I’ve already been disappointed by three of the biggest video game blockbusters that have been released so far. I never learned my lesson and I had pre-orders lining up despite facing previous upsets. I’m always searching for movies, television shows, books, and video games that will awe and move me. It’s a tall order, but it’s a feeling I actively seek out. Sometimes I can’t help but think that certain games will have that affect on me. Maybe it’s the hype and other times it’s because I’m intensely loyal to a particular company.
I’ve played The Sims 4, Destiny, and Watch Dogs so far. I’m not saying they were terrible games, because they’re actually quite good. However, they not great or amazing either. Is it bad to expect the most out of video games, or should we be challenging developers with our expectations?
When was the last time you were truly captivated by a game? I remember some of my fondest memories discovering my favorite games of all time. When I picked up Mass Effect 2, I had no clue whatsoever about it at all. The only thing I knew was that it was a science fiction role-playing shooter. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was hooked the moment I started playing. My jaw dropped as soon as I saw my character Commander Shepard slowly dying as he falls towards a planet’s atmosphere. I literally could not put down the controller since I was always eager to know what happens next. The craziest thing of all is that I immediately opted to play a new game right after the credits started rolling. I think I did this two more times after that. It was an unbelievable feeling that I’ll never forget.
You could argue that I really enjoyed it because I didn’t encounter any of the hype leading to the release. I’m not denying that it could have been a factor, but there were also moments when a video game I’ve heard non-stop about completely floored me. One particular game that achieved this is The Last of Us and it more than delivered on what its promos promised. I believe that a majority of the gaming community expected the game to be awesome and it’s such a great feeling knowing you’re right and also getting a bit more than what you wanted.
Sometimes people tend to give a good game a harsh score because it failed to live up to the enormous hype it built for itself. It makes me wonder if this is fair or not to the developers. Why shouldn’t developers be responsible for the hype and promises their game gains? It causes players to expect things, and it’s never a good thing if you deceive your consumers. Mass Effect 3‘s claim about several different endings come to mind.
Others could argue that there are some types of hype that are beyond developers’ control. You can’t always control how people respond to your video game. People might create unrealistic expectations on your own, but it makes you wonder if it’s possible at all. Could developers really have no fault in it?
Activision spent $500 million on Destiny, but I don’t think it’s as epic as its astronomical price tag. The Sims 4 doesn’t feel like it’s a new generation for the famous franchise. Watch Dogs merely turned out to be a futuristic Grand Theft Auto with a few unique aspects. Maybe we shouldn’t expect much from video games nowadays, so it won’t be difficult for games to captivate us once more.