Surviving The Summer Gaming Drought Of 2014

The summer drought is nothing new to the world of gaming, but when it comes during the first year of a console’s life, following a very gradual drip feed of major titles during the first half of the year, it feels all the more galling for July and August to arrive and the release schedule to clam up for weeks at a time. There’s even a paucity of releases on the older machines.

In an industry so heavily focussed on the next big thing, the monsoon season can’t come quickly enough for many gamers, but this yearly downtime gives you and the games industry as a whole the opportunity to catch up and experiment.

Destiny-E3P1-IL1

Of course, this week still sees the second coming of Destiny, as the Beta arrives on PS4 and PS3 on Thursday. It’s an opportunistic move from Bungie and Activision on several levels, as it rewards pre-orders with a taster of the game that should further build up the levels of hype and excitement for its release in early September, but it also makes use of this quiet release schedule to become one of the biggest focal points for gamers over the next few weeks.

I know that I, for one, will be taking part in the Beta, to load up the game with some friends and see if the game is really for me – though yes, we will also be writing about the game on TSA. There’s a distinct appeal to playing co-operative games for me, but I personally struggled with the Borderlands formula, so it may well be that my time in Destiny is disappointing and brief.

Destiny aside, I will no doubt be casting my gaze back across the games from the last few months. Sniper Elite 3 has certainly tickled my co-operative fancy in the few sessions I’ve played so far and there are several more hours of fun to be had. Additionally, my focus free tomfoolery in Watch Dogs prior to E3 means that this game lies completely unfinished and I’ve barely even begun playing games like Child of Light or Valiant Hearts (though I did start Valiant Hearts last night). Now is the time for me to play these before they are forgotten and consigned to the deepest recesses of my hard drive.

There’s also a slightly strange dichotomy between the large number of complaints at a lack of major releases for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and the lasting presence of a “pile of shame” in many people’s gaming collections. My own is steadily growing, especially with the likes of the Steam Summer Sale and monthly additions to PlayStation Plus, but at least, in its own special way, the games industry is helping.

I am talking, of course, about the spate of HD/Redux/Remastered releases. With The Last of Us re-arriving in the next few weeks and the Metro Redux collection at the end of August, alongside the likes of Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition and the far more extensive work done for Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty!, you’re regularly given a push to play these older games once again, whether it’s bringing the original releases back to the top of the pile, crying out for another play through or as a fresh experience.

Yet I know that, for all my good intentions, I’ll get nowhere near to playing all of the games I feel I ought to catch up on this summer. I will, however, be making an effort to play games with other people, and some of this comes through TSA. Battlefield 4 – which is generally a complete game these days – will be seeing weekly meets on PS4 on a Friday night that you’re more than welcome to join, and I’ll be getting some racing in on Gran Turismo 6 each Monday, where there’s even a little championship in the offing. Similarly, I feel obliged to coax people into playing GRID Autosport online too.

With a cursory glance, there’s not a lot going on in the games industry during the summer months, as thousands of developers are working long hours to try and get their games ready for release towards the end of the year – October 7th, to be exact. I’ll be trying to use the time to explore some more of the games from the last year or so, how about you?

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42 Comments

  1. I’ve taken the chance to go through all of the plus offerings (admittedly, alot were uninstalled after 5 minutes). I’ve also managed to get to level 25 on BF4, and need 2/3 more trophies for the platinum. I would give the game at least 9/10, but that’s coming from somebody who bought the game in March, so missed all the huge and annoying bugs.

    I was content with Sniper elite 3 until I got a bad glitch near the end of a mission, requiring me to restart, which unfortunately I don’t feel like doing.

    Just some more FM2014 until TLoU PS4 comes out. I have a list of X1 games that I would like to play which is hard to ignore…

    And does anybody know if there is an F1 game coming out this year? seems a bit late for them not to have announced it…

  2. I know I said I wouldn’t go for the Destiny beta so I could start the game fresh, but I caved and pre-ordered anyway (I knew I would). Looking forward to Thursday!

