Monday, November 19, 2007

The State of Gaming

This post was inspired by a friend's note he posted on facebook regarding the state of gaming today. To paraphrase what he said he was dissapointed in the quality of recent titles such as Guitar Hero 3, Halo 3, and Assassin's Creed. He felt letdown by those games and was wondering if the quality of games was falling, or if developers were running out of ideas.

I don't believe that the quality of games is falling, but rather with the large volume of games being released we see more bad games getting the spotlight, like Lair. But when you sit back and realize that this fall we've been treated to titles such as Bioshock, The Orange Box, Call of Duty 4, Mario Galaxy, and Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass we must look back and see that this year is one of the best years of gaming ever. On top of the above list of games, Mass Effect and Rock band will be out shortly after this post is up. Games haven't been getting shittier, we just need to be careful to choose the right games.

A message to those who played games such as Halo 3, Guitar Hero3, and Assassin's Creed and felt like they were let down. To those who played Halo 3 and GH3 specifically: You are playing the third game in a series and expected the game to change??? Bungie and Red Octane are gonna stick with the formula that worked for them earlier. I'm not saying that more of the same is bad, in certain cases it can be good. But in more cases than not MOTS will let us down. Halo 3 was a letdown to me for its sheer lack of ideas, espically evident now after I've beaten Call of Duty 4. Halo 3 was advertised as some epic adventure that would culminate in a massive battle of the human and covenant forces. In the end we went to the ring making facility, which ironically looks and feels just like the previous other two rings. In Halo 3 you fight scripted waves of covenant and flood, and guess what the ending is?? You end up driving a warthog to your ship before the whole place blows up.....just like Halo 1.

The fact that people were letdown by Guitar Hero 3 leads me to ask "what the hell were you expecting?" You can't change Guitar Hero. Yeah the boss battles changed it up a bit, but it wasn't enough in my opinion. Rock band is looking to shake things up even with its $179.99 price point, because it has so many better songs available with the game and for download.

I've been talking mostly about the 360, but the PS3 finally has pleanty of AA titles available. The new Ratchet and Clank game looks beautiful, although I haven't played it, this is a game that I wouldn't mind MOTS, because it is one of the best platforming games ever. Folklore looks good, and Eye of Judgement takes advantage of the Eye Toy for a truly innovative take on tabletop card games. MGS4 will be great when it eventually comes out, and we can expect God of War III to be a good game.

All in all we're looking at, in my opinion, an age of gaming that we have never seen before with so many different titles for people of all different gaming preferences.