2012's overrated games

Tom Chick posted his annual Most Overrated Games list. He's wrong about Journey. But he's right about Diablo 3.


  1. I forgot to get around to trying Journey after I read about it on BB. I guess any press is good press, as surely I’m not the only one who will be reminded to go and play it. That Hong Kong game sounds quite cool too even though all I know is that it’s an open-world game with slightly dated graphics (apparently).

    I agree regarding the Call of Duty games in principle but I’m still going to play it… played them all since the original and they’re the only blockbuster-type games that I always find to be immensely entertaining – despite my normal disdain for big-budget shallow blockbuster stuff. I enjoyed the charming-old-war-movie feel of the original games more than the modern-macho-black-ops stuff, but the gameplay is still great fun.

    Haven’t actually bought or played any games this year as far as I can recall (other than Humble Bundles, which I mostly don’t actually play), but even as an ex-gamer I found the article lacking. There are valid criticisms to be made of games that do get overrated, but he seems to be missing the point here. Sometimes obliviously… for example Forza games are meant to be simulation-esque and are not really comparable to the arcade-type racing games he lists as being preferable. 

    1. I agree on that last part- Forza and similar titles (Gran Turismo, soon C.A.R.S., etc.) are meant to appeal to the sim crowd, while Need for Speed and that variety are more broad-market. They both involve cars, but are different beasts. Perhaps trying to compare an ocelot and a housecat would be the appropriate metaphor.

  2. The only game I’ve played in his list is Diablo III, and I agree that it probably succeeded to the extent that it did largely on nostalgia (plus improved graphics, of course). But his attitude overall seems to be one of burnout; he’ll criticize a game because it doesn’t conform to his standards of gameplay, and a different one because it’s not original enough.

  3. I’m an avid gamer and I don’t think I’ve even heard of two of those games (endless space and Crusader Kings 2) so I’m not sure how overrated they are. 

    1. I own both of them and I can say Crusader Kings 2 isn’t overrated at all – it’s just a ridiculously dense medieval politics simulator so it’s like Dwarf Fortress, if it tickles your fancy you will sink hundreds of hours into it and love every minute; if it doesn’t, you’ll play it for like thirty minutes before your king gets assassinated by his wife’s nephew and quit. Endless Space I knew of through a 4X community and haven’t once heard mentioned since I played the beta and got a little bored because the AI really doesn’t know how to play the game (it cheats fantastically to pretend it does) but it’s otherwise an enjoyable game.

  4. I really liked Journey, but I’ve liked all thatgamecompany’s work (flOw and especially flOwer), they make nice places to be.

  5. “If I want an insultingly bad story constantly and stridently shoved in my face, I’ll watch my Lost DVDs.”


  6. The only one I’ve played on his list is Halo 4, and he’s not far wrong on that one.  I really do miss Bungie’s craftsmanship on this one, and also Bungie’s occasionally-half-assed story sense surpassed what 343 calls a story.  I was never a huge fan of Firefight mode, since endless waves of enemies a la Space Invaders have never appealed to me; I like to feel I can win.  But I totally understand why Firefight was so popular in Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach.  Though I wouldn’t play it much, I can see why Chick mourns its absence.  I’ve been sorta enjoying the Spartan Ops mini-missions, but yeah, you definitely get that creeping feeling of lameness when your death has no negative consequences other than a five-second timeout.  (This was the only problem I noticed with Bioshock as well.)  I guess it might not bother me so much if I were doing the Spartan Ops missions in a multiplayer situation, but since I play by myself, I occasionally end up getting horribly outnumbered with truly unfortunate respawning locations, and I end up just spamming grenades and gunfire, flinging myself willynilly at the hordes, wearing them down by pure attrition since I keep respawning and they don’t.  The fun evaporates pretty quickly in that setup, and I find myself preferring Campaign.  Except that the Campaign so far (I’m still only about 2/3 of the way through, since I rarely get time to play) has some pretty irritating story problems, and much of it makes no sense at all.

    I’m gonna have to start playing more multiplayer.  The single-player Halo 4 experience is turning out to be pretty awful for a Halo title.

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