In a few months, Destiny will arrive to our screens, one of the gems announced during the annual gaming conferences of E3, alongside my personal disappointment, Watch Dogs. So, my question is simple, do all video games lead up to the hype? All of the games listed in this article I have played first hand and is based on pure opinion.
For my first hyped game, I turn to the recent ‘masterpiece of the PlayStation’ (according to IGN), The Last of Us, a post-apocalyptic survival game. As one of PlayStation’s exclusive games, much like the Halo series for Xbox, this game was a must play for all PlayStation owners and I was one of the many millions of people who bought this game on release day, swarming to my nearest Game for it. And it was worth the £49.99 I was forced to pay. The graphics used were merely a hint at what Sony had been playing with for the next generation PlayStation 4, using motion capture to make the acting used to come alive, in an almost film-like way. Each scene was lit in scenic ways that made even the horrors of the world around you look beautiful, this bleak and atmospheric world you found yourself sucked you into felt harsh and shocking compared the backdrop. The dark moments are horrific and leaves your palms sweating and the bright moments are appreciated as a contrast to the gloom around you in this overgrown, infected American setting. Reaching high sales and critically acclaimed by almost all who played it, this game showed the world how to make a hype real, with a clever story, thanks to Neil Drunkmann, The Last of Us delivered as a hype.
Duke Nukem was a beloved action hero since 1991, with the game bringing the shooter genre a quirky, hilarious and cheeky protagonist, the ideal action hero. The series had a cult-like status by the sequels in 1993 and 1996, people were begging for more. However, when Duke Nukem Forever was announced 1997, no one expected that in 2011 we would be…treated(?) to what I would call one of the worst games I have ever played. Instead of making the character an ironic action hero, sarcastic and sassy as the earlier games portrayed him, he was downright vile. Duke had become someone we laughed at, not with, and I often found myself being disgusted by jokes, not laughing. Reviews slated it for the dated design, wanting a story worth playing, a little character development with Duke and the villains he faced. The map design was tedious and almost identical to the previous games in the 90s, I didn’t even complete the game, due to the boring nature of the game and aimless offensive humour. Nukem fans were begging for this game, waiting 14 years, for what I can call, the worst game of 2011.
A sequel is always difficult to make, and I have often found sequels lack the originality that drew people to the game in the first place. But when you have a phenomenon like Fallout 3 to follow, Bethesda had a massive job. So they released Fallout: New Vegas, not quite a sequel but more of a spin-off from the story of the game that put them on the map. With the same controls, similar ideas and strange, often repetitive, voice acting, this game didn’t look like it was going to deliver at first. But what came to pass as I journeyed through the Mojave Wasteland left me speechless, excited and wanting more. With the haunting story of Vault 11, the power you gained in the New Vegas Strip and how the choices you made effected everything in the Wasteland, I found 4 hours turning into 12 hours as I played this game. Everything around you has different reactions, depending on the choices you had made to different cities, cults and factions within the game. Once making these decisions, I found mys
elf struggling with the moral choices I had to make during quests and that is one thing only Fallout can make you do. The reviews given by IGN and Machinima gave the game a lower review score overall than its predecessor and I was not surprised, with more lagging moments, pointless characters and an often confusing map, however, this game delivered an experience I will replay over and over again. But, Bethesda, where is Fallout 4?
Before I wrap up my little debate over game hype, I am going to discuss Watch Dogs, the most recent game from Ubisoft and the biggest hype I have ever been involved in, I let myself get obsessive over waiting for this game, rushing to get my hands on it (despite my non-existent funds). As a massive fan of Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry and Just Dance, I am a Ubisoft fan and was ready for something new. But what I was given was a formulaic and boring game, often asking me to repeat tasks and skills to progress in the story. I found it a copy of Grand Theft Auto, taking you on dangerous drives around the city and a police notoriety system almost identical to that of the Rockstar game, but with hacking you were able to play with the city a little more. I enjoyed messing up people’s journeys to work the best, by hacking the traffic lights, causing explosions and angry citizens who had no idea I was messing their day up with just my mobile phone. However, the story lacked the power I wanted, it left me…dissatisfied, nothing shocked me, I could see how the story would end and wished for something that would keep me awake at night, like BioShock Infinite or Far Cry 3. The characters also lacked depth, with Aidan Pierce boring me with his Batman like voice and mysterious nature, however the character of T-Bone left me laughing and lifted my spirits when playing the dull game. However, my view was not shared with the critics, reviews spoke highly of the large map and the combat system and chose to ignore the lack of narrative and depth I so eagerly needed.
When talking of the hype and excitement of video games, I am starting to wonder if it is because of the clever marketing instead of the game quality. Destiny is created by the genius behind Halo, so the hype would be high because of the quality in the past, but Bungie are stepping out of their comfort zone for once and I am intrigued on how this will play out. With a Skyrim-like feel to the game, with indepth levelling and character personalisation, this seems like my sort of game, with the Sci-Fi element I have missed since Mass Effect 3. However, I know little on the story and the narrative is one of the most important features of a game to me, which worries me, will this be another case like Watch Dogs? Both Watch Dogs and Destiny have reached Gold status on pre-orders alone, I just hope this doesn’t disappoint.
Good luck Bungie, I’ll be playing.