I know it’s a little thing, but…. really?

By- Chall

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:

Nov 11, 2014
95
Dragon Age: Inquisition is BioWare’s new masterpiece and they weren’t bluffing. The RPG has everything a fan of the genre could wish for: an amazing amount of gameplay, a great story and extreme beauty. A must-have for everyone that calls himself a gamer.
“Himself.” It’s probably a small thing to consider: one word in a game review from a dutch website; and I would say that it is a translation ambiguity, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The translated version of the full review doesn’t include this passage, so the summary must have been made for the blurb I found on (http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/dragon-age-inquisition). And maybe the Dutch aren’t as PC as we try to be, but with the growing popularity of video games, the stereotypes of gamers as upper middle class white males becomes less and less true. And as game reviews become more popular, language that excludes large groups of people (in this case, women) needs to be eliminated. Maybe I’m over-reacting, but small things like this can take away from my excitement when reading about the next best game to come out.
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2 thoughts on “I know it’s a little thing, but…. really?”

  1. How somebody simply ignores that they are addressing a wide audience and either actively or accidentally refers to only one side is beyond me. I always have that little voice in the back of my head telling me things like that when I do it accidentally. It is called “proof reading”.

  2. You are letting that one translated comment veer you away from a very open and forward-thinking game environment.

    “Every character (including, crucially, the protagonist him or herself) is fleshed out with an astonishing amount of writing and voiceover work. Notably, women and LGBT characters are given wonderful representation. Dragon Age: Inquisition has more interesting women driving the plot than any game in recent memory.

    In addition to a number of gay and otherwise non-straight characters, Inquisition is also one of the only mainstream games I can think of to include an explicitly transgender character, written with care and confidence. Happily, the cast’s diversity feels less like deliberate progressive box-ticking and more like an honest attempt to portray the diversity that one might expect from an international coalition of this size.”

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