I always have enjoyed your game reviews, and to be honest, I usually take the game reviews worth a grain of salt unless you are the reviewer. What is the next game that you are going to review?
Thanks for the nice comments, it feels good to be appreciated every now and then :)
Publishers have moved to releasing fewer but bigger games over the years, and by making safe investments they've ended up creating very few games that have a fresh formula. Next game on my radar is Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. I'm tempted to do Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword, but I figure I might as well just copy and paste someone's review of the old Civilization: Call to Power to explain why strategy game developers shouldn't use bad ideas like lawyers/spies.
You've been doing game reviews now since 1999. How do you maintain an objective view without becoming jaded after so many years.
You do become jaded, absolutely. But what is objectivity? Is objectivity simply accepting the game as it was hyped and buying in? If I don't buy the hype, I'm already a bit jaded.
There are times when I've been too tough on a game, like C&C Generals, and other times when I let myself get caught up in the excitement too much, as with Doom 3. It's a tricky balance for a reviewer to maintain. Heck, even the excitement and hype is part of the gaming process. BioShock is better because it's hyped. Civilization 4 is better because you can't wait to play another Civilization game.
We as gamers and reviewers don't like to think so, but advertising and hype work to affect our psychology. There was a fascinating study recently that showed that children will think a McDonald's branded item tastes better than a non-branded one.
Anyway, I'm getting off topic a bit. Point is, objectivity itself is subjective. What one person considers an objective stance, someone else thinks is too jaded, or too close to the source of the Kool-Aid. In that sense, I've come to the conclusion that objectivity in reviewing is a myth; the best you can hope to be is fair to new intellectual properties by not being too attached to old ones. Then again, who can't wait for Civilization 5?
Which games (on any system) these past couple of years have impressed you the most, and what upcoming games are you most excited about? Also whats your stand on ET:QW, TF2 and Crysis?
Sneaky guy, asking multi-part questions! Fair enough :)
What games have impressed me most? BioShock is there, for sure. Not so much as a game but as a narrative.
Call of Duty was fantastic, really a mind-blowing experience the first time and an excellent multiplayer game. It helps that I was really, really good in multiplayer too :)
Civilization IV is remarkable. After Civ 3, I thought the franchise was on the ropes but Soren really knows his stuff and designed a remarkable game.
The original Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory was absolutely brilliant. I don't think I've ever had so much enjoyment out of 6 maps.
World of WarCraft is the only MMORPG to sink its hooks into me, though that passion has faded.
I still play World War II Online, though much less so. I think the developers have lost focus a bit and are too obsessed with new features as opposed to fixing old bugs, but there's really no other game out there like it and even now, the game is unrivaled in what it does. I mean, jump into a real World War II fighter, fly over a battlefield where real World War II units are fighting with real physics and in real time, with no aim correction or stats-based damage like PlanetSide... I marvel at it.
Games that I get excited about? Probably Quake Wars. I try not to get hyped about something but that's one itch I have to scratch. Other than that, I avoid hype, I ignore press releases and avoid screenshots, and so on. Heck, I didn't know a thing about BioShock until I played it.
That said... Crysis looks like a graphical marvel but the real issue that CryTek has to address is gameplay. Far Cry looked amazing, but the gameplay was so-so, and those 99th percentile tweaks that take half the development time were quite off - movement code, weapon feel, aim, etc.
Team Fortress 2 has me really excited and other than watching the Soldier/Engineer/etc. videos, I've gone out of my way to avoid hype.
Quake Wars I'm expecting great things out of though I do realize it's just a tweak, albeit significant, of the original Enemy Territory formula.