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The Order Backlash: Proof Gamers Today Hate Linearity?

The current trend is clear: Bigger is better.

Our virtual worlds are expanding and you can see most developers in the new generation embracing that trend. Seems like every new game announced boasts added freedom and exploration.

Furthermore, open-world sandbox productions tend to earn much greater favor among the majority of gamers, although it's important to note that many linear adventures in the past have done exceedingly well with critics (the Uncharted games leap to mind, as do other PlayStation exclusives like Heavy Rain and the God of War titles). But even then, let's not forget that Naughty Dog says Uncharted 4: A Thief's End will be more open than anything they've done since Jak 3.

This is the way of the gaming industry right now and from what I can tell, most gamers are on board. I think we're seeing evidence of people hating on the concept of linear games with the recent dust-up concerning The Order: 1886. I really don't think people would've been reacting this harshly ten or fifteen years ago. What, did everyone flip out when we found out Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was really only a few hours long if you didn't want to fully explore the castle? If it wasn't an RPG, nobody expected the game to be very long. And hell, you could almost argue that SotN was an RPG.

But along with the changing times has come a changing of the guard, so-to-speak. I've never agreed with it - and I still don't - but many believe it: The more open a game is, the better it is. That's a load of crap, as far as I'm concerned, but sadly, I think a lot of so-called gamers really believe this. And this is precisely why Ready at Dawn is suffering through the firestorm...wouldn't you agree?

Related Game(s): The Order: 1886

Tags: the order 1886, the order length, gaming industry, video game length

2/16/2015 9:49:12 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (63 posts)


Underdog15
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 10:12:06 PM
Reply

People will prefer one or the other, but neither are inherently better than the other.

However, you can have a super empty open world that is poorly connected or blocked off for too much of the game, etc. Or you can have a linear game that is basically a rail-shooter or where your actions are meaningless. Both cases, they can be terrible.

It gets worse when a dev tries to do one form in a franchise that is better suited to the other.

So I guess, I don't entirely agree. I think most gamers laud games that are good in general, whether open or linear doesn't matter. Critics are the same way, as well. TLOU is pretty darn linear, for example, but no one of sound mind considers it a bad game.

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bigrailer19
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 10:27:32 PM
Reply

I'm sure there is a preference and it appears open world games are becoming more popular. However, I don't think "bigger is better".

I don't know if anyone actually believes that. A good game is a good game know matter how you look at it.

The games that are generally talked about as being some of the best in a generation or best ever are linear adventures. Of course there are very popular open world games and there's a few that can fill that role as well. But overall if the quality is there, nobody will deny it. Okay, there might be a few exceptions. ;)

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Temjin001
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 10:39:44 PM
Reply

But didn't most gamers and critics alike love The Last of Us and Uncharted?

Last edited by Temjin001 on 2/16/2015 10:40:03 PM

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Temjin001
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 10:52:34 PM

oh, and Bayonetta 2 and Journey.

and what about Portal 2 and that Walking Dead stuff?
I'm asking. I dont know. Those are linear, right? And well loved.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 2/16/2015 10:56:49 PM

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bigrailer19
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 10:55:38 PM

Truth. There's a little contradiction here in that regard. Like I said above gamers and critics alike will appreciate quality regardless I think.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 12:49:03 AM

I wasn't talking about critics. I'm talking about gamers and sales, and the current trend in the industry. Batman: Arkham Knight, Uncharted 4, and many others that were previously very linear franchises are getting away from that now.

The trend is clear and what gamers are responding to is clear, so it stands to reason that many look down on linear adventures. And they do.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 1:21:40 AM

I don't question the trend that developers want to make more open games. Though many gamers still like linearity as I just listed. Critics are gamers too ;)

I do question that the Order is being hated on the grounds of linearity.
I won't speak for anyone but myself on this but as a gamer who appreciates both types I can tell you the precise reason my interest in Order soured. It's length.

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 1:35:47 AM

I thought we were talking about "open-world sandbox" games. I fail to see any resemblance in what Uncharted 4 will be like and the topic.

But to stay on what Temjin said, its a good thing he said "gamers and critics" because gamers everywhere love the Telltale games and those are about as far from open as you can get.

I like this topic because it puts into perspective the industries growth. I see the industry moving to open world more and more because of technical advancements more than an arbitrary out cry from gamers that open world games are "better".



