When it comes to video games, every single title, no matter the genre aims to hit the market and make an impact both critically and commercially, but in an ocean of other titles all vying for our attention and indeed our money, the question of how to stay afloat is often a pertinent one.
Enter the Unique Selling Point; the “gimmick” of each game that makes it stand out from the rest in some form or another.
Whether it’s an interesting take on traversal from point A to B, a blend of gameplay mechanics that makes a tasty new stew that gamers can simmer with for hours, or just a brand new slant that does away with traditions in favor of something dramatically different, if a game offers something fresh and pushes it hard in the marketing, chances are that there will be more eyes on the product come launch.
However, this focus on one specific aspect comes with it extra scrutiny of this feature, and sometimes this metaphorical spear can be blunted and shattered if its one major feature isn’t up to par.
8. Drug Fuelled Combat - Haze
There was a time where each FPS title that came out carried with it the underslung slogan of being a “Halo Killer”, such was Microsoft's beefy dominance of the genre, and so in order to ride Master Chief's wake instead of being sucked under by it, many titles tried weird and whacky things to get into the public eye.
Enter Haze, which promised something quite unlike all of the beige and boring shooters that were being churned out, that here, in this sci-fi setting, you would play as a soldier so pumped full of combat drugs that it would alter your reality to the extent that war would be presented as a game in itself.
Obviously, this take on combat garnered a tonne of interest, as not only was the player able to act like a super soldier in these sections, gunning down enemies with ease and being shot full of adrenaline at the same time but also because it carried with it a horrible message of the link between brainwashing and conflict itself. Would this game then turn out to be a critique of war itself while also being overtly fun to play?
Well, we’ll never know because the game ditched this massive selling point, not three missions in, taking away the combat drugs and power armor as you switched sides to the underequipped rebellion forces, in turn sapping the fun and the USP from the title completely.