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Five Games That Were Overrated

Video games just like any other medium are rated and reviewed all the time. Sometimes though, a game is so vastly overrated that peoples’ perspectives on the game itself are heavily skewed.

Today I’m taking a look back on  five games that in my opinion were highly overrated. That’s not to say they’re bad or that I didn’t enjoy playing them, but merely felt that they perhaps received a little too much praise.

Here are my five overrated games.

(This article is not meant to be flame bait, if you like any of the games feel free to respectfully disagree. Also, beware of spoilers.)

 1. Uncharted 3

A reason I’m somewhat hesitant of playing The Last of Us is because of Uncharted 3. As of now, Naughty Dog’s third entry into the Uncharted series has garnered a 92% on the review aggregate site Metacritic.

The inherent problem with calling something a masterpiece, as Uncharted 3 was called by many a game critic, is that it sets up unrealistic expectations for gamers. This is the reason I try not read reviews in advance when playing games so as to not get burned again like I did with Uncharted 3.

I’ve played the entire Uncharted series so far and I adore Uncharted 2: Among Thieves the most. It really perfects that modern action adventure epic with interesting characters and even a love triangle thrown in to boot.

Uncharted2

Great characters and an engaging story that doesn’t drag. Overall feels better than its successor.

 

Uncharted 3 doesn’t have any of the magic its little brother does. Something feels…off about it.

The story frankly isn’t as interesting, and I feel it borrows much too heavily from the first game which is a bad thing. The visuals are brilliant, and the dunes of overlapping sand and set pieces are great, but it doesn’t have what Uncharted 2 did. The one thing it gets right is a young Drake sequence which the game could have used much more of to freshen things up.

I hate to say that it’s a rehash, but the game feels very, very similar and all too familiar for me to understand the insane amounts of 10/10’s that Uncharted 3 was awarded. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the young Drake scene and getting to know a tiny bit more about Nathan Drake, I would give a much lower score here.

Metacritc Score: 9.2/10

My Honest Score: 7.7/10

 

2. The Old Republic

Now this game hits me on a very personal level, as my favorite game of all time is without a doubt Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, a very finely written and expertly crafted Star Wars RPG done by the same people (BioWare) who did The Old Republic.

I tried with every fiber of my being to like this game, I really did. Despite the generally favorable reviews on Metacritic (85%) and everyone saying how good this game was and the press talking about how good this game was going to be, it was not.

At all.

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The cut scenes are sure pretty but the visuals in game are not.

It has a nice concept though.

Picking up hundreds of years after the end of KOTOR II  in the midst of a huge conflict between the Empire and the Republic, you as a player band together with others and quest away in the universe of Star Wars doing things for your masters and finding bounty hunters and choosing… wait, how is this a KOTOR game?

After the 30GB install and a year of just not wanting to, I decided to give The Old Republic a chance and dove in with a Jedi Consular (the class I played most in the original KOTOR) and boy was I disappointed in terms of gameplay, visuals, story and anything else that makes a good game.

I did play for lengthy periods of time going on quests, but I suppose you could say that was more due to the addictive quality of questing native to an MMO rather than the game’s story. You would be right in saying this.

The story in TOR is just sad to me as a long time BioWare fan. The game first toted an impressive line up of voice actors as a good thing, but that really isn’t the case. Does the person asking me to go fetch a random thing for a side quest need to be fully voiced and acted every time? Do you realize how many times that happens and how fast this bogs down the pacing of the story?

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The clunky in-game visuals and stock character models make me sad.

The problem with The Old Republic is that it’s juggling too many things at once and in the end doesn’t manage to do anything right. It’s a fun game if you look at it just as an MMO, but I’m analyzing the entire package here. The game tries to be KOTOR 3, a single player based emotional experience where your actions alone can change everything, but that just doesn’t work when you see dozens of people running into the same quest you’re doing.

It also tries to be a competitive MMO, and a bad one at that. What TOR does World of Warcraft does much better. Some have said that most of the combat and gameplay of The Old Republic is a WOW clone, and I would agree.

In short, there is hardly any redeeming qualities to TOR aside from maybe when you get your lightsaber. That is cool. If you asked me (I’m stealing a line from the Plinkett reviews) what any of the main antagonist’s names were in any of the class stories in The Old Republic, I would honestly draw a blank like I’m doing right now.

Metacritc Score: 8.5/10

My Honest Score: 4/10

 

3. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Now, I’m a Metal Gear fan boy and do love this game to pieces, but it sure as hell isn’t a masterpiece. Guns of the Patriots was seriously over-hyped and overrated.

It nails the gameplay more than anything. Metal Gear 4 has the best and most fluid gameplay out of the series, but like a double edged sword, that gameplay also hurts the experience more than most people realize.

A great thing about Snake Eater was you had to actually hunt for game to make sure your stamina didn’t fall, and with all the previous Metal Gear games, you needed to be very careful of alerting guards, sticking to the shadows and relying heavily on CQC or Close Quaters Combat.

SNAKE!

Love me some CQC circa Snake Eater

In Metal Gear Solid 4 you have the Drebin Shop, which allows you to pop out of combat at any time, buy a whole bunch of ammo and new guns, and then pop right back into the action again. Immersive!

Metacritic gives the game a 94%, which in my mind says that this is one of the greatest games of all time, if not damn close to it. Guns of the Patriots is no doubt a very great game and has very great action (not so much stealth)  gameplay, but the thing is, that gameplay is so few and far between that this game might as well have been a movie.

