Originally published as The Pettiness of Game Reviewers. Click here for details.

It happens every year now. Last year it was that nonsense over a single animation from Call of Duty: Ghosts. This year the outcry is now over a single button press in Advanced Warfare. Every year it’s the same story, and every year an even more trivial example is picked out and attacked for no good reason.

Desperate to find something, anything, to make themselves feel superior for not playing and enjoying a Call of Duty game, the “enlightened” gaming community at large goes through these games with a fine-toothed comb, until they can finally find something to either laugh at or condemn. Preferably both.

Gamasutra has jumped on the bandwagon this year with their recently published article, All Due Respect: Press F to Farce by Andrew Vestal. Basically the article is an attempt to defend a similar scene from Batman: Arkham City while at the same time attacking its usage in a Call of Duty game.

First of all, this is such a trifling article that I couldn’t possibly recommend it to you. The author comes off as someone who’s been backed into a corner and is inventing any possible excuse to justify his feeble position.

Just know that in one of the year’s most outstanding action shooters, an absolute must-play, with game-of-the-year material shining through every inch of it, from a series with a reputation for having too much “guns and explosions,” this is what people are upset about:



Now if you want to criticize the text for even being there at all, and make the argument that the context-sensitive button prompts and popups hurt the game’s immersion, then I’m all for it. That kind of stuff actually matters. That’s the kind of thing we should be talking about.

Riding the jeep in the second mission and seeing Irons’s name pop up all over his face throughout the whole ride as he’s talking to you makes it very jarring to ever look him in the eyes. How unnatural is that? Why not let the player turn all that text off, like in Killzone: Shadow Fall?

But nope. Ignore all that. Let’s get to the real issues here. The military funeral scene. So, assuming there’s a real issue here, what should we do about it? According to the author, all the problems with it would have simply vanished had it been optional to interact with the casket and if the text had rather said “Pay Your Respects”. Or if it hadn’t have been a Call of Duty game. Like I said. Trifling.

No doubt the author was forced to play through the game for some reason. Why else would someone who’s just reached this scene burst out into irreverent laughter? Detached. Like in some kind of a MST3K scenario. (As seen here: Clueless Gamer) And he has the audacity to accuse the developers of being disrespectful. Give me a break.

But that’s how it is with people that are not interested in videogames. People who have no love for them, but still persist in writing article after article about them. It’s no wonder that we ended up in the mess we are today. Too many scribblers and not enough people actually playing and enjoying the fruits of the greatest period of videogames that history’s ever known. If you ever mistakenly find yourself on the side of the mockers and scorners, do yourself a favor. Take your leave from them. And play a videogame.

By the way, I hear that new Call of Duty is excellent.

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