I have about a million and one thoughts on various aspects of photography and tech (I got a Kindle Touch!) which I’m going to write about a little later, but just for now, can we talk about video games for a second?
I’ll start with this: nobody likes guys.
Nobody. Likes. Guys.
Or so says the Thought Catalog piece that sparked this piece on video games. What is it about video games, man? What is about video games that makes people start foaming at the mouth whenever someone even mentions DICE are working on a new title, or that Notch has something new on the horizon?
I wrote about Medal of Honor a little while ago, and it was while watching the new Medal of Honor trailer that it dawned on me: video games are all about enjoyment, and maybe, just maybe, feelings. When you play games like Mass Effect (I wrote about that too), with games that tell the same story over a period of years, you feel something for the characters. For Commander Shepard, and for you. When you play games like Medal of Honor and you’re falling off a cliff trying to escape from people you were previously hunting down, that feels real. For Rabbit of AFO Neptune, and for you.
I recently re-played the single-player campaign of Battlefield 3 and Medal of Honor, and it was then I realised why it was enjoyable. It was about the storyline, yes, but also about experiencing gameplay as a game designer wanted you to experience it. A game designer, sitting a desk in a country you’ve only read about or seen photos of, wanted you to experience a game in a very specific way. And not just you, but everyone who played the game. How crazy is that? Think about that.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the multiplayer aspect of games. Even more so when playing with friends over voice comms. But I was thinking about the Fallout 3 campaign, how your choices impacted gameplay, and I realised that single player gaming will always have my attention. Single player means you have unique experiences, exactly as the game designer wanted.
And yeah, a big part of these experiences are the graphics. I’ve been looking forward to the new Medal of Honor ever since I played through the 2010 game, and the new Medal of Honor trailer looks fantastic. Rightly so, because it’s based on the same engine as Battlefield 3. But what’s up with the trailer for Ghost Recon Future Soldier looks terrible by comparison? The graphics look like something out of 2005 — honestly, they’re not that much better than the Battlefield 2 intro (the Battlefield 3 remake of which is fantastic, by the way). Call me crazy, but I know there are heaps of games that offer brilliant gameplay experiences — but if the graphics just aren’t there, then I can’t really play the for any length of time.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s a combination of heaps of things that mean people play games. What I’m trying to say is that you should go read the Thought Catalog piece on The Games Guys Play, because it explains everything a little better than I just did.