A Double-Edged Khopesh
I would be pretty embarrassed if I tried to electroplate my populist credentials by railing against microtransactions, but then every time there’s a new set of skins from one of the same fucking boxes I breathlessly worshipped it or did a gallery.
I don’t have some kind of hard and fast rule about them as a class of purchase; some publishers use them poorly, some are more reasonable. Sometimes I buy them like I would junk food, in a moment of weakness. Like, if I go to the grocery story drunk, I buy different things. Especially at the end, in the dangerous vortex of colored sugars they place so dramatically near the escape. It’s the same here.
Because Groab started Assassin’s Creed: Origins over again, he actually had an opportunity to perform some testing on these philosophies. They give you just enough Helix Credits (“smurfberries, best value”) to purchase something called a Time Saver that grants crafting materials. He did this when he played it the first time, and found that doing so basically ate the center out of the gameplay loop. It might have saved him “time,” but it did it at the expense of the taut steel wires that held up the entire enterprise. In the new playthrough, he didn’t buy it. Now when he sees a hyena, it’s like, hell yeah. Come over here, Hyena.
Let me at that skin.
Our merchandise manager Lidija wanted to make sure I put this in front of you: a preview of the stuff coming to PAX Unplugged next week. There’s hot shit on here, to be sure, but a few of my favorite things aren’t even on here because they’re just launching at the show, now “show exclusives” as such. Specifically, the “Board Games” version of our two “Video Games” sweatshirts. I’m literally wearing it as I type this. It’s like a cocoon and every minute I wear it I become more and more myself.