Battle of the GameCops: 2014


Now that 2014 is here in full force, it only makes sense that we bring out our flatfoots of the gaming force to give their opinions of the biggest issues that gaming faced over the last year or so. That’s right, GameCop, LameCop and PsychoCop are back, and ready to hit the mean streets and the slummiest spots in town.

Since you haven’t seen them in some time, 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

EA has had a rough year in terms of their relationship with gamers. Are gamers being too hard on them, or do they need to shape up?

EA Battlefield 4

GameCop: Mitch

This has been a tough year for EA, no doubt about it. They “won” the Worst Company in America (again), their long-time CEO John Ricitiello had a very public stepping down, and, oh yeah, two high-profile game launches were completely bungled.

This last one is particularly unforgivable, especially for us gamers. Not only was SimCity the shell of the game it was promised to be, it also didn’t work for quite a long time (and still has intermittent issues). There was also the mangled launch of Battlefield 4, the effects of which are still being felt to this day.

Seriously, EA, step up your goddamn game. This sort of business practice is going to bite you in the ass eventually.

LameCop: Eddy

Oh please, this is just another case of a gamer feeling entitled to “play” a game that he “spent money on”. I don’t know why I used quotes there, but damn, that steps my point up quite a bit, don’t it? If you really wanted EA to get better, you would continue to buy their products at every launch. Clearly, what they really need is more of your money to improve their practices you idiot, not less!

Have you ever stopped to think that maybe SimCity’s launch sucked because EA couldn’t afford more servers? That Battlefield 4 has been mishandled because they didn’t have the resources to hire better programmers? Me, I’m a humanitarian, so my resolution in 2014 is to give my money to these guys as much as possible, to help them make better games. Haven’t you ever heard the phrase “money talks?”

PsychoCop: Anthony

America loves a good comeback story and EA knows this. But they can’t comeback until they fall and that’s what this is all about: one long, giant shit-spiral into the abyss, seeking new and undiscovered depths to the stock market, all the while planning their “miraculous” return to glory. Of course EA knew Battlefield 4 wouldn’t work at launch. Of course they knew Simcity would turn gamers into ravenous lunatics (not that many of us need a push). They not only knew, they counted on it.

Just wait until E3, when the new CEO of EA, Andrew Wilson, rips off his suit and reveals a Chris Hemsworth-like physique. And on that chiseled frame will be tattoos, dozens of them, all announcements of new EA games for the PS4 and Xbox One, all games that gamers will salivate over: Mirror’s Edge, Rock Band, Burnout: World Destruction, Command & Conquer FPS, Dead Space 4, Def Jam, Mass Effect 4, Mass Effect 3: The Ending Again, 38 varieties of FIFA games, Fight Night 5, a Harry Potter game in the style of Bully, Mutant League Madden, NBA Street, Road Rash, Shaq Fu 2, Simcity: For Real This Time, SKATE OR FREAKING DIE, SSX, a proper Syndicate and a new Peggle game because it’s EA.

So make all the snide comments you want, but come next Christmas, the sound of a million Velcro wallets opening will deafen us all.

Issue 2

The next generation is officially here, and consoles are selling like hotcakes (except, possibly, the Wii U). What do you guys think of the launches and the potential going forward?

next gen

GameCop: Anthony

Next Gen consoles have finally arrived and that’s a really good thing for all gamers. New consoles bring new franchises, new takes on old franchises and all kinds of innovative features that will hopefully change gaming for the better. And gamers seem to be banking on that as both Microsoft and Sony scored big: Microsoft has sold about 3 million units thus far while Sony has jumped out to a bit of a lead with 4.2 million consoles sold in 2013.

Sure, there were some issues at launch for both Sony and Microsoft. Broken consoles were a big news story for a week, but that thankfully turned out to be the typical launch miscues. Online network stability hasn’t been great across the board, but it has largely held up under the strain of this burgeoning generation. We have the consoles and now we just need the games. 2014 promises some heavy hitters and I am anxious to play them. The next gen is here and it looks promising.

