Submitted by Aclay 1136d ago | opinion piece

Roger Ebert Doesn't Play Video Games, So Why Should We Care?

Forbes- Film critic Roger Ebert says that games like Naughty Dog’s ‘The Last of Us’ leave nothing to the imagination. Why is Ebert commenting about games in the first place?

His well-distributed opinion about video games (not art!) is no less lazy, and his recent blithe agreement that Naughty Dog’s upcoming Last of Us PS3 exclusive leaves nothing to the imagination is at once preposterous (since the game has not been released) and uninformed (since Ebert doesn’t play video games) regardless of whether or not it turns out to be true. (Culture, PS3, Roger Ebert, The Last Of Us)

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NastyLeftHook0  +   1137d ago
Everything is art, From buying toilet paper and throwing it at moving cars yelling taco bell, to mozart paintings, we should not have to have an opinion of another person what art is.
joab777  +   1136d ago
Yeah, dung on a religious figure is supposedly art. I never cared for his movie reviews much less his opinion on video games. I was a gene siskel man myself... RIP.
longcat  +   1136d ago
Posted a long time ago.

t0mmyb0y  +   1136d ago
WTF are you talking about?
Walker   1137d ago | Personal attack | show | Replies(1)
Kamikaze135  +   1137d ago
You cared enough to type an article about it.
NeoBasch  +   1136d ago
He wasn't stating he didn't care. He was asking why should we. Also, if you read the article, he actually mentions exactly what you wrote at the very end. So... yeah.
Sucitta  +   1136d ago
kami, try reading article before posting thoughts on said article.. common sense.

this also goes for all the thoughtless agrees that decided not to read the article.
snipes101  +   1136d ago
He isnt crying about Ebert's opinion, hes asking why we should care about it. It's definitely worth asking.

Hell, why should we care about anything? If we all had your attitude no one would write anything ever.
LiamIRL82  +   1137d ago
We don't care, we just don't understand why someone who has no interest in gaming or as even played a game is even commenting on it. I feel nasty enough tonight to make a nasty comment about Mr. Ebert's appearance but I'm not drunk enough.
snipes101  +   1136d ago
Ebert actually did a game review in 1994 and even owned an NES. He has played games and even reviewed one, which makes his stance even more baffling.

Link: http://kotaku.com/5721837/r...

word to predobear for leading me to this.
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-Alpha  +   1137d ago
He never said that. He just promoted an article from another guy who equated MW2 to the Dark Knight
Nimblest-Assassin  +   1136d ago
And I facepalmed hard when I read that. MW2's plot was a joke, and he called it the best story in gaming.

The original author of that article this critic is promoting (I honestly have no idea who he is, or why people hold his opinion so highly)is doing the worst possible thing... he instantly dismissed the last of us as another third person shooter.

That is the biggest mistake anyone, especially someone who makes a living writting could do. You research what your talking about, otherwise you end up looking like an idiot. The guy did no research, and it is evident not only by him thinking the game is just another TPS, but other mistakes he made.

1) He thought the last guardian was at the show
2) He did the same thing to Watch Dogs, and dismissed it as another open world game
3) He wasn't at the show
4) He is commenting on a youtube video
5) He states the crowd was mixed and confused... If I remember correctly, their was immense applause and uproar.

Thats his mistake. As a journalist... its your job to do research before you write an article. Its obvious he failed that basic task, and thus proceeded to make himself look foolish

Its the same thing with people overreacting to AC3, calling it patriotic, etc despite ubisofts multiple attempts to tell people he is not on either side. The game takes place during,before and after the war. If I remember correctly, the british left america after the war right? Also, their not americans yet, they are colonists, techniqually they are all british

Sorry for getting of topic, but that really bugs me when people never research
-Alpha  +   1136d ago
I can't seem to edit my comment above, so I'll go on to say that the original writer makes a solid point in that cinematic games no longer reward gamers for using actual problem solving skills, but simply make things easier to promote the casual appeal of action-paced games. This was the problem with Uncharted, often praised for being so cinematic, but as a game, it was very easy with standard gameplay depth that we expect to see today. Polished, but lacking in depth or skill. This was the main reason I preferred Demon's Souls that year.

I don't necessarily think Last of Us represents the same thing, so I do agree Ebert is selling LoU short-- but I also am hoping that the game presents a challenge reminiscent of how games used to be, instead of today where games do not punish gamers much for mistakes. That, right now, is my biggest concern with Last of Us.
StreetsofRage  +   1136d ago
Comment of the month!