There are so many complex and hard to understand cut scenes every damn chapter that I’m amazed it’s not in a record book somewhere for most cut scenes in a game.

The problem with Metal Gear 4, and the reason I feel those reviews are out of left field is that IT HARDLY EVER LETS US PLAY THE GAME! That’s what a game is, you’re supposed to play it! I’m not saying you can’t have complex and emotional cut scenes, go right ahead, but at least make sure that they’re not too long and drawn out and confusing.

Like I said before, I love this game, but it didn’t deserve a 9.4 out of 10 if only because it wastes so much of the gamer’s time in just trying to cough out what it wants to say (which in the end, is interesting).

Someone call Mr Kojima a brave and hearty editor!

Metacritc Score: 9.4/10

My Honest Score: 8/10

 

4. Skyrim

Again, I’m not saying this is a ‘bad’ game, because that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The expectations and anticipation for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim were so high, so outlandish and blood-boiling and out of control, that nothing short of a game created by the heavens themselves would have satisfied the masses. Though it was widely frenzied by both gamers, critics and me alike, a look into perspective brings Skyrim down a few notches.

According to Metacritic, this iteration in The Elder Scrolls series is near flawless: resting at a beefy 96%. 100s and 10/10s were handed to Skyrim like candy to a fat kid. Gamers simply couldn’t and still can’t get enough of this game. Though the truth of the matter is Skyrim was overrated vastly.

Yes, the game’s scope is incredible. Being able to do whatever you want and go wherever you want in this huge world is great but my god does it get old really fast. The problem with Skyrim  is what everyone loves about it: it’s so gigantic, overwhelming even. You can do anything and everything you want. This means, instantly, that the narrative has diminished.

SkyWorld

There’s no sense of urgency to do the main quest, because you can do whatever you want and essentially blow it over completely and just fight mammoths all day. There’s hardly any consequence of killing or stealing if no one sees you do it, because the world is so massive that it just doesn’t matter.

Granted, Skyrim – for me anyway – is one of those great games to play while listening to a podcast or doing something else (once you have heard enough of the stellar soundtrack, of course), but to get emotionally invested in it? That’s just not happening.

Exploring can become disorientating, as there is just too much to do, and clearing all the dungeons and finishing all the side quests just doesn’t feel very impactful or important. I think why Skyrim and the previous Scrolls games are made is for you to just explore and do nothing of worth, which is fine, but at least give the people who want to do more than just quest and drudge through the lukewarm combat something else to do.

I maxed out my Dark Elf character via PS3 and did a bunch of time on the PC version of Skyrim but never did I feel like this game was perfect. Constantly, I ran into bugs and glitches of which were game breaking, and that is completely inexcusable.

All the quests I did – save a few – are very similar. I constantly harp back to the Dark Brotherhood quest line in Skyrim and how much of a direct rip it is from Oblivion’s same quest line. This is the same damn thing I’ve already done!

Skyrim had a bunch of potential, and definitely looks the part visually and has an absorbing quality to it, but there is undeniable room for improvement that could have made this experience outstanding.

Metacritc Score: 9.6/10

My Honest Score: 7.5/10

 

5. Call of Duty

Most gamers can see that there really is very, very, little difference between the yearly iterations of this FPS Goliath, and the fact that it just keeps on selling and generating great to amazing reviews baffles me as gamer still to this day.

There was a time when I’d sink in nights upon nights into COD multiplayer. It’s still fun to jump into a domination match and play, but the problem is I can do that with any game in the Call of Duty series and have roughly the same experience.

While I disagree with the reviews this series has garnered (Modern Warfare 3 gets an 88%, Black Ops II gets an 83%), I still see the fun in these games. They’re bro fun, buddy games that don’t need to have a great story, just immersive gameplay.

And if COD gets one thing right, it sure as heck is gameplay.

But the problem is that’s all this series gets right, and it first nailed the FPS experience now synonymous with the series with the golden boy Call of Duty 4.

It seems to have gone done hill from that point onward, yet critics are still head over heels for the Duty. My point, to file it down, is that the series itself lacks certain soul to it, which is disappointing considering just how massive and mainstream COD is. If Activision wanted to, this series could  really shine and be a beacon of innovation to the games industry with exciting new ideas pumped into the franchise and experimental gameplay sections different to the regular giant explosive set pieces that are oh so common.

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I’ll give the people over at Treyarch some credit, in that they have been trying (not very well) to add in branching dialogue to the latest venture that was Black Ops II and a more complex narrative that tries to spice things up a bit with a kind of time travel switch of perspective. But these still aren’t interesting BECAUSE I DON’T CARE ABOUT THESE CHARACTERS!

Who was really sad when Ghost died in MW2?

So even though COD multiplayer is fun and the story writers for the series are trying to fix things up here, it just isn’t working for me. I gave up after BLOPS II in trying to play them altogether and will not be playing the upcoming Ghosts.

There are so many other shooters out there that are trying to do something inventive and interesting that get crushed every year by Call of Duty and the amount of critical positivity and fan frenzy that swarms the releases for these games. I really hope the fans continue to have fun with the series, but I’m not throwing my money away for a sharp FPS experience of which I can get elsewhere with other layers that I look for in a game.

Metacritc Score:

MW3 – 8.8/10

BLPS2 – 8.3/10

My Honest Score:

MW3 – 6.2/10

BLPS2 – 5.4/10

 



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