Five Memorable Games Patrick Played at E3 2012

Posted by patrickklepek (3469 posts) -

You had to dig deeper for gems at E3 2012. I avoided many of the biggest names (read: Assassin’s Creed III) that I absolutely knew I’d be playing later this year--why spend my time playing stuff I’d made my mind up on?--and instead spent my show time seeking out games I wasn't sure about, hadn't seen much of, or just found genuinely curious.

It didn't always work out.

I've also limited today's list to games I actually played, and excluded any developer-driven, eyes-only demos. Believe me, I found The Last of Us and Watch Dogs just as impressive as everybody else, but there was plenty more at E3.

This means the five games mentioned below are not necessarily five great games; in one case, it’s quite the opposite, at least based on the E3 demo (things can change). Rather, I decided to highlight five games that left a lasting impression, games that I felt compelled to talk to my friends and colleagues about after the show.

I flip-flop between Deus Ex and Mega Man 2 as my favorite game of all time. Deus Ex represents a breakthrough in AI systems and player agency, with Mega Man 2 epitomizing the best of precise, skilled play defined by a strict set of rules. Dishonored’s development staff includes some key Deus Ex veterans, including Harvey Smith (and guys like designer Ricardo Bare, interviewed above), and looks to be a game intent on progressing the values from Deus Ex a few steps further. Besides giving players more varied options to disrupt the world around them (i.e. possession) Dishonored solves some of the most annoying problems often present in systems-driven games by sporting usable, enjoyable combat, and skills to neatly avoid crappy first-person platforming (here, it's blink, basically a nearby warp power). It’ll be interesting to see how this compares to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but I’m not about to complain about two developers tackling the way forward from Warren Spector’s classic. I spent nearly 30 minutes with Dishonored's E3 demo, beat the mission completely different ways two times, and had barely scratched the surface.

Having just wrapped up Hitman: Blood Money (my first Hitman game, too), I was super interested in Hitman: Absolution. Since I brought up Blood Money on the podcast, users have contacted me about IO Interactive’s approach to the latest sequel, accusing the studio of catering to a demographic that never cared about Hitman games in the first place. If the video from the Chinatown level didn’t convince you, have no fear: it plays like a Hitman game. Questions still remain, of course. How big are the environments? Chinatown seemed a bit small, but that could have easily been a slice of something much bigger. In servicing a wider demographic, can the areas still have the same dynamics present in a stage like Suburbs? We’ll know this year, but based on my brief time playing Absolution and talking with the developers, it appears we’re getting a beautiful, evolved version of the Hitman series. Hell yeah.

This is me playing Snapshot at E3: O_O. The reason why: I played this game years ago! Snapshot was part of the Independent Games Festival in 2009, then disappeared and went dormant. It’s returned in 2012 as a game for PlayStation 3 and Vita, and it’s still be coming to PC, too. I mention that because it seems Snapshot will work best with a mouse. Snapshot, at first, certainly looks like your standard indie platformer with a robot, but the hook lies in your ability to photograph the environment and keep items in memory. Dump those photos somewhere else in the environment, and you gain access to that item. In the simplest example, you photograph a box and place that box elsewhere to climb up. Moving the “camera” around was troublesome and inaccurate with Vita’s analog stick (hence the mouse request), but could be solved with touch controls (which weren’t present) or Move support. Both of those are meant to be in the finished game, so I’m optimistic the controls will soon match the game’s clever premise.

It’s possible Dust 514 won’t be a good shooter. Here’s the thing: I don’t even care. All Dust 514 has to be is a window, a more reasonable way to interact with the world of EVE Online without butting heads with the game’s tragically huge learning curve. I didn’t play Dust 514 enough to make any determinations about it as a shooter, but the developers sold me on the game as a way to become a small part of the world of EVE Online. There's a multi-year plan, much of which is only sketched out and will be determined based on what players demand. It sounds insane. What if you, as a marine, could load into the ships of regular EVE Online players, and head into interstellar battle? It won’t be there day-one, but if CCP has proved anything, it’s 100% committed to its players.