You are correct. Uncharted had basic gameplay with amazing cinematic cut scenes worthy of a block buster movie.

It's too soon to tell how Last of Us will be but from what I seen, it looks like a darker Uncharted with cliche characters.
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Nimblest-Assassin  +   1136d ago
cliche characters? Could you please elaborate?
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Nimblest-Assassin  +   1136d ago
Since I was going to run out of characters in my last comment... not all games need to be challenging or hard.

I played demon souls, and man it was a frustrating, but satisfying experience. But I do not want all games to be like that. That doesn't make me a casual gamer though. I mean, think about it... not every one out there playing games is skilled, so why should more games require skill? I mean look at games like Arkham city and Assassin's creed. Both have very simple to learn combat, but you feel like a badass while playing it. People ask for depth all the time, but depth alone doesn't make good games.

Its about having fun, and enjoying it. Hell Demon Souls was marketed to the hard core... Dark Souls slogan was PREPARE TO DIE, you might have had fun playing it, but I just lost the will to play.

Im a trophy whore, and I was trying to platinum Max Payne 3, but I will always stop trying to platinum a game, if I am not having fun... and so I stopped, and went back to playing Starhawk

And the truth of gaming today is that depth alone doesn't make a good game. Gameplay, story, visuals and overall fun make good games. I played demon souls, but I couldn't finish it because I wasn't having fun, I saw very little story, etc

Sure uncharted may not have had "revolutionary" gameplay, but it was still fun and more accessible.

Games like Metal Gear, Uncharted, Bioshock, Half-life are all taking strides to evolve games from more than what they were 20 years ago. NES and atari games are way harder than what we have today. But thats not a bad thing, because more people get to have fun, with out struggling along the way.

Thats just how I see it
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DigitalAnalog  +   1136d ago
After reading the extended demo impressions along with the gameplay trailer, I can certainly say it seems to be headed back to "old school" roots. If anything, this game felt like the original Resident Evil's mechanics with the exception of a better animation, AI and a free camera system. Remove the HUD and you'll begin to see what I mean. Joel's got an inventory that can be combined "like herbs", his ammo count is severely limited, heck you even see Joel pick up the gun and drops it after removing the bullets. The notion of hiding at corners waiting for enemy sounds hearkens back to the original Resident Evil where you determine zombie locations in pretty much the same way.

I wish ND would implement a no HUD style difficulty and leave the health check to the inventory system. Then it would be like a true step up from the Resident Evil's mechanics.
#6.3 (Edited 1136d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
kikizoo  +   1136d ago
"This was the problem with Uncharted, often praised for being so cinematic, but as a game, it was very easy with standard gameplay depth that we expect to see today"

ridiculous, it was praised for being the best GAME this year, not movie, sure it was the game with the more cinematic experience, but it should be considered like a good thing when its perfectly integrated, with perfect rythm, graphics, etc...not all the game have to be the same (talking about demons soul vs uncharted, is like talking about tetris being better than rock band)

" not as the pinnacle of gaming that some seem to praise it as"

lol..."some" = all the reviews (even anti-sony's one), awards, and most of real gamers opinions...only xfanboyz are always downplaying best games and hardware.
#6.4 (Edited 1136d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
NeoBasch  +   1136d ago
So, Uncharted has a problem for focusing on exciting gameplay? I don't understand. Just because it's not challenging doesn't mean it's not a great game. A game doesn't have to be difficult to be "good." Matter of fact, games that are too difficult often are frustrating for the average/casual player and will be regarded as a terrible experience. Does it make it one? No. Is one less game-y than the other? No. They just have different focuses.

By cinematic, most people were referring to how immersive the experience was. Naughty Dog put a lot of effort into the game. I recall one level in UC2 where you're jumping from platform to platform in an ice cavern (one of my favorite levels).

Not one jump was similar to another. They were all different. Some jumps were further than others. Some short. Some he missed and some he landed. Each one taking on a different angle, making us think that this next jump would be his last. One in particular was from below which made the jump seem further than it really was. I can guarantee most peoples hearts sank with the realization that maybe they made a mistake. Don't you see? It's that kind of intensity that made the game great.

At another point in that same level, Drake tried to inch his way through a crevice from a split boulder. We were in control the whole time. Even though all we had to do was push the analog in the direction of the path, we could see Drake brace his arms against the wall, pushing himself to the very back as not to get stuck by charging straight in.

