Battle of the GameCops: 2013 Edition!

game cop

It’s been two years since gaming’s finest detectives took their cases, but now they’re back. This time, their beat includes Grand Theft Auto V’s hype (or lack thereof), Richard Garriott’s comments that “most game developers suck” and Hideo Kojima’s newest antics with the Phantom Pain. Naturally, they tackle these with all the integrity and tenacity that you’ve come to expect from your favorite gaming gumshoes.

Since you haven’t seen them in a couple of years, here’s how this feature works: GameCop is a sensible gamer, looking out for your best interests. LameCop is your average forum troll, causing havoc for the lulz, while PsychoCop should be locked up for everyone’s safety.

Here’s how they feel about these issues:

Issue 1

Rockstar is being coy about Grand Theft Auto V news. Fair or foul?

Grand Theft Auto V

GameCop: Eddy

I think it’s totally fair for Rockstar to be playing it close to the vest with Grand Theft Auto V’s release. So many games these days blitz us with a constant stream of media for months on end that it almost becomes tiresome by the time the game comes out. Rather than just give us endless content, they’re picking their best bits and showing them at the most opportune moments. I can respect that.

Think about how many games blitzed us and then turned out to be letdowns. Assassin’s Creed 3, Sim City, the list keeps going. I can’t remember seeing much hype for games like Red Dead Redemption (also by Rockstar), which totally blew me away because I knew so little about it going in. If this means GTA V turns out differently than its predecessor, I’m all for it.

LameCop: Mitch

I need hot, piping gaming PR pumped directly into my veins everyday. If Rockstar isn’t willing to cut super awesome trailers on a weekly basis, then I don’t want any of their latest milkshake.

Just look at Injustice: Gods Among Us. That’s how you do pre-release promotion. A new video every week detailing which DC super-hero made the roster this time? Hell yes. There’s no way I’m going to be sick of a game if every time I open a gaming site I see a trailer advertising Hawkgirl and Aquaman. Step up, Rockstar. For real.

PsychoCop: Anthony

There’s a very good reason Rockstar hasn’t released more information about Grand Theft Auto V: they are still making it. But not in the way you think. No, they aren’t hard at work on the game, they are chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool while waiting for Saint’s Row 4 to come out in August. Then, they can steal all the best ideas from that game (which, let’s face it, is all of them) and then get to work on GTA V. I have it on good authority (this guy from Youtube’s comments section) that GTA V is also ripping off L.A. Noire, Red Dead Redemption, Skyrim, Sleeping Dogs, Minecraft and Far Cry 3 in an attempt to be the best open-world game of all time.

I fully expect GTA V to be a copy of every open-world game that has come out since GTA IV changed gaming forever with its amazing commercials and stellar car handling. GTA V will have horses, acoustic guitar radio stations, black dildos (purple is so last year), crime scenes with hundreds of lovingly-rendered empty beer bottles, dragons, arrows in knees, arrows in knee victims on talk radio shows, Asians, melee combat ripped off from Sleeping Dogs which ripped off Arkham City, the ability to build your own city, drug-induced hallucinations, Skrillex, a NEW definition of insanity and zombies. Because zombies make everything better.

Issue 2

Richard Garriott, creator of Ultima (who’s also been to space), says game designers suck: is he out of line?


GameCop: Anthony

I think there is something to what Garriot is saying here. There is a dearth of imagination out there at times. You would think someone wanting to make a shooter would try to stand out from the crowd, but they usually just blend right in and are never heard from again. We see features in games all the time that are half-hearted and seem poorly thought out. The excuse is always the same: “We ran out of time/money/both.”

But did they? Honestly, I think that may be the case in some instances, but in others, I just think there is a lack of talent. Too many games have set the bar on many features that other games come along and screw up. Look at the difference in shooting mechanics in Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3. There was a clear difference and the dev team couldn’t even figure out what was different. It’s clear the “A” team was working on The Last of Us and the less-talented “B” team was making Uncharted 3. This is just one small example, but I think Garriot is dead on: some designers suck.

LameCop: Eddy

I think Game Cop’s just mad that he couldn’t platinum every trophy in Uncharted 3. I couldn’t either, but whatever man, YOLO. I’d like to produce a few rebuttals for your arguments about game designers sucking. Case number the first: Obsidian. These guys are able to regularly churn out games that are held together by spit, bubblegum and Cheeto dust, and people keep spending money on them. Having barely skated through college, I know that it takes talent to come through at the bare minimum, and these guys can do it consistently.