You won’t find me singing the praises of Lost Planet or its sequel. The original was acceptably fun and goofy as an early Xbox 360 release, and most people didn't care since it was so pretty. The sequel was riddled with problems, seemingly the product of Monster Hunter’s explosive success. Lost Planet 3 was handed to Spark Unlimited, the developer otherwise “known” for Turning Point: Fall of Liberty and Legendary, neither of which are good shooters but both have interesting premises. Lost Planet 3, based on the 20 minute demo at E3, continues that tradition. Spark Unlimited has successfully been able to realize the world of Lost Planet as something pretty believable, and developed a main character you can root for--a lonely miner thousands of miles from his family. Video messages from his wife and kid pipe into your lumbering mech, grounding Lost Planet 3 in a way the other games never tried. The illusion breaks when shooting begins, but I’m crossing my fingers Spark really runs with its interesting narrative.

Staff
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (3469 posts) -

You had to dig deeper for gems at E3 2012. I avoided many of the biggest names (read: Assassin’s Creed III) that I absolutely knew I’d be playing later this year--why spend my time playing stuff I’d made my mind up on?--and instead spent my show time seeking out games I wasn't sure about, hadn't seen much of, or just found genuinely curious.

It didn't always work out.

I've also limited today's list to games I actually played, and excluded any developer-driven, eyes-only demos. Believe me, I found The Last of Us and Watch Dogs just as impressive as everybody else, but there was plenty more at E3.

This means the five games mentioned below are not necessarily five great games; in one case, it’s quite the opposite, at least based on the E3 demo (things can change). Rather, I decided to highlight five games that left a lasting impression, games that I felt compelled to talk to my friends and colleagues about after the show.

I flip-flop between Deus Ex and Mega Man 2 as my favorite game of all time. Deus Ex represents a breakthrough in AI systems and player agency, with Mega Man 2 epitomizing the best of precise, skilled play defined by a strict set of rules. Dishonored’s development staff includes some key Deus Ex veterans, including Harvey Smith (and guys like designer Ricardo Bare, interviewed above), and looks to be a game intent on progressing the values from Deus Ex a few steps further. Besides giving players more varied options to disrupt the world around them (i.e. possession) Dishonored solves some of the most annoying problems often present in systems-driven games by sporting usable, enjoyable combat, and skills to neatly avoid crappy first-person platforming (here, it's blink, basically a nearby warp power). It’ll be interesting to see how this compares to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but I’m not about to complain about two developers tackling the way forward from Warren Spector’s classic. I spent nearly 30 minutes with Dishonored's E3 demo, beat the mission completely different ways two times, and had barely scratched the surface.

Having just wrapped up Hitman: Blood Money (my first Hitman game, too), I was super interested in Hitman: Absolution. Since I brought up Blood Money on the podcast, users have contacted me about IO Interactive’s approach to the latest sequel, accusing the studio of catering to a demographic that never cared about Hitman games in the first place. If the video from the Chinatown level didn’t convince you, have no fear: it plays like a Hitman game. Questions still remain, of course. How big are the environments? Chinatown seemed a bit small, but that could have easily been a slice of something much bigger. In servicing a wider demographic, can the areas still have the same dynamics present in a stage like Suburbs? We’ll know this year, but based on my brief time playing Absolution and talking with the developers, it appears we’re getting a beautiful, evolved version of the Hitman series. Hell yeah.

This is me playing Snapshot at E3: O_O. The reason why: I played this game years ago! Snapshot was part of the Independent Games Festival in 2009, then disappeared and went dormant. It’s returned in 2012 as a game for PlayStation 3 and Vita, and it’s still be coming to PC, too. I mention that because it seems Snapshot will work best with a mouse. Snapshot, at first, certainly looks like your standard indie platformer with a robot, but the hook lies in your ability to photograph the environment and keep items in memory. Dump those photos somewhere else in the environment, and you gain access to that item. In the simplest example, you photograph a box and place that box elsewhere to climb up. Moving the “camera” around was troublesome and inaccurate with Vita’s analog stick (hence the mouse request), but could be solved with touch controls (which weren’t present) or Move support. Both of those are meant to be in the finished game, so I’m optimistic the controls will soon match the game’s clever premise.

