Goodbye, Peter

Goodbye, Peter

Corey WilsonThursday,19 February 2015

A decade ago, my mother bought me my very first Xbox. I had all the consoles at the time, save for the original Xbox—white privilege, fuck yeah—and so even though I wanted it badly, I was expecting more of the same. But when I popped Fable into the disc tray for the first time, my 12-year-old mind was blown away. And that’s the glory of being an ignorant gamer. The best games have always been the ones I knew nothing about. Oblivion, had never heard of it—it’s easily my favourite of all time. Fable, never heard of it—best game of the generation. And that’s where Peter Molyneux has failed.

I don’t play games much anymore, and when I do the gravity of old series’, and old friends pulls me in. I spend most of my time with a controller playing sports games, or Skyrim, or Total War. The reason being that if a gamer knows one emotion, it’s disappointment. All of us have spent months (sometimes years) F5 bombing the websites of games-in-the-making. We’ve read every word of every update, and watched the teaser trailer half a million times. And we imagine what it’ll be like to play it. Then we’re left with no info, for months at a time, to let our minds wander, and build this game into something that it—in reality—can never become. It’s our fault mostly, but sometimes it’s not.

Peter Molyneux was the first designer I knew by name. He was the man behind the best game I’d ever played. My friends and I would design our own games, and they were always Fable rip-offs. When I (and by that I mean my Dad) beat Jack of Blades in 2004, I couldn’t wait for the next iteration. I did exactly what I said before. I watched every teaser of Fable 2, collected fan art of the game on a folder on the family computer. I was fucking ready for this bitch. And every step of the way Peter promised me more. He was my Jesus; I thought he was brilliant. The best thing to happen to video games.

Then I played Fable 2, and it sucked.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a good game, but I barely enjoyed it. Why? Because for four years I was building this masterpiece in my mind, and no matter how good the game was, it could never match what I anticipated. When I was dropped into Albion to find that there were still fucking loading screens at the exits to every location, I couldn’t believe I was playing on a Seventh Generation console. Oblivion did it. What the fuck was this bullshit? That’s where my respect for Molyneux ended.

I didn’t give Fable 3 a chance, and I didn’t even care to read about it. I don’t think I played for an hour because it still didn’t meet the expectations I had built for the previous title. I hated Molyneux, because he made the game suck. My expectations had been built on his promises, and I didn’t want to hear another word out of his mouth.

I think people are just sick of hearing from me,” he says in one disarmingly dark moment. “They’ve been sick of hearing from me for so many years now. You know, we’re done.

But now, after the interviews he’s done in the past few days, I’m over it. In all honesty, Fable 2 was a good game, and he hyped it only because he really cared, and really loved what he was doing. His own lofty standards couldn’t meet reality, and you can’t hate a man for dreaming big.

And really, the man makes video games for a living, he’s not disappointing starving children, or overhyping his work with the homeless. My life would be markedly similar to what it is now regardless of how fucking cool Fable 2 would’ve been. So, Mr. Molyneux, after years of disappointment, and hatred, I forgive you. Best of luck.

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Hat Tips:

The Guardian, Image Credit: Flickr

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