The Morning AMp – Net Neutrality and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

The Internet is important. In fact, it’s so important that I spent two hours on a bus stuck in traffic so I could be on The Morning AMp to talk to Molly Adams and Brian Babylon about the White House’s latest statements on Net Neutrality. You know what else is important? Video games. That’s why I also reviewed Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the latest installment of the mega-blockbuster franchise. Does it make up for last year’s less-than-stellar Call of Duty: Ghosts? You can use the SoundCloud player above to find out.

Two Cents – As Advertised

AssassinCreedGlitchThis week saw the release of not one, but two high-profile titles that were not quite ready for prime time. I believe the above screenshot from Assassin’s Creed Unity exemplifies this in ways that I would not be able to articulate with words. Meanwhile, in the past 48 hours, I have only been able to play a total of three matches in Halo: The Master Chief Collection due to server connectivity bugs. Both developers issued statements apologizing for their games’ respective issues and promised that fixes and patches were on the way.

Here’s the thing about that… I just gave you $60. In return, you gave me a broken product and an apology. Neither of those things are the video game you were advertising. Neither of those things were the video game you told me would be releasing when I saw it at E3 2014. It is a disturbing trend that is only becoming more common as AAA game development gets bigger and more expensive.

Why is it becoming more common? Because we’re letting it happen. Video game critics are reviewing and scoring games before multiplayer servers go live, and consumers are pre-ordering and purchasing games before finding out if they actually work. It’s sending the message to publishers that it’s more important to ship the game on its advertised launch date than it is to ship the game you’re actually advertising. “Hey, it doesn’t matter if our game is broken as long as we have a great ad campaign and our pre-order numbers are high.”

I’ll admit that I’ve been a part of the problem plenty of times, but we’re setting a dangerous precedent that I don’t want to contribute to any longer. Millions of players have been burned by this practice time and time again but it doesn’t have to be that way. We hold all of the power in this situation, we just have to choose to use the self-restraint required to exercise it. Even if you’re two days late to the party, it’s better to find out if the party is even happening before showing up.

The Morning AMp – The FTC, AT&T, CoD, and O.D.

It’s all about the acronyms on this week’s The Morning AMp! Besides the debut of my new intro music, Molly Adams, Brian Babylon, and I get into the latest tech topics including the sentencing of the PayPal 14 and the FTC’s throttling crusade against AT&T. Finally, as always, we wrap up with some video game news including the release of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and a review of the preposterously enjoyable Sunset Overdrive. You can listen to the whole segment using the SoundCloud player above.

Mashing Buttons – Extra Life 2014 Edition

I was going to do a new video this week, but I wasn’t quite feeling up for it. After streaming video games for 24-hours straight for charity, setting up the capture equipment to do it again for another 30-45 minutes just didn’t seem all that appealing. Besides, I didn’t want all that footage of Sunset Overdrive, Bayonetta 2, Destiny, and Gears of War 3 to go to waste! Enjoy 24 hours of video game mayhem and watch as I slowly descend into madness right around the time I pop in Halo 3.

The Morning AMp – HBO Cuts The Cord and Even More Video Game Reviews

Last week, HBO announced that it will finally joining the rest of us in 21st century by offering standalone video streaming in 2015, and you can bet we had something to say about it on The Morning AMp. After that, it’s another round of video game reviews with Bayonetta 2, Skylanders Trap Team, and Alien: Isolation. (Spoiler Alert: They’re all *really* good.) You can listen to the full segment using the player above.

Mashing Buttons – Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

A lot of people claimed that Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor came “out of nowhere” when it started picking up perfect scores last month, but it’s clear that a lot of time and love has been put into building this Tolkienian adventure. From the deep and dynamic Nemesis System to the smooth and satisfying combat, Shadow of Mordor is one of 2014′s best. Don’t believe me? See for yourself!

The Morning AMp – Microsoft Mania and Review Lightning Round

Apple has been dominating the news cycle these past few weeks, so it’s only fair that we give Microsoft some The Morning AMp airtime to talk about Windows 10 and Minecraft. Afterwards, hosts Molly and Brian run me through a lightning round of video game reviews featuring Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments, Metro Redux, and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. You can listen to the full segment using the player above.