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Hospi-fatality

This is a bit of a followup to my last post :)

Anyway, I was looking around for some videos from Overlord, and discovered that Codemasters were also publishing another game, called Hospital Tycoon.

Now, I tend to stay away from the “Tycoon”-named games (though I loved Transport Tycoon), since most of them seem to lack depth and aren’t all that interesting. (I’ve heard good things about Rollercoaster Tycoon, but I’ve never actually played it myself.) This one, though, seemed to be cast in the same mold as Theme Hospital, which I absolutely loved and played to death. (Not unlike that other famous Bullfrog game, Dungeon Keeper). So, needless to say, when I discovered the existence of this game I was quite excited.

The posted trailers were a little on the weird side — they showed off a bit of the improved graphics and bizarre ailments that were appealing about the title, but were framed as a medical drama or something, which I found a little strange. I spent quite a while hunting around for more information or a demo, but the search for the latter was in vain. Eventually I reached the official forums for the game at the Codemasters (publisher’s) site. And it was there that I learned what was really going on.

One of the big sticky posts near the top was a note from Codemasters explaining that they wouldn’t be releasing a demo. A little further down was another note saying that the developers of the game had changed their name, and would not be providing any support or patches for the game. (Don’t forget, this is a game that only came out about two weeks ago in the US, and isn’t even out here yet.) About 80% of the rest of the recent posts to the forum were people complaining about the lack of functionality, lack of replayability, and outright bugs in the game — at least as far back as the release date, anyway; before that there were a lot of eager posts looking forward to the game. Many of the complaints seemed to be about the game’s sandbox mode being practically useless, which seems like an odd omission since the sandbox mode is what supposedly makes them “Tycoon” games in the first place.

It’s quite sad, really. Reading some of the posts makes it clear that the game had a lot of potential, but was released too early (there are apparently a lot of half-implemented features left dangling in some of the config files) and without enough QA. Couple that with the “renaming” of the developers and it looks like a studio in deep trouble — and this game isn’t going to help much.

I can’t be too harsh with it, as I haven’t played it myself, so can’t speak from personal experience. But it looks like I probably won’t pick this one up after all. Pity.

[And was that too many links? Certainly seemed like a lot…]

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