It’s possible Dust 514 won’t be a good shooter. Here’s the thing: I don’t even care. All Dust 514 has to be is a window, a more reasonable way to interact with the world of EVE Online without butting heads with the game’s tragically huge learning curve. I didn’t play Dust 514 enough to make any determinations about it as a shooter, but the developers sold me on the game as a way to become a small part of the world of EVE Online. There's a multi-year plan, much of which is only sketched out and will be determined based on what players demand. It sounds insane. What if you, as a marine, could load into the ships of regular EVE Online players, and head into interstellar battle? It won’t be there day-one, but if CCP has proved anything, it’s 100% committed to its players.

You won’t find me singing the praises of Lost Planet or its sequel. The original was acceptably fun and goofy as an early Xbox 360 release, and most people didn't care since it was so pretty. The sequel was riddled with problems, seemingly the product of Monster Hunter’s explosive success. Lost Planet 3 was handed to Spark Unlimited, the developer otherwise “known” for Turning Point: Fall of Liberty and Legendary, neither of which are good shooters but both have interesting premises. Lost Planet 3, based on the 20 minute demo at E3, continues that tradition. Spark Unlimited has successfully been able to realize the world of Lost Planet as something pretty believable, and developed a main character you can root for--a lonely miner thousands of miles from his family. Video messages from his wife and kid pipe into your lumbering mech, grounding Lost Planet 3 in a way the other games never tried. The illusion breaks when shooting begins, but I’m crossing my fingers Spark really runs with its interesting narrative.

Staff
#2 Posted by Morningstar (2139 posts) -

Only five...?

#3 Posted by HyperMusic (16 posts) -

Dust 514 sounds interesting

#4 Posted by tescovee (352 posts) -

was Xcom not playable, or was it not that great? I don't think I have seen any of you say it was one of your faves?

#5 Posted by Morningstar (2139 posts) -

@tescovee said:

was Xcom not playable, or was it not that great? I don't think I have seen any of you say it was one of your faves?

On the livestreams they said they loved it. Well, at least Ryan was raving about it :p

#6 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3019 posts) -

As someone who actually really enjoyed Lost Planet 2, I'm just hoping they don't screw it up.

#8 Posted by Grissefar (2842 posts) -

@Make_Me_Mad said:

As someone who actually really enjoyed Lost Planet 2, I'm just hoping they don't screw it up.

With the fine developer of Turning Point: Fall of Liberty and Legendary: The Box, what could go wrong?

Wow Patrick it's cool to see you enjoy Hitman. My only fear with Absolution is that it goes from being a puzzle to just a choice. In the previous Hitmen, it could be sick hard to pull off a good hit, even if you had it all figured out.

#9 Edited by Tennmuerti (7998 posts) -

@tescovee said:

was Xcom not playable, or was it not that great? I don't think I have seen any of you say it was one of your faves?

Jeff talks about it in his E3 writeup, and we only had 3 write ups so far, still more to go (if they all do them)

Ryan was raving about it during the podcasts too.

#10 Posted by BBAlpert (1369 posts) -

I was initially very worried about Absolution, but I'm slowly warming up to it due to the facts that a) almost every recent mention of the game by the GB staff has emphasized that the game still has what made Blood Money great and b) the GB guys have shown in discussions of the series that what they consider BM's key appeal matches what I liked about it. That key appeal specifically being the exploration of the environment in order to concoct Mouse Trap-like murder plans.

#11 Posted by sterbacblu (231 posts) -

A list? A list that isn't during during GOTY or April 1st? Say it ain't so...

#12 Posted by MeatSim (10762 posts) -

i will take some more Hitman and Dishonored sounds like my kind of game.