Every second we held that analog, he inched further and further in. But get this, we couldn't see up ahead. The boulder was so massive it blocked are line of sight. So we had to inch around that too. This created tension as we could hear various creatures skittering about. As we made our way closer to the bend, we could hear a howl. I'm willing to bet that most people playing felt an urge to draw their gun for safety, but they couldn't. The path was too tight, and we couldn't bring our arms up.

So there we were, without a gun, continuing navigating ourselves through the crevice. As we came around the bend, we sighed in relief as we were greeted with a nice open space. We could see everything, and no enemies were around.

Now, that is excellent game design! That tension was held throughout the game. I listed just one level that stuck out in my mind, but there were many others with just as many insane designs with brilliant direction.
#6.5 (Edited 1136d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
NeoBasch  +   1136d ago

Another example would be Shambhala when a rocket takes out the base of a pillar holding a platform that was carrying Nate, Chloe, and Elena. As the platform descended the mountain (a plummet that lasted a good two minutes at a pretty feverish pace) it was our job to stay aboard and ward off the enemies falling with us.

Usually this would be relegated to a cutscene, but this was fully playable. You could do anything you wanted. You could brandish your gun, fall to an enemy below and punch their face in, roll a grenade around the corner, or simply climb to the top and hold on for dear life. This is what separated UC2 from every other game that came before it. It was a perfect marriage between gameplay and design.

No, I honestly do believe UC2 to be the rightful winner of 2009. You see UC2 reminded me a lot of the Hurt Locker. It wasn't about the action. What made it good was that quiet intensity (one that gave the original Alien a run for its money) and raw visceral feeling. If it wasn't for how much I love a good story (looking at you, Digital Devil Saga 2/Persona 3), I'd have easily called UC2 the best game of all time... for now.

Honestly, I think UC2 is only the beginning though. In the future, games will continue to be more expressive, taking on different styles. For example, many people list flower and Journey as artsy games, yet if we were to compare it to something like The Tree of Life, the two would fall dramatically short. The ToL dwarfs them in almost every way. The styles aren't that different. They're both impressionistic, but one utilizes images far better to connect its story/experience. flower and Journey, while both are great games, simply don't come close. They just don't utilize gameplay as effectively in their experience as The Tree of Life uses images and video.

UC2 has pretty much perfected the action genre, just as The Hurt Locker did that very same year. But there is room for many more experiences, each of different style. Journey shows progress but still leaves room for improvement in the impressionistic sense.

So if you take anything a way from this. Know that challenge, skill, and supposed "depth" (which I do believe to be subjective in this case) are only a small fraction of the greater pie that COULD make up a game.
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wanieldiik  +   1136d ago
he should stick to criticise movies... this isn't his area.
Lord_Sloth  +   1136d ago
I was under the impression we didn't care what this codger said. Hell I don't even listen to his opinion on movies!
jizzyjones  +   1136d ago
"To @evan_wells and @Neil_Druckmann. I have no opinion on your game. I tweeted Boone's article. Was that dissing you?"

So calm down.
smashcrashbash  +   1136d ago | Well said
@ Alpha. Excuse me, Uncharted 2 was easy? Lacking in depth or skill? Did you even play the game at higher levels? Do you know how many times I fell into the crevices when trying to get through the mountains in Uncharted 2? Or how many times I had to do the tank sequence over while trying to get away form the missile launchers? Or started over trying to fight against the Gatling gun soldiers?

I know everyone takes jabs at UC2 whenever they get the chance but please stop. The reviews didn't give UC2 high scores because it was cinematic, it was praised all around for being a great game. It's hard to accept especially in this cynical age of gaming when people are too busy look for flaws rather then playing the game but UC2 was a great game.Stop the crying. Get over it.Demon Souls was hellishly hard. Just because UC2 wasn't doesn't make it easy. Everything is easy compared to Demon Souls.
Dragonfodder  +   1136d ago
Well said, sir, and definitely worth a bubble vote! :)
telekineticmantis  +   1136d ago
I never agree with Roger Eberts Opinion on movies
I think he needs to get over himself first before he critiques movies, but I don't think we should necessarily dismiss the opinions of the consumers and critics of other forms of Art, art is art and they can properly judge art in this industry jut like they can in ours, especially since it's all visual entertainment.
Bobby Kotex  +   1136d ago
I just don't understand why people are even paying attention.
iluvps395  +   1136d ago
Well I think we care because modern video games have become so well made with graphics, story, immersion, that they have gotten good or better than movies. Games like Heavy Rain, Mass Effect 2 and 3, Gears of War 3 when Dom died all made me feel something inside that most movies I have seen haven't. Plus Ebert is being a troll. :)
-Alpha  +   1136d ago

I played it on hard and crushing, the game is relatively easy, sorry. I didn't say Uncharted wasn't a great game, I enjoyed it thoroughly, but not as the pinnacle of gaming that some seem to praise it as. Puzzles were really simple, boss fights largely consisted of running and hipfiring, and the story isn't anywhere near as great as some give credit for. There is hardly any depth to solving puzzles or facing boss fights, so yes, it lacked depth and skill-- not that it had to have a great deal of it, but when it comes to games emphasizing cinema over gameplay, this is usually the problem.

