Like petty school children bickering in a playground fight, gamers are obsessed with choosing sides. Never content to rate a game as simply “above average” or “slightly disappointing,” we allow internet hearsay, magazine previews, fanboy feuds and console preferences to push our views to ridiculous extremes.
We can’t just like something… we have to deem it BEST EVER.
We can’t just dislike something… we have to declare it EPIC FAIL.
The following seven games have divided players more than any other in recent memory. Middle ground exists for all of them, of course, and the majority of us reside there. Unfortunately, the lovers and the haters are so loud, we often forget to listen to anyone else.
What lovers see: A visually stunning, thematically sweeping epic that offers something for everyone. History and science fiction? Check. Stealth, assassination and blood-soaked, action-packed swordplay? Yes. A hero capable of free climbing cathedrals, swan diving off rooftops, stealing horses, interrogating suspects, pick-pocketing strangers and looking ridiculously stylish? Altair, and Assassin’s Creed, can do it all.
What haters see: A repetitive, mind- and thumb-numbing chore. A glorified and artificially expanded tech demo that is far more fun to watch than to actually play. A sense of freedom that is only surface deep, as every city is a xerox of the last, every assassination plays out the same way and every action is controlled by simply holding down the “run / climb / jump / ride / blend / play game” button.
Assassin’s Creed: As Good As We Imagined (GamePro)
Assassin’s Creed: “more wholly bland than Holy Land?” (IGN UK)
Assassin’s Creed: Perfect 10/10 (GamesRadar)
Why Assassin’s Creed fails (Game | Life)
Criticism of Assassin’s Creed criticism (Penny Arcade)
What lovers see: Escapism so thrilling, you can’t stop with just one song or even just one tour. Make-believe so visceral, you forget you’re holding nothing but a custom controller. Wish fulfillment so convincing, you might actually decide to take music lessons, form a band and give the real thing a try. Guitar Hero and Rock Band transport you and transform you like no other games.
What haters see: A flimsy plastic gimmick that fools people into thinking they can create music when all they’re really producing is a cacophony of irritating clicks and clacks. A lazy and dangerous substitute for the real thing, one that reduces true art into a timed button-mashing exercise for clumsy parents and hyperactive children. Basically, the “rock god” version of Mario Teaches Typing.
Guitar Hero “A” review (The Onion)
Why Guitar Hero Sucks (music, etc.)
Rock Band: The Greatest Game of All Time (College Candy)
Guitar Hero and Other Anti-Music Video Games (Piano World forums)
People I Hate: “Why don’t you play a real instrument?” (Game | Life)
Guitar Hero is Evil / Rock Band is of the Devil (Jesus-is-Savior.com)