This Month On Edge


The things that caught our eye dur­ing the pro­duc­tion of E273

Clubbed out

I’m writ­ing this after one of the most frus­trat­ing week­ends I’ve ever had with a game. DriveClub is bro­ken; a game that was sold heav­ily on its so­cial fea­tures cur­rently has no so­cial fea­tures at all. I’m fu­ri­ous. E272’ s Big Pic­ture Mode ar­ti­cle pointed out how Sony’s halo had slipped since its bril­liant pre-re­lease mar­ket­ing of PS4. To me, its han­dling (sorry) of DriveClub has seen that halo fall off en­tirely.

This, lest we for­get, was a game an­nounced with great fan­fare as a PS4 launch ti­tle, as the world’s most so­cial rac­ing game. At E3 last year, Sony used the cut-down PS Plus Edi­tion of the game to sweeten the pill of the company now charg­ing play­ers for on­line mul­ti­player. Then the game was de­layed, for almost a year, and what has emerged is clearly not fin­ished. We ex­pect con­tent to be added after re­lease, but not fea­tures, like the cur­rently ab­sent re­play mode and dy­namic weather.

And then the world’s most so­cially con­nected racer launched with server prob­lems so bad that the PS Plus Edi­tion had to be de­layed again to pri­ori­tise pay­ing cus­tomers. But even we can can’t con­nect. The fact that a patch came out on a Satur­day evening sug­gests that the dev de­vel­op­ers at Evo­lu­tion have been work­ing aro around the clock to get the prob­lems fixed, but it hasn’t helped at all.

Un­able to get on­line with the game, I sp spent a good chunk of the week­end at a frie friend’s house. He bought an Xbox One at lau launch, and re­cently picked up Forza Hori­zon 2, a and while we’ve spent the last 18 months or so gen­tly rib­bing each other for hav­ing backed the wrong horse, this was a chas­ten­ing week­end. Forza looked great, Xbox Live was rock solid through­out, and with Steve Ballmer and Don Mat­trick gone, I’m run­ning low on anti-Mi­crosoft ammo. Xbox One’s abysmal re­veal handed the ad­van­tage to Sony, and while PS4’s sold well, it feels like the tide may now be turn­ing in Mi­crosoft’s favour. An­drew Holmes Sony ex­ecs in­sist they’re not com­pla­cent fol­low­ing PS4’s early suc­cess, but the DriveClub launch was a mess. Mi­crosoft is claw­ing back in the bat­tle for hearts and minds, if not in ac­tual hard­ware sales, though at this rate that’ll change be­fore too long. And we miss Ballmer, too.

Static shock

I’ve been an Xbox One owner since day one. How­ever, I’m start­ing to feel an­noyed that I’ve just paid £40 for a year’s sub­scrip­tion to Xbox Live Gold when I don’t feel I’m get­ting any­thing from it. On my beloved 360 I had reg­u­lar demos and Ar­cade games to try, and a whole host of nice apps. What do I have here? A free game ev­ery so of­ten, and Chan­nel 5 on de­mand.

Oh, and the chance to pay £55 for a new game. Look at Alien: Iso­la­tion’s page on the Xbox One store. There’s a tiny bit of text in a win­dow, some static images, and that’s it. This is meant to be the all-in-one box that lets me get great new games from my couch. Am I sup­posed to be con­vinced to part with £55 based solely on a hand­ful of static screen­shots? I daren’t hold out any hopes for a down­load­able demo, since they’re as rare as hens’ teeth lately. The 360 was my favourite ma­chine since the glory days of the SNES and the PS1. This gen­er­a­tion just feels wrong so far. Gareth Jones

“The game was de­layed, for almost a year, and what has emerged is not fin­ished”

The quiet death of the free demo is a sad re­sult of the switch to the new gen­er­a­tion. Mi­crosoft in­sisted on there be­ing demos for ev­ery XBLA game; per­haps it should do the same for videos on Xbox One.

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