Exhibit C: pretty much anybody at EA. They know that gamers love puzzles, which is why they release games with strict DRMs like Sim City. It’s not just a sim, bro, it’s a puzzle game. Just got to figure out how to make it not suck and you’re good to go. You must not be a true gamer if you think game designers suck. I think they’re showing off their finest colors.

PsychoCop: Mitch

Well of course all game designers suck! It’s hard to be creative or innovative when you’re enslaved to the mole people! These subterranean criminals have taken over the games industry in order to accrue a vast amount of wealth to power their giga-drill, the device that will churn up all the dirt in the world and make everything sink underground. It’s messed up, man.

Issue 3

Hideo Kojima may or may not have something to do with Phantom Pain, which may or may not be related to Metal Gear Solid 5. Are we tired of his hijinks yet?

Phantom Pain

GameCop: Mitch

Honestly, I don’t see a problem with how Kojima promotes his games. He is an auteur, and his games have always been a little out-there, so hiding his latest production behind a fake company and fake, heavily-bandaged lead designer is right up his alley. Just keep doing what you’re doing, Kojima. Shine on, you crazy diamond.

LameCop: Anthony

Typical response from a typical Kojima-fanboy apologist. Your heralded genuis can do no wrong in your eyes, can he? This is a waste of time and resources that should be used to fix the broken plot of the entire Metal Gear Solid series. But no! Kojima needs to pretend he is Darkman and troll the entire industry instead. All this will lead to is disappointment and a game where nanomachines is the explanation for everything. Again.

PsychoCop: Eddy

I don’t think you guys get this at all. Kojima is the Phantom Pain. He is Solid Snake. The video games have never been just games, but docugameries, showcasing the exploits of this game designer turned espionage action star. He is like the Batman, only Japanese, nerdier and more adorable. But like any great superhero, the burden of his secret is weighing down on him, and he’s finally letting us in on his world, into the cybersphere of his mind. And I welcome it. Tell me more, Kojima. You’re the designer the industry needs, not the one it deserves.


Where do you guys weigh in on these issues? Has it been too long for one of these features? Go!

Written by

I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

2 thoughts on “Battle of the GameCops: 2013 Edition!”

  1. I have missed these features way too much. Thanks for bringing traditional Sushi back guys.

    1. Less info is good. Going into RDR blindwas wonderful. If a similar effect can be emulated with GTAV then bring it on.

    2. Certainly game devs can suck nowadays. After reading the article to get context, I completely agree with him. Ever since I started programming I have understood more and more the limitations with design. All those wild ideas I once had for games were completely changed. This line is the one that stood out most to me, I think you’ll understand why:
    “But in my mind, most artists and programmers are just as much of gamers as the designers, and I usually find in my history that the artists and programmers are, in fact, as good of designers as the designers. They’re often better, because they understand the technology or the art.”
    This is the most common problem with companies I’ve heard insider news from: The designer doesn’t understand HOW to make games. They have a destination, but no understanding of how to get there.

    3. Kojima is awesome. That is all there is to say.

  2. Great article! It feels like reuniting with an old friend.

    I’m a LameCop on Issue 1. There’s a fine line between knowing and not knowing. Bioshock Infinite was literally pumping the media sites full of info and PR crap, and at some point I just stopped caring. Watch Dogs is on the exact opposite end. all we have are 3 trailers and I still don’t know what the game is about (even though I want it so freakin bad). Looking back, I’d say Skyrim had some of the best PR. We got some juicy trailers and tidbits, but it was never really gushed out at us. Bethesda struck a good balance of mystery and information. And I think with a series like GTA, there’s so much the player can do and see that it’d be hard for them to go overboard with PR.

    On Issue 2, I’m a GameCop. I stand with Garriott’s statement. Game design and game programming are like apples and oranges. When I was coming up in the world of hobbyist game design, you were expected to do everything yourself (except for music, sometimes). I’ve played tons of games where every single asset was created by one person. I can’t draw worth a shit and my programming skills can only take me so far, but I am a gifted writer with more than a boatload of imagination. Most people in today’s industry only have experience with a design document at best, because they’re programmers first; they only see the “what” component of game design. Very few people, Garriott included, will write more than just the design document. They have bazillions of pages of notes, and they constantly ask themselves “why”. Why should our skill system include perks? Why should we choose fixed health instead of regenerating? Why should this character be a female? Why should the player be a silent protagonist? These people are writers/designers first. They know what they’re doing. The current crop of designers, I feel, is no more than monkey see, monkey do.

    *tl;dr game design and game programming are two VERY different specialties.*

    With Issue 3, I’m a GameCop. I really don’t care what Kojima does. I’ve never played a game he’s made, but I have no problem with him running around and making stuff.

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