You don't seem to understand that the game is susceptible to criticisms whether you like it or not. That doesn't mean I hate it, and hiding behind high scores means nothing, especially when most will complain about the review system when it doesn't please them. GTA IV is highly rated, as well as COD, but everybody seems to think much less of those games, so throwing the scoring system means nothing to me.
DonMingos  +   1136d ago
" the story isn't anywhere near as great as some give credit for".

Oh because you have decided so. Sorry for thinking otherwise Mr absolute truth.

What about, "It may have one of the best stories in gaming, but I don't apreciate it"... that would be more acurate...

Tell me about your point of view on Halo, Gears...
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Christopher  +   1136d ago
You have your opinion, -Alpha, and I respect that as well as your like for 'harder' games. My opinion is that I found the Uncharted series as 'difficult' as 95% of the other games out there that I've played. For most other games, I don't necessarily find them 'difficult' as far as gameplay so much as tedious in how they require you to manage certain game aspects (time wasters and action wasters).

IMHO, you comparing Uncharted to Dark Souls (above) is akin to comparing Battletoads to most games made during its time. Those two games were made specifically for their difficulty and aimed to defy the norm in that regard.
dcortz2027  +   1136d ago
Who? LOL. The Last Of Us is going to be epic!
smashcrashbash  +   1136d ago
@ -Alpha. Well that is thing about opinions. Just because you have one doesn't make what you are saying true. I find many games are not as hard or as good a story or as ground breaking or anything they give it credit for. Halo is very generic to me. Mass Effect's story never did it for me. Mario is nowhere as fun as it used to be. Gears is clumsy and the cut scenes are annoying. COD and MW SP are nothing but long tutorials for MP.

I could go on all day long about which game deserved what and which didn't but UC2 won many awards and got top scores from just about everyone so you can take it up with the people who gave them these accolades and awards.You can fight it all you like but unfortunately many other opinions say otherwise.

I could give you just as much reasons why Demon Souls didn't deserve any of the praise or scores it did too. Anyone on this site could give reasons why certain games don't deserve anything they are given.Saying that UC2 didn't deserve this and that won't take the awards and scores it got or change the opinion of the people that enjoyed or didn't think it was as easy as you say.You say it was a great game but go on to diss it anyway.You can criticize and diss it all you like but I can also disagree all I want as well. That is my right
iluvps395  +   1136d ago
@ smash and @ alpha UC2 was a great game all around, I remember a part of the game where an explosion came out of nowhere and blasted Nate back and it went back to gameplay all seemed up together....U know how many games have tried to do that since then???? Dead Space 2, Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 just to name a few....UC2 changed the game (no pun lol). But at the same time Demon Souls was a great game too, Difficult but fun especially for JRPG fans like myself. Lets agree than both games are fun, I'll even go as far to say they were the 2 best games of 2009, in my opinion of course.
-Alpha  +   1136d ago
^ I never said it was true, you're the one who through the opinions of the mass critics at me. And I agree: Many games don't have as good a story or gameplay. I agree with what you say about Halo, there is a whole laundry list of games that are at the top that lack severely in what made older games so much better. I've never cared for Mass Effect either, Gears looks boring to me too. COD4's single player was great, and I liked WaW too-- much to the extent that I liked Uncharted's. Both are pretty scripted and offer an enjoyable ride, but the point I am making is that not everybody is on the "cinematic gameplay" bandwagon because it removes some of the fundamental gameplay mechanics people expect in games. I am not saying this makes a game like Uncharted bad, but that Uncharted isn't as great as a game to represent what games in general should be either.

You toss my argument out for the opinion of others, but don't really counter what I say: weren't all the boss fights a simple run-in-a-circle and hipfire (except for the chopper and mini-boss in the train?) Weren't puzzles just fillers?

My point about Demon's Souls was that it was challenging, and in every way, a hardcore game. Uncharted doesn't have to be that, but I don't recall ever truly facing a challenge that required some great thought-- and enemies spamming rockets isn't exactly a smart example.

