A new year means new games. And new hypemachine cycles in which to sell those games, am I right? By now, you’ve seen it all in every game ever released. You’ve read the interviews where developers gush over just how authentic the Perforate 2.0 Engine is in Ace McStab Yo Face 5: Days of our Knives, you’ve watched a trailer where big bold font tells you that a kajillion weapons await you on a hostile planet and something something blockchain.
These days, most folks have a certain sense of taste when it comes to their digital experiences. We’re all clever enough to not be bamboozled by the hype, and seeing publishers insist on some features being the best thing since sliced bread doesn’t win them any favour from us. As an example of the video game culture cycle that hypes particular features:
A large open-world that is filled with all manner of activities and locations to visit?
A game that will task you with spending a hundred hours inside of it before the story is finished?
A game that will exist for months and years to come with various services that will be added after launch as you socialise with other players?
23 Bajillion guns to discover that boast the most minor of incremental differences between them?
Nah, I think I’m ready to play any game which doesn’t have any of those touted features. These days, I want a finite experience. I want a game with a beginning, a middle and an end so that I can pace myself and enjoy the ride. I want to feel value in my purchasing decision, I want a mad romp that leaves me with no regrets whatsoever by the time that the end credits have played.
There’s a certain magic attached to games that stay with you once you put the controller down, that outshines those experiences which keep tossing distractions at your face in an effort to keep the servers populated. While it works for certain games, not every title rolling out needs that model applied to it. Same for certain RPGs I reckon, as I just don’t have the time or the patience to invest dozens of hours in learning arcane new systems that will be used for a single puzzle in an underwater arena that takes me days to navigate.
Heck, give me a Call of Duty weekend single-player session and I’ll feel for more fulfilled in the end. That’s just me though, because clearly I’m an old man who likes to yell at clouds and TV presenters saying the word “hashtag”. What grinds your gears when games start pimping their features? What makes you yawn, sigh or roll your eyes? Sound off below.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.
Last Updated: January 11, 2019