From the badass cover art on old-school Atari games to basically all major review sites, video games have always relied on lies to get you to buy them. And the same way the graphics advance every year, so too does the level of deception. We're reasonably sure that the most ingenious "video game plot" these days is the one designed to scam you. Here are six outrageous examples.
6EA Promises They'll Give You A Free Game If You Buy Battlefield 3, Then Just ... Doesn't
One of the toughest moments in every gamer's life is when they have to decide which of the near-identical versions of the near-identical sequels to the near-identical video game franchises they'll buy. Well, in 2011, Electronic Arts made that decision a lot easier for fans of first-person shooters: They announced that everyone who bought the PlayStation 3 version of Battlefield 3 would get another game, Battlefield 1943, completely for free on the same disc.
If our math is correct, this game is 1,940 times better than Battlefield 3, so that's quite the deal.
Except for gamers.
When Battlefield 3 was finally released, fans noticed that the promised extra game wasn't included. No notice, no apology, not even a crude IOU note -- it simply wasn't there. The angry masses took to Twitter to ask what exactly the fuck was going on (because Twitter is the modern equivalent of torches and pitchforks), until EA finally addressed their concerns. Their response: Instead of Battlefield 1943, PS3 owners now had the exclusive right to buy all the downloadable content a week earlier than on other platforms!
A right they already had.
Five people were apparently fine with this.
To recap: Electronic Arts advertised a full, free game as an incentive for buying Battlefield 3, and didn't bother telling anybody that they had changed their minds until millions of copies had been sold. And to make up for that, they generously invited players to spend even more money buying extra content for the game, at full price. In unrelated news, EA won the "Worst Company in America" award the next two years after this.
Unfortunately for EA, it turns out that PS3 owners are the kinds of ungrateful bastards who would look a gift horse (or rather, an opportunity-to-buy horse?) in the mouth. It took the threat of a class-action lawsuit for the company to finally fulfill their promise and make Battlefield 1943 available for free download on the PlayStation Network. To this day, EA executives patiently await the flood of "thank you" letters that are surely incoming.
5Gaming Ads Shamelessly Take Quotes Out Of Context
When Ubisoft was launching Ubisoft's Tom Clancy's The Division earlier this year, they had tough competition in the form of Bungie's already established Destiny. Luckily, the critics were on their side:
"A ... game." - KOTAKU
Too bad those quotes were bullshit. For starters, the full headline of the GameZone article was "The Division blows Destiny out of the water with 6.4 million beta users." They were talking about Ubisoft's game having more beta players (probably because it was also on PC, not just consoles), and not referring to quality. As for the IGN quote, they did declare this the "Best New Franchise" ... to be shown at E3 2013, three years earlier. Back when the game looked much slicker than it ended up being, because that's how Ubisoft rolls.
Speaking of IGN, check out what they had to say about Dead Island: Riptide, according to the game's launch trailer:
Again, IGN did technically say those words, but the full quote was: "If you're committed to Dead Island already, you're in for a treat." They also warned that, while fans of the original would probably like this sequel, "the plot is still paper thin, the cutscenes are still wooden, and the game doesn't look great or run all that well." The review was essentially saying, "Riptide is more of the same shit, but if you like how shit tastes, go for it!"
But it's more than ads. It's been several paragraphs since we've given you a reason to hate EA, so let's look at the cover of NHL 09 next:
Spoilers: That year is not the one on the cover.
Wow, that had to be the greatest fucking hockey game ever, to win seven awards before even being released. Of course, it didn't. The previous game in the franchise did, and it seems even EA thinks they're all pretty much the same.
But perhaps the most egregious example comes from the official website for Edios' Kane & Lynch, which boasted five-star reviews ...
Kotaku was so excited that they forgot how to speak English.
... which weren't five-star reviews. Eidos stuck a five-star graphic on each quote, when in reality, GameSpy gave it a 3/5, Game Informer gave it 7/10, and Kotaku didn't even give it a score, because Kotaku doesn't score games. The last time we let somebody invent five stars out of thin air, we ended up with One Direction. Did we learn nothing?!