Credit where credit is due. If anybody plays any retro games (feel the nostalgia) it really makes you appreciate modern games.
People will say that graphics are the biggest advancement. But in reality, control schemes etc. are miles ahead of where we were years ago. Play Halo 3 and compare to an old favourite like Fade to Black. Our expectations as to how games handle has changed so much in recent years its easy to overlook the advancements as each next big title gets released.
Resident Evil 5 is so jarring in todays market. It is a stunningly beautiful game (I can’t be the only one who thinks Sheva is gorgeous). It feels more like a point and click style game than any kind of progressive action game. Get to a place that gives you best vantage point from where you can attack. Empty clip (bear in mind that you must know exactly how many bullets you have at any time or you will be forced to reload stuck totally in the mud). Repeat until your opponent (or you) dies.
I digress. The real reason for this post was that I am an 80’s child. Spectrum 48k with rubber keys was my 5th or 6th Christmas present (therefore my gaming addiction is all my parents fault). I spent a whole day typing out a BASIC program so that it would display a Union Jack, so I know a lot about perserverence while using computers (never mind the 10 plus years I’ve spent in the IT industry).
The games I grew up on (Manic Miner, Chuckie Egg etc.) were never actually meant to be finished. They certainly ‘could’ be finished, but that’s not really the point I’m making. There was very little lore to carry the story, it was just a test of skill. The game designers just ramped up the difficulty until you either completed the game or gave up satisfied that you had gotten enough out of the game.
Fast forward to today’s games with multiple difficulty levels etc. I didnt realise this for a long time, but you are meant to finish all of today’s games. Its a bit of a shift in thinking for old school gamers like me for sure. Long gone are the days being stuck on one section. The solution? Change the difficulty mid-game so that you can beat it (or faq it). Simple but effective.
Now I’m all for that, but I’m someone who normally plays on Hard setting through most games as I think you generally get what the developer was thinking of when he made the game. So I thought I’d experiment.
I recently played Gears of War 2 through on Easy. You could play the whole game basically running and gunning ‘Halo’ style. Not how Epic imagined things going I’m sure but interesting all the same. It in fact created a whole new game style within the game. Halo is another good example, as the difficulty setting totally changes how you play the game.
I have owned a 360 since launch and I have completed more games in the last 18 months than I have done in the last 25 years. I am devoting more time to my gaming even with 2 daughters under the age of 2.
Oh, and my gamerscore also says thanks (in 12 months it has nearly tripled). My wife does not.