#13 Posted by Baal_Sagoth (1235 posts) -

Hitman and Dishonoured are exciting picks. Me checking out the new escapades of Agent 47 is pretty much a given, most likely even at full price on release. And the recent reaction of the GB crew to the 'new Deus Ex' (maybe, hopefully, please?!?) has been very encouraging. At this point there have been so many contradictory perspectives on the game it's bound to get very interesting when it's coming out. I'm unsure myself since Arkane isn't a household name in my gaming world. I followed a couple of their releases very intently, namely Dark Messiah of Might & Magic and Arx Fatalis but never pulled the trigger on them due to various reservations. Arx Fatalis mostly because I was incapable of getting it to run properly or at all on three different PC setups mysteriously.

#14 Posted by Bollard (5248 posts) -

The number of times Giantbomb members mention Monster Hunter in relation to games nothing like Monster Hunter... I can see your point, it's just games like Dragons Dogma and Lost Planet 2 capture nothing about what makes Monster Hunter games good. You guys just don't get it. (And yes, I am aware of how silly that statement of someone "not understanding" a game. But yeah.)

#15 Posted by dropabombonit (1484 posts) -

Dishonored looks great, can't wait for it. Lost Planet 3 didn't look so hot in the gameplay demo I watched

#16 Posted by Y2Ken (1069 posts) -

Certainly very interested in seeing more Dishonored. Snapshot sounds interesting, don't think I've come across it before.

#17 Posted by Abendlaender (2761 posts) -

If you would replace Lost Planet with XCom I would come and hug you.

But, okay, why would you want that, I guess...

#18 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@Chavtheworld said:

The number of times Giantbomb members mention Monster Hunter in relation to games nothing like Monster Hunter... I can see your point, it's just games like Dragons Dogma and Lost Planet 2 capture nothing about what makes Monster Hunter games good. You guys just don't get it. (And yes, I am aware of how silly that statement of someone "not understanding" a game. But yeah.)

Just outta curiosity, what makes Monster Hunter games good, for YOU?
#19 Posted by Rolyatkcinmai (2682 posts) -

@tescovee said:

was Xcom not playable, or was it not that great? I don't think I have seen any of you say it was one of your faves?

No one has stopped talking about how incredible XCOM is since PAX East. Get on board.

#20 Posted by Deathmachine117 (377 posts) -

Having played both of Sparks previous games I really hope they pull it off and make a good game or at least a successful one, with Turning Point and Legendary they had great premises but the gameplay and near everything else was just drab.

#21 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11474 posts) -

@Chavtheworld said:

The number of times Giantbomb members mention Monster Hunter in relation to games nothing like Monster Hunter... I can see your point, it's just games like Dragons Dogma and Lost Planet 2 capture nothing about what makes Monster Hunter games good. You guys just don't get it. (And yes, I am aware of how silly that statement of someone "not understanding" a game. But yeah.)

I'm pretty sure comparing anything to Monster Hunter is just shorthand for something that they consider to be clunky and overtly Japanese. Because that's what Monster Hunter is to them.

#22 Posted by Bollard (5248 posts) -

@MikeGosot said:

@Chavtheworld said:

The number of times Giantbomb members mention Monster Hunter in relation to games nothing like Monster Hunter... I can see your point, it's just games like Dragons Dogma and Lost Planet 2 capture nothing about what makes Monster Hunter games good. You guys just don't get it. (And yes, I am aware of how silly that statement of someone "not understanding" a game. But yeah.)

Just outta curiosity, what makes Monster Hunter games good, for YOU?

I'm glad you asked :) Quite a lot of it is similar to Diablo, the loot lust and building new awesome gear. This especially was the massive thing missing from Dragons Dogma which means it really isn't like MH at all. Secondly, the whole village farm stuff was really cool, and gave you stuff to do between missions. Also, playing with a friend and hunting monsters! It's not all just "big enemies = Monster Hunter" (see: Lost Planet 2) and "combat we as non-Japanese people apparently can't understand" (also see LP2) haha. The whole rigid animation focus is something the GB guys had talked about before too, and that definitely is a big part of MH. They are right there. It's a lot about learning the enemies and their animations, and timing your attack combos and potion use around that, before you finally win - which makes it more satisfying.