LameCop: Mitch

I think we all know where the real next gen is: inside of my seven-foot tall, liquid cooled, octo-SLI’d 128 GB of RAM supercomputer. That’s right, console pleibs, I’ll be playing all the crappy ports of next-gen titles on my prohibitively expensive computer. If you want to be a real gamer, you have to go where the money sink is, and that’s PC gaming. Master race forever!

PsychoCop: Eddy

Oh ho ho, I see that you are both neglecting the Big N. No, not Nintendo, chumps (don’t even get me started on the false flag Wii U operation, it’s a really good thing that people saw through the ruse of the Wii, but the underground network’s still got a lot of work to do wiping the spy satellite link-ups from all of those Trojan white boxes sitting in hundreds of millions of soccer moms’ yoga rooms)! I’m talking about Nokia. But Eddy, there’s no Nokia next generation console. That’s what you think!

These guys have been working for months, in capital S secret, spinning up the best next generation console you’ve ever seen. This shit’s gluten free, fat free, in the cloud, HDX, has no disc drive, plays Nintendo first party games and Chinese rips of PSP games and it even comes with a snorkel for those underwater gaming sessions. It’s legit, you guys, and I’ll be there laughing all the way into the future.

Issue 3

2013 saw a major rise in the spread of indie titles. Does this spell doom for AAA? How do you feel about indie gaming?

No Man's Sky

GameCop: Eddy

2013 proved that indie games are on the rise, indeed. And not in a “fight against the man” kind of way, but in a “this is great for gamers” kind of way. We got lots of great, truly unique titles like Gone Home, Stanley Parable, Don’t Starve, Papers, Please and Gunpoint. These are the kinds of games that wouldn’t normally be funded by larger studios, yet they’ve been given life because the gap between content creators and consumers is narrower than ever.

And even if these games aren’t your cup of tea, their successes just ensure that more games that don’t fit the mold will get made in the future–not just by indies, but maybe even the AAA studios as well. If you’re someone that’s tired of playing the same old, same old, it’s a nice, refreshing change of scenery to see a game that isn’t about violence and upgrading guns, and to get something that tells the story of a family in a new home or a scientist trying to collect supplies to survive. Are these things the saviors of gaming? Hardly.

But the fact that some of the games I’m most excited about in 2014 are made by just a handful of people (such as No Man’s Sky) makes things very interesting.

LameCop: Anthony

Oh, let’s all gather around and sing Kumbaya! Indie games aren’t “on the rise”, they are on the decline. None of the games released this year could hold a candle to Braid or Fez or Bastion or any of the other instant classic we’ve played in previous years. Not to mention the fact that the prices for these games are getting out of hand: I mean, $20 for Gone Home? I need to spend $20 walking around collecting the indie equivalent of Bioshock diaries for a few hours and not shoot anything? Pass.

An argument could be made that some of these aren’t even games, like the aforementioned Gone Home. You just walk around, read and are then disappointed. That’s not a game, that’s a day at the library spent reading Stephen King books. As for new experiences, yes, we totally need more platformers and more games where you play as a government bureaucrat. That will really lure in those casual gamers. And don’t expect AAA titles to follow suit; their idea of innovation is a bow and arrow and a button that yelps, “Jason!”

PsychoCop: Eddy

I don’t know why people aren’t more concerned about the rise of indie games. Obviously these scarf-wearing hipsters are agents of Pixeldonia, the alternate reality kingdom where the “not game” rule supreme. They want to enforce their way of life on the gamers of this dimension by forcing us to play games where you don’t just shoot people all the time. Mark my words, “Tree of Life: The Game” is coming and it will be lauded as Game of the Year 2015 and by then it will be too late. You’ve been warned!

Where do you guys weigh in on these issues? Get on your own soapboxes.

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!