Video game critics are just people with an opinion and a platform to speak along with an understanding of arts and pop-culture. While one person alone can not speak for everyone, as a collective they can reflect the thoughts of the community. However there will be times when critics and gamers will disagree over the merit of a title.
Sometimes gamers and critics will greatly disagree because the title has a niche appeal, it’s so bad it’s good, or it offers a different experience that most titles fail to offer. This a look at five games that critics have hated but gamers loved.
Hatred is a ground breaking title that tired to push the boundaries of acceptable content in gaming, had it been released in the late 90’s. Instead this lightning rod of attention was released in 2015 and was critically panned for its tasteless themes. The game is not funny like Postal 2, it’s not rich in story like Modern Warfare 2 or ahead of its time like Grand Theft Auto III. Overall, it’s offensive just to be offensive.
Yet the game has a solid fan base on Steam as it has received overwhelming positive reviews from gamers. Why? Basically the most common reason is the game is all about mindlessly killing everyone. Which is odd since there are so many better tittles that allow players to do the same thing (like Grand Theft Auto V, Hitman, and Postal 2). Others seem to like it simply because it offended people (the most juvenile of reasons).
4. Deadpool (The Video Game)
Long before Ryan Reynolds redeemed himself with the 2016 film, fans had to settle for the performance of Nolan North to bring the “Merc with a Mouth” to life. This title from 2013 had players embark on an offbeat adventure that was packed with crude humor, fourth wall breakers and many encounters with characters from the Marvel Universe (like Wolverine).
Deadpool was meet with mediocre to poor reviews with many citing its poor gameplay mechanics and being too dependent on its crude humor. Yet gamers loved simply because it was the kind of Deadpool story they’ve wanted and his mouth wasn’t sewed shut. The game was so popular that it had an HD re-release in 2015 and fans have been outraged when ever it has been removed from the Steam store.
3. Sniper: Ghost Warrior series
Sniper: Ghost Warrior is a series of tactical shooters that has players take on the role of a Special Forces sniper tasked with taking out or rescuing key targets. The latest one, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3, has players try to putdown a Separatist army in Northern Georgia. All three games in the series have received mostly mediocre reviews due to what is perceived as a weak story or gameplay.
Despite the reviews, Sniper: Ghost Warrior has developed a strong fan base while gamers have praised its gameplay. So what do gamers see that critics have failed to notice? Its supporters are shooter fans who are tired of the fast paced action and instead want a more complex experience. In fact, many have described the series as a game were every level is like “All Ghillied Up” from Modern Warfare. Sniper: Ghost Warrior is popular because it breaks from the norm and offers a more challenging experience.
2. Earth Defense Force series
Earth Defense Force is a series of shooter in which players must save the world from an army of giant alien insects. Each game has players take on the role of a solider having to save an area of the city from giant ants. As with the Sniper: Ghost Warrior series, every title in the series has been meet with mediocre to poor reviews but it’s very popular among gamers.
The best way to describe why gamers love Earth Defense Force is by comparing it to provolone, because it’s good cheese. The Earth Defense Force series are basically the B-Films of gaming – they’re not rich in gameplay or story and are very low budgeted in quality but they are fun to play.
1. Deadly Premonition
Deadly Premonition is an open world horror survival that could only be described as a video game adaption of Twin Peaks. Players take on the role of FBI Special Agent Francis York Morgan who has come to Greenvale, Washington when he suspects that the murder of Anna Graham may be the work of a serial killer he is tracking.
The debate regarding Deadly Premonition merit has not only divided critics and gamers but also between critics themselves as a collective. The game holds a Guinness Book of World Record for being the most critically polarizing title of all time. Critics either loved or hated its quirky tone while found the gameplay to either be genre standard or poorly crafted.
Meanwhile, gamers have praised Deadly Premonition for basically being a “Twin Peaks simulator”. Reading the user reviews on Steam, comparisons to Twin Peaks are the most common reasons the game has been praised. Others have loved it because of its anime tone and influence.
Are some of these critically panned games your favorite or was there one we missed? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.