#23 Posted by Bollard (5248 posts) -

@ArbitraryWater said:

@Chavtheworld said:

The number of times Giantbomb members mention Monster Hunter in relation to games nothing like Monster Hunter... I can see your point, it's just games like Dragons Dogma and Lost Planet 2 capture nothing about what makes Monster Hunter games good. You guys just don't get it. (And yes, I am aware of how silly that statement of someone "not understanding" a game. But yeah.)

I'm pretty sure comparing anything to Monster Hunter is just shorthand for something that they consider to be clunky and overtly Japanese. Because that's what Monster Hunter is to them.

Pretty much yep.

#24 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@Chavtheworld: I realy like Monster Hunter because of the "learning about the enemies" part. It makes the world so alive, and makes you feel like a badass. Upgrading gear is pretty awesome too.
#25 Posted by Curufinwe (1244 posts) -

The main character in LP3 looks really weird.

#26 Posted by Nentisys (886 posts) -

Dust514 was pretty bad when I played it at eve fanfest. Hopefully it will do good but I have my doubts.

#27 Posted by AssInAss (2541 posts) -
#28 Posted by zoozilla (977 posts) -

@Curufinwe said:

The main character in LP3 looks really weird.

You mean he doesn't look like the bald space-marine featured in every other video game, which is fine with me.

#29 Posted by triviaman09 (785 posts) -

I haven't heard anything about Lost Planet 3 since Jeff mentioned he saw it at the Capcom event. Good to see they're doing some interesting things with the narrative at least.

#30 Edited by Mercer (202 posts) -

OH MAN ...dust 514...imagine two carriers shooting troop carriers\boarding pods at each other so that the Dust 514 marines are fighting for control while this huge battle rages...oh man

#31 Posted by big_jon (5709 posts) -

Patrick, such a hipster.

#32 Posted by DeF (4799 posts) -

I really hope Dishonored and Hitman leave a big enough impression to be talked about at length during this years GOTY debates! I have high hopes for Dishonored and lots of nostalgic love for Hitman and with BioShock Infinite out of this year's picture, I think those two games are among the strongest releases still coming!

#33 Posted by Peacemaker (1101 posts) -

Your talk of Hitman made me want to play through Blood Money. I'm really liking it. I feel like a lot of games are going for the bigger set pieces with crazy action. It's nice to play a game with a slower more methodical pace. Looks pretty damn good on the PC too.

#34 Posted by squirrelnacho (329 posts) -

Unfortunately for the Hitman game, Jesper Kyd is not doing the soundtrack anymore and the voice actor has been changed for someone who doesn't sound as good.

Hopefully the levels are as big and dynamic as those in Blood Money and the other games.

#35 Posted by umdesch4 (772 posts) -

I wonder how integrated Dust 514 will be with Eve Online itself. I have friends that play it, and I think it would be incredible if I could somehow get connected with them. Eg. recruited to fight battles for them, or even better, get assigned to either sabotage or gather intel about their competitors' engagements. Damn, the possibilities are fascinating...

#36 Posted by Jayzilla (2555 posts) -

The whole combining FPS trolls and EvE trolls together is pure CCP. what a community they are trying to build there. Dude bros and hard core geeks in the same space...oh dear.

#37 Posted by Tsuchikage (379 posts) -

Dishonored looks great. I loved Deus Ex: Human Revolution last year, so Dishonored--which looks like a different take on the same basic gameplay concept--has me intrigued. I hope developer Arkane Studios can pull it off.

Dust 514 sounds interesting, but I'm not sure it will be a good game. I'm sorry, but if the shooting itself isn't any good, I'll go back to playing Halo. Lost Planet 3 looks terrible, just like the other two. It also comes from a terrible developer, so I expect terrible things.

#38 Posted by Curufinwe (1244 posts) -

@zoozilla said:

@Curufinwe said:

The main character in LP3 looks really weird.

You mean he doesn't look like the bald space-marine featured in every other video game, which is fine with me.

No, I mean he looks way too much like the Burger King King.

#39 Posted by Roger778 (953 posts) -

Great list, Patrick. I'm interested in Lost Planet 3, but I'm really excited about Hitman: Absolution, and Dishonored.

