ChoronzonMember Since 29 Mar 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 11:52 AM
Fight sexism and intolerance in our gaming culture. Educate yourself and act different.
Take a look in The Border House. Join Iron Ribbon.
Have you heard about #1ReasonWhy? They Twitter too.
This isn't some unimportant or imaginary problem. See the harassment women have to deal with in gaming!
Fat, Ugly or Slutty | Go Make Me A Sandwich | Not In the Kitchen Anymore
It’s all part of a crooked and broken business model - the press overhypes the games, the marketing departments produce marketing materials that look astounding but don’t need to accurately represent the game they’re pushing, and then they sell the game for nigh on seventy fucking dollars at day one.
Marketers, start caring about video games, please.
All of this spells a major problem in our marketing: a combination of tone-deaf cluelessness and an utter disrespect for games and the people who make and play them. It's especially outrageous now, as marketers are in a unique position to help shape the dialog and the reception around games. Broader audiences actually care and are listening now, so why are they still marketing to the mainstream like it's 2002?
Every barrier to commercial games reaching the heights most of us only dream about comes down to marketing. Diverse protagonists? Won't sell, they tell us. Games with meaningful stories? Won't sell, supposedly. People criticize the writing and character craft of modern games, but when I talk to narrative designers privately, they talk wistfully about all the groundbreaking stuff that got cut because marketing said it wouldn't sell.
Marketing can sell sexism and hatred, but it can't sell anything good? Is that what we're to believe?
-- Leigh Alexander in an opinion piece on GameSutra.com
Developers, consider your audience, and consider the social climate you’re wading into. Make your mark, but do so wisely. Remember the lessons of Spider-Man: With great power comes great responsibility. You can ignore that, if you want. That’s your right. Only you can decide where the line between censorship and consideration lies. It’s a hard question, but it’s one that you need to ask yourselves with every game you make.
-- Becky Chambers in an opinion piece on The Mary Sue
Let me put it another way: guys, you're the demographic to whom this is marketed. Don't you feel insulted that they feel the best way to get your interest is with lowest common denominator titillation — that all you're interested in is blood and boobs? Great gameplay, compelling characters, a tense and exciting storyline — pffft. Look at the ladies! Drool for me, boys!
It's absolute garbage, and it insults every gamer with two brain cells to rub together.
-- Michelle Starr in an opinion piece on C.Net
Thus goes the cycle of gaming press.
1) Announcement of announcement (Countdown clocks are always appropriate!)
2) Announcement of game (Teaser trailer cannot contain more than 1% actual gameplay)
3) 12 months of previews from every mouthbreather with a keyboard and delusion of Thompson-esque grandeur. (Don’t say anything negative! You may not get a free press copy, or ridiculous swag available to the press only! But don’t let that influence your review…you’re a journalist, after all!)
4) Previews to be dissected by millions of people. (Best ever! Worst than a million Holocausts!)
5) Game is delayed. Announcement of DLC cushions the blow. (Be sure to use the words “quality” and “experience” here!)
6) It’s a month before the new release date! Make sure your site is decked out with plenty of ads to inform your loyal readers of that fact!
7a) Game is released! If it’s a passable game, it’s at least an 8.5. Be sure to use visceral, transcendent and Oscar-worthy in your review. Be sure to point out negatives. For instance, was the game too good?
7b) If the game is not what you expected, or just not very good, make sure to mock it with the same verbiage one might find on a junior high school playground. Use of funny costumes and poorly acted skits are highly appropriate if producing video content
8) Remember the golden rule of games journalism. Hyperbole is the best literary device, ever. Without it, your readers will become bored and resume picking their nose. And if they’re doing that, they can’t read your excerpt about how you have super-secret information about a game they’re dying to see - but you can’t tell them because of those damn embargoes! Stay tuned!
Thanks: GJAIF & NeoGAF
The critics rave about Absolution !
Drifts too far from the franchise's sweet spot. A lengthy campaign offers plenty of opportunities for diabolical fun, but the stealth mechanics feel like a string of bad decisions, and a lack of pure assassination missions - exactly what the franchise built its fame on - doesn't help. Most telling, this isn't the Hitman I'll revisit for years to dig out all its secrets.
Hitman wasn't great because it was hard: it was great because it rewarded curiosity, experimentation and invention. This is what genuinely mature gaming is all about, not swearing, tits and gratuitous unpleasantness.
I can’t really consider Absolution to be a must buy sort of title, but it’s worth checking out as a curiosity rental at least. There are elements here that I like, and things that do harken back to the traditional Hitman experience, but this is about as far off the rails as the series has managed to get. Hopefully the next entry tries to reign in the foreign concepts a little more, because this hardly feels like the right direction to take the series in.
Absolution shows the developer is capable of presenting Hitman's systems with a previously-unknown cinematic gravitas without resorting to scripting and cutscenes. Yet, the majority of Absolution sacrifices its full potential for the wrong kind of storytelling.
-- PC Powerplay
The disconcerting conclusion which this design choice seems to present is that, presumably the developers believed that they simply couldn’t trust that the game’s established audience would be mature enough to respond appropriately well to a more serious Hitman game. Unfortunately, in light of this apparent determination that gamers can only serve as shallow and unsophisticated recipients of similarly puerile storytelling, IO Interactive has chosen to release another silly Hitman game, which seems entirely reluctant to further the franchise’s narrative chops with anything besides its prettier graphics. This failing only serves to greatly magnify the game’s other flaws, of which there are, lamentably, many.
I've held the Hitman series in high regard since 2002's Silent Assassin. The uniquely open, free-roaming levels and a focus on performing precise, untraceable kills were an experience offered nowhere else. After eagerly awaiting another installment for the last six years, I'm now in the unhappy position of reviewing Hitman: Absolution—a game that tries to capitalize on the franchise's cachet while delivering a poorly-designed, inconsistent and often absurd experience that fails both as a sequel, and as a game in general.
But even Absolution's most successful missions would be laughed out of Blood Money's marvellous selection of inventive assassinations. And if you decide to take Absolution at face value and forget you're supposed to be playing Hitman, you're still left with a bog-standard stealth-action game with capricious mechanics and a moronic narrative.
-- The Telegraph (UK)
It's telling that the best part of Hitman Absolution is Contracts - a game mode with no terrible story, no pointless moving from one place to another, no cutscene kills. It's a shame to watch a developer so fundamentally misunderstand a game, but it's worse to see a series so lauded for its imagination exhibit so little.
-- Games Arena
So much that used to be universal, versatile systems is now left to the level designer’s whim. Hitman’s greatest pleasure was coming up with your own solutions, but even at its best, Absolution makes it feel like you’re choosing between the ones the designers provided for you.
-- PC Gamer
The attempt at farce felt very familiar but I was too busy to care, invisibly switching from cover to cover under the noses of unresponsive guards. Absolution had killed Blood Money and now it was trying to get away with wearing its clothes.
These problems range from the glaringly obvious to the more knit-picking. While the game engulfs you in some of the most beautifully rendered dynamic environments of this generation, the AI and its logic are infuriatingly stupid… The game constantly puts you in these situations, seemingly forcing you to take notice of how dumb it is.
-- Attack Of the Fanboy
The systems that made Hitman unique in the past have each been reworked to create a more streamlined and accessible experience. What remains is more of a cover-based action game with stealth mechanics, with a majority of the strategic underpinnings of the series notably missing. Altogether it's a mess, a struggle between meeting the demands of a wider audience with shorter attention spans, and a fanbase craving the depth of creative mission scenarios and unique methods of assassination.
The elements which made Hitman so great all of those years ago are still present somewhere within Absolution, but certainly not to the extent that long-term fans would have wanted because the new direction taken here has inevitably left it sitting at the very bottom of the franchise.
-- Rocket Chainsaw
It’s a bit of a bumpy return for Agent 47 and fan criticism of IO is likely to continue. Make no mistake, it is possible to love Hitman Absolution – or at least aspects of it – but one has to wander why a development studio who perfected such gaming alchemy six years ago would tinker with it so disastrously.
Something that Hitman: Absolution has demonstrated is that it is not always enough to be a good new game with a revered old name. The fans of these old games are older now too, grown up men and women with a suitably grown up disdain for the new and the trendy. If developers want to win back fans when they revisit established franchises maybe they should look to what made those games popular in the first place and by doing so maybe they’d avoid stepping on a rake or two.
-- New Statesman
Intelligence, cohesion and grey morality were once hallmarks of the Hitman franchise. Now, six years and too many other stealth games later, all that's left is a dumbed down, diluted, nothing of a game that sticks out from the rest of the series like an ice-cream man with a barcode on his head.
-- International Business Times
Anyway, I hate to be so negative about this—I'm sure you guys set out to make a great game that would satisfy longtime Hitman fans while bringing new ones into the fold, but I'm sad to say you missed the mark. For every one interesting level (like sneaking around through cornfields as a scarecrow), there are too many that just aren't any good. Let's be honest here—when a game's mechanics work against the player at almost every turn thanks to poor design and implementation, it's pretty safe to say you've failed as a developer.
-- GameCritics.com (second opinion)
When playing to its strengths, Hitman: Absolution is a genuinely great game. Overall, though, it feels slightly disappointing, simply because it doesn’t spend enough time playing to those strengths. Too much time is spent trawling through levels which feel like filler. If anything, it just feels like the developers didn’t really know what was working well and what wasn’t. That would be forgivable in a new franchise, but twelve years and five games after Hitman: Codename 47, developers IO Interactive should really know what those strengths are.
-- D+Pad Magazine
-- Razorfist, The Rageahölic. (it even features Hitmanforum's own Coflash Photoshop art)
Absolution’s tale introduces too many ill-defined characters and leaves poor David Bateson doing his ample best to keep a stoic face while surrounded by comic book villains and rodeo clowns. Hitman has never struck me as a series rooted in reality, but seeing a sweaty, disheveled chap who’d look more at home as the harassed, low-level detective in a Die Hard film than acting as head of a super-secret Assassination Agency department (who now seem happy to utilise a private army to achieve their ’secret’ goals) is stretching disbelief too far. It’s also the kind of 18/’Mature’-rated game that’ll delight 14 year olds, full of juvenile cut-scene dialogue and women who barely qualify as two dimensional, save for an inevitable heaving chest.
I am Sniper - Play Free Online Games
Just because you're friendly doesn't mean you're insincere.
Of course, just because someone is your friend, it doesn't mean you won't kill them, either.
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