Last edited by bigrailer19 on 2/17/2015 1:39:43 AM

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Gamer46
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 7:30:43 AM

I'd say even more than length, the biggest issue with this game is the lack of multiplayer. Not saying it's impossible to make a great singleplayer only shooter, I love Bioshock Infinite, but if you're going to make a shooter with a very short campaign some multiplayer would be cool. Especially since some the environments seem like they'd lend themselves great to some chaotic competitive shootouts.

Last edited by Gamer46 on 2/17/2015 7:31:23 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 8:25:54 AM

Ya know, single player successes can still exist while The Order gets beat up for it's own linearity. All single player games don't need to be wiped out for Ben's theory to be sound.

You all know if it offered a "wide range reconstruction of a living, breathing London in 1886" it would garner all kinds of interest.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 10:17:45 AM

World, I know I'd still be ready to drop $60 on it had the game offered more.

And here I thought the game at least had a multiplayer component. I won't drop $60 for a short CoD campaign and I won't do it here either. The news about its length is disappointing and I have little doubt a good amount of the uproar that generated immediatly following confirmation of its length exists solely on the grounds of exactly that. Most open world games are usually popular. That much is obvious. But short $60 games aren't ever popular among gamers (unless multiplayer driven)

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Temjin001
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 4:09:34 PM

I do want to add something.

Are developers favoring open world design as a means of getting more mileage out of their game assets?
I'm sure ND realizes more than anyone that getting a game to be as long or as good as TLoU requires a ton of man power.
That manpower multiplies significantly to meet the greater technology demand of PS4. Games of a higher linearity like GoW3 went on record of being in excess of $50 million to produce. That was last gen. There has to be a cost to revenue ratio these teams consider before planning their next game. That ratio just got reset for this gen if things are to be made as they were from the prior gen.

I don't think everyone realizes it but getting games to look and animate like Order does is NOT cheap. And doing that all within a linear line of progression means the generation of many original assets. They've been working on this game for like 2-3 years exclusively, and without multiplayer, and the most they could generate was around 6 hours of content.

Basically, this trend of open world design is obviously well liked by many. But developers may very well have financial incentive to feed those predilections because they don't have much of choice at this point. The technology ceiling is so high, devs have to think of ways of synthesizing gameplay from recycled assets in order to increase longevity. At this point I really do question if we'll see many, if any, 10-12hour plus linear adventures at the AAA level going forward. It almost seems like financial suicide to attempt that anymore.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 2/17/2015 4:12:19 PM

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Oxvial
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 4:37:53 PM

It's because those games are so damn good that it didn't matter how linear they were, judging by the YT videos I really doubt The Order gonna be as good like those, I don't know why people are so adamant to defend this game Ready at Dawn was never that good their GoW portables games were just okay.

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sawao_yamanaka
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 9:55:53 PM

Their God of war games were better than their ps2 counterparts. Better handling and story. So speak for yourself.

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Voyager236
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 10:51:06 PM
Reply

For me, it seems a way to defend The Order:1886. Many games were a sucess, even being linear. Journey and The Last of Us are examples. The truth is that The Order's gameplay seems quite generic and doesn't introduce anything new to the gaming community. The only thing that is calling attention is the storyline. Being linear doesn't mean a fail if the game is an innovative project, which I think that is not the case thinking about The Order.

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Temjin001
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 10:54:20 PM

Yes. We can't rule out the possibility that the Order simply isn't a great game.

The dev team isn't exactly known for pioneering new ips.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 2/16/2015 10:56:12 PM

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bigrailer19
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 11:01:29 PM

The orders gameplay might be generic as in typical but that doesn't make it bad. If you think it's generic as in cheap or plain well that's not the meaning of the word. That's how most people are using it to describe The Order, so I'm making an assumption here in hopes I'm wrong and you were really looking for something out of the ordinary in terms of gameplay.

Regardless it's a tps and I don't know, if it's solid like Uncharted or TLoU, even Gears then I'd say bring on the generic.

However like Temjin said there's the possibility it may not be good story or otherwise. But I'd like to remain optimistic as I've seen a lot of promise in truth. It's not out yet though.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 2/16/2015 11:03:19 PM

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Vitron
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 1:13:00 AM

Uncharted didn't even do anything special to its gameplay and yet people loved it.