#40 Posted by laserbolts (5311 posts) -

I like the concept of snapshot and will be looking forward to it coming out. Lost Planet 3? The first 2 games never really clicked with me but hopefully the new one does something to change that.

#41 Posted by Skanker (254 posts) -

@Chavtheworld said:

The number of times Giantbomb members mention Monster Hunter in relation to games nothing like Monster Hunter... I can see your point, it's just games like Dragons Dogma and Lost Planet 2 capture nothing about what makes Monster Hunter games good. You guys just don't get it. (And yes, I am aware of how silly that statement of someone "not understanding" a game. But yeah.)

Lost Planet 2 is a good game, though. I haven't played Dragon's Dogma, but it's probably okay too.

Monster Hunter is best.

#42 Posted by InfamousBIG (3200 posts) -

@Curufinwe said:

@zoozilla said:

@Curufinwe said:

The main character in LP3 looks really weird.

You mean he doesn't look like the bald space-marine featured in every other video game, which is fine with me.

No, I mean he looks way too much like the Burger King King.

Literally lol'd, thanks!

#43 Posted by Marokai (2805 posts) -

As fun as I`m sure it is for the outside of EVE to get fascinated by the headlines and the second-hand information about the `craziness` of the game, it`s really, truly, a lot less appealing and fun than it seems. CCP rarely seems either concerned about the fate of most of their players or about making a game that is even remotely fair or competitive. They care more about grabbing headlines than much of anything else, and most of the players on top of the EVE foodchain are strong competitors for `worst group of people in all of video games.`

EVE is a fascinating game, but outsiders build up this image of the game that really has very little in touch with how things really are unless you`ve played along for a long time and you`re in league with the Cool Kids. It`s an incredibly top heavy game that honestly feels like it`s running on fumes at this point. A near or outright majority of players are old timers or secondary accounts, and it`s kind of amazing the game hasn`t had some sort of irreversible exodus so far. The only reason it hasn`t is because CCP as gone so far up the asshole of nullsec and PVP culture that the growth of the game is downright anemic and updates of the game stilted in favor of entrenched interests.

Hell, that inflexibility, forced or not, is probably why they had to do DUST in the first place. The only thing CCP seems capable of doing is indulging their existing longtime player base at the expense of everyone who just wants to play a video game. To expand their audience they basically have to make a completely different style of game.

Online
#44 Posted by dancinginfernal (470 posts) -

@Curufinwe said:

@zoozilla said:

@Curufinwe said:

The main character in LP3 looks really weird.

You mean he doesn't look like the bald space-marine featured in every other video game, which is fine with me.

No, I mean he looks way too much like the Burger King King.

Oh god damn it man I'm crying.

That was so fucking unexpected it made my sides hurt like a motherfucker.

#45 Posted by JRGPayne (1 posts) -

Dishonored and Hitman for sure. Xcom is definitely the top of the list for me though.

#46 Posted by Hellfire2122 (17 posts) -

@JRGPayne: Hell yeah, between Xcom, Jagged Alliance BIA, and Frozen synapse, I feel like Turn based strategy games are making a come back.

#47 Posted by Kiri90 (256 posts) -

I appreciate the different approach you took to choosing your games, Patrick. I, personally, am really looking forward to Hitman Absolution. I also will probably get Dishonored, but would like to see more video of the game in the coming months.

#48 Posted by Zatoishwan (28 posts) -

@rebgav:

No need for them trying to compete about worst title - any competition about "worst" anything will be won by Alex, expert in that field (meant in a good way, I love his reviews of crappy games)

#49 Posted by sandweed (156 posts) -

@Marokai said:

As fun as I`m sure it is for the outside of EVE to get fascinated by the headlines and the second-hand information about the `craziness` of the game, it`s really, truly, a lot less appealing and fun than it seems. CCP rarely seems either concerned about the fate of most of their players or about making a game that is even remotely fair or competitive. They care more about grabbing headlines than much of anything else, and most of the players on top of the EVE foodchain are strong competitors for `worst group of people in all of video games.`

EVE is a fascinating game, but outsiders build up this image of the game that really has very little in touch with how things really are unless you`ve played along for a long time and you`re in league with the Cool Kids. It`s an incredibly top heavy game that honestly feels like it`s running on fumes at this point. A near or outright majority of players are old timers or secondary accounts, and it`s kind of amazing the game hasn`t had some sort of irreversible exodus so far. The only reason it hasn`t is because CCP as gone so far up the asshole of nullsec and PVP culture that the growth of the game is downright anemic and updates of the game stilted in favor of entrenched interests.

