Monday, April 16, 2007

Confessions of a games developer.

Not, as you might expect, an update detailing all of the times that I've been merrily scripting away at work, then accidentally slipped, had my trousers fall off, and land on top of a naked lady - with hilarious consequences.

No, this is the start of my list of slightly embarrassing or otherwise unpopular opinions about games. I've mentioned some of these in passing in previous updates, so if they seem familiar, that might be why. Or because I'm trying to ride the cool hate train.

(Please don't hate me.)

  1. I got bored of Half-Life 2 over and over again. Each section had its own game-play element (a vehicle, some team-mates, or a unique weapon for example), which made it feel new and fresh when you started. But each section also went on far too long, to the point that I was completely bored of that element long before I got to the next bit.

  2. I don't like Metroid games. Having to wander about and backtrack each time I'm given new equipment, in the hope of stumbling across where I'm meant to be going next doesn't appeal to me. I like my free-roaming games to have some direction.

  3. I didn't like System Shock 2. It's set in the future, but the weapons fall apart after a couple of shots. Combined with re-spawning enemies it just felt like a very artificial way of trying to make sure I was on the back-foot all the time.

  4. I thought Deus Ex's story was terrible. Generic tinfoil hattery told by generic sci-fi badasses. And at the end of it all, it meant nothing - you could change the outcome in any way you liked in the final mission.

  5. I found Shadow of the Colossus boring. I didn't get emotionally attached to it at all. Really, those big bumbling fucks were asking for it, they were stood between me and my girl. And I didn't find long rides through barren landscapes to be entertaining.

  6. I may never play Okami past the opening section. I had a go of a colleague's copy at work, skipping as fast as I could through the intro sequence. 21 minutes of unskippable cut-scene before I reach the first save point? Holy shit, what on earth were they thinking? Any game that requires me to draw a circle using the PS2's god-awful analogue sticks in order to progress is just going to annoy.

  7. I liked the King Kong game quite a lot. It wasn't awesome or anything, but I felt it had quite a nice sense of scale, and mixed first person shooter with the survival horror feeling of not having enough ammo for the situation you're in. The Kong bits where shit, though.


Anonymous said...

It is weird, you and I see thing very similarly. Although I have never played Bioshock nor System Shock, didn't have a PC at the time that could run it, nor was I interested in FPS type games. So, to make this short, I agree.

King Kong was a "NICE" game, done well, just too dark at times.

JC Barnett said...

It is weird, you and I see thing very differently. Well, on the Metroid issue, anyway. The rest I pretty much agree with. Deus Ex was a great game but, indeed, had a very derivative story and an ending which was decided in the last few minutes, no matter how you player the rest of the game. HAlf-Life 2 was an amazing achievement but I, too, got bored and, through gritted teeth, finished it. Never played King Kong though.

With fanboyism, insecurity (violence. media and murderous idiots) and snobbery (games are ART, etc.) one often feels one isn't allowed to criticise what a lot of people enjoy. I think Super Metroid is one of my top 5 games, but sure, not everybody likes it, so what's wrong with that? I can see Deus Ex was a great game with great faults - say it loud!

We need to be less precious about these things.