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Call of Duty 4, Assasins Creed & Mass Effect [Nov. 25th, 2007|11:57 am]
Video Games went through a fundamental uptick this month. With the release of these 3 games along with earlier Bioshock and arguably Halo 3, Video Games were changed (again) for what is considered a standard of expectations. Needless to say I've been talking with plenty of depressed game developers this week who are all delaying their projects because suddenly their games are no longer up to par. Bioshock, Halo 3, COD4 and Mass Effect got perfect 10's pretty much across the board, Assasins Creed got near perfect marks and most agree though it lacks polish it does things no video game has ever done before. The thing about Perfect 10 games this year is they will now be considered average 7-score games next year, making anything thats not as good as them down in the 5-mark area so now game developers in droves have had to delay their projects. That's what we call progress.

Mass Effect in particular both has my interest and has taken up the most of my time. This is clearly Biowares masterpiece. Everything from Baldur's Gate to KOTOR to Jade Empire was basically just practice, working out the kinks so they could make Mass Effect. i swear it would not surprise me if they had been working on this game in theory from the day they came together as developers and every other game was a prototype for one aspect of Mass Effect. Mass Effect is gorgeous, its combat is genius, and it's friendly AI is horrendous. My unit is retarded, someone needed to steal the AI system from Rainbow Six Vegas when Ubisoft was not looking. Kingdom Hearts had smarter friendly AI. None of that matters though. Mass Effect could be a completely combatless game, it could be as me and Matthew often talk about a completely Diceless RPG which is by far a first for any videogame in history and it would still be one of the best games ever made. Because it's the first game EVER with real, true, acting. I have never felt so much like I was the main character in a movie with tough moral decisions that are in no way grounded in the simplicity of good or evil, or even right vs. wrong. Some decisions I've had to make I've literally sat staring at the screen for 15 minutes trying to decide what I should do. But it's the acting that really matters. I don't think I've ever consider that in the future we will judge video games based on the performance given by their actors. We all swoon when some big name actor does a cameo in a video games, but Mass Effect foretells a richer future for video games, one where a near perfect technical game will get low marks because it had no emotion behind it, and the acting sucked. So connected am I with my characters acting that when on trailers when I see another face speaking with my characters voice, it kinda pisses me off. ;> Mass Effect is also the beginning of the best Sci-Fi franchise this century, Star Wars and Star Trek have nothing on this universe, but instead Mass Effect takes what we love about those two franchises and bring them in line with modern thinking, maybe how a Star Trek the Next NEXT Generation would look like if it were made. Even if you don't play Video Games but Sci-Fi marks a piece of who you are, you need to play this game, otherwise you'll be out of the loop for some time to come.

A more personal post will come later.

[User Picture]From: trahari
2007-11-25 09:22 pm (UTC)
Needless to say I've been talking with plenty of depressed game developers this week who are all delaying their projects because suddenly their games are no longer up to par.

People've been talking about this for a while, about how much more work/expensive it is to develop "next-gen" games. I'm actually not really sure it's a Good Thing for production values to go up across the board. This is mainly because only the people that can afford fancy actors and whatnot can meet that quality bar, which translates into fewer players in the industry, which could arguably translate into less innovation, given that acting production values (for example) have little to no relationship to the nuts and bolts of good game design.
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[User Picture]From: lazyeclipse
2007-11-26 04:18 pm (UTC)
or it could mean that the guy with less has to work harder and be more creative to play with the big boys. We see it all the time in movies where a low budget number out dose the wanna be block buster. Games are a bit different but look how the game boy took down all it's challengers with less power or even the Wii. Though I think marketing dose play a role in this Too. Game play, story, and innovation can out do fancier effects.
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