The Most Overrated Games of the Recent Years Part III

by on July 21, 2014

 

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty
 
   Starcraft and Brood Wars were some of the
greatest strategies ever made and not just because they got so popular due to
e-sports in Korea, but because of the gameplay and awesome story. Starcraft
delivered some of the most complex and interesting characters you could see, in
the limits of a strategy game, but Blizzard thought they should ruin all of
them (so maybe other RTS’s have a chance?).
   After waiting for 10 years for this game to
come, the expectations were pretty high, especially when the previous games
were true masterpieces, sadly for Starcraft II the hype was bigger than the
overall quality of the game (same mistake made with Diablo 3). Wings of Liberty
came with an online DRM (bnet 2.0), no lan mode and a campaign only for the
terran race.
   The
campaign mode of the game is at times terrible, with lots of missions in which
nothing happens, while all the action is packed in the last 3-4 missions.
Selectable paths in completing some story arcs have been added to the campaign
so players have a (false) feeling of choice, but it doesn’t matter what you
choose, because in the end, Jim Raynor still comes up as a hero no matter the
mission and its consequences.
   Characters that were great, like Kerrigan
and Mengsk, got ruined in Starcraft II. They are not the cunning and
controlling masterminds they were in the previous games (and only 4 years have
passed since the action of those games!) and now these characters get so easily
outplayed by Raynor (long live the American hero!).
The funny
thing about the story is, that you go out of your way to do something in Wings
of Liberty and in the end you do something else entirely, but it doesn’t matter
anyway because everything gets turned back to how it was in the beginning of
Heart of the Swarm expansion (talk about good story!).
   The gameplay of Starcraft II was designed
for e-sports and came with everything to support this except units balance.
Many units were useless in multiplayer matches and rarely got used and others
were so overpowered that the outcome of the matches became hard to watch. For
months the game was heavily imbalanced and because of some flaws in the race
design some things could not be repaired until after the expansion was
released. These problems damaged the image of Starcraft II as an e-sport and
continued to do it even after the release of the expansion, which is such a sad
thing, because Starcraft II is a great e-sports strategy.
   Wings of Liberty was highly acclaimed by
journalists, but I have a feeling I played a different game than they did, as I
didn’t find that great story and exciting campaign they were mentioning. All I
got from this game was a sense of regret, because of what happened with this
great franchise.
Terran wins! But protoss op!!!

 

 

Diablo III
 
It took Blizzard 12 years from the launch of Lord
of Destruction to release another game from the series. When Diablo 3 was first
announced the community went crazy about it (me included). After such a long
wait, a cancelled development from Blizzard North studios and some
controversial features added to the game, Diablo 3 was finally released in May
2012.
Diablo 2 revolutionized the Hack and Slash
sub-genre and there were little changes required, besides the technological
upgrade, to improve the game. Yet Diablo 3 went on a different path, making
massive changes from the previous title of the series, many of them to worse,
and not changing what was needed.
The story of Diablo 3 was a bad joke (trash is
the more appropriate word), being linear and predictable most of the time. The
new characters added to the story were not interesting and some of them looked
like they had nothing to do with this universe (Magda?!) The demonic villains
in the game don’t have any personality and instead of posing a threat to the
main character and the world itself they handhold you throughout the game so
you can find them more easily (Azmodan and Diablo helped me find and defeat
them!). The game lost the grim and dark atmosphere of the previous titles and
with the new graphics, looks colorful and almost cheerful.
The artistic style and level design of the game
can be praised, but when it comes to graphical fidelity, Diablo 3 was outdated
at release and hinted out the intention of Blizzard to release this title on
consoles. Blizzard was always in a war with pixel shaders, but this doesn’t
mean the new game had to look so washed up.
The thing that suffered a lot in Diablo 3 and is
clearly the most important is the gameplay. The end-game was the one problem
that had to be sorted from Diablo 2 and it wasn’t. Instead Blizzard went out of
their way to ruin every feature that was good in the previous game. The
progressive skill trees were removed and replaced with abilities upgradeable by
runes which are unlocked as the character levels up. This affected the
complexity of the character progression and limited the number of available
builds per class. The level cap was lowered to 60 and was reachable quite fast,
affecting the end-game quite a lot, as there was no goal to strive for.
The last
difficulty level of the game was absolutely insane, hinting an untested release
(or was it intentionally made for RMAH cash grab?), for some classes the game was
impossible to beat because of this and it was really frustrating.
The
itemization was completely ruined, by adding almost fully random generated
stats on all items, this way yellow items became better while legendaries and
set items became useless.
Diablo 3
had no actual end-game, besides farming for items with better generated stats. Because
of the high difficulty level of the game, the random generated items and the
limited number of specs available per class, the game became boring really fast
and the number of people playing it dropped drastically after just a few months
from release.
                To make matters worse (almost an
impossible task, but Blizzard did it!), a Real Money Auction House was added to
the game so players can legitimately buy better items so they can progress
further into the last difficulty (otherwise really hard to achieve). Basically
Diablo 3, a 60 $ game, was turned into a pay to win game.
                Diablo 3 is the fastest PC
selling game of all times and received lots of positive reviews, looking again
like the reviewers played a different game than what the gamers experienced. I
waited for Diablo 3 so much and wanted it to be a good game, but what I got
from it is what I got from every Blizzard game since Wrath of the Lich King,
disappointment…
With the
release of the expansion Reaper of Souls, the gameplay and overall experience
improved a lot, but people must not forget the terrible state of the original
game.
Reenacting Diablo I

 

Washed up world.
Far Cry 3
 
                Far Cry 2 is a
brainless shooter, with fun gameplay, amazing physics and good shooting. But
when Far Cry 3 was announced, the developers promised a more deep, mature and
immersive experience. The footage from game expositions looked really good and
I was completely sold out for this title.
                Far Cry 3 enjoyed a positive
reception from journalists and lots of praises from the community. The game
would probably be used as a comparison standard for future sandbox FPSs. But
was it really that good?
                The gameplay in Far Cry 3 follows
the same pattern of the previous game, with the addition of some new elements
like crafting, a skill tree, weapon upgrades and stealth, while being supported
by a better story (not like it was hard to beat the story of Far Cry 2). But
the player can experience all the new features in about 2 hours into the game
and after that everything is just repeating the same things over and over again
(besides main story missions, which sometimes are really great). While
repetitive style was a characteristic of Far Cry 2 as well, in the new game it
gets even worse. Because Far Cry 3 was released on both PC and consoles, and
the PC version is nothing more than a port, the game lacks technological
features that would improve the feeling of an FPS by a lot. The level of physics
from FC 2 is nowhere to be found in this game, there are no destructible
buildings (not even mentioning entire cities), you can’t even shoot down a
fence, almost everything in this game is hard as a rock, and this takes all the
fun out of it.
The
stealth, the exploration and some of the main story missions can make the game
entertaining for a couple of hours, but not enough to keep you hooked for the
entire game (at least not for me) and the game map is quite large.
                The graphics of the game is what
you expect from a port from consoles, the landscapes might look good, but the
technology used is outdated and it shows, the game has low quality textures and
doesn’t take full advantage of the latest technology. The presentation videos
of the game shown a much richer vegetation and a better looking game, but after
release it turned out to be nothing more than false marketing (we need laws
against this!).
                Far Cry 3 has a multiplayer mode
as well, against players or co-op missions and can be fun for
those who are looking for some fast paced action on small maps. The game doesn’t have support for dedicated servers and this makes the multiplayer unplayable at times
because of the terrible lag (and hackers). At release players couldn’t connect to Ubisoft servers (typical) or host matches and this problem persisted for days.
                Overall Far Cry 3 wasn’t the
great experience everyone talks about, but rather a game that tries to be something good but fails because of developer’s laziness.

 

The game
might be considered a classic soon (the quality of the classic status drops by
the year), but I wanted to remind everyone, that things were not so great as
they seemed and it is not enough for a game to be a sandbox with some decent
feeling of exploration to be an epic game. In the end Far Cry 3 pales in front of games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R..
At least cars have physics.

 

To be continued…

Nodrim