Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Small Segway

Ok, I didn't buy a Segway, or do I ever plan on doing so. But this morning, being the productive employee I am, I was checking the news on Extremetech and came on a story by Joel Durham Jr. on the current state of games. He touched on something that's been at the forefront of my mind this last 2 weeks, Halo 3. Now I'm not a fan boy of anything, and as you read the continuation of my first post, hopefully you will see that. But certain games I just believe are superior on certain platforms. Racing games are meant to be played on a console. Sports games are meant to be played on a console. Shooting games are meant to be played on a PC. You have probably been exposed to many points of view about this game already, and here are my two cents on the matter. Halo is mediocre. Mr. Durham wrote in his piece, "...just like television and movies, mediocrity pleases the gaming masses more than true inventiveness." I agree with this observation wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, the gaming masses are those that are purchasing consoles for under $500 each and are not even in the same category as those PC gamers that constantly upgrade, tweak, and care for their PCs. An analogy would be that the masses purchase Toyotas. Cars that are mass produced, gets the job done, and meets your everyday needs, where the connoisseurs of gaming are those that purchase BMWs and Massaraties. When Toyota introduced power steering and power windows, BMW owners wondered at what all the excitement was about. This was understandable as they were already using power windows and steering for the last 5 years. My purpose is not to advocate a particular attitude towards any genre or sect of gamers. In my mind, a true gamer is not one that discriminates but enjoys games at their core, fundamental level. This means that you do not limit yourself to any one particular genera, platform, or developer. I personally own all consoles ever made (I do now, and I again refer you to my forthcoming continued blog series for more information) and there are games I truly love on the consoles and games I truly love on the PC. Halo is just not one of them. I urge any of the deep Halo fans out there to broaden their horizons and try something else before playing their Halo 3 multiplayer maps to death. True, the Xbox 360 can pump out some impressive graphics on the right settings and immersion is quite realistic if you have the correct setup (read: 1080p and 7.1 surround sound) but on a PC, you can enjoy all those features and more with games that are 5 years old. Halo does not look any better than Prey does on the PC. Halo does not control better than Quake does on the PC. When id software completes their Quake Zero project, I believe console shooters will have a true competition. This will be the first, freely available, massively multiplayer (read: 64 players) online FPS, readily available to the masses with minimal hardware requirements (it runs from within a browser).

Go and read Mr. Durham’s article. He has many suggested FPS games with better narrative, more variety and better multiplayer options than Halo ever has.

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