Hey! Hallie here!
I haven’t done a video game post in quite a bit and I miss talking about gaming! For a lot of the past few months I’ve been struggling with my motivation to do much of anything really, but I’m starting to get some of that motivation back and that means I’m back to playing more games! As I’m revisiting some of my favorite games I’m starting to realize that a lot of the games I really love were either overlooked or poorly reviewed because of various circumstances. That doesn’t mean these games don’t have fan bases. Some of these games have very devoted fans. It’s more that these games, for some reason or another, wound up with a bad reputation that turned a lot of gamers away from them. So today I’m going to try to explain the situation and defend some of my favorite video games in the hopes that more people can discover them and enjoy them just as much as I do!
‘Detroit: Become Human’:
I’m starting out with probably the most popular game on this list. I still come across people talking about this game on social media despite the fact that it came out about three years ago. However, even when this game was released it was highly debated. The first reviews that came out praised it for its deep characters and choice-heavy gameplay. But it was also criticized for being tone deaf to the social issues it was trying to tackle. These social issues in particular drove a lot of gamers away. Why? Well, because this game is about androids who were created to serve humans. Except these androids realize they’re being treated like slaves and decide to start a revolution to fight for their rights. I wonder what real life scenario this is supposed to be commenting on? Between segregated cars on the back of buses that are specifically for androids, to using phrases like “We have a dream” for the android revolution, this game could get very heavy handed and controversial. I think it’s obvious to anyone that the treatment of the Black community can’t be compared to the treatment of androids in the game. As an analogy for our world, ‘Detroit: Become Human’ is a poor one. But the game has a lot more to offer than failed attempts at addressing society. Its characters are deeply thought out and well acted. I specifically recommend the game for the characters of Connor and Hank. Connor is an android who gets assigned to a police officer, Hank, on an android-related case. Hank and Connor’s relationship starts out rocky, but as the game goes on, depending on your choices, they develop a very strong and emotional bond. The game is at its strongest when the two are left to debate moralistic issues from their very opposite points of view and by the end of it, you really feel like Hank views Connor as a son. These extremely real feeling characters in horribly complex moral situations really make the game shine. Especially because your choices drive these conversations. Maybe this game isn’t a good analogy, but the way it connects you to the characters in a story-heavy way that you are very much in control of, is immersive in a way you won’t find in most other video games.
‘Final Fantasy XV’:
This game has a lot of fans, but not because it initially had good reviews. This game gained a following majorly because the main characters are, admittedly, very attractive and because this is a ‘Final Fantasy’ game. As for initial reviews, this is one of those games that most gamers could tell was released too early. It was extremely buggy, fighting gameplay was clunky, and the load screens were so long that, no matter what came after the screen, it wasn’t worth the wait. Many gamers put down this game after the first few weeks it was released and never looked back. But I really think its worth coming back to now that a few years have passed. A lot of it has been fixed. The fighting is now much smoother and I haven’t encountered any major glitches at all. (The load screens are still long but it’s still a good game despite it.) On top of all of that, various incredibly good story bits were added. For those who don’t know, this game follows Noctis, a prince who was sent away by his father to get married in the hopes of creating peace with an enemy kingdom. Noctis is accompanied on his journey by three friends: His bodyguard, Gladio, his royal advisor, Ignis, and his classmate, Prompto. After the four leave, however, they realize that Noctis can’t return to his home until he possesses the power to free it. The game dives deeply into these four characters. You spend all of your gameplay fighting with them, camping with them, trying to make enough money for the four of you to survive, and just bantering back and forth. The story drives home that these four would die for one another. And you see that nearly happen multiple times. I’ll highlight my favorite character here, Ignis, for making a major sacrifice halfway through the game. He also has a more recent DLC that is by far one of the best DLC’s I’ve ever played. It gives a major insight into his own thoughts and feelings. This game is more complex than most think and if you abandoned it, now is the time to return.
‘Ghostbusters: The Video Game’:
This game is definitely the least popular here. It isn’t an unpopular game necessarily. ‘Ghostbusters’, after all, has a pretty large and loyal fan base. It’s just that this game ended up being rejected by gamers right when it was announced. Video games that are based off of movies are almost never good. Who was to say that this game would be an exception? Apparently Harold Ramis and Dan Akroyd. Harold Ramis and Dan Akroyd famously played Egon and Ray in the original ‘Ghostbusters’ movies. They’re also the writers for the films. And they also wrote the story for the video game. Not only that, but all of the original Ghostbusters, plus Janine and Walter Peck, returned to reprise their roles in the video game. This game isn’t a quick cash grab. The writers of the original movies came up with an entirely new story containing their ideas on what a third movie might look like, and then pulled in a good chunk of the cast to return to bring it to life. In the game you play as a rookie, training under the Ghostbusters while they deal with yet another ghostly catastrophe. And Gozer is definitely involved again. It feels like a continuation of the movies. The humor is on point, the lore is rich, and the story is excellent. As for the gameplay, it’s a really fun shooter with a lot of interesting variation when you realize that the same tricks won’t work on every ghost. And if you’re looking at the game that was just remastered, it’s beautiful. The places you go to are taken almost exactly from the films. The screen accuracy of just the elevator in the Sedgewick Hotel is scarier than any of the ghosts you’ll encounter in the game. And it all looks real enough to touch. If you’re a ‘Ghostbusters’ fan, definitely give this a chance.
That’s my list for now! I have tons of other games like this I could talk about, so maybe you’ll see this become a series! As for now, I hope this post convinced you to look past some of the criticisms these games get. They all have really excellent stories and some really fun gameplay. I return to all three of these yearly. I hope you find something on this list that will make you return just as often as I do!
Don’t do anything fun until I get back!