Saturday, 23 January 2016

Rant No. 8 PS+/Xbox Live Gold and Autosave

Now, I was going to do this a while ago when I realised how limited some games became *cough Star Wars Battlefront cough* when you didn't have PS+ or how unplayable some other games such as Titanfall became when you didn't have Xbox Live Gold. I believe that for the prices of games nowadays and their DLC, you shouldn't have to pay another subscription just for online, especially if the game is online only. Now, I was okay to let this slide as I personally play more single player than multiplayer games. However, things were about to go from bad to worse.

It all started with a new wireless router. I forgot to change the settings on my PS4 and clicked Just Cause 3, wanting to have a quick go before moving on to do something else (like actual work). Of course, it threw me an error saying that I was not connected to the internet and so would have to play offline. I was all right with this but thought I would update the settings before I forgot again. So I toggled out and updated the settings, toggled back in and waited for it to connect to online. And waited. And waited...

After around five minutes of nothing, I thought I would do the British thing and close the game, then open it up again. I tried to close the game but it was having none of it, so I decided to turn off the console and reload it again. Something had happened as it gave me a crash report after I loaded the console up again for Just Cause 3. Thinking nothing of it, I loaded the game up again, resigning myself to maybe 10 mins of playtime. While it was loading in the online mode (which shouldn't try to load in each time you go on the menu but that's a different story), I went on my phone and, by the time I looked up, I saw the error. Corrupted. You see, while game was crashing and restarting, the tiny autosave option was going. Turning the game off during this time can cause your game to corrupt, and asking you to go back to an earlier save file. As I hadn't done anything on the game up to that point that day, I thought that just going back to an earlier saved file would be fine. Of course, with no manual saving allowed in this game, there was no earlier saved file and the only option was to lose my saved data and start afresh. On a game that I had nearly completed. Which is great fun.

What ties it into the PS+ scenario however, is that this entire situation could've been avoided if I had it, due to cloud back up. This feature is only present in the premium service and another reason why I think that PS+ and Xbox Live Gold are old technologies now, especially with the prevalence of Steam and it's free online, free backing up or Nintendo with it's free, stable(ish) online servers. A USB stick could've also saved the day here, as I could've manually backed it up, but we're in the 9th generation of consoles now guys, we expect games to work on their own!

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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