All my life, my favorite hobby besides eating has been video games. Masterpieces like Donkey Kong Country, DOOM, Fallout, Mario 64, Half-Life, System Shock 2 and Perfect Dark make up some of my favorite childhood moments. They were games made by groups of people with a vision and a goal to create a truly unique and or fun game for people to enjoy. As time goes on, however, the standards these companies are held to are rapidly declining, while more and more blind sheep flock around and throw their money into the Call of Duty, Madden and Assassin’s Creed gaming pits in the hopes that they get to play a slightly prettier version of last years game with a new feature or -gasp- sometimes two new features.
The worst part is that people don’t even care about the quality of the game anymore, they just want something to play now. Look at how people harassed Insomniac Games over the BioShock Infinite DLC, or how people have been harassing Bethesda because they haven’t officially announced Fallout 4. This kind of behavior is leading to companies (Looking at you Dead Space 3) starting to shear off final portions of a game just so that they can release it as a DLC in a month without having to do any extra work.
This is also leading do companies releasing games that clearly aren’t even finished, just so they can pop it out at the soonest date or so it can coincide with the release of a movie or a holiday.Every game that comes out now feels a good six months from being finished,
Take Sniper Elite III for an example. I hadn’t seen a single ad or story about Sniper Elite III until one day I saw a commercial that was like “Sniper Elite III, coming out next week!” followed by a bunch of cool shots of people getting sniped through their balls to sucker people into buying it. The last time I played sniper elite, my character was carrying a shotgun perpendicular to his wrist while he ran around shooting sniper rifle rounds from his chest and the panicked enemies hovered around the ground, legs unmoving and their arms straight out to the side; Multiple times I would shoot the labelled weak spot on a vehicle only to have it not damage the truck at all and make it so everyone withing a 500 mile radius knew my exact location and gave them all the ability to hit me from half a mile away with a pistol.
Another culprit was Watch Dogs. Right off the bat, I couldn’t even watch the opening cutscene because it froze on some random person’s phone, while the dialogue continued to play and the cutscene would chug forward one frame every six or seven seconds. Did they not think to test the first five minutes of the game? On top of that, the living city we were promised consisted of a bunch of people on sidewalks doing one of three things: Standing and reading a magazine, standing and doing nothing and standing and talking on their phone. Every once in a while, they will commit a crime, either involving you catching a purse thief or stopping murder. That’s about it. All the crazy hacking fun promise was never there, and the game went from passably entertaining to a lackluster, boring shit stain in about 6 hours. Did they even test the driving? It was like riding around in a sled on roads made of ice, and the fact your motorcycle would sometimes just drive out from under you was just the star on the Christmas tree. One time I was driving and my car suddenly just started driving up in the air for no reason before it flipped over.
Destiny is just the newest in barely acceptable lazy bullshit simulation. Overall, Destiny is pretty good, don’t get me wrong. But when I’ve been working on a bounty for three hours and I lose all my progress because on guy punched me and part of me glitched into the wall and die, I get mad. When it happens three consecutive times in a single playthrough, it becomes unacceptable. Destiny is also a fan of the spawning enemies that can kill you instantly right up your ass problem, and frequently does so during parts where dying might mean replaying an entire 30 minute section of a game.
So how about Metro 2033 Redux? The “new and improved” stealth mechanics don’t exist. Enemies will know exactly where you are because a lightbulb across the room broke, or because your throwing knife just bounced off their face for no reason. Sometimes, it will tell you to use one of the new stealth takedowns and you will literally just stab the person in the leg so they can yell to their friends (even if it actually says on screen to press RS to execute). On top of that, there are parts of the game where trying to progress without killing every single PERSON in the room will result in you just dying and having to start over.
As if that isn’t enough, sometimes you’ll put a light out and suddenly an enemy in a completely different room will sound the alarm, despite having no way of knowing the light went out.
On top of all this, companies have also taken to this horrible new habit of allowing some shit company to produce a game in a wonderful franchise between the release of the main games, such as the abhorrent BioShock 2 or the buggy pile of shit that was Batman Arkham Origins.
Now video game companies are massive machines just pumping out slop for the hogs, and instead of marketing to the people who enjoy video games and want a fresh, new experience, they just put a fresh coat of paint on a game that sold millions of copies, because they know every kid with a console is going to have their parents buy it for them.
Psychonauts, a one-of-a-kind and very original game, has sold only 400,000, give or take. That game is a one-of-a-kind, and fantastic experience. Modern Warfare 3, however, sold around 7,000,000 copies within it’s first day of release, despite being a copy of Modern Warfare 2 (Which was a copy of Modern Warfare). The best part? It has a campaign that is only a few hours long. I had a friend come over and beat the whole game in one sitting. And they just keep pumping them out and adding new money making gimmicks, like spending $5 on a pink gun skin.
With success like this, companies are just churning out the same games over and over and over, and with a fresh coat of paint and a huge ad campaign manage to break sales records time and time again. It seems like the only games worth buying anymore are an ever-decreasing amount of big name titles and game from indie developers, the latter because these companies/developers usually consist of a small team of people with a clear vision and a great idea that they just want to get out there.
And seriously, don’t get me started on DLC. Clash in the Clouds? What the fuck was that useless piece of garbage>
When I went to E3 a couple years ago, I had a man tell me that indie gaming was dying, and that AAA titles were the future. If I met that man now, I would feed him his own, still attached asshole.