Killzone 2 wasn't Demon's Souls, but that game was challenging and very satisfying.
The point I am making isn't to "jab" Uncharted, but to point out that people like Boon dislike the direction of "Cinematic games" that seems to be spreading as this "pinnacle" of gaming. For the record, I think TLoU isn't anything like Uncharted and that the gameplay looks much more challenging, though the cinematic emphasis still has some people skeptical. I will believe ND when they say that they are going for something different, and I think they will prove many wrong, but they have to prove others still who are rather critical towards the cinematic approach
Imalwaysright  +   1136d ago
@ smashcrashbash Uncharted puzzles are a joke. If you get stuck for 1 minute the camera will tell you what you have to do or the answear will be in the journal. There are other games where you can literally get stuck for hours trying to solve 1 measley puzzle. Also compared with other games Uncharted platforming is almost on rails. You dont have to time your jumps wich makes it ridicously easy. Saying that Uncharted won several awards doesnt change the fact that the game is indeed easy as are 99.9% of the games released this generation. Even Demons Souls that you consider 'hellishly hard' is relatively easy compared with some oldschool games. Go play neo contra, battletoads or Revenge of shinobi and then try to tell me with a straight face that Uncharted is a difficult game.
Nimblest-Assassin  +   1136d ago
The purpose of Uncharteds puzzles were never to tax or get a player stuck. They were there to amaze and awe. I remember playing U2 for the first time and being blown away by the dagger in the temple "puzzle". They are not puzzles, but rather really awesome setpieces.

Also, hard doesn't mean good. I know games are easier now, but Im glad... because now I can just enjoy games without flipping out
DonMingos  +   1136d ago
You know you can disable the hint option, so that no clues of how to solve the puzzle will be given to you...

What a joke... you don't turn off any of the posible helps, you just use them to not let the game become frustrating, but then, at the end, after enjoying the whole game, you complain it was to easy. lol
TheGOODKyle  +   1136d ago
I actually care more about forbes supposedly saying video game isn't art. Ignorant blaggard.
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Boody-Bandit  +   1136d ago
Who said anyone cared about his opinion?
I sure as hell don't.

BTW WTF is going on with this site? If you hit reply, agree, bubble system, all gives you an error message and has been so for days. Doesn't N4G know they are having issues?
KrimsonKody  +   1136d ago
Roger Every = huge lifeless troll

Has always been, since the days of him becoming completely irrelevant & obsolete.
The only time he is mentioned nowadays is if he's bashing another media.

Ebert's calling? Hit ignore, continue about your day.
DarkSymbiote  +   1136d ago
We don't need approval from a man who thinks Home Alone 3 is better than the first two.
StreetsofRage  +   1136d ago
eliteslaya13  +   1136d ago
Why should we care? We don't. And this guy obviously does if he writes an entire article because of a FILM critic's opinion. Brush it off and move on. Not like the Academy will think lower of gaming now or something...
theunleashed64  +   1136d ago
why do people even need to prove something to this man?. he's a movie critic for gods sake and yet people act as if his approval is a blessing of god. it's rather sad to think that people put so much of their focus and time in this "games are not art argument". look people he's a movie critic and doesn't care about games it's as obvious as it's going to get. but should we care? uh hell no? this is not his profession nor his job to criticize games otherwise the guy would have a site or show dedicated to this sort of thing.
ShaunCameron  +   1136d ago
It's rather simple. Envy and insecurity.
MiamiACR21  +   1136d ago
Oh god, not this shit again. Let that slack jawed mother fucker rest in peace.
BlackSharinganX  +   1136d ago
you say you havent played the game Last of us & you havent played a single video game but still write this article

tell me how does it feel that the gaming community doesnt give a fuck about you?
mochachino  +   1136d ago
Exactly, as I said before, Ebert is technically and by definition just another internet troll.

Every website should have a banner reading "Do Not Feed The Trolls", they are the plight of the digital jungle.
ginsunuva  +   1136d ago
Stop feeding his popularity. Ignore him. That's the media's worst nightmare. Not caring or receiving attention. They love attention - either good or bad. Stop it all by never mentioning his name ever again.
So let's try this:

Roger Ebert? Who's that? Never heard of him. Ignored.
ShaunCameron  +   1136d ago
Umm. Roger Ebert was already popular before he started caring about video games. So the video game industry ignoring him won't hurt him in the slightest. Besides, he has media and general public clout. The video game industry doesn't.
Elvis  +   1136d ago
I've never heard about this Roger Ebert guy and I don't give a damn about his opinion.
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