Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Seeing Triple

One of these things is not like the other. Can you tell which one it is? Timeshift (upper left) is a shooter in which the player wears a special suit that grants cool powers. Crysis (upper right) is a shooter in which the player wears a special suit that grants cool powers. Haze (lower left) is a shooter in which the player wears a special suit that grants cool powers. Bert (lower right) is a muppet of questionable sexual orientation that lives with Ernie. Now...which one is not like the others? I'll bet you can't guess.

Seriously? This is the best game developers can come up with? Granted, these games are probably all technical marvels and play vastly different from each other. (I have especially high hopes for Haze, since Free Radical's Timesplitters series totally rules.) However, on the face of it, I truly cannot believe the lack of originality here. Hardcore gamers cry for more innovation in their titles, yet they continually eat this shit up. Once again, I don't doubt that these games are probably fun to play -- haven't tried them myself, but all three have decent buzz. And yet, how many "guy in a super suit" games do I really want or need? For that matter, how many "space marine" games do I want to play? Or "orcs and elves" games? Or "distressed future" games? They really all start to blend together. Still, good games that break the mold tend to be critical favorites but financial disasters. Can you blame developers for retreading the same ground over and over? This is the very same dilemma Hollywood faces with movies, I suppose. Once the overhead skyrockets, the risk-taking plummets. Solution: stop buying this stuff!

Here's an idea: an anal-retentive pigeon aficionado dons a space marine super suit and goes into a distressed future in which he must slow time in order to fight space orcs from another dimension. I call it Cybert. Would you buy it? Hey, it doesn't sound half bad...

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