Peo­ple power


While you’d think some­thing with as broad an ap­peal as Star Wars should land in any con­text, Star Wars Bat­tle­front, like Jar Jar Binks, is ev­i­dence to the con­trary. The ab­sence of a sin­gle­player cam­paign irked many, while still more took is­sue with what they saw as a lack of con­tent in mul­ti­player. In re­sponse, EA has pooled the tal­ents of Cri­te­rion, DICE and Mo­tive to build a sequel (p34) that at­tempts to of­fer some­thing for ev­ery­body. A sub­stan­tial and ro­bust mul­ti­player com­po­nent, a fully op­er­a­tional sin­gle­player cam­paign and a more flex­i­ble toy­box should go some way to win­ning back those who were dis­ap­pointed by DICE’s first at­tempt.

Cap­com’s Marvel Vs Cap­com se­ries, mean­while, has long faced a sim­i­lar prob­lem – al­beit for dis­tinctly dif­fer­ent rea­sons. The as­sem­blage of Marvel and Cap­com’s best-loved characters should rep­re­sent a hook with enor­mous mass-mar­ket ap­peal, yet the three-on-three fighter has long been feared for its be­wil­der­ing com­plex­ity. In Marvel Vs Cap­com: In­fi­nite (p44), the stu­dio has re­jected the usual sequel mantra of ‘ more is more’ and in­stead made a con­certed ef­fort to make the game more ac­ces­si­ble.

Both games are the work of studios which are go­ing out of their way to ap­peal to as broad a mar­ket as pos­si­ble without com­pro­mis­ing the core of their games. An­other ap­proach, of course, is to be un­yield­ing – see FromSoft­ware’s out­put – or, as is the case for two studios this month, to give play­ers the tools to troll oth­ers.

Di­vin­ity: Orig­i­nal Sin II’s (p54) Game Mas­ter mode gives you every­thing you need to cre­ate your own sto­ries as oth­ers work through your cre­ation – or to pun­ish them for gig­gles. Sim­i­larly, Raiders Of The Bro­ken Planet (p52) gives one player the ex­clu­sive role of har­ry­ing a team of four de­fend­ers. While these two ap­proaches are dis­tinct, they share the same de­sire to of­fer some­thing for ev­ery­body. Per­haps, de­spite what we’ve heard, it re­ally is pos­si­ble to ap­peal to all of the peo­ple, all of the time.

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