play on nostalgia.
The sports game space has had quite a few positive and negative developments emanating from E3 in the past, and I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the crazier moments from the past 15 years as well as look forward to the 2015 version of the annual hype machine.
Read More - E3 Surprises From the Last 10-Plus Years...
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
The FIFA name keeps coming up in the news these days, for good and bad reasons. We’ve had the nice addition of women’s international teams to Electronic Arts’ FIFA 16 — about time — and we’ve seen the FIFA organization rocked by indictments of high-level officials, stemming from alleged offenses of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering. It’s not often that the sports game world gets crossed up with big stories like this, but it’s fascinating to see how companies navigate these waters when it does.
Read More - EA and the FIFA Brand
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
The Electronic Entertainment Expo is just around the corner, and there’s always a great deal of hype and zeitgeist generated by the teased, shown and playable games. It’s one of those times where it’s easy to get kind of swept up in the moment, losing sight of the fact that you are being messaged the whole time. Developers and publishers want you to think of their game above all others, and they also want to show you their games in a very favourable light. This can lead to hyperbole during the show and then a crashing reality once the game actually ships (or is delayed). It doesn’t mean games at E3 won’t end up being great games. On the contrary, many games at E3 will end up delivering the goods. But we all have to understand that E3 is a big marketing machine, first and foremost.
Read More - E3 and the Hype Train
Thursday, May 21, 2015
08:44 AM - May 21, 2015. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Glenn Wigmore
I really miss Super Spike V’ball. There was something that just really clicked with the four-player action offered by that game all the way back on the NES (and in arcades). The simplicity of the gameplay leant itself perfectly to couch co-op, but there was a layer of strategy that enabled players to get really good at blocking, spiking and misdirecting. The unique characteristics of each team also added some strategy, as the various attributes required players to emphasize strengths while concealing weaknesses.
Enter Gunsport, a futuristic retro game that looks to scratch a similar itch with its two-to-four-player action.
Read More - Volleyball and Guns Collide in Gunsport
Monday, May 11, 2015
08:51 AM - May 11, 2015. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Glenn Wigmore
With E3 on the horizon, we’re likely going to hear a lot more about all of the usual suspects in the sports genre. One of the outliers to this standard cycle is the EA Sports UFC franchise, as EA has admitted that the game won’t have a standard annualized release schedule. This has become obvious by the fact that June is nearly here and we know nothing about the next game in the franchise. Random message board posts and tweets from the dev team have confirmed that development is underway on the next game (EA Sports UFC 2? EA Sports UFC 2016?), but it’s hard to say when we’ll hear more about it.
Read More - EA Sports UFC: Five Things The Sequel Needs to Include
Thursday, May 7, 2015
09:15 AM - May 7, 2015. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Glenn Wigmore
While we wrote extensively about NHL 15 (Xbox One, PS4) before, during and after launch, it's meaningful to look back at where the game stands in the series, especially in the context of other peers in the genre. As disappointing as the game was for those who were wanting a complete next-gen hockey experience, it managed to soldier on, selling relatively well and maintaining some level of community through several patches. None of those things fixed the overall incomplete nature of that product, but it started the baby steps towards a better future for the series.
Read More - NHL 15: The Legacy of the Failed to Launch Title
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
08:41 AM - May 6, 2015. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Glenn Wigmore
Mobile games are sort of hard to get a handle on sometimes, as they usually offer an experience that’s filled with caveats and qualifiers. EA Sports UFC for mobile is just such a game, as it features some decent presentation and surprisingly tactical combat, but a lot of it is mixed in with in-app purchases, grind-heavy ladders, boosts and slow drip-feeds of in-game currency. If you’re able to push away the business aspect of this game from your mind, it’s kind of a decent time-waster for a few hours.
Read More - EA Sports UFC Mobile Review (iOS/Android)
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
08:38 AM - April 22, 2015. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Glenn Wigmore
When there’s a sign during one of the matches in this showcase that says “Load the Spaceship with the Rocket Fuel,” you know the folks at 2K had their heart in the right place when putting together the latest content for WWE 2K15. I kind of figured that this DLC showcase was shaping up to be the best of the three, and that’s certainly the case. While it still suffers from some gameplay quirks and a short playtime (around two hours), it’s got some fun matches that are filled with entertaining historical spots. If you were around during this era of wrestling — or if you appreciate the cartoon wackiness that it brought — then you’ll have a good time with the “Path of the Warrior” DLC.
Read More - WWE 2K15: Path of the Warrior DLC Review
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
06:13 PM - April 15, 2015. Posted by Steve_OS. Written by Glenn Wigmore
EA Sports has published their NHL 15 playoff simulation for the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs. Not surprisingly, the projected winner is Anaheim, which is a sensible pick for anyone, especially considering the team's beastly offensive capabilities. These simulations are always fun, even though there's nothing really scientific about them. It's certainly interesting to set up all the rosters, rules and sliders in such a way that simulates actual playoff stats and outcomes, but of course, the playoffs are always wildly unpredictable, particularly in the first round.
Make sure you read Glenn Wigmore's take and post your picks and thoughts on the sim from EA.
Read More - EA Sports NHL Playoff Simulation Thoughts (Written by Glenn Wigmore)
Saturday, April 11, 2015
09:59 AM - April 11, 2015. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Glenn Wigmore
MLB 15 The Show’s directional hitting has taken me back to MVP ’05, where moving the left stick in a direction would attempt to influence the ball to go that way. It’s a system that’s pretty confusing if you’re locked into zone hitting, but once you wrap your head around it, it can be very useful in key situations. The fact that your swing will revert back to a timing-based version if you don’t pick a direction, complete with hitting stats based on each player, means you still have a viable way of making contact if a particular at-bat isn’t going your way.
Read More - MLB 15 The Show: Directional Hitting Guide