The last couple of weeks have had me looking back on this year in games and I found myself not viewing it kindly. From the viewpoint of a console (Xbox One) owner, we have not had much come out that could really be shouted about and waiting for the big releases seems to really drag. What seems to be happening with games at the moment is that we are given titles that are designed now to try and sell us DLC to complete the experience and more often than not. The game on its own is simply not worth the asking price. A prime example of this is the overpriced Star Wars Battlefront, which comes with no campaign mode, twelve maps and co-op missions at launch, but is charged at full price and has a season pass which is almost as expensive as the game itself. Halo 5: Guardians is another example, but only just a better one as it does have a campaign, though it is criminally short and has had some multiplayer modes cut (that had been in previous games), as well as the inclusion of micro transactions. I feel like I am showing my age when I say this, but I look back on times when games came out complete and bug free at launch, when DLC didn't exist and a multiplayer mode was you and a friend doing split screen in the same room. I sometimes find myself wishing I was back in those times.
It's times like these that I look with jealousy in the direction of PC gamers. Granted, they suffer the worst when a broken or buggy game is released but they also have the best gaming library out there, and the best prices too. I am unsure what games my laptop can handle but I intend to find out soon as some small games on Steam have caught my eye, and with the way console releases are going, dipping my toes in the other pool is not such a bad idea. From the view of a current gen console owner, though, it has not been a great time. We have had a lot of old games polished off and rereleased whilst we wait for the big names to appear, and more often than not, it has ended in disappointment. I pre-ordered Batman: Arkham Knight and for the most part I was quite happy with it, but the DLC released for it has been underwhelming and the game also crashed on me three times and didn't award me two story-related achievements. At that time I felt like I had something in common with a PC owner. The continuing trend seems to be either adequate or below average content for full price, and I decided that I have had enough of the whole thing and it got me thinking on how I would handle all this in the new year.
I have chosen to go down the path of scaling back on what I buy. No damn pre-orders of any kind, wait for all reviews to come out, keep an eye on sales and do my best not to be ripped off. It has started to feel like I am being put off by gaming, not by these dipshit culture critics or "Social Justice Warriors" that are about, but by the gaming industry itself and the products it is putting out as a final release. I decided that I wanted to try and avoid that as much as possible because I didn't want to quit the one thing I have loved since I was a child... the one thing that is starting to look like a very ugly version of itself, trying to claw in as much profit as it can whilst putting out such disappointing content. The only game that I really want that is being released next year, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, has now been delayed until August and I find myself not bothered at all by it and that is a shame, as I later thought that I should have been.
Reflecting on all that -- as I have written this blog entry -- has been quite a downer for me. My view on if I should buy a game has changed from "is it good?" to "is it worth it?" and because of that I rarely go into my local game shop these days, as in most cases I already know that answer. I really don't want to be put off by gaming so that I hope that going into the new year, that we the consumer start getting a little more bang for our buck or my game library on my hard drive will start getting a lot smaller.