Developers: Don’t Do This

I installed Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit last night, thinking it’d be a good way to pass the time for a few days.

I uninstalled Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit tonight. Let me tell you why.

It’s insulting, first and foremost. As in, the first thing it does is insult you. Just after you get through all the unskippable publisher, developer, affiliates, and random mates of the guy who did some of the cleaning in the office while the game was being made, you get presented with an unskippable cutscene. It has tyres, car crashes, surprised looking drivers. You figure, ‘hey, this looks a lot like the game I’m about to be playing. I suppose it’s an intro cinematic’. You figure wrong. This is for Need For Speed: Shift 2, which comes out later this year. Yes, you’ve just been forcefed an advert. Congratulations.

But we’re not done, oh no. Now you get walked through the menu. Unskippable, of course, and they explain such outlandish and original ideas like ‘Career Mode’ and ‘Settings’. The biggest surprise? The option labelled ‘Photos’ shows you all the photos you’ve taken in the game! Fantastic! Except they then never tell you how to take photos in the game. Oh, ok. But at least I have a Wall! I’m going do write so much on my wall. I’m going to talk smack with all my smack talking friends. Except I have to add friends manually, and it doesn’t use something clever like Steamworks or even GFWL to get a friends list. And I’m buggered if I’m going around all my friends asking if they’ve got Need for Speed. Because I’m lazy, and that’d be weird. And I’ve got no friends. Who play Need for Speed.

Aaaanyway, by now you may have lost interest. That’s ok, I did too. But my thumb managed to knock the thumbstick as I fell into a catatonic state, and suddenly I was being shouted at by an excited woman, and I was apparently in Career mode! Maybe I might be able to see a car sometime! Once I’ve been a good boy and socialised on my Wall, perhaps. And sat through another hour or two of tutorials. Unskippable tutorials. So I select a race! Yay! Zoom zoom crash crash. Oh, no, it’s another tutorial. An unskippable tutorial.

I’m told that I’m a ‘cop’ and I have to chase ‘criminals’. Such a complex idea, I’m glad they devoted 30 seconds to explaining it. It’s ok, we’re nearly there. We nearly have the car in our hands. Or at least a steering wheel or something. It’s been so long I’m starting to forget what a car is, and what it does. Something about roads. The race is starting! Except, no, it isn’t, there’s another 30 seconds of unskippable ‘rolling starts’ to sit through. But what’s this?! A button that says ‘Press A to skip’?! A miracle!

Hahaha, you silly player, we fooled you! It doesn’t really skip, it just says ‘skipping’ until the unskippable rolling start finishes rolling. You silly player.

You’ve earned some race time though, because you’ve been a good boy and learned everything there is to learn about being a cop and chasing down crims, and being a badass. Except we’re not really going to let you have much fun, because all of the crims have healthbars rather than frail, super fast pingpongballs like that other game that you love. You need to slowly whittle down that health bar! That’s it, keep nudging him! Eventually he’s going to crash! Won’t that be exciting!

Fuck. I mean, this is ridiculous. How did they come from Burnout Paradise and make this? The cars handle like trucks, but hit like micromachines. And, inexplicably, as soon as you hit an opposing car, they suddenly zoom off into the distance, so you can’t get another good hit at them. The spike strips are only good for one hit, which would be understandable for multiplayer, but in single player I want to be able to line up a triple shot, sending cars smashing into one another! Oh, and it’d help if the special abilities actually worked every time I hit the button, rather than 1/3. Hammering a button while I’m trying to steer sucks, especially when I usually only have one good shot at hitting the guy behind me. And put twelve cars in a race, rather than six, and make them all go down after a single big hit.

This health bar nonsense is absurd. As is the fact that apparently only the front five inches of my car ever actually do any damage, and if I shunt an opponent with my rear suddenly I’m taking damage. And seriously, who are you hurting if you let me skip stuff? Taking a minute to restart a race is beyond unacceptable. And the fucking detritus that you shove at the end, showing off the cars I’ve unlocked? Seriously? This is a game, not a motor showroom. I want to drive fast and make cars crash spectacularly. I don’t want to sit here wanking over a paintjob. And even if I did, the cop cars look like someone just vomitted pool cleaner all over them. What happened?

So yeah, fuck you Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. You’re an excrement of a game. I hate you.

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About Phill Cameron

I've graduated, had a look at the world, and spat. Now I'm devoting my time to moving from 3/4 of a games journalist to 9/10ths. I figure I can get away with 9/10ths.
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One Response to Developers: Don’t Do This

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Developers: Don’t Do This « The Poisoned Sponge -- Topsy.com

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