Thursday, 24 February 2011

Pre-ordering Games Woes

I am not impressed to say the least. 
Last October I pre-ordered Two Worlds 2 at our local EB Games store which has turned out to be a mini disaster to this day when it was finally supposed to be released yesterday here in Australia after numerous delays.

A little background info:

Despite that Two Worlds 1 had very mixed reviews I bought it and found it to be a very good game, but only after the multiple patches, fixes  and graphic enhancements.  I enjoyed it and was looking forward to the second game.
It had a lot of elements that were missing from other open world games like Oblivion, one of which is horse combat and a more populated world among other things.   The horse combat was underdeveloped, but it worked.   The main gripe was the difficulty in managing horse movement, also like in Oblivion, but more awkward because first you had to learn the skills of horse riding to be able to control the beast in the first place.

I found the game to have a good if stereotype story, but that's the case with many modern rpg;s anyway.

So, after said delays for TW2 and the fact that I'd paid for it last year,  I read on the games own forums that we won't be getting it here because the distributor has gone into receivership.  Mind you its been released in Europe since last October or November.

Back in November after several delays and a new release date of January, then February, I cancelled my order and used the money to buy Arcania - Gothic 4.
I am so embarrassed to even say I bought that game that I haven't mentioned it except in passing on a couple of forums and not even the one I practically live on.  That game is more than a disaster, it's a travesty, but that's for another rant.

So, when I found that TW2 was supposedly definitely down for a February 24th release I once again put some money down, but only a deposit this time.  I checked the TW2 forums the day before and discovered that it won't be coming here at all because of the previously mentioned company demise.  I went to the store to see if they had any info on pre-orders at least and they said they were hoping that they could at least be filled, but had no info from their distributors on when that might be.

I was so fed up with it I canceled it altogether and as far as I'm concerned Topware deserved what they got for their bad handling of the situation.  More info can be found on the TW2 forums about that.  In Europe the game is distributed by another company which seems to know what they are doing.  I suppose I could import the game from a European retailer, but I've had enough of that fiasco and I can't afford to do that anyway.  Plus, if it's a digital version only I don't want it.  I want a DVD I can actually look at and see what I paid for.

That was the first time I'd ever, in my gaming career, pre-ordered a game as I usually wait until release and research them first.  Another thing I'm sad to say I didn't do with Arcania - Gothic 4 because I was expecting a GOTHIC game not a poor facsimile that relies more on gorgeous graphics no-one without the very latest systems can really enjoy.  Pity they didn't focus just a tiny bit on the gameplay.  I did do some reading on it's official forum well before release and after the demo was released.  The reviews were scathing, but I had HOPE which was cruelly dashed when I installed the game and played for a couple of hours.  I still have it installed but never gone back to play so I must be delusional.  Another dust collector that would be more use as a frisbee.  Suffice to say they should never have remotely called it a Gothic game, but a very basic action adventure that might engage players as just that.  No need to think and the combat is click, click, click and hope to hit something when all enemies constantly block and stun.     I know some people liked it as a basic action game, but the fact that JoWood lied from the start and in press releases about what the game actually was supposed to be is false advertising at it's worst.  And they continue to do so.  Also they are in a  financial mire so what goes around comes around and has come back to bite them.

Anyway, I'm getting off track as this was mainly supposed to be about Two Worlds 2.  A proper description of my impressions of Arcania - Gothic 4 would require more than this post.
I am very happy to say though that a couple of other games I pre-ordered since, ie Fallout:New Vegas and Divinity 2:The Dragon Knight Saga made the disappointment more than bearable.  Both are epic games in my opinion and deserve the greatest success.   Even though FO:NV was buggy for some pre patching, I never had any issues or crashes, and even STEAM which many whine about has been problem free.  Divinity2 DKS is one of the most memorable games I've had the pleasure to play since Half Life 2 and the Gothic series.   And Oblivion, but that's another story too long for this rant.

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