Lately there has been this odd trend in games where we have gotten really stoked for an upcoming title via various trailers and promotional material but then when the game actually releases we purchase it and come to the realization that this game, like the Pharisees Jesus referred to, was not what it seemed to be and was a white washed tomb. The games appeared to be one thing on the outside and in trailers but the actual material on the discs was not what we thought we were being charged for nor were some of the games actually fully fleshed out. No Man’s Sky, in theory, sounds and looks like an incredible game at first glance but I can’t help but think that we have walked this road before with a few other games before their releases. So before you purchase your ticket on to that hype train let’s take a look at a few times this same hype train may have taken on a trip to somewhere different than they told us we would be going.
The Old Republic
I remember when trailers were coming out for this game that we all thought it was going to be the greatest video game since, well..KOTOR! But when the game actually released it quickly lost a large chunk of its subscription base due to not focusing on delivering a good quality story like it’s fantastic KOTOR predecessors and instead, having lots of fetch and kill quests and feeling a lot like a space copy of World of Warcraft. The game then proceeded to change to a free to play hybrid model of business. This qualified as a sort of defeat for the game that was supposed to be the “World of Warcraft Killer” and while the game has made some improvements since its initial release, SWTOR still has yet to regain the favor of all of those players who were initially on its hype train.
Star Wars Battlefront
Sigh…We wanted this game to be good so very badly and while we thought it was going to be this fantastic restart of the original battlefront series what we got was less a game and instead nothing but a bunch of multiplayer modes with really only 4 actual planets in it, and only 3 were actually in the movies. Players wanted so much more from this game and the trailers made it looked like this would be a great game where we would get to live out some of those fantastic movie moments from the actual films but ironically the game features ABSOLUTLEY ZERO MOVIE MOMENTS in all of it! (Maybe Walker Assault on Hoth but even that is a stretch seeing how it has Boba Fett, Jedi Luke, and The Emperor as playable characters.) What we expected from the outside was this beautiful star wars game full of our favorite moments and battles from the film, lots of space adventures and of course John Williams. Where our ticket for the hype train took us was to a place that looked like Star Wars but was more like a cheap imitation with some of John Williams pieces being played on a loop in the corner.
OK so this game is still a lot of fun but we got like barely any information about what the heck is actually going on. Yes we are fighting space aliens galore but why do they all hate us? Who is this Exo-Stranger chick anyway? Who is she working for? About the darkness, what its beef with the Traveler? This game is less of an offender but it still makes the hype train fake out list for saying it was going to give us this fantastic new space adventure story in its new beginnings trailer and instead giving us just a really fun shooter with no background story that actually contains any level of depth so far. However if you haven’t ever watched the Become Legend trailer it still qualifies as one of the most fun game trailers I have ever watched.
Final Fantasy XIII
This game had the most deceptive friggin trailers I had ever seen when I first started hearing about this game! It looked like it was going to be the best Final Fantasy game since Final Fantasy X. It looked to have a promisingly in depth story, a huge beautiful new world to explore, and characters who would draw in our affections greater than any before them. While it was quite beautiful and did have one of the more fun combat systems of the series, we came to realize that most of what made the game look so great in the trailers was actually content that would take over 20+ hours to access, it had an incredibly convoluted and confusing story for anyone who didn’t know they would have to read through a bunch of extra in game material, and that the characters would come off as more annoying than endearing. The sequel, Final Fantasy XIII-2, works to remedy many of these issues and, in my opinion, succeeds in doing so but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the hype train took us on the rail of lies with the first installment of the series.
As much as I enjoy the Halo series the trailers for the most recent game were a bit misleading as far as how the game would actually pan out. Yes there was a hunt for Master Chief due to him going against orders but the game is much more complicated than that and I’m not sure if the fact that the trailer misleads the players about what kind of game they are buying is a complement to the marketing. Yes it does mask the major plot twists of the story but it perhaps went a bit too far this time. As it turned out, we literally were getting excited for what turned out to only be about 10 percent of the game and while Halo 5 was fun, that kind of misleading was risky and could have very well resulted in players getting angry over being handed a game that was completely different than what the one they thought they were paying money for.
I don’t want you to that I am saying No Man’s Sky will be bad, in fact, it probably will be pretty fun. Heck it may very well revolutionize the gaming industry as we know it, and I hope it is GREAT and it does! What we do know of the game reminds me a lot of Spore, (which is incredible if you haven’t played it yet,) but I am saying we know very very little about this game. The only thing we know is that there are TONS of planets that are unexplored and that you will be exploring space while gathering resources and stuff to upgrade your equipment and ship. We have no idea WHY you would be doing any of this or if there is even any story behind the game to motivate this at all. But that doesn’t mean it will be terrible! Look at Minecraft! People love that game and all you do is gather resources, fight monsters and build stuff! The point I want us to realize though, is that we don’t exactly know what kind of game we are even getting excited about and perhaps we need more details before getting completely comfortable on the hype train so we can make sure we know exactly where our ticket will take us.
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