I didn’t think I was going to quit on any of these games. I fully intended to slog through every one, all the way to the end, no matter how terrible or boring they might be. If needed, I would use cheat codes or change the difficulty setting (like I did for X-Files: Resist or Serve) but I was going to experience all the awfulness these games had to offer. There was just one thing I didn’t account for: motion sickness
There was no way to see this coming. I’ve been playing games for as long as I can remember and this has literally never happened before. There have been a few times–when I was already sick or hungover–that I consciously avoided 3d games because I knew they would only make me feel worse. But this is the first time a game, by itself, made me feel like I needed to throw up.
Licensed games rarely take risks. Just look at all the titles I’ve played so far. X-Files: Resist or Serve was a PS1/Code Veronica era Resident Evil game re-skinned with Mulder and Scully, arranged around a few plot points lifted straight from the X-Files movie. Star Trek was a co-op third-person shooter that was somewhere on the spectrum between Gears of War and, hell, Resident Evil 5. Both were such unabashed ripoffs that they prominently featured zombies instead of anything resembling the usual villains of either series. And Sopranos: Road to Respect? While it (oddly) had a few loose elements that could be seen as precursors to systems in Sleeping Dogs and Alpha Protocol, there was nothing meaningful to the game other than a rote brawler. The environmental attacks and dialog system were thin veneers that ultimately amounted to nothing.
Reservoir Dogs is a different story.
One hour into The Sopranos: Road to Respect and I was already pining for the relatively fun days of The X-Files: Resist or Serve. I had a lot of negative things to say about the adventures of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in low-poly land and the game was fundamentally broken, but I was never bored and the game never made me feel bad. That’s more than I can say for Road to Respect.
To start, a caveat: unlike The X-Files, I don’t have a ton of familiarity with The Sopranos. I’ve seen a few episodes, I know the basic themes and several of the characters, but I’m hardly invested in the show or the universe. I didn’t have HBO during the first couple of seasons, and by the time I had access to The Sopranos I was already too jaded about the series to really adopt it. I can be destructively contrarian about shows, movies, and games that win universal appeal. Once I’ve heard enough praise about something, I start to lose interest in it. I’m usually far more intrigued by something that everyone says is terrible… Which may explain this current project of playing bad games. My opinion of The Sopranos as a television show, however, has little bearing on my opinion of the game because if I was a fan I’d probably only hate it more.
This is gonna go well