Everyone has their own opinion on what makes a game great or even what they would uphold as the epitome of a 'great game'. However, it's a lot harder to actually describe -why- they think a game's great. Even for me, it can extremely difficult to explain why I do or do not enjoy a game (hence why I scrapped my Fallout: Wasteland Warfare review), but today's article won't be about any game, for a change, in particular. It'll be about all games.
|You already know I feel about Legion....|
As someone who's spent a lot of time critiquing games, I figured it was about time I finally wrote out what I enjoy and don't enjoy about games. This will obviously be more of a meta piece, analyzing tabletop gaming as a whole, rather than any specific game or even genre. I feel as someone who's been reviewing and critiquing games, it's important to be upfront about what I'm looking for in a game to consider it 'good' and enjoyable for me. This way you can continue reading my reviews/critiques and understand the bias that I'm writing from and say to yourself "pffff, Pride of Rodina! Of course you'd say that, because you love your illusions of choice, you rascal," rather than "What the heck, PoR? Why would you think it's a good thing that Legion has a bunch of upgrades that you'll almost never take except in niche circumstances?" I've always thought it was important to understand the bias of a reviewer to help frame their work and I wish more folks would do that (I understand the irony of me typing that sentence since it's been about a year since I wrote a review and know this piece, but I definitely planned on writing this a LOT sooner). Maybe it's because I come from a social science background, that I think understanding bias is important? Who knows, but let's get to real prime rib of today's meal!
For ease of convenience, here's a breakdown of what we'll be discussing:
- 'Great Game' Clichés
- Strong Theme
- Meaningful Choices
- Depth Within Limits
'Great Game' Clichés
Now this is a tough one. Having a decent community is extremely important for your own enjoyment of a game, that's for sure. This is especially true when it comes to your local community, but I don't think you should judge a game by its community. It's easy enough to detach from global communities and focus just on your local ones, but if that's not an option? Then that's when this gets tricky. Building a community or trying to build a better community isn't exactly a task that everyone's up for. However, I hear this complaint leveraged against Warhammer frequently, "I don't play the game because the community is so toxic", etc. That's not the game's fault and I personally feel like it's a bad excuse. To use Warhammer again, the game is so popular that there are SEVERAL different communities you could join. To use a personal example, I grew very tired and drained of Infinity's global community, so I hunkered down and focused more on local groups and groups revolving around the factions I played. It's incredibly easy to find a group where you feel at home. Social media has made this incredibly easy to join and create communities, and I highly recommend you do! The real problem is if you don't have a great local community. I can't fault anyone for not playing a game if you don't have anyone fun to play it against. As I've mentioned before, this can be a self-fulfilling prophecy and I highly recommend you either encourage the better individuals of a toxic community to join a new one with you or to try your hand at running demos. I had a lot of fun running demos for Infinity before, but it is a lot of hard work.