Tonight, I finished my second game this year that the hype machine got me to play. Firewatch was the first and Inside was the second. I initially had very little interest in either game, but then they came out and certain sites *cough* IGN *cough* just started raving about them both on their site and through their podcasts. As a result, I bought them and played them and was extremely disappointed.
Oh Firewatch… I was so excited to play you and you started so strong. I bought the setup hook, line, and sinker. Man’s falls in love, gets married, and his wife becomes terminally ill. He can’t deal with it, so he takes a job working at a national park for the summer to get away. Great! I’m in. He meets a fellow co-worker on the other end of a radio and they begin a relationship. Sounds good so far, then it just went downhill. The story built up to a whole lot of nothing and the gameplay really wasn’t that interesting. Yes, it was pretty, but it was so glitchy and the ending was so anti-climactic that I wondered why I played it in the first place. I felt a little duped. Yes, there were some genuinely good moments in there, but not enough to justify my purchase or playtime. To make matters worse, I recommended the game to Jonathan Alan before I was halfway through so he suffered the same disappointment I did. What a shame. At least it’s not as disappointing as my next game…
I had zero interest in this title. None. Then I saw the scores rolling in and heard them rave about it on Podcast Unlocked so I wanted to check it out before it was spoiled. Technically, it was a beautiful game with some genuinely tense and fun puzzles and moments and then you hit the last 30 minutes. WTF guys, seriously? Not only does it provide no closure or explanation to anything that is happening, but shows some of the most stomach-churning imagery I’ve seen in a while. I finished the game and for the first time in a long time couldn’t decide whether I was glad to have played it or not. I was glad because I got my curiosity out of the way and was able to play it unspoiled, but it was such a WTF ending and game as a whole that now I’m just frustrated. I should have waited for a sale.
Hype has made me buy at least these two games this year and I hate it. I feel like the machine played me like a fiddle to play these games that I had no interest in. Sometimes, it’s worth it like with Undertale, but for the most part, I just feel duped. Do yourself a favor, if a game doesn’t look interesting to you or you’re on the fence, WAIT. Don’t get sucked into the hype machine and get chewed up and spit out like I did.