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Top 5 Gaming Crimes of 2014

We’re giving each of our writers a chance to contribute a GOTY article in their own style. Here’s Jon’s list of offenders.

(It goes without saying that Jon’s opinions are not necessarily those of CalmDownTom’s).

2014. A damn good year for gaming. Like fuck it was…Yup, thats right. Every year there is always one miserable Scrooge McDuck esq bastard banging on about how bad gaming was. Well it is my turn this year and I’m not holding back!

There were a number of frankly shitty things that were released or came to pass in 2014. Gaming just failed to measure up in a number of ways and just damn well pissed me off in the process. There were some pretty big game titles that frankly didn’t measure up to what I hoped would be the first big year for “Next Gen.” It is safe to say these games won’t be appearing on my GOTY! Lets take a look at these suspects, see what crimes they committed and pass some judgement out!

Here is my Top 5 game crimes committed this year.

Destiny (4)1. Destiny

(Crimes- Overhyped, Plot theft, racketeering and being generally a broken MMO.)
What the hell happened here? The good people at Bungie seemed to completely screw up a shoe-in for GOTY and no amount of Peter Dinklage can bail them out of it.

Lets start with the basics: What happened to the plot? Why were all these races intent on destroying Earth? What was the Traveller? Did anyone ever remember what was the deal with Rasputin? Who the hell was the Exo Suit woman and what was her angle on things?

I understand that Destiny is just the start of a long running series and it will be expanded on repeatedly over the next few years but For Fucks Sake pick a story to tell and tell it! Don’t start going off in multiple tangents then bail out midway through to leave it for future installments. The battle with the Vex in the garden thingy had no real closure to it and as for the “end sequence”? Come on! Destiny really needed more driving along the plot than the odd nugget from the Dinklage and the unlockable cards off of the Bungie website.

The gaming experience isn’t that great either. Single player was rather dull and barren, if you don’t have friends online with you it is rather hard to play the campaign as a group and teaming up with strangers seemed deliberately hard to do. Bungie wanted you to make friends to play with online before you assault the vault of glass. I felt that trying to befriend a bunch of 12 year olds over the internet would only end with me frantically trying to flush packets of Werthers Originals down the toilet before the Operation Yewtree team raided my home…

The first DLC pack is shortly going to be available for it at a cost of £19 quid. 19 QUID! Fuck me that’s expensive! That is roughly half the cost of the original game! This really needs to be an epically large DLC to justify that and I doubt that it will be.

All being said about Destiny, the final straw had to be the late game experience and leveling system which almost had me throwing my controller across the room in disgust. Once you pass level 20 you have to grind your way through repeated levels for hours upon end to get pieces of legendary equipment. After hours of grinding away I got my first piece of legendary equipment. It was for the wrong class of character. Unequipable, unsellable and unable to do anything with it but stare at it angrily as I realised just how many hours I spent trying to get it. It was about eight weeks ago that happened and I haven’t played it since.
GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES! Game over man. Game over.

MGSVTPP_E3_CUT_02_web2. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

(Crimes – Impersonating a full game, being a massive cock-tease and profiteering)
Now this is a sore one for me personally. I am a massive MGS fan and would willingly do any task, no matter how unsavoury or humiliating just get my hands on an early copy of MGS V :the Phantom Pain. Seriously. ANYTHING! I do have to call shenanigans on GZ though as a couple of things did annoy me about it’s release.
Firstly it’s a Prologue and by simple definition is not a full game. The main level can be played through first time within two hours including the cut scenes leading up to Phantom Pain. There are additional missions to play through, the helicopter support mission of Kojima is worthy of a mention and once you add up all the missions it does give a reasonable play time.

Where I get annoyed at GZ is the fact it feels like an overblown demo Konami is making a quick and cynical buck out of. Now I have to admit I caved in and bought GZ before my PS4 had even arrived. I damn near wet myself in anticipation of seeing what Next-Gen Metal Gear would be like and I wasn’t disappointed, so I cannot judge them too harshly. I do worry that this sets a precedence for a prologue type DLC where you are in essence buying a demo of the game to come. It also probably means that as Konami already have cash in the bank for GZ, Hideo Kojima won’t be in any rush to finish Phantom Pain and he can tinker with it to his heart’s desire. This is something that this man-child doesn’t want to hear…

GUILTY AS CHARGED- Suspended sentence, token slap on the wrists for being naughty.

Watch-Dogs-ps4-e3-43. Watch_Dogs.

(Crimes – overhyped, Not what it says on the tin.)
When you make an open world game, it is going to be measured against against one other game, Grand Theft Auto. Did it measure up? Well no really.
Watch_Dogs did have some interesting ideas, the hacking did provide a useful addition to the tools at your disposal other than just shooting people. The online invasions were a particularly nice touch, if a little infuriating when you get interrupted between missions for a game of hide-n-seek and you can’t find the cheeky interloper. The opening level where you blackout an entire football stadium to escape was also rather impressive. Sadly the graphical end result was not quite what some of us were led to believe. It did look good on the grand scale but there was some attention to detail missing and it felt a bit rough in places. The PS4 version was struggling to beat last years GTA on the 360 and PS3. Now the PS4 version of GTA V is out you can feel the difference between the two. Watch_Dogs does come over a bit 50 shades of grey, (in a literal sense, not a dodgy S&M housewifey porno type way), I know it is meant to be Chicago but bloody Hell its rather dreary.

