“Videogames” is (sic) the story-telling, populist yet also artistic medium of the 21st Century. Or, when in the big leagues, it’s the production of can’t give a shit redeployments of old tat followed rapidly by the redundancies of most of the production team.
What doesn’t seem to suffer, what in fact appears to be able to coast along in a stinking miasma of tired, insultingly rote repuking of the same clichés is the marketing blurb from the USA’s major publishing players. Take for example Bethesda – which has some decent properties to sell and also the license for nostalgics-only WWII shooter, Wolfenstein.
For the uninitiated, Wolfenstein was an early First-Person Shooter game that has garnered a reputation akin to DW Griffiths cult-racist movie Birth of a Nation in that both are ancient and as such must be respected and gooped over by nostalgia fans.
The problem is that WWII shooting games – even ones with zombies shoe-horned in – are just that: WWII shooting games. Kids today think that WWII is a wrestling federation of some sort. And by ‘kids today’ and mean Men-Children as well. The kind of 30 year olds who live at home and still have mum do their washing. Kids Today go to work in hot hatchbacks, drink to the point of sickness and love the idea of old video games but essentially just play FIFA and Tiger Woods Golf.
They deserve lazy, tired, dribbling, cannot-be-bothered sales support for supposedly creative products (videogames) such as…
Wolfenstein has been widely credited for helping establish and popularise the first-person shooter genre, and Wolfenstein: The New Order is a reimagining of this franchise – offering players a gripping and dramatic experience.
Let’s look again:
1) “reimagining of this franchise” – huge cliché tick.
2) “gripping and dramatic experience” – another one, god forbid that the words ‘game’ or ‘product’ are used to scare the public into scaling their expectations down.
Then we have the traditional quote:
“We are excited to bring a new chapter of Wolfenstein to gamers everywhere,” said Jens Matthies, creative director at MachineGames. “As fans of the series, working on this game is an honor (sic), and our team is driven to create an unforgettable action-adventure experience that will make FPS fans proud.”
1) “We are excited” – must be a joke in marketing circles like football players getting song titles into interviews.
2) “As fans of the series…” – Authenticity sells. He can’t say, “We have signed a contract that means that we have to knock out yet another iteration of this tired title and we’re sad that we have no budget, no time to do it in and will probably not sell many copies either.
3) “said Jens Matthies, creative director at MachineGames” – no he didn’t. He signed off on it. Or maybe his boss did…
4) “working on this game is an honor” – Jens possibly needs to realign his notion of an honourable act?
5) “our team is driven to create an unforgettable action-adventure experience” – I give up now. But at least Jens managed to cram the word ‘experience’ in there.