By MrPickles 2 Comments
I posted this on GameTrailers, but I'll regurgitate it here.
Spark Unlimited is responsible for 3 titles. The console title Call of Duty: Finest Hour which was a fantastic game and sold fairly well, garnering it the Greatest Hits title for the Playstation 2. But it's responsible for the two previously mentioned current generation titles, which as we know, weren't as reputable as it's outsourced counterpart.
But what went wrong? I personally think both Turning Point and Legendary had some pretty awesome concepts and when watching interviews with the developers, they seemed generally excited/proud of the ideas they had come up with. But ideas alone don't make a game good. You have to apply these ideas along with interesting mechanics and good programming, that's what makes a good game. As you can guess, they were missing the last two.
Lets look at the titles separately. Legendary involves a thief accidentally opening Pandora's box and setting free a variety of mythical abominations, which you must take on using magic and modern weapons. A really awesome concept, but when you mix it with a poorly applied story (It's kinda hard to follow, takes the backseat a lot of the time) and really buggy gameplay, (If you can decapitate a werewolf with a flamethrower, you know your game is really buggy) keeps the title from being all that interesting, or really all that fun to play.
Turning Point: Fall of Liberty is the same way, awesome concept, fighting Nazis trying to take over the states. But really shoddy story (It's pretty much transparent) and bug-ridden gameplay kept it from being great. In fact, it was the lowest rated of the two.
In order to correct this, Spark has three options. A) Hire better programmers. B) Spend more time making sure the game is relatively bug free. C) Both A and B.
The answer in my opinion is C. Though I like the two titles, Spark Unlimited really needs better programmers. If it has 100 employees like their Wikipedia page states, a good chunk of them probably need to be replaced, or a least check over what they've been doing.
So Spark Unlimited. I applaud your unique ideas, but I shake my hand at your poor programming. Hopefully soon you'll have well-developed title with a fantastic concept. Until then, I shall continue to play your mediocrity.