In a year where the general entertainment genre is changing beyond any comparison, where do video games fit into the mix?
The movie industry is flopping to say the least, with only a few theatrical releases garnering both critical success and commercial/box office success. This has left many people wondering why, many claim the evolution of torrenting, the Ipad/Ipod, phone market and of course the video game market. Why do people care so much about games instead of films?
The answer to that question is to look at how games are promoted and what the content of the game represents to people. The reason games have became so popular is that they are so caring for the story, or they build on a already traditional fanbase/game that is tried and tested to work. Many of the best games released this year are three-quels and they all represent a story to someone. Take Gears of War 3, an end to a trilogy which started off as a microsoft exclusive with a good multiplayer. Once people connected with the characters and the story, the sequel was a roaring success and the three-qual this year was one of the better selling exclusives in recent years. My friend Toby said it was a terrific game and said that the ending was sublime. Is it this cinematic way of story-telling worth the 30-40 pound people invest in a game?
With a film you invest 6 pound to watch 2 hours of (most of the time) empty and hollow story telling. You invest around 5 times that to get an interactive experience which is by all accounts, gripping and convincing. Yes sometimes the story may only last just over 6 hours, but the ride is easily worth it if you plan on trading the game in later. The work rate of game studios help toward this, as they can cultivate clever sequels quickly and efficiently.
Cinematography is key;
So the video (hopefully shown above or with the link “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rrfo8XaVTDI” ( watch from 2:50 onwards up until like 5) shows howfar cinemotography goes in gaming these days. The opening to that game is exactly what could be shown in a movie version. This makes the gamer feel more alive in the experience.
Another big game this year is the Assassins Creed: Revelations game which will be out very soon in America and Europe. The reason this is such a big thing as it combines the characters Altair and Ezio and finishes this whole branching story and connects it. The trailers have been immence and show you the grand scale of how gaming story-telling is such a major thing these days. If there was ever a game with such emphasis on building characters, developing their life story and intertwining them in such a way, this would be it.
The major problem with all of this though is the over-saturation of the market. Recently, Call of Duty:Modern Warfare 3 came out to critical success, as long as being the biggest launch of anything EVER. Internet hardmen however have taken to the metacritic website and have bashed it and battered it for not being inventive or innovative. The fact remains however that it is the biggest and quickest seller of anything EVER so it’s hard to bash a game. Sure the work value on it is reduced when they re-hash content on only really care about the multiplayer, the important thing to remember is, its a cash cow. Nothing you do or say is going to stop them making another one for next year. This with the announcement that Assassins Creed (5) will also be coming out next year, despite the fourth in the series only being released as we speak. Credibility must remain with those Studios who take time working and re-working on games to make sure they are the highest caliber.
Take Splinter Cell: Conviction, not a bad game to say the least, but it was worked and re worked so much that the release took forever to come, credibility must be left with Ubisoft for not wanting to pump out the game when really it wasn’t going to be a major release or get critical acclaim. The same can be said for Rockstar Studios who don’t release games to often but also innovate and change the style and presence of their games to give a better account of what they want to accomplish.
As for where the game industry goes from here, one can only imagine this isn’t far around the corner;