    I’m sure many of you will know this, but some may not: every Destiny pre-order code grants 3 download keys. So there are likely to be many spare keys floating around if you are prepared to go on a hunt and don’t want pre-order yourself.

    A couple of friends quickly called “Dibs” on my spare PS3 keys.

    (download keys are to be issued on Thursday at 6pm UK time)

    Is there a TSA clan for destiny beta on PS3? If so, were do I sign!? :P

  3. There’s quite a few PS+ games I’ve not played, except for the TSA PS+ challenge, that will keep me busy until all the games I’m waiting for come out around the same time.

  4. I still have plenty of games to play on PS3, PS4, Vita, 3DS and Wii U … far more than even I have time to play (and I’m currently unemployed) and that’s not even counting PS+ games. Doesn’t stop me buying more games though.
    I’ll definitely be up for some Grid Autosport online action though Tef.

    • Myself, AshGraham and Manorhowze tried it last night, works well partying up and plenty of TSA peeps have it I believe. May put up a TSA Meet for Friday.

      • Sounds good to me Tom.

      • But Friday is Battlefield! Will try and hop n for a little while, if you do.

      • No probs, I’ll perhaps send around a PSN message and see when peeps are free

  5. Nice little plug there for the Friday night BF4 meet! Me likey. :)

    In answer to the question posed at the end of the article though, my time is likely to be largely spent working through some of my PS3 titles (as well as a smattering of PS4 offerings), as whilst I have no intention of getting rid of my PS3 any time soon, leaving a backlog to fester whilst I get on with the few PS4 titles I have will surely end badly.

    Oh & then there are the plus titles which have not factored in before owning a PS4. I feel slightly less obliged to plough through these though as there is zero return (aside from enjoyment of course), due to not being able to trade when done.

    Truth is, I have far too much to play & far too little time to do it in. Still, at least boredom is unlikely to be an issue! ;)

  6. I think I might actually enjoy the actual summer, you know sunshine and such things. Then get back into gaming when the big games come out. I’m not interested in the little indie games ps+ keeps giving me.

  7. I’ve got quite a Steam collection to get through and having just started Divinity: Original Sin, I can see the rest of it being pushed back a bit more. Also, Betas of Elite:Dangerous and Star Citizen to play about with.

    PS4-wise, its not too bad either, I still haven’t finished Watch Dogs (nice game, but not what was promised) and there’s the Tomb Raider definitive edition (which I havent really started yet), and the Last of Us remake lands pretty soon (must trade my PS3 version before then)..

    So, looks like I’m quite well watered, to strain your analogy. :)

  8. just picked up Assassins Creed iv so that should last a few hours.
    looking to pick up Watchdogs for £24.99 and Thief £19.99 preowned from Grainger games.
    The Last of us is preordered and so is metro.
    plus the kids are at home nagging to go places..so summer sorted here.
    roll on Call of Duty

  9. I went to Legoland on Sunday with my boy, so decided I needed Lego Movie and Lego Hobbit for PS4, which I managed to find for £45 brand new on eBay. Hopefully they’ll take ages to complete.

    • The Lego games do take a long time depending on what you mean by ‘complete’. You can just about bang through the story ignoring all the collecting and stuff which means 6 or so hours of play but, really, you are not getting much out of them if you do that. Lots of replay value going off and collecting everything.

    • I have it from a very good source that Lego Hobbit is around 30ish hours worth (as are most Lego games) & Lego Movie is a bit below that (possibly even up to around half the time?).

      I personally have played every Lego game up to these two, so cannot comment from a personal point of view on these two, but they usually clock in around the 20-30h mark.

      • Spot on Forrest, The Lego Movie is by far the shortest Lego game yet at roughly 12-15 hours for platinum and The Hobbit is about the usual length for most Lego games at roughly 30-35 hours for platinum.

  10. I’ve got plenty of games on the PS4 to see me through the summer, with The Last Of Us to add to that next month. The problem for me is the quality of the games (especially the Plus offerings), and the lack of racers. I’m really not a fan of NFS, with MotoGP the only other racer to chose from. Luckily it’s pretty good.

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