It seems a strange proposition, but I was cruising around Game Debate the other day, as you do, when I spied someone saying a certain game had ruined gaming for them. Now it escapes me which GD’er and what game, but it wasn’t because the game was terrible but because it was so great.
They’d played a game so fantastic that it made everything else seem disappointing by comparison. It’s like going from a juicy steak to a Quorn burger. In a way it’s almost a bad idea to even play a game like that. One so superlative that everything else cowers in its presence. There can’t be too many out there like that, but for me it has to be The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
CD Projekt RED’s magnum opus hasn’t exactly ruined gaming for me, but it’s certainly put a massive dent in my hopes for any other RPG. The world. The quest design. The incredible characters. The sheer size of the damn thing. I feel a little bit sorry for other games, basically.
Back in December of 2014 I gave a pretty high score to Dragon Age: Inquisition in a review. Going back and comparing it to what came four or five months later, I’d have to knock it down quite a few points.
It’s put a bit of a downer on any role-playing game I’ve played since as well. Pillars of Eternity didn’t stick. Xenoblade Chronicles X felt like it was wasting my time. Sword Coast Legends was like, well, Sword Coast Legends. If you asked me what RPGs I’m looking forward to my answer would basically be Cyberpunk 2077. BioWare has got its work cut out if it wants to get Mass Effect Andromeda anywhere near the levels of The Witcher 3. Look back at that sci-fi trilogy and I don’t think it holds up well to Geralt’s adventure.
So while The Witcher 3 hasn’t ruined gaming for me then, it’s certainly put a dampener on the prospects of other RPGs. Hopefully a lot can be learnt from what CDPR achieved, and maybe, just maybe, something else will come along and ruin gaming for me all over again.
Over to you then, what games have ruined gaming for you through their greatness? Are there any genre kings that have yet to be bested?