Earlier this week, we talked about the most underrated games of this generation. Today, we’re going to talk about the other side of the coin — the most overrated games of this generation. Each of our editors chose a game that they believe to be the most overrated. Without further ado, let’s begin.
Nick Cane: Dragon Age Origins
This was a tough call. I mean, you could go with any military shooter (an honest judgment, no doubt). Any one could qualify for this honor. But, no, I’m going to throw down the gloves and look at BioWare; in my opinion, the most overrated company in gaming. Dragon Age: Origins, released in late 2009, sits pretty with a 91% PC score. It sold over 4 million copies.
Look, those aren’t amazing numbers by any stretch of the word. [Editor's Note: Nick's views of what may be regarded as amazing are his own and do not represent those of Gamers Association in general - Luke] But what makes them so disappointing is the amount of hype that surrounded Dragon Age. Following BioWare’s amazing work with Baldur’s Gate, Knights of the Old Republic and, to a certain degree, Mass Effect, this game was released to pretty amazing hype. Its dev cycle was long enough, too. But — here’s the thing — the game was no good. After the initial reviews simmered, with the giddiness of a new BioWare release wearing off, people took another look.
The combat was purposely slow (why?!), the story was a joke, the setting was beige and — as BioWare loves — there was sexiness to be done. And people ate it up for a while.“Oh, the combat is sooo strategic! You can form real relationships! The narrative is epic!” Deary me, no. What’s worse is that there was a sequel and spin-offs, adding false legacy to the Dragon Agesaga. All from this game? All from a game that was okay, at best?
Jay Curtis: Dead Space
When I first heard about Dead Space it sounded like my kind of game. People were saying that it was Resident Evil 4 mixed with Aliens. Since Resident Evil 4 is one of my favorite games of all time, and Aliens is one of my favorite movies of all time, I was really excited for it. Unfortunately, my excitement crashed after I had played it. The gameplay in Dead Space is just filled with problems. The game uses dark lighting to try to scare you, but I felt a lot more annoyed than scared. There were numerous times during the game where I couldn’t even see what was attacking me. Dark lighting is great when used correctly, but it just isn’t used well here. Also, the asteroid shooting portion of the game might be the worst game design I’ve seen this generation. It’s just awful. It completely breaks all of the tension that was there, and it is way too hard. I have no problem with games being difficult, but there’s a big difference between challenge and unfairness.
I also had a problem with the lack of a melee weapons in Dead Space. I tried to conserve my ammo, but still frequently ran out. I was then easily killed by the simplest of enemies, all because the game doesn’t have a melee weapon. Isaac can stomp, but that’s it. The game really needed a knife of some kind to balance things out.
A lot of people talked about how scary Dead Space was, but I didn’t think it was very scary at all. Almost all of the scares in the game come from “jump scares.” While I don’t have a problem with a game having jump scares, the jump scares in Dead Space just didn’t work. The game would try to scare you by having corpses pop up when you passed them. Whenever there was a corpse on the ground, it was obvious to shoot it. It was almost as if the developers thought we would forget that the corpses probably weren’t dead.
Last and certainly least is the story. It’s horrible. The reason? Isaac Clarke. Isaac Clarke has to be one of the worst (if not the worst) protagonist of all time. He barely talks at all! He’s not a silent protagonist, yet he barely speaks. It would have been really interesting to see his character open up, but he never does. The story in Dead Space had potential, but Isaac Clarke ruined it all.
Luke Frazier: God of War III (and every other game in the series)
Because it’s easier to get angry, I’m taking down this overrated title. As one of the few first-party Sony franchises that made the jump to this generation, God of War currently stands as one of the strongest contenders on the PlayStation platform.
And I can’t come up with a reason why.
I only bought the original God of War because I was new to the PlayStation 2 and the Internet was abuzz with it being the best experience money could buy. Even with countless recommendations, though, I didn’t pick it up this apparent pinnacle of all things PlayStation until a copy crushed in shipping showed up at the retail store that served as my high school source of income (unsalable crushed box only, of course. I am no Mr. Fix-It DVD-saving super wizard.). Anyway, I got home, popped it in for spell, and spent the rest of my life bewildered why the gaming world got so giddy about the thing. Since then, I’ve dabbled in the multiple doings of Kratos enough to know that while things have improved, the internal essence that is the God of War formula still flows strong.
I hate that formula.
First of all, why the flying frak do we continue to choke down fixed camera angles in the modern age? It’s a needless constraint I cannot endure, and the implementation infuriates me every time. So you think you know what I want and can control the visual focus better than I can? Doubtful, you dastardly designers. Or cinematics, is it? Need to present me with something special only possible with fixed camera angles? Bull. Nearly every other game nowadays knocks that pitiless point right down.
Am I supposed to be stricken by a spectacular story as well? Because all I see is a Spartan that is royally pissed off. Kratos yells. Kratos kills. Kratos repeats. For three main entries to the series along with two portable spin-offs, Kratos continues. After a glimpse at the maniac’s next Greek god adventure at this year’s E3, it looks like Kratos is coming back for more of the stagnant same.
I cannot get invested in your admittedly mindless gameplay if all you do is make me hate you, Kratos. As such, I don’t care about you, and I’d rather toss your worthless carcass from the highest cliffs of Mount Olympus than put up with another God-awful outing with your name on it. At least I’ll be able to kick your ass in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. See you soon, sucker.