After spending some time this weekend playing TimeSplitters Future Perfect, I’ve come to the conclusion that; as a developer EA creates some pretty decent efforts, but, as a publisher, they tend to sugarcoat anything that passes their way to the point of ruin.
Cases in point for me are Burnout 3 and TimeSplitters Future Perfect. In both cases EA took over as publisher, and in both cases they’ve served only to tarnish once fine franchises in their quest for the mass-market.
With Burnout they introduced a sickening teen-angst soundtrack and, as if that wasn’t bad enough, they got Criterion to add in some assclown Crash Radio guy (as featured in SSX3), who serves only to annoy, but can thankfully be turned off.
With TimeSplitters FP they’ve added a similar announcer guy, who gushes in dude-americana each time you kill or are killed in arcade mode. Worse still is that you can only turn him off in custom games, meaning that working your way through the arcade leagues is simply excruciating, due to the deluge of banal “Boom-Shakka!” or “Chimp-icide!” comments that punctuate every kill.
It adds nothing to the game, serves only to puke sugar-saturated barf onto the once slick presentational style associated with the TimeSplitters series and, for me, is the very worst of what EA has to offer the games industry.
Having EA own, or indeed p0wn, every single license out there is akin to Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer directing and producing every movie that comes out. One or two in a while is okay, but when you can see they’ve dipped every title in hype-flavoured syrup for reasons only known to themselves, it starts to make me wonder if both industries are heading for the same ends.
And, since I lost interest in going to the movies a long time ago, save for special occasions like LoTR or Spider-Man, I’m wondering how many more years I’ll be a gamer before the franchises I love are shat-on to the point where it just isn’t worth the annoyance?