These days, we have the internet to thank for keeping up to tabs on the latest or upcoming video games. In the past, however, many gamers relied on magazines for previews, reviews, and cheats. If you thought the adverts of today could be both ridiculous and potentially offensive, then you’d best prepare yourself for this list!
Command & Conquer
War! What is it good for? Well, real-time strategy games, for one thing. Westwood Studios’ Command & Conquer really put the genre on the map with its blend of base-building, resource management and troop deployment. Throw in a few religious and sci-fi themes and coat it with plenty of explosions and cheesy FMV cutscenes, and what you get is a thoroughly engrossing best-seller.
The company decided to go for a ballsy move with an ad featuring images of infamous politicals figures throughout history, ranging from recognizable Socialist and Fascist dictators like Hitler and Stalin, to modern day politicians like President of France Jacques Chirac (who was criticized for the nuclear tests going on at the time). Within the collage was the tagline ‘Previous High Scores’.
Naturally, it stirred up a fair bit of controversy. French newspaper Le Monde said the article “caused scandal”, while British newspaper The Independent wrote in 1995 that the advert was “crass, ignorant and stupid”, and even added “ [we hope] Mr Chirac sues you for every penny you have”.
No matter how hard journalists cried, it didn’t stop the game from becoming a critical and commercial success. Two words: mission accomplished.
Quake III Arena
id Software’s multiplayer shooter Quake III Arena was ported to the Dreamcast by Raster Productions. What made the port special was that you could even battle with PC players online, being one of the earliest examples of cross-play at the time. Nevertheless, it still delivered a frantic multiplayer experience