Weekend of questionable Gaming

The steam weekend deals are usually nothing to write home about, on the surface, this weekends (9th and 10th of January) still are not. However, when you take into account the shadiness of the developers of both games, a nice little story emerges.

Planetary Annihilation: Titans

The original Planetary Annihilation was a Kickstarted game that I was much looking forward to. From early builds and trailers and what not, it looked to be a competent strategy game from industry professionals that allowed you to fire planet destroying (or annihilating rather) lasers much like a certain scene from Star Wars. It also added planet to planet combat, where you could build a solar system full of bases and use them to murder your opponents with all manner of robotic things. All of that sounded lovely. Then it came out.

When the game emerged onto steam people thought it was alright, nothing special but alright. The developers then responded by saying that it was in Early Access and was close to being, but not actually finished yet. When I bought it, a year later, it was still not finished. Also whilst trawling through the innards of Game a few weeks later I found that you could buy the early access copy in a box, with a mouse from SteelSeries, for a ridiculous price and as a special edition. Bugger that.

The game was a buggy and not particularly fun shamble. The single player was non-existent, the tutorial was the single player and I could not get the game to run for long enough to try the multiplayer. On the lowest graphics settings, on 1280 x 720 resolution the game could run at about 24 fps. According to the recommending settings I could run it on the highest settings. Well that turned out to be wrong.

It afforded me a weekend of interest but after that I uninstalled it and it is collecting dust in my steam library. I was relatively excited then when the developer announced that the ‘much awaited’ titans expansion would be coming soon. That was until I discovered that the expansion was the same price as the base game and the base game was no longer available to buy. To some this may seem fine. However by doing so the developer has managed to remove several hundred negative reviews and gone from being ‘mixed’ to ‘mostly positive’ on steam. Furthermore, the game is still just as buggy and from what I can discern from the screenshots, the only real change is that some of the units are now a bit bigger.

To rub salt into the proverbial wound, it appears that some Kickstarter backers who purchased a pack that entitled them to the DLC upon release of any are not being given a copy of Titans and have to buy the entire game all over again. I would not recommend buying it at all, save your money and get Star Craft 2 or Civilisation V or any other good strategy game.

Broken Age

Broken Age is a game made by Double Fine, a developer I like. Broken Age, I do not like. It was an adventure game broken into two sections. Part one was rather good, not great, it looked pretty but the puzzles were not particularly challenging. Part two although still looking pretty was almost the same as part one just with more bloody awful wiring puzzles.

The game is playable and I would recommend playing it for part 1 alone. The controversy comes into it with Broken Age’s Kickstarter scheme. It ranks as one of the most successful ever recorded raising approximately $3.3 million and then spending it all on half a game. That was part one. Part two was then going to be funded by the season pass which could be bought after buying the half of the game that was already out. Well part two exists so I cannot fault the marketing board for that concept but it still is worth wondering, was the game ever going to be completed with the $3.3 million in the first place? It is an even better question when we realise that the Kickstarter’s original goal was just $400,000.

If you fancy some more in the line of Double Fine gossip, look no further than the development of Psychonauts 2 and how that is being funded. It is well worth the read I assure you.


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