Mostly Everything

When gaming respected you: a pseudo-rant

I finished Dead Space 2 on the PC a few weeks ago. I would have finished it sooner, but I was playing this in tandem with The Witcher, which is now easily in my “Games You Should Play Before You Die” list. Other games in this list include Final Fantasy VII (or III if you have the Japanese version), The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Baldur’s Gate, Deus Ex, and Chrono Trigger. I digress.

The former is sci-fi horror, the latter fantasy role playing. Both have won numerous accolades: the former for its gore (see video above) and the latter a “2007 Game of the Year” award (to be fair, The Witcher is based on a rich series of books-turned movie by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski).

As I browse through the catalogue of upcoming games, online reviews and YouTube walkthroughs, I can’t help but agree with a common observation from old school gamers such as myself who grew up playing text-input adventure games such as Police Quest and Zack McKraken: we’ve been dominated with too many first person shooters — dominated to such an extent that the gaming industry demands shorter developing times, thus dumbing down the total single player experience and making up for it with online multiplayer. Case in point:

In the video above, we go through the COD: Black Ops stage on HARDENED difficulty without firing a single bullet. HUGE REALIZATION: You think you’re being challenged but you’re actually in one huge cinematic. You’re being taken for a ride. The industry think you’re stupid.

In the video below, Tbiscuit demonstrates a similar rant with the single player version of Homefront.

I have nothing against the genre per se. In fact, games like Call of Duty, the ‘Battlefield’ franchise and Bulletstorm (“Dick!”) have really helped the industry further mature. OK maybe not Bulletstorm. But my point remains.

I just got my copy of Dragon Age II. Part I (Dragon Age: Origins) did really well: it brought back the roots of what made gaming respectable: an award winning story, a lot of customization, strategy. The list goes on. The game respected the player and you could really immerse yourself in what seemed like a real world. With today’s shooters, well .. it’s almost like the same thing over and over again: watch cinematic, aim down sight, kill the enemy, get hit, hide behind a box while you regenerate to full life … if you play these games, you know the drill. Dragon Age II was weighed in to be a rushed job, dumbed down, combat-centric work of art. It speaks of the industry.

Somehow I get the feeling that the mainstream gaming industry has been bitten by the sad realities of business models that rely on faster release dates, half-hearted sequels, “promo items” and “special editions” which in truth don’t add much value to gaming at all. In truth, the now big publishers may not even know what gamers really want anymore.

I don’t know. I’m probably ranting. But I do state my case that when games that aren’t like Modern Warfare are released, I take a keener interest: And yeah, Dead Space 2 — I enjoyed the gore and the horror.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

4 replies on “When gaming respected you: a pseudo-rant”

I totally agree, man. Don’t forget the release of half-assed games that require patches to “smoothen things out.” What ever happened to the days when they released perfect games in one go, with no need of patches and updates? Need a sample? Gran Turismo 5. Until now, the developers still try to defend themselves by saying there are more patches and updates. But I have 3 words for them though “6 Fucking Years.”

I’ve played and finished most of the games you included there, with the exception of dead space 2 I suppose, and I echo your opinion on the rushed part. Here is me hoping Diablo 3 is worth the wait. For the 11 long years it took them to bring this one, they don’t have any reason to make it look rushed.

Blizzard may took long in making their games, but they don’t disappoint. Bioware started well, but is now starting to follow the rushed trend.

This is why I always say that most new games now don’t have souls. *sigh* And here I was thinking of going back to the game industry just to finish my graduate thesis…

i’d like to post several comments made in FB from other friends because i feel these are valuable to the discussion. also, i should really use the FB comments plugin.


Micah Fernandez I miss the days when I’d spend 2 hours reloading the exact same saved game because the red dragon Firkraag was probably just too tough for a party of level 14 adventurers.
Monday at 5:01pm · Like
Jayvee Fernandez yeah and the game actually LET you fight it anytime!
Monday at 5:03pm · Like
Brian Cabactulan TOTALLY agree with your review/comparison of DA:O and DA2! >_< Monday at 5:30pm · Like Mark Christian Parladé Bought DragonAge Origins last Christmas but I haven't been able to get to it because I'm always on DC Universe Online! I won't be buying any new games until my hedonistic adaptation to DCUO wears off. Get a PS3 na! Monday at 9:12pm · Unlike · 1 person Thomas Tan Hey Jayvs, Tuesday at 3:33am · Like Thomas Tan Good post. I definitely agree with all your points, and have gotten quite frustrated with the attitudes of a lot of the big publishers. In fact, I get the feeling that the gaming industry (especially as led by Activision) is falling down that dark path that the popular film industry is in right now, wherein the bottom line is much more important than creativity and respecting the players. Case in point: the yearly Call of Duty release and the crippling of PC games to address the needs of the console. Tuesday at 3:36am · Like Thomas Tan It's not all doom and gloom though, as I am heartened by the risks Sony takes with the PS3 (Heavy Rain, Little Big Planet, a Journey come to mind), and I am excited by the resurgence of the Independent Game Developer made possible by Apple and their various i-devices. Tuesday at 3:38am · Like Thomas Tan Dang. I just realized that you can't make paragraphs on Facebook comments. Weird. Tuesday at 3:38am · Like Micah Fernandez I remember a time when Facebook respected writers and allowed paragraphs...hehehe Tuesday at 9:06am · Like Rico Mossesgeld You can create paragraphs by pressing Shift+Enter. In any case, the trend towards the bottom line is an unfortunate trend that affects everything (film like Gino said, games as per Jayvee, and music!) Tuesday at 9:37am · Like Marc Macalua This is why the NBA 2K franchise is WIN! Hoping Battlefield 3 doesn't disappoint

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