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 1:36:25 AM

That's because it's super solid. Some of the most well designed gameplay available.

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Vitron
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 1:56:42 AM

Exactly. :)

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Temjin001
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 2:03:46 AM

The issue I saw with some Order QTEs is that failure of input presented a game over and checkpoint reload. Im not talking about a mission critical type event, no, just a basic stealth sequence consisting of a single button event. Could there not have been at least some dynamics there? Heavy Rain did well in expecting a level of dynamic struggle with its numerous QTEs.



Last edited by Temjin001 on 2/17/2015 2:05:13 AM

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 2:08:14 AM

Like there is only a instant consequence not an ongoing sequence of events?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 8:16:17 AM

most games don't add anything new and are successful

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Underdog15
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 9:52:36 AM

After Knight's Contract, I'm always skeptical of QTEs. Like Temjin pointed out, though, some games like Heavy Rain handled them beautifully. Obviously, QTEs can make a game really special or completely ruin it. We've seen both happen.

The downside of that is now I'm always skeptical toward games that have lots of QTEs. On the flip side, it's nice to know you can't write a game off because of them until we actually know how well they're implemented.

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PC_Max
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 11:09:26 PM
Reply

Agreed Ben. If all the games were sandbox, well, would it not be getting pretty generic... again? Predictable? You know side missions that are loosely if not at all connected to the main story.

Next step in gaming? Well something I said I think a number of years ago. A game that evolves in to what you want it to be. Is that possible? Well, if they made it then that would be your final purchase and you would be creating your game as you played it. And that's science fiction/fantasy right now.

Anyway, the negativity that seems to be the norm from gamers and critics these days, be they a minority I guess, is getting me closer to not gaming anymore and finding other means of entertainment in my spare time.

Whether The Order is short say like Mirror's Edge was purported to be, I'll be playing if the story is compelling with characters that are interesting. Just like Mirror's Edge was for me.

Keep playing... for how ever long the game(s) are that you like to play.

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Bio
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 11:15:08 PM

Mirror's Edge is short for good reason, though. It's the kind of game that begs to be replayed over and over, until you absolutely master the mechanics. I've put 87 hours into it, according to Steam, and can now run the entire game in less than two hours.

I don't think The Order lends itself to that kind of replay. That said, if it's a choice between a great 5 hours or a mediocre 10 hours full of nonsense filler, I'll take the shorter game.

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PC_Max
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 11:43:49 AM

True enough. I saw on another forum in regards to the playthrough some have been citing on youtube that it was also played on easy. Others have said that the game length is not unlike Uncharted. In other words, you get what you want out of it.

Whether true or not... quality over quantity. There are plenty of sandbox games out there that, well, were boring with repetitive gameplay sidetracking you from a very dull story.

So... keep playing it if its fun for you!

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Voyager236
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 11:24:54 PM
Reply

The storyline had a lot of potential. They could have made a kind of survival horror with lycanthropes, utilizing a mix of the classical Resident Evil ideas and strategies in The Last of Us. But, they chose the common sense nowadays: a shooter game similar to Gears of War and RE6. If the game fails, Ready at Dawn is the only responsible.

Last edited by Voyager236 on 2/16/2015 11:30:35 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 11:31:26 PM
Reply

Proof that someone spearheaded a smear campaign is all I see. Follow the money.

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SaiyanSenpai
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 11:51:38 PM

Yeah, it really seems like the hate toward The Order is completely fabricated.

It's unwarranted at the very least.

I almost want to pre-order the game right now just to support the hard-working devs and to help make up for all the crap they have to put up with.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 8:17:49 AM

I'm preordering it. I think it's the next great TPS from Sony and I love period pieces.

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Vitron
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 1:10:50 AM
Reply

I wonder why this seemingly "hate" for The Order escalated in this manner. I mean we gamers should be happy were having a brand new IP. Would people still have the excitement to play games like Assassin's Creed 24:Cavemen or Call of Duty 32 as compared when they first played the first ones?

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 2:06:40 AM

Hahaha! "Assassin's creed 24: Cavemen"

That made my night. Thanks!

