Techland: You Confuse Me So

Is Techland learning from their mistakes? Here's hoping.

If there is anything I have learned about the game company Techland, it is that they don’t ever really seem to know what to do with a good concept.  Aside from the multitude of small PC only games they have made over the years, it seems they are best known for two series: Call of Juarez and Dead Island.  Both of these series have some major ups and downs but hopefully Techland is learning from these mistakes.  

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I am not holding my breath though.

Call of Juarez seems to have been their first real big game. Apparently it sold well enough for them to make another one, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, which was a little different than the first game but still a pretty well made game.  

Then Call of Juarez: The Cartel came out and…  Good lord.  It was over the top and tried to make it gritty and HARDCORE but it all felt half baked. The game could have gone some places but it all felt slapdash and after playing Dead Island later that year, I swore I saw assets that were shared.

Not even a year later, they released Dead Island which came as a very pleasant surprise. It did suffered from some issues but I was ok with it because the only other game to do free roam zombie killing was Dead Rising and that fundamentally is a very different game. The problems came from the deeper I got into the game, the more they stripped away the aspects that I enjoyed. Innovation comes in the subsequent sequels because the foundation has been laid already.  You learn from your former mistakes and create a better game.

Apparently, no one at Techland got that memo.  

Dead Island: Riptide looks and feels like a direct to DVD sequel in comparison to the first game.  It looks and feels almost completely the same to the first game and even uses tons of assets from it.  This game most likely is filler for the next big thing they are actually making but that just makes it feel skeevy.

It is like Techland has two ways of thinking about their games: Can we change it completely and hope for the best OR change almost nothing and make more of the same? A good part of becoming a strong developer is listening to your community.  Take the good criticism from reviewers and fans alike and apply them.  The people you are marketing to know what they want out of a game, so hear them out.  Just don’t announce the results like some companies have… We get Call of Duty is popular, but keep these finding internal.

Thankfully, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger does seem like a glimmer of hope.  Not only is it returning to the old west but it is doing so in new style.  Going for the more ridiculous and bloody spectacles, it looks like they are embracing the campy craziness of a B rated spaghetti western.  I might check it out because for the $15 asking price, it looks pretty dang solid.

On a side note:

Here is a free idea Techland; Zombies in Space.  You got a space station, zombie out break, now try to escape.  I WOULD PLAY THAT!  Wait, I just described Dead Space… Dang it.


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Author
Reilly C.
I like video games so I talk about them! Works for me!