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October Free For All

October Free For All

I'm doing something a little different today seeing as essentially all of this month can be boiled down to within 7 days of each other. There's an interesting cross section of games here that provide a snapshot of the games industry in general. We've got a mobile hit, an indie darling, a well established franchise and a smash hit the likes of which has never been seen before. Let's dig in.

Initial Impressions

After initially being delayed by six months so that Halo developer 343 Industries could have all hands on deck for the numerous unexpected issues that arose with the Master Chief Collection's launch, Halo: Spartan Strike was released to mixed reviews. While also being released on PC, it was on iOS that the game really found it's feet with an 86% rating. Twin stick shooters have become a staple of the platform and the scope of the game was also well suited there. This is the second title in the series and comes as a complete package free of the micro-transactions that plagued the first game.

On the heels of runaway success Surgeon Simulator comes I Am Bread. Trading in on the success of the unexpected 2013 hit, I Am Bread also found a place on YouTube being featured in numerous Let's Plays. PewDiePie himself recorded six videos that have had a combined 21 million views to date. Despite all of the attention, I Am Bread has failed to have the legs of it's predecessor and quickly fell away from the public eye. It was given a 60% rating on Metacritic while almost 3,000 people on Steam have rated the game as very positive at 81%. That tells me that while the game might not technically be the most complete title, it is extremely fun.

The latest game in the Mortal Kombat series was released with a lot of hype leading up to the launch due to the game's substantial graphics overhaul and typically gruesome fatalities. MKX also saw the introduction of a new generation of fighters true to the lore of the franchise. Receiving Metacritic scores in the mid-80s on consoles, it was the outsourced PC port that was somewhat of a let down. Overall players were excited to see a fresh take on the fighting series and were rewarded with several new modes to keep them entertained for months to come.

The unstoppable giant of gaming that is GTA V was finally released on PC 18 months after the game first came out. While it didn't have the same reception that the last generation versions had, it's a slow burn that will pay off in the long run due to the increased capabilities players have through mods and director mode. Grand Theft Auto has never looked better with 4K now being a reality which led in some small part to the game being critically acclaimed and receiving an average of 96%.

Metacritic Rating (PC)

Six Months Later...

Comparison of Steam Sales To Date

Source: SteamSpy

Halo: Spartan Strike has only received the one update on iOS since launch dedicated to providing better controls and integrating the game with Xbox Live so that players could earn achievements. As an Xbox fan I'm really liking the trend of getting achievements in more places as it's a nice reward for those who care about that sort of thing. Update aside, Spartan Strike has continued to trod along without much fanfare. It's still a quality game but without much in the way of developer support it has fallen to 192nd on the Top Paid Games list in the United States.

I Am Bread fans have enjoyed a couple of major updates since the the title's full release. To celebrate May The 4th the developers at Bossa Studios provided fans with a space combat level fighting against Rye Fighters. More recently was an update that incorporated properties from Team Fortress 2. The new level contains several nods to fans of the Valve series including teleporters, miniguns, sticky mines and more.

Mortal Kombat has been well supported since release with frequent patches and DLC in the form of new fighters. Jason Vorhees, Predator and Tremor are all such examples. New DLC is also planned for the first half of 2016 including new environments, characters and skins. Last generation versions of the game, which were being developed by High Voltage Software (the same people that ported the PC version), have been cancelled to the dismay of those clinging to their older beloved consoles. 

A patch released three weeks after release to improve multiplayer and bring the externally ported PC version up to parity with the console versions was quickly pulled after it was revealed to delete save data. This comes after some players reportedly had issues with the game crashing or even being able to download and install the game in the first place. Even that didn't hurt sales though as it was recently announced that Mortal Kombat X has sold over five million copies across all platforms according to the Wall Street Journal

With the release of GTA V for the PC came the release of mods shortly thereafter. Players have squeezed many extra hours out of what is already a massive game with superhero character skins and abilities, altering the AI in game and countless other features. There have been over 3 million PC sales in the past 6 months despite the game being out for a year and a half beforehand which is a testament to how huge this game really is.

Best Available Deals

On iOS, Spartan Strike can be bought right now along with the earlier game Spartan Assault for the discounted price of $7.99USD (as opposed to $5.99USD by itself). 

For those of you with a VPN, I Am Bread is on sale as of writing this article for less than $4USD in a bundle that also includes Surgeon Simulator. $4! Jump on it.

You can purchase a global Steam key for Mortal Kombat X over on G2A for just $11USD. With all the money you save you could also get the entire suit of DLC skins and characters to get even more time out of the game.

Major Nelson recently announced the GTA sale on both Xbox One and Xbox 360. Prices have been dropped up to 58% so if you've been on the fence up until now then there's never been a better time to get yourself a copy.

Game of the Year 2015 Early Predictions

Game of the Year 2015 Early Predictions

A Pixel Story