So, many of you know that I’m now on a weekly schedule, with Tuesdays being the release day. I love the idea of this schedule for releasing my opinions on such games as Apex Legends and Metro and Far Cry…and Anthem… and Crackdown…
My problem is that in trying to keep up with this onslaught, I’m left with a dearth of content to go over, a huge hole in my wallet, and a bunch of simultaneous playthroughs in the span of about two weeks.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I don’t inherently mind two high-budget games clashing with each other in the span of a week, or even within the same launch day. But now we’re getting ridiculous, especially given the expansive nature of many of these titles.
So, I’m going to do exactly what the companies want us reviewers to do: review every game from the first twenty minutes, and give no regard to how the rest of the game might be. Since review copies aren’t given out to anyone without an automatic 8/10 rating system, and since the industry seems to be at war with journalists anyway, here goes nothing:
Luckily, I’ve already done this one, as it’s (so far) been the most enjoyable experience to my complete and utter surprise. I’d give it an A+ for effort, a B+ for style, and a C+ for this letter-based grading system.
Wow, I’ve never seen a new PC feel so old so quickly. My performance was pristine until I hit the first open-world section, and then I chugged more than the locomotive in the game. I’ll give it a 3/5 for the graphical beauty, 4/5 for the “totally engaging story” and 5/5 for “how much I hate these arbitrary score systems”.
Conversely to Metro, the open-world segments were no problem for my rig to handle, performance-wise. Unfortunately, I would plummet to beyond the depths of screen tearing as soon as I disembarked from my blandventures in mediocrity. At least the story and gameplay put me in enough of a dull mood that I hardly noticed the frame-dropping and crashes. 1 star. I hate stars as much as I hate the “out of fives” system, but I can’t be asked to put in more effort on the running joke than Bioware did on this game.
Far Cry: New Dawn
Whoa, hold on there, Far Cry, there’s already too many post-apocalyptic shooters that launched today. You’re going to have to give me a minute to breathe. Luckily, you’re pretty damn good at continuing that formula in a brand new setting that should easily make Bethesda sweat. Sure, you’re a little annoying and a little too easy, but that’s par for the course. Now if only you could write decent endings for your games… wait a minute, you’ve still got those microtransactions…. 2% out of 100% in the percentage-based scoring system.
I never played the old games in the franchise, and given this one’s current reception, I’m just going to leave this segment blank for the sake of time (also I didn’t get this one). It jumped up, whispered “surprise, I’m out”, and people couldn’t tell if it meant “out for release” or “out of touch”. I’ll give it four giraffes out of 5 elephants for most inane game to come out in the last two weeks.
So, publishers, is this what you want? Quick blurbs for your promotional material and hastily written essays on very specific aspects of your expansive games? Numbers with which you can impress your shareholders? I get it, reviewers are becoming slightly more critical of games lately. But perhaps it’s because games have become so formulaic that we’re finally getting tired of the open-world shooter with emergent gameplay and “live service” bullshit.
We’re going to talk about this in-depth in the next few weeks in a series of editorials, but for now, I just wanted to get out the bare minimum, which seems to be the growing trend for AAA game devs right now! If it works for them, it should work for me, right?!