Don’t get me wrong, when I see an amazing gameplay video or hear about a sequel to one of my favourite games I tend to salivate, Pavlov’s dog style, at the mere thought of being able to experience a triple A title.
However I am also aware, that even with the most tried and tested formulas there is room for something to go wrong. So while it’s ok to get a little excited, be careful that you don’t find yourself on board the hype train.
With new IPs, the media and gaming community at large rarely get to see anything that the developers and publishers of a game don’t intend us to see. We often hear a bunch of marketing slogans thrown our way with comments like, “deliver a true next gen experience” or “provide a unique and compelling storyline”, being spouted by various representatives of the game.
As much as developers might enjoy their jobs and strive to create an excellent game, they also need their titles to sell in order for them to continue receiving their paychecks. Remember even the coolest sounding idea, such as fighting hordes of mythical beasts in a modern city, can end up playing like Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing.
Even with big sequels it is impossible to be sure that a title will match up to the success of it’s predecessors. After all there is always an expectation for a sequel to be bigger and better. New features can sometimes become the crux that spoils a game. Example? A game could contain usable vehicles which could slow the pace of a game down or make certain levels a chore to play through.
Alternatively, a new weapon might be unbalanced, meaning that you never want to change away from using it and thus making things feel repetitive. Occasionally you’ll find that part of a reason a game felt so great was because it was fresh, and a sequel will inevitably lose some of that vibe.
Of course we all want as many games as possible to be great, and we can look at the pedigree of a developer and be fairly certain that the game will turn out playable, heck, maybe even brilliant. But to start worshiping a title as the next console messiah is a certain way to find yourself out of pocket and severely disappointed, not to mention looking extremely foolish after mouthing off to all your friends about how great the game was going to be.
So yes, enjoy the new footage of Modern Warfare 2, Heavy Rain, Halo: ODST, and all the other titles that claim superior gaming experiences, but keep Haze and Daikatana and the countless other sub-par titles that looked par-excellence when you first read about them, in the back of your mind.
This warning was brought to you courtesy of Austin Sutton-Jennings.