Editorial: Is Uncharted 3 Overhyped?
Don't interpret that headline the wrong way. I'm not suggesting that Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception isn't deserving of all the hype. I'm asking about general gamer expectations, and whether or not the game can possibly live up to those expectations.
We've spoken at length about hype before, and it remains a relevant subject in the gaming industry. Some say all hype is a 100% positive; i.e., the theory that any and all publicity is good publicity. There's some truth to that idea, too. If the game turns out to be amazing, it'll do extremely well. Even if it turns out disappointing, the insane hype might allow for better sales, simply because the title was in the spotlight for so long.
At the same time, many say that while hype and attention is fine, overhype is definitely a problem. First of all, it generates plenty of arguments in game communities - some of which can get ugly - and secondly, consumers will even claim that critics fall prey to the hype. And this can go either way: a reviewer can bend to the hype and award the game a higher-than-deserved score, or the reviewer will rebel against the known hype and give the game a lower-than-expected score.
Either way, the score has been affected. For example, it's a common argument among the GTA skeptics that the only reason GTAIV scored so high is because it was called "Grand Theft Auto." Personally, I don't believe that, but that belief is definitely widespread. Then there are those who say people bash Call of Duty almost purely because of the insane hype and popularity that surrounds that franchise. And I do believe there's something to that assumption.
Perhaps CoD is the perfect example. How has hype affected that franchise? It has affected it both positively and negatively in my eyes, but it has definitely affected it. Should we subject all highly anticipated games to such global scrutiny? What if our expectations for Uncharted 3 really are blown way out of proportion? If I was a Naughty Dog team member, I'd actually be a little concerned...I'd say to myself, "damn, everyone is expecting the greatest game of all time......holy sh**."
Well, talk amongst yourselves.
P.S. I just realized that people might read something into this editorial. They might think I've played the game in question, and because I'm disappointed in the result, I wrote this. But I assure you, that isn't the case; I have not played Uncharted 3 yet.
10/14/2011 Ben Dutka