Welcome to VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast: Episode 44: The best game where you’d swap places with the main character.
Video games are very long-form pieces of entertainment, and as such, they have to work hard to hold our attention. Statistically, most single-player games are left unfinished by a staggering majority of the people who buy them, as much as 90% by some estimates. But is it any wonder, when a lot of games just get a bit naff after the first act? Once the New Game Novelty wears away, you’d better be introducing some huge plot twist, or engaging new mechanic, or something to switch things up and keep it interesting, otherwise people are going to go back to Skyrim.
There are some games that start off so well that it’s genuinely surprising when they go bad. Assassin’s Creed III is my usual go-to example of this: for the first 8-10 hours or so, which is an unfathomably long time for a prologue (that’s two Ben Hur’s and half a season of Curb), you play a suave sort-of Georgian James Bond character in the form of Haytham Kenway, and it rules. Then some stuff happens and you have to play his extremely less charismatic son for the rest of the game. It’s fine because you get to kill a lot of redcoats, but ugh. But what do our panel think is the best game that exemplifies this phenomenon? Which game, ultimately, has the best opening ten hours before it turns to sludge? To find out you’ll have to listen to VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast: the only podcast called that. Handily, you can do so below, via Methods.
Here’s an artist’s impression of Chris Bratt disapproving of time. (Support friends of VG247, People Make Games, on Patreon).
Cast: Tom Orry, Alex Donaldson, James Billcliffe, and Jim Trinca.
Our picks this week (SPOILERS AHEAD):
Tom – Football Manager Mobile
In contrast to its bigger brother, FM Mobile puts all the good stuff right at the beginning and goes downhill from there.
Alex – LA Noire
A massive title at the time, LA Noire leveraged some top-notch Hollywood talent, incredible new motion capture technology, and Rockstar’s reputation for immersive open-worlds (although they were the publisher, not the developer) to launch in 2011 with a lot of goodwill to squander. And boy, did it squander.
James – Portal
James decided to be clever by picking a very good game that is, at a stretch, if you squint, around ten hours long. Listen to the podcast to find out how well that goes for him.
“What is VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast?” you ask? Well, it is essentially a 30-minute panel show where people (Jim Trinca and associates) decide on the best game in a specific category. That’s it. It’s good. Listen to it.
Come back in a week for another exciting instalment of VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast.