your pretty game is heartless

I tried to play Witcher 3 back when it came out. I tried, and I made it about 20 hours in, but I quit. It’s too gloomy. Geralt’s a dick. All the women look the same — Barbie faces and big tits.

Plenty of people don’t seem particularly bothered by this, though.

There’s a whole group of fellow players I don’t even bother tuning in to when they start in on my favorite franchise, because all they have to say is “yes but it’s not as good as Witcher 3.” Some of these people truly wouldn’t give a shit if, say, rape were required of gameplay (“hurr, but the mechanics are so gudddd!”), but others should know better. By a lot.

They don’t, though. They don’t care. I can understand not minding the miserably dour, life-is-shit-and-so-is-everyone-in-it tone of the game, because some people are into that sort of thing. (No doubt they’re real fun to be around, too, but that’s beside the point.) But they keep returning again and again to Geralt and how great he is. “But he’s a DAD, don’t you get it? Dads are GREAT.”

Indeed, actual dads are great (mostly). Grizzled-ass grumpfaces who have exactly one note to their voices and who can’t go the length of two sentences without sighing in that world-weary, put-upon fashion are not great! They suck. Geralt sucks. With all the women he sleeps with in these games, you’d think he’d maybe enjoy himself. Just a little? Well, you’d be wrong. Because despite all that he’s still a grouch. Permanently. The appeal of assholes has been explained to me time and time again, but I still don’t get it. Who would sleep with this chump? Even for a one-night stand. He has zero fun. Ever. You’d have a better time keeping the other half of the bottle of wine to yourself, no contest.

And Geralt aside? There’s just no heart to the place. There are spectacular sunsets and cantering horses but everyone is selfish, surly and scintillatingly hard-hearted. Maybe this is “an accurate portrayal of medieval Europe,” uh huh. Sure. What with the monsters and everything, no doubt. But whatever it’s an accurate portrayal of, it’s not a place I want to hang around. Ever. Even with its gorgeous scenery.

It’s not that people shouldn’t be terrible. There should definitely be terrible people. In art as it is in life. But if you believe everyone is that terrible, you should maybe be meeting new people or having new experiences that convince you otherwise. Or, if that’s too hard, at least escape to a game universe where kindness fucking exists. If you think life is shit and you log into a game that confirms your every belief on that topic, why exactly are you playing? Does it even count as “playing” at that point? There’s no fun being had. Do you just nod your grizzled head every time some new horrible plot confirms your worst suspicions about humanity, and think, “grrr, yeah, fuck these guys, they’re just like everyone I’ve ever known?”

How about the sunsets? The shimmering sunstars, the glorious pink-tinged clouds? Surely you must hate them for interrupting your bitter scowlfest. Perhaps you build a mod to make it rain. All the time. Forever.

Mod on, Grinch. Mod on. But I’m still not gonna ride your gloom train. I’ve got better shit to do.

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