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 2/17/2015 2:06:53 AM

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Vitron
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 2:57:11 AM

;)

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sawao_yamanaka
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 1:20:31 AM
Reply

Well, hopefully ready at dawn doesn't disappear if this games sales poorly. I enjoyed the game and story. It was fun, and will definitely replay it again. If they make a sequel, hopefully they introduce some new enemies that were hinted at, and also that they go ahead with the Jack the Ripper DLC :).

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 2:05:33 AM

Sooo, you played it already? Sweet!

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PS3_Wizard
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 12:25:51 PM

@Big

Yeah, here I was thinking I was the only one who caught that.

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 12:58:32 PM

Haha. I had to read it a couple times to come to that conclusion.

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Snaaaake
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 2:26:36 AM
Reply

The backlash is because the game might be short, not because it's linear.
Are we getting sidetracked here?

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 6:26:24 PM

i'd say both from what i've gathered

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Vivi_Gamer
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 3:34:04 AM
Reply

I do agree that there is a a problem in this day and age where every game is expected to be 'sandbox'. Whenever I hear the word linear slapped upon a game for not having an open world structure with mission scattered around its the first thing you hear. I personally tire of games like that because usually while the worlds are big, they often feel empty and with nothing too do - My experience of GTA 4 & 5 upon completing the story.

But, I don't think this is why people are getting in an uproar. We've had many action based games which aren't sandbox and they're much longer than 5 hours. Dead Space 3 took me a good 15 the other week. The Last of Us was extremely popular, but I never heard people slap it with linear. The uproar is purely about the games length and if it is only 5 hours... I can understand why. I doubt particularly want to shed out on a game which I'll be selling the following week.

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PS3_Wizard
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 12:35:58 PM

Yeah, atleast not at full price. I also find it hard to believe that everyone just ignored the fact that some got a PLATINUM trophy in only 10 hours. That to me speaks volumes on the length.

I'm still getting this game because I like tp support Sony's first party developers, but my hype definitely took a hit...expecially after realizing the supposed 5 hours was coupled with non-skippable cutscenes.

I expect my linear games to be a minimal of atleast 8 hours, which I always thought was industry standard. And anything less than that should be met with a lower price. I get that the game might be ultra-polished and possibly fun as hell, but if its under 8 hours after all this time they spent developing it (and with the delay), then I have to call foul.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 3:49:14 AM
Reply

No, I would not agree.
The challenge with making a linear game is that it makes the game so totally depend on the line that is drawn.
The Order looks DULL - that's the problem.

I don't think a majority the fans of, say, the Mass Effect trilogy would mind so much if they went all out and made those games 100% linear (the third is more or less in that ballpark). I didn't hear people complain much over Crysis 2 being as linear as it was. Why not? Cause people loved the story and the universe they were given. Myself included.

Nothing in this gaming world gives this gamer a better experience than an open universe with a great story, intriguing characters and exciting features. That's gaming nirvana. But more common is the fact that an open world gives me something when I *don't* find the story that interesting or the universe that compelling. It's a substitute, really. A reason to keep playing *despite* the weak components.

Same with coop: Coop with a good buddy makes the story almost - ALMOST - obsolete, because you guys have such a great time on your own.

So *good* linear games are welcome. But they need to deliver on what's left when the gamer can't do much on his own: And that is a compelling story, exciting universe and excellent performances. Much like a movie, really.


Last edited by Beamboom on 2/17/2015 4:22:13 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 11:25:23 AM

"Nothing in this gaming world gives this gamer a better experience than an open universe with a great story, intriguing characters and exciting features. That's gaming nirvana."

For you, maybe.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 1:03:19 PM

Hence "THIS gamer". And that's not a maybe.


Last edited by Beamboom on 2/17/2015 1:05:39 PM

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Deathb4Dishonor
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 1:57:03 PM

I've read different reason why ppl think The Order is receiving backlash but you're the first and only person I seen that calls it dull

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Beamboom
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 3:29:41 PM

That's one more for your collection then, Death :)
Not sure if dull is the best word, but I think it looks uninspiring.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 3:34:10 PM

Open universe with great story? That does sound wicked! Which game is that, Beam? I don't think I've ever heard of it!

;)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 4:54:49 PM

LOL @ Underdog.

Doesn't exist, my friend. And it can't due to simple, timeless reasons of how one constructs and delivers a great story.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 @ 7:13:17 AM

Bah we've discussed this so many times now, aren't you two getting tired of harping on this?

