Hype is a bitch.
Hype makes people do stupid things like pre-order a game that doesn’t make good on everything the developer has promised. It seems like some developers are more like used car salesmen, saying whatever the customer wants to hear, hoping they won’t realize they’ve purchased a lemon before cash has been exchanged. Practices like these leave people skeptical about the “Next Best Game.” So is the case with Portal 2 (for me).
I have yet to play Portal 2 but this isn’t about the game-play or price or DLC; this is about misleading advertising. I loved Portal, mainly because it was a surprise and a breath of fresh air. Never before has learning to play a game been so fun and immersive. Being pitted against GLaDOS as an individual, forced to solve puzzles or die a painful death, it made the completion of the game all the more rewarding.
So here’s my question: Why did we/I hear nothing about the single-player campaign of Portal 2 before its release?
We all like the funny robots, running around firing off portals, working together, all the while Valve touting the new co-op element of the game. “Ooh, co-op sounds fun…” I thought. I don’t buy games just for co-op, though. As we all know the final result is a single-player campaign which is three times the length of the first game, as well as the added co-op missions (which were specifically designed for co-op play, not simple re-skins of single player puzzles). That’s clearly worth the price they’re asking, in my opinion.
What bothers me is how they advertised the frosting/icing without mentioning the cake it covered. Is that pandering? “Hey kids! You like sugar, right? Here’s a bunch of sugar!” but once you purchase it you realize “Hey, wait a second…there’s cake in my frosting!” Sugary frosting is good, I admit. It’s enjoyable, but without a cake to put it on you’re just a child or glutton. (okay, maybe this is getting away from me…)
I will buy Portal 2, I would have pre-ordered it ages ago if they had actually informed us that it was more than just co-op. Am I the only one bothered because they decided to market this less like a single-player game and more like witty Call of Duty with puzzles? That’s the only game I know of that people bought solely for multiplayer. Why bother making an entire game when your core audience won’t even play it? That was the reason for my skepticism about Portal 2, something I am glad to be wrong about.