I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty disappointed in some of the fanbase when it comes to the reaction to my latest Content Patch. I think if anything it did a good job of proving the existence of that obnoxious, almost cult-like obsession with a 9 year old FPS that was certainly good at what it did but innovated little, especially in comparison to the paradigm-shifting goliath that was its predecessor. Some of you might remember I expressed dislike for the general "GOTCHA" attitude of some of the fanbase who seem intent on looking for perceived hypocrisies and double-standards, no matter how far they have to stretch the truth in order to find them. This time it was the "Double standard" of looking forward to a new Deus Ex title and simultaneously not buying into the hype of HL3 and believing Valve would be better suited working on an original IP instead of continuing a story that at this point, most can can barely remember beyond "Aliens invaded, pick up that can". There's a few reasons why this so-called "Double standard" is a fallacy.

1) Eidos Montreal, unlike Valve, has made only 2 games in its lifetime, one of which was DX:HR and the other was Tomb Raider. It makes little sense to desire original IP from a developer who has made precisely none of it so far and has not proven their ability to create without prior influence. Valve on the other hand has elevated each genre they've entered every time they have released an original IP, as explained in the video. Portal, Half Life and Left4Dead are incredibly influential titles and each caused a paradigm shift to some extent in the way games were made in their respective genres. Their sequels did not. Valve is, if you haven't noticed, very iterative. People complained that L4D2 should have been DLC, Portal 2 was very much more of the same and compared to the great strides made by HL1 which fundamentally changed the way we think about FPS, HL2 added a boat, a gravity gun, a buggy and PICK UP THAT CAN. It should not be hard to figure out why I would prefer more original IP came from Valve.

2) There comes a point when a story becomes a little pointless to continue. HL2 is 9 years old, Episode 2 is 5 years old. You know what Deus Ex did after not being around for a while? It made a prequel, because frankly continuing where the other games left off was not a good idea. Hell, sometimes even prequels are a bad idea (see Star Wars), thankfully, DXHR worked out well in that regard. The desperation to continue a story that most have forgotten the fine details of by this point is something that is lost on me. DXHR came out 2 years ago, its ripe for a sequel at this point story-wise, whereas most of you are going to have to replay Episode 2 to remember what the fuck happened.

3) The whole point of the piece was to take a swipe at the unreasonable attitude surrounding Half Life 3 and its undeserved Holy Grail status within the gaming scene. HL2 was not the best FPS of all time, it was a very, very good FPS. HL3s release will not change the industry in the way HL1 did, yet people treat it with reverence. Why? Episode 1 was nothing special, HL2 had plenty of sections that I'd consider weak. Frankly, the gunplay in HL2 was nothing to write home about, yet anticipation of the sequel to this game and its respective episodic content reached fever pitch years ago and never went away. I frankly can't understand why you would reward a company that abandoned its biggest IP with a cliffhanger ending 5 years ago with so much adoration. They fucked you over pretty badly because lets be honest, Valve is a headless schizophrenic when it comes to game development, flitting between projects and abandoning ideas seemingly through whimsy. That's not an attitude I respect, yet some people have rewarded it with unflinching loyalty and I dislike that. They left their fans hanging for half a decade because they couldn't be arsed to finish their episodic content, which they billed from the start as a smarter way to develop games, allowing them to get out shorter content in your favourite IPs faster. Episodic content from Valve was a failure, yet that failure has been rewarded with zealous fandom.

"Hypocrite" is the worst thing you can call a person. It's worse than calling them a liar, because it says "not only are you a liar but you are unprincipled, you are manipulative". It is a word that should be used with great care and is abused by those with a complete lack of understanding of nuance. These are people that see black and white, love and hate as the only options in life. When I went to study law, we were taught very early that the devil is in the details, that distinguishing two scenarios that appeared identical on the surface, was a skill and vital to our chosen field. That is something that those within gaming could do well to learn. How many times have you seen "THIS IS A COPY OF THAT" or "TOO SIMILAR TO THIS" because someones understanding of the title does not extend beyond the boxart? The same attitude is on display here and it was very disappointing to read.

My opinion has not changed. I will play HL3 and I feel the fandom surrounding it is horrendous and without merit. I have no doubt it will be a good game but I prefered the Valve that took risks and that seems to have moved on to things beyond mere game development at this point.

Reply · Report Post