I think Fallout 3 had a great story, it really pulled me in and I enjoyed it almost in a linear fashion. The wasteland and various encounters fits perfectly to the storyline and atmosphere. I'd LOVE to see the movie version of Fallout 3. It was that good.
Disagree with me all you like, but don't tell me "I'm wrong".

I also thought the story in Far Cry 3 were a really cool "action flick" kinda story, and with a great set of characters. Again, if you don't care and just roll around capturing bases and cause havoc then sure, do that.

But just because you *can*, doesn't mean you *have* to drift off and ignore the story. It just require a bit more focus on the gamers part. You are not force fed anything.


Last edited by Beamboom on 2/18/2015 7:21:50 AM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 @ 1:31:57 PM

"Force fed"? What are you talking about?

No one is saying open world games can't have good stories, Beam.

The point is, open world doesn't have all the literary tools a controlled production has at it's disposal. It's literally impossible.

That's why you are wrong.

It's not about what you like best. It's not about whether or not open world games can have good stories. It's not about whether or not linear games can be good or bad in terms of allowing the player to have control over their character. The whole point is that in giving control to the gamer, you sacrifice a large number of literary tools that can only be available when the author controls all the angles.

Whether or not those sacrifices are worth it... that's your debate. But that's not what we're addressing. The fact... cold hard fact... is that, while you may be able to have lots of great plot points, you cannot have the same quality narrative, character development that reacts to the world around it (you talk about imagination, but that doesn't have the same cause and effect on everything I'm referring to.), nor the same quality story.

And no. Story is -NOT- the same thing as plot. Plot is just a mandatory piece of a story.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 2/18/2015 1:37:44 PM

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JackieBoy
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 4:44:29 AM
Reply

Let's not forget about MGS5 going open world.

Anyway for me game is good, when it's good - doesn't matter if it's open world or not.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 8:22:29 AM

the opening of Dragon Age made it messy and caused the story to shake loose and fall out.

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 6:24:01 PM

totally agree

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Breadlover
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 5:11:26 AM
Reply

I have faith in Ready at Dawn!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 8:21:46 AM

They are pimp shiz!

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Gamer46
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 7:22:12 AM
Reply

I don't know if I'd say it's proof of anything other than gamers maybe don't know what they want. I've seen this game get hated on for everything from game length to the fact it doesn't 'innovate.' Yet when another Mario Kart game comes out and is nothing more than just Mario Kart people still cream themselves over it. I think there's been an agenda against this game from the beginning, not sure why but that's just my impression. I think the coverage of it here has been fair but there's some other places out there where the writers just seem determined to tear it down.

Speaking for myself though, I do prefer games that are a bit more open. It doesn't have to be like GTA but something at least similar to the pseudo open world for Tomb Raider 2013 is what I look for. The Last of Us also wasn't open world but did seem more open than some past Naughty Dog efforts.

Last edited by Gamer46 on 2/17/2015 7:24:54 AM

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 6:23:18 PM

yeah i agree totally there is an agenda to rip this game a new one which i think is sad and uncalled for but that just me

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 8:23:27 AM
Reply

I have a better idea actually, but I'm sposeda write my own article on it so I better keep it to myself.

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Deathb4Dishonor
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 1:39:06 PM
Reply

I think the games length is the main concern... I think it would have been better if it had some replay value for being so short... Maybe 2 or 3 different ending based on choices would've been a good way to go for them so it would have some Reay value

Last edited by Deathb4Dishonor on 2/17/2015 1:41:12 PM

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big6
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 5:44:02 PM
Reply

I wasn't going to get this game cuz I'm not into the Victorian era.

But given all this hate, I feel I might just get it now, if the story/game is still good... just to support the devs.

I'm not bothered by a "5-hour" game, cuz I know it'll be longer for me (I don't care for speed runs and I like watching cut scenes and exploring).

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 6:18:52 PM

yeah totally get you man good on you

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 6:18:12 PM
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yeah i would agree ben definately this is an example of a game if it was here 10 years ago it would have been raved about but now times have change and its being bashed sensely which i think its really terrible i guess i come from a generation of gamers who appriciate and like games like this one but the newer generation minus my younger bros and their friends for the most part are like that, which is sad to be cos i think alot of people will miss out on something that could be truely amazing but thats just the way i see it.

hope y'all enjoy the game i know i will

happy gaming

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