I love video games in a way many people in my life have never understood. My parents never really grasped my fascination with my Nintendo 64, and I can’t remember a girlfriend who looked with more than a passing curiosity on my favorite pastime. As much as I love certain games and certainly gaming as a whole, times like the present are far too familiar.
I’m bored with gaming. Deeply bored. I still play DotA 2 on a regular basis, though mostly because it gives me a chance to connect with my gaming friends. Updates for the game are coming slowly, even on Valve time. With the wide array of heroes yet to be added, the game is a long way from complete, and further still from seeing any kind of evolution on the status quo.
Beyond that, the industry’s recent releases have been half-hearted iterations on the latest classics, and even for those the cost of entry is steep. SWTOR was my gleaming hope for a while there, but the beta was a tragic disappointment, even if it did save me $60. Kingdoms of Amalur had some promise, but my enjoyment would have been short-lived. Games as long on dialogue as Amalur have always bored me, which is why I’ll likely be passing on Mass Effect 3. I certainly will be for the initial cost of the game.
In some ways I think the recent wave of quality indie games has ruined the big publisher model for me. When I can easily get the same or more enjoyment from a $20 alpha investment, it gets difficult to justify spending three times as much for some pretty graphics and a few big names on that expensive box. Seriously, if the likes of R.A. Salvatore and Todd McFarlane can’t pull together an original and compelling world, why pay the premium on their names?
The future doesn’t look much more promising. Diablo 3 is still on the horizon but I can’t help wondering if the grindy style will be interesting enough. Mass Effect 3 is out there, but I’m not a fan of BioWare’s over-valuation of dialogue and dialogue choices. The one bright light remains Guild Wars 2, but that game sounds so ambitious it almost seems like it has already fallen short.
What are you playing? Or is there something you can’t wait to play?