Friday, 20 May 2016

Does Anyone Remember When...

...games reviewers cared only if the game was any good?


These days, it seems their main concern is how 'diverse' it is. I guess that's why so many of us no longer trust their reviews, preferring to listen to other gamers instead.

7 comments:

Andrew Scarborough said...

Somehow I'm reminded of the hero in a Richard Morgan sword and sorcery novel who was as queer as a ninepence. It's a bit of flag waving, that's all.

Crazed Weevil said...

This is Polygon you are talking about? The same Polygon whose reviewers can barely play games let alone review them objectively?

Have a look see at this video of one of their reviewers 'playing' the new Doom:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3pQ0oO_cDE

Why anyone gives these muppets money to review games or the time of day in general is beyond me.


Fruitbat44 said...

Hmmm . . . it does suggest that the reviewer cares more about showing off how PC they are than rather than if the game is any fun to play. Though to be fair sometimes the set dressing, if you like, can spoil the game. As a personal example Duke Nukem 4, for me the macho, mucky, blokely humour in the game which had seemed so much fun back in Duke Nukem 3D just come across as tiresomely unfunny. And the gameplay in DM4 was pants anyway.

JuliaM said...

"It's a bit of flag waving, that's all."

Is THAT what they're waving...? ;)

"Have a look see at this video of one of their reviewers 'playing' the new Doom"

OMG! I'm as fumble-fingered as they come when playing these sort of twitch games, but that's just embarrassing...

"Though to be fair sometimes the set dressing, if you like, can spoil the game. As a personal example Duke Nukem 4, for me the macho, mucky, blokely humour in the game which had seemed so much fun back in Duke Nukem 3D just come across as tiresomely unfunny. "

Yup. In the wrong hands, you get 'Leisure Suit Larry'...

John M said...

As if that wasn't bad enough there was a review od DOOM in The Guardian last week in which the reviewer, who I seriously suspect has never actually played *any* RPG let alone Doom, was actually suggesting that the developers had missed the opportunity to enhance the game by giving you the ability to converse and reason with your enemies...

Neil said...

What is interesting about this commentary is that it, in fact, betrays the lack of diversity in the author's (or at least in their intended audience's) view of the world. This, using British terminology, piece waving the author's PC credentials, is clearly written for an American audience faced with a very limited and America centric viewpoint. What is missing is the recognition that the Witcher series is European and to see the way the story is told from this perspective.

For example, the author believes that diversity is only about skin colour. While this may reflect the preoccupations of America, in Europe we face a different diversity challange - that of nationality and political unity / independence. These are topics which are very much tackled in the Witcher Series, including the Witcher 3, with its wars, inter regional strife, topics such as refugees / persecution and dealing with the human / nonhuman relationships. I'm not saying the Witcher 3 was designed to provide a commentary on these topics at all - just that the way it approaches its story reflects the issues of the culture in which it was developed. Race as a reflection only of the colour of peoples skin is not the same "big deal" in Europe as in America.

The portrayal of women is another example. It may be just me, but taking aside some occasionally silly clothing (especially in cold Skellige), the portrayal seems "European" to me. Taking a very broad brush to characterising differences between attitudes to sex between most Europeans and most Americans and you will find a less prudish and more open approach in Europe. For example, nudity is less of an issue in Europe and you America does not have the same drinking culture found in much of Europe (just think of any British town on a Saturday night). Just as you find in the Witcher 3.

Finally, it is worth pointing out another area where the Witcher 3 scores on diversity is its gentle introduction to an Eastern European folklore and story telling which is part of what gives it such an interesting edge and what really stands it out from the generic story telling of the recent Elder Scrolls entries.

So ultimately all the author has managed to prove is that they (or at least their intended audience) see the world only through one lens and lack the diversity of experience to be able to see that different works of art reflect the different cultures and background in which they were created.


JuliaM said...

"...was actually suggesting that the developers had missed the opportunity to enhance the game by giving you the ability to converse and reason with your enemies..."

/facepalm

"... the way it approaches its story reflects the issues of the culture in which it was developed."

Modern identity politics mavens say they love 'diversity' but what they really mean is 'people of all shapes & colours who, crucially, all think and behave alike'.

Genuine diversity isn't welcome.

"...part of what gives it such an interesting edge and what really stands it out from the generic story telling of the recent Elder Scrolls entries."

This is definitely one of it's stronger aspects. A movie is reportedly in the works. One can only hope it does better than initial reports on the 'Warcraft' movie suggest it's going to do...