Hell, that inflexibility, forced or not, is probably why they had to do DUST in the first place. The only thing CCP seems capable of doing is indulging their existing longtime player base at the expense of everyone who just wants to play a video game. To expand their audience they basically have to make a completely different style of game.

Can you show me on this Velator where the Mittani touched you?

#50 Posted by Marokai (2805 posts) -
@sandweed: Goonswarm's idiocy is to be expected, because they're Goonswarm. They're not doing anything that an entity drenched in the terribleness of Something Awful wouldn't naturally do. It's like getting upset that a dog pees all over the house when it's growing up. It's to be expected, because it's a dog. The problem is CCP's apparently inability to lead the direction of the game independently and on their own, and also their confusion over what they even want EVE Online to be. They seem unsure that they even want EVE Online to be a video game that people can play and enjoy, and have gotten too far caught up in their own marketing propaganda to realize that, making a game more like a game, doesn't mean you have to turn it into Hello Kitty Online. Even the mere suggestion that anything in EVE that isn't all about 0.0 be improved, automatically means that you're a 13 year old casual player that should move to WoW. That ain't even hyperbole, CCP used that sort of terminology in one of their extended trial marketing campaigns at the turn of the year. 
 
I love and hate EVE Online, but my issues with the game are purely from a detached and academic perspective at this point. I want to read news on the game, I want to delve more deeply into the fiction of the universe, I want to play Dust, but I find playing that actual proper game to be a chore at this point, because all of the other inherent problems with what the game is just rush back to me everytime I reach the login screen. 
 
I definitely think that the CFC's sort of "emergent gameplay" is total bullshit, though, and a big problem with the game. Someone on the EVE forums aptly summed up "emergent gameplay" as "punching someone in the face while playing backgammon." Further frustrating is the fact that, anyone who tries to debate these issues genuinely and in earnest, basically just get called pubbies and spammed with memes from people that don't want to hear it. The issue, though, is again, CCP, not what players are doing. You expect players to grief and to troll and to generally be terrible people. But CCP takes these stints of high concept trolling and grabs headlines with it for free advertising. Nothing about events like Hulkaggedon or Burn Jita are fun or positive for a game, they don't solve any problem with botters, and they only serve to make the audience of the game more niche and closed off from the rest of the gaming community for no reason.  
 
What got me irked about this topic again lately was CCP Soundwave's comment on the forums in response to a debate over how the War Dec system will be patched soon. In summation, he basically said that, no, EVE is not a game, and no player should ever expect anything about EVE to be balanced or fair for anyone. Which is super fucking ironic, because it's made in the context of how a system of the game will be patched so it's softer and easier on Nullsec entities (or, let's just say, one of them; the ClusterFuck) finding themselves being dogpiled by high and lowsec corps that don't like how it advantages defenders.  
 
EVE straddles this weird line between, on the one hand, wanting to be a video game that people actually pay money to play and, supposedly, enjoy, and also being a sandbox space simulator where anyone can do anything, even if it means large scale behavior that directly conflicts with EVE being a game that other people might want to, at some point, find enjoyable. I'm irritated with how EVE is perceived by outsiders, not because I'm some sort of victim, but because I want CCP to make up their goddamn minds and I want outside media to not just buy into the myth of this grand and great video game, and see it for what it really is; a high school clique simulator. High concept bullying against a sci-fi backdrop. I just want EVE to be a video game. I generally dislike the current development of EVE Online and I shouldn't have to. 
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