Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Video Games: How to find the balance

Good Wednesday everyone!

It's been a few days since my last post, and for good reason: I've had nothing interesting to post, at least nothing interesting that wont be just one long rant.

But over the past few days I've realised something, when making the "perfect" video game, you have to try and create the right balance between graphics, gameplay, mechanics and fluff.

If one of these factors is out if alignment then it brings the whole thing down.

Let me explain:

Over the weekend I started playing Dead Space 3. Now I LOVED the original and sequel and fully intended on enjoying this.
The Good: the game mechanics are very well implemented, being able to engineer your own weapons is very good and you can tell they've put a lot of work into making the game just as enjoyable in co-op as in single player.

The Bad: the fluff! It's just not there. As I said I loved the first 2, i scoured high and low for all the text and vid logs and have read as much literature as I could about the franchise.

DS3 however feels like the makers didn't do the same (remember that most of the team who made the 3rd game were replacements as most of those responsible for #2 were fired). There are entire sections of Marker & Necromorph lore which has been altered and jammed into this game to make the storyline work.

Conclusion: because I love the original lore so much, I can't invest in this game. The characters don't feel like the same people, the beasties are completely ret-conned and it feels like someone's made another game but stapled Dead Space on the cover.

Next up: Today I started playing Aliens: Colonial Marines.

The Good: The fluff! This game feels like it belongs in the Aliens universe, and the moment I saw the inside of the Sulaco I knew I was in fanboi heaven!

The Bad: Mechanics. This game feels like Left 4 Dead but with Pulse Rifles and Aliens. The ai feels very limited like they are encouraging you to outthink them in rather obvious ways.

Conclusion: The Pulse Rifle feels like a pulse rifle. The USCM feel like Marines and the Aliens feel like Aliens, but it feels to me like the game is designed more for co-op and less for Single Player.

Last but not least is a game I completed last week: DMC Devil May Cry.

The Good: The Fluff and the Mechanics!
Seriously, this game plays like a dream, has very well thought out game mechanics that challenge and reward you while having likeable characters and actually a very good storyline.

The Bad: to a lot of people the language would be excessive and in all fairness the replay value doesn't seem to be there. Plus 'some' levels feel a little annoying more so than anything else.

Conclusion: a freaking fantastic game that I just couldn't put down! Buy it! Now!

And so we come to a final conclusion of them all.
First, who'd have thought it, out of all 3 games the closest I would say that deserves GotY is DMC. Honestly I never expected that.

I don't regret my purchase of A:CM, I am enjoying the game and it is an adrenaline fuelled romp. I just wish I had a partner to play it with.

DS3, still playing, want to complete it, but the soul of the franchise is gone, and if they ever make a DS4, I'll likely pass.

And there we have it.

As always stay safe and I'll see you breachside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

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