In an age of increasingly common Alpha’s and Beta’s and many games lunching promising a long line of additional content, it falls to us, the gaming media and also the gamers themselves, to judge what these companies are giving us. But the biggest question on our minds, and indeed a subject that sparks an argument on many an article, is the nature of how we look at games that are simply incomplete.
There are two big examples of this in the last couple of months and the first happened very recently. You may have been one of the lucky ones to be able to dive straight in to the Evolve Big Alpha and by the sounds of it there were only 2 people on a remote island in the Pacific who weren’t part of it.
IM PLAYIN’s review from Alec’s Pillik was not the most favorable to the big guy and if you check it out, you will soon realize that he felt it lacked depth, coordination and any real wow factor. Of course the internet took to the keyboards like a pack of monkeys writing Shakespeare to tell a tale of how good the game will be and how this was only a sneak peek into the epic story that is set to ignite the world in a gaming flame. While that’s fine in theory, and that should always be taken into consideration when reviewing the promise of future greatness, it is also something that has to be ignored to give a truly objective view, if a trainee cook makes me a disgusting tuna pasta bake, I won’t enjoy it any more thinking that one day he will be able to make a great one, what I experienced was just bad, and now I am going to have to order pizza to make up for it… and that’s just going to make me fat!
The fact is that as reviewers we have to stay as objective as possible and if we have a bad gaming experience whether it is in an Alpha, Beta or the full game, we have to tell that story. And just because it’s not the full game it does not mean that it has to be broken or incomplete. Remember the demo? The idea of releasing content early is to get people excited for the main game and not just to let people play a work in progress.
The second example, which does happen to be a full game, is Destiny. Now I know what you’re thinking and it’s true that I played my fair share and it was pretty much the only thing on our Twitch feed for a long time. But, even though you can lose hours of your life into it, it’s not a great game and we have to look at the facts as reviewers. Destiny has very little story and no real reason to care about any of the characters, worlds or enemies, the customisation of the weapons and armour is not up to the player but instead a desperate grind to get one more light… and it’s not going to win any awards for the voice acting. At the moment, Destiny is not a great game, it’s a good game. With the DLC it does have the potential to be great, maybe even amazing, but we have to look at what it is now.
So please continue to argue with us and your fellow gamers, we love the discussion but it has become the task of those reviewing the games objectively to look at what they are playing right now, and not the concept of what we have to look forward to.