Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Seven Deadly Sins: The Gaming Edition

The seven deadly sins have popped up in just about every medium you can think of, from movies to music to TV – even games (just look at Dante's Inferno – which ironically didn't make it onto this list.) But what about games that embody the sins themselves, whether through their own actions, those of their producers, or just how it made me feel when I was playing them.

Here's our pick of The Seven Deadly Sins: The Gaming Edition...

Duke Nukem Forever (Xbox 360/PS3/PC, 2011)

“Damn... I'm good.” No, Duke, you're shit. I hate to be blunt, but that was my reaction to Duke Nukem Forever upon its release, some 11 years after its development cycle began. Boy, were Gearbox Software proud of Duke's latest outing: “We've finally finished Duke! The King is back, baby!” their posters screamed from every bus stop. And what did we get? A badly made, ugly and outdated mess of rubbish graphics and worse gameplay, stoked with so much pride it was ludicrous. Get back in my rose-tinted memories, Duke, where you belong.

Risen (Xbox 360/PS3/PC, 2010)

Risen, a half-arsed RPG which fell flat in the retail stores, wanted so desperately to be loved like Oblivion that is was, frankly, hilarious. The developers were so clearly envious of Bethesda's greatness that they figured making a game in its image would allow them to bask in their reflected glory. Yeah... no. Risen was rubbish, pure and simple – dull, unimaginative combat, a stilted story (and an unhealthy obsession with potion making.) Bargain bin material indeed. At least the Xbox 360 jewel case was the right colour...

Call of Duty Modern Warfare (series) (Everything, 2007)

Sure, the original Call of Duty blew everyone away – and for good reason – but following that game's greatness, Infinity Ward has managed to distil their company policy to one often-used internet meme: “OM NOM NOM!” For what is the Call of Duty of today but a gluttonous monster, happily guzzling up gamers' cash in millions of sales year on year - and providing the same experience with a slightly different gloss (and a steadily worse story – 'No Russian', anyone?) Bravo to the developers who fight against this gluttonous monster and it's powerful puppeteers to release games of equal or better playability (Battlefield ho!).

Resistance (series) (PS3) (PS3, 2006)

'Want'. 'Want audience, want good gameplay, want to drag gamers away from Halo and Call of Duty and make them play! PLAY ME!' If Resistance games had a voice, that's what would be issuing forth from their cases (probably in the ever-irritating voice of Haley Joel Osment...). While the games themselves weren't bad, the Resistance series was lusting over the Halo and COD audiences from the start. Sure, it had a tough time at first – being released on the statistically less-popular PS3 console, and with some release dates that were hardly flattering (and it didn't help that the games' Chimera bear more than a passing resemblance to Gears of War's Locust), but the series wanted the limelight something fierce. Did it succeed? Partially – but Resistance never really hit it big, and it's been lusting for a number one spot ever since...

Gears of War (Xbox 360, 2006)

Five words: “Woah, lookit all that juice!” If you've played the first Gears of War, you know that phrase – because it was grunted at you over, and over, and over, and over, as you died time and time again, trying to take that damn imulsion pumping station! But, that aside, the sheer anger that I feel when I play Gears of War - “Bloody chainsaw hoover!”, or “Sodding shotty!”, or “How did he headshot me when I was in the middle of a sodding forward roll!” - is a problem. It brings out the bloodthirsty part of me – the predator. It's a shame, then, that the leaderboards are populated entirely with 10-year-olds who play all day every day, and are too bloody tough to beat because it's ALL THEY SODDING DO! GAH!

Halo (series) (Xbox, 2001)

Yes, the games are brilliant, but what makes Halo – and by extension, Bungie (and Microsoft) so greedy is something that you can spot in any good toy store, book store, corner shop or supermarket. Merchandise. The Halo series is a massive moneyspinner for the big-names, offering (as well as the 1,000+ games) books, films, live-action TV spots, playing cards, action figures, toilet roll, bread and bake-your-own cupcakes. The franchise is sickening in its greed and deplorable nature. That said, bring on Halo 4! (and pass me a cupcake with Cortana's face on it...)

Belief and Betrayal (PC, 2008)

Lazy. Lazy. Lazy. Everything about Belief and Betrayal dripped in sloth. The writing was shoddy, the gameplay was soft, the voice acting made me want to gouge my ears out – or rather, those belonging to the bum who came up with this frakking nonsense! The game itself, ostensibly an old-fashioned point and click adventure, was in reality a half-finished morass of crap, topped off with some hilariously shite challenges – such as combining a half-melted ice lolly with water to make fake red wine (how's that work...?) to lure a bum away from a photobooth – only to find it doesn't work. What the heck!?! I played this game once, for an hour. Never again since have I encountered such a lazy, half-arsed waste of time. Good riddance.