First off, I apologise if I am talking about one of your favourites and you disagree with it.
With that said, let's talk about the title. So, my place has a community PS4 and almost everyone went back home due to quarantine. So, I decided to use that time to play the available games.
And after playing trough 5 games, I realise none of those games evoke the sense of escapism anymore. It is all about more numbers and pretty graphics. There was only one game which I found interesting enough till the end of campaign. Just one.
Let's start with that game itself. Uncharted 4. Now, I am a big fan of simple story based games and slower paced games. So, I might be biased, but to me, Uncharted was the only game that actually got progression right. When I started the game, I was greeted with a small cutscene and just enough info to let me finish the level. Every other level, game threw a different new thing till the time whole arsenal was complete. And after that, it was a straight line to finish the story. UI and UX worked perfectly, there was no steep curve, no sudden jump in difficulty, no level with specific way to finish. I found my style and stuck with it and managed to finish the game just fine. Game was colorful enough to help identify the items on the screen easily, anything that stood out was always something that I needed to pay attention to. Nothing else ever grabbed the attention unnecessarily. Basically a solid experience.
Next game was NFS rivals. I know new nfs games suck, but not to this level. As soon as I started the game, cringeworthy dialog with a generic cutscene played before I could even get to options. And then forced tutorials after tutorials explaining basic things like how to select a checkpoint in a map. I understand that new gamers might need the info, but making an unskipable tutorial is just not a good thing. Add to that the fact that I was not even told the controls like handbrakes during that tutorial. So, after 40 minutes of forced tutorial, I am given a chance to actually change the settings. I would have been fine with this too, if it told me the most important aspect of a racing game, aka what's the control for nitro. And the UI is so cluttered, I just could not understand how it is considered usable. All 4 corners and the center of the screen has permanent UI. A circular UI for nitrous is stupid, plain and simple. There is a freaking icon in the center of screen, saying X1. What is it for? Why is it permanently in the dead center? No clue. 40 minutes of tutorial and no clue about the UI or controls. And then there is progression. I started with a Porsche with whole world open to travel. At this point, all of the upgrades are lateral, just go for "level x" in 5 vague categories. How is durability different from strength? No idea. How is level 2 better than level 1? Apparently it makes your numbers go higher. Did it make a difference? None at all. Game controls the same way, even if acceleration was upgraded from level 0 to level 5. And that's all there is in terms of progression. Unlock a different car which handles exactly the same and watch some numbers go up.
But I hear you, maybe I am being too harsh. I should not compare uncharted with NFS. Let's talk most wanted or underground 2 then. Both games give you a slower car, get you racing in 10 minutes, and then disperse the story as natural breaks. Underground 2 gave me story at certain points when I expect it to do so. There was no exposition dump other than 2 minute story cutscene. I didn't just upgrade to increase my numbers. Every single engine upgrade or turbo upgrade actually improved my car in those games. A stock car and fully upgraded car handle like 2 different machines. UI was never cluttered with text all over, and there were options to disable some parts of UI completely. NFS rivals has nothing.
Then the third game. One of reddit's favourite. Spiderman. I was so looking forward to it, it looked fun. And what happens. As soon as I start the game, within half hour, I am given 20 different controls to master. At least it used some gameplay elements to allow me to slowly get used to it. But otherwise it is equally guilty of same issues. UI is cluttered, too many control schemes, with similar actions requiring completely different control styles. Do I hold the button, do I tap it multiple times? It is never consistent. I am supposed to hold R2 to swing, but press l2 and R2 to zip. And where is the progression? You will say, story is, but is it? By the time, I was given full control of the map, I was told I need to find backpacks, research labs, suits, suit powers, suit mods, gadgets, new combos etc etc. That was half hour. I mean, take it slow, right. After 10 minutes, I am still learning how to swing properly. Game just feels like I was dumped halfway through someone else's save. Spidey is already good at every encounter. Nothing new is needed. I can literally finish the whole game without ever unlocking any new suit power, any new gadget. What's the point of those suits or gadgets then?
And holy hell, is that map cluttered. I read reviews about how this game is keeping it right with collectibles. And even then there is easily 200 different things to collect, and 100 different pointless challenges. Seriously, "find a cat figurine" 20 times is a challenge? And this is "doing it right"? I wonder how much crap games like Assassin's creed have then, if this is "good".
Then there were missions with no option to skip, missions with specific style to play through. Apparently I can't electrify Rhino's metal armour because game told me so. I have to get him to stay in right place and throw stuff at him. Electricity on metal armour is useless. But it works fine when I am fighting electro. Electric web is affecting a villain made of electricity. SMH.
But still, at least roaming around the city was relaxing enough, that I decided to complete the story and unlock all of side missions. It wasn't at least epilepsy inducing.
For that, I will have to talk about overwatch on PC. OMG. I thought I will need some drug or I am already on drugs. I have a 48 inch tv and every single pixel is full of things to focus on. Too many things happening at once. I think I have seen hypnotism videos with less movement on screen. Seriously why is this game so fast? Whatever happened to pacing the game? I used to play battlefield and even that game felt more relaxing than overwatch. I feel like puking after watching a gameplay video of this game.
Then, the big daddy of all things shitty about games these days. Stardew valley. "Relaxing game", "chilled out fun" etc etc were the terms used. And in half hour of gameplay, I had to open 5 different walkthrough to understand basics. I spent 20 days or so just watering the plants and going back to sleep. I thought that was the whole point of it. Turns out there is mining, there is fishing etc etc. And to learn where to go for what, I need a walkthrough. I asked on the stardew valley sub about the game. And overwhelming response was "find a walkthrough". What the hell. Why would I keep a notebook with me or read 20 pages on internet to learn how to play?
Seriously, at this point, I feel like every game is designed for that teenage kid sitting in mom's basement, high on weed and mountain dew. 🤦♂️ Overcluttered UI, forced tutorials or no tutorials, frantic gameplay, and an obsession with numbers going up and down. Every single game makes me either puke, delete it out of hatred, or both.
I don't know why we can't have games be like uncharted 4 or nfs most wanted. 🤦♂️Just give me a proper tutorial and a proper progression with 5 or so controls. If I am juggling between all 20 buttons on my controller within 5 minutes, the game is over complicated.
Or maybe I should smoke up a joint too to be able to grasp these games. 🤦♂️
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