Hype: the benefits and pitfalls
Posted on Sunday, February 10 2008 @ 20:05:09 PST
Hype's a funny thing. We see it everywhere, at least everywhere there is a public interest. Books are hyped, music is hyped (I still remember the massive build up to the first Angels & Airwaves album; Velvet Revolver, Foo Fighters and several other bands have also partook in use of the hype machine). Movies are obviously massively hyped and an example of this can be found in the recent Cloverfield film and obviously certain games have been hyped to the moon, but is this a good or bad thing?
As always the answer is not as clear as it should be. Bioshock was the subject of immense hype once the concept of an undersea city made its way to the surface dripping with information like a beached whale and many people were cautiously optimistic about it, would it fail or rise to its self imposed lofty challenge? If you stay even remotely abreast of gaming news you'll know it reached heights far above its hype and even though it's not perfect I don't think anyone can say hype damaged it. Having said that, there have been countless games that have fell victim to over hyping. Metal Gear Solid 2 is probably one of them, an amazing game but it failed to live up to its hype, the same goes for GRAW 2 and Halo 2 (and arguably 3).
So when does hype cross the line from major advertising to very real burden? I can say one thing for sure, it's before twelve years have elapsed between the previous game and the present day. I am of course talking about Duke Nukem Forever, the game that could have been on the shelves six times over had 3D Realms pulled their finger out and stuck to one of the dozens of release dates they've announced over the past decade. I was contemplating how I feel about this game now since it's been around ten years since I played the last Duke Nukem game and I realised I don't care anymore. The only reason I'm keeping abreast of the news is because I want to see if they'll stick to the rather soggy release date they've hesitantly put forward before revealing it's not a release date at all, it's a date they might be able to release the game on... at least they've learnt not to make promises they can't keep but Jesus, give us something a bit more solid than sponge to go on. So hype can severely backfire, I don't know if anyone else is actually interested in Forever now, a few years back and everyone who was alive back in Duke's prime was clamouring for more information, for another shot at the crude franchise but now I guess we're sick of being teased just as we got sick of waiting for Wile. E. Coyote to catch that blasted Road Runner.