A State Of Gaming: Episode 1

Don’t you ever miss when back in the day video games were a one off deal? What do you mean you don’t remember? When were you born, 1995? Oh, err, yeah, Mario doesn’t count, and, yeah, Pokemon also, you know what, just let me say the few words I want before I forget them and end up blabbing – much like I may be doing right now – for the rest of the article.

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Okay, so maybe game franchises have always been there in one form or the other, maybe we never even thought the series were being milked because – if you’re near my age range – we were pretty young to notice such a thing back then with the likes of Doom, Desert Strike, and the oh so numerous Marios. But those games always had more to offer in their sequels in one way or another, Duke Nukem went from a platformer to one of the genre defining first person shooters, Crash Bandicoot maintained its awesome dosage of fun, and Sonic, well, Sonic was pretty much a blur. (No? I tried to make a funny! Oh what do you know, silly human.)

But fast forwarding to the present day – or a few years before the present day – and you get Call of Duty! When the first Call of Duty launched it was an outstanding game, offering visuals superior to the competition at the day, not to mention a good storyline that was maintained all the way throughout the World War era of the Call of Duty glory days, then came Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and granted the first Modern Warfare is praised by oh so many a gamer that the game’s escalated to unicorn rainbow poop status, regardless of the validity of such a comparison, but the game was admittedly fun, it offered a nice single player campaign coupled with an addictive multiplayer mode that (For better or worse) revolutionized the whole online multiplayer of first-person shooters by adding the perks system, and at the time didn’t involve as much twelve year olds claiming to have slept with your mother, but I digress. Afterwards came World at War which was still good, but since I haven’t played it extensively, I’ll skip discussing it. Then Activision decided that they would rather milk this modern day shooter more than just making, oh say, a new engine for the bloody game, and this milking came in the form of Modern Warfare 2 and pretty much all subsequent games in the franchise. I’ll skip ahead to, actually, this very morning, where I started up Black Ops II’s multiplayer since Steam has a free weekend of it, and thought I’d give it a try, I mean, I might be wrong about my hate for the franchise, it does sell good every single time. So I start the game, on my decent PC, and max out every graphical option to the point that I’m now imagining a bullet might actually break the screen and fly into my head from how good the visuals would be, but I was disappointed at seeing the game exactly like that copy of Modern Warfare 2 on the PlayStation 3 I just sold two days ago, all it took was really one match and I uninstalled the space waster, and again I digress. So in the interest of this article not turning out to being a “Why Pierre Thinks Call of Duty Should Be in the Garbage Bin Where It Belongs” I’ll skip ahead to the other franchise I’ll bash for a while.

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And that other franchise is non other than Assassin’s Creed! Granted I got a little late on the Assassin’s Creed bandwagon myself, I only started playing the game after Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood was out. So I log into my PSN account to find both Assassin’s Creed 1 and 2 on sale! Oh how lucky I was. Anyway I buy the games and start playing the first one, and here is where it got interesting, the first game had almost zero gameplay, the side missions were repetitive and was by all standards boring, yet the story kept me coming back for more, mainly the present day Desmond story, sure the scenery was outstanding, but still, I always enjoyed the Desmond story more, same with Assassin’s Creed 2, albeit having the gameplay bit somewhat fixed, the Desmond line was still better than Ezio’s or Altair’s in my opinion. I’ll skip through Brotherhood since I liked the game as much as I did 2. And then came Revelations which started showing Ubisoft’s first signs of Assassin’s Creed milking, afterwards Assassin’s Creed III, which don’t get me wrong, was good, but still, there’s that undeniable feel of a bucket under the Assassin’s Creed cow. After I got my PlayStation Vita and heard of Assassin’s Creed Liberation, I was skeptical, more Assassin’s Creed? Really? After how III ended? But, alas, I bought it anyway because stabbing people on the go might prove to be fun, what I got however was a game riddled with bugs and a laughable modern day story, but I just shrugged it off thinking that it’s a handheld game, they wouldn’t want the important story to have any form of exclusivity. And now came the announcements for – surprise surprise – Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, with a present day story eerily similar to Liberation’s, and that was pretty much how Ubisoft shot the franchise in the nuts, repeatedly, with a wrecking ball shooting minigun while an idle bee hums softly in the background as it’s stabbing a fat guy in the butt. Oh, also before I move on, Assassin’s Creed: Liberation HD “remake”.

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I would go on and on about other games that don’t need new entries in their series but I’ll spare you folks, you’ve all been brave enough to read up to this point, instead I’ll state a few games that I wouldn’t mind seeing new entries for:

  • Uncharted, every entry in the Uncharted series offered a great story line and very interesting characters, even Golden Abyss, heck, even the Fourth Labyrinth novel! And I would definitely love to see a next gen Uncharted.
  • Half Life, granted I am yet to play any of the Half Life games but damn it, Gabe, get working on Half Life 3 already.
  • Portal, because Portal.
  • Unreal Tournament, PLEASE! FOR THE SAKE OF EVERYTHING PRETTY AND PINK, MAKE THIS HAPPEN.
  • PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale, while it was more or less a Sony take on the more popular Nintendo title Super Smash Bros. Brawl, I would like to see how much the developer would learn from the first game and improve on in a sequel.
  • Legacy Of Kain, because who wouldn’t want that, seriously?

So what does the future of the gaming industry look like? Well, in my point of view, bleak, really bleak, with HDR and game characters taking themselves way too seriously for their own good, endless yearly franchises that devalue games and turn the consumer into publishers’ very own ATM machines. However, there is hope yet, and that hope is in the form of indie games where the developers aren’t bound by some bloodsucking publisher that demands yearly releases of rehashed content in order to satisfy their never ending thirst for the almost extinct butterfly turds.

With all of that said, I’ll leave you folks with this. GLORY TO ARSTOTZKA!

(Article written by: Pierre J. Iskandar)

3 thoughts on “A State Of Gaming: Episode 1

  1. You know when you started talking you totally nailed, back as a kid I never noticed or felt any milking, especially with Resident Evil or Syphon Filter which were 2 franchises I bought alot of games of, I enjoyed every single title, and with every title I felt I am getting better sequels, alas nowadays I search for anything new in most sequels.

    Regarding Assassin’s Creed, I can’t believe someone feels the same, seriously the people interested in Desmond are so few, even though to me Desmond is huge part of Assassin’s Creed, but people are missing that point cause Ubi didn’t build on it.

    Though I have to be honest I do agree that some franchises should end, cause milking/rebooting/reimaging most of the time gives us a game that is a far cry from the original’s glory, yet there are franchises I still want more from, franchises that may feel like they had their own run to the fullest, but it feels I need more, something like that.

    • Ah, franchises are a “Far Cry” from the original’s story. Well put.
      Moving on from that, I always found the Desmond story to be more engaging, mainly since it was delivered in these bite sized portions, not to mention how it totally broke my heart when Ubisoft decided to remove the glyph deciphering from the game starting with Revelations, those puzzles were really fun to solve. Oh well. – Pierre

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