Speaking of dreary, this is where my main gripe about Watch_Dogs has to be aimed squarely at the protagonist Aiden Fucking Pearce. Did anyone care about him or his plight? No? I didn’t. I could barely remember his name… Yet again I’m looking to GTA V here but if you compare the two you know who has the more interesting characters. I really felt a struggle to empathise with him or felt the desire to push through his story. I’d doubt you’ll see Aiden Pearce’s name appear next to the likes of the Master Chief, Commander Shepard, Solid Snake, Nathan Drake etc, etc…

GUILTY AS CHARGED – Banishment to gaming obscurity, whatever your name was…

GTA54. GTA V & Associates

(Crimes – Double Jeopardy, Identity theft.)
GTA V, it is awesome isn’t it? In fact, I seem to remember saying something along the lines of that the same time last year…

GTA V was my Game of the year last year, It created a deeply immersive world that was beautiful and truly felt like a living, breathing environment. It was a massive game that broke many records when it was released and once they ironed out all the online bugs they had one of the biggest online games of the year. Just one problem with that year, it was 2013.

Now, it needs to be pointed out the 2014 re-release for PS4 isn’t just a plain old port. With the introduction of a 1st person mode which could be used to play through the entire game in if you chose to. It brought a whole new element to the (re)-play through. It was obvious that Rockstar had gone to great lengths to polish the hell out of the game, tinker with the population levels and even add cats to the world. Freaking cats man!!! There are many other little touches I haven’t even mentioned here that make an amazing game even more amazing. Its just a shame it was last years game.

Now Rockstar are far from the most guilty. The Last Of Us/ Tomb Raider and Halo Collection have all been similarly well received by most in the gaming community. The Wolf among us is about to pitch up on Next Gen too and I cannot help but feel we are in dangerous territory with all these re-released games. Every time one of these games has been re-released my inner cynic starts crying foul play at the fact I’ve already paid for this game first time round and now I’m paying again for basically the same bloody thing. The cheeky thing about most of the re-releases was that most of them were announced after the original came out, any of us who might have been able to resist temptation were robbed of that chance.

I need to confess that I did buy GTA V twice and have spent 20+ hours already playing the game again. I caved in, sacrificed my moral high ground and became one of the herd. I don’t regret it.

So, mixed feelings about this. It is hard to say just how bad a crime this is, there is clearly a demand for these games but if you look at them objectively (which is kinda hard to do) they are little more than shallow repacks of something you already own.

GUILTY AS CHARGED – Awaiting appeal for mistrial under double jeopardy laws.

Miranda Mass Effect Funny5. Gamergate

(Crimes- perverting the course of gaming, breach of the peace)
Bah, Gamergate. Even mentioning it makes me feel a little sick. I fucking hate the whole bloody thing. If you don’t know what it is you must be really new to gaming. If you need any reminding of what it is, Tom did an excellent article here on it recently without throwing his keyboard away in disgust. (which is much better than I could do!)

The fact that that article even exists really depresses the shit out of me. There have been issues with journalism in gaming and yes this does need attending to but the way it played out was akin to lobbing a grenade into a crowded room then sending an illiterate badger in to pick up the pieces. Now, when I say illiterate badger, I mean the army of internet trolls who came out the woodwork to spew hatred, misogyny, naughty words and any other shite that would stick to the walls of the internet. It really made me sad to be a human being after having the misfortune of reading their comments and made me wish that I could delete the FUCKING INTERNET. The mere sight of #Gamergate in a tweet or article is enough to get me annoyed about it all over again.

Just to sum in case you missed it, to everyone who was involved in making gamergate “happen” and become the story it is… FUCK YOU ALL!!! The games industry is far from perfect and games journalists need to account for their share of the blame too but for the average gamer, this was just like watching a train crash in slow motion. Gaming is meant to be an escape from all the bad things in the world, all the bills and politics and other shite you have to put up with in daily life. It had actually gotten to the point where it had become part of the social norm to be a “Gamer.” Gamergate seems to be doing everything it can to push us out of normal society and back into the proverbial basement.

GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES – Banishment for eternity please. Someplace REALLY BASTARD cold.

Ok, so maybe I’ve been a bit harsh in some areas but I really did find this years gaming releases a bit of a letdown. Where did all the next-gen exclusive go? If all the big console games out on PS4/XBONE also were released on PS3/360, why are are all forking out the extra money on next-gen? Both Sony and Microsoft seemed to push a lot of its big AAA games back to 2015, leaving us with some (albeit rather good) independent titles and the also-rans from 2013. This being the first full year of the new consoles I’d hoped for more new games from them to justify my investment in them. Hopefully 2015 will bring us a bumper year for next-gen gaming!

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