By Sweep 11 Comments
Gears Of War 2 arrives tomorrow. I'm getting pretty excited. So much so that I cant actually play anything else. Fable 2 is persistently NOT Gears Of War 2, and as such I cant seem to stay focussed.
I love the hype that surrounds computer games. I love the super positivity of every preview, and hate the consequent inevitable disappointment. However when a game manages to manage expectations and be awesome despite the hype, its the best feeling in the world. In some cases I often enjoy the anticipation far more than playing the game. I was stoked for Little Big Planet even though I don't have a PS3. I'm just happy great games are being made and receiving the appropriate consumer interest. Ultimately peoples expectations are often far greater than the achievements of any realistic development cycle. The best games often turn out to be the ones which people never see coming.
It does my heart good therefore, to see Gears Of War 2 taking the world by storm.
But it seems the only reason that games have such high expectations placed upon them is a result of the franchise name that has been slapped on the box. This seems to be a double edged sword - both restrictive in terms of content and development, whilst securing the interest of the originals fan base and assuring quality of a specific level. Fallout 3 is a great example of a title that is suffering because of its notoriety as an old-school gamer franchise. I haven't played Fallout 3 - mostly because I cant afford it, but also because there are other titles better suited to my needs. Fallout 3 seems to be suffering at the hands of the reviewer as a result of it being called Fallout 3. The "Oblivion with guns" cliché is thrown around but only seems to be insulting to the people who value the roots of the original Fallout games. To everyone else this is encouraging praise.
Reading the reviews of the multiple titles that have been released over the past few weeks has been interesting. Its weird how the games we have played may effect how we perceive new experiences. Its all about context I guess. A fan of one shooter will continually make comparisons to an alternative, and will standardly compare to the best. Maybe someone who had never played COD4 would find World At War to be the best FPS game ever made. Perhaps this is why the World At War beta is struggling to find any community support. If Treyarch had gone it alone and removed itself from the Call Of Duty series perhaps its latest game would not have been reviewed so harshly by the community. But in the process of doing so would have severed its accessibility to the COD4 engine. Tough call...
I'm going to step into hot territory by saying I didn't really enjoy reading Jeff's review of Gears Of War 2. This is brutal honesty, because I have mad respect for everyone in the Giantbomb team, and in truth they are the reason I joined this website in the first place (I love Vinny and Coonce especially and I don't care WHO knows it). In fairness, I didn't really enjoy Nate Ahearns review either (that man is an eejit). But considering Jeffs review is so full of praise, there lacked any real flair or written enthusiasm. I have sympathy, because it must be hard to visualise a fresh way of expressing yourself in a new way having written so often.
(if anyone is searching for a really well written Gears Of War 2 review, head on over to IGN UK. It's not because i'm British, it really is an immaculately well written review.)
All was forgiven after seeing the Giantbomb Video review. I think the guys here at giantbomb have so much personality its hard to fit it into a block of text - but the videos here are top notch. After watching the video I felt much better, much more encouraged and understanding of the 5 star rating. So thumbs-up Jeff, keep up the great work dude =D
So yeah. I guess what i'm saying here is - think outside the box. Walk up to a game with fresh expectations, play it for what it is. Its a real shame to see people almost purposefully not enjoying a game on the principle that its not what they were expecting.
This blog is pretty reflective and I don't have any real conclusion so I guess I can stop writing whenever I want. I'm feeling pretty mellow so I guess I'm going to go watch some futurama and hit the sack early. My weekend is going to be fucking nuts, there's a huge street party on Saturday night with about 30 live bands playing - loads of DUBSTEP which I love so I'm going to be flat out. Also there will be Gears 2 to play (bombing run!!) and driving lessons on Sunday. Busy busy.
Anyways, thanks for reading
See you in gears 2 multiplayer. I'll be the one shooting you in the face.