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LONG BLOG

Game Reveals Without Gameplay Can Suck a Mean D

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I am not a patient man. It's one of my flaws. The other day, I wanted to go shooting at the archery range, but I didn't want to pay the ten bucks for a bow rental. I am waiting for a cheap Chinese bow to come in the mail which will invariably break and cause me a grievous physical injury, but it's going to take 25 days to get here by ship. So out of my impatience, I went into the forest and found a piece of wood, and built my own. It broke after I fired it three times and a large splinter was embedded in my arm. 

I feel like I need to bring this up for context, because the same applies with YouTube videos. If a video starts with a man introducing himself, or with some relating paragraph about "The N64 was the greatest console of all time. So is it any wonder that..." I usually just say "fuck this" and turn it off. Especially if all I want is footage of a game so I can see if I will like the fucking thing or not.

Ubisoft, breaking their track record of making most boring, generic games where you explore a vast empty world on what amounts to a guided scavenger hunt, put out a trailer for Gods & Monsters. A cute, colorful game with a very Nintendo-esque aesthetic, which a lot of people are saying specifically apes Breath of the Wild. I'm fine with this ultimately - Breath of the Wild is the only new video game I have deeply enjoyed in a long time because it gets straight to the point and gives you one objective; fucking kill Ganon. And because my preferred way to play a game is to get to the point as quickly as possible, that's exactly what I did, way too early, with immense struggle, without beating those dumb-ass "dungeons" or watching any cutscenes where Link bangs a fish girl.

And it was all glorious. Beating all the bosses back to back and ending with Ganon was an intense fight that took every single resource I had, and a couple of hours of my time. But it was also the most epic thing ever. So if Ubisoft wants to make a Breath of the Wild clone, they can go right the fuck ahead, because I am ready for more.

Except we don't know if that's what it is, because the stupid ass trailer didn't show us any fucking gameplay.

In the trailer all we see is a cartoon chick having a boss fight from the Witcher. And then it tells us what platforms the game is coming out on so we can all get excited to buy it.

It was one minute of my life I'll never get back and the only thing I learned is "Ubisoft made game! You can buy game." which is basically the primary message Ubisoft has always been good at getting across. I uphold a non-specific boycott of Ubisoft products, mainly because they are fucking boring, but this is the one in a long time I would have been interested in getting excited about. Except I have no idea what it will look like in action. It could have been an advertisement for one of those shitty resource management cell phone games, and I wouldn't be the wiser. Even gamesradar made a passive agressive pass at it, saying " It would be especially great to see some gameplay ahead of launch."

Yeah, no shit. Sounds like a nice way of saying, "Ubisoft can get fucked for holding out on showing gameplay to anyone but 'select' members of the ball-stroking press."

Even my favorite man in the universe, Ed Annunziata, creator of the best game ever made Ecco the Dolphin was guilty of this shit when he made a Kickstarter for a spiritual successor to Ecco a few years ago which unfortunately for me, failed fucking miserably. He had some really nice music playing in the background, high production values, and big promises - but no gameplay. Not even a shitty tech demo.

The game my friend and I have been making, which has cost us nothing at all, already has random dungeon generation, a transparent minimap, menus, items, the ability to kill enemies, and even some sound effects made by my friend grunting into a microphone. Is it pretty? I mean, some of it is placeholder obviously, but overall, I wouldn't be ashamed to share some of it in its current state. And we ain't fucking Ubisoft, so how hard is it to slap together twenty seconds of gameplay and actually show me what your goddamn game looks like?

Sorry game company X, but you aren't special or meaningful enough for me to be hyped by a cartoon trailer. Last of Us pulled this same crap with some vague, stupid reveal teaser. And I wasn't intrigued by it. Instead my reaction was "what the fuck is this shit." Thankfully, they named the main character after me, so it obviously turned out to be the best game on the PS3 apart from those Defence Force games where you fight giant bugs and glitches end up being part of the core gameplay unintentionally. But it could have gone either way. All that stupid teaser showed was a city street, or something, some panicky situation. Thanks assholes, nice video game you're making there.

Indie companies generally get this, because they don't have an endless budget to burn. So they typically show off as much gameplay as possible as early as possible. Because nothing can hype your game up like actual gameplay. I thought we were over this crap, over gameplay trailers which were pre-rendered, but these big dumb AAA companies still have't figured it out yet.

Fuck your trailers, and your teasers. Don't waste my time. Unzip your pants and show me your fucking game already.

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About Joel Petersonone of us since 8:14 AM on 11.07.2013

I write the things other people don't write, with liberal fart jokes thrown in for good measure. I like old games, old computers, old consoles, and old pizza.


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