It happened with Gears of War 3. It recently happened with Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.
In of itself, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is a great game. It certainly plays a lot better if you have the previous games at the back of your mind, the mechanics are easier to pick up, the button combinations are familiar and the complex story continues from where it left off. However, even if you never played another Assassin’s Creed game, Revelations is a fantastic title. It is well-designed, the graphics are top-notch, and iterations of the same formula implies that Ubisoft has improved the game over the last five odd years into a smooth, entertaining, unforgettable experience.
What irks me though, is that nearly every review of the game incessantly compares it to previous titles in the series, and complains about how there has been “too little improved”. The same reviews give the title fairly high scores and say how well it plays, but at the same time complain about how familiar it feels. What is wrong with feeling familiar I ask? Why is it that we as gamers, and critics alike, cannot see a game on its own merits, irrespective of previous iterations. Sure it must be difficult at times, especially if it is a continuous story arc (like Creed or Gears) as opposed to separate stories (like GTA), but if a game is good, why does it matter what its predecessor did or didn’t do right?
I don’t think that practice is fair. I don’t think tinting the review because of a previous title gives us an accurate idea of the merits of the title under review in an unbiased fashion. And I think we should collectively stop doing that. So say we all!
Why I am Glad Diablo 3 is Delayed
There are a lot of high-profile titles coming in the next few months that will keep me quite occupied. Dead Island and Gears of War 3, two titles that I’d like to play, are already out. I just haven’t had the time to play anything else, so I have not bothered purchasing these titles yet. I am still working through my second run through Deus Ex: Human Revolution, still leveling my scantily clad made in WoW, and tinkering with the stupidly cute Shakes and Fidget browser game.
Game of Thrones: Genesis also comes out in four days. But I am not sure about that one. I am a hardcore fan of the excellent series by George R.R. Martin, and from what I have seen in the trailers, I have a bad feeling about this in my gut. Over the course of time, I have learned to trust my gut.
October will bring id Software’s latest foray into first person shooters in the form of Rage, the much-anticipated and pre-ordered Battlefield 3, and Batman: Arkham City. Rage is exciting because the studio is finally going for a new IP after so long. Battlefield 3 just looks sick, and Batman: Arkham Asylum was too good to pass up City.
In addition, one of the MMOs that I have always wanted to play extensively but the monthly subscription cost kept me away was Fallen Earth. The MMO is going free-to-play on October 12, so I will definitely be checking it out.
November will be hell month. We have Modern Warfare 3, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will release within the span of about a week. This, coupled with the releases in September and October (along with Champions Online, WoW and Fallen Earth) will keep me quite busy through the holiday season.
Hence, I am glad Diablo 3 has been delayed!
EA Won’t Let Me Play SW:TOR
“Hi EA, would you like my money?”
“No, we don’t like where you live.”
I have been playing Witcher II for the last month or so. The game isn’t without a plethora of inherent flaws, but thus far it has been one of the most comprehensively enjoyable experiences I have had with a title.
One thing that really threw me off about Witcher II was the sheer amount of, well, stuff that you carry. You can only carry up to 300 ‘units’ of weight, and it fills up fast. There are all kinds of materials in the world to build all manner of armor, weaponry (read: swords), runes, crafting materials, traps, snares, bombs, potions and whatnot. To further exacerbate the problem, you never know what you might find around the bend that requires the one thing that you sold to the vendor, so you end up carrying insane volumes of materials. Soon I found myself making multiple trips from a questing area back to a vendor in town just to make room for me to pick up additional stuff.
I tried, valiantly I might add, to resist the urge, but it was too much in the end. I installed a zero-weight mod and the game was immediately and infinitely much more enjoyable. But the question remains: since this wasn’t a part of the original game mechanics, is it cheating?
Question Two: Why do we use the most cliched secondary titles for our video games?
Retribution. Absolution. Ascension. Revelation. Masturbation. Well maybe not that one. Revenge of the <insert character here>. Return of the <insert character here>.
Are we really that out of ideas for secondary titles? Personally I would rather have you call it <Insert Title Here> 2, than <Insert Title Here>: Revelations. There are a few that seem to have been able to break that pattern, such as Battlefield: Bad Company, and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (take that one with a grain of salt, the next one is called Assassin’s Creed: Revelations). Why must we succumb to this tepid practice?!?