As we all know, I am a huge fan of Skyrim and other similar games. In fact, Skyrim is the bar I set for all RPG game releases I’m interested in. Skyrim holds some of the best ratings for any RPG in history. Most, if not all, game review sites, blogs, and channels rave endlessly about Skyrim, usually giving grades from 95-100 (out of 100). As new games come out, I try my best to ignore the hype and wait for gameplay to be released and reviews to come out. While this doesn’t often leave me with time to pre-order for extra bonuses, it keeps me from making unwise purchases. My best example of this is Destiny. The game came out with boasts of best game ever, most expansive map, and other such claims. The developers and marketing described it as a story-line deeper than Halo and multiplayer more fun than Call of Duty, and the commercials were incessant. $500 million was spent in developing their game, and they came close to making it back in the first week: great marketing! I was not one of those who bought in, though. Reviews of Destiny came out about 1 week before its release, and the most echoed sentiment was disappointment and frustration. Destiny received grades below 80 across the board and it was said that quite a few pieces of DLC (downloadable content) would be necessary before the game reached its full potential. Today, the disappointment from its fan base has also hurt the multiplayer experience, which requires as many people as possible to be online for full enjoyment. DLC packs range from $10-$25 depending on how large they are, and 2-3 in the works for a $60 game is a prospect I resent as a gamer. As I exhibited in my Braid review, I believe that games without high replay value should be sold at a low price (I claimed Braid was too expensive at $10 for about 3 hours of play). Replay value is how many times you can play the game after the main quest-line is completed, whether you are re-doing the quest, playing multiplayer games, or completing side quests. Destiny promises high replay value and fun gameplay that is no longer repetitive after its DLC is released, but a new game is soon to be released that may blow it out of the water.
To me, the best games are the ones that refrain from massive advertising budgets and let its gamplay speak for itself. Skyrim did have a considerable advertising campaign, as it was one of the first big games to have television commercials, even featuring a live action video:
One game that claims to rival Skyrim in scope and size is Dragon Age: Inquisition. I haven’t been watching much TV in college, so I don’t know how heavily it has been advertised on that medium, but Twitch.tv (recently bought by Amazon for $1 billon) has shown me nothing about DAI, though I watch almost every day. Twitch is a video-game streaming site, and the streamers make money by playing ads, often for video games. Dragon Age has been receiving rave reviews approaching its release, and scores from 85-90. The game promises huge sandbox maps, a 100 hour main quest-line, and ongoing story lines, not to mention hundreds of hours of side-quests. Further, DAI offers an online gameplay with an all new character, starting at level 1. All of this amounts to easily 500 hours on content- no DLC. Reviews compare it to Skyrim (unthinkable in my mind) but in the end it falls short of Skyrim (but what better could you hope for?). With all this going through my mind when considering a major purchase, you may be wondering what my title is referring to. Well, in reading some of the reviews of the game, I came across this comment: