6 Gaming Trends That Need To Die: Page 2 of 2

3. The Exploitation of DLC

The whole DLC thing has gotten completely out of hand. While I’m completely on board with the idea of bonus content being made available after buying a game, some companies have unfortunately taken the whole DLC thing to a whole other level.

Excuse me while I get mad about this for a moment.

Destiny. This game had SO much potential. It’s not a bad game, by any means. I mean, there’s tons of stuff wrong with it but it’s not a bad game. I think the part that pisses me off the most is hearing that the folks at Bungie want to roll out a mix of free and paid content over the next ten freaking years as an answer to the extremely limited and frustrating nature of the game at launch. 

It’s one thing to release bonus content. That’s good. I love extras and I honestly don’t mind paying (a reasonable amount) for those extras after investing in the game. What I DON’T like is a developer (especially a respected developer like Bungie, who were the masterminds behind the Halo franchise) intentionally releasing a limited game with a vague storyline and almost no story development, just so they can shell out the rest of the story to gamers over a decade under the guise of DLC. 

That is absolute insanity. 

Going back to my previous experience with WWE 2K15, the folks at 2K also seem to have a hard-on for exploiting the nature of DLC. I shelled out $60 for the game, got a very pretty looking game with a load of features removed and one of the most limited rosters in years, and found out I could either buy a bunch of DLC wrestlers in packs for various dollar amounts or shell out another $25 dollars for the “Season Pass” that gives me access to all the rest of their future DLC. Either way that’s 85 freaking dollars for what will still end up being the most limited and stripped down WWE game in the last five years. 

Bottom line: Downloadable bonus content and game expansions are good. Chopping a game into pieces and asking players to basically buy the rest of the game as DLC after not including it in the initial $60 purchase is bad! 

2. Microtransactions in AAA Games

I hate microtransactions. There are very few things that ruin a game experience for me as much as these infernal attacks on my wallet. Microtransactions have single-handedly obliterated my enjoyment of most mobile games and now they’re actually creeping into mainstream franchises like Assassin’s Creed

Microtransactions suck and they need to die. It’s bad enough that most free-to-play games basically cripple your playthrough experience if you don’t buy a ton of extra stuff. Now I boot up Assassin’s Creed: Unity (yes, the game sucks. I’m aware) and I find out that I need to spend real money to “Buy Helix Credit Packs and bundles here to unlock hackable features”. 

Stop putting microtransactions in AAA games! I just spent $60 on your game (in Unity’s case, a game that barely functions). I’m not spending $300 on extra crap to make the game easier just because you felt the need to make it extra tedious and difficult or because you thought that outright locking features away from players was a good idea. That’s not DLC. That’s robbery. That’s criminal mischief. 

Oh, and while we’re on this topic. Screw freemium games. No one wants to play your free-to-play online FPS game when half the folks playing it can just credit card the best equipment and break their combat boots off in everyone else's butthole. 

1. Unacceptably Buggy Releases

Where do I start? It’s not okay to release a game that isn’t polished! That’s bad!

Look to my previous example. Assassin’s Creed: Unity. That game was unacceptably bad at launch and guess what? It still is!

You can’t release a game that’s broken. Obviously, the nature of modern games (especially open-world games that are nearly impossible to completely smooth over) means that bugs are inevitable. That’s not what I’m getting at here. It’s one thing to clip through the odd piece of scenery or encounter some pesky bug that breaks a particular quest or mission. That’s what patches are for. 

It’s another thing entirely to release a game where you clip through people, fall through the ground into purgatory, float through the air, or encounter freakish NPCs from the armpits of Hell that don’t load correctly and look like something from the nightmares of Stephen King. While I’m not denying that these bugs are oftentimes hilarious, that doesn’t stop them from ruining the game. 

Skyrim was plagued with this when it initially launched. This was well documented. Bloaty save files that eventually killed console-gamers with lag, dragons that flew backwards or stalled in the sky, the Civil War questline (to this day) constantly breaks. The difference there is that Bethesda got their crap together and, through patience, perseverance and patches, addressed and fixed most of that. Anything they missed was quickly fixed via the Unofficial Skyrim Patch, a boon from the incredible Elder Scrolls modding community.

In Deus Ex: The Fall, Square Enix couldn’t even program basic AI correctly. Half the time, enemy NPCs hide incorrectly behind cover and shoot in the opposite direction of the player. Ride to Hell: Retribution is a good example of a game where the entire thing is basically one big-ass glitch. Most infamous is Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing, an unfinished but boxed-rated-and-sold game that was outsourced to an overseas company and wouldn't pass the most basic game design course in a community college. This trend is unacceptable. It’s horrible. There’s no excuse for it. In the case of AC: Unity, it's already too late. As of this writing, the game hasn't been truly "fixed" and it probably never will be. Ubisoft knows that the reputation of Unity is inescapable now. It's beyond salvage. 

Is there something you feel I missed? Are there other gaming trends that you want to see take a permanent dirt nap? Let me know in the comments section below.

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Quinn Gammon's picture
Mr. Quinn Gammon is a writer of varying interests, most of which are nerdy. He enjoys comics, movies about comics, TV shows about comics, pro wrestling, shows about pro wrestling, games about pro wrestling, video games in general, Neapolitan ice cream and movies about Neapolitan ice cream (because they DO exist) and is currently plotting to take over the world using a combination of the Thu'um, forbidden Jutsu, and the White Tigerzord from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
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