First and foremost I want to wish everyone a very happy, healthy, and prosperous new year. It has been quiet a mess over these last few months, and with things getting worse with the pandemic the short moment of calm seems to be falling apart. Hopefully soon things will begin returning to normal again and we can continue to live safely without fear or panic… or masks.
In regards to gaming though, last year there were some really questionable game releases most especially when it came to shooters. Pretty much every triple A shooter that launched within the last quarter had some kind of glaring problem either through poor game design or technical instability. It left a lot to be desired and many fans were let down as a result.
Some of my favorite shooters like Battlefield 2042, Halo Infinite, and Far Cry 6, each launched with different sets of issues leaving me dumbfounded on what happened during development and questioning how there could be such obvious problems with gameplay. Starting with Battlefield 2042, the launch was horrendous, with the most bare bones experience they could possibly offer. Even now the game still doesn’t have much besides its main multiplayer modes. It still missing things like voice chat and leaderboards, however, at the very least EA is showing that the game will continue to be supported with updates as times goes on, and it now features more stable and consistent game play performance than it did at launch.
Halo Infinite had launched its free multiplayer portion of the game first before its campaign, which wasn’t a bad idea, however, it just felt incomplete (since the multiplayer didn’t launch with all modes available). Perhaps the early multiplayer launch was intended to gain the edge over other shooters for the holiday season, but the feedback seemed generally mixed. Sadly though, the core mechanics of Halo Infinite were too stuck in the past for my taste personally. After all these years I was hoping for a new breakthrough multiplayer experience from Halo that would set a new standard like it once did. Unfortunately the end result was a rehash of those old school mechanics with a prettier skin. Thankfully the saving grace of the game is its campaign, and this is where Halo Infinite really shines. Master Chief’s open world adventure was great to experience and it finally shows him to be the leader he always was.
On the other hand, Far Cry 6 has been undoubtedly one of the most boring video games I’ve played in a long time. If you’ve played any of the last few Far Cry games you essentially have another copy and paste experience right here with less interesting game play. There has been nothing new added to the overall experience and it ultimately feels like a prettied up version of older titles in the series. This was a huge let down for me, especially because I’ve been into the Far Cry games for a very long time. I thought with famous actors involved in the project, it would be something exciting or different but instead it just follows the same tyrant villain structure as previous games and runs you through boring idiotic dialogue, tediously dry missions, and mind numbingly dull combat.
Sadly, the state of triple A shooters right now is at an absolute low. It seems greed is the name of the game no matter what, and unfortunately this is where you lose everyone. Ever since Fortnite successfully reached that multi billion dollar mark in yearly sales, pretty much every other developer has attempted to copy or emulate their formula in some way to try their chance at the multi billion dollar pie. Honestly, this makes sense since the goal is to become as profitable as possible with your game, however, what doesn’t make sense are the attempts to grab quick sales by releasing unfinished or poorly designed games even when die hard fans are very vocal about what they expect and what they like or dislike in each game.
Granted no game will ever be perfect, nor will every game please everyone who plays it, but these days it truly feels as though the corporate side of game development couldn’t care less about what is actually being made, or the experience they provide. As long as it kind of looks good or enticing enough for players to want it, and it can rake in money through marketing, but once you get into the real thing, its nothing but a rushed or incomplete experience causing established fan bases to actually reconsider staying around. In my opinion, putting out titles that are not fully polished, designed, tested, or complete just to make a quick buck always looses players and money in the end.
Still I remain hopeful for this new year in 2022. However, I will definitely be playing less first person shooters this year regardless of what comes out just because these marketing teams really know how to reel you in and grab your cash even when they are actually serving up a pile of hot garbage. I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll say it here again, players need transparency from these publishers and developers. If things aren’t ready, DON’T SAY ITS READY, and if its not at all like advertised, don’t edit video clips and trailers to look like something its not. The marketing and footage should always reflect some part of the experience that players can expect in final game, but like I mentioned, it all feels as though money is the goal, not trying to build solid fan bases or keep players entertained with quality content.
As always thank you for reading this post! I am looking forward many more titles this year (mainly single player story driven games) but I will continue writing about them when I can. Stay positive, stay safe, and again Happy New Year.