Game blog: Playing after the dust has settled

This is increasingly becoming a tired topic, but worth bringing up to explain why this website’s game reviews are not for timely releases. I have a rule to not buy any game as soon as its released, and the reason for that is simple and painfully obvious when you look at the current gaming landscape.

Games are not released complete any more. They’re released incomplete. They have bugs. They have missing sections, later tacked on as DLC or fixed by scurrying developers. Sometimes, like Mass Effect 3 they don’t even have endings. Sometimes, like 2013’s Sim City they won’t let you play at all.

My feelings on this topic were cemented by the release of Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, in an unbelievable PS3 release that had thousands of players in a rage. The quests were bugged so bad they essentially broke the game forcing the player to restart, the framerate was so horrendous it rendered the game unplayable, causing Eurogamer to discover in their analysis, a record-breaking 0FPS. That’s zero frames per second! Bethesda’s forums were awash with disillusioned fans waking up to the idea of a developer flat-out lying to its customers about the nature of the game (no new engine as advertised, the bugs were the same as seen in Fallout/Oblivion) or its readiness for release (it was obviously rushed for a 11.11.11 release date, when you consider the massive patch update that came out soon after). This was all compounded by the fact that each massive update caused more problems. Bethesda ultimately did what they always do, called it a day and moved on, leaving a substantial amount of customers in the wind.

Around the same time, Uncharted 3 was released with a dodgy aiming mechanic that was later patched. I finished the game before the patch, having forced myself to get used to the weird aim.

But I’d had enough. There’s no point complaining if you keep buying games that aren’t ready for release. I’m not a beta tester. I’m the end user. I’m paying for a product that should work as its meant to.

So that’s why my reviews will appear a bit late to the scene. I play after the dust has settled, when the game has DLC out, when the biggest bugs are fixed, when it begins to resemble the game it was advertised as.

The gaming landscape is ultimately at the whims of the players. We share the blame for an over-abundance of military First Person Shooters, the lack of decent female characters, the rampant sexism and racism embedded in the industry, the dearth of originality.

We share the blame because we keep buying shit. Stop it.

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3 thoughts on “Game blog: Playing after the dust has settled

  1. Heard good things about Fire Emblem. But I have somehow lost my DS Lite. :/

    Interestingly, I rarely hear about DS games being released in crappy state.

    • fire emblems generally have crappy stories but fantastic mechanics, very addictive.
      but yeah, i too haven’t heard of any ds game issues. maybe they’re much easier to develop for? (i wouldn’t have a clue!) or maybe the ps3 gets stuck with the big useless developers

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