Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Games Weigh Up: Looking forward too and Impressions and Criticisms

Games to look forward to, why, and impressions and criticisms/Previews

[Rather a long assed post but that's what happens with lists. Next few will be shorter :)]
I like future games for the ideas that they introduce to this culture. New games try to push new features and break new ground. That's what they should do. Sometime it works and sometimes it doesn't. It's a given now that games will look good, but this is why new ideas which work are so much more important.

Here's a simple list of some games I'm looking forward too, why, and the ideas they tout and also some impressional criticisms of other games.

Looking forward too:

1) Assassins Creed
1. Free Roaming
2. Free Running style game play - analog control of speed.
3. Choose how to approach the mission.
4. Context driven left and right buttons for hands and feet.
5. Secret weapons and sword fighting - context moves for fights.
6. Involving (supposedly) story - all is not as it seems.
7. Obviously great graphics and fluid motion.
8. The producer seems to know whats she's doing.

One of those games that I think might work better with a console controller for once, but as I don't have an xbox360 or PS3 we'll have to wait see on the PC version how the controls translate.

No criticisms on this one.

2) Crysis
1. Amazing Graphics
2. Amazing detail and physics
3. Cool cyber suit with strength/speed/invisibility abilities.
4. On the spot customisable gun sniper/shotgun/machine gun etc

Apart from when first viewed, the videos for this game are becoming less exciting for me. This always happens with me, great looking videos whose excitement wanes over time. Perhaps the hype came out too soon as is often the case. Or the expectant graphic level in my mind has raised on par with current standards. I'm sure it will look amazing up close when running and the awe will be back, but until then. The other thing is it does also seem to be just an updated Far Cry - you get that impression - more beaches and trees, troops standing round in familiar patterns with similar enemy AI - hopefully it will be more than that though and I'm sure it will. I also don't have a high end PC, hopefully that will change, when it does this is one game I would get.

3) Timeshift
1. Good looking though not amazing.
2. Innovative time control gameplay in an FPS.

Rather annoyingly, time displacement grenades was an idea I came up with years ago, roughly 3yrs, I guess they just had the resources to put it in to action back then :) I've already seen some of my other ideas coming out in other games, so I'm sure they occur to people at the same time, it's a natural progression - I'd just like to be the one implementing those ideas my way into games.

I'm downloading the demo now so We'll just have to see how well they did.

4) Call of Duty 4
1. Something of a dark horse as I only heard about it relatively late, but looks amazing.
2. Good fluid motion.
3. Good combat
4. Customisable perks - abilities on the battle field.
5. Large single with multiplayer

1. From the videos: AI seemed a bit dumb in places not using cover when they should and running in the open back and forth. Didn't seem like too much of an issue though, certainly better than other games.

I've been more a fan more of Battlefield 2 and Medal of Honour:AA rather than Call of Duty in the past so we shall have to see how this compares. On it's own the gameplay looks amazing. Definitely one to get.

Impressions And Criticisms
1) Too Human VS Hellgate London
I don't get this one. Why are people supporting Hellgate over Too Human?

Too Human
is not another God of War.
1. Graphics look amazing.
2. Story looks involving.
3. Fighting looks good, may need some issues ironed out though in combos.
4. It's a character evolution game.
5. They are doing some neat trick with the camera so it focus on the in game action up close or far out for the greatest gameplay - this is something most games lack.

Camera - They've actually thought about how the players view the action. Rather than having the camera stuck stationary behind the character, only able to circle,and move in or out when objects are in the way. You wouldn't watch a film from only one camera position, so why do it in games? All games should use this intelligent camera system. Remains to be seen how well it's used, but it's the right idea.

VS Hellgate
I don't get it. While a good idea I was initially excited about. After seeing some videos of the characters moving they look terrible! They look like their walking on the spot like games of old did. The combat looks pretty rubbish as well. I also hate those on screen collectible icons.

2) Heavenly Sword

Initially very excited about, seeing the videos only gave away part of what the game was about. After seeing more videos it's now very apparent. It's obviously the new Ninja Gaiden for PS3. But can it pull it off?

1. It looks amazing.
2. Combos look great.
3. Switchable stances add to the variation.
4. Iconic flame haired main character.

1. If you take a good look at the videos, the AI looks pretty dumb all sync'd up like that. All the characters have syncd moves and breathing - looking at a group of them is like looking at a group of clones. Ninja Gaiden had the same enemy types also, but they all moved individually - each was fresh. And this doesn't have it.
2. AI speech - same as above like they're on trip wires, no intelligence about it.

Games need to create an ILLUSION of intelligence, not necessarily have it. That's why the first Half Life was so good, and later, FEAR with each room thought out and interesting realistic responses from the AI.

3) Universe at War
Looks great, nice ideas in there.

1. Large stomping robots, as an actual moving base.
2. Diversified sides, Nova look interesting with their beaming units around the battlefield and patches. The other side I'm not sure about - what happened to the Humans?

I think it’s better than most people give it credit for – I really don’t want it to be a rehashed C&C though as I didn’t like that franchise too much. The units never looked like they were really fighting, take a look at Dawn of War now to see what I mean. C&C has the same jerky moving and cornering as this as it’s made by the same people, though this seems to be slightly better.

1. While the game looks great - the blooming on weapons fire and hideously clashing colours is OTT.
2. Some unit design doesn't seem that well thought out.
3. Animation on some of the smaller units looks jerky - why?
4. They still have that sharp turning effect which looks really unrealistic.
5. We STILL don't have real melee combat - Dawn of War is the closest any ones got and it looks amazing - but we need something scripted and NOT scripted in close combat to make it look like they ARE fighting.

I’m still waiting for an RTS game to do this. I'm not sure why DOW has not had downloadable extra animations, I know some of those kill signature moves are well timed, but this should be do-able.

Still some room for some of my ideas out there then :)