Top 5 Greatest Video Game That Everyone Hates
Outside of perhaps sports fans, I can’t think of any medium that brings out passion on any side of a given property quite like gaming. We LOVE getting stuck into the year-long hype-cycles, picking apart footage and dissecting trailers, hoping every single game will be the next Final Fantasy VII, GTA III, Skyrim etc.
These are those games. The only problem is, like every good underdog, they’ve so much more to offer, if you’d only give them a chance..
5. Max Payne 3
The Consensus: “A bald Max Payne?!”, “It looks TOO different”, “Rockstar don’t know what they’re doing”
The Truth: Like some outrageous news scandal revealing a politician had been on a weekend of strippers and cocaine, one picture was all it took to destroy Max Payne – one of him bald.
In letting Rockstar take the reigns for this third instalment, they wanted to make their own mark on the franchise. After all, developers Remedy have their signature style of comic panels, trenchcoats and black humour, Rockstar simply tried to say to the public, “This isn’t a cash-in, we’re going to try something new.”
Problem is, we didn’t want it. The Max Payne games were so damn good, this was one of those times where more of the same would’ve been ideal. As a result, I too was repelled instantly by the look of Max in a Hawaiian shirt, blasting gangsters across the Favelas. It struck the same chord as DmC: Devil May Cry – it just didn’t feel right.
Visit it objectively though, and you’ll discover a game about that notion of identity. Occasional flashbacks take you to those very same snow-covered streets of New York where – yes – the trenchcoat does make a reappearance. Overall, Max Payne 3 is about pushing the character to the absolute limit – the reason he shaves his hair off comes from a poignant part of the story, and it’s this shift in the character that really makes you root for him in a way that Remedy never even came close to.
4. Mass Effect 3
The Consensus: “Too much action”, “Why the f**k is there online multiplayer?!”, “Worst.Ending.EVER”
The Truth: Talk about your mis-managed PR messaging. This is what happens when a multi-million dollar publisher realises the sales potential of a franchise like Mass Effect. As such, EA were adamant in the run-up to release that ME3 was “the perfect time to jump in”, despite it wrapping up story threads that were hundreds of hours in the making.
The result was an action-heavy shooting gallery of an RPG that was essentially Gears of War in deep space, but the main issue came from parts of the core narrative being siphoned off as paid-for DLC. Indeed, Prothean character Javik (literally one of the most important characters in the entire mythology) was behind a paywall, as was the essential Leviathan DLC, which was required for the ending to make sense.
These days you can snatch up the entirety of Mass Effect 3 for a fraction of its launch price with the Extended Cut helping to flesh out even the DLC-less finale, but retrospectively, across the board you can feel the ramifications of a developer completely strangled by the whims of their publisher.
Following Mass Effect 3, a ton of Bioware’s team justifiably departed (very telling, considering what they went through), but revisiting the game now that the dust has settled reveals a denouement to a franchise that’s as deep as it is playable.
3. Resident Evil 5
The Consensus: “It’s not Resident Evil”, “What the hell is up with Chris Redfield’s arms?!”, “This isn’t for Resi fans”
The Truth: Many point to Resident Evil 4 as the true turning point (read: Downfall, in some peoples’ eyes) of Resident Evil overall. Resi 5 though, suffered image problems in terms of Chris Redfield’s over-inflated arms and stupidly macho appearance, the ‘white saviour myth’ ideology framing the story in a negative light – and that was all before people got very annoyed about how much of an action focus it had overall.
In truth, Resi 5 was a very accomplished shooter, one with meaty controls, a perfect variety of weapons, tactile aiming and a shlock-horror story propelling everything along.
It may eventually give way to the abomination that is Resident Evil 6, but Resi 5 was a perfectly serviceable and enjoyable blockbuster, not one deserving of any objective negativity.
2. Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
The Consensus: “Ubisoft never learn from their mistakes”, “Unity was the final nail in the coffin”
The Truth: It was always going to take a balls-up of monumental proportions to slow down the annual release juggernaut that was Assassin’s Creed, but a triple-A game where the characters’ own faces won’t stay on will do just that.
As such, Unity was all people needed to release the pressure switch after years of becoming increasingly sick of the same old mechanics was such a game, and afterwards even Ubisoft have locked the franchise away, Raiders of the Lost Ark-style.
Syndicate though, did learn from many of the series’ past mistakes. It reintroduced the present day element to show Ubi did care about that side of things from all those original games, spruced up the stealth mechanics with threat rings and one-button movement modes to evade enemies – even dual male/female protagonists Jacob and Eevie Frye were a response to the lack of a playable female in Unity.
As a result, Syndicate is the best-playing AC since Black Flag, you just wouldn’t know it, because we’ve been too busy running the other way.
1. All The Call Of Duty Games After Modern Warfare 2
The Consensus: “They’re all the same”, “They’re just bro-shooters for morons”
The Truth: A property’s fanbase should never define its identity – said product is the beginning and end for that sort of thing, and although annual instalments of Call of Duty have turned it into a mainstay annoyance on our collective shelves, when you look at how immaculately well-made and well-playing each one is, the whole venture is pretty incredible.
You can’t fault Activision for giving it their all, either. Whilst I think they should let a particular time period breathe for a few years (we got a Modern Warfare trilogy, but then it’s been Advanced Warfare through Black Ops 3 and now Infinite Warfare non-stop), COD is what tens of thousands of dollars looks like in code.
Gameplay is perfected thanks to copious play-testing, and its graphics are outstanding. Weapons kick with the requisite force necessary to sit back and let the game totally consume you, and each campaign – although a whizzbang fly-by of half-baked moral codes and “Hoo-rah!” dialogue – is just as fun and enjoyable as any Hollywood action flick.
It’s very easy to hate on Call of Duty because of the screaming teenagers and one-note appeal, but when you look at just how well put together the games themselves are (and look to other annual franchises like Assassin’s Creed or any sports game, then note how little they innovate and change as many just get worse), Call of Duty is really quite remarkable.
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