2014 has gone down as one of the most disappointing years in gaming history, between the poor quality and broken games, greedy publishers looking to make a quick buck and the controversy. It says a lot when the “best” games from last year were Dragon Age: Inquisition and Shadow of Mordor. I’m not saying they were bad. They were good, even very at times, but neither of those hold a candle to the best games in other years. My ‘GOTY’, Dragon Age: Inquisition boasted 200+ hours of content, yet about 50 hours in felt like I have seen everything it had to offer and never touched it again. I never even finished the campaign and don’t feel like dragging myself back into it what-so-ever.
But while it sucked, in that process we have learned that we need to stand up as consumers and demand better, not just for ourselves but the industry as a whole, and for the most part they are listening, or at least pretending to. Look at E3 for example. Compared to other years, how much gameplay did you see at this years? A hell of a lot more, that’s for sure! And that is because we, the people who are the only reason these companies exist, demanded it.
For years E3 has been filled with false promises and extravagant cinematic trailers, with business men who are the industry equivalent of snake oil salesmen. Now, you can bet your ass that there still plenty of false promises, but at least we have some idea of how the games will look. And instead of seeing only publishers, who spend more time up their own arses than playing video games, we actually saw the developers! The people making the games!
I tend to be a hard person to please when it comes to video games. You’ll always find me complaining about something in the industry (this year Konami being ripe for the picking (fuck Konami)), and there are few games each year that get my undivided attention.
Even when I can see a game is clearly good, if not brilliant, they rarely draw me in as they fail to appease my very particular tastes. This is the case with Bloodborne, as while I can clearly see that it is an amazing game and a GOTY contender (I’m not blind), the combat just turns me away. While loads of people love that, it just does not suit me, and is the same reason I backed away from Dark Souls. We’ve also had Batman: Arkham Knight this year, but even though it is a great game I refuse to play it after Warner Bros. downright insulting PC port, as well as laughable pre-order and DLC plans that have put WB right up there with EA and Ubisoft in terms of corporate greed.
So having two games, The Witcher 3 and The Phantom Pain, that either are, or damn close to my favourite games ever made, out in the space of a few months from each other, just gets me all gooey! Either of those or, while I am not touching them for the reasons stated, Bloodborne and Arkham Knight, blow away anything from last year. If your into cheesy horror then Until Dawn might also make that list. Jim Fucking Sterling Son gave it a 9.5/10 and I was all like “say whaaaat!” because for him a score like that is a rarity! An occasion you’d write in your diary. And it’s September! The majority of big AAA games are yet to come!
Now, that said, there are going to be disappointments in there somewhere. We’ve already had Evolve, which suffered from Titanfall syndrome worse than Titanfall did, and The Order… which was about as ‘meh’ as you can get. I’m also betting Ubisoft or EA will have a hand in one of them in the near future, because in fairness, they are due a faceplant any time now. But just look at that release list and tell me that there’s nothing for you coming out! If not Fallout 4 then maybe Halo 5? Or Tomb Raider? Maybe a little Tony Hawks later this month, or get your jammies wet for Just Cause 3 in December? Here’s a list of them put out by Game Informer sure.
We are finally getting the games promised when these “next-gen” platforms were announced, and it’s exciting to see where things go. There’s already a pile of amazing looking games announced for 2016 too. But while we are getting these games, it does not give us the right to sit back and be satisfied. We need to continue to demand better, because that is what will keep this industry going forward, and how we will continue to see quality games. We don’t want, or need another 2014.
We need to ensure publishers and developers know their place. As much as some of them may believe they are at the top of the food chain, they aren’t! WE ARE, and we should devour them when they do us wrong. They have taken advantage of our love for the franchises, and our faith in their word, in order to put out sub-par products, disappointing gamers and making a quick buck, then pushing the blame elsewhere. Gearbox’s Randy Prick-ford has become well versed in this, so much so that he is simply unable to shut the fuck up.
We shouldn’t have to lower our expectations when all we have done is gone by the footage/trailers we’ve seen, and the details we’re given. 90% of the hype generated is not by the gamers, but by the companies pushing them, trying to to entice you into pre-ordering for stupid bonuses. Hell. There are many cases of them pushing you to pre-order before you even seen the game (*looks at Evolve*). Why are we the ones punished for buying? No Man Sky is the oddity to this, because the hype generated is purely by the gamers and the media, so much so that the developers are trying to calm ye down a bit… so de-stress your breasts people.
The moral of this article, is to not to settle for less. If you are not happy with something then make sure you are heard. I don’t mean shout all over the internet and be a troll dickhead, but if you are going to tell someone to go fuck themselves then you should at least give a well stated reason as to why that is. It’s what pushes these companies to do better, and give us the best experience we can hope for. Maybe even surpassing your expectations entirely. That said, don’t go shouting that your shooting game doesn’t have RPG elements or something stupid like that… In that case you’re the idiot.