Saturday, January 29, 2011

Medal of Honor - Verdict

Alright, so I've played MoH since I wrote about it last time.

Mostly the game does suffer from being so similar to other modern warfare titles out there. However, I was very pleasantly surprised by the story and setting. It seemed much more realistic and really gave the sense of this huge, complicated military operation. It had its share of hyperbolic drama, of course, which I could have done without, but all in all I enjoyed it.

The game takes place in the mountains of Afghanistan, and the player transitions between the different units which have different goals to achieve. We play from the Tier 1 perspective, who are these silent infiltrators, going behind enemy lines and bringing intel or causing some damage to the enemy; we also play as a ranger (I think), which is a more standard in-your-face approach to warfare. We also play as a chopper pilot, giving support to the troops below. The transition between playing these characters is especially good because it happens when they interact, emphasizing that these people work as part of a machine and their success depends on them working together, with every part doing their job.

In this sense I really liked the game because it wasn't about this insane action movie plot. There is no real narrative here; there's no big boss to kill or any resolution. We don't win the war by the end. The entire game is just about this collection of soldiers in this operation, trying to survive and protect each other. This is what I really connected to, because it felt like the developers wanted to convey this and they did a good job of it.

Where the game shines a lot less is in the gameplay area, where it takes way too many cues from CoD, meaning the scripted events. I have no problems with scripted events and I think that, if done correctly, can be a huge asset to storytelling and atmosphere. But this is a huge problem when the game simply will not continue unless you stand in a specific spot to trigger some animation - and the game doesn't directly tell you this. A script needs to seamlessly fit into the game, where the player doesn't even notice it's something scripted. Here, there were moments where I literally could not continue the game simply because I didn't fire from the 'correct' position to trigger the final showdown script, or something. I hope they do less of this kind of thing in the future.

All in all the game isn't bad, and I'm even enjoying the multiplayer - although it's nothing new.

The next military shooter I played was the Brothers in Arms, which gave me a lot of insights into shooters in the console age. More on that later (hopefully with video).

Monday, January 24, 2011

Loooooong Delay

Well, here I am again.

I keep coming to this conclusion that keeping a blog updated and informative is hard, and yet I keep trying. I really believe in what I want to do with this blog, though, so I don't intend to stop.

I've also just finished my studies for now and, even though I've got assignments to write which will take up most of my time, I hope I can organize my time efficiently enough to still write here properly.

Here are some of the things I have in mind:

-I'd like to post a debate (if you can call it that) I've had with someone who posted an opinion on games and art. I think I've touched enough on the topic so I might choose not to put it up, but it was a pretty intreresting argument in some parts.

-I've also been playing some games that gave me some things to think about. I've played through the Brothers in Arms series, which got me thinking of the transition games have made in their presentation and ethos.
Also, I'm playing Assasin's Creed 2 right now. It is a very good game with some intresting design elements.

That's what I can think of for now, but as I said my aim is to keep on posting so expect more updates.