My opinion of excellent software titles has been given on this board previously- I have talked up the genius of guerilla games ‘horizon zero dawn’, and more so ‘killzone mercenary’ as exqmples of a first party studio squeezing every last drop of juice from their chosen platform.
Killzone mercenary I really applaud as the team rewrote the audio thread from their ps3 killzone engine and squeezed it into the hardware sound chip in the vita (first time we have had proper hardware 3d sound in over a decade, yay)
Their six thread engine was shoe horned onto the vita 4(3 useable to software).
Variable framerate/resolution tech and a bunch of cool trickery, and that 4 watt powered (screen and sound included) little pocket rocket could suspend disbelief with the best of them.
At the time, vs a PC running Battlefield 3, the vita running Killzone could easily make heads turn/mouths water.
Ahh- suspension of disbelief.
Battlefield has destructable environments. This is a RAM/CPU heavyweight feature to add. There is no way Killzone Mercenary with its eight maximum characters on screen limit really touched what the big rigs could do; but it sure looked like it.
First parties have the advantage of time to really learn/polish for the biggest ‘illusions’.
Now, next to first parties; big teams and budgets are the next most likely to impress.
Of this rockstar are the biggest. Red dead redemption is their second major title (gta5) on present platforms that is open world.
In fact they have been doing this sort of stuff for a long time.
Their budget is the biggest, their team/studio the largest.
The time they spent thinking about RDR will have been much…
And suspending disbelief in a desert environment and a western setting is made vastly easier.
Space is the easiest, generally, due to most assets falling into ‘easy to render’ shapes (vs a very ‘analogue’ tree), and black as a background -to look to bioware;dragon age vs mass effect (same engines)and dragon age had the harder time due to natural environments being much harder to render ‘realisticly’.
RDR2 was always going to be game of the year.
So lets ease up comparing the two. They are not like products in many ways.
Both use controllers and can be played on a rnge of systems. [check]
Both are open world [check]
KCD does things right that many games dont bother to do.
Suspension of disbelief, whilst a trick to maintain, there are a lot of KCDs innards that does things raw. It might require more grunt to do, but can and does yield deeper quality for it.
Much of KCD just needs polish (and @frel, I agree, ‘reimplementation’).
The team have had quite a year of it, so far, and releasing on so many systems hurt everybody. No one knows ahead of time must how many hiccups are ahead. KCD just got caught out in a flood, and floods require recovery time.
The devs have consistantly shown attentive care and dedication.
Its the dedication that blows me away.
They never stopped beavering away, even after product went gold. (We can argue that this was just doing due diligence )
If the product settles we should be alright, as once on top of it, the creative output can start to flow again.
-it can be really hard to finish off half written story lines/modules when you are just ‘not feeling it’.
KCD as a product is niche and therefor will always have a place in gaming.
Most likely still being played many years from now: there is too much art/created asset for it to be forgotten.
Some feel their patience have been tested with this game (mine always worked flawlessly, so my beef is just with products direction- I want it to go up in quality and polish and to stick around for a decade…); but really we are just the early adopters.
It is easy to look back on games that have been out for years, to look at their DLCs, that took years to make and have been out for years, and compare; or even to compare against similar genre games (open world) by the industrys biggest players- but open world games are few and far between.
Projects like KCD are not commercially viable, hence no big players do them.
Bethesda has found vastly greater commercial success with every ‘dumbed down’ version of elder scrolls, so the market is led by sales.
Having any hardcore/authentic roleplay world, set in actual medieval times (much harder to do than fantasy where suspension of disbelief is already high) is great.
Lets give it a year to bake. We know we will still be eating this pie years from now.
Here hoping we help along the way