Published on March 25th, 2013 | by Liam Dean0
Hindsight Mondays: New Horizons And Dashed Expectations
As Hugo Weaving so sardonically said in The Matrix, some things are inevitable. The Earth keeps on spinning, the weeks keep on rolling around to despicable Monday routines, and video games keep on failing to meet our expectations. If I sound miserable or pessimistic at all, it’s because I am. Of course not all video games fail to meet our expectations in the same way that the horribly overblown sequels to The Matrix did; but I reserve the right to be pessimistic from time to time. It’s hardly surprising if I am a little dour, in all fairness. The north of England has been a snowy wasteland of unseasonal weather this past week, and as a consequence I have a whopping great cold and my head hurts. And, I am naturally a very whiny person.
But if you thought my puerile complaining was going to stop there, then I’ve got some rather bad news for you – it isn’t. Apart from having to suffer some of the worst weather on Earth (fact) I’ve had to suffer some of the worst DRM on Earth as well this past week. SimCity was everything I had hoped that it wouldn’t be, and I had some brief fun writing a scathing review that you must now read for my cathartic relief. Apart from being a mess of connectivity issues and simulation breaking bugs, it is actually quite good, which only adds to the frustration of its failure. Perhaps I will enlist the aid of some expert programmers who can tear the game away from EA to make the necessary mods to render it more playable. Or, perhaps I will just sit here and wait for it to magically sort itself out like I usually do.
Still, at least I wasn’t alone in my displeasure this week. David also felt the familiar pang of disappointment after playing Kratos’ latest God-punching adventure God Of War: Ascension. It would appear that our angry testosterone fuelled chum has finally managed to bump off all of the most interesting Greek deities or mythological figures, and must now make the difficult decision of whether to hang up his loin cloth or to enter into some sort of depressing cross over franchise. Perhaps Sony could hand over the reins of the God Of War franchise to director David Cage, who said this week that he would like to remain PlayStation exclusive. Kratos’ unbridled anger is cool and all, but he should really try and get in touch with his emotions in a more grown up, adult way.
Amazingly though, it’s not all doom and gloom this week. Like a phoenix rising up from the ashes of a particularly bad snow drift that somehow set on fire, we have some good news as well! Darik loved every second he spent battling the forces of Plegia in Fire Emblem Awakening, and even went so far as to call it a “must have” for the 3DS’ already stellar catalogue. Not only that, but Fraser had a lovely time getting pushed down wells in Driftmoon. Apparently a game that follows tried and tested RPG conventions can still differentiate itself with inventive level design and humourous dialogue.
And that’s not all, because one of our regular contributors and jet setting journalists Darik Kirschman has been on hand at PAX East providing us with all the latest news and previews for the hottest upcoming games. If you’re having a particularly hard time battling snow like me, or if you’re just putting up with the humdrum of your Monday routine, then try not to hate Darik for his enviable surroundings. It’s not his fault that he’s had a more awesome time than you this week, and to make up for it he’s been providing us with the latest news on The Last Of Us, Dead Island: Riptide and Saints Row IV. Perhaps reading about them will remind you that there are many great releases in the pipeline this year, and that all is not lost in the world of video games.
Now that I think about it, there is a lot to be happy about when it comes to computer games. PlayStation platforms are going to be easier to develop for in future by catering for one of the most widely used 3D indie development suites Unity, and great additions of community mods and DLC for games like Civilization V give us plenty to look forward to. If you’re really stuck for entertainment this week though, you could always check out Steam’s Indie Spring Sale that’s on until March 29th, or maybe playing marbles with internet pages inside Google Chrome is more your cup of tea. Either way, we can all appreciate are the ludicrous comments Richard Garriot (aka Lord British) made this week about how most game designers apart from him “really just suck”. Sometimes all the facepalms and sarcasm in the world just aren’t enough.