So far, this year has not been that great in terms of video games, and let me tell you why. Yes, we had titles like Dark Souls II, Titanfall and The Last of Us Remastered (which doesn’t actually count), but there’s been a lack of great quality titles. You can actually count them on your left hand’s fingers (if you have more than five fingers, please skip this step). I often found myself not having what to play, even though I own a high-end (ish) PC and a next-gen console so it can’t be the lack of hardware. But ignoring the low number of awesome titles delivered this year (at least we’ll get the best of them in the following months), there’s been a number of bad (and by bad I mean eating-cheese-with-coffee bad) games that came in the last eight months. But one of them, not only that it sucked, but it was sold in a ridiculous number of copies and an awful lot of players actually thought it was a great game. Because they were told so. Figured it out yet? No? Then let me give you some more clues.
When it was presented at E3, it blew people away. Myself included. And it did that because of its visual design, its next-generation graphics. Now, this was before next-gen consoles came out, so it obviously was the first next-gen title to receive such exposure. And as the time passed by and the release of next-gen consoles came to a close, it fed us with praising articles, news, trailers and gameplay videos, quickly building up the hype. And everyone believed it, again, myself included. Although (and I’m saying this with a total lack of modesty) I had a feeling that I always have when it comes to games. I have this sixth sense that tells me if a video game will be good or bad. And don’t get me wrong, by bad I don’t mean financially, that baby can sell like hell, but it will still be a bad game. Which is exactly what happened.
Watch Dogs was so bad, I actually feel ashamed that games like this one are still made in 2014. I really do. Because, along with the next-gen hardware released, this year was a very good year technology-wise. We saw virtual reality and the word “smart” written all over the place. But there’s nothing smart about Watch Dogs. It was a total load of crap. The visual design disappointed, it was filled with bugs, the gameplay was terrible, the story was boring and ridiculousness was flying all over the place (hacking an elevator instead of pressing a damn button?!). Even the audio design was top-notch (not), the car and bike engines sounded like a 90’s arcade racing game. It wasn’t just an unfinished game (it even got delayed), it was a poorly developed title that should’ve been canned. I actually think that they poured more money in marketing than in developing. People who think it was good think so because they were brainwashed. Thanks to the power of media, a lot of players thought it was game of the year BEFORE it actually got released, and I’m not just throwing darts in the dark here, I witnessed a large number of such mindsets.
How can you bring Watch Dogs to the table in this time of technological innovation? It has zero innovation, zero originality, zero versatility. I haven’t been so sad about a released title since Heroes of Might and Magic IV. It’s a huge step down from what a 2014 video games is supposed to be. And it wouldn’t be such a big deal if it wasn’t a triple A title, but the fact that so much money was thrown at it, so many gamers played it and it received so many great reviews that it makes me frustrated. We see developers who really work for quality in their games, who put their hearts and souls in, just to see those games get a few good reviews, and then we see this bullshit get a ton of unworthy attention. So stop swallowing whatever gets thrown at you. Stop seeing the big picture. Because as soon as you notice the details